Thursday, October 27, 2011

How is your Jerusalem?

Again, I'm back after a few months, to share the rest of my favorite verse.  I think it's my favorite because it was Jesus parting words to his Disciples.  When a mentor, a grandparent, a parent or friend passes away we tend to remember the last thing they ever said to us.  I remember my Grandma Billie told me that she was proud of me, PaPa Robert told me that I was raising some mighty fine youngins.  But Jesus wasn't just a mentor or a friend, he was the Son of God, equal with God, and the very last thing he said before ascending into Heaven had to be pretty important.

We've taken a look at the first part of this verse already, that as believers we have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that we Will Be His Witness, regardless of whether we choose to.  The life we live, because of the Holy Spirit, reflects Jesus to the world.

 The rest of the verse gave me even more pause, as I let the Holy Spirit speak to me through it, and I really started to question how I was doing in my Jerusalem.  You see, when I wrote the first post in April I was going to church every week, working in our Children's ministry, reading the word with my family, and I thought I had this part down.  I thought, "Jesus is proud of the work I'm doing."  But really, I was proud of the work I was doing, and used my one day a week of service to excuse that I was not serving in my Jerusalem the other six days.  The other six days, what I wanted and what I needed was in the front of my mind and I was turning a blind eye to the needs of my community.  The more I prayed for God to open my eyes, the more I realized that so much work needs to be done, so many kids go to bed hungry, so many mommas are raising their children alone and worried about the world where their children are going to grow up, right here in Little Rock, Arkansas...right here in my Jerusalem.  So many people are lost, wandering and wondering if anyone sees them and if anyone cares.  When I turn my eyes away from their hurt, when I turn my heart away from their need, my witness is not showing a very loving and compassionate Jesus.

The Holy Spirit began to do what only it can, it began to convict me in a very real way.  It began to show me where I can serve and how to show Jesus, the real Jesus, to my community.

As of right now, my Jerusalem has two extra hands and two extra feet that take the Good News of Jesus where ever they go.

How is your Jerusalem?

Friday, April 1, 2011

You will be my witness...

I posted earlier that God is doing some amazing things in our house.  And one of them, is the transforming of our little family to a family that serves God and shares the name of Jesus.  My next few posts, will be based on one of my favorite verses, Acts 1:8, and the mission that God has given us to carry his light across the world.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth." Acts 1:8 NIV, 2011

Every time I have ever heard that verse disected by a Sunday School teacher or a preacher I remember them explaining that we are to witness in our home town (Jerusalem), our state and country (Judea) and to our enemies (Samaria) and to other countries (the ends of the Earth).  While that is important and we'll talk about it later, today I read it and I noticed something different for probably the first time.  I noticed that Jesus didn't say, "I need you to be my witness," or "Some of you will be called to witness,"  or even, "Don't forget to be my witness."  Jesus said, "You will be my witness..."

At first I wondered why I had never noticed it before.  I was always focused on where to witness.  Then I thought about the words, "you will be."  It dawned on me that the words aren't leading up to a commandment, but a statement of fact.  I was taken aback, so I did what any normal person would do when they are faced with a serious conviction and I looked up several different versions of the verse just in case the NIV got it wrong (I know, self serving...but I am human).  The King James Version says, "you shall be,"  the ESV says, "you will be," the ASV says, "you shall be," and only The Message said it differently, "You will be able to be."  The next thing that happened, is I vowed to only read The Message ever again and put my NIV, KJV, ESV and ASV versions in the shredder...ok I'm kidding.  I actually looked up the definition of will.  "The expression of inevitable events," was the definition that best fit the use of the word when Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses..." he wasn't commanding us or he would have said, "You, go be my witnesses."  He was stating that for believers being His witness is an inevitible event, and for me that was eye opening and terrifying. 

"What if I don't feel like it today?"

"You will be my witness!" 

"What if I don't even leave the house?" 

"You will be my witness!"

"What if I don't feel called?"

"You will be my witness!"

You get the idea, I was arguing with the Holy Spirit, and no matter how many times I read this verse looking for a different answer it still says, "You will be my witnesses."  The Bible is crystal clear and left no question, no matter what I'm doing, what I feel like, or what I've been called to do, because I have given Jesus my life I will be his witness!

I guess there is only one question left.

"What kind of witness will I be?"

Will I send people running to, or running from Jesus?

An Apology!

I would like to apologize, mostly to myself, for not writing in months.  I have missed my little therapy sessions with myself, and I would like to say that I'm going to do better but honestly life is so busy that I probably won't do better for a while.

You will see a few upcoming posts from me though, there are some exciting things happening in the Casa de Heisler, because God is so good, that I need to share and shamelessly ask for your help.

See you soon,