Here she is folks -- my daughter who has been training for months for her fitness competition! THIS Saturday is THE day and yesterday was the day to do some hair "fitness"!! She invited me to come along and as you can see by her expression -- we had fun!!! Please keep her in your prayers as each day she gets closer to her dream, her goal and whatever else God has in store for her! Love you Lindsay!
The title of this entry is "A Life Changing Power" and is directly from Pastor Dave's message this morning. I sent him a text message after telling him it was all I could to to stay seated and not stand up and shout a quite loud "amen" all during the morning!!
He started a series entitled "A Declaration of Independence" a few weeks ago and each week has been awesome but this morning . . . priceless! Allow me to share some of the highlights from my own perspective . . .
The subtitle of today; "Compassion: More Than a Feeling" taken from Mark 6:30 - 44.
1. Compassion involves: commitment!
When Monty and I started out on our mission to help those suffering in the wake of hurricane Katrina we "committed" to one year in the field; 365 consecutive days in the field. We looked at it as an opportunity that God gave us. It came at what some might (and did) say was an inoportune time! We both had full time jobs, health insurance and our first grandchild. We own our home, have 2 dogs, both of our families are right here, we taught the youth at Sunday School and were head over heels involved with numerous projects at church. Leave for a full year?
2. Compassion involves: assuming leadership!
Our belief was that God was showing US the need because He wanted US to do something about it! We were the "somebody" in "will somebody please do something?" The definition of compassion, according to our missions training class is "a consciousness of the needs of others coupled with the desire to act" -- well . . .
3. Compassion involves: teamwork!
There was no way the two of us were going to head south and make much of a difference on our own! It was going to take teamwork, teams and teams and more teams of volunteers who also felt that compassion and the desire to act as God tugged on their hearts.
4. Compassion involves: cooperation!
Thousands of folks needing help and thousands wanting to come and help. And of all those thousands, on both ends of the spectrum, very few actually knew what to do. But with their cooperation in working together to do whatever needed done -- guess what! It got done! Homes were rebuilt, one at a time and lives were rebuilt in the process.
5. Compassion involves: God's Intervention!!!!!
"It's impossible" was the first reaction of many, homeowners and volunteers alike! But you know what? When the impossible happens -- God intervenes Bib Time! As we are obedient to use our power -- God uses His and miracles happen -- right before our eyes!
Now -- let's apply this in a REAL way with a REAL story!!!
Some of you may remember from back in March of 2007 the story of Mr Mike and Ms Faye. For those of you that don't -- a quick refresher. We received the paperwork for Mike and Faye with the word "emergency" written at the top of it in Sept of 2006. We called and were at their house the very next day. Rain was literally pouring in their home, the bedroom ceiling had already collapsed onto their bed, the floors (carpeting still in) were soaked with so much water it came up over the tops of our shoes, holes were in the floors and walls and mold had taken over. The more we looked around the more we realized we were "up against it" for sure. Monty even told them "there's nothing I can do for you, but I know someone who can -- so let's pray!"
That initial prayer, using what little power we had was all God was waiting for as He stepped in and . . .
Shortened version --- 6 months later we put them in a brand new, stick framed home, fully furnished and landscaped! It was built with 23 obedient, not so skilled folks who just came to "do whatever needed done."
God moved mountains, God touched inspectors, God broke barriers, God touched the hearts of so many, God brought funding where there was none, God brought donations where there weren't any, God took every single thought of "my little bit won't make any difference" into miracle after miracle!
As Mike lay in his hospital bed, having his leg amputated due to diabetes -- God took what satan meant to steal, kill and destroy into blessings beyond measure, beyond explanation and beyond anything we simple humans could have done! God changed lives! Not just Mike and Faye's -- He changed the lives of complete strangers, those who just read about it in the paper or saw it on television and had to drive by and see for themselves, those who stepped onto the property and said they just "felt something special", those who dropped off food for the volunteers, those who prayed for everything and everyone, those who worked day and night and sometimes got those reversed due to lack of sleep, those who did not believe came to believe, and most of all -- we (Monty and I) were changed! Our lives have never been, and never will be, the same!
I experienced commitment, the assuming of leadership (blind leadership at times), teamwork, cooperation and God's intervention! I experienced TRUE compassion! I experienced miracles! I experienced the human race at it's best (and worst)! I experienced God like never before!
So my thanks, true, heartfelt thanks -- to Pastor Dave for this message! It ignited that spark inside me that has been a bit on the dim side for awhile! That spark of compassion that -- when lit -- can change the world!!!
Dear Lord, take our obedience and bless it and increase it so the needs are met."
Until next time . . . take control of YOUR life away from others and experience life changing power from our Lord, our Savior, our God -- our Everything! Susan and Monty