Listening to Abba: November 2012

He's Your Savior

There were two young women selling “Dead Sea” beauty products at the mall. As I was walking past the display, one of them put lotion on my hand and lured me to her Kiosk. She told me right away that she was a Jew. My heart skipped a beat. I felt like I was on holy ground. Here was a real bona fide Jew! The apple of God’s eye.

Without even pausing I asked, “Do you know Jesus?” “Sure,” she replied, “I’m a Jew, I believe in God.”

“No, I’m talking about Jesus,” I explained. “Do you know Him? Do you know who He is?” Without hesitation she looked me dead in the eye and answered, “He’s YOUR Savior.”
“Yes,” I replied, “but he’s also YOUR king!”

Interestingly, my question and comments did not offend either lady. They continued to talk about their beauty products and I continued to interject my enthusiasm for the Messiah. The whole time I was with themI felt my heart growing larger. I seemed it would explode with God’s love for these two Jewish women. I wanted to gather them in my arms . . . the way Christ ached in Matthew 23

  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones to death those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling!”
 
I know God sent me to these women. I know because His love just spilled out of me toward them. I hugged them, talked with them, bought some of their products and encouraged them to find Jesus. They were so receptive to me and to my joy over Yeshua that they wrote down their names for me on a sales receipt. I told them I would be praying for them.

They were beautiful women. Open, friendly, warm. . .but blind. Steeped in tradition. Stuck in darkness. It broke my heart. It breaks God’s heart.

I walked away feeling sad for their lost-ness, but hopeful that maybe God had used me to arouse their interest in Jeshua.

That one phrase keeps echoing in my mind . . .”He’s your Savior. He’s your Savior. He’s your Savior.

Yes! He’s my Savior. I love Him.

I love His people.

I love to tell the story.

God save Tali and Nitzan.

Admitting my shadow side

"To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, 
the light side and the dark. 
In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am 
and what God's grace means."

Brennan Manning

My shadow side
Recently I made a commitment to practice living Philippians 4:8, “Whatever things are true, lovely, good, pure, honorable . ..think on these things.

I wasn’t long before I blew it.  Two people where sharing about little signs of growth in another person and I interjected, “I don’t know, last week she did this and that.”  Inward groan. I devalued what they were saying and cast a shadow on the one they were talking about.  I spoke truth but it wasn't truth that needed speaking. My dark side was exposed.   I felt immediate remorse.

On the way home I lamented to God, “Oh Papa, I didn’t follow Phil. 4:8!” I held my head in my hands, my heart felt soiled.  

“Make it right.” 

Was that His voice or mine?  Did I want to make it right in order to salvage my reputation? Or, did I want to make it right to honor my God.

“Abba, if this is you speaking, keep prompting me.  If it is from me, help me let it go.”

After a restless, burdened-conscience night, I concluded that God was indeed the one prompting me. “Okay, Lord, I will do what you say, but out of curiosity, what good will it do?  I hardly know her and she probably thought nothing of it.”

God:  “Here is why Kinsey,  I want my children to confess their faults to one another and pray for each other so they will be healed.  When you admit your brokenness and obey, it encourages others to admit their brokenness and obey.  Your step of faith will move others to pursue holiness. Furthermore, if you must make it right every time you fall, you will be more careful of what you say going forth.”

Kinsey: “That’s for sure. I see, so this is about the body of Christ - keeping it pure.  It is about having conversations that are seasoned with salt, wholesome talk that benefits all who hear.  It is about Phil. 4:8 - being conscious of and committed to thinking and speaking about those things which are true, and lovely, and honorable.  I’m all for that Papa, you know I am.”

G: “You are dear girl, and I am very proud of you.”

My light side
I humbled myself and made the apology.  As soon as I did, the burden lifted and my conscience was clear.

I wish no one would see my dark side.  Shoot, I don’t want to see it myself.  Sadly it’s there and it trips me up.  But God in His mercy forgives, cleanses, and sets me back on the right path.  I love Him for that. His mercies are new every morning.


Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, 
we have confidence before God (1 Jn. 3:21 NIV)

They don’t tell shameful things about those close to them. (Ps. 15:3 ERV)

He who covers over an offense promotes love, 
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends (Prov. 17:9, NIV).

I saw Jesus today . . .

I saw Jesus today. He was wrapped in wrinkly skin with a balding head, crooked nose and a hunched back. He was teaching from the book of Revelation to a crowd of about 20 ragamuffin people in a little country church. He spoke with kindness, conviction, authority and power. His name was Ralph, age 73.

I saw Jesus today. He was wrapped in pale sagging skin, thinning gray hair, dingy teeth and compassionate eyes. He wore a dress and supportive shoes. His arm was broken and held together by a metal brace. He spoke with kindness, interest, and warmth. His name was Elaine, age 69.

Ralph and Elaine Gardner are pastor and pastor's wife of Grace Fellowship Church in Oneonta, AL. They invited us (Sharon and me) to share about Discovery Clubs at their church today. They have a passion for Christ, the church, and the lost. The instant I met them I felt at home.

Ralph and Elaine took us to Taco Bell after church. Over tacos, we learned more about them, their family, and their lives. Ralph is a retired Chaplain, Elaine a retired nurse. Upon retirement they sold their house and spent 6 years touring the country in an RV ministering to other Pastors and Pastor's wives.

Two years ago they were asked to be interim pastor of the church in Oneonta. They said yes and are still there. They are still living in an RV.

They don't have much by way of this world. They don't want for much. They pure and simple are sold out to Jesus and offer their weak, aging bodies to His service and to His glory. I'm confident they will do that until He calls them home to glory.

I wish you could have met them and experienced what I experienced today. When I got back in the car after lunch, I laid my head on the steering wheel and cried. Not because I felt sorry for them, but because I had just been in the presence of Jesus. I had just stood on holy ground. I was humbled.

Through my tears I said to Sharon, "These are the hall of fame people that Hebrews 11 talks about."
Hebrews 11 says, "This world is not worthy of them." I agree.

Yep, I saw Jesus today. I got to hug Him too. It was very, very sweet. His presence still lingers.