Here's my story:
The time I needed God the most is when my business was crashing down on top of me. After being burned by over $40,000 from a few different customers, it led to a spiral of bills to be paid, taxes that couldn't be paid, collection calls, and at a time where the value of our inventory decreased 30%. I remember the intersection I was driving through when I yelled in my car, "God, what is the deal!?" Immediately a thought crossed in my mind saying, "Are you willing to let go of the business for Me?" Immediately I shot back (audibly), "am I willing to let go of the business for You? I don't even know if that's you saying that or if it's my own thought!"
In the 48 hours that followed, I realized the thought that came in my head was not asking in 3rd person. If it were my thought, I would have asked, "Am I willing to let go of the business for God?"... He asked, are you willing to let go of the business for Me. It hit me.
God needed to dump my boat, my business, my warped identity I had about myself in the business, and me holding onto the controls. It wasn't an easy road for the next few years... they were some of the hardest financially, toughest in our marriage, and I felt like I had to be completely broken to be built back up again.
While I said I loved God, the reality is my business had a lot more mind space, time, money, and energy going into it than anything I was doing for my relationship with Christ. God knew He had a bigger purpose in my life but had to break me, bust the business, and put my marriage through a refining fire before I could see a view of His bigger picture.
He is faithful, Thank you Jesus for not leaving me in my busy, stressed out, off purpose, and self centered life I was living.
"We need God the most in the detours of our lives... God is in the detour..."- Mark Beeson
That's my story of when I needed God the most, how about you? Feel free to leave a comment here with your story to encourage others...
This was posted last night from a family doing church online- imagine this!
What an incredible story of former mob boss, Michael Franzese... Great sharing the weekend with all of you online!
You want to really annoy someone or tick them off, let them know they're a project you're trying to fix. Far too many people, are focused on trying to "fix" people rather than loving them right where they are... I've made many mistakes in my past trying to "fix" people- I'm sure I came off judgemental, holier than thou, looking like I had an agenda, controlling, or simply an idiot.
How do you feel when you feel "targeted"? People are not projects.
But our motives are good, right? We want them to change for the better, we want them to get out of an unhealthy relationship, we want them to know Jesus, go to church, get help for their marriage, stop abusive drinking, and on and on... Often we have great motives but wrong methods.
- Love is a choice, it's intentional. Think intentional relationships, not projects.
- Remember the old adage: "I won't care about what you say to me until I know you care about me..."
- Relationships are marathons, not fast-food drive-thrus
- Unfortunately, many people don't and won't change- you're not responsible "for" them, you're responsible "to" them
Questions I'm asking myself:
- Do I focus more on what I want to say to people or do I focus on genuinely caring for people?
- Am I living a life that is attractional? Do people see something positive and different in my life?
- Do I really spend time praying for those in my circles?
- Do I invite people to engage in a greater purpose- maybe as simple as a fundraising dinner or a small work project?
- Am I even reaching out to meet new people? When was the last time I had a new person or couple over for dinner?
- Would people say I'm encouraging and a "tank filler" or am I self aborbed or a "tank drainer"?
God, help me to genuinely love people as You have loved us.
- Family members
- Neighbors you get together with on the weekends
- Friends you're connecting with in your "like-minded" interests: the business community, your kid's little league team, Halo gamers, neighborhood association, book club, Boy Scouts, skate boarders, motorcyclers, your sorority, tail gaters, or men that are blue... You name it...
Chances are, these are the people you would call in a crisis, many are already pretty good friends, and if you look at your time spent week after week.... it's who you're hanging out with.... These are the building blocks to the "essential relationships" in your life. Who is that for you?
In our societies, there are literally tens of thousands of like-minded groups of people usually rallying around natural interests, proximity, generations, and more... It's from these groups which lead to "essential relationships" where "essential Churches" can form.
Within these "essential Churches" people can learn from each other, grow together in their faith in Christ, lean on each other, give to a common purpose, give Hope to those who would never step foot in the four walls of a Church, and rally around big visions to make an incredible impact in their communities and world.
We're all uniquely positioned to "be" the Church right where we're at, right where we live, and with whom we already do life with.... Who is that in your niche' of society?