Well, you can read this blog and see that Crazy Love by Francis Chan has IMPACTED me this week. However there are other things that have done so.
On Monday I was at the Downtown Center and a couple of people stopped by to chat. The first guy saw the pool table and came in to see what we were all about. It was a good conversation and an opportunity for me to invite him to church but the one who IMPACTED me most was the next gentleman who came through the door.
Sam (not his real name) came in and introduced himself and said that someone he worked with suggested he check us out. He is a young man who started experimenting with drugs when he was only 12 years old. He realizes what a toll the drugs have taken on his life and he has been clean for more than three months.
He came looking to find fellowship and strength with a like minded Christian but he blessed me at the same time. As we talked he explained that he likes to play the harmonica and he plays several of the old Christian Hymn’s, Amazing Grace being one of his favorites. I have a secret desire to also play the harmonica and play it well but I have never followed that desire and probably won’t until I finish school and get some other important things accomplished.
I told Sam that I would love to hear him play and he searched his pockets and there was no harmonica to play. We talked a few more minutes and he said I have to go to work but if you have a couple of miniutes I have written a song that I will sing for you. He went on to explain that he wasn’t the greatest singer and hadn’t done it in a while but if I wanted to hear it he was willing to try.
He wrote a song about how he had fallen and was reminded of the advice his daddy had given him to always serve the Lord. Later in life his son had fallen and he shared with his son the best advice he had ever been given and that was to always stay close and serve the Lord. I stood in tears as I looked into his eyes and at that moment I could see Jesus. I hugged his neck and said Sam God is going to help you through this time and I will help as well. There is a gift that God has given to you and that is a chance at living close to the Lord, just as his daddy had suggested. Sam IMPACTED my life this week.
I was IMPACTED again as I traveled to Morristown Tennessee for our HolstonConference Clergy Gathering with Bishop Swanson and fellow clergy. The presenters for the day are the pastoral staff of Cokesbury UMC in Knoxville. They have an amazing story to tell of how God has done a great work there and they shared how God is using them now in the lives of so many people. However the greatest part of the day was when Bishop Swanson preached and he made this statement. (Not an exact quote) You all face struggles in the places in which you have been appointed to serve but you need to remember that your SPR Committee, your Board of Ordained Ministry, your Districyt Superintendant and this Bishop have placed their approval on you and have affirmed your call to ministry. Further, God has confirmed His cal on you for this time and in the place in which you are serving. I was IMPACTED by that affirmation and I was revived once again as I felt Holy Spirit lift my spirit once again.
On Wednesday I was IMPACTED by more than 30 Youth who came to Downtown for Bible Study. I am always amazed and excited when people are hungry for God. These teens are not just hungry for the things of the World but the things of God. If you have a teen who is interested in Bible Study you should stop and count your blessings and do everything in your power to encourage that desire. By the way I was also IMPACTED by the Adult Leaders who are so faithful and serve without complaint. I was again IMPACTED by several in the church who stopped by on this particular day just to say they appreciated me and some gave me gifts.The jelly is awesome!
On Thursday I was IMPACTED by my Family. Misty and I spent the day just playing with Smauel and soaking up the love that little guy has to offer. Samuel now looks at the picture of my grandfather and says Papa and he says papa like no one I have ever heard. I told Misty there is no doubt what I will look like as I age, my dad looks just like his dad and I can see the very same look as I age. We spent the evening with mom, dad and the kids and grandkids with soup and sandwiches and lots of laughs and just being together. Misty and I now have our 4th child in the womb and the 6th counting my nephews who are as sons to me, 5 grandchildren and Sophie the dog. These folks IMPACT my life every day and I thank God for them everyday. At the end of the day as I was checking e-mail two of the Youth Members IMPACTED my life. One just wanted to chat and say hello and the other had a BIBLE question. Youth who read their Bibles are my hero’s and I mean that with all my heart.
God has IMPACTED my life this week. Everyday has been a new experience and one that I treasure. I am a blessed man.