Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Ordinary Person

Sunday night...it was...extraordinary, life-changing, inspiring, convicting, terrifying, wonderful, exciting...the list goes on. Sunday, Pastor Bill Wilson from Metro Ministries visited C4.
"Metro Ministries is a Christian, non-profit organization dedicated to serving inner-city children throughout New York City and various urban centers around the world. For almost 30 years, Founder and Senior Pastor Bill Wilson has worked to rescue hurting children and offer a message of salvation and love that encourages them to stay in school and away from gangs and other destructive or criminal behaviors so common in inner-city environments. With headquarters in the heart of Brooklyn, NY, Metro Ministries currently operates programs at more than 200 sites in New York City, as well as in the Philippines, Romania, and South Africa. Metro Ministries is currently the world's largest Sunday School serving more than 42,000 children with Sunday School services, child sponsorship, special programs and personal home visits on a weekly basis."

It was wonderful to hear about the work that Pastor Bill Wilson and so many others are doing to see that the gospel goes forth where it might not have gone before. It brought me to tears to see children finally realize that they are loved and that there is hope...even for someone who comes from the streets...God is so good. It's out of Metro Ministries that Sidewalk Sunday School exists...I believe I mentioned it a few weeks back but C4 is partnering with SSS to reach the rough neighborhoods all around Charlotte. It's an amazing ministry and so very cool to see God at work.

Pastor Bill Wilson's message Sunday night was inspiring and terrifying at the same time. He shared his story...about being abandoned as a child...and one man, who had troubles in his own life, showed him that it only takes one person, to change a life...one ordinary person to care. Our lives are important...we only get one shot...are we willing to give our lives for something...are we willing to make a difference?

Are you willing to sacrifice for an eternal cause?

Sometimes we have to get "angry" if we want to change things...we have to be discontent with the way things are or how we see things happening...but at the same time that our emotions can guide us, we can't let our emotions be stronger than our commitment to God and to growing his kingdom. If our emotions are stronger than our commitment, we won't last.

So many people waste their lives waiting for "THE CALL". So many people miss it completely because they're waiting for a huge sign...while they walk past a hungry child...The need IS the call. If you see a need, and you can fill that need...then that is your call. Big doors open on really small hinges. Don't waste your life searching for the one thing you're supposed to do or be...if you are committed to your christian life, if you are willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, then your call could be a child sitting alone on the street corner, or someone who can't buy all of their groceries...or in other small things. It's not always the big and the bold...it's often behind the scenes...with no earthly glory...but with eternal reward.

When you get exposed to something bigger than you, it forces you to make decisions about your life. You don't have to have a PHD from some elite college to make a difference. You can be just another ordinary person...and change a life...When you see a need...do you have to wait? Do you have to pray about helping someone who needs help now? Or do you move...immediately, and fill that need?

We are all called...we all have a call on our lives. It's all the same call...we were all given different abilities, gifts and talents which change how we live out that call...but it is the call to spread the gospel, to heal the hurting, to love the unlovable...it's all the same. Once you realize your call...whether it's in your neighborhood, in the inner-city, or in another country...there is no turning back.  Pastor Bill Wilson used John 3:1-21 and the story of Nicodemus to show that you can't go back to the beginning...you cross a line and start fresh from there. There are four steps to change -
  1. illumination (realizing that your life is not your own and that you've been called to be different),
  2. desperation (desiring to see things change and do anything you can),
  3. transformation (changing yourself, changing your views...changing your lifestyle to respond to the call), and
  4. separation (separating yourself from your old life...your old ways).
Desperation will push you to a place you never thought possible...once you realize that God is on your side, you will be unstoppable...but you can never be the same person you used to be. When you see a need...do you step in to help, or do you step back and allow others to step in? Your life is like a coin...you can spend it any way you want, but you can only spend it once.

Sunday nights message really brought back to mind something I've had on my heart for the last 2 years...something that I feel like God is calling me to do...since Pastor Bill Wilson's message, I've really been praying about it...it's scary...but I know that if God wants me to do it...if it's God's plan...then God is going to watch out for me no matter what. I really identified with Pastor Bill Wilson's message because it reminded me of when I went to Rancho 3M in Guadalupe, Mexico. The desperation I feel to be there, to change lives of kids who have nothing...orphans who haven't been loved...I want to show them the greatest love. When Pastor Bill Wilson said "When you get exposed to something bigger than you, it forces you to make decisions about your life." It really made me think...I've been exposed to that...something bigger than me...and I can't stop thinking about it...it never leaves my mind. I feel like maybe someday soon, I'll go back to Mexico...but in the meantime...I'm not going to sit around doing nothing...I'm going to let my light shine here...wherever I can...wherever I see a need, I want to meet it if I can. My heart may be in Mexico...with Chuy and Christian and Mari Cruz and the others...but I'm here right now...and that's where my call is for now.

God will use you...he'll use me...if we open up to being used...even if there's no glory. So...how are you going to spend your life?

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