Page 320 has been a long day so that may mean the written page may be shorter so I can get some sleep — although I did just make a cup of coffee, so we’ll see about the page length and the sleep. 🙂
The day began by actually sleeping in compared to my usual wake-up time and then I made my way to the exhibit hall to do some minor tweaking on my display. After the stop at the convention center, I decided to make the mile and a half walk to Walmart to pick up a few supplies that I needed. I took my camera with me and photographed some Illinois River scenes as I took the bridge over it. The scene that made the cut as the photo for today’s page, however, was not the scenic river but a restaurant sign. When it is a restaurant that serves chicken for people to eat, I wouldn’t think you would want to advertise your chickens as “slim”. 🙂 Seriously though, it did make me think about the way we present ourselves to others — whether intentionally or not. I talked to a gentleman this evening that had been away from church most of his life because as a child he heard his preacher say one thing and live in a different manner than what he preached. It has only been within the last year that he returned to church, and that was at his daughter’s request. In doing so, he discovered that not all preachers and not all churches are like the one that he knew as a child. When we represent Jesus by calling our self a Christian, there are people who get the impression that all Christians are like us. Granted, many of those should know better than to lump all people of any group into the same pile, but especially children may get their idea of God and Christianity from the way you represent it. Will they think your relationship with God is full, or will they walk away thinking there must not be any substance to it?
The afternoon and evening were full of conversations with people about the prayer ministry and about God’s gifting that He gives to benefit others. It has been an encouraging day as many came up to the prayer ministry display to tell me how much they appreciate the weekly prayer guides I send out. Some of them talked about how God has used the prayer ministry resources to help them grow and others spoke of how they have spread the printed material to the far reaches of the world. A number of people brought specific prayer requests and several sought prayer requests for me and the ministry. As the day came to a close, it is good to write even this brief page as a reminder of God’s work and as an expectation of what He will continue to do through this conference.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- I find that being able to “sleep on” thoughts, ideas, or plans often leads to a refining.
- While there are some things that need immediate action, many things would be improved if we would “wait upon the Lord” for clarity, direction, and timing.
- Words matter but so do actions. It is best when they match.
- Judging a group by the actions of one person is not wise, but it happens by people who should know better as well as by those who don’t.
- Being genuine with God and yourself helps you to be genuine with others.
- If you want to be blessed, try blessing others with the gifts and abilities God has given you.
- If I don’t write things down, I often forget them.
- The lessons God teaches me today are most useful if I remember them tomorrow.