So Sunday, after church, after our all-church lunch and the town hall meeting, I decided my day of rest needed to include some time over at 10 Fitness.
Yes, I do go to the gym. Ask Ben Friesen. He can vouch for me.
I was still thinking about the “three open prayer” that we talked about on Sunday. Do you remember it? Ron Hutchcraft had shared it with me, and it’s based on Colossians 4:3–4 which reads “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Ron says he encourages Christians to pray every day the three open prayer – “God, open a door. God, open his or her heart. God, open my mouth.” And then, Ron says, see if God provides you with open doors during your day to easily and naturally talk about your relationship with Jesus.
So back to the gym. I’d just finished my workout and was getting a drink of water when a guy came up to me and smiled at me and said “don’t I know you?” And out of the blue, I recalled his name. He’s a guy I haven’t seen or talked to in more than a dozen years. Our kids went to school together back in the day. We’d been at some school events together and had talked a few times years ago. But we’d never talked much or been close.
So it was unusual that his name came to mind quickly. And that I recalled having met his wife and kids.
Tom smiled a big smile and said “you play guitar, right? And know lots of songs?” I smiled back. I’m not sure where he’d learned that about me, but guilty as charged. He asked about our kids. I asked about his. They were all doing well, he said. Having made some bad decisions in life, they were now in a place where they were making better choices.
That’s when I realized I was looking right into an open door.
I was caught a little by surprise. Looking back, I’ve wished that I had taken the conversation straight to Jesus at that point. But instead I asked “So, are you going to church anywhere these days?”
Tom smiled and said no, he hadn’t been to church in a long time. I said “you know where you get your driver’s license? Down at Rodney Parham and Reservoir? We get together there on Sundays at 10 – a group of about 150 of us. A good group. You ought to come sometime.”
Tom thanked me for the invitation.
I have no idea if he’ll show up. And looking back, I wish I would have steered the conversation to Jesus instead of steering it toward church.
But I came home thinking about the open door God had given me, just hours after I had talked about praying for one.
How about you? Any open doors this week? Have you prayed and asked God for one?
Don’t forget what the Paul asked the church at Ephesus to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19 - “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”
Make that your prayer this week. Pray for open doors. Open hearts. And then open your mouth. People around you need to hear the mystery of the gospel.
If you missed the Sunday Town Hall Meeting this past week, you can watch it on line here. Or you can download the audio file and listen to it on your device.
Many of you have asked if there is a way to get a copy of the new church home wish list for items we hope to be able to purchase before our move in date so you could pray through the list and think about helping provide financially for our needs.
Here’s the list (you can download the list from here if you’d like):
Redeemer New Church Home Move In Prayer List
Video and Projectors $82,626
Platform lighting $15,000
Computers, TVs $5,000
Mailings / Advertising $4,500
Living Room furnishings $15,000
Toddler furnishings $3,000
Playground including fence and equipment $15,000
Outbuilding for storage of mowing equipment, etc. $4,000
Mower (Rider) $8,500
Mower (Push) $500
Weed eater $200
Sanctuary chairs $10,000
As I mentioned Sunday, we’ve had someone in our church offer to match up to $20,000 given to help with the audio/video/projector and lighting needs for our church. If you’d like to give to help us pay for those items and to allow us to take advantage of the matching funds, you can write a check or give on line. Simply write “Building fund match” in the check notation line.
We’ll keep you up to date on our progress toward the matching funds and our overall giving to the building project in the weeks ahead. Thanks in advance for your generosity and your prayers.
The Men’s Retreat is just a few weeks away. If you haven’t done so yet, Click here to reserve your spot.
Once again, here are the details.
Congrats this week to Ryan and Abby Southard on the arrival of McCoy Quentin Southard, born Monday at 10:23 am. Check this out.
McCoy was 7 lb 9.5 oz and 18 3/4 inches long!! Mom and baby boy are doing great!!!
FamilyLIfe’s Weekend to Remember marriage getaway at the Marriott Hotel downtown is scheduled for the first weekend in April this year.
How long has it been since you’ve spent a weekend away as a couple, building into your marriage? Is it time for a tune up? Even great marriages could use a little preventive maintenance!
Chad and Wendy Donley or John and Julie Majors would be happy to give you more information or tell you how you can save $100 per couple on the registration fee by using a special code they have. So contact Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wendy at email@example.com, or John at firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie at email@example.com.
And you can find out more about the Weekend to Remember by clicking here.
What are you thankful for today?
How do you think your gratitude list would compare with the Apostle Paul’s list of the things for which he was thankful?
Next Sunday, March 24, we’ll begin a new series in the book of 1 John. But before we do, we’ll spend time this week looking at some of the things that stirred gratitude in Paul’s soul.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!