He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Car Ride Home

Do you ever wonder how the spirit is moving? I mean, do you ever sit back and think about how you became a christian and ponder on all the past circumstances, conversations with people, books your have read, and or movies you have watched that may have played a part in your salvation. All the things that God may have used to draw you into himself??
I think about that alot, I will sit back and try to remember all that my past entails and try to think back to see if I can see the LORDS hand through it all. Then I remember...some memories very painful and some joyous, yet, I can clearly see what the LORD was doing through it all.

This past weekend the girls who are a part of our cheer squad asked me if we could have cheer practice today. With them being out of school, I thought that would be a great idea, it would give us extra time to spend together working on some routins for our next game this Saturday. Not all of them made it but 7 did, and this is their story...
After a great practice session, I sat the girls down and I talked to them about team unity, confessing sin one to another, and I gently reminded them that they could come to me and talk to me about anything, I shared with them that it was important that we remembered who we were doing this for and that we enjoy ourselves in the midst of obedience. One of the older girls on the squad had mentioned to me earlier that she wanted to talk to me about being a Christian. I told her that I would love to talk to her about that and that we could talk more about it on our way home. We all prayed and begin to load up in the car, a 10 minute car ride turn into a 40 minute car ride and a window for me to see all of what the LORD has been doing through many of our staff..here's how..
On the ride home we are listening to Tedashi's song of his album Identity Crisis in titled 'Fresh'. In this song, Tedashii is rapping about our Identity as a christian. He talking about our regeneration. How regneration changes our lives...we act different, our life styles begins to change. All this change that has happen because of God and we boast only in the work of the cross that accomplishes that. I am explaing all this the best way I can to these girls.
Before I could even turn the music back on, one girl in the back says," Mrs. Nicole, I want to become a Christian".... silence in the car...another says, "yea, I do too"
I begin to go around the car and ask all of them why?? They begin to share their stories with me, how they want to change, how they need Jesus, how they want to stop being the person they are today and want to live for God. I pull over in the parking lot of a housing project and begin to share the gospel with them all. Mind you, its dark as all get out and I am sitting in one of the worst housing projects in our city. CLEARLY THE LORD was doing something. After I finished sharing, I think that I was in unbelief. I confess that I almost missed out on what the LORD was doing because of doubt of these girls not being genuine, better yet, not believing that the spirit could REALLY work in their hearts.

One girl then asks, "So, did those of us who said we wanted to become a Christian,did we just become one by listening to what you just said".. and I say, "well, I dont know, if you would like I would love to pray with you if thats what you really want...is that what you want"

They all begin say "yes, we want to pray now" At this point I am holding back tears and still in shock!! Lord what are you doing?? He is saving that is what He is doing. He is drawing these young girls to Himself. We see these kids everyday, they hear the gospel at tutoring, they hear it at bible study, they hear it at sleepovers, they see it in our lives.(hopefully) Years ago, we use to meet in my two bedroom home on the floor of my den... reading the bible, talking about Jesus memorizing verses, resloving conflict. Not just me now, but many of the other staff as well as wives from our church family. They all have played a role in these girls wanting to know who Jesus is. I begin to think about how all that has happen through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Christ, within our ministry towards these girls and how all of that teaching played a roll in what was happening in my car tonight.

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (Ezekiel 36)

One girl in the car says, "okay ya'll now if we pray we are telling God that we want him to take over our lives, and that we want to live for Him forever...are yall ready for that"..they say yes, we begin to pray the sinners prayer. Only..I mean, only the LORD could draw a sinner unto himself. To open the eyes of 7-12 year olds blows my mind. They understood VERY clearly what they had done, they understood how their sin placed Jesus on that cross. They understood their need for a SAVIOR!!! A second grader in the car with me says, "you know Mrs. Nicole, after saying that and becoming a Christian, I think I need to stop being around some of the girls at my school because it wont help me live for Jesus, I cant hang out with them no more"
WHAT?!! you mean to tell me at 8 you see the need to flee ungodly influences?? So we begin to talk about what starts to happen in your heart once you become a Christian. We talk about reading our bible, finding other christians to hang out with for fellowship(again, I am having church service in a parking lot..LOL) not being ashamed of the gosple by telling others about the work the LORD is /has done in your heart. At this point, I had to pull off and start taking the girls home before their parents come out looking for me. It was such a weighty, encouraging conversation. I just cant even begin to tell you how different all of their conteance were when they left my car. We even had a chance to talk about our salvation being secure and how in the bible God promises that NO ONE CAN SNATCH you out of His hand. I told them being a christian was not easy, but through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit obedience is accomplished.

Before my last drop off one girl opens the door and says..

"Mrs Nicole, I cant wait to run in the house and tell my grandma that I just became a Christian!!!"

What an example of what happens to someone who's life has just been changed... you cant help but to share this goodness.

Please pray for these girls. Pray that the word of God takes deep root and the cares of this world, the pride of life does not choke it out of them.
Praise God for accomplishing a work that only HE could do. All the days of these girls lives have been written in His book. I am so thankful to witness a part of His plans for them. May these girls live lives that are a testimony of Gods grace.