Those of you who know me well know my husband is a career pastor. He surrendered to serve when he was sixteen. That's sixty years ago this month. And his first "congregation" was comprised of the patients at a local home for the mentally challenged. I'm not making light of that. It was a wonderful place for a very green, young "pastor" to learn the ropes. His audience was made up of grown people. But their attention span, for the most part, was that of a group of children.
He ministered to them and loved them. And they loved him in return.
There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. He'd already been in the pastorate for almost thirty years when I married him. His messages were always well-studied and just lively enough to keep the congregants' interest piqued, without losing the spirit of reverence that should prevail in a church sanctuary. I was always very proud to be "the pastor's wife."
But . . . there were some messages that stood out from the others. Ones that stay with me to this day because of their pertinence to our daily walk with the Lord.
"The Nike Message" was just such a teaching.
I'll not try to pass it on to you. I couldn't do it justice. (Perhaps someday I'll talk him into writing a guest blog for me and share the message.) But the main gist was "If the Holy Spirit tell you to do something . . . Just do it!" (Hence the title, The Nike Message.)
And just this morning, I had a reminder of how current that lesson is. It's as unchanging as Jesus Himself. I got up about 7:30 and had my coffee. Dee had to work this morning, so I was going to church alone. As I sat there drinking coffee and contemplating how much time I had to shower and dress, a thought popped into my mind. (Or should I say the Holy Spirit dropped a thought into my head.)
"Ask her to go to church with you." Her being a friend who's very much on my mind these days, having lost her husband recently.
I knew she and her husband had been looking for a church home, but didn't know if they'd found one yet. Their denominational preferences were different from ours. So I wondered how wise it would be to even ask her . . . knowing that in the past they hadn't really enjoyed the services we'd invited them to.
So, I more or less decided against inviting her. She'd never been to the church we're attending now, because we're fairly new there ourselves. But the style, the music, and the doctrine were our preference. Not hers.
However, if they hadn't found a church home, that meant she was alone on this Sunday morning. All alone. So the Lord tapped me on the shoulder again.
"It's too early to call." I argued.
"Not any more. You've already stalled for a good thirty minutes."
"Okay, I'll try. But she's not going to want to come."
"Try Me and see."
I called. She readily accepted, and we made a date to meet in town and drive in together.
You probably already figured out the end of this story.
The music, the service, the message, and a testimony given by a young lady were tailor-made to minister to my friend. She was loved on, hugged, prayed for, and made to feel welcome by some of the sweetest folks I've ever met.
And she's coming back!
When the Holy Spirit tells you to do something, don't make excuses . . . just do it!