I've had some really seriously supernatural occurrences of encouragement, this week.
I know they're super-natural. and I know it even more, because the accuser / the adversary, or a worker of such deeds, likes to get in my face and say it was all coincidence.
"And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" ZecharIah (3:2)
- Friday morning I was feeling pretty awful. Honestly. I walked into our store and it didn't help at all. It was quiet - just me and the Lord... and I was pretty vocal. about everything. and my groaning, as immature and raw as they were, was graciously considered by our gracious God. A man walked in, and I got this feeling from him.
And it's a weird feeling. Like something inside me doesn't want to connect with this guy. Why? Because I'm in a rutt, and he's a believer, and I knew it. I just had to look at him, look into his eyes and he looked in to mine. There was fellowship, there, that I can't explain. He asked for two stamps.
I told him how much they'd cost - I knew that he had pulled out $1.00 thinking it was enough. most customers get upset, because a typical stamp costs, oh... $0.40 or so cents. Not ours, though. $0.60, baby. So you do the math - 2 stamps at normal price would land under a dollar, but 2 stamps with us was going to be $1.20. And so, most customers get upset, as I was saying. And usually I try to explain to them that we aren't really a post office and how we have to charge a mark up cost. Sometimes customers walk out. But I knew he wouldn't. He handed me a 20, I broke the change, handed him his stamps. He asked me:
'Are you a man of faith?'
We talked, he prayed, I cried, he joined his family outside, I fell to my knees when it was just me and the Lord again and uttered something from a posture that I need to take up more often.
- On the way to school from work, I put my wife's hillsongs CD that's been in my car since most of our pre-engagement relationship into my CD player and blasted THIS song. While I was waiting to make my left turn on to the main road, I noticed there was a man in a car next to me - and in particular, I noticed that he was an older gentlemen... AND from what I knew about older-gentlemen, sometimes they don't like younger-gentlemen blasting music in a neighboring car.
So I pulled up ahead of him a little bit to deaden the sound.
Out of my peripherals, I noticed at first what seemed like hand gestures coming from the car next to me. I thought for a second. "He probably wants me to turn it down." So I looked over, already reaching for my analogue volume knob, when I was rather surprised to find that...
Not only was this man unsatisfied with the level of volume that I currently had my music at... HE WANTED IT TURNED UP. So I turned it... gave him a thumbs up... and we sang together. right there. in the intersection. About how
Salvation is here! Salvation is HERE and it LIVES IN me.
I made it to school and probably bombed my Hebrew test, and then got blind sided by an Econ test (haha oh well).
- I had a very, very encouraging phone conversation with a great friend from rockHARBOR... Paul Ireland is planting a holostic, Bible teaching and, consequently, Gospel-driven, church multiplying church in Minneapolis in the old armory building. We talked. It was great. He challenged me on many levels. He read IsaIah 55 to me and I went on to read it again last night, today, and to my wife. "I thought you could use some encouragement," he said, or something along the lines of that. God directed him to call me. It was the best phone call from an old friend that I've had in years. It challenged me to follow Jesus even more.
- I dated the church today. Kind of. No one from PBC reads this so I can say it here, anyways (haha): I went to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, today (Erin stayed home and slept, etc), and was very encouraged by the message. I took note of a few things, in particular:
- Francis Chan preaches heavy messages from Scripture
- God doesn't 'alway's listen to my prayers
- My sin can INDEED hinder my prayers, as well as the body
- The church doesn't readily teach that
- If Francis Chan is emergent then so am I
- God keeps bringing me back to Isaiah
- While I was at Simi, I ran into a guy who I think I'd literally been thinking about recently - an old friend that I'd just barely got to meet and talk to before he moved away last summer while I lived down the road. we talked about ENCOURAGEMENT of all things. we had a good solid talk. we laughed, we challenged each other, we encouraged each other, we went our ways and made sure we had each other's phone numbers.
a lot of prayer needs to go in to this week.
'Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.
And the angel said to those who were standing before him, "Remove the filthy garments from him." And to him he said, "Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments." '