When God Says Move

She was the first face I saw when my family pulled into the church parking lot for the first time. With a toddler on a hip and a preschooler by the hand, Cliff and I asked Alice where the nursery was.
“I’m the nursery worker tonight,” she fibbed.
And the rest is history. For more than 17 years, Alice has been a listening ear, a quiet cheerleader, a prayer partner, a faith builder, a selfless friend. My sons think of her as a second mom, and, boy, has her love for them been a comfort to this momma who needs all the help she can get.
Dave and Alice have been quietly serving Christ at the Heart of Mesa for more than two decades. They’re the type who will do pretty much anything that needs doing just because they love Jesus and His people.
God’s been doing some “shuffly nudgy” stuff in my friends’ hearts. He told them it’s time to move on.
Some folks change churches like they change clothes.
  • The pastor preaches one too many sermons on tithing. Time to change churches.
  • Sister Sue got the solo in the Christmas cantata even though she can’t carry a tune. Time to change churches.
  • The new pastor doesn’t do things just like the old pastor. Time to change churches.
  • The church opens its doors to people not quite like them. Time to change churches.
Well, Dave and Alice love the Heart of Mesa family. It pains them to leave. But when God said move, they said, “Yes.”
The heart is fickle sometimes. Right now, my heart both sinks and soars. Oh, how I will miss this extraordinary couple. I’ll miss our Sunday lunches and their steady, sweet presence. I’ll miss Alice’s passion for teenage hearts made whole. I’ll miss the way Dave calls Jesus his “Abba Daddy.” I’ll just miss them.
But, when I see the new-adventure sparkle in their eyes, I can’t help but rejoice with them. God’s up to something big! While I won’t get to watch it up-close-and-personal, I’ll get to hear about it. And better yet, I get to pray about it.
Part of the pray-without-ceasing life is listening to Him and doing what He says. Will you join me in praying for Dave and Alice as they trust and obey? Perhaps you are in a similar spot? If so, this prayer’s for you, too.
Thank you for the beauty of obedience. My friends purely glow with anticipation as they step away from the comfortable and into the adventure. Even though I grieve the goodbye, I can’t wait to see what You’re up to, Lord! Please, Lord, keep Your gentle, guiding hand on my friends as they make this move. May they sense Your prompting and Your pleasure as they trust and obey.

Make their path clear.

May Your Word be a lamp for their feet and a light for their path (Psalm 119:105 NIV).

Open hearts to receive them warmly.

May they be greeted with holy kisses and welcomed in peace (1 Peter 5:14).

Verify their calling at every turn.

Empower them to “to add to [their] faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if [they] possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep [them] from being ineffective and unproductive in [their] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV).
May “my [brother and sister] make every effort to confirm [their] calling and election. For if [they] do these things, [they] will never stumble, and [they] will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV).

Expand their reach beyond their wildest imaginings.

Oh, Lord, bless them, indeed! Expand their reach! Keep Your hand upon them, so they will bring about nothing but blessings (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Lord, thank you for the many years I’ve been able to serve alongside these extraordinary people. As hard as it is to let them go, I rejoice over Your trustworthy plans. Bless them, Lord. Bless them big.
In the faithful name of Jesus I pray, AMEN and AMEN

Drive-Thru Prayers

Drive-Thru Prayers

I have a new favorite drink: Route 44 Diet Cokes with six lemon wedges. Not two. Not ten. Six is the perfect amount. If the Sonic folks do the squeezing, I get extra happy. My favorite Sonic location is on the way to my church and to the school where I work part-time, so I must confess I go through their drive-thru a little too much.
But one thing about frequenting the same place often, I get to know the workers, and they recognize me. It feels good to be known, doesn't it?
The other day, I whipped through the drive-thru and was greeted by Melissa, the shift manager. She's always extra friendly and attentive. She has to set a good example for her crew, you know. Normally, we exchange pleasantries, but this day, I sensed the Lord nudging me to say more.
I reached in my purse and handed her a prayer card. (I'll tell you more about those later).
"Melissa, I just want you to know I'm going to pray for you as I drive to work. Anything I can pray for you about? Her blue eyes softened, and she took a deep breath and leaned my way.
"Oh, would you? Please pray for my mom. She's having surgery to remove melanoma. I'd so appreciate you praying for her."
"You bet I will!" I promised as I pulled away. And I did. Not only did I pray that day, I prayed the next day when I passed by on my way to Celebrate Recovery. And the next week when I rolled through the drive-thru for yet another Diet Coke with six lemon wedges. I would say Melissa's momma got prayed for at least four times. The Sonic served as a mental monument to remind me to pray for her.
I tried to get an update on her mom, but I can't seem to catch Melissa there. But, sense my affinity for Diet Cokes with lemon wedges doesn't seem to be diminishing, I'm sure I'll see her one of these days.
When I think of all the places I visit regularly, the "pray without ceasing" opportunities are endless. Friends, we can impact our communities for Christ one prayer at a time. We just have to ask God to keep our eyes open.
I'll be honest... some days, prayer is the last thing on my mind. Often, I find myself pulling in to my destination without one memory about the trip.
But, every once in a while, I quiet my frazzled mind long enough to listen to God's quiet direction. When I take the time to listen and then actually obey....man! There's nothing more precious than feeling used by God to touch a life...even a stranger's life.
So...as you go about your day, ask the Lord to show you those cashiers, attendants, baggers, tellers and work-out trainers you see day-after-day. Take a minute to learn their names and give them a smile and a kind word (and whatever else the Lord tells you to do).
Lord, may we never get in such a hurry that we fail to see the people we meet day-to-day. Open up doors for ministry...doors we never dreamed possible. Use small acts of Holy Spirit-inspired love and prayer to change this world for You. In Jesus' Name, AMEN and AMEN!
Have you ever promised prayers to a service worker? I'd love to hear about it! If you haven't, why not try it today!