Thursday, November 25, 2010
Come, ye thankful people, come!
Well, here we are, Thanksgiving is upon us in the USA. We're having family and friends over, with all the traditional foods. I can't wait! No, no WAY would I consider doing it all myself! I think I'd curl up in a fetal position and just cry if I had to carry the load all by myself.
As it is, my family provides the turkey, dressing and gravy, and the others bring a covered dish and/or dessert to go with it. Throughout the year, different ones purchase paper products to add to the stockpile. This way, when the big day arrives, we're not scurrying around trying to find things at the last minute.
Come to think of it, that's a lot how the ministry does things. They host the Gospel message, but no way can they do it by themselves! They are a listener supported program. If we don't bring a 'side dish' to go with the main course, the Gospel message might not get proclaimed through this venue. Towards the end of the year, there's almost this urgency to get a donation in. Of course, like with the paper products, we can give throughout the year as well, to help defray the costs of things.
I have a confession to make. There was a time when I was absolutely sick of hearing, "We need money" It was said in various forms, but the bottom line was the same, "we're broke, and we really need help" I gave.... and gave.... and gave...until it hurt. Now mind you, I know the hosts of the show weren't talking to me directly--shoot--they had no idea if I was even listening or not!! But still, I took it personally. It got to where I would FF through the commentary and just get to the meat of the program--real answers for real people. I felt like shouting: "I'm givin' 'er all she's got, Capt! She can't do anymore!" (said in my best Mr. Scotty voice) If I felt like that, surely others did as well?
Maybe. However, I've changed my mind about that. Let me explain why. For years, I'd given my few dollars to the ministry, and smiled contently as I heard "someone else" be set free by the gospel. I was happy that I could help 'someone else' go free from legalism. My own family would have no part of it. Oh sure, I shared some, gave out a few books and pamphlets, but the response was always the same, "You're wrong, you have to ask God to forgive you, and you need to get back in church!" Sound familiar to any of you? Yeah. Thought so. After awhile, I just stopped talking to my family about anything related to the Gospel. If they wanted to continue to ask God to forgive them, continue to pay tithes, continue to gut it out for God, more power to 'em. I wasn't going to try to stop them anymore. So, I would just be happy that 'other people' were able to benefit from the ministry.
Imagine my surprise when, one night my son announces that he's REALLY enjoying what he's learning! He came with me to a Classic Christianity Conference for two years straight, and the second year--he "got it!" I was elated. My son, who hates reading, couldn't get his nose out of his Bible. That was over 6 months ago, and he's still going strong. Then, a few months later, he share with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and they lap it up like the Living Water it is! I am totally amazed. From there we've gone to having Bible studies, and also, the die hard anti-New Covenant christians that they were--they've even started reading literature that the ministry has put out!
Ha! You bet I've changed my tune! Now MY family has been blessed! We have seen
the evidence of God's freedom in their lives, and it's wonderful! Of course, God is the one that orchestrated the entire thing. People to People was the tool God used to reach me, then awhile later, reached the rest of my family. I would like this tool to continue being used to reach others as well. Like any good hammer, saw or screwdriver, sometimes we need to lubricate them in order to make them last a while longer.
So what about it? Have YOU personally been positively influenced by the People to People Ministries? I know I"m being rather bold here, but it's really reaching way down in the pit of my stomach to get this out. Mainly, if God hasn't turned your family around.. just hold on! I promise He's not turned a deaf ear to you--he just doesn't always let us know what He's doing. But rest assured, He IS doing something!
Since we're coming up on the end of the year, lots of ministries are probably going to be playing the guilt card. Not People to People. They'll ask a few times, then move on. Will you consider giving to the ministry if you in any way shape or form have been positively impacted? Remember, it doesn't take a few doing a lot, it can be a lot doing a little..
Congrats on reading all the way down to the end!!