Something Of Good Report

Something else happened during our vacation, something of good report that I would like to share with you. It happened in Morro Bay, California.

I was struggling to carry my purse, with all the water bottles in it, (enough for all of us to use for lunch,) so I had my kids take turns in helping me to carry it while we walked amongst the ocean front shops in Morro Bay. Normally I make sure to carry my own purse, for I usually feel somehow bereft without it.

When we came to the restaurant where we were to have lunch, the kids took their water out, and I went back to carrying it myself.

There were long lines to use the lady’s room, and as I stood in line waiting, I got to know a few of them who were nearest to me. We talked about general things, mostly about Morro Bay and how each of our days were going there. After I used the lady’s room, I went back out to where my family was still in line to order. We waited a while, till it was finally our turn to order. We ordered, and sat down to wait for the food. When it came up, and was brought back to our table, I suddenly realized that my purse was missing.

I quickly asked my kids and husband, but they did not have it either.

I knew then that I had left it somewhere.

I went back to the line at the lady’s bathrooms, and asked those who were next in line, if they could check for me if they had seen it in there. They answered me with a no. No one had seen it.

Do you know what it is like, to suddenly know that your whole life that was in your purse, is simply gone? It wasn’t the loss of cash that bothered me, (I only had fifteen dollars in it,) but it was the thought of having to cancel my three bank cards, re-apply for a driver’s license, somehow manage to order and re-pay for the three prescription eye glasses that had I kept in it, and of course having to deal with the loss of my cell phone. Then there was the concern that someone would steal my identity and write out checks from my check book.

As I stood there on the busy restaurant’s patio, I looked all around me, at all the faces of those who were eating there, and I suddenly struggled just to breathe.

“Oh Jesus!” I exclaimed under my breath. “Please help me!”
(I was thinking in terms of being able to breathe and not to pass out, but in the end the Lord helped me even beyond those immediate concerns.)

One of the workers there, had overheard me asking others about the missing purse, and he came up to me, and told me to check up front to see if it was in their lost and found.

I went up to ask them, but they did not have it. They told me to ask those at the next store, just in case.

When I asked them, they let me know that they had a purse given to them not too long ago, and they were just about to call out over their intercom system my name, in an effort to reach the owner of it.

They were reluctant to hand it over to me, and asked me for identification, to prove I was who I said I was. But all my identification was in my purse. (Sadly, my driver’s license photo has me with my hair down and all fuzzy, and not up in a pony tail as I wore on that day. So the likeness was not immediate to see.) Finally, I had given them so many other pieces of information about what was in the purse, that they came to believe that it really was mine, and so they returned it to me.

As I walked back to the place where our food was, I seen two ladies sitting there at another nearby table, no longer eating, but simply watching. One of them said to the other with great excitement: “See? That is her! She got it back!”

I walked up to them, and asked them if they were the ones who had found it and turned it in to that store.

They said yes, and then the one who had found it began to tell of how she found it in the lady’s room, and couldn’t find me to return it to me, and how she wasn’t really sure of what I exactly looked like. (She remembered me with my jacket on, but I had taken it off to eat.) She was concerned that I would think that she had gone through my purse, so she just handed it over to the restaurant, who brought it to the other shop. (Apparently the shops are owned by the same person.)
I then asked her if I could give her a hug, of which she returned somewhat reluctantly. But I sensed somehow, that she was spiritually clean, and therefore o.k. to hug. I heard her then tell me that the Lord told her what to do with it, for it had happened to her many times before in her life. “That’s why I don’t carry purses anymore!,” she exclaimed to me. I excitedly asked her “You ARE a believer, aren’t you!” She gave a startled nod of agreement, and I motioned to her to give me a high-five, which she reluctantly did. At this point, I realized that she must not be too comfortable with my displays of emotion, and was probably older than I was. Her friend had all gray hair, but hers was a solid brown color. (Mine is just beginning to get streaks in it.) I figured she must have colored her hair to conceal her age. (It worked!) So I thanked her profusely several times, blessed her even more times in the name of Jesus, before leaving.

After they had left, I suddenly realized that I had forgot to offer her a monetary reward. Twice before I had lost my purse, and each time it was returned to me, I would give the finder a few twenties, as a way of thanking them. But this time, I did not have that cash to offer. Just the fifteen dollars, which seemed to be a pittance in return to what she had done for me.

“Oh Lord!” I said under my breath, “I sure wished I could have offered her a monetary reward!”

But the Lord responded to me immediately. “No Ma Petite. She would have been insulted.”

I was shocked at this. “Really? She would have?”

“Yes.”

So I sat there, and wondered what else I could do for her. Then I figured that being a believer, prayers would be the logical answer. I could do that for her instead.

So several times, during the trip, and even to this day, whenever I feel my purse, or think of her good work that she did in Jesus name, I give thanks to God for her, and I then ask the Lord to please bless her and her friend greatly, and answer whatever prayers that they are petitioning Him for. Whatever that is on their heart, whatever they desire, may the Lord give it to them with overflowing abundance! I ask this in the name of Jesus! I sensed that their need was not monetary, but was more for a loved ones salvation. Whatever it is, I ask the Lord to please grant it to them on my behalf.

For “…if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19 ESV)

Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers!

Even more than the return of my purse, I greatly appreciated the meeting of another believer. After surviving the stronghold of San Luis Obispo, just knowing that there was another believer near by, and being able to worship the Lord together with them, was a gem in and of itself!

Thank you sisters, where ever you are now. Your good deed in His name will not be forgotten. Indeed, I still give glory to the Father, for what He did in you both on that day!

*

Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

John 14:13-14 (KJV)
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

John 16:23-24 (ESV)
“…Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

John 15:16 (ESV)
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

John 15:7 (ESV)
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

James 1:5-6 (ESV)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

1 John 3:22 (ESV)
“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”

1 John 5:14-15 (CJB)
“This is the confidence we have in his presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — then we know that we have what we have asked from him.”

Hebrews 13:21 (NLT)
“may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”

I Tim. 5:22, Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
* * * *

Willing To Stand Up For Jesus

I went to a commencement ceremony last night.

Two of my kids were getting certificates
At a community college.

Two hundred and thirty four students were listed in the program. Perhaps ten,
twenty, maybe even thirty of them were not there for the actual ceremony.
But at least over two hundred of them were.

After the opening song,
(Which of course was “Pomp and Circumstance”,)
The president of the college spoke a moving speech,
On how the students were to now
Go forth into the world
And leave their mark in it.

Then each graduate’s name was called out,
as they stepped up to the platform
to receive their diploma or certificate.

After their name was called forth,
And their degree/certificate was noted,
Each student was able
In thirty words or less,
To say a personal word of thanks
To those who had helped them
Achieve their diplomas/certificates.

Most mentioned family and friends,
And of course their favorite teachers.

I sat in the audience
Waiting,
Counting,
Just how many of the students
Would remember to thank God.

Out of two hundred or more students,
ONLY FIVE
Came forth with ANYTHING resembling God.

One gave thanks to ‘her guardian angel’,
(though my husband believes the student
was actually referring to her grandfather,)
two mentioned the word ‘God’,
and JUST TWO
actually gave thanks to JESUS.

My heart just ACHED
To find there was only five
Amongst two hundred!

I KNOW my God!
I KNOW that He had to have helped other students
in this graduating group, at some time or another.

But when the time came to give thanks,
JESUS had been forgotten.

And yes, in case you were wondering,
It was my own two kids
Who went forth and stated that they
Wanted to give thanks to Jesus.

I was surprised and very thankful,
That they both wanted to state this
Before the whole assembly,
And to even state their thanks to Him FIRST,
before mentioning anyone else.

They told me,
How Jesus helped them to remember
The answers during their exams,
(they would get nervous,
And get hit with forgetfulness,)
Or how He had helped them to remember
To send in forgotten homework at the last minute,
Or to stay alert in class when sick,
And even how He kept them safe,
During dangerous driving conditions,
As they drove to and from the college.
(One of my kids even totaled the car one slick rainy night,
But walked away unscathed,
Because his guardian angel
Was in the car right next to him through the whole thing,
Instructing him what to do to stay safe,
as the car kept rolling in the air.
He landed upside down,
Just inches away from a big fat tree.)
Jesus had indeed, helped them earn their certificates.
He had not only kept them alive,
But He had prospered them.

I was also pleasantly surprised,
To find that the college speaker
Left the name of Jesus alone,
As they had to read through every single message,
And pre-approve each one of them.

I half expected them to delete it,
or to change it to the more generic ‘God’,
But they did not.
(Thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth!)

When one of my kids names was called out,
The speaker said “I would like to thank Jesus-
And then he gave a slight PAUSE,
Before continuing.

I was not able to see this speakers face from where I was sitting,
so I do not k now if the speakers expression was mocking, serious,
surprised, or glad. But he gave pause after announcing this,
as if to give space to some kind of emotion.
(The speaker had not done this with any of the other students.)
A small collective gasp came forth from the surrounding crowd,
along with a few “ah, finally!” shouts,
(almost as if someone had been waiting to hear Jesus’ name,)
and then clapping broke out from the audience,
In support of thanking Jesus.

When all the students had been given their diplomas and certificates,
and the closing speaker had finished,
The band played a lively tune,
As the graduates walked back out of the arena.

Care to make a guess as to what song they chose to play?

WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN!

(Anyone else see the irony in this?!)

As the students left,
They danced to the song with excitement.

But my heart just ACHED!

I looked at all those students,
And wondered if the students ever gave any thought
Into what they were marching in TO!
Because if their thank you’s were any indication at all
Of where their soul would one day go,
ONLY FIVE WOULD ACTUALLY GO MARCHING IN!
(I pray that they would each come to love Jesus deeply, ‘
before their ‘number’ gets called!)

Afterwards, at the reception,
An older couple came up to one of my kids,
And said that they wanted to personally thank him
For mentioning Jesus name
In front of the whole assembly.

My son smiled at them,
And said “So you are believers too! Cool…”
They said a quick prayer with him,
Before waving goodbye.

All these students,
All two hundred and thirty four of them,
Are going forth now to leave their mark upon the world.

What do you think that mark will be?

(I can’t help but hope and pray,
That the Christian colleges
Are having better results,
In getting their students,
Willing to stand up for Jesus
And give Him thanks
In the public arena…!)

*

Luke 17:11-17, 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

“And so it was when he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria, and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go, show yourselves unto the Priests. And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice praised God, and fell down on his face at his feet, and gave him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered, and said, Are there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”

(GNV) Footnotes:
Luke 17:11 Christ doeth well even unto such, as will be unthankful, but the benefits of God profit them only to salvation, which are thankful.

“…We ought to obey God rather than men.”– Acts 5:29

* * * *