Water Into Wine…..2016 Update
Normally I would open here with a bible passage. However, I can’t today because just about a half hour ago I gave away my last bible. Now I won’t be able to afford one until I get paid next week. I could go online and find a passage, but I just don’t have that much time right now. If I could quote a passage here it would be the Gospel of John, the first half of chapter two.
I am just home from eating an early dinner at Applebee’s. The restaurant was crowded so I sat at the bar to eat. When the bartender asked how I was doing, I said overflowing with the Joy of the Lord. She was a bit taken aback by my response, so then I added ….Jesus just makes me feel good about life. Then she smiled at me and said, “I wish I could feel good about life too.” I responded with….. Jesus can do that for you…can we talk?
For the next 45 minutes we had an awesome conversation as she worked. I shared the words of Jesus with Kristen, words of truth, love, grace and life. She wondered if Jesus could ever really love or understand someone who serves alcohol for a living. It was then that I told her that the very first miracle Jesus ever performed was turning water into wine at a wedding banquet. That simple fact nearly blew Kristen’s mind.
Next she told me that “Christians” have never treated her well. That when they come there to eat after their “church” services they are rude and rarely ever tip well. Kristen said that she had tried going to several churches over the years, but always left the building feeling judged and condemned instead of loved and comforted. Right then I shocked her when I explained that I did not go to church, as she understands it, that I simply met with other followers of Jesus in homes.
I went on to say that in home fellowship we had open and free, Spirit led conversations where everyone gets to share, rather than sermons given by one “man” in charge called Pastor. She wanted to know more about what happens when we meet so I told her that we would pray, sing, share testimonies and read the bible together in no particular set order. I said it was a family gathering where we ate and shared our hearts with one another in celebration of Jesus. At which she exclaimed, “I would just love that!”
Next our conversation turned directly towards her and Jesus. I asked her if she wanted Jesus in her life. She said yes, but that she had so much to change in her life before Jesus would ever accept her. I said the good news was that Jesus accepts everyone right where they are in life. She said, but what about all my sins, poor judgment and foul behavior? I told her that Jesus accepts her just the way she is and that in time if her behavior needed changes Jesus would help her with that along the way, no matter what! I said we don’t change in order to be saved, but rather freely receive salvation in order that Jesus can make changes for and in us. I told Kristen that everything begins and ends with relationship with God via Jesus Christ. After that we prayed together and she laid her burdens down at the foot of the cross.
My heart is simply overflowing with His love. I cannot restrain or contain it. It is a little scary because it seems so out of control, but I can’t deny it. I am so in love with Jesus and the Spirit has anointed me to share the Good News. I do not know how long this season will last in my life, but I am just holding on to Him for dear life as He races before me preparing hearts to receive His love, truth, mercy and grace. I mean this is so unbelievable and wild…every time I buy another bible He has me give it away within a week. I guess all those people who accuse me of not valuing the bible and using it incorrectly need to just back off and shut up. Jesus and His words are just so alive and real to me right now. I am nothing, Christ is ALL! Please pray for Kristen?
Love and ….
Kirk Out !
P.s. That wonderful conversation occurred over 3 years ago. I tried to stay in contact with Kristen, but when I went to check on her at Applebee’s the manager informed me that she had transferred to another location. The Lord has led me to pray for Kristen many times since our conversation, but I had no idea where she was or how she was doing. Well, she called me in July 2014 and told me she was now located in Indianapolis. She said she is still following Jesus and that HE has been teaching her and setting her free in every area of her life. Kristen now has over a dozen friends that also follow Christ and they get together to share, eat and pray often. Six of her friends she actually led to Jesus when she shared her personal testimony during a conversation over a meal. She tried going to a “church” building again, but being there just made her feel “yucky” in her Spirit, so she has not gone back. She thanked me for sharing Jesus with her in August 2013 and also for giving her my bible. I encouraged her to continue in simple fellowship with her friends under the Headship of Christ alone. She told me she would stay in touch and I told her that she was loved and appreciated. Kristen now calls me about once every six months and says that Jesus and the Body of Christ were becoming more and more real to her every single day. We both laughed when she told me that now Jesus has her giving away her bibles too. Then she invited me down to Indy for fellowship whenever I could make it there. I told her that sounded awesome. She then suggested that we end our conversation in prayer and let me tell you that was some GREAT prayer. Seems that in Kristen’s very first year of following Christ she started a fellowship in her home and led others to Jesus and has continued doing so for over 3 years. Now do you see what I am talking about in this blog? It does not take special schools, education, titles or training to plant a simple church. It doesn’t even take that much time. All it takes is a willing heart and an openness to the things of the Spirit.
I am overwhelmed by HIS Grace, Mercy and Love once again. Simple, Spirit led conversations lead to such wonderful fruit. More than a dozen more more have come to Jesus that way since August 2013 and I don’t see this current pathway ending any time soon for me. Share LIFE and the simplicity of Jesus along the way instead of weighty Law, judgement and doctrine, then everybody wins.