Yesterday morning I enjoyed a delicious breakfast, time of fellowship, and an opportunity to share hope with some women in Oswego County. Wings of Grace Ministry hosts two events a year, one in the Spring and the other in the Fall. My author friend, Kolleen Lucariello, shared her story and about her book, The ABC's of Who God Says I Am, in a previous engagement. This Spring was my turn and it was a blessed day, to say the least.
For months I've prayed for this event and the message God had for me to share. Instead of listening and following His direction, I kept praying. You see, I know He was speaking to my heart yet nothing I seemed to prepare or do seemed to fit. I couldn't seem to put it together. When forced to come up with a theme, I chose "No Luck Needed: Everybody Wins". I didn't feel this was the theme, yet I needed a title and verse for the event planners and I couldn't come up with anything better. Initially the anticipation of sharing at Wings of Grace event excited me but at the same time, I was so nervous.
This was the problem...ME! God ordained the speaking engagement and it was HIS message to share through me. I wish I caught on to this prior to Saturday morning BUT I didn't. I guess I'm a slow study at times. Or maybe it's stubbornness. Regardless of what you call it, it was disobedience.
Instead of praying a prayer and taking time to listen for God's answer, I just continued preparing a message to share using St. Patrick's day and "luck" items as illustrations. I couldn't make this work and then I thought I had it figured out at 3:58 a.m. (Yes, Saturday morning) when I turned off my computer. One last prayer, God this is your event and may I deliver Your message. I need your wisdom, strength, and message. I can only do this in Your strength. Night.
Two hours later the alarm rattled me awake, and by 7:40 a.m., I was loading the car and on my way. I picked up my friend, Lisa, and we began our journey. Talking, laughing, sharing, and praying.
Lisa helped me set up and I told her about my concern with my message, and then the big reveal, they asked me to give the Salvation message. She was very excited and said "Finally!" Whereas, I was still in the "I can't do this and don't want to goof it up." stage. She encouraged me and we prayed for God's words.
Some reading this might not know what a Salvation message is. I think in the simplest of terms, it's when you Admit you are a sinner, Believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again for your sins, and then Choose to trust Jesus to forgive you of your sins. While this seems simple in theory and to write it, the importance of its life changing power makes me nervous. I accepted the challenge and trusted the whole morning to God, why hadn't I done this sooner? Such a silly human am I because the message is as easy as A B C.
While sitting in the back room and thinking of the lives this amazing group of teens can impact, if they have the opportunity to share their ministry, I fought back tears. Then I realized their message isn't only for teens,. It's a message of freedom, healing, strength, love, redemption, and so much more. To learn more about Ranch of Hope Ministries, click here or on the photo of their skit. They are willing and interested in visiting churches to share God's message of love and hope. Check them out.
Instead of opening with St. Patty's Day humor, I thanked these teens and their leaders for demonstrating God and His message without ever saying a word. Both skits used only music and movement, no words. I transitioned from praising and encouraging the teens and then God lead me through my message to the women. The morning was beautiful and a couple people raised their hands before I closed to share a message from God, one they received while I was speaking.
While my delivery of the Salvation message was less than perfect, it was honest and a learning experience. I found myself missing my friend who helped me so much when I started to speak yet while she isn't in the area anymore, God never left me. This morning I awoke rested and thankful I obeyed and delivered God's message. I'm still a little disappointed in my delivery of the Salvation message yet know if God was speaking to someone's heart, they heard it. I can only improve.
Evidence God knows our hearts, fears, and disappointments...here are a couple messages I received today. I share these with their permission. If you attended yesterday's Wings of Grace event, feel free to leave a comment below. I'm sharing with the Ranch of Hope Ministry too, so your words may reach the Wings of Grace team and the Ranch of Hope too. Thanks for taking time to read, worship, and share.
"Hello Lisa, Thank you for speaking at Wings of Grace yesterday! It was an awesome event and I hope that it brought you some healing too! I have sent you a friend request because I manage the Wings of Grace Ministry fb page. I think I need to be friends with you to add you to the group. Not sure, but we both share a love of Dunkin Donuts coffee!!! Thanks again for sharing your experience, strength and hope. It was an extreme act of COURAGE and you rocked it!" ~ Kim, Attendee ~
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323