Day 5 back in the USA consisted of food, friendship and a sense of sadness mixed with excitement.
Have you ever had a day where you go from high to low to high to low again? (Story of my life)…
Day 5 was like that. It started with a lunch with an amazingly generous individual who has always been so nice to Joyce and I. She runs a business and this came to me as a great opportunity to raise support for our move over here.
As I drove to meet with her I felt God say, “don’t ask her for any money, just sit and talk to her for who she is, not what she has.”
I did just that. As I say and listened she told me of all the people who had asked for her money lately, those who had ripped her off, those who had hurt her. I finished my lunch by praying for her and then just as I left she gave me a hand full of money.
Wow! God is gracious! We had such a great conversation, and I was blessed far more than just with some money.
I have been tempted a lot lately to ask people outright for money so that we can move over here. However, God is quickly teaching me that He can provide where He guides. The most random people at random times have said they will support us, God is good!
I drove away a little sad too. To think of all the people out there using each other, and never actually connecting with each other.
So what do you do when you are frustrated about people not truly connecting with each other? You go and connect with someone!
I went to the local mall and coffee shop to connect with people. I met a Burmese Muslim refugee and a Californian local girl. I talked to both of them for five to ten minutes all about who they are. I walked away knowing their names, and some of their story and I told them I would do my best to reconnect with them when I get back to the US. Now I was on a high! I haven’t moved here yet, but by the grace of God I am planting seeds and may one day reap a harvest in those two lives!
That night i drove around the local area, stopping at several shops and getting to know the local area. There are so many liquor stores and massage parlors (some are legit, but others I have been told- are a front for “other types of massages”). As I drove around, I started thinking of all the girls that work in these dodgy massage parlors. My friend tells me many are trafficked in and out. Then my heart started to break.
I started to see the ‘other side’ of LA. The night clubs, the billboards for gentlemen clubs (gentlemen… What a joke!), the sin.
Now I know we are all sinners, but some sins create greater serious pain in people’s lives. Sexual sin is one of those.
After dinner with some of the guys from church (back to a high) I went home to bed.
Awaking the next morning I decided to spend time in the word, to have a Sabbath, to snap out of the sadness I was feeling for the people of LA.
I read Ezekiel 9, of the judgment that Ezekiel saw of people who were not mourning over the sin committed in their city. As I sat I made a commitment, I will not try to snap out of my mourning for this city. I will choose to mourn for the people of this city. Broken hearts for broken lives creates compassionate action that creates Christ focussed change.
I won’t try to ignore it. In fact I must mourn for it.
God please forgive me for not mourning enough for the evil around me and the pain it causes people. May I never partner with sin, but partner with Your Son in the battle against it. May you help other Christians to do the same and share Your salvation.
New Living Translation (NLT)
The Slaughter of Idolaters
9:1 Then the Lord thundered, “Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!” 2 Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. 4 He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”
5 Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! 6 Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders.
7 “Defile the Temple!” the Lord commanded. “Fill its courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went and began killing throughout the city.
8 While they were out killing, I was all alone. I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign Lord! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?”
9 Then he said to me, “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very, very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see it! The Lord has abandoned the land!’ 10 So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done.”
11 Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded.”