Risks No. 7-11 + Slipknot.
As you can tell, I actually took a break last week for Thanksgiving and didn't update the blog as a result. I felt one-part irresponsible and one-part thankful. Mostly thankful for a brief respite and much-needed rest. Risks number 7 thru 11 were all posted at Facebook.com/comeandlive and include:
No. 7 - Memorize a Bible verse today and ask God for at least one person you could share it with to encourage their hearts.
No. 8 - Call someone you don’t often talk to and remind them how grateful you are for them.
No. 9 - Ask God to give you a word of encouragement/Bible verse for your parents and encourage them with it.
No. 10 - Ask God for one person in your work-school week that you can invite to church.
No. 11 - Pick a person at random from your Facebook friends, ask God how He sees them, and send them a message with whatever you sense Him sharing with you.
5 risks I took at a recent Slipknot and Korn concert at Bridgestone Arena.
[No. 875] - On the way from parking the car to entering the arena, we noticed a man coming toward us in a wheelchair. Joani and I stopped and asked him what had happened. He had been stabbed in the back of his neck leaving his left side paralyzed. He was full of gratitude for what Jesus had already done despite a situation as discouraging as what he'd been through. It was obvious Jesus had already been working a wonder in him. We asked if we could pray that he received feeling and movement again. "Sure, go ahead!" We both knelt down and invited Jesus to move. Pain was gone but there wasn't a sudden change in the mobility department. We prayed a little more, blessed him and praised God for his life. Hugs.
[No. 876] - Once in the Arena, I approached a woman who seemed really out of place. She was leaning against a wall and I walked over asking how she was. She nearly shot away from me, as my approach clearly scared and surprised her. There was Slipknot playing in the background to thousands of drunken, screaming fans. I tried to explain over the roar of the noise that I simply wanted to offer to pray for her and did not mean to scare her. Her eyes spelled fear. She was not interested in speaking to me, let alone receiving prayer from me. I blessed her and carried on.
[No. 877] - I noticed a woman with a cane as the thousands of drunken fans began to quickly stride/stumble out of the arena. I asked if she was in pain. "Always!" Told her I had to pray for. She hugged me nearer and dearer than I was comfortable with. But there I was. Surrounded by ruckus new-wave metal heads mostly walking out the stupor of what was likely the high-light of their week, maybe month - maybe year, all the while being held tight by a mother who had brought her teenage sons to a crazy concert. She finally let me go and I prayed over her leg and life. "I knew there was a reason why God brought me here." Grace.
[No. 878] - Amy was sitting against a wall post-Slipknot and the word "depression" came over my thoughts. I asked how she was and if I could pray for her. She kindly thanked me but expressed that she did not want my prayers. I smiled, reminder her of God's love and prayed for her as I continued to walk.
[No. 879 - 883] - Ricardo was a security guard who had been working the crazy show. I felt God gave me a word of encouragement for him so went over and shared it. He seemed encouraged and I asked if he had a daughter. "Two." Asked if one was contemplating school and if there was any stress in connection to that. "Yeah, a little, I guess." Prayed over he and his family - including the daughter thinking about whether or not to go to school. Super sweet. Prayed for several others that night and passed by even more - for fear of how they might respond or for being sheerly overcome by the wandering masses.
If anything caught my attention, it wasn't the lights, the "devil-horns," the constant cursing, or even the masses enthralled in the experience of being entertained by expensive cheap-beer and a masked metal band. I was inspired by the two men who came out from behind the comfort of their dressing rooms to share their testimonies - of a Jesus alive and well - who had redeemed their misery. I was inspired by all those who responded with a desire to know that same Jesus as a result of their words. It's beautiful to witness what Jesus is doing, many times in the least likely of places or people.