[Risks No. 987 - 1008] Hard to believe I'm actually here. It was just a short two years ago that this journey began for me (read the first post here). I had no clue as to whether I'd actually be able to pull this off but held close the old adage; "how to eat an Elephant? One bite at a time." Maybe the way you change the world is by loving one person at a time. Going out of the way to serve someone else - even in the often seemingly tiny, yet colossally mountain-moving form, of short prayers or simple encouragements. I'm humbled by the grace God extends so freely to our lives. Without His power, without His heart, this whole thing would have been a waste. At best, you could call me a nice guy. At worst, a delusional weirdo. With Christ at the helm, I'm an adopted son growing in intimacy with the Father, learning to express glory to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Read below for the completion of 1,000 risks.
David and Sydney were part of a swim meet in Chattanooga, TN this weekend. It was a joy to watch them give their all, listen to their coaches, and be an encouragement to others.
Ben - Starbucks, shared how I felt Jesus saw him. He smiled and agreed that what I shared was accurate. Reminded him of God's love (didn't get the impression that he was a believer...YET).
Ashley - Starbucks, I was feeling pain on the right side of my neck so I asked the 3 employee's working if any of them were experiencing the same. Ashley was. Told her how words of knowledge worked and prayed. Pain was mostly gone but not 100%. She had to attend to the drive-thru window so didn't have a chance to pray again. Super encouraging for me, though.
Jim - At the pool, his left shoulder/arm was in a serious sling contraption. I went over and asked what had happened. He had torn his rotator cuff. Asked if I could pray for him. "Sure." Prayed over his shoulder (he wasn't in pain). We ended up having an hour long conversation, it was epic. He was a medical professional that had experienced Jesus in a radical way back in the 70's. We exchanged testimonies - so rad. One of his "dreams" was to visit HCJB's Hospital in Quito, Ecuador - a hospital I've personally visited and a city I've actually lived in. Crazy small world and entirely obvious divine encounter.
Christina - At the pool, she came over and began talking with Beth. We prayed over a new business project she is involved in and prayed over her family.
Karen - At the pool's concessions stand. "Gratitude" was a word I felt God high-lighted over her and shared about - Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" - encouraged her to pick it up and reminded her of the way in which God has called her.
Hayley & Karen (no. 2 for the day) - hotel receptionists. Shared prophetic insight over Hayley and encouraged her. Asked Karen if she was having any back pain. "No." Great. God bless you both!
Matthew - man from India. Asked about any pain. "No, I feel fine. Why do you ask?" Explained my heart for healing and for Jesus and what I've seen Him do. Cool conversation. Held hands and prayed over he and his family.
Alleia restaurant (if you're ever in Chattanooga - this place rules!). Epic time with my wife and David (Sydney was hanging with some swim pals). Lauren, Travis, Noah, Nate, three ladies at the front. Able to pray for each of them, encourage them, share prophetic insight, love on them. So rad to be able to love on others as family. Felt like the Holy Spirit lit the place ablaze with love. Though we were super tight financially, felt God challenge us to tip our waitress extravagantly. Talked to David about the idea of living radically generous toward others and how we're called to serve even those who are "serving/waiting on" us. Lord, I pray for many more nights just as this one.
Carla - Dollar tree to purchase bottled water. She spoke with a light, raspy whisper and I asked what was wrong. "Oh, this is how I normally talk." She then shared how she had a paralyzed vocal chord. Told her that wasn't Ok in the kingdom and I wanted to pray for her. "Well, I've kind of had this my whole life." I understand, but Jesus is bigger than even something you've had you're whole life. Held hands and prayed over her. No immediate change. Trusting that immediate change or not, God is on the move in Carla's life - vocal chords and beyond.
Bo - swim meet day two. He reminded me of a friend. Asked if he was considering international business, missionary work, or anything involving overseas travel. Nope. I was way off. Practicing is still fun. Was able to pray over him all the same. He probably thought I was the weirdest guy alive. Who cares as long as Jesus is smiling.
Two cleaning ladies waiting outside of the men's bathroom to clean it at the swim meet. Asked if either had pain. One (I can't recall their names!) said, "Yes, in my elbow right now." Prayed. Pain reduced but wasn't 100% gone. Prayed a second time and encouraged them - thanked them for smiling and being such a blessing to hundreds of swimmers/families.
Deb & Kevin - Brash coffee. Another crazy divine appointment. Deb and I talked for a while and I shared about Come&Live! and what I do. She shared how she had been at YWAM Kona and was looking for ways to combine coffee with missional living. Super sweet. Kevin was in line behind me and I said good morning (even that, especially with a smile, is so funny) and asked where he was from. Asked how I could be praying for him. "Oh, I guess however you want really." Ok, awesome. Held hands between the three of us and just thanked God for Kevin's life and blessed him. Super awkward, super rad.
Nina - David wanted a breakfast sandwich so McDonald's was the first place we saw. Nina looked like she was in a horrible mood. She didn't answer me when I asked how she was doing. Gave me my change and immediately turned her back to me. I knocked on the window. "Yes?" Excuse me, mam, but are you feeling Ok? "Oh, yeah, I'm fine - just cold!" Oh, gotcha. Well, I think you're amazing and God thinks you're amazing. Held out my hand and just started praying life and love over her. Before we had pulled away she came running outside of the front door waving goodbye to us with a massive smile that you just couldn't miss. So epic!
If you're still reading this, thank you! I hope your own heart and life has been encouraged/challenged by this One Thousand Risk journey. Just like it started, I'm not 100% sure where it will go from here other than the fact that I believe this road is far from over - quite on the contrary - God has much up His sleeves toward equipping the saints for every work of ministry.....