“If you can see yourself doing anything else . . . you should do it.” Gee, thanks for the pep talk Dad (also known as Pastor Dr. Stepp). Was I crazy for talking about going into ministry? Did my dad not want me being a Pastor? Did he know something I didn’t know? Yes, no, and definitely YES! Later, after thinking, praying and wrestling with what wise Dr. Stepp had said, I came back to him, “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, I truly believe that God has told me to spend the majority of my time doing something of eternal value.” So, he sat down with me, and then, … we began to talk. Here’s what my dad knew . . .

“God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” (Rom. 11:29 NIV) My dad knew that if I was truly CALLED to full-time vocational ministry, there was NOTHING he or anyone else could say or do to talk me out of it. My dad knew that my resolve to serve God had to be rooted fully in God . . . not in him, not in glamour, not in people-pleasing, or in an emotional moment. The ONLY motivation to serve God that would last was the authentic gifting and calling of the living God.

Here’s where it comes to you – EVERY BELIEVER is called to serve God, to love and serve people, to love their family well, and to be generous like God. These giftings and callings are irrevocable, irreversible – you might as well lean in, because they’re not going away. God might have even spoken more specific calling to you also. It’s time to lean in tenaciously to God’s CALLING on your life, and to stir up the GIFTINGS on your life (2 Tim 1:6). Take a moment with God right now, let him remind you of His purpose for you – it’s irreversible!

Too Far from Danger?

Gunshots every night was not the generally advisable environment to keep 40+ teenagers! Yet there we were, in San Quintin, Mexico on the Baja California Peninsula, sleeping in little places beside migrant worker camps that were revolting. Thank God, I had youth pastors who were willing to take us TOWARD the danger rather than away! Each day we would split into 4 groups, divvy up food (like a yummy oatmeal) for about 100 kids, split up and drive to different migrant worker camps to feed hungry kids. My group pulled up to a large, ominous fenced in area that day. No one in sight. We thought it was a dud. But no sooner had the gate been opened for us, that kids started pouring out of shanty houses, it seemed like they were just spawning out of the desert sand itself. There was a sea of kids there. We had 100 servings of food, their parents were the ones shooting and revolting the night before – this was NOT GOOD!

As a 14 year old, I still knew what to do – we prayed, “God, you see these kids, multiply this food so THEY can be blessed AND we don’t die.” Then a 15 year girl and I (who I might or might not have had a crush on), began to spoon out the food into the cups. We both felt in our heart, and agreed to give out the same amount of food we would have for 100 kids. So we did generous servings, and went through 700 cups that day (cups don’t go bad, we had lots of those). Every child ate and was satisfied, and we even had food left over. The exhilaration of that moment obscured my hand cramps, as we powered through. That girl and I KNEW what God had done, every one there was witness to it. God loved those kids so much that He wanted to bless them, He loved us so much that He wanted us not to die, and He loved His reputation so much that He wanted these kids to have a good first experience with Christians!

Some of us are too far from danger to be a threat to the enemy, to be a rescue for the world, or to invite undeniable encounters with God in our life. So when you feel the nudges of the Holy Spirit to step closer to someone in need, maybe the danger filter needs to lose. Who can you reach out to today? How does God want to crush your comfort zone?