Do you need to be restored? I do…continuously! Restorations when we embrace each day with passion and purpose to love one another per Jesus’ example and engage in dialogue. Sharing dialogue (as God would have us do) centers around prayer, discernment, loving, listening, being compassionate, and forgiving. This means our conversations with people are coupled with embrace. So, love shines through what we say and do when our speech and service are in tune with His sweet spirit.
God’s Word in Psalm 24:1 teaches this truth. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it…” Paul Dekar talks about this in his book, Holy Boldness… “Dialogue is a fundamental relationship with the world to which we are called.” To sum it up, dialogue is an embrace of the world (all people – not just a select group where we find comfort or fit in), with words, stories, conversations, actions, and reactions being important to them and to God.
A favorite hymn embraces this message, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!” When we praise the Lord in all things throughout the day, it becomes a way of life that brings joy and restoration… even when things go bump in the night and stuff happens that can change our lives instantly. Being restored is important if we are to go forth in faith and embrace our love stories with passion.
I write this story sitting on the floor in my war room with no sound to interrupt as the sun is still shining on the other side of the world. I think of those people (the ones God tells us to love as neighbors) wondering how many of them are praying for peace and joy and restoration as their day comes to a close? Barriers of language, religion, culture can divide but God’s love is able to span any bridges of separation. Sharing words of love and truth embrace dialogue when we “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”.
Do you have a prayer closet, war room, favorite place to commune with Christ in your home? It’s a great investment with dividends and blessings beyond measure. Prayer is a way of life not confined to a certain closet, room, even church. Yet, a special place in your home where you commune comfortably and closely to Christ is a gift that keeps on giving long after you leave your home for work, recreation, vacation, even to go Home to be with Jesus. Your prayers are still making a difference in people’s lives. Prayer brings restoration.
This morning, I read the names of family members and friends on my wall and pray for each need. I read a poster my grandson, Connor, did for a school assignment and pray for him. The title reads, “Two paths – you make the choice.” Two sets of road signs on his poster read, GOD’S WAY pointing one way and MY WAY pointing another direction. The other shows Heaven and Hell pointing in opposite directions with one having to make a decision which way to go. I think of the narrow road God’s Word tells of that takes us to Heaven that many who think they are on that road, are not. Though we may not be murderers or thieves – if we do not forgive and love one another as Jesus taught – we will be on the wide road to Hell. I ask God to forgive me for things I’ve done and said this week that hurt people, for times I did not share dialogue with embrace, and thanked Him for giving grace and strength to go to those people and say, “I’m sorry.” When we get off the right road without even meaning to, prayer and a close relationship with our Father guides and gives us restoration!
I stop writing to pray for all children (not just my children and grandchildren) and educators (not just me- sometimes our prayers can become centered on us), for prayer to be restored in our schools (all schools), and to praise God for those who find ways to share dialogue that teaches the love of Jesus even when it is not politically correct. Our message and actions can portray His way even when shared silently. I pray for Jane Poole from Fuquay Varina. She leads an afterschool Bible Club in two local schools where hundreds of children are staying to embrace dialogue and grow in Christ. It’s amazing to see her in action.
I focus on a picture on my wall that my son, Cameron, gave me when Tim passed away. It shows Jesus holding a man in his arms who appears unable to go forth on his own. A brilliant glow surrounds the silhouette with no dialogue needed to explain the story of God’s amazing grace and power of restoration. Pondering on things, in my own life, that have no explanation here, I praise my Father for taking away the doubt and despair that tried to destroy my life and rob the joy of serving Him. I pray this for you also my friends. If the enemy has tried to bring grief, grumbling, and grouchy dialogue… where God desires joy, peace, hope, and love to dwell in your hearts, tell the devil to flee. He has no power over our lives and the direction we take when Jesus lives in our hearts. When we trust and obey His Word and way, we can be restored each and every day.
Writing this story about Tim’s Gift and Illuminate hosting the fifth annual Rise Up Christian Conference on Jan. 30 was on my heart. I planned to write about the local speakers and singers coming to share how they have been restored, about the food, vendors, Wounded Warrior, our local Veterans being honored with Color Guard and special songs, youth doing home mission work and ending the day with Elevate Praise Band and Scooter Banks, Jane Poole being there to lead a children’s session on God’s Creation, about becoming a volunteer or sponsor to help make it happen, and being a prayer warrior to make it be what God has planned, but the dialogue God stirred me to write takes precedence over anything we have going on in our schedules. I trust Him to stir people’s hearts to pray and believe that…”if we have it – they will come”.
Rise Up – Restore provides a local opportunity to experience God and enjoy a day of dialogue with embrace, sweet fellowship, and good food. Please be in prayer for Rise Up — named this in hopes that we, God’s children, will RISE UP in unity to honor and serve Him with gladness! Stop by anytime throughout the day, or stay all day. Be blessed by people who are willing to share their stories and show how God has restored joy, peace, and hope in their lives.
The time is now for all of us to Rise Up and enjoy living closely connected to our Lord and loved ones while sharing dialogue with embrace with all His children.
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.