Isn't anyone blogging anymore? You know who you are. I guess I'm just as guilty since my last post was Thursday. Anyway, I just checked out some of "the blogs I read" and found very few updates. So, you guys who know who you are, accept your verbal spanking and entertain us! (said in recognition of the whining undertone of this post).
In other news, this week is Missions Conference at our church and while there is a convicting side to it, there is another side, with two facets. The other side is encouraging. I'm encouraged by the sacrifice many of these missionaries make, financially, relationally and just in creature-comforts. I'm encouraged that these people love people enough to do what they do. Some of it is just plain hard. I'm encouraged that our church supports so many of these missionaries and wants to support more. I don't know if encouraged is the right word, but it makes me feel loved to remember how much Christ cares about each of these people, missionaries and ones to whom they are ministering.
One couple we heard speak last night ministers to runaway and homeless kids. (By the way, they use the term kids for people up to the age of about 30). After hearing some of the specifics, I think that description is a little misleading. One of the things that stuck out to me is their involvement at Rainbow Gatherings. What's a Rainbow Gathering you may ask. Well I'll tell you, at least I'll tell you what I know. Groups of people, ranging from Hippies to some pretty hard-edged runaways called Gutterpunks attend these gatherings. They meet in national forests. They pretty much just hang out and "recreate". Anyway, this couple ministers to those groups. It is so intriguingto me. We're talking about a completely different society, sub-culture if you will. In fact, and this is a little scary, when kids of the Rainbow people are born out in the woods, they are often and usually totally under the radar...as in no social security number or birth certificate, or any other identification.
All this to say, it is SO important for people to go to the ends of the earth. Jesus commanded it. It is SO important for people to minister to those on the outskirts of our society, or those in another sub-culture. But it is also SO important for "the rest of us" to minister to those we encounter every day. I'm talking about the people in your office, the clerk at the gas station, the check-out person as Walmart, our parents and children. It's easy to get down on yourself about this. And I'm definitely not saying one person's calling is higher than another...but it is that, one person's calling.
Think about it. Just because you live in comfortable suburbia, can drink out of the faucet and work a 9-5, doesn't mean you have no impact. You may have a different type of impact. It may be more about your attitude or the way you care for others, but you have an impact just the same.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you need to, feel convicted but let that conviction encourage you to change.