I have spent the last few months facilitating a discipleship process study group called MasterLife. The first book was titled, The Disciple’s Cross and we are now in week four of the second book titled, The Disciple’s Personality.
Any teacher/facilitator will tell you they usually get more out of the classes they teach/facilitate than do the students. Understandably so if they prepare as they should. Having said this I must admit my surprise at the blessings God has given me since the beginning of this discipleship process. For instance there’s the surprise at the local Olive Garden Restuarant.
The young man approached our table as my wife, niece and I were scanning the menu when the waiter asked if we wanted any drinks? These being of the the alcoholic variety. My wife kindly told him we don’t drink. I added the statement we were Christians and didn’t believe Jesus would be pleased with us drinking alcohol.
Normally we would usually just answer no and move on. However, this time I added my comments. I did so partly because of my commitment to be more of a witness for Jesus. A renewed commitment made while going though the MasterLife experience.
The surprise came when the waiter returned to take our order and shared with us he is required to ask about the drinks and went on to say he was a Christian. He asked where we went to church. He shared with us his church and seemed pleased to share his new life with Christ.
I could not help but notice how the folks at the tables around us seem to also be paying attention. It was a blessed surprise to hear a young man tell of his salvation and to have Christ bless me with a pleasant witnessing experience.
An additional surprise came weeks later while on our cruise of the Western Caribbean. Four days into the trip I learned our neighbors beside us had a group of fourteen people traveling together. We had been friendly and civil during our casual meetings. Yet it was on day four when I asked Charlie what company he and his group were in. It was then that I learned he was a Pentecostal Minister from Rhode Island. He had other ministers with him plus two deacons.
Charlie had started a church plant in Rhode Island. I teased him just a bit about being on a cruise ship with so much drinking and gambling. Afterwards I let him in on my position as an ordained minister. God blessed my wife and me with the surprise of meeting another minister and his wife while on this cruise. I’m thinking we could have church! Only concern was who all would end up preaching and for how long.
I’ve wondered since boarding this vessel days ago about the spiritual feeding the crew and staff receive. I asked my massage therapist who stated a few from her homeland of the Philippines gathered weekly for their own time of bible study. She is Catholic. I asked our waiter tonight about the crew having access to a chaplain. He spoke of the voluntary services set aside for the crew every Friday night from eleven to twelve. The crew is not required to attend but is open for those who voluntarily want to go.
As we were leaving the dining room; my wife and I were approached by the waiter. He told us he was going to ask if we could attend the crews bible study. We are to receive word tomorrow whether or not we can attend the bible study usually held just for the crew and staff. Regardless of the outcome God had blessed me with these and other surprises since working more earnestly to make Jesus Christ the Master of my Life.
Until Next Time,