Monday, June 23, 2014

We Are Christians!!!

I'm sorry I haven't written for over a week!  Yikes!!  It's been busy!!

This past week, my husband and I volunteered all day at cub scout camp… except for Wednesday and Thursday.  On those days, we drove about 4 hours to perform at and speak at a Girls Camp near Fort Lauderdale.  Abe gave a concert on Wednesday night, and both of us spoke to the girls on Thursday morning.  We left our 3 older boys at scout camp, and our little, 6-year old Mariah sang 2 solos at Girls Camp.

Oh those girls at camp were amazing!!  They screamed and cheered for little Mariah- making her feel like a true star.  After she sang and the cheers started, I saw something change in Mariah's eyes… I'm certain she was thinking, "I could get used to this."  :-)

Mariah signed her autograph on the girls' arms and in their books.  Those girls were just as kind to us and to EVERYONE around them as they were to little Mariah.  I felt love just bursting from them.  They were energetic and cheered for each other for every talent that was shared.  It felt like Zion…sharing love and encouragement so freely.

On our way home from Girls Camp, we realized our rear brakes were bad. :(  I called a brake store near our home and told them we would be arriving in a few hours.  The manager said he would wait for us.  Traffic slowed us down in the Orlando area, so we called again to see if they were still able to wait.  The manager told us to keep coming because he wanted us to be safe with good brakes.

We arrived at 4:20 and closing time was 5:00, but it would take until after closing time to finish the job. We were grateful for his kindness and patience!

As we waited, I told the manager we had 3 boys at scout camp, and we had just returned from Girls Camp.  He said, "What was the camp for?"

I told him it was just for girls.  He responded, "Yes… but what was it for?"

I said, "It was for our church."

Questioning further, he asked,"What church?"

I answered "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."

Pressing even further, he asked, "Which one?"

I was surprised by his continued questioning, so I asked, "Are you Mormon?"

He responded with the biggest smile, "No… but we're both Christians, and I just wondered where you worshipped God."

Oh my heart was so happy to hear him recognize that simple truth… WE ARE CHRISTIANS!!

(My belief in Jesus Christ is so deep and so profound… I understand that many don't agree/understand the doctrines I believe in, but it baffles me when some fellow Christians try to tell me I do not believe in Jesus Christ… is it really their place to make that judgment?  Jesus knows that I know that HE is my Savior who lived a perfect life, suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, died on the cross willingly, and rose again on the third day, so that I may have an opportunity to be forgiven of my sins and return to live with HIM some day.)

I didn't know if the manager understood how often people try to tell me I don't believe in Jesus Christ, and I didn't tell him; I only thanked him for his words.

This wonderful manager then told me where he attended church, and I told him how our hope was to strengthen the girls' faith in God while at their Girls Camp.

Abe walked into the lobby and joined the conversation.  Not knowing my thoughts about people's hurtful comments, the manager said to both Abe and me, "I want to apologize on behalf of my brothers and sisters who say and do things that are not very nice to members of your religion."

Wow!!  He did know and understand!!  Without even realizing it, all of a sudden tears were streaming effortlessly down my face.  I was so touched by his words!!

He could have quickly changed the subject like some do when the topic of religion comes up; instead, he embraced it and shared God's love.  Isn't that what Jesus would do?  What a wonderful, Christian man!!

It was that same love of which he spoke that made the Girls Camp so joyful.

Before we left, we bought some food for the poor mechanic staying after hours to fix our van, and we exchanged numbers with the manager.  He said, "If there's ever a time when you feel like you want to get together to praise God, call me."

I admired this man.  He was taking the opportunity to praise God and uplift others in an auto mechanic repair shop… of all places.

Can we bring God's light to others anytime and in any place?  Sure we can!!!  I'm grateful for this man's open heart to see and feel the love we shared for Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is love, and the manager's actions spoke that love.  The girls from Fort Lauderdale…roughing it in the woods... also shared Jesus' pure love.  It's a beautiful, Christian life when we remember God's LOVE!!