friday night update
Blessed Portion Update for 1-19-18
It was a interesting evening as we visited with our friends this evening. We did all the usual things we normally do and the night for all ended up being a good one. A couple weeks ago we asked a friend of ours what his favorite song was, and he said he needed time to think about it. So tonight he mentioned that his favorite song is "Amazing Grace" and with technology the way it is, we were able to listen to it from my phone!! I have to tell you that there have been a few times in the 6 years we have been doing this that the world around us became instantly still and quiet, and yet you knew the presence of God was there-- that at that moment it was Holy ground. Tonight as we sat with two friends in the dark cold night trying to stay warm by a few sternos this was one of those times where you knew God was there.
The hymn was written by John Newton- he was a former slave trader. At one point he was in a violent storm and called out to God to save him. God answered his prayer that night and from that point on John Newton gradually strengthened his walk with God. After he separated himself from slave trading he became curate of Olney Buckinghamshire and started to write poems- hymns and Amazing Grace was one of them. Today it is one of the most popular hymns and many of us especially can relate to the message of it.
So sitting there with 2 friends feeling the cold wet ground beneath us along with the cold wind it still was beautiful. At one point we looked over at one of our friends and he had his head bowed down and yet keeping hands close to the sterno for heat and it broke our hearts and yet again God was there and it was Holy.
So for John Newton - God spared him and had mercy upon him despite his occupation at that time and John realized the gift of grace bestowed upon him. That is what we hope we can reflect to others. We pray that we reflect light, grace, mercy, compassion, faithfulness, diligence, perseverance, goodness, self control, peace, patience and above all LOVE!!! Even for John Newton it wasn't a sudden change, it took some time...doesn't matter though because God knows the pace each of us can endure and He is patient.
Tonight we gave out all we had of clothing, socks, underwear, shoes, glasses, cough drops, water and food---had nothing left. We also though left each place letting people know that God Almighty hasn't forgotten about them and regardless of where they sleep, what they are addicted to, what their past is......its all level at the foot of the cross. Now we pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to bring clarity, hope, conviction and strength to those who need it. Please listen to this version of Amazing Grace. I had not heard this version and its beautiful and its the one we listened to with our friends. Remember we all have junk, we all have pasts, and even our righteousness is as filthy rags and yet God still remains faithful to us and for that all of us can sing this song and mean it!