Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I don’t really know how many of you have ever really tried writing blog posts on a regular basis, but sometimes it is quite difficult. That is where I am today. I can think of a lot of things that I would like to write about but can’t really wrap my brain around them. So for this week, I thought I would just put together a few things that have been happening.
RE:GENERATION: If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I talk a lot about re:generation. Our group of six guys is nearing the end. We are on Step 12 and have four weeks left, if we don’t skip a week. We should wrap things up on December 12th. I wish I could go into all the things that have happened to me in Regen, but that would be impossible do. But there is one thing I would like to mention, and that is my relationship with God Himself. I didn’t really know I had problems with God before starting Regen. Theologically, I thought I was fine. But as we got into things, I realized I always struggled with the idea that God really loved me and that I could trust Him with my life. I found there were pockets of my life that I thought I needed to work out for myself. And speaking of “working out things,” I always felt I had to work to please God in order to gain His acceptance. Scripturally I knew this wasn’t true, but in my everyday life, I was on a works basis with God. I finally came to realize that, and began a time of surrendering these pockets of myself to God. I also came to realize that I need to live by faith and stop letting my feelings rule my walk with God. Those couple of weeks of doing this was quite pleasant and helpful. I no longer try to earn God’s love and am more trustful of Him to lead my life. I have given Him control of my life in prayer and remind myself of that on a daily basis. Some days are still tough, but I just turn it over to Him and sometimes ask Him to show me some small thing of encouragement. My experience has been that He did that on several occasions.
PRAYER: I won’t talk about my own prayer life other to say that it is still a battle for me and I don’t think I pray enough. But, where I used to beat myself up over that, now I just keep asking God to help me and work through it by faith. Just that small step of faith has been a great blessing to me. But what I really want to talk about is that one aspect of my work here at the ministry which is to contact donors and thank them for their gifts. I also always ask if they have any prayer requests when I do this. I get several responses and some of them are heart wrenching. Like one family that is taking care of two girls ages 18 and 29. Both girls are severely disabled; tube fed and need to wear diapers. The girls cannot walk, talk or see. Yet the lady’s only prayer was that they would have the strength to take care of them. She said the two girls are beautiful and have bonded with their family. I thought, “What an amazing ministry this family is having from the Lord.” Rather than complain about how difficult it is, they just ask for strength and keep going and loving these girls. It truly humbles me and makes me see what a complainer I can be. When I get these requests, I take them very personally and seriously. When we say we will pray for a person, we need to do that. Otherwise we are a just a liar.
I’d like to talk about one more thing that has been on my heart recently.
SIN AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT: There is an old “hippie” song I like called These Days. It was written by a guy named Jackson Browne when he was around 16 years old. How he came up with this song at that age, I don’t know. The song is about an old man looking back at his life and seeing his mistakes. Jackson Browne was too young to understand any of that, yet the song took off and there are around 10 different single artists and a couple of groups that have sang it over the years. I really like this song because it hits me in my stage of life. But there is one line that always makes me laugh a little. The line goes, “Don’t confront me with my failures, I’ve not forgotten them.” When I hear that line, I catch myself saying, “Well, that’s just wrong!!” I equate “my failures” with my sin. Most, if not all of my failures involve sin in one form or another. At this point, I need to go back to Regen again. When we got to the step of taking inventory of our sins, I thought the group was going to go quit or go insane. We seemed to stay on this step forever. But as I went through the process of confronting my past sins and confessing them, it actually became quite freeing. The Lord actually brought out things from my past that I had forgotten or not even recognized as sin. Now, I need to tell you, for the past 20 years of working in this ministry, I have tried to be responsible and when I needed to confess a sin that I committed against someone I always tried to talk with the person and ask their forgiveness. I have been on both sides of that coin, going to people to ask forgiveness and having people come to me. Scripture even says that if you are leaving your gift at the altar and remember your brother has something against you, to go and be reconciled to him first (see Matt. 5:22-23). That’s a scary thing. But think about it for a minute. If scripture says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed,” (James 5:16a), there must be a reason for it. I would imagine there are several reasons but one of the main reasons to me would be to maintain unity in the body of Christ. James 5:16a says confess, pray for one another, and heal the relationship. That’s pretty powerful!! So, despite what my hippie song says, my suggestion would be for us to keep short accounts with each other, be a peacemaker and do all we can to maintain the unity of the Body. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, God loves humble people, but resists the proud. By God’s grace may we be humble before Him.
OK, that’s all for today. I pray that we will draw closer and closer to God each day and rely on His grace and not on ourselves. His love is so amazing!! May God bless and encourage you all.