Tag Archives: people

My friend Camille owned a thriving travel agency in Denver. Living out God's plan A calling on her life, she looked for opportunities to serve and share her faith with her employees and clients, and she did so effectively. As a result, her customers received far more than good travel plans.
Camille was attending a thriving inner-city church, which was a fair distance from her suburban home. Church in the City is located in the heart of Denver on East Colfax Avenue - a street known its many homeless people, drug addicts, and prostitutes. But for the most part, this Kingdom laborer lived a safe and predictable life. Then one morning everything changed. Camille sensed God calling her beyond the four walls of her church building to a nearby street corner frequented by homeless people. Who would have thought that God wanted a red-haired, freckle-faced woman from the suburbs, who knew little about the street, to bring His love to people very different from the ones she encountered in her normal everyday world? With the blessing of her pastor, she committed to obey and began praying like crazy.
She knew that prayer is not something you do for the work of God - it is the work of God. Her first action step was praying that God would protect this plan and these people from any satanic attack that would neutralize her efforts. And she asked God to use her to bring His abundant life purpose to as many people as possible. Her praying was bold, and it needed to be! As she prayed, God poured His love into her heart (Romans 5:5).
Camille had a deep understanding that prayer is the way God prepares hearts (our own and others'). Before her first day on the street, she began earnestly praying. Eventually the time came for her to put her prayer into action. She traded her safe seat in the church sanctuary for an unfamiliar street corner. It was scary venturing outside the safe environment of a church full of "easy to love" people - to engage unpredictable new places and people. But god was leading her step by step into this unknown adventure. Answering this divine calling meant dying to self and coming alive to a life motto she would embrace again and again: ALL for the King...for His Kingdom!
By faith, Camille stepped out of her comfort zone, knowing those who risk nothing gain little.
Her friend Gail joined her, and together on a Tuesday morning that rocked Camille's world, they gave away free doughnuts - and a generous helping of God's love.
In her first venture into the unknown, Camille got out of her car, box of doughnuts in hand, and began walking toward a group of homeless people she'd seen earlier. Although very aware that she looked much different from them, she pushed past her fear and self-consciousness.
"Here, have a doughnut," she stammered as she offered her trembling box of doughnuts to the bystanders who suddenly stopped talking and were staring at her.
"What's the catch, lady?" a voice offered back.
She paused and then shared what God brought to her mind.
"God loves you, and I've been praying for you. He told me to come and give you doughnuts today. I'm here to serve you. Is there anything specific I can pray for anyone about?"
For a moment, she lingered in the awkwardness of their silent stares. No one knew how to respond.
Finally, someone broke the silence. "When will you be back? Is this gonna be a regular thing?"
"Yes. Every Tuesday morning, right here at this intersection, you can have free doughnuts, friendship, a listening car, and prayer," Camille explained.
The next Tuesday a big homeless man named Jack confided that he was headed to the hospital in a few days to have a growth surgically removed from his neck. When Camille asked to pray for him, he refused. Jack then shared that years before, a church wounded him.
After listening intently, Camille responded, "Well, Jack, I'm your new friend. I'm not a church. And I'd like to pray for you, if that's okay. Can I?"
Street people can often discern the attitudes and motives of the people around them. Jack sensed Camille's humility and genuine concern. So in a gruff, stoic John Wayne - type voice, he replied, "I guess you can." Camille then prayed a simple prayer for Jack, the doctors, the hospital and his recovery.
The next week, Jack was standing at the street corner, but something was missing. "Jack, where's your bandage?" Camille asked, looking for evidence for his surgery.
"When you prayed for me, the growth dissolved," he answered in a matter-of-fact voice.
Camille's jaw dropped. "It did?"
"Yeah," Jack retorted, taken aback by her surprise.
Camille was shocked.
"I really didn't have that much faith," Camille confessed later to me. "But God was confirming to me that if I did my part, He would surely do His."
Every time she returned, she felt God's presence and pleasure in her service to the poor. These strangers became Camille's friends and a special group of people to love.
Every Tuesday for fifteen years, Camille has served God's life-changing love to about 130 of her friends on East Colfax. And her friends love them and respect her as well. She serves them breakfast, give them hygiene items, and distributes an assortment of high-quality supplies from T-shirts to leftover Starbucks baked goods. Camille wants to bless them by acknowledging their dignity and worth. She treats them as people whom God loves and values - people with a hope, a plan and a future.
"It's simple," Camille says. "The Holy Spirit runs it. I just keep on showing up."
But she also admits, "God had to teach me patience, faithfulness, and humility- which always usher in His presence because He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).
God's call to take a risk and offer her efforts unto Him has required that Camille relinquish any desire for specified results or acceptable social responses.
After investing years of hugs and listening to people's stories, countless prayers, and advocating again and again on behalf of her friends, she has remained faithful. She shows up every week for the people she loves.
God has done the rest!
Now, in a donated storefront building, Camille leads a weekly Bible study for fifty street people who want to know more about Christ, and every week God shows up in various ways. Some of her friends have plugged back into life and society. They know they can count on her - and God can too. She's a special laborer who keeps coming back, again and again. Consistency is vital when God gives you people to love.

Camille has crossed countless social, ethnic, economic, and religious boundaries in reaching out to Denver's neediest people. Today, eighty-eight lives are off the street because one ordinary woman covenanted with God to move past her typical boundaries and find common ground with an uncommon group of people to love. Just like Jesus.
(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A [and there's no plan b])

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One evening, when my son, Dreyson, was in grade school, I arrived home from work just in time to tuck his sister and him into bed. I pulled out a sports devotional and began to read it when he stopped me.
"Dad, I need to tell you something," he said a bit reluctantly. "I got called to the principal's office today at school."
Dreyson certainly had my attention. I tried to remain calm on the outside without fully revealing my shock on the inside.
Now, being called to the principal's office was the norm for me when I was a kid. In fact, people called me "Dwight the Fright" because I got into so much trouble as a kid. But a trip to the principal's office was totally out of character for my compliant, respectful, well-mannered son.
Trying to appear as cool and composed as possible, I commented in my best psychologist voice, "Tell me about it, Son."
"Dad, she asked what you do for a living, and I told her yo are a minister. The she asked where you work, and I told her you work at Kingdom Building Ministries. And after that, she asked me what Kingdom Building Ministries is, and I told her you help people love God more and help them love other people better."
I quickly complimented my son on the great job he'd done answering a set of rather odd, intimidating, rapid-fire questions from his school principal.
"Dreyson, those were really good answers," I encouraged him.
"What did she say after that?"
"Dad, she told me, 'That's the the problem.'"
"She said that I'm not supposed to talk about God at school. I'm not supposed to talk about Him in class, in the hallways, out on the playground, or in the cafeteria. She even told me I shouldn't talk about Him in our neighborhood or at the park. She said I could only ttalk about Him in our house or a church building. That's it! Nowhere else. And she's the boss of our school!"
Dreyson looked intently at my face to see my response.
"Son, are you an American?" I asked.
He gave me a confused look. "Yes, Dad, of course I am."
"Well, the last I checked, every American has two important rights that your principal is trying to overstep. Those rights are called freedom of speech and the freedom of religion."
"What's that mean, Dad?"
I explained to Dreyson that those rights gave him the freedom to talk about Jesus at school and in other public places. He grew increasingly excited as I gave him the details.
He couldn't wait to get to school the next day to exercise his rights.
"Okay, Dreyson," I responded, "let's bring balance and courtesy to all this. Exercising this freedom also mean you treat people with respect, honor and diplomacy." In just a little while he understood the balance - as much as young student can.
Several weeks later at dinner, Dreyson announced that he had some exciting news.
"Tommy gave his life to Jesus today in the school cafeteria!" he exclaimed. "I saw him sitting by himself at lunch, so I sat down next to him. Over lunch I talked to him about God."
He paused and looked over at me. "Dad, he had never heard anything about God. He didn't even know the meaning of Christmas. I told him about Jesus and asked him if he wanted Jesus to be in his life like He is in mine. He said yes, so I prayed with him. Dad, we have to get him a Bible soon. They don't have one at their house."
I was so excited to witness my son taking his faith into the mainstream of his everyday life. Tommy's life depended on it.
Dreyson's principal had tried to squelch his voice and limit his faith to within the four walls of a church building. But she didn't understand that Dreyson's faith and his God were much too big to be contained by any walls.
While Jesus - the Word who became flesh - attended synagogue like every faithful Jew, He modeled Plan A living again and again outside the walls.
You see, God is not a one-day-a-week God who waits to greet us at the front door of our church buildings. He's present everywhere. Walls cannot confin Him. And because He chooses to make his home - His temple - in our lives, we become His means to be up close to people everywhere.
As He lives in us. He goes where we go.

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (Corinthians 3:16)

God's Spirit lives in you and seeks to be in the mainstream of life through you. My son understood an important truth: Buildings don't have feet, people do. No wonder God says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." (Romans 10:15).
Our feet become beautiful as we carry God's presence outside the walls and into the mainstream of life - bringing God's love and truth up close to people everywhere.
We're mobile churches!
As one elderly woman discovered this exciting possibility, she lamented to me, "All my life I tried to get the people who live up and down my street to come to church. I thought that was my job. And my failures over decades have been disheartening. I didn't know there was another way. To think, all these years I could have stopped by their yards and houses, invited them over to mine, done things with them - been the church up close for them, the way modeled it for me.
"Before, I always thought I needed to bring my neighbors to a building. Now I realize I am that building where God makes His home. Until my neighbors enter my church building, I am going to be the outside-the-walls gal for God who wants to enter the mainstreams of their lives and be up close to them through me."
Like Dreyson did with his friend.

(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A [and there is no Plan b]")

Years ago, I spoke in the Dominican Republic for a ministry that works with American kids struggling with behavioral problems, I addressed them several times a day during their spiritual-emphasis week.

Early in the week, I met a young student who showed me what Plan A can look like lived out.

Lance approached me after one of my teaching sessions and asked if he could talk with me. Later, he shared what had been happening in his life that week. Clearly, God was lighting a fire in his heart.

Lance explained that he entered the program not because he was rebellious or had broken the law like many of other kids. His parents asked him to enter the program so he could gain more structure and discipline in his life.

"I've gotten a lot of my time here," Lance said, "but now I'm thinking it may be time to go home. I want to help people learn more about God. Maybe I could make a bigger difference in the lives of my old friends. What do you think, Dwight?"

"You may be right," I replied. "But is it possible that God is giving you temporary assignment while you're still here? Is it posible that He wants to use you to minister to kids right here while you're with them?"

Lance's eyes lt up as I continued sharing with him a vision for his temporary assignment.

"That's it!" he suddenly exclaimed. "There is something I can do for the other kids while I'm still here! I know things about their lives, their parents don't know - stuff not even our staff knows. I'll pray for them and talk with them as God leads. Dwight, some of them are pretty messed up, I hope I can help."

Over the next few days, Lance and I chatted about his newfound purpose for the rest of his time in the Dominican Republic. I gave him a book on prayer, and we prayed together for some of the other kids his dorm - including a kid named Chris, who professed to be an atheist.

After I left the campus, Lance and I continued to write back and forth. In one letter, he wrote,

The other day, Chris announced at the dinner table that he is no longer an atheist. I have now changed my prayer from, "Lord, show Chris that you're real" to "Lord Chris needs to know you personally. Please help him make the decision to accept and follow you." The power of prayer is really strong!!!

Unfortunately, that was the last letter I received from Lance. A few weeks later, one of the program administrators called me on the phone.

"Are you sitting down?" she asked. "There's been an awful tragedy here this wek. A group of boys from one of our dormitories was swimming in the river. A flash flood suddenly swept three of the boys downstream, including Lance. We rescued two of them, but we couldn't reac Lance in time...Dwight, I'm sorry to tell you. Lance is dead."

I sat stunned silence, trying to figure out how to respond. The administrator paused for a moment to let the difficult news sink in, then continued.

"Dwight, there's one more I want to tell you. As we were cleaning out Lance's locker and sorting through his belongings, we came across some things you sent him - encouraging letters and a book about prayer. The book had highlights and notes through it. We also found his prayer journal. We're amazed at how many kids and situations he was praying for. We've been piecing together a lot of recent things that have been happening as a result of Lance's prayers."

She went on to share specific answers to prayer. Discouraged staff members ready to give up experienced new strength, joy, and purpose in their work. Students struggling for years with emotional and spiritual issues showed new signs of growth and victory. Even some of the most troubled kids experienced major breakthroughs in their attitudes and behaviors.

"We now realize that Lance prayed for those needs," she said. "And God answered his prayers! We're amazed. Single-handedly, a teenage kid impacted our program, staff, and students through his prayers."

Several weeks later I learned that five kids gave their lives to Christ at Lance's funeral. One of them was Chris, the former atheist. He had watched Lance's life more closely than anyone realized. He experienced God's love through Lance before he even believed God existed.

Chris and the other kids embraced God's love because a fellow student caught a vision for the role he could play in their lives - as one who was up close to them.

God wants to give you a vision for the role you can play in the lives of people around you - on your assembly line, in your office, your neighborhood, your dormitory, or your class at school. Perhaps He wants you to pray for their needs - becoming their first-ever prayer intercessor. Perhaps He wants you to be His agent for meeting their needs.Perhaps God wants you to be his agent for meeting their needs. Perhaps God wants you to be a living testimonial of His love and grace that they see and feel firsthand.

Lance the Student followed Jesus' example of becoming God's up-close, on-the-scene connection to the kids in his sphere of influence.

And God did the rest.

(From Dwight Robertson's "You Are God's Plan A {and there's no plan b}")

One sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success. The principles described in this book contain ways and means of creating useful ideas. 
When riches begin to come they come so quickly, in such great abundance, that one wonders where they have been hiding all those years.
This is an astounding statement, and all the more so when we take into consideration the popular belief that riches come only to those who work hard an long. 
When you begin to think and grow rich, you will observe that riches begin with a state of mind, with definiteness of purpose, with little or no hard work. You, and every other person, ought to be interested in knowing how to acquire the state of mind which will attract riches. I spent twenty-five years in research because, I too, wanted to know "how wealthy men become that way."
Observe very closely, as soon as you master the principles of this philosophy, and begin to follow the instructions for applying those principles, your financial status will begin to improve, and everything you touch will begin to transmute itself into an asset for your benefit. Impossible! Not at all!
One of the main weakness of mankind is the average man's familiarity with the word "impossible." He knows all the rules which will not work. He knows all the things which cannot be done. This book was written for those who seek the rules which have made others successful, and are willing to stake everything on those rules.
Success comes to those who become success conscious.
Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.
Another weakness found in altogether too many people is the habit of measuring everything, and everyone, by their own impressions and beliefs. Some persons who read this will believe that they cannot think and grow rich, because their thought habits have been steeped in poverty, want, misery, failure, and defeat.
These unfortunate people remind me of a prominent Chinese, who came to America to be educated in American ways. He attended the University of Chicago. One day President Harper met this young Oriental on the campus, stopped to chat with him for a few minutes, and asked what had impressed him as being the most noticeable characteristic of the American people.
"Why," the student exclaimed, "the queer slant of your eyes. Your eyes are off slant!"
What do we say about the Chinese?
We refuse to believe that which we do not understand. We foolishly believe that our own limitations are the proper measureof limitations. Sure, the other fellow's eyes are "off stand," because they are not the same as our own.

For a lot of times we are shaken. Sometimes, we feel like we don't have the strength to go on. We don't have the army to fight with us. We don't have anyone on our side. 

My friend, today God spoke to me and said, "My Son, who can better take care of you, than the one who created you. I am Your father, I am your creator! And he assured me with this verse:

So, no matter what situation we are in right now! Let us not give up. Let us not get weary. Let us all be confident in yhe words of Christ himself above. Let us believe in His sovereignty over our circumstance and our struggles. God will send his people to be at our aid. Let us continue to have faith!