Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Moment: The Cookie Missionary (Or, Silver and Gold I Do Not Have)

Then Peter said,
"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
-Acts 3:6

I first heard this Bible story as a child. It was during a program Southern Baptists have for young girls: Girls in Action (GAs). I adored Girls in Action. We took on projects and learned about missionaries and there I heard the story of Acts 3: Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar.

It goes like this: One day, Peter and John were walking to the temple and passed a crippled man. He was lying outside the temple gate called Beautiful, and every day the man would be carried there to beg from those going to the temple courts. As Peter and John were about to pass through the gate called Beautiful, the crippled man asked them for money. And then Peter got the man's attention and uttered what I believe is one of the most fantastic verses of the New Testament: Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

And he did. The crippled man was crippled no more. For while he lay at a gate called Beautiful, hoping just to get by... begging to get through another day, God had a plan to heal him. To restore his life.

What a powerful, powerful account of what God is able to do in our lives. And what a powerful account of what God is able to do through our lives, too. So the thought today is twofold: sometimes, on our way and just on the other side of a place called Beautiful, we can be a bit crippled ourselves. Crippled by any number of things: loss, debt, failure, fear, heartbreak. And when we are... when we're down and to the point of begging for someone - anyone - to help, that's often when God's already on His way. (For surely nothing rings louder in God's ears than His childrens' sorrow.) So sit tight. Sit outside that gate and call on Him. He won't pass you by.

And if you're a Christian reading this today and thinking, I'm not crippled. I'm not begging for help, that means YOU are the Peter or John. Notice the men were on their way to pray. As they were seeking Him, He was using them. And, like Peter and John, you may not have money. Or a lot of time. Or a theological degree. But you do have something. God has equipped you with something to advance His kingdom. I realized this week that He equipped me with a lawnmower and an oven. Laughable, right? It's not much. I can't give wads of cash, but I can mow a yard and take someone some dang good cookies... along with the message that they are seen, loved, and desired by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the God who still heals.

Funny thing. When I was a GA, I always thought we were kind of like Christian Girl Scouts, only without the cookies. And I remember deciding that one day I would be a sort of grown up Christian Girl Scout, only instead of selling cookies I would give them away. A sort of cookie missionary, you understand. I remembered all this Saturday as I rested my fingers on a plate of freshly-baked cookies. Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you....

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, or Fudge Chocolate Chip? Here we come.

Monday Moment is a little devotional to help kick-start your week. See you again next time!


French Rustic Cottage said...

Oh... Brin... you have done it again. You are sooooo inspirational to my days. I run to your blog for that morning fix,somewhat like my coffee gives me that jump-kick for my body energy, you give me that jump-kick for my soul. I am so BLeSSeD that I found your wonderful blog, I may not know you personally on a day to day basis, but I feel that I know you in my heart. You have a wonderful, blessful day, Pamela (the healing-heart broken one)

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh, those cookies are gorgeous. Yummy! :o)

I loved your devotional for this morning. And I love that what talents you do possess, you are using for the Lord. I have come to the same conclusion recently and have been looking for ways each day to be the hands of Jesus to someone in need, physically or just emotionally being there for someone in need. It is a wonderful way to live each day. Isn't God good to give US blessings? How wonderful it is to pass those blessings along.

Love your blog Brin. :o)


Anonymous said...

Less is more.

I LOVE your thoughts today.

grace f

laurel said...

Aaaah, Brin. This is why I love your blog so. Your insights are powerful. Your spirit is gentle. And you are so willing to share your time, your thoughts, and your energy. I enjoy this blog so very, very much.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I have a lot of blogs on my Bloglines but yours is one I read as soon as I see you have something new.

By the way, I tell people I have the spiritual gift of cookies. :)

Anonymous said...

Needed this today, thank you.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Chuckling here about your being a cookie missionary. Sadly, I must pass...too many dietary indescretions of the past week, but they look marvelous! I'll enjoy the pictures.

Is that a grill or a pizza baker that you have the cookies on?

Brambleberry said...

What a lovely reminder. Thank you.

I'll be praying those cookies out your door. Isn't it amazing that our God can use even cookies?!

Praise be to Him.

Linda Z said...

I love the insight about Peter and John. As we pray and seek after His will, God is so faithful to show us how to be His hands and feet. Last week, that entailed a lot of cooking and baking for me as well. This week, I'm not sure of His plans for me, but I will pray and know they will be good plans. It's such an adventure to be used as His vessel, cracked as I may be.

miss gracies house said...

What a GREAT thought! Your words always encourage me. THANKS

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

pizza stone...I meant pizza stone...;>

Sue said...

I love your words about being like Peter and John. How wonderful. Thanks for saying that. I was a cinnamon roll missionary on Easter Sunday. It makes ME happy!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

What a great reminder. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all -you're right - God does use us, no matter what we have!

Sissy said...

Sometimes I don't feel like God is using me, but then something reminds me that the small things I do make a difference. Thanks for the gentle reminder this morning.

ps. You must post the recipe for those chocolate cookies!

Sue Neitzel said...

This was a great MM, and I love the idea of Christian girl scouts and a cookie missionary! And those cookies look so yummy!