It’s June all ready. School is over and the first week of summer vacation has commenced. It also means that it is time to link up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting with the Sky to share what we’ve all learned this month.  You can check out the conversation here.

This month was actually a pretty big month for me, as far as learning stuff. In fact, I could say it was pretty profound. Over the course of my life, there have been moments that God has used to redefine life as I know it. This month, saw several of those moments. So, here it goes – what I learned in May.

butterfly on many flowers
butterfly on many flowers

1. You can build it, but they ain’t coming. At the beginning of May, I started listening to Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted. While I don’t agree with all of Hatmaker’s theology, I couldn’t get away from the fact that she said so many things that resounded with me. The idea – when you come down to it – that we can build a church building and then spend all our time, energy and resources bustling around in it and the lost will just magically find us, does seem rather unrealistic. But that’s what we do. We no longer live in a culture where going to church equals being a good person (in fact, the opposite is true and if you claim to be a church goer, you are often met with suspicion or even hostility). In order to win the community, we have to be out IN the community. We need to actually DO what Christ asked us to do – which is to help the poor, the hurting and the oppressed. Having another church activity with our church friends, while not bad in and of itself, doesn’t accomplish that. Which led me to my next epiphany.

2. When I cry, it gives me a headache. While still listening to Hatmaker’s book, I also read David Platt’s Come Follow Me. To say this book had an impact on me is a major understatement.  Halfway through, I ended up spending an entire day with my Bible, in prayer with frequent bouts of crying. I’m not much of a crier and I learned that crying gives me a major headache, but Tylenol aside, I spent part of that time deeply examining what it means to be saved. That day, God opened my eyes to the years – literally YEARS – I had wasted by not getting this crucial truth.

3. We are ALL supposed to be living as missionaries. If Hatmaker’s book showed the importance of getting out into the community to know and serve people, Platt’s book brought it home about WHY we need to do this. It’s as simple as one of Jesus’ last statements to His disciples and to us. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19). Missionary work is not just for those people who visit once a year and live in far off places. If we are believers, it is for each of us. We are ALL supposed to be multiplying.

4. Knowing Truth brings peace. For years, I’ve felt restless. I’ve felt like there HAS to be more than just going to church on Sunday mornings. In my late 20s, I learned to study the Bible for myself. I learned to know God – not just know about Him (major difference). It changed my life. Since then, it’s not as if I have done nothing for God. I’ve been involved in women’s ministry. I teach a women’s Sunday school class. I volunteer and teach at a home that houses young women who are struggling with getting on their feet – either through a pregnancy or tough circumstances. But the restlessness was still there – like we were all somehow missing the point. Now, though, I don’t feel restless or vaguely guilty – I know what I’m supposed to be doing which brings me to the other thing I learned.

5. Knowing Truth brings purpose. All my life I’ve been a story teller. When I was a kid, they used to send us out on recess no matter how cold it was. I soon devised a way to stay warm – I’d tell stories. As long as I kept everyone entertained, I’d have a small swarm of girls sitting around me, blocking the wind and chill. I always kind of wondered what purpose story telling could have. I mean, if you’re a doctor, you save people. Telling stories, while entertaining, didn’t seem to have a purpose really. God pointed something out to me just the other night. I was at Guiding Light (where I volunteer) and a woman asked if I could come to an event and “tell one of your stories.” When I teach, I often use the power of story to share a vital truth. It allows people to connect to that truth in a different way than just facts or information do. I also love animals, and Kipper, my collie, has been an ambassador of sorts in my neighborhood. I’ve met people I never would have if I had been walking on my own. Everything I do is now filtered through the lens of making disciples. It gives me passion and purpose and a strange sense of peace.

I know I am supposed to just share what I learned this month, but can I just end with what I HOPE to learn next month? I want to learn what it means to be a missionary right where I am using the gifts, talents, and passions with which God has created me.

My blog’s name is Divine Ordinary because I truly believe God often uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. This month, I learned how much deeper that truth really goes. We do not have to go to Africa or some other far off place to be a missionary. We can do that right where we are at.

Blessings, Rosanne

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