Who is Watching You?

19 05 2014

Yesterday, I was surprised to discover that Jon Scanlon and his wife Jan were seated behind us at church. The reason for my pleasure is that it afforded an opportunity to thank this man – whom I’d never met personally – for the impact he had on my life.

Years ago he came to our church and performed a dramatic monologue of John the beloved disciple. It was a lengthy skit, flawless in its presentation, complete with props.

In an instant, I was enraptured; captivated by this disciple-come-to-life. He was on the Isle of Patmos, recounting his time with Jesus. It was deeply stirring.

However, what I did not realize at that time was that the impact was to go far beyond the story Jon told that day, for deep in my heart a seed was planted.

As I watched this man speak from memory for a half-hour or more, he taught me.

Oh, not the lesson he had for us in his presentation, but the truth that lengthy memorization of valuable material was possible.

The dream was born to memorize the book of Philippians! Over the next months, I would recite parts of it to anyone who would listen.

Memorization was much easier than I expected. Somehow we’ve believed the lie that to commit Scripture to memory is beyond our scope of capability. However, when I thought about it, I had tons of information memorized – commercial jingles, phone numbers, addresses, etc.

Besides, the Holy Spirit lives within us. With His help, it’s not impossible.

Further, I discovered that it was far easier to memorize an entire chapter than a single verse. With the surrounding verses, each has something else on which it “hangs.” A great benefit is that one has the context for each verse – and they’re less apt to be applied incorrectly.

With Philippians and a handful of Psalms under my belt, I gained confidence. When a “reader’s theater” was announced at church, I auditioned, and got one of the parts. This wasn’t much of a feat – there were four parts, and four who auditioned!

Because of Jon’s performance, I knew memorization was possible, so I got to work. The skit went very well.

As a result of this Christmas Eve reader’s theater, I was asked to present a monologue at the Good Friday service. The material was Max Lucado’s essay, “He Chose the Nails.”

Later, I began to read Scripture during our music worship on Sundays. It was very well received, and most weeks, someone asked for the verses I’d given. What a thrill to know that God was using this gift to minister to others.

A few years later, the local mission asked for volunteers to record audio versions of the books used for the recovery program. Some of their students were unable to read, which hindered their ability to complete their assignments. By this time, I had recording equipment, so I accepted the invitation to read the books.

Memorization continued, and the 91st Psalm was added to the collection. Because of this last choice, I was able to trust the Lord when a dog bit me during a mission trip to Nicaragua. You can read about it here: (Bitten.)

Other books are becoming audio recordings, and my latest idea is that of a short weekly podcast.

Now, don’t miss my point. It isn’t: “Wow, she’s amazing!”

It is this: Every one of these things I can trace back to a skit I saw by a man who was obedient to God’s call.

A man who wondered if what he did ever really mattered!

The gift he imparted to me so long ago bore much fruit…and he had no idea.

So I ask, “Who is watching you? What are you imparting to others?”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

 

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16 responses

20 05 2014
Valerie Rutledge

LOVED this! You took the first step of obedience and look at where God took you…amazing!!

20 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

It was the strangest thing ever, watching Jon at work. In an instant, I knew that I was equipped to do the same. Don’t you wonder who is watching what you do…and to whom you are imparting your gifts? 🙂

\o/

19 05 2014
Pure Glory

Tami, your post reminds me that we need each other. We all have God given abilities and talents that are intended for building up the household of faith. When we do what God has placed on our heart, extraordinary results are birthed by Holy Spirit. I’m reminded of a story I read about an evangelist who had not seen much results in the city where he was holding meetings and the newspaper reports were negative. A teenager came and accepted the Lord. Although the evangelist didn’t know, this teen was Billy Graham, who later was used powerfully to introduce many to the Lord. If we are willing and obedient, God will use us in ways that will surprise us! (We might never learn what our obedience had accomplished until we reach heaven.)

20 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

I love the ripple effect; that one action rolls out, affecting many…and that our Abba delights to let us “help” and then reward us for our feeble efforts. Isn’t He the best Father ever???

\o/

20 05 2014
Pure Glory

Absolutely the best!

19 05 2014
Renee Ratcliffe

Thank you for this encouragement! Our pastor has challenged us to memorize the sermon on the mount (all of it!) Your post is very timely for me. Grateful for your example.

19 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

You’ll LOVE it! So many things come to light when we spend time committing the Word to memory. 🙂

\o/

19 05 2014
Nate

Great post, we never know who we are impacting in a positive way by just doing the things God has laid on our heart.

19 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

He was certainly surprised to discover what followed his lone presentation! 🙂

\o/

19 05 2014
Mel Wild

Wow, so many good points! Years ago, I took a memory course (because my memory is usually pretty poor!) And I learned that everyone has a photographic memory, we retain everything somewhere in our brain. The problem is, we haven’t trained ourselves to access it. Some people, like my oldest son, do it naturally (He’s never had to take notes his whole life.) IT also speaks to us why we need to be careful what we let into our minds too.

And your main point fits well with this too. The Holy Spirit can use so much that’s in us if we will just learn how to access it. And that is always impacting. Blessings.

19 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, as always, for adding great info. I appreciate you! 🙂

\o/

19 05 2014
paulfg

What a joy it is to read this post.

And I pray you won’t object to a another tangent. Because more and more I see God counting. Not as we count. As He counts. ONE. and ONE. and ONE. For me, for us, for all of us? One is telling us we don’t matter. We have it wrong. And one more tells us we still don’t “get it”. And one more after that? Failure.

One pebble plopped in a still pond. Ripples spread. I can only drop a pebble. God owns the ripples. And he doesn’t count like we count. Which is why your words went “plop” in my heart. Thank you.

19 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Not at all! Thanks for your comment.

It was my great delight yesterday to show Jon all the people who will thank him for his obedience one day. Although he was not directly involved, God is adding it to his account, as well as mine.

Meanwhile, God gets the glory. We have the privilege of sowing and watering – He alone gives the increase. 😉 …and then rewards us. How crazy is that???

\o/

19 05 2014
vonhonnauldt

Great post! One of my favorite portions of Scripture are the two or three times when things are kind of dicey or uncertain, someone has pointed to God, so to speak, and said, “Who can tell” what He might do. Thank you for this.l

19 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

You’re welcome. I was astounded when the Lord began to show me all I’d been given through Jon’s performance…without his having a clue! 🙂

\o/

19 05 2014
Marijo

Challenged here….

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