YOU WOULD NOT HAVE EXPECTED

 
 

     "....not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen....."  I Cor. 1:26-28(a) (KJV)

 

     "....not many influential, not many from high society families.  Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these 'nobodies' to expose the hollow pretensions of the 'somebodies'?"  (I Cor 1:26 --27(a) (The Message)

 

     The following is extracted from an email received in 2008 (with slight word revisions):

 

Dear Sister Paula:  

 

     I very much enjoy your videos on You Tube. You have a very unique ministry to a very special people.  God is a God who loves and uses the unique people of this world.

 

    You would not have expected a Man named Moses who had a stuttering problem to lead God's people up out of Egypt.

 

    You would not have expected a Jewish girl named Esther to be chosen and become Queen and save her entire nation from genocide.

 

    You would not have expected a shepherd boy who so many had passed their eyes over to defend God's people and become King David.

 

    You would not have expected a group of fisherman to be chosen to change the whole entire world with the Gospel Message.

 

    You would not have expected Saul of Tarsus who had spent so much time persecuting the early Christian Church to become Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.

 

    You know Sister Paula, I'm serving a God who calls out the outcasts and disenfranchised of this world.  A God who puts the Holy Spirit in the very people through whom the world would never expect to hear the Gospel Message. Glory to God, this is exactly what He's doing in the LGBT community. I'm serving a God who said He'd pour out the power of the Holy Ghost  on ALL people. 

 

    May God bless You and your ministry.

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    Please join me in the PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE which I presented at First Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday June 19, 2011.

 

    Shall we pray:

 

     As we come before a Holy God, and approach the Throne of Grace, we thank you blessed Jesus that you impart your mercy to help us in our hour of need.

 

     As a people, we come before you with wonderment, amazement and awe, grateful that when we stumble, you become our Advocate with the Father, not only for our mistakes but for the sins of the whole world. 

 

     As finite people, we stand before an awesome and Infinite God whose all-encompassing love we can't even begin to fully comprehend.

 

     When we meditate on the Divine mysteries of the Cross, where you laid down your life, we do not understand how the long ago counterpart of electric chairs and gas chambers can be transformed into a symbol of faith and devotion.

 

     But then, your love changes everything it touches:

 

     It makes heavy burdens light,

          long hours short,

               ordinary faces beautiful,

                    turns houses into homes,

                         picnic into banquets,

                              and wilted daisies into bouquets.

 

     Let us strive, as your Church, to be Your hand extended, reaching out to the oppressed and the homeless, walking into hospital rooms with hope and healing, and give comfort to those passing through a time of bereavement.

 

     We ask for a fresh baptism of your agape love --

 

     A love that doesn't seek merit or worth or beauty, skill or talents;

          A love that doesn't see warts, freckles, blemishes or scars.

 

     Help us, dear wonderful Jesus, to become more like you --

 

     May we, too, notice breezes, and mustard seeds,

          and fields white unto harvest,

               and sowers going out to sow,

                    and shepherds climbing out on cliffs to rescue lambs,

                         and parents whose children who have left home.

 

     Thank you Jesus that because of your love, we are always more, never less -- always better, never worse. 

 

    (Some phrases from COME SHARE THE BEING by Bob Benson, Impact Books, 1974).

 

 

 

Paula Nielsen

PO Box 2206, Portland, OR 97208

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