Simply Free is two weeks from today. It is a heart stirring event that has inspired and impacted hundreds of people over the last decade and has been a personal passion of my wife. God gave the vision for Simply Free to Doris ten years ago and every year since then, for about three months leading up to October she is immersed in it. This year the registration is a little slow so someone suggested Doris and I do a FaceBook live event to help get the word out.
We decided on last night. Yesterday was a long, busy day. We are moving Branches Wellness into the Murfreesboro office, which means organizing files, rearranging offices, preparing the space. Tomorrow we are getting much needed, new carpet for the front half of the building, which means clearing out files, moving furniture, preparing the space. Throw in a staff meeting, a few counseling appointments, and I really didn’t do any research as to how this FaceBook live thing works. But we were going to give it a shot.
Doris came to my office at 8PM last night. She was all dolled up, looking good. (As the story unfolds you will understand you just have to take my word for it.) Now, the furniture had been moved, (See the note above.) so there was only my desk chair, my desk, and my laptop computer. We decided that Doris would sit on my lap. (Don’t worry. This blog will stay G rated.) The laptop would sit on the desk and we would video that way. Maybe this is a good place to say, my desk chair has two hard arms, pretty close together, and it is a little bit wobbly.
Doris plops down on me and the desk chair. Me and the desk chair groan. That is not a reflection on my wife, I am just reporting the story. We wedge ourselves very uncomfortably between the two hard arms, and the computer flickers on. Black screen. Nothing. We can’t see ourselves. We can’t hear ourselves. But, the live timer is counting the seconds on the side of the screen so the following conversation ensues.
“Do you think it’s on?”
“I don’t know. I don’t see anything?”
“Maybe it’s running. Test 1-2-3.”
“I don’t think you have to test it like that.”
“Well, how do we know it’s on?”
“I don’t know. Let’s just go ahead.”
“What should we say?”
“I thought you had that planned out.”
“No. I was counting on you. Just go ahead and say something.”
“Well, if you can see us out there we want to talk to you about Simply Free.”
“My leg is going falling asleep.”
“If it is on, they just heard you say that.”
“Oh, sorry. Should we start over?”
“If it is on they heard you say that too.”
“I’m getting a cramp. Cramp. CRAMP.”
“Let’s turn it off.”
Yep. We were that old couple that you see You Tube videos about. Making faces into the computer screen and at this point we still don’t know if that is out in Cyber Land somewhere. Technology is not kind to we old folks.
In Mark 4:26-29, Jesus says, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he is asleep and awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crop on its own. First, a blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” Apparently, Doris and I are not the first ones to try and plant some seed without having a clue as to how the whole thing works.
Here’s some observations for today:
- We don’t have to know what we are doing to be a witness. Most of the time God works and we aren’t even aware. Many times in the counseling office someone will say to me, “I had a real breakthrough last week. When you said…this…I saw what I needed to do.” I will say. “Thank you.” But I know that I did not say…that. The Holy Spirit was working in ways that I do not understand.
- Second thing, although we don’t know how it works, we have a job to do. Plant seed or harvest the crop, the farmer is still a necessary part of the process. Remember Paul in I Corinthians said, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered; but God has been making it grow.” (I Cor. 3:6) We all have a role to fill when it comes to telling the story of Jesus.
- Finally, there is a harvest. Understand it or not. Do a big part or a small part, the time will come for a harvest. Listen, my grandkids need you to do your part. My neighbors are counting on you. You may never meet them or talk to them but you will influence someone, who will influence someone, who will influence someone else… You get the picture. The world at its worst needs you and me at our best. Please make it a point to tell someone today about Jesus.
I’m not talking about being a street evangelist or wearing a John 3:16 shirt to the Titans game. Most of the time the most effective seed planting comes without a word being spoken. We refuse to answer strife with strife. We go out of our way to be positive and supportive. We hold out hope instead of despair. I just believe we can live kind, caring, considerate lives in the real world (and on FaceBook ?) and in so doing Jesus is glorified and demonstrated.
By the way, Simply Free is about that. Just taking the time to hear and rejoice in stories of what God has done on the lives of common, ordinary, people. Simply Free is just seed spreadin’, and maybe a little harvestin.’ Doris and I will try again. I’ll do some research and figure this FaceBook live thing out. But don’t wait on us. Go ahead and register on the BranchesCounselingCenter.com website. You don’t need us. The bright spot is, Doris did sit on my lap. ? See you Monday.