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You of Great Influence

I’ve been learning stories. Hearing stories. Repeating stories. Banging bold right up into stories.

My pastor, he’s telling that story of Nehemiah. The story of a man who had great influence and how God used him to help His people.

And there are these stories of Esther, Joseph, David, Abraham, Peter…

They all have a string shooting straight through their lives pulling them together. Some of them, they came from places of insignificance. All them at some point were given great influence.

And at some point God called on them. He called them to save His people.

Always weaving through is that story of Jesus. Who had no place to call home. His birth a scandal. Whose crib was of hay. And God lifted Him up.

He called on Him to save many lives.

And here I am in the Dominican Republic exchanging my usual routine for big smiles, stories that cut through everything this world was trying to get me to accept.

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But I know I have influence. And I don’t think influence means a big platform or royalty or fame.

Being born in America, eating every day, all day, being able to read and write, going to university…

If you can say yes to any of these you are the minority in this world. You have influence.

But more than anything, you have influence if inside you are burning bright with that Holy Spirit. His mission the same as the Father’s. His influence more than that of any man.

The Lord, He shows me time again that it’s not about feeling guilty. It’s not even necessarily about selling everything. It’s a humble acceptance. To know, He’ll call on me. He’ll use me to save His people.

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I’m not the only one who thinks this, Joseph said it too. He said it twice at the end of his story, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

To save the lives of many people.

Bob Goff wrote about it too, “And if you think about it, the reason God chose Moses was to save many lives. And the same goes for Jonah and Peter, all the apostles, and Jesus. And us, too, for that matter. We were all meant to save many lives.”

You know, He’ll call on you too. He’ll do it. He’ll use you to save many lives.

This week has felt like a year lived full every day. There were tears shed in disbelief, shed because the power of God’s redemption literally took our breaths away. There were countless hugs.

These bloggers, they let go of everything back home to come here this week. But they came and filled their hands with true treasure. Hands grasped tight. Hands we’ll grasp again one day.

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And if we couldn’t possibly hold the beauty of God’s plan any longer, His desire to save His people, we ended our day yesterday meeting a sponsored child who lives in one of the worst communities I’ve seen. Dangerous. Trash everywhere. More trash than clean places to put our feet.

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This beautiful girl, she stepped up to the front of the church. Raised a battered violin to her chin. And she played, “How Great Thou Art.”

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In a community that swelled with rotten smells, that busted open with trash littered everywhere. That is known for the river flooding and taking everything at a moment’s notice. Where gang violence and human trafficking is common, we all huddled into a church and received this offering.

“And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art! How great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art! How great thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration,

And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!”

We passed tissues and nodded our heads in such affirmation. One day there will be no tears. There will be no pain. There will be no poverty.

But today, you and me, we’re here. For such a time as this. To be used by Him. To save many lives.

Can I suggest that sponsorship is one way to save a life? To help break into an otherwise dark and unjust place with shards of light that will refuse to be shut out.

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hello love...

Welcome! I'm Bri! Accidental home cook. Lover of gathering people around a table over a meal. Author of Come & Eat (September 2017). What I really want is to pull out a chair for you at my table. But until then, I hope you stay awhile and enjoy my stories + recipes! 

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