I love to people watch. Sitting alone in the middle of a park or a crowded mall, it doesn't really matter. There are people everywhere. Even now, I'm sitting in the RV, solo, writing and looking out the front window. The UPS guy (or Box Man, as my kids lovingly refer to him) is delivering an over-sized box to the house on the corner. I get to simply sit and stare and watch and think. I love to have silence to hear myself think...and that often turns into conversations with God about life.
Today, I'm thinking not about my life, but the lives of the people I see. What is their story? Did they wake up this morning rejuvenated and ready to take on the world? Or, did they wake up with the weight of their world looming over them? What is the mail lady walking by thinking about right now? Is her life story playing out the way she thought it would?
These are the things I talk to God about.
Josh and I have been awakened to seeing people wherever we are. We don't want to just see people walk by and cast a judgment about them based on their clothing or posture... But, we want to truly see them: See them in their moment going through whatever they are going through. We also believe that God wants to meet people right where they are.
I look at the way Jesus walked through his life. He was often surrounded by massive crowds of curious people just trying to get a look at the man who can heal the sick and make dead people come back to life. Have you ever thought about how Jesus handled those people?
He found the ONE.
That is how we believe everyone can live their lives. You can go through your normal day-to-day routine, with your eyes looking for the one person God is placing in your path. There have been times when both Josh and I have went on trips that were specifically designed for us to share the love of God. But, it is soooo not realistic to live your life waiting for those moments.
Jesus came to this earth so that His people could experience Him in their everyday, normal life. That is how Jesus did it, so why would we think it would look different for us? We confidently believe that it is time for followers of Jesus to demonstrate what we believe IN THE WORLD! It is time for the "Church" to get Out of the Box!
I love you!
Have you ever noticed how Jesus ate food with people all the time? He ate with sinners and he ate with his disciples. He miraculously fed the more than five thousand, and invited himself over to eat with Zaccheus-- the worst of the worst in Jesus' day. He even ate with religious leaders, and then showed them how they were wrong.
Some have commented on how Jesus did so much ministry involving food, even once cooking breakfast for His disciples. However, I think the actual act of eating with people IS ministry. Sharing a meal or coffee with someone changes us. It's part of the common human experience. Although every culture is different, mealtime has certain parallels in all of them.
If you're willing, you began to see life through someone else's eyes. You realize they didn't have your life or maybe your privileges. You understand them a bit more. You respect them just as a human being created in God's image. Your thoughts steer away from yourself, and in our culture of selfies and personal monuments, that's a good thing.
Secondly, you can practice hospitality. When Mary and I were working on and praying about a focus for our ministry, hospitality was one of the main themes. Jesus said He came to serve, and hospitality can be one of the ways we mirror Jesus. You can even be hospitable in someone else's home, offering to serve where you can.
Some of the most grateful people in the world can be those who have lost everything or even simply feel alone. I'll never forget when someone I worked with gave me a dining room table. It was beautiful and not cheap. When he was about to move away, he made a comment that he thought he would have at least gotten to share a meal at our house. I felt terrible and knew I had missed an opportunity to share God's love. Sometimes we can be intimidated by people we work with, especially in a hierarchical structure, but don't forget to reach out to all people, regardless of "rank".
Lastly, by sharing a meal, you can celebrate. Isn't it amazing that near the very end of the Bible (Revelation 19:9), we see all of heaven joining together for a feast! After all our time on earth is done, we get to attend the greatest meal and party the universe has ever seen. I think that's pretty awesome! Celebration of all God has done must include food! OK, we can celebrate in other ways too, but who doesn't want to eat when celebrating?
So, take a look at your schedule. Even if you're super busy, maybe there's a lunch you can spend with someone during the work day. I think part of the reason God made us have to eat, was so we would have to sit down, take a break from life and hopefully spend some time with someone.
See someone in a new light, be hospitable and celebrate with someone. Someday, we'll all be in heaven at the biggest feast the universe has ever seen. I look forward to that day, and let's all pray that those we go through life with will join us.
A few weeks ago, we spent quite a few hours harvesting honey. Bees are magnificent creatures. They are of course known for making honey, but their bodies can make so many things they need in the hive. The more you learn about them, the more the thought of evolution seems ridiculous. In fact, there’s a lot about this popular insect we still don’t even know.
To most people, whether they know it or not, harvest is the most exciting part of beekeeping. It’s at harvest that one species of bees, out of the 20,000 that exist, creates a sweet sticky substance that has been harvested for thousands of years. This year, we harvested over 150 lbs of honey. That honey did not just magically appear in 5 gallon buckets as sweet, golden elixir. Had we not physically gone out to harvest it, the honey would still be in the hive. Only the bees would enjoy its benefits. You may know where I am going with this. God promises that the harvest is ready, that it’s full and that there’s plenty to go around to all who labor.
Matthew 9:37-38 (NASB) says, “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
There’s an interesting word--Beseech! It’s a word we don’t really use anymore, nor do we follow. It means to “Ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something; implore; entreat.” Do we do this? Does anyone do this? As I’m typing this, I’m thinking about when was the last time I prayed URGENTLY and fervently that the Lord would send out workers into His harvest?
The other intriguing idea in this scripture is that the harvest isn't the problem. Everywhere we go, there are people hungry for the good news of Jesus. There are people in Walmart, your grocery store and anywhere else you go that would love to experience God's life-giving power. However, the shortage of workers is continually an issue. There are always more workers needed. God loves to partner with us to bring in the harvest. By urgent prayer and workers/laborers who put God's kingdom before all things, the ripe harvest will be brought in.
In the United States, I believe there has never been such a great potential for harvest. People are lonely, hurting and broken. God's love can fill the largest void in people's hearts, but more workers are always needed.
As fall approaches, the sun sets a little earlier every day. The honey is harvested and cooler weather is the norm. Will you pray with us that God brings in more workers into His harvest. Let us see the greatest harvest the U.S. has ever seen.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!