Video blogpost

With THIS Ring!

Here I am at a Bible Study retreat where I have humiliated myself more than once. Finally it is the end of the day and I fall into my bed utterly exhausted.

 

I close my eyes, and what is it you expect that I see? A lush, peaceful meadow with forest creatures lazily soaking in the sun and drinking from a meandering stream? Cute fuzzy sheep jumping a white picket fence?

 

NO, I see a scene from the movie Schindler’s List. You remember…near the end, where the war is over and all the Jews from his factory are standing behind Schindler and applauding him for his efforts to save their people. Schindler laments to his accountant that he could have, should have done more. Schindler looks at his car and says,

 

“This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.” He takes off his Nazi pin and says, “This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stearn. For this.” He begins sobbing as he looks down at his wedding ring…

 

I didn’t realize the next morning how that scene had changed my life forever.

 

If you think what happened at the retreat was crazy, wait until I tell you what I did next! I came home that night and called my husband Ken (no, that’s not the crazy part) and asked him if he would pray about something (no, that’s not the crazy part either).

 

Ken was at an out of state conference and happened to be on a break when I called. I told him—are you READY for this?—I told him that I wanted him to pray about selling my wedding ring and giving the money to the poor. (There’s the crazy part!)

 

Well THAT wasn’t the “Hi honey how’s your trip goin” conversation he’d come to expect! He wanted to know “What went on at that retreat?” I told him everything, and he said that he was very proud of me.

 

Ken knew how much I struggled with materialism. He knew how much my ring meant to me. When we were married I had to have a 1 ½ carat white diamond solitaire! Nothing less would do. I wore it proudly, and I do mean PROUDLY.

 

It was later that night that I heard myself say “I believe God is calling me to start a charity that will allow women to do the same thing I am doing—and like someone was speaking into my ear, I said—“a charity called With This Ring

 

Are you ready to be called by God to do something extraordinary? What do you think He’s asking you to do for Him today?

Ali

Who’s Voice is THAT?!?!

So I find myself at a Bible Study retreat, humbled by my poor performance at leading worship and being asked to ponder “How can we make a difference in the world?”

My husband’s voice rang in my ears. I remembered a statistic that he’d shared with me…“Do you know that two thirds of the world doesn’t have drinking water?”

“OK Ali, you miss your husband and wish he was here, but it’s time to focus on the question, ‘How can we make a difference?’ ”

Then someone, using a voice that sounded just like mine spoke up in the group. “Maybe we should think about selling some of our possessions and actually do what we are commanded to do.”

Who was this crazy woman and what was she doing using MY voice?

She continued, “When Jesus called His disciples, he did not tell them to go home and say goodbye to their families, instead He simply said, ‘Come’. I think we make too many excuses and don’t do what we are asked.”

It was then that I realized that the crazy woman’s voice was mine. God was giving me a new heart and it was painful!

It was then that I looked down at the ring on my finger and said to a new acquaintance, “This ring was appraised at twenty thousand dollars. If I sold it, I could probably feed an African village for three years.”

Have you ever heard yourself say something that you never thought you’d hear yourself say? Tell me about it.

Out of Tune

I’ve gotten ahead of myself with these blog entries. Let me share a little of how this all started.

 

I attended a Bible Study retreat where I’d been asked to lead worship. I’d been singing for years but had only just started to learn how to play the guitar six weeks earlier. (Being a bit intimidated by the prospect of leading worship, I’d waited until the last possible moment to pick up that guitar and learn it. NOT a strategy I’d advise!)

 

Due to my self-induced state of panic, I was quieter than normal and as a result started to pay attention to the people around me. The women were dressed so cute! They had nice handbags, beautiful neat clothing, nice hairstyles, and they looked very polished. Raised in a very wealthy family where material possessions and looks meant everything, I was suddenly aware of how unpolished I looked.

 

Then came my time to lead worship. I confidently pulled out my guitar only to discover that it was out of tune. So, I extracted my handy dandy electric tuner only to discover that I couldn’t get it to work. So, I tried to tune the guitar by ear, only to discover that I was making things worse. My panic meter catapulted out of the red zone and into the ozone!

 

With some help I got the guitar tuned, but I still could barely catch my breath. I was determined to be obedient to Jesus’ call. But obedience only goes so far. I was HORRIBLE!

 

I was a TERRIBLE guitar player, worship was hard to follow, and the songs were painstakingly difficult to execute. I thought to myself that at least I could sing and that would cover me—but I found it difficult to do so while attempting to play the guitar, trying to keep the beat, and watching my fingers while they desperately searched for the right strings. I felt like a total loser.

 

Later that evening we convened to watch a video, which I really enjoyed. Based on the video, we were asked to consider “How can we make a difference?”.

 

Well, it wasn’t by my superior guitar ability! I was moved to look around me. God opened my eyes, and I saw all the “stuff” that was holding on to those of us in the room. I was suddenly focused on the beautiful wedding rings and huge diamonds on the fingers around the room.

 

The Holy Spirit was moving in me—He was tuning me in.

 

Have you had an experience where God showed you that you were out of tune? Please share that incident with me.