Friday, February 8, 2013

Oikos is you!

I remember the Lord's prayer plaque that my Great Grandmother hung on the wall of the room when I was four!  Her name was Pearl, but we called her Little.

Mr. and Mrs. Lupo ran Killgors Day camp in Burbank when I was a child.  I remember singing...
"Thanks be to God who gives us bread; thank God for bread!" before we ate!  It was fifty years ago, but I remember feeling something strange when we sang that song!

Kevin and Lorin were boys who lived on Ledge in Burbank.  I was under eight but remember their parents taking me to church, and telling me about the anti-Christ.  Then we moved to Glendale.  I remember praying to God that I wasn't the anti-Christ.  I did not know much, but I did not want to be him!

Judy Lynn was my Junior High School English teacher who invited me to go on a YMCA caravan.  It was on that trip that Judy shared Christ with me.  I prayed to receive Christ sitting beside Bass Lake with Judy.  But God took a back seat until 1977.

In the summer of 1977 I moved in next door to Mr. Stewart.  He would be out front working on his old white MG.  I would attempt to sneak from the front door of my trailer, to my car.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not.  If Mr. Stewart caught me he would ask me to hold something, while he told me about Jesus Christ.

That same summer my friend Mike Willard became a Christian.  He challenged me to read the Bible, and attend a Navigator Bible study with him.  He prayed with me, and for me.

Chaplain Stephenson became my friend on a mountain in Puerto Rico.  I told him about many things, and he told me about Jesus.  God sent him on a mission, to a mountain, to meet a soldier!

Little, the Lupo's, Kevin and Lorin's mom and dad, Judy, Mr. Stewart, Mike,
and Chaplain Stephenson all left a mark on my spiritual memory bank! 

God used many different people to encourage me on my journey of faith.  I was in their OIKOS.  I was one of the people who God had sovereignly and uniquely put in their circle of influence.

It makes me think of the teaching of St. Paul...

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (NLT)
5  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul?
We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.
Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.
6  I planted the seed in your hearts,
and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
7  It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering.
What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
8  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose.
And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
9  For we are both God’s workers.
And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 

Only God knows the influence you will have upon those in your OIKOS!
Mike Willard and Mr. Stewart have no idea that I am a pastor!
They have no idea how God used them in my life!
Someday I will see them, and thank them!

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