Thursday, October 27, 2005

ALPHA - Week 6

Tonight's theme felt very close to my heart: What is God's plan for us?

Nicky Gumbel presented the idea that, not only does God have a plan for us, but God has a good plan for us. Needless to say, it raised lots of different points of view in the discussion period of the night. I think for a topic like this, it has to raise a personal reaction. It's not like the discussion of the Bible where we all have this common item to view and discuss. When we think about whether or not God has a plan for our lives, we immediately look at our own lives and think, "Is this a plan? If so, is this really what God wants for me? And if this is His own plan, how come it's not different/better/more?"

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God wants me to be an artist. I know he wants me to perform. I know he wants me to use my talents of acting and singing. In my bio, I call it The Beethovan Moment, and it's the clearest moment I've ever had. I've struggled with using these talents in God's service versus just using them in my own service. In retrospect, God has always been trying to steer me towards using them for Him - I'm thinking mostly of Agnes of God, Ruth, and Job and the Snake - All projects that brought together my love of singing and acting with His own stories.

This summer, at Stamps-Baxter, I realized that I want to give more and more of my art to God and doing the work of God. I recently heard of a gospel group that cancelled their performance at a local craft show. Their reason? Someone else at the show is doing psychic readings, and that's against their religion. I'm not saying they have to agree with psychic readings, but why cancel your performance? God is giving you a chance to spread the Gospel, and you're saying, "No thank you. I'm looking for a better venue." Please! Did Jesus only preach in the "proper" places? No! He preached in the temple, the market place, the hill, and the boat. He preached to anyone who would listen. I so completely disagree with this group's decision. I hate this concept of only singing "for the church" when it means only singing in the church. Everyone needs to hear this message! Not just the pretty people sitting in your church. The guys selling drugs on the street corner needs to hear it. The people working 16-hour days in the stock exchange need to hear it. The men and women of the country club need to hear it. And the women giving the psychic readings at the craft fair needs to hear it.

The Gospel is not simply "good news". It's great news! Doesn't everyone deserve the chance to hear that?

Oh, and as far as God's plan for me: I pray and pray every day for guidance. I put my trust in Him. And I continue to pray, "Yes, Lord!"

1 comment:

Kiersten said...

Allison,

Kiersten here...from WAJ. I really enjoyed reading your blog. This topic is such an important one. I totally agree with you and have fought this mentality recently in a very popular church I attended for a while. It seems there has been a shift to "Country Club" Christianity for some. By this I mean Christians who only want to be around others who look like them, act like them, and have the same lifestyle as them. I feel so strongly about this having seen it and been affected by it firsthand. During the time I attended this church, I was volunteering at a local Crisis Pregnancy Center. I knew the girls that I was counseling wouldn't feel welcomed at this church because they would be judged immediately...because of their protruding bellies. It grieved me not to be able to bring them along with me. I ended up referring them to other churches in the area that accepted "sinners." The funny thing is, this church was full of sinners too...they just didn't look the part!

So, go on preaching girl! I'll be in the background yelling "AMEN!" And maybe someday we'll be able to perform together as sinners for sinners!
Take care,
Kiersten
www.kierstenvenezia.com