When I was in high school, I decided to bless my friend Chuck with an unforgettable gift. I ordered him a double CD set of Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. Who is Zamfir, you ask? He’s a Romanian musician whose commercials ran night and day on cable TV back in the 80’s, and my friends and I made fun of him constantly.
Near the end of my senior year, however, I decided to take the joke to the next level. I called the number in the commercial and ordered Chuck his very own copy of Zamfir Plays the World’s Most Beautiful Melodies. The commercial said this collection was not sold in any stores, so I knew it would be a special treat.
Best of all, I ordered Zamfir C.O.D., cash on delivery. That meant that when it arrived at Chuck’s door, he’d have to fork over $20. This is how teenage guys express their love for another.
What I forgot, though, was that Chuck’s dad was also named Chuck. So, when Zamfir arrived at his door demanding $20, Chuck Sr. thought someone had sent it to him. For some reason, he returned it. Sadly, neither of the two Chucks appreciated Zamfir as much as I hoped they would, but I guess not everyone has an ear for the pan flute.
When it comes to sharing our faith, sometimes we treat the good news of God’s love like a double Zamfir CD. It can feel like we’re trying to stick our friends with something they will surely reject. Yet, the reality is that we are offering the hope of abundant life. It’s not just about getting into heaven or receiving a fresh start in the here and now. It’s about experiencing life with God and the best that He has to offer.
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” This doesn’t mean God promises health and wealth. In fact, believers around the world often experience just the opposite. It does mean, however, that Jesus is the source of a thriving life. Whatever circumstances the world throws at us, we can experience a joy and a hope that just won’t quit.
Who wouldn’t want to offer this opportunity to the people they love? We’re not burdening anyone. We’re extending the invitation to the best gift ever. And the most effective way to share this gift? Live it. Enjoy it. Let it overflow in your life in the way you love people. Then pray for opportunities to give it away.
These songs can be downloaded on iTunes.
(Names have been changed to protect the students.)I began mentoring Justin when he was a 3rd grader, and he is now a 5th grader. The mentoring program has been such a blessing to me (and I was supposed to be helping someone else).The impact the mentoring program has on kids that really need someone else in their lives is huge. It's also so important to keep with it, even if it is hard when you first start. I started with Justin and it was a rough start – he was NOT an easy kid to work with. I really wanted to quit early because I thought I had gotten the wrong kid, but God knew he was more wise than I was when he placed me with Justin because as I was about to make my decision to quit, Justin mentioned that another mentor had quit on him. I couldn't let him down. He needed someone to be there for him, and I wanted to be the one who came through.Slowly we got moving in the right direction, and I began to see progress with him. Believe it or not, not only did I mentor Justin, but I now mentor his brother Andrew and sometimes his cousins on the weekends. Justin was terrified of water so we went swimming this summer. It was so rewarding seeing him make great progress. My kids are jealous (not really – they laugh) that I now just jump into the pool without easing into the water as I did with them. I am teaching Justin to just “just go for it and jump in” the cold water. I really hate the cold water, but for him I just do it.We have been to movies, his football games, spent time listening to his music, etc. I can’t say how much I have been blessed to get to see Justin and his brother. It all started when I decided to step out of my comfort zone and “just go for it and jump in” .
These songs can be downloaded on iTunes.