Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Wanted, Called, Saved, Enlisted: Ordinary People

A friend of mine has been a missionary to Africa. When he came to report to our church family I introduced him as a “hero.” My intention was to give our people a challenge…to see missionaries, not as burdens (always needing dollars for their work), but as blessings (helping us to fulfill the commission God has given us). However, my friend kindly rejected the idea that he was a hero. Instead, he preferred that the church see him as just another member, like any of them. He felt that it might prevent others from accepting mission challenges in their own life, if they thought they had to be somebody special. I think, perhaps, he was right.

In Acts 4, two of Jesus’ disciples get themselves into some trouble with the religious authorities. In Jesus’ Name, Peter and John had healed a lame man. This put the authorities in a bad light, for they had only recently seen to the death of Jesus. The two apostles handled themselves so well that the rulers noted that they had obviously spent time with Jesus. What was it about Peter and John that caused the rulers to note they had been with Jesus? The rulers could see they were ordinary, unschooled men. They were right about that. But these ordinary men had a courage and power that didn’t originate with them.

 When Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians 1:20ff), he asked, “Where is the wise man, the scholar, the philosopher?” They weren’t in the Corinthian church. Paul said God chose the foolish, weak, lowly, despised, nothings to accomplish His purposes. Sisters and brothers, I will never make anyone’s Who’s Who list but Paul’s list is one I can measure up (or down) to. How about you? We don’t have to be supermen or superwomen. We don’t have to be heroes. God uses ordinary men and women. God gets glory for Himself by using plain instruments to create His beautiful work.

 In James (5:17), we learn that “Elijah was a man just like us.” Yet God did extraordinary things thru him. You see…God is the Hero! So that job is filled. All of us are qualified to be involved in His work by virtue of being ordinary people who are willing to take God at His word. Is your self-esteem flagging? Let God show you how much He values you and what He can do thru a mere human being…an ordinary person…just like you. To God, even if to no one else, you are vital! You are important! Don’t allow feelings of either superiority or inferiority keep you from your proper place with God. Are you just a guy? Just a gal? Good! God has always used people just like you. Come on in. Welcome to the real church for ordinary people who want to belong to God and help with His work in the world.

If you have time, honor us here with just a bit about an ordinary Christian you know that God is using in wonderful ways.

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12 thoughts on “Wanted, Called, Saved, Enlisted: Ordinary People

  1. I’m not going to mention AN ordinary Christian but rather a group of ordinary Christians. This morning we had our women’s study. As we discussed the ways that God has blessed us I began to see beyond the faces into the hearts of the women I am blessed to know.

    I started seeing hearts that have been bruised … some deeply bruised by experiences in their lives. And yet, they get up on a Saturday morning looking forward to some time spent in the Word. They come ready to share their burdens and their excitement over answered prayers.

    All, have been brought to this place through invitation. Someone invited them to come to this place where they could rest. They found rest and then invited someone else to come and find rest. And soon those will invite someone to come and find rest.

    The result … ordinary Christians find rest for their souls in a world that can be difficult to stomach sometimes. They receive a gift that God began preparing for them long, long ago … and then pass it on. Heroic? Maybe not. Like Jesus … definitely.

    • oakesclan on said:

      To feel that someone who knows you is blessed by that knowing…to be able to count blessings in the company of such someones…to be comfortable enough in each others’ presence to share your burdens…to be accepted by others to the point that you can actually rest in their presence…these are all precious gifts from Father God. To open oneself up to receive such gifts does require courage. Because such blessings, while they comfort us so and turn our hearts toward rejoicing, also change us. They lead our lives into “differentness.” We begin to see and feel what it means to us to be so loved and accepted and affirmed…and then it happens…doesn’t it? We know there are so very many other folks who need the same thing. And we know that our God is tapping us on the shoulder and saying, “How about it? Are you ready to do for them what I have done for you?” So…off we go, often looking back over our shoulder to see if God is still looking on…supporting us. He is. Look out world!

  2. I should just say “what Snack said” but I will add a little bit. That group of ordinary Christian ladies (and the men and children that come at the other times the Open is open) are instruments of God in ways that amaze me. Their stories are extraordinary. Their faith is extraordinary. It is a group of sinners that would deny being anything special. To the world, this is a group of “those kind of people”…not readily accepted in some circles, looked down on by some…yet God has worked through these prodigals to provide a place of rest and healing, allowing time and space for growth.

    I get to be there with those folks through God’s great mercy. And each time we are together I am reminded how God has used these ordinary people to do great and magnificent things. Just like He always has…just like He will continue to do.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Sherry, I pray that outposts of hope, like the Open Church, might spring up all over the world that more and more people could find the help in Jesus Christ which they desperately need. What a blessing to be in fellowship with sisters and brothers you love so much who strengthen your hand in God and whose company you delight in! Believe me…you are enoying an all too rare spiritual blessing among your fellow believers. Such good things clearly come from Father God. You all needed it. He provided it by providing you all for one another…giving you a spiritual hunger and thirst…and a wonderful way to fill those needs. What a God we serve! May He continue to bless and use the Open Church to open hearts to His wonderful, amazing grace in Christ.

  3. John on said:

    Actually, of all the ordinary people I know, you top my list because of that little something “extra” (get it…extra-ordinary…).
    Thanks for breakfast…

    • oakesclan on said:

      Thanks brudda-in-law. You are da man! I enjoyed the breakfast time…and you are welcome. The time always flies by too quickly.
      Thanks for checking in…and for the encouragement.

  4. email girl on said:

    I’ve told you before that I’ve gone from having pushed away all my friends…to having so many I can’t even keep track. But when I think about this subject I think about a couple of friends I do not know…doesn’t that sound strange? It does to me…but its true.

    There is Paige, whom I’ve never even met but she is so kind to me and inspires me with her words. She makes me think about a lot of things…and pushes me to look to God for answers to the questions I have instead of trying to find them in myself. I love the way she writes…and I love how open she is to speak about things…she doesn’t hide. I think Paige is the 1st person that told me (others have told me since) that secrets make you sick. My life was all abouts secrets a year ago and its so freeing to not live that way anymore. Paige is an ordinary Christian making a difference in my life.

    Then there is Sherry. Our friend Rex told me about this lady Sherry and he told me that her and I had the same heart, said the same things, had a lot of the same experiences in life….it made me want to know her. So I read her blog and connected instantly with things she wrote about. One thing led to another and now I feel like I’ve known Sherry all my life. Kind of strange for someone I’ve never met…but true. She shares things with me that give me hope. I love to look at her example and see that she has made it to the other side of where I am at. She gives me hope and encouragement to keep putting one foot in front of the other. What I love most about Sherry is her love for God…it just pours out of her and I think its lovely. Sherry is an ordinary Christian making a huge impression on my life.

    And last, there is you Doug. You have welcomed me into this world of blogging and taught some extremely important lessons about God. You repeatedly try to get me to see that God not only loves me but adores me. You are teaching me. Never seen you, don’t know you…but you are teaching me. And I find myself just thirsting to see what you will teach me next. You encourage me in a way that I can’t describe when it comes to how you’ve responded to the trials of my life. Did you know you gave me persmission to grieve what I’ve lost in my life? You’ve done that with your words. So much of the time I feel like I should just get over it…move on…and kind of kick myself for having a hard time doing that. The words you write to me give me the ability to just feel, instead of always just fix. Thank you. You are an ordinary Christian that is effecting my ability to heal and to look toward Father God for comfort and strength.

    Thank you Paige, Sherry and Doug….you are the best three Christian friends I don’t know….and you are shining examples of Jesus. I love you all.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Dear E-mail Girl,
      I completely agree with you about Paige and Sherry. They each have such a heart for Jesus and for those Jesus loves. I just think they are amazing Christians!
      I’m not too sure about that third friend you mentioned…but…okay…I guess you are entitled to your opinion.
      Seriously…I can’t tell you how your gracious reception of what I have tried to say has blessed my old heart repeatedly. And it encourages me so much to read what you said here about not living so much a captive to secrets as you had before. I sincerely hope that you are able to be very encouraged by that sort of growth in your life. Do you know Who it is that enables that sort of growth? Father God gives the increase according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). So He is working in your heart and life. He has such great plans for you! I am excited just to think about what He is going to show you over the course of your life. He is faithful. He will do it. What He begins in us, He will complete. All we have to do is cooperate. And He will give us strength for that too.
      I pray for you as I write this…and for all who are dear to you.
      And please…please…keep writing us all. I find your insights to be very helpful. The courage you show in opening yourself up in a wise way…a proper way…is inspiring. The way you can’t give up on God helps me want to hang in there too. Let’s do it then…okay! Let’s never give in! God bless.

  5. Gail on said:

    My ordinary christians in my life have helped me in my different times of my life. They do not do mountain top like things that some people think of but they do mountain top like things for me. God probably sees that differently than people do. But I have a friend Rosalie that has helped me up from a time that I was trying to live without God. I was disappointed and lost some heart with things in the church and the world. In fact, I want to tell you their was a couple of other people who came and got me besides Rosalie. Grant and Bill and they are for me and have shown being for me in keeping in touch and just loving me and my family. I did not even want to include Doug in what I was going thru that much. My mind and heart was really at the lowest in my life with the people who love me and I did not care. I was ashamed is why I did not want Doug and my family to know me then. I was just plain living in sin and much more did not want God included in my life then.

    These people did not know what they did for me coming to get me but they started helping me turn my heart around by their love and friendship to me and it stays with me so much to this day. I was stuck in something and I really mean stuck that my heart was hurting and I had another let down but could not get out of this let down by myself. Rosalie just started being by my side and doing things with me and just being there silently sometimes. I did not have to confess all my sins to them and tell them every detail for them to take me under their wing and love and care for me to be drawn back gently with me loving my God and him having his place in my love, heart and thoughts again. I was able to cast off the care of what I was stuck in because of their endurance with me. Showing me care in my life and just knowing they was there and they just plain loved me and did things to help (like just everyday living things). They did not have to preach about God to me, I already knew about God. They just loved me and gave me trust and brought me back to the God I always knew all my life. They did not have to talk and be preachy about God they just plain was people who loved God and it rubbed off on me once again.


    And just want to say this has taken time. Minute by minute, day by day,
    week by week, month by month, and year by year. Their perserverance with me helped me for Eternity. So these people were the ordinary people who just were people who Love God and just showed me in their lives how to be able to put down the sin because they loved me so. Showing people the love can do so much more than a lot of words. Words we do need and be preached to but sometimes we just NEED the ordinary simple life to show you God Once Again. These people built up my Faith, Hope and Love and Renewed it in my life just because they was ordinary people.

    I learned things from this time in my life that changed me from being so uptight about giving more people and inch or two (like Grace) in their sins and life problems. So I think of myself a little bit like a Paul in the Bible.
    He was persecuting Christians and after his time with Jesus he learned and changed his heart and ways of thinking toward God and Jesus and People. In other words, I am not as hard on people because of some things I went thru and learned. I think my Heart is more like God wants me to have now. God is Full of Grace and Giving People Breaks in life’s journey. If we truly read the Bible you can see it everywhere in the Bible.

    Now for Doug (he is anything but Ordinary) but I think the world of Doug because he gives the ordinary people in this world breaks and shows God’s grace to them in his life. He is of course a preacher from the pulpit but Doug gets out with us ordinary people and just goes thru things in our lives with us and is there and loves us. It means the most to me. I can be pretty natural with Doug and he does not make me feel bad if I slip up as a person can. But one thing that also happens with Doug is that I want to try harder being Better because he does give you an inch but always let’s us know what is most important “God Love Us and Wants Us as His Children”. Doug and I and I hope other Christians in this life as we are growing older and growing in Christ are not being so straight laced, narrow with our way of thinking. We are trying to really see what God taught as Jesus lived in the Bible. To Give People Breaks and Grace to Win them Home. I have trouble putting this all in words but my heart knows what I am trying to say.


    • oakesclan on said:

      Good words, sis. Thanks for sharing them with us. No matter who we are, God has had to rescue us, hasn’t He? At one time or another…in one way or another. In fact…I have needed His rescue so often that I am deeply grateful He remains always on duty.
      You mentioned one of the very good and helpful things God brings to pass as a result of His rescuing us from our own embarrassing, shameful, degrading failures…it’s when we see how He gives us chance after chance…when we begin to see that what we went through is often so similar to what others go through…and when we allow God to use our painful journey to help another…when we are able to use our junk to bless another…I think that is the point at which we really begin to believe God can use even us again. When we completely cast ourselves on His grace…when we allow ourselves to be so open and vulnerable in His great Kingdom cause on earth…then we are moving where He wants us to go. May He give us all the courage needed to be this useful in our deeply hurting world. So many people do need a break, don’t they?
      I love you, sis. Thank you for all you do for our mom. Words can’t express it! Have a great day

  6. Gail on said:

    I have another thought I would like to share. It is about my Brother Adrian who has passed from this life. He was an ordinary lawn mower repairman. A few of Adrian’s customers came to his Memorial Service.
    They appreciated Adrian taking time with their family with some handicapp people and talking to them and spending a little time talking to them after he took care of the business thing. Adrian had some problem areas for sure but he had a good heart. His customers appreciated him in many ways. Our Family loved him very much and miss him very much. His prescence in our life I think of everyday.

    I did want to say that Adrian talked to us about how God was going to be more Gracious with people than people are. Adrian talked to me when he would come to our home to see Mom and just maybe get on the computer or talk to me a little before he would leave to go repair more mowers.
    He would talk about God things often and he was not a narrow thinking person regarding how he knew God Thought and his Mercy and Grace.
    So what I am trying to say is Adrian taught me some ways of my thinking also that give people a chance to be with God someday.

    • oakesclan on said:

      In the midst of all his struggles, mentally, physically and spiritually, Adrian couldn’t be done with God. He couldn’t leave God out, even though he had such difficulty trying to figure God out and trying to accept His place with God. I know you are right…I know he talked about God regularly. I know he cared for lots of other people and sought ways to help them out.
      I miss him…still can’t believe he left us so early in life. I know his life made a difference…it did to us, didn’t it? And to many others, thank God.

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