Tag Archives: home

Go Home and Tell Your Story


“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.’”  Mark 5:18

One of my favorite things in the world is eating out at a restaurant. I do like to cook, but the experience of sitting down with your people, ordering what you want and it being brought to your table like magic is my favorite. When I was a kid, we always ate out on Friday nights. We would go to Rax for a roast beef sandwich and salad bar, and then shopping at Hills Department Store. My own family has our own days where we usually will go somewhere for dinner, but Sundays are always iffy. One of us will usually ask on the way home from church, What’s for dinner? Then it’s the usual, “Whatever you want is fine,” and so on, until someone finally makes a suggestion.


Almost always I will say, “Are we talking restaurant, or something at home?” And my mood can completely change. I don’t know what is, but when the option of going somewhere fancy is dangling there, and the choice is to go home, it is a complete mood changer for me.
In Mark 5, there was a guy who didn’t want to go home either. The chapter starts with the Jesus and the disciple on a boat.
Jesus had just silenced the storms on the lake, and he and the disciples were traveling to land when a “madman” ran straight for Jesus, dropped to his knees in front of Him and was screaming to Jesus. Jesus told the evil spirits to get out of him, and the spirits pleaded not to be tortured. They asked Jesus to let them go in a huge group of pigs that were nearby, minding their own business. Jesus okayed that and the spirits jumped into the pigs and the pigs jumped off a steep bank into the lake and drowned. For some reason, this freaked the village out and they asked Jesus to leave town.
But back to this guy – the demons left, and here he is, now with clothes on and completely sane. This is when Scripture said people became afraid.

This is a guy who at the beginning of the chapter was untamable. He ripped through chains that tied him down. No one was strong enough to control him. He spent his days screaming and cutting himself in the graveyard.
Now here he is, completely fine in normal everyday clothes, having normal conversations.
This guy’s life had been completely changed, and he wanted to be near the One who made it happen. He begged to go with Jesus. But Jesus said No. The guy could have been insulted, feeling like Jesus didn’t want him around, but the truth was that home was a bigger mission. He could have followed Jesus around and watched Him doing all the miracles, or he could be back with his people and sharing what happened with anyone who would listen, spreading the name of Jesus even farther. Jesus knew the better option.
The guy did what Jesus said. He went home to his town and told his story. He told what Jesus did for him. All around his town, people were hearing about Jesus and the difference He had made in this guy’s life. He was spreading the gospel with his own story, and “All the people were amazed.” (v.20)
The demons begged Jesus to let them leave, and this guy begged Jesus to let him stay. But Jesus knew best. This guy’s story would make a difference, and not just to his family and friends, but to his entire town.

Jill Briscoe is, among other things, a wonderful speaker. If you have never heard her, you need to. Anyway, in a sermon she was giving, one thing she said made such an impact on me.
“You go where you’re sent, and you stay where you’re put, and you give what you’ve got.”
The perfect formula for obedience.

Our guy in Scripture did this very thing. He went home where Jesus sent him, he stayed in his town, and he told his story, just like Jesus told him to do. This resulted in an entire town amazed at what Jesus had done.

If you ever feel like your calling isn’t big enough, I hope you can remember this. I’m sure being one of Jesus’ followers would have seemed like a big deal, and just going back home was completely ordinary. But his ordinary calling is what made the most difference. Even the things that seem simple or ordinary can be made into something extraordinary in the hands of Jesus.
Your story might not seem big enough, but trust me, it is. Someone is needing to hear it.



Despite their fear


I love vacations. Small or big, there is something so fun about packing your things with the people you love and getting in the car (or plane, or bus, or train, whatevs.). Thirteen rest stops and food breaks later, we are resting and relaxing (or going and doing, depending on the trip).

One of our favorite vacations has been to Orlando, Florida. The first time we visited that city, we Disney’ed it up! Going from park to park with some great friends and our tiny children. Theme park trips are definitely the “going and doing” kind of trips. So fun.

Each day was a new adventure! A day at Magic Kingdom with Mickey and Donald and It’s a Small World! A day at Hollywood Studios with the giant Honey I Shrunk the Kids play-land! A day driving down to Clearwater Beach playing volleyball! A day at Epcot Center – ok, I don’t really remember what we did there, and I remember it wasn’t our favorite (I am pretty sure it was at this point Shawn had reached his limit with “the mouse” as he un-affectionately referred to Mickey and his open hand, taking more money every chance he got), but I can say with certainty it was equally exhausting! A day at Animal Kingdom with a safari ride and grownups taking turns riding Expedition Everest until the park closed!

It was so fun! And so tiring! (I feel like I need a nap just remembering it)

Then add on the 13 hour drive home.

When you see the “Welcome to West Virginia,” there is just something about it that brings comfort. Almost home.

While going away is so fun and wonderful, going back home is a feeling that settles deep down in your soul.

In the book of Ezra, the Jewish people had been away from their home for so many years – a lifetime for some of them. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken control of their land and sent them packing to Babylon under his control. Fast-forward  a bunch of years, and a new king, Cyrus the Great of Persia, takes over Babylon and does things differently. He allows them to go back to Jerusalem. He wants them to return to their land and to rebuild their temple to their God.

Great news, right? Going home, such a relief.  God let the people know if He wanted them to go there to be part of this rebuilding, and those people set off.

You can almost sense that peaceful feeling settling in their hearts as they saw the “Welcome to Jerusalem” sign. Finally home.

As that feeling settled in their hearts, and they settled in their homes, it was time to rebuild.

The first step was to build a simple altar to sacrifice offerings to God. That sounds pretty easy.

Sometimes the first step is the hardest to make.

They were a little afraid. There were people around them who weren’t on board with the plan to rebuild the temple, and would eventually make it known to them and stand in their way for many years. But for now, they had an altar to build.

Ezra 3:3 says this: Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.”

Despite their fear.

The fear was there and it was legitimate. But they kept going, despite their fear. And they didn’t do a partial job. They built that altar. They built it on a foundation – not something that they could take apart when it wasn’t in use so people might not notice. They sacrificed those offerings right on it to the Lord, just as they knew to do. And not just once, but both morning and evening sacrifices.

Despite their fear.

What a great example!

Do you have something God is asking you to do? Only you and He know what that might be, but don’t neglect it. Do you have conflicting feelings – excited for God to use you, but mixed in with a pinch of terrifying?

Do it anyway.

God doesn’t usually have us stay un-stretched and un-challenged and un-growing for long. He is constantly shaping us to be more like Him, and believe me, you will want this to happen. Despite your fear, do the thing.

Sometimes God asks us to do a big thing – begin a ministry, care for an orphan, move . And sometimes the thing is a seemingly small thing – make the phonecall, babysit the children, introduce yourself. Each one of these bigs and smalls is so important. God doesn’t pass out jobs for our amusement. They serve a purpose. And what an honor to be part of His plan!

Don’t let fear stop you from the big things, and don’t let the feelings of insignificance stop you from doing the small things.

Take a few minutes today and pray about the thing that might be bringing you fear. He will bring you courage.  And if you haven’t heard Him assigning you any job to do lately, pray about that, letting Him know you are willing.

And if you want to share what God has put on your heart, I would love to pray for you as you find your courage!