Friday, January 26, 2007

Pete

Pete's a friend of mine who grew up in a messy home with an absentee father and pretty needy mother. In high school, he ran with the only crowd he could relate to and ended up getting caught up in a dangerous and self-destructive lifestyle that alienated him from the traditional Christian religious culture. Sometime after highschool, Pete's way of living sort of deflated in front of his eyes. He began to sense that the habits and rhythms he'd been living didn't lead anywhere he wanted to go; so he started asking God for help in the most generic way possible.

As he prayed, hoping someone was listening, God met Pete right where he was at and began to stir his heart with something that felt like hope or purpose or maybe just spiritual "fresh air". Soon, Pete caught on fire with an overflowing sense of life and love and healing that flowed from heaven like a molten waterfall of red-hot passion. He quit looking to "Christians" for how to live and began looking to Jesus. Pete quicly went from arrogant, despairing, party-hound to smiling, focused, zealot who was living in the Way of Jesus.

A few years later, Pete joined a group of Christ-followers and headed to a Muslim country to bring his Jesus to a people group that God had pressed into his heart. He began learning the language, making friends with the locals, and simply talking to people about the love of Jesus. He didn't start a church service; he didn't build a building; and he doesn't have a budget to speak of. Pete and his friends just had Jesus and each other... and that was enough. In their first year there, Pete started a women's gym. It's turned into a place where Muslim women are discovering they are actually of great worth to God, their Creator, and that they have immense significance and purpose in this life through the Prophet Jesus, Whom they are beginning to realize is part of the Triune God. In addition to the gym, Pete hangs out a lot with devoted Islamic observers, engaging them in conversations that inevitably turn toward the personal, truth-championing, grace-giving Jesus Christ.

Pete's living the life. He's rejected the independent, self-reliant, consumeristic culture of the Western world and is following God, step by step, in the "ministry of reconciliation" Christ calls us into. It's resulted in transformation for Pete, a woman he'll soon call his wife, and a host of changed lives in his relational wake. God called; Pete responded; God blessed. That's the way it's worked for Pete; and that's the way it can work for us.
(Yes, this is a true story. No, his name's not really "Pete".)
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