Though I was grateful for all my birthday celebrations, I was a little bummed that it looked like I wouldn’t get to see any of my Discipleship Now friends on my birthday weekend, as the church where many of them serve had an event where they were either volunteering or being honored (or both!), at the same time as my party — and Friday night was dinner with family.
I have grown to really value the D-Now community and was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see them at all over the weekend.
Regardless, I enjoyed my garden photos and birthday dinner with the parents. Afterward, Anthony asked me where I’d like to go. I would have said the beach but already when I prayed that morning, I had felt that God did not want me to try to go to the beach that day. I was reminded of the theme I had in mind for my birthday this year: “fountain garden.”
Since we had just gotten to be in a nice garden area by the restaurant, I asked him if we could walk around somewhere with a fountain. He said absolutely! He knew just the spot. A shopping and dining area with a fountain in Brea.
We walked circles around the fountain many times, reminding me of when we prayed circles around a Christian-owned restaurant in a similar-looking location in Bakersfield seven times and saw dramatic change afterward!
When we were in the parking lot on my birthday night, just about to leave the Brea fountain, the idea popped in my head to preach at the fountain.
I questioned whether or not I should really step out and do it. Was this God’s idea or just mine? But then I remembered how Pastor Sharon Ngai, who also had a birthday within this last week, told me one time at Radiance something like, “you have a gift for evangelism, so whenever you feel the nudge, just go for it!” I felt that was a true message from the Lord.
We went to get gas, and on the way, Anthony noticed that I was a little quiet, so he asked me if I was okay. I told him, I think I really should evangelize at the fountain. He said, “Okay, let’s go back!” So we did.
Anthony suggested that, instead of trying to stand at the fountain and shout to everyone, since people were sitting at different tables, that I should stop by the tables one by one.
So, covered by my husband’s blessing and guidance and armed with my pink purse full of Bibles — a bag Christi gave me last year for my birthday — I set out to share about Jesus.
When I went forth toward the tables, who did I first encounter but —
a whole big table full of Discipleship Now people! 😃
I was so happy to see them, especially on my birthday, and especially after thinking, I wouldn’t get to see them at all that weekend! They were having dinner and a Bible study.
After happily greeting them for a bit, I went around to the tables, telling them Jesus loves them, and offering to pray for them and give them a Bible. Though no one took me up on my offer, I was happy I did it, and then we spent in over an hour hanging out with the D-Now crew!
Seeing them was a perfect surprise with which to end my birthday night.
It really is true that when we seek first the Kingdom of God, everything else we would otherwise run after, we simply come across — or receive it as a present.