Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dennis and Jannie walk into a bar.......

Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right??

Nope, just the way yesterday that God spoke to me.  So this is my devotion -- you may not agree with everything in it, and that's okay.  Let me preface by saying a few things: 

No. 1 - Dennis and I don't "boycot" restaruants or businesses that sell alcohol.  The way we look at it, if we did that, we would never walk into a Walmart, Kroger, Sams Club, Pizza Hut, etc.... It may not be sold in Russellville, Arkansas stores, but if you are going to boycot any business, then you have to boycot them all -- you can't pick and choose.  That's our opinion.  Again, we can agree to disagree and we can still be friends.

Mark 2:15-17King James Version (KJV)
15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

No. 2 - What I'm fixing to share has nothing to do with etifying us or to say that we did something great.  So please don't read that into my post.

So here we go......

I had to work until 11:00 last night.  So Dennis came into town and we had an early dinner.  We went to Chili's.  We didn't ask, but the waitress set us in the bar area.  The bartender was our waiter some of the time.  He was extremly busy, but was courteous and gave us great service.

There was a gentleman sitting at the end of the bar.  You could tell that he had already had quite a few drinks -- whether there or elsewhere, I don't know.  Anyway, I overheard him ask the bartender for another drink.  The bartender came over to wait on a table and the guy got up and walked out without paying his tab.  Once the bartender realized what happened, he was extremly upset.  I heard some talk about he might have to pay for the tab out of his check, etc...  A couple of guys went outside to find the guy.  I saw them walk back in, but the "stealer" of the drinks wasn't with them. 

It really bothered me.  The bartender came over and apologized to us for loosing his temper, saying things he shouldn't have.  He made the comment that it was stealing and it just wasn't right.  It didn't matter what he was stealing, this guy knew it was wrong.

As we were eating, Bro. Chris' message from Sunday kept coming back to me about showing our love in our actions.  I could tell it was really bothering this guy what had happened.  So as we were getting up to walk out, I walked over and handed him money and told him I was sorry the guy walked out without paying his bill, and put this towards it.  He looked at me in awe and said thank you many, many times.    Did I say everything I should have to him?  Probably not.  Was that money going to solve all of his problems?  Absoultey not.  But I'm hoping that he saw in our actions that even though we didn't know him, we have the love of Jesus in our heart which we should be showering on everyone else -- not just in paying a guy's tab, but in what we say, what we do, how we act, the love we show others, etc.... The list is endless!

It doesn't matter where we are, who we are with or what we are doing.  God can show his love through us and through our actions in any situation.  It would have been easy for us to say, "Please don't put us in the bar area."  But if we had done that, then God wouldn't have placed this guy in front of us to minister to.  We can get so caught up in our forest that we can't see the trees needing to be nurtured right in front of us.  Don't get so caught up in "where you are" that you forget what we are "commanded to do"!

John 13:34King James Version (KJV)
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

I'm so thankful that people are called into the mission field.  But we all have a mission right here in front of us.  Be a witness to those you come in contact with everyday -- your mailman, your barber, your co-workers and even the bartender you don't know.  

It was a little thing for us to do and say, but you could tell it made a BIG impact on him.  Maybe, in the back of his mind, he had prayed -- Lord, send me a sign -- maybe we were it.  You never know.  

Oh, and in case you are wondering -- we did have 2 drinks a piece -- two big mugs full of cold Dr. Pepper!