Bubble People

This morning as I enjoy day two of my STAY-CATION, (day one was a little rough due to sleep deprivation and a sinus headache) I am reading about my main man Paul (Bible man, not husband man–that main man is Tim). Anyhow, in reading about Paul, I notice that he was in prison, having done nothing wrong but preach that people should repent and turn to God, proving their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20) Imagine that, people getting upset about the truth.

BUT. . . . into prison and on his way to Rome he goes. People who hear his story know he isn’t guilty of anything, but at this point what’s a guy going to do? God wants Paul in Rome. So to Rome he will go–by boat, or ship or whatever you want to call it. We see that Paul is “on board” with God’s plan, and that he is in the care of a centurian named Julius. We also see that Julius was prone to show kindness to Paul and allowed him, at their first stop, to go see some friends so that they might care for his needs.

Julius was a “bubble person“–Yep! That’s what he was, and so were the unnamed friends who were all about meeting some needs. Paul’s life was filled with some haters, but floating around in the midst of all the anger were these bubble people. He had them in his life, and we have them, too.

Bubble people are those people who are interspersed in your days or weeks or months who add a factor of joy and caring to other wise unpleasantness. I mean the fact of the matter is, alot of the people we come across are not that happy, or helpful or kind, and there are times in our lives and certainly in our ministries that we begin to focus on those people. I heard Craig Jutila once call them “Moses people.” Those people that when you see them they make you want to part!!

But bubble people aren’t like that. Bubble people are like bubbles. They make everything better just by being there, and they don’t even know it! I mean think about it. There are few things going on that bubbles can’t make better. It’s really hard to be around bubbles and not smile–at least a little. They bring a sparkle and a smile and even, yes, even laughter to the crustiest of us. Kids know something we adults often forget. Everything is better with bubbles! (and you, “soap in your eyes is not good” people, you can just read my next post BUBBLE BUSTIN’ PEOPLE) No matter what’s goin’ on there is joy in bubbles.

As I continue to think back to the beginnings of my life in ministry, I first began to think about bubbles when Lucy Swindoll spoke about them at a Women of Faith conference years ago. She was talking in more general terms about our circumstances, but the truth is still simply profound! Although I didn’t think about bubble people until later,the truth is there will be those days, or those weeks, maybe even those months, where you are feeling overwhelmed by bubble busters, and you need to remember the bubble people. People whose very lives, their existance, their momentary presence in a room or in your life changes everything for the better. And those people are around us. They are on our team, they are in our stores, or our neighborhoods, or our kids’ school. They are there, and we are better for them.

So if you are battling a little discouragement, or you have some bubble busters in your ministry right now, be sure to be on the look out for the bubble people around you and take a little time to play with them. Grab a coffee or a Diet Coke or some chocolate or if you must, something healthy, and spend some time enjoying those bubble people in your life because they have the power to change how you look at everything else. When you focus on the joy of the great people in your corner, and the God who has put them there, all the other stuff fades in comparison.

Which is why I love my bubble people prayer from Philippians 1:3
I thank my God everytime I remember the bubble people . I am truly, truly thankful for you.

BARF


Today was one of those days that makes it all worth it. I had just gotten to MOPS when a friend of mine got out of her van with her two sons. The older son was with her today because of parent teacher conferences at the local school. We said hello, and made some chit chat about my favorite color orange when he walks up, looks right at me and says, “BARF!” I was kind of taken back, and I looked down to see if what I was wearing was somehow offensive (I knew I had neither barfed or been barfed upon this morning) and he says again with gusto, “BARF!”

I’m still a little confused, when he says, “Believe, Repent, Admit and Follow!” At this point the light bulb in my head goes off, and I realize that he is talking about a lesson I taught at his week of camp last July.

“You remembered!” I enthusiastically exclaimed, offering up a little high five.

“Oh I remember it all. Every lesson, and so does my friend _____________.” (I’m not giving the names away here).

Well, I have to tell you that those words are now tucked inside one of the pockets of my heart. When a middle school aged boy remembers an entire week of camp lessons, you know you have been part of an amazing God thing in the proportional size of a book of Acts miracle! It’s one of those things you know you can take no credit for, but you still get to stand in awe just knowing that you even got to be a part of it.

And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this little miracle crossed my path on the day after the dean of that week of camp sent out his invitation to return to teach again next year. (Which I was considering saying “no” to due to some scheduling issues.)

So today, if you are a Sunday School teacher, a children’s minister, a preacher, mom, dad, volunteer or anyone doing anything anywhere to help kids know Jesus, I just want to remind you that you are doing something BIG! You are making a difference! You are part of a miracle! So don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t stop pouring your heart and His heart into their hearts.

Oh, and want to know what the BARF lesson was all about??? Check out the “On the Kids’ Menu” page on the blog, and feel free to share one of your best moments in ministry below.