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The Christian Bookstore

  • The Christian Bookstore from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: 

    Today I want to talk about: “The Christian Bookstore”. When I got serious with seeking God, I'm talking about praying with my face on the carpet, fasting, listening to the Bible all day and night, I just wanted more, more, more of Him. I lived, slept, and breathed Jesus. At the time, I worked outside in the heat and the weather all day, and I just dreamed of working in a nice air conditioned, quiet, Christian bookstore and being around other Christians all day. 

    See I love books, reading, air conditioning, I love peace and quiet, and I love Jesus. What could be more fitting for me? What I want to make clear in this message is that sometimes our comfort, and His plan, do not always go hand in hand. Nor did it go that way for many people in the Bible. 

    Let’s start with Joseph. Now Joseph was given 2 dreams by God when he was young. In the first dream, his 11 brothers came and bowed down to him. Then he had a second dream, where the sun, the moon, and 11 stars bowed down to him. 


    Genesis 37:5–8 (NKJV) — Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. 

    Genesis 37:9–11 (NKJV) — Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

    God showed Joseph that he was going to be raised up, but first came something else. The dreams were to give him hope during the times that were coming. Soon his brothers sold Joseph into slavery. He became a servant in Potiphar’s house until the man's wife accused him of attempted rape, then he went to prison for a few years. While he was in prison, two of Pharaohs officers who were in there as well, had dreams one night. Joseph had a gift of dream interpretation, and he interpreted the dreams for them. 

    At this time, Joseph had been in prison for about two years. He had been wrongfully accused, and he should not have been there at all. Joseph was an innocent man. Still, the Lord was with him everywhere that he went, and his gifts of administration were welcomed here. He also got the chance to use his gift of dream interpretation for those around him. Eventually, Joseph was set free from prison, and he became the second-in-command of the most powerful nation in the world.  

    Joseph was set free because he used his gifts right where he was, even while in prison after being wrongfully accused. Prison was not where Joseph wanted to be, or ever thought that he would be. But he kept a positive attitude, and he became known for his gifts of interpreting dreams and administration. 

    Later, when Pharaoh had a dream, Joseph was summoned to interpret it. Because of his gifting and his excellent spirit, Joseph was instantly promoted. If Joseph had become bitter because of his circumstances, and had not used the gifts in his life, then Pharaoh would have never learned about him, and he may have remained in prison. I hope that you can see how important it is to serve God happily right where you are today, and not wait for things to get better. Your attitude while you are waiting, may determine when the situation changes.

    I once had a great paying job with good benefits (by South Carolina standards anyway) as a supervisor over a crew of men. The boss loved me, but I had to work 12 hours every Saturday and Sunday, and I could not attend church. After fasting and praying for a couple of weeks to get closer to God, they suddenly laid me off. 

    I was a bit shocked at first as I did not see it coming, but I just knew in my heart that God had something better in store for me. I felt that I should be working in a Christian bookstore anyway, a quiet Christian environment, listening to the Bible or gentle praise and worship music all day, and talking with others about God. I assumed that He was working on making that happen.

    Wrong. After being out work until the bills began to pile up around me and unable to find a job anywhere, a door finally opened and I had to take a job in the worst, darkest, hole-in-the-wall place that I ever worked in my life. It was horrible in every way. It paid about one-third of what I had been making, and had zero benefits. I operated a buffing machine and polished brass plumbing parts by hand. Everyone that worked there soon became the same color, black from the compounds, and green from the brass dust. 

    It was in an old run down brick building, and the work was dangerous. There were giant roaring belt sanders the size of cars with no safety guards in place. They could cut you in half if you bumped into them. It was loud and dirty. Sometimes, the buffing machine would snatch a big tub faucet away from you, then fire it back at you like a canon. I was hit in the chest and knocked completely down a few times at the start. 

    Almost everyone did drugs openly, shared them with the manager, cursed like sailors, and death metal roared from giant boom boxes. It was a dark, hopeless place and everyone was just hanging on till the weekend. I went into survival mode, kept to myself, and said nothing to anyone. I just worked all day at my machine, played the Bible through my head phones with a CD player, and prayed in the Spirit while buffing parts.

    I prayed about leaving, but I could feel in my spirit that this is where I was supposed to be, and this was no Christian Bookstore. The Lord showed me that I had become a bit prideful in my supervisor job, now He was correcting that, and He gave me the choice of submitting or leaving. I stayed and humbled myself by becoming the best employee that they ever had. I swept the floor, picked up trash, and kept my work area immaculate. Where some polished just enough parts to get by, I was soon polishing 7,000 parts a day. 

    I prayed silently most of the day, listened to the Bible, and fasted about as much as I ate. Though I was pretty fit and muscular at the start, I lost thirty pounds from the combined heat, the work, and the fasting. After a while, things began to change around me. All the people that stayed there became saved on their own accord. We started the day out by praying together in a circle. We attended church together. I soon became the manager, and the Bible played over the intercom all day. People were suddenly hungry for more of God, just like me. What I had, spread through the work place.

    It was now a Christian environment. When I went to church, I would fill my entire row with guests. The pastor loved me. Then as suddenly as it had began, it ended, and the plant merged with another. Then the Lord unexpectedly launched me into my own computer business for the next seventeen years. Just as Paul was shipwrecked on the Isle of Malta while on his way to Rome, my promotion had taken a detour. 

    Sometimes the way of promotion is not lined with roses. I never got to work in that Christian Bookstore. What I can tell you is to serve God where you are, right now. Believe me, it may not be a pretty place, but what you are doing now is preparing you for what is coming in the future. Do it wholeheartedly. Hold nothing back. Leave nothing on the table. Be the best floor sweeper they have ever seen. The Lord knows exactly what you need, and if you will submit to Him, He will provide it. 


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I submit to Your will for my life. Forgive me for thinking that I know what is best, and remove the things that hold me back. Place me where You can use me and speak to me in a way that I understand. I know that You are in full control, that You love me, and I ask that you increase Your presence in my life, whatever the cost, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.


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6 comments
  • 1
Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Amen. God has a plan for all of us. We can accept it joyfully or be mad at God and may never receive what he has in store for us. Thank You, pastor.

 

August 27, 2017
  • 1
Janet Marsh-Lord
Janet Marsh-Lord

Thank you Pastor Dion.Lots of food for thought.I love your life stories...Pastors prayer.Heavenly Father. I submit to Your will for my life. Forgive me for thinking that I know what is best and remove the things that hold me back. Place me where You can use me and speak to me in a way that I understand.I know that You are in full control, that You love me, and I ask that You increase Your presence in my life, what ever the cost, in the name of Jesus I pray.Amen.

August 27, 2017
  • 1
Roseanne Braverman
Roseanne Braverman

Wonderful message and a beautiful prayer.  Thank you!

August 28, 2017
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardleedited: August 28, 2017

Pastor Dion, you said "...sometimes our comfort zone and His plan do not always go hand in hand..."! So true, and I have to say it is so hard to step out of our comfort zone, but we have to many a times to let Him use us, use me, as He sees fit. There is no where else I want to be than in His plan and His will for my life! Thank you for this message!

August 28, 2017
  • 1
Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller

Yes Lord, yes.

August 29, 2017
  • 1
Paula Neace
Paula Neace

Praise God! God bless!

August 30, 2017