NO, THAT IS NOT TRUMP
It is a congressman who, after taking pictures of me, insisted on driving me to my train, and then sat in the car with me for 30 minutes, just talking.
Here is something earth-shattering. THESE ARE REGULAR PEOPLE!
If you want to pray for those “big-public” things, please do so, but DO NOT FORGET, these are regular people who need us to pray for their regular-people issues.
Alright, let me jump OFF my “high-horse” and bring you a few laughs, below.
Even When it is Cloudy
After I have prayed with Senators and/or their staff, I will, usually, walk across from the Senate office buildings to the House office buildings.
When I do, this is the scene, before I walk directly in front of the Capitol building.
However, I said this is USUALLY my route. It is NOT the only route. . .
I Didn’t Know That
A few months ago one of the staffers from a Senator’s office walked me down here and then took me on this train (mini-train) to the House Office Buildings.
Before she went back, we prayed.
Imagine the scene. We’re in a corridor and people are walking back and forth behind us. As we said goodbye, I asked her if I could pray with her. She agreed, and so, with more than a few people walking behind us, we bowed our heads and prayed.
What were some of them thinking? I have no idea. But it gave me a Prayer Request I will leave with you.
When the cameras are rolling on C-Span, I’d love to see two Legislators walk up to each other, grasp hands, bow heads, and pray. . .and then walk off in opposite directions.
Some Eat in the Underground Cafeteria
But NOT Me (just don’t tell my wife)
I walked by this vendor about 10am, on my way to an appointment, and believe me, the smell wafting from the cart on Pennsylvania Avenue made me almost stop right then.
The only reason I didn’t is because I knew, had I stopped at 10am, I would have stopped at noon when I walked by it a second time.
If you’re thinking I wimped out and should have stopped twice, YOU’RE RIGHT!
An Ice Cream Chaser
This too was on Pennsylvania Avenue, and on the same little jaunt. I want to share this with you though, because it is a microcosm of the way I deal with finances.
I teach that if God guides, He’ll provide. Many of you know that when I go to a church, I NEVER give them an amount to give me. In fact, I never even ask for my expenses to be reimbursed (much to the chagrin of my board).
Let me give a disclaimer to other ministries. Now, hear me clearly. I am NOT TELLING other ministries to do it my way. NOT AT ALL!!!
I’m just telling you how God and I agreed to handle finances.
You will NEVER hear me beg for money.
I trust God to move on folks’ hearts and they give.
So, what happened here?
Well, as the gentleman who owns this stand was looking for my ice cream we talked about what I was doing in D.C., and when he found out I was there praying with our elected officials he said, “Whoa, let me give this to you as my gift.”
It was very sweet, and very cute, and I was very honored.
But it was EXACTLY what the Lord is doing in this ministry. We will end the year 2019 with a little money in the bank, and in the savings, and we will trust God to take care of the finances in 2020.
Even My FitBit Gets Tired
So, I’m walking along a corridor and meet this guy as I was taking photos of the ceiling fixture globes. They are old and beautiful. We started talking and somehow we talked about the walking we were doing here on Capitol Hill.
Well, he talked about his steps. I talked about my steps. Guy talk, you know. I had only been in town since noon, and after 2 1/2 hours already had nearly 15000 steps. I was stoked!
And I probably acted like it, because he rolled up his sleeve and showed me his watch and his steps.
As I was walking away, dejected, he confessed that the steps included a 5 mile run earier that mortning.
“Whew! My ego was saved.”
And you know what, I’ve got another person I pray for now.
After Passing Him the 3rd Time
In case you’re wondering, I’m not too scared to talk to strangers.
I have learned that when you are early for an appointment with a Senator or Congressman, you DO NOT enter their office, especially if you’re 20 minutes early. Their schedules are SO PACKED and their staff is SO CONSCIENTIOUS about taking care of guests, I routinely wait in the hallway until 5 minutes before my appointment, then I walk in.
So, I was walking around the stairwell before an appointment, in the beautiful Cannon HOB when I saw this guy, whom I had passed by before. I introduced myself and found out he was a minister in his church. We talked and had a great time.
Of course, when we had to part, I prayed for him, and he walked on down the stairs, but halfway down the stairs he turned and looked up to me and said, “Mark, thank you for praying for me.”
Can you say this to the Father with me. “Oh, Lord, forgive me for all those times I DIDN’T pray with someone when I should have.
And Yet, It’s What We All Do When We Just Pray With and For Others
I took this photo on that first day, December 12, 2018. I went up these stairs expecting to find some Congressmen or women who would want me to organize folks in their district, and then start hosting a weekly conference call prayer meeting for them.
Wow! Was I wrong!!!
The very first day, when I heard their prayer requests, I began to realize I needed to do something different, maybe even something else.
I still hadn’t figured it out though. It would be months before I realized my job is to, as simply as posssible, come in behind the scenes and bear their burdens.
How grateful I am the Lord was patient with me.
Not With Me, AT ME
I am not ashamed at all that I am an urbanite. In Atlanta I take MARTA (our train system, often). So, of course, when I am in Washington D.C. I park my rental car out by a D.C. METRO station and take the train into D.C.
I told my wife she doesn’t have to worry, I will not spend the night in a $500.00 room in D.C. until I sell a million books (we have 998,100 more to go).
Nevertheless, I am an urbanite and clearly, I know how to judge which direction to go, to get into downtown, and then, later in the day, to get to my car.
After a long exhausting day, I was glad I could rest on METRO before I had to drive my car. About 6 hours earlier I had taken the inbound train and recognized the train names. So proud of myself was I, that when I listened to the names (being a proud urbanite) I got on the train, heading in the direction I remembered.
There was one mistake, however, when you get on the train name/direction you remembered from the morning, you need to take the same train, but in the opposite direction, at night.
Yes, I went all the way out the train line, in the OPPOSITE direction.
No, I DIDN’T notice it till I got to the end. In fact, it was worse than that. I went OUT OF THE STATION looking for my car. When I realized what I had done, I had to pay again to get back onto the train. But now that I was on the FAR END of the line, it would cost me double.
Look, I’m just a regular guy, not any different from you. I don’t have any special schooling. I have no initials by my name.
I just want to serve. And I want you to serve too.
I’ll never forget one day late in the spring (2019) being in Washington D.C., the most powerful city in the world. The next day I was driving to ABC (I won’t give you the name of the town, because one of the 7 or 8 residents may read this and I don’t want them to be embarrased).
While on my way to ABC, the day after Washingto D.C. I was stopped by a Sherriff’s officer, because of some debris in the road.
I asked him, “Officer, I’m heading to ABC, and I’m only 30 minutes way, is there another route I can take?”
He answered, “Where’s ABC?”
Let God use you, wherever you are.
He wants AVAILABILITY.
Thank you for endulging me, as I shared these memories with you. I’ll be returning to DC mid-January and am tentatively looking at the following dates for next year:
March 31-April 1