One of my most favorite parts of being a mother is reading aloud to my children. It is something I have done since they were fresh from the womb and I have done it almost every day since. We have read all kinds of books, from fiction to biographys. Serious books. Books of christian martyrs. You name it we have read it or something like it. Today we just started the old book In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon. Upon reading the first chapter with them this morning I was startled by the timeliness of it. If you haven't read it let me share a little with you. I will try to be short;) A tramp comes into the congregation of First Church and flips everyones world upside down with a question. The question was "What does it mean when you say you follow Jesus?". Last night as I couldn't sleep..again...I had one thought in my mind. The thought was can we hear Jesus. If Jesus speaks to us, and the Bible says He does, can we hear Him over the noise of our lives? Or does our wants, needs, thoughts, desires drown Him out? We have our own agendas for our lives. And being good Christians we include Jesus...in a box...marked Sunday or Wednesday. Please don't think I am pointing fingers cause I am not! To be terribly honest one of my own ongoing thoughts is how very much I loathe the carpet in my kitchen and the fact that I want desperately a new living room suit! I am ashamed to confess to you that I have thought on these two things so very very much that I don't think I have heard very much from Jesus lately. Or maybe I have I just have tried to turn up the volume of other things so I wouldn't have to let go of my pursuit of my southern living dream. Oh sure you can make any pursuit seem holy. I mean after all I AM adopting and I NEED a nice comfortable home for my family. Please hear me I am not saying having nice things is wrong. Simply the focus of having them and letting that or what ever fills the blank for you, consume us. Jesus has snapped me to attention this month with statistics that I have shared with you and others like every 2.2 seconds an orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home. You read that right EVERY 2.2 SECONDS! Every day. What does it mean to follow Jesus? We sing about it. We talk, alot, about it. To follow means to copy after, to imitate. Does that hurt anyone else?? Do our lives copy, do we imitate the words of our Jesus? Something to think about. Something to consider as we get ready to observe our first Orphan Sunday this weekend. What is Jesus saying to us? How do we need to adjust our lives accordingly? How will these adjustments change the world for Him? Or how will they not if we don't? Again I hope you hear my heart and don't misunderstand my words. I am, as I shared, a sinner, too. I will leave you with the words from the book. The tramp is in the middle of his speech and shares he had sat outside on the steps of a church and could over hear the words coming from those inside "...but what I feel puzzled about is what is meant by following Jesus....Do you mean that you are suffering and denying yourselves and trying to save lost, suffering humanity just as I understand Jesus did? What do you meam by it?" What DO we mean?