Divine Appointments

Random act of kindness. I have grown to dislike this phrase. Many times when a church steps out into the community to show God's love in tangible and practical ways, it is seen as the church randomly showing kindness. This phrase, which I have used often, does not take into account the fact that God is not random. We do not serve a random God! Nowhere in the biblical account of God's character, do we ever see randomness. What we do see, however, is purpose. We see a God that is purposeful in everything He does and in everything He calls us to do. This purposefulness extends in the way God is using us to reconcile a lost and dying world. I love the verse John 6:44 where Jesus says:

"No one can come to Me except those who God draws"

This verse gives us insight that we serve a God that is not random, but that is meticulous in the way that He draws people to Jesus. When we understand this, we understand that when we show God's love in practical ways in the community, it is anything but random.

When we step out and show love and kindness in practical ways, God goes before us and creates what we like to call Divine Appointments. One of my favorite Divine Appointment stories comes from my friend Hannah and her neighbor:

One day after pulling into her driveway, Hannah was getting out of her car. She was blindsided by a huge hug from a lady who lived in her neighborhood. Hannah, not knowing this woman, looked startled and asked the woman if she needed help. The lady laughed and said no, but went on to tell Hannah why she was so happy to see her. The lady said that several months ago Hannah's church came by and gave her a package of dum dum's with a card that simply said, "Just for you, Just because. We hope this small gift brightens your day... there are no strings attached, we just want you to know that God loves you." Hannah's neighbor told her that from the kindness she was shown, she was compelled to come to the church gathering on Easter Sunday and surrendered her life to Christ.


Wow! This woman will be the first to tell you that this stuff is not random, but the story did not stop there.

She went on telling Hannah that her daughter was home from University a few months after Easter. This woman began sharing her new love for Jesus to her daughter and invited her to also give her life to Christ. The daughter became very upset and started raising her voice saying, "Why would I believe in a God that has never been present in my life! Why would I believe in a God that has never shown up!" Hannah's neighbor said that as soon as her daughter finished that sentence, there was a knock on the door. As Hannah's neighbor and her daughter answered the door they were shocked to find a team from Hannah's church that was showing God's kindness in practical ways by giving out free pop and popcorn for a free movie night to people in that neighborhood. The team gave out all the supplies for the free movie night and then prayed for Hannah's neighbor and daughter and left.


The daughter's jaw must have dropped! She went from shouting that God was nowhere to be found in her life, to having a group of believers at her doorstep showing her free kindness and praying for her. I can't tell you that the daughter got on her knees and surrendered her life to Jesus right then and there, but if she does ever make that decision, she will look back at this moment as a time that God was whispering "Come to me"

God is not random. I believe that God has a purpose and that He sets up divine appointments each and every time we set out to show His kindness in practical ways. We pray that the Stirring community will be sensitive to the ways God has gone before the church to create many purposeful connections, and many divine appointments.

- Austin



Austin and Ashley Cooper are passionate believers from Weatherford, Texas USA. They have recently arrived in Canada to plant a Church in Port Coquitlam as a part of the Church on the Rock Global Family. They believe whole hardheartedly in extending Gods' Kingdom, and have run missional outreaches for a number of years. Their fun and unique expression of Christianity has become a powerful influence in the lives of people, and we think God really enjoys it! They are a family of four, having two beautiful children named Judah and Ezra.

WEBSITE - Kindness Outreach

Paying Attention

"I am in a season at the moment where my life seems a bit small. After being ill and off work for 5 months, I've been working part time, coming home and going to bed quite early. I feel fine but residual effects of the illness plus still being prone to infection, and taking anti-biotics has my energy level not back to where it should be. I prayed a few weeks back for opportunities to be useful, to be active in the Kingdom in spite of where I'm at.

A couple of days later, standing in line at a drug store I was behind a very elderly woman who had a few things that came to under $11.00. Her card was declined a few times. She rummaged in her purse and found $6.00 in change. She was becoming obviously upset and embarrassed so I offered to help. She was saying no but I asked the cashier what she needed. I paid, reassuring this lady that I had had times when I needed help. She burst into tears and hugged me. I told her I believed in a kind God and if we were all just a little bit kinder to one another the world would be a much better place.

Since then I have had this opportunity 3 more times. I've also started not retrieving my quarter or loonies when I get a shopping cart. Not about the money but I started doing this when I saw a woman with 2 toddlers trying to find a quarter. I've been in that place; Fractious kids, pouring rain and no flipping coin! So now I just leave a cart for someone else to use.

I also had the experience of being able to help a woman whose ADD son was having a meltdown in the mall. My grandson has this and when these kids get angry or frustrated and lose control it's very difficult. I felt so bad as people were making rude comments about her parenting and calling the child some ugly names. I prayed 'Lord what do I do?' 'Help her', was the answer. So I helped her stop him from pulling her hair. The presence of a stranger intervening calmed him a bit and we moved to a bench. She was upset and shaken. I bought some water and we sat for a bit and she told me some of her story and I shared some of mine. Everyone was smiling when we said goodbye.

So I write this to say that no matter how little or large your life is. If you're looking, listening and paying attention there is always something to do that matters in the Kingdom."

Thanks for sharing. Keep spreading the Good News!