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 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 ESV

I have gone fishing. Once. It was an experience that turned into quite the fiasco. A debacle of epic proportions.

My baby boy, with his thatch of soft blond fuzz, chubby cheeks, and big blue eyes, was just at the pinnacle of setting up.

Back in that little farm house, ( more here https://tlmashburn.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/a-peek-through-the-window/), living on pennies, with little to do for entertainment; I strapped the happy little bundle into a stroller. His Daddy gathered up some equipment and we proceeded to trek over hills and meadows to the very edge of the property, a good distance from the house. Baby boy’s little head bouncing and bobbing in the stroller as I pushed him over the bumpy terrain.

There, a creek trickled through. Just deep enough, wide enough, for a few fish to be meandering about.

A plump, wiggly worm was skewered onto my hook. From there, well, let’s just say it all went down hill. A sissy girl through and through, I was completely grossed out by this violent act.

I sat on the bank, rod in hand, listened to the trickle of the creek. Birds overhead singing. Baby boy and I had settled into a peaceful rhythm, now that the worm and hook had disappeared below the surface. I eased back on my elbows, his eyelids began to droop.

For just a few minutes there, life was good, for a sissified girl like me. Until the unthinkable happened.

I was dive bombed by one of those deceiving, singing birds; a splat landed on the top of my head!

As if the worm had not grossed me out enough, I can assure the bird poop plastered in my hair was more than I could take.

Tossing the fishing rod and all manner of ugly behavior around, I grabbed the stroller and baby boy. As loud, obnoxious laughter faded in the background, I stomped back to the house.

That was my one and only fishing gig.

***

Thirty plus years later, the urge to fish again has grown strong.

A different kind of fishing. Fishing for people. The lost and unsaved, the broken and hurting, the drifter, the rebel, the soul, chasing and longing for a different way.

Last fall I read Jim Putman’s book Real-Life Discipleship. I was sold.

“God designed Christianity to spread across the earth like the common cold: through contact.” Jim Putman~Real Life Discipleship 

This past week, my man and I, along with some others from our church family, were blessed to attend an Immersion Conference: Becoming A Disciple Making Church.

After coffee and scones, a time of worship, I found myself sitting in a circle with a small group. A few familiar faces, the rest, not.

Intentional leadership, building relationships, “storying” God’s Word, was modeled and learned.

Games were played, connections made, relationships built. Walls came tumbling down. Souls were bared.

When intentional relationships are made and cultivated…the heart is laid open…the fields become white for harvest.

New breath, breathed into my heart. A fire ignited.

I wanted, want to be a part of this. This thing of making disciples.

I want to cast my rod and be a fisher of men. I want to lead and mentor and make disciples.

My heart squeezed tight for the lost, the unchurched, the unreached.

“…Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see the that the fields are white for harvest.” John 4:35b ESV

I confess, I often take the easy, less awkward way. Choosing not to cast my rod. Choosing not to share the Gospel. Staying within the boundaries of my comfort zone.

I left Immersion marked and forever changed. I pray the fire God ignited in that place will grow hotter and brighter. My courage and boldness, bigger. The urge to carry this thing through, stronger each day.

Throw caution to the wind. Chase the ways of Jesus wild and free. With total abandon and crazy love.

I challenge you today, to do the same.

“The word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14 The Message

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn