JACKSON -- Using scenes from his life and Luke 5:1-11, Vince Blubaugh reminded attendees at M-Counter that "life is not about you" but about God's plan and how each believer fits into it.
Women from across the state gathered at First Baptist Church of Jackson for the Missouri Woman's Missionary Union/women's ministry joint meeting, with the theme "Live Sent -- Unhindered."
The Luke passage describes Jesus' calling the first disciples as they were fishing. The missions pastor for Second Baptist Church in Springfield emphasized the disciples let down their nets at Jesus' command and gave up everything to follow the Lord.
Blubaugh, who had been a church planter and communications director for the Missouri Baptist Convention, shared how suffering a heart attack at 42 and surviving an auto accident in February showed God's hand on his life.
He told how the Lord had provided through a businessman almost half the funds a student at Missouri S&T University needed to serve in China for a summer. "That's the God we serve.... I had been so defeated that day" because of unrest in a country in which a mission team was to serve, "but he put Amy in my path and said, 'Watch me.'"
The missions pastor recounted how he had suffered from cardiac depression for months following surgery. He became afraid to go out and spent days watching Andy Griffith Show reruns on his computer. He even asked God to let him die. But God used a surgeon who diagnosed the problem to pull him out of it.
Blubaugh admitted he questioned, "Really, God?" in the wake of the accident in February. How could the Lord bring him through a heart attack only to have him face possible additional health problems. But God used the accident to pinpoint a hernia that might have caused even more complications.
Peter owned the boat from which the disciples fished the day Jesus called them. He walked away from the equipment he used to earn his livelihood. As fishermen, the disciples gave up everything to follow the Lord. Blubaugh had to be willing to give up everything, as well.
"Some of you here are holding back from the Lord," he challenged listeners. The disciples let down their nets into deep water when Jesus told them to do so, even though the experienced fishermen knew the fish had already moved to shallower water to feed.
All the disciples gave up their lives, including John who lived in isolation, the missions pastor said. "Our problem is we're holding on to the nets...holding on to the fish because we're afraid."
Believers are selfish and self-centered, he declared. God taught him through the heart attack and accident: "Vince isn't all that big a deal."
Several women flocked to the altar to pray when Blubaugh closed the Saturday morning worship with an invitation to give their lives to God.