Archive for July 2nd, 2010

During that night the LORD said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands.  If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah …”  Judges 7:9-10

So back to Gideon for a minute.  Let’s run it down real quick…

winepress hiding…Great Warrior…Who me?…offering…fire…wow….Altar of Baal…Asherah pole….Broken down…burnt offering to the Lord…..who did it….let Baal defend himself….Midianites….Amelakites….Spirit of the Lord…fleeces…32,000…10,000…300 and here we are. 

God wants Gideon go after more than 100,000 with 300 and IF he is afraid God has an even better plan.  Walk into the enemy camp, just two of you.  I have no idea how difficult it would be for the Midianites to recognize two Jews among them.  Regardless it doesn’t seem like a great plan to me.  But often God calls us to walk into and through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  It is there in that valley that we can receive the greatest encouragement.  It is there in the valley that our faith is affirmed.  I think of David and Saul, Daniel and the lion’s den, three young men and a fiery furnace

 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.  Judges 7:12

“As thick as locust”, most of us have not had a opportunity to see a locust swarm utterly destroy an entire agricultural area.  I have seen videos but I am sure it cannot compare to feeling of the locusts beating against your body as you desperately try to salvage the crop that is your life.  This would have been a very pointed picture to the people of the day.  It alludes to more than just the number.  Locusts are incredibly destructive and in this time period the people had no defense.  I can almost hear Gideon describing the Midianite army to his grandchildren and their squeals as he describes them as a huge swarm of locusts.

   Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”  His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”  When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.”  Judges 7:12-15

God supplied exactly the encouragement that Gideon needed and he supplied it from the mouth of the enemy.  God has it ALL under control.  Trust Him and he will demonstrate it over and over.  Gideon’s encouragement came from the object of his discouragement.  God recognized Gideon’s fear, drew him to it and then blew it away.  If we trust Him with the object of our fear and discouragement, He will blow it away. 

 

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Another awesome day at the Lewis House.  It started off a little rough with Allana down with a bad cold.  She is still wrestling with the sniffles now but looks and feels better.  Stacey, one of the full-time workers here, took Robert (instead of me because of Allana’s condition) to Sydney (I don’t know if I spelled that right) to stop at a ministry that helps to supply our foodbank here.   We were getting a little thin in the pantry.  I know this is a big problem for  food driven ministries now.  Fishes n Loaves in Adrian is running low on food also.  So if you have extra or want to donate to a food pantry now is a good time.  There is almost certainly some sort of Organization helped to feed the poor who could really use your help.

So since I did not go to the foodbank, I got to move furniture and sweep floors.  We prepared the floor in the  fellowship hall to be power washed which we are doing tomorrow.  Sami and Emily did an awesome job carrying about 100 chairs up two flights of stairs from the hall to the auditorium.  George and I stacked tables and swept.  George had previously finished putting the plugs in for the lighting.  As we moved the furniture we planned out our plan of attack tomorrow.  By the time we were done the place was ready for powerwashing.  This is a very different face of ministry.  Yet it is ministry.  We need to stop narrowly defining what is and is not ministry.  I believe at least in part this was Martha’s issue in Luke 10.  Martha thought she had a lock on what the ministry should look like, and she WAS ministering.  Her mistake was thinking that Mary had to be serving in the same way.  You may be called to be Martha and called to be Mary all in the same day.  We were blessed to be Martha this morning.

Later in the day one of the regular attenders to our Friday night meeting brought in a homeless man whom she came across in the Kroger parking lot.  George was busy so I put together a food box for him and prayed with him.  God said love him…so I did.  It was a learning experience.  Don’t judge…love.  Don’t assign blame for his circumstance…love.  Don’t be the cynic…love.  It felt good.  I may try some more of this loving the people that God loves even when my flesh wants to be cynical thing…It feels good when you can feel God smile.

Dinner was a potluck affair with some of our regular Friday night crew and people from the neighborhood.  WHAT A BLESSING!  We had a great night of fellowship.  Relational ministry, love the people that God love’s.  Definitely the lesson for today.  Love the unlovable.  Love that family member who is a pain.  Love your neighbor.  Love the little kid down the street who is desperate for any kind of attention.  Love the brothers and sisters in Christ  who are all around us. 

Robert had an awesome day on his trip.  He has been so awesome with the kids here.  Plus they got chickens, not frozen oven roasters, real live chickens.  You can see a picture of Emily holding one of the chicks in my facebook mobile uploads album.  The kids in the neighborhood when wild.  They mobbed Stacy when she pulled back into the neighborhood.  She had called one of the Mom’s and let her know that live chicks were coming.  Stacy spent time letting them all see the chicks.  Relational ministry, Love them.  Love the little children who mob you.  Love their silly questions.  Show them God in action.  It requires love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Hmmm I think I have heard that somewhere before.  I guess I need to do more than memorize it.

Pray for Allana that she feels better soon.  Pray for the people in our neighborhood, that they would know Jesus!  Pray for the people in your neighborhood, that they would know Jesus…then show him to them.

God Bless and Goodnight

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