Friday, June 18, 2021

FMF: Lift

When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.  Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.  At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out.
(Numbers 9:19-23a, NIV)

In trying to follow God's will for my life, I have found that He has sometimes led me places I don't entirely love.  I have remained at jobs for longer than I wanted because that was how God was providing for my family during those days. I have delayed from doing things I felt I should do because there was no way for it to happen, and then one day, God made a way. God's timing doesn't always make sense. Why did the Israelites camp some places only one night and camp other places for longer periods of time?

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter why.  It's not too different from young children who bombard their parents with "but whyyyyyyy?"

Because.

God's "because" doesn't give me the warm fuzzy feeling I want from my faith, but I don't recall reading about warm fuzzies in scripture.

And in Numbers 9, we see the mysterious nature of God.  The God who sometimes settles His Spirit and sometimes lifts it up.  It is our job to keep watching.  And to follow.



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This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday
and was written in approximately five minutes.
For more information, visit fiveminutefriday.com.
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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Camp Bound

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
(Romans 5:8, TLB)

Today was a milestone day in our house: my oldest son moved out, sort of. We packed up his things and drove him to a campground about two hours away, where he will live and work for the next two and a half months. Of course all the normal parental emotions welled up inside me.  There was some stress trying to make sure he had everything he would need ("How much underwear are you taking?") and that he knew all the important things he would need to know ("Do you know about tipping at restaurants?").  There was some nervousness as I wondered if he'd miss home or have a hard time making friends. And of course, I was excited for him thinking about how much fun he'd have and all the memories he'd make.

There was also a sense of nostalgia as I remembered the multiple summers I spent at that very campground. It was on that property that I learned how to be away from home, how to make decisions for myself, and so many other things. I laughed, and made friends, and cried.

But the most important experience I had at that campground was deciding to follow Christ. It's amazing to think my son will sit in the same ampitheatre where I first heard God call my name. It was there that I learned about God's great love for me, and I pray that my son has similar experiences.

Friday, June 11, 2021

FMF: Disagree

Stay away from foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they grow into quarrels. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and patient. The Lord’s servant must gently teach those who disagree. Then maybe God will let them change their minds so they can accept the truth. And they may wake up and escape from the trap of the devil, who catches them to do what he wants. (2 Timothy 2:23-26, NCV)


I'm graduating college today.  Well, as much as any one "graduates" in a school district that is still closed for the pandemic. One of the most important things I've learned over the past two years is to agree-to-disagree with others in my educational community.  Sometimes I disagreed with classmates on trivial things.  Did they matter?  No, so it was easy to let it go while getting to know them. Other times, disagreements were more substantial.  I'll never forget the professor who taught adamently against racism and in the same class said that "Mexicans like Impalas."  Did I disagree with her blind hypocrisy?  Absolutely.  Was I ever going to change her?  Never.

Yet, when it comes to matters of my faith community, the agree-to-disagree situation is more challenging. In Paul's letter to Timothy it's clear that he's not talking about trivial things; he's talking about important issues that believers were letting the devil use to "gain a foothold"  in their spiritual walks, as Paul writes in Ephesians 4.  Paul doesn't tell the leaders to argue with them until they realize the error of their ways. His instructions are to be gentle.  To be kind.  To be patient.  To let the Holy Spirit do what the Holy Spirit does becuase only God would be able to let them see the truth.



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This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday
and was written in approximately five minutes.
For more information, visit fiveminutefriday.com.
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Friday, June 4, 2021

FMF: Slow

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

But the Lord said to him, “Who has made the human mouth? Or who makes anyone unable to speak or deaf, or able to see or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I Myself will be with your mouth, and instruct you in what you are to say.”
(Exodus 4:10-12, NASB)


I've often wondered what was wrong with Moses.  Did he have a stutter?  A stammer?  A lisp?  Coming from a family familiar with speech delays, it's been a quality of Moses that I've considered more than once.

When my sister was about three, she saw a speech therapist.  My family cherishes a cassette tape they have of her singing.  What family wouldn't cherish a little child singing at that age?  Did it matter that the sounds weren't exact?  Absolutely not.  It was endearing.

I myself struggled with pronunciation when I was small.  It wasn't yellow; it was yeh-whoa.  It wasn't a cheeseburger; it was a chee-buh-guh.

And when I became a parent, I discovered that both of my sons needed help with language.  When my oldest saw a speech therapist, she emphasized how much he spoke.  That wasn't news to me!  He still loves to talk.  A lot.

But with any of us - my sons, me, my sister, Moses - what was wrong with us?

In a word: Nothing.

For whatever reason, this was how God made us.



* * *
This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday
and was written in approximately five minutes.
For more information, visit fiveminutefriday.com.
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For another speech therapy anecdote, you can read about my son's first session here: Ka- Ka- King.