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May 2004 Archives

May 18, 2004

Made Mighty

1 Samuel 22:2
And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

Distressed, indebted, discontented. Not exactly the group of people you’d choose to build a kingdom with. In addition, you’re responsible for your family who is now fearful for their lives (how to deal with that is a whole other issue). David, who had experienced many victories and had served Saul faithfully, is respected and admired by many (18:30). Still, the only people who gather to him are the 3 d’s – the people who are frustrated with life.

Over these years it does seem like that’s the kind of people who have gathered at NH. They might not have come to us in that immediate condition, nevertheless they often find themselves fitting this description. It seems like a lot of work, especially when you are fighting for your own survival.

The bigger picture is that these people are also the source of David’s “mighty men.” These people become warriors and stand with him through his own challenges. “Mighty men” are not found, they are made, or rather healed, restored, delivered. It is the process of coming out that equips them for the future.

Lord, let it be at NH that we become a mighty people.

May 19, 2004

A prudent wife

Proverbs 19:14
Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Just yesterday I was thinking about how I needed to begin to get more focused on my financial future; retirement, debt reduction, etc. I was even thinking about estalishing a college savings for J & J now. All of these thing are important to do. Neither Jayme and I are expecting any kind of windfall inheiritance in the future.

But most important, I am thankful for the "prudent" wife the Lord has given to me. She is a woman of great common sense and incredible spiritual insight. She really is an asset in my life.

Lord, thank you for making me a rich man by giving me my wife.

May 20, 2004

Belief System

Matthew 11:37
And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"

There are a lot of truths to be found in the story of Lazarus. The one I'm processing today is how we always want God to be preventative. As humans, we never want to go through anything hard. And we think anything God could prevent, he should - hunger, war, and on a less global but as personalltraumaticic scale, bankruptcymiscarriagege, sickness. This thinking even trickles down to inatimate objects - "why God did you let my car break down?" (which happened late last night to Shawn as we were driving home from a meeting in Long Beach). Why do I think that because God could keep something from happening, that He should? I'm not bashing myself in with some warped "predestination" thinking, neither am I portraying God as disinterested in our trouble and sorrow. I'm just wondering why I live with this entitlement that God should spare me of every inconveinience, no matter how big or small.

There is one word that keeps appearing throughout his story: believe (v. 15, 27, 40, 45). At some point in the process, I've got to wrestle with my belief system. Will I believe in my "rights" and believe in God's grace? Will I believe in His mercy and love, or my own righteousness that causes me to feel that God is indebted to me in some way? I'm wanting to learn that just because He can doesn't mean He should, and often it's for my good - to adjust what I actually believe in.

Lord, help me to believe less in my own entitlement and more in You.

May 21, 2004

Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Things?

Proverb 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Last night we were making some plans for the summer - schedules, activities, etc. For some reason, it always seems like we are pressed for time in our planning for the church. Often it seems like without the right amount of lead time our plans fall flat. It seems like it shouldn't be that hard to facilitate ministry in a smaller church. I find it to be really challenging. We often do things in a rush, incomplete, and not completely followed through.

I think diligence has to do with not just doing things right, but doing the right things. Maybe we've not been doing the right things...

Lord, let us know what the right things are and help me move beyond the urgent to the intentional - the things that lead to plenty.

May 25, 2004

When a house is not a house

2 Samuel 7:11
...the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.

The Hebrew word for "house" (bayit) has a couple of different meanings. It does refer to an actual building or structure (even the temple). But it also describes a family, a heritage. The Lord promises that He is going to make David into a house. God is going to initiate and estabish a heritage before He is going to build a palace and a kingdom.

The theme for our church this year is "Built Together" (1 Peter 2:4-5). My desire was that we would build our church together and see it grow. I tended to focus on structure and programs (because that's what I can control). I'm feeling now like God is wanting to build us...to make us a house...to develop a foundation and a spiritual heritage.

I've got some thoughts on what He might be up to in this season that I'm processing. I want there to be a spiritual DNA in our family of God's presence. David wanted to build a "house" for God. Instead, God wanted to make a "house" of David.

Lord, make a house of us.

About May 2004

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in May 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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