So, I had something happen to me this week… I have a job but I’ve been in upgrade job search mode for awhile and really focused on that. So, I was driving on I-75, complaining to a colleague about my application/rejection woes, when suddenly a giant black “hood” of a car came flying at me. It hit the front corner of my SUV, scratched my hood, and bounced off my windshield and roof. It scared me to death. My first thought was “Alright God, you’ve got my attention… ” I got off the phone and started thanking Him for being uninjured and for all my blessings. I wonder how many times God does something to get our focus on Him vs ourselves. In 2 Sam 14 it says that “Gods devises ways…” so that an estranged or distant person does not remain estranged to him. What is God devising to keep you close and not estranged and distant?
On July 24th I’ll be a Christian 25 yrs. Before that I only went to church once in my life and that only happened because I had to get married. Since then I estimated I’ve heard about 1,300 communion messages, trying to help me remember the cross. I’ve been asked to speak and lead communion thoughts before many times and I’ve shared a few personal stories…
- I’ve shared about my conversion and how my wife once said “You are the most hard-hearted man I ever met in my life” after telling her I would NEVER come to church or let her read a scripture to me.
- I’ve shared about a painful hypocritical Jewish upbringing and a Bar Mitzvah that I forced to do.
- I’ve shared about my oldest son being attacked/mauled by a dog when he was 5 and the many surgeries that followed.
- I’ve shared about my best friend studying the Bible and confessing to a being involved in a murder and the letters we exchanged from prison.
- I’ve shared some crazy stories about owning and operating STYLE fashion magazine in the 90’s.
Some that I particularly remember others sharing that have stuck with me include…
- A leader sharing how he looked for the smallest piece of the broken bread to remind himself what a crumb he was before God.
- Another leader sharing about how he realized how he found himself being more concerned about brushing off the crumbs falling on his clothes than remembering Jesus on a cross.
- Phil Spadero reminded us that perhaps the first century church had more of a social time with a bit less reverence.
I certainly do not know what helps you to remember, perhaps it’s one of these or maybe it’s another that stands out for you, but there’s one thing that’s pretty clear. God wants our attention. When I was studying the Bible, a leader once said that if the only time you remember God is when you’re nostril deep in quicksand, he’ll put you nostril deep in quicksand… I’m going to focus and remember God and Jesus this week, hopefully without the quicksand or car hood.
Our keynote today involved Gideon and Judges chapter 6. The 4 points were that we need to FIGHT to hear the voice of God, FIGHT the enemy among us, FIGHT the enemy around us, and FIGHT the enemy within us. We learned that Gideon was the least of who most thought would lead God’s people, and even doubted that God could use him, and tested God with the fleece. In the end, Against all odds and all reason, Gideon found the courage to lead and defeat the Midianites, who were even too numerous to count. God can do more than we even hope or imagine, and the story of Gideon proves that true.
Have a GREAT week !