"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
August 20, 2014
I attended a small rural high school. I don't know how they do things there now, because the school has probably tripled in size since I attended, but for many years both the junior and senior classes would each perform a play each year. The students would audition for the various roles, practice for several weeks, then perform it during the morning for the entire school and again that evening for the community.
The year I was a junior, the play we performed was entitled "Murder in the Magnolias". It was a murder mystery that took place on a plantation in the deep south. I play the role of the maid. At the end of the school year during the awards ceremony, I was given the award for Best Supporting Actress.
In Exodus 17:8-18 we read the story about the Israelites first battle after Moses delivering them from the Egyptians. At the time they were camped at Rephidim. After their arrival there, they found that there was no water for the people to drink. They began complaining against Moses, demanding that he give them water to drink. They continued murmuring and saying, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?" Moses cried out to the Lord, asking what he should do. God told him to walk out in front of the people, take his staff and call some of the elders to join him. Moses was instructed to strike the rock, and water would come gushing out, and the people would be able to drink. Moses obeyed God, and that is exactly what happened.
Afterwards, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua to choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek. Moses said, "Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand." Joshua did as he had been instructed by Moses. Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the army of Amalek gained the advantage. Moses' arms soon became so tired and heavy that he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for Moses to sit on. They they stood on each side of him, holding up his hands, so that they could remain steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua and the men of Israel won the battle against Amalek.
In this story, Moses played a major role in the battle against Amalek. He wasn't a soldier fighting against the enemy, but he was instrumental in their victory by holding his staff, which God used to bring about many miracles, in his hand. But after hours of holding the staff up, his arms grew heavy and weak and he didn't have the strength to hold them up any longer.
Aaron and Hur played supporting roles during the battle. If not for them, Moses would have been unable to continue holding the staff up and the battle would have been lost. What they did played a huge role, even though they may not have been as important as Moses or Joshua.
While traveling, Jon and I have seen many different types of bridges; some interesting, some really cool, some not so pretty, etc. When we look at the bridge, we may comment on our observations of what we think. But we never discuss the supports underneath the bridge. We talk about what is visible to the eye. But the truth is, there would be no bridge if it weren't for the supports.
God recently spoke to me about my role as a support. Different people have different roles; some visible, some not, some pretty, some not; but they all have their function and are all needed and a necessity. I had never thought of myself in that role prior to this. I had been praying and asking God to show me what my role in life was and to reveal to me what He calls me.... how He sees me.
For example, at 49 years of age, I'm never going to be a mother or grandmother. Those are roles I will never ever have. But God has used me to be a support for one of my sisters and her family. I've been available to help out when needed in many different ways. I've babysat, cleaned, ran errands, traveled, cooked, etc..... I believe that God directed my steps so that I don't have to work outside the home so that I could be available to fill this role, because it's one that has been needed.
At times it's easy to look at others and think they should be more involved in various things, or should be more helpful, or should step into a different role than what we think we see them in; but we may not know what roles God is using them in. It may be in a supportive role that isn't visible to others and may be very low-key.
Perhaps someone's role is to be a prayer warrior. They may pray and do warfare on behalf of others in the privacy of their own home, where others will never see. Others may have the role of being an encourager; sending cards, emails, calls, speaking words that help and uplift at the right time.
We must remember that we all have different roles that God gives us. Some may be Moses and Joshua type roles, while others are along the lines of Aaron and Hur. Some are the bridge, while others are the support. But it takes us each working together and doing what God desires of us in order to accomplish the most. We are all important and vital to the kingdom of God!!
Lately, it seems like I've been more itchy when I want to get to sleep than usual for Summer. I try to ignore it sometimes, but it usually just seems to get worse and worse till I scratch it. And once I do, I start to itch somewhere else. A lot of times, the itch will move back to where I itched first. Eventually, it quits, and I can get some sleep.
Sometimes, it seems like Satan's attacks follow the same pattern. A demon might prod us and poke at us. We can try to ignore it. We can hope it'll go away. Or we can pray for help, resist, and scratch it away. Then another demon will come up and needle us in some other way. We resist, pray, and get rid of it, only to have the first one come back. Keep resisting. Eventually Satan will give up for a time, and we can get some rest.
By the way, I'm going to go ahead and add a new feature to the Gray Sheep website. It isn't really ready to share, yet, but I'm too eager to wait. It's a Bible Genealogy program. It's a little awkward, still, but I have entered Genesis through a few generations past Noah. If anyone is interested in entering more people, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll share how (you'll need to e-mail a 'dump' to us), or wait a few weeks and I might get it working. Please have fun with it, and watch it grow! The site is: http://www.graysheep.org/Genealogy.
2 lb. Round Steak
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 can Water
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
Flour (to dredge meat)
Tenderize meat, if needed. Cut meat into strips. Mix flour, salt, and pepper together; roll meat in flour mixture to coat. Heat oil in skillet, then brown the meat. Take the meat out and place in oven dish or crock-pot. (You may need to add more oil to the skillet and brown half the meat at a time; or add more oil if the skillet gets too dry so that the meat isn't browning.) Leave the oil and drippings in the skillet to make a gravy. Put onions in pan and cook a few minutes to soften; add mushroom soup and water. Bring to a boil and then pour over meat. Bake in 350 oven until the meat absorbs most of the gravy and is tender, about 1 hour or longer. Or you can cook in a crock-pot on high for 2-3 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes or serve over cooked egg noodles.
Memory verse for this week 1 Peter 4:10 (I will give you 4 different versions so you can choose which you prefer):
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (KJV)
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. (NIV)
God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (NLT)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (ESV)
If you don't believe in cooperation, look what happens when a car loses one of its wheels. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon