THE NEW EWE

"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!'"

Luke 15:4-6

October 11, 2017

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

King David first became a warrior when he ran onto the battlefield and killed the giant, Goliath. From there on out, both during Saul's reign as king as well as when he became king, David spent his life as a great warrior, fighting against other nations.

Because of Saul's disobedience to God, evil spirits began tormenting him. His servants said, "'Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp, and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well. So Saul said to his servants, 'Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.' Then one of the young men said, 'Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.'" (1 Samuel 16:16-18)

David was recognized and seen by others as being a mighty man of valor (meaning great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle) and a warrior.

In 1 Kings 5:3 Solomon is speaking and says, "You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under the soles of his feet."

If you read in the Bible about David's life, you will see where you went out to fight time and time again. That was God's calling and purpose for David. There were enemies that needed to be fought so that Israel could have peace. David desired to see a temple built in Israel, but first he had to overcome all the enemies that came against them. God gave David the courage and ability to fight and be wise in battle and have the heart of a warrior.

David's son, Solomon, was anointed to be king prior when David was lying upon his deathbed. Before David died, all the neighboring enemies had been put to flight and Israel entered a time of peace.

I Chronicles 22:7-9 says, "David said to Solomon, 'My son, I had intended to build a house for the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. Behold a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days."

During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden. They were very contented, with plenty to eat and drink. (1 Kings 4:25, 20) In fact, there was a huge workforce employed in the building of the temple. King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. He sent them to Lebanon in shifts; 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home. He also had 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 quarry workers in the hill country, and 3600 foremen to supervise the work. (1 Kings 5:13-16)

David and Solomon had very different reigns, but both served the purpose that God had ordained for them. What one did wasn't anymore important than the other. David going out over and over again to fight the enemy and spending his life as a warrior, in order to bring peace to all of Israel and Judah, was just as important as Solomon building the temple, and visa-versa.

Today God has very different roles for His children. Some are called to be spiritual warriors -- serving as intercessors; some are called to build the temple; some are called to serve in the temple; some are the worshippers and musicians..... One position isn't any more important than another, but all serve their purpose.

It takes each person walking in total obedience and fulfilling their role in the body of Christ in order for it to be healthy and strong.

Too often people become competitive or have a sense of their position being unnecessary or unimportant, so they fail to fully operate in their God-given position. Sometimes they feel that they're not qualified or wouldn't do well, so they allow fear to keep them from fulfilling their purpose. They make excuses as to why they can't serve where God places them.

Honestly, each position takes perseverance and dedication. It takes each of us constantly listening and obeying and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We have to make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, wherever that may mean for us.

If you are unsure what your role is in the body of Christ, ask the Holy Spirit to show you, then listen and respond! Don't compare or question, but willingly serve wholeheartedly and willingly!!

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

Sometimes it can take a few years to find your calling. People will often try to help. I know they mean well, but someone with a calling to go preach in other countries telling me I should also be a missionary doesn't help. That's not what I'm called to be. And a preacher telling me I should be a preacher isn't right, either. Neither is the church elder telling me I should be the secretary (because they need one) doesn't really know what my calling is, either.

I do have a calling in our church, but it tends to change from time to time, based on circumstances. Most of the time, it is a simple role of support for others. Recently, it's been for building maintenance. It isn't fun, and doesn't look like a calling. But it's important to me, and important for me. So I'm glad I can do my part.

ON THE MENEWE:

Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

2 bunches Kale, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces

12 whole red potatoes, sliced thin

1 onion, chopped

1-1/2 pound Italian sausage

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups whole milk

4 cups half-and-half

Splash of heavy cream

Black pepper, to taste

Prepare the kale and set it aside.

In a medium pot, boil sliced potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, crumble and brown the Italian sausage. Drain as much of the fat as you can. Stir in red pepper flakes, chicken broth, milk, and half-and-half, and black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the potatoes, a splash of heavy cream for richness, then stir in the kale. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, then serve.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

Sometimes God will do things that are so surprising and amazing, that it is hard to really believe. In fact, there are times when we share those stories and people will look at us with disbelief and wonder if we've misconstrued facts or are exaggerating. But I believe that God can do whatever He wants to do and likes to do the unexplainable, in order to get our attention.

That happened to Jon and me a couple of weeks ago. One evening we were walking around outside, and a couple feet off our back porch I happened to look down and saw something white about 2-inches long and 1-inch wide embedded in the dirt. We have very few rocks in our soil here, so it caught my eye. I asked Jon what it was and he bent down and dug it out of the dirt. When he pulled it out he said, "It looks like a cow's tooth." What?!? In the past 12 years that we have lived here we have used a tiller in that area when planting a garden a couple different times; I've dug in that dirt and planted flowers; kids have played and dug in that area.... and it's always been just plain soil with only an occasional rock found in it.

Jon laid it down on a table that is on our back porch and we came inside. After coming inside, I remembered that I had failed to show Jon what Devin's science lessons were for that week. I opened the message that my sister had sent to me and the first topic listed was "Absolute Dating". Jon said, "Hmm.... did you know that you can tell a cow's age by the number of rings on it teeth?" I thought he was joking, so googled it and there was a picture of a cow's tooth... that looked exactly like the one we had just found outside. Jon ran outside and brought it indoors and washed it off. He showed me the two rings, indicating that the cow had been 2 years old when the tooth had been lost.

It blew our minds!! God embedded a cow's tooth in the dirt right off our back porch the night before Jon needed it for a science demonstration!! There is no other explanation!

We live on a busy street in a neighborhood with absolutely no cattle or farmland nearby. The closest we have to a farm is a sod field down the street from us. There is no way that an animal could have found it, brought it to the exact location where we would have found it the night before a science lesson when it was needed, and embedded it in the dirt. There has never been cattle on this property. This house was built in the late-1960's and prior to houses being built, this area was a pecan orchard. Pecan trees were planted in this area (probably) over 100 years ago, with the purpose of being an orchard.

This has encouraged Jon and me so much and has built our faith!! If God loves us enough to bring us a cow's tooth when needed, He can do absolutely anything!!

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage!

Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

http://www.graysheep.org