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Cap’n Commissioner…Reporting for duty

shesharestruth

My first inkling, albeit judgemental, when reading the story about the woman who witnessed to the penniless guy at Starbucks was, “if he was just kicked out of his home and was penniless, then why was he in line at a Starbucks?” Ugh. I really loathe myself sometimes. WHY am I like that?! Could I not see the story for what it really was?! A chance opportunity where God Almighty came and met someone where they needed Him?!
Today’s scriptures are Matthew 28:16, The Great Commission and Mark’s rendition of the Great Commission in Mark 16:14-20.

16–17  Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18–20  Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Mark 16

The Great Commission

14 Afterward mhe appeared pto the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their qunbelief and rhardness of heart, because sthey had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, t“Go into all the world and uproclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation. 16 wWhoever believes and is xbaptized ywill be saved, but zwhoever wdoes not believe will be condemned. 17 And athese signs will accompany those who believe: bin my name they will cast out demons; cthey will speak in new tongues; 18 dthey will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; ethey will lay their hands fon the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then the Lord Jesus, gafter he had spoken to them, hwas taken up into heaven and isat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while jthe Lord worked with them and confirmed kthe message lby accompanying signs.]]

I think, after reading these scriptures, how frustrated I am with myself.  How many planned, chance encounters have I missed, walked away from, just flat out disobeyed because of my own pride?  There’s a lady we go to church with, we’ve grown up with her, she’s our age and also with her husband helps out with our youth group.  I was watching her one Wednesday night after youth group as she was genuinely talking with some ladies in our church who I think are so annoying.  They are needy, clingy, and invade my personal space when I do talk to them.  I keep my distance with them because I worry that if I do talk to them that they’ll latch on to me and not let go.  But Jackie was talking with them, interacting and doing the things I know I should do.  Sharing the love of God with them.  Why am I selective as to whom I share God’s love with?  It was the realization that Jackie was so much more suited for God’s work and was so much better than I.  God doesn’t necessarily love her more or me any less but he may entrust more to her.

I still have so much to learn about the Lord.  It’s truly a daily struggle with myself.  I know I love God and I’m so thankful that He doesn’t EVER give up on me.

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.

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Have Bait…Will Travel.

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Reflection on Jonah 1 and 2

So I’m thinking that this wasn’t the “three hour tour” that Jonah was banking on when he high tailed it to Tarshish.  Hearing God’s voice and request to preach to this town that so desperately needed Him, Jonah busted outta there like Alcatraz.  I never realized what that journey looked like for him until I saw the actual map.
Wow.  He couldn’t have gotten any farther away from Ninevah!

What was in Ninevah that he was so afraid of?  Why did he run so fast and far upon hearing this assignment?  I’m not sure.  But it only took about 4 verses for God to come up on the scene and get all up in Jonah’s business.

What Jonah didn’t realize is that 1) you can’t outrun God and 2) he had his own little Ninevah on the boat.  The sailors prayed to every god they could think of to get out of this mess.  It wasn’t until they prayed to the God Jonah was running from that things changed.  I can imagine their faces in verse 15 and 16, where it says, “They took Jonah and threw him overboard.  Immediately the sea was quieted down.  The sailors were impressed, no longer terrified at the sea, but in awe of God.”  I can imagine them tossing him over, the sea becoming still like a pane of glass and them smugly strutting and brushing their hands together and saying, “Well.  That was easy!”

Enter stage left…giant fish.  This shows me that God will go to ANY measure to get your attention.

Well played Lord.  Well played.  Note to self: next time order the chicken…
Anyway, Jonah’s prayer is so genuine and heartfelt.  An entire chapter is dedicated to his heart’s cry.  But truly, what else would there be to do in the gut of a fish?   I mean, if you can’t find God in this situation…yikes.

Two things happened in Jonah’s prayer:
1) he confessed of his current situation.
2) he gave thanks and praise to God.

Exit stage right…Jonah.
Man I’d hate to be fishing on that shore.
No big.  Just a man coming out of a fish’s belly.  Hey, what’d you do today?

So, all in all this is a great image of God’s grace, mercy and pit bull determination to a) get His people preached to, b) go to any means possible.  Even though you’d think we’d learn by now, we still disobey, we still run, we still hide.
God loves us!
God is for us!
God is with us.

Why would we want to run from that?

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.