We Wash Feet

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Archive for the tag “prayer”

Jehoshaphat’s Reaction; My Reaction

This past week I found myself reading in 2 Chronicles 20 and Ephesians 6.

In 2 Chronicles, King Jehoshaphat got word that several armies were on their way to attack them. The Bible says the king called a fast for everyone to come together and seek Gods help. They did the only thing they could, they sought God. In a panic, feeling beyond helpless, discouraged, terrified. They sought God. In verse 12 Jehoshaphat cries out, we are powerless against them. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.

5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. 6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,[d] plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’ 10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.

Our own situations can leave us in that same state of mind.  Our Ammonites and moabites look different from King Jehoshaphat’s but you know that feeling.  Sitting in the intensive care waiting room, a courthouse hallway, or even your own living room.  Feeling desperate, panicked, helpless, and powerless. Ephesians 6 talks about the battle we fight:

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground.

King Jehoshaphat was facing multiple armies set on annihilating his entire kingdom. We are facing an enemy set on annihilating our homes, our children, our marriages, our hope and faith. Our enemy looks different but the solution is still the same. God is our only help and rescue.  When God is speaking through His word in Ephesians chapter 6. He tells us we are fighting spiritual warfare and He instructs us just like He instructs King Jehoshaphat.  He says put on the whole armor of God so you can withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. I use to read Ephesians 6 and pray, “Lord, I’m dressed for battle, my sword and shield are in my hands. I don’t know what else to do. You got to rescue me. I’ve tied a knot and I’m hanging on. A kind of “woe is me” discouraged stance as if I had done everything I could and nothing was working. Then I read about King Jehoshaphat’s reaction. Here’s a king in a hopeless situation, facing certain destruction and what does he do? King Jehoshaphat worshiped the Lord. The people worshiped the Lord. The Levites stood to praise the Lord with a very loud shout. This verse in Ephesians is not saying stand because there’s nothing else I can do.  It’s saying STAND strong and watch God move! King Jehoshaphat’s reaction should be our reaction.

18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout. 20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

Stand strong and worship God! When we proclaim who God is and what He’s done we send the enemy a clear message, reminding him who has already won.worship2

God has already won. The enemy is already defeated. Every time we worship God, we are standing strong against the forces of evil. You want to see your enemy defeated? Worship is the only way. Worship exalts God above all else. It confuses the enemy and destroys his hold on you. It places our focus on Jesus and not on our circumstances. It gives him the opportunity to work all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. His love for us is more than we can fathom. We have so much to worship and praise Him for in our lives. Let’s start now!

Father God,

Thank you Lord, Your faithful love endures forever. You are always with us. You never leave us. You never forsake us. I am strong in you and in your mighty power. I put on the whole armor of God. From the helmet of salvation, guarding my mind and thoughts, to the shoes of peace protecting my steps, I am thankful for the armor you provide and I know your Glory is my rear guard. With you behind me, in front of me and surrounding me, the enemy can only tremble in fright. Thank you for your Word, alive and piercing. Your truth brings hope and healing.  You are my shield and strong tower. Increase my faith as I stand still and see your glory. I fix my eyes on You, Jesus. I sing your praise and no other’s. Your faithful love endures forever.  I stand with my hands raised and praise you.  Thank you for my miracle.

In Jesus name, Amen

 

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This Is Called Community 

IMG_0137We love Friday nights!  We anticipate Friday nights!  We often plan events as to not conflict with our Friday Night Meatballs! We are going on our fifth month announcing weekly open invitations to come have a meal around our table.  I cook up the sauce and noodles, and everyone else contributes sides, desserts, and beverages!

I promised pictures not necessarily my endless ramblings. Ummm  I still haven’t taken any past the simmering pot of meatballs bobbing in a pool of spaghetti sauce. In my defense, I’m not thinking about my camera, I’m sitting around a table with friends and family, laughing, connecting, building community.

Here’s a few thoughts intermingled with more of my random musings on our nights of open door hospitality.

Teenagers, kids, singles, marrieds, parents, grandparents, seniors ALL mesh beautifully. It can get loud! It can get chaotic! Be prepared!

This is called community. 

Everyone likes to eat.  Everyone likes to laugh. All carry burdens. All need each other. Be ready to listen.

This is called community. 

People are busy but even the busiest need down time and nourishment. Everyone needs friendship. Friendship deepens around the table.  It can only happen when you move to be intentional. Be intentional.

This is called community.

A majority of our guests are our church family, people we worship beside Sunday after Sunday and I’m ashamed to admit, most I didn’t really know. At least not in the way that the word family insinuates.

Meatballs is changing that.

Since we began opening our home, I’ve listened to vulnerable, transparent hearts speak of loneliness, grief, restoration, joy and so much more. I’ve got to love on children who have been rescued and adopted, children who pray alongside their mom and grandparents for their father’s safe return, and children and youth bearing unbelievably heavy burdens. I’ve hugged teenagers and spoke life over them, I’ve listened as a weary sister in a new town relaxed, enjoying a small respite from providing care for her Alzheimers stricken Husband. I’ve shared of homeschooling, raising boys, and God’s grace. I’ve invited friends  to join us for church and ensured them of their welcome there.  And when I’ve grown tired, I’ve been blessed and encouraged, listened to and hugged.

This is called community. 

Keep a guest book. On my entryway table, friends new and old sign its pages. It’s fun to record who was here which night. Some nights it’s in the twenties, other nights it’s my family plus one more. There is beauty in both.

I’m thinking of adding a prayer box of some sort on my entryway table. Bearing one another’s burdens is essential to life and well prayer, everybody can use more of that.

This is called community.

We serve buffet style at 6:30. Plates on the counter,  Noodles in pots warming on the stove, sauce and meatballs simmering in the crockpot beside the stove, often times followed by baskets of bread. Salads and bowls rest on the small kitchen table with toppings, dressings and croutons! Desserts on the buffet cart, drinks on the counter with the cabinet doors above swung open to reach our glasses. Simple is best, even if I must fight my inner event planning, tablescaping tendencies.

Oh and If you can’t come at 6:30, come late. Spaghetti warms up nicely in the microwave! We would love to see you there.

 This IS our community. 

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