The Lion and the Lamb – Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.”

vintage logo-001Henri Nouwen said that we have a lion and a lamb inside us. He said spiritual maturity is the ability to let lamb and lion lie down together. Your lion is your adult, aggressive self. It’s your decision making self. But there is also your vulnerable lamb, the part of you that’s vulnerable and needy.

Becoming lion and aggressor only will cause you to become exhausted and angry, because rarely do we have our way in the world. So aggression alone makes us angry at others and angry at God. Sometimes we can’t force our will on the world.

Sometimes we must let the lion lie down with the lamb. We trust that God knows what we need. But we never know what we need until we offer God our hearts and our open hands. Then he fills our life with His desires, with His blessings. But he can’t as long as we’re clutching here and there for everything but Him.

Genuine faith believes that God may be doing something greater than what we can conceive would be best for us. So let the lion lie down with the lamb. Wait patiently for the Lord. He can open doors that our lion-side can’t. He can move mountains for you. So be still. Be very still. Let your lion lie down with your lamb. Now wait for the Lord to fight for you.

“The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.” Exodus 14:14

© Robbie Stofel

The Waiting Game By Robbie Stofel

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. —Romans 8:25

They call it the waiting game, but sometimes it’s torture. It’s the postponement of action in hopes that time will work in one’s favor. But who has time for such a game? We want action. We want results. We want something done now. But we can never make something happen that God is holding back. So don’t beat down the gate. Let it be opened from the inside. God has an angel standing ready. His hand is on the latch. God will give the orders to open it when the time is suitable. So don’t rattle the gate. Don’t reach for the latch. God can be annoyed, you know. Ask the Children of Israel in the desert (Numbers 11:1).

So take a breath. Relax. Things are being prepared, and at any moment we will hear the latch engage. Soon we will see the things we’ve hoped for. Then it will be a reality. Just not yet. So let’s wait a little longer. “God will not forget the needy” (Psalm 9:18). And God knows we’re in need.

© Robbie Stofel

The Gift of Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts

There aren’t many great Christian books being published these days. But Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is extraordinary. The writing is poetic and graceful. “A glowing sun-orb fills an August sky the day this story begins, the day I am born, the day I begin to live. . . .What does it mean to live full of grace? To live fully alive?” Voskamp sets out to awaken grace, to call us to a life of being fully alive to the simple wonders around us. The opening chapter tells the story of her sister being killed by a delivery truck driver. The little girl was chasing a cat and crossed the path of the truck, and it is from here that she begins a circular motion of reliving the nightmare and finding grace to heal.

The title of the book comes from an exercise she thought up one day when she wanted to cultivate more gratitude in her life. She started a list of a thousand things she’s grateful for in her ordinary life, which by the way, she lives on a farm. This is what it says on her Amazon page: “She married a Farmer and came home to gravel road and cornfields and had babies. A lot of them. Half a dozen. Her laundry basket is never empty. She loses library books. She homeschools their six beautifully exuberant kids and most days feel just a tad bit overwhelmed and very crazy.”

Try this book. I think you’ll feel the same way I do about it. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-Gifts-Fully-Right/dp/0310321913/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

You can also visit her blog: www.aholyexperience.com

Robbie Stofel

Prayer

Anthropomorphic
The recognition or perception of human qualities in a divine being such as God.

Why the big word and definition? We are all humans with many hurts, anxieties, fears and needs. We all have someone that we love who needs our prayers; maybe for healing, for addiction recovery, for love, financial woes, comfort for a lost love one, or a broken marriage. So how do we approach God with out prayer requests? Sometimes we mess up in prayer because we assume we know God’s will because something makes sense to us. We assume that God is like us and thinks like us. We assume there is only one right answer to a specific prayer and we “assume” that would be God’s will. Our shortcoming is that we only have limited information about any given situation and the outcome of future action on that situation. God’s understanding is unlimited. How an event or situation in our lives plays out in history or our lives is something that only God knows. God may have purposes far beyond what we could imagine. So God may not do something simply because we determined it must be His will.

What if we become discouraged in our prayer requests? God tells us to give our concerns to Him. Even as the situation becomes bleak, “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” When things look out of control and everything seems to be falling apart, God can keep us together and give us peace in the midst of everything. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

We have a great body of believers at Vintage Faith who I know believe in the power of prayer. Let the body pray together in bringing certain requests before the Lord and we will see miracles happen.

Upcoming Schedule:

Week of Nov. 23, 2008

Children’s Church – Dusty Cato, Whitney Cato

Nursery – Mary-Ashley/Kevin Cato

Cleaning – Kathy Winton, Kathy Delancy, Prestwoods

Hospitality – Any Patterson

 

Week of Nov. 30

Children’s Church – Shirley Davenport

Nursery – Cindy Gibson & Ginger Johns

Cleaning – Kathy Winton, Kathy Delancy, Prestwoods

Hospitality – Cindy Gibson & Ginger Johns

 

Week of Dec. 7

Children’s Church – Brandi Curnel

Nursery – Shirley Davenport

Cleaning – Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana

Hospitality – Trilby McCullar

 

Week of Dec. 14

Children’s Church – Renee Miller

Nursery – Suzanne Towson

Cleaning – Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana

Hospitality -Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana, Deb & Rick Barnett

 

Week of Dec. 21

Children’s Church – Shirley Davenport

Nursery – Janet Betts

Cleaning – Virginia McCullar & Clara Fuller

Hospitality – Gus & Patty Walker

 

Week of Dec. 28

Children’s Church – Leslie Frost

Nursery – Cinda Wales & Glenda Motes

Cleaning – Virginia McCullar & Clara Fuller

Hospitality – NO ONE SIGNED UP

 

Week of Jan. 4, 2009

Children’s Church NO ONE SIGNED

Nursery – Shirley Davenport

Cleaning – Wallers, Katy Hargrove, Ben Grimm

Hospitality – Amy Patterson

 

Week of Jan 11, 2009

Children’s Church – Shirley Davenport

Nursery – Kathy Winton & Kathy Delancy

Cleaning – Wallers, Katy Hargrove, Ben Grimm

Hospitality – Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana

 

Week of Jan. 18, 2009

Children’s Church – Pam Thomas

Nursery – Debra Lacy & Christina Miller

Cleaning – Lacys, Becks & Millers

Hospitality – Linda Curnel & Brandi Curnel

 

Additional cleaning info

Week of Jan. 25

Cleaning – Lacy’s, Becks & Millers

Week of Feb. 1

Cleaning – Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana

 

Week of Feb. 8

Cleaning, Gowers, Niemeiers, Nana

Choices By Pat Patterson

The entire book of Joshua is a detailed look at Israel entering into Canaan, the Promised Land and conquering all the nations that were living there. It was God’s plan for the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of Canaan because they worshiped idols and false gods and God knew that the Israelites might be tempted to follow these false teachings. They were to worship the one true God of Israel.

Joshua 23: 7-8 – And lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.

Joshua 23: 9-13- For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you. Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations; these that remain among you; and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

We live in a world today that is full of snares and traps and we are surrounded by false doctrines and teachers of false gods. But we have the choice to live for God. Joshua 24:15- But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

The choice is clear but not ever easy. Choose you this day whom you will follow; the world or our Lord.

The wages of Sin

Joshua chapter 6 depicts the conquest of Jericho and the first of many victories in the new land. There was, however, something hanging over the heads of the Israelites. The sin of one man caused the Israelites to lose their next battle at Ai. Joshua 6:17- And the city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord. 18-But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, lest you covet them and take some of the things under the ban, so you would make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.

God told Joshua to destroy Jericho but to not take any of the spoils of war. One man, Achan, from the tribe of Judah did so and caused Israel to lose the battle of Ai. Joshua 7:11- Israel has sinned and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them, and they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. 12- Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan and his family and all that he had taken during the fall of Jericho. Joshua 7:25- And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

Fortunately for the believer, our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus. 1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Concrete Faith

Ever wonder if God is still working in your life and why it seems that everything is so complicated and difficult to solve? Consider the Israelites and their first victory in the land of Canaan:
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” 15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted [a] to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute [b] and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Heb 11:1- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days.

The city of Jericho was taken by God’s strategy. No situation is too great for the Lord to handle and no problem is too much for Him to solve. Keep the faith that God will handle all of your problems.

Israel’s Spiritual Experiences by Pat Patterson

As we study the history of Israel, we find major geographical locations that mark spiritual experiences for the nation.

Egypt – Egypt was the place of death and bondage from which Israel was delivered. They were first delivered from the Angel of death by putting the blood of the lamb over their doorposts during the first Passover and then from bondage by the power of God who opened the Red Sea and took them across safely.

The wilderness – Israel’s wilderness experience depicts believers who live in unbelief and disobedience and don’t enter into the rest and riches of the inheritance in Christ. Just like at Kadesh Barnea (mentioned last week), believers come to a crisis but refuse to obey the Lord and claim His will for their lives. They are delivered from Egypt, but Egypt is still in their hearts; and like the Israelites, they have a desire to go back to the old life. What an analogy of the Christian life, where we have been saved and yet do not claim all that Christ has promised us. Just as God told Joshua that He would conquer all their enemies in the new land of Canaan, we have the promise that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, Phil 4:13.

Canaan – Canaan represents the Christian life as it ought to be; conflict and victory, faith and obedience, spiritual riches and rest. It’s like trusting Jesus Christ, our Joshua, to lead us from victory to victory. When Israel was in Egypt, the enemy was around them, making their lives miserable. When they crossed the Red Sea, they put the enemy behind them. And when they crossed the Jordon River, they saw new enemies before them, and conquered these enemies by faith.

This week – Claim the riches of the inheritance in Christ- Eph 1:3 -We are blessed in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Believe that God is going before us in our battles- Eph 6:10-11. Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. –Pat