Monday, September 2, 2013

Diaper Cakes, Flowers, and Little Kids

Everybody has their "thing."  Let me tell you three things that are not mine.  

Diaper Cake (2009)
1. Diaper Cakes: a beautiful idea but entirely outside of my abilities
2. Flowers: plastic or real put a flower in my vicinity and it will die
3. Little kids: love mine, like yours, as a teacher though I am hopeless!

So if you start to read about teaching, studying, reading and growing this month and think to yourself, 'That is not my thing!" I understand. However, I have helped a friend make a diaper cake; I have planted marigolds with my then three year old and I have taught more than one Wednesday night class for kiddos.  Sometimes we HAVE to do things that are not "our thing." 

Hebrews 11 is a chapter about stretching out to do things on faith.  I'm sure you remember it contains the roll call of the faithful- a who's who list of the most famous and important people of faith in the Old Testament.  This week we got to Gideon and Barak (Hebrews 11:32) Although I was familiar with the stories, I was surprised by their reaction when they were called- they both suffered a complete lack of confidence. 

Gideon complained that he was the youngest member of the least important family in his tribe.  His terrified humility led him to test God with a fleece, twice (Judges 6-7).  Barak was worse!  He was called by God to lead the armies of Israel to defeat their enemies. He announced that unless the prophetess Deborah accompanied him, he simply wouldn't go (Judges 4).  Sound like a big strong general to you?  Me neither.  Yet, they answered God's call to do a job they were not excited about doing.  

I'm guessing that it's happened to you.  You've been asked to teach a kid's class at church and you begged off.  Never done it, don't know the first thing about how! Or the ladies bible class is without a teacher, you've been coming to the class for a couple of years but you're not sure that you could teach it if you had to.  Somebody is needed to organize and lead the food ministry.  Somebody is needed to visit the sick or the ill and elderly.  The church always needs somebody could that somebody be you?

God has a habit of choosing unlikely servants; perhaps because confident servants think THEY can do it. Unlikely ones hope that God can do it and praise him when he does. Gideon was only allowed to take 300 of the 30,000 plus soldiers he had gathered, so that the people would recognize that it was God who saved them (Judges 7:2).   When Barak, Deborah and the heroine Jael set the enemy to flight and slaughtered the general Sisera, he and Deborah composed a song to praise God.  They recognized by whose power this victory came (Judges 5).  

When we're stretching out to do something new, God often sends us someone to lovingly point the way.  He sent Deborah to Barak, Phillip to the Eunuch, Ananias to Paul, and Andrew to Peter.  More directly though in Titus 2, Paul instructs women of faith to reach out a hand and show young wives and moms how to do their new jobs well.  As women we are immense resources to each other.  In our church there's a naturally crafty sister who showed me how to make a diaper cake.  (It is totally not her fault I still can't.)  My sister upstairs has been known to take plants into her home so they didn't die in mine.  And if I have to teach kids, my little sister is on speed dial.  A gifted elementary school teacher, she is my go-to for all things K-8.  

That's what we are hoping to do this month.  There are some things that Melissa and I have been learning about that we'd like to share.  Not because we're experts but because we're not!  We'd like to give you practical how-to's, dos and don'ts, tips and principles for tackling some tough topics that may well not be your "thing."  We hope that you'll stretch and grow and try something new!  Not because you're confident you can but because you're sure God can.   
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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