Some Memorial Day Weekend thoughts

FullSizeRenderThis is a picture of our flag in the entryway to our house. I put it up on Saturday, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Every time I see the flag I am reminded: Oh yeah, this is Memorial Day weekend — we are remembering those who have fallen in defense of the people and ideals of this country, and freedom and democracy everywhere. Among them are most likely people you know. Continue reading

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Be strong and courageous; be not afraid

th-19So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. (Judges 7:1)

Imagine you are one of 32,000 foot soldiers who have answered the call of Gideon to go fight the Midianites. You are anxious to fight because it is better than being victimized by the enemy. You know the odds aren’t good (4 to 1), but you’d rather fight than continue to be intimidated by these people. Though you may lose your life, it would be better than the one you are living. You don’t know a lot about Gideon (renamed “Baal-basher” after he destroyed the altar to the Canaanite god, Baal, that was on his father’s land), except his name tells you that maybe the God of Israel is back in action on behalf of His people. They say God talks to him. You hope that is true, and that it is not merely a mad man you are following. Continue reading

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Video: Mission@Night – In the Home

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It’s show time!

th-18Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. (Judges 6:33)

It’s show time in the valley of Jezreel. Canaanite armies from the east have already joined forces and are moving west across the Jordan to camp in a large, flat, fertile plain just to the south of the hill country were Gideon lives at Ophrah. Inevitable forces are in play that will soon collide, and little timid Gideon will be right in the middle of it. Continue reading

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Video: Life Can Be Scary

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Got idols? Take ’em down.

th-17“Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash [Gideon’s father]. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.”

But Joash shouted to the mob that confronted him, “Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!” From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means “Let Baal defend himself,” because he broke down Baal’s altar. (Judges 6:30-32)

When we make sweeping changes in our lives, there will be ramifications. Idols are hard to knock over because of the power we give them. Old patterns wear deep grooves. How do you get rid of an idol? Continue reading

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Video: Marti interviews John about Gideon (Bonus Footage!! How high can John sing?)

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Idols of our own making

th-12Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed. The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash.

“Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.” (Judges 6:28-30))

Gideon’s first enemies were at home. You don’t tear down someone’s altar without repercussions. Idols don’t go down easily. Continue reading

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