Category Archives: VBS summer 2017

Day 5 … and there will not be a program tonight to end the week…sorry…but feel free to celebrate <3

We have come to the end of the week, but I have not come to the end of examples of those who lacked in Scripture and the God who supplied all their needs.

They abound.

Because like us, all the truth recorded in the Bible involves people just like you and me.

Frail and faulty human beings on a journey with a mighty and perfect God walking alongside them.

Alongside us.

And like us, a lot of days it was hard to “feel” that power.

So we are ending with another favorite lacker of mine…Gideon.

In the opening verses of Judges 6 we find the children of Israel, yet again alienated from God due to the evil of turning to other gods. He has pulled back His hand of protection and the people have been under siege from the Midianites and Amalekites for seven years.

Our boy Gideon is threshing grain in a wine press, which apparently is not ideal for the task but offered some kind of protection that perhaps this time he would be able to walk away with some food for his family before it got taken by one army or the other.

Or both.

And in this setting, the Angel of the LORD shows up and greets Gideon with these perplexing words…

“The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”  Judges 6:12

Can you just picture Gideon, all hunched down below the wall of the wine press?

Furtively threshing wheat while taking nervous looks over his shoulders.

I can imagine him looking up with a start and then looking around all about for the heavily armed soldier that this Angel is referring to.

Then he looks back in confusion, points to himself and gestures…who???…me???

And then Gideon quickly gets over the shock that this angelic presence has just called him a mighty warrior, and he points out that not only is he totally NOT that…but the LORD is most assuredly NOT with him or his people.

Gideon lacks.

He is the least in a family that is the least in a nation that has been forsaken by God.

So might and valor and favor are lacking.

But more importantly, so is the God they had shunned.

The only thing not lacking was oppression from the enemy on all sides.

But God….

because in verse 14, look closely at the wording of the only response this lacker receives…

Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”  

One more time campers….

Then the LORD

<3  the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…the God of Israel

turned to him

<3  the God who had turned away from them now turned back to them

and said,

“Go in this might of  yours,

and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.

<3  From your enemies…from your oppressors…from those I allowed to discipline you so that you would turn back to Me

Have I not sent you?”

<3 This is MY idea, Gideon…and I am with you…I have assigned you and I will equip you for the task.

The whole story is a great one and I hope you will take time to read how patient the LORD is with Gideon as he gives God more double checks than any other person in the whole Old or New Testament.

However, our take away for today is this…

in our lack…

perceived or very real places where we just have nothing worthy of serving to the extent God has called us to serve…or love as God has called us to love…or share the Gospel…or overthrow the enemy who is oppressing us and/or all that we love…

God says…

GO…

GO in the strength you have today…

whatever measure you have…

just…

GO!!!! 

And as we go, He will add to our strength and provide what we need because…

Has He not sent us?

and yes…

He really did say….

Go

In fact they are the last words the LORD said to His disciples before He left this earth and those words ring out to us today

because…

With God we lack nothing…

no thing…

that can prevent us to be MORE THAN conquerors every. single. day.

<3

 

 

 

Day 4 When we are clueless about what we really lack

Are you a Mary or a Martha?

That’s a good discussion question for a women’s small group.

We can spend a fair amount of time bouncing around self-analysis as we ponder the account of the two sisters welcoming Jesus into their home as recorded in Luke 10: 38-42.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”   verses 38-40

Now men, you actually can participate in this as well without losing one ounce of your man-ness. But since you may not have ever gotten to study Mary and Martha at one of your men-meetings, let me give you a hint….at various times and in various situations, we can be one or the other.  We all have a little bit of both of these sisters in each of us…male and female.

Because the real issue with Mary and Martha falls on a level of humanity that we can all relate to.

What Martha “lacked” was not only an extra pair of hands but a deep need for someone to notice all the effort and fuss she was going to.

We see in the scripture that SHE welcomed Jesus into HER home.

Can’t you see her all full of good intentions to be the hostess with the mostest?

We know Jesus wasn’t traveling alone so all his posse would have joined Him, plus any neighbors and locals that were gathering around to hear His teaching.

And all of a sudden Martha’s vision of this lovely Pinterest-worthy gathering became more than she could handle and where in the world was that useless air-head of a sister?? Sitting at the feet of the Teacher, for heaven’s sake…literally.

So Martha interrupts the actual Word of God speaking forth, in flesh and blood, sitting right there in her living room to whine…..

“What about me, Jesus? Don’t you care about me….and all my hard work and all my preparations that I am so busy and consumed with? And why does she get to just sit there amongst all the men folk and do nothing?????”

Ok

We don’t really know how she said it, but if it was me when I am in full-on Martha mode, that is what it sounds like.

Because when I have taken a good and godly idea and then promoted it to a level that was never intended nor necessary, I get overwhelmed and then I start looking around for the slackers in my lack.

And I can grow resentful that I am doing all the work because they are not doing their part.

But God…

said to Martha…

Martha…Martha…you are worried and troubled about many things…but only one thing is needed…and Mary…Mary has chosen that good thing…that one thing…that will not be taken from her.  verses 41-42

It turns out when I am all out of whack because I am lacking the support, recognition and acknowledgment I think I need for the effort I am putting forth on a project…perhaps what I am really lacking is proper perspective to see the ONE THING I should be focusing on.

Because…

With God we lack nothing <3

 

 

 

Day 3 and I can’t think of a snappy title

As I was thinking of characters in the Bible who seemed to lack, I thought about Moses.

Oh yes, I know.

He was so close to God, his face glowed and he is a patriarch of the faith.

But contrary to the Cecil B. DeMille version, Moses did not stride away from the burning bush bursting with confidence.

God got his attention, for sure, in this most miraculous display of a bush on fire and yet not consumed by the fire (and for this I have to say Mr. DeMille’s depiction in technicolor had me on the edge of my seat EVERY. TIME.)

After Moses removed his sandals, God identified Himself in no uncertain terms and outlined His incredible plan to deliver the nation of Israel out of slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.

He laid out some fantastic specs for the operation and even did an extremely disturbing thing with his staff when He turned it into a serpent and then asked Moses to pick the thing up by the tail and it returned to a staff.

Personally, at this point, if I had been able to pick up a serpent by it’s snakey end part… the thought of marching up to Pharaoh declaring “Let my people go” would have seemed like child’s play.

However with all this conversation and miraculous stuff going on, Moses actually suggested to God that He had made a mistake.

Asked the wrong guy.

Recruited a second stringer for a major league effort.

Because according to Exodus 4:10, Moses informs the God who created him, provided an escape from being murdered as an infant, plopped him in Pharaoh’s palace to be raised as a prince, helped him survive escaping into the desert and now had done quite a few things that certainly would convince the man He had the power….that he isn’t a very good speaker.

I have read in commentaries that he may have stuttered.

Which we all know Charlton Heston did not do.

But in the real story…the real Moses…lacked.

He lacked the confidence and the skill and the finesse and whatever he thought he would need to pull off what God was asking him to do.

Have you been there?

Maybe not rescuing 600,000 people and all their possessions and livestock out of a foreign country in the middle of the night…

but still….

something you know He has called you to do and you have assessed your ability…

and it…

just…

won’t…

cut it.

Listen to how God responds to Moses and learn.

Because God reminds him that it is GOD who gave him his mouth and GOD who gives people the ability to speak or not to speak.

And GOD would be the one to give Moses the words, the timing and all the eloquence he would need….if only Moses would trust Him.

So what are you lacking to do the thing?

What do you think God has called you to do and then failed in his assessment of your skill set, your talent, your gifting?

Believe me, I understand.

This one hits home with me every time I sit down at this keyboard to prepare a lesson or write an encouragement or tap out this post.

I don’t have what it takes, I tell Him.

He made a mistake…

or maybe I did…

because I sure never saw a burning bush or had one of my pens turn into a garter snake when I set it down.

But it’s not about what I bring to the table.

And the same goes for you.

When He calls us, He equips us.

It’s not easy…it’s not painless…it’s not without a struggle.

But we go forward.

One step at a time, placing our feet on the path and our hope in Him.

Turns out the only think lacking when we hesitate in our whole-hearted obedience is confidence in HIM who MADE US.

Let us never be lacking in that.

Let us be people who trust completely in our God because…

With God we lack nothing<3

 

Day 2….Welcome back <3

Welcome back to Day 2 of VBSWOTGABYOS…

and if you think I am regretting the choice to use that many initials for our tag line, think again my friend…you should see my passwords…

Pop quiz…what’s our theme?

With God we lack nothing <3

Also…must confess… I actually had to look back at yesterday’s post to see exactly how I worded that…help me…

Today we are going to look at the passage that I first and foremost think of when pondering what I think I “lack”.

It happens to be about that grandson of Naomi we spoke of yesterday. (and no…there is no well-thought out thread here from day to day, it just worked out for this mornings…who knows where we will end up tomorrow…)

It is found in 1 Samuel 30 before David was able to put that crown on his head.

Anointed by Samuel and destined to be the King of Israel, we find him running for his life from the displaced and disgruntled King Saul.

David and his men, along with all their families and possessions had settled in a city called Ziklag.

In the opening verses, David and his men are returning from the army camp of the Philistines (and this would be a whole other teaching but we are not going there)…only to find that an enemy group called the Amalekites had raided their city while they were away.

They had burned the town down and taken all the women and children captive.

David and his men were beyond devastated as they wept over the loss.

In their grief, the men turned on David and spoke of stoning him in retaliation.

David lacked.

In so many ways.

He lacked the title to go with the anointing.

He lacked the security of the home he had to flee the first time Saul turned on him.

He lacked his wives and his property and what little ground he had gained in the helter-skelter life he had come to know.

He lacked the support of his men.

But in his “lack”…

…David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.  v. 6

In his grief and anxiety, He turned to the Lord for wisdom and for direction.

And God answered.

God encouraged him to pursue the attackers and as you read through the rest of Chapter 30, you hear of the great victory he gave David and his men over the Amalekites.

Hear the sweeping sound of the power of God in these verses…

So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.

And nothing of theirs was lacking, 

either small or great,

sons or daughters,

spoil

or anything which they had taken from them. 

DAVID RECOVERED ALL. verses 18-19

I have always imagined that this ruthless band of marauders, who burned a village and took all the women and children….

this horde of destruction and chaos that threatened the lives of David and his men,…

who were eating and feasting and reveling over the spoils they had taken…

had no opportunity to harm a hair on the head of one sweet woman or one precious child before the army that would be Israel was able to overtake and destroy them.

Sometimes evil rushes in and takes everything that is precious to us.

But God….

Oh, Campers…..little children of the Mighty God…take heart.

Strengthen yourself in the Lord today as we say…

With God we lack nothing <3

 

 

 

So I’m back….

And before we start…

please…

the contrast of where we went…

and where we live…

and can I just say…

Wow God!

Which is exactly the theme of the VBS that Graham and Emmett attended a couple of weeks ago. I got to pick them up one day and was transported back to when our church would hold similar events each summer.

VBS is a great week for parents and kids centered around a simple theme reinforced with stories, activities, snacks and a craft.

And it inspired me to hold this week’s series called….

VBSWOTGABYOS

or…

Vacation Bible School WithOut The Glitter And Bring Your Own Snacks

Because…

I tended to lose my religion helping kids create something out of popsicle sticks, glue and pompoms…

and…

since this is virtual Bible School there will be no goldfish crackers or granola bars.

Sorry…but there will be random pics from our real vacation interspersed so…

are you ready Campers???

Let’s do this thing….

Our theme this week will be…

With God we Lack Nothing <3

Today’s story comes from Ruth which happens to be one of my favorite books to read because it is short and it ends sweetly and there are a zillion lessons in it.

But since VBS is very focused and stream lined, we are landing on Naomi and her return to her hometown in a great state of “lack”.

Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, had left their home and people due to a great famine. They settled in Moab and found, we would surmise, food and work and a life.

They raised two sons and then Elimelech died.

The boys married, but then each of them died and Naomi was left with two daughter-in-law’s and not much else to go on.

(Sorry…adult Bible School gets a little more real and no peppy songs to go with this)

So she and the girls packed up and decided to head back to her home of Bethlehem Judah, because Naomi had heard the famine had ended.

As they journeyed, the reality of her situation began to sink in and Naomi urged these girls to return to their own homes.

She had nothing for them – no hope of bearing sons for them to marry eventually…no hope for providing for herself, much less two foreign widows…

she “lacked”…

big time.

One tearfully left and returned home…

one tearfully and resolutely hung by her side.

We don’t know why, but Ruth felt certain that life with Naomi and Naomi’s God in a strange place amongst a strange people was going to be better than anything she had left behind.

As they entered the city, neighbors and old friends recognized Naomi and welcomed her by name.

But she told them her name was no longer Naomi as she was going by a new handle…

Mara…bitterness…because the Lord has abandoned me.

In her circumstances, Naomi saw everything she had lost in magnification and it overwhelmed her view of who God is.

Her perspective was clouded and it crowded out the young woman at her side…

Ruth….

who had committed herself to the very God that Naomi thought had abandoned her.

OH, for sure, their situation was real.

They were two widows, one foreign, in a culture that was not kind to either…

But God.

He is faithful.

And He was faithfully weaving a love story for Ruth…for Naomi…for all of us <3

If you haven’t visited the book of Ruth for a while, may I suggest you take a lemonade or iced tea out to the porch sometime today and open the pages of the story?

Follow them as Naomi and Ruth find God’s provision in Bethlehem Judah.

Laugh with Naomi as they place her grandson on her lap at the end of this precious story…the story of the birth of King David’s grandpa, Obed…

and then join me back here tomorrow because…

say it with me…

With God we lack nothing <3