Wednesday, August 18, 2010

God Will Make A Way For Me To Follow Him!

Ever had a task that God asked you to do that seemed so big so enormous that you wondered how in the world am I going to do this HUGE task. This weekend in Grade School we are talking about the time when God asked the Israelites to do something that seemed impossible. The Bible story comes from Joshua, chapter 3 and 4. Joshua was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and the Ark of the Covenant was to go ahead of them. This seemed like an impossible task. At that time the Jordan River was almost overflowing. God helped Joshua and the Israelites. As soon as the priest who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up far away. God performed a miracle and provided a way for them to follow Him. How awesome! Alone they could not have accomplished the task but with God it was possible. When God gives us a job to do, He will make sure we have a way to do it. He will provide us with what we need to follow him. He is our provider! We can always depend on Him to provide. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Tera Buskirk
K-2 Grade Coordinator
Cove Church

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

God helps me through others. God helps others through me.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 – "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed."

Raise your hand if you've ever been in need of help. Ok, hold on, let me count…….1, 2, 3……yep, that makes all of us. Life can throw us into some pretty sticky situations, especially the life of following Jesus, so it's no wonder that God loves to provide us help to overcome those situations. But wait. Stop. Think. Think about that time you needed help and God provided:

  • That time you were emotionally drained; were you suddenly riding a tidal wave of comfort?
  • Or that time your vehicle or refrigerator broke, did you just pray and it fixed itself?
  • Or here's one. Remember that time when you needed a little help financially? Did envelopes of cash just fall from the sky?

Well, maybe (I'm all for falling cash envelopes!). But more than likely God provided you help in the form of another person. A family member who comforted. A skilled professional who intervened. A friend (or stranger) who sacrificed. It's my belief that God gets a kick out of making us cross paths with each other at certain times, just so we can help or be helped. And sometimes (more often than we think), the people who help us, or whom we help, are the people we least expect. Such is the case with this week's lesson!

Joshua was now the leader of the nation of Israel. And God had told Joshua that he would lead them into the Promised Land. However, the Promised Land wasn't exactly vacant. It was already inhabited by people God didn't want there. The Lord told Joshua he would have victory over these people, so Joshua set out to conquer them. He sent two spies into the City of Jericho, which stood across the Jordan River in the Promised Land, to scout out information. When they got there, they met a woman named Rahab. Now Rahab was an unlikely ally for a couple of Israelites, but as we'll see, that's exactly what she was. Word spread to the King of Jericho that there were spies in the city AND they knew where they were staying……with Rahab. The King sent officials to Rahab's house to capture the spies. But when Rahab heard the officials coming, she quickly hid the two spies up on the roof. And when asked, she said they had left already and that if the officials chased quickly, they might catch them. What a pal!! After the officials left, Rahab told the spies that she KNEW the Lord was with them, and that they would conquer the land, and that everyone was afraid of them (good intel for them to know!). She had helped them with their mission. But in return she wanted to be sure that when they came to take over Jericho, she and ALL her family would be safe. The two Israelites agreed. God had taken two unlikely allies and used them to help each other overcome a sticky situation. (Joshua chapter 2).

I'm reminded of an article I read about our body's immune system. It said:

Designed with amazingly dynamic communication networks that pass information back and forth between hundreds of millions of cells, the human immune system strategically fights off microscopic invaders and remembers them each time they attack the body.

Isn't that kinda what we should be like? Always in constant communication, systematically helping each other fend off and overcome "infections" in the body of Christ? God uses others to help us, and He uses us to help others. I like the song by Sanctus Real called "We Need Each Other," and the bridge part that says "I Need you, you Need me, 'cause that's the way, it was meant to be. We Need each other." So true. And it's important that we remember this. Going back to that same article:

Without this defense system, none of us could survive, much less reach maturity. When the immune system becomes weak due to disease, immaturity, or deterioration, death is far more likely from infection or cancer. Medical intervention attempts to keep the immune system intact, but little help can be offered once it collapses.

When we forget to help each other, when this "defense system" God has set in place collapses, things deteriorate. When we forget to help each other, parts of the body (other people) become susceptible to the world's ways. Easily remedied symptoms become irreversible illnesses. God's primary system of spreading love, peace, and the Gospel of Grace is broken down when we forget to help others, or even, to allow ourselves to be helped by others……no matter who they are.

Nate Zaso
Grade School Intern

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Ten Hut!"

“This is my command— Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!” –Joshua 1:9

I’m not even gonna lie, this past week I lived this verse out to the MAX! The few weeks leading up to our grade school summer camp, “X3 Hero Headquarters,” were pretty intense. As a young chick, with no previous experience trying to lead a camp of over one-hundred and fifty 1st-5th graders, and fifty-plus volunteers here’s what I was thinking: “Are you kidding me Lord?!? I think you’ve gotten me mixed up with someone else! I’m so not qualified to do this!” Those fears of feeling too young, unequipped, and unprepared quickly fogged up my “faith goggles” and I couldn’t see the truth for anything! God gave me a specific passage of scripture to cling to. He used it to speak to my heart saying “Don’t be scared, I have favor on you! I’m going to use you to lead all these people to the “promised land,” (the place where I dwell), so that my glory can be displayed! I’ve called you by name Carole Ann. I’m with you and for you!”

The first day of camp, during small group time, a third-grade girl made the decision to make Jesus the leader of her life. The second day two more children came to faith during their small group session. God was quick to begin displaying His glory. As Friday approached we wanted to be sure each child had the opportunity to meet Jesus. I’d been asking God for days what He wanted me to say during this time and never seemed to get an answer. Finally, very, very, early Friday morning God told me to get enough Lifesaver candies for all the children, and then just leave the rest up to Him. He reminded me that He would be with me and speak through me if I’d only be courageous in allowing Him to. That Friday morning 40 children asked Christ to be the leader of their lives!!! I’m so honored that God would use a wretch like me to lead an amazing group of volunteers, which He used in a phenomenal way, to prepare the hearts of the children to meet Him that Friday morning. When God calls us out to be “strong and courageous,” it’s for grand things! It’s for His glory to be displayed. We can see the evidence of that strewn all throughout life of Joshua...

This weekend we kick-off our new series “Ten Hut” where we’ll be following the new leader, Joshua, as he bravely guides the nation of Israel into the Promised Land! After Moses died Joshua was put in charge of leading the Israelites. Could you imagine being responsible for such a large group of people? …Kinda like the president, except Joshua had to lead his entire nation on foot into a land promised to them 40 years prior! I bet he was just a little tense! The cool thing is Joshua had a close relationship with Lord. God commanded him to be “strong and courageous!” Promising to never leave Joshua, God empowered him with the audacity to lead the people into the land flowing with milk and honey…

This weekend Cove kiddos will see that real courage comes from believing God. He’s called them by name to do great things so that His glory can be displayed! They need only to be strong, courageous, and know that the God who created the universe is right by their side—making His power perfect in their weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

No matter how much fear was present, God’s presence in Joshua’s life was greater! He stepped out in faith to lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. What does your “Promised Land” look like? God longs to bring you to it but first you must be strong and courageous. Believe that your God is with you and step out in faith today! Ten Hut!

Carole Loebs
3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Coordinator