Gideon: Stories of Sifted ~E Reiss
I was so afraid.
For years we had been terrorized by the nation of Midian, of Amalek and the sons of the east. They were storming brigands and cruel bullying tyrants even down to the weakest one of them. Nothing we possessed was truly our own; nothing we worked for would last. There was no inheritance and no hope for anything better. We cried out to God without confidence or expectation. And He heard us and answered our prayer in a way that we never expected.
Sweat running down my back, I was working harder than I ever had in my life and my labor was doomed before it began. I was hiding in the winepress, sifting grain without wind or purpose. It was an entirely ridiculous and fruitless exercise. You needed an open area to separate the grain from the chaff in the process of threshing it. Instead, the closed area of the winepress choked me with dust and ill-fitting labor. But we had to remain hidden to keep anything at all. Our children were hungry, and we were doing the best we could. Separating the grain from the debris, unable to breathe I worked for handfuls of food and waited for strong men to come and take it all away.
There, in my frustration and failure, the angel came, speaking words of life and hope in my disbelief.
The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior!
There was a weight to his words, a divine sense of something more, and I struggled to accept it, even though I knew it was somehow the truth. I wasn't valiant. I was hiding. I wasn't a warrior, I was a refugee in my own home, destitute of any battle to fight, much less one to win. I wasn't a leader of men. I was alone. With the angel before me, I had a decision to make.
Could this be the way out? Could this somehow be a path to freedom for all of us?
Coming out of myself, I asked for a sign and the angel answered with fire. And just like that, it was done. We won our freedom that day, before we ever gathered an army and before we ever experienced the series of miracles to come. I built an altar and named it Jehovah Shalom (the Lord is Peace). He had brought us victory and peace with His presence and purpose, before we ever picked up a sword. I knew it deeply, beyond what my eyes could see.
In spite of my spiritual resolution, I still somehow struggled with mental questions of doubt and fear both of which were powerful enough in their own ways. Asking for sign after sign for reassurance, the Lord patiently brought me from where I was to a place where courage became an option. It slowly became something I could dare to reach for, even if it wasn't yet attained. There was no valor in the days of putting out fleeces; they were just my stalling and lack of faith. He had spoken. I had heard and agreed. In my weakness and fear, it wasn't enough. I wanted to hear it again.
How many times do we ask for one more confirmation before the moment passes and we are truly lost? Will the angel shake his head in sorrow and eventually sit beneath another tree, to speak holy words to someone else, someone who will actually hear them?
I tore down the places of evil worship at night, afraid of my family's retaliation. I was dismayed at the dissolution of our army of men—those who felt exactly like I did. We went from32,000 to 10,000 to 300 in a rush of backwards momentum I secretly feared meant quick defeat. I began to think we were just a footnote in Israel's story of oppression for another generation.
His Voice was with us every step of the way. But I had so many questions. Undoubtedly, men were afraid; they were outnumbered five to one! Why would it matter how people took a drink when they were thirsty? I doubted my own sanity more than once, but we pressed on to see what the next step would bring.
God had promised us victory, but God also knew my heart. I was still afraid.
Thinking back, going into the camp of the enemy was one more useless fleece. Even so, hearing the dream of the man and his sense of dread, it became one more sign that God was with us. With pitchers and torches and the clarion sound of trumpets, a handful of men brought a nation of locusts to its knees. Light, sound and escalating chaos turned the night into a cacophony of bloodshed. But none of it was our own.
He had done it. We were free.
In spite of my reluctant courage and stumbling faith, we had won.
We have the chance for greatness in the evidence of our souls before any battle is set or finished. We are shaped and completed internally before our plans ever become something that others can see.
There is a razor-sharp moment, dividing the infinite distance between hesitation and action, where the mind leaps forward in boldness or the opportunity passes and can never be retrieved. The point of real decision is in the heart before the words are spoken, before the action is taken ... before the stage is set or the results are known.
Don't be afraid. Your calling begins with the smallest grain of belief that things can be different. They can and they will.
Say yes. Build your altar on the simplicity of the moment before you, and know that God gives good gifts even to the weak.
"When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!" (Judges 7:20).
Joshua: Stories of Sifted ~E Reiss
I'm called by God. I know that more than I know anything.
I've been mentored by some of the best leaders of my generation.
I've had early success; God has blessed my efforts and the people I've gotten to lead.
I'm restless. I'm ready. I want to act. The door allowing me to step out hasn't opened.
How long do I have to wait?
That question has haunted my life. I believe that God is powerful. I believe that God can do whatever He wants. I believe that His purposes are good and that He can accomplish anything.
I don't always believe in this group of people around me. They are fickle, faithless and afraid. They are also amazing, bold and full of life and love. I don't know how they can be both at the same time, but somehow they are.
From the golden calf to the constant complaining, this generation would actually prefer to wander in the desert, eating scraps from God's table instead of feasting at the banquet He has prepared. We are capable of so much more, if I could just get them to see it.
He is capable of so much more, if I could just get them to believe.
Caleb shares my frustration and has little patience for this foolishness. He's often asked why God doesn't leave us and start over. I don't have a good answer for that one.
When we returned from our initial reconnaissance, the path forward was clear. This was the land God had promised to Abraham and to us. Either God's Word is good, or it isn't. Why are we still talking about this years later?
I know God loves Israel, and we are His own. His power has parted the seas, and His provision has kept us alive. I just wonder if anything will ever really change. What will they need to see or experience before they know that God is who He claims to be? If only they could know Him like Moses and I do, if they could experience His presence around the ark, if only they could hear His voice, things would be so different.
I am grateful for His provision. We are fed by bread from heaven and would die without it, but I secretly long for the day when He leads us to feed ourselves. We're training to that end, Caleb and I. Focusing on the children and the younger men, we're teaching them to run and to fight. We're teaching them moving formations and how to operate together as a team. We're also teaching them to pray and believe. They're tough and motivated. Honestly I'm glad they're on my side. Not everyone sees them like I do. Maybe we can go ahead and bring the others along later. I honestly don't know what God is waiting on. With His power, we're as ready as we ever will be.
How long do I have to wait?
Like our nation, I know that I personally am capable of more than I'm currently doing. I would never dishonor my teacher and mentor, but I feel like God has called me to more, and I'm weary of what seems a pointless journey. Men are blessed through my insight and organization. They are capable of doing and being even more than they see in themselves. I see their potential through God's eyes, and I can help push them to be even more than they ever imagined.
When will I get my chance to move? When will I get to be in a role that makes the most of God's plan for my life? When will the waters part for me and deliver me to His best?
Moses is fond of saying that if you pray for patience, God will make you wait for it. I suppose that's true enough. I know my heart is in line with His heart. I want what He wants more than my next breath.
I'm just tired of waiting. God's timing is mysterious and hard for me to understand.
"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will be prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord Your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:8-9).
Moses: Stories of Sifted ~E Reiss
A prince in the house of the most powerful ruler on earth, I was surrounded by wealth. Even my toys were made by artisans. I studied history, philosophy, medicine, language and strategies of war as part of my education in the court of Egypt. I was a favorite among Pharaoh's family.
When I made the transition to my true people, the Hebrews, I led them with grace and the undeniable power of God. My calling at the burning bush and the plagues of Egypt led us to exodus and the freedom of the nation of God's people. The parting of the Red Sea gave us a sense of purpose and destiny, and nothing seemed impossible with heaven on our side.
With a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, I led our people for a generation. We were fed with manna and walked according to His law, which I received from God Himself on the mountain. We built the ark of the covenant, the tabernacle of His presence and while He prepared us in the desert, I wrote the first five books of holy Scripture. I helped shape and prepare Joshua to be my successor. It was an amazing time of God's leading and blessing in spite of our shortcomings. I was honored to be a leader for this time in our story.
But before that, I was sifted.
Before I was a leader, I was a murderer.
Passionate about justice, I had lobbied for the Hebrews to be treated well. It wasn't just that I was secretly one of them. As leaders, we had a responsibility to our people, to make their lives better and lead them to be part of a great nation. But many saw the Hebrews as a simple tool to be used up and discarded. They were, to some, a means to the end of the Great Pyramids and, honestly, not much more than that.
When I saw the overseer beating that Hebrew man, the action became everything that was wrong in the world all at once. The movement from thought to consideration to action all happened in a fluid line unbroken in my heart. When I acted, it was with icy precision and weighted, deliberate blows. I took everything he had and everything he ever would have in a moment. I did it with the intent to kill him.
Then I buried him in the sand.
Eventually, word of my actions spread and I was running for my life. Even Pharaoh had issued a death warrant for the crime. I fled Egypt, thinking I'd never return. I was promoted from prince to shepherd for my anger and lived that life mixed with the unbalanced feelings of guilt, unease, contentment and regret for almost 40 years.
God was faithful in His love for me, though my crime haunted me the rest of my life.
When He called me at the burning bush, I was murdering the Egyptian again in my mind. How could He use a man like me to lead? When we were fleeing and trapped before the Red Sea, I was wondering if my sin had doomed us all.
When I received the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," it was written in stone and tears.
And when I became angry and struck the rock for water, it wasn't about the moment of frustration. It was about the man I had been so many years ago. I was turning away from the life God had borne in me, back to a time when I acted on my own impulsive passion. I had tried to help God's people in my own way. That path was disaster for me, and looming disaster for the ones I serve.
In God's Hands and in His purpose, we're not defined by our mistakes. But He uses our repentance to shape us in ways I never would have imagined.
His will caused even my greatest character failings to lead me to His grace. He can use even our greatest regrets to teach and shape us into the people He wants us to be.
Look to God. Let your failures lead you to compassion and meekness in leadership. Let your weakness be a wall against pride and a reason to depend on Him even more.
"And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain" (Exodus 3:12).
Boaz, Stories of Sifted ~E Reiss
I remember as a boy seeing something amazing.
It was an older couple walking outside their home, framed in the cool of the day as the sun set behind them and lit the sky aflame. While older, they were still healthy and were in that wonderful time of life where the days ahead were less than the days behind, yet the days ahead were beautiful.
Walking hand in hand, they seemed so peaceful, so at rest in the love that could only be built over a lifetime of being together. At one point, they stopped, turned and looked into each other's eyes. You could see the love they shared. As they walked back to their house, having never seen me, my eyes filled with tears.
I wanted that life. I wanted it more than my next breath.
But for me, and for a love that lasts, it was never the right time.
I always dreamed of being married, of having a family and providing and protecting for them in the fullness of God's blessing. I dreamed of having my wife look at me with love and respect. Honestly, I dreamed of having the marriage all my friends seemed to have. They seemed so happy, their houses so perfect, their children so amazing.
Being around them was an exercise in mixed emotions. I was happy for them (of course), but it hurt. My own loneliness and desire for home and family made it feel like I was at a feast that I couldn't eat of or partake in. I felt guilty that I couldn't just be glad for my friends' good fortune. I resolved to not let it get to me and just rejoice with them in God's blessing on their lives. How selfish could I possibly be?
That didn't work. It still hurt.
I had much to be thankful for. My land was blessed and through hard work and a good team of people, we were doing well. Even during the famine, God saw us through, and we actually increased our holding in that time. My friends would tell me to find a wife, to get out there and look.
But between my growing farming operation, taking care of my parents and the little things of life, my days were full, even if many days my heart was empty. What good is being wealthy if you don't have someone to enjoy it with?
Sifting for me was resisting the temptation to force the issue. To have my men go find a suitable mate for me and entice her with gifts and promises of wealth and the life we could have together. There was growing pressure to do this, or something similar, as I got older. Would my line continue? What was the point?
The years of waiting cost more than I can express. I felt like I was missing something important. Was my purpose really just to do well and amass wealth ... then eventually die? Wasn't there something more? I felt called to be a father. With no marriage or prospects, that's a bit like being called to be a carpenter in a place with no trees or tools. Sometimes I questioned God and sometimes I questioned myself. I grew older and wondered if that dream would be one that would eventually be laid to rest with the others.
My faith was expressed in simplicity. I tied my shoes. I went to work. I did the best I could. My faith was found in being loyal to my sense of things and God's working. In not trying to force the issue and make it happen on my own. In learning patience, even when that became almost too frustrating to bear. Doing the best I could and being met with success that in some ways was empty. But I was okay and harvest was about to begin.
When she appeared.
The most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
It was like she was more real than the world around her. She was cut in relief, her colors more vibrant than the dull environment the rest of us knew. If I could paint, I would paint her. If I could write music, I would try to capture what I saw in that instant in melody and harmonic structure. People were talking to me, and I answered without really hearing them. Trying not to stare, I did little else but wonder about her throughout the morning.
I made some inquiry. She was a foreigner. She was poor. She was staying with Naomi who had returned after all these years. Ruth was a woman of character and grace who had fallen on hard times.
She came to my field. Of all the places she could have chosen, she came to me. I wondered if it was by accident or destiny. I truly didn't care as long as she came back tomorrow. Let's see what we can do to get her to come back tomorrow. I don't think I've ever seen my men more amused, sharing looks and knowing glances. Love was in the air and it was catching. I surreptitiously instructed my team to help her efforts gathering a bit of leftover grain and my co-conspirators readily agreed.
The midday meal tasted better with her at the table. The air smelled like summer, as the sun shone warmly on my resurrected heart. The harvesters rose and barley fell to scythes and practiced hands. The sheaves gathered and bundled in the rhythm we had known since we were children.
The men started singing in the field to pass the afternoon hours, and my voice rose to join the chorus.
It was a good day, and thanks to my men, Ruth would leave with as much food as she could carry. Naomi would get the message. We'll see where it goes from there.
Father God, is it time? Is it finally time?
And she was worth the wait.
"When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."
So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!" (Ruth 2:14a-19).
Ruth: Audio blog ~Anna Mari Green
This is the Ruth story from the Stories of Sifted... written by E Reiss, read by Anna Mari Green! Text below...
With the loss of my husband, it strikes me how much my life has been altered. That ending wasn't part of my storybook plan. It was so unexpected, and all of the things I imagined were cut off in an instant. All of life's plans only made sense in the context of this other person to share them with. When a spouse is removed from the picture, everything else seems empty.
The dream I had of family and children and children's children died with my husband. I didn't know what life had for me now. I had no home of my own. The ties to my old life in my father's house had been cut, and I felt like I was adrift in a sea of emotion and endless grief.
And even worse, I had come to know and love the God of Israel. The stories of the great men of faith and their adventures from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph thrilled me and resonated in my heart of hearts. I felt like I knew them, and I couldn't get away from the realization that the gods of my fathers were false and poor imitations of the real God in heaven. I couldn't go back to my father's house. There was no place for me there now.
Years passed. When Naomi told me she was going back to Bethlehem, I had no choice but to go with her. That moment crystallized what I already knew. Naomi was my home now.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the God of Ruth as well.
So off we went, she back to a place she left so many years ago, and I, a stranger in a strange land, yearning for a love I would never know.
We arrived in Bethlehem and settled in, eventually connecting with the poor, seeking benevolence from the teams organizing the harvest of barley. The overseer gave us our instructions and told us what we would be allowed to glean, warning us to stay out of the way of the main operation. We went out, and I was in the corner of the field, picking up the leftovers and scraps from the harvesting process.
It felt like a picture of my life. My entire existence was a desperate grasping at the edges of our field, hopelessly struggling to get by. Not planning or living anymore, just existing, moment to moment, day to day.
Then I saw him.
The most handsome man I had ever seen.
And the way his men responded to him! Such strength, such joy and though he was older he seemed full of vitality and youthful energy. If I could sculpt, I'd create a sculpture that would capture the essence of what I saw in him: loving power in action, masculinity moving to accomplish his goal, a focused and purposive visage in full stride surrounded by a sense of God's favor and presence.
I snapped myself out of the daydream quickly, embarrassed as if people could somehow know my thoughts. I needed to focus. Naomi was counting on me. I worked and gleaned, but truly I did little else that morning beyond stealing glances at that man.
The more I thought about it, the more depressed I became. I was a foreigner. I was poor. I was staying with Naomi, and we were destitute. I was widowed. I wasn't as young as I used to be and the worst thing of all ... I couldn't have children.
He seemed to go out of his way to be kind and generous to all of us. I found myself at his table and he offered me food, telling me to stay with his fields and his crew through the harvest. He was probably feeling sorry for the poor widowed lady, and I tried to draw as little attention to myself as possible.
We fell back into the rhythm of working, and the coordination of the harvest team was impressive. Everyone had their job and everyone knew their place. It was full of life, and the man who owned the field had created a place where people could belong. At some point, the workers started to sing, their steady rhythm of the scythe cutting a background to their voices. Then one voice rose above the rest, and I was somehow not surprised that it was his.
A deep baritone rang out over the fields as the men sang in the afternoon sun.
At the end of the day, I had as much grain as I could carry. Naomi would be pleased; we would be ok for a few weeks at least with what I had been able to gather today.
I'll never forget the look on her face when she saw what I had gathered. She immediately began interrogating me about where I had worked, whose field had I found, who had taken notice of me. And she clapped her hands in joy at the mention of Boaz's name.
Over the next few days something amazing happened. My heart, dead and broken in my chest, sprang to life again. My dreams of family and love and a life beyond my imagining moved back into the world of the possible.
At Naomi's instruction, I went at night to the threshing floor and lay down at the feet of my redeemer. When he awoke, he spoke gently, and I fell in love with him again.
Could it be that God could bring me back to this place? Was this restoration of everything somehow not beyond His power? This dream that I had given up on—it was being given back to me. I don't understand the workings of heaven. I don't understand the path that brought me here, or the years of sorrow we've endured.
But now I see this chance of a life with the man before me. A dream revived beyond anything I could have imagined.
"So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."
Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son!" And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David" (Ruth 4:13-17).
You may have heard some of these classic one-liners.
Same schtick, but with theology:
Maybe God wants to send us a message; to forgive our sins; for us to believe in him.
But perhaps these things are not God's priorities. Or they are means, not ends.
Let’s take a closer look at the questions and respond to these questions.
Is the problem that ancient writings lack the authority and accessibility of a monster crucifix orbiting the earth? Consider the likely result. How have people already responded to what they believe to be miraculous messages? For example:
Perhaps our comprehension and our obedience are important. But what if comprehension and obedience are not God's priorities?
Message, schmessage. Does God want to give us a message? God wants to give us Himself.
To be continued... badda boom!
Community Matters ~E Reiss
Yeah, I know.
We all know that on some level, it isn't surprising. We understand that we need a social base to be healthy. We know that life doesn't happen in a vacuum and that we need each other. Friends, family, our closest relationships need to be invested in... protected... and cherished.
My dad told me a story about his dad, taking him to buy shoes. They would go to George's in Anadarko (a medium sized town in Oklahoma) and be greeted by the man himself.
The heart of George Salamy would be difficult to explain if you didn't experience him directly. He was gregarious. He was larger than life. He was incredibly kind. No one who ever met George would ever forget him.
Apparently my Grandfather knew George pretty well and they enjoyed teasing each other a bit. It would go something like this:
Grandpa: George, I need to buy some shoes for my boy here.
George (focused on my dad as a kid): We can do that! Come on over here...
And they would go through the process of trying on some shoes, with George actively engaged every step of the way.
George: Come look at those shoes in the mirror! Look at the back. You'll run faster in those shoes you know... oh yes, those fit just right. How do they feel?
And he would wait for an answer. George was an absolute jewel of a man.
Shoes selected, and you have to know, little boys love new shoes (especially ones that let them run faster)... the next stage of the process would begin. My grandfather would start bargaining related to price. This is a little bit funny, because it wasn't that kind of store. Like today, it was a small retail place and the price was stated, it wasn't supposed to change and it was a perfectly fair price.
Grandpa: George, wow, I just don't think I can pay quite that much for a pair of shoes.
And the game was on. They would bargain back and forth for a few minutes... finally settling on a price $1 below the original price. Again, hard to describe, but somehow this was 20 minutes well spent.
I suppose that you had to be there. This was a ritual and it was all in good fun... both my Grandfather and, George were highly amused by the entire exchange. My dad was, perhaps, young enough to not fully get it until later - but it's fun listening to him tell the story of Papa Reiss giving George a hard time in his own store.
You know where I heard those stories?
On the way to buy some shoes from George. And I have to say it... as a little boy, I loved going to George's - there was just something about him. He was winsome and fun and kind and I honestly felt like the most important person in the world as I sat trying on shoes with his full attention. I have nothing but incredibly fond memories of going to George's and leaving with a brand new pair of shoes. Even though I'm not a kid anymore (at least nowhere except on the inside of my head) I think I still have a pair of shoes I bought at George's.
And they worked. I ran much faster with a pair of George's shoes than I did otherwise.
On a recent trip to visit family in Oklahoma it occurred to us that Evangeline was outgrowing her current set of human foot coverings and the idea appeared as an actual light bulb over my head.
She needs to experience George.
My folks were delighted at the idea. It seemed so right. Of COURSE she needed to meet George and buy some shoes. What could be more perfect?
George had been slowing down a bit the last few years, not working everyday... but in what seemed to me to be a divine coincidence, he was there - and there in fully Georgely form. We successfully passed the getting some new shoes torch to one more generation. Think about that for a moment...
We are three generations of people, touched by the simplest of exchanges: the buying of a pair of shoes. Tied together by the grace and heartfelt hospitality of a single man, George Salamy.
I heard a few days ago that George had passed away. I experienced a simultaneity of grief that this lovely man was gone from us and a feeling of happiness that I had known him, remembering his heart and being thankful to know him even as simply as I had. I've been thinking about what made those interactions so memorable. I've been wondering why I wanted to share this experience with my own little girl. I'm not sure it's anything profound, but let me take a swing.
We live in a world of McDonald's and microwave ovens. We live in a world of Wal-Mart, even Anadarko has one now. We live in a world of Amazon and strip malls and the ability to make purchases on the fly on any wireless device that is handy. We have facebook and twitter and pinterest and vine. We take more pictures than we ever have before, even video is a standard capability of our phones. The world is moving really fast and if you're reading this, it's because blogging and social media and the like made it easy for you to get to. As a world, as a nation, as people, we've learned so much - we really have... and I love the little gadgets that surround us (I really do). I appreciate that I can share this with you, without the intervention of killing a few trees and without bugging you directly while you're trying to have dinner.
Our culture would say that the good of a Wal-Mart, in cheaper prices and efficiency of scale benefits everyone, especially the poorest in society. You can buy a good winter coat for $20, I saw it myself a few weeks ago. That's not all bad, right? That if we lose some of the folksy goodness of local small business, it's worth it.
But George knew something that we too easily forget. We need each other. It's not just about the price point. There is a glue that ties father to son and father to son and father to daughter and simple moments of connection and community are some of the most important things in life. These simple things - the day to day things - carry a weight that sometimes we take for granted.
I believe with all of my heart that George knew Exactly what he was doing: investing in a moment that would pass from generation to generation.
And he brought his A game to those moments. His simple attitude of joy and love brought light and life to those moments and I'll miss getting to see him again to buy shoes that were so much more than shoes.
They were laced up, leather bound, rubber soled moments of community, of the sort that the New Testament talks about. George tied into something wonderful, a sense of doing life in common with the people that crossed his path.
As I think about the coming chapters in my life, I pray that churches like the Surge will re-discover this kind of connection and community in a culture that desperately needs it. I certainly hope so. We need to find real relationships... and getting together regularly is a great way to provide opportunities to invest in each other's lives.
As a faith community, over a meal, or even in simple ongoing friendship, we should take a moment to celebrate some new shoes - or look to give a little girl a dollar out of the till so she could buy some candy later. I'm not saying he was perfect, but there is something of incredible value that George simply got right.
I'm very glad that my little girl got to meet him.
If you would, take a look at the photo at the top of this post... and join me in deciding again to spend a great moment with someone as soon as you have a chance.
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.