Thursday, April 26, 2012
Welcome to Day 116 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
2 Samuel 1:9 “Then he [Saul] begged me, ‘Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’ 10 “So I killed him,” the Amalekite told David, “for I knew he couldn’t live. Then I took his crown and his armband, and I have brought them here to you, my lord.” 15 Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him.”
v 23 “How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan!”
Psalm 140:12, “But I know the Lord will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor.”
Matthew 13, The Parable of the Sower, The Parable of the Weeds, The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast, The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, The Parable of the Net.
v 58 “And he did not do many miracles there [Jesus’ hometown] because of their lack of faith.”
So, this Amalekite comes upon Saul’s lifeless body, before the Philistines find him, and he takes his crown to show that he’s dead… is he trying to write himself into his death story, hoping to earn favor (or a reward?) from David?
In 1 Samuel 31:4-5 it states, “so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him.”
It could be possible that Saul wasn’t dead, dead… and that the Amalekite finished him off, but these verses indicate otherwise. Saul’s armor-bearer would know the difference between an injured warrior and one who was dead. Having said that, even if Saul was hanging on to his life, and the Amalekite actually did
end Saul’s life as he told David, telling him ended up not working out so well for him. David had him struck down on the spot.
Had he told David that he simply came upon Saul’s body and retrieved the crown and armband, he would have likely been let go… Maybe even received that reward he may have been seeking.
None of this is important, really… his story if fabricated, cost him his life.
I wonder how often we try to write ourselves into a story for one reason or another. Usually to make myself look better, or whatever?
It’s funny how the story of Doug and I planting the church over the past 22 years has taken shape. Doug and Marcie were planting the church and I was the worship leader. He would go out of town and I would do the message in his stead. Over the years it became, “When Doug and Scott moved to Dayton…” Now it’s “When Doug and Scott planted the church…” which, is true, to an extent… but actually, I had little to do with it. I was there. Serving, supporting… and yes, Bonnie and I did move to Dayton for this purpose. But make no mistake, Doug and Marcie planted the church.
When Doug and I would travel to a pastor’s conference, I would introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Scott… I carry Doug’s bag.” Because I honestly had little to contribute. But over time that has changed. And how I was written in to that story and the role I played has morphed. It’s all true, but what we say now is different from what was said then.
I always say, the Vineyard would not be here were it not for Doug. And it may not be here were it not for me. I know I’ve been a steady source of encouragement for Doug over the long haul. He never had to wonder if I was going to be there and do what needed to be done. I’ve learned and grown. We’ve learned a lot along he way. Seen people come and go. Seen the Lord do many great things along the way.
We have always just been determined to not bury the one talant that the Lord gave us.
We are called to extend the kingdom, not to grow a church.
Today’s parables talk about sowing seeds and the kingdom of God. That’s WAY bigger than “church.” It’s how we live life. It’s our mindset that it’s impacting our city for the sake of the kingdom, not to get people to come to our church.
Doug’s life motto is “to leave Dayton better than we found it.”
We know we’re not perfect. We’re not theologians. I’m not a trained musician. Our desire has always been to simply read the Bible and do what it says… Put it into practice… and teach others to do the same. To demonstrate God’s love to our city. To create a safe environment where people can grow into mature followers of Jesus Christ. To pass our faith (and the church) on to the next generation.
That is all happening.
Did you know every month we distribute more than TEN TONS of food to nearly a thousand families in Dayton, Huber Heights, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Kettering, Jamestown, Cedarville, etc? Families receive not only groceries, but prayer and hope. Love and acceptance. Smiles and encouragement.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
The kingdom has a place for everyone…
We believe as we do these things, the church will grow. In Acts 2 it says, “and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Our job is to remove the barriers to that happening, and to make a place for those coming to Christ.
I have a few friends who tease me and call me “Mr. Dayton” because I have a facebook page called “I Love Dayton!” and I’m Executive Director of The Hope Foundation of Greater Dayton (a member agency of the Foodbank, Dayton). It’s how we acquire much of the food we distribute, in addition to the food that Vineyardites regularly donate. I’m also on the Board of New Media Dayton, an affinity group of social media professionals and enthusiasts that help small businesses.
Why am I telling you all of this? None of this would have happened had I not offered to be Doug’s worship leader 22 years ago. Had Doug and Marcie not helped Bonnie and I and our fledgling young family through some difficult times…
My life story likely would have turned out very differently.
I’m convinced the Lord has had his hand in it every step along the way. It’s because of him and his grace that I get to do any of what I get to do. That’s true for all of us.
And I believe Dayton is getting better, thanks to hundreds of generous, faithful people coming alongside and extending the kingdom with us!
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to me and my family, and to our church! You are faithful!