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Showing posts from June, 2017

At Ease In The Land Of Giants

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Over the last several months I’ve been a participant in a missions coaching course. Now, as we get to the nitty-gritty and think about what the possibilities and opportunities might be for our church to be more effective in reaching those who have yet to hear the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the task looks daunting—at least as far as the big picture, the need around the world, is concerned. The specific interest rising to the surface in our discussion seems to be to reach those people who are the most difficult (even dangerous) of all to reach, and those who live in countries to which we have limited, or no, access.

Throwing in the towel and concentrating on something easier seems to be an option here. Who are we to think we can make much of a difference under such challenging circumstances? Then Numbers 13 came up on the schedule for this morning’s Scripture reading.

Ever have that moment when the Lord taps you on the shoulder to remind you of something important? Here it …

On Complaints and Concerns

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Now the people complained…” (Numbers 11:1).

There is always something we can find to complain about, isn’t there? The classic complaint is usually about too much winter. Then, when summer comes, it’s too hot! For the Hebrews the issue was hardship. Perhaps packing and unpacking their tents was getting on their nerves. For that, (and it was something I hadn’t paid any attention to before) “…fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Not having learned the lesson, the next complaint was about the food (11:4). Now that has a familiar ring! They were getting bored with the manna that the Lord provided for them. They wanted something to chew, not something that dissolved to mush in their mouths.

Even Moses seems to have gotten caught up in the vicious circle of “why, me?” Why hardship? Why can’t life be easier? Why can’t I eat what I really want instead of what I have? For Moses the complaint became: “Why do I have to get stuck with these complaine…

Cloud Watching

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I’ve always jokingly said that I was in such a hurry to get started with life that I was born a month prematurely and have been running ever since!

Like just about everything, being fast isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But then again, it can get a person into trouble. In fact, going too slowly can do the same thing.

Perhaps that is why this passage from Numbers 9 caught my attention. At the end of the chapter the writer is describing the cloud that covered the Tent of Meeting, or the tabernacle, that was the centerpiece of the Hebrew camp. During the day it was a cloud, at night it was a pillar of fire—the same cloud and fire that had been with the Israelites since they had left Egypt. Moses writes: “Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; whenever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped” (9:17, 18).

The passage goes on to say that sometimes the cloud settled for only a few h…