The Day Noah Heard From God

Noah came charging through the field. His mind was racing faster than his feet could carry him. His clothes whipped in the wind which was blowing across his body from the west as he ran south toward home.

God had spoken to him! He couldn’t wrap his mind around the experience. God had actually spoken.

Noah had just left town when it happened.

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He hated going into town.

People there were so vile. When he would brush against the crowds to gather supplies for home he felt dirty. It’s not that he felt better than them. Their actions were just blatantly sinful. They flaunted their vices as if they were a prize of which to be proud.

It was both heartbreaking and disgusting.

“Are you certain we need the cart fixed?” Noah had asked his wife, even though he knew the answer. The front wheel had busted off in a rut which had been hidden in the knee-high grass close to home. The cart really did need to be fixed, but he loathed going into town.

He hated sending any of his family into town even more than he hated going himself. So he had made the trek, praying to himself as he walked.

“Please don’t let me witness any murders today, particularly my own. Help them to change. Let them see the error of their ways.”

Noah had once witnessed a group of men beating another. When he questioned the crowd the only answer he received was something along the lines of, “Who cares! You can’t pay enough money for this kind of entertainment.” The man being beaten looked up with one last pleading glance before his body went limp.

It all made him sick to remember. It made his heart heavy to know these people had strayed so far from the Creator that they no longer saw any wrong in their actions.

When he would question people in town about the rampant violence, adultery, and crime he would be met with answers like, “I don’t care what someone does. Everyone is free to do as they wish,” or, “Hey, as long as it doesn’t hurt me or my business people can do as they please.”

Noah slowly made his way through the crowd, trying to keep his eyes on the ground, only looking up to purchase the items he needed. Then he had begun to make his way home.

Noah had not gotten far out of town before he had a strange sensation about him. It felt as though someone were watching him from afar. When he turned, no one was there.

“Hello?”

No answer came. He walked a little further but could not shake the feeling. The hair on the back of his neck began to stand and he felt a prickling sensation down his arms. It was at that moment the afternoon light began to shine brighter. It made everything impossible to see.

Then he heard a reply. The voice boomed, although he could not tell if it was actually out loud or speaking directly into his mind. It was a dominant sounding voice, but there was never a moment it did not sound kind. At the sound, Noah’s heart leapt within his chest.

It was God, the Creator. He spoke to Noah and told him how dispeleased He was with the condition of the world. It seemed the disgust Noah felt over the blatant sinning was a reflection of how God Himself felt. He said He would send a flood to destroy the world but Noah was to build a boat and he and his family would be safe.

Noah was overcome with emotions. He still could not believe God had chosen to speak to him. There were tears in the old man’s eyes and a smile across his face.

He was not sure what the words, “rain” or “flood” meant but he believed God would reveal them in time.

For now, he had a mission. He needed to rush home to tell his wife and children about this amazing encounter! They needed to begin following the call of God at once.

They had lived their lives following the way of life he had revealed to their anscestors on how to live. Now He had revealed an even more specific plan.

What excitement. What a priveledge. Noah always knew that following God’s plans were the right way. He knew he would be rewarded. He had felt the blessing of God a few times in his 500 years on the earth.

This however was the greatest he had felt. He finally knew, with no doubt God was with him and his family. It had been difficult but worth it.

Only 500 years to hear God speak. Tears were flowing steadily as Noah ran.

He ran all the way home, and rushed up to his wife.

It was not until that moment he realized he had dropped his supplies. Hopefully God’s message would help his wife overlook his blunder.

The elation in her face and the tight embrace Noah received from his wife let him know she had just as quickly forgotten about them.

We Are Called To One Mission But Not The Same Ministries

It’s interesting how quickly groups of people who should be working toward the same goal can turn on each other.

In marching band, it’s he instruments against the flags.

The actors take arms against the set crew in drama.

In the workplace it can be field techs verses the office.

Even in church it can happen. The community outreach group and the internal ministry can become pitted against one another.

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One Body, One Purpose.

In Scruptures one of my favorite description of the Church is as a body. In a body there are many parts which all work together for a common purpose.

If one body part is injured, then the rest work harder to pick up the slack. If a part of the body is sick, the rest suffers with it.

You know the feeling. It can feel impossible to perform any task when a headache strikes. Progress is slower when suffering from a broken leg or sprained ankle.

Our body relies on all it’s parts to work together.

In Christian circles we often times spend all of our energies beating up the other parts of the body simply because they do not perform the same function as we do.

Different Parts Perform Different Tasks

It is ridiculous for us to assume that a hand and foot should perform the same functions. While they are similar (each having 5 stubby appendages at the end, they themselves are at the end of a longer appendage,and each have a softer, fleshy underside) they are designed to be different.

A hand and foot are not meant to perform the same tasks.

Now before someone starts pointing out that some people walk on their hands, or there are some who have learned to pick up a variety of objects with their feet, I already know. I never said they are incapable of soing some of the same things, but that is not their primary function.

In the body of Christ we have all been given a different task. We have natural talents, and spiritual gifts which we are meant to use to further the Kingdom of God.

Why is it then we get upset with other members of this body for not having the same passions as we do.

One Mission, Different Ministries.

God has given us all the mission to love others the way He has loved us, but that is going to reflect differently for different people and situations.

I’m to love everyone. However, I do not show the same love to my a friend as I do to my wife. I do not love the stranger I meet with the same love as I do my own children.

It would be silly to demand I live in this way.

Some of us have a strong, God-given desire to head out to the streets and actively, daily care for the homeless. Wonderful! Do that. Share with others and you may find God placing others in your path who desire to do the same.

Others may have a passionate calling for those within the deaf community, or single mothers, or struggling with substance abuse, pornography, or in any other walk of life. I believe God lays certain passions on our hearts because there is a need He desires us to meet.

However, let’s not chastise another brother or sister because they have not heard the call to a particular ministry.

We should encourage each other to follow God’s will in our lives. Celebrate the calls in the lives of others. If we all just focused on one people group, there would be entire cultures and subcultures left untouched by God’s love.

So follow God’s leading. Pursue the work he has laid out for you. Share it with others and let the world know of the needs you have found.

But do not belittle others for finding the same passion in another area.

Let us all work together, even if it means in different areas, to bring the love of God and the gospel, to the world.

How can you encourage the ministries to which others have been called? What passion has God placed on your heart?

The Battle of the Cheese Pizza

I grabbed two frozen cheese pizzas from the store freezers.

I thought I had made a smart decision.

I later found out I was very wrong.

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I’m not sure what the pizza eating habits are like in your home. Many people have sworn off pizza because of the grease, or the all around unhealthy food choice which it presents.

Others love their pizzas overflowing with toppings. Meats and veggies all swimming together in a beautiful pool of cheese. It can only be made better by sprinkling even more cheese on top. This would be the camp where I reside.

A couple years ago my wife took the kids to visit her family for about a week. To survive, I ordered an extra large Papa Johns supreme pizza and ate on it for lunch a supper for a few days.

It was magical.

My children, however, fall into a camp of less evolved tastes. They prefer their pizzas to be covered in only cheese. Occasionally one may request pepperoni, but it is a rare occurrence.

This is why I felt I was safe grabbing a couple cheese pizzas for supper. We were getting ready for a trip so did not want to leave leftovers.

Pizza was a safe option.

I grabbed a brand we do not usually purchase because it was bigger and looked like one whole pizza would be able to feed our family of six. And it did, but not without a fight.

The pizza in the image above is not our pizza although it looked similar. Our pizza also had a small sprinkling of green on the cheese. When I saw it I had thought, “No big deal. It’s only seasoning.”

*Quick side note: I have started referring to any extra flavoring as “seasoning.” I used to call them, “spices,” but our children then believe we were feeding them something “spicy” and would melt down before eating it.*

As soon as the pizza was placed in front of them I was assulted with questions.

“What is that green stuff?”

“Is it spicy?”

“Can you pick it off? I don’t think I’ll like it.”

“Did your dad treat you with such abuse?”

“Why do you hate us?”

Those last couple may be a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe.

I pressed forward with the strength of the 300 Spartans. I would not waver from my stance. The food had been prepared and there were no alternatives.

Sweat began to bead on my forehead as I ate my piece of pizza to show it was not poisoned in anyway. Then I needed to reassure the children my sweat was not because the pizza was spicy.

It’s just seasoning! It adds flavor…a good flavor.

To wrap up this story which has been told almost exactly as it happened, they all ended up eating their pieces.

The next day I prepared for the same encounter. I was ready for a forty-five minute battle over eating one piece of pizza.

I served each child one piece and braced myself. Five minutes later each piece was gone. Not a single word of complaint.

The exact same pizza!

I do not know if it was a fluke, or if my stern parenting style had worked. All I know is it felt like a victory, and I’m still talking about it.

That said, I’m not willing to redo the experiment and we will be going back to their regularly scheduled pizzas in the future.

What dinner time battles have you fought?