Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is with in me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits.
Drove over to Elmo's transitional house last night to hang out with the guys. Just going to be a part of the group...wasn't planning on teaching, but God had a different agenda than I did. Drove up and found Elmo working on a hot tub someone had donated to the group. Not your every-day-run-of-the-mill hot tub either. This bad boy had more jets than the Somali Air Force. It was a high end deal. Please be in prayer (for healing) for Elmo's wife, Gretchen. She has a physical condition that the doctor's have yet to identify, so prayers are very much appreciated.
Night times are special for me when I go to meeting, especially when it takes place on a complex where men in recovery are trying to get their lives together. In the old days (Or back in my day as the "coots" use to say) I would drive out to Rapha just to hang out with the men, especially after supper. Things are kind of laid back. Most have finished their work day and are just relaxing, trying to get their legs back under them. In such settings, you can learn a lot about an individual as they talk. You can get a handle on where they are spiritually....how they are doing emotionally....and where they are headed in their recovery. You can gain an insight into a man without every having to ask him twenty questions like you would if you were in a counseling situation.
Sam Puckett, from Rainbow First Methodist, drove up with the evening meal. A gift from the church that they provide each month. Just for the record, Sam is the brother of the notorious worship leader Tommy Puckett. Just kidding...these are two of the finest men you'd ever want to know. As I was helping Sam bring the food in, he asked me if I would mind doing the devotional. "Don't mind at all," I replied. In fact, years ago a good friend of mine gave me some sage advice when it came to occupying the role of pastor. He told me, "Always keep one in the chamber." Meaning always have a teaching ready, because you never know when you're going to need it. Well, my friend would have been proud because there was one in the chamber.
The men consumed the food, drank the tea, and scarfed down the wonderful cake that Sam brought. The teaching I had was on the five stones that David stopped to pick up on his way to fight Goliath. The simple fact that those stones had been there for who knows how long. They had been stepped on by armies marching out to battle.....they had seen the best and worse of mankind move through this valley. But the main thought was that these rocks had laid there for years and years. It wasn't until David had a need, that the rocks were picked to do battle with. What I wanted to get across to the men was that everything they needed to move beyond their sobriety has been here all along, like those rocks. It has been right in front of them, waiting for them to realize the worth of what God is providing. Everyday these men get up, there are "giants" out there waiting to do battle, but not to fear, just like those 5 stones David picked to use to defeat his giant. God has 5 spiritual stones that will defeat any "giant" that seeks to destroy us. These stones are found in Christ, and in the relationship He is calling all of us to enter into with Him.
There were names added to the kingdom role as we prayed at the end. There were five stones that David picked up......last night there were five souls that Jesus picked up. Last night was payday for me. Anytime I can see someone brought into this new way of living...well, it just crunks my tractor.
I hung around afterwards, talking with the guys. Lot's of hugs and handshakes, with a few back-slaps thrown in for good measure. It had been a good night at St. Elmo's Cathedral. Like I said, I didn't go over there with the intention of teaching, but God had a different notion. His notion always trumps my intention. Wouldn't have it any other way.
God on you...