The term “All In” has been coming up a lot over the Easter season. We have the example of Jesus being “All in” for us. We are asking our congregations to figure out what being “All in” for Jesus means to them. I thought it would be a good idea for the ministers of the Vicarage to sound off with their definitions of the term “All in”. Maybe it will spark some interesting conversation with our on-line community.
Amanda spoke our prayer devotional for early morning prayer this week at Cornerstone. She told me then that I should listen because in it were her thoughts concerning being “All In”.
She took the devotional from the story of Joseph in Genesis 37:1-11
Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Being “All In” means not being like Joseph’s brothers. God had given Joseph a dream that he would be given authority over his brothers. Joseph was being elevated by God. Joseph’s brothers did not take that very well. If you remember the story they beat Joseph and sold him into slavery after debating whether or not they should kill him.
Two things exemplified in this story keep us from being “All In”. The first thing is, not being willing to accept God’s plan. How often does God make His plan plain to us and still we reject it? Rejecting God’s plan is most definitely an “All In” killer.
The second thing that kills the “All In” mindset is not being willing to submit to God’s rightly delegated authority. Joseph was being put into authority. His brothers would have none of that especially coming from a younger brother. How often do we buck against someone God has placed in authority because we do not like them or we think we could do a better job.
Our liking or not liking someone in authority must never dictate our submission to that authority or the carrying out of God’s plan. Our feeling like we could do a better job is not a license to pull out of a plan God has put us in the middle of. As John Bevere says in his book “Under Cover”, “There is no submission until there is disagreement.”
Being “All In” requires us to submit to God’s plan and God’s rightly delegated authority regardless of whether we like it or even agree with it.
Sunday means ministry at the vicarage. Here was my ministry post for Sunday April 14.
Well, last night I took a load of trash to the dumpster. We are working to declutter the vicarage.
We’ve got a ways to go
But we are making some good headway:New floor mats in the kitchen, new bath mats in the downstairs bathroom and new curtains in Brenda’s room.
Another new thing we’re trying at the vicarage this year is healthy living. I heard you’re supposed to drink a minimum of 64 Oz of liquid a day. Well, I suppose that really means water but, you know, baby steps. I also heard that you can have up to you 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water, so that would mean I should really be drinking 133 oz of water a day. You do the math.
Anywho, this is my attempt at liquifying my body. I made throat soothing tea of ginger, lemon, honey and water before I left the house and my goal is to drink these this morning. That would be 45 Oz.
With Brenda away last night and again today, it was a Three Dog Night.
Snug, Mercedes and Jacopo are still getting used to each other, but they did well. I had to do separate walks because they won’t walk well together yet but they’re good dogs. I’ve decided I like my Three Dog Nights.
J says: Brenda arrived on Tuesday in the afternoon. We all, as a family, pretty-much hit the ground running after that. I went right back to work Wednesday morning. I took a quick break around 11 a.m. to help her get a cell phone running, and then went back to work to prep for my evening classes. Thursday was a 12-hour day, followed by a conference on Friday. By yesterday’s breakfast with my friend Jody I was in the throes of a full-on Spring cold
Even eggs Irish couldn’t save me from its effects. I ended up spending most of Saturday in bed trying to recuperate.
Life at the camp has been pretty good. It’s had its challenges, but this is my devotional scene every morning.
Yesterday I came home and dad was in bed with a cold. Picasso sat with me for a while though so that was good even if he had peed in protest on some of my linens while I was gone. Sheesh!
Brenda says: My cousin Dan took me to breakfast this morning
Getting up in his truck was no joke but breakfast was good. He told me about this special charger he has for car batteries. It’s called a trickle charger. Apparently it is designed to charge car batteries slowly so that they don’t blow up.
After breakfast I headed out for Hyannis where I am preaching this weekend. This is the view from my room
I think what we all need as a family right now is a trickle charger for transition. Things are happening fast, and we all need a moment or two to just breathe in Jesus and breathe out peace.
Like my daughter Amanda I enjoy routine and schedule. Like my sister Brenda I enjoy routine and schedule. Here’s the thing all of us enjoy our own routines and our own schedules. That said, God is calling us to a time of blending our routines and schedules together.
I am not exactly sure why God is doing this, but I do know God never does anything without a purpose. He wastes nothing.
Today started at 2:39 a.m. for me. I woke up with a raging sore throat. I went downstairs to the kitchen and gargled with salt water as quietly as I could. Then I went back to my room and began the process of welcoming the day in prayer. This is a deviation from routine for me because normally I would begin my prayer time in the workroom. Now with Brenda sleeping one room away, and Snug being so sensitive to sound at the moment I wanted to keep it as quiet as possible until a decent hour. I have been practicing for the last few weeks starting prayer in my room.
Brenda and I had to be at Pastor Dan’s house for 7:45 a.m. , so by 6 a.m. I was walking and feeding dogs and feeding the cat and cleaning the litter box and going to the store for mom’s morning papers, cigarettes and scratch tickets.
Then it was off to Sturbridge for a prophetic conference and so Brenda could pick up the car she’s renting from the district office for the next month or so.
The conference was super good. Both Pastor Dan and I felt very affirmed in what is happening at Cornerstone Church. I feel like God is teaching me more and more about the gift he placed in me from the beginning.
Brenda meanwhile picked up her car and had to head home to practice her sermon for this weekend in Hyannis.
Pastor Dan and I pulled in to town after the conference around 3 p.m. . I ran home walked the dogs, and crashed for a nap as once again I was feeling a bit under the weather.
When I got up Brenda asked if we could go to the church to print off her sermon and so she could try it out on me. So at 8 p.m. we were at the church practice preaching. Hyannis is in for a treat.
After practice preaching we returned home to walk dogs and feed the cat and to dispense moms medication for the night.
The schedule right now feels a little cattywampus but you know I don’t think I would have it any other way. This is life and it’s life to the full. Sure, in the newness there is a lot to work out. There are some complicated logistics to working the schedule, our schedules together. This is a work in progress but it’s God’s work. It’s fun work. You won’t find me complaining because we get to do all this fantastic stuff of life and ministry together. There aren’t too many families that have such intricate and interesting opportunities.