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The Perfect Storm Shelter


Q. Which animal on Noah’s Ark had the highest level of intelligence?
A. The giraffe.

Q. Why did Noah have to punish and discipline the chickens on the Ark?
A. Because they were using “fowl” language.

Q. On the Ark, Noah probably got milk from the cows. What did he get from the ducks?
A. Quackers.

Q. When was the first meat mentioned in the Bible?
A. When Noah took Ham into the ark.

Q: Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A: Noah – he was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

 

Here are a few words from a book I’m reading titled ‘The Exception.’ It’s a book about the Ashland Oil and Refining Company. The opening page reads: “There is a tendency in some quarters today to assume that mystery has departed from the world, and that all men can be explained. Nothing could be more erroneous. The mystery of personality: of why some men can overcome challenges while others are invariably defeated, remains, as ever, inexplicable.”

Why do some people look at a challenge in the face and take it on without looking back? Why do others look at a challenge and feel fear rather than excitement? Why do some see challenges as new opportunities? Why do some feel challenges are doors to be closed and not opened? Why did Noah, after looking at this challenge/opportunity before him, still choose to move forward even though he would receive ridicule, loss of friends, and loss of trust in the community? He would be known as the crazy man who lives down the road?

A verse in Jeremiah says this, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Noah decided to steer his heart. He steered it to follow God, to trust God, to obey God. God asked him to do something very, very different from cultural norms, and Noah followed God. Down deep, he knew he would be sheltered by whatever storm was coming…and a storm came in a number of ways.

This is a focus on what I think is the key verse in this section of scripture, Genesis 6:22, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” He followed God because He was able. The instructions were from God, so the boat would be more than adequate. Our very beings were created by God, so whatever happens to us, we can weather storms…because He is with us. The only downer in that last statement is that we can choose not to be with God or follow God’s ways, directions, will, or principles of life. It’s a choice. His way will get us through the storms. Notice I didn’t say ‘keep us away from the storms.” He gets us through troubles. Our way leads us into storms and most often keeps us in them.

So are you ready to lead your group into the principle that storms come, sometimes one after the other, but ‘following all of God’s commands’ is always the best option?….even if our heart says otherwise? Remember, leadership has to repeat a vision, lead people to that vision, and keep them on the road to seeing that vision happen. And then you repeat the process.

Teachers of kids – This week’s phrase might be “God is our Storm Shelter.”We need to repeat that loud and often this week.Kids are restless because they’re out of school and doing summertime things.Remember to use activity and teaching to cement learning.Outside temps are great if it’s not raining.The ark was probably about as wide as our sanctuary is long, as tall as our sanctuary’s roof and as wide as our parking lot from woods (by the garage) to the outside lobby where the coffee machine is.There’s a visual for your class.Think of the cars in the parking lot as animal cages or something…who knows.Adults may want to take that hike too and think about what our community would think if we were told to build an ark.J

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