Protect the Pollinators

A couple of weeks ago, Betty McKinney (aka “Bible Betty”) shared her heart for persecuted Christians during our Morning Bible Study here at RBM (watch here!). She told us that Christians are the most persecuted people group in the world. There are Christians fearing for their very lives, even in their own families, in Yemen and the Arabian peninsula. In North Korea there is a Christian Holocaust. There is more persecution of Christians in 2017 than there has ever been in the history of the world.

We were challenged by Betty to create Voice of the Martyrs’ “Action Packs”: packages filled with goods such as sweaters, jackets, soap, mittens, socks, etc. for persecuted believers around the world who live in hiding and are in desperate need. (Learn how to give one here!) I made an Action Pack, put it in a copier paper box, wrapped it up with packing tape, and headed to the Post Office.

I brought my package up to the woman at the counter and told her how excited I was to be sending it to a Christian in need. I shared with her about this brutality that is a reality around the world. She smiled and nodded politely. Then I exclaimed, “Oh! I need a book of stamps while I am here!” She asked, “What’s your flavor?” I laughed, “Something girly. Flowers, I guess.

She pointed to a couple different designs and neither interested me. The she said, “Oh, you might like the Pollinator ones.” I thought, “Huh? What does that mean?” Then she pulled out the most beautiful book of stamps, covered with flowers and…you guessed it…BUTTERFLIES! My eyes lit up and I said, “Yes! Those are the ones!” I then shared with her my testimony and 2 Corinthians 5:17. She smiled, bigger this time! I paid and we said our goodbyes.

I got into my car and looked at the stamps. The book said on the top, “Protect Pollinators”. Then, God gave me a revelation as He so often does. PROTECT POLLINATORS. Butterflies are pollinators. Butterflies carry pollen from flower to flower which helps to proliferate them. In short, BUTTERFLIES ARE CARRIERS OF LIFE.

In Genesis 1:28 and 9:7, God commands His creation to “be fruitful and multiply“! In my first post (read here) I showed how Christians are like butterflies. So just as the butterflies carry the seed of life, Christians carry the Gospel of Life in Christ! Jesus’ last command to His disciples was similar to God’s first command to mankind: “Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you“, Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus commanded us to multiply!

Our assignment by God is to reproduce. We must reproduce, creating children of God in all nations! We must carry the Gospel everywhere! But we will meet obstacles and enemies throughout that assignment. We must protect and care for fellow Christians around the world, the pollinators of the Gospel! This is the only way life will be reproduced. My Action Pack was doing the very thing my book of stamps was urging me to do: Protect Pollinators.

Look at God. He is AMAZING. He is in the little things…even a stamp, a package…as well as the big…the protection of His Church and the proliferation of the Gospel. I stand in awe once again. Look for Him. He is in everything!

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Unity in Diversity

Every morning here at RBM, we meet at 8:00 am for a time of prayer. Some people cry out to the Lord with a loud voice, some pray tender, quiet prayers, some pray silently; I often pray in the form of drawing a picture.

I’ve attended many churches where a person paints during worship – creating a prophetic image that God is showing the individual. Sometimes it’s a ship in a storm, a flower blooming, a tree bearing fruit. I began this practice of drawing for the Lord in prayer a few years ago. It is my own prayer journal. And to look back upon the images God has given me through the years is a blessing.

So in morning prayer time I ask God, “What are You saying?” One morning last week, I stared down at the colored pencils that I use and He said “Look at all of the colors. Aren’t they beautiful?” I said, “Yes!” (I LOVE color.)

As I looked at all of the colors of the pencils I saw a rainbow. Then I heard “Unity in Diversity”. I drew and colored a rainbow. Now, we all know that this symbol is highly controversial. This post has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. This is about the beautiful visual expression of God’s covenant with Noah, saying that He would never again flood the Earth. He created the rainbow; He clearly defined it’s purpose and meaning in Genesis 9. (See! God draws too! “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1)

A rainbow has 7 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. (7 is the number of completion and perfection.) All white light is actually composed of these 7 colors. The light that enables us to see is composed of these colors! Amazing! It’s only when light goes through a prism that the colors separate. This is what happens when it rains; raindrops act as prisms and they reveal the individual colors that make up the light.

Jesus said in John 8:12“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” I John 1:5 says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Then Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.” So God puts His light in us and it shines…in diverse ways!

You can’t take red out of light and it still be light as God made it. Each individual color is crucial to it’s composition. Each color is individually beautiful and unique. However, a rainbow wouldn’t be as beautiful if it were just blue…the colors together are what make it whole. So it is in us. The same one Spirit flows through many people and gives many gifts, for the common good! 1 Corinthians 12:4 says, There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” Romans 12:4-5 says, For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We must see the necessity of every gift of the Spirit and every part of the Body. We are indivisible; together we fulfill our purpose as God intended. 

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Metamorphosis

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This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice an be glad in it!

My name is Brittany Renée Shewbridge, and I work with media here at RBM. Pastor Rick has asked me to begin sending out weekly posts of what God is putting on my heart. Here goes.

Two summers ago I was painting a table my carpenter brother had built for me. I asked God to take my hand and paint whatever He wanted. In the center I painted the word “Believe” and proceeded to paint flowers around the perimeter. Then, on the tip of the word “Believe”, I painted a butterfly. I didn’t know why! I always thought they were a rather cliche creature to see: on tattoos, calendars, etc.

I Asked God,

“Why a butterfly?”

And He said,

“THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE.”

Then He showed me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” I had declared this Scripture over myself time and time again, and here was a visual of the meaning! My belief in Christ and in His resurrecting power had made me new; He had placed His Spirit in me and I was a new creature, just like a butterfly.

A butterfly begins as a tiny caterpillar. The caterpillar is a fuzzy, earth-bound bug that isn’t a whole lot to look at. It has to go through a metamorphosis to become what it’s purposed to be. It must enter into the cocoon and allow time and pressure to complete their work. It must be alone in the protective shell where the change is produced. It must not be helped out of the cocoon prematurely – it must struggle and push it’s way to break free. It is in the struggle that it becomes strong enough to fly. After it escapes the cocoon it must hang upside-down for a time and allow the blood to reach the very tips of it’s wings. Then, and only then, can it fly with confidence, strength, and beauty.

We are butterflies, aren’t we?

We begin as a fleshly human being, driven by our own desires and lusts and will, yet with the seed of potential for a greater purpose given by our Creator. When we come to Christ He begins the process of metamorphosis. In Him, from the moment we turn to Him, we are the new creature. Yet, at the same time, we are becoming it. When the Father looks at us He sees the righteousness of His Son (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we are also being sanctified day-by-day and working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Life does it’s work and takes away the “old us” and transforms us into the new in Christ. We must struggle to become what He has made us to become. We must suffer and consider it joy! He is working! It is through Him alone that we are strengthened to do what He asks of us. We can have confidence in Him in us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. And the “flight” will be an adventure: unpredictable, free, and beautiful.

So now what? We go and make more butterflies.

Fly, Butterfly! Fly!

BRS

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