Convention Gems - 2004

So many uplifting and inspiring thoughts were shared in the convention meetings in S. A. that I hardly know which ones to share!! It touched all our hearts to hear one of the older brothers speaking about the day Jesus returned to His Father in Heaven; His disciples were watching Him as He rose up in the air and disappeared from their sight behind the cloud.  They would have realized by this time that He was leaving and would have been thinking, "He is going...He is going...He is gone." On the other
side there was a multitude also watching and they were saying, "He is coming! He is coming! He is here!" What a welcome! We know that because of Christ's life and His death on
Calvary that every child of God will receive the same good-bye from His children here on Earth and the same welcome in Heaven. Wonderful to hear those words some day, "He/she is here!" when we arrive at "Home" to stay forevermore.

'Twas very special to hear in another meeting about the lit coal mentioned in Isaiah 6:6. It touched Isaiah's lips and cleansed him. We heard much about the difference between a lit coal and a dead coal. The first responds when blown upon and grows brighter, the other remains the same. The lit coal can quicken another, but the dead coal cannot help.  One leaves an impression (a burn, a scar) when it touches others, the other only leaves a dark smudge that can be easily washed away. The lit
coal looks white in the sunshine and shines in the darkness, the dead one looks black in the sunshine and fades into the darkness becoming a part of it. One can give warmth to its surroundings, the other does not help in any way. A lit coal makes it possible for incense, a sweet fragrance, to rise up to God, the dead one doesn't. One can help produce/bake bread that will feed others, the other cannot.

We were glad to be reminded that the Lord would like each of His children to be like a lit coal that can bring hope, light, warmth and blessing to others in every situation in life.

*In Numbers 13, verse 23, it tells about the spies coming back from the promised land. It says they cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes and bare it between two upon a staff.  It would have only taken one person to bring back a report but it took two to bring back the fruit.  This is a beautiful picture of the ministry and how we need to work together to display the fruit.  There was a staff between them upon which the fruit was carried and this staff united the two bearers together.  It is something like the Spirit of God uniting the two servants of God in this work.  If one was going a little faster than the other, there would be a tug on the staff and the other would be aware that he needed to increase his pace a bit to walk in harmony together.  Only in extreme cases would they need to tell one another to slow down or speed up if each was sensitive to the tug they felt on the staff.  This is how we work together in this ministry.

*Duane Hopkins pointed out something that most of us had never noticed before.  It is found in 2 Kings 2:1, "And it came to pass when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal."   Elijah went with Elisha, not Elisha with Elijah.  Elisha was the younger companion. Now Elijah was old and not so able any more and Elisha was taking the lead.  When a pair of workers both have the interest of the Kingdom at heart, it won't make any difference who has the responsibility.  If we are concerned about our own interests, then this becomes an issue.  There is an order in God's Kingdom, but it is not governed by seniority.  When our name appears below another on the workers' list, it means that those in authority have, for some reason, given our companion the responsibility.  Possibly it is because the other person needs an opportunity to develop, possibly it is because there are some things we need to learn about submitting, possibly it is because we need a chance to be free from extra tension for health reasons.  We don't need to know all the reasons why, but should consider it a privilege we are worthy of to be on the list at all.  Wherever we are, there is much to learn about dying to self and working in harmony with our companion in the interest of the Kingdom of God.