Sunday, August 4, 2013

Well remembered: be a Barzillai

7:01 p.m. Today's project was to get back into home life, after my wonderful and rewarding Mary Kay Seminar in Dallas, with church in the morning, and a lovely baby shower in the afternoon. The honoree is the daughter of my prayer partner Monica. The fellowship and entire atmosphere was just full of the Lord. Additionally,  since it took me a while to find the house, I toured Riverside's "green belt" along the Gage Canal, lined with citrus groves, nurseries, horse properties, estates and small farms on my way.

Most of the attendees were old friends from women's ministry and home Bible study groups based at Harvest Christian Fellowship, our church of 22 years. There was much re-acquainting to do, since our family had changed to Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley 10 years ago so my late husband Steve could make more friends in a smaller fellowship. I consider both my "home church!"

As we were filing our luncheon plates, one guest asked me, after ascertaining that she not only knew me from Harvest, but from my school board tenure, whether a newly-elected member had filled my seat, and I said, "No, because I chose not to run for a fourth term back in 2005, because all of my children had graduated. Let new parents step in, was my thinking."

Later I went shopping with my daughter-in-law, at Von's and Trader Joe's. We only had one mishap, when a bottle of organic lemonade fell out of a hole in a bag and broke and spilled on the driveway..

Funny how the topic of school board came up again as I was rinsing down that spill of lemonade. A long-time neighbor came walking by, so I told how odd it was, and she agreed, that a Von's plastic bag would break.  She then said, "You're not still on the school broad, right?" I said no, much the same as I'd said earlier. Lorraine said, "I didn't think I'd seen any of your signs lately. The current group isn't doing much--you are missed!" I laughed and refrained from commenting on the group's actions, saying, "I don't think they have enough budget to do anything!" I've had no problem whatsoever stepping down so that younger parents can step up to office!

During the week, even while in the frenzied, glamour-packed events in Dallas, I'd been pondering my Bible study's last lesson on II Samuel Chapter 19 (I took my written lesson with me, though I didn't have time to work on it much). We had learned about Barzillai, a wealthy older man who supplied exiled King David and his people with provisions when David was escaping his treasonous son Absalom in an earlier chapter. When invited to come live at court with the restored king, Barzillai turned down the offer, saying in verses 34-37 that he no longer had a taste for life in Jerusalem, was too old at 80 to enjoy it, and wanted to return to his home to die and be buried with his fathers. But he requested that his son Chimham go in his place.

Barzillai was gracious in letting another take his place of honor at the king's table, in the king's service.Why? Because he had served honorably, and distinguished himself, and was ready to step aside for another.

I wrote this  lesson almost 30 years ago. Little did I think that Barzillai would be my role model in righteous behavior! No one ever thinks they'll be over 35 one day. Yet here I am, at 62, a widow retired from public service and employment, but still active in Bible teaching ministry; a business owner enjoying my grown kids, their spouses, and my grand kids. Not to mention that when my fingerprints come back from the Moreno Valley Police Department (and Summer Bible study concludes for 2013) I'll be assigned a classroom to teach during 3rd service Children's Church. I cannot wait!!

My I share with you the verses regarding Barzillai that are part of this week's Bible study?

Proverbs 16:31:
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.

Philippians 4:11,12:
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
How well I know those extremes as a widow!

I Timothy 5:9,10:
Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number (congregation), and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

Titus 2:2-5:
...that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

And finally, we have the Apostle Paul's valedictory, II Timothy 4:6-8. May we, fellow believers, be able to say this when God calls us home:

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but to all who have loved His appearing.

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