Same purpose, new plan.

In 2001, amidst a painful wilderness journey in our marriage, the Holy Spirit whispered a promise, “I will use this for my Glory and your good.” Within a year, we began leading the first of numerous marriage small groups in which we shared our story of rebellion, redemption and restoration with the Lord- and one another. In 2010 we faced the giants in the land and established ONE Flesh Marriage Ministries, a 501©(3) non-profit corporation. We began serving engaged, married, estranged and legally separated couples through day & weekend conferences, small groups and mentoring.

God kept His promise.

In 2017, in the midst of another painful wilderness journey in our marriage and family, God spoke again, “let go of ONE Flesh…” After wrestling through the reasons why we should/should not, we chose to obey. We let go.

Then the Lord delivered a new promise.

Our purpose of making disciples would remain, but a new name and ministry plan would be required. So, after seven years of marching into the Promised Land, we are excited to announce that God has expanded our territory to include every member of the family! ONE Flesh Marriage Ministries has become At Home Ministries. We are continuing to make disciples by teaching families to love God, by obeying His commands. We are accomplishing this by:

Preaching the gospel with our lives, our voice and our pen to large and small groups.

-Ministering to individuals through prayer.

-Hosting play dates for couples and families to enjoy life- in abundance!

Tending the flock at home

Exodus 3:1, 7-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

We all know the story of Moses and the burning bush. God called an adopted Egyptian, as he was tending his father in laws sheep, to do an extraordinary thing. Moses would be the one to confront Pharaoh and lead God’s people out of Egypt – out of slavery. The entire nation of Israel would be taken through the wilderness by a tongue-tied shepherd who was married…with children.

Moses didn’t abandon his wife and sons to fulfill the call. He didn’t neglect his God given role as husband and father in order to perform miraculous signs in front of Pharaoh. He didn’t choose to lead the people into the Promised Land and ignore his family. Moses went back to Egypt with his wife and children as he carried the staff of God in his hand.

Exodus 4:18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)

18 So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.”

“Go in peace,” Jethro replied.

19 Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.”

20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.

 

For a time, Exodus 18 tells us, Zipporah and their sons went home to stay with her father (the boys probably had school and soccer practice to attend!). Regardless of the reason, Jethro eventually escorted them back to be with Moses and the people.

Exodus 18:2-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Earlier, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons back to Jethro, who had taken them in. (Moses’ first son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses had said when the boy was born, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” His second son was named Eliezer,[b] for Moses had said, “The God of my ancestors was my helper; he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”) Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God. Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.”

All throughout Scripture, we read about the heroes of faith. Ordinary men, called by God to do extraordinary things:

Noah.

Abraham.

Joseph.

These ordinary men married ordinary women and raised ordinary children.

My husband is an ordinary man. I’m ordinary. Our kids are ordinary. My man, an adopted child of God, has been called to lead His people out of slavery to sin. But in this season of life, the Lord is teaching him to be a shepherd. He’s tending to the flock at home. He’s loving his wife. He’s training our children. And soon, when the Lord speaks to him through a “burning bush,” he will GO, make disciples…with his wife and children.

sheepAre you an ordinary man? Do you have an ordinary wife? (perhaps you shouldn’t answer that!) Are you raising ordinary children? Whether you are called to lead a nation out of bondage, a local church or a small group, you are a child of God and you must GO, make disciples… with your wife and children.

Spend some time with the Great Shepherd. Ask Him: “Lord, am I tending the flock at home? Am I loving my wife? Am I training our children?” If any answer brings conviction from the Holy Spirit, confess, repent, and choose this day to serve the Lord, by serving your family. They are part of your extraordinary call. And one day, as you’re tending the flock, the Lord will tell you it’s time to GO.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader,[a] he desires an honorable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.[b] He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker[c] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[d] Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

Slave AND Apostle

2 Peter 1

This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.

IMG_5056Simon’s life was radically changed when he responded to Jesus’ command to follow Him. On that day, by the Sea of Galilee, Simon Peter obeyed the Lord immediately. Along with his brother, Andrew, he left his net and went with Jesus to become fishers of men (Mark 1:16-17).

Peter, like every disciple of Jesus was not without sin. In fact, scripture details many of his failures. (Poor guy!)

  • He sank when walking on the water.
  • He refused to believe, when Jesus said He would be crucified and resurrected on the third day.
  • Jesus rebuked Satan in him.
  • He told Jesus he couldn’t wash his feet (then he begged him to clean his hands and head too!)
  • He cut a man’s ear off.
  • He denied knowing Jesus. Three times.

But, Jesus.

Jesus.

When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He redeemed Peter’s denials by asking if he loved Him. Three times. And He gave Peter- the apostle- his assignment:

Feed My lambs.

Take care of My sheep.

Feed My sheep.

Then the Savior of the world once again commanded Peter to follow Him (John 2:19). After waiting for the gift Jesus promised, Peter was baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and received power to fulfill his mission. Peter obeyed immediately.

Peter was a follower who became a disciple of Jesus. He ate, drank, walked, talked, and asked questions of the Lord. He received instruction, correction, rebuke, & training. Yes. Peter screwed up. Yes. Peter sinned. Yes. Peter returned to Jesus. And, yes. Peter was forgiven.

During his discipleship journey with the Savior, Peter learned to be a slave. Not a slave who is abused, but one who knows and submits to their Master, regardless of the cost. Peter remained a slave as he began his ministry as an apostle.

Follower.

Disciple.

Slave.

Apostle.

Follower? Today’s church gets excited about following Jesus to find out what He can do for us. Who wouldn’t want to be healed, raised from the dead, or free from demons? As a follower, we may see the miracles that glorify the Father in heaven, but what we really want is for them to benefit us here on earth.

Follower?

Sure.

Disciple? Well…that’s gonna require more than just a Sunday morning experience. Do we really want the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power? Sounds a bit scary. We couldn’t be in control. I mean, common’ – we may look like drunk idiots to people around us if we start speaking in unknown tongues or prophesying! Being a disciple means we’d have to drop our nets that may be full of all kinds of “fish” that we worship (spouse, kids, hobbies, that brand new car, social media, our intellect, our beauty). Disciples eat, drink, walk, talk and ask questions of the Lord. Disciples receive instruction, correction, rebuke, & training.

Disciple?

Too hard.

Slave? Um…..seriously? A slave gives up all their rights to the Master. Their flesh is crucified. They choose to obey- regardless of the cost. They submit willingly to the One who bought them at a high price. A slave serves their Master, until death.

Slave?

Impossible.

Apostle? Well…the bible tells us to “go, make disciples.” We’re supposed to DO the work of the ministry, right? God has given us gifts to accomplish it. Jesus said we’d cast out demons and heal the sick – these things and more! The truth is, many may be called to ministry, but few choose to follow Peter’s example of being a slave and apostle. The many will be dumbfounded when they stand before the Judge and hear “depart from me….I never knew you,” instead of hearing “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Follower.

Disciple.

Slave.

and Apostle.

(in that order)

My friend,

Come, follow me, as I follow Jesus. I will show you how to eat, drink, walk, talk and ask questions of the Lord. I will show you how to receive instruction, correction, rebuke, & training. I will pray with you to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. I will walk beside you as a fellow disciple and slave. And we will become fishers of men, together. Ready to drop your net …and go?!