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Terry Storch Dispatch w.33.2020
"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
This past Tuesday, Robin and I loaded up Reia’s belongings and took her to East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. It’s crazy to imagine that our little girl is in college now. We are so excited for her and proud of her! Reia’s current plan is to focus on her pathway to the medical field. She will study Molecular Biology and will be entering the ECU Honors program. I apologize for any odd behavior, emotions, or random, salty discharge from the corner of my eyes. It just might have something to do with this life-altering transition.
A few weeks ago I was having a text exchange with my good friend and dispatch editor, Cindy. We were texting about some content I was writing about, and she dropped some wisdom bombs on me! Cindy and her husband, Chris, are some of our best friends and are amazing people! I’m especially thankful for Cindy, who edits this dispatch, and honestly makes this email sound much better. Cindy has just started taking on additional clients, so if you are looking for content creation or content editing, you can get in touch with her on Instagram or email.
Back to our conversation. Cindy shared with me a few little points of her devotion about the Old Testament judge, Deborah, and a man named Barak. It was so good that I wanted to share it with you in its entirety. Enjoy!
Barak and Deborah
The Old Testament book of Judges is full of amazing war stories about God’s chosen people, the Israelites. As they ventured into the Promised Land and began to take the land that God had given them, there were battles that needed to occur. Today, we’ll learn about a unique battle that involves a woman who was leading the nation of Israel.
Even though the Israelites were God’s chosen people, they lived in a toxic, ongoing sin cycle. They’d turn from God, then worship idols, then be oppressed, then cry out to God, and then God would save them. And once God saved them from danger, they turned from Him again. Same cycle, different year.
Judges 4 begins by stating that the Israelites had been oppressed by the Canaanites for 20 years. Deborah was the judge leading Israel at this time. She called for a man named Barak and told him to take 10,000 men with him to Mount Tabor and that she would deliver Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, into his hands. Here was his response:
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
— Judges 4:8 NIV
To make a long story short, the Israelites, led by Barak and Deborah, were victorious against the Canaanites. Barak showed strength and leadership, and Deborah showed a fierceness that was unrivaled.
To finish this story, let’s jump to the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. The 11th chapter is often called the “Hall of Faith” by Christians. Heroes of the past are mentioned for their faith in trying and difficult circumstances—Noah, Moses, Rahab, to name a few. Verse 32 shows us an interesting addition to this group of faithful men and women.
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets.”
— Hebrews 11:32 NIV
In the same sentence as some amazing warriors and people of faith, we find Barak. The man who was afraid to go into battle when his leader told him to and who wouldn’t fight unless Deborah, a woman, went with him. The faith here came from Deborah, yet she isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. Consider these takeaways from this story.
Even Leaders Are Afraid
People assume that a leader is never fearful and always full of faith. This isn’t always the case. God commanded Barak to lead the army, but he was fearful. This led him to practically beg Deborah to go with him. Just because someone is a leader doesn’t mean they don’t have fears to battle. However, walking into the battle or a situation often builds faith and turns weakness into strength.
You Never Know Who's Behind Someone’s Success
We often see leaders and think the work they do is amazing. But good leaders will tell you that they can’t do it alone. There’s usually a team of people around a leader helping make him or her successful. And most of the time, the people around the leader will never be known for how they help and hold the leader up in difficult times.
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When it comes to success, when is enough, enough? Is that a question you ever ponder or something that ever crosses your mind? Well, this article from Mr. Money Mustache talks about the slippery slope of striving for success and the art of The Sweet Spot. It’s a very interesting perspective, which is what I always appreciate about his writing and view on life. Read now.
The other day I was having a discussion with my mom about COVID-19, and how I just don’t think it will “change us” over the long haul. Yes, it is really disruptive now and totally destroying and wrecking some lives in significant ways. But, I don’t think it will drastically “change us,” because a large percentage of privileged Americans just don’t recognize the effect it’s having. It was a good conversation, and in a lot of ways, it was similar to this Atlantic article, COVID-19 Won’t Change Us Forever. Read now.
If you haven’t heard about Zac Efron’s new show on Netflix, then you are missing out! Robin and I started watching Down to Earth a few weeks ago, and we really like it. We love shows that take us all around the world, introduce new ideas, and often challenge conventional wisdom. Yes, we enjoy this, but at the same time, I do think it’s important to realize that Netflix shouldn’t be our only educational source because the full story may not be provided. No matter what we are learning or where the education is coming from, we should do some research and gain a full and complete perspective. But with all of that said, check out Down to Earth—it’s a great show! Watch Now.
James Intro - Just Do It
James 1:2-4 - Integrity
James 1:5 - Wisdom
James 1:9-11 - Rich or Poor
James 1:12-18 - 35,000 Decisions
James 1:19-27 - Stop Talking, Texting and Tweeting
James 2: 1-13 - Sin of Favoritism
James 2:14-26 - Empty Words
James 3:1-12 - Oil and Water
James 3:13-18 - Meekness
James 4:1-12 - Posture Not Position
James 4:13-17 - Kill Our Pride
James 5:1-6 - Blessed to Be a Blessing
James 5: 7-12 - Stop Complaining
James 5:13-18 - Just A Human?
James 5:19-20 - Play Your Part