So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Neh. 4:16-20 NKJV)
As I have been outlining in my previous posts, as often as I can during my weekly business travel, I visit churches of diverse denominations on Wednesday nights. Attending church on Wednesday nights is a varied experience, as sometimes I am at a Prayer Meeting, sometimes a Bible Study, sometimes an all-out Praise and Worship service.
Over the last year or so, I have refocused my ministry and the way I share my faith and testimony.
For a couple of years I had it on my heart and prayed about purchasing a Shofar, an ancient Hebrew instrument still used today in Jewish worship on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. At about the same time, I had one of those “what ever happened to” moments, and looked up an old classmate on Facebook that I hadn’t seen since Junior High School. He went to a private high school and our lives went separate ways. He accepted my friend request, and in lurking a bit on his FB page, i noticed one very striking feature; in almost every picture of him, he was in some form of praise, and often held or was photographed playing his – shofar.
A few months later, when traveling to the Baltimore area on business (and to visit my daughter who was in college at the time), I decided to drop in on Gary, and went to his church on a Wednesday night (unannounced). When I arrived, he was helping serve dinner to the congregants, and they were cleaning up and preparing for the evening’s studies. He looked over at me standing in the kitchen door, and did a double take. I could immediately see that he had no idea who I was for a minute, then must have made an association back to our FB dialogue, and realized who I was. A huge hug let me know that with Jesus, time and distance disappear. It was like he had seen me yesterday afternoon, and this was the most normal scene imaginable.
I sat in on a study that his group was having and afterward we had a chance to talk for a while. In conversation we drifted out to the parking lot where we prayed as I was leaving (after a long catch-up on our lives since grade school), and Gary offered me the opportunity to play his shofar. After more prayer about a shofar ministry, I visited the online store that Gary recommended and made my purchase. I broke open a piggy bank (no joke) that my kids had given me for Christmas a while back, and the money that had accrued in my ceramic savings account was almost to the penny, identical to the cost of the shofar, one small confirmation that the Lord was blessing my purchase.
The package arrived with two horns, one a long spiral horn of an African kudu antelope, the other the more traditional ram’s horn. I now travel with one or the other of these, and have embarked on a new music ministry, different from anything that I have done before, but exciting and uplifting as well.
So with my Bible, my Faith, and my Shofar, I journey on with the Sword, the Shield and the Trumpet. Look for me on the wall…