Zebra Events


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Gary or Jill Getchell at zebraministries@gmail.com


Zebra Ministries

Welcome to the herd!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

People often comment on my ability to see God lessons in everything.  I know it has nothing to do with me, it’s a gift God has given me to share His truths with His people,
just look at plants He grew in my back yard. 

These three plants were all the same size all planted at the same time.  But a month later they look totally different.  Originally as I watched them grow at different rates I thought of the parable of the four soils: (Matthew 13:1-23.) 

But it isn’t the soil that is different, it just seems like one plant is trying harder. My whole garden is suffering because I have two “lazy” plants. 

In the same way, the whole church suffers when each individual Christian doesn’t do their best to grow into the faith and walk in unity with other believers.

Ephesians 4:11–16: “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

People say we have no right to judge one another but that’s only partially true.  According to Paul, we have no right to judge the world, they are lost and in need of Christ, but we an obligation to “judge” believers.  In a rarely quoted text we read:

1 Corinthians 5:9–13: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
If we were to live transparent lives before one another, acknowledging and confessing our sins, encouraging one another to live up to the standard set by God, there wouldn’t be such a spiritual discrepancy between believers. Everyone would be growing.  Everyone would be the big flowering plant.

But since we are afraid to be transparent and honest, even sometimes with ourselves, too many Christians remain stunted, unable to produce true spiritual fruit.

Love,

Jill

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

I love you. Like many of you, I’m praying for all the disasters that have hit the world over the last few months. Some days If feels as if the world as we know it may cease to exist if God doesn’t stay His hand. 

2 Samuel 24:16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” 

I know some people say: “That’s great, let’s get on with this,” but there are so many people who have not responded to the Gospel.  Our life, will mean their death and I’m not ready to give up. I want more time to get the message out.  I want God to give His people another chance to choose Him and I want a revival.  Don’t you?

The Bible teaches we do not have the power to stay God’s hand.

Daniel 4:34–35   all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

Nor, according to Job, the wisdom to question Him.

Job 38:1–3 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.

But it also teaches we have the right to pray and ask for anything we want. 

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

So this is how I’ve been praying:

Dear Heavenly Father, I love you so. Thank you that You are good and everything You do is good. Thank You that You are sovereign and in-control and nothing happens that You do not allow.  Lord, I know I have no right to tell You what to do with the people You created but please Heavenly Father on behalf of all the people who have not yet responded to the Gospel, and those of us who feel our work here is not yet done, please Heavenly Father, stay Your hand.  Do not destroy what you have created, not yet.  Give us another chance to be the people You created us to be and to finish the work You created us to do.  In the name of Jesus Christ, who died to reconcile the world to Himself, we pray.

And hopefully some of God’s people say “Amen.” 

Love,

Jill

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Yesterday as I was walking with my “Holy Spirit sticks” (the sticks I use that turn walking into a whole-body exercise, reduce impact on knees and hips, and allow me to walk further and faster than I could without them) I passed a woman carrying hand weights. 

She was a large lady and the last thing she needed was to add more weight to her already stressed frame. But I’m sure she read somewhere that carrying hand weights would increase weight loss.

I thought about telling her about my sticks because I knew they would make her walk more enjoyable and she would get the results she was looking for, but unsolicited advice is not always well received. So, I just kept walking.

But as I did I thought about how Christians live their lives. Too often we carry hand weights when we should be holding on to our sticks.

Matthew 11:28–30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God did not come in human flesh and die upon a cross so that we could have a list of rules.  They already had a list of rules. He came to set them free from the law of sin and death and to reconcile the world to Himself.

If you live out your faith by always “trying” you are like the lady carrying the weights.  But if you realize nothing good lives in you and give up your right to yourself the Holy Spirit, which lives in all who have salvation, will have control of your life and it won’t be you trying to do things, it will be God doing them.

The difference is subtle, but it changes everything.  I know because I’ve lived both ways.   

Love,

Jill

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

This picture is the current home screen on my computer.  It is from “Field of Dreams.”  Kevin Costner is following “the voice” which sent him to find James Earl Jones who wants nothing to do with him.  Jones is disillusioned and just wants to be left alone.  He has lost his faith in mankind.

As Christians our faith is not in man, but in God but people still lose their faith.
If their faith was built upon a rocky foundation filled with misconceptions of who God is and what He expects from us it is easy to get disillusioned and fall away.  But if your foundation is solid, built on the truth of God, you understand there is nowhere to “fall away” to.

John 6:66–69 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”   

We do no one any favors when we water down the Gospel or help people shore up their poorly built foundation because the rain will come and all they have built will wash away leaving them worse off than they were before, because now they think they have “tried God” and He didn’t work and they mentally shut the door to hearing truth. 

If you have heard God’s voice don’t give up.  Keep trying. People so desperately need God.  They are angry, disillusioned and without hope but they keep pushing away the only thing that would help.

I love you Zebras, pray, love, speak truth, and persevere no matter how many times the door is shut in your face because the voice you hear is real.

Love,

Jill

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Yesterday I went through my Bible page by page, reading all the notes I have written over the years.

I didn’t used to write in my Bible, it is a long story which many of you might already know, involving a stranger telling me I had a disobedient spirit because I refused to mark in my Bible even when I was directed to do so by someone who had authority over me.  A remark that changed the course of my life. 

Six months later I was at Mt Hermon praying and preparing for the “Be Still” retreat, the first retreat that God had allowed me write, and I knew the last thing I wanted was a disobedient spirit so I went to the bookstore and purchased a Bible marking pen, went back to my room and carefully highlighted a single verse.

Seven years later my Bible isn’t a book it is a testimony to my life with God. All the prayers for all the events and all the promises God made to me on this journey.  And I realized I could say with Job: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.”  Not because He granted every request but because He didn’t.

When you love someone you always hope that they will do the “right” thing even when they prove you wrong.  And when you love God, you still believe He is good, loving and kind and that He will answer your prayers “correctly” even if His answers in the past were painful. 

Paul wrote: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. “

And I yesterday I realized that it is life itself that most often separtes us from God, not because He quits loving us and turns away, but because we get beaten down by life and quit loving Him.

Read this definition of love and see if it matches the way you feel about God. 

1 Corinthians 13:4–7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I love you Zebras, so much, God loves you more, and nothing that happens in life changes that.


Jill

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

I love you.

When my kids were younger and they would ask me where something was, after I gave them directions to find it, I would add, “look like you believe it is there.”
I think God has told us the same thing about prayer: “pray like you believe I exist.”

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

And if at first you don't see what your're looking for, try, try again.

Love,

Jill

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

George Muller built his orphanage not to take care of orphans but to demonstrate to God’s people that God could be trusted to fulfill His promises, including this one:

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

He thought if he could give people something physical to look at, something built entirely on faith, then they would be willing to trust God to provide for the needs in their own lives.  That is why he never asked for money, or even shared his needs with others.  He was hoping, through his life, others would see that God was real and could be trusted.  

Like Abraham, Muller believed God and acted accordingly. (James 2:14-26) 

A noble goal for all our lives.

Love,

Jill