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

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Happy Saturday!

I have decided there are three ways to spend my time.  I can spend my time feeding the Spirit, grieving the Spirit or coasting along in neutral.  And yesterday I resolved to spend even less time in neutral because God showed me every moment spent not pursuing Him is a moment I’ve lost.

Of course, the great news is lots of “neutral things” can be done in a way that honors God-if you will only put Him first.  We focus so much on the “eating and drinking” in this verse that we forget the verse really says, “whatever we do, we should do for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I love you Zebras and I’m praying God will help me become a person who is completely missing both reverse and neutral.  A person whose only option is to go forward and the only question that remains is: “How fast will I go?



Friday, June 23, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

I love you and I enjoyed the questions on my post about the “Holy Spirit” walking poles.

Linda wrote: “I have never heard of them. Where did you get them?”

That’s a question I get a lot, lots of people have never heard of using walking poles to aid in walking.  Just like lots of people haven’t heard about the Holy Spirit as a personality that lives inside of us, whose presence can be felt and who empowers us to live the life that honors God.

When Paul asked the men in Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirt when they believed they responded, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  But they didn’t have to ask how to get Him because as soon as Paul saw the need, he took care of it.

Acts 19:4–6: Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

A few days later Jo asked if one walking stick would work.  Honestly, I don’t know.  When the doctor recommended them he suggested two, but they were expensive so I tried buying just one.  But it didn’t really work for me, it made me feel lopsided, in order to get the results I wanted, which was to take pressure off my hips and knees, I had to break down and buy two. 

And although Jo’s question was about walking sticks, God used it to remind me that if I want my life to have the results I’m praying for, I need to follow His instructions to the letter.

God says we are to die to our old self and live only for Him and we say, “How about half?” “I’ll keep the best parts of my old life and give up the rest.”  But partial obedience is what got Saul rejected as king.  The story is recorded in 1 Samuel 15: 1-35.

1 Samuel 15:1–3: Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so, listen now to the message from the Lord.  This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.  Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

Saul had very clear instruction from Samuel to destroy everything but he didn’t.

1 Samuel 15:9: But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good.  These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

And because of that he lost the kingdom.

1 Samuel 15:27–28: As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore.  Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.

So, thanks Jo for asking the question, God used you to remind us all that nowhere in the Bible is half-hearted obedience to Jesus Christ ever considered enough.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

For the past few days I’ve been having trouble with my printer, I thought it was broken until it printed something for Gary and then I knew the problem was me.  So, I set about figuring out what I was doing wrong.  It turned out the printer and my computer weren’t connected properly.

Personally, I think a “poor connection” is also why we don’t look like the men and women we read about in the New Testament.  We want to blame others, but the truth is the problem probably lies with us.

John 15:4: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

I love you Zebras and I know I keep saying the same thing, but nothing is more important than the connection you have with God and that connection is only as strong as you make it.  Power like Paul’s comes at a price.

Philippians 3:8–11: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Good morning Zebras,
My mom invited me to share any insights or stories God gave me, so here's something that happened yesterday.
As you may know, I live and teach at a Christian school in South Korea, and volunteer with Awana Korea.
After a busy weekend serving with Awana Korea, my voice started going out, and yesterday it almost died on me completely.
I'm currently reading a book called "Intercessor" about an amazing man of God named Rees Howell. In the book, Howell worked at a coal mine all day, then worked at the mission center he started or did home visits every night. And he still found time to pray two hours a day!
I was inspired, but also frustrated- all I wanted to do was teach during the week and then help Awana on the weekends, but just that made my voice go out. How could Howell have had the energy to mine coal and serve God 18 out of 24 hours a day?!
I prayed that God would give me that kind of energy to serve Him with.
As I was waiting on the subway platform yesterday evening, I was reading "Intercessor". Suddenly a temptation came to me to instead watch a show I'd downloaded from Netflix- a comedy show that is not particularly God-honoring.
I knew it would quench my Spirit if I watched that show, and I remembered that one of the first things Howell did when he started his amazing journey with the Spirit was to abstain from all worldly entertainment. So I decided to keep reading and not watch the show.
Less than 2 minutes later two Korean young women came up to me and started chatting with me in Korean. I managed to croak out that I worked at a Christian school, and one girl had to define "Christian" to the other, so at least one of them was not a believer.
They were doing a survey of 20-30 year olds, and asked me to write my life motto down on the little card they had. I struggled for a moment on how to express what I wanted to say in Korean, but God brought to mind the grammar I needed, so I wrote "하나님 위해서 살 고 싶어요"- - "I want to live for God".
My train arrived, so we said goodbye. The two girls were smiling from ear to ear, and seemed affected by the interaction.
I, too, felt incredibly blessed. God had given me an opportunity to share the gospel, the very thing I wanted to do, without having to say a word! How cool is that?!
I thought of the verse,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
When we are weak or sick, it's easier for others to see that all the power comes from God alone. And we don't suffer for no reason- we do so in order that Christ's power can rest on us. I love that!
I learned two things from this interaction. First, God always equips us to do what He's called us to.
Later, it occurred to me that if I had chosen to watch the show and put my headphones in, the girls might not have come up to talk to me. So the second thing I learned was that God gives us opportunities when we obey Him.
Dear Zebras, sharing the simple gospel vision with those girls was way better than watching any show. Let's live in Christ's power and obedience, watchful for the opportunities God has for us.
Your fellow Zebra,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Last week I realized I needed to start over on my Personal Training course.  I had gone too quickly through the first few chapters and I didn’t learn them well enough to understand the more difficult materials I am trying to learn now so I needed to stop and go back and relearn the foundational truths.

At first, I thought I didn’t have time, I thought I had to take the test in August, so I was going to push through anyway, do my best, fail and schedule a retake.  And even if by some miracle I passed I was still going to go back and relearn the basics because I knew I didn’t understand them well enough to help others.

But this morning I found out I can schedule the test for November which gives me plenty of time to go back and learn it right, which is very encouraging to me because it repeats a successful pattern from the past.  Go back, start over, emerge stronger.

Years ago, God showed me my faith wasn’t strong enough to help others.  Heck, it wasn’t even strong enough to help me.  The only thing that made me different from a nonbeliever was that I went to church and Bible Study and spent a lot of my free time “working for God.”  I was the third soil, an immature believer with pathetic fruit.

As you know, in the parable of the four soils, the seed is always the same but the crop changes based upon the soil.  But the really cool thing God showed me is that He can change the condition of the soil.  We choose to be the third soil, we can just as easily choose to be the fourth, all we need to do is put Him first.

Luke 8:14–15: “And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.  As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”

Mark wrote it this way: “And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.

I love you Zebras, there’s nothing more important than the foundational truths you are building on and the condition of your soil.  Don’t assume either are good, instead use the guide that Jesus laid down and honestly inspect your own “fruit.”



Monday, June 19, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Years ago, I started walking with walking poles and because of them I can walk faster than most people I come across.  Every time someone comments on how quickly I walk, I always give the credit to the poles.  I jokingly call them my Holy Spirit poles because they help me walk faster.

The other day was the first time someone ever accused me of cheating, he jokingly said, as I passed by “Hey, that’s not fair, you’re peddling too.” In a “sport” where everyone just uses their legs and lower body strength I chose to “cheat” and increase my speed by using my upper body too.

But it isn’t cheating, it’s just smart.  Why should I settle for using half my muscle groups when I can use them all?

Funny thing is, I love these poles, they have changed the way I walk and I am always encouraging people to give them a try.  But almost no one does.

This morning as I zipped around the park, I was thinking about God, my poles and that man’s comment. The reason they aren’t cheating is because they are available to anyone who wants to spend the money, look foolish, and dedicate the time to learning to use them.

Just like the real Holy Spirit.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Good morning Zebras,

Oswald today:

“It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God…For thirty-three years Jesus laid down His life to do the will of His Father.

And then he cites the perfect verse for yesterday’s z-mail.

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Day by day laying our lives down for others, that is what Jesus did that is what He expects from us.