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Doing It Different

Each of us has our own way of doing certain things.

Some methods are better than others and some methods are plainly NOT!

Goadgetter exists to challenge our ineffective approaches to life and dare us to yield to the faith-fueled process of Doing it Different.  

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Welcome to the Goadgetter!

I’m glad you’ve chosen to stop by and have a read. Here’s hoping when you’ve come to the last word of this blog, you will join me by becoming a Goadgetter.

You may be wondering, “What the heck is a Goadgetter?”

The expression Goadgetter was coined by a cherished friend who, along with her husband patiently listened to a longwinded story I shared regarding my take away from studying a particular Bible passage.  

Grab a bottle of water and sit back as I share the story with you:

A few years ago, I was reading chapter 143 from the Book of Psalms in the Bible. I was reading from the King James Version because it maintains the original Hebrew and Greek translation…and I absolutely LOVE excavating the meaning of various words I come across.  On this particular day, I read and reread verse 10:

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

For those of you who prefer a more modern account of the passage, here’s the verse again from the New International Version:

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

The chapter is authored by a man named David, who from all accounts was not having a good day. He was overwhelmed by his circumstances and pleading with God to relieve him of his distresses. And just as I often do when I pray for something, David asked the Lord to hurry up and answer him.  In the midst of his anguish, David manages to lift his hands to God as he reflects on His handiwork and supreme accomplishments.

 

Then David asks God something I found interesting:

to “teach him to do His [God’s] will.” 

Of all the requests David had made during his heartfelt appeal, he requested the Creator of the universe to “teach” him something…that something being God’s will.

I want to pause for a moment.  My youngest daughter is 10-years old.  I wish she would come to me and say, “Mommy, I love you.  Teach me to do ‘your’ will!”

Wait. What?

While I’m highly doubtful I’m going to experience such an exchange, it’s certainly wishful to think it might happen.

But fancy that. A CHILD asking a PARENT, DAVID asking the FATHER GOD, or better yet, the CREATED asking the CREATOR to teach him or her to actually do—accomplish and practice His desires and His choices.

As David’s request resonated with me as one who follows Christ (on most days), I sought further to know what was meant by the word “teach.” The surprising insight forever changed the way I regard being taught something.  

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While I know the Bible was written in Classical Hebrew and Greek languages, I didn’t know much about the languages.  According to scholars, the Hebrew language revolved around the arduous living of farmers and shepherds in uncultivated and desert regions from many centuries ago.

The Hebrew word for teach is Lamad. In the Strong’s Concordance, #3925, the definition includes the following: to teach; to goad; to instruct; to cause someone to learn…”

A Goad? Why that?

The goad, being a traditional farming tool, often long with a pointed end, was commonly used by ranchers to provoke, and yet direct livestock. According to Hayford’s Bible Handbook, lamad or rather teach is a verb and its origin may be traced to the goading of cattle. Similarly, teaching and learning are attained through a great variety of goading, by memorable events, techniques, or lessons. 

Considering the Hebraic meaning and provocative use of a goad, I think about David’s appeal when he bids God to teach him to do His will. Being the son of a shepherd, David had experience in tending to his dad’s flock, thus it stands to reason he would be familiar with the process and the instruments used to care for the herd.

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As I extracted the profoundness of David’s plea, it resulted in the following take away:

David was not simply asking the Lord to teach him to do His will. His prayer suggests his openness to God and His method of instruction. He was emphatic when he spoke, “You are my God” and “Your Spirit is good,” so it was fitting to ask the Lord to lead him to a level place—a place of uprightness—where one’s character is approved by God.

By asking the Lord to teach him, David was consenting to the Lord’s sometimes peculiar and incomprehensible ways He chooses to develop one’s character. And if you know anything about David, you know certain actions of his were far from perfect.

At the heart of the prayer (at least the way I perceive it), David was agreeing to practice God’s will—to do His choices and desires.  And he was agreeable to the Lord’s teaching style, which on occasion included goading. 

I see an image of the Divine Shepherd using the pointed end of His long staff to uncomfortably motivate the wayward, stubborn and slow-moving human flock to get going and do the things the Lord is asking of YOU.

Goadgetter was crafted as a means to help me stay focused and committed to the ways of God and to the personal endeavors I want to undertake.

Goadgetter is concerned with addressing insubordinate and apprehensive habits that unfavorably affect our spiritual wellbeing.

As the Lord God pricks and prods me from a lackadaisical temperament, I plan to pass along the discomfort. My aim is to use biblical insight to promote your Christian growth while goading you to do “whatever” it is you know you should do. 

 

Be prepared to…

 

Get Goin’ Girl! and Get Goin’ Guy!

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  • Shari Gabourel

If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you’ve witnessed the tournament of all times. Esteemed athletes from around the world gather to display their physical prowess which has earned them a place on the world stage to compete for the coveted gold medal. Of the various contests, there is one, in particular, I wish to reference for the purpose of this discussion. It’s the Discus Throw.


One of the recognizable images often used in the Olympics is the Discobolus. It is the ancient sculpture of a bare athlete maintaining a pose holding a discus in hand. The replica depicts a discus thrower fully committed to discharge the discus to its farthest distance. The imagery captures what I witnessed my daughter do when she became academically frustrated by an algebra word problem. But what she was throwing was much more valuable than a heavy discus.


As a mother of two preteen girls, I am astounded how they share the same DNA, yet bear such distinct and contrasting dispositions. Take school for instance. The younger offspring requires no motivation to initiate and complete her homework. The elder must be prodded and often pelted with verbal warnings to even get her to touch her school work. The younger is the high achiever, while the eldest appears to underachieve and overachieve at will. Yet when her subpar grades are admonished, the older child offers empty answers or worst—asserts, “I can’t do it.”



Then, there is my sweet grandmother who becomes anxiously nauseated when asked to turn on her despised smartphone to see photos of the grandkids sent via text. Nana pleads, “You know I don’t know how to use the phone… can’t you just send the photos in the mail?” Unfortunately, she would rather have a root canal treatment than engage the phone for fear she’s not going to operate it successfully. The matriarch and the grandchild share a mutual belief. Rather than asserting assurance they can do what the occasion requires, they are persuaded of the beguiling opposite. Each one is grievously convinced they possess no such ability, thus, they present no confidence.


Similar to the posture taken by one preparing for the Discus Throw, the Confidence Thrower observes the shrinking actions of two individuals who allowed themselves to become distracted to their God-given virtue when a demand was made. It was not so much that they “lost” their confidence, but rather they threw their confidence away.


And they aren’t the only ones who do that. We have all wavered from a self-assured stance when our cluelessness to a matter got the best of us.


In the book of Hebrews, chapter 10:35-36 of the King James Version, Christ-followers are directed not to cast or throw away ‘your’ confidence. In fact, the sentence begins, “Cast not away…your confidence….” The New International Version (NIV) translation states it like this, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” In either version, the passage denotes an imperative sentence.


You may remember an imperative sentence is a type of sentence that gives instruction or issues a command. Often, it has an implied subject.


Though the subject of the sentence is not expressly identified, because the sentence makes a command or request, the subject implied is “You.” So when reading the indicated passage, it should be read from the context the directive is speaking to YOU.


Notice in verse 35, the author’s instructions are stated with an authoritative voice. Whether your preferred translation begins with Cast not or Do not, the point is understood…whatever follows next is certainly something YOU should not do. In the words of a parent with a toddler, “That’s a No-No!” The text says, “…do not…” Do not what? Do not throw away…throw away what? Do not—throw away—your confidence. Of all things, how can a quality incapable of being physically touched be thrown away? How is that even possible?


Perhaps the discarding of our confidence can be seen in our reaction or response to a given set of events. Or it could be the absence of a reaction or a response is the obvious giveaway we’ve become separated from our confidence.


Let’s begin by defining exactly what confidence means in this text. The Greek word is Parrhesia and denotes outspokenness, freedom in speaking, and assurance. It also means free and fearless confidence and cheerful courage.


The author must have known the meaning because, in his charge, he does not allege the reader has confidence, he concludes it.


As Christ-followers, you and I should conduct ourselves as individuals who actually possess the virtue of confidence. Our actions and speech should express fearless confidence and cheerful courage. And notice we’re encouraged to express confidence—not arrogance. Irrespective of the circumstances we face, we are exhorted to convey outspoken assurance…not in our ability but in the Lord’s ability.


We are not to think or speak of ourselves more highly than we ought to. Likewise, we should avoid devaluing our competency to accomplish a task when at first we don’t succeed. Condemning oneself for a repeated mistake or a particular failing is equally as wrong as the practice of magnifying one’s ability or importance. Don’t allow your economic resourcefulness, education, accomplishments, or the lack thereof to distort your impression of the value God has placed in you.


Friend, you have what it takes to believe and retain confidence in the Lord. Even when you “don’t get it,” be it a pesky algebra problem, the perplexing cellular phone, or whatever it is that has a tendency to cause you extreme frustration, your confidence is not to be thrown away like an athlete throws a discus.


Your inherent confidence should exist free, cheerfully courageous, fearless, with outspoken assurance in the Lord. For such confidence will be richly rewarded. Just wait for it. God’s rewards aren’t lousy. They are well worth our efforts.


Clinching my confidence,


Shari

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  • Shari Gabourel

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25 New King James Version).

With so many assertions and opinions being made about how individuals should or should not respond to the current health crisis, I thought I’d chime in…not with the intent of speaking just to be speaking, but to offer a biblical reminder and a sentiment of encouragement.

During a recent reading in the book of James, chapter one, a particular phrase stood out more than it had before in past readings. It was the line, “…a forgetful hearer…”

For whatever reason, those words struck me. Am I a forgetful hearer? I would venture to say yes, given I’m in my menopausal years. But I digress.

As I sat thinking about my relationship with Christ and how my faith should be exclusively tied to the divine words found in the Bible, I asked myself the question I already knew the answer to. In certain instances, I have been a forgetful hearer. Truth is, I have been careless in remembering the words of Christ. I have been neglectful when it comes to adhering to the Lord’s voice, even when I knew better. I have looked in the mirror, primped my appearance, and walked away feeling overly confident, only to arrive at the destination oblivious to the Christ-like characteristics I should be exhibiting.

In light of what our world is presently facing, I viewed the passage in James as a gentle yet ardent reminder of who I am as a Christ-follower. I need not tell you what you are to do as the text already does. However, if the current state of affairs has caused you to become a forgetful hearer, there’s an uncomplicated fix for that.

Simply redirect your mind and its attention to the very doable Word of God.

In doing so, you will be reminded of WHO HE IS, what He has done, and what He is so very capable of doing…in the HERE and NOW!

Trying not to forget,

Shari


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  • Shari Gabourel

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6: 10 - 17


We are indeed living in difficult times, however, God has trusted us with these times. I believe we have been chosen for such a time as this. Whatever life is looking like for you right now, I want you to know that God trusts you with your challenge. Think of Job. He’s a great example of how we can endure and persevere.


This new year and the new decade I’d like to encourage you to simply stand. The Lord inspired me while reading Ephesians chapter 6 verse 10. In today’s podcast, I share how you can stay encouraged as you STAND.



Join the conversation. And if you have been blessed by the episode I encourage you to share what you've learned with someone. We all can use some inspiration, amen?


Thanks again for listening!


Doing it differently,


Shari

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