Gerry & Ruth Gutierrez' Prayer Letter & Update
Just keeping in touch with you!!
Something I wrote the other night.
Is my boss a prophet? Or is he just smart? Smart people become bosses. Do bosses become prophets? Yes! Their wisdom is from the word of God.
Six months ago Paul Kooistra said to my wife Ruthie: Gerry should attend my Seminar on burnouts. There Paul uses the example of how broken bones take four to six weeks to heal but broken health takes six months to heal. Paul also emphasized that it is not wrong to be nice to your self.
I was nice to myself for one whole week and I liked it very much. Then we went back to work. The sleepless nights came back and eating whatever and at any time not following the routine. And back to the rat race; forgetting that in a rat race, even if you win, you are still a rat. (I don’t know why I said these things other than they sound good in describing the folly of our situation and us).
The good thing in Reformed Theology is that “The Sovereignty of God“ is not a concept to be learned nor a skill to be mastered but it is the only reliable reality by which we live every day of our lives.
For ten years we have not had our proper “one-year” of Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). On top of that we take pride in saying that “we do not take vacations”, that our “work is a vacation”, “we love our work,“ “that our work is like Moses’s mother’s job: To do what we love the most and the closest thing to our heart and still be payed for it”. We even dare to counsel others saying: “Find a job you like and you don’t have to work one day of your life”. Certainly these were wise words in our own eyes. Maybe even designed to set us apart from others in a Pharisee like attitude to project an over positive image of ourselves in relation to others. No wonder Bill kept telling me Gutierrez: “Repent”
Since we were playing the game of: “to do a little bit more than the next man, to believe a little bit more than the next man, to love a little bit more than the next man, to pray a little bit more than the next man, to preach a little bit better than the next man, to even work in every way a little bit more than the next man”. We must have looked so ridiculous to God and the Godly. Believing like a Reformed person but acting like a Arminian. Exalting work and dampening grace and mistreating the house of the Holy Spirit. As godly as it may have looked, we were a fraud. We repent.!
Our gracious and sovereign God stepped in and sent us to rest in his arms and on his terms. He has done this by literally breaking Ruth’s leg and almost breaking my health completely and we are now under his care. Seeing doctors every day of the week. Under the care of a fine Spiritual doctor Pastor on Sundays. Trying to learn to sleep properly, eating properly and on time and eating the right things, listening properly to a good sermon. Enjoying silence and quietness. But still doing what I love the most and the closest thing to my heart only next to God; that is, to truly take care of my Ruthie 24 hours per day. I love to be a pastor of one lamb. A cute one if I may say so.
Did you know that the larger a congregation is the easier for God to take care?
To feed 5000 people God needed only 2 fish and 5 small barley loaves of bread and 12 baskets were left over.
To feed 3000 people God needed more fish and 7 small barley breads and only 7 baskets were left over.
God feeds more with less and more is left over.
To feed less God needs more and less is left over. But to take care of one person, God needs much more and not much of it is left over.
To take care of Ruthie we needed a host of doctors and nurses and planes and therapists and a 24 hours servant and no energy left for anyone.
On the other hand, to feed the world God only uses dirt and rain and there is plenty left over when everyone has eaten. God runs his world through miracles after miracles. You just have to go to a supermarket and ask yourself: Where does all this food come from and think parallel to that in the size of the world’s population.
We are individually and collectively under the care of a Good and Generous and Sovereign, Predominant, Absolute, Autonomous, Supreme, Self-governing, Free, Independent God who runs his world well; very well.
Resting under the shadow of the Almighty. Flat on our back with no choice but to look up to the throne. Thank you Lord for so much beauty to behold.
Gerry & Rurhie Gutierrez