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Without “David and the Bear” there Would Be No “David and Goliath” Story

The story of David and Goliath is one of the most popular Bible stories. Even unbelievers know it and use it when referencing underdogs who defeat big enemies. A young shepherd boy with a slingshot defeats Goliath, a 9-foot tall giant trained in combat. In order for this story to have a happy ending God had to show up. It had to be 100% him, right? …all God and none of David. That sounds very Christian-like, right? We love to sing songs like: “All of You and none of me… …I must decrease so he can increase.” But is this way of thinking really how God wants us to operate? I think there’s a better way. But first of all, the point of this post is not to take away giving glory to God or to de-emphasize his role in this story. No, the point is to gain a better understanding of how God really works in our lives to bring about stories worth living and telling. Here’s the portion of scripture I want to focus on today: “But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The LORD,...

Imprisoned in Iran: Dan Baumann’s Story

Dan Baumann is a Christian who was wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for 9 weeks on false charges of espionage. He came to church (Church on the Rock) last week and shared his incredible story with us. You can read my review of his message here or just skip down to the bottom and watch the videos. Dan is with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and had ministered in Afghanistan for several years before his imprisonment. One spring break he and his friend prayed about what they should do during their break. They both heard , “go to Iran.” So they went to Iran for two weeks. He said the Iranians they met were very receptive to the gospel and many people were saved. After two weeks of fruitful ministry they prepared to leave the country. But as they went through customs their passports were taken with no explanation given. Dan and his friend were told they had to go to a building in Tehran in a few days to retrieve their passports. After a few days they went to Tehran as instructed. He said up until this point they were not told why their passports were being held. They arrived at the building and introduced themselves. The people were nice at first but once they found out who they were they split up he and his friend and immediately started to beat them. They were beaten for hours on end and then Dan said he was blindfolded, drug down the stairs and driven to another building where they continued to beat him. They threw him in a small prison cell,...