How to Bring the Extraordinary to the Ordinary
Something very extraordinary occurred on Friday night in the city of Troy.
And yet you probably didn’t hear about it at all on the eleven o’clock news or read about it the next day in the newspaper. It had nothing to do with the weather, although it was an unseasonably pleasant for mid-November day in the Greater Detroit area. And yet in a small room at the San Marino club on sixteen mile road in the city of Troy a group of about 200 believers had the amazing opportunity to witness the mighty rushing wind of the Ruach Ha-Kadesh (Holy Spirit) which rent against the stony places of our understanding of the Great Commission of the Captain of our Salvation and the Author of our Faith. Yes, in that small room in the city of Troy the fullness of God’s Shekinah glory filled the room as the rest of the secular world drove sleepily by; and sadly many members of the Gentile Christian church likewise slept as the Shofar was being sounded and gentle doves were preparing to violently take the kingdom by force. And in that room, that night was the fullness of the melekh ha‑olam (the King of the Universe), that heaven and earth cannot contain, came and filled the temple of His children with His glory.
That night the God of Heaven met with the children of men in cloven tongues of fire and a quaking of passionate appeals.
And in this case God was in the wind that rent the stony places and in the earthquake that opened our hearts and in the fire that ignited our souls. And although the King of Heaven had come in great power and glory there was no fear amongst the sheep of His pasture because He also spoke to us with the gentleness of a lover, the camaraderie of a friend and most of all the comfort of a father. So inside of that room, that night was the variety Ruach Ha-Kadesh, which mesmerized us with the power of its hurricane force of the spirit and yet astonished us at times with the calm placid stillness of the eye of the storm. Such is the power and the love of the God of Israel; powerful enough to instantaneously create the entire universe with the word of His mouth and yet filled with so much love that He cares about people living on a small stone hanging far below the heavens in this vast universe. So full of love that He cares to meet with His people in a small room in the city of Troy at this point in time under the auspices of His great eternal plan. How great is that God! How great is His glory! How great is His love! Selah.
The evening began ordinary enough. The air was filled with love and excitement as Pastor John and Donna warmly greeted guests with smiles and hugs as they entered the hall. Spattered conversations began to dot the room as many of the guests were delighted to reacquaint themselves with old friends they had not seen in some time. Then at 6:20 PM the Shofar was blown announcing that was time to find your place at one of the elegantly decorated tables.
Dr. Tim Broe then formally welcomed the guests from the podium. Roman Clark then gave the blessing and thanks to our God. And almost immediately after this the food was brought to the table. The portions were light and satisfying; a couple of nicely prepared chicken breasts, green beans and some very tasty roasted potatoes. In the background you could hear the hum of pleasant conversations over soft rhythmic Jewish Messianic music.
Towards the end of the meal, Dr. Broe introduced the Master of Ceremony, Dr. Jerry Piscopo. Dr. Piscopo and his wife both talked about their work with Shalom Ministry, which resulted in the opening of the Hebrew Messianic Institute this year. This was then followed by everyone standing and joining together in the hymn “How Great Thou Art”, which was then succeeded by the joyful exuberating sound of the Shalom Ministry Praise Team.
Pastor John Denson then came to the podium and immediately had everyone in the audience laughing with his well timed, light-hearted wit. Is it really possible to mix humor and charity all while delivering the serious information of a ministry report? I can say yes now after watching Pastor John exude warmth and charm that ebbed into the crowd like a soothing evening tide.
He is the heart and the soul of Shalom Ministry. This is his passion. This is his life mission.
His whole purpose and reason for being is driven by this one thing; HIS LOVE FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE!
That is powerful. So Pastor John began to describe his vision for the ministry and how the ministry has begun to bring this message to Yeshua’s brothers in the flesh. He explained that this is the only ministry like this in the entire U.S. He talked of the many accomplishments of the past year, like the Holocaust visit, the opening of the Hebrew Messianic Institute and the many workshops teaching Christian’s their Jewish roots, to name a few. The entire report was dotted with humorous jabs as his eyes lit up and a playful smile came across the surface of his face and yet you could sense a deep resounding passion and the driven commitment of his heart for the Jewish people to know their Messiah.
His ministry report was then followed by a short video that demonstrated how much work the ministry is doing to advance the Kingdom of our Lord.
Then Lamar and Rhonda Gaines spoke about how much they have learned from being enrolled in the Hebrew Messianic Institute. Then Sue Miller gave her stirring testimony about how her life was changed when she acknowledged Yeshua as the Meshiach, which was also followed up by a short video clip.
Then Rabbi Loren Jacobs introduced the much anticipated David Brickner of Jews for Jesus. David began speaking of an elderly Jewish woman who had lambasted him on the streets for attempting to bring the Gospel to the Jewish people.
“You should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t you know what they have done to us!” she said.
After which David calmly invited her to attend his weekly bible study. Eventually she came and eventually she accepted the King into her heart. But what David wanted the audience to know most was that her heart was being softened by the black doorman at her hotel who greeted her everyday with the words “God loves you.” Without that he is sure that she would never have been able to receive the truth that David was destined to bring to her. The fellowship of suffering that both the black community and the Jewish community have endured throughout history has created a strong bond of trust. It is that trust and love for each other that Shalom Ministry wishes to use as a vehicle to take the message of the Messiah back to the Jewish people.
Jewish people were some of the strongest supporter during Civil Rights era of this country, fighting side by side with blacks to gain their full freedom.
It is now time for the black believers in Yeshua to stand up and fight for the freedom of the Jews and to bring back to them what is rightfully theirs, which is their much anticipated and long-awaited Messiah.
Then David Brickner showed us a video of when he appeared on Larry King being opposed by two Jewish Rabbis. It was a very poignant moment for several reasons. First, it made you appreciate just how difficult it is for a Jewish believer to bring the message of the Messiah back to his people. He was viciously attacked to the point that Larry King had to step in and say, “Look just because he wants to tell you about his beliefs, it doesn’t mean that you have to hang the Holocaust around his neck.” Secondly, it made you appreciate just how important David Brickner is to our time. Consider this for a moment; if you had personally heard John Edward’s sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” would you have realized that you were watching history in the making? If you had personally heard one of John Wesley’s early sermons would you have realized that this man would change the heart of an entire nation? David Brickner may be one of the most important ministers of God for our time.
If we are living in the last days then it is very likely that God’s next great move will be back to the Jewish people as “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (Rom 11:25)
This means that the next Great Awakening in the U.S. may be among the Jewish people. And we are already seeing that as more and more Jewish people have begun to have their eyes opened and their heart softened to the Messiah. And finally, it was very inspiring to watch David calmly set forth the case for the Messiah with cool reason and warm compassion, all while being besieged by rabid personal attacks. He won the day on his points, on his demeanor and you couldn’t help but wonder how he could stay so calm and cool under such heavy fire. By the end of the interview his testimony was so powerful that you would have sworn that Larry King had been converted right before your eyes on the air that night!
After the video Mr. Brickner became more focused on the mission at hand as he began to beat home the battle cry “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.” (Rom 1:16)
You could sense now that we were about to witness the height of the storm as his words were punctuated with this battle cry.
Why should we go to the Jew first and then also to the Gentile; because God’s Word ordains it to be done this way. Then after some exegesis of the passages that proclaim this truth, he pointed his finger out towards the audience, stating “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.” And didn’t Paul always go to the Jew first when he came into a new city to preach the Gospel? “To the Jew first and also to the Gentile.” And were not many Gentiles converted because Paul followed this pattern of evangelism? “To the Jew first and also to the Gentile.”
I have seen David Brickner speak before and I fully expected to see a man of God speaking with the fire of the Holy Spirit. In fact I told people not to sit too close to him because they may spontaneously burst into flames when a spark from his wildly burning flame may ignite an ember in their own souls. But David Brickner this night was not like a wildly burning flame; no he was now more like a flame thrower whose message was direct, thrusting forward the battle field mission. He was a battle tested general thundering forth his passion for what has become a lost cause and a lost mission statement from the Captain of our Salvation. And now it is forever engraved in my mind, “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.”
In like manner, the final solo by Amonica Hubbard was breath-taking, beautiful and awe-inspiring.
David Brickner had pointed his finger half way between God and man and gave us a call to action. Now Mrs. Hubbard was lifting her eyes to heaven and calling us to praise our great King. We can praise Him for His awesome power, as the birds do after a great storm; we can praise Him for the magnitude of His love, as young child’s adoration towards his father and we can just praise Him because He is God, our all in all, whose glory cannot be contained in the heavens and the earth and yet who met with us that night in that room. And this was the praise that Mrs. Hubbard was giving to our Great King.
Her worship was so big and so wide that the entire room was able to be uplifted on the wings of her heart and carried into the heavens into the throne room of the Almighty God.
So an extraordinary night came to a close. I was left awestruck by the amazing storm that I had just had the privilege to witness; the fellowship and light-hearted camaraderie, the thunderous appeal from David Brickner and then a song that was the praise of angels.
For the believers in that city, in that room, that night it was an extraordinary night where God of Heaven had met with the children of men. But for the rest of the world that drove sleepily by or was sitting quietly in their homes it was just another ordinary November day in their ordinary everyday lives. The question is how do we take and share the extraordinary with the ordinary? And I think maybe the answer is the battle cry mantra that David Brickner has left echoing in my head; “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.”
by: Don Lett
Other photos are available for viewing, downloading or printing from: Shalom Dinner Reception Photos