“How to Simplify Life: The Tooth Fairy” with Carlos Ortiz

We continued our series at Gateway in Austin called “How to Simplify Life.”

It’s both a parenting series, and it’s a re-parenting series.

We are all created good in the image of God, but we all face a world filled with violence, animosity, and brokenness. Inevitably like losing baby teeth, at some point we lose our sense of innocence and wonder due to the evil around us and the darkness within us. We will explore how innocence can be restored so that we can live out the new life God intends for us.

Discussion Questions

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

Next Steps

Message Video:

Message Notes by Carlos Ortiz:

We are learning to parent our children and how to possibly re-parent ourselves.

Can you remember a time when you found out the truth about something trivial, and it completely changed your outlook on something?

  • Was it about the Tooth Fairy?
  • Or maybe it was much more troubling and life altering. 
  • The day you found out who your real dad was.
  • The day you found out your mom had cancer.
  • The first time you faced racism or sexism.
  • The day you found out an adult in your life wasn’t really out for your good (physical, emotional, sexual violence).

Now, what would you do to help your children, grandchildren, those tied to your legacy not experience those same traumatic episodes? 

Psalm 82:3-4 – Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Then, how do we heal and grow from the trauma of innocence lost?

Psalm 91:4-6 “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

One weekend service, or even a series of messages, isn’t going to bring complete healing and recovery.  But maybe, just maybe, today, and this series, pricks your heart, and you take a step to not only acknowledging trauma, but knowing that God wants to walk with you and bring healing. 

And we want to help you in this as well. Go to GatewayChurch.com/Connect – for the Your Story Matters Workshop, the Restore classes for engaged couples, marriages in crisis, grief share, boundaries, and Recovery.
Sign up before they fill up!

The Story of Gideon

We are going to focus on God walking with him, even before he goes to battle.

In the book of Judges, there is a series of stories of God using ordinary people to lead in extraordinary ways.  One of those ordinary people is Gideon.  Who is raised up out of obscurity, instilled with confidence, given an overwhelming challenge, and defeats an entire army with only a few hundred people.  Sounds like it is straight out of a movie script. But most people like to read the story and celebrate the outcome, and instead I want us to read the story and focus on Gideon’s process, his journey with God out of obscurity.

Judges 6:12-1612

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you…

What do we learn from the first encounters Gideon has with God? And how can they be a roadmap for how we approach our encounters in raising our children?

God sees clearly

God sees beyond the current human condition and desires to awaken our true purpose that was lost somewhere along the way.

Here we have a man in Gideon who is hiding from his enemies, who is definitely not confident and from what we read, has no apparent experience or trophies to show his military prowess. 

But this does NOT stop God from calling out the greatness in Gideon.

God has a habit of doing these types of things:

  • He uses Rahab as part of Jesus’ lineage (a prostitute who helps the Israelites)
  • Called David a King (shepherd boy hidden away).
  • He calls his disciples (mostly misfits in the margins of society).
  • He sends his son Jesus (a baby hidden away in Nazareth). 

The problem isn’t that God cannot see clearly, the problem is that we as people cannot see clearly, the gifts and purpose God has placed in others.

Parent Question – Do I clearly see the gifts/talents/blindspots and opportunities for my children?

Gideon’s obstacle / our children’s obstacle(s) – Seeing past family of origin (my clan is the weakest, and I am the weakest in my family)

God is near

What kind of pain/wounds did Gideon have to be carrying to have seen God manifest himself in front of him, call him out to be a mighty warrior, and for his response to be,  “Oh yeah, well where have you been all my life?”  

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites,

He was having to fight abandonment, fear, self-doubt, and he wasn’t in the emotional, spiritual, or mental space to even hear God call him a warrior.

Yet, God was near.  All he was promising was, “I’ll be with you.” 

Parent Question – Am I present with my children/those I am charged to love?

Gideon’s obstacle – He needed a sign.

God gives instruction(s)

25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

  • Go and sacrifice a bull
  • Tear down the altars/idols
  • Rebuild a new altar
  • Go public with/for me

Parent Question – How am I instructing/empowering those around me?

Gideon’s obstacle – Overcoming his fear (he obeyed, but he did it at night for fear people would see him…BUT he did it!!!)

God uses others

The next morning when everyone woke up, they found the damage that Gideon had done, and how their idols were destroyed.  They were insistent on finding who had done it, and after investigating they were told,

 “Gideon son of Joash did it.”

30 The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”

  • The same dad who instilled fear and a lowly attitude, is the same dad who defended his son
  • The same people who were angry at Gideon, are the people who also helped re-brand him, they gave him a new name. JERUB-BAAL
  • All kinds of people can be used to shape us.  Healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships, bosses, children, spouse, siblings, God is in the business of using people to help shape us.

Parent’s Question – Who in our life is helping us develop and shape our children?

We have hundreds of people who serve kids/students, and who are wanting to pour into and help shape your children.  Maybe God is calling you to serve another family by doing this.

Gideon’s obstacle – Low confidence can lead to delayed obedience

CLOSING – I know our goal in these weeks is help us Simplify Life, but we don’t want to discount the families and experiences we’ve had that make up that life.  Our goal is to recognize these things, these issues, these obstacles, and to work towards regaining the disposition of being in awe, of being innocent before God.  We’re no longer 5 years old with no care in the world, but we can become those children in God’s presence and cast those same cares on him, because he cares for us.

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