Guckenberger hits the heights with Chapel talk
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Anyone who has climbed to the top of Camelback Mountain knows that it’s quite a hike to 2,707 feet. That makes you appreciate all the more what Moses did long before there were trails and rails.
In her fast-paced and entertaining Chapel talk Monday morning at Grand Canyon University, Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back Ministries put the story of Moses in perspective by likening it to the mountains we must be willing to climb in our everyday lives if we truly are listening to God’s word.
Our typical reaction to God, Guckenberger said, is, “I’m willing to do things for You, but I don’t want it to cost me anything.”
Good thing for us Moses didn’t have that attitude. The price he paid was high — literally — as God commanded him to climb Mount Sinai, elevation 7,497 feet, numerous times to receive God’s word and, ultimately, the Ten Commandments.
Guckenberger said she has climbed it, too, and was stunned by how difficult it was with modern gear. Imagine doing it when you’re 80 years old and wearing sandals, like Moses.
But there’s another facet to this that Guckenberger addressed: She’s the first to admit that, like most people, she wants to get the “big story” without having to work for it.
She said the Bible boils down to two words — “come” and “go” — and that the Lord is looking for two things from us, faithfulness and availability, as we try to do His work amid the chaos of the world.
But as Guckenberger pointed out, “When we go into that chaos, it’s going to cost us something.”
To further demonstrate her point, Guckenberger told two stories.
First, there was the pastor in Mexico whose work ministering to police officers, who were being killed routinely by members of the drug cartels, eventually resulted in two startling developments: The number of shootings declined, and mayors in the area, including Margarita Arellanes Cervantes of the largest city, Monterrey, started giving the keys to their cities to Jesus Christ.
“I deliver the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, to the Lord Jesus Christ for His kingdom of peace and blessing to be established here, and I open the doors of the city to God as the maximum authority,” Arellanes said in a public ceremony that can be viewed here.
In the latter story, Guckenberger, who has added seven adopted children to the three kids of her own, told of how she received threats from an aunt of two orphaned girls she had taken in. The woman said she wanted the girls back, and because of the girls’ family history Guckenberger believed that the aunt merely wanted to use the girls for illegal activities.
Desperate for support, Guckenberger said she turned to the woman who had raised the girls and asked her to pull all of their records from the orphanage. But when it came time for the big meeting with the aunt and other family members, the extremely devout woman simply read the first 10 psalms from the Book of Psalms in what Guckenberger called a “spiritual filibuster.”
The people got up and left, and the woman pointed to her Bible and told Guckenberger, “This is the only sword we ever take into our battles.”
The point of these stories, Guckenberger said, is that we don’t need incredible gifts and talents to do God’s work. We simply need to be available to Him.
“He’ll use your vessel, your mouth, your willingness, your faithfulness and your availability to tell unbelievably big stories through you,” she said. “Commit yourself to the understanding of your sword. Wield it and use it to His glory.”
In other words, climb the mountain, no matter how high.
● For a replay of Guckenberger’s talk, click here.
● Next week’s speaker: Ron Merrell, Heights Church
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.