Jesus Prayed Twice!

Jesus Prayed Twice! Mark 8:22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon […]

Told this story to Mike Finley from IHOP Kansas City, as he visited ORU.

leg grow

Mark 8:22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

There are things that happen in real life, when you minister under the anointing of God that are not simple, cut and dry, principals that we can build black and white doctrine on.

There is a flow of the Holy Spirit, where He leads, and we follow.

I love this portion of Scripture, because I see the humanity of Jesus, God the Son, operating as  many, like us, totally helpless, without the power of God operating in his life.

He knew it was the will of the Father to open this blind man’s eyes, so he began in faith, and prayed for healing. Then like any good doctor would do, he said: ;What is happening? Can you see? What are you feeling?”

leg stand

The man replied “I see men as trees walking”. Jesus did not give up, or puff up, he simply laid his hands on the man again, for another impartation of the Holy Spirits anointing, and the the man was totally healed.

Rwanda

While in Rwanda in 2009, on a missions trip hosted by Parfait and Michelle Karakezi, we did an evangelistic outreach for pastor Josephine Ngabirano. It poured rain, and we jammed into a small building while the thunder, lightening roared and flashed, and water came out of the sky in buckets!

While preaching, the Lord spoke clearly to me that he wanted to heal someone’s leg.

A dear sister came forward, and we prayed for leg and it was instantly healed, but I had such a burden to prayer for a serious leg injury, so much so, that I stopped the service and repeated this several times asking the crowd, ‘Who is it?’ the Lord will not let me proceed.’Is there not someone here who needs a miracle in their leg?’

I kept repeating it, the burden so deep, the command of the Lord so clear.

It was getting embarrassing, as I stood there with the microphone pleading that someone come forward so that I could pray for their leg.

Finally, in out of the storm, came a homeless man, crippled in one leg, with a tree branch he was using as a crutch.

He had come in out of the storm and he was soaking wet, and his leg was a sight to behold. He had been born with a birth defect, whereby his leg was corkscrewed so that his foot was turned backwards, pointing behind him.

When I saw him, I felt any faith I had, leave. This was going to take a miracle, and only Jesus could do it.

I asked the children if they had ever seen a miracle? Their eyes got big, and they shook their heads.

So, I sat him down on a chair in front of the meeting, and had the children from the choit all come forward and stretch out their hands to pray.
In that sweaty little room, I had the children repeat: Father (Father), please heal his leg (please heal his leg), Now (Now), in Jesus name!
I’m missing a bracket, because the translator had them say it in Kinyarwandan.
Then, it happened!
While I was holding the man’s foot, it began to move! Through hot tears, I saw God unscrew the man’s leg, right in front of us all! His foot was now pointing forward, but his leg was at least 6″ shorter than the other.
So, I explained to the children, that even Jesus had to pray for the blind guy twice, and I’m not that good, so let’s pray again!

Father (Father), in the name of Jesus (In the name of Jesus) we command his leg, GROW (We command his leg grow!)

As we prayed, his leg grew out at least an inch, before our eyes!
We prayed this prayer several times, until the man’s leg was full length. Inch by inch we watched it grow, each time we prayed!

leg grow

Finally, the man was able to stand, without his crutch!
leg stand
As the man and I began to walk together, it was clear that his leg was weak from lack of use, so I realized he needed daily exercise. I asked the crowd, is there anyone here that will walk with this man, every day?

Suddenly, a great man stood up in the back of the room, and silenced the crowd with his words: ‘I will walk with him!”

Everyone cheered!

I learned later, that this great man was the mayor of the town, and he truly did walk with this man until he was strong, then helped him get a job so he could provide for himself. Such great honor!
Don’t know about you, but I have had to pray for people several times, and as I worked among the mentally and physically handicapped, daily, for years. Sometimes, miracles were instant, sometimes, the best I could do was rejoice that the presence of God manifested, and that the person received some degree of comfort from the Holy Spirit as I prayed.1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.How I love to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I seek Him, His presence, and His gifts, daily, to meet the needs of hurting humanity, but how well I have learned, that He is Lord, and I am not. These gifts, are exactly that, gifts, given: AS HE WILLS! I am the servant, He is the master.

Yet, I have discovered, He is a lot more willing than people give Him credit for. He loves to be sought, in passion and fire, your frustration and pain the very gateway to your miracle, if you would cry out to God.

rwanda1

Do not let the two greatest thieves: yesterday and tomorrow rob you of your miracle!

His name is I AM! NOW faith is. Today is the day of salvation.

Refuse to be denied, or accept the lie that you need to wait on God’s timing, that He is working things together for your good, while you wait. If you are sick, handicapped, or afflicted, time is not your friend. Each day is more pain.

Time is like a parade, that God can see from the beginning to the end, as He reigns above it all. He is willing to enter time, the moment faith cries out, and He is still a God of suddenlies.

miracles

One touch of His power, changes it all. Today! Seize the day, and demand action from heaven and hell. Get in the face of God, boldly. Your pain has been bold, your sickness insidiously slinking inside of you, sucking your life, strength, and working on your will to fight, to live. Say NO to this devilish deception! Cry out! He is Almighty, TODAY!

‘Father, I refuse to be denied, nor allow this cycle of defeat, death, discouragement, and despair to continue. Meet with me, NOW! Heal Me, show me your will and plan for my life. TODAY! Your name is I AM, and I would meet with you, NOW, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, AMEN!’

Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.
mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God
bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

need-prayer
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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

How to be great in the Kingdom of God!

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
Matt 18: 1 ¶ At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying,

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
Well, after almost 15 years serving in some capacity in children’ ministry, I could make this into a long teaching, but I will not.

Here are a couple of thoughts, in no particular order:
1.We are to be childlike, not childish. What this means to me, is that we should never lose our sense of childlike awe, wonder, joy, inquisitiveness, gratefulness, generosity, and love towards God. We should quickly lose our temper tantrums, selfishness, cynicism, hardness, sarcasm, and belligerent ways. Enough said. Childlike, not childish.

2. We are to treat children in the fear of the Lord. Children are gifts from heaven, and they have guardian angels that watch over them, and report back to heaven on their treatment. God has placed eternal worth in the heart of every child, and there are eternal consequences upon any person foolish enough to mistreat or abuse a child.

3. God wants each and every child given as a gift into the earth, to meet and receive Jesus, as their personal Savior, that they may become eternally saved.
compassion
Dr. Dan Brewster from Compassion international, has written a tremendous article on world missions. Many of us understand, that most of the people on planet earth, who have never heard the good news of Jesus and eternal life, live in what is now known as the 10/40 window. He then describes the 4/14 window, which is the age bracket from which 85% of people generally make their decisions to follow Jesus. Seems the greatest mission field on the earth, is to children aged between 4 and 14.

http://www.compassion.com/multimedia/The%204_14%20Window.pd
Seems, if you honestly want to be on the cutting edge of where Jesus is moving the most powerfully in earth, you will fall in love with children, and will reach them for Jesus….
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
(Jesus. Mark 10:14)

Let’s Pray:
“Father, I see the need to cry out, to serve, to make a way for children, to come to, to know Jesus. Father use me in this, show me how, where, and what You want me to do, to love, minister to, and to alleviate the suffering of, Your children in the earth, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!”

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

IT is Written!

It is Written!
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
v7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matt 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

In reading of the temptation of Jesus, three times this morning we see Jesus, God the Son, led of the Holy Spirit, being tempted of satan, to disobey or sin against God our Father, Yet, He did not spend hours praying in tongues, worshipping, or binding and loosing, He simply said: It is Written!
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
How well I have learned that the fight of faith we are called to fight, is all about the Word. When we stand upon the written Word, or rhema Word spoken to us, and simply proclaim it, in the midst of madness, mayhem, and destruction as satan attempts to do what he always does, kill, steal and destroy. We can quietly solemnly respond, ‘It is written!’. When we do, it may seem that nothing has changed, but everything changed!

The very Word we were fighting for, suddenly begins to fight for us!

When Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, again, we read:
Lu 19:46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
God cannot lie. If He said it, or spoke it to you personally, and you believe it, it will surely come to pass, as long as you, whether with shouts of praise, or in quiet solemn whispers, continue to proclaim: ‘It is written!’

Some years ago, when Karen and I were newlyweds, we pioneered a church in a government housing project. Filled with the love of God, we went door to door praying with people, and doing a series of summer concerts in the park/playground area. It worked too, we saw 54 people pray the prayer of salvation that first summer, and we bought an old van, and started bringing children to church until we had as many as 25 children in the basement of the community center where we met, mostly from homes where drug use was prevalent. Over the first four months of ministry two people died from drug overdose in our community, and there were seven crack houses operating. One weekend, the police sent in a SWAT team, and arrested 70 people, and that Sunday at church, we only had five or six people in church, and all of our children had been taken by police, and placed in the foster care system. We cried out to God in anguish asking for his care for these precious children aged 2-8.

Well, on Monday afternoon at 3:30, I received a telephone call from a Children’s Aid Society worker, (This is the Canadian equivilent of the Department of Human Services) saying they had ‘apprehended’ (like they were criminals or something) two precious children aged four and seven, and that after contacting family members, the children asked if they could come stay with pastors Chris and Karen. I said, ‘Let me talk it over with my wife, how long do I have to decide?’ “We close at 4:30, and if you are not here, we are placing them in the shelter” I could hear them crying in the background, and I quickly explained the situation to my wife, and then we jumped in the car, and headed across the city through rush hour traffic. Got there at 4:25, presented ID, and signed for 2 traumatized precious children, who’s parents were either in jail, on on the run from the law.
Jesus cross
As we began the hour drive through bumper to bumper traffic with these children, intermittently crying and asking millions of questions, we tried to comfort them, but they really needed to be hugged and held, and it was not possible in our little Toyota Tercel. Finally, we reached downtown, and traffic was stopped, and these children began to scream, and I, having never been a parent snapped. I loved them, but felt so helpless!

I cried out to Jesus and said: “Jesus, You called me here! You must do something, NOW!

And He did! Instantly, His presence and power swept into the vehicle. All the worry, stress, fear, terror, everything, left, and His power, presence, peace and joy blew in! We all felt it, and began to laugh, and then sang praises all the way back home for the next 45 minutes. I lit a fire in the wood-stove and Karen made hot chocolate while we built a snowman together. We had those precious children for 8 weeks, until mom got outta detox and into rehab, and dad resurfaced, then signed himself into a residential rehabilitation program. It was a rocky road with that family for the next couple years, but that is another story…

Yes, there are onslaughts, tests, and trials in this earth. I’m in one now. Yet, over the decades, the Word has proved entirely faithful and true, for He who spoke that very Word into the earth, ever liveth, and watches carefully over His Word to perform it, with power. I love when He does ‘Suddenlies’, savage breakthroughs of His power and might, yet I have learned not to mistake the spectacular for the supernatural. His Word, believed and acted upon, always produces supernatural results, no matter what we are feeling about it that day.

What was my: ‘It is written‘ that won the battle that day? It was not simply a memorized Scripture verse, no it was the realization that like Jesus, I was only responsible to do the will of our heavenly Father, and that I was in the center of His perfect will at that point, that we are the answer to problems of the day, never to run from them, for we face them in His power.

Proclaim His Promises today, and keep His Word ever before you. When you do, that very Word you placed before you, is working for you, fighting, creating, breaking through impossibilities, just because He can! You too, have a place of perfect obedience, in the will of our heavenly Father, where all hell will face you in your particular gift and calling. Your strength, knowledge, and ability was never designed to win the day, but your faith in God will cause you to prevail – scream at the darkness: IT IS WRITTEN!
shout praise

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, we come before Your throne of grace today, and we bring Your promises before You today, knowing that You are faithful to honor Your Word, and our faith in it. We ask Y ou today for your direction, guidance, provision, prosperity, healing, strength, favor, protection, wisdom, instruction, counsel, knowledge, blessing, forgiveness, mercy, comfort, restoration, breakthroughs, gifts of the Holy Spirit, grace, and the hearing of your voice. We love you Father, and we love you Jesus, and thank you that all of these petitions, come directly from that which you have promised us in Your Word. We believe we receive it, and loose it into our lives by faith, for we have asked in Your mighty name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

A Cry for the Fatherless…

A Cry for the Fatherless
fatherless

Titus 3: 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

As I again seek the face of God, for my support, with bills on my desk, I look upon this page, and see the needs of orphans and orphanages, that make my pressure seem like a picnic. Could it be that our loving Father has allowed my particular trial, to humble me, that I might see?

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
james-1-27

Yes, the internet has allowed me international outreach, but the needs I see, are real, and heartbreaking.

God’s Word promises provision and prosperity, and this I teach: giving and receiving, but what about those who have nothing to give but their love and prayers.

Children, helpless to provide for themselves, destitute of daily food, proper shelter, and schooling.

James 2:14 ¶ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

As a father, when we are low on funds, or food, and I have to hug and hold my children, when I have nothing to give, my heart breaks…
keila-victory

How much more our heavenly Father, Creator of all life, seeing the greed, selfishness, and stinginess, that puts children into starvation, prostitution, or a life of begging.
children-beg

And so I weep, questioning whether this journey of faith is in vain. At least when I had our companies, I could do something financially, however small, to give, to support, to provide in some small way to the needs before me.
poor

And so I break before His throne, questioning if I should not rather be building some business, to try and generate money to alleviate suffering, whether or not this call to preach the gospel is a vain thing…

I will see Him, I will hear His voice, and I will obey.

Whatever He says, I will do, yet I cannot call myself a man of God, and see these needs, and not be moved to action. Now, I must know what action is the correct action…

Mt 25:35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Jesus, how would you have me to do this…?
orphans
Let’s pray:
‘Father, the poor we shall always have with us, yet you have called us to provide for them. Please show me Your heart of compassion for this, and please show me how to do my part. You are Creator, and You always provide for Your creation, yet these verses scream our responsibility to do something. Though I have nothing in terms of silver and gold, I am rich in education, strength, and passion. Show me how, to use my gifts to meet these needs, in Jesus name, Amen.’

 

Last year, clearly, God laid upon my heart to send these children money for Christmas. Above, you see the clothes they got for Christmas 2015. Now, after a full year of supporting this work almost weekly, we we able to help again with Christmas 2016. My dream, is to be able to do this for 11 more orphanages in 2017.

christmas-2016-orphans

Jesus has need of it.

Jesus has Preeminence!
Preeminence
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Spoke with my friend Loyd Umber today, and he had the insight about Jesus, that whatever exists in all of Creation, or anywhere in the earth, Jesus has preeminence!
That means He has the first right of use to anything!
Which is why the disciples could untie a donkey, and state: The Lord has need of it!
Makes missions a rather exciting endeavor, in that as we go, and authentically hear God, He may well wake folks up in the night, and tell them the very same thing about our provision: The Lord has need of it! And they gotta turn some stuff loose….
Makes our obedience rather critical…
Jesus cause us to hear accurately!
 orphans

Right now, Prasad Johnson needs $2800 to build a bunkhouse then monthly support for the 10 orphan children in his care. This need lays heavily upon my heart today.

Please help me help them – this is a legitimate need, and every penny you donate, goes directly to them.

These children are on my heart today. Need to raise $2800.00 to build a bunkhouse for each of them. Cost $50/month each. to feed clothe and school them. I never ask for money on here, and God as my witness, every penny donated will go 100% to them. Please help me help them.

 

Who is teaching our children?

Who is teaching Your Children, and What are they being taught?
family teach
Even when families remain intact, moral instruction is not automatic. A public school survey in Maryland showed that parents spent an average of 15 minutes a week in “meaningful dialogue” with their children–children who are left to glean whatever values they can from peers and TV.
Senator Dan Coates, Imprimis, Vol. 20, #9, September, 1991
Jesus family
Deut 11: 18 ¶ Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

Thank God for teachers, who can help us to teach our children, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Thank God for great churches, Sunday school teachers and children’s pastors, to help us raise our children in the Word of God, and give them a place to serve God. In today’s broken world, sometimes real teachers get to step into this parental role, in love: http://www.bestthings.co/teddy-stoddard/

Yet, the primary responsibility for teaching, training, equipping, our children, is with us, their parents.

parents-teach

Which means, it is not the church’s responsibility, not the schools, not their friends, peers, or coaches, it is ours, the parents.

I read this and it resonates within me:

No Time to Play
My precious boy with the golden hair
Came up one day beside my chair
And fell upon his bended knee
And said, “Oh, Mommy, please play with me!”
child time
I said, “Not now, go on and play;
I’ve got so much to do today.”
He smiled through tears in eyes so blue
When I said, “We’ll play when I get through.”
But the chores lasted all through the day
And I never did find time to play.
When supper was over and dishes done,
I was much too tired for my little son.
I tucked him in and kissed his cheek
And watched my angel fall asleep.
As I tossed and turned upon my bed,
Those words kept ringing in my head,
“Not now, son, go on and play,
I’ve got so much to do today.”
I fell asleep and in a minute’s span,
My little boy is a full-grown man.
No toys are there to clutter the floor;
No dirty fingerprints on the door;
No snacks to fix; no tears to dry;
The rooms just echo my lonely sigh.
And now I’ve got the time to play;
But my precious boy is gone away.
I awoke myself with a pitiful scream
And realized it was just a dream
For across the room in his little bed,
Lay my curly-haired boy, the sleepy-head.
My work will wait ’till another day
For now I must find some time to play.
Dianna (Mrs. Joe) Neal.
family time
Nuff said. Gotta stay faithful. They are our future, and the future leaders of our countries, if we raise them right. The Word of God will grow, strengthen, and instruct them in discerning right from wrong.

Each day, I treat the privilege of the time I have with my children as a wonderful gift from God. Each day is like Christmas, where I wake up to open a beautiful gift. The gift, the wonderful blossoming of my children day by day, in the grace of God, in understanding, in love….

Let us learn to play with our children…

Let’s pray:
‘Father, help us to be, and become the parents our children need. I trust you Jesus, to fill any gaps in my family or extended family with your presence, and the power of the Holy Spirit, as you give us grace to love them and train them in the Word of God in this, my generation, Amen’

manhood child Bible