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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

We got stuck on the roads, shoveled ’till our backs ached, and didn’t get to work. But getting buried in snow is almost always a good time!

I shoveled, they threw it back onto the driveway, I shoveled it again...

Notice that I’m leaning on the mailbox. The next day the mailbox was completely buried. After shoveling it out the snowbank stood 7 feet high!

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I remember once, when my daughter Delaney was little, she came around while I was watching some sermon online and asked “whatcha doing?”. From out of the kitchen my wife’s voice came to inform her “Daddy loves his preachers!”

It’s true. Daddy does like his preachers very much. One of my many favorites is Corey Russell. In part, I love Corey because he always seems on the verge of coming completely unhinged. You know, like you’re never sure if at any moment he might fall down convulsing, or have an eyeball pop out.

But seriously, Corey hears the Spirit of God and presents what he hears with unapologetic charismatic passion. He’s always stirring, and I when I hear him I know I do not have the option to be complacent or simply be a “hearer, not a doer” of the word (James 1:23-25). Corey preached a barn-burner at IHOPs Prayer & Prophetic conference last week (video below).

One of our greatest needs at this hour is the ability to “hear”. The prophets, Jesus & the Apostles all say it over and over: “Hear”, “hear oh heavens”, “hear O Israel”, “hear you elders”, “let him who has ears hear”, “let him who has ears hear what the spirit is saying”, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word”, and on and on. In a generation over-saturated with media, distraction, conflicting messages in the church, and dysfunctional families, we need more than ever to know the Word, and through fasting and prayer hear what the Spirit is saying to us in this hour. Without it we will continue in confusion, having no prophetic message or voice in the church.

The prophet Malachi prophesies at the close of the Old Testament:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:5-6

In the book of Malachi there are several significant areas highlighted where the nation is in sin and chaos – the priesthood, marriages, and finances. Sound familiar? God’s prescription for this is to send the spirit of Elijah. This He does at the opening of the New Testament when John the baptist comes in that Spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:16-17).

In our generation we find ourselves in similar straights to Israel in days of Elijah, Malachi, and John the Baptist. The prophecy of Malachi 4 tells us that in the last days, he will again send “the spirit of Elijah”. I believe it is this spirit of Elijah that is being manifested in our day through the movements of adoption and prayer.

There are some distinguishing characteristics of Elijah’s ministry that are key to this “spirit”.

Elijah came when Israel was at rock bottom. He appears somewhat suddenly from what seems like obscurity. He comes to bring a clear demarcation by confronting the idolatry of king Ahab and the prophets of Baal. He is confrontational.

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1Kings 18:21

He is a man with power in prayer, who through his prayers, shuts the heavens so it does not rain. Then again through prayer opens up the heavens with rain. His ability to hear the Lord in his spirit is so sharp that he speaks of things yet to come as thought they already are (the coming rains while the drought still continues):

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 1Kings 18:41

Through his ministry Elijah brings life to the dead child. He gives us a typological picture of the restoration of children to their parents through laying down our lives and contending in prayer. As Elijah stays in the house of the widow of Zeraphath her son dies. Elijah stretches himself out over the son and pleads with the Lord, and then returns him to her alive:

Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 1 Kings 17:21-23

We find ourselves, as Malachi did, in a time when there is confusion among believers and chaos in our marriages and finances.  It is the Spirit of Elijah that will come to restore.

On the mount of transfiguration Jesus tells the disciples:

And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things.

It is likely no coincidence that after Elijah appears to him on the mount of transfiguration, Jesus is confronted by a disheartening scene as he comes down the mountain. A crowd is gathered and a man is pleading for help in delivering his son from a demon that has rendered him deaf and mute. The people, the religious leaders, and the disciples are unable to bring deliverance. Jesus  chastises them for their unbelief (the root of the problem) and instructs them that it’s only by fasting and prayer that these spirits can be cast out (and thus the mute boy receive his voice). We must heed these instructions in our day and cry out for help from the Lord as this boy’s father did if we are to experience victory over the work of these spirits in our children as well.

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:23-29

We need to once again contend through fasting and prayer for the spirit of Elijah among us that can confront evil spirits and minister life to a fatherless and mute generation. We need to “hear what the spirit is saying to the churches” in this hour. If we do not “hear” and “stretch ourselves out” as Elijah did, there will be no clarity or prophetic voice in the coming generation, and no returning of the hearts of children and parents to one another.

Thanks for the message, Corey. The real thing is better than my summary (sermon starts at 1hr 16):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Modern Discipleship

Jude made some money doing a modeling job a couple of weeks ago and so we took a little trip to Target and let him buy a toy. And what does every 4 year old boy want? A gun, of course. So Jude is the proud owner of a new pump action plastic Nerf rifle that shoots little Nerf bullets. Pretty cool actually.

So, the other day Delaney is reciting her scripture memory verses for me from her Awana manual and Jude comes into the room.

Delaney: “OK, everyone be quiet. I’m going to say my verses.”

Jude: “Ya, and if you get it wrong, I’ll shoot ya…cracker.”

Nice. That’s one way to motivate disciples. What kind of house am I leading here? At the very least I need to stop using the word “cracker” apparently. Yikes.

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Free at last, Free at last…

So here’s my photo essay of our trip to the orthopedist today for a check-up on Delaney’s fractured leg:

1. We wait anxiously for the Doctor to arrive:

2. The doctor’s assistant removes the cast with the saw:

3. Jude cowers in fear of the loud and loathsome saw. When we arrived in the exam room  he demanded that the assistant tell him if they were going to hurt his sister.

4. With cast now removed, we can see the leg in question. Amazing how much the muscles atrophy in just a few weeks! Can you see the different in muscle tone between the two?

5. We took an x-ray to make sure everything was healing up well. All looks good! The white cloudy area below the knee is where the bone has re-grown. The human body is amazing.

And so we went home and moved on with life! It will take up to a week for Delaney to regain muscle and walk/run completely normal. I’m glad that’s over. The Doctor’s assistant was telling us about one of their other recent patients who came in to have his cast removed. Afterward, on his way out to the car, he slipped on the ice and broke the same leg! Bummer.

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Snap, Crackle, pop (part deux)

Well, we returned from the doctors office with a wheelchair, crutches, and one pink casted six year old girl. She’s a real trouper and hasn’t complained at all. In fact, I think three weeks of wheelchair rides has a certain appeal…

In the X-ray shot you can see the dark line through the Tibia bone where the arrow is that represents our fracture. Ouch. I guess she wasn’t making more of it than there was!  She was actualy doing remarkably well these last several days considering the nature of the injury.

I was surprised to discover that you can take an X-ray three days post injury and see something different on it.

Get well soon “Little D”!

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Snap, crackle, POP!

Another day, another hospital run. I don’t ever remember my parents having to go to the urgent care as much as we do.

Last night Delaney’s leg got twisted under me on the couch. She turned the wrong way and…crack! Voila, hairline fracture in the growth plate of her left knee. Bummer! So with much tears and apprehension we packed her up (complete with several stuffed rabbits and Dora the Explorer pjs) and headed out to the hospital.

Unfortunately those types of fractures don’t show up on x-rays very well so we only know by the “cracking sound”, location of the pain, and her inability to put weight on it. So, there’s a chance it will be OK but they had to put a splint on her to keep it immobile until we can tell for sure.

I can see already that she has plans to milk it for all it’s worth. Lots of talk about being carried around,videos, and catered meals to the couch-side. Life is tough…

What’s funny about the situation is her complete embarassment over the splint. She refuses to be seen in public with a cast or crutches of any sort. She’s been wailing over the possibility of going to church or her Awana group and having, God forbid, everyone see her with a splint. She was also very modest with the male nurse and wanted to make sure he didn’t see anything he wasn’t supposed to, unlike her sister Eliza “the exhibitionist” who’s been disrobing at every opportunity of late.

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Jude rocks out w/ Cory Asbury

What do you say? Should we let him in the band? I’ll forward Cory the audition video…

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