Category Archives: Community

A Chosen Generation

Psalms 24:6
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Selah

Miley has her Wrecking Ball, but the Almighty is wrecking a set-apart generation for the beautiful sake of His Son, Jesus.

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They are of Jacob’s generation: they are seeking the fullness of the LORD

They are of Joshua’s generation: they will boldly take possession of the land

They are of John’s generation: they are forerunners and make way for the Coming of the LORD

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You haven’t lived until you’ve filled your living room with worshipping millennials, letting them find the Father’s heart, and adding theirs to the infinite symphony of redeemed creation. This is what God is doing in the earth: He’s making His Name a praise among the nations through this amazing generation.

Sandy and I are HONORED to sit close enough to sense the stirring of this divine phenomenon week in and week out through the beautiful souls that make up our extended family.

I caught this video and, though these are not the faces of our kids in the faith, they could easily be superimposed over these. My wife and I love them beyond words and affirm their favored standing before their Father of creation.

We’re praying huge things over them; we’re asking God to receive for Himself His inheritance in them and that the Lamb of God would receive the reward of His suffering in their forever-ruined-for-Jesus testimonies.

Yes, Lord. Amen.

Maddox

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This precious, tow-headed little charmer is one of the newest members of our extended family. His name is Maddox.

Sandy and I were asked by his mom and dad to be his godparents, in a larger sense of the word. This means we are willingly taking Maddox upon ourselves to speak life into him all the days we have left, and to foment his growth in the Lord, alongside his wonderful parents..

Of course, we are not taking this lightly. This afternoon, little Maddox was brought before the Lord to be dedicated by his parents for the bolstering of the lad’s opportunities to come into the fullness of Christ and the realization of why he was created.

One of my first official acts as a spiritual father was to listen to the Father and hear from Him a blessing for Maddox. As a pastor, I’ve done scads of these, and none so important to us as this one:

Maddox, your name means fortunate. Your place in the Kingdom of God finds its origin in the seventh son of Jacob, Gad – whose name gives yours meaning – and the people of Gad were men of strength and boldness, “mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains” (1 Chr. 12:8).

Maddox, you are called out of the earth of men to be a son of boldness for what God calls holy, to be mighty in the Lord’s strength as a feared son of the kingdom, and to build a testimony of greatness that comes from submission to the Almighty God who directs all your steps, fights all your battles and uses you to bring holy justice to those who are unfortunate.

You are God’s javelin to execute righteousness and bring freedom to the captives and peace to those trapped in darkness. You are God’s shield for the lost, last and least among your generation. Though strong, and fearless, you will be kind, gentle and merciful to the weak, swift to give aid wherever God sends you.

Your people will speak great things about you, making special note of your compassionate heart; your family and offspring will trust your God because He has been so apparent in your life. The joy of the Lord will be your strength all your days.

And now, Maddox,

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Amen.

Greek to Me

Do you like supernatural stories?

Add this to your collection:

Roughly, say, two or three years ago, my wife handed me a folded note. She explained that one of the women in our fellowship had had a vision or dream (I do not recall which) and felt the urgency to share what came out of the (shall we say) dream with me. The woman was adamant the message was indeed for me.

I unfolded the scrap of paper and this is what I read:

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I mentioned this post being of a supernatural nature. Here goes…

I instantly knew what these characters were. I’d taken enough Greek classes to know Greek letters when I saw them. I even knew what word these letters formed.

“Father”

The trouble was, I knew what it said…but I didn’t know what it meant.

Until today.

First, some background. Before I pastored in my community for seventeen beautiful, fulfilling, challenging, disappointing, blessed, and life-shaping years, I traveled the country for a decade as an inspirational speaker, specializing in local church revivals, school retreats, youth events and pro sports chaplaincies.

Do the math. That’s 27 years by my count.

However, there’s been a disheartening (at times) gap in my ministry life. I’ve been “available” for ministry for a total of 30 years. Again, some ciphering is due. There’ve been 27 years of active ministry but the past 3 years have been largely inactive.

Or so I figured.

Until that blessed day I was fumbling around in the (of all places) bill pile at my desk and came across the – you guessed it – folded slip of paper with the word “father” in perfect Greek letters written in ink by a carefully accurate hand.

Oh yes, the miracle. The woman who “saw” the characters and knew by spiritual instinct they were meant for me, had never studied Greek, didn’t know what Greek letters looked like, much less basic Greek vocabulary; and yet, there they were, in perfect script, the right order, and, as it turns out, a divine directive. To me.

Allow me to fill in a gap or two for you for further clarification. I mentioned three years of “inactive” ministry. Bite my tongue.

Nearly three years ago I was approached by a young man (an elderly teenager) at his aunt’s funeral I happened to be officiating. He asked if I might begin meeting with him to answer a lot of questions he had about faith, the Bible and spirituality. He and I met for several months, weekly, sometimes several times a week. Another young man was added several months later. Another one or two came – and went – but a few others soon joined. And stuck.

With all humility and unexplainable grace, I have come to recognize they look to me as a father of sorts, and I’ve begun to see them as sons in the faith. Oh sure, they have others who regularly speak into their lives and offer sound counsel, but what was “Greek to me” has become clear and revelatory.

In this anything-but-interim small handful of years, these twenty-somethings have become my ministry, my calling and passion. Nothing is coming before them. Doors are beginning to open again for pulpit ministry, but that is secondary to my just being available to these hungry young lions.

I’m a father, I’m supposed to be a father, and this is not anything close to inactive ministry. I’ve embraced it, embrace them, and rest in this calling. If all I have is my living room filled with 20-something young men for the rest of my life, answering their questions, digging into the scriptures together, living in community together, pursuing and experiencing eternal life together…I will joyfully, enthusiastically and relentlessly give myself to this service.

That’s what fathers do.