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Archive for the ‘Christian Parents Handling Challenges’ Category

He’d pulled a knife on my son, in the 7th grade hallway. Pulled it and said he was going to stab him in the back and kill him next week. This boy ran away shortly after that. He was a habitual runaway. He’d run. Come back. Start the threats over again. This cycle continued through the year. This boy was screaming for someone to take care of him, to make him go to school, to scoop his emotional self up and put him back together each day. Youth rail at boundaries – yet cry out for shepherding.

I prayed for this runaway who had threatened my son – prayed for him like I prayed for my son.

I never imagined, though, my children would consider running – ever. I thought love, healthy boundaries, discipline, encouragement, knowledge of a loving God – I thought that would immunize them to a run-away heart.

Please click over to Cause/Pub ‘s Couch Rebel Project for the rest of the story – this story of a silent epidemic in our communities and churches – just click here.

Thank you, Beck, Amy and Karin for all your encouragement to do this!

238-wideCausePub has teamed up with Blood:Water Mission to fund-raise to clean water in Africa.

For every book sold, Blood:Water Mission, will be able to provide three people with clean water for one year. Blood:Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against HIV/AIDS and the water crisis in Africa. Blod: Water Mission was founded in 2005 by the multi-platinum GRAMMY Award-winning band, Jars of Clay. Crowd Publishing for Impact is teaming with Blood: Water Mission to sell 15,000 copies of Couch Rebels . The sales from this publication will allowthem to impact 45,000 lives with clean water for a year.

What’s in the book Couch Rebels? That is to be determined now by you. They have asked for writers/bloggers to contribute about an experience that placed them outside their comfort zone. They review submissions to determine phase one of what articles/posts/stories go in the book. If your writer is accepted, you enter phase 2 where readers vote (not just click like but vote) to determine whether your article will be included in the published project.

There’s still a few more days for you to include yours – please do CausePub is accepting stories until 7/2.

Please – stop by and check mine out. Yes, I’m doing the happy dance that I made it past Phase one for 2 writing projects. If you are encouraged, please hit vote.

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A few days later, life going on with an additional heart-beat to our family, I stand behind my kitchen counter, reaching to this amazing heavenly Father again. Challenges don’t stop rolling just because a prayer was answered, especially with a house full of boys to men growing into independence.

I see the challenge, like a barreling stone, bigger than me. I don’t chastise myself that I didn’t see it sooner, or solve the rolling of it sooner. It is what it is. Don’t think I’m flippant or irresponsible. I used to beat myself up for not knowing things before I knew them – until God took the baseball bat I was beating myself up with out of my figurative hands.

Life just burps up challenges from likely and unlikely places.

But God isn’t just interested in turning baby girl for a safe delivery (see previous post) – He’s interested in a teen boy struggling to find his place in a new school, though we had only moved away 2 years before returning.

God is not surprised by any of these challenges. He’s just waiting for us to turn these challenges over to him.

This teen son with an innate joyful spirit is not feeling joyful lately. Once I asked, “Have you prayed about it?”

He responded, “God knows what I need.”

“But God’s not like your mama who bursts into your problems unasked. God’s not like that. He waits for your invitation,” I answered.

“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call” (Psalm 20: 6-9).

And so I ask and I pray, interceding through prayer, asking our Father, once again, trusting in His name, that He knows what is needed in this challenge and has already set the answer rolling from His throne, the saving might of His right hand moving to protect one of His beloved children, whether it is turning a head, pointing to an opportunity, turning an attitude, or holding us to stand. It only waits for the asking.

I am awed that He, God, the King, Emmanuel, Jehovah, I am – wants me to ask

Father, I didn’t have a parent who knew how to intercede, that they could come to you in prayer for their children in their growing-up struggles. I found you at 7, held on tight and didn’t let go. But even I didn’t know I could come to you for help, that you were there to pick me up, comfort me  – for the big and Little things, little and Big- though I reached out for you I didn’t realize I was the King’s daughter because of Jesus.

But I know now, Father, – who I am to you and who my son is to you. I know that you want me to come to you – to intercede for this son who is struggling, who feels isolated, no connections, no place here – no real home – and I intercede, stand in the gap for him, beseech you to bring him friendships that will lift him up when he is down – and open his eyes to see that friendship, that in this next 1.5 years until he graduates – that home is restored in his heart, that he recognize comfort, belonging and warmth here.

You know what he needs, Lord. You know what is really going on in his heart – and, as the daughter of the King, your daughter – not the fatherless orphan I was growing up – I ask you to work in my son’s life, restoring that which was lost.

The challenges – do they ever really stop? Have they ever really stopped – big and Little, little and Big? If you chronicled all those challenges from today backwards – what would you find?

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (Corinthians 3:18).

Maybe we are transformed from glory to glory challenge by challenge.

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I believe everything is possible through Christ Jesus. My vision of what can be is limited by my knowledge of possibilities. However, God has an unlimited supply of possiblities that I cannot even visualize or imagine!

If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believeth” (Mark 9:23)

Nobody ever said believing was easy, that trusting was easy – but the more I have believed in what I have not yet seen and still trusted my Father – the more truth I have discovered in what His word says.

“For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23)

Raising children dares me quite consistently to believe that God has possibilities to challenges I cannot logically discover, imagine or fathom; fix, organize, or buy; out-love, out-debate or just out-last through sheer determination.

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13)

To Dare is to “to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage” – to Dare is not saying to God, “I dare you to prove yourself.” No, that is not what I am talking about. It is to prove ourselves, our faith. To Dare is to be courageous in our Faith against the enemy who would see us fail, to see our faith fail, to see our belief fail,  – and our relationship with God fail.  Sometimes, this enemy would use the challenges of our children to entice us to fail.

To Dare is to test ourselves. “To dare or venture to meet or expose oneself to, to run the risk of meeting; to meet defiantly, defy (a thing)” (OED, definition of dare) – When we dare to believe, we put our faith on the line. We do not dare God – we dare ourselves – to put our faith into action, kind of like turning the key in the the car’s ignition. We trust the key will make the car turn on. When we stand on our faith and believe, we defy an unbelieving world. We run the risk of discovering God is not true. We expose ourselves to a world ready to ridicule our belief.

Yet, the most beautiful part of Daring to believe that God stands by His promises, His Fatherhood, is that each time we Dare to Believe, Faith and Hope are never let down; God is real and true.

Sometimes I forget to let God be fully God. Sometimes, it is difficult to let God into all areas of my life. It is like letting my son push the grocery cart. It is hard to let go and let someone else have control. But God is not just someone else. He is God – a God of endless Possibilities!

Dare to Trust. Dare to Hope. Dare to Believe. Double-Dog Dare to let God be God in your life!

                                                                                        

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