Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hi Ho Silver...

When Jenny was small she was rarely in trouble. She did not disobey but she also did not talk. She and Jason were so close she could just look at him and he would do whatever it was she wanted. Just asking her not to do something could break her heart. She was so compliant and QUIET it was odd. She was also really intelligent. Add all that together and she was never a “little” girl. What I also figured out was that she was such a perfectionist that she did not want to do anything until it was perfect. So for example when she did talk it was in complete sentences.

When she was about 2 we were at my aunt and uncle’s house. My cousins broke horses for a living (at that time anyway).  All the adults were all in the house—Jenny and Jason were outside playing. All of a sudden Jason came running in the house…Jenny was down in the pasture with the horses. She had gone under the fence and down the hill.

I ran outside followed by my uncle and dad. When I found her my uncle said (in his very slow drawl), “That horse will kill her, you better get her back up here. I cain’t go down there or that horse’ start bucking. Better get her out of that pasture.” No Problem was my first thought—Jenny always minds.
“Jenny, come back up here. That horse might hurt you.”

Now, remember, this is my compliant-non-talking little girl, “No, I not. I patting the nice horsey.”
The horse is whinnying and pawing the ground. What the heck? Who stole my daughter and put this disobedient, talking brown-eyed beauty down here?

“Jenny that is not funny. You mind mommy and come up here. You can pat a different horse.”

“No I not. I playing with this horsey and the baby.”

Great, this horse is not only not really broken there is a colt involved. I am not a horse person so I have no idea what I am doing. I start to climb through the fence. The horse starts raring up with hooves pounding the air like Silver in the Lone Ranger show.  All I can see in my mind is one of those hooves coming down on her head. I back out of the fence. The horse stops throwing the fit and backs up a little.

Jenny heads back to the horse with her little hand in the air. The horses head comes down. I have visions of those huge teeth biting her hand off but instead it snorts on her. She giggles away and heads closer to the horse who is smart enough to keep backing up. The only thing wrong with all this is she is getting farther and farther from me.

Every time I start to go through the fence the horse does the “Hi Ho Silver” thing again and then charges up the hill and challenges me. I back out again.

I have had enough. In my firmest voice I say, “Jennifer Lynn you get back here right now. You need to mind me or I am going to spank you.” (Yes that was in the olden days when spanking was done as a deterrent for disobedient children.) For a child you would sob uncontrollably when your voice even sounded a little harsh her response floored me.

“No I told you. I not. I patting the horsey.”

I was livid—when I got her up here…but what if I could not get her up here?

All of this took place in very few minutes. Way less time than it took me to write it and probably less time than it took you to read it. 

“Jenny, honey you have to come up here. We need to go home soon and your aunt and uncle want to see you.” 

She did not even bother to answer that time.

All this time she is trying to pat the horse who was good enough to put its’ head down and let that gentle daughter of mine pat the velvety part of her nose then she would back up and whinney at Jenny, put her ears down, throw her head back, prance around, runoff a short distance stop short and come back.

All of a sudden the horse got calm. “God please give me the wisdom on what to do.” The horse moved very slowly with her head down towards Jenny. As the horse got close she went behind Jenny and judged her bum. Jenny tipped over but this was not a hard push just a nudge. As soon as she stood up the horse nudged her again—this time her head was lower and Jenny did not fall over but moved a couple of steps. That horse nudged Jenny all the way up the hill until I could reach her. I pulled her through the

All those thoughts of scolding went out of my head. I had my daughter back unhurt. I had my little girl in my arms and she was fine. The horse had taken off racing down the hill. Running here and running there—showing off! I loved it. What a wonderful horse.

I held on to Jenny for all I was worth. My brown-eyed Jenny. Safe. Praise God.

I understand the parable of the prodigal son. How relieved and delighted the father had to be to have him home.

What does any of this have to do with intercession?

Have you ever thought that the Lord was upset with you? Rejecting you? Angry with you because of something you have done?

Jenny was in total disobedience.

Not once did I think, “Well I hope that horse hits her with its hoof so she learns not to do that again.” 

Not once did I think, “Fine, I will just leave her down there to get back on her own—that’ll teach her.” 

Not once.

Why do we ever think that God is thinking bad thought towards us? I did talk to Jenny and let her know that she had to mind me—I told her that one of my jobs was to protect her from danger. That is something God does for us also.

These things also “color” our views of people and how we intercede for them. Don’t do it. Don't judge. If you see someone at the bottom of a hill in danger, pray them back up.

If you know of a prodigal—pray them home. Don’t pray curses on them. Pray them home in love.

It is time to pray in unity and bring the body of Christ together and stop being divisive.  

Romans 15:1-7 (NIV)
15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Pray and intercede in the same manner you want Jesus being YOUR advocate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Kind of Family are You Dealing With?

What is it about Family????

What is your biggest prayer request?

I am guessing Family.

No matter what our family does (or doesn’t do for that matter) we still love them. They can drive us nuts. We still love them.  They can reject us. We still love them. They can lie to us. We still love them. We can get totally irritated at them. We still love them. They can do pretty much anything and we still love them. We might talk about them but no one else better say anything negative.

 This is how most pastors feel about their sheep. The flock may drive them nuts, reject them, lie to or about them, irritate them or do pretty much anything else but the pastors will continue to love them, watch over them and protect them. They leave a flock to go get the one. They love every variety.

I pray for 3-4 dozen pastors a week maybe more. Pastors have a unique calling.  They also have so many people with “expectations” that are unrealistic, superhuman, perfection oriented and plain old impossible to attain and then they are blamed for not measuring up to those “expectations”.

The main discouragement I hear from pastors is the heart ache over the lack of integrity in the sheep—unfaithfulness in attendance. Listening to the word but not acting on what they hear. The lack of growth. Clinging to sin as a lifestyle.

And yet they run after the "ones" who are lost, who have left the sheep fold...

This is the family of God.

How you act in your church is a reflection to your prayers for your family.

Do you want them saved and walking in the fullness and freedom Christ provided on the cross?

My all-time favorite scripture is Job 42:10. I have heard so many people say they do not pray to “get” from God. If not, quit praying. We pray for results. He gave us promises to find like a treasure hunt and claim for our own.

Job 42:10 After Job had prayed for his friends the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.

Do you want your family walking in the fullness of God's provision, His love and His salvation? Pray for the family of God. Be diligent, be ruthless against the enemy, fall in love with the family of God again and start by praying for the pastors.

Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. As my pastors say, “Familia, He is waiting to hear your heart.”