Sunday, May 25, 2014


Walking on the white sand beach near Destin, Florida this morning, I noticed some seaweed about ten yards from the shoreline.  At first I thought it was just a small clump about 20 yards long.  But as I looked I realized that it stretched for 500 yards along the beach.  The scene took me back many years to a similar day on the beach with my wife and children.  My son, who was about 6 at the time, and I had decided that we were going out to the sand bar when we noticed a stretch of dark seaweed between us and the sand bar.  We walked the beach trying to find a gap, but there was none.  I finally grabbed his hand and said, ‘son, sometimes you have to step right into the dark stuff to get to the other side.’ 

This morning as I reflected on the memory it hit me that my son, at 6 years old, could not have seen the clear water on the other side of the seaweed.  I was taller and had a different perspective.  I could see that the seaweed was only three or four yards wide.  He could not have seen what I was seeing.  I knew that we would make it.  He didn’t.  He trusted me.  But the message to me this morning was not simply about a son’s trust.  The message was about the perspective of a father, of our Father. 

I have no doubt that our Father feels the fear and pain, and perhaps the guilt of our hearts as we find ourselves in the midst of various forms of seaweed, some of which we have created ourselves, and some of which is real only in our broken imaginations.  In Jesus, our Father, and the Holy Spirit have identified themselves with us as we are in our darkness.  Yet our darkness is not darkness to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They know us in the light of life, from a higher vantage point.  Our Father does not see us as we see ourselves in our seaweed. He sees us from a different perspective.  He sees us from the perspective of the gift that he gave to us “in Christ Jesus, before the time of the ages” (2TIM 1:9), and from the perspective of who he has made us in his incarnate, crucified, resurrected, and ascended Son.  He knows who we are. 

This morning, our Father asked me to rest in his vision of me, to take sides with him against the way I see myself, and against the way that I feel about myself as I do so.  I think I heard him say that I was free to live in the seaweed if that is what I wanted.  But in that comment I also heard the question, ‘why?’  And somewhere in that moment Jesus reminded me of my favorite verse, “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you” (John 14:20).     

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Prayer

This weekend over 50 men will be gathering from around our country for our annual men’s gathering.  This year the gathering will be at Julian Fagan's farm.  Paul Lavelle of Operation Restored Warrior and I have written a prayer for this weekend that I wanted to share with you.

Every blessing to you all.

Lord Jesus, I take refuge in you, in your heart, in your life, in your death, and resurrection and ascension.  I take refuge in the fullness of your work on my behalf, and in your enthronement above all names and powers in this age and in all ages to come.  Speak to me, Lord Jesus, in this moment.  Say to me, “I am your salvation.”

Lord Jesus, I give to you my body, my soul, my heart, my mind and thoughts, my spirit and will, my masculinity and sexuality.  I give to you my fears and brokenness, my shame and guilt and doubts.  I relinquish all forms of control and call upon you as my Savior.  Thank you for sharing yourself with me.  I want to see with your eyes, hear with your ears, know with your mind, will with your will.   I acknowledge you Jesus, with gratefulness, as my covering.  In the safety of your embrace, I ask you to cleanse my wounds inflicted by the enemy.  Cleanse me of every form of darkness, sin, and evil; cleanse me Jesus, my conscience, my despair, my unbelief.  Restore me again today with your life.  
I invite the Holy Spirit, sent in your name, to renew me today, to restore me.  Blessed Holy Spirit, I claim you as my inheritance in Jesus.  Heal my soul.  Do for me, and my brothers, what only you can do.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit come now again especially into the places that have been deadened by the battle, and re-breathe life into me.  Breathe hope, breathe faith, breathe joy, freedom and love.  Come Lord Jesus, come again with your Father and the Holy Spirit.  I ask for a deeper intimacy with you, Jesus, in the pain of my wounds. 

As a band of brothers, as warriors in the Kingdom of God wounded in the battle, we step back from the front line, and we give this weekend to you Jesus.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we consecrate this weekend to you.  Together, we give to you our homes, our jobs and families, and all that we left behind.  Together, we ask that you bless our loved ones, and release your faithful angels to protect them.

Jesus, into your hands we give you our cares, our burdens, our worries.  We release to you the world, and all things and pressures and concerns that dominate us.  We center ourselves in you, and we make ourselves utterly available to you.  Together, we consecrate this space, and we give to you our time together, our waking, our sleeping, our conversation, our cooking and laughing and drinking, our crawfish boil, and our time alone.  We give this entire weekend to you, and rest in your blessing.  In this world of darkness, we claim the Kingdom of the blessed Trinity here.  We claim the authority of Jesus here. 

We take our stand in the full work of Jesus Christ, in and through and over and with each one of us.  Lord Jesus Christ, Father’s Son, anointed of the Holy Spirit, Lord of all creation, in your name we silence every voice in all creation this weekend, and as brothers in the war, we ask that only the voice of our Father, his faithful Son, and the Holy Spirit would be allowed to address and be heard by us.  We give you permission, blessed Trinity, to work behind our watchful dragons, and as deeply as you want to work.  We invite you into our private and secret places, into our wounds and pain, and we welcome your intimate, healing presence.

Refresh us, blessed Trinity.  Renew us.  Help us use Jesus’ ears and eyes.  In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.