Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Authority, Not of this Realm – Part 3

October 11, 2014

My wife and I regularly make a practice of praying through the Lord’s Prayer together every morning.  We use a technique that she learned, years ago, of recognizing many of the “names of God” that reveal some of His mighty characteristics.  When we started doing this together, I worried that it would become rote and shallow after a while.  I need not have concerned myself.  One cannot touch on the limitless nature of God and have it come back as anything other than “deep calling to deep”.  We pray through the process of putting on the full armor of God to face the challenges of the day ahead too.  I have come to feel like I don’t have my shirt on, if we miss.

One life-changing transformation that has ensued from this spiritual practice manifests in the rest of my prayer life.  I have had a growing sense of volunteering to give my voice to the Word of God as He intends it to be transforming brokenness and oppression in our fallen world.  This does not stop with my private prayers, but proceeds to make its mark on most conversations with others.  Today, I read an article posted on Facebook by Pastor Francis Frangipane that speaks mightily of the Authority vested in the followers of Christ.  It does not shy away from our directive to call for the Power of Heaven to be manifested in our world.  I’m taking the liberty of pasting it here, along with a link to Pastor Frangipane’s Facebook page.  From there, you could sign up to get more good insights.

We recite it in private and pray it in unison; we have even sung it in reverence on select Sunday mornings. It’s been a familiar prayer at somber cultural events. Yet I wonder if we really grasp what was in Jesus’ heart when He taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer.
The disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). In response, the Lord gave them a prayer, not just to help them cope but something that was militant in nature. This was more than a prayer — it was a proclamation.
For centuries the holy realities of the Lord’s Prayer have been obscured by traditions of religious unbelief, as though ritualistic repetition of this prayer would exact a special blessing in the afterlife. It was as though this prayer was disbarred from affecting conditions on earth now. In recent years, however, truth is again filling the words of this heavenly anthem with meaning.
The thoughts in this prayer are best understood as emphatic statements. They ought to be punctuated with exclamation marks. This is Heaven’s “Pledge of Allegiance.” At its core, the Lord’s Prayer is a faith-decree that God’s will, through our living union with Christ, should be accomplished today on earth. Where is the room for compromise in those words? Jesus is saying that, with miraculous power, abounding joy and unwavering mercy, God’s will can be fulfilled on earth with the same degree it is fulfilled in Heaven!”
We have been too polite with God. I do not mean we should be disrespectful or irreverent; I am saying the Lord’s Prayer is not a weak, pleading prayer. Yes, there is a time for pleading with God, but this is a prophetic prayer. There is not a please anywhere in it. Indeed, we know it is the “Father’s good pleasure” to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32 NKJV). Jesus is not instructing us to beg for a blessing or two; He is commanding us to call for God’s kingdom to rule on earth: in war zones, in places of poverty or plagues or famine, and especially in our very lives and circumstances.
This is a prayer of authority. The Son of God wants us to pray like we were created to bring Heaven to earth. Our prayer simply aligns us with what is already God’s great pleasure to give us.
Of course, it is vital we embrace repentance for our sins and the sins of our forefathers. But this is the prayer of those fully committed to the vision of God! It embodies the expanse of what Jesus came to establish. These are fighting words.
Remember, this form of prayer is not my idea; it’s Christ’s. He told faltering, fumbling disciples to pray like they were mature, victorious warriors. He didn’t say this prayer should be prayed only when they had become perfect. No. This is how we should pray right now, even while we are imperfect. Yes, we humble ourselves; yet we must learn to pray with unsheathed spiritual authority, with heroic faith, and with the fire of divine possibilities burning in our souls.
Even now, the armies of God in Heaven are beginning to unite with the armies of God on earth. Lightening-like power is beginning to fill the backbone of the redeemed. Can you feel it? From every nation, a holy remnant is beginning to stand before the Most High. In their mouths will be the words taught them by the Son of God Himself: “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!”

Francis Frangipane



Worth a thousand words…

January 12, 2014


Dealing with Loved Ones

November 21, 2013

If you believe that someone you love is doing something that will bring them serious harm, what do you do? You recognize, assuming they are adult, their absolute right of self-determination. You recognize their beliefs don’t align with your own. For that matter, an ever-growing number of peoples’ opinions on the matter don’t even come close to yours. They used to. But, not these days. Your way of looking at it is deemed outdated and old fashioned at best. We’ll leave less charitable assessments for later. Still, you don’t see it ending well. You even recognize that you are looking much further down the road than they have even considered; perhaps further than your loved-one may think matters. Do you mind your own business? How convinced are you of a negative outcome? How negative to you think the outcome is likely to be? How permanent? You know from observation that the other is highly invested in the track they are on. You know from past experience that effective persuasion on the subject is mostly already countered by a made-up mind. You easily understand how convictions work; you have your own. So, what do you do?

Me Too!

September 13, 2013

I got the owl to answer my calls as well. Perhaps he’s not so discriminating after all. Wonder what he thinks? What is the deal with these people anyway? Don’t they ever let their tasty cats outside?

St. Lo France

July 4, 2013

Today, I am presenting a link to a historical page worth reading.  My personal connection is that my family lost my Dad’s older brother at St. Lo.  I don’t think anyone in the family knew from word they received whether his death was the result of enemy fire, or because of the mistakes detailed in this article.

Pricey the Cat

June 22, 2013

Pricey the Cat

Pricey the Cat

I named this little rescue project after her first day at my house and a trip to the Vet. My daughter found it lost/abandoned in a park. She is endued with compassion from on high. Though she couldn’t keep the kitten because of her living situation, she was still constrained with all that is within her to rescue it.

My lot, apparently, is to pay the Vet. Oh well, I’m sure it will come back to me some how. Need a cute cat?

More than Meets the Eye

June 5, 2013
Bunny Nest

Bunny Nest

A few minutes before I took this picture, this clump of dead grass was displaced from its present position, revealing four baby bunnies old enough to have their eyes open.  By the time I got back from the house with my camera, the mother – whom I had scared away – had returned.  She put her children to bed and tucked them in for the night.  No one walking by now would notice this spot.  There is just not that much to see.

The lesson I take from this display is that not everything that goes on is obvious to the casual observer.

Because I have been putting in a lot of hours at work, and because it has been raining frequently the past couple of weeks here in Iowa; my wife took on the mowing task this afternoon. She must have mowed right over this cache of fur with no tragic outcome.  Truly, the Creator watches over His handiwork.

Recommended Reading

January 13, 2013

For those who have not seen the other side of life, this article will take you as close as you can get without going to see.  I was quite taken by the accuracy of the descriptions of the people in the two of these places that I have also walked (Philippines and Solomon Islands).

For those who have seen, a reminder never hurts.

The Next Generation

November 23, 2012

Today, I am giving thanks for generous help.  We recently moved to a 1929 vintage farmhouse because I needed to relocate for a job change.  We are preparing for a complete remodel of the kitchen.  I needed to get a washer and dryer out of the area where the kitchen is going and down into the basement.  I also needed to get a new refrigerator out the crate in the garage and into the house where we could at least use it while it awaits placement in the new kitchen.

The basement stairs are steep and narrow.  The appliances wouldn’t go through any of the doors with the doors still on (including the doors on the ‘fridge).  For that matter, the fridge wouldn’t fit through the door next to the garage, and had to go across the yard on the grass to the front door.  I have an appliance dolly, but this just wasn’t a one-person job.

I asked the college-age son of my neighbor a half-mile to the north to give me a hand.  He is only home for the thanksgiving weekend to spend time with his family.  But he didn’t hesitate to say yes.  He worked with a will for the two hours it took to get the appliances moved, even helping me to put the doors back on the refrigerator.

At the end of the labor, he wouldn’t accept any payment.  His reason?  “This is just what neighbors do”, he said.  So if you wonder about the hands the country is going into for the next generation, I would say at least in rural Iowa, the future looks bright.

Thanks Will!

Consider Your Own Situation

October 16, 2012

I have been listening to the presidential debate tonight. Normally, I don’t divulge personal information. But, I want to relate my own experience over the past four years, because I think it has an important message. As an electrical hardware engineer, I have often stated that I love the fact that hardware naturally enforces a unequivocable truth. I works or it doesn’t. The hardware I design doesn’t lie.

At the beginning of Obama’s term, I was the Director of Engineering of a rising telecom startup. My salary easily enabled me to pay the mortgage on my 2800 square foot house. By the end of Obama’s first term, all that opportunity has evaporated.

I’m employed now. But my salary is only about 2/3 what is was when Obama took office. The company that employed me before, spent about two years of not being able to make payroll on a regular basis. Eventually, irregular became not at all. It was not just me. Four other engineers lost their income before I lost mine.

I found another job. I am, after all, a highly skilled electrical engineer. My new job is a good one, but I am back to the status of individual contributor, at the 2/3 salary my previous company cut me back to at the end.

My new house is about half the size of the previous one. It needs a complete remodel, down to the studs. I’m cooking on my camp stove.

I am optimistic for the future. But the results of the past four years don’t lie, just like that hardware I am so familiar with. I’m working at 2/3 the income of four years ago. How about you?

Obama’s rhetoric is based on an unrealistic model.  But, like my own designs, Obama’s designs don’t lie.  Don’t be an Obama zombie. Take a realistic look at your current situation.  Are you better off?  Leave a comment.  Tell me your story.