To the Fatherless Son

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I volunteer with my church (Freedom House Church) in the Planet Zion group which is first thru third grade kids; I am an apprentice as well in the kids ministry and volunteer and work every Saturday and Sunday. Some of the stories and things I hear from the kids are some what normal and others BLOW ME AWAY. Ultimately you are going to hear things that make you happy, sad and then weird you out a the time a child told me his dogs farts stink! EWWW.

However today, I was brought to my knees by something a brother and sister told me. While we were waiting in car line the little girl randomly said, "Ms. Meg, my daddy is at work." I thought it was chit chat and said, "Oh neat! What does your daddy do for work?" She replied, "I don't know. He works for a long time." Suddenly her big brother (a year older) popped over and so truthfully stated, "Ms. Meg, we don't have a dad. I'm her brother."

Well, at first I was dumbfounded. I figured the little girl was old enough to at least know who her dad was when before I could question silently anything else he continues on. "Our dad left us and our mom.She cries a lot. Sometimes he comes to visit us on Saturdays but sometimes not."

This boy, this son, had the saddest look on his face. I was (putting it frank here) angry for him. I understand marital issues (trust me!) but there is a big difference in having issues and just up and leaving. I got down face-to-face with this young man and said, "Sweet boy, you know that Jesus is your father too? That He is the perfect father and that even though your earthly father isn't always there, Jesus is. You know that, right?" He just looked me straight in the eye and said, "I guess," and walked away. The response tattooed something deep into my heart and so for that I wanted to present this letter. This letter is intended for the dad to the fatherless, and to the son. I know these feelings all too well as my biological father left me when I was in utero and the man that was in my life while I was child abused me in so many ways emotional and spiritual.

Dear Dad to the Fatherless Son,

I am so angry with you today. I'm angry that you felt that the only want to deal with your marital issues, or personal issues, or whatever issues you were having was to up and leave your family; but more importantly your children. Do you know what no matter what I could say to him he will struggle with the thought that his dad left him to be the sole man in his home? You may say, "Oh he doesn't need to be a man, he's just a boy." But what you don't realize is that when you walked out you placed a responsibility on this boy's shoulder that is not his at this time. 

Not only am I angry with you but my heart breaks for you. Your son is bright. He's handsome and he's funny. Do you know he raised his hand today to make a pledge to be honest? Do you know that he laughed at my jokes? You could be telling him jokes, teaching them to him, so that he could pass them on. 

Do you know that your son wants to play ball? I'm sure you do. I'm sure you think about your children daily, and if you don't, I pray you start. Your son loves you. He was telling me about the short visits you two have and that he wishes sometimes they were longer but that he tries to understand.

Do you know, dad to the hopeful son, that it's never too late to change things. It's never too late to come back home or to even at least return back to your child's life. I'm a hopeful daughter. My biological father left me, but if he came back and wanted a relationship now or to mend things I would. Why? Because every child wants to know their parent in a way. Where they came from or who they are from their family line. 

God chose you, dad, to be this child's parent. If you feel like a failure, you are not. We ALL make mistakes. I have three kids of my own and even though I fail daily, I know that God choose me because he knew I was the perfect fit (not perfect person, but the perfect fit) for them.'s not too late. I'm here to help your child in a way that is subtle. Through a smile and a hug each Sunday, through praying for them (I pray for all of my PZ kids before they leave), and teaching them the Bible. 

My prayer is that God will bring people in your life that will tell you exactly this. That will share Christ' love for you. Because despite our poor choices, God loves you. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This past two weeks I've been challenged in something difficult in my prayer life. Without going into details on who this person is, it is someone that impacted my life deeply in 2012 and honestly, I dislike them very much. Someone looking from the outside in would say, "This person is an enemy and only wanted to see your downfall and life turn to ash."

But....something happened. God began to put it on my heart to pray for them. Not just that. Everywhere I went I saw this person's name. "So and so's pizza parlor," and "So and so's florist shop," I even heard it in televisions shows and movies! I seriously wrestled with my flesh. "Why Lord?! Don't you know what this person has done?! HAVEN'T YOU SEEN the wreckage they caused?"

Then the same verse kept creeping up everywhere. Matthew 5:44. Matttttthew 5:44. Matthhhhhhew 5:44. 

Matthew 5:44 says, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."

Say whhhhhat? "Love this person?" Come on. "Bless them?!" Seriously? "Do good?" No! Pray for those who use you and persecute you?! NO NO NO NO.

Then my spirit heard this. "What powers you, Megan? Scripture or flesh? My Spirit or your hate?" I looked up and seriously saw this gorgeous scene. Power lines running to and from giving electricity to tons of things around me. I give off electricity. You give off electricity. Are we giving off electricity that is good? I felt myself saying...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

This verse continued to weigh on my heart. In all honesty I ignored the Lord's cry for me to pray for this person in the beginning. But He wouldn't let it go and after seeing these lines and hearing this word I decided to pray. And so while driving home from a meeting one day I did. And I CRIED. I cried and I cried and I cried. And it was natural because I knew what the spirit wanted me to say. I felt such a deep sadness for this person and just blessed them. Asked God to touch them, to send people to them, and to minister to them.

This is someone I have no contact with so I will truly never know if that prayer "helped," but you know what? I was obedient (finally) and that is all I'm called to do.

Today, as difficult as something might be, be obedient. You never know what electricity you might give to someone who needs it. That person's power may be out. So be electric. BE ELECTRIC.



Dedication to the Lord

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dedication is very special to my heart. All of my children have been and will be (if we have more) dedicated to the Lord. We are non-denominational and do not believe in baptising an infant. Baptism is a choice by someone who has already made Christ their savior. Baptism is an outward symbol that shows, "I have made this choice personally to die to self and follow Christ."

In all reality, dedicating a child to Christ weighs more responsibility on the parent/s then anyone else (including the child).

In 1 Samuel 1 we see the story of Hannah. Hannah had a closed womb. Her "sisterwife" (Hannah's husband had two wives) Peninnah did have children though and taunted Hannah literally into tears. This story is all full of disrespect and a bit of humor (at what Elkanah says to Hannah, claiming that he should be enough to suffice her instead of a son). Overall, Hannah wanted a son. Even though her husband thought that he should be enough I can relate and say that the love for a son is entirely different than a love for a husband.

God grants Hannah's prayer (take THAT Peninnah, ha ha) and Hannah did what she said she was going to do and gave Samuel back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:19-27). Back in that day Hannah actually brought Samuel to Eli to live with him. What a sacrifice!

So we have chosen, as it is our belief, to give our children back to the Lord. We vow to raise them in God's word, in the church, and to pray for him daily (without ceasing).

Joseph's day of dedication was beyond special. My family came up and supported me and as much as my husband wanted to be there he was stuck on the train. It was still amazing and Joseph was so smiley and happy. A good friend, leader, and mentor prayed over him and the vow was made.

I, of course, cried like a blubbering baby. His birth, now his dedication, so many milestones already in such a short time. It is a peaceful reminder of all of the things we have to look forward to with this wonderful boy.

Radical Faith

Friday, October 18, 2013

I started a prayer group at my daughters school. We would meet each month, once a month, to pray for our teachers, students, faculty, government, well really anything the Spirit was leading in that moment. I know that God is asking this of me and I will continue to host them. I have the pleasure of bringing Kaidance, my five-year-old with me.

So, we did our normal routine last Thursday. On prayer days we have to get up at 5:15am. Radical eh? A five-year-old is not always the happiest at 5:15am but we manage and she does well. We ate breakfast (pumpkin oatmeal!), brushed our teeth, giggled while we did our hair, and scooted out the door by 6:30am. I like to be there early so that others are encouraged to gather.

We start at 7:00am. And we pray for 15 to 20 minutes. 7:05am began to creep up and Kaidance so innocently said, "Mom where is everyone? Where are the people to the prayer group?" I encouraged her to be patient that God would bring the exact people together at exactly the right time and that He would get the glory.

By 7:05 I told her it was time to pray.

"But mom! We are the only ones. I'm upset. No one wants to pray with us. Is it because they don't love Jesus? Did you tell people mom? Do they not like to pray for our school?"

A thousand questions began to come out at a rapid pace. Anyone with a child who can talk understands this. I wasn't annoyed, I wasn't dismayed or discouraged that no one showed up. I stood firm in my belief that God would bring the exact people together at exactly the right time.

You see, there is no shame for those who didn't come. There is no condemnation and there is nothing wrong with being busy or not feeling lead to come out. God used this opportunity in a mighty way. You see God was using this moment to teach me and Kaidance something. I got down to her level and said, "Kaidance, God meant for us to do life with one another. God created us to have friends, and family, and for us to love one another and be there for each other. But sometimes Kaidance people will fail you. People won't show up. People will leave you standing alone in what seems like an uncomfortable and "weird" situation. But Kaidance, God will honor your obedience to Him if you want to pray and if you stay and pray. Would you like to pray?"

With parents walking children in for early morning care we held hands and prayed. Kaidance diligently prayed for her teacher, her friends, the principal and even said, "Satan you aren't strong anymore. You aren't anything. God is strong. Jesus is strong because He died for us and rose again."

You see, honestly, it was a bit "weird" to stand there with just my child praying. It was a tremendous test for myself and my walk. People DID stop for a moment and look and say, "What are they doing?" But I remained firm and thought to myself, "This is what people need. They need to see radical faith. They need to see love." Prayer is truly one of the highest forms of showing love and showing others how much you care. I am glad that God gave me the chance to show my love for this school and those in it.

Lastly, He was giving my daughter a chance to be a light. And she stood boldly praying. She held a radical faith like that of Elijah, and Elisha, and Joseph. That of John the Baptist and of Peter. I am so proud to be her mom. Stand firm today and encourage yourself with the word. Be the light.



My Soul Sings

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I believe in uniqueness. In part of that I believe that God can uniquely speak to all of us in different ways. I firmly believe He ALWAYS speaks to us through scripture but He can also use people, music, a quote, a poem, etc.

For me personally I hear a lot through worship and praise. Music speaks to my soul. At the end of 2012 my husband and I sat down in November and December and wrote out personally and family goals for 2013. I began to pray in those two months about a verse to lean on and a song. Finally, the day came when I felt the Holy Spirit telling me which song I would lean on in this year. Please take a moment and listen to it:

For those who know me personally you may already know why this song is SO powerful in my testimony for this year. This past year began incredibly hard. I honestly had gone through so much in 2012 that at times I felt that God had abandoned me. That He just wasn't there. This song was like a personally letter from Him.

"You were singing in the dark, whispering your promise, even when I could not hear. I was held in your arms, carried for a thousand miles from shore, not for a moment did you forsake me, not for a moment did you forsake me."

God has not promised us a life without pain. What He has promised is to always be there. When I was going through serious marital issues last year/earlier this year, God did not leave. When I was in a horrible custody battle over my daughter Kaidance, God did not leave. He has never forsaken me. This song has become part of my testimony for this year. It helped remind me that God is always good and that I needed to trust Him. I began focusing my devotional studies on trust, on God's character. Leaning in on His scriptural promise that, "all things will work together for those who love Him."

There were times where I was driving back from an appointment with my attorney, feeling defeated and this song would be played on a radio station. Tears would stream down my face. He has NEVER forsaken me. Other times I would feel as though my marriage would never be restored, that we could never have a "honeymoon forever" feeling. This song would come on. Shouts of praise would radiate through my mouth. This song was a promise. And God has never forsaken me.

So....thank you Meredith for heeding the Holy Spirit in creating this song as a reminder of who God is.

So what's in store for 2014? Well, since you asked I will share! God just gave me the song for 2014 this week and I was just amazed at how awesome and different the songs were in my testimony. I went from listening to a song to help encourage me to trust to a song that clearly shows how far I've come. I believe this song is a taste of the growth I hope to experience in 2014.

Please enjoy. (Jesus Culture, You are my Passion)

Living in the Shadow

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I've always been a natural leader. I'm outgoing, naturally loud, and have the personality that works well under pressure and stress. Problem is, I never had the opportunity to truly shape my leadership in a Godly way. Sure, you can be a great leader but are you one that is focused on doing God's will?

Which led me to February of 2012. A certain leader, whom I won't name here, began to ask me to come to a FHKids orientation to find out more information on being a teacher in a class called "Planet Zion." Sure, sounds easy enough. How hard can it be to teach first thru third graders a bible lesson each Sunday? I truly had no idea how great my life would change and be impacted by taking this woman up on her offer. Not to mention I never even imagined that God would be calling me into kids ministry. (Truthfully, it was the LAST place I was sure He would call me).

I went though and she had this sneaky way of just putting you were she thought you would fit. I began this crazy, wild adventure with a group of people I barely know but now call my best friends. I set up on Saturdays, tore down each Sunday, and helped kids worship and learn scripture.

He wasn't finished though. I felt a pull. A call. Something was stirring, boiling, bubbling up inside of me. God was calling me into something more. 

Fast forward (to help with your crazy attention span) a year. I continued to be faithful and serve. The more I get involved and get to know my leaders and become vulnerable I can feel the Lord calling me into leadership. The Pastors and leaders at my church have helped to guide me in a way I have never been guided. Through the Holy spirit and guidance and vulnerability I began to see fruit and gifts grow I never thought could grow. Because....

You see, I used to struggle heavily with something. It's called...ego. I wanted people to notice me. If I did something well or right I wanted people to praise me, compliment me, or promote me. This was how it was done in my past. If I didn't get those things then clearly I must be doing something wrong, right?

Not necessarily. While I think a healthy dose of appreciation is valuable in keeping volunteers and leaders (meaning those leaders under the senior Pastors) fresh and motivated, it should not be what keeps them coming. A true leader is a servant of the Lord. And a servant of the Lord asks for nothing in return, even if appreciation is never shown.

Ronald Reagan is attributed to have once quipped, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." He's right. Can you imagine the lives that could be impacted if instead of fighting over who did what or who gets the credit for something if we just allowed our ego's to be pushed aside and just did our work and volunteering as unto the Lord?

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it will all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."

The Lord sees everything we do. He is our ultimate source of compliment. Regardless of our imperfect human flesh we should be working with all our heart because we do it for Jesus, not for recognition. Working for Jesus also frees us to recognize the work of other people with reckless abandon. We become a serious encourager. There's no need to compete, to put others down, or to steal contributions of those around us. God watches and He is the most gracious boss you've ever had!

Ultimately I realized if I was performing or volunteering to win praise and recognition from others then I was performing and volunteering for all of the wrong reasons!

Not to mention our ego's can sometimes cloud our judgment and cause us to stumble in sin. At times God will move us into a place of great leadership with great responsibility and we can lose sight of who is really doing what. Meaning we can think it's of our own being and not God's. We end up doing things God has not asked of us or find ourselves weak in doing things on our own accord. I urge you, STOP. Refresh yourself and repent. Remember, truly, why we are servants. Jesus never asked for recognition nor did He lead with the intention of gaining something back. Close any door that will hinder your walk with Him and consistently seek accountability.

When God changed my heart in this area,  my volunteering changed. I desire to live a pure life, one based on scripture and to lead with integrity. I want to live in the shadows. If from this day forward I never received another thank you, it would be OK. Christ is enough for me. Because it's not about my ego, or a power trip, it's about souls and it's about making an eternal impact on even just ONE child's life.

I encourage you today. Remember Psalms 75:7 which says, "It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another."