Heading to the southwest was a welcome change from the -6 degrees deep freeze of Billings, Montana. As we planned our departure, we were packing our 70 degree gear and leaving our scarves at home. Then we discovered we could possibly sneak in a quick trip to see the Grand Canyon.
Hey, this is great! Fly into beautiful sunny Phoenix, minister to over 3400 precious Arizona youth and parents at the Acquire the Fire conference, and then skip sleeping so we can drive four hours each way for a one hour glimpse at the biggest canyon in the world, and then rush back to the airport by 4:00. Just enough adventure to thrill my companions and me!
Ever traveled with your own comedy team? That’s what Kalyn and I got this time when we included Lucas and Hannah on the weekend jaunt. Those two are cut out of the same genetic mold. Witty, quick, fun-loving, playful, passionate, and extreme.
They can quote one liners and use them at the impulse of any stray, casual observation. If we heard the crazy line from Night at the Museum once, we must have heard it 50 times. “Is that not incrrrrredibly cute. Why it is no bigger than a grain of couscous!“ Utter craziness! And each time they told it, they broke into their own round of laughter. Half the time it didn’t even make a lot of sense.
I loved it. Good medicine for us driven, prophetic, choleric types. Those two could smooth over getting your wisdom teeth removed or even an audit by the IRS.
Probably my strongest impression of our weekend was a renewed understanding of why we were even there. I heard some of the most painful stories of wounded mamas and desperate dads living in a frantic struggle to save their own precious kids. Cutters. Rebels. Broken and confused.
The precious moments we had together in the parents’ meeting were powerful. I could sense the Lord’s presence with us as we explored the challenges of holding our kids amidst the voices of the cultural onslaught. Time. Patience. Wisdom. Anointing.
God is calling us to a higher level of parenting skills than we can possibly achieve on our own. But then again, we do not have to do this on our own! His power and His presence can so fill our lives that No weapon fashioned against our families will be allowed to prevail.
Many of us were in tears as we prayed together. Groups of strangers drawn to agree for the sake of their kids. No lone rangers. But one body committed to seeing this gospel make the turn to the next generation.
I found myself passionately calling for new types of parent groups. Groups in local churches who would band together to pray for their kids and stand for each other’s homes. Groups who would be willing to learn the new skills needed in this difficult era of parenting.
Groups that would accept each parent with their own wounds and scars and failures believing that our God is able to bring good things out of weak and worn vessels. Groups that would never give up but believe for beauty to rise from ashes!
How do we “do” these kinds of groups? I don’t exactly know…yet. We are far too busy to ever find the time. But is lack of time going to be the excuse that cripples us from rallying together to see the enemy routed? Or do we find a way to make the most of our time. Grab for the things we can do and believe God for the things we can’t.
I am a dreamer. I dream of a revival coming to our land and the tide turning toward our Lord Jesus with a flood of righteousness overwhelming our filth. But what if it tarries? Will we wait and watch a generation die in the wake of our pain?
Our closing session with the crowds of passionate worshipers renewed my visionary hope. God is after His kids. Calling and wooing and drawing them. I knew His presence. I felt His touch. He will not leave our bleeding children as orphans! Parents who know Him, can we hear His voice?
I have until January now to seek His face for what I am sensing. Awakening a fallen army. Equipping the wounded warriors. God, I am looking to You for Your Word and Your Way.
Will you join me as I pray? Will you help me start a God kind of revolution?
And what about my travel buddies? We laughed all the way to the Grand Canyon and back! Good times. Precious memories. And to the rest of my family reading this, God got four of us there without having to tent camp as I threatened for all these years! He’s going to get the rest of you there, too!
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