Concerning the Lymphatic System

Some food for thought for those of you that are curious about what happened with the lymphatic system issue with Joan.

Here is a good bit of context.

Joan had come to me earlier this year with some issues with High Blood Pressure. We had gone several places, addressed the proportions of her Arterial and Venous systems, checked for Leviathan in the kidneys and a number of other issues.

At some point before reconnecting with me, Joan had connected with two other Plumbliners, and one of them had picked out some issues with Leviathan and ran through a few deliverance modalities with her.

She circled back around with me with a similar issue of BP, and I went to hear from the L-rd about what was going on.

Now, whether it was my own spirit of Holy Spirit, I heard a voice say “lymphatic system”. So I did some hunting through the Wiki on the Lymphatic System, which moves a considerable amount of fluid through the body, and the sense that I had gotten was that the ducts and nodes functioned similarly to a system of aquifers. I thought this was had some similarities to how Arthur Burk describes Sheol in the teachings on Alien Human Spirits (AHS).

So. I began to pray after my fashion.

I called Joan’s spirit to attention, made the assertion based on the science that there was a major movement of fluid in the container called the Lymphatic System. So, I reasoned based on this, that it could have some effect, directly or indirectly, on the amount of fluid and therefore, the amount of pressure on Joan’s Circulatory system.

So I instructed Joan’s Spirit and asked HS to readjust the proportions of the the parts of the Fluid Transfer System as needed, specifically focusing on the Lymphatic System, Lymph Nodes, and Fluids.

Out of my mouth leapt the words, “the lymphatic system is a system of aquifers for the body”.

So I prayed along those lines for the lymphatic system to be placed into its proper alignment and proportion, however it needs to be according to Father’s design.

AND…

For the system to open up and swallow whatever it was supposed to swallow in terms of excess fluids and transport those out. And I blessed that process throughout the prayer time.

And y’all have the reports from Joan’s own hand. And there has been some measurable and sustained change in her life since this time.

So, I don’t so sausage factory. And I don’t have one unified prayer. But I am able to and willing to connect with y’all, if any of y’all have any desire to waste an hour pursuing praying through this issue and see if there is any movement that is helpful.

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Carlene Prince’s Account of Winter Weather in Montana

Reposted with permission.

Carlene writes:

Today in the beautiful area of Montana that I’m so blessed to live in…we got a ton of snowfall. It’s been snowing all day and I ventured out into the beauty of it briefly tonight – just to walk to my mailbox. It was up to my knees!! We have an official blizzard warning on and churches are cancelling Sunday services which I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a church actually cancelling services – so you know it’s pretty sketchy out there.

What is totally getting me right now though is the complete and utter beauty outside that I see, and the steady wind I hear with my ears. The pure white of a fresh snowfall is always something that ministers to my spirit, and on a night like tonight to look up at the sky and the stars and the effect the weather pattern is having on them is just something magical, for lack of a better word. Then you add on top of it this wind that is steady and strong and is loud enough that even inside my house – there’s the steady “hum” of the wind. It draws your attention – and I find something important about that sound too – my spirit is noticing and I’m found in worship.

Things that occur in the natural tend to make me ponder the spiritual. I wonder what it would be like to live such a dynamic Spirit-filled life, that you heard His wind in such a steady form as the “hum” I’m hearing right now outside that doesn’t quit. I wonder what it would be like to look at ALL your surroundings through the “pure-whiteness” that Christ’s blood affords. What if you looked at the darkest of skies but could always find the stars that are housed there regardless of how black the night was?

This all leads me to asking Him, crying out to Him – for new anatomy. I want NEW ears, and NEW eyes – to see what He sees, and to hear what He hears. Do you know if we lean in to see and hear….we really will? “He who has ears, let him hear…” Scripture says. That tells me that basically there is always something to see, and always something to hear – and He says we will – if we have that “yes” in our spirit to do so.

So, precious Father – we ask You for new anatomy. And don’t just stop at new ears, and new eyes…..but new touch, new taste, and even new smell! I want to smell the fragrance of heaven wherever it has gorgeously invaded this earth…..and I want to know where Your touch lies, and I want to taste and see that the Lord is good. New anatomy I pray …for all who are hungry, and all who are willing, and all who are needy of Your fresh touch and life in this way. Count me in Lord…. I want to observe with my senses in the Spirit – ALL that You are doing…ALL that You have to say….and ALL places where You are active.

Come Lord Jesus….come.

~2/17/18 Author: Carlene “CeCe” Prince

A Prayer For the Senses During the Mercy Season

With credit to Arthur Burk and Carlene Prince:

Spirit of G-d,

Please don’t let another day pass without me being able to recognize, anticipate, celebrate, savor, and tell about Your fingerprints in all of creation.

Transform my senses in the way You want them transformed that they may be utilized to experience the reality of Your creation inthe way You want me to experience it.

Utilize them, Ruach HaKodesh, to be additional tools in my toolkit that my spirit can utilize to discern the work of Your hands of kindness.

Anoint my eyes with eye salve to see what You put before them, to recognize the kaleidoscopic beauty of the snows that fall, the humidity the flowers need, the cacti in the arid desert, the mosses and lichens of the taiga, the raging waves of the oceans, and the colors of the rainbow that follow a maelstromic thunderstorm.

Anoint my ears to hear the blessed sound of every raven, crow, vulture, and buzzard I have ever cursed, and to bless them with precisely the song that Father wants them to sing, that they may experience the redemption You have designed for them. Help me to speak with the authority You have given me to see them redeemed from the culture of covens that seek to use them for foul purposes, given they are Your blessed servants and their loyalty and bonds of community and expressions of affection within their breeds are rivalled in few other places in the Animal Kingdom. Help me to see them as the picture of loyalty and the workers of cleansing, cleanup, and sanitation that You put in every place. Help me to see and hear their beauty, in stark defiance of the many ways they have been badly used and abused by the kingdom of darkness.

Help me to rightly hear the sound of every bird, the silence of every snowfall, the sharpness of every cutting breeze, and even the sound of every light.

Help me to appreciate the sound of crying babies and the bustle of cars in Battery Park City.

Teach me how not to curse the traffic I have to deal with, but to appreciate every moment You have designed for me as a moment to redeem with hearing the way You hear, even if it is the sound of a hundred cars going the same place I am going. Help me to never waste a moment in that traffic.

Help me to treasure and see redeemed the sounds I once cursed.

And to hear anew the sounds I often take for granted. Help me to remember that some sounds will only occur for a season, while other sounds are eternal.

Anoint my nose and mouth to smell the fragrances and aromas around me and to taste the flavors in the way You have designed me to respond. Help me to rightly discern the scent and flavor of those things I enjoy, as well as scents with which I may not be as familiar,

The rose and the Confederate Jasmine; the pungent garlic and onion; the depth of Rosemary and Thyme; the grinding and brewing coffee early in the morning with breakfast and late at night with pie; the scent of fresh rain on a hot summery day; bacon or lamb frying and chicken roasting; the sweet smell of leaves decomposing on the forest floor; the sharp and refreshing scent of Frasier Fir and Scotch Pine; the smell of baby powder and warmed milk; gas fumes; cut grass; antifreeze; fried cod and malt vinegar; and a million other things I may or may not recognize. Help my nose and month to be points of contact that are used to discern, celebrate, and expand Your kingdom.

And, Ruach HaKodesh, anoint my hands, feet, and skin to contact everything You want me to touch, and to celebrate those things that I enjoy.

Help me to recognize and not just be Your hands and feet to touch the lives of others, but also to receive the touch that is so critical to the flourishing of life. As You have designed joy to be the emotion that is expressed in the context of community, help us to engage with our sense of touch in such a way so as to discover those things that bring us joy and the aspects of touch that You utilize in us to bring others intense joy. You have not merely dwell alone in isolation, nor have You designed us to either give or receive, but to do both giving and receiving by turns, and to engage with others in community, whatever that looks like.

In the name of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.

Amen

The Redemptive Gift of Servant

DISCLAIMER: The thoughts that follow are my own. Please, feel free to correct and suggest revisions. I will be happy to take those into consideration. It is possible I am wrong and missed the boat on some critical aspect, gang.

For an exemplification of the Servant, see the above individual. For those of you who do not know, this is my wife, Pam.

Allow me to share a little bit of my relationship with Pam as an illustration of the strength of the Servant.

I had connected with Pam as a result of the destruction of my first marriage. My ex-wife and I had met Pam when we were part of a church in New England. Pam was teaching Sunday School and leading the Altar Ministry at the church. During this season, my first marriage was already in a very rocky place, due to some issues of friction between my first wife and I.

Following the finalizing of the dissolution of my first marriage (The same day as the Boston Bombing), Pam was the first one who challenged me to forgive my ex. She was teaching John Bevere’s Bait of Satan at the time, and I was living alone at the time.

I was having near-weekly conversations with David, a close friend of mine, following my divorce. He, along with my pastor, was helping me process my journey of healing. David and I were discussing whether or not I should marry again. We were discussing what his original thoughts were about my first marriage. I had several additional friends with whom I was connecting about this situation.

David made a perceptive comment during this season. He noted that some people are designed to heal better alone and in solitude, and some are designed to heal more readily in the context of community or a couple of good relationships. And he posed the following comment:

“David, you have always functioned better in community and relationship. It is possible that you could heal better in the context of marriage.”

This thought was unusual to me, because, as many of you know, if someone does not possess a certain sense/measure of wholeness before entering a marriage, then the marriage is only going to expose their flaws more quickly.

David further asserted that I was one of those people who was designed to be married in some unique sense. His precise words were, “marriage looks good on you.”

Now, sometime later, given I was having my sons on the weekends, Pam had begun to connect with me on the basis of the fact that she was raising her granddaughter and my sons had seemed to connect with her granddaughter and the three meshed together well.

One Sunday, she asked me if we could get together for our kids to have playdates. Our kids, on each of these times, meshed extremely well.

And during those times, we would talk about the Bible and the things of G-d. We talked about how we became believers, how we met Holy Spirit, what encounters with the L-rd we had had, and what strongholds we each had.

And we were very effective at calling each other’s junk out and minister life to one another. And the level of synch between us was nothing short of supernatural.

So, to make a long story short, Pam and I discovered that we were designed to be together. And during this time, as we were growing closer together, I was noticing that I was receiving a great deal of healing and capacity to walk in greater grace toward my ex-wife.

So, we married.

Pam, as a Servant, was a very good fit would provide a safe context in which I could dramatically heal. Others would certainly not have made as good of a fit. Without her in my life, it is not that I would have been a partial or incomplete person, but rather, i would not have as quickly been confronted with my own mess, nor would I have cleaned up my mess was quickly apart from met as together with her.

My wife is not known for putting up with junk, especially when it comes to offense and unforgivenness.

Honestly, I have absolutely zero regrets about marrying as soon as I did, to this woman.

So, now that I have rolled out that little vignette, what is it that makes Servants sparkle so darn much, not to mention so easy to be around? For a good answer to that question, read on.

Credits for the foundation for this material goes to momma Sandy Landry and Arthur Burk, though some of this is in my own words:

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Characteristics of the Servant:

1) Servants are one of the more busy of the Redemptive Gifts. So much so, that their schedules can be one of the more packed. Because of this, they can overwork and overcommit themselves, in terms of packing more than probably should be fit into a given period of time.

2) Servants can be easily spotted for the many tasks they do in the background to ensure smooth flow of a multifacited operation. While their niche for accomplishing this can be very narrow, as with logistics and courier services, they will often do the tasks that no one notices in order to help move a process forward.

3) They love working to meet needs. Felt needs, emotional needs, clothing, food, shelter, transportation.

4) They excel in creating an atmosphere that is suitable for those who occupy it.

5) Servants excel in bringing cleansing to other people. It is an integral part of their makeup and heart to see dirty things made clean, and wrong situations made right. Because of this quality, they make excellent intercessors, and armorbearers for leaders.

6) Servants walk without agenda, and free from guile. They will give you an unvarnished viewpoint. That is, when Servants respond to a given situation, they will do so without considering using the situation to their advantage. Whereas other gifts sometimes may have an angle or a hidden reason for behaving in a certain way, with the Servant, there is no angle they are trying to work. The purity of intention and the love of just helping others to succeed without thinking of the day when they can call a favor or an IOU is part of their beauty.

7) Servants always look for the best in someone. Always, always, always, always. There is a violent objection in the Servant towards situations in which people are being insulted, treated with dishonor, made fun of, or taken advantage of. In the presence of one who is dishonored repeatedly, even when everyone else with a critical attitude can only see the worst in someone, Servants make it their job to hunt for SOMETHING good to say about someone else. It is their desire to extend honor to others, no matter how bleak the circumstances are.

8) On the other hand, while they seek to extend honor to others, they themselves are often the recipients of dishonor. They can become the butt of the jokes in the family, and if they have a low self-image, then they may take part in those jokes.

8) Because they love to create an atmosphere where people are comfortable to be, Servants can be recognized for what they are known for doing for others, which can come at the expense of their primary design.

9) The prime expression of the Servant gifting is in preparing spaces and environments where the King feels welcome to dwell. This will get overlooked if they are repeatedly tapped for secondary tasks of hospitality and cleanup and taking care of people. Our jobs in the other gifts is to liberate the Servant to engage in their highest expressions and greatest callings. If we liberate them, then we will benefit from stronger and greater expressions of both the L-rd’s Presence and the other gifts.

9) On a note that is related to how they care for creating comfortable habitats for others and the L-rd, Servants are magnificently adept at working with the physical ecology, the environment, the land, and non-human members of the animal kingdom (don’t shoot me for that last statement, it’s just an easy reference to the taxonomic structure found in modern biology).

Giving a snapshot of this at work, my wife and mother-in-law are the quintessential Servants, and both are very, VERY adept at enjoying and working with non-humans. My mother-in-law will communicate with our two cats and be able to read their body language in order to know what they want or are thinking.

My wife has set up a homey environment for the birds, squirrels, and furry woodland creatures in our neighborhood and at our last home, and the birds flourish wherever she is.

10) Servants have a remarkable loyalty to other members of their family.

11) Though they rarely get angry, the one area that will without exception inflame their ire is when someone mistreats a member of the family. They can handle being mistreated, but they will not handle their family being hurt or insulted.

12) Because they usually work in the background, they also usually are uncomfortable being in the limelight. They love helping others succeed and will rarely give thought to to their own success.

13) As a result of not thinking about themselves, the imbalanced or unhealthy Servant can develop a Saviour mentality, a victim mentality, and the mindset of an enabler.

14) As a result of their incessant helping of others without thinking about themselves, Servants need someone who will care for them and advocate for them to receive what they need. They might need a sounding board to make sure they are cared for themselves. They need someone else who, with a healthy mindset, knows when they are overextending themselves, and be willing to remind them of those occasions. They definitely need someone who will extend honor to them, and help provide a measure of protection to their calling, giftings, skills, schedule, and ministry.

15) Servants are a safe place for others who need to heal, especially those who are prickly and wounded. They are what we call “porcupine huggers”. A good example of this sort of ministry is in the man Ananias, who ministered to Saul of Taursus. They go and deal with the hard cases. They have a unique quality and vitality to go the distance when it comes to persevering for the redemption of the difficult people that no one else will work with.

Besides Ananias and my wife, other examples of Servants are Robert E. Lee and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

So, those are my thoughts.

I would love to hear from y’all. Agree? Disagree? Help add some color to this post.

Appreciate your comments and willingness to chip in.

Repentance From the Mouths of Mercies

Recently, on a Facebook Group page devoted to those of us who form part of Arthur Burk’s tribal constellation, a question was posed for the Mercies in the group pertaining to how repentance finds expression in the life of a Mercy.

Jim asks:

On Monday morning what does repentance look like for you? How is it expressed?

Having been granted permission by two Mercies, I would like to share their responses on the topic.

Aoife Keegan writes:

For me repentance usually falls into one of two areas:

1. Repentance of not embracing reality/the present time because I find it painful/uncomfortable.

My inclination is to escape and distract myself so I find myself needing to go back to God and choosing to embrace the present reality He has given me. Often it’s as simple as acknowledging “Lord, this present moment sucks or is uncomfortable but I choose to embrace it as a gift from You.” That’s often enough to get me unstuck.

2. Repentence of trying to cope with pain (mine or others) by myself instead of bringing it to God in worship and then coming “back to earth”.

I’m not sure if this is a “typical” Mercy thing or if it’s just me. I tend to allow pain to drive me away from God until it becomes more painful not to bring it to Him. I’m fine to re-engage with the world afterwards because emotionally I’m in a much better place. I think perhaps Mercies are more inclined to go straight to God but then stay there?

In terms of my relationships with people I try to give them a framework of how I think and give them as much detail in advance as possible because my “go with the flow” work methods can frustrate those who need a clear linear plan. I think I’m learning to speak linear people’s language reasonably well!

Janis Leal responded:

Repentance for me as a Mercy means continually facing the Lord and His truth, even when it hurts, Truth at all costs about myself or another.

If I have wronged another, it is usually in ignorance, and when I find out this truth I move respectfully toward that person for reconciliation. If they choose to reconcile or not is their choice, but at least I will do MY part.

For me, as a Mercy, repentance and reconciliation of relationship go hand-in-hand, with both the Lord and with people.

When it is a matter of not wronging an individual directly, but of being wrong (in sin) because of choices/perceptions, that, too, is almost always in ignorance.

When the Lord shows me something that I need to correct, it is usually a wrong perception, and usually involving a choices or choices I made to allow/tolerate another’s sin in the name of “compassion,” or “forgiveness,” or “turning the other cheek,” and things like that. Usually, I am stunned at that revelation. But revelation alone is not repentance. Once I get revelation, I must act on it – i.e., actual repentance, or “turning away from” the lie I believed, or the action of misapplied mercy or unsanctified sympathy, and “turning toward” a new way of living based on that truth that I had not yet embraced.

Seriously, for me as a Mercy, as I look back over my life, my wrongs and sins are never intentional, but almost always a matter of ignorance, or wrongly applying God’s truth in the name of God’s love

Whether or not Janis realized it, she hit exactly where I am going in response to this, in terms of Scripture.

So, here goes.

Zero in on this comment:

“I tend to allow pain to drive me away from God until it becomes more painful not to bring it to Him.”

King David, a Mercy, did precisely the same thing, in the springtime, when kings go out to war…

He committed adultery with Bathsheba, which was a pain-inducing choice that drove him from G-d, and fueled other choices that he may have though helped him avoid pain, but in turn created pain for others.

In no particular order, there was the pain of betraying his other wives.

Then there was the pain of betraying Uriahthe Hittite, his loyal servant.

Then, the pain of betraying Joab, by hiding his motives from his commander.

And most importantly, the pain of betraying G-d Most High.

Thankfully, Nathan was courageous enough to confront, and near enough to be present.

And, so, in Janis’ words

I don’t understand, David Michael MacNelley. For clarification of what floors you? For clarification of me (whether it’s because I’m Mercy or otherwise), my revelation of sin brings me closer to the Lord, with the same heart cry in Psalm 51 of “Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me!!!!!!! (emphatic exclamation points mine). Restore to me the joy of Your salvation….” That’s kind of where I’m coming from.

For anyone in general, and for the Mercy especially, there is the need, nay, the demand that a Mercy reject the Mercy-tending behavior of pain-avoidance and head-on confront the problem before Father, and be cleansed and restored. And if those of us who are Mercies do not have a Nathan that with whom we can be real and vulnerable, we need to handle business with Father.

And with Him, there is a steadfast consistency, affection, fathering, and reality. He will not be unpredictable in his forgiveness. And he will not withhold what in is his very nature: reconciliation.

Saying it in a Pauline way. We cannot expect to fully receive the ministry of reconciliation until we have first received some sort of revelation that beyond repentance, G-d the Father Almighty is the G-d of Reconciliation and the One Who Comforts Us (Isaiah 42:3, 61:2). Though we may be bruised by our sin and feel ashamed or humiliated in our repentance, he is the one who restores and renews us.

Galatians 5:22 On Patience

Galatians 5:22-Patience

22 But the fruit of the spirit is…patience

Patience is a rejected gift.

Patience is the one fruit of the spirit we don’t really celebrate or like. However, it is the one thing that we need the most when we are dealing with difficulties, and while it usually is cultivated during the hard seasons in life, it can and should be practiced during the easy and fun seasons of life so that we will be ready. Patience is like a set of weights and our muscular system. The more we choose to embrace now, the easier it will become to exercise when all hell is breaking loose later.

God designed us to require patience, and yet there are people who say we should not pray for it.

I don’t live in that kind of unbiblical fear.

We are responsible to pray for–and embrace—patience.

It is when we do not actively pursue lessons of patience that we are unable to walk well in James’ command in 1:2 when trials come. The more adept we become at cultivating patience, the more patience we will have, and the easier it will be for us to maintain joy when trials come. The more patience we choose to cultivate in the seasons when we don’t need it, the easier the sequence of Romans 5:3-5 will become in the seasons when we do need patience. Patience is critical in times of suffering. Embracing suffering and combining it with patience yields endurance, then character, then hope, then the outpouring of the breakthrough that God wants us to have by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The end result of this steadfastness, which comes through the practice and execution of patience, is the possession of the crown of life (James 1:12).

So, what is patience?

Greek μακροθυμία (makrothoomia), which is a compound word:

1) Makro means “long” or “far”
2) Thoomia means “desire” or “passion”.

And passion is not just being excited about something so that you can convey the ideas “passionately” with zeal and intensity. That is what much of the modern church thinks of when they think of passion. To much of the church, “passion” is a glorified word for “intensity” and “fervor”.

No, actually passion is actually a Latin word that specifically carries the idea of suffering. The things that you are passionate about are also the things for which you are willing to suffer. If you are not willing to suffer for something that you are intensely communicating on social media, then you are not passionate. Rather, you are a keyboard warrior.

The 11 and Paul were passionate about Jesus.

This is where some translations render this word as “longsuffering” as opposed to “patience”.

 

Further, this leads me to another dynamic. James 1:24 says, be doers of the word and not merely hearers. So, in short, you are not only willing to suffer, and if need be, die for those things about which you are passionate. You are also willing to live for those very things, as well. You are willing to obey what you have heard, even if it means dying to yourself and being crucified together with Christ so that Christ in you may live.

Patience is that “over and over” fruit of the spirit. It is the one fruit that keeps us coming back for more when everyone and everything else is telling us to quit. Patience is that one fruit that keeps us listening to the Lord when His voice is the only voice that is encouraging us to continue when every single other voice is speaking something different, and when our friends turn into Job’s friends. Having large storehouses of patience enables us to push through when others would give up. Through patience, Jesus finished his race joyfully and endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2), and Paul endured his course, as detailed in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28.

Patience is what keeps us pursuing after the things we are passionate about, the things for which we are willing to suffer. Patience keeps us in the game long after everyone else has quit.
So, what is the root of patience?
Consider the following from Romans 8.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25)

Hope causes us to wait for the things that have not come with patience. Thus, hope is the root of patience. Hope is our reason for waiting.

Jesus is our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:1-3). Therefore, we wait for his appearing with patience.

Patience is what enables us to bear with one another in love, especially when another believer is acting like a knucklehead.

And again from James 5:

10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.
11 You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

That right there is a punch line for us. Job was an example of one who walked in patience. Yeah, Job, who endured hardship and lost everything, so much so that his friends turned into accusers. Job was not so far removed from us, given that he was a man of frailty just like us. How does that sound? When you know you are right in something and your friends and family, even your own spouse, all turn against you, patience causes you to continue in the thing to which God has called you.

This is a hard thing to consider, but it is worthwhile, and it leads us to the place where we can embrace longsuffering. So, as you are considering the fruit of patience, also consider what could be required of you.

 

 

 

Honoring Your Parents…What It Really Means

THE IMPETUS

“I am leaving for Connecticut and taking the boys whether or not you come.”

The words cut like a knife.

The date was March, 2010.

The speaker was my wife.

We were living in Springfield, Missouri at the time. I was nearing the completion of the first year of my new assignment from my pastor, who had asked me to teach at our church’s school. Isaac was in Kindergarten, and Emmaus was in pre-school. We had begun the process of deepening a relationship with our pastors, and had just heard from the L-rd that we were going to be in Missouri at least another five years. We had pursued the process of renewing our passports so I could begin traveling with my pastor to conferences overseas.

We were excited for this next step.

Then an unforseen circumstance happened.

My wife’s mother had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer earlier, around November of 2009.

And my wife began having the conversation with me that we needed to move.

And I specifically heard from the L-rd, “don’t move. It’s a trap. You are not supposed to move. Stay put.”

And so I began to put the questions to her that I normally put to anyone who is making a huge decision.

“Did you talk to Father about moving? What did he say?”

And her responses indicated that she was irritated with those questions.

“I don’t need to ask the L-rd. The Bible says we are to take care of our parents.”
This ultimately devolved into her ultimatum in March.
What you may not know is that my wife’s mother was mentally very sick, having been diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, among a whole host of other things, and had behaved in a very controlling and manipulative toward my wife for years before I had met them.

My wife’s mother never asked us to move in order to be closer, but my wife made the decision to move us, despite what I had heard from the L-rd, and I knew it was a matter of time before the manipulative influence of my mother-in-law would strengthen to the point where our marriage self-destructed.

I knew danger was coming, and staying away from that environment that was toxic for my wife likely could have saved my first marriage. And that walking into that, would accomplish precisely nothing productive, but only led to the destruction that happened.

HOW MUCH INFLUENCE, WHAT KIND OF INFLUENCE, AND WHAT KIND OF INTERACTION

This leads me to ask 3 specific question.

How much influence are parents supposed to influence their children?
What kind of influence is the right kind of influence, especially as adults?

Moreover, what does Scripture prescribe with respect to the interaction between children and of the parents?

Now, what follows may answer that question trio for my audience, or it may not.

What follows is not meant to condemn or criticize those who are currently taking care of their parents in their old age, especially when Father has commanded them to do so. So, feel free to read what follows with a grain of salt if it differs from your own situation, but also know that what follows is meant to liberate and not to lead to bondage.

LEAVING AND CLEAVING

Scripture is pretty clear that, in the beginning, unless a major shift and abdication of spiritual authority happens, parents steward the lion’s share of the authority in the lives of their kids from conception. Ideally, as they mature, children learn to walk in increasing realms of spiritual authority over their own lives, with an increasing say in how their lives flow.

Parents, ideally and simultaneously, transfer increasing authority to their children. Further, when children mature, they are supposed to “leave their parents” in order to marry or remain single.  Our growth means we begin a life of our own, as we are launched out by our parents.  The relationship is supposed to change from a leader/follower relationship to, in the words of Jim Fay, a consultant type of relationship.

But what happens when parents refuse to follow through on raising their children rightly, and provoke their children to wrath?

And what does honoring parents really look like?
PARENTING GONE BAD

We are responsible to recognize that our parents may not have raised us well. And we are also responsible to recognize that we are not entitled to good parents. We are only entitled to the parents that Father gave us, and the family into which He placed us.

Where is the love of G-d when he deliberately places us in a wounding situation, that was no fault of our own.

G-d gave us a package of good things and bad things, none of which we deserved.

As with Jephthah, we were each placed into a particular family, at a particular time, in a particular city and country, in a particular season of history, for a particular purpose, whether the circumstances were good or bad, through no fault of our own,

And we have each been dealt a particular hand, of incredible good things, good gifts, good talents, in addition to incredible tests, handicaps and some negatives, and it is our job to play the hand that was dealt us as best we can by His understanding. In playing the hand, part of our responsibility is demonstrating a right response to painful circumstances.

As a result, we are also dealt a hand of blessing and pain, and Father will show us how to negotiate and play that hand in order to maximize our potential.

He shows us how to respond to the pain caused by our family.

And He shows us how to find our sonship in Him.

We have a perfect Father, who is not defective. He is the best Father, and he lacks no resources with which to raise us from a generation of slaves to a generation of sons.

It is in being transformed from slaves to sons that G-d shows us what honoring our parents looks like. And it is not merely in taking care of our parents in their dying years and putting the call on our lives on hold solely in order to make them comfortable.
HONORING YOUR PARENTS

What do we do when a difficult situation arises and the L-rd seems to be telling us to do one thing, and our parental families seems to be saying another?

I have a friend who was raised with parents who were superficial in their raising of him, but in his words did not raise him with words of “I Love you, son,” or, “I’m proud of you, son.”

What about when we are raised by our parents in a superficial lifestyle where they will engage with us in all sorts of surface foolishness but will not lift their fingers to talk and converse with us about the most important things?

What about when we are raised by parents who didn’t give us that expressed affection and affirming words?

We are to honor them.

What does that mean?

Here is my 2-part definition (with some credit to Chip Ingraham of Living On the Edge”):

Live your life in such a fashion that:

your parents would have no regrets about what you did, on the day before Christ’s Judgment Seat.

Act toward your parents as if they both were:

1) Fully devoted to the full expression of the love of G-d
2) Really were interested building a platform under you for your success in the calling and birthright.

Assuming you know your calling or birthright, act as if your parents were pushing you in that direction, and as if they were honoring G-d with their whole lives, given they are supposed to raise you up in the nurture and admonition of the L-rd, and you will be honoring your parents.

The reality is you are to walk AS IF they fully agreed with your design and fully supported your design, even if in reality they are not.

Honoring your parents is acting in accordance with the heart of the best versions of your parents.

Let me paint a picture.

Your parents are dead.
They are standing before G-d.
If they violated your design and spoke against your birthright, then they spoke against the plans of G-d for your life.
Now, standing before the Judgment Seat, Jesus is correcting them in that moment for all the misperceptions they had about you, just like He will one day correct our vision so that we see clearly (1 Corinthians 15:51, 1 Corinthians 13:12).

Your job is to follow G-d regardless of what your parents say.

Period.

Your job is to follow G-d as if your parents agreed with what you were supposed to do, what you were made to do, what you were designed to do, what you were called to do.

Your job is to do whatever it takes to possess your birthright.  That is what honoring your parents looks like.

You possessing your birthright is a part of your parents’ legacy.

Now, I know that some people are going to say “that isn’t honoring your parents.”

My only response is, “I disagree”.

Others will say “are we supposed to rebel against what are parents are instructing us to do?”

My response is “if what your parents are saying violates your design, you are supposed to follow G-d”.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR PARENTS

I have heard it said from believers that “if we don’t take care of our families, then we are worse than an unbeliever. This includes our parents.”

I am just going to say one thing on this topic.

You are to take care of your parents in their old age ONLY IF G-d tells you specifically. The Bible NOWHERE COMMANDS ALL BELIEVERS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR PARENTS. Period.

Yes, I had to type that in all caps because our church culture in places is saddled with such a heavy delusion that calling gets placed on hold for the sake of parents.

Honoring your parents does not mean taking care of them necessarily. If G-d called you to missions work in Iran now, and you are putting this off 20 years in order to wait to bury your parents (Matthew 8:21) in Florida, you are not honoring the legacy the Father meant for your parents, and they will not reap the rewards G-d designed them to through your obedience.

If you are called to pastor a church, and you are waiting 20 years for your kids to grow up and leave, when he has called you to pastor now, you are not doing the right thing. If G-d says pastor, and you say no, that’s a problem.

And as for that passage in the New Testament of taking care of your family or else you are worse than an unbeliever, that is a reference to your wife and your kids. Unless G-d specifically speaks to you to care for your parents, you are to do whatever He has give you to do.