Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Saint in Our Midst

Missio Lux has a fan. Her name is Lillian Hansen. Her husband was Ralph Hansen, the first director of World Mission for the Covenant denomination.

Lillian is almost 93 but her thinking is one of the most innovative and creative of anyone that I know. She is also determined. She prays unwaveringly for her children, grandchildren and others that strike her heart!

I am glad that I am one that receives her mighty prayers. I am glad that Missio Lux receives her prayers too!

Laurie is Lillian's niece by marriage. She takes pretty good care of Lillian. Read her recent story of taking Lillian to the doctor:

"On Wednesday I took Lillian to see her doctor because she was out of breath. She is almost 93 and has had three husbands pass away. When we were driving to her doctor she told me she had a dream that morning. She saw everyone that has gone before her and she was convinced that she had died. Then she woke up. The doctor sent us to the Emergency Room.

On the way over the bridge into Seattle the rain was pouring down in bright sunlight. Over Lake Washington there was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. I could see the whole stripe of purple. I really felt it was significant like God was reminding us of his promises. He was definitely with us. Her lungs and the rest of her were filled with fluid and her resting pulse was too fast. I was pretty convinced this was it.

She was admitted and we waited for the Cardiology service to see her - which in two days they never did. But her hospitalist was on top of things. With medication the fluid cleared. Some minor med tweeks helped slow her heart, and with lots of people praying she wanted to walk home on Friday.

She was not too happy with me. She said, "You had to pray that Jesus prayer over me and now I am still here instead of with him." However, her step granddaughter showed up with her darling 4 year old great granddaughter and a new 3 week old foster child they hope to adopt. Lillian held the baby and I think she was a little more happy about still being around."

Lillian longs for heaven. She longs for her new body, but she is not a crochety old woman just waiting to die. She lives each day to the fullest. I hope that when I am 93, I will be just like her. I also hope that I will live like her tomorrow too!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Carton of Eggs

Susie has amazing stories to share about God's provision in her life.

She is a single mother of two young children and finances are tight. However, Susie continually tells the stories of how God provides for her in miraculous ways.

Susie is the appointed "dessert maker" for the Arbors missio community. We celebrate birthdays so whenever there is a birthday, which is about every time we meet, Susie makes a yummy cake. Cakes require a lot of eggs, so consequently, Susie goes through lots of eggs.

However, when we were together last week, she told me that she used several eggs and yet, there continued to be 9 eggs in the carton, over and over and over. A few weeks ago, she kept expecting to run out of eggs, but they continued to be present in the carton.


Her provision doesn't just stop at eggs. She gets gift cards in the mail anonymously. She has her highlights in her hair last for a year instead of 3 months. She has calls for random jobs that bring her extra income at the last minute.

Susie inspires me with her trust in God's provision. She is so sure of his provision that no matter how much money is in the bank, or eggs in the refrigerator, she is quick to write her tithe check first before she does anything else. God must have faith in her provision back to him.

Do you think that there is a connection between the two?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Amazing Weekend with Healing Prayer Trainees

The weekend was a gift from start to finish. It began with our three Colorado visitors from Living Free Ministries: our sister healing ministry in Denver. As we left for the training, the rain was pouring; a sign of God's love ready to be poured down on us.

When we walked into the room for the training, the smells and sights greeted us. Smells of freshly cooked food with an atmosphere of beauty that covered up a regular church room. Everything was positioned to bring people into a deeper awareness of the Lord and his great love for us.

Soon, the people began to come. They came from Mt Vernon, WA, an hour and a half north of Seattle. They came from Helena, MT, a full days drive. They came from our area, each greeting one another like long lost friends.

We started out by preparing the atmosphere. The Lord is teaching us to prepare the atmosphere with his love and his power, and then to embody the values of hospitality, friendship, and hunger for the Lord. When we follow those simple ways, Jesus is there, ready to reveal himself and take us deeper into his heart and ways.

We worshipped. We told stories of our experiences with praying for people and walking out our light with others. We prepared for what God would do for the weekend.

The next day, one of the trainees, Luke, brought a map of India. He had gotten the idea when we left the previous night. Luke is following Jesus' call and taking his daughter and himself to northeast India, close to Berma, to train teachers with a friend of mine from seminary. Raingum, who is from India, is ministering in this area and Luke responded to the call to go and train (that's for another blog!)

We started out by surrounding Luke as he stood on the map. One of the women stepped onto the map too, as a representative of his daughter. We began to pray kingly prayers, as we discerned the King's mind and heart for this trip to India. Soon, many were weeping because the presence of Jesus was so powerful, and yet, so tender.

The day continued with more teaching, testimonies, prayers for one another and eventually it was time to do our closing. We start by lighting candles as we state what we want to leave behind and what we want to take away. The current team went from person to person as we prayed over them, speaking what the Lord gave us for each trainee.

The weekend wasn't over yet. The teams from Mt. Vernon, Helena and some of our current team had dinner together at our house. It was a chance for us to build relationship outside of a training atmosphere. Missio Lux is committed to relationship and to being real with one another. In order to do that, we need experiences that go beyond a structured setting.

Sunday, we gathered at another healing prayer ministers house, as we listened to Terri Parzybok tell the story of how Living Free Ministries got started. It was good for everyone to hear as the Lord has woven our relationship together back and forth through the years. LFM has brought so much to Missio Lux and we have brought much to LFM. It's a valued kingdom partnership that God is very much blessing.

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye. Although we won't see each other next week or month, we are connected in our hearts and the relationships will continue to grow and build, despite our distance.

If you would have asked me a year ago, if people would be flying, driving and carpooling to the Healing Prayer Training, I would have told you no. God has surprised us with this gift; and as he teaches us to think beyond what we can currently see, our faith to believe for the fulfillment of our original prophesy that we would be known by our fruit across this country and into the world doesn't seem as far fetched as it once did.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It happened so fast.

The team from Colorado had just arrived from the airport for the Healing Prayer Training.

Suddenly, Scot was at our home with his friend Reuben. Reuben just returned from South Korea. He and his wife, Sarah Jane, were leaders in one of the missio communities in Seoul.

Suddenly, we had people from three of our geographical locations in Missio Lux: Seattle, Denver and South Korea.
So, I snapped a photo to remember the moment that for five minutes we had a convergence of the Missio Lux family!

The Tree of Life: Leaves and Branches

Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:32

We have been exploring the Tree of Life this year. We’ve spent time developing the soil of our inner lives and what it means to live as part of God’s family; the trunk that surrounds us in protection and love.

But, no tree is complete without branches and leaves. Otherwise, it’s just a topless trunk. There are some trees in Sammamish, where I live, that they cut off the tops because they were dying. Some creative artists have developed socks for the trees to wear! Although they are fun to look at, they definitely don’t carry the beauty of a tree that is full of buds and leaves that reflect the glory of God’s creation!

In the same way, we can have deep roots with the Lord and our soil can be really healthy, and our trunk strong, but if we don’t have any branches and leaves for the birds to come and make nests in, we are missing the point of the purpose of the tree.

Trees are significant in creation. The Lord made trees the focus of the Garden for Adam and Eve. They were told to eat from the Tree of Life daily because in eating its fruit, they would live the abundant, eternal life that God created them to enjoy. They were also instructed to stay away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because in even touching it, they would die. Knowledge of evil brings death to our very lives because it takes us away from God’s goodness.

So, we have to ask ourselves the question, “What does it look like to have branches that attract birds that will build nests?”

First, we know that the branches need to be connected to the tree. Jesus tells us in John 15 that a branch cannot bear fruit if it is severed from the tree (vine). Fist, the branches will wither and die. Eventually, branches that are severed are thrown into the fire and burned.

Jesus also tells us that when we are connected to him, our branches will grow fruit.

That fruit will go on to create more fruit, eventually bringing forth a harvest. There’s a process, however, that has to take place to bring forth the healthiest fruit. It’s called pruning.

Jesus tells us that he cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit. That makes sense. No use having ugly brown branches that lie bare on the tree. But, he also prunes the fruitful branches. Why? Because pruning helps to bring forth the best fruit!

This is a pattern that I have observed in my life and in other’s lives: we are enjoying a season where things are going along really well; we feel productive and are seeing good results from the things that we are doing. But, something happens and we feel pushed back and even attacked. We wonder what we are doing wrong. We begin to question what we are doing; and get confused.
The reality, however, it is the Lord with his sharp pruning shears, taking a bit of the branch off here and there to bring it to greater fruitfulness. Eventually, we come to a place where we recognize the sense of being pruned and begin to celebrate it because we know, in faith, that the process will bring greater meaning and outflow to our lives.

So, now that we understand that we either stay connected to Jesus or face the withering of our branches, what do the birds and nests represent?

They represent the Kingdom of God!

When our roots go down deep into fertile soil, our trunk surrounds and protects us, we can move forth and partner with the Lord, to bring his kingdom purposes and atmosphere to earth!
We were meant to do this. In Genesis 1:28, God blessed Adam and Eve and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Notice that God includes all of the universe: the sky, the waters and the ground. What does he say to do? Yes, we repeat be fruitful and multiply often, but I don’t always hear the rest of the command: Govern and Reign.

What does it mean to “govern and reign?” It means to bring God’s kingdom to earth.

To participate with Jesus and what he died to restore: the entire earth back to God’s original intent. We often pray for salvation of souls, but how often do we think that God wants to bring his earth back into right creation too?

When we think about what will serve God in the best way, we often think that it is through “going into the ministry.” However, I believe that as we discover our uniqueness, the area of our lives in which God made us special, and move in those directions, we are bringing Kingdom to the earth.

Imagine seeing our children become scientists who will help discover solutions for diseases and global warming, become professors who will teach at secular universities and bring a godly worldview into the classroom, become marketplace leaders who will help multiply kingdom capital, become parents who understand their role to help their children develop a kingdom mindset, even IT Developers who will help to bring creative solutions to the internet that will advance God’s kingdom.

The possibilities are endless; we just need to begin to think more creatively about the options! As we begin to dream, we also must be careful not to let that which we cannot see, stop our dreams. The Scriptures tell us in Hebrews 11 that “faith is being certain of what we cannot see.”
If God created us to bring our unique kingdom role into the world, won’t he also provide for what we need to live it out?

Faith and Courage are required for days such as these. But, we also need creative imaginations and time to dream. As we make space to dream, we come to God’s dream for us, and we are allowing our branches to become filled with beautiful kingdom fruit!

Photo from Sammamish Review

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hoops of Hope Planting Seeds of Hope for Seeds of Hope

We meant to meet in the Sammamish Commons, but when the Hoops of Hope Coordinator arrived, it was locked. So, off to the library she went, hoping to get an answer, but instead, she found out that our meeting had been scheduled somewhere completely different. It wasn't going to work!

So, the helpful librarian told us to find a space and hold the meeting in the library. We were seeking to hold this year's first Hoops of Hope Team planning meeting to help raise funds for Seeds of Hope.

It was fun to see who came through the door. As the meeting started, we had four eager Pine Lake Middle School students and 3 of their parents. As I shared the story of Seeds of Hope, starting with the Lost Boys leaving their devastated village, I could see the compassion in the hearts of these students. They were ready to roll up their sleeves and work!

I sat there and realized that between the 10 or so people present, we represented a vast network of people, connection to a lot of financial funds, strategic relationships, and that when we take a step to advance an idea, God can step in and bring far more than we can ever imagine.

The ripple effect is massive. Last year was a great start for Hoops of Hope. We saw a few hundred kids, teens and adults come through the door to shoot hoops for Seeds of Hope, but this year, it will grow in numbers of participants, donations raised, and community awareness advanced.

Whereever you are, consider getting involved. Find out about Seeds of Hope ( and our mission to educate Sudanese Orphans so they can become community leaders who rebuild their decimated village after years of civil war. Donate online and tell your friends.

If all of us drop a seeds, one day there will be a harvest of Sudanese villlages that are thriving with life, the abundant life that Jesus promises to give us!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Discerning the Times

I was reading the paper yesterday, looking at the pictures of Japan and reading about all the crisis taking place since the earthquake and tsunami last week. I realized that I was listening to a song singing, "We will never be the same again.” I sensed the Lord’s presence and that I was to pay attention to that moment.

It’s hard to even remember all that has happened in the world since the calendar clicked over to 2011. Christ Church experienced an earthquake and cyclone, Egypt began to protest for leadership transition, sparked by the communication tool of social media. Country after country is following their lead. Earthquakes shook China and Bali.

However, none of us were prepared to receive the news about Japan, watching in real time a deadly earthquake and tsunami devastate their country.

Last week was a very strange week for me. I began to feel more and more disoriented, my body was shaky, my mind cloudy and my emotions all over the place. By Thursday morning, I was so shut down that one of my prayer intercessors changed her plans and came over to pray for me. As soon as we prayed, the struggle lifted, and I came back to myself.

Just an hour later, I got out of my car for a meeting and was struck with a deafening sound. It sounded like a barrage of loud trucks barreling down a creaky highway; instead it was the movement of the trees blowing across the highway. Soon the rain began to pound, and I saw my wooden, double stacked deck chairs rise off my deck and blow into our yard.

When I looked into the sky around 5 p.m., I knew that something very intense was happening. I began to ask the Lord,
“What is this storm about?”

We didn’t have to wait long to see the answer to that question. When I got the paper (one of my favorite times during the day is to eat breakfast and read the newspaper), I read that Japan had been devastated by a 8.9 earthquake, followed by a deadly tsunami.

The news continues to get worse. Nuclear reactors are damaged and they are emitting nuclear power into the environment. The Dow Jones is plummeting. Our sense of security is shaken as we read the stories that earthquakes are not if, but when, for Seattle and that our nuclear plants in the US could follow Japan’s lead.

So, it is at such a time as this, that we as Jesus’ followers have one of our most important opportunities and challenges. In the Old Testament, a statement was made about the Men of Issachar: “They knew the times and they understood what to do.” 1 Chron 12:32

How can we become People of Issachar that know the times and understand what to do?

First, it is important to be aware and attentive to what is taking place around us. What mode of communication do you like best? Television, internet, newspaper, social media: our choices are wide. The challenge is to become informed but not obsessed with what is taking place.

It is also vital that we seek to understand what is happening around us with a biblical worldview. History repeats itself and knowing the history of the Bible, God’s character and his ability to intervene in the worst of circumstances, are helpful barometers of our current circumstances.

When we trust God and know his ability to take the most challenging circumstance and turn it on its head, our ability to have faith in the unseen realm helps us to maintain a calm presence in the midst of information overload, fear, stress, and a sense of our foundation being shaken like the wind that shook us on Thursday. A calm presence can bring peace to those around us.

It’s also important to stay connected to one another; especially when events around us seem to be unstable and changing rapidly. Last week, almost every major leader of Missio Lux experienced an attack that shook them. When we keep it to ourselves, our enemy has much more power over us then when we tell others. Soon, we find that they are experiencing much of the same thing and the attack loses its power over us. We get a greater sense of where God is moving in his Body.

Friday I knew that we needed to gather and pray for what we saw taking place. However, gathering is challenging for Missio Lux as we are geographically spread literally around the world. So, I prayed and ask the Lord to show us what to do. I felt like we were to schedule a conference call where we can hear from the gifted intercessors in our midst, and then pray in unity and connection with each other.

Prayer is one of our most powerful tools for “such a time as this.”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that we are to pray for the times of distress to be shortened, or the entire human race will be destroyed. Prayer helps us to recalibrate back to Jesus and to his perspective on what is taking place.

It also helps us from developing the deadly disease called “Compassion Fatigue.” When we are bombarded with bad news; we are often tempted to shut ourselves away to shut out the sadness and fear. Prayer wakes our spirits and hearts back up, and helps us to continue to have hope.

Hope is what we have to offer the world right now. We know that no matter what happens in this life; we have a better life around the corner. We know that God has the ability to take even the worst circumstance, the death of his Son, and bring about a surprise victory!

We know that a life of faith involves standing in the unknown because Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is being certain of what we cannot see.”

Our challenge is to stay in the place of trust and faith, taking our fears and concerns to our Loving Father who cares about our every need. Our opportunity is to bring a peaceful presence and hopeful faith to the people around us; especially those that are living without the experiential knowledge of Jesus’ care for them.

It is in the greatest darkness that our lives shine most brightly.

Let’s commit ourselves, people of God, to walk out these days like the People of Issachar who Knew the times and understood just what to do.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

How Can a Conference Call Change the World?

I knew Friday that we needed to have a prayer response to the incredible world crisis of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, as well as all the other challenging events of 2011. Think about it, since Jan 1st, an earthquake and cyclone hit Christ's Church, the Middle East in in a major upheaval, dead birds are falling out of the sky, multitudes of fish are washing up on shores dead, and in just a few days China, Bali and Japan had major earthquakes.

The typical response would be to try to rally a prayer meeting. However, in the our fast paced, dispersed culture of Missio Lux, this would be hard to accomplish.

So, I sent an email out through our networks that we were holding a prayer conference call Saturday morning at 8 am Seattle time, gave out the number, and waited to see who would dial in.

Five of us did. They were all passionate intercessors ready to pray--amazingly, from 5 different spheres of influence and location. We introduced ourselves and gave a little background for the first 5 minutes and then we prayed. As I was praying, I saw this net overlaid on the world. I've seen it before in my mind but this day, it was a really strong picture.

When I hung up, I got a heavenly idea!

The web was the way that people could connect with one another easily from all different geographical locations.
I imagined conference calls scheduled for prayer by the people that are leaders in various areas: the 7 mountains of business, media, education, faith, family, the arts, and medicine leading calls. I imagined people with passions for teens or children, for human trafficking, for specific countries, the ideas just kept coming for how a simple tool of technology to inform and conference calls to connect would allow us to gather to pray, despite the normal barriers that keep us apart.

One of the ways to be impactful in this "such a time as this" season is to be strategic, keep it simple and lightweight and look for the relational connections that will advance God's kingdom. I believe we got a good key for moving forward on Saturday. Watch for more!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What Jesus Did for Us in the Desert

Missio Lux has a woman who has been led to do an extensive fast: 40 days without food. She wrote this a couple of days before Lent began. We had a 24 hour prayer opportunity on Wednesday, the first day of preparation for Jesus' journey to the cross.

I was the one that kicked off the prayer from midnight to 1 a.m. I was working on emails leading up to my prayer time and her reflection is the last one I read. As I went to pray for preparation for my spirit and for our corporate Missio Lux spirit to be prepared to walk with Jesus to the cross, I was completely wrecked by the reality that Jesus in his human body spent 40 days alone being tested in a desert....I hope it moves you, it moved me so much.

The Lord often talks to me in pictures, some of them moving visions. I have had a number of Jesus in the desert since I began this business. I will tell you of what I saw two nights ago, with some background first.

He is always in the same location. There is an olive tree He sleeps under, and that brown grass you see so much in pictures of Israel. Directly across from His tree is an upward slope of rock where nothing grows except tufts in the cracks. I have seen Him stretched out on a big flat place of stone maybe 10 feet above the grass below. As you face the tree from that spot, to the left there is a lake. You know, we are not told which wilderness area He was in... the assumption is the Negev, but this was more just wilderness than flat out desert. Maybe it was on the edges of the Negev.

He was out there alone under the sky. It was this same time of year and rain and cold were possible and real. Israel's climate is rather like northern California's, which can be chilly and wet in March. He had His warm robe to wrap Himself in and sometimes He'd sleep sitting up against the tree, but lately more often on the ground, wrapped up tight in His robe. He goes to the lake to get water and rinse the grime off Himself.

Why am I telling you this? When I first saw Him He had some energy and was building a fire to offset the morning chill. Now He is much thinner than I am and doesn't move much. He is (was) doing 40 days on water alone and as a perfectly obedient Son, He did not have the extra layer of padding anyway that most of us do.

The water was not pure distilled water that best flushes the toxins away, like I have. Lake water, if a well-drained lake, would be okay but not as good and a lot of energy to keep getting up and going for... He does not have a nice electric blanket like I have and a roof and walls to keep off the rain and wind. He did not get two weeks of breaking in with juices and then lemon and maple syrupto keep Him healthy in the middle.

Right now He is so very thin and guant, very pale, and shivers with the cold. He does not get nice hot showers every day like I do, with soap and shampoo to wash all the smelly excretions off His skin. He has to walk into a cold lake if He wants to bathe and I'd say He probably isn't bathing at all. He did not have anything to help Him cleanse His bowels the first few days (to be blunt) and that can make you very sick... talk about toxins. In the daytimes He has the sun, clouds, rain and wind... and He has His Father. When He is at His weakest, the snake will come.

I could not have done what He did. I am being tested to the point where I can pass the test and have the victory He intends me to gain. He was the Son of God... yes, yes, yes. There are also many Christians who have gone further to reaching His level than I am able to, but...

What is amazing about Him, is that when He looks at me in these visions (and He can perceive me seeing Him), He quickly smiles. He smiles with a sudden radiant love that is so very glad to see me and shows no element of pain or grief.

To Him, it is all joy. He does what the Father is doing. He does not count the days or think about what He is missing. He thinks about what the Father has Him doing... and it is joy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

He Received his Crown Today

This was written by one of our leaders of the Healing Prayer Ministry after her father died:

This is my dad…
He received his crown today!

Dear ministry family,

I want to thank you for the faithful prayers ever since my dad’s fall on January 8th. He felt them and he knew without a doubt that God was taking every detail of his life in His ever capable hands.

Today at 7:25 AM my dad received his eternal reward when he passed from us into the loving embrace of his Savior and Peace, Jesus Christ. At 2 AM this morning my dad fell and suffered another head trauma and due to the severity of the injuries, he never regained consciousness.

My entire family was present with my mom, sister and her husband when my sweet ol’ Robbie was removed from the ventilator – but, before he passed, we had the privilege of praying over him, reading scripture to him (specifically Psalm 91 and 23), anointing his head with oil and prompting my mom to sing to him his favorite hymn, “The Ol’ Rugged Cross” and “their” song, “I’ll Be Loving You, Always.” The moments were precious and peaceful and my dad left this life, the way he lived it – a true gentle man!

Holy moments surround us and I look forward to seeing God’s glory revealed in the process of grief, sadness and celebration – surely they are ours to behold!

Thank you for loving us well and for caring, always!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reflections on Becoming Royalty

Bill and I went to see “The King’s Speech” this weekend. As I watched it I was struck by how clearly King George VI journey to the throne relates to much of what the Bible teaches us about our lives with Christ.

Here’s the background to the story: It takes place in England in the late 1930s. Bertie, as he is called by his family, is the second son of the King of England. His father dies rather suddenly and Bertie’s older brother, David, becomes the new king of England. However, his brother is madly in love with a twice divorced American woman and isn’t much interested in reigning as England’s king.

Bertie, as we know him, has a challenge. He stutters. His challenge has kept him in fear throughout most of his life, but as he is called to give speeches, he seeks out help. He eventually finds a man named Lionel Logue who begins to help him. His methods are rather unorthodox, which make the movie pretty funny, but they are helping Bertie to speak more clearly.

However, Lionel knows and tries to help Bertie see, that the root of his stuttering is fear.

Bertie’s fear increases when his brother David abdicated the throne and he finds himself with a new name: George the VI and a new role: the King of England. All he can see is that he isn’t qualified, he doesn’t speak well, and he wasn’t raised to be the King….his identity is far from his name and role of King George VI.

Hmm, doesn’t that remind you of someone we know in the Bible? His name is Moses. He grew up in the royal family and he also stuttered. He had challenges accepting his royal position and finds himself literally shepherding sheep in the desert for 40 years. One day, however, everything changed for Moses when he saw a burning bush in front of him.

When he walked towards it and questioned what it was, he heard the Lord speaking to him. Moses, a royal prince turned shepherd, only accepted the call after the Lord told him that he could have a spokesperson with him since he too, stuttered. He did not see in himself what God saw, a redeemer for the nation of Israel, who lived as slaves in Egypt.

Both Bertie and Moses remind me of myself and, I suspect, many of you. We weren’t raised to believe that we are royalty; that our identity is in actuality, a beloved child of the King of the Universe.

However, if we choose to believe what the Bible says is true, we need to adjust our expectations of our role in life. Romans 8:14-17 speaks to our true identity:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

We are children of the king first, and as we learn to live as his beloved children, we move into our true heritage: being heir to the throne. When we live as beloved children, we learn to know the heart of the King, so that we can partner with him to bring forth his desires on earth.

Moses and Bertie each faced a moment where they had to decide: who were they going to be in life?

Would they continue to do the job of shepherding sheep or giving speeches at out of the way locations, going about life as business as usual, or were they willing to face their fears, develop their true identity, and rule?

Bertie was able to make the transition from fearful man to courageous king.

He led England through World War 2 and in his speeches, his place of greatest dying to his fears, led them to become a beacon of hope in a very dark war.

Moses also made the transition. He faced his fear, dying to it, and became the biggest headache Pharaoh ever experienced. His courage and obedience to walk in the ways of the Lord brought an entire nation out of slavery into freedom.

We have the same call. I believe part of the suffering mentioned in Romans 8:14-17 is the dying we have to do to our fears and to the lies we believe about ourselves. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a retreat and I asked them if when they woke up, they said to themselves “I am God’s beloved child in whom he delights.” They looked around at one another in shock: of course not!

But, I wonder, why not? If we are going to partner with the King Jesus to rule, we need to start with developing our identity as beloved children of the King. As we learn to live in the King’s family, we can begin to anticipate the King’s heart and mind and learn to rule with him.

Ephesians 2:6 tells us that “We are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ.”

Revelations 3:21 invites us to live out God’s invitation in Romans 8:

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Like Moses, like Bertie, we are invited to sit at the King’s table, living life together with the King, and it is in that relationship that we develop the identity and mindset of a victorious ruler.

What will you decide?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What do Suburban Moms, Teens in Juvenile Detention and Kids in Africa Have in Common?

This story was written by Laurie Bunnel on

What do Suburban Moms, Teens in Juvenile Detention and Kids in Africa Have in Common? It doesn't have anything to do with knock knock jokes or chickens crossing the road, but is all about the Children of the Nations Food Packaging Event last night at Echo Glen Children's Home (Washington's juvenile detention center) sponsored by the Missio Lux Peace Seekers.

Now that Missio Lux has been involved in packaging over 84,000 meals, it has been my dream that people who need a chance to know they can help others would be able to experience a food packaging event. I've envisioned that our homeless friends in downtown Seattle could take pride in doing this for orphans across the sea. However, seeing twenty girls that are held in a juvenile detention center enjoy this was even better!

The Peace Seekers Missio Community provided the funds - $500 for 2,000 meals. Susan, who coordinates an ongoing program for volunteers to serve at Echo Glen, made all the arrangements, found some additional adult volunteers and brought cookies for the snack. Fraser and his interns from Children of the Nations arrived at Echo Glen with all the food, packing materials and a DVD about the kids served in the most impoverished areas of the world.

When the girls arrived in the multipurpose room from their cottage (basically cells), I was surprised at how young and sweet they seemed, like our family friends or kids who live on my street. They weren't too sure about the hairnets and aprons that they needed to put on. However, with giggles they cooperated and later looked like a bunch of school lunch ladies sitting on the floor listening to Fraser. He told a story about his recent trip to Malawi and a four year old girl who grabbed his neck and wouldn't let go until she eventually fell asleep. The girls, who have been convicted of a variety of offenses, were touched by his story and oowed and awed when cute toddlers appeared in the video.

They scooped and sealed the bags of dried food, working hard to do everything right. I was impressed with the efforts of one young teen to make perfect seals. She was a beautiful girl with petite features and perfectly polished fingernails. We started to give Fraser a hard time that the music he was playing was putting us to sleep. She told me about her brother's band and how he was a drug dealer like her, but he turned his life around. She hopes to do the same thing because her dream is to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. I asked her if she watches the TV show about them and she proudly admitted, "All the time!"

After we took a group picture with the boxes holding the 2000 meals, the girls made cards for the kids that would receive the food. Sweet drawings of flowers, hearts, and smiley faces enhanced the messages they created like: "You are loved." "Never Give Up." "You are so special."

When we were cleaning up, one of the ninth graders worked hard helping me untangle the long orange extension cords that were a knotted mess. We joked about her new exercise invention and potential infomercial as she rolled the heavy cords over her biceps. Having already been at Echo Glen for a year and half, she told me her release date is in October. It was with mixed emotions that I considered where she would be in October.

For many of these kids I wonder if they really had a choice, any other options than what got them in trouble with the law. I contemplated what their lives will be like when they go back to the environments they came from. It is with hope that I am looking forward to visiting these special people again. Have you been there? Want to come with next time?