The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Category: Parenting

A Prayer for Asher

Heavenly Father…

Yet again you have graced me with a gift I did nothing to deserve. I hold in my arms my fourth child… my second son… Asher David Haefs. I find myself more in awe of your mystery and miracles every time I experience the wonder of a baby’s entrance into the world. It seems like the opposite should be true… I should be growing more accustomed to this by now… I should be used to it…

…but i’m not.

How one could ever become numb to revelations of glory is beyond me. The mountain range of your majesty looms larger with every peak I summit.

And… as I see more and more of your greatness, I simultaneously feel more and more of my depravity. Why me? Why would I be graced with such a gift? Why would I be entrusted with such a treasure? Why would you choose weakness such as me?

That’s when my heart hears your reply… “My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Oh Lord, this is the prayer of my heart and the cry of my soul… that your power would be made known to this beautiful boy even when it when the only way for it to be seen is through my weakness! Exploit my weakness everyday if it means him seeing more of you! I know that I am merely a weak vessel of clay that’s ready to crack… still I have this treasure… that you would pour forth your power through the cracks in such a way that all may know it could obviously come only from you!

God, you must father this child, as you do all my children. You must guide, strengthen, raise, nurture, lead, discipline, care, and comfort. You must be his rock, his foundation, and his salvation… for I can never be any of these things. Keep me from ever thinking I could substitute for you. Let this be the single greatest thing I ever teach him, namely, that his needs will not be met in me, but in you and you alone.

We have named him Asher (which means “happy”) in hopes that he will truly live up to his name and know the deepest, highest, widest and longest happiness… you!

HAPPY is the man whose transgressions are forgiven! HAPPY is the man whose sin is covered! HAPPY is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity! May Asher know the reason the forgiven are so happy, namely, their sin no longer stands in the way of having you! Oh I pray he knows the joy of his sin being removed so that he gets you! Let him experience fullness of joy in your presence, and everlasting pleasure at your right hand! May he drink deeply from the eternal fountain of your glory, which alone can quench his eternal thirst for joy!

And, oh Lord, let us be faithful to help him see the way to your waters!

Empower us our hearts’ to be a to the rhythm of “To live is Christ and to die is gain” so loudly that his own heart knows no other beat. In life and in death, I pray his soul treasure is you…and i pray he learns this because you are our sole treasure.

Father, use my life and death however you choose to point him and his siblings to this reality. May my life never give them the false impression that the things this world has to offer could be rightly called “gain.” If I gain this whole world, but forfeit my soul… I have lost everything!

May it never be!

Teach me to sacrifice all this world has to offer in order to purchase the pearl of your kingdom!

Oh Father, use my life in any way you choose to teach Asher the true meaning of his name… to teach him what true happiness is… it is you and only you!

This is my prayer that I lay before your throne with tears of sorrow and joy… sorrow for the world and the narrow way that I know Asher must endure… but joy for the person and prize that empower him all the way and await him in fullness at the end.

I boldly put this prayer before your throne with great confidence because I know I approach through the blood of your own son who payed the price for me to pray! I pray in power, because I know the power is not my own, but the very power of your Spirit working in me and praying for me even as my words fall short. He prays for me when I don’t know how.

So through your Son Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit… I pray for my son Asher… may he know the meaning of his name… may he know true, everlasting happiness in you.

Amen.

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Father’s Day Encouragement…

At Shades Valley Community Church, where I pastor, we believe that one of the amazing ways God speaks to our faith family is through one another. This past Sunday (Father’s Day), God used Grace Wolnski to speak a powerful word of encouragement to all the Father’s in our church. I was so blessed by the Holy Spirit working through her that I wanted to share it with all of you.

I also shared a brief word of encouragement for everyone who struggles with Father’s day. Perhaps you had a bad father, no father, or you are a single mom with children bereft of a father… and Father’s day is always a struggle for you. I want you to know that there is hope in our heavenly father.

You may listen to both words of encouragement below and share them with anyone you would like. I pray God uses these words to continue encouraging his church all over the world.

A Word for Father’s Day…

*To listen online, simply click the link above. To download the file, right click the link and select save/download. To get this file as a podcast in iTunes, click here.

A Poem for All Women Today…Whether Celebrating or Suffering

*I’ve never reposted a blog before, but it just seems appropriate today. Below is my blog from Mother’s Day 2013. I find my heart feels the same this year as it did the last…

My father was an orphan.  His mother passed away when he was two years old and he grew up in a children’s home in Corsicana, Texas.  I cannot imagine growing up without a mother, but truth be told, neither can he.  While he had no biological mother, he would be the first to tell you that so many women became mothers to him throughout his life.

No mother, yet many mothers.

Because of this, I am always conscious that mother’s day is about much more than just women who have birthed babies.  It is a celebration of all women who have poured into the lives of so many around them.  Dear ladies, you have comforted, loved, cared for, treasured, taught, led, cried with, rejoiced over, and mothered so many…most likely even many of whom you are unaware.

Gift-BoxI know that mother’s day can be painful for many for a myriad of reasons.  So this mother’s day, I wanted to give a gift to all the women I pastor at Shades Valley Community Church.  I wanted to honor and love them, no matter if Mother’s day is a day of joy or of pain.  Most of all, I wanted to point them to Jesus, for he is the one who empowers motherhood within all women who know him.  Mother’s day is ultimately about Jesus, because he upholds all women and strengthens them to pour into those of us who so desperately need them.

So dear lady, whether today is filled with joy or with pain, may you know the presence of Jesus.  Here is my small, feeble gift to you…a simple poem I wrote to remind you that Jesus is with you wherever you are…

Silence and Cries and Why
The silence broken by a baby’s first cry
Celebration of life, the holy, the why
Jesus is present in your joy, in your smile
New mother he loves you, he gave you this child

The silence is broken by a mother’s heart cry
Precious life has been lost, and we wonder why
Jesus is present in your pain, in your loss
Dear woman he loves you, felt your pain on the cross.

The silence is broken the house rings with cries
Crazy parenting life, we’re both asking why
Jesus is present in your angst and frustration
With us as his kids he understand irritation

The silence isn’t broken, there’s no child’s cry
Wishing you were a mom, and you’re left asking why
Jesus is present as you weep and you pray
He holds you even when there’s nothing to say

The silence is broken, with joy-filled cries
Kids once who were homeless don’t have to ask why
Jesus is present as they become your own
He too was adopted, made the world his home

The silence is broken, by your own cries
Your children rebelling, and you don’t know why
Jesus is with you while they’re far from home
He is also with them wherever they roam

The silence is broken, with laughter you cry
Watching them grow, you are blessed, and why
Jesus laughs with you amidst those moments of joy
When you’re so thankful to parent your girls and your boys

The silence is broken, with a full heart you cry
Life without your own mom, you ask how and why
Jesus is with you, you’re not alone in your fear
He will hold you up and he will catch all your tears

The silence is broken with a grandbaby’s cry
The struggle of parenting and now you know why
Jesus is present in your empty nest
Through grieving and joy he will be your rest

The silence is broken with heaven’s own cry
All joy and all pain, we all now know why
We will be present with Jesus and we shall see his face
Every woman there shall be crowned with beauty and grace

No matter how you experience silence or cries
No matter the reasons your heart wonders why
Jesus is with you, dear lady, he never leaves
Find your joy in his love, and to his glory ever cleave

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