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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Alpaca Farm in Lancaster County PA 11/11
Another view of the Alpacas on the Eastland Alpaca Farm

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"Generational Restoration"

“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

Courageous movie posterSherwood Baptist Church, a local church in Albany Georgia, has developed a very creative means of proclaiming godly values and presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has a film ministry and many of us are familiar with the films this church has made. They use volunteer actors and the budget is a pittance of the typical Hollywood movie. But in our view the movies are outstanding.

The latest is “Courageous”, a call for men to be godly husbands and fathers. I have seen it twice, once in a preview screening this summer and then with my family on our vacation in New England last month. It is a moving presentation and I pray that scores will be impacted.

In the film the men develop a formal resolution of commitment to being good husbands and devoted fathers.  I was especially touched by one scene. The men decide to make the commitment to live by the resolution in a public ceremony in front of their families. One of the men’s wives asserts that they should make this a formal time so the men decide to dress up for the occasion.

Courageous movie sceneJavier, an Hispanic laborer who is struggling to provide for his family, chooses to make this commitment. He has a loving, supportive wife and two kids who adore him. Above all they have faith in God. In preparing for the ceremony he gets a new suit and tries it on as his wife, Carmen, looks on admiringly. He looks in the mirror and says “I feel like a rich man.”  Carmen hugs him and responds, “You are a rich man!” Now that's a great message regarding a perspective of what really comprises true wealth and both times I saw it my eyes watered.  (See the scene here).

The film is a timely message so desperately needed in our time. In fact in my chaplaincy ministry I have had occasions to especially recommend it.

Yesterday's daily encouragement message was a lesson on knowing Satan's schemes. One of the schemes of Satan in breaking up the home and disrupting the generational dependency that God has built into the created order. This generational dependency is demonstrated and taught throughout Scripture. A foundational commandment (one of the Ten Commandments) states that we are to “honor our mother and father” (the Fifth Commandment).

One of the dominant sins of our age is the failure to honor parents. Children who honor and obey their parents, and by extension all their elders, are foundational to an orderly society. They grow up into adulthood with a proper attitude toward authority. The commandments of God are inter-related and a breach in any one of them leads to a breach in others. A sign of the last times includes children who are "disobedient to their parents" (2 Timothy 3:2).

Courageous movie sceneThis generational dependency is that the young need the blessing, stability and wisdom of the elders even as the elders need the honor and energy of the young. This is God’s foundational design for the transmission of truth from one generation to another. Paul wrote, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Two thousand years after this was written the faithful church continues to heed this call and we want to see our daily verse fulfilled: “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, how thankful we are that You are in the restoration business.  We, as the redeemed, are acutely aware that we have fallen short in so many areas of our life.  We have experienced multiple disappointments and sorrowful trials because of our mistakes and willful disobedience.  But we are not without hope because You restore those who acknowledge their sin, call on You for help, and look to the Scripture for guidance.   We pray that You would restore the relationships of those whose bonds are broken.  May both parties generously apply forgiveness like an adhesive is used to bond fragments together.  How wonderful that You restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers as they look to You for forgiveness, healing, guidance, and renewal of their love and respect for one another. We pray this in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Courageous"  Video  Casting Crowns  The theme song to the movie.

"As For Me And My House"  Video  John Waller  Another outstanding song from the movie.

Why Courageous Matters...

Here are the words to the Courageous resolution:
  • I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
  • I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
  • I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
  • I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
  • I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
  • I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
  • I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
  • I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
  • I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
  • I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
  • I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
  • I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." – Joshua 24:15

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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