COURAGE QUEST DEVOS
Called to reach the Celts
Our men's group at church is going through the book Resolution. Last night we talked about the 10 things that distance ourselves from our kids and three things that draw us closer to them. I found these two lists to be a great evaluation tool for me as a dad.
Use this as a checklist to evaluate how you are doing raising your kids. Are you parenting in a way that is drawing your kids closer to you or are you creating distance?
Ten ways fathers distance themselves from their kids
Three ways fathers build a close relationship with their kids
So what if you read this list and realize that you missed the mark in a few areas. Maybe your kids are fully grown now and you think that it's too late to restore your relationship. The sad truth is that there are many children in this world who don't shed a tear at their father's funeral because of the pain they felt from him. Its never too late to make things right. One of the best ways to heal the wound in your relationship is to man up and humbly tell your kids where you went wrong and that you are sorry. Have your kids ever heard those words out of your mouth? I've had to say sorry to my kids a few times, and its never easy. It takes guts, but it brings healing, freedom, and it puts the regrets behind you.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. ~ Colossians 3:21
When Jesus asked a naked ravished man on a seashore who he was, the demons inside of him responded, "I AM LEGION." Jesus then casts the evil spirits out of him and into 2,000 pigs. The pigs run wildly to their deaths off of a cliff.
Takeaways from Jesus encounter with Legion.
The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. Psalm 27:1-3
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day...
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Psalm 91: 5-7( NLT) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Duet 31:6 (NIV) Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28 NIV)
Don't be intimidated in any way by your enemies...
This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. (Philippins 1:28) Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. (Is 8:13,14B NIV)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...
I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (KJV) For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7) The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety... (Prov 29:25 NIV)
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm20:7 NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalms 46:1-3 NIV) Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. (Psalm 112:6-8) Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91 NIV) Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (I Cor 16:3NIV)
People often want to know about my unique food encounters. I don’t usually pay much attention to food so I usually draw a blank. However, I decided to press into my memory banks to see what surfaced. I hope that you don’t have a weak stomach. Heres the list.
It’s no secret, my wife, Jess, is amazing. Many have asked us how Jess feels about the ministry that I feel called to and I always love hearing the words that come out of her mouth. Jess recently wrote an email in response to that question for a woman’s Bible study in Tennessee. Her response blessed me and made me realize that my wife truly is a one in six billion.
Jessica’s Challenging Note:
Being married to an “unusual soldier” is quite the adventure. Caleb is a man called to dark, dangerous, despised places that most people would like to avoid. Sometimes there are elements of danger or uncertainty to the “missions” he goes out on. Long ago (about 11 years) in college I knew that there was a different beat to his heart and some of that scared me…even to the point of tears. At that point when we were dating I had to completely surrender my fear and Caleb to the Lord. I mean the kind of surrender that you can’t change your mind and take back.
A few months ago I gave a message titled “the prequel” at a book signing event at the KBMbase camp in Colorado . I think some people may think that because I travel and speak that I must be naturally cut-out for this line of work, but the truth is I’m not. Sometimes Im afraid that the stage at my speaking events will fool people into thinking that those standing on it must have outstanding giftedness, but thats not true. Many speakers will affirm that. So I thought that it would be a good idea to bring some of my (below) ordinary qualities or “ugly truths” to light.
After reading these ugly truths I think its safe to say that this quiet, sick, illiterate, tired, pranking, art major would be the last candidate to ever speak for a living or write a book subtitled: engaging the people and places no one else will. That is why I am so passionate about raising up people to abandon their comfort zones to engage the mission that God gives them. Because anyone that has known me over the years would say, “Haha, if Caleb can do it, then anybody can.” And that anybody is you!
Are there any ugly truths that are holding you back from your potential? Don’t let them define you. Feel free to put them to rest by boasting about your weaknesses in the comments section. A new you could be right around the corner.
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. ~ Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:30
“There is no nation too difficult, no tribe too obscure, no situation too desperate for the love of Christ.”-Sammy Tippet
“These days we are so programmed that God couldn’t break in if he wanted to.” – Jim Cymbala
“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa
“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” — Goethe
“God is looking for those through who He can do the impossible. What a pity that we settle for only those things we can do ourselves.” -AW Tozer
“The world can be divided into 3 parts: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who don’t know what’s happening.” – Bill Bright
“There is no greater life than doing missions where dying is gain.” – John Piper
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” -Billy Graham
“At a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action.” - Bono
” All we have to decide is what to do with the time that we are given.”
“Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave”
What we do in life echoes in eternity – Maximus (Gladiator Movie)
“There’s a little command in the Bible and that little command says, ‘Go ye into all the nations and preach the Gospel unto every creature and make disciples of men.’ We like to think that was just for disciples, but it wasn’t. The world isn’t being won today because we’re not doing it. It’s our fault because this generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth. Nowhere in the world is the Gospel so plentiful as it is in the United States. I don’t want to see us stand before God on that Judgement Day and say, ‘But, God, I didn’t hear you call me. You don’t need to hear a call, you are already called. In fact, if you stay home and don’t go into all nations, you better be able to say to God, ‘You called me to stay home; God I know that as a fact.'” -Keith Green
“The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer.r. The critical issue is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is simply life enhancing, Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore; He changes them into “nice people”. If Christianity is about being nice, then I’m not interested.”
“To live outside of God’s will puts us in danger; to live in his will makes us dangerous….If those who prepare for leadership are looking for the safe place, who will lead the church into the dangerous places?”
“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me. “ - Jim Elliot
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” - Anais Nin
“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.”
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
“People don’t follow titles, people follow courage.”
Caleb Bislow the author of Dangerous and founder of Unusual Soldiers.