Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10 NKJV)

So often I associate Jabez to his prayer of expanding his territory and growth – be that physical prosperity or spiritual. But today, it caught my eye the last part of his prayer, “… that I may not cause pain.”

Verse 9 tells us that he was named Jabez because he was a painful birth (like any of them aren’t…) and his mother named him a name that became a lifelong reminder of the pain he caused her.

What a curse.

I wonder if Jabez’s prayer wasn’t a cry out to God in desperation to get out from under that curse. “God – make me able to bless others and don’t let me become evil so that I won’t cause anyone anymore pain!”

What if his prayer isn’t a prayer based on prosperity, but on trying to break away from the constant reminder of the pain he caused.

I’m a nickname kind of guy. I shorten or morph almost everyone’s name that I know. It makes me wonder, as a father, what words have I spoken over my kids. What nicknames have I given them and what do my kids think of that nickname? Will they grow up with a complex always trying to get out from under that name? Or have I given them names that they want to live up to… names that strengthen and encourage them… names that call out the giftings that God has blessed them with?

I think I will reevaluate what nickname I call my kids, my wife, and my friends.

A New Blessing

A blessing to speak over yourself and your family as it relates to remembering and recalling information for meetings, tests, and life in general…

On my runs for the last couple of weeks, God’s been working on a blessing that I’ve been speaking and praying over myself and my family.

It started a few weeks ago when I was praying for Kayla and her studies at college. It’s been weird having her away this year.  In praying for her, I began to pray for her studies and tests, and God began to take me down a road of remembering all the words I’ve spoken over my own life… such as – “I can’t ever remember anything!” I believe that our spoken words have power and they have the potential to plant in fertile soil and take root and grow – regardless if it’s a good word or a bad word.  As those words are planted and reinforced, that crop begins to grow and manifest in our lives.  (See one of my earlier posts, “Overcoming – Updated (Rev 12:11)” to read about the power of our words).

Given that, I prayed against the curses I’d spoken over my life and began to pray the opposite and over the last few weeks, God has transformed it into a blessing I (A.) want to document and (B.) want to share.  I originally was praying it over my kids and their studies, but God soon showed it was applicable to all of life – jobs, friends, school, studies, relationships, encouraging others, ministry, comforting others, etc.

I began to think about our minds and Christ’s mind.  Because Jesus was a perfect man, he had a perfect mind – uncluttered with the world, unadulterated by sin, and free to perform perfectly.  Just as a curiosity… I wonder if he had a photographic memory?

A New Blessing

I speak over my family (by name) and I that we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) according to Your Word; and with that mind, Lord, I pray and speak over us the ability to:

  • RECEIVE all the information presented to us.  Open our eyes to see the details, open our ears to hear that we receive everything clearly and without ambiguity all that is being communicated and transmitted and spoken and read. Let us also receive the context in which it is being communicated so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding.  Once we’ve RECEIVED the information Lord, I ask that we would be able to…
  • REASON (see the truth from non-truth.  Let us actively engage our minds and spirits to know the truth of the information we’ve received, separating fact from fiction, truth from lies, blessings from curses.  Once we’ve REASONED the truth Lord, I ask that we…
  • RELATE truth to truth for a bigger view, larger context, greater vision, and expanded understanding of the truth.  Once we’ve RELATED the truth Lord, give us the ability to…
  • REMOVE the misinformation, the lies, the half-truths, curses, non-encouraging, trivial and non-important information we received so that we…
  • RETAIN the “good stuff” for the duration of its purpose – be that a test, a meeting, for a time and place of encouraging a friend, or for a lifetime of service and growth for your purpose.  At the appropriate time Lord, I ask that we have the ability to…
  • RECALL that information, that truth, that detail, whatever is needed and exactly when it is needed – instantaneously – for the purpose, time and reason we retained it.  And finally, when and if the need arises, give us the ability to
  • RECREATE the exact and specific details, context, and setting of the information received.  In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Running After Papa…

Amos Observations

I found myself in Amos today… and was floored by what I read….

A few verses jumped out at me this morning in my reading/journal time.  I found myself in the book of Amos.  Honestly, that’s not a book I find myself in unless I’m doing one of the “read through the bible” reading plans.  But today, a few verses jumped out that I found myself writing and commenting on.

Amos 3:3 “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”

What a simple, yet powerful thought.  If I am going to walk with Christ – I must first agree to walk in His direction – meaning I have to walk in the direction He is walking, not walk in a direction toward Him.  What direction am I walking?    Did I agree on the Lord’s direction or did I just start “walking” without even checking.  I am very prone to just start walking… perhaps that’s why I find myself not where I thought I’d be in my relationship with Him sometimes.

Additionally, the Lord will only walk in one direction – His direction… the direction of truth and righteousness… the right (correct) way.  He will never vary or divert off that direction.  All other directions are wrongthat just hit me…  all other directions are wrong!

Lord – I choose to agree with you and your direction today… Where do you want me to walk?

Amos 3:7 “Indeed the Sovereign LORD never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.”

Amos 4:13 “For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.  He turns the light of dawn to darkness and treads on the heights of the earth.  The LORD God of Heaven’s Armies is his name.”

God is POWERFUL and mighty!  He does not need my permission to move or act.  Yet, he reveals his thoughts to man before he moves.  If I can’t see God moving in my life, could it be he has no one to reveal it to?  Am I available to hear Him – to be revealed to –  or is my life too cluttered with less important things?  Am I able to hear Him?  Am I prepared to hear his plans?

Amos 3:10 ” ‘My people have forgotten how to do right,’ says the LORD.”

What a sobering verse.  What a horrible place to be.  I never want to be identified by the LORD as that kind of person.

Amos 5:12 “For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellion.”

Another sobering verse.  I am of vast sins and deep rebellion…. and God knows it and knows all of it.

Even with God’s love and redemptive plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, he still requires obedience – not as a way to earn salvation – not as an entry requirements – not as anything we could do that would require he “owe” us.  God requires obedience as a bi-product of a changed life, a redeemed heart – a transformation of a dead in my sins being to a forgiven being and new creation- to save us from the calamity and consequences that follow a life of poor choices, vast sins, and deep rebellion.

Amos 5:14 “Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live!”


… Running After Papa

Day 8 – “whatever things are of good report”

Phil 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Good Report.

Looking deeper into this word, I’m intrigued at what I think it means.  My best interpretation means blessings  – words of blessings.  The Greek word for it means “uttering words of good omen, speaking auspiciously.”  Auspiciously?  What the…. Huh?

I hate it when I have to get the dictionary out to define a word in a definition….  Auspiciously means “affording a favorable auspice : PROPITIOUS

Ahhh… got it.  It’s all crystal clear now…

(For those of you like me who are scratching your head and wishing you’d have paid attention in High School English class – “auspice” means “a prophetic sign, especially a  good sign” and “propitious” means “favorably disposed; a good omen; tending to favor” – Hmmm… why couldn’t they just say that to begin with?)

Wow – I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally meditated on spoken blessings.  I”ve received words from people that have encouraged and blessed me and I’ve given words to others that I pray had the same effect.  But I’m not sure I’ve often been intentional about meditating on those words – either those given to me or those to give away.

I can see how that could change my perspective… dwelling on encouraging things… looking and praying for encouragement for others…. Yes, that would be a good thing.  That would be a VERY good thing.

I like it.  Today I will meditate on those things of good report.

…Running After Papa