Arrows – Be Brave

Steve’s Word:
I am very blessed to have my children. God has shown immense and undeserved favor to me in bringing my kids into my life. I feel humble and inadequate for the task of raising them to know Him and to bring Him glory, but by His grace, empowered by His Spirit, I will. Notice, I did not say “try.” Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” And that is very appropriate here. “Trying” is not good enough in this monumental endeavor. It’s not enough to “try” to raise them as God has called. I must “do.”

God’s Word: 

Psalm 127:4 – Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Steve’s Word:
According to this verse, my kids are my arrows, but what does that mean? What do arrows do? Answer: They are launched into the world by the archer (the Father) in order to advance His army into enemy territories. It is my prayer that their young lives will be spent “becoming” arrows and that as they grow, they will be launched into the world to “take ground” from the enemy so that God’s army can be advanced. The arrow’s purpose is to help Him with His purposes for His Kingdom and His glory. Arrows also go into dangerous places – enemy territory. They take risks for a greater purpose and penetrate the darkness with light. Arrows are aimed at specific targets, not just thrown out randomly. The archer “plans” his shot. God is a skilled archer, He has a plan and is able to place you in the exact place He needs you to be.

My children are the only arrows I have and I pray that they will be all of these things. It will take bravery, but they are children of God who I pray will be empowered by the Spirit of God when one day they choose to honor Him and give Him their lives.

God’s Word:
Romans 8:31b – If God is for us, who can be against us?

Psalm 45:5 – Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.

Famous Words:
“With God, you are stronger than your struggles and more fierce than your fears. God provides comfort and strength to those who trust in Him. Be encouraged, keep standing, and know that everything’s going to be alright.” – Germany Kent

“Playing it safe is risky. The greatest risk is taking no risks.” – Mark Batterson

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” – Khalil Gibran

“Life is like an arrow. The farther back you are pulled, the farther forward you will end up.” – Unknown

“A single arrow is easily broken; a quiver of ten is not.” – Japanese proverb

“Jesus didn’t die to make us safe, but to make us dangerous.” – Mark Batterson

“You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham

Personal Story:
I haven’t had the pleasure of launching my children out into the world just yet, so the only story I can tell is about some of my students from when I was in youth ministry. One of my greatest joys is watching my ex-students who have grown up and continued to follow Jesus into their adult lives. I have old students who have done mission work all over the world. Off the top of my head I can think of students who have served in Egypt, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Liberia, Scotland, South Africa, China, and Thailand. I have also been able to download sermon podcasts from some of my old students who are pastors. Others have been involved in youth ministry, music ministry, church planting, and other local church ministries. I can think of at least 15 of my ex-students who have served in ministry in a full-time role. There are countless others who are serving in other ways. I even have connections with a couple of my old students who are living out their faith in Hollywood. One is in the modeling/acting world and another is a musician. Both travel all over the world regularly and share their faith in each of those places.

One of my favorite things is when there is some sort of event that brings these people back together. A couple years ago, we got to attend a retirement party for our friend Jon Godbold and we had the chance to see and catch up with a lot of those students. It’s truly a joy for me to watch how they are serving the Lord and to know that God was working among us during our times together to lead them to those places. If that’s how I feel about ex-students, I can’t imagine how great it will be to watch my own children grow into the people that God has planned for them to be. I’m excited to watch as they are launched into the world and take ground for His kingdom. As the verse says, I am blessed to have some arrows in my quiver.

Christian Gymnastics – The Balance Beam

Risk is essential if we are going to call ourselves Christians. In Psalm 127:4-5, God describes our children as “arrows” in our quiver. That means we’ve gotta be willing to send our children (and ourselves since we are God’s children – the arrows in His quiver.) out of the safety/comfort zones and into enemy territory to take ground for the Kingdom of God. Sometimes the greater risk is to risk nothing at all. Only in risk do we discover how great our own need for Jesus is and realize His power and love for us.

Here’s a great video I saw on Donald Miller’s blog from Francis Chan talking about risk.


beachFriday night, it was time for Miranda and I to get Kasen ready for bed. We hadn’t begun our routine yet, but clearly he was getting sleepy. Our routine includes singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and then folding our hands to pray together, kisses for everyone, and then “Night-Night.” Anyway, I think he was ready before we were ’cause he walked over to us, folded his hands and said, “Che-zus.” Miranda and I looked at each other in disbelief at first, (wondering if “Che-zus” really meant “Jesus“) but were soon flooded with those proud parent emotions that go beyond understanding.

Miranda and I have made it our goal to raise children who are not only church-goers, but children who will truly be the arrows in our quiver described in Psalm 127:3-5. You know. . . we want our children to be offensive weapons in the hand of God. We pray they’ll be dangerous and will truly take ground for the Kingdom of God – infiltrating enemy territory and setting up outposts where God’s troops can base their operations. This was a beautiful moment for us. Kasen doesn’t talk yet. He says a few words – mama, daddy, door, dog, and now “Jesus.” The name that is above every other name. Jesus. Savior. Master, teacher, Holy, Lord, light, friend. . . .I could go on and on – Anyway, my son knows the name of Jesus (Now we’ve gotta help him understand who He is.) and that’s an answer to our prayers.

Prayer: Thank you God for allowing us the opportunity to have such an impact on the world by influencing our children. It’s such a joy and a pleasure. Show Miranda and I how to maximize that impact, and open our eyes to opportunities to tell our children more about You and Your great love, expressed in Jesus. Thank you for giving us these moments. These moments where we see that our efforts are worthwhile and are producing fruit. God, by being a father myself,  I’m recognizing how You love me. I’d ask You to cover my children, Kasen and Kesleigh. Surround them with angels. Protect them from the evil one. Plant in them a desire to know more of You and to serve You wholeheartedly. Let them recognize Your love too. For Kasen, it’s just a beginning; but may the name of Jesus, be forever on his lips. May that name be comfortable in his mouth and overflow often. In the same way that I pray for him, let me be his example. Let the name of Jesus rest on my lips too.  AMEN.

I wonder what the implications are that he said “Cheese” before he said “Jesus?”