My eldest daughter carved a storm trooper for her Jack-O-Lantern this year. She's a fan of Star Wars and the dark side seems strangely appropriate on Halloween. The zombie, haunted house, scary holiday is a great metaphor for the darkness around us all. Our church hosts a huge crazy party with candy, free food, games and fun as a bright cheerful option every Halloween. Tons of neighbors attend who may never enter the door of a church otherwise. This event takes a ton of volunteers, hard work, a small pile of cash and lots of donations. Any time we push back on the darkness it takes an investment. We call it Light the Night.
The book of Nehemiah follows the story of the royal cupbearer to the King of Persia. He's a servant in captivity who is greatly disturbed by the reports of destruction and ruin of his home town, Jerusalem. He gains favor from the king and heads home to help rebuild the wall of protection around his city. He rallies the people, fights off invaders, perseveres to complete the task. I love the book of Nehemiah. It's a beautiful reminder to me that I am on a great task to equip and protect my children and to fight to push back darkness. So are you.
"After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
Oh my goodness. Yes!! Don't look at the nasty business around you and sink in fear. Remember the Lord. He is Great and Awesome. Fight for your Families. Fight against addiction and despair. Fight against the industries who tell your daughters that they aren't good enough and your sons that women are to be used. Fight against the soul numbing entertainment that blinds us to people and hardens our hearts. In the Resource section below this post, I listed several practical tools you can use to build protection in your homes. Fight for your families.
"So I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" Nehemiah 6:3
We are all on assignment. With great and mighty work. Don't get distracted. Pick your battles. I am building a wall and I can not come down. I am interested in protecting my marriage. In honoring my parents. In raising courageous daughters. In being a peacemaker. In proclaiming the truth. I am building a wall and I can not come down. Set your sights on your most important work. Don't quit.
"They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9
I am tired. I am weak. But my Father is able to strengthen my hands. He is able to strengthen you.
"Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Just like in Nehemiah's day the best way to fight your battles with despair and greed and hate is to embrace joy, enjoy gifts, eat some candy, share with your neighbors. Don't underestimate the power of laughter, of a good hug, of a smile. These weapons are mighty.
"You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." Nehemiah 9:6
Oh my friends, on this night and in the days and nights ahead can you take your eyes off the darkness and put them on the highest heavens, on the starry host? God is in control. Go Light the Night.
If you are in Vancouver, we'd love to have you come join us at Light the Night.
Fight back on porn. Seriously. Buy a filter. Protect your family. This is the one we use. It's nice because it doesn't have ongoing fees after you buy it.
Debt kills marriages, drowns dreams and handcuffs generosity. Fight back. Try Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. Worked for us.
Fight apathy, self centeredness and entitlement. A little caring is a great thaw for a hard heart. Operation Christmas Child is a fantastic program to help little ones get involved in loving someone outside their normal circle.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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