Kenya 2024 – Upcoming Ministry

The Lord has told me to ‘make Kenya happen’. This post is for those that have been inviting Cyndy and Capturing Courage International Ministries to Kenya, to make clear your invitation, to help me choose where to go, be, and minister in the country.

If you are from Kenya and have been wanting me to come and minister with you, then please fill out the form below.

Once you press the ‘submit’ button at the bottom of the form, this will come to my email. I will then take a month or more, to pray and seek the Lord, and will get back to you after that. You may receive a ‘yes’ I can come to you, or you may receive a ‘no’ I cannot come to you.

Please look at our primary website before submitting your request for me to minister with you. We want to have a good match between what you want and what Capturing Courage offers. Looking at our website is a good way to help with this.

Thank-you for your invitation to Kenya and to your ministry there. Let us hold all things before the Lord and see how Holy Spirit leads.

Capturing God’s Heart – Identified With Christ – Volume 37

Identity is important. Who we know ourselves to be brings stability and confidence to our lives and how we walk out our days.

Because identity is so important we are easily fooled into identifying with the wrong things. We know of course about those who identify themselves with a licentious lifestyle. We know those who identify and live out drugs and partying and drunkenness and we know that these identities will lead us to death and destruction. So we know to avoid this and to find our identity elsewhere.

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Come Now, Let us Reason Together

I see the veins of sin deeply planted in our lives. Not outright blatant sin but the more difficult brokenness’ that stem from our hearts. I look back on my own life, seeing what I now know to be unhealthy decisions, manners of being that led to no good thing, and I see these same subtleties within my children and if I could fly back over the generations I would most likely see many of the same things in the years gone by.

There is as corporate and communal an aspect to sin as to anything and I am quite aware that this brings us to either deeper humility or compounding condemnation.

The latter, this place of heart and soul whereby we place our own sense of condemnation onto others only serves to make matters worse.

Thing is, we’ve all sinned. We are sinners.

Yet because of Jesus Christ this need not bring us to personal despair or to condemnation of our fellow human beings. Condemnation simply reveals our still sin-riddled consciences. Why else would we lash out at others?

Grappling with our sin-state and sin-habits and sins-past we have two choices. We can remain in horror and regret or we can come into the grace of Christ. We can’t do both. The cross demands that we choose.

As a minister of prayer it has been my privilege to stand alongside many, many brave souls as they bring their lives into the grace of Christ. It is hard but liberating work and this opportunity of witnessing freedom and love poured out from God’s heart to theirs has changed me as much as my own personal healing prayer.

I’ve seen healing. I’ve seen freedom. I’ve seen regrets washed away in the blood of Christ. I’ve seen burdens of guilt and shame brought to the cross and heaved off and left there. I’ve seen condemnations changed into compassion.


What we don’t readily realize is that dying to ourselves is as much about dying to our regret as anything. Have you died to regret? Have you brought your shame and guilt and regret to the cross?

These things, regret, guilt, shame, are their own addiction. If we do not loose them off at the cross of Christ then we will go on to worry over them, to fret over them and to nurture them in an odd sick way. If we do this they grow and compact and it won’t take too many years until their poison will seep out into every single other area of life.

It shows up in condemnations and control of others; where we have not yet met the grace of Christ we will demand others to a higher standard than we ourselves have lived. It shows up in pride and an inability to relax, to give way, to allow the Lord his gifts in our lives.

When we live or minister out of compounded regret we become toxic people incapable of the truth of the gospel.

We will sneer at the flirting women. We will reject the beggar man. We will avoid the prostitute.

It shows up in our pride of effort, our beliefs in disqualifications; instead of being innocent till proven guilty we assume guilt until proven innocent. Suspicions rise based on the state of our own hearts.

Wherever our hurt has been this will become our condemnations. Fathers will demand their sons to be perfect. Women will demand their daughter to get their act together. Pastors will demand unity and make purity an idol.

The cross of Christ, however, cuts through all of this. Cleanly. Wholly.

If we will allow it. If we will come under it and receive it’s work in our lives.

I’ve been thinking about Barabbas lately. Because of Christ Barabbas walked away a free man that day.

The worst of all of us walked away. The worst in all of us, freed.

Now Barabbas would have known that he deserved the death penalty and I wonder if he allowed this extravagant gift of life to penetrate his heart, his regrets, or his shame.

If he did allow this Christ-exchanging-grace to penetrate he would have gone on to live a different kind of life. If he didn’t allow it to penetrate he would have gone on to live an even worse life.

It is the same exact choice we all have every single day. Will we allow the grace of Christ (a grace that transforms us from the inside out) to penetrate our hearts and minds, spirits and lives?

To do so we must lay down regret, shame, and condemnation at the foot of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We then take HIM on, God in all his glory and presence, we enter into the fire of God and allow the dross of our hearts to be burned away.

Condemnations get burned up in the presence of God. Defiling assumptions of others cannot stand the heat.

We find compassion, we live in compassion, we give compassion to everyone around us.

We find forgiveness, we live forgiveness, we give forgiveness to everyone around us.

Christ brings to our communal experience of sin this communal experience of grace. To live out the gospel of Christ is to also bring this communal experience of grace into all of our interactions and relationships. We extend the same manner of God himself, understanding (Isaiah 1:18), compassion (Galatians 6:2), forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32), a generosity of heart and mind (1 John 2:6).

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18


Refusing Grace is Refusing Christ as Focusing on Sin Clouds our Site of God

It is impossible to be at peace with God if we are not at peace with ourselves. This is why integrity and honest living is so absolutely necessary.

We are told a number of different places in the Bible that it is not God who is standing apart from us, but rather that it is our sins that are in the way between us and God.

Consider Isaiah 59:1-2, ” Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God.”

God himself says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

He is saying, those sins of yours, the things you are ashamed of, the mistakes you’ve made, the actions you would rather forget about, bring them to me, don’t hide them behind your back.

When we have sins hidden behind our back we know about it. We cannot escape the fact that we are hiding things.

Our conscience is well aware that something is wrong.

But it is not so much the sin that is wrong, it is the fact that we are hiding the sin.

Christ came to take care of the sin. Sin no longer needs to hold any of us. This doesn’t mean that we will live perfect. What it means is that we no longer fear sin. We don’t cater to it; we don’t give it attention any longer.

Rather, we turn toward Christ with our sin in hand and turn it over to him. We give Christ our sin.

This is what he died for and why he came. If we do not take him on his word and deed then we are rejecting the cross and rejecting Christ.

Sin isn’t the problem any longer. Refusing to live in the grace of Christ is.

Sulha – Initiative of Peace

The son had asked for the inheritance from his father and had gone his way. Into the city and to nightclubs he had squandered his father’s wealth and lifetime earnings ending up broke and starving and sharing food alongside pigs at their trough.

Coming to his lowest point and to the end of himself he reasoned that being a servant on his father’s farm would be better than the pig pen where he now was and so he begins the trek home.

We can imagine his uncertainty. What kind of reception would he receive? How might he make this right to his father (he thought being a servant could pay back his debt). What would everyone else say?

Without any further options he turns towards his father’s house and one step at a time enters into an unknown future. Where before he had had plans and dreams, visions and ambitions all he had now was brokenness and loss.

And we are told, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

What the text does not tell us, but what a study of the culture would, is that the townspeople and the family would have been right to take up arms and avenge this insult to the father by attacking the son before he ever reached home. Culturally speaking the offence of the son was so great that the only right thing would have been punishment and possible death at the hands of the villagers and extended family.

But of course what we see in this passage is the father running to intercept this attack and this justice by getting in the way so to speak in order that any attack would in fact fall on his shoulders and not on his son.

Not only did the father run (something that important people in eastern lands never do), not only did the father lift his skirts in his running (ankles were never revealed as cultural propriety demanded), but the father ran to intercept and receive any justice meted out onto his own self.

Immediately after this we read of the father ordering the fatted calf to be killed and prepared and for a feast to be laid in honour of his son who has come home.

There is an ancient middle eastern tradition that continues to this day called Sulha. Sulha is a traditional practice extending forgiveness and peace and reconciliation to those who have wronged. Literally speaking it is the extending of a meal by a person/s wronged to the person/s who did the wrong as a way of declaring the offence is forgiven and now put behind.

Instead of a wronged person waiting for reconciliation, for repentance, for contrition, for admission of guilt by the other person, Sulha puts into the hand of the person wronged the initiative to go to that person/s and declare peace; Sulha is a recognized tradition and deliberate action that refuses revenge and actively declares forgiveness.

And with this cultural lens in place we see that the Bible is chock-full of Sulha. In fact the gospel is Sulha.

God comes to us and breaks out the fatted calf to eat with us putting our offence behind him. Jesus Christ took the initiative to cover us, to run toward us, to take on the cost of our offence in his own self.

A quick skip through scripture and we see Sulha in the story of Jacob and Laban in Genesis 31:54, “and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.”  Sulha

We see Sulha in the story of Joseph when he prepares a meal for his brothers in Egypt. While years before they had sold Joseph into slavery out of jealousy and spite when Joseph sees them he calls for a fine meal to be prepared for them in Genesis 43:16, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”

And again in Genesis 43:33-34, “And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table… And they drank and were merry with him.” Sulha

And in Jesus words to the Samaritan woman in John 4:10, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Sulha

We see Sulha in the habit Jesus had of eating with those least worthy as noted in Mark 2:15, “And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.” Sulha

And we see Sulha as the Spirit speaks in Revelations 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Sulha.

The implications are profound.

Not only do we enter into Sulha but we become agents of Sulha as well. We see this spirit of Sulha in Abraham as he intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:22 to Genesis 19:3). We see this spirit of Sulha in Hosea as he receives back unto himself his wayward wife (Hosea 3:1). We see the spirit of Sulha in Daniel as he intercedes and takes upon himself responsibility regarding the sins of the Israelites and their resulting exile (Daniel 9:3).

We were always made for Sulha, able to receive it, able to offer it. But if we skip back to Mark 2 where Jesus is eating with the sinners we find the religious leaders of the day complaining, “And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (vs.16) The church leaders were indignant as Jesus chose to offer Sulha to those deemed least worthy.

They had lost the spirit of the living Lord.

Today, as the church we must ensure we do not do the same. Sulha, if taken seriously, transforms all of our theology and understandings of God and of his love, the power of his grace, the position of his heart towards us and everyone around us.

The religious leaders of Jesus day were scandalized because they were stuck on law. Having managed to make their lives appear pure they sneered at and rejected those unable to attain the same self-righteousness as they. This is the religion that Christ came to save us from.

Sin was and is taken care of. This is what Sulha does; it covers over, it removes the sting, it makes all things new. This is the power of our God and the work of Christ on the cross and the continuing influence of the Spirit in our lives to this day.

It was religion that needed to be done away with. For self-righteous effort has no need for Sulha and will not accept it nor give it. A life that strives to please God does not need Christ and cannot rest in transformative grace that is given freely to all, akin to the spirit of the brother.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” Luke 15:25-30

Did you read that? “He was angry and refused to go in” vs.28

God came to decriminalize our lives. We have all been given clean slates. With all things made new (Revelation 21:5) we have no recourse of holding ourselves apart, unless we want to miss out on the party. And we can. In our indignation at the opportunity, the celebration, the restoration, the grace given freely we can miss out on all that God has for us as well.

Lives of religion show up this way. One works hard all ones life to stay on the straight and narrow. Certain things are embraced while other things are renounced all with an eye to being perfect and making ourselves holy and doing things the right way. The heart purposed towards not doing the wrong thing.

And while God in his grace says “Thank-you” he also says, “Hey I have this one for you to meet. They too are at the banqueting table, please make them welcome.” But religious lives perceive that this one has not lived a good life, this one has not been holy, this one has not walked righteously, but this one gets all the very same perks, and the religious life is incensed.

There is no Sulha here.

Here we lose the Spirit of our Living Lord.

We’ve lost the narrow way.

We’ve forgotten that the banquet is for everyone.

God extends Sulha to all who will receive it.

“He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love.” Song of Solomon 2:4

Yet not all receive it. The religious leaders of Jesus day rejected it, missed it completely, so intent were they on right and wrong, good and bad. The evidence of those who have received it is evidenced as those extending it; we can’t give it unless we have first received it ourselves.

[make note that the ones most likely to miss it are the ones who have it most together]

May we all check our hearts ensuring that Sulha marks our lives.

May Sulha change our personal reception of God into and over our own lives.

May we evidence Sulha in our manner towards everyone we come into contact with.

In Sulha we are the peace we want to see in the world.

In Sulha we are the love of God.

Without Sulha we walk in the way of evil.

Our Nakedness is Covered by Our Lord

I’ve facilitated dozens of people through hundreds of prayer ministry sessions. Here in the company of each other and the Holy Spirit individuals turn towards the Lord.

Everyone comes with unresolved pain, unrecognized conclusions about life, fears they can’t quite name, anxiety, and more and as I direct and lead them in bringing these kinds of things to the feet of Christ and his cross and into the throne room of God there is never a harsh word spoken. Never.

Time after time, for years now, I suggest, “Ask Jesus what you do with this” And as they take their query to the Lord, always unsure and risking to bare this part of their life to God, the Holy Spirit always replies and directs in warmth, affirmation, compassion. Always.

And burdens are lifted time after time after time after time after time.

The hard work is the turning to God. We all have shame and embarrassments, regrets and disappointments, lies and condemnations playing over in our lives in one degree or another. These are the things that keep us from God.

But not because God is holding these things against us, no, rather it is us who hold these things between us and God.

We have our failures, we have our sin, we have our shame, whatever it may be, and we keep it close to our hearts trying, trying, trying to overcome and solve and fix this thing that just won’t go away.

We orient to our broken lives and turn away from God in our shame. But the thing only gets worse when we do this with cycles of despondency and failure taking hold, increasing our guilt, increasing our fear, increasing our anxiety.

It is only as we realize that we cannot fix this thing or our lives, only when we come to the end of ourselves, that we are convinced to turn toward God, to fix our eyes on Christ, and to open ourselves to his grace in our lives.

For the grace of Christ is a powerful agent of transformation. By it we are changed. Simple as that.

It’s not about our working at things harder. Christ didn’t die for this.

It’s not about our making things right. Most things cannot be made right.

It’s not about our striving, service, sacrifice. You can’t make it happen.

It’s about grace and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hang out with him and you will become a different, more whole, healthy, balanced, wise, content, person.

You will increase in holiness, righteousness, patience, peace, love, just to name a few.

I have personally entered into these intimate conversations with the Lord via prayer ministry well over a hundred times and as I bring my own stuff to the Lord I am changed in my perspective of God simply by how he conducts these conversations.

And then, in the witness to dozens of others encountering the same God again and again and again, I stand as a witness to the gracious manner of the Lord.

God is not out to get you. God is not out to get anyone.

God will not embarrass you. God will not uncover your shame.

In the book of Genesis 9 we find the story of Moses becoming drunk and laying uncovered in his tent. We read that his son Ham saw his nakedness and proceeded to talk about it to others; Ham increased the uncovering of his father.

Then we read that Shem and Japheth took a garment and walking backwards covered over their fathers nakedness; they refused to participate in his uncovering but instead committed themselves to his dignity regardless of his drunken state.

This is exactly how God is with us. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW GOD IS WITH YOU AND I.

God is committed to your dignity regardless of your drunken (fill it in for yourself) state.

I’ve seen it hundreds of times. I’ve experienced it myself hundreds of times.

God covers over our nakedness. He does not expose, humiliate, condemn.

In this we have confidence to come before the throne of grace receiving life afresh.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Amen and amen with all praise to you Lord.

Capturing God’s Heart – Choose Christ – Volume 33

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

God is always coming towards us, inviting us, wooing us, offering us himself to live by. In our natural state we are against God’s ways. In our humanness we would rather hate than love, condemn than receive.

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Grace Says

Some years ago now the Lord entered me into a vision. I was standing on the threshold of the universe and before me was the vast expanse of eternity with the entire thing packed down running over with grace; a heady, sweet, thick fragrance of our Lord. And I was given a dipper and given the privilege of dipping of this grace and distributing it all around the world. Dipping and pouring out grace here, dipping and pouring out grace there, again and again and again.

In the time since I’ve come to learn that grace is the awareness and deep knowledge that God is big enough for every single thing in our lives. Meaning, there is nothing beyond his grace, nothing beyond his compassion, nothing beyond his knowing and understanding.

Now, grace is not a pardon or a pass per se, its not a concession and it carries no grief or guilt. It demands no reckoning for the reckoning has already been done in the work of Jesus Christ. It is complete and free for the taking.

Grace is a mighty, active, alive, vibrant, work of our Lord that does not just relieve us from sin but changes the entire way we see and do life.

Where before we may have been fearful, pinched in our expectations, narrow in our thinking, grace introduces us to the expansive thought, perspective and heart of our God.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

The entire first chapter of Isaiah is a litany of the abhorrent attitudes and useless sacrifices of the people. They were not a changed people. Sure they continued making sacrifices and bringing burnt offerings but they did not enter into the transformation of the Lord.

And as the Lord lays this disastrous way of being out for them, nearly right smack in the middle is this verse, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” 

God in active, passionate investment of his very self has taken care of the problem. The only thing we must do, is admit we need the help, that we need him.

Continuing to bring our sacrifices and our burnt offerings proves we do not yet know our Lord. For our Lord is grace.

Continuing to try to make things right, to prove up, to do better next time, proves we do not yet know our Lord.

For our Lord is grace.

Grace says, “Stop trying so hard. Repent yes, and then rest in my work done for you. I’ve taken care of the divide between us. Put down every single thing that you hold between yourself and me. Put down your shame. Put down your self hatreds. Put down your guilt. Put down your disqualifications. I have made it right, I have made us right. Enter into me.”

Spirit Living

In my work both abroad and at home it has become apparent that not all pastors or christians are in sync with the Holy Spirit.

Now, this is not a surprising statement of course, and yet it has been surprising to me to encounter believers who have one whole ‘knowing system’ seemingly silent; it is the effect of this on their lives that has caught my attention.

In the person unable to discern the spirit there seems a preponderance to rely on the brain, their own best thoughts, needing rules, falling back on theology even. A reservation of soul that borders on fear, it’s gods safety, surety and control.

Or it may show up in the one whom mimics the prayers and preaching of others without any real sense of leading or direction, just determination to do it ‘like them’. An expression of passion but without sense (and without the spirit.)

I’ve initially encountered this in gatherings where one person will continue praying long past everyone else gone silent. I’ve found it at crusades where someone will go on speaking after the spirit has lifted. Everyone knows something is off except for the one carrying on.

And I’m reminded of the verse in Proverbs that points out, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable , But he who restrains his lips is wise.” (10:19)

I’ve seen it play out in the desire to manufacture what happened in one place onto another place. Where we are tempted to take the Spirit and the work of God and make it into commodity that can simply be transferred from one location to the next.

(Maybe I am missing something, but everywhere I go there are different needs and therefore different responses and offerings from the Spirit.)

I’ve seen this lack of spirit-knowing in the inability to navigate nuance in kingdom life. Rules would be much more comfortable thank-you very much. “Just tell me what is right and what is wrong. Then I can rest.”

But spirit life is a relationship. Not a set of rules. Not a list of right and wrong. It is why John wrote,

“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” 1 John 2:27

Serving Up A Feast

The following message is one I gave a couple times over during my recent ministry trip to Mozambique:

I have a friend named George. He makes his living bringing out the best in other people. Every time I get together with George over a cup of tea I receive a great big hug and an ‘I love you’.

George makes it his mission in life ensuring that everyone he comes across knows they are loved. (Everyone gets a hug!) I have learned a lot from George in the time that I’ve known him.

Forefront for him is ensuring his wife and three kids know his love. There isn’t a time I have tea with George but he isn’t sharing the latest things he has been doing for his wife and kids. In his decisions and manner of being he is committed to serving his family well.

So we might ask, how it is that George can get away with hugging women who are not his wife? I tell you, it’s this: It’s because the feast, the real banquet of love and respect, of honour and regard, is happening at home.

The rest of us are just getting in on the crumbs from the table.

I propose that if we want to change our cultures and communities for God that we begin with a feast at home. Building a culture of regard, tenderness, compassion, acceptance, value, honour, mercy, dignity, justice, love, and understanding in our homes will in fact impact our world.

It begins between a husband and his wife. Men, you have more power than you know.

If you treat your wife with regard and respect each and every day she will shine. Look her in the eyes, acknowledge what she does, thank her for her sacrifices for you and your children. Take the time to ask her about her day and really listen to her. Be tender and understanding.

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

It has been said that a woman is a crown for her husband (Proverbs 12:4) and I ask you men, how shiny is your crown? For the quality of a man can be found in the light in his wife’s eyes, the countenance of her face, and how she carries herself.

A woman treated well, who knows she is safe and secure, is accepted and valued, will do most anything for her man. Women are naturally wired to open themselves to their man. Women are naturally wired to pour themselves out to their families and beyond. Who is pouring into her?

Perhaps you might pour into her so that she might continue giving out and opening herself to you and others.

There is a verse in Ephesians, “For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.” Ephesians 5:23, and from what I can tell this means that men are given the awesome and terrifying responsibility to answer before God one day for the health and well-being of his wife and family.

It is his role to assume 100% responsibility before God. It is a grand opportunity to become like Christ and to lay down his life in service and sacrifice.

But how is a man to take on this terrifying responsibility successfully? Well, he has been given a helper. The same word used to describe the Holy Spirit. His wife.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18

She knows things and sees things that can help you as a husband and father. Women intuit how things are and they have particular wisdom that, if respected and regarded and listened to well, will enable you as a man to stand before God one day and hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” She is uniquely designed to help you be wildly successful.

A man who takes on the challenge of setting an every-day feast of regard and respect, love and compassion, acceptance and patience, understanding and value, will not only have a wife who shines but will have children who also know these same things. Your children will be secure and settled and they will learn faster and they will mature easier.

A wife who is stressed, afraid, unsure, has children who are stressed, afraid and unsure, and the whole family begins to suffer. A wife who is not stressed makes a soft landing place for her children and her husband will one day reap the rewards of his due care and diligence as he watches the well-lived lives of his children.

As leader of the home you set the standard, you show the way, you model Christ. We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that Christ’s ministry is one of reconciling the world to himself.

Reconciling is accomplished through careful listening, by taking 100% of the responsibility for the messes around us, and through understanding. Men are called to this same ministry of reconciliation.

And not only our men, but our churches too. What if your church was to commit to holding their women in high regard? What if you as a church made sure that you uphold the safety and security and value of all your women and those round about? What kind of a difference might this make in your community and beyond?

Christ calls us to be set apart and different from the world. Well, the world disregards women. The assignments against women have been long-lasting the world over and for centuries. We the body of Christ are called to be different.

While men are creating a feast at home it must also be followed up on by the church. Are we willing as a body of Christ to support our women? Are we willing to ensure they need not remain in abusive marriages?

Are we opening up all levels of leadership within the church so that they really know they are fully welcomed and wanted? Are our churches safe for women? Will we make the honouring and dignity of our women a priority as we create church policy?

For not only does all this hold a space of value for women but it holds a space of honour and value for our men.

For men are not just beasts to be obeyed. Men are not like children who can only see their own need. Men need not be given over to rage and violence.

Rather, men are called to enlarge and strengthen the lives of everyone around them. And out of this feast that begins at home everyone else round about gets in on the crumbs and we are all changed in the process.

The feast in the Kingdom of God is for everyone and our understanding of the gospel is ultimately reflected in our ministry to women and children.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27

The feast begins at home. The church carries it on. Everyone gets in on the crumbs. None of us remain the same.

“Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.” Isaiah 58:12

The Narrow Way

When I was growing up in the church I came away with the impression that the narrow way was the compilation of our habits, our holiness, the choices we made and the things we did and didn’t do.

If we were careful enough then we had found the narrow way.

If we were holy enough we had found the narrow way.

You get the picture. The focus was on actions. Where we went and what we did. Who we hung out with and the things we exposed ourselves to.

Always with a focus on the negative. We were to be taking things out of our life. Rarely was there ever any sense of how to be in the world. We were defined by what wasn’t, not what was.

I’m now well into my forties and thank the good Lord above have come to a little more sense. And while it isn’t a bad thing to remove bad things from our lives I have come to see that the Kingdom of God is about so very much more than this.

The Kingdom of God is about where we dare to go, whom we love enough to hang out with, it is about our letting go of ego that would make nice, play pretty, and cover up.

The Kingdom of God is certainly NOT about playing it safe.

How big is our God anyway?

And so too, this concept of the narrow way has taken on new understanding. But before I go any further lets take a look at the original text.

Follow this to read all of Matthew 7 – then come back.

The exact verse about the narrow way is found almost smack dab in the middle of this chapter.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

Now to understand a sentence one must look at the paragraphs and the full context surrounding it.

Let’s first pull out the key words in these two verses. I see:

  • narrow gate
  • a wide gate is easy and = destruction
  • narrow gate is hard and = life
  • few find it

Notice that, in these particular verses, we do not have any clue of what exactly this narrow gate is. To determine this we must look at the rest of the chapter and even beyond that at the manner and spirit of Christ (the speaker here) himself.

In the entire chapter 7 of Matthew we find these key points:

  • do not judge
  • be responsible for yourself first and foremost
  • ask for the things we need, admit our need
  • do to others as we would have others do to us
  • we can tell a tree by its fruit, here is the proof of the person
  • prophesying and acting in the name of Christ does not mean we are his
  • we must build our lives on the wisdom of Christ
  • hearing the words of Christ must change our lives or our lives will not stand

So, this list, these are the narrow way.

Think also of the beginning of this Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:3-9:

  • the poor will have the Kingdom of God
  • those who mourn will be comforted
  • the meek will inherit the earth
  • the hungry for righteousness will be satisfied (i.e.: find righteousness)
  • the merciful will receive mercy
  • the pure in heart will see God
  • peacemakers will be called sons of God

These too indicate the narrow way.

Knowing our poverty of spirit (honesty of heart and soul), those who have those with the heart and the courage to mourn (its’ not all fun and game and not all balderdash), the meek among us, those hungry for God, able to walk in mercy, with a pure heart making peace with others – this is the narrow way.

The narrow way is not proving ‘rightness’, condemnation, judgement, critical spirit, jealousy, christian arrogance, paternalism, and its not even things like holiness or purity.

The narrow way is understanding, realizing on a deep level, that we are not able to be holy or pure. We, you and I, are lost without Christ. That the kingdom of God has nothing to do with anyone else. It has everything to do with our own frailty, our own sin, or own slander, our own lostness.

And once we get this, really get it. I mean, allow the love of God down into the deepest darkest pits INSIDE OF US, then and only then do we operate out of a grace and compassion that marks all those touched by the Living God.

Anything less is merely religion and pretence and conjecture.

That is the wide way. The easy way.

Christ calls us to the narrow way. It’s a vastly different product than what many of us ‘christians’ are living today.

God help us.