Category Archives: Raising Faith

Raising Faith (part ten): Embracing Your Intercession

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

What do the department store Target, handcuffs, two sobbing women (one old, one young), and a “no shirt wearin’, boxer brief showin’” teenager have in common? Absolutely nothing, unless your name is Elaine and you happened to be cruising the Target parking lot around 5:00 PM this evening.

No. We weren’t robbed. We were simply witness to the arrest of a young man who had apparently done something worthy of handcuffs—a rubber-necking moment if there ever was one! Police cars and flashing lights were enough to garner our immediate attention. But as soon as we had passed the scene of the crime, my curious attention suddenly turned to tears. Lots of them. Before long, I had my daughter crying and my son and husband wondering as to the reason behind my emotional outburst. I can sum it up in one word.


When I saw that young man standing beside the patrol car, half-dressed and with a look of warranted fear in his eyes, my heart beat with the love of a mother. Through choking sobs, I spoke the penchant of my heart’s pause to the carload of dazed companions. Words like…

*That is somebody’s child.
*This boy didn’t start out this way.
*He was made for more than handcuffs and crime.
*Somebody’s getting a phone call tonight that they don’t want to get, and it is likely to bring heartache.
*Who is going to tell him that life doesn’t have to be this way—that there is a Jesus who loves him and died for him so that he might truly live?
*How will he ever know the hope of heaven?
*Who is going to stand beside him when he comes before the judge?

Words like that, and before we’d left the parking lot, everyone else was caught up in the drama of my tearful wondering. We took a few moments to pray, asking God to shatter the darkness of this young man’s heart with the truth of Jesus Christ. To bring a person of influence alongside him who will lead him to the foot of the cross.

It may not sound like much. I suppose in the grand scheme of issues that now await this boy, it offers little in the way of an immediate salve. But it’s all I have to give him. And prayers, when offered on behalf of others, are sometimes the difference between heaven and hell. Between life and death. Between handcuffs and freedom.

I will probably never know the outcome of tonight’s prayers. At least not now. But I do know that my Father heard me and that he is faithful to act on behalf of all of his children, especially those so prone to their shackles and their cells. What happened tonight in my van wasn’t contrived or superficial or #10 on the list of “30 Full Proof Methods for Raising Godly Children.” No, what happened tonight was solely rooted in the witness of God’s Spirit living within, provoking me to compassion and moving me to action.

That action was prayer. It doesn’t always breathe this way. Sometimes, more is required. Sometimes, I am the one charged with the responsibility of coming alongside. But tonight, my requirement was different. It was about lifting the life of a young man before the throne of heaven in love and asking the Father to move in his favor. It was also about the drawing of young hearts and minds to do the same.

Sacred seeding on both counts. One seed for another mother’s child. Two seeds for my own. All seeds acknowledged before God because God is in the holy habit of receiving our prayers.

Intercession is a privilege and is the sacred ladling from our heart’s well. Unfortunately, we spend a great deal of time and energy underestimating its power. When prayers go seemingly unanswered, we are prone to keeping our silence. We closely guard our words for fear of having our faith challenged when God doesn’t breathe in compliance with our requests. Thus, we level the assumption that prayers matter little when all along, the very opposite is true.

Prayers matter much because prayers voice the witness of our relationship with the living, breathing Creator of the entire universe. Our words mean something to him. And when our words breathe on behalf of his children, he is tendered by our outward focus. We may not know them by name, but he does, and he is well-pleased when we take the time to acknowledge the value of a single human life.

I want my kids to grow in their understanding of prayer. I don’t want their lives to be so cloistered within the walls of a church that they forget the reason and purpose behind the church.

To go. To preach. To baptize and to make disciples of all people. To cry on behalf of a lost soul and then to petition the heart of the Almighty because they understand that heaven and hell hangs in the balance. That kingdom work can be accomplished through the pure intention of their young hearts. That sacred shaping doesn’t just happen on Sundays, but on every day. At every occasion, even when that occasion includes the Target parking lot.

If faith is to be raised in this generation, then prayer must find its witness through our voices. Yours and mine. We are who they are watching.

And tonight, while my daughter may not have fully grasped the weight of my tears or hers, she nevertheless gave way to something deep within. She gave way to her gut, and her gut told her that something of kingdom value was going on, and she wanted to feel it…just like her momma.

Oh for the heart of a child, so easily taught and so easily moved to her own well-intentioned prayers. May it be so for each one of us this day, and so I pray…

Move us quicker to our prayers, Father. Swifter to our knees in times of trouble, and truer in our petitions on behalf of your creation. Forgive us when our focus remains secluded toward self. Foster your outward focus within us as we live and move and have our being in you. Let our casual prayers be less and our intentional prayers find room to breathe in their absence. Thank you for always listening, and by the power of your Spirit and through the saving work of your Son, Jesus Christ, I ask for grace to come to a jail cell tonight for a young man who needs to know that a King and a kingdom await his arrival. Seed his heart for your forever. Amen.

Copyright © August 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

post signature

Raising Faith (part nine): Embracing Your Release

Raising Faith (part nine): Embracing Your Release

It’s been a year now since we moved our son into his second floor dorm room at Campbell University. Even tonight, those memories come to me with clarity as if lived only moments ago.

Everyone told me it would get better—this pain that kicked me in the gut with the force and fury of a winded hurricane. I didn’t believe them then, but time has walked its cadence. And now a year down the road, my wounds of separation have healed, as God has tenderly walked me through this mothering milestone with the prayed for measure of grace that speaks the witness of a Father’s faithfulness.

Tonight we stand at the edge of another letting go. We are preparing to send him back. I won’t be making the trip this time. There is less need now, but there was a deep need back then. Then was painful. Now is joyful. Not because I am glad to see him go, but simply because I am free to let him do so. Free to let him become and to grow into the man who God has called him to be.

Nick and I have done a lot of maturing over the past year. I’ve come to understand that my “release” is necessary if he is to fly. I know it sounds simple. In theory, it is. But doing it—embracing the letting go? Far from simple. For me, it’s been the most complex learning to date. Honestly, I’m glad to be on the other side of this one, but while my heart rests this night in peace for the process, I know that there are those of you who are profoundly feeling the effects of being on “this side” of the letting go.

I’m drawn to you. My tears have wept for you. I cannot keep from being filled to a heart’s brim with a deep measure of understanding love and compassion for the steps that you are making. What can one mother possibly render as useful in this time of painful transition? What could be said that hasn’t already been spoken over your bleeding wounds? Probably very little.

But this I will tell you, for I know it to be true. I’ve lived and breathed its witness in this past year and in the previous nineteen that lie behind.

Our God is faithful and good. We will never rightly “let go” of anyone without his knowing and without his holy nod of approval. What pains us, pains him. Those we hold as dear and precious in our hearts are held as more precious in his. He allowed them our homes and our influence for a season, and now he asks us to release them back into the hands that held them first. To the God who shaped them and formed them and adorned them with the lavish expression of heaven (Psalm 139).

He asks of us a hard thing. But hard is not always bad, and in this case, hard is very good and especially right and our necessary portion if our children are ever to find their firm rooting in Jesus.

I didn’t like it then, but it swallows easier tonight, for I have gained the wisdom of a year long learning. I have hindsight, and before long, you will have it too. It cannot be rushed through, even though your heart cries out for the finished process. It simply must walk. Step by step until you find yourself on the other side of “letting go.”

As a word of witness this night, I want to share with you my penned ache from a year ago. Perhaps it voices the tears of your eyes even now. (an email sent to friends on August 18, 2007…)

There are some things…some places in all of our lives that simply are too tender for words. Moments when we come to the utter edges of ourselves and wonder where we will find the strength for the next moment. Where we are caught in the fragment between breaths and find it difficult to breathe our next.

I had one of those moments today. To date, it is the most difficult pain I have ever known. For those of you who have been through it, you’re nodding your head just now. For those of you who await its arrival in the somewhere not so distant future, you’ll not fully appreciate it until it arrives.

I hugged him tightly, cried my eyes out, and groaned with utterings that words cannot express most of the hour ride home from Campbell University this afternoon. I listened, in turn, as the 16 year old in the back seat uttered his own share of groanings. Bless Billy…all he was allowed to do was to manage the van back to our driveway. And just when I thought I had conquered my angst, I arrived home to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the kitchen counter. It arrived somewhere around noon today, while my in-laws were watching the little ones.

Completely of his own accord, my college freshman son (who I’ve often thought not quite ready for the world…for you see he has so much more to learn…so many more ways to mature) did a very “adult” thing. A very lovely and gracious thing. He thought of his mom, and he told her that he loved her…that she was his heart.

All I could do was hug my flowers and have my husband take a picture of me pitifully cradling my gift. A memory for the years to come. To remind me that, perhaps, Nicholas is ready for the world, and that with God’s help, we will both manage the transition with a measure of grace and joy.
Thank you for the times when you’ve prayed for us. I felt every one of those petitions honored today. Tonight I will gaze upon my bouquet as I let their beauty and my tears lull me to sleep to awaken me to another day. A Sabbath day.

A day that will rise on all of us and beckon our participation. I pray that all of us will find rest with our great and awesome God as the dawn announces its arrival.

I love you all. Thank you for loving us.

Peace…sweet peace for the journey and for the next.

Sabbath did come, my friends, and I found my peace in this journey through God’s amazing love and tender care over my soul. It will come for you, too, for Sabbath rest is always our portion when we allow our Father the freedom to walk our hurt and to heal our hearts.

This won’t be my final chorus of surrender as it pertains to my children. It has been the first and because of it, I will have some courage and understanding for the next. Perhaps, you need a little courage and understanding tonight. Your heart and your pain are safe with me. Greater still…

Your heart is perfectly loved and safe with our Father. More than anyone, He understands the painful tug of “letting go.” He walked it with his Son so that we could walk to him with our surrenders and lay them safely in his hands.

May God grant you the grace, wisdom, and beauty of a sacred release tonight. And may He always…always…give you his,

post signature

Copyright © August 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

PS: Nick’s just taken off…I am fine. There is, however, another young lady who isn’t faring so well.

Raising Faith (part eight): Embracing Your Church

Raising Faith (part eight): Embracing Your Church

“So then men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).

It’s official. VBS 2008 has officially reached its end. I, for one, wouldn’t have missed it. I tried to. Tried to find an excuse to limit my participation, but no good one could be found. Thus, I strapped on my “yes” and dug in my heels for the doing. VBS is a doing I’ve been doing for over thirty years. And for the past nineteen years, it is what my children have been doing also.

For all of the reasons that I loved being a part of our church’s VBS this year, none was more special to me than having my entire family alongside.

My teenage sons (19 and 17) have unlimited options for their doing these days. They could have…

Hung with their friends.
Gone to the movies.
Cruised the mall for bargains.
Played the latest in XBOX.
Fed their sports’ addiction via the internet or ESPN.
Found their boring at home and abroad in a variety of ways.

They could have done all of these and more, but they didn’t. Instead, they spent these past five evenings at VBS, entertaining the children and adults through their limited acting abilities. They did it, in part, because they love their momma. Even more so, they did it because they love their God.

They understand that part of “doing” life with Jesus means doing it with others. A relationship with the Creator dictates a measure of relational output. A commitment to Christ is also a commitment…

To walk in community with the body of Christ.
To give back.
To shine forth.
To guard the good and sacred deposit.
To be faithful in the small and in the big.
To honor a parent’s leading.
To honor a Father’s grace.

My sons get it. Their faith journeys are ongoing and growing with an outward focus that exceeds selfish introspection. I don’t tell you this out of a mother’s pride. My flesh could easily make that leap, but in doing so, I would limit God’s hand in the matter, and when it comes to the sacred shaping of a family…his hands are everything! No, I tell you this tonight because I want you to know that raising kids to love Jesus is possible. In fact, it is likely and probable when “raising the faith of family” is priority number one in the hearts and minds of those doing the shaping.

It doesn’t always breathe so easy and right and perfect. Our life as a family certainly hasn’t. But if there is one thing that we have consistently embraced over the years, it is our firm commitment to live in Christian community.

To be church people even when our faith was weak. To stay entrenched in the life of the church even when our hearts were committed to worldly pursuits that didn’t match up. To attend services through the seemingly boring and the mundane, and to believe that, even in the “boring,” kingdom business was on the table.

God didn’t give us the mandate to “train up a child” with the idea that all was for naught. Raising Godly kids isn’t a high stakes game of chance. No, God gave us the responsibility because he knew that our “doing” of faith would be the seeding of theirs. Sacred shaping begins in the womb. It continues over the next ten, twenty…forty years and counting! What started as a hope in my parents’ hearts for my life continues to this day.

I began my life in the church. They made sure of it. It stuck. Jesus stuck. And now, forty-two years down the road, I see the process come full circle in the lives of my sons. I am so thankful for their faith, but even as I write my gratitude, I realize that…

it doesn’t always stick—this life with Jesus and the free will of a heart. I understand that there are many of you who’ve known the pain of a prodigal child. Who’ve lived the life of the prodigal, and even now, your eyes sting with the hurt of confusion over the matter. The wish I’d done it different’s and the what did I do wrong?‘s linger as bitter lament within your souls. You’ve done your best, and now you fear it may be too late.

It is never too late. As long as you have breath and time and a day called today, you have the gift of kingdom influence. You have been given the sacred trust to be the light and life of Jesus Christ to a people who hunger for reconciliation with their Father. They may not yet fully understand the yearning behind their hunger, but never be fooled into thinking that it no longer exists.

It is there. A deep, unsatisfied craving and crying out for relationship. For community. For life within a body that exceeds the flesh. All of us, every last one of us, yearn to belong to something bigger than ourselves. God designed us with a pulse that beats for life together. He intended for us to live as one—one church with One, and only One in charge. And until we get there…until those whom we love get there with us…we must keep to the road of this sacred journey.

We must keep to the church and to our attachment therein. We must love the church through our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service because, as believers in Jesus Christ, church is what we do. It’s who we are. It’s how we are to live, for we are the church of the first born, and our names are written on the membership rolls of heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24).

And this night, there are thousands upon thousands of angels who congregate in joyful assembly because “church” is what they do. Jesus is why they are doing it, and never is it boring. Never is it pointless, for they, unlike us, always understand that kingdom business is on the table. They know and have seen that with God, all things are possible. In fact, all things work in our high and holy favor when Jesus is added to the mix. And thus I pray…

Keep us to the things of you, Father. To your church and to your people until we all come to your throne as one. Make our commitment to the body of Christ a solid and firm foundation so that the shaking of the world leaves us rooted at your doorstep. Forgive us when we choose our preferences over the preferences of you. Let us not forsake meeting together, encouraging one another, and building up the body of Christ through our gifts and our teaching. Equip us for every good work within the community of faith, and raise our faith, along with the faith of our children, as we continue in our “doing” of church. I love your church, Lord, and I feel so privileged to have taken part in bringing your story to the stage this week. Humbly and in holy fear, I guard the sacred deposit you’ve given to me. Thank you for trusting me with your witness and your grace. Amen.

Copyright © August 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

post signature

Raising Faith (part seven): Embracing Your DNA

Raising Faith (part seven): Embracing Your DNA

For Miss Amelia who crashed onto my scene six years ago this day, teaching me of tender and pink and lovely! Together, we are finding our pretty in Jesus Christ. You are my heart, precious daughter. Happy Birthday.

August 5, 2002

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
(1 John 3:1-2).

Some say I look like her.

(grandma maybelle, elaine)

Some say she looks like me.

(elaine, daughter amelia)

Either way, I don’t mind. I like family imprints and being able to trace genetic resemblances from one generation to the next.

It shouts the message of connection…

of belonging.
of fitting.
of having roots…past, present, and future.

There’s something sacred about family resemblances—a deep, abiding truth that lies within the woven fabric of a shared identity. There are no random or accidental look alikes. My favoring of grandma and my daughter’s favoring of me is by divine design. God had a say in the matter, and I like knowing that the same hands who formed Maybelle are the same hands who fashioned me and my Amelia. Decades and centuries have not blurred his focus. Rather, he has kept the blueprints on file and tweaked them according to his desire.

All of us share some similarities with members of our family tree. If not physically, then perhaps along the lines of personality and preferences. We can’t help but wear some of the influence of our upbringing. For good or for ill, it is the stock trade we’ve been portioned and is worthy of our attention this day.

For all of the ways we clothe our flesh with the family DNA, none is more important than the way that we wear our heritage of faith.

If you were raised in a family void of God and grace, then some of your cloaking may wear lean and empty and seemingly full of pointless. If, however, you were surrounded by the truth of Jesus and his love during your formative years, then your cloaking may wear warmer and richer and full of purpose. Either way, it matters what you wear because our faith is the rooting for the next generation of young minds and hearts.

I don’t want to simply resemble my grandmother in looks. I want to resemble her in the way that she lived her faith.

In the same way, I don’t want my daughter to simply favor me in the mirror. I want her to favor me in her heart. I want her to love Jesus more than she loves her momma or her daddy or her big, beautiful brothers. I want her to wake up each day knowing that her mother’s faith lives on in her. That she can walk and talk and journey through this life with her Creator by her side. That she can be a woman of kingdom influence because her family tree is rooted in the depths of a sacred soil.

It is a soil that began with a long-ago garden’s planting and that will one day end in a soon-to-be garden’s harvest. Jesus, himself, will come to gather his own. We are his own—co-heirs of the promise and children of the Most High God. We are a lavishly loved people because that is the way of a Father’ heart. To love and to shape and to change us into his incredible likeness day by day.

Not because our God needs a following. Not because his ego dictates an audience, but rather, because, our Father longs to give us his forever.

And forever, my friends, includes our full becoming—an “as he is” likeness because the power of Calvary’s bloodline lives and breathes in our spiritual DNA through faith in Jesus Christ. We are the seeded hope of our Father’s sacred intention. He means for us to look like him. To act like him. To love like him, and to grace like him.

We were created in God’s image, intended for his resemblance. No greater words of commendation could ever be spoken over our earthly lives.

To mirror Jesus is to herald the message of connection…

of belonging.
of fitting.
of having roots…past, present, and future.

And if faith is to be raised in this generation, then we must embrace the truth of our spiritual DNA. We must be willing, in turn, to pass it on to the next generation of believers.

Genetic DNA lasts but a lifetime. Spiritual DNA, however, lasts for all eternity. The family tree that we share with Jesus is the one that will trace us to our forever. It is rooted in Love. It will end in Love, and it will continue to bloom because of Love.

Indeed, how great is the love of our Father that we should be called sons and daughters of his! And that is what we are!

And that, my friends, is more than enough for me this day, and so I pray,

Thank you, Father, for calling me yours. For giving me your image and for breathing your Spirit into this feeble flesh. Transform my heart, my soul, my mind, and my will into your likeness. Let my life mirror your reflection in everything that I say and do; let me believe beyond my faith and grow my faith to mirror my belief. Teach me how to teach my children the value of their spiritual heritage. Not just in words, Father, but in living the message of connection that weaves from Thee to me and to my beyond. Above all, thank you for loving me as I am and for growing a family tree that includes a branch named Faith. I am forever humbled by your extravagant grace. Amen.

Copyright © August 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

post signature

Raising Faith (part six): Embracing Your Reach

For Mom & Dad…thank you for raising “Faith Elaine” and for raising the faith of my heart. I love you.

“‘He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.” So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.’” (Luke 15:16-20).

The year was 1987. Newly married and full of dreams, my husband and I packed our small U-haul and charted our course for Columbus, Ohio. It was a difficult good-bye. My twenty-one years of living were spent in close proximity to my parents. Wilmore was my home, and Columbus was my next. It was hard to fathom such newness, and my heart swelled with grief at every turn. I didn’t know how to do this thing…this letting go of my current to embrace the unknowns of my future. Still and yet, the excitement of pondered possibilities soothed the ache within.

We spent the first three weeks of our married life living with my parents until it was time for our departure. That hot July morning greeted my emotions with the sweltering truth of the steps that would soon follow. We lingered a little longer that day at the breakfast table. Ate our food a little slower, and talked a little further about nothing really important. And when all of the words that could be spoken found their end, my husband climbed behind the wheel of the moving van, and I took the helm of my Chevy Cavalier.

It was a slow crawl around that familiar block…husband in the lead and me at the processional rear. I took one last look at the neighborhood homes that housed the antics of my youth, and then I took a final glance out the side window to gaze upon the backside of my childhood home. It was then that I witnessed a profound memory that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Even now, twenty-one years later, I recall it with clarity and with tear-filled tenderness.

My father, wet with his own tear-stained grief was running through the backyard, into our neighbor’s yard…hands raised to the heavens and voice shouting his audible words of affirmation…

I love you! I love you! I love you, Elaine!

It was all I could do to keep a forward focus. If my husband hadn’t needed me to follow, I am confident that I would have turned that Chevy around and crawled back home to my familiar. I traveled many miles before regaining my composure. Tears would be my constant for several days to come; it would also be the similar portion of my parents. We were used to doing life together. No one had prepared us for the letting go. And as quickly as Easter Sunday 1966 arrived, suddenly and with little warning, July 1987 appeared, and the apron strings between parent and child were cut with a profundity that rocked our hearts.

I have never forgotten that moment. My father’s running after me stands as a witness…a benchmark of sorts…that speaks the testimony of my entire existence upon this earth. I couldn’t have known at that time what my father’s reaching arms would mean to me in the seasons to come. Eight years down the road, the same arms that let me go would be the same arms that welcomed me home; this time with two little boys needing them every bit as much as I did.

I was my parents’ prodigal. The pods that fed the pigs no longer sufficed my palate. Thank God I came to my senses in the matter.

Divorced a year earlier, I took to my season of wild living with a reckless abandon that nearly cost me my life. It matters not the reason for my divorce. It was a bad decision all around, filled with the selfish and stubborn of two people who decided that life apart would be better than life as one. Problem is…life as one never splits evenly. One plus one equals one in God’s kingdom agenda. When that oneness separates, what remains are two halves in a huge identity crisis.

I fleshed out that crisis by feeding myself with the food of swine. And when famine came along (for famine is always the penchant of a swine’s filling), I began to notice my need. My hunger for home became my resolve as my heart echoed the words of a prodigal…

“… I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.”

Even in my darkness and my distance and my squandering and my sin, my daddy saw me. He loved me still, and when I called to ask if I could home, he simply replied,

“How quickly can you get here?”


The same arms that sent me away were the same arms that greeted me upon my return. The fattened calf knew a quick surrender, and the feasting began in my honor. No swine’s pod for the filling this time. Only God’s grace for the cleansing. It is a feasting that continues to this day. I have my parents to thank because my parents held onto some sacred truths in the middle of my tumultuous. They held onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ knows that…

If faith is to be raised in his children, then love’s long reach must be embraced.

Long and wide and high and deep. A stretch that encompassed the East and the West of Calvary’s surrender. A stretch that is timeless and continues to span the spectrum of history. To jump off of the pages of Holy Writ into the hearts of men and women who have noticed their hunger and who have come home for the filling.

Of all the things that we could give our children in their process of “becoming”—in the raising of their faith—perhaps nothing is greater than the truth of Calvary’s stretch. We can…

Embrace our story of faith.
Embrace our voice.
Embrace our silence.
Embrace our imperfections.
Embrace our stones of remembrance

But if we stop short of embracing our reach, then we have stopped short of sacred parenting. Shaping love never ends with a closed fist. Shaping love begins with extended fingers. Hands that…

Stretch. Strain. Strive and Stay.

Hands that…

Watch. Wait. Weep and Welcome.

Hands that…

Forgive. Forget. Fellowship and Feast.

We were made the stretch, my friends. Every last one of us. We have been commissioned to God’s great calling of raising faith in this generation. It is a calling that I take seriously; not only in the home that houses my children, but also in the community that houses God’s people. We each have a place within that community…a context in which to frame our calling. Yours doesn’t necessarily look like mine, but the truth of our purpose scripts the same.

If faith is to be raised, then faith must be embraced.

Hold tight to this Truth, dear ones, for soon and very soon, our faith will be made as sight, and we will walk hand in hand with the One who stretched his arms on our behalf. Let us celebrate and find our gladness this day, for we, who were once dead in our sin, have been made alive through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The party has only just begun.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of his abiding and promised Holy Spirit, Amen!

…raising faith in a new generation, Father’s Day 2008!

Copyright © June 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.


Thank you for joining me on this journey of “Raising Faith.” In a million years, I could have never imagined writing this series as it pertains to parenting and otherwise. But, God imagined it, and I am better for the penning of my heart. May God continue to bless you each one as you raise the faith of others along the way in this journey called “right now.” I stand alongside you in the calling. I welcome your thoughts…your prayer requests…your friendship and your partnership in the spreading of the Gospel that has loved this prodigal home again. May God continue to speak his power and his grace through your reach at every turn. As always, peace for the journey. ~elaine

error: Content is protected !!