Happy 32nd Birthday to Dave~

Thirty-two.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call on me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91.14-16

You are smack-dab in the middle of the same age-years Jesus was /living/walking/defeating the kingdom of darkness (on His way to a cross) one miracle at a time. He was changing water to wine, chatting it up with children and healing the sick. And that is where you are, too, changing the spiritual landscape, fathering your boys and establishing the Kingdom.

I have called you a spiritual iconoclast, by which I meant

A person who is actively breaking down the religious traditions that suck the life from people and instead, is revealing a whole new landscape of the life and love of the Father towards His people. A Kingdom man. A creative visionary. A history-maker.

I think earlier spiritual iconoclasts were guys like Elijah and Elisha. Especially, though, maybe: Jeremiah. Before the building up, there is the matter of tearing down (see Jeremiah 1, The Message subtitles it: Demolish and Then Start Over).

I see this clearly about you, but am not always able to express it openly or well. So on the occasion of your birthday [note: oops-now a few days past], your very own proverbial mother-in-law (frightening title, to be sure), shall attempt to communicate the true and deep to one son-in-love. Please receive them from my heart

On your birthday, I wanted to say {I want you to always know}…

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him…”

So, it turns out I have known you for like, 33% of your life. And you have known me for almost 19% of mine. For a girl who was raised moving from city to city and church to church and leaving behind everyone I knew and starting over sooooooooooooo many times that even a 2-year friendship felt like a lifetime, that puts you and I in the 98.987-percentile of my longest-ever-running relationships. Kind of kidding. I just made up that last statistic, but it’s pretty true. You probably couldn’t have known that you would hold a place that high in my life, my stats/personal data, or my heart for so long. I didn’t know it. But here it is.

You are sort of stuck with me.

And I know so many times it would be so much easier not to be. But I can say at least for me, God knew what He was doing and He still has a plan and His glory will be seen, right?

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name…”

I think I mention this in every single birthday post I ever write to you (and this is #7, I believe), but I just love to hear you play and sing and worship the Lord.  Last month as we were re-painting the living room and had moved most everything out, save a few items in the middle covered with drop cloths, sound, once again had the ability to reverberate off the walls and ceilings and it took me back to when we first knew you, first moved into this house – before it had been “properly” appointed with lots of furniture and accessories.  You would come every weekend, guitar in hand and sing in that room and worship would resound and hit the walls and ascend to the ceiling and go on to heaven and come back and change the atmosphere.  Your worship in this house set a desired precedent for my heart and this place and when the acoustics are just so, I remember it.  And I miss that as life has gotten louder and busier and fuller.  I love being in a meeting with hundreds as you lead in worship, hearing your most amazing voice.  I enjoy watching the Rez Live-Stream when you and Tara are leading.  But you with your guitar and just a few of us right here: overwhelming goodness.  Way better!  You’re one of my all-time fav singers.  And always will be.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will be with him in trouble…”

When you chose my amazing firstborn daughter to be your wife, and then the two of you blessed us with these cherished boys – oh, be still my heart.  You are such a wonderful husband to Tara and an incredible daddy to Hunter and Malakai.  I also love you for the sacrifices you have made to perpetuate the legacy of adoption in our family.  Because dad, who was adopted knew he was born to adopt Tara.  And when the two of you opened your heart to do the same with Baby-Kai, well, all of us are beginning to understand in a way we maybe hadn’t before, this whole spirit of adoption, of truly becoming sons of God, crying out to Him, ‘Abba, Father.”  The spiritual treasure of this in-the-natural adoption is changing our family. Thank-you for paying the cost and being obedient to welcoming this son into your family, into ours.  Our family DNA-chain is being forged unbreakable – what blessing it is going to be for so many through the generations…

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will deliver him and honor him…”

When you share your heart and the secrets of the Lord and reveal vision, it is life-giving.  Many times I have stood in the back of a room and as you spoke with such crystal clarity something I had already heard many times before, I would still be left breathless with the strength, the perspicuity of the message.  I always wondered, looking around, do the rest of you understand the power of what is happening here?  That is a gift of God in your life.  You have been given a strong gift of revealing, communicating.  Your words, falling like rain, will have the ability to change people and situations and lives and nations.

So I pray that all the God-given dreams of your heart will come to pass and that the Lord will send you mighty warriors to run with you, those who are strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  And I pray that hopeless people will hear the vision and be energized to pick it up and take it to new levels you never dreamed possible (beyond all you could ask or imagine) and finally understand why they were born.  And I pray He sends you the weakest ones, too, for they are indispensable to the Body of Christ.  So may you be surrounded by those who will bring you all the help you need {to be all He has called you to be, and to do all He has called you to do} from the sanctuary.  There is great help available from the sanctuary.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “With long life I will satisfy him…”

I deeply respect the strong call and anointing of God on your life. That God is opening doors to big rooms and your gift is bringing you before great men, that you have been set forth to shake nations and declare the Kingdom of God over regions is not in question.  But I maintain that you are never stronger in your anointing than the times you are releasing the light of the joy of the Lord over people.  For seriousness and heaviness need not be cultivated, as a rule.  Jesus didn’t say, “I have come that your worry, care, concern and apprehension would be appropriately full,” but rather that our JOY would be full.  And you have made me laugh so many times.  Your humor and ability to see the silly side of life have been a perfect foil to my desolation, as the enemy himself wishes to keep us from our very strength (the joy of the Lord) by causing us consternation, super-responsible trepidation, woe and worry.  So let the TV preachers work on bringing everybody down about the terrible times in which we live (as if the Word didn’t promise greater grace in these troubling times, and greater is He that is in us, for crying out loud) and you keep dispensing garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness and releasing the light and life of the love of the Father and be full of joy through the Holy Spirit (like Jesus was) and dispense it, too.  You are hilarious.  That is an anointing.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will…show him my salvation.”

I love you most, maybe, because you love the LORD. That fact alone brings me peace no matter what happens – for His promises towards you will be true, and somehow we’ll all figure everything out and get lined back up.

We have been to heaven and back a few times in 10 years. Being your m-i-l, believe it or not, has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.  Seasons come and go. The way we interact or the actual time we’ll spend together has and will probably continue to change between us, but I will always thank God for you. I will always believe the best of you. I will never write you off or write you out of my story.  I will always be proud to say you are my son-in-love and the father of my grandsons and the beautiful man of my daughter’s dreams.

And with the exception of a few horrendous meetings and the bloody attack of the enemy against our unity last year, I would do it all again, with gratefulness for your love and openness for what I had to bring  {and I was honored to give anything/everything I could} – in spite of me being your “m-i-l.”  *faint smile

Have another wonderful, blessed year of favor. So many more to come, I just know it.  Don’t be afraid – because you love Him (you are covered)…  {me}

But p.s…I am voting against a duck-dynasty beard, puleeeeeeezzzzzze…

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