"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Friday, January 27, 2012

Strategic Family

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Many of you know about my ministry called Strategic Fathering (you can go to http://www.strategicfathering.com to find out more). Well, this ministry took a different turn than expected today. While I was at my desk working, Becky my 9 year old daughter came into the room and asked me how to spell "STRATEGIC". Thinking nothing of it, I told her and she was gone in a flash. Later on she handed my wife and I a very colorful, hand drawn flyer...this is what it said.

Strategic Sistering

1. Love your sister

2. Love God

3. Be happy

4. Play with a angel (She is studying Hebrews 13:2 right now." Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.")

5. Play with your sister

6. Share happiness

This is how to be a little sister.

So, there's a old saying that more is caught than taught...I think my daughter has caught something and I'm a very happy daddy right now. Thank you Father God for making me a dad!

What do you think? Is more caught than taught? How valuable is our example to our kids? I would love your feedback!

Blessings, Jay

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Father Prayer 2

 

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I woke up with this prayer on my heart for all of you this morning. I know the battle is hard and many are trying to hold it all together, do the right thing and be obedient to our Lord. Please remember who you are this morning…you are His son, His daughter! You have bought with a price by the greatest heart the universe has ever known. The Father’s focus on you is sharp, precise and never wavers. I pray this prayer for you…and me. - Jay

Father,

Strengthen and encourage my brothers and sisters today, infused them with vitality and a clear purpose. Enlighten their minds, focus their thinking and empower their plans with your will. Fill them with insight, discernment, knowledge, and give them wisdom to apply it effectively. Make them cunning against the enemy’s plans and lies. Make strong their hands for battle. Guard their hearts and ears against anyone that tries to define them less than what they are in YOU! Help songs of hope, songs of redemption and songs of restoration rise up from deep within, setting them free as they worship you. Love through them today, in powerful and noticeable ways, so all who see them…see your son Jesus.

In your name I pray and believe…amen!

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, in all pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." Colossians 1:10

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Joy Is – Warrior Poetry

 

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This poem is submitted as part of the Warrior Poet Circle hosted by Jason Stasyszen of Connecting to Impact. Click here (or the logo) to read some mighty fine poetry! Joy is such a marvelous gift from our Father and as I mused about that, I quickly wrote this down as it flowed out my spirit this afternoon…hope it blesses ya!

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Joy Is

Joy is sunlight dancing across my soul
Giving breath to my spirit

Joy is the surround sound of completeness
Settling the anxiousness of my heart

Joy is the duplication of laughter
Pushing the deep sorrow from my bones

Joy is the fuel of fellowship
Igniting the freedom of who I am

© Jay Cookingham 1-16-12
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mission Possible

 

This post, I promise, will bless you...my talented and beautiful daughter Sarah (21) wrote this "guest" post after a huge God moment in her life. Please read on and get ready for God to speak to you...I know He did to me when I read it. Blessings, Jay

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“I’m not picking up that phone Ethan, because, you don’t want me on your team. I was in Croatia. I had one job, just one, and I failed.”

Ok. I am not a Secret Agent. I don’t work for the military, secret service, special ops..nada. The closest I get to being a spy is sitting here watching Mission Impossible 4 with my brother. And I love it! This quote is from a scene near the end of said film, where new team member Agent Brands is informing Ethan Hunt that he failed in his duty to protect his target in Croatia. Who was his target? Ethan’s wife, who was, as far as Agent Brands knows, murdered because he couldn’t protect her. He has carried this guilt around with him for a few years, and has to tell Ethan; he can’t accept his offer to be on his team, how can he? He failed to save this man’s wife from Serbian terrorists! You can see the pain and despair in Brands eyes; this isn’t something he could ever brush off, it effected his career; he stopped being a field agent after her murder. He’s just waiting for Ethan to tear him apart, kick him off the team, maybe even beat him up…and Ethan just asks him a question…

“How do you know she died?”

He’s so calm, so quiet about the whole thing. Brandt is taken aback. Ethan goes on to ask him if he ever saw a body, to which Brandt replies in the negative. Then Ethan, much to Brandt’s relief (the guy almost doesn’t make it as he fumbles to his chair) explains how he faked his wife’s death to keep her safe, and how he doesn’t blame Brandt.

“It was never your job to protect her” he says, looking right at Brandt,
“It was mine”

Wow! Brandt is beyond thrilled. He takes the phone, accepts the mission, and is back on the team. Ethan smiles at him as he leaves. All is good; Agent Brandt is set free from that debilitating guilt and restored to his former self. Ethan and his wife see each other. Ethan disappears mysteriously into the night. Epic music, movie ends.

Skip to after the movie, real life now folks. My brother and I are at the diner, talking, when we bring up a painful subject for me. It’s a friendship that went awry; not just any friendship, I lost my best friend. How it happened is not for this story, but suffice it to say that this has caused me to feel pain, doubt, guilt, anger, and hopelessness in abundance. This is not something I talk about with just anyone, haven’t even really talked about it with him. But I want my brother to know my heart.

As I talk about how God is healing some things in my heart, and the lingering feelings of regret and “could haves, should haves”, I tell my brother that, unfortunately, these doubts affect all my other friendships as well. I often think to myself, well, if I messed up one of the most important relationships in my life, what will happen to the rest? I don’t know if he is getting my point, so to illustrate it I say, “It’s like Brandt at the end of the movie, I feel exactly like that. Like I am saying to God, “God, You can’t possibly want me on Your team, to be in relationships with Your creation. I had my chance, I had one mission, and I blew it! Someone was lost because of what I failed to say and do. I failed one of Your daughters.”

As I sat there, hoping my point would sink in, my brother came right back at me with the next quote from the same movie, “And God is saying, it wasn’t your job to protect her, to save her, it is Mine.”

Boom! I was floored! And, just like in the movie, the shame and guilt lifted almost instantly from my shoulders. I felt just like agent Brandt. The one and only person who can blame me, doesn’t. God doesn’t blame me, or even hold me responsible…He wants me on His team. He is orchestrating how to save His children; that’s not my job. My job, my mission, and I hope I choose to accept it from now on, is to follow Him, be on His team, trust His plan. My responsibility is to rest in His grace and the truth that He has a good plan for me, for my lost friend, for all His children. It is a mission that, with God, is completely possible.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

- Sarah Cookingham

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Monday, January 2, 2012

The Father Prayer

 

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"I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land..." Ezekiel 22:30

I posted this prayer way back in June of 2011 and I felt led to post it on my Facebook page this morning...then I started to reflect further on the words. I made a few slight adjustments (after some prayer) and decided that it will be the "Household Prayer" for the Cookingham family this year.

I call it...the Father prayer.

I plan on praying it everyday over my family and all the friends in my life. In my heart I want to see my family, my friends and all the people God brings into my journey with Christ...set free. I think that's the Father's heart and I hope to be used in that wonderful mission of standing in the gap...

Will you join me?

Father, hold my family this year. Hold them in your mercy, in your grace and your strength. Clear their vision, lift their heads and help them tighten their grip on you. Surround them, saturate and fill them with your love. Intensify their hope, strengthen their faith and overlap everything with your joy.

Open their spirits to you, to your plans and your desires for them. Help them embrace the wondrous journey with you in ways they once thought impossible. Open their hearts and draw out the gifts, the abilities and talents that you have given them. Erase the pain of regret and past failures and in its place plant deep the power of your purposes for them.

In all of this, let your name be known and praised...for you are a great God!
In Jesus name....Amen!

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