Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Ring

The THEN: 
For a while now, anytime a birthday has approached or Christmas time has come, my mom has taken Wes out, just the two of them, to buy a present for me. She has found though that she has had to gently guide him in his purchasing decisions because he tends to want to buy me weapons or super hero figurines. My mom would ask, “Do you really think your mom would like this?” “Oohhhhhh yes, I know she would” would be his reply. Privately, she would laugh a little about it and then she would sweetly steer him towards something different. He would always decide later that the gift that he and my mom picked out was a good one and he would be satisfied. 

The NOW:

Friday, August 25, 2:45 pm

I had just dropped my kids off at music class and had sat down in my desk chair to work on a few lesson plans. The door pops open and in walks Wesley from his classroom next door. He has this half smile on his face and walks towards me while holding his hands behind his back as if he is hiding something. I pretend to not notice. I figure he is about to show me some writing work he has just completed. 

“Hey man, whatcha doing?”

“Weeelll, hey mom. So, I wanted to come over here because I went to the ticket store in Mrs. Stewart’s room just now.”

The students in Mrs. Stewart’s 1st grade class receive tickets for reading extra minutes during the week and then they get to spend their tickets at the store on Fridays to purchase small items.

“You did? Well, that is so much fun!”

“Yes and I had 20 tickets to use. I spent 10 tickets on a light saber sword for me and then I spent the other 10 tickets on this for you.” 

The English language, well wait, let me rephrase that beginning. There isn’t a single language ever created in all the world that has a powerful enough word that would accurately describe my feelings in this moment. This is the first time my little man has earned his own “money” and then also purchased me a gift straight from his own heart. And this gift…it was not the gift of a superhero or a nerf gun or a star wars replica of the millennium falcon, but something he knew I would really love…a beautiful, sparkly, lovely made,  ring. This ring, oh this ring, it has a bright pink jewel surrounded by a beautiful silver base with details along the edge. It only fits on my pinky, but I wear that ring more proudly than I’ve ever worn any piece of jewelry from any guy in my life. My dad and my son, the two men that will always have my love.

As he walked back to his class room, I could still see how proud he was that I was so in love with this new piece of jewelry (that I will never, ever, ever, ever take off.)  Right before leaving he said,

“And mom, can you show all your students what I bought you?”

“I will show it and I will shout it from the rooftop Wes. I love you.”

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Invisible War

“Hey boys, there he is…our target, our sole objective, our one goal. Such a fresh ambiance surrounds him, already bent towards evil since birth. Evil. Yes, say it again…evil. Make sure we give his dad an extra superficial peace today convincing him that he is doing the right thing. Look at that little guy. He’ll look beautiful in the underworld.  We can plan to bring him anguish for all eternity. That’s right dad, drive on toward the Jehovah’s Witness cult meeting and take your son into the darkness where you both belong. You’ve been doing this for the last year and half, keep it up. Keep it up. Hold his sweet, small hand as he walks into the concentrated blackness of our father’s work. Hi there, Wes. Welcome.”

And she kneels…

Boys, wake up and pay attention.  She just knelt…again. It is certain the warriors are on their way, so gear up.

Men, she is crying out…She is pleading for our might, our help, our strength. Make ready. The King of Warriors has commanded us to guard her son. The vile beasts surrounding young Wesley are venomous and are determined to fight us. Light the protective flames within your eyes. Let the fire burn at full potency. We will scorch their atmosphere with purity in our vision.  Your shield is required so put on your garments filled with blinding lightening. We will use it as a safeguard. It is solid and indestructible.  Put on your beryl colored breastplate. When they thrust their poisonous blows, your breastplate will remain impassable. Take the sharpened sword from your belt and have it inclined toward the disorganized hostility you are soon to encounter. Add on your burnished bronze leg plates, as we will need our steps to be fixed, strong, and precisely treaded today. It is time for battle once more.

Men…Protect. Defend. Guard. Keep. Uphold.

Fight. Battle. Combat. War.

She has obediently cried out. We will be vehemently ferocious. HE has commanded this fight and HE will not fail her.


They have arrived. Do not look at them directly. Their light will render you sightless for bits of time and you will be thrown off your course. Keep your weapons near you at all times. Their armor is impenetrable so don’t waste your time trying to pierce it. If you think they are going to speak, shut down your hearing. Their voices are like the roar of an uncompromising multitude. It is even more remarkably deafening when they are shielding a soul for future redemption. Hold on tightly to something near you until it is over. We cannot beat them when prayers are being invoked. Our only hope is to try and hold them off for a while and we will hold them off. Do whatever is required to keep our opponents from Wesley for as long as possible. Wes’s father has summoned us to this time and we will not give it up easily.

Chest out, boys. We will keep them at bay. We MUST have this child. Wickedness is not just our desire. It is our obligation to the creator of evil.  

Men, we have arrived. We can already feel the weightiness of the corruption inside this building filled with this toxic assembly. Do not fear. Today, we are being drawn in response to Wesley’s mother’s desperate pleas. Therefore, our only intention is the soul of Wesley. When we enter the enemy’s kingdom hall, you will be violently besieged. Barrel through the crowded room together with your supernatural vigor. Fight off every spirit you see. Move forward despite any harm you receive. Once you reach Wes, join his appointed angel in the struggle. Nicholas, place yourself in front of him. Protect the young man’s eyes. Let him see the darkness in this place. Let him see the gloom of the people all around him and then replace those pictures with visions of Truth. Show him pictures of our Father and His church. Show him Truth’s design. Remind him that this design is what he was intended for, not the one he is currently in. Matthew, place yourself over his ears. Cover them, so that no language of the enemy, not one word, would be able to enter his ear. His mother has read him our Father’s word every day of his life. As he sits in this depravity, speak softly within his ears the messages sent from our Father.  These words have already begun to take root in his heart and our speaking them will strengthen his belief. Josiah, stand behind him. Let none of our oppressors reach his mind. Keep the spirits of anxiety, worry, fear, hurt, doubt, anger, or bitterness, out of his mind. Replace those thoughts with hope, assurance, salvation and righteousness. If you run into trouble and are battling in an unusually rough spot, simply repeat the name that is always above all names, El Shaddai, for he will be our might in this conflict.

Men, let no piece of young Wesley be seen by the tormentors. Shine with excruciating brightness, blind the room. Hold together so that none of the tyrants can reach him.  You will be worn out. Keep fighting. If you are hurt, keep standing.  A soul is at stake and a mother is praying. Our vigilance has been demanded by the Father. We will not lose.

Now, go… and I will see you after the victory.


"Wes chose to draw instead of finishing his work. He had to stay in at recess."  #itwasahardfirstdayback #EthanandLaylaweresti...