Mishpachah Yeshua Newsletter

A Newsletter To The Family Of Jesus From Restoration Ministries

The Hebraic family is not simply an individual or private matter.
Rather, it is an institution in which the whole community has a stake.
Thus, the Hebrew word “mishpachah,” meaning family, not only refers to parents and children,
but to the whole extended family worldwide in the body of “Yeshua”—our Jesus.

[click here for a printable copy]

February 2001 Topic: Don’t Let the Coyote Eat Your Child(ren)

Dear Men,
From our apartment in Flagstaff we hike as often as we can and frequently encounter elk, deer, eagles, and an occasional fox. We eagerly anticipate seeing something around each bend in the trail. It was with this backdrop that the Holy Spirit prompted me to listen intently to a cashier in our local WalMart:
“I was riding home just north of Parks when I saw her foaling. I stopped and took my binoculars out to watch the antelope laying on the ground as her foal was coming out. Around her were 4 or 5 coyotes waiting to eat the baby.” In disbelief I asked, “Do they do that?” The cashier, who had been raised in Flagstaff, replied, “I’ve seen them eating the baby even before it’s fully out of the mother. Ever since they passed laws stopping the trapping of coyotes, antelope have almost disappeared.” As I left the store the Holy Spirit prompted, “Start your next newsletter with this story. It’s about how fathers are being duped into letting their children be devoured.”
The coyote is used in Navajo storytelling to represent certain types of men:
• Men who are individualistic or concerned only with their own self-interest.
• Men who speak with their fingers crossed behind their back to cover a lie or a promise they don’t intend to keep.
Even the scraggly reservation dog is held in higher esteem than the coyote.

Hellenistic Church — Devouring Families
As Sue and I began to write the article, “The Unsteepled Church—Upholding the Dignity of God’s Children by Restoring Self-Supporting Faith Commu-nities”, I began to gain understanding into the antelope story and the coyote system that Hellenism produced.
Hellenism was utilitarian and permitted a pleasure-bent society to remove itself from responsibilities. Women wanting to keep their figures had slaves bear their children. Anyone not useful to society, including the old, were killed. Men were subtly induced to turn their back on family responsibilities.
Consider the effect today: A church-attending man may father a child, just as a male antelope does. But from the time the child is born, the coyote system waits to devour. It’s subtle because if the coyote attacked his family, he would fight for them. But the attack was presented to him under the guise of making his life easier.
Men:
• When someone watched your little one so that he wouldn’t “disrupt the service,” you gave your child to the coyote.
• When someone else was given the responsibility to teach your child biblical truths in Sunday school so that you felt relieved of that duty, you gave way to the coyote.
• When the clergy replaced you in bringing the rhema of God’s Word to your wife, you left her to the coyotes.

You walked off like the male antelope and left your children to the coyotes! By abdicating your responsibility you cut off your family from knowing you as the spiritual head of your household, the one our Father holds responsible to train up your family in His ways!
I’m not being too dramatic. How are the kids who grew up in your congregation doing 5 or 10 years later? What is the divorce rate in your church? Surveys of the coyote churches, the ones in which a father’s or husband’s responsibilities are usurped, are finding the fruit of youth work to be almost nil. As Barna’s surveys tragically report, churched families are plagued by a higher divorce rate than those that are outside the church. Men outside the church aren’t being seduced to leave their children to the youth pastor or Sunday school teacher to raise. Until they enter the church the coyote can’t get at his kids.
It takes “alpha” (boss) coyotes to keep this system going. Whenever a father/husband steps out of the antelope mold and questions why his biblical responsibilities are being usurped, the “alpha” coyote begins to subtly discredit him. Is it any wonder that our Lord, grieving over the havoc wreaked upon families by these alpha coyotes, has enabled them to become the highest divorce rate occupation in the US? But enough about the coyote. God still holds us men accountable to fulfill the responsibilities He’s given us. It’s time we quit acting like male antelopes and begin to live like the men God needs us to be.

The Restoration Diagram was given to Sue and me by the Lord to summarize the relational priorities for His children. How closely do these priorities match yours?
Jesus is far more than just a Name in the center of the diagram. He is the supreme relationship. Every subtlety of Satan will be used to keep this relationship as distant as possible. He’ll offer you and your family impersonal religious activity to keep you distracted from your responsibility to care for and protect them. 
Our family needs to hear from us men how we saw Jesus’ hand in the events of our day! They need to hear how the Holy Spirit prompted us to pray, and the answer God gave! Our children need to see us men as children who trust our Father in childlike dependence: “[U]nless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).  

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place” 
(Psalm 28:2).
Stop deceiving yourself that enticing, time-devouring church programs and activities come from the heart of God. They are the after-birth of Hellenism.
The Father desires your childlike loving trust. The Bible shows us how quickly our Father responds to the cry of His children. Often it requires that we correctly perceive our circumstances before we cry out. Jonah ducked his responsibility and God got his attention in a smelly belly for three days. When he found himself beyond any human help he cried out in prayer (see 2:1-9). Our Father heard his cry! His wonderful response to Jonah: “And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (2:10). He didn’t end up cast out of the fish’s gut into the wave-tossed sea, but onto dry ground!!!
Jonah’s cry embraces a confession required of each man who wants to rid himself of the coyote shroud: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (2:8). Put simply, “idols” are anything that interferes with our relational obedience to God and His Word. Hellenist practices that relegate your spiritual responsibilities to others are idols. Think about this...  
I’ve never seen our Father take longer than 24 hours to begin to answer the heart-cry of His child. Remember, you are His child, not His adult! There are times when we need to cry out—asking Him for the course of action that would bring Him the greatest glory. Our Father depends a lot on us fathers to represent Him to our families. We are in a position to offer our kids the best picture of Who He is. They’ll avoid the coyotes if they can see their own father totally dependent on the heavenly Father, leading them in an intimate relationship with Him. [Have you ordered Jesus Freaks yet by contacting Voice of the Martyrs at 1-800-747-0085? Powerful!]

A Tribute to My Dad
I remember times I got up extra early and found my Dad kneeling in prayer. I’m crying just remembering the beauty of seeing him kneel before God. He wasn’t a very educated man, he probably wasn’t the best of fathers, but he showed me something that no church program could ever reveal—a trust that was lived out in the quiet solitude of the morning. Because of him I’m a morning person with our Lord.
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Ps. 5:3). Start the morning with God and see what He does with your day.

Dear Women,
Would the people close to you—your husband, your children, your dearest friends—ever identify you as a yielded person? How important that attribute is if you are to be a woman whose home is a sanctuary and whose family “calls her blessed” (Prov. 31:28).
Wives That Knife
How I wish I had better understood yieldedness and devotion from our Lord’s perspective! I’m a very task-oriented person: Give me a specific job to do, or several, and I will work til I’m past exhaustion to make sure it’s done right. My family, though, will pay for it! Not that I MEAN to snap or roll my eyes or sigh pointedly. But it’s very difficult for me to say “No” to a need, particularly if the need is expressed by someone I care for or don’t want to disappoint.
This is where I so desperately need the counsel, courage and perspective of my husband to say “No” when I need to hear it. That “No” is for the good of ALL of us so that harmony can be maintained in our home. Sometimes (hopefully not often) I will respond with arguments or rationalization. The more likely scenario, though, when I choose not to trust that God is working through Mike to help me grow in trust in His sovereignty, is control.
Control can be a very subtle form of manipulation, such as withdrawal or sullen silence. You’re letting everyone know that you may be submitting on the outside but the inside is red-hot seething! But stop for a minute and consider the atmosphere that your control produces: “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand” (Prov. 27:15). That “dripping” of cynical comments or cold stares may not be the demanding forcefulness that you envision control to be, but you are getting across the point all too vividly that your perceived rights have been violated—and you aren’t about to back down!
Pause for moment and consider a message that’s being picked up by your children: rebellion. If they observe that your unyieldedness produces manipulated results, they’ll have no qualms about responding likewise—to you or to their Dad. The wholeness and peace that come from each one walking in righteousness and justice—treating one another as they want to be treated—evaporates, leaving distrust and self-centeredness in its place. Is that a price that you’re willing to pay for not trusting that our Sovereign Lord has His best interests planned for you? His order produces His results. Your manipulation and control produce discord and division.
You may have had some bad experiences with authority figures in your life: a distant father, a chronically dissatisfied boss, a jealous former boyfriend. Over the years you’ve learned to survive, but your trust that our Lord will intervene and “make things right” has been eroded because you’ve insisted that He do it your way.
My stomach turned as Mike related the account of the coyotes eating the baby antelope. But then I began to grieve for the parents and children in the families who are being torn apart by irresponsibility and false expectations and failure to trust in our Lord.
Ask yourself two key questions: Am I a woman who is building my husband up to trust our Father to answer prayer in a mighty way? Am I eagerly coming alongside him to encourage relationships with specific older men of wisdom with whom he can relate outside of the confines of a programmed Bible study or men’s meeting? Or am I a woman who grumbles in her heart that he isn’t the spiritual leader that my children look up to, that he isn’t as exciting as the youth group leader or as deep in biblical knowledge as my pastor? Am I knifing him in front of others in my prayer group by couching disappointment in holy sounding petitions?

Mothers That Smother
It’s sometimes hard to believe that the best interests we have for our children don’t always line up with how God designed them. When I recall how our son was “bent” by our Lord, I am pained that I didn’t follow our Lord’s command in Prov. 22:6 to train him up in the way he should go—that very particular way that would have strengthened him in his uniqueness and forestalled a lot of tension and anxiety on all our parts!
Our son has a wonderful merciful heart that knew just how to respond to the elderly, the infirm, the very young. But when we were homeschooling him for his junior high and senior high years, I felt a self-imposed pressure to force all sorts of college-prep courses on him just in case that was God’s plan for him. There was nothing wrong per se in teaching him physics, for example (a subject that I struggled with as much as he did), or Spanish, with which he wrestled painfully, or piano, and we won’t even go into that. But his heart lay with helping and encouraging and communicating. What potential was smothered because I did not fan that flame and encourage him to spend an afternoon a week reading to the lonely at a convalescent home or volunteering as a hospital orderly or tutoring a neighborhood youngster? I was so concerned with fitting him into my own mold of academic readiness that I missed the value of life experience. Because I had a teaching degree, I intimidated my non-credentialed husband and insisted on all those hours of homework that shortchanged other areas of our son’s life.
Perhaps your smothering is taking another direction. You are so fearful for your child’s well-being that you control and schedule every hour of his or her life. Not wanting to fail your child (or your role as a good mother), you enroll him in a waterfall of activities and lessons. You stand over her as she wrestles with her homework so she gets it all correct.
Dr. James Dobson made an insightful comment a few years ago. He expressed his regret that Christian parents expect their kids to get it right the first time and to never fail. Christian parents dread that their children make a mistake, so the child never learns the meaning of consequences.
Trial and error is a significant means of helping our children to own in their hearts what is really important rather than just imitating their parents. How vital it is for a young person to learn the consequence of something relatively minor, like spending all of her clothing money on one expensive item and then having to wear holey underwear until she earns more, than to wait for something with serious outcome, such as choosing to experiment with fornication or alcohol. Your child is not a “little you.” He’s a very individual person who needs a fearless, compassionate mother and a supportive, righteous father to help him to explore both the possibilities and the outcomes of life’s decisions, great and small.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you”
Psalm. 143:8.
Our Lord wants us to see how absolutely dependent we are on His unfailing mercy. Crying out to Him is an aspect of my prayer life that involves both intense pain (Why did I wait?) and profound peace (Thank You, Lord). Letting go of expectations and outcomes is a daily challenge. Choose to let control be consumed on our Lord’s altar. Purpose to yield to the headship of your husband with trust in our Father’s sovereignty. Earnestly pray that your husband will respond to His keen and faithful impulse so that together you will be a vessel equipped for His use.