church

Real Relationships

Eye-opening: Learn How Africans Support Moms

A group of mom's huddled together in Gulu, Uganda.

A group of mom's huddled together in Gulu, Uganda.

When I left home for two weeks to visit Uganda, my wife Whitney and I spent a week planning to help her manage the house and two toddlers. We had to because, point blank, we're largely on our own.

To be clear, our parents drive the hour or so to come help if we ask. Our siblings are glad to provide a meal.  Whitney is part of several women's groups at church and they do sweet things for her.

It's not near enough.

When I rolled into one village after another in Uganda I saw the women work together, pass babies, watch after the kids, even breastfeed the hungry together.

I'm not writing this to throw anyone under the bus, but to highlight an ill of our way of life in the United States. And provide a few solutions.

Look, my Mom and Mother-in-law can't help much, they work 9-5's, live an hour away, their pet's need care, and they have busy lives of their own. Most of our church family is a 15-minute drive, and they too work or have multiple kids of their own.

Despite living in a dense neighborhood, there aren't many stay-at-home Mom's within a walk of our house, in fact, there aren't any. Whitney mostly meets nanny's and grandparents at the park. And when she does meet a stay-at-home mom, they typically have an impenetrable routine of activities.

I don't know of any mom's who simply join each other in the monotony and mess of everyday life at each other's homes on a regular basis.

And that makes me really sad.

We work hard (both parents) to be wealthy, we're spread out, we've got all the gear, the activities, the outsourced child care--but @@we don't have the rich and authentic community with our neighbors that African's have.@@

As a result, I believe, we're eroding quality of life, especially for Mom's who bear an overwhelming burden, who dip in and out of loneliness, who have few places they can go without feeling like they have to "get ready."

I'm also saddened by how many people lack empathy for these mom's. Especially a generation of mom's who raised their own children in isolation as a single mom or as a result of living far from family.

The unspoken message is that moms need to suck it up and pull it off like they did it, largely alone. Their @@hearts have been hardened over years of separation from the type of community the Church is supposed to have@@ (read the book of Acts). 

Now look, my blog is all about building up the Church, about solutions; here's what  I've got:

  1. Family, make time. Do you really have to work, or can you make a lifestyle change to be with your family? Can you move closer, even for a week, a month, 6 months? It was a game-changer when my Mom came to California for two weeks when we had our 2nd. This will be one of the greatest mutually life-giving investments you can make. 
  2. Learn a Mom's schedule. It can feel like everything revolves around mom's. Most just keep their head above water and a tight nap and feeding schedule greatly helps with child behavior. You've got to ask questions to understand their schedule and how you can help within it. And be flexible for changes.
  3. A regular presence is gold. Given that Mom's have tight schedules, its a great boost when you committing to some regular, a couple hours every Wednesday, for example. We just had a friend offer to take the boys every couple Friday's, now we plan on getting caught up on that day. It's HUGE for us. 
  4. Give a Mom permission to be herself. In our society, Mom's often feel like they've got to meet a certain standard to even leave the house. The reality at home is much messier, and often they don't want to let others in. Let a mom know you're okay with her and her home, in any state, in advance. 
  5. Look around your neighborhood. Proximity is EVERYTHING, that's why African's can be so available to each other, their village is small and they don't have to load up the car for a visit. Want to bless a mom? Look right in your own neighborhood to ensure you can truly be available. 
  6. Look around your church. In my own church, I'm texting with a few other men who's wives are in the same boat as my own. If you see a young family with their hands full, ask how you can bless them.
  7. Be encouraging, and don't give unsolicited advice. It seems like where help is hard to come by, advice is aplenty! And for a mom who is struggling, the last thing they want to hear is how you were able to figure it out, or about some mom who has it harder. Best to say, "I think you're doing a great job!" or to just keep quiet if you can't actually help. 
  8. Prayer and notes go a long way. Maybe you're too far away to help and can't move. I know Whitney has been incredibly blessed to get a text from a friend saying they're praying for her that day. One time, her own Mom sent a card saying she's doing a great job and when we read it we both teared up. It's still on our fridge a year later as an encouragement to us. 
  9. Be a proactive servant. A lot of Mom's are afraid to ask for help. So initiate and stick with it. We have had two friends recently offer to watch the boys once a week. One came over and jumped in to take the boys to play and later asked if she could fold laundry. Such a simple act, but Whitney and I will never forget her desire to serve us in that way.
  10. Often help = holding a baby. Most baby's want to be held by a human, which is awesome, but it's hard to do other stuff like discipline kids, make a meal, etc. Holding a baby is one of the most peaceful, calming, quiet joys one can have in this frenetic world. I LOVE holding babies now, and I guess I'm just a little surprised there isn't a line of people at our door wanting to hold ours too. In summary, go hold someone's baby (just make sure you're not sick). 
We literally wept when we got this simple encouragement. Words are powerful.

We literally wept when we got this simple encouragement. Words are powerful.

Adventures in Faith

Here's My Schedule, As Related to Church Priorities

Sometimes I think it's helpful to know, very practically, what people do with regards to their faith.

I remember when I met Francis Chan wanting to just ask him, how much do you pray and when? Where do you go to pray. Real practical details!

So anyway, one thing I've realized about myself is that it's really helpful for me to have blocks of time scheduled in my calendar to pray, read Scripture, and be with other Christians so that God can work through all of those things.

Here's what that looks like right now:


Sunday

10:00a   Get to church 30 min. early to talk to people

All-day   Whitney and I literally block Sundays from work and big trips

Tuesday

6:30a        I hop on a 60 min. call to pray with guys from the Philly New Canaan Society Chapter

5:30p        I hop on a 45 min. call to talk life with New Canaan Society guys from across the country

Wednesday

All-day     I typically fast, replacing meals with prayer

Thursday

6:30a      I meet guys from my church for breakfast and to check-in on life, we also often read a book

6:00p     Monthly a group of guys talks life as part of the New Canaan Society Philly Chapter

Friday

7a   Once a month I grab breakfast with guys from the New Canaan Society Philly Chapter

11a   Every week I hop on a 1-hour call with a dear brother to talk about our ministry in common, writing about our faith journey


Above and beyond this, there is my own unscheduled time in Scripture, in prayer, and in fellowship, which has times of intensity and times when it is less so. I like that it isn't schedule or formulaic, but I also very much appreciate the discipline and rhythm that this schedule has provided for my faith.

By no means am I saying this is the right amount, for some its not possible, for others it wouldn't be enough. I yearn for a time when I do far more, Whitney and I are eyeing volunteering to at church and admire people who are more active in ministry or leading worship and all the extra time that entails. 

In closing, as I've alluded to in this recent blog post about building a deep church family, I think making these kinds of sacrifices of time are essential, not to mention Biblically sound, and I hope this is helpful and an encouragement to some of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Adventures in Faith

This is How I Fight for Real Church Community

I want genuine church family. The kind it talks about in the Book of Acts.

People that I know and who know me--strengths and my weaknesses.

People I can repent to, and who will hold me accountable and sharpen me.

People I'm going to support (and by supported by) materially and spiritually.

The kind of church family that I trust to help raise up my kids.

Since 2012 Whitney and I have searched for this, we've looked at lots of churches, big and small. And this type of community is hard to come by.

If I have to point to the top reason why, it's simple, it's not a priority for most people. Instead, we'd rather:

Be in lots of other social circles

Have ourselves or our kids in a bunch of activities

Preserve time to just be with our own family

Work a bunch so we can afford a more comfortable life

Also, for the most part, we pretty much wait to connect with them around church programmed small groups, picnics, or other functions.

The problem is, however, that most of us are pretty much booked solid, and so our only hope to connect more deeply is to either 1. quit stuff, or 2. bring our church family into the activities of our regular life. And I actually propose must of us need to do both!

Make no mistake, I'm guilty of this too. 

The only "leg I have to stand on here" is that I'm fighting this fight. I've quit stuff (watching sports regularly, physical training, hobbies), and Whitney and I are also doing the following: 

  1. We've joined a small group. I meet guys on Thursday morning for an hour to check in on life and typically we're reading through a book. Whitney does the same on Fridays.
  2. I show up at the Men's breakfasts and other events whenever I can. Even more, I've signed up to help out once in awhile.
  3. We've started reaching out to anyone who shows any sign of wanting to connect more. We give them our number and get theirs, then text them. This usually leads to us inviting folks over for dinner, and we take it from there. 
  4. I've targeted specific people to talk to, typically men who exhibit real commitment or wisdom, and ask to have coffee with them just to learn who they are, and figure out ways we might work together.
  5. We pray for people we meet and to connect more deeply, and we sometimes will let people know we're praying and if we've gotten any sense from the Lord about it. 
  6. Whitney and I have couples over for dinner every few months.
  7. We sign up for the opportunities to meet other new members, for example, our church has a "Dinner for 8" program to keep us meeting new people.

Is this a formula for deep spiritual community. Not at all.

In fact, it's going much more slowly that Whitney and I would like. We're a long way away from sitting down with other families to talk about our possessions and what we need to sell to support each other, like it says in Acts 2:45

But we're not giving up, and we're trusting that God is going to provide this in the right season. And in the absence of it, as we've prayed about it, we've sensed that God is saying to us, "right now, I am enough." He's also given us a vision about one day having deeper community, and we trust His promise there.

I'm also starting to get more upfront about what I'm looking for in the church. I've been telling guys that I want to talk about the serious aspects of life, or I just start talking about them myself.

Recently, one gentleman in the church and I sat down and started thinking through how we can challenge more guys to be interested in this kind of community. It's a work in progress, but we've got a few ideas we're going to try.

Adventures in Faith

The Body of Christ = Prayer Coverage

Got a call last night from a dear brother in Christ, he's a pastor in Connecticut, among other things. Anyway, I listened to his voicemail this morning, it was him praying for me and for my family for three minutes and it changed my whole day, maybe more.

As I listened to it, my spirit leaped--what he was saying was not him just saying stuff, it wasn't a normal prayer, it stirred something inside me deeply, it changed my day.

And this particular brother has a habit of doing this. I literally have received so many calls from him (and humorously 9 out of 10 go to voicemail) that it quickly ate up all my voicemail space. These voicemails are such a treasure that I opened a Dropbox storage account just to save them.

By the way, often his voicemails go beyond the three minute limit per message for 2, 3, even 10 messages in a row. He's someone who is praying in the Holy Spirit, he's sharing real truth, and that's why these gems are so valuable to me that I save them and go back and listen to them.

I have dozens of messages like this, not just from this one brother, but others too. Am I sharing this because I'm special and want to rub it in your face? Not at all.

I'm sharing this because I believe this is supposed to be the common experience for the Christian living in fellowship of the church body. And just going to church doesn't guarantee you this experience. In fact, I'm just coming off a year when Whitney and I were searching for a church where, in some ways, these kinds of calls from brothers was a big part of what church meant to me. 

The reality is that these calls, the timing, the words that are spoken, knowing that God is putting you on the mind of someone else at just the right time, they become deeply touching evidence about how real and good God really is.

So what do you do if this isn't happening for you? Here's what I propose:

1. Hang around other people who want to pray. Maybe the're at your church, a Bible study, it could be anywhere. Listen for clues that they might be praying and offer to join them. You'll find that many churches have prayer as part of their regular routine.

2. Don't be discouraged if/when you don't start getting calls from people praying for you. The sad reality is that most people are overcommitted and don't actually pray for themselves, let alone other people. 

3. Start to pray for other people that are around you. And pray that God would put people in your life to pray for you.

4. Keep your eyes and ears open. Sometimes God sends us people but they don't look like what we'd expect and we miss it. Look for opportunities to connect with people who want to give and receive prayer.

5. Ask for prayer. Humble yourself enough to share details about what's going on in your life, be vulnerable and ask for prayer. 

As you put yourself out there, and forge new and deeper relationships, undoubtedly over time, God is going to start putting people around you that are praying for you, and God is going to use those people to show you how incredible he is, and its going to change your life. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
— James 1:6
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
— Ephesians 6:18

Adventures in Faith

5 Years Later I Met w/ the Pastor Who Wouldn't Baptize Me

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Adventures in Faith

I Want to Die

Every week I get to a place where I'm desperate for the Word of God. Sometimes I don't get my fill and the desperation grows. I know that the longer I stay away, the more I'm doing things in my own power, in ways that make sense to me, and the risk of being outside of God's will scares me.

Eventually I succumb and collapse at the feet of God. He's so gracious He's always there to pick me up, invite me to sit on His lap, and gently instruct and guide me. 

The point is that there are so many forces pulling me away from God. Yet, I'm already tuned into His Word, I've had a taste, I've submitted my life to Jesus, and there is no turning back. But staying there, well, its a daily battle.

The further I go into my faith, the more I see the miraculous unfolding in and around me, the more intense the battle rages. I get emails now from people who say my words or prayers or something I did brought them healing, it stirred up their interest in Jesus. I know this is God, just my making myself available to Him in some small way.

Alicia God.JPG

You'd think that with these kinds of things happening that I would be ever so committed. And in some ways I am, but in other ways I feel the opposing forces growing ever greater. I'm like the Stretch Armstrong doll being pulled to the limit, until I finally get the wisdom and courage to shout to the enemy "let go, out of here, in the name of Jesus!" Then I go springing toward the prevailing force, that of my savior. 

Is this all about shaking my hand free from the enemy that's trying to pull me away? I think that, rather, its about choosing the hand that is outstretched to me so fully that I no longer have an open hand to the enemy. 

This isn't easy. I mean, on one hand (excuse the pun) it IS EASY. But then again, no, it's not. This is a struggle because I am at war with my flesh. I am at war with the world. I become interested in the pleasures of the world. The comforts of it. Even the comforts of the church and what I see and hear preached.

Lord, help me, save me, show me YOUR WISDOM. Not the wisdom of men.

I saw this sermon by Francis Chan. This brother, well, just listen to what he says about the church in China. That desperation, that abandon of self, I crave that. I crave to give up my life for Jesus.

I was thinking this last night. Then I cracked open my Bible to pick up with my reading this morning, and the verse that I read is John Chapter 10. You should read it, anyway here's a verse that jumped out at me:

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
— Jesus speaking in Matthew Chapter 10, verse 17-18

So, here I am, sitting before my computer, and before God, and before you, and I'm asking, "What does it mean for me to die to myself?" I have a couple ideas, here they are:

  1. Die to wasting time with mindless activity, and replace it with studying God's word.
  2. Die to over indulgence and comfort that robs early morning hours in prayer.
  3. Die to the sense that I can manufacture success, and bathe every effort in prayer.
  4. Die to the obsession with my self and own image, and seek instead of build up others.
  5. Die to free spending on things I don't need, and give more money away.
  6. Die to my instinct to criticize, and instead practice holding my tongue.
  7. Die to shortness with my wife, and practice assuming the best and active loving her.
  8. Die to the apathy I have that God is moving and drawing people all around me.
  9. Die to my lack of focus on learning songs of praise and memorizing Scripture.
  10. Die to judging those who wrong me, and instead pray for and seek to bless them.
  11. Die to the lust of the flesh and focus heartily on my wife, purity, cleansing in the Word.
  12. Die to avoiding service to the church and rather build it up right where I am.
  13. Die to favoring quick and dirty responses to the issues of the day versus being rooted in the bigger picture and more sustained faithful efforts.

I've had a taste of most of these things at times, and it is gut wrenching. I have a sense about the direction God wants me to go, the direction he's pulling me toward. I've gone down these paths, sometimes only to turn around the other direction. Or I go but look back. Or I go and lament going for a time, I grumble. Or I go, and sometimes, I embrace the great escape, the freedom, the power of overcoming the world, overcoming my own self, overcoming death for life, and in doing so, the Gospel and my faith comes alive.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
— Jesus in John Chapter 10, verse 10

People Getting It Done

Why Francis Chan Is My Favorite Pastor

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When I was first coming into my faith, a guy told me to look up Francis Chan's YouTube videos. The first one I found (just below) had me watching his videos late into the night, very impacted by what he was saying, his emphasis on the profound meaning of Scripture often overlooked, and his sense of urgency.

When I moved to California, I learned that Francis lived in San Francisco, and it wasn't too long before I had a chance to hear him preach in person at a youth event. I realized then that what strikes me most about Francis is his urgency, the man does not want to waste a minute on this Earth. That, and a fear of the Lord, has driven this man deep into his faith, and his teachings have literally changed me as a person.

In November 2013, at the New Canaan Society San Francisco Weekend, Francis was set to speak again. I was eager to hear what he was going to say to a few hundred business guys packed into the opulent Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill. Francis looked to be under duress during his talk, he gazed to Heaven, at one point he knelt on the ground in prayer before the men. Here is what he said.

After this talk, I was struck silent. I walked back to my hotel room, not wanting to listen to another speaker or talk to anyone, I just wanted to get on the ground before God in prayer. I wanted to repent that I just keep doing things on my own terms, not surrendering to God the way I know he is calling me to do. As I walked to my room, coming from the other direction was my roommate, Charlie. 

Charlie and I entered the room one after the other, and I don't recall that we spoke a single word to each other. We put our things down, he in his separate room, me in mine. We soon realized we were both about to be on the floor in prayer, and so we joined each other. We called out to God and our prayers sounded similar. We prayed for maybe forty five minutes or so.

As we got up, we recognized there was a reason we were connected through this group, that we were sharing a room, that we both came back to pray. We offered to each other that while we are friends, we really only know about 70% of each other, at best. We agreed that we didn't want to leave this conference, and make nominal changes for a few weeks or months, to return to the same old way of doing things.

We made a commitment right then and there that we would work hard to get to know each other. And, more importantly, we would call each other every day or two to hold each other accountable to reading Scripture and to getting before God in prayer.

Over a year later, Charlie and I still talk a couple times a week at the minimum, pray together, reveal our struggles as much as anything, and encourage each other through life. There are times when we'd rather not reach out for all kinds of reasons, sometimes we are even annoyed at each other, but we both know that our relationship serves a higher purpose, that investing in the other isn't just about us, its about drawing closer to God, and glorifying Him. I think its fairly rare to have these kinds of real relationships among men, but I think when the Holy Spirit moves men get connected in a very strong way in relationships that bear great fruits.

I digressed there a bit into my personal story, rather than about Francis Chan and why he is "Getting It Done." Most recently, I had a chance to have dinner with Francis with about a dozen other guys. We were eager to hear what he's been up to with his "Crazy Love" project in the Bayview section of San Francisco. In a nutshell, Francis decided to start living church with a core group of brothers and sisters that are known by their love and their unity first, and then multiply from there.

He shared over dinner how they had multiplied a couple of times already, he told stories about how Christ's love is being expressed, and the way that everyday men and women are being raised up to teach and make disciples. In fact, Francis says he seldom preaches, since everyone is willing and able to preach and share together.

The question that came to my mind, which I asked Francis, is this, "Are the people who are coming into the church poor?" Francis said that they are. And then the follow-up question, "Can it work among the rich?" This is the million dollar question (ok, pun intended). So many of the disciple making movements that I hear about that have the characteristics of the early church we read about in Acts, people loving and caring for each other and being united, well, it mostly seems to happen among the poor. 

This lead to Francis talking about a project he feels led to, a partnership with a larger church in Silicon Valley called Abundant Life. The elders at Abundant approached him about going "all in" for the kind of love and unity Francis is seeking with Crazy Love. And so, Francis has an opportunity to try "it" on a larger scale, he's come on as an elder and is preaching there periodically. Needless to say, I'm going to be praying for his effort and keeping an eye on the progress for sure. Here is a sermon Francis gave at Abundant Life called "Giving God Our Best."

In closing, I just heard Francis talk, again at the New Canaan Society Conference in San Francisco. And while a good deal of his talk was directed at the men and movement of NCS, his boldness in speaking the truth, in only desiring to please God was evident. And, his message about defining the God we serve from Revelation Chapter 4 has already vastly changed the way I pray. As soon as the video is available, I'll post it here online. 

Don't stop Francis, fly far as on the wings of eagles brother!

People Getting It Done

David Watson: Warrior for Christ

My first week at Cityteam was an immersion into caring for the poor, addicts, and reaching the lost, those who do not know Jesus. That included two days with David Watson, and everyone in the room with him knew that he was legit.

Truth, wisdom, patience, David is a man that lives to see Jesus made famous, and he has fought many battles along the way. He's lost friends as martyrs in Nepal, has lived in more countries that I can name, and he has trained up thousands of leaders that are making incredible impact around the world.

In short, because I'm not doing David much justice in my introduction here, if you want to know about discipleship from a warrior, follow David Watson's blog. He doesn't update it all that regularly, but there is meaty content already there. He also runs a FaceBook page called Church Planting Movements, with his son, Paul (who I'll cover in another post here soon). 

People Getting It Done, Legends

Kent Shaffer: Church Uniter

Kent and I met at a hackathon event in Silicon Valley, put on by Leadership Network. Kent stood out because he showed up early to pray over the space, he was clearly very smart but humble too. He helped me empty the trash and do the menial tasks it takes to run a straight 72-hour event for over 100 people, despite that he was listed as an esteemed mentor. He offered me access to his hotel room for a shower and to nap. Yet, there was a lightness about him too, we had fun together. And before we parted ways, Kent pulled me aside and said he wanted to help me, and encouraged me to think about ways that would be possible.

Kent and I have stayed connected ever since, which is saying a lot since he spent the year after we met traveling the United States with his family packed into an RV, with only occasional stops in one place for an extended time. Kent and his wife Evie felt called to be on the move with the purpose to connect the church, to share resources, and breakdown barriers. Kent's work manifests itself most clearly in two websites he runs, called Open Church and Church Relevance. Or follow his travels and commentary on Twitter here. Evie is a phenomenal artist/graphic designer/technologist and you can enlist her design services online here, and follow her artistic renderings online here

It is a great blessing for me and my wife to know the Shaffer's. When Kent makes occasional trips to the West Coast, we find time to sneak off on a hike up a mountain to pray in the early morning hours. And we were blessed recently when they parked their RV behind our home and we had a few days to have our families spend time together. They are dear souls, salt of the earth people, who you just know are following the Lord wherever He might take them.

Kent and I write back and forth to each other by email and text and an occasional phone call. To know that there is a man out there in the world who I know is following Jesus and who is like-minded, that I can call knowing he will be real with me, this is a priceless gift. When I look back on our relationship and consider how it formed, I know that it could only have happened through the work of the Holy Spirit. People just don't often meet each other, stay in touch via email, and consider themselves to be close as family. Yet, that's what Kent is to me, a dear brother in Christ. 

In closing, in one of our email exchanges where we were discussing a trial I was in the midst of, as he often does, Kent shared an insightful passage with me, this one from an Indian pastor named Abraham Israel:

Eagles are the only birds that love the storm. When all other birds try to flee from the storm and hide its fierceness, eagles fly into it and will use the wind of the storm to rise higher in a matter of seconds. They use the pressure of the storm to glide higher without having to use their own energy. They are able to do this because God has created them uniquely with an ability to lock their wings in a fixed position in the midst of the fierce storm winds.

After a certain period of experiencing storms face to face, eagles love to play in the storms. The storms in life that we as God’s royal eagles face are trials, tribulations, and temptations (John 16:33; James 1:12). As we face the stormy wind of afflictions in life, the Holy Spirit helps us lock our mind in a fixed position with the grace of God through faith in the finished work of the Cross, which helps us conserve energy and just stay in the storm and enjoy the lift and height of heavenly mindedness in a greater and greater altitude (1 Cor 10:13; Eph 6:16; 1 Peter 5:9-10; Phil 4:7).

After a period of time, we start to love the trials because of the positive things of peace that we are able to experience in the storm and the heavenly after effects of being lifted in to a great height of spirituality and ecstacy in believing (1 Peter 1:8), which would not be possible without it. This is the reason Apostle James said,
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

We as a person of royalty need to take a quality decision of accepting trials willingly with joy because it lifts us in to higher altitude of spirituality without us wasting even an ounce of energy. After we start to use all the maneuvers in the midst of storms, we will surely say, “Bring it on!” with a stout chest and our head held high.