The Orphan Spirit Is No Respecter of Persons

Doug Wead has researched the lives and families of all the American Presidents and many other national leaders seeking to find a link between the father’s influence and the child that eventually became an American President. At the time of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, the last two opponents standing were both men who had barely known their fathers: Barack Obama and John McCain. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton never knew their fathers; those men having died before the sons were born.

The father of Barack Obama left home in 1963, when his son was only two years old. They were separated by continents. Obama was twenty-one years old when he learned by a telephone message that the father he never knew was killed in an automobile accident. History now records Obama serving two consecutive terms as President of the United States. John McCain, historically the only son and grandson of four-star Admirals in the Navy, had a father who was very loving but very busy and mostly absent. In fact, history shows that many fathers of the American presidents died young. And even the ones who lived longer were busy, successful, but absent. George Herbert Walker Bush said of George W., “I was never there. Barbara raised him.” That said, he was one of only two fathers to actually attend their sons’ presidential inaugurations.

What impact would that have had on young men seeking to prove themselves or measure up? The truth is, Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao all fit the pattern of a strong mother attachment and an absent father. What is baffling, outside of an understanding of the orphan spirit, is that it seems to be the template for aggressive and criminal behavior as well as that of highest performers.

America’s prisons are full of young men who love their mothers and don’t know their fathers. Wead concludes, “It seems that both presidents and criminals drink from the same poisonous cup with vastly differing results. It was a strange tonic for good to the achieving presidents and a formula for terrible emotional damage to the criminal.”i

Here is the point: authority figures are not perfect – whether parents, pastors, teachers, or politicians – and Satan uses their imperfections as entry points for an orphan spirit. As we will see in The Abba Factor, the orphan spirit thrives in the highest places of wealth and power and lowest places of poverty. The orphan spirit is no respecter of persons,

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i Doug Wead, The Raising of President and All the Presidents’ Children (Atria Books, 2005). Doug Wead chronicles that many other American Presidents lost their fathers at an early age. James Garfield was one year old when his father died. Andrew Johnson was three, Herbert Hoover six, George Washington eleven, and Thomas Jefferson fourteen. Fully nineteen presidents lost their fathers before they reached age thirty.

 


All Rights Reserved 2018 | Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood

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What’s the Big Deal with Christmas?

Why do we celebrate Christmas? There are many reasons. It’s a time of goodwill and cheer. It’s a time when we express our love to one another through gifts. It’s a time for families to gather – maybe to spend time with those relatives that we only get to see once a year. But the main reason (which many don’t want to acknowledge) is that at Christmas we celebrate that Jesus was born. Why is that such a big deal? Why is this particular birthday worthy of such celebration? If we misunderstand this event, we will miss out on the true meaning of “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”

The birth of Jesus was not an ordinary birth. It’s not just that He was born in a manger (though that was unusual). It’s not just that angels were singing (though that was unusual). It’s not just that there was a huge star that pointed the way to His birthplace (though that was unusual). It’s not just that He was born of a virgin (though that was certainly extraordinary). The big deal with Jesus’ birth is that it marked the moment when God took on human form.

God, the creator of the universe, who upholds it by the power of His word, chose to become one with His creation. The infinite, almighty God, took on finite, limited, weak human form. In this unexplainable act of love, God forever committed Himself to the human cause. In Jesus, there is no more separation between God and humans; instead what we find is a perfect, selfless act of infinite, other-centered, overflowing love.

For centuries people have wrestled with the notion of Jesus being fully God and fully man. It defies human comprehension. To reconcile the discomfort, we tend to favor one aspect of Jesus’ being while downplaying the other. Philosophers, theologians, great thinkers, have done this for centuries.

On one hand, some people regard Jesus as a godly man – a man with a full God-awareness; a man with the courage of a god; a man full of God; a man with great moral character; an unparalleled leader, teacher and guide; but still… just a man. But the Bible clearly says that Jesus was (and is) God:

John 5:18 – [Jesus] was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus knew clearly who He was. There was no doubt in Him that He was indeed God. And we also find these in several other places in Scripture (here are just a few):

John 1:1,14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Philippians 2:5-6 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.

Colossians 2:9 – In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.

On the other hand, some people (like the Gnostics) regard Jesus as God, but downplay His humanity. But to really know Jesus, we must remember the human limitations that He experienced when He walked on the earth. The Bible says that Jesus was

· Born of a woman, born under the law

· Grew in wisdom and stature

· Was fully flesh and bones (limited by time and space)

· Had a rational mind

· Experienced emotions – sadness, compassion, rejection, anguish

· He was hungry and thirsty

· He needed sleep

· He depended on God (prayer)

· He displayed obedience to the Father (not self-sufficient, nor independent)

So, what’s the big deal? What does all of that mean?

It means that in Jesus we have the perfect Savior – one who can identify with our frailty, but who at the same time is the solution.

· If you are sorrowful, remember that Jesus wept – and that He is your joy, who turns your mourning into dancing.

· If you are sick, remember that Jesus bore our sicknesses on His body – and that He is your healer.

· If you are weak or tired, remember that Jesus felt likewise – and that He is your strength.

· If you feel lonely, remember that Jesus was abandoned, betrayed and rejected – and that He is an ever-present friend.

· If you are anxious, remember that Jesus sweat drops of blood – and that He is your peace.

· If you are dealing with temptation, remember that Jesus was also tempted – and that He gives you a way out and forgives your sins.

· If you have need, remember that Jesus faced situations where resources were not enough – and that He is your provider.

· If you feel far from God, remember that Jesus felt the same separation when He hung on the cross – and that He wants to show you the Father and reconcile you to Him.

· If you are making decisions, remember that Jesus knows what it means to seek the Father’s counsel – and that He is your wisdom and guide.

· If you feel inadequate for the task ahead, remember that Jesus did supernatural works because He was anointed by the Holy Spirit – and He wants to fill you with the same Holy Spirit so you can do all that you are called to do.

Because Jesus was born – fully God and fully man – there is no separation between God and humanity. No matter what you are facing, you don’t have to look at your human limitation. You can come boldly to God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. In Jesus we have the guarantee that God is with us and for us. And this is why we gladly celebrate Christmas.

We can say, together with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood | All Rights Reserved 2017

Abba Hugs

When I speak of Abba hugs, I refer to those unmistakable, though often seemingly insignificant, ways in which Abba (Jesus’ term for the Father) shows us how much He loves us. During our recent trip to the Mediterranean, my friend Kristin said she sensed God saying that Kerry and I were “feasting on God’s goodness.” And so it was.

I could list the obvious ways in which God shows His love for us. We are so very blessed to have life, health, wonderful family and friends… And even the so-called blessings that come with living in a country that affords us a very comfortable lifestyle. All of those we receive with gratitude from the hand of God. I could add to that the enjoyment of going in such a wonderful vacation… But the Abba hugs I’m referring to are those little things that show us that we have a father who delights to give good things to his children – just because… Let me share with you one specific example to illustrate what I mean…

IMG_20160812_1119442In Chania, Crete, we were walking along the Venetian Port (marina), observing the delightfully clear water of the Mediterranean. It was extremely hot, and I verbalized how I would give anything to be able to jump in that water. So a man offered to take our picture. We exchanged pleasantries and he told us he’s from Australia but has a Cretan wife and they’re spending some time there. We parted ways and we continued our walk. He then came back and started talking again, and told us we should walk to the Egyptian Lighthouse – which we had seen but had no intention of walking to. So convincing was his argument that we made the long walk, in the heat, only to find that in the middle of the long trek there was a little beach where my desire was satisfied. We went in the water, from which we had the most perfect view of the lovely “Old Town Chania.” And I felt a hug from Abba, and sensed His delight in giving me my heart’s desire.

You could say it was just a coincidence. You could say we would have found that spot anyway.

Perhaps.

But perhaps God ordered our steps so we would have the information we needed to do what was in our heart but which we wouldn’t have known how to do.

As someone wisely said, “I find that the more I pray, the more coincidences I find.” And I find that the more I spend time communing with the Father, the more I see how He gives me the desired  es of my heart.

Are you taking time to notice the “Abba hugs” you are receiving today? Why not take some time to thank the Father for His goodness. It’s a good exercise for the spirit and the soul.


Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood | All Rights Reserved

Carriers of God’s Glory

1 Kings 6 describes the temple that Solomon built.  It is quite an impressive structure, with great attention to detail, and the “best of the best.”  It is massive, built with quality stones, cedar wood, all kinds of carving, and overlaid with gold.

In my mind I picture this and think of the churches and cathedrals I have visited that take my breath away.  The massive structures, with beautiful stained-glass windows, lots of gold, gems and artwork.  They are so ornate…

Then I think, Why?  Why would we build such ornate, lavish structures?

Because they are temples, fit for a King – and not just any King, but the King of kings.  The buildings display, in human terms, the splendor and majesty of the King.  It seems that the goal is to evoke a sense of awe and wonder for the glory of the King.

And yet… I am reminded that the glory of our King is magnificently displayed in the person of Jesus – in God the almighty, the King of kings, taking human form – the lowliest of lowlies, the servant of all.  Certainly our King is not like earthly kings.  His glory is beyond our comprehension.  In Jesus, He has chosen to forever have humanity be the temple of His glory.

Look at what Paul says in Acts 17:24-25 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything”

Then in 1 Corinthians 6:19 he reminds us, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”

Our King is crowned in glory and majesty.  And… wow… could it be that His glory is in me?

In Ephesians 1:15-18 Paul prays for us, “For this reason . . . I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Did you catch that?  We need a Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know the riches of His glorious inheritance IN the saints… Not FOR the saints, but IN the saints.

We are His glorious inheritance.  The scandal of the Gospel is that our King has chosen for His glory to show through the imperfection of human vessels.

You are a carrier of His glory!  His power is made perfect in your weakness.  Wherever you go, let His glory shine in your life.  Let Him be through you.  Let others see His splendor when they see you.  Let others be touched by His majesty when they come in contact with you.  You are a carrier of God’s glory!


Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood  2015  | All Rights Reserved