Alliance: Month 3 — I have a daughter!

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Wow, what a ride!! We are now 95 days into this alliance and I have already learned so much. I’m being stretched and challenged constantly. I’m also enjoying family life immensely!

One of my favorite revelations of the past couple months is the great difference between the statements “I am a father, ” and “I have a daughter!”

The first statement is about an offer of relationship on my part. My children may or may not accept that offer. I’m offering protection and provision and care and emotional support and presence, and commitment and on and on… That’s my offer and it’s wrapped in the statement “I am a father.”

The second statement is about how that offer is received and reciprocated. Will you simply take the provision and protection, or will you also return honor and affection, and submission to my authority?

When I last opened a window into this part of my life, both of the younger members of our team were adamantly refusing to be my children. They wanted a dad, but had no idea what that looks like and how it changes their lives. So any assertion of authority on my part was met with staunch defiance. The proverbial shaking of the fist and the cry “I am not yours.”

I’ve learned so much about the way I have related to my earthly and heavenly fathers. How deliberate am I about sonship? I have the best possible father who is in heaven, and He has blessed with an amazing father here on earth. So statement one is covered, but how am I doing at being a son to them? How am I doing at seeking their interests, their vision, submitting to their authority which seeks only my highest good? Am I operating as son or orphan? Do I want only the blessings but not the responsibilities of relationship?

The question applies across the board to all types of relationship. Do I simply have a great wife, or am I a great husband (pronounced: servant) to my great wife? Am I a son to my father in heaven? Am I a son to my father on earth? Would my actions indicate an identity of stranger, slave, servant or son? Am I honoring and affectionate or sullen and stand-offish?

Are you a son?

Are you a daughter?

On earth as it is in heaven?

Would God say of you “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,” or is He only able to say of you “I am his/her father.”

Nothing pleases the heart of a father like watching his children walk in their identity as sons and daughters.

Great News, Y’all!!! I have a daughter!!! She was my daughter anyway because her identity is true regardless of her response. She was no less my daughter before she owned it. But now she knows it and that means she can receive so much more of the abundance encoded within that identity. Be at peace in this, friend, that you are a child of the King whether or not you have walked in that identity, but there is such favor and fullness when you put that identity on and wear it like a treasured robe!

She waits for me when I get home in the evening, she comes out to the car and takes my laptop, my camera bag, the food bag, she literally insists that I carry nothing. She won’t even let me open the door! Then she orders me to wait at the table while she dishes up the scrumptious meal my wife has created, and my daughter serves me dinner.

She asks me daily “Are you busy?” which is code for “Can you hang out with me?” If you know me, you know I’m busy. But I’m never so busy I can’t make time to hang with this beautiful creature/creator. She makes these great little movies on an app called Musical.ly and she delights in showing them to me.

We had a momentary disconnect last week. She yelled hurtful things at me. I put on a brave face, but as soon as she stormed out, I retreated to the office, curled up on the floor and cried. Not long after, she came to the door and knocked. I uttered a weak, “come in.”

She stood near my desk and said “I’m sorry.” I stuck up my hand and said “I love you.” She grabbed my hand and said “I love you too.”

Thank you Jesus! I have a daughter!

Life with Family: It ain’t easier; it’s just sweeter!

 

 

Alliance: Month One

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A month ago today I married my best friend. We’ve lived happily ever after. Wedded bliss. Cake by the Ocean. The End.

Except not.

This has been one of the hardest months of my life.  I was tempted not to write about it, but it may serve someone else to hear this story.

For the past 8 years I’ve known Darlene and her kids and I’ve been fun Uncle Lennox to these children for most of that time. We’ve done museums and beach trips and movie nights and board games and, for crying out loud, they’ve painted my nails and put makeup on my face! We’ve been in each others’ lives for so long I think I expected a seamless transition.

This transition has been anything but smooth. Now I’m not just fun Uncle, but a voice saying chores must be done and rules must be followed and consequences will apply and suddenly I’ve become persona non grata with these lovely kids. I’m confident we will find our way to a mutual respect and collaborative alliance, but that has not happened in these 31 days.

From each kid, at separate times, and at the top of their lungs, I have been told “I hate you! I don’t want you here! You don’t belong here! You ruined my life!”

It hurt! It hurts terribly. I’ve loved these kids for almost a decade. I call them my son and my daughter. Did I just get discarded because you don’t want to wash a dish? Wow, is that the value of this relationship to you? And then here come the manipulative questions of the enemy: Who do you think you are? What makes you think you belong here? Why don’t you go back to the easier path?

I say this for the benefit of the newly married step-dad who has had a similar experience. No, you’re not crazy, this happens.

Time for some good news. My wife has been a champion, always had my back, never wavered. Together we have welcomed help from professionals, from church, and from community. She has spoken over me the prophetic words that we’ve received from God. She has covered me in prayer. We have grown so much closer than we ever were before. Our connection is deeper than ever and our bond tighter than I realized possible. Our routine takes us to God and to each other every single morning.

Where is the goodness of God in this story? Let me show you! Day 18 “we” (pronounced: Lennox) had a melt-down at 3:37 pm, but had to leave at 4:30 to keep an appointment we had made a week earlier. The appointment? To receive prayer from a couple we respect highly, who have also walked the path of blending families.

So we got filled up from them with not only the advice of experienced parents, but they also spoke to the insecurities that surfaced in me. They counteracted and removed the falsehood “Who do you think you are? You can’t do this!”

The lie was exposed and dismissed within 90 minutes after it had been stirred up in my mind and before it had time to sink into my heart and insinuate into some corner where it could breed and fester unchallenged in the dark.

They prayed over me the truth of who I am, a Tarzan swinging from vine to vine, letting go of one vine before catching sight of the other, relying on the sheer confidence that it WILL be there! Bless God– He is faithful!!

They gave us pages and pages of encouragement and truth, and we had to interrupt them in order to get to our next appointment, which was the arrival of a team from Coast Hills Community Church to pray a blessing over our home. Turns out the pastors of Open Door Community Church, Jim and Penny, also showed up, bringing along two friends of theirs who were visiting from California. This convergence of three different worship communities proceeded to fill us up another 2 hours.

So yes, there was the hurt that exposed a lie in me, followed by 4 hours of truth poured on top of the wound, and all of that encouragement already on the calendar at least a week prior to the hurtful exchange. There is the goodness of God. There is His glory. He knew ahead of time we would need that power boost at that moment.

That was just one day of these 31. I can go on and on about how good this month has been, because in spite of this being the most challenging month I’ve ever lived, it’s also the most blessed and highly favored month I’ve ever lived. On all fronts, in family, in ministry, in business we are seeing the goodness of God in manifest ways.

I cannot wait to see what happens in month two!!!

 

This is my opportunity

Network marketing isn’t easy. It’s a simple concept but it takes time and tenacity to win in this business. You have to grow and change in order to rise and inspire. I love who I have become in the last two years!

I am a husband, a father, and a network marketing professional. I am putting in the work and I am learning skills that allow me to call greatness out of myself and other people.

Never stop learning; never stop growing.

Be more so you can share more. There is so much in me that I want to share with the world. I love photography, and cooking, and travel, and my wife and kids, and meeting people, and music, and reading. There’s so much to experience, when you have the time and the money to enjoy it.

Zurvita is my opportunity to have that freedom. We are close to that goal, we are moving steadily in the direction of our dreams. You have to take ownership of the opportunity that is yours. Own it, and go to work!

I love what the Cannon family is able to do because of the network marketing industry. That’s gonna be us, the Fleary Family:

See You Laters

Mom, Dad and Sister flew home yesterday. Sis and I managed to squeeze in a bird-watching walk at Baskett Slough before lunch and departures.

There were a lot of bike riders on the roads today. Annual Reach The Beach fundraiser ride for the American Lung Association. What a great thing to see so many people out there pedaling for a cause! What a wonderful world!

Lincoln City Beach

I took my mom and dad and sister to the coast today, to Lincoln City Beach. We walked on the sand for a while, climbed a rock, looked at a few shells and then headed back home. We only spent about half an hour there, and it was very important time.

Train Two Teams at Once

Legacy

We have a guest worship leader at CHCC this week, Megan English and her sister Lindsay, both excellent musicians, with a beautiful vocal harmony that comes from spending years together.

Tonight before rehearsal she gave a 20 minute teaching from 2 Cor 3:16. To worship is to turn your face toward God and when you do so, any veil/facade/mask you might be wearing is removed and you step into the promise of verse 17, the freedom found in His presence. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17)

The team for Sunday did a marvelous job getting the songs together. We also tried something new this week. Everyone else who is not on Sunday’s team, formed an offstage team that rehearsed together unplugged and acoustic at that the same time as the team that was onstage and plugged in. Megan’s directions were followed by both teams so in essence, two teams were being trained at the same time.

This is effective and efficient. Good idea. We’ll keep doing that.

Ring on my finger

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It’s a nice hefty ring. If I drop it just right, it makes a dull thud quite like the ring of power from Lord of The Rings. Darlene’s been wearing her’s since the day I proposed, because it doubled as an engagement ring and a wedding ring. But I didn’t get my ring until she put it on my finger on stage during our wedding last Saturday.

Speaking of wedding, they told me I’d be nervous, but that’s not at all what happened. We both had a lot of fun! It was a beautiful time and space, thanks to so many wonderful people pitching in. The music was elegant and perfect, thanks to Kristin and Kohler; the room was magnificent thanks to Erica and Danae and borrowed decor from Missi. I don’t even know who all contributed to that magical time. There was Allen who officiated, and Michael and Pat running sound, and the whole cleanup crew from CHCC, Jim Cook, We Three who played one song for us and then dashed away to provide music at another wedding in Newberg. Darlene’s amazing high-school friends slaved in the kitchen with desserts for our guests. Rachel did a masterful job coordinating timelines and logistics. There was so much love and support. We are grateful to the Kings and Warriors who came and stood with us as we spoke our vows. That was a truly powerful moment for me. We are grateful to the dancers and the clapping throng. Some of you flew in from another state to spend 2 hours with us and share a 5-minute connection. Thank you, each and everyone. 

I could not be any happier than I am to wear this ring. I could not be more proud or more grateful. In the 5 days since, something is definitely different. Darlene’s been my best friend for the past 8 years, but something is really different now. Not just sex. Talking about a shift in the way we relate to one another, a new sense of purpose and destiny, a new way of standing together in God’s presence. It’s amazing! I feel a quickening with the ratification of this Alliance. Things that would have taken years will be accomplished in months. Acceleration and Increase. Provision, Abundance and Favor. Joshua 1:8 — Be strong and courageous for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give to them as an inheritance.

Our honeymoon has been a time of rest and preparation. Today we return to our lives with a heightened sense of vision and mission. Living was always going to be hard work. Now a new element of delight comes into focus. It’s still going to be work; but fun too!! Because two are better than one!

300 Lions

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Eyes glowing in the dark. Silhouettes padding silently through the brush. I see them emerging from the woods. They step into the sunlight, and I watch their eyes adjust to the brightness.  With an air of keen interest, they scan the field in which I’m standing.  Their eyes light upon me and an interesting mix of curiosity and recognition spreads across their majestic faces. One by one, they begin moving toward me, and I am overwhelmed with a sense of awe and wonder. Lions command respect, no matter who you are. I am not their lunch; I am their leader.

Two years ago, I began to visualize this scene, the approach of 300 Lions. I was reading from Judges 6, where God calls Gideon to win an impossible victory against superior numbers.  God selects a small band to go against forces too numerous to count and with only 300 warriors, God defeats the long-standing oppression of an entire nation.

I believe God is sending 300 leaders to spread the word of hope that comes from better health and stronger finances. The company we represent is God-honoring, quickly successful, and poised for international explosive growth.

Zurvita, the company’s name, is a latin word that means “a higher way of living.” Five years after introducing its Zeal for Life nutritional beverage, the company gathered $80 Million in revenue in 2015. We are on track to $100 Million this year. Do your own research. The company website is www.zurvita.com

If you are in the vicinity of McMinnville, Oregon, you are invited to learn more at one of our regular weekly Zeal parties. It’s a fun, no-pressure environment with positive forward-thinking individuals. If you are further away, you can receive information via text and video.

I’m calling for the 300 Lions to come forward.  I am ready to lead. Much like Gideon, not because of who I am, but because of who God has called me to become.  We have much to do, major contributions to make for the people and families that we love. We will help thousands!

Contact me at 323-371-9455 for information.

Blessings,

Lennox

 

 

 

Squadron

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I was present at this powerful moment.

February, 2016, San Antonio, Texas.  Awards Night at the Power of One Conference, approximately 3000 in attendance. The stage is on the left in this shot.  So why is everyone looking past the stage to the far right of the room?

In middle of the Award presentations, there was a medical emergency.  A lady collapsed over at the right side of the room. What happened next was incredible!

CEO Mark took the mic with him, walked off the stage and headed directly over there, staying completely calm and in control. He directed the crowd to back up and give space for the team of Doctors (our Scientific Advisory Board was in attendance) to help the lady and keep her comfortable until the EMT’s arrived.

Then the most amazing thing happened! Without any prompting or direction to do so, the entire crowd turned to the right like a squadron, extended their hands, and began to pray. It was an awe-inspiring sound, the sound of that many voices united in prayer. Some whispered, some shouted, some sang…

This went on for about 30 minutes.

The EMT’s arrived, to thunderous applause. The Awards Ceremony resumed.

I’ll always remember that time I watched 3000 warriors turn on the enemy and call on the name of Jesus!

 

 

A Puzzle with No Picture

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Sage brought home a jigsaw puzzle in a ziploc bag. 1500 pieces. No picture. I haven’t done a puzzle in years.  For some reason I was drawn to the challenge of building without a picture to follow.

It’s an effective metaphor for the major adventures in my life right now. I’m getting married, becoming a father, leading a worship ministry, building a network marketing business, contributing to a phone app team with a potential hit on our hands, and somewhere in the middle of all this, negotiating my journey as a man and a musician. Every single day now, I rely on the reminder at the top of my bathroom mirror: “I am a beloved son of the Most High.”

Uncharted territory, story of my life. I asked God to lead me where my trust is without borders, and that is exactly what He has done. I have no maps for any of these adventures. These aren’t just do or die situations — these are trust or die opportunities!

Here are 3 things I learned in the process of completing this puzzle:

1. Take Inventory. What do you have? The first thing we did was flip every piece right side up, and look for all the edges. In other words, find pieces with a common feature and create a framework from those. When you don’t have a picture of the thing you are building, start by looking at what you have to work with.

2. Pay attention to the combinations that emerge. Those combinations inform the larger picture. The first combination we found is the fish that looks like Nemo. Finding that alerted us to the idea this was an underwater scene and then we began to imagine what it might be.

3. Enjoy the process. Celebrate each new connection you find. It occurs to me that finding 1500 connections that fit, can completely change your life, but it’s not likely you’ll find them all at once. More likely is that you’ll find one or two or three at a time. Celebrate each one.  Every connection expands your picture and helps you connect to the next piece you’re looking for, whether you know you’re looking for it or not.