Category Archives: familylife

Standing Strong in the Midst of the Storm

From Dennis Rainey as shared at our last FamilyLife all staff day of prayer:

Nik Ripken…discovered 11 characteristics of followers of Christ who remained faithful during persecution:

  1. Know Jesus
  2. Know the power of prayer and fasting
  3. Can recite large portions of the Bible by memory
  4. Know large amounts of heart music from by memory
  5. Know that people are praying for them
  6. Know that local people are caring for their families
  7. Know that their suffering is for Jesus sake
  8. Know that their persecution is NORMAL
  9. Have claimed their freedom
  10. Have lost their fear
  11. Have a heritage of faith

This is a GREAT list to keep with you.  Here’s the “so what”…which of these will likely shipwreck me because they aren’t fortified in my heart, soul and mind?  How about you?

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Words to be remembered by

I was having my quiet time this morning which has been much too eratic lately. As I read the Word of God, I almost always say this at some point either out loud or to myself, “I LOVE THIS…why is it so hard to be in God’s Word more frequently?”

Well, I experienced that again this morning. I’ve been reading out of Acts and just chewing on a few verses sometimes and on a few chapters or stories other times. Today, as I was reading in Acts 11 about Barnabus being sent to Antioch to see what was going on with so many coming to the Lord, I was stopped by the way Luke described Barnabus…”for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.”

It reminded me of a question I had just asked my “really” small group of young men on Thursday night, “What do you want to be known by or said about you when your days on this earth are over.” When I was preparing to meet with them and thought of asking this often-asked question, I was reminded that I’ve often struggled with this. There are a lot of things I’d like people to say about me or to think of when they think of me. Things like….”he was a good father and husband” or “he cared about others”…”he was kind and gentle”…”we enjoyed being with him”…”he made everyone around him better”…”he gave of himself”…just to rattle off a few. But, when I read those words that Luke wrote about Barnabus I stopped and thought, “I think that’s it! If those things can be said of me, the other things will follow. Yeah…those are the words I’d like to be remembered by.” I guess if those are the words I want to be remembered by, there is no better time than today to start living according to them.

What about you? How do you want to be remembered? Is it God honoring? Is it noble? Does it include something about reaching the lost for Jesus Christ? I guess at this stage in my life after trying to achieve joy and happiness in many other ways, it all boils down to this for me…”for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.”

Dennis Rainey asks for prayer for his new baby granddaughter-Molly

As a part of our family, by either blood or the Spirit of God, we want to share some family news with you. Our extended family through ministry, FamilyLife, is in a collective state of sorrow as we have walked along Dennis and Barbara Rainey’s granddaughters fight for life over the last 6 days. She is (or maybe has already) ready to meet God after a fight for life. Dennis sent us an email this morning that outlines the past few days and what they have all gone through. He asked us to pas this along to anyone who would pray for Rebecca and Jake Mutz, Molly-the little baby who is dying and the rest of the Rainey and Mutz families. So, as our extended family we are asking you to spend a few minutes if you will to offer up prayers to our great God who is teh ony real comforter in times like these. Thank you for being a part of our family and, therefore, being there to share these kinds of prayer requests with you.

When Prayer is all there is, It is enough
A Story and Prayer Request from Dennis Rainey

As the sun is coming out here in Colorado, and The Son will soon be welcoming home Rebecca and Jakes daughter, Molly. A gift, entrusted to them for 7 days, to be ushered home, undoubtedly by a band of the gentlest and mighty angels dispatched from the throne of God to carry her into the presence of The Savior.

What has been tough, is about to get much tougher. Pray for Rebecca and Jake and forward this email to anyone you know who will pray for them.

Our days here have been so full of the presence of God. Honoring Him for Molly Ann.

Friday morning she was born; she didn’t cry for nearly 4′ because she was suffering from congestive heart failure. Her mom held her only for seconds before she was whisked away to be placed on life support. We think her problem is a heart murmur. Oh how I wish that was all she had. She is rushed by ambulance to The Children’s Hospital here in Aurora. We arrive that evening to hear Jake say she is going to need brain surgery. I am thinking, I wish it was a heart murmur.

Saturday was a day of testing, in more ways than one. She has x-rays, ultra-sound, and MRIs around 11. The radiologist makes a copy for Jake and me from her text book about the Vein of Galen. I go on line and find out that Molly is up against a serious abnormality in the middle of her brain that it is VERY rare and VERY destructive. Around 4 we are seated in a private room with a neurologist, cardiologist, neonatologist, and nurse giving us the news that over 50% of Molly’s brain is permanently damaged and that the damage affects both halves of the brain. 10-15-20 dangerous surgeries, she MIGHT be able to have A FEW functions as a human being. (Later I talk to a friend who has been a neurologist for 30 years and he puts it in perspective-“In cases like Molly where there is so much brain damage, I have never seen a good outcome through surgery.” Never is a strong word. Yet we hope and pray for a miracle-even today) It is as though this young couple have been hit by a truck, news beyond comprehension. Joy turns to mourning.

In other words, it would take a miracle for Molly to live.

Sunday Jake’s parents, Bill and Pam Mutz, arrive along with some of their family. Laura flies in from DC, Samuel and Stephanie and their three children fly in from Seattle, Ashley flies in from Memphis where she was on vacation with her husband and 5 sons and Ben and Marsha Kay come to the hospital. Rebecca and Jake want to introduce their new daughter to each family member. Many come and kneel at Rebecca’s feet and just sob. When a family is being a family it is powerful. Worshipful. God honoring.

Jake and Rebecca spend a good bit of Sunday and Monday praying, talking, seeking second opinions trying to decide what is God’s will for Molly; what is the loving thing to do?

Monday we surround Molly and have a baby dedication, read Scripture, pray and sing a couple of songs. More than a dozen of us weep our way through the familiar hymn:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Again many of us kneel at Rebecca’s feet as she hold’s little Molly in her arms teethered to life support tubes.

Monday night Bill and Pam Mutz and Barbara and I witness the unimaginable-we sit in a hospital room as Jake hold’s Molly, listening for over 2 hours as Jake and Rebecca process their choices. God is God, but it’s impossible to NOT feel, this just shouldn’t be. What a choice for a young couple to have to make. They decide to not pursue the several very dangerous and complex brain surgeries and remove life support later in the week.

Tuesday, honestly, I don’t know what happened to Tuesday. But I do know that if love could heal, Molly would be well. Instead, we can all see Molly’s little chest pounding, her heart beating faster and faster, trying to keep up with what she needs to live. 60-80% of her blood is going to her brain when it should be 10-15%.

I do know that Wednesday was an incredible day. Videoing, picture taking, making a mold of Molly’s hands, Rebecca and Jake holding Molly still teethered by life support tubes. Rebecca and the mom’s giving Molly her first, and only bath, washing her hair. Stroking her little naked body. This is not what this young mother expected. Doing footprints and hand prints. Ask me to show you my bible and I’ll show you her footprints all over Psalm 127 and 128, and her handprint on my life verse, Psalm 112:1-2; Her life may have been short in terms of days, but her life has been mighty. Mighty Molly Mutz.

Wednesday closed out with this email at midnight from Jake, on the close of the last full day that Molly will likely live:

I just got done holding Molly chest-to-chest for the last 3.5 hours! Heavenly! I could feel her beating heart on my bare chest! 2569 kisses later I relinquished her to Mom.

She is an Angel!!!!

Now Rebecca is experiencing this delight! I just looked over at Bec & she nodded, as if to say – I WILL be sleeping here with my Sweet Pea for the next 12 hours!

We love you guys!
Jake & Rebecca
And now today. Molly’s coronation day. Read Ecclesiastes 7:1-4. This morning we will all say goodby one by one and then leave Rebecca and Jake to spend the afternoon with her. She is expected to live only a few minutes after being taken off all life support machines later on this afternoon.

Pray for Jake and Rebecca today.
And for the Mutz family and ours.
Our hearts are breaking.

You are loved and appreciated,
Molly’s Papa
Ps 112:1-2
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Jesus told his disciples and, therefore, those who follow as disciples today, “In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart for I have overcome the world.” There is a day coming when the pain and sorrow will cease.

Just as Steve Curtis Chapman and his family dealt with the tragic accidental death of their little daughter, Maria and as the Rainey’s and Mutz’ face this storm of life, you might be facing something that is just as real in your life. The only hope we have in this world is that this isn’t all there is. If it was, these situations would seem hopeless. And yet, our hope is in the world yet to come. Until that day when Jesus comes back, we will have trouble. If you want to know how you can have peace in the midst of storms in this life, click here.

Please pray for the Rainey and Mutz family. Not just today but over the next few days and weeks as God brings them to mind. They will need the power of a loving God to provide them comfort during times of sadness and sorrow, especially in the coming days and weeks. Thank you for being Christ “with skin on”.