Brody Holloway
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Trying to Love Like Jesus
 Photo taken by  Ellis Illustrations

Photo taken by Ellis Illustrations

This excerpt is a journal entry I wrote in 2014 when we were in Uganda spending our first few days with JuJu and Moses, my two youngest.  It was a difficult time and their's was a difficult background.  The Lord has been faithful to our family and we are celebrating the finalization of the adoption this week!  Praying for God’s hand of favor on these two little ones, daily.  Since this was written, JuJu has put her faith and trust in Jesus and is doing exceptionally well in school as well as in her own young faith walk.  We are praying for the day when Mo receives the Gospel and puts his trust in Jesus and His Gospel.  JuJu is in second grade and Moses in Pre-K.  Praise the Lord for his goodness and grace in our family!

 
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We are learning a lot on this journey.  Adoption is always hard.  Adoption is always worth the fight.  We didn’t come in here with any preconceived or romanticized ideas.  We knew it would be hard :the long days of waiting for the next appointment, the attachment issues, the task of giving love to someone who has never experienced it, and may not always want it.  But as the saying goes, “The reward is worth the risk."

This evening, our new daughter was standing alone in the yard, in the dark, crying softly.  Kilby found her, and brought her to me.  As I held her and stroked her hair and gently wiped her tears, I told her the things I would tell either of my other daughters.  “I love you”.  “Jesus loves you”.  “It will be okay”.  I spoke Psalm 23 over her, made up a song, and sung to her.  And then it dawned on me… "You can cry as long as you want to." You don’t have to stop crying.  In a culture of survival, I wonder if she has ever felt the freedom to cry.  Or, maybe, she has spent a lot of nights crying herself to sleep.  I don’t know.  I don’t speak the same earthly language as her, and I am not sure she would have given me answers to those questions even if she could.  The language barrier was shattered by gentle hands, soft words, and tight squeezes, and hopefully the love of an earthly father that reflects a God she will soon know.  After half hour, Little took her to her bed, and rubbed her little scarred belly and arms, until she slept.  Now, she is peacefully resting, and I hope and want to believe feeling a little more secure. 

Loving someone who doesn’t understand your love is as good a picture of the Gospel as I have ever seen. 

 

 

Life Principles of the Gospel Man Part 6

gospel headerI have always felt a strong call to action when I read Peter’s words in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him…”

The bible is full of imperatives which are commands and calls to action for the believer.  A story from a good pastor-friend of mine drove this home recently.

This brother was preparing for an international trip one morning well before daylight, when suddenly there was a violent knock at his front door.  Looking at his watch he saw that it didn’t yet register 5:30 am.  He wondered who would be at his front door at this hour.  In that moment of uneasiness, he also remembered that there had been a couple of recent break-ins in his neighborhood.  With stealth, he made his way through the dimly lit hallway that led to his front door, and crossed to a nearby window that would give him an unnoticed point of view.  From there, he looked out and saw a man with his face mostly covered by a hoodie, peering into the tiny window in the front door.  The man held one hand behind his back and stood in a very offensive posture.  Fearing the hidden hand held a weapon, my buddy went on the offensive (this proved to be true, as the man had a pistol).  By recognizing the signs of a home invasion, my friend was able to stop the man in his tracks and send him fleeing.  The police were called and the man was later arrested.  What began as an attack that could have left my friend’s family hurt or killed, turned into a thwarted plan that left the armed burglar in jail, lucky to not have been shot.  My friend’s vigilance saved lives.  A tactical principal held true.  Action beats reaction.  Every time.

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This story ended favorably because he not only read the warning signs, but he remained vigilant and steadfast.   And he was armed.  He knew the posture and signs and had armed himself in the defense of his family.  But locks and guns only go so far.  His MINDSET is what saved his family that morning.

I wish more men would take the spiritual defense of their own families more seriously.  We have been called to holiness, and to fight for our wives, marriages, children, and our own godliness.  This requires vigilance.  I have to be aware of my own temptation and sin, my own weaknesses and tendencies, and my own knack for abandoning my walk with The Lord.  As a father and shepherd, I am responsible for the safety of those in my home, in my care.  Defending my family isn’t just a physical responsibility,  it's a spiritual one and an emotional one too.  If I am vigilant in my pursuit of Christ and godliness for my own life, then I will more likely be in tune with the needs of my wife and kids.

When the enemy comes, I will take action and go on the offensive, rather than waiting until after he attacks and trying to react defensively.

Knowing the roaring lion and his tactics as Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 2:11 is critical.  Knowing The Lion of Judah and submitting to him daily will enable me to ROAR BACK.  Besides, action always beats reaction.  Arm yourself.

 

Further reading:

Ephesians 4:27

Ephesians 6:11

2 Corinthians 2:11

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

Holloway Nation 2.0

Every fall, we try to do a Holloway Nation photo shoot.  It is a lot fun, and also a great way to watch these guys grow from year to year.  Thought we’d share a few of these pics with you.  Little and I are so blessed to be in our twenty-second year of marriage together.  It has been an amazing journey and I am so grateful to The Lord for the family he has blessed us with.  I love these guys like crazy. Plus see how much they've grown from last year. holloway_8651

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A couple weeks ago, my assistant, Caroline Smith, came by and took some pictures of me and my family.  If you know anything about our life here, you know how hard it can be to nail all of us down at one time.  It's even harder trying to get us to all look at the camera at the same time.  That's why we love that Caroline was able to just come over to our home and take photos of us while we were hanging out.  It feels more real for our family that way.  If you're interested in using her as a designer or photographer, you can check out her work here.