By faith you can trust God for the power to get through what you’re going through. By faith you won’t just endure the pain, but you will get something powerful out of it.
That’s our testimony. That’s our report. In the darkest day of our life, when we went through something that we would have never even thought to be our worst nightmare, we chose to believe God & not just look at what was there, but hear what God was saying about it.
We didn’t lose heart; we were able to take heart. We were able to run toward the roar & do the impossible, because we endured seeing Him who is invisible and He gave us peace that passes understanding. He gave us strength in the midst of the battle of our lives. He gave us joy unspeakable. We had an anchor for our soul.
Click here to hear more from this teaching, “Hidden In Plain Sight” from the #eyesofalion series. You can also find this content in Levi Lusko’s best selling book, “Through the Eyes of a Lion” available here.
In the fourth chapter of 1 Thessalonians we see confusion among the church at Thessalonica about how to handle death of fellow Christians. Paul addresses this, referring to believers who have died in Christ as “those who have fallen asleep.”
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Whether you’re grieving right now or not, latch onto this. Death can feel so final, but that is not true if you are in Christ, which is why Paul chose to liken it to sleeping. It’s not permanent, the body is like a seed going into the ground that will come out better than ever.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
When Jesus returns the dead in Christ will rise first – early to bed, early to rise. I go to my daughter’s grave and look to the sky and think about how that’s the first thing she’s going to see when He returns. I think about the most glorious family reunion that will ever be. If we are still alive when Jesus returns we will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Whether we wake or sleep, we will be with Him.
How do we know this is true? Because of Christ. Our faith is based on fact. This is not fable or wishful thinking, we are anchored in our hope of the resurrection of the dead in Christ because we have a precedent. Jesus already did it.
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
The resurrection of Jesus is the irreducible core of Christianity. The enemy wants us to spin our wheels in the mud of sorrow, in the valley of the shadow of death, but you can face it without fear because of Jesus’ resurrection. You have authority to believe in Christians rising when He returns because Jesus already did. We do not face death without hope.
I am so excited to announce an Eyes of A Lion book tour coming this fall! Come to one of these events with a person in your life who has had to face a sad season or doesn’t know Jesus. We will talk about the anchor we have for our souls and how impossible pain can lead to incredible power! I believe every one of these stops will be supernatural and Heaven will touch earth.
The message at each event will be filled with hope for people who are hurting and an opportunity for lost to be found. It is also an opportunity to give Lenya’s life a chance to continue to impact people. I’ll talk about major themes from the book (and maybe you’ll even have a chance to hear from my wife Jennie and daughters Alivia, Daisy and Clover!) There will be music from our band featuring original songs written after Lenya went to heaven and media elements giving a personal glimpse into her life.
Stay tuned to www.eyesofalion.com for more details on each of our tour stops. Our family hopes to see you there!
Last month I preached a sermon series at Fresh Life based on four themes pulled from my book “Through the Eyes of a Lion.” (Check it out here!) I’m so excited to announce that we’ve packaged EVERYTHING we created to make this series happen and are giving it away for churches anywhere to use!
This series guide is intended to help people see that you can face impossible pain and find incredible power. It encompasses everything you need to have your own “Through the Eyes of a Lion” series at your church. It’s designed to be accompanied by the book which can be read and discussed in smaller groups or offered as an optional resource to those attending the series to read at their own pace.
Whether you have me come speak at your church for a month through the videos, or use my notes and preach it yourself, I am praying that many people will find hope and salvation through this campaign. This series is for anyone who is hurting – whether grieving, recently divorced, newly laid off, etc. It’s also for everyone else – because we all need to train for the trial we’re not yet in. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
To receive the guide, click here and submit your email. You’ll then be emailed a link to download the following:
-Video files of each teaching
-Word for word transcripts of each teaching
-My sermon notes for each teaching
-Social media images
-Kids ministry curriculum and craft ideas
-Image of the giveaways we gave to our church from each message and links to purchase them
-List and recipes for lion-themed drinks to serve at a cafe
-Videos played as part of worship
-Digital files to download for printing invites and social media e-vites
If you use this series at your church or in a small group, I’d love to hear from you and people in your church of how God uses it. Share your “Roar Stories” here and remember to use the hashtag #eyesofalion when posting on social media!
Yesterday was one of those all-time milestone days in life. You only ever get to release your first book one time. We spent a lot of the day on airplanes but we were able to do something very special right after we arrived back in Montana. One of the themes in the book is running toward the roar — facing things you fear so they can’t chase you. The problem with running away from things you are frightened of is that they will always be right there ready to haunt you when you least expect it. We decided that one of the ways that we wanted to celebrate the launch of the book was to practice what I wrote about and face something that frightened us.
We hadn’t been back in the hospital Lenya was taken to the night she went to Heaven in two and a half years. I drive by it almost every day (which is hard enough) but hadn’t been back inside since the early morning hours of December 21, 2012. A few months ago the thought hit me that inevitably life would force my hand. Me or someone I love will eventually need stitches, have an accident or end up for some reason in the ER that will necessitate a trip to the place where we experienced a living nightmare. I decided that I would rather have our return be on our terms and by our choice. It is always better to happen to your life than to have your life happen to you.
We brought copies of our book with us for all the emergency room employees and with a prayer for strength parked our car and marched in through doors we came out in desperate shock on that cold winter’s night. Was it easy? No. Did we get somewhat stunned by flashbacks and even feel nauseous because of the way smells triggered memories? Yes. But am I glad we did it? Absolutely. Walking in there was scary, but now it has no power over me.
We also went to the emergency services building the ambulance we rode in the night Lenya went to heaven was deployed from, and brought copies of the book to the paramedics and firefighters serving there. The men on each end of this pic were part of the crew that answered the 911 call on December 20, 2012 that I talk about in chapter 3. They came to our aid when we needed them and fought for my daughter. For that I will always appreciate and honor them.
I don’t know what it will mean for you today but I pray God gives you the strength to run TOWARD the roar. Once you face what you are freaked out by you don’t have to live in fear of it.
Do you have a roar story to share? You can do that here. (Look for the panel that says submit your story.)
Have you bought the book yet? You can do that here.
My prayer for those that read my book is that they see that God made them for a purpose. “Through the Eyes of a Lion” will hopefully hit home for those that have suffered any kind of loss – marriage, loved one, job, etc., but I want everyone who reads it to see the wild and wonderful calling on their lives. We each have a microphone in our hands, a platform we’ve been given.
How we rock that mic is up to us. I’m excited to announce the opportunity to use your personal platform to help me spread the message of this book to your sphere of influence. How? By being part of the “Through the Eyes of a Lion” street team. If you’re passionate about the message of the book, this is for you.
The street team will have a limited amount of spots – only 200, and there’s an application process. Those that get a spot on the team will receive exclusive insider content, early info and other bonus material I can’t even talk about yet! If you’re interested, you can apply here and will receive an email within two weeks if you’re chosen to fill one of those 200 spots. The deadline to apply is June 15th and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
p.s. – If you haven’t pre-ordered the book yet you can do that here!
Last fall, on what would have been Lenya’s seventh birthday, I shared with you that I’d written a book in her honor, called “Through the Eyes of a Lion.” Though I believe it will definitely help hurting hearts, regardless of what pain they have experienced, I didn’t set out to write a manual for grieving but a manifesto for a brand new kind of Holy Ghost powered, high-octane living. Through it I want you to see that God made you for a purpose. There is a wild and wonderful calling on your life, a microphone in your hands. Jesus wants you to look at the adventure of your life through His eyes, the eyes of a Lion.
I’m super excited to announce the “Through the Eyes of a Lion” preorder page is officially up on this shiny, brand new site and we have some limited-edition swag for those who have already preordered or do so this week! My buddy and super-talented tattoo artist Sid Stankovits designed a beautiful, hand-painted piece of flash art, incorporating themes from the book that can be used as mobile wallpaper, turned into a print, or whatever else you can think of doing with it. The deadline to participate is May 27th! Follow instructions listed here to redeem your custom artwork once you preorder the book.
Two years ago today I woke up in a home with five beautiful girls sleeping soundly in their beds. My wife and my four little daughters. Alivia and Clover shared a room, as did Lenya and Daisy. All of us in neat little couplets. Happy.
For 24 months full of difficult days we have fallen asleep as a family of five. The symmetry in our lives has been thrown off kilter. One of our little saplings has been transplanted from our nursery to the wild forest above.
On this two year mark my heart is filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude. I am thankful that I was given the honor of being Lenya’s dad. I felt her kick inside her mom’s tummy and chose her name. I was there when she was born and have loved her fiercely every day since. Being a father to daughters is the best job I ever had.
I am thankful for the way her move to Heaven has lightened my touch on this earth. I am thankful for every tear that has fallen and every sigh that has escaped my lips – for each one has been answered with strength from on high. As a family we bear a scar that will never go away, but we brandish it as proof of sustaining grace.
The name of the game the first year was survival. We did all we could to keep moving so as to not fall asleep and die in the snow. It wasn’t pretty but we made it. The second year I spent most of my free time writing. I feared that the lessons learned in the crucible of great pain might have been written in evaporating ink – if they weren’t preserved they would be lost. So I wrote like the devil was chasing me. Through the Eyes of a Lion is the result and I cannot wait for people to read it.
What awaits the Lusko family around the next river bend? Laughter and pain. Pleasure and sadness. Weeping and worship. Family day on Fridays. Lots of coffee. Preaching the Word. A generation called out to strength and honor. Jesus will build His church. All with a void, a conspicuous absence that keeps our thoughts tethered to our homeland, and eventually … we will be reunited with Lenya Lion in paradise.
Today is November 20, 2014. Exactly 23 months ago today my daughter Lenya left this world and went to be with Jesus. From that Thursday to this one it has been 100 weeks. She has been in Heaven for 700 days.
I think often about what age she will be when I see her next. How old will I be when I leave this world? What age are people in Heaven? Seeing the movie Interstellar has recently had me thinking about whether time in eternity passes differently than here below. In the film traveling through worm holes to a distant planet causes astronauts to only age an hour for every seven years back home.
While watching emotional scenes in the film where the ramifications of the relativity of time are realized I thought about how the Bible says that, “to the Lord a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.” And I daydreamed about Heaven’s time.
Could it be that Lenya has already lived ten lifetimes full of bliss? Will I arrive in Heaven only moments after her? I don’t know. I am eager to hear from her about her experience–whatever and however much that may be.
Waking up 700 different mornings on a planet without her has been the greatest burden I have ever carried, but along with that has come the strength to keep soldiering on. I am so thankful for her and exceedingly grateful for the way God has used her relocation to Heaven to keep my thoughts and hearts buoyed to my true Homeland.
There have been 100 weeks of heartache, and 100 weeks of joy unspeakable. God has taught me to run with a limp and sustained me with power from on high.
Isaiah 46:4 I will continue to carry you even when you are old. I will take good care of you even when your hair is gray. I have made you. And I will carry you. I will take care of you. And I will save you. I am the LORD.