August 25, 2010

Got Life?

Just had the opportunity to hold a brand new baby girl. Wow, what an experience. It brought back to my mind memories of my girls at that age. So delicate, so carefree, so trusting, so dependent, so wonderfully created and crafted by our heavenly Father and God of our universe. It really is an amazing thing—life! Measured by ounces and inches, this beautiful bundle of sweetness and joy just lying in your arms taking in her first day of life. As I looked into her radiant little face, I couldn’t help but think…she had absolutely NO care in this world. She wasn’t wondering where her next meal was coming from, how she was going to pay the rent, how she would fund her retirement—she had no fear of whether the economy would recover or not. Nope—she was completely trusting. Her mom and dad would take care of her. They would know when to feed her, when to change her and how to make her life special. In fact, for the next several years of her life, her parents would be the ones that she put her total trust in. Her mom would eventually become her confidant, therapist, counselor and provider of love, warmth and comfort. Her dad would eventually become her protector, provider, inspiration and instill purpose and value into her life as she grows older. What a deal. No cares and no worries. It’s all on mom and dad.

As God’s children we have that same deal. Our lives, measured in days and years, are a beautiful bundle of sweetness and joy to Him. He wants us to know that it is all on Him—this day, this hour, this moment. He is in control. We shouldn’t worry where our next meal is coming from, how we will pay the rent or what we will do in retirement. He said that He would be our protector, provider, counselor, confidant, comfort, purpose, value, love—whatever it is that we may have need of in this life, if we place our trust in Him, He has declared that His Word will watch over us! What a deal! Life—and that life more abundantly! How about you? Have you allowed Him access and control of your life? If not, then now is the time! Cast all your cares upon Him and sit back and enjoy his peace, His mercy and His grace. As his child, it is all for you!

August 17, 2010

Daddy Knows Best

Okay, so it is Sunday morning. We are getting ready to go to church. All four of us are as busy as a colony of ants building a new home. It is just minutes from time that we will all leave for church, and for the first time since our kids were in car seats, we are all four going to ride together—yes, in the same car even! I am in the kitchen cleaning up from the past night’s activities and making final preparations for us to leave. In an oh my goodness, Daddy, look what happened attitude my oldest, Whitney (21), comes running into the kitchen holding one of her newest and most precious necklaces. The very one she intends to wear to church that day. And she says in a most confident Daddy, you can do anything kind of voice, “Daddy, look at my necklace. Can you fix it for me?” Now, I ask YOU. What is a Daddy suppose to do but stop everything he is doing and pour all of his then know resources into solving this most horrendous situation for his child? Well, guess what I did. I stopped everything that I was doing and began to pour all of my then known resources into solving this most horrendous situation for the child that I love so much! I mean, seriously, this was the necklace of choice for today’s outfit. It simply had to be repaired! Right then! There was no time to loose! necklace-4690-anthropologie

Now, of course this is not the first time this has happened with my children. And that is obviously the reason they are so quick to come to me. They know that I will do whatever I can to help them with WHATEVER IS OF IMPORTANCE TO THEM! I have taken inexpensive costume jewelry to this particular jeweler (that I have used for several years) so many times for repairs that they know me by name. One time, when I had taken several items to them within a very short time period, the lady said to me, “You are a very special father to take care of these small things for your girls this way.” I said, “No, not really. The way I see it, whatever is important to them is also important to me.”

Why do I relate this story? I can assure you that it is not to sing my praises. I am only doing what a normal father would do for the children that he loves so much. But, what I want to relate through this story is this. I am just an earthly, imperfect, flawed human father. I can’t compare in any way to the love of a heavenly, perfect and flawless Father. The Father that wants and desires for me the very best. A Father who goes before me each and every day to prepare for me every step that I am going to take. A Father who, while I am asleep at night, is busy working all things out for my good according to what plans he has made for me. Working out all the resources I am going to need for that day, that month, that year—resources that I don’t have and don’t even know that I need. And all I have to do is come running to Him with that most confident, Daddy, you can do anything kind of voice. And He does! It may not always be just how I thought it ought to be. But it is always what I need.

What about you? Do you need some of Daddy’s lap time? Is there anything in your life that you need the Father to fix? Maybe a necklace, a new job, a better marriage, or a healing in your body? It doesn’t matter! He can do anything—and He wants to hear from you. He wants to help you, guide you, mature you, and provide for you! Why not call on Him today? Give him a chance! He’s a GREAT DAD!

Oh by the way, Whitney was able to wear the necklace of choice to church that day! Daddy fixed it!

August 14, 2010

Perfect Balance

I suppose that this guy subscribes to the theory that if one team flag is good, then ten team flags are AuburnTruck even better! When I saw this truck in the mall parking lot, I couldn’t help but laugh—in fact, as you can see, I even stopped and took the time to get a picture of it with my Blackberry. Now before anyone starts to throw stones at me in support of this guys enthusiasm; yes, I am a college football fan and yes, I do pull for my favorite team. However, I am suggesting that this may be just a bit out of balance. Which is why I chose to blog about this guys choice of truck decorations.

I really wonder just how important his favorite team is to him. Do they come before his wife and kids? What has his team done for him to cause him to be so loyal? Did they die for him? Did they offer him a better life? I doubt it. That is the reason I believe that balance is so important to us. It is something that we all need in our personal lives. In fact Jesus established what perfect balance should look like in Matthew 22:37-39, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' I realize that this is a tall order. It is so easy to allow our hectic schedules and busy lifestyles to overrun our established priorities and totally forget what is really important in our lives. That is why we should daily remind ourselves to stay focused and maintain proper control of all our relationships.

What about you? Is your life in balance? If so, why not share with us how you are able to maintain that balance. If not, let us know how we can help you or encourage you to maintain a proper balance. When we do have perfect balance in our lives, all of our relationships, responsibilities and realities seem to work together to bring real peace into our lives.

August 12, 2010

Stay Focused

If you keep an open mind, you can learn something from anyone at anytime and in any situation. I may not be the best at it, but I have always tried to be open-minded--not closed. A close minded person is really saying, "hey, I know everything--there is nothing that you can tell me that I don't already know." We all know someone like that. Most of the time they are of the male gender.

Recently, I learned a very valuable lesson from my twenty-one year old daughter. As most men do, I almost always have some projects going on. Things that that I am working on like building a new flower bed, setting up some new computer toy, or maybe even building a chicken pen. Oh well, you may not be building a chicken pen, but I am! And I have been for the last three or four years. It just seems that this project always gets kicked to the curb in favor of some other project that has been awarded a much higher priority. You know how it goes.

Well, here is where my lesson comes in. My daughter, Whitney, has been gradually remodeling her bedroom. And of course, throughout this remodel she has consistently enlisted the help of her Daddy. Part of this remodel includes the refinishing of her dresser, which she has been after me to do for quite some time. So the other day she won. I had put it off long enough and so, together, we began the process of refinishing the dresser. Unfortunately, we ran into some difficulty in getting the new primer to stick and, as a result, the dresser remained in mid progress in the garage for several days. This began to cause Whitney some concern. In fact, her comment to me was, "Daddy, when are you gonna finish my dresser? Sometimes you don't ever finish your projects. I don't want this to turn out like your chicken pen."

Ouch! She spoke truth and I knew it. I have a tendency to begin something and never stay focused on it long enough to see it get finished. Needless to say, she and I got on that dresser like dead bugs on a car bumper and totally finished it the next day. She was so happy.

Life is much the same way. We have so many distractions that we can't stay focused on the things that are important. We seem to just aimlessly drift around allowing every wind of futility blow us in so many different directions that we stay mixed up, confused and non-productive in our personal lives. God wants us to seek His direction and purpose--He will keep us aimed in the right direction with His whispers of peace, hope and clarity so that when we reach the end of our days we can look back and say along with Paul, "I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful." (2 Timothy 4:7, New Living Translation)

What about you? Are there projects in your personal life that need your attention today? Seek God's help and you will be pleasantly surprised--He will be there ready to pick up where you left off and help you finish the race effectively.