It has been about 6 weeks since we made a big push for our friends at Chickfila. As we told you, Chickfila fell under attack for supporting Christian family oriented groups financially. Labeled as “intolerant” and “homophobic” a boycott was targeted at a staple in southern communities.
Here’s the key. Chickfila was targeted for merely supporting a worthwhile cause, NOT for speaking AGAINST anything or group.
With the all important first quarter of the business cycle coming to a close next week, it is more important than ever to enjoy your favorite combo at Chickfila. Get out this week and help this great organization thrive. I’ll have the Spicy chicken sandwich please.
Well, our “Weekend of Worship” concluded late last night in East Tennessee. Since Friday night, I watched people who are hungry for God, GO after Him in worship. Interestingly enough, it didn’t matter if we were in an arena of 15,000-20,000 teens or a smaller church venue with 200. What I learned this past weekend was God is truly no respecter of persons, yes, but how about “places?” You see the place doesn’t matter either. I thought the pinnacle of our weekend would be seeing thousands flood the altar at the UT arena, but it blessed me just as much to see a dozen flood the altar at an incredible local church.
1. A WORSHIPPER will go after God in worship regardless of the surroundings. God’s presence is not more prominent because a building is bigger or the crowd larger. The presence of God is just as powerful when I am alone with Him. (most often in my car or on a run with worship music blaring)
2. A WORSHIPPER will press through distractions to get through to God in worship. With 15,000 kids in an arena, there were ongoing distractions, but we must focus on the worship and the word. (Restroom breaks, babies crying, flickering lights, etc.) How about the music’s too loud, building to hot, etc.? Distractions….
3. A WORSHIPPER will as David did, sometimes become “undignified.” unashamed with hands raised, tears shed, on bended knee, intentional focus on God.
A truly powerful worship experience will linger and leave its residue on us and that’s something I don’t want to wash off! How is your worship lately?
So, we are blessed to have children, (the greatest gift from God) and we do our best to be parents. We strive to raise them in Peace, Protection and with Provision. We shelter them from everything we can. They go through early childhood, into primary, then Middle School, High School and then they are gone. This school year is 2/3 of the way finished and this is the first year I have not been “invited” to eat lunch at school with either of my two daughters. (10 and 12 yrs. old) They have already out grown that stage. Thinking of their departure in the not so distant future, I looked at my “calling” and asked these questions:
1. What have I deposited into their lives? I hope a love for God, great character, morals, respect, purity, honesty and great self esteem/ self-confidence.
2. What have I missed that is important to them? I hope not much! I have recently drastically reduced my travels and if they are involved, I AM There! Sports, Music, PTA and of course Church events, I am there and try to be involved. Now, I know that many travel and that is the only way you can pay the bills. As I said, I have seen the days of great travels, but even in that, there may be ways to creatively schedule yourself as to not miss anything that is a potential life long memory in the making for our children. This is an area that I am working at harder than anything.
3. How will they turn out? Well, no one knows, but I have this promise from God “Train up a child………” I can only hope we have done our part to train them well.
So, my question is: Are you “called” to be a parent and if so, how are you answering that call? Is parenting – priority or is the other “calling” or career overtaking the precious formation years of your children?
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions as I too am a work in progress on this…..please share.
“Depend on it: God keeps his word.” Romans 3:4 (message)
Do you have a Dream? For many years, my dream was clear. I knew what I wanted. Upon marriage, children and a calling into ministry, my dream changed. I still have a dream, but it is totally family oriented and somewhat less career oriented. You see, I know God will bless my business, finances and ministry if I perform my greatest duties on earth- Faithful, Godly Husband and Father.
Paul asks: “For what if some did not believe?” We must get over the thought that everyone must be in agreement with our dream, that they all have to believe in us. “Refuse to put your dream on hold, waiting for everyone to get on the same page with you”- Bob Gass
Your dream will be fulfilled if you believe it.
1. “Believe it
2. then achieve it.” – John Maxwell
“Depend on it: God keeps his word!”
Last week, my wife and I took a vacation together to Nassau. We stayed at one of the most elaborate hotels I have ever seen. The entire trip spoiled us with “Excess.” The interesting thing was the taxi ride to our hotel. Because of a large fire on the day we arrived at the airport, we took an alternative route that was vastly different from the Bahamas “dream” route along the coast and through the business district. Instead, we ended up in a poverty ridden area.
What surprised me about the so-called “undesirable” area was the joy of the people. Most were out on the porch or playing in the streets. All seemed to be smiling and genuinely happy. How could this be? These folks did not have shoes! Didn’t they know that only a mile away across the bridge was Paradise Island? Had they not seen the excess and incredible surroundings? Did they not know what they were missing out on?
Maybe, just maybe, they get it and we don’t. “The JOY of the Lord is my strength.” They find joy in spite of their surroundings while countless thousands looked for JOY because of their surroundings across the bridge. As I reflect on a wonderful time with my wife, one of my best memories will be the ride through the neighborhood of the less fortunate. That was a pretty amazing memory. Can anyone relate??
We awoke today to a snow-covered ground. The roads are okay and school is on a 2 hour delay. So, I got to hang out with the family for a few minutes before heading into the office. 12 years ago this morning, we all watched as one of the most incredible children ever born joined our family. As I prayed the usual morning blessing over her, it was anything but usual.
You see, Saturday is the Valentine’s dance at her school and I am battling these boys asking my baby to a dance. Fortunately for me, she has chosen to attend a College Basketball game with me. Yes, she is still at that in between stage, but I know the days are numbered. Soon her preference will be the “other” male over her Dad.
I can’t help but reflect on how special she is. I hear it all the time, “enjoy it while you can.” And while I know each of you with children feel EXACTLY the same way, we probably all feel that our children are just a little more special than the rest, right?
Today, I remember the day of her birth, her first steps, her first soccer game and first basket in hoops, her dancing in the basement and her beautiful smile/laugh. Each day and night, we pray and I proclaim the blessing over this child. “Peace, Protection, Joy, Wisdom and that she live a Pure, Holy, Godly life that is pleasing to the Lord. I ask the Lord to give her “Great self-esteem and self-confidence and that she always remember that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139
She’s only 12 and my younger one is 9. Many of you have done this longer and probably better than I. I would appreciate any input that you may have that has been advantageous in raising your children in a Godly way. Let’s discuss your successful strategies, they can help all of us. Send me your thoughts, while I go grab a tissue!!!
Terrible Unrest in Egypt, Iran with nuclear power, foreclosures and unemployment reaching record highs, stocks and 401k’s at record lows. Divorce, kids “sexting,” when does it all end? In Acts 26:2, Paul says, “I think myself happy.” I have used this scripture for years. Many times when discussing depression issues, this scripture comes to my mind and I share it with others, but if you read the first sentence above, how can we do this now?
In a day when we all have days that are better than others, we must remember that others don’t have what we do. A couple of years ago, I sat in a room with 4 of the most recognizable names in our faith. All were great preachers, authors and ministers. While discussing the great tribulation and whether we will be raptured pre, mid or post tribulation, one of the renowned said this in defending his “Mid” belief, “Tell the people of Haiti that they are not living in tribulation NOW. We tend to only see things through the American eyes.” Here is the kicker, that was BEFORE the great Earthquake.
My point is this, when we feel sorry for ourselves and maybe doubt God has a plan for us, “think” about others. “Think” about starvation, disease, filthy water, no shoes or clothing, no shelter, no bed. Paul was on to something when he said, “I “think” myself happy. Let’s join together today and “think.” Share your “thoughts.” I would love to hear them……