praying to parent better…

ParentingI’m a Dad and all too often I am reminded by the actions and words of my kiddos that I am still figuring this whole parenting thing out.  I have two wonderful kids.  My six year old girl is a firecracker who is full of life and does everything full speed ahead.  Sometimes this leads to her being overly persistent even after she has been told no to something and losing doesn’t always go over that well with her.  My five year old little boy is as sweet as they come, but he does struggle with some speech and learning/developmental delays.  These issues definitely give him his own struggles and issues to overcome.

Each day, I realize that each of my children have their own issues and struggles and that as unique little individuals I have to respond to them in ways to unique to each child.  My daughter is fiercely independent and my son is not.  She needs more words of affirmation and he needs more quality time.  With my daughter sometimes you have to be louder to get her attention, that same volume though can break my son’s little spirit so he needs a quieter gentler tone of correction.

The problem with dealing with my kids and meeting their individual unique needs is that I am a sinner.  As a Dad I don’t always respond the way I should.  I let my own issues, fatigue, and life in general all too often color the way I parent.  Too often my responses have more to do with me than that of what my child is doing or needs.  This is an issue that God has definitely been dealing with me about one the past few months and it has led me to a simple prayer that I pray daily, if not several times a day.  I pray and ask  God to allow me and my wife to be the type of parents that point our kids to Christ in all that we do and say, and that we show His love to them in all that we do and say.

This prayer convicting to me, because it points out the times that day I have failed to do what I’m asking.  Also, it comes to my mind when I am in the middle of some form of parenting my children and helps me slow down and think about the love, kindness, discipline, and guidance that I may be about to give.  I know I am a fallen sinner, but I want to seek my God so that my kids see Christ in me and want a deeper relationship with Him.  I never want to be the parent that breaks his kids down and drives them away from Christ.

I am praying to be a parent who is reflecting Christ well and ask that you pray for me in this area to!

Great News!!!

JudahIt’s a day of Celebration in our family and in Heaven! After church today Maeven began talking with her brother Judah about His need for Jesus and prayed with him. I then was able to talk with Judah who very clearly told me “I want to follow Jesus!” We talked some more and prayed together and I am so excited that Judah know Jesus as his Savior and Lord! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do with my little guy. We are also so proud of Maeven for wanting to make sure her brother knew Jesus!

getting ready for the Super Bowl…

SuperbowlbannerOne of my favorite outreaches that I am involved in each year is our annual Lee County FCA Super Bowl Party.  My wife and I, invite all our local FCA students over to our house for a fun night of watching the big game, funny commercials, and eating lots of good food.  As soon as time winds down in the second quarter we turn off the tv and settle the students down for some time in The Word.  Each year I make sure to do a full Gospel presentation for students that might not know Christ and also a challenge to those students who have put their faith in Christ.  This year will be no different in that all our students will be challenged to examine themselves and where they are in their walk with Christ, and if they have one at all.  Please be praying for all our students in the next few days leading up to this outreach that God would already begin working in their hearts and that they would make a decision to fully follow him on Sunday.  Also, please be praying for me as I prepare to share a challenge to them from God’s Word.  Yes, we are expecting to have fun on Sunday, but most importantly we are expecting God to do great things!!!

getting ready for and Undefeated year…

UnDefeated-Logos_3_legacyLast night, I had a chance to speak at the church where I grew up and where my dad is a pastor.  As you may know from previous posts I am not the most comfortable when it comes to preaching to adults and so since I found out I was speaking last week I was a nervous wreck trying to think about what to speak on.  Finally, after much prayer, I felt God directing to share with the church about what we are going to be doing in our FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) huddles this year.  The church I was speaking has been a very faithful prayer and financial partner for our huddles and so I wanted to give them a bit of an insight as what we do in our huddles.

This year our theme is “Undefeated” and comes from 1 Corinthians 15:57, which says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (HCSB)  Through our relationship with Christ we know that we can have victory over whatever comes at us in this life and we have the promise that one day sin and death will be defeated and we will live eternally with Christ in Heaven.  This is how we are “Undefeated!”  In particular, I shared with the church last night about how we can be on the path to being “Undefeated” by realizing that Humility beats Pride.  Pride is one of those things that Satan uses to hold us back, fracture relationships, and keep us defeated.  But when we realize we can only do anything through Christ and that all our gifts and talents come through Him, then we can have victory over pride.  When we realize that Christ poured out all his power and came in the form of a servant to live, die and rise again for our sins, we see the ultimate example of humility for us to follow and defeat pride in our lives.

It awesome to see how God allowed me to go from being nervous about speaking to excited about sharing about these exciting truths we will be teaching our FCA students this year.  I asked the church to be praying for our students that we will see those who know Christ to come a deeper love and devotion to Him this year.  Also to be praying that they will impact their schools and that we will see many students accept Christ as their personal savior.  I’d like to ask you to be praying for these same things.  Pray that God will move and work mighty in our Lee County High and Middle School FCA Huddles this year!

back to huddling up…

All_In_BlackFor a while it seemed like the winter of 2015 wasn’t going to be that bad.  We made it through January relatively unscathed.  However, in February all the snow and ice hit us with a vengeance and lasted into the first week of March.   Finally though, this week things have warmed up and we are getting back to a regular schedule of sorts.  With that return to good weather and normalcy also comes a return to our high school and middle school FCA Huddles.

With all the bad weather I have either not been able to get to either of the schools or one and not the other each week.  Finally this week I was able to return to both schools and have our weekly FCA Huddles.  With the layoff of not being there to share with the students, one of my concerns is always their relationship with Christ.  Many of our students either aren’t involved in a church regularly or at all.  Some I honestly worry about what and if they are being taught truth as well.  So this week I concentrated on challenging the students about where they are in their walk with Christ.  Are they daily growing closer to Him in a way that is visible to others, are they stagnant, are the regressing, or are they apathetic.  It was exciting to be able to once again spend time with the students and see them interact very well with the devotions I shared.

Please keep praying for our students that they will grow and seek to allow Christ to be first in their lives!  Also pray for myself and our teacher sponsors that we will be able to effectively communicate Christ’s love to our students!

be a new creation…

new_creationToday’s post comes out of a lot of thoughts I have been feeling since a Sunday School Lesson at church this past weekend.  Our lesson was on slothfulness and our discussion led us to talking about how in Christ we are new creatures and that He calls us to be be different.  As we discussed and processed the lesson together and then later on this week as I have thought about it a little more I couldn’t help but think of people I have known whether as friends, acquaintances, or just randomly met in ministry who have struggled with becoming the new creature that God wants them to be

2 Corinithians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)  When we accept Christ as our savior and truly make Him Lord and King of our lives, He calls us to be a new creation.  He makes us something new, different, and better than the old sinful person that we were born as.  He no longer looks at our past, He doesn’t hold it against us, He changes us into what we can be with His guidance and love in our lives.  Unfortunatley, I know of several people who struggle with this.  When talking to people in the past one thing that I have often heard is “Well, that’s just who I am!”  People use who they were before Christ as a reason of why they fall back into sin and why they can’t be this new creature that Christ has called them to be.

Yes, “Just who I am,” is true if Christ is not present in our lives.  However, with Christ in our lives we are called to and are able to be more than “just who we are.”  We are able to be better than we can possibly imagine and we are able to have a huge impact on the world around us for Christ.   He doesn’t just give us fire insurance so that we can escape eternity in hell and say just be who you are as if nothing has changed.  Christ makes us a new creation, He makes us new, He makes us better, He makes us bolder, and He doesn’t stop working in our lives and causing us to grow as followers.  Sanctification continues our whole life as we daily grow closer go God and become more than who we were in His power.

So, maybe your past is pulling at you and you are using it as an excuse to not grow in Christ and not be the new creation that He has called you to be.  To you I say, stop it!  Realize you have the power of the one and only Almighty God who wants to do great things in and through you.  He doesn’t look at your past and say you are who you are and he can’t use you.  He says, there is someone that I can do great things with.  So please be the New Creation that God wants you to be!

where is your joy???

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. — Psalm 35:9

choose-joy1This week I have had the pleasure of leading FCA Huddles at both our local high school and middle schools and on the heels of celebrating Thanksgiving last week I wanted to to talk to students about another side of being thankful, being joyful.  Too often, not only our students, but Christians in general don’t reflect the Joy they should have in their relationship with Christ.  To be totally honest, some of the most miserable angry people I know claim to be Christians.  How can this be so?  How can people who have experienced the love of Christ and now have the gift of eternal life with Him, have no joy?  This is something I can’t truly comprehend.

I know that it is not my job to judge whether or not someone truly has accepted Christ or not.  However, a true heart changing interaction with Christ should bring change to the persons life.  The Bible says in Matthew that we will be able to know true followers of Christ from false prophets by their fruits.  Later on in Galatians we read what the fruits of the spirit are, and guess what a big one of them is Joy!  As followers of Christ our life needs to reflect the Joy that we have found in knowing Christ.  As the verse above says, we need to rejoice in the Lord and the Salvation we have in Him!!!  We have a gift we could never earn and a relationship with the almighty Creator!   This should excite us and and pour joy out of every aspect of our lives.

I know that life can be tough and their are always going to be rough situations, circumstances, and people that we have to deal with that have the potential of discouraging our joy.  That being said, we have Christ who promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).  In all those scenarios, we can still take joy in the fact that He is with us.  People are watching us looking to see what fruit we exhibit.  As my father is fond of saying, we may be the only Bible that some people ever read.  With this being the case, being joyful and finding joy in Christ is a must!

I encouraged my FCA students today as we enter the Christmas season, we are going to be constantly reminded of the Joy we should have that Christ came to this earth so that we might have eternal life with Him.  So use this joyful season to really start letting others see the joy we have in Christ.  We are not called to be miserable, we are called to be joyful followers!