Saturday, February 28, 2015

The sound of music

We went skiing in Ruidoso today.  Last time, Beau was so fearful that he cried and basically refused to ski.  Brandi and I have been talking to him about trying and having a good time, and he seemed excited about it until we got out on the slopes for an hour.  After he took a snack break, he decided that he didn't want to ski any more.  I told him that I wasnt going to let him quit and that we were going to keep trying.  Brandi worked with him for a bit while I skied with Jude (who had a great attitude and did great). 

After lunch, with a small incentive, Beau agreed to ski with me for a little bit. He actually had a much better attitude, and he did pretty well.  While we were riding the lift, Beau said, "Let's sing a song."  He picked "Rejoice in the Lord Always".  I couldn't help but smile.  On a subsequent ride, we sang "I love you, Lord".  These were really special moments for me.  I want to model for my boys a person who regularly sings to the Lord throughout the day.  And I want my boys to remember singing with me.

Heavenly Father,  thank you for the opportunity to play in the snow today.  Thank you for helping Beau change his attitude, and thank you for the special moments with my wife and boys today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wisdom and joy

Proverbs 27:11 NIV
Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

There are a lot of things that I could focus on teaching my sons, but I think these two are pretty important.  Reading, writing, mathematics, baseball... all of these are good, and for sure I also want to teach my sons those skills, but I want to be intentional about leading my sons to be wise and joyful. 

I assume that these are not taught didactically, but modeled and explained in teachable moments.  I think the key is being consistent and intentional.

Heavenly Father, please help me be wise and joyful so that I can model those for my sons.  May their wisdom and joy honor you and demonstrate the Lordship of Christ.  I love you and pray in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Forty days of faith

We were challenged to pray for 40 days for something that only God can do.

I want to pray:
(1) for Rhett to sleep through the night,
(2) for our home group to multiply into three healthy groups,
(3) for the Lord to bless our church with owning our building,
(4) for the Lord to bless our congregation with deeper community, and
(5) for the Holy Spirit to ignite our church.

It is tough to get past the first one.  How do you get the faith in the first place to believe that God will do something?

Heavenly Father, I know that you can do these things, but I'm not sure how to believe that you will do them.  I am tired, and it would be really encouraging to see you do something.  Please help my unbelief.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

motivations for being busy

I've been thinking about why I keep making myself so busy.  I seek approval in other people.  I want to be the go-to person.  I want people to need me.  I want to be liked.   I don't want to tell people "no".  I want them to know that they can rely on me.

I am limited.  I have a finite capacity.  I can only obligate myself to a limited amount of time before things start to slide.  

I think part of it, also, is that I don't want to miss out on something awesome.  What if I say "no" to something, and it turns out to be really awesome.  And I missed it.  Then I will regret not saying "yes".  

I have to really seek the Lord and listen to Him.  Maybe Piper is right: God is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him.  If I really delight in the Lord, then I wouldn't worry about missing out on something awesome.

Heavenly Father, I love you, and I want to walk with you.  I want to know you, and I want to delight in you.  I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Too busy, again

I am too busy.  Don't know why I do it.  Ok, part of it is that I want people to like me, and I think that if I tell them, "no", then they won't like me.

But being too busy makes me tired, and I lose track of priorities because I'm in too much of a frenzy running around trying to meet all of the commitments that I have made.

When you are tired and out of focus, you are more likely to make poor choices and hurt the ones you love.  It takes a lot of hard work and diligence to build up trust and love, but it only takes 20 seconds to mess it up.

My life is so rich already with the Lord, my wife, boys, and friends.  Why do I think I need to cram in so much work? The workaholic culture of my profession believes the lie that your personal value is determined by your professional productivity.  I need to internalize the truth that I am loved by my Creator and made in His image, and that is enough.

Heavenly Father, please help me.  I really don't know what else to pray.  I am tired of being tired.  I know that this life is not about comfort.  (Most of the saints in the Scriptures had plenty of uncomfortable experiences.)  But I am tired of wrestling with being a workaholic.  I want deliverance from this.  I want to be a spirit-filled man like I used to be.  I don't want to be religious.  I want to walk in the power of the Spirit.  But I feel like I am too far from you.  Please redeem my life.  Restore the destruction that I have caused.  fill me and overflow me with your love.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Last Saturday evening, Brant Hansen came and spoke to our church about his book, Unoffendable.   The thesis is simply that we do not have a right to be angry.  As humans, we get angry, but since we are not God, we are to entitled to anger.  And from an evangelical perspective, what would the world think of Christians if we were all unoffendable?

Brant shared two points that I saw as sufficient justification for his argument.  The first was Jesus's parable of the unforgiving servant (Matt 18:21-35).  Brant posed the question, "Who are we in the story?"  Most often, we are the unmercifal servant, sometimes the second servant,  but never the King.  The second point was James 1:19-20:

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."

Okay, so intellectually and theologically, I agree and believe that I should get rid of anger, but practically, how do I do that?  Especially when I have told my boys three times not to do something, and they do it again.

Brant also suggested that it doesn't appear that God disciplined Job for expressing his anger/frustration to God.  God corrected Job, but He didn't punish him.  So, perhaps we have the freedom to cast all of our cares on Christ, even our frustration and anger.

Heavenly Father, I want to be unoffendable.  I want to trust you to accomplish justice.  And I want to have a biased perspecive of justice because of the grace that I have received.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, February 2, 2015

smiling Father

Yesterday morning, I woke up before everyone else, and then Beau came downstairs fully dressed.  We sat on the couch together for a little bit and just listened to praise music. A little later, I was sitting at the table, and Beau was looking out the back door.  I could tell that he was about to go outside, and I thought about telling him that he needed to ask for permission to go outside, but instead, I just gave him permission.  As he opened the sliding glass door and walked outside, I was smiling about what a handsome young boy he is and how he really is a good kid.  He turned to close the door, and looked at me smiling at him.  I hope he remembers me smiling at him (not the scowls).

Heavenly Father, please help me smile at my boys.  I want them to know that you smile at them.  I know that you smile at me, too, but I think it is hard for me to see you that way.  I think I tend to see you as more of a rule-giver.  I want to see you as a tender, loving Father.  And I want to emulate you to my children.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.