Archive for April, 2011

I’m old fashioned in certain ways. Its kind of funny being close to 50 and making that statement but I really think its true for at least one thing; work ethic. Do you know what I mean when I say work ethic? I’m talking about what is inside you, that inner part of you that makes you…you. Some people call it fortitude, some call it gravel in your gut. I’m old fashioned, I call it, an honest days work for an honest days pay. That’s pretty simple I think…but apparently it’s not because today’s job work ethic isn’t the same as it used to be. Anyone who supervises people knows what I am referring to here. More and more, people don’t have any vision about their future. They prefer to perform the “eight and skate” mentality and the eight hours they are present? are debatable at best.

Guys, this is NOT a political blog and I plan on keeping it that way but what I am saying is as Fathers, its our responsibility to teach work ethic in the home. That means for example, holding our kids accountable for various responsibilities around the house. Now please, don’t misunderstand me here. I am not telling you how to do your job at work or at home. I am simply pointing out that from my vantage point, the mentality of approaching work is changing in America, and frankly, I don’t like it very much. Unfortunately, I believe that “work ethic”, or, that get up in the morning and get on your knees and give God the day and then go to work and give your best, is a dying philosophy.

Now I know there are a lot of you out there that are unemployed and for that I am sorry but as I have stated in previous blogs, keep your eyes focused on Christ, keep trusting in Him, and He will see you through this trial in your life. In fact, read my previous “You are not Alone” blog post for more of the above. As I was saying, many of you who are unemployed would simply love the opportunity to prove your work ethic but you understand what I am writing about here. We need to teach our children that is imperative they give their best effort, no matter what job they are doing. Remember the Bible talks about in Colossians 3:17;
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I know, I know, that is BRUTAL sometimes. But as hard as that is to exemplify, as fathers, that’s our job in our homes because our kids are watching us. Show them whats really inside you. Show them the example of your strong work ethic each day by doing your best at your job and then helping them to understand why they need to do the same thing.

Let me tell you a short story about my eight year old son Kendrick. Like many of you, we have a dog at our house who everyday, multiple times a day, does her business outside on what used to be my green lawn (sorry, I digress) Kendrick’s job is to take care of the dogs business every Saturday and of course, he forgets, or he doesn’t want to, or he is too busy…You know the drill, kid excuses. One day I sat him down and asked him if he thought he was doing a good job at his saturday duties and he told me “yes, he was happy with his effort” (paraphrased) I proceeded to tell him that if he worked for me, I would have to fire him for that “effort, or lack thereof” and that surprised him. Now, you can’t fire your kid so don’t get any ideas, but I did remind him that its our job to our best every time we work…

The same holds true for you and me. As men, its our job to not only work hard and give our employer an honest days work for an honest days pay, but everyday, we need to show our kids the same thing. One of the greatest satisfactions for me as a father was getting the opportunity to speak to my oldest sons former employer and having him tell me he is a hard worker and that he never worried about leaving him on his own unsupervised, because he knew he would still continue to work hard, even when the boss wasn’t around.

Guys, that needs to be our testament to ourselves as men and to our children. I challenge you to build a strong work ethic in your family.

God Bless you guys…

If you’re like me, you may spend a little time each day catching up on world news or maybe your favorite sports team because as guys, we like to know what is going on, right? Is it me, or does it seem that right now, more than any other time in our lifetime, that the World, and America, is just out of control? It’s like what is wrong is now right and whats right, is now wrong…That’s the way it appears to me. Today I read online that a man in New York City broke up a fight happening in a McDonald’s restaurant and 10 minutes later, someone killed him for it…? I am completely dumbfounded…? When did the switch get flipped so that right and wrong are backwards? This kind of lunacy is now the everyday normal and you, me, and every other Christian family has to deal with this craziness.

Guys, I wish I had a good answer to help you with what we see going on around us but the reality is that Satan is alive and well on this earthfor now. He thinks he’s in charge and he is ramping up his attacks on humanity because frankly, I believe, the time we have left on earth is short.

Take a look at 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, where it says:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Satan is actively working to keep unbelievers still unbelievers, and to turn believers into unbelievers…He wants to take as many of us down with him as he can. Why? Because he HATES you. He absolutely LOATHES you and is working this very minute to to take you down, permanently. He is lying in wait looking for someone to consume…Maybe you, or someone in your family?

Remember 1 Peter 5:8?

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

He also wants to present you with 1000 reasons why you shouldn’t proceed down the narrow path…Maybe that means cheating on your wife? Or spending time with pornography? I could go on and on…You will continually have these types of major roadblocks thrown in your path as a Christian man. He wants you to fail and to do that he will find your weakness and make it very easy for you to fall. In fact, it will be so subtle that you may think, ”Aaah…just this once, no one will know and really, just this once”…Guess what? HE HAS GOT YOU! Look up above at that verse…It says, Be self-controlled and ALERT. Remember, sin is subtle. It slowly creeps into your life and worms its way into your inner most thoughts…

Guys, I will not lie to you…It is HARD to resist temptation… but I will give you a reason from Christ to keep on resisting:

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Where do you fit into all of this? Are you disgusted with what you see around you or are you assimilating into the culture? Do you find all of this harder and harder to deal with or do you just not understand what the big deal is about? Guys, I challenge you to remember that the enemy is out there waiting to destroy you, and anyone else who is dear to you…I challenge you to keep your eyes on Christ and to simply hold on tight…HE WILL NOT LET GO OF YOU…

I had lunch with a friend of mine this past week because we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months and we wanted to reconnect. I knew this particular friend has had a tough go of things lately. He had been in and out of jobs for the last 4 years due to no fault of his own. He was in a business that was simply more susceptible to the economy than most. What struck me though, was how far this guy had fallen. Just so you understand, my friend has a way about him that is infectious. He is FUN to be around and we both enjoy teasing our older kids. Our families enjoy one another…He is an all around great guy however, the guy I had lunch with this week, was NOT the same man. This guy was broken and he is angry at God for constantly being out of work. His children are grown up and away at college so he finds himself alone most of the time which only make matters worse. He told me he still goes to church on Sundays, but he doesn’t listen anymore. He feels as if God has abandoned him…

I know there are a great deal of men, just like my friend, who feel this same way. They continually ask themselves, “whats the point?” “Why am I going through this?”, “ I AM ALONE”.

Guys, as one who has walked in the valley of the shadow of despair at the loss of my only daughter Kylie, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God will never leave you or forget you! You DO have someone to hold onto during your storm and his name is Jesus Christ. The purpose of this article is to remind…and to encourage you if you happen to be in this place also.

Lets start with the Bible, Gods Word, here on earth, given to us. I’ve heard guys say, “those are just words, what can they do for me right now when I’m in the middle of this?” Trust me, they are not just words, they are power and strength you, and your family, can tap into during the tough times.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us to:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

What these verses tell me is their will be things that happen in our lives that we won’t understand…It wont make any sense. Can you tell me why God decided to take my beautiful 12-year-old daughter? I don’t get that and I never will but I’ve come to realize that my trying to understand why?…that is NOT my job. My job is to completely trust in Him…even though I don’t understand why. Do you remember the story of Peter when he got out of the boat and started walking on the water to meet Jesus? (Matthew 14:29-30) He was actually walking on water until he took his eyes off of Christ and then what happened? He started sinking fast…and what was his reaction? He cried, “Lord save me!” which is exactly what we are supposed to do…

But maybe that is the crux of the problem. We are guys and we don’t need any help…Isn’t that right? Well I can tell you that David, one of the greatest warriors that ever lived in history, he didn’t feel that way. In fact David ran for his life for over 10 years because Saul was out to kill him but yet he still said this in Psalms 31: 13-14:

For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

What I am saying is this…Now is the time to set your eyes on Him. Don’t waver. Look up to heaven and say “Lord, I do NOT understand any of this crap that is happening to me. I am struggling mightily with all of this everyday…But I know this, You are on the throne and You don’t make mistakes and even though this (whatever “this” is for you) makes no sense, I am going to keep my eyes fixed on You and my trust completely in You so that whatever happens, we are in this together and we will get through this…together…

Guys, I’m not an evangelist or a Bible scholar who teaches in a university…I’m just a regular guy, like you, trying to make my way in this world. My answers are not scholarly, they are from my heart from reading God’s word and they have helped me during my own pain on this earth. I know many of you out there are hurting and please understand that my words are meant to encourage you. You can make it through this and I will continue to pray that God draws near to you during your time of need…

Be strong my brother…”weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”…

Yep, you guessed it, David said that too…

Let me leave you with one more thing: