Archive for May, 2011

Almost 22 years ago, God blessed me with a son of my very own. Growing up, I had always wanted to be the father of a son because I thought I could better connect with a boy however when my daughter was born, everything changed. Maybe wanting a boy first wasn’t so strange because I have known other fathers who while waiting for children of their own, felt the same way I had. Nevertheless, when you were born son, I was the happiest guy on the planet. People laughed at me when you got your first baseball glove on your one-year-old birthday party. Why are you looking at me like that? I had to get you thinking about baseball, right? As you began to grow, I could see that you had a natural affinity to play the game as well as be a busybody. You really weren’t a “sit still” type of kid and that was just fine with me because I wouldn’t have had you any other way.

 

When I look back on your young life, I see the various amazing things that happened to you that still cause me to shake my head. While some of them involve sports and your individual performances, many of them involve how I saw you react and behave as you were growing up to be the quality man you are today. I wish God allowed our memories to be forever clear however as we grow older, that is just not the case. We lose some along the way but hopefully we remember the ones that are the most meaningful to us. I also think God allows some of the painful ones to disappear but I digress, I am talking to you, the Biola University graduate. The one who has persevered these last 4 years to make it to this great day. The day when you get to walk across that podium, wearing cap and gown, and receive that diploma and say “I did it!” But I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time and speak just a little about what that means to me, your Dad.

 

Every Dad wants their son to grow up and be successful, but sometimes the road traveled can be more than many can bear. Life isn’t easy as our family has personally experienced with the tragic loss of your sister, but yet from my vantage point, you stood your ground and fought the fight of grief that was presented to you. I know that fight is not over, but yet you carry your load with dignity and for that, I applaud you son because that is not an easy task. But let’s talk some more about you…

 

I want to go back for a moment and remind you of some things I remember from your life…

 

  • Do you remember that basketball game you played in the sixth grade where you couldn’t miss a shot? Do you remember how the referee actually stopped the game and asked you to send some luck his way because of the night of shooting you were having? I may be wrong, but didn’t you score 30 points that night? I still laugh in amazement.

 

  • Do you remember your performance as a high school senior in the city wide Lions Tournament? In 5 games, you batted over .700? Your team won and you were voted the MVP of the whole tournament.

 

  • Do you remember all the big roles you had in the musical productions you were in 5th and 6th grade?

 

  • Do you remember making All-star’s your first year on Little League and working so hard that they made you a starter over the older boys?

 

In my mind, those are truly great memories but yet it’s even more gratifying to see you now, a University graduate about to set out on your own journey of life. You have learned to work hard because as you have seen, good grades don’t just magically appear…they are earned. You have had to learn to multi-task to be successful in college and that talent will serve you well in life.

 

You have learned to live away from your mom and me from day one, which I know, was important to you in order to establish your own identity at college. Guess what? You succeeded. During your college career, you persisted and now as a senior, what is it like having the freshman look up to you?

 

Over the last 4 years you have dealt with, and persevered through car problems, girl problems, priority issues, homework, late nights, early mornings, roommates, crazy roommates, loneliness, grief, exhaustion, money problems, parents, distance, loyalty, laundry, cooking, cleaning, deadlines, fear, relationships, and the list goes on…all of this while maintaining your integrity as a man and for all of these reasons and many more, I tell you son that as your father, I could not be any prouder of you than I am right now. Did you make mistakes? Yep and we all do (and continue to do so) but yet you kept and (keep) on getting up and forging ahead. Your uncle calls that fortitude, or having “gravel in your gut”…and I agree with him. That “never say die” mentality is what will propel you to success in any goal you set your eyes upon reaching.

 

So here is my advice to achieve a satisfying life…

 

No matter what LIFE throws in your path. No matter what pain you may have to bear. No matter what suffering you may have to endure, or hardships…OR likewise…no matter what successes you may enjoy. No matter what happiness you may be blessed with…NEVER, EVER take your eyes off of Jesus Christ. For you to endure anything in your future son, either good or bad, you must trust in Him even when your mind says do something else. As I have learned through the death of your sister, sometimes we are not meant to understand the “why” part, our job is to trust Him completely…your job, as the future head of your home, is to trust Him completely as well…

 

22 years ago, God blessed me with a son and he grew up to be you. You? Well you turned out to be an amazing blessing and I believe with all my heart that God has awesome things planned for you, just take that first step, just like you have always done…

 

I Love You Son and I am truly blessed God chose me to be your Father…

 

Your Dad

 

 

If you’re like me, the older I get, the more I learn, and the                                                                                    more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know…but that’s another blog…This article is about my continuing revelation of how God constructed this whole “personal relationship with Jesus” and why I think it’s so hard for men to stay consistent. Newsflash, yours (and mine) personal relationship with Jesus Christ must begin with humility first…Yes, I said Humility. But the problem is that “being humble” works directly against how we feel about ourselves while we live on earth. Face it guys, it is tough to be humble, not to mention you and I see pride and ego exhibited everyday of our lives. A baseball player hits a monster home run and he just stands there and admires it as it leaves the ballpark…A body builder stands in front of the mirror and just stares…at himself…I could go on and on…

We live in such a “Me, all about my ego” focused world so as a result, it’s very easy to assimilate into that culture as Christian men because that is what we are surrounded by. Honestly guys, if you get up each day and don’t think about your relationship with Christ and just plow into your day with you at the helm, I can truly say you will find yourself falling victim to prideful behavior. Listen to how The Message translation of the Bible talks about this in Proverbs 16:18, First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. That is pretty self-explanatory isn’t it?. God doesn’t have any place for pride or egos in His Kingdom. It’s all about HIM.

What you and I see around us here on earth was NOT the plan God had in mind for us…sin got in the way and it corrupted everything from early on (Genesis 3 to be exact). As hard as this may be to grasp, pride is NOT from God. It was NOT created by God, rather it is from Satan and he is the one selling that crap to all of us through things we see on television, or online, or at the gym…Its everywhere conditioning you slowly…Pride IS a wall keeping you from a relationship with God and blocks your ability to communicate with Him. Once you reach a point that you are so full of yourself that you don’t think you need God, then he has you right where he wants you…and Guys, if you have read Revelation, that is NOT a place you want to be.

Why am I writing about this? The main reason is I care about you guys. Remember the Bible also tells us in James 4:10 to Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. As I have told you before, NOW IS THE TIME to get right with God Guys! You can see the signs all around you just as easily as I can. The time is short and Satan is working overtime to pull as many men and their families down as he can. Where do you plan on spending eternity?

I am NOT being melodramatic about this topic either. The signs are clear if you take the time to read and understand them. PLEASE…Do not let your ego be the reason you walk away from what I am telling you. You maybe very good at something…your job, or a sport, or something else..but that skill is a gift from God and if you thank Him for it rather than act like it came from you we just might be playing a pick up game on that Heavenly court in the sky…I’ll meet you there…

I wanted to change things up towards the lighter side with this post and I just couldn’t resist this article because I know we have ALL been there along our journey. I cannot take credit for this, and I have no idea who wrote it, but it just is so true…Enjoy.

Alright, so we have all been there at some point, you are in the middle of some kind of project around the house – mowing the lawn, putting up a new fence, painting the living room, or whatever. You are hot, sweaty, and covered in dirt or paint.  You have your old work clothes on:  Shorts with a hole in the crotch, old T-shirt with a stain from who knows what, and an old pair of tennis shoes.  Right in the middle of this great home-improvement project you realize you need to run to Home Depot to get something to complete the job.  Depending on your age you might do the following:

In your 20’s:
Stop what you are doing.  Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss, and put on clean clothes.  Check yourself in the mirror and flex.   Add a dab of your favorite cologne because you never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout lane.  And you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

In your 30’s:
Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt.  Change shoes.   You married the hot chick so no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair.  Check yourself in the mirror.  Still got it.  Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell.  The cute girl running the register is the kid sister to someone you went to school with.

In your 40’s:
Stop what you are doing.  Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in the crotch of your shorts.  Put on different shoes and a hat.  Wash your hands.  Your bottle of Brute Cologne is empty so you don’t want to waste any of it on a trip to Home Depot.  Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing.  The spicy young thing running the register is your daughter’s age and you feel weird thinking she is pretty.

In your 50’s:
Stop what you are doing.  Put a hat on; wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt.  Change shoes because you don’t want to get dog crap in your new sports car.  Check yourself in the mirror and you swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it.  Then you remember the hat you have on is from Buddy’s Bait & Beer Bar and it says, “I Got Worms.”

In your 60’s:
Stop what you are doing.  No need for a hat anymore.  Hose the dog crap off your shoes.  The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50’s.  You hope you have underwear on so nothing hangs out the hole in your pants.  The girl running the register may be cute, but you don’t have your glasses on so you aren’t sure.

In your 70’s:
Stop what you are doing.  Wait to go to Home Depot until the drugstore has your prescriptions ready, too.  Don’t even notice the dog crap on your shoes. The young thing at the register smiles at you because you remind her of her grandfather.

I hope you enjoyed the humor of this guys because bottom line, we are all getting older but through the grace of God, even though our bodies aren’t what they used to be, we have huge reasons to be hopeful for the future. Jesus is alive and well and we must continue to tap into Him for Ironman Strength.

More posts to come…