Archive for May, 2013

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I happened upon this article recently and it brought a smile to my face because I am one of those Dad’s who was blessed with boys. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I also was blessed with a girl for a time and she was truly a joy in my life but today…this post is about little men. If you happen to be blessed with one, two or more, then you will understand this next statement…

It’s NEVER boring with a little guy around…

In fact, sometimes life can kind of be downright chaotic with little guys around…however, I don’t know about you, I wouldn’t have it any other way…But I digress…

The article I found are from a sunday school classroom of little guys explaining who they think God is and why they believe in Him…completely from their “little man”vantage point.

I hope you like it…

A LITTLE MAN’S EXPLANATION OF GOD:

 

 

‘One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.’

 

‘God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.’

 

‘God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.’

 

‘Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in San Diego. At least there aren’t any who come to our church.’

 

‘ Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.’

 

‘His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.’

 

‘You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.’

 

‘You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!

 

Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.’

 

‘If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.’

 

‘But…you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

 

And…that’s why I believe in God.’

 

 

Until next time guys…

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Every now and then I run across a poem/ story that really speaks to me. Some of them are kind of old-fashioned, like this one, but others are just good stories told well.  This one is an instant classic to me because it reeks of the cliché:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”

All of us, at one time or another, have met someone and came to a conclusion simply based upon the way someone looked. Don’t deny it…because we ALL do this. The question is, when we find out we were wrong in our judgement, what do we do then?  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

 

my-old-shoes

I showered and shaved and I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat in a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer as I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own and I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it sure didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father’ I thought, this man with the shoes, has no pride.

They’re dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on. The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’

I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?

‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud-sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters his hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out what the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft ‘clink’. As when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me to tears, and that’s no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service as is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark and his hair was truly a mess.

But I thanked him for coming and for being our guest.

He said, ‘my names Charlie I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’

There were tears in his eyes but he had a large wide grin.

‘Let me explain,’ he said, still wiping those tears from his eyes.

‘I’ve been coming here for months and you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”

‘I know that my appearance is not like all the rest. ‘But I really do try to always look my best.’ ‘I always polish and clean my shoes before my very long walk’.

‘But by the time I get here, they’re dirty and dusty and just like chalk.’The_old_Man_and_the_Sea

My heart filled with pain and I swallowed my tears as he continued to apologize for daring to sit so near. He said, ‘When I get here I know I must look a sight.’ ‘But I thought if I could touch you then maybe our souls might unite.’

I was silent for a moment knowing whatever was said, would pale in comparison. So I spoke from my heart and not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said ‘and taught me in part; ‘that the best of any man is what is found in his heart.’ The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old shoe touched my soul

 

Until next time guys…

it_happens_in_a_blink__by_jsf22x35-d3c4oejYesterday, I attended a memorial service for the wife of a former business owner/ friend of mine who recently passed on and has gone to Heaven. The service was great. I say “great” because it was NOT one of those very dull, dreary experiences where the person who passed had no hope and we will never see them again. Everyone in that service knew where this woman was…Heaven…no doubt about it. But yet at the same time, the service was incredibly sad because my friend’s wife was gone. Physically, she is no longer here anymore to participate in her life doing the she things she loved like running, riding bikes or spending time with her husband and her kids…instead, she went to Heaven and it happened in a blink.

 

This coming June 21st, my own daughter Kylie, will have been in heaven for 9 years but yet it only seems just like yesterday to me when she passed. She was a very happy 12-year-old girl who truly loved her family and her life but yet one day, God decided to take her up to Heaven and live with Him…and that too happened in a blink.

 

Now, I will be honest with you here..I am not one of those guys who believes that Kylie is up there watching over our family.  That has never been one of those things told to me that ever gave me comfort. I will also tell you that this post isn’t about wrestling with God or bitterness or anything like that….It’s about recognizing what is right in front of you and possibly losing your pride and being the man and asking for forgiveness…The people we know and care for can be gone in a blink and then what? Well, the hard truth is you must live without them for the rest of your lives…and for some of you, that may mean living with a mountain of regret. The “I should have talked to him/her sooner” conversation that should have happened…never happened…only now it is too late.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to friends who were angry at their kids or their wives or their parents and that anger or pride caused them a broken relationship and then as I have experienced first hand, that special someone is gone in a blink and now they live with this bitter pill regret at never reaching out to them and mending that relationship…

 

Remember: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

 

Guys, if you haven’t picked up on the theme of this post…It happens in a blink…It’s because it does. The unexpected can happen before you blink and I assure you there isn’t anything you can do. One minute, all is well in your world and the next, someone YOU LOVE is gone. No matter how hard we try to hold on to someone, we can’t.

 

What I am saying is simple…don’t wait to save your relationships. Please consider taking the high road and do it now…because truly…life can change in a blink. I encourage you to please don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today…

 

Until next time guys…

 

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As I may have mentioned before, I have a second son who is 10 years old and like many of us, is learning that sometimes life isn’t easy. He is currently learning this valuable lesson through the great sport of Baseball. You see, he was drafted onto his very first Little League majors team and although he started the season with a bang, he has since fallen into one of those slumps we see major leaguers fall into now and then. This slump however, is causing him great distress. The more he tries to shake it off, the worse it gets and this past weekend…well, he just kinda hit the wall…(Anyone ever hit the wall before?…) His “hitting the wall” experience afforded me the opportunity as his father to have one of those conversations about life that I think all young men need to hear sometime as they grow up.

Now I will be honest with you…I have heard and read many of these self-help pontificator’s who put forth things like empowering yourself and “everything you need to be great exists inside you already all you need to do is find it” kind of stuff…and although there may be place for that somewhere…when you are staring into the tearing eyes of a 10-year-old boy who is trying desperately to do his best, and it’s not working…all of those empowerment ideals goes out the window.

Here is the bottom line…and it is NOT Rocket Science; Sometimes…in this life…you will get knocked down…the question is “are you going to get back up, or are you going to just lay there?” As I watched my own son, it was clear to me he had no idea where to start or what to do…and I realized right then that a lot of men in life find themselves in this same situation. We get knocked down in life…maybe at work or at home and we simply lose our direction and we truly…have no idea where to turn next. Just like my son, we have lost our confidence in ourselves and our capabilities. We forget what our strengths are both professionally and personally and this can cause paralysis from taking another step forward. As adults this can be devastating especially to a family where the father has lost his way and mom is trying to hold things together by herself.

So how does one get his confidence back? Here are my 5 steps to confidence:

  1. Get back up on your feet and take that first step forward. I assure you that confidence does NOT come while you are laying on the ground…
  1. Read Hebrews 4:16…Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. It ALL starts with God guys…He tells us to come to Him with CONFIDENCE in order that we can receive what He has for us…
  1. Spend some quality time with God. Doesn’t have to be hours…just get on your knees for a few minutes without distraction. You will be amazed…
  1. Call a buddy. Just because you are a man doesn’t mean you don’t need to talk and maybe get something off your chest. Grab a coffee and spend a minute with a good friend…
  1. Plug into a church. I know you have heard this before but it is true…God didn’t intend His people to walk through “life” alone…he intended them to do “life” as a community and that happens in a church.

 

It’s like I told my son, “I have seen you hit a baseball before and you hit well…you just need to remember that feeling”

Guys, you HAVE done some “thing’s” in your life well. Some things that should make you proud and happy of your accomplishments as a husband and father…do you remember them? You should…and you have no reason to hang your head… Remember this;

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Right now, you are running the race marked out for you…NEWS FLASH! You are going to fall down… It WILL imageshappen. That IS a part of your life…but as I mentioned before…when this happens what are you going to do then? Guys my challenge to you today is simply GET UP! Shake off the dirt and keep moving forward. God NEVER promised that our lives would be easy…He only said “He would never leave us or forsake us” which means during your darkest hour…you are not alone…

So GET UP and LOOK UP to Gods throne with confidence…

You can do this…

Until next time guys…