Archive for June, 2014

resolveSometimes I find myself sometimes frustrated with people who struggle with making what I call “simple decisions”. Have you ever been in a line behind someone who can’t decide what kind of coffee they would like or whether to use paper or plastic bags? I often wonder how indecisive people make it through life when basic decisions seem to elude them. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not picking on anyone here, I am just very different about things like that.

With that said, I have found the same to be true when people choose religion or a god based upon that lifestyle. For some, they pick gods that are very similar to themselves in that there are very few rules or guardrails to worry about which means they can do what they want…no real decisions or commitments to make but the best part is, they can opt out at any time.

Other people go down a completely opposite path where they decide to commit totally and give up huge portions of their time and money to stay connected to their god. Some even commit their families and give up personal opportunities all in the name of religion…On this side, opting out is far more difficult.

Now again, please don’t misunderstand me here, I am just trying to point out the vast differences between how and what my observations are when I watch people and the great differences in what I would call resolve.

In the dictionary it says about resolve:

To come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have 

resolved that I shall live to the full.

Resolve is a strong word in my mind because it connects directly to making a decision and being determined to stay the course. When it comes to becoming a Christian, it takes great resolve to make that first step and move forward in young faith and I admire the ones that do. Many times however, like other things in our lives, the “new” can wear off and frankly, that is where your resolve comes in. Only because I have been a Christian for many years do I see this more in my own life. Honestly, sometimes I have to “make up my mind” that will not deviate from the path I am on even though it may be tiring or NOT the path of least resistance. I have determined for my own life that I am choosing God and where He takes me I do not know…but I do know that on this journey, I will not stop holding onto Him. Determined. Resolve. Anchor.

Have you made up your mind to do something and then resolved to stick with it until theI-resolve end? Maybe your marriage is on rocky ground but you are resolved to continue to work things out? Maybe your job stinks but you are determined to bloom right where you are? Sometimes we choose “resolve” in these areas because we don’t think there is any other way but to be truthful, there is. We can also choose to change or even improve these areas with effort…but when it comes to your God…it takes all the resolve you can muster…why? Because God has never promised an easy road for you or me. Your road as a Christian will probably be a rocky one not because you are a Christian, but because you have CHOSEN to be a Christian. Because of your choice, that puts you in a different category in the eyes of Satan. It will take all of your resolve to stay committed…because you are under attack.

Remember this for your dose of encouragement:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The purpose of this post is NOT to convince you to have resolve in your journey but to encourage you to KEEP your resolve. Guys…make your choice and then move on…be consistent, push forward, and know that God will not leave you hanging out there alone…He will be right there at your side honoring your resolve to serve Him.

Guys, today I encourage you to make serving God your resolve.

Make your choice…

Stay determined…

Live for Him…

 

Until next time guys…

 

kyliekitty

Today, June 21st, marks the anniversary of 10 years since you became a citizen of Heaven and yet there still isn’t one single day that goes by that I don’t think about you and who you would be today. I could tell you I miss you, but words can’t describe the gut wrenching feeling even now that I still feel. It still hurts so deep down inside me but yet I am resolved to this feeling because I know I cannot change the past, only the future, and I can tell you that your Dad is a very different person now since you are gone. But I will not digress in this letter to you…I will stay the course and promise to hold fast to God because I know that in Him and through Him, I will see you again.

Kylie, I wanted to tell you that we finally moved from the home you grew up in and became the person we remember the most. Your mother and I agreed that it was finally time. Your older brother Jarrett, has moved out and become successful on his own now and although I don’t see him as much as I would like, I am thankful for the time I do have. But without him in that big house, it just felt different and frankly it was time to move on. But through that process of packing boxes and unpacking them in our new home, all those feelings of missing you came back again, many of which I had packed away, not planning on “feeling” them anymore….but they came in a giant wave and there you were, right back in the center of our lives again with your Mom and I trying desperately to control them and keep it together.

You see we found your pictures; your voice in video, your artwork, your backpack, your clothes…we found “You”, exactly the way “you” had left your things. I probably should say, “shame on us” for not moving your things out of your room sooner but in your case, we just never seemed to find the time or the energy to take that challenge on…but when it’s time to move, well, it forced us to take that issue head on. I can tell you that it was not easy, but through the strength of family and friends, we overcame and I can see now that we are better because we worked hard not to wear that burden anymore.

Kylie, you would be very proud of both of your brothers. Your 12 years here truly impacted both of them positively. Jarrett has gone on to be a successful producer in a local prominent television studio. He is working to ultimately be the sports guy and if I know him, he will make it. When I see your little brother Kendrick, he reminds me of you. He has a crazy personality and enjoys being silly with all of us. He plays baseball and the piano just like you, and is very good at both. Sometimes he asks questions about you when he sees pictures of you holding him and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy talking about you to him. It makes BOTH of us happy, even still…

You would be amazed at your Mom and what she has done since you left. She is a part of Umbrella Ministries that has been instrumental in helping other mothers who have lost children in dealing with the grief and pain of child loss. In other words, she has taken her pain and worked it into a positive for someone else in the same circumstance…doesn’t that sound like something your mom would do? By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why your heavenly father comes to you every single evening and gives you hugs and kisses, it because every night, your mom signs off every family prayer with that request of Him…

Sometimes I think about how you’re not being here changed the overall course of our lives. In other words, what decisions did your Mom and I make while in our state of grief that caused our life’s direction to change? Your mother and I look back and see very clearly now that we were not the same people after we lost you and logic says that when you make decisions in a different state of mind…well…you are going to get a different outcome…Only God knows how our lives would have gone with you still here but that wasn’t Gods plan. His plan was to take you and although I am not angry with Him, I will never understand the “why”…

Kylie, I never would have thought that I would ever be a Dad writing a letter to any deceased child, let alone my own…but here I am 10 years past your death, still trying to get a grip on you not being here. To help clarify, I miss who you would have been and the chances I would have had to be your Daddy…even now when you would have been a grown woman. Being a father of a girl, well it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being the father of you, well, frankly, was indescribable…it just ended far to soon. Because of that statement, I can easily say that I do not take time spent with family and friends for granted as I did. Now, I just soak it all in…

Kylie, it’s been 10 years since you left and my observations are we are all very different but yet, we are all still that same in some ways as our memories drift back to our time spent with you. I have said this all along and will continue to feel this way until I’m gone…

 I am better person having been your Daddy and although I still miss you desperately, my faith in God tells me I will see you again.

I will always love you Kylie…

Your Daddy

strength-moves_main_4_0

Most of you who read this blog are guys and so I am going to give you an all guys blog today. So here we go…

Guys like strength. We like war movies. We like Captain America movies. We like old-fashioned football when a running back breaks 10 tackles and scores the game winning touchdown. Strength is something we can identify with as a man. We find ourselves measuring each other up all the time. That pick up game of basketball against the new guy or when we see some huge muscle-bound guy in the gym…we are always looking at strength…and deep down inside, we like it.

I believe that is part of the reason WHY we do this is because we have always done it. Throughout centuries, countries have fought other countries by using their strength to overcome one another. Men have always done the same thing. When you pick the starting lineup on any team you are on, for any sport, you always take the strongest, or at least the ones you think give you the best chance to win…

Strength. If you are a guy well then it is as a part of you as the air you breathe.

So here is my question to you…if strength is who we are as a human race, then why didn’t Jesus Christ use it when He came to this earth? In fact, I submit to you that rather than use Power in Strength, He used exactly the opposite…He used Power in Weakness. Think about it. He didn’t come on a horse with a broad sword, he came as a baby, in a simple stable. He wasn’t victorious in a battle while here on earth like we would identify with, instead, He went to the cross and died.

What kind of strength is that? Is that something we can all rally behind on the battlefield…Power in Weakness? Again, I submit to you…yes…

As I have said to you before, God doesn’t think like us. His plans will always be different from anything we would come up with…Moreover, the Apostle Paul wrestled with this very same question when writing to the Corinthians in chapter 1:18-31 when he said,

Jews demand signs (miracles) and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

And then Paul goes onto say:

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

 But the question is still why? Why would God choose to proliferate the gospel using Power in Weakness rather than Strength, something we can all identify with?

The answer lies with Paul and his “thorn in the flesh” issue. You see Paul pleaded with God to take away what many think was that he was partially blind on 3 separate occasions and each time he was told no. Finally Christ responded to him directly by saying:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Did you pick that up? Christ’s power is made PERFECT in our weakness…which is completely opposite of how we “humans” would have created things had we been involved. God’s plan all along was to create a relationship with us whereby we are reliant upon Him for our needs. His plan was never to use strength to overcome all odds and capture our salvation like we see in the movies. God simply says trust in me and I will take care of the rest.

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 Look guys, I get it. This blog does not have the climax that maybe you thought was coming…and honestly, I find myself identifying with strength still…but the point is, part of my journey in my walk with Him involves learning more about Him and why God uses power in weakness primarily when dealing with us.

Bottom line is this…

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1:27-31

Brute strength will not get you to heaven…but a humble and pure heart before God is sure a great start…

Until next time guys…