Archive for September, 2014

you-decide

When was the last time you stood your ground in a right vs. wrong argument? (And guys, I am not referring to an argument with your spouse) I am talking about when you may have faced a situation where either Gods reputation or yours was on the line and the only one present to defend this situation was you…then what? It will undoubtedly take courage on your part but isn’t strength and courage what you are about?

Stoddard Kennedy was a chaplain in WWII. He was often thrust into the front lines of the battle, ministering in places of great danger to his life. One day, as his battalion was moving through France, he wrote a letter to his son, who was about 10 years old. This is what he wrote him;

The first prayer I want my son to learn to say for me is not God, keep Daddy safe but, God, make Daddy brave. And if he has hard things to do, make him strong to do them.

Son, life and death don’t matter. But right and wrong do. Daddy dead is Daddy still, but Daddy dishonored before God is something to awful for words. I suppose you would like to put a bit in about safety too, and Mother would like that, I’m sure. We’ll put that in afterwards, for it really doesn’t matter nearly as much as doing what is right.

This man had a strong foundation about right and wrong and in very few words, conveyed these strong principles to his young son. Why would this man feel this way? “Daddy dishonored before God is something to awful for words” do you believe that for yourself? Do you, or anyone you know, believe this way? Why does it matter anyway?

Because of this simple reason:

If you are a disciple of Christ and you believe that He is the Lord of your life, then simple principles of right and wrong are the foundation your faith is built upon. Listen to the words of Joshua, the famous Jewish warrior as he addressed the children of Israel:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day who you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

Just like Stoddard Kennedy, Joshua made a huge stand in front of the entire nation of Israel and simply said, “MAKE A CHOICE!, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” In both of these examples, the person took a stand, and followed what they knew in their heart was right…following God.

One of the greatest examples of standing strong in the face of sure death is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3:16-18, who would not bow down to the idol set up by the king for every one to worship. If you remember the story, because they would not bow down to that idol, they were thrown into the fiery furnace but they were not killed. In fact, when they came out, there was no smell of flame on them.

Standing in front of certain death, these young men stood and did what was right in the eyes of God and he rewarded them with their lives and ultimately, King Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed that no one in the kingdom can speak wrongly about the God of Israel.

Guys, I want to leave you with this final verse so you can understand that if you decide NOT to take a stand in your life, God also took this into consideration as well when James said:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6

Do not waver. God is very clear on this. Take a stand for yourself and your family and then stick to it. Be strong and be clear who you serve…otherwise you will be like that wave of the sea…tossed back and forth…with NO SOLID GROUND…

 

Until next time Guys…

 

 

horseplay-with-dad

A couple of years ago, I recall my 10-year old son asked me a very interesting question that caused me to think about the person I am and the roots where I came from. He said, “Dad, do you think you and I would have been friends if you were younger”? I was kind of taken aback for a second because I was recalling I was kind of a jerk when I was a kid…My response back to him was very quick to say “absolutely, I know we would have been friends”…but in my mind I thought, would we?

Another time, I was over at a friend’s house picking up the very same son from a sleep over and the mother pulled me aside to tell me that my little boy was adamant that when he went to bed, that he be allowed to sleep without his shirt on because that is how his Dad sleeps. She thought that was great…I stood there in amazement thinking my little man is watching me all the time…

I don’t tell you these stories to get the “Ahhh” effect; I tell them to remind you that your children are watching you and me…24/7 and what you say and do now…well, in a couple of years they will also say and do the very same thing…are you are ok with that?

Look guys, let me say it this way, as someone who has lost an older child I know I have a different perspective than most of you causing me to be far more focused on the time I have with my kids because as I found out, you never know when that time will end. I can tell you this first hand, don’t be left wishing you would have said something or did something different, because that feeling sucks…

dad-son-flyingBut if I were to narrow in on your perspective right now, where do you spend most of your time? Are you focused on your hobbies or your business first?, versus your family? It’s a pretty simple question to answer and frankly, not anything you haven’t heard before from someone else or maybe even this blog. The question is, do you understand at your core, what your true legacy will be when you leave this earth? I assure you it will not be all the time you spent at work or at play…It will be the family you helped create and what kind of people they grew up to be…

Guys, I can’t stress that fact enough. Your legacy is NOT your work but your children. Everybody will forget what you did rather quickly, but they won’t forget the people you made and the impact they ultimately had on other people.

I know you know this so I won’t beat this drum forever. Take some time and be the Dad your kids need you to be. Just hang out with them and make them laugh…those can be some of the best times ever and its so easy…you have it in you, I know you do…you just need to let that fun guy out again.

Honestly, this is probably one of the simplest posts I have ever done which stands to reason as to how easy this one is to complete in your own life. TRULY, what I am telling you is NOT rocket science, it’s just Dad Stuff

Until next time guys…

perseverence

I was walking through our plant the other day and noticed an employee really struggling with a machine he was trying to operate. This guy was working hard, sweating and really under some pressure but what I found strange was his boss was nowhere to be found? As I surveyed the area closely, my eye came across his supervisor far off in a corner…almost hidden. When I went to see what he was doing, he told me he had his eye on this guy from a distance and he wanted to see how this young man would handle this equipment problem on his own. I turned around and looked back at the employee again with his head underneath the machine trying desperately to get the thing to run right and then I looked back at the supervisor…Clearly he noticed the look on my face and he said, “this is the kind of problem that can produce perseverance in someone”. I said, “perseverance?” where did that come from?” He said, “I have been doing this a long time…In my younger days, I would run right over right and help the newbies every time they needed help…but I learned over time, this method really didn’t help them…What they needed was to persevere through the problem until they figured out the solution on their own, then they became the kind of operator I wanted working for me”. I said, “Very impressive…and I agree with you”. But of course, that got me thinking about his lesson to this young man. So I went to the dictionary and I found the word; perseverance:

Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Wow…I know the word and I use the word all the time but when I saw what it meant, I was kind of shocked. Perseverance was the word that was meant for our Iron Sharpens Iron blog audience…this is the foundation we are built upon because perseverance is exactly what God wants Christian men to have…a little fortitude…a little toughness and a whole lot of perseverance.

Even more important, God has something to say on this subject and I found the scripture to back this up for us:

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

So now it makes perfect sense right? Do you remember that poor guy at the beginning of my post that was struggling mightily to get that piece of equipment to run? Well ultimately… he was successful and that success has made him a better employee…all because of the simple test his boss put him through…but I will point out one key point here…

HE DID NOT GIVE UP…He kept at it, even though it was hard…

And that is why God tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. He already knew before you were made all of the various predicaments you were going to find yourself in that ultimately would be opportunities to show that you can “get up off of the mat” when you are knocked down. So don’t just lay there…get up!

If you are a Christian, you will be tested. If you are tested, then hang in there because you just read a few lines ago that this same testing and adversity will produce a character quality that is huge for you…perseverance…

Because when you finally achieve the ability to keep on, keeping on, in other words, perseverance. God will truly look down from heaven and smile on you…why?

Because He understands everything YOU went through to get there and He admires the person you became as a result…

Let me leave you with this verse:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Until next time Guys…

HIDING_toppick_crop

I recently watched the major motion picture “Gods Not Dead” where the plot was a bitter college professor who tried to push all of his freshman students to proclaim that God is dead before his class would begin each semester. He asked that each of them write, “God is dead” on a sheet of paper, then sign it, and turn it into him. In the story, one of his incoming freshman students could not do this because of his faith, which prompted this angry professor to challenge him to prove the existence of God.

From a Christian perspective, I thought the apologetics were very powerful in the movie and frankly refreshing to hear. Moreover, to understand that this was a movie released to the masses in secular theaters was very exciting to see in this current day. But if you know me and have read this blog, you know that something stood out above all else when I watched this film…and that was the verses quoted below from Matthew 10:32-33 in which Christ said,

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

Guys, this one hit me like a brick in the head because I know, like you, I am surrounded by hidden Christians who never say anything to anyone about their faith. For those of you who are a light in this world, this post isn’t for you. This particular one is for the rest of us Christian guys who exist in silence before one another and before the almighty God. I am speaking to those who go about their days focused on their “busy-ness” with the light that is supposedly inside of them, is hidden deep inside where no one can see.

My point is that our God is real, no matter how you and I feel about Him, and in my mind I believe that as each day passes, is one more day we will never get back again. For Christians, God continually places opportunities in front of us to share and be an influence for Him…no matter where we are…These are chances just for us. For you and me. They can be opportunities to just say an encouraging word or something more…

Guys…God never intended for you to be undercover. You are not a spy for Christ in this world; you are one of His disciples and its time for you to be a voice for Him rather than silent. I am NOT trying to guilt you or scare you but Christ’s words are very clear in the verse above… But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Please…please think about those words. They are for you and for me…Do not find yourself in that position someday…

Until next time Guys…