Posts Tagged ‘Father’

unbelief

“My son says he doesn’t believe in God anymore”. Those were the anguished words I heard my friend speak to me just the other day when we were together. He said, “he announced that to my wife and I with the proclamation that he no longer needs to go to church anymore as well”. My friend’s son is just 17 and only a junior in High School. He went on to tell me that this announcement was really just the tip of the iceberg inside their home in that he and his wife have been dealing with pure rebellion in this young man for close to a year. Moreover, with younger kids still in the home, this situation is beginning to tear his family apart.

How do you respond to someone when they tell you that?

My brothers I am sure many of you can identify with this very same scenario in your home and all the battles that happen as a result. As the father, some of us may get very firm and stand our ground in front of our kids and wives and shout, “My way or the highway!” while others of us may be more fearful and not want to upset the household to much and therefore we don’t do anything leaving everyone confused because there aren’t any boundaries coming from dad…

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

The Bible tells us this in Proverbs:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.   (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

So if we give our kids the correct Christ-like foundation, and a home that believes in Him and loves each other, no matter what…then if I understand God correctly, He will take care of the rest?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Guys, I am NOT an expert; I simply speak from experience in my own life when I was a teenager as well as now being the father of 2 sons.

It all starts with love in the home. By building a foundation of love inside your walls and providing for your children in the best way YOU can…then you have laid the foundation for God to work with later on when they are older. You see the reality of this life is that our children get to make their own choices about their lives…and that includes whom they will serve. As much as you and I may try, we don’t get to make that decision for them. They make it for themselves…your kids and mine. All we can do as parents is to give them the best we have and then it is up to God.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me about this point, I am NOT saying we walk away from them…OH NO. I am saying that once they reach that certain age and begin to question everything…we continue to love them, pray for them and provide guidance as they walk through this valley. That is our job and that is exactly what I told my friend. “Your home is being attacked by the enemy through your son and no matter what happens, you have to stand strong in Christ and work to try and love your kid through this major episode…together”. I encourage him like I would encourage you with these words:

God is working in your life, even when you don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident.

You are NOT alone on this battlefront. God is right there beside you and no matter how many mean things our kids will say to us…WE STILL TRUST HIM…

Please don’t give up guys…Let me leave you with one of my favorite verses from the Bible is Joshua:

 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, 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 ESV)

 

Until next time guys…

band-of-brothers-pic-jpg

A few years ago, I posted a blog about brothers that has been one of my all time best posts ever. I can tell you that every time I read it, I think of my own brother and thank God that he is around because of the dangerous deployments he has had in the last 28 years of his military service. But I also think that’s really the point, because this post is about Brothers…whether they are your blood or not, and I encourage you to read this and remember your brother even if he lives in heaven, or give him a call if he lives somewhere else. Either way, be thankful for your time with him and enjoy this short read…

5 important things you NEED to tell your brother:

The definition of a real brother can be more than just a blood sibling; He can be the guy you have spent your entire life with since you were just a little man, or it can be someone else who through the journey of life’s ups and downs, has become as close as a brother. In either case, a true brother in your life is the one who is there for you when you need him, no matter what the circumstances.

It’s always painful for me when I hear someone tell me they haven’t spoken to their Brother in many years because of something that was said along time ago and they can’t get over it. In the meantime, everyone in the family loses out on that connection families receive from spending time together.

My bottom line is this, when your parents inevitably pass from this earth, you will have your brother(s) and that strong brotherly bond should be forever because frankly, brothers should look out for each other throughout life’s journey. That’s the way God planned brotherhood…you have each other’s back, no matter what the circumstances.

I know for me, I wasn’t as close to my brother when I was younger but now I appreciate the man he grew to be and respect the father and husband he is today. My only wish would be to get to live closer to him so we could spend more time together.

I ran across this list of important things to tell your brother and I thought it very appropriate for this blog because we are all about Iron Sharpening Iron (Proverbs 27:17), which means, brothers strengthening brothers.

Next time you see your bro, blood relation or not, give him a bear hug and let him know you’re thankful he’s around…and whatever you do, don’t live your life with regret that you didn’t take the time to mend fences. You know what I mean…

Remember these words:

There’s no other love like the love for a brother.  

There’s no other love like the love from a brother.  

 

Terri Guillemets

5 important things you NEED to tell your brother:

  1. Hey Brother, Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, “Oh Crap, He’s up!”
  1. Hey Brother, life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forgive the ones who don’t. Not because you should, but because you can.
  1. Hey Brother, believe everything that happens to you, happens for a reason. If God gives you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If that second chance changes your life, let it.
  1. Hey Brother, Always take a few minutes to think before you act when you’re angry. Forgive quickly. God never told us life would be easy, He just promised it would be worth it.

 

  1. Remember this my Brother; A real Brother walks with you when the rest of the world walks on you.

 

In 2016 we say “Brother, I have your six.”

I end this post with a great quote from one of my favorite Baseball players of all time from the past, Harmon Killebrew who said:

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”  “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply.  “We’re raising boys.”

Do me a favor my friends, call your brother today…

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

1 Take a Stand

I originally wrote this post 2 years ago in June of 2013 and yet it still has huge relevancy as America continues to change before our eyes. I am calling out the men again to take a stand in their own homes and be strong and be who you have been called to be for your family. I ask that you read this post with the same urgency it was written 2 years ago and now…

The Ironman Strength blog has always been about MEN being strong in God and taking on the challenges that this life sends our way and this post is no different. Guys, I sense some indecisiveness out there. Maybe you have some doubt in your lives that if left alone, could cause some very serious problems for you and your family down the road. Please read this post with the same urgency that I write it and please take it to heart because our America is changing. I begin with a verse for warriors that I hope you will apply today…

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)

This is a great verse because it is clear and to the point. When Joshua wrote this verse, he knew he was going to die. He had fought the good fight for God and now he was old but before God took him into heaven, Joshua spoke to the children of Israel and gave them two options about their spiritual future; either serve God…or don’t serve Him. They had already experienced the power of God throughout their daily journey as they moved through the promised land and continually overcame obstacles that were more than they could have ever withstood on their own…And now, here they stood on the precipice of the most important decision any of them would ever make for their future…and with Joshua gone…would they give in and serve the gods of the existing tribes around them…or…would they take a stand and serve the God who had brought them to where they were now?

What is critical to note here though is Joshua’s final opinion on the two options he gave Israel. He said, “as for me and my household, we will serve The Lord”. As was typical of the rock who Joshua was, he did not waver or falter…he spoke from his heart and it was solid.

Joshua was one of the most powerful warriors in Biblical history who served God with all he had and when the end of his life was near, he took his final stand in front of his nation and announced who he and his household would serve…

My question to you is…which option have you chosen for you and your house?

Have you taken the stand for yourself and firmly planted your feet on the solid ground before God?

I believe that now is time to “man up” in your relationship with God…You need to make a decision and then stick with it…It is your responsibility to shield both you and your family from the harm that Satan seeks to wreak upon the people you care about. Now is NOT a time for doubt, it is a time for clarity. Otherwise you will be like this;

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV)

Everyone has seen seaweed being tossed back and forth inside waves with no stability whatsoever. That seaweed could end up anywhere because it has broken away from its stronghold under the sea. Guys, if you doubt, that will be you being thrown around in this world like broken seaweed in the waves…with nothing to hold onto…being tossed around with no idea where you will end up…

Trust me here…that is NOT God’s plan for you OR your family.

Guys, I challenge you right now to be the warrior God intended you to be by taking a stand inside your house by protecting your wife and kids from what Satan seeks to do them. It starts by clinging onto our God who is a rock and a fortress and will always be there for us…

I challenge you to be like Joshua and declare to the world…

As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord…

Who will you choose to serve?

Until next time guys…

humility

In my own life, I have found that fear can be a very strange motivator. In the heat of the moment it can cause us to move towards both good and bad behaviors. Sometimes fear can cause the hero in us to come storming out of the depths of our core ready to take on anything…

Other times fear can also cause some of us to cower in the corner and be almost paralyzed. Either way, fear has very different reactions for each of us…with none of them predictable.

I have written about fear before in past posts but I felt the need to revisit it again because of some recent reading in the Bible where once again I learned more about the absolute might of our Lord God. It has always amazed me that God describes Himself as “Love” as well as our “sanctuary of refuge” yet throughout the Bible He reminds us that we need to fear and dread Him as well. Those have always seemed completely opposite to me, but then let me remind you of the love of your earthly father. On one hand he is the one who teaches and helps guide us along our path as we grow but yet when we do wrong, he is there to punish us and remind us that there is always a consequence for sin. At the same time, we experience both fear of the punishment and love from the same person because he is a father who loves his children.

The Lord God Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary. Isaiah 8:13-14a

But as I think about this world around me and our human nature I think that without actual fear in our relationship with God, humanity would become to comfortable and relaxed towards Him…oh wait…many of us ARE to comfortable and relaxed and that my friends, I believe, is a big mistake.

We cannot forget that no matter what is going on right now…He is God and we are not. Everyday the business of life piles up in front of us and we get distracted and diluted with our responsibilities. Trust me when I tell you this guys, I am speaking to myself just as much as my audience. We cannot be too busy to be humble in the sight of God…to recognize His might as well as His love for us.

This is simply a friendly reminder for all of us. If we can maintain that fear relationship with God, there is a humility there in all of us that God can use. When you focus on maintaining that condition of the heart, that Humility…well simply put, life is better because the joy of the Lord will be your strength.

Remember Proverbs 22:4

Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life…

I don’t know about you but I could use all three of those…

 

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…

reset_button-scaled500

We recently finished a very successful Little League season that had us advancing to and winning our local city tournament. After a 24-game season and then a tournament where we faced 6 more local teams…to actually win first place, was very gratifying…

But I have to be honest it wasn’t always that way.

This season provided many of the normal low points that most seasons typically do with one exception; as a team, we discovered something we dislike universally…playing badly. But even more important, we discovered a way to stop this team from “falling off the cliff”. Honestly, this one simple moment truly saved us from being one of the worst teams into being one of the best.

I remember the actual game and frankly, the one particular inning where we literally could not do anything right. We could NOT get an out to save ourselves…hit after hit and run after run, we could not stop this train from certain destruction. When we finally hit the 10-run threshold and to many errors to count, I told the other coach “let me go talk to them”…he mumbled something completely incoherent because I honestly think he was in shock.

As I walked to the mound, I called the entire team over for a conversation. As I stared into those 11-12 year old boys faces, I saw tears and I saw anger but most of all I saw hopelessness. They literally had given up the thought they could do anything right. They were so upset and had completely lost their direction…does this sound familiar to anyone?

I told them “Guys, you are so much better than what I see here today. We have practiced these plays over and over again…frankly, to many times to count”.

“Here is what I want you to do, in this game right now…I want you to hit the reset button inside of you. From urlthis point on, we are starting this game over. We are playing from the beginning again…We are resetting”.

They all looked at me like I was crazy. Our shortstop Tyler spoke up and asked, “what do you mean coach?” “How do we reset?” I told him, “When you reset something, it clears the past or the previous from affecting the future”. Everything that has happened in this game is now over. We are each going to reset and focus on the next play, our next at bat and all of us are going to try our hardest to get out of this inning”

Our catcher chimed in at this point, “come on guys, we can do this, we have to reset. We have to hit the reset button”

So here is what I will tell you, we did not win that game. But we did get out of that nasty inning without giving up another run. More importantly however, the next time we had the beginnings of another poor inning, our catcher pulled the infield together and gave them the reset speech…and guess what, it worked…

As you can imagine, that simple life lesson got me thinking about you guys and the painful 10-run bad inning equivalents we have in our own lives. News flash: sometimes life hurts and it does NOT go our way. In fact, I firmly believe there are many of you right now reading this that are having a very hard time for a variety of reasons and frankly are just looking for some hope. Guys, I am not going to insult your intelligence by saying to just hit your internal reset button and everything will magically get better. We all know that is not the way anything in this life works.

What I will tell you though is if you hit the reset button with God…that will work.

Right now, God is patiently waiting for you to run to Him. He is not the God who will write in the sky, “Hey (your name here)…call me now and let’s fix this” we know He doesn’t work that way. Our God has a still, soft voice that is always calling…we are just too loud or too busy to hear Him.

Guys…today…take my challenge to you…

Hit the reset button with God by praying this prayer right now:

“God…things are not going well right now and I need you to help. Humbly I ask that you take over my life and cause me to reset my relationship with you. I can’t do this on my own. I need you to direct my steps and make my paths straight.

God, I trust in you and I believe in you and no matter what happens, I know you are in control. Please use your Holy Spirit to help guide me during difficult times and thank you for what you are doing for me right now”…

If you prayed that prayer and believe you hit the reset button with Him, I could not be any happier…congratulations. I would also ask that you leave me a note on this blog if you prayed that prayer. This blog has always been about encouragement and knowing you hit your reset with Him is very encouraging to me…

Until next time guys…

photo

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…