Archive for August, 2010

When Your Kids Become Adults

August 28, 2010

When kids become adults, that’s cool too! Several years ago I started dreading this transition. I loved being the dad of two children I could play with, teach and mentor. I loved watching them grow and reliving my childhood vicariously through them. Now that they are adults, it’s even better in some ways. We still play. I still get to teach, mentor and even hassle them. I love seeing them grow and mature. And now I relive my college and young adult days through their experiences.

Fortunately, they learned from their dad’s experiences and advice and they make better decisions than I ever did. They have avoided speeding tickets, blowing exams from lack of preparation and neither of them have taken a road trip to the beach with 4 friends and a trunk full of cheap beer. They are wiser and more mature than I was at their age. When they were young, Meri and I decided to invest ourselves in our kids’ lives.  I could have a larger retirement fund if I had invested in securities.  I could be a decent golfer if I had invested time and money on the course. I could own a bass boat and be much better at finding large fish if I had invested in time on the lake.

Instead, with out limited incomes and available time, we invested in our kids and I am so glad. Both of them know Jesus as their Lord. Both are committed followers and serve others. Both are conscientious students and have confidence. And most of all, both of them know that their parents love them very much.  I was not the perfect parent and my kids can tell you all about it. I simply tried to love them unconditionally, teach them what I knew, pray for them every day and lead them to follow and trust in Jesus Christ.

Meri and I have had a great time being parents. On September 18, I walk my daughter down the aisle. I am now at peace with this. I love her and my future son-in-law. He is a good man and he cherishes my little girl. Now, the 5 of us are looking forward to playing together at the lake, in the mountains, at Disney World, etc. The fun continues!!

When Christians Judge Others…

August 16, 2010

The infamous Ann Rice recently blogged that she was giving up on Christianity. Her main reason was that Christians were judgmental and did not live like the Jesus we claim to follow. Truth is we are often guilty of this charge. Some of the most hard to get along with people I know are church people. Maybe it’s because we have high expectations and think everybody should be more like Jesus than we ever achieve ourselves. Maybe it’s easier to judge others than take the time to get to know them and love them anyway. Bottom line is we should not judge others, only Christ alone is worthy to be the judge of someone’s soul and value.

Ann Rice may have been right about our shortcomings yet she was WRONG about her need for the church. We need fellow believers most of all in our brokenness. We need to learn how to love each other as Christ first loved us. We need to pray for, learn from and hold each other accountable. Jesus commanded his followers to be “his body.” We can ONLY do this by being a part of His church.

No local church, no denomination, no pastor and no disciple is perfect or without sin and weaknesses. My church members know many of my flaws and mistakes and I know many of theirs. Christ calls us to love each other just like he loves us, warts and all. I need imperfect Christian brothers and sisters and so do you. Ann Rice has missed Jesus’ point – I pray some of her Christian friends will now love her back into trusting the church once more. For her sake and the body’s sake as well.

Does Your Anchor Hold?

August 13, 2010

I got up early that day to go fishing for crappie. I loaded the boat with the electric motor, a fully charged battery, bait, tackle and three rods. I had water, snacks and even a hat if the sun got too bright. I went across the lake to a slough where I knew the fish would be hanging out. I began to catch them immediately and then the wind picked up. I began to drift with the wind and then it began to gust. I tried to return to the boathouse but the electric motor could not cut against the strong wind. I began to drift further back into the slough and soon I was up in the shallows and nearing the tree branches. You see, I had forgotten the anchor and now I was drifting to and fro.

I decided to tie onto a tree and then wade to shore. The water was about 3-4 feet deep. I stepped out of the boat and I sank another two feet into mud! So, I trudged to shore with mud up to my thighs. I got to land and walked up to a farmhouse. Thank God they agreed to call my grandmother to come get me. When I got home, I decided I would always make sure I had an anchor.

Having an anchor is ESSENTIAL in life. The storms will come, the wind will blow and trouble will beat down upon us all. Life requires an anchor that will hold. Faith is that anchor – believing and trusting in Jesus Christ to save us, to lead us and guide us every day. Ray Boltz sings about this in his song, “The Anchor Holds.”  A friend of mine requested this at his dad’s funeral. You see, his dad had been his anchor and now he needed an eternal anchor, one that death could not steal from him. He began to seriously follow and trust in Jesus and the Lord became his anchor. It was beautiful to watch him mature and grow.

You got an anchor in the faith? I hope you do because the storms of life blow against all of us. Jesus Christ, the divine anchor, will hold you and sustain you.

LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH

August 8, 2010

Psalm 23 reminds us that even when we walk through the shadow of death, that the goodness of the Lord is with us. We have experienced this amazing truth the past week. My wife’s mother is 94 and in hospice care. Her death has seemed imminent everyday the past week. Yet she holds on and the vigil continues. God has given us an amazing peace in the middle of our grief and pain. Hundreds of prayer warriors have lifted us up. Love surrounds us and enables us to pour love over our loved one at this fragile time.

Death is a mystery, allusive and hard to predict. Yet Romans 8: 31-39 reminds us boldly that NOTHING CAN SEPARATE us from the love of God found in Jesus Christ. This is so real and important to us right now. Meri’s mom will soon be set free from this world and given a new body and a new song to sing in the presence of her savior and King, Jesus Christ. The pain will be over, the tears will be dry and death will give way to the victory of eternity with the God who originally gave her the breath of life.

Someone recently asked me how do people without faith in God make it through times like this. I can not imagine and I know people who have struggled through loss and hardship because they did not have an anchor of faith. Grab hold of the anchor – embrace faith in Jesus and walk with him. Build up your faith now so that your anchor will hold when the storms of life come into your path. You are loved!!