Our Father Isn’t

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OurFather

Our Father Isn’t Passive and He Doesn’t Provoke Us

Happy Father’s Day! 

Thank you, fathers, for all that you do to lead your families, love your wives, and raise your children to serve God with a lasting faith!  There is literally no higher calling that we could aspire to.

On this special day, let’s remember how fortunate we are to have the Perfect Father.  He has been a Father for an eternity, and He fathers us perfectly.

If you’ve been a father very long you know that fathering is a hard job.  Some days we are too passive and don’t fight for their hearts.  Some days we are too harsh and we just provoke them.  Most of us tend towards one ditch or the other.  But our Father’s love is perfect, and He loves us just how we are!  He is kind and loving, and He is powerfully fighting for our hearts.  No matter what we have messed up He is right there, running out to meet us.  Whether we are the ungrateful prodigal son or the ungrateful judgmental son, this is true of Our Father’s love for us:

It chases me down, fights til I’m found, leave the 99.

I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give Yourself away.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me.

There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.

He loves us and He is aggressively coming after us to rescue us and reconcile with us.  He desires a relationship with us like the relationship He has with His Son, our Brother and Friend.  He is truly a good, good Father!

Do you ever feel like you have to do this on your own?  Like you have to be a man when deep down you feel like a boy?  Do you wonder if you have what it takes?  You can rest in the kind, assertive, powerful, love of Your Father.

 

 

 


Planting or Pruning?

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DSC_0882

I am a farm boy and I love planting things.  We live in the suburbs, but I have a house with a half-acre lot.  We have a decent sized garden, and I have planted blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, blackberry bushes, and pear trees.  I have also planted dozens of decorative trees, bushes, plants, and flowers.  I love planting things!

I am getting ready to attend a Ransomed Heart event called “Become Good Soil.”  We received a few assignments to complete before we came, and one of them was to plant a tree.  So naturally I was stoked!  Permission, no, the requirement that I plant a tree!  “Morgan told me I have to buy a tree and plant it,” I told my wife.  As you know, God often uses the Holy Spirit in your spouse to break through to you.  “Where?” she asked.  I won’t go through the whole discussion, but after that conversation I opened myself up to God’s leading and realized that I didn’t need to plant a tree – I needed to cut one down.  We have a big yard so I could have easily planted a tree, but any additional trees I would plant would be in the way of our baseball/football/soccer games. Continue Reading…


Reagan, Lincoln, Washington

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Lincoln

I love to learn about leadership through the good and bad decisions of people throughout history.  Although we probably won’t ever be President, we still have an important role to play.  What kind of challenges is God preparing you to face?  Will your leadership qualities and skills be ready for the task?

Coincidentally, 3 of my favorite Presidents were born in February, so it is a great time to think about their leadership through incredibly challenging times.  Here is a recap of our 5 favorite posts about leadership and history.

Lincoln: The Learning Martyr

Growing up in the Land of Lincoln made me biased, but I have a lot of respect for him.  Here is one reason.

Lincoln:  Sharpened on the Anvil of Leadership

What does Servant Leadership mean to you? For Lincoln, it meant sacrificing his life for justice and unity.

Good History

Includes my favorite history DVD and  a cool timeline of the history of everything.

Monumental Thanksgiving

I also love this documentary about some of our nation’s founders!

MLK Day

Not a President, but influential and a good person to study.


Valentines Day Recap

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ConversationHearts

As Christians, we know that we are to love.  Jesus said that our greatest and second greatest commands were to love God and others.  So, in some ways, Valentine’s day is as important of a holiday as any of the rest, because it celebrates Christianity’s primary characteristic.

If we are to love each other, we might as well get good at it!  Here are some of our favorite posts about how to show love to your spouse and kids.  Enjoy!

God’s Love

Happy Valentine’s Day 

God loves you!  So what else matters?!?!?!

Valentine’s and Parenting:

We love our kids, and this is a great time to show them.

Valentine’s Promises For Your Kids

Valentine’s Wreath 

Vital Words For My Girls

Vital Words For My Boys

Conversation Hearts of Love

The 1 Corinthians 13 Mom

Valentine’s and Marriage:

Here are a few of our posts about marriage.  You can find more by hovering over Men and clicking on Husband or hovering over Gals and clicking on Wife

The Foundation of Marriage Series

These books and concepts have been foundational to our marriage.

The Foundation of Marriage

Foundations of Marriage: Sacred Marriage

Foundations of Marriage: Your Most Important Customer

Foundations of Marriage: Proceed With Caution

Foundations of Marriage: Love and Respect

Foundations of Marriage: For Men and Women Only

Other Fun Marriage Posts

Guys – Creative Date Nights

It’s hard to think of good ideas, so here are a few to get you started.

Marital Intimacy Troubleshooting – Men

“Marital Intimacy” is a code word so that our posts don’t get blocked by your internet filters.  This topic is critically important to every marriage, so it stands to reason that we should try to tackle problems in this area.

Warning Husbands: T Minus 8 Days to Valentine’s

Don’t mess this up guys – it’s the same day every year.  Right after Lincoln’s birthday.  Right before Washington’s birthday.

Fun Game to Play – Spouses Only 😉

This may leave you blushing.

Gift Ideas For Your Hubby!

This may also.

Love

Valentine’s Day is a great time to reach out to the ones you love.  We hope some of these ideas are helpful.  What ideas do you have?


When Tragedy Strikes

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Tragedy

In the life of a child, sometimes tragedy strikes.

It struck our home a few weeks ago when our oldest was unable to find her shoes for the first day of school after Christmas break.

What, is that less tragic than you were expecting?

Before you laugh at her, remember that many of your own ‘tragedies’ are of no greater importance.  I don’t know about you, but I almost lose my mind when I lose something that’s important to me. I can’t think of anything else. Even if the thing I’m looking for is not all that important, just the fact that I’ve lost it drives me crazy! I’m a 35-year-old man, so I have a different way of reacting to this frustration than a 10-year-old girl, but her reaction (tears ) is just as natural as mine is.

But we are called to be supernatural, aren’t we!

Continue Reading…


Agreements

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Handshake

Have you ever said one of these things to yourself?

I am just a messy person.

I’m bossy – I can’t help it. 

I’m forgetful – they just need to get used to it. 

I’ll never really succeed at that. 

This is how it will always be.  I’ll just have to live with it. 

Perhaps you have made one of these statements.  These are all things that people say about themselves, thinking that they are being practical, or even self-aware.

These, my friend, are agreements.

Remember, God is Truth and Satan is our adversary.  He tempts us.  He tricks us.  He accuses us.  He wants to devour us.

Do you think he has stopped? Continue Reading…


The Pitfalls of Parenting Praise

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Trophy2

We love our kids, and we believe that using words of encouragement over them is incredibly important.  We try to be involved parents, and because of this we give our kids a lot of praise.

But there is a pitfall to avoid on this parenting praise path.  Like a trap in the jungle, it is disguised to make it difficult to see.  Perhaps this exercise will help uncover it:

Fill in the blanks:

If I am a “winner” when I win, then when I lose, I am a _________. Continue Reading…


I Learned To Swim

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Swim

This summer I learned to swim. 

My girls are 9 and 7.  They have been in swimming lessons for several years now, and this year it is all beginning to pay off!  Our community pool is a great size and shape for them.  It has a deep end that challenges them to continue working on their strokes and their breathing, which has helped them turn into really good little swimmers!   I have been very impressed as I have watched them progress, and I began saying (without much exaggeration) that both girls were better swimmers than me.  I sat on the deck chair and watched them improve.

By the end of the summer, watching them improve had made me want to improve.  But there was a problem:

  • You can only improve if you practice.
  • You can only practice if you get into the pool.
  • If you get into the pool you will get wet.
  • If you get wet you get cold.
  • So, you can only improve if you get wet and cold.

Continue Reading…


It’s My Wife’s Birthday – Now What?

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WifeBirthday

 

Your wife’s birthday – it happens every year.  A lot of husbands struggle to bring much creativity to this area of their lives, so I hope that this post will help change that.  C’mon guys – we’re problem solvers!  That is what we exist and get paid to do!  So we can tackle this opportunity in exactly the same way as we would approach any other high risk, high reward situation.  This is a day where you can show her that she is valuable, and, more importantly, you value her.  This is a day that she can really feel that you delight in her.  If you can achieve that, your efforts will be worth it.

Holy Birthday To You

It appears that God may have given you marriage to make you holy.  (See here.)  If that is true, consider your wife’s birthday the annual High Holy Day.  This is the number one day for you to serve your wife unselfishly, with nothing expected in return! OK, Mother’s Day could be #1, depending on how many kids you have and how old they are, but your honey’s birthday is at least a close second.  So this is a day where you will be focusing in on who she is and how you can bless her.  Here are some ideas.

The Basics

Make sure you remember her birthday.  Make sure you get her a card.  Most years you probably should at least get a $7 bouquet of flowers from Walmart or the grocery store.  (You’ll be there buying her card anyway!)  : )  It is hard to convince her that you care about her if you mess up the basics because you are a rookie or you have gotten lackadaisical over time.  Start strong!  Continue Reading…


13 Marriage Lessons From 13 Years

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Wedding1

For our 13th anniversary we sat down and reminded ourselves of 13 lessons we have learned about marriage.  Some of these we learned the hard way.  Others we have learned from wise teachers in our life.

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  1. Never stop dating
  2. Life changes and your spouse changes. Keep learning about your spouse and adjusting and growing.
  3. Keep laughing. Don’t always be serious.
  4. Do ministry together.
  5. You are your spouse’s biggest cheerleader, not critic.
  6. Put your spouse before your children, in your mind and in your actions.
  7. When in doubt, serve your spouse.
  8. Go to a marriage retreat (or similar getaway) every 1 or 2 years. (Put time and effort into your marriage continually.)
  9. Pray with your spouse daily.
  10. Actively work on YOU and who God created you to be.
  11. Practice talking with your spouse about important things, like God, money, and sex.
  12. You are on the same team – your spouse is never the enemy.
  13. Life isn’t a cake walk, but it is better with a partner!

Continue Reading…


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