Concerns abound! The national debt, individual credit maxed out and student loans at record levels; polarization of opinions and relations is being stoked almost hourly by the media; and the world does not seem to be getting any safer. The daily issues in front of us escalate from the failure of the family to the church being under the influence of the culture to the government establishing more control over both.
With the noise level so high, distractions dominate the day. Take a moment and inventory what most of your conversations evolve around. Too often they involve anxiety and worry about the latest news story – this is being under the influence of the wrong stuff. The challenge is on to tune out the noise and tune in to ...read on
The 235th birthday of these United States of America introduced a new level of irony as we celebrated the independence won against the king of Great Britain. Our founding fathers rallied the Colonies with the Declaration of Independence and proceeded to push back tyranny to birth a great nation. Historically, they orchestrated the only successful revolution against the British Empire.
The irony today is that “We the people, …”, that would be 76% of us here in Texas, that voted to validate the definition of marriage ...read on
It may be a local call to God from Texas but I sure feel a lot closer to Him in the mountains of Colorado. This past week I was blessed to go backpacking in the mountains with other fathers and sons – unplugged from technology, no sports or worldly news updates. Distractions were limited to wolves howling in the distance or a mule deer strolling through the campsite. We focused on the Creator in His creation, relationship with the Father and relationships between the fathers and sons.
The summit experience provided an opportunity for fathers and sons to connect at a new level of relationship. Day to day busy-ness can inhibit the maturing of the father-child relationship and the months, even years fly by. But with time committed and the daily noise of life tuned out, ...read on
In the country song, Billy Currington sings, “Walk a little straighter Daddy, you’re leading me.” Dad is always leading. The choices he makes determine whether he leads in the Way or leads in another way. Either way, kids will follow.
In an article looking at the Importance of Fathers to churchgoing, a Swiss survey is sited that documents the unique and powerful impact a father has on the faith of his children. If a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does ...read on
The assignment for the next study session was for each dad to ask their daughter for a date. The goals were: to have one-on-one dad/daughter time; to practice listening skills we had discussed; and work to engage emotionally to a new level of relationship. One dad came up to me and said he would not be doing the assignment. He went on to explain how his 15-year old daughter was always either with her friends or talking to them on her phone. Their relationship the past year had been pretty much limited to, “Hi” whenever they passed each other. They typically did not even eat dinner together as a family. After some discussion, the dad agreed to at least ask his daughter out for a date.
The next week’s study started off with testimonies of how the dad/daughter dates had gone. The dad that had not intended to do the assignment stood up and said he wanted to be first. He opened by giving the class a summary of our discussion the previous week and then said, ...read on
In a recent article, Jason Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us, documented how government programs effectively discouraged dads from being present and accounted for in family. Government programs initiated in the 1960’s provided single moms up to $22,000 annually in benefits. That is equivalent to over $80,000 today! As with many social programs, good intent does not always get the desired results. The actual results over the last 50 years have had quite a negative impact on family, especially the black family. In 1960 approximately 70% of black children grew up with a mom and a dad in the home. Today that number is ...read on
It seems if it weren’t for bad news we’d have no news at all. The 24/7 news cycle trends to sensationalizing bad news – the latest earthquake or other natural disaster, a military conflict, an oppressing government, disrespect for authority, lawlessness and immorality. In various formats, these represent the categories for local and national news programs. With no other reference points, it would seem the only conclusion to draw is that the world is going to hell in a hand basket! The darkness can be overwhelming.
In Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project, Dr. Del Tackett speaks of a morning when his grandson opened a closet door in their entryway. He sees something ...read on
I remember my first confession. It was awkward going into the confessional, kneeling down and waiting. Then there was a sliding sound of a small wooden partition and the priest’s voice asking what I would like to confess. There was a screen over the small opening so I could not see the priest and I was hoping he couldn’t see me either. After all, I was an altar boy! I had come to confess stealing a candy bar. I had already gotten my whooping and apologized to the store owner but Ma said I needed to go to confession. She was right. It was an important step to truly come clean and experience forgiveness in a way I had not experienced it before.
In 1934, Dietrich Bonhoeffer confessed with a number of other pastors and priests that ...read on
“I am frugaler than you are!” He responded, “That’s not even a word. Besides, I am more frugal than you are.” Then she would say, “I am the frugalest!” He conceded. In fact it was because his wife was so frugal - she had not allowed their expenses to increase as income increased during his career in the corporate world, that they could initiate a move into ministry. The Lord honors the discipline of frugality with effective stewardship in life and ministry.
Frugality seems to be a lost discipline today with the estimated total indebtedness of U.S. households being ...read on
They were the last two in the office that evening. As Joe left, he said, “How are you doing Fred, see you in the morning.” Fred responded, “See ya.” Joe did not see Fred again because he committed suicide the next morning. Upon reflecting on that last “conversation” at Fred’s funeral, Joe shared a conviction to be more vulnerable, to mean it when you ask someone how they are doing and be willing to sit down and talk with them. He was not suggesting that he could have prevented the suicide by sitting down that evening, but ...read on