Wednesday, 25 December 2013
What now? The presents have been unwrapped. Some exchanging is desired. The malls are open. Here we go again! Really!?
Tips for CHRISTmas present:
- Praise the Lord as a family for the gift of the Christ-child.
- Thank God for the blessings of family and children.
- Honor the Lord with a family service project that blesses a family member, a neighbor or an organization that reaches out to the community.
Christmas celebrates the birth of the most influential life in all of history. As dads, we must accept responsibility to carry that influence forward today and build momentum into the New Year to act more like Christ than we did last year. Christmas is not past but always present. As we keep Christmas present, we will be heroes in our children’s eyes.
Click on comment to share how you can honor the Lord with Christmas present.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
When the clerk says, “Happy Holidays”, I am quick to respond, “Merry CHRISTmas!” It makes me feel like I have taken a stand against an attack on my faith. I was busted by a friend last week that suggested if all Christians did a better job keeping CHRIST in Christian, Christmas would take care of itself.
A Christmas challenge - Keep Christ in the middle of every situation, discussion or decision you face across the season in honor of Jesus' birthday.
Tips on keeping CHRIST in Christian:
- Believe what Jesus believed – renew your mind in the word of God every day.
- Live as Jesus lived – not tolerant of sin but full of grace and truth.
- Love as Jesus loved – unconditionally and take relationships to a new level.
- Minister as Jesus ministered – as if working for the Father in all you do.
- Lead as Jesus led – as a servant leader that always points to the Father.
In his book Choose the Life, Bill Hull addresses each of the ablove and provides a beautiful compliment to scripture on what it means to keep CHRIST in Christian. Reflecting Christ in us where He has us, is the only way we can be an influence for the Kingdom in this world. A generation depends on it! As you choose the life, you will be a hero in your children’s eyes.
The Word on Christ-likeness: For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers. – Romans 8:29 The natural tendency is to conform to the pressures and expectations put on us in this world but the word of God turns that upside down – to keep Christ in the middle of all we are and all we do, the mandate is to conform not to this world but to His likeness.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the Word made flesh in Jesus so many Christmases ago, and for the example of His life on this earth. Forgive me for conforming to the pattern of this world with a dulled mind. Strengthen me with a renewed mind that is grounded in Your Word to boldly live a life that honors the glorious birth we celebrate this season. Amen.
Please comment on ways you can honor Christ where He has you this Christmas and beyond.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013
This is the season indeed … for receiving requests for support from every imaginable charity and non-profit cause. In his “Handsome Is as Handsome Gives” WSJ article, Arthur C. Brooks says those that give are happier, healthier and even better looking than those that don’t. The claims are impressively backed up by a number university surveys and various research initiatives.
One statement that really got my attention referenced a report that “found that altruistic teenagers are physically and mentally healthier late in their lives than their less generous peers.” I make no assumptions on causality but there is evidence of direct benefit from involving your kids in giving more than receiving. In the spirit of the popular “Advent Conspiracy”, I encourage you to review your giving this Christmas and discuss potential changes as a family.
Tips for the season:
- Involve your kids in charitable giving as a family and have a dialogue on why you support certain charities or causes.
- Engage the whole family in a service project of some kind – serving food to the homeless, reaching out to a neighbor in need or joining a work project.
- Keep giving generously – non-profit causes typically receive nearly half their funding during this season. If you are led to support Faithful Fathering, thank you.
Even during the Great Recession, Americans still give away more than the entire gross domestic product of prosperous countries such as Israel and Denmark! That reflects well on this one nation under God. As you reflect cheerful giving in your home, the kids will catch what you’ve got and you will be a hero in their eyes.
The Word on Giving – “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. Paul provided the foundation for Mr. Brooks’ article - a Biblical truth that researchers have now proven empirically.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life. Enable me to discern well between wants and needs, that I may give generously from the heart in a way that glorifies You during this season and throughout the year. Amen.
Click on comment to share ways your family practices charitable giving.
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
What are you thankful for? Money is tight. Health insurance has become a variable in your budget. Family gatherings are planned with folks you’re not sure really are family. And over the Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas shopping and the craziness of the season begins – you spend money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like with stuff they don’t want. I think that’s a Dave Ramsey session.
The Word on Thanksgiving – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7. Paul admonishes men to live with a thanksgiving state of mind. With thanksgiving, the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. That means the noise and distractions of the world that seem ever more prevalent during this season will be taken captive and made obedient to Christ.
Live with a Thanksgiving state of mind:
- Thank the Father daily for the blessings you enjoy, maybe even take for granted, and the grace that is Jesus the Christ in your life.
- Thank the Lord for the valleys, past and present in your life where He teaches trust.
- Thank others the Lord has put into your life to encourage and equip you on the journey.
As you tune into a Thanksgiving state of mind, the daily pressures will be kept in check and you will be a blessing to the family around you. The kids will catch what you’ve got and you will be a hero in their eyes.
Prayer guide: Lord, I do thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life, may I never take them for granted. Strengthen me to live with a Thanksgiving state of mind and embrace the peace of You. Guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus that I may guide my family well through this time to offset the noise and distractions of the world with the peace and joy that is the age-old story - You coming into the world as a babe. Amen.
Click on comment to share what you are thankful for.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Cat's in the Cradle was a popular song in the ‘70’s written by Harry Chapin. The lyrics resonate with men busy in the world.
“A child arrived just the other day. He came to the world in the usual way but there were planes to catch and bills to pay. He learned to walk while I was away. He was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it and as he grew, he’d say, ‘I’m gonna be like you, Dad, you know I’m gonna be like you.” The verses progress to: “My son turned 10 just the other day …” and then, “He came from college just the other day ...”
The chorus flips from, “When you comin’ home Dad?” to, “When you comin’ home son?” This is the HEADS-UP to dads – the years get by. There is a relatively short window of opportunity to invest in your children. Invest that time wisely to be engaged in raising a godly generation.
- Draft a plan with Mom to stay engaged through the school years and beyond - review it often.
- Be intentional, strategic, in having age-appropriate discussions with your son around Biblical manhood. Incorporate “manhood moments” to celebrate stages of maturity.
- Schedule extended one-on-one time at key junctures like turning sixteen or the move into middle school, high school or college – these may be weekend retreats or more extended adventures or trips. (Check out Being There father-young son(ages 8-13) retreat, December 13-15, 2013)
The last verse reflects Dad’s realization that his son did grow up to be just like him. “I said, ‘I’d like to see you if you don’t mind.’ He said, ‘I’d love to Dad if I could find the time.’ … As I hung up the phone, it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me!”
Kids catch what you’ve got – BUSY-ness or FAITHFUL-ness reflects your priorities. Be intentional with your effort to invest time regularly in the father-son relationship and you will be a hero in his eyes.
Share a comment on what you have done or will do to stay engaged with your son.
Tuesday, 05 November 2013
Butterfly Kisses is a popular song written by Bob Carlisle & Randy Thomas. It is often sung at weddings where people like to see grown men cry.
The song starts out: “Two things I know for sure. She was sent here from Heaven, and she’s Daddy’s little girl.” The verses progress to: “Sweet sixteen today …” and then, “She’ll change her name today. She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away.”
In the middle of the song there is a warning, “Oh the precious time, like the wind the years blow by!” This is the WARNING to dads – we only have so much time. The choices are to invest in that time wisely or look back and wonder where it went.
- Talk early and often with Mom and draft a plan to stay emotionally engaged through the school years and beyond.
- Schedule regular time with your daughter – it may be getting ice cream or playing on her turf at a young age. As she matures, it might be a walk through a park or a dinner date.
- Schedule extended one-on-one time at key junctures like “sweet sixteen” or the move into middle school, high school or college – these may be weekend retreats or more extended adventures or trips.
(Check out Being There father-daughter (11-18) retreat, December 6-8, 2013)
The transition from “little girl” to young lady can be a tough one for dad and daughter. “One part woman, the other part girl; to perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls.” Be intentional with your effort to invest time regularly in the father-daughter relationship and you will be a hero in her eyes. “In all that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right to deserve her hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night.”
Comment below on what you have done or will do to stay engaged with your “little girl”.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Estimates are that over 85% of long-term prison inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice grew up without a dad involved in their lives.
It is on us dads to raise godly young men! We must be there to discuss Biblical manhood with our sons early and often and exemplify it in our daily lives. As we do, we will see the prison population decrease significantly.
Statistics reflect that young ladies are three times as likely to become teen mothers when dad is not engaged in their lives.
It is up to us dads to be engaged emotionally with our daughters, date them regularly and partner with Mom to discuss life choices before another life is involved. As we do, we may just see abortion clinics go out of business.
The Word on Being There: “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” – Malachi 4:6. Our Father shares the moniker “father” with us dads for a reason – to be His representative in the home. The absence of fathers in the home has been the cause for many societal woes. Being there, present and accountable as His representative in the home is the solution.
1. Schedule time with your daughter(11-18) or young son(8-13) to attend one of the upcoming Being There
retreats at Camp Cullen – Father/daughter December 6-8; Father/young son December 13-15, 2013.
2. Ask a buddy to work through a study for dads together utilizing Dads Becoming Heroes.
3. Initiate a core group of dads in your church that will help engage dads in raising a godly generation - LEAD.
Comment below on how Dad impacted your view of manhood, or your view regarding women.
Saturday, 12 October 2013
Tips to Be There spiritually for your kids include:
Spending routine personal time in scripture, prayer, worship and study
Praying with your children or for each child by name everyday
Loving your wife as Christ loves the Church
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29. Christ-likeness is what men are to be conformed to. Commit to be more Christ-like tomorrow than today and the journey will bless your family for generations to come.
As you make the effort to lead spiritually by example with your kids, you will be a hero in their eyes.
Using the comment section, tell us what you have done or will do to Be There spiritually for your children.
Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Tips to Be There emotionally for your kids include:
- Getting interested in their interests
- Having dinner together as a family five times a week
- Scheduling one-on-one time – a dad/daughter or father/son adventure
(click Being There for opportunities in December 2013)
“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” – John 14:15-17. Jesus anticipated emotional distractions long before 150 cable channels, i-phones, texting, radio and newspapers, not to mention other worries, frustrations and discouragement. Work to eliminate distractions, at least at the dinner table, and focus on being there emotionally in family.
As you make the effort to be engaged emotionally with your kids, you will be a hero in their eyes.
Using the comment section, tell us what you have done or will do to be engaged emotionally with your children.
Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Tips to Be There physically for your kids include:
- Prioritizing their activities and events on your calendar
- Coaching their teams or helping in some way
- Chaperoning events or hosting youth group gatherings
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning … The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” – John 1:1-2, 14.
Just as God provided a connection with Him through the physical presence of His Son, a father provides a connection to the Father by being present physically in family.
Studies have found that kids with a dad present in their lives are more likely to do well academically, are less likely to give in to peer pressure and are generally more comfortable in their own skin. As you make the effort to prioritize physical presence with your kids, you will be a hero in their eyes.
Using the comment section, tell us how your dad was there physically for you.