As you read this I will be in our truck driving my son up to his first year of college and college football. It is has been an interesting week for both Michelle and I as we send number two off to school. But I have to be honest I am so proud of Tyler and his dedication and drive. As he seeks to make his dreams come true to play college and then eventually professional football.
Ever since the days of Pop Warner Football in AZ, then high school football that got him going in Benicia, CA, to the great team and coaching staff at Rangeview in Aurora. They all prepared him for this day. As he has dreamt of playing football.
Here are some things that I want to encourage other younger dads to think about when it comes to encouraging your kids to dream.
- Encourage them to hear from God about their dreams and goals.
- Let them dream while they are young. (Don’t beat big dreams out of them because you didn’t get your chance.)
- When it comes time encourage them to evaluate dreams and goals. (5’2″ and wants to be the outside hitter for volleyball in the Olympics, for my daughter Dani.)
- Enable them to see the dreams and possibilities else where if things change.
- Be their biggest Fan but don’t be the obnoxious parent thinking of a signing bonus. (I coach high school football and there are those parents.)
- Help them to be disciplined if they want to dream big. (Going to bed on time, doing homework, and actually working out not walking around talking in the gym.)
- Turn them loose.
By the way UNC starts this years season playing against Utah on ESPN. I dream that Tyler will be on that field at some point and time in the game. Tyler I am proud of you and I know that you are going to rock the house!
What are some things that I missed and that you would add to the list? Make a comment below.
I recently read an article that was posted by a local news channel on twitter. It disturbed me!
Here is the cliff notes of the story (Read it here). There is a woman who has been a part of a movement of people who are trying to keep a local building from being torn down. So in an effort to save the building from being torn down this woman with the support of the people around here decides to marry the building. Now at first I thought this is interesting. But the more I thought about the more bothered I became that marriage today has become more of a punchline to a joke then a commitment that is to be made between a man and a woman to God.
Michelle and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage in May. I don’t want one the best things in my life, my marriage to my best friend to be a punch line in a joke or a way to save a building from being destroyed. It is my hope that for the many of those of us that have had marriages that are a powerful statement to commitment and to marriage before God will continue to encourage those around us to see marriage as important. It is my hope that as we lead in our homes and in our commuities that people will see the joy that comes from a marriage that is based in God’s love for one another and a commitment to live together through the good and bad is important. Just a little fired up!
What do you think?
As we get ready for Christmas this week I have been spending a lot of time thinking of being a father. Some of the greatest memories I have had as a father has been watching my kids on Christmas day. They each have allowed me to see some amazing moments of pure joy as well as great excitement for the time of the year. We have special traditions that my wife and kids have come to almost be so excited about that when we expereince them they are ready for next year.
But what I have been walking through is that over 1/3 of children today are living in fatherless homes. Now I want to say something that I think is very important. If you are a single mom, I want you to know that you have the toughest job in the world. You have to fulfill two very distinct roles in the lives of your kids. I pray every week for the single mothers that I know attend Elevation. But I do believe that we need to let those kids know that there is a father for the fatherless and he came on Christmas to be the everlasting Father.
Psalm 27:10 (NLT) 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.
I pray that through out this Christmas season that each and everyone of us takes the time to think of those that are walking through this season with out knowing the one true Father, Jesus Christ.
How can you this week love on the fatherless?
It has been one of those seasons in life where more and more that we are reading or hearing about another individual that has fallen in a position of leadership. In some cases they are things that just down right tick you off or shock you. Whether it is Sandusky and his abuse of his position that lead to the abuse of young boys, Sullivan being a sheriff and a person that is to protect and serve, not enslave through addiction and abuse. The thing that amazes me is that each of these men were at the top of their game, they were seen as men that were top notch in their area of leadership. So it really challenges me to say, “What about me?” What if my life, my career, my family, were all to become majorly successful? How would I handle it?
As I was reading through, “The Five Levels of Leadership” by John Maxwell a quote by Henry Ford really made think.
“More men are failures on account of success than on account of failures. They beat their way over a dozen obstacles; overcome a host of difficulties, sacrifice and sweat. They make the impossible the possible; then along comes a little success, and it tumbles them from their perch. They let up. They slip and over they go. Nobody can count the number of people who have been halted and beaten by recognition and reward!”
So many times we have seen great men and women take a tumble; why is that? Unfortunately, I believe it is because they start believing it is all about them. They believe because of their accomplishments they can begin to relax in the areas of importance when it comes to character and discipline. A couple of verses in the bible that I cling to daily is this;
Proverbs 30: 8&9, “First, help me never to lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”
The more and I lead and watch other leaders around me I always come back to remember that “God is God and I am not him”. I always want to be a person that is satisfied with who I am in Jesus Christ. Because let’s be honest each one of us could very easily be the next person that tumbles and falls. May we each take the time every day to pray Proverbs 30:8&9 over our lives.
One of the things that I am constantly reminding myself and others about as we start a church is that we are all “Jacked Up”. That there is not one perfect person in our church. That the person that God is using to start the church is “Jacked Up” and that’s me. In fact when I was speaking a couple of weeks ago in Jefferson City, MO I really felt God pushing me to remind everyone there that we are all a part of the “Jacked Up” in fact I had everyone there that night turn to the person next to them and say exactly that, “Hi I am part of the church of the Jacked Up.” We all come with our baggage, our hurts, and the feeling of being damaged. I was reminded this week of a scene in a movie that resembled this thought. It comes from the movie “Black Hawk Down” and it goes like this:
Lt. Col. Danny McKnight is in a fierce battle. The vehicle is filled with wounded and the blood from the wounded is all over the place. He then orders Private Othic “You get up there and drive!” Othic yells back, “But I’m shot, Colonel!” McKnight yells back, “Everybody is shot!”
There is not one person involved in our communities that have not had to deal with some type of hurt. But what we can do is be the M.A.S.H. unit that is available to each other. And we have the ultimate doctor that is able to heal and mend those hurts that we have experienced. We know this because in Matthew he said that the doctor comes for the sick not the healthy. We have a Doctor that has wounds that were made so that ours could be healed. That is why I can say that I am part of the church of the “Jacked Up”.
Over the weekend at Newspring Church in Anderson, South Carolina they shared a video about a man, a family, and cancer. As I watched this video I was extremely moved. Check it out and then read some more afterward . . .
I want to thank Zac Smith for sharing his story with us and the rest of the world. As I watched this I was deeply moved as a husband and a father but most of all as a follower of Jesus. There are so many times that I am so concerned with what is going on in my life that I allow it to take away the heavenly perspective that I am supposed to have. Whether it is money, parenting, marriage or starting a church I can allow myself to lost the real focus of my life, to honor God with all that I am. To hear a man say “Cancer is the best thing that has happened to me” truly challenges my faith and my own personal focus. Would I be able to respond the way that Zac has?
Today I ask you to first pray for a healing Zac’s body. Then I ask you to pray that you and I both will have a focus like Zac.
Ephes. 5:25 (NLT) And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her
You see Jesus gave up His life so that we might have life. So that we might have a life that is great. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take some work and some sacrifice. So really guys what life are you really giving up? Or are you gaining? The choice is up to you!
Did you know that every day that I have a fight? I have a fight with myself. No some of you may automatically think like me and picture Jim Carey beating himself up in the bathroom in the movie “Liar, Liar”. I want you to know that is not what I am talking about. I don’t know if I could literally give my self a right cross to the face.
What I am talking about is that every day I fight myself the side of me that wants to do what I want and not what God wants. I fight with the way that I spend my money, the way that I talk to my wife and kids, I even fight with weather or not I want to even spend time with Jesus and His word. Because you know what it would be much better if I just slept in at least a half hour. I deserve that don’t I? I believe that this fight is what leads to affairs, divorces, abuse, addiction, and the loss of our families. I even believe this fight is what is allowing men to stop leading the families that God has called them to lead.
Galatians 5:17 (NLT) “the old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.”
We are always going to be at odds with ourselves. We are always going to be virtually in a fist fight with ourselves over what we are to do or not do in this life and our choices will always have some conflict. But there is hope. There is a way to deal with this fight. It is to trust in the complete work of Jesus Christ. It is to know that the distractions of this life were nailed to the cross and crucified. We need to seek to learn from the greatest fighter that ever walked this planet, Jesus.
Let’s learn to fight and fight with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, because that will only be the way that you will ever be able to defeat, YOU!
In my office I have several pictures on my wall of my family. There are the pictures of the kids doing different things like football and volleyball. There are the way out of date family pictures where they are all shorter then me. (Not so now.) But there in the center of all of those pictures is the one that you can see below. It is two pictures of my wife in a frame done by some very special friends in Miles City, MT at “Unique Creations”.
In between the pictures you can see some typed up lines. Those lines are some verse from the bible that I think are important for me to remember when it comes to being a husband. They are the following:
Proverbs 5:18-19 (Msg) Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!  Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose— don’t ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted!
I can imagine some of you asking the question, “Why are these verse important to being a husband?” That is a great question and I am glad that you asked it. It is important for me to remember as a husband because a husband needs to remember that his wife is a fountain of love in his life. That just like a fountain that we see in a mall that if not taken care of can become unpleasant. If the fountain is not always being refreshed it eventually can become stale.
That I am always to enjoy the wife of my youth. That whether we are twenty five or seventy five she is the standard of beauty in my life. That everyone and everything can not compare to her beauty. That as we grow old together she will always be the wife that I fought for, the wife that I wrote poems for, that wife that I chased after, and that should always be the way that I treat her. As the young husband that worked so very hard at making sure that she knew she was the only one for me.
That I am always to be sexually active with my wife. Now I am sure that some of you are thinking well that is not something you have to work at you are a male. Your right, but there are things of this world that are very busy trying to get me to not focus on my wife whom I love. The things out there are pornography, strip clubs, jobs, sports, and even friends. These are things that can if I let them, keep me from making sure that I am loving my wife emotionally and physically. I believe that for some reason men have bought into the idea that when it comes to sex that their needs are the ones that are the most important. Unfortunately if you are a husband and that is the way that you think then at least one person is enjoying the whole minute of pleasure. I am just saying. Maybe if we took the time to make sure our wives were pleased or wives would take the time to make sure we were. I am to take delight in her and only her.
Then finally I am to “Not take her love for granted.” As a husband I am to always be seeking to make sure that she knows that she is loved. Not that she feels that she is loved because feelings can change with the weather. But that through my words, my actions, and my life that she and those around her know that she is loved. That is why these verses are important to me as a husband. I heard this statement a long time ago, “Maybe if there was more courting in marriage there would be less marriages in court.” Guys it is time to be step up and be the husband that your wife needs and desires. So why not ask her today if she knows that she is loved. Maybe, if you have the guts ask her friends if they know she is loved because if she is not then they will surely know. Take the time to work more on your marriage and the relationship with your wife then you do your fantasy football league.
I am always praying that I can learn something new. I never want to get to the place where I think that I know it all or have learned it all. So tonight as a family we sat down and listened to a message the Mark Driscoll gave about the book “Proverbs”. We sat down as a family ate dinner and listened to this message. I was able to see my wife and kids learn some things about the Bible, Jesus, and what He wants to do in us. It was so much fun to hear how this message impacted my family and how we are able to live a life in Christ. We then talked about a story in Acts 10: 9 – 33.
It was exciting to here the kids talk about verse 15 “The voice spoke again, “if God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t.” So what were some of the things that were brought up that we as followers of Christ have made unacceptable that God never made unacceptable. Clothes were mentioned. Different types of music that are not Christian. Hair cuts. You see my kids have heard it all remember their Dad is a pastor so they have all been told the things that there are not supposed to do. Usually by people that are not their parents.
It is my prayer that we look at Peter and what he was experiencing about his faith and the realization that God is the ultimate authority. That we need to truly seek his thoughts and His perspective on life. That we as His followers need to to not make rules or ideas that are not from God. That especially if those rules or ideas keep those that He wants to reach away.
Ok, I can’t take it anymore. I was not going to say anything but the longer i sit here the more irritated I get. Football is a contact sport, it is a violent sport, it is a sport that was created with being aggressive in mind. But with all of the rule changes and the changes that are suppose to control the amount of hitting I believe is going to cause more damage then help. After playing football for several years and being one of those players that enjoyed the collision part of the game. I see that all of those rules are going to cause players to be thinking to much about breaking the rules or getting penalized that they will hold up. That is where most injuries happen when one player is all out and the other one is playing back. I mean if you can’t stand the hit get out of the game. If you don’t agree just look at the following rules changes:
That adjustment wasn’t a rule change and didn’t require a vote by owners. The following are the four rules adopted by the 32 teams:
- The initial force of a blindside block can’t be delivered by a helmet, forearm or shoulder to an opponent’s head or neck. An illegal blindside block will bring a 15-yard penalty. (This is what gets me out of my chair)
- Initial contact to the head of a defenceless receiver also will draw a 15-yard penalty. (A receiver is defenseless anytime he is in the process of catching the ball, he is a receiver, DUH)
“Our clear movement is to getting out of the striking in the head area,” Pereira said. “We’re reading about injuries that say spinal and vertebrae. We’ve got to try something.”
- On kickoffs, no blocking wedge of more than two players will be allowed. A 15-yard penalty will go to a violating team. (Can you really be serious so now instead of having some one be able to buffer the guy running down the field at you with the wall, you are doing it one on one and the return man just as well down the ball for his safety. Hitting a kick returner will be a penalty soon.)
- Also on kickoffs, the kicking team can’t have more than five players bunched together pursuing an onside kick. It will be a five-yard penalty. (Read same as above)
There is also a rule that is not in this above statement that says that defensive players that have been knocked to the ground, while they are on the ground can no longer lunge or move forward to tackle an offensive player. They can only swipe at there feet. Oh yeah this was a good one, again taking the aggressive nature out of the game.
Now I am in totally agreement with keeping a player safe. But we are getting to the point where we might as well put flags on players. (“Skirts on Quarterback” via Jack Lambert) This is football it is a contact sport there is going to be hitting.
Ok, I feel better know. Thank you for sharing in my therapy. Love the game and I always will until it becomes “Touch Tag” or “Soccer”.