We all too often expect out of our fathers what only God can provide.
I love my Dad who left for heaven the fall after our son David died in 2014. I could tell it pained Dad as he watched us do our best to minister to David through his year-long struggle with leukemia. Dad had been confined to his chair and bed in a nursing home for some time and I could not spend as much time with him as I should have. David serenaded his Grandpa for his 90th birthday (pictured at right). Who would have thought that two years later, David would be gone at 36?
Chad Billman's article “This Father’s Day” flooded my mind and heart with memories of my Dad and my sons. My Dad was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Air Force. When he spoke, you listened. He was a great no-nonsense provider and I watched him grow spiritually as I grew older, largely due to the influence of my incredible German mother who loved God, taught the Bible to others and served others intensely. He gave me great advice and discipline, and modeled being a man of character and generosity.
Father’s Day is this Sunday in the U.S. Some of you have plans with Dad, others may make a phone call, and then there are those who have mixed feelings or totally resent the day all together. Wherever you are at, please allow me to encourage you with turning our focus to how God views us. I love my dad. No matter how much my dad and I disagree or frustrate each other, I have a longing to be with my dad. I have a want to be validated by him, but there is nothing I can do to get that from him. It must be his choice to validate me. Stick with me here. In the scriptures, Jesus was validated twice by his Father: After Jesus was baptized and the transfiguration.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." – Psalm 73:26
Throughout my life, I have reached points where this scripture truly humbled me before God. I tried to plan ahead, get advice, make good decisions, but then find myself wondering what went wrong. David Laing tells his story in his article, "Broken Into Better Shape," about how God spoke to him through Psalm 73.
With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to remind myself that it is not just one day out of the year that I am commanded by God to honor my mom and dad, but every day, all day. When I was 11, my mom had me memorize Ephesians 6:1-3: "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' -- which is the first commandment with a promise -- 'so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'"
Warrior is the latest book from Sam Laing, the author who brought us Mighty Man of God. I have memories reading Mighty Man of God, and feeling inspired after reading 2 Samuel 23:10 about Eleazor standing his ground and striking down Philistines until his hand froze to the sword.
I have several friends I know who are serving on missions trips in Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe. They are taking the gospel to all nations. Every year at conferences, I talk to campus disciples who are willing to go but do not have the resources to do so. I asked myself the question, "What would it take to help those who want to go, go?"
Our weaknesses are clearly visible. Even though I spend a majority of my time in denial about my weak spots they surface when I am tired and stressed. But when opportunities arise for me to be righteous and overcome that sin I know will tempt me, I still fall short.
The article above is a Bible Gateway devotional written as part of a Men's Devotional Series.
We all know the story of Samson found in Judges 16:1–31. After reading through the devotional I thought about how disgusted I get thinking about how hard-headed Samson is. He doesn't care about anyone but himself. He thinks he is invincible and then he falls for a trap he saw coming but walked into it anyways.
Wait! Isn't that what I do? I get angry or impatient and say hurtful things. I make poor choices because I think it won't come back to haunt me. I clearly have my short-comings, but instead of facing them alone, I can face them with God and a brother, a friend, or a loved one.
With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
I pray that you are able to recognize a weakness you have, see the traps that you normally walk into, have someone to hold you accountable. To God be the glory.
The phrase "living in the present" is a confusing idea for me. I get concerned about what it means. How do I effectively live in the present? With no sufficient answer, I would stop thinking about it only to find myself coming back to the question on another occasion.