Sunday, November 30, 2008

The things I'm most thankful for:
My Awesome God and Savior,
My wife,
My children,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

America the Beautiful

Ever want to break free from the slavery of having "a job"? This country is the freest country in the world and it offers free enterprise. You can do anything you want as long as it is legal and ethical. We don't have to be enslaved to working for someone else for the rest of our lives.
Do any of you men have dreams of being free some day? My family and I have a dream of some day being able to go on an RV trip around America and take a couple of months to do it. We home school and we want to stop at all these historic places we've studied about. America offers so much history and beauty. I've never been out west but some of the pictures I've seen I understand how such a song as "America the Beautiful" came to be. My kids are still in the age range where they would all benefit from it. It has to happen in the next few years or it will be too late. They will begin to go on to live their own life.
In order to gain this freedom you must be open to opportunity, you must be willing to work hard and keep your dream in focus at all time. In order to break free from average you must do what the average will not do. I've heard the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". You must be willing to fight for your dream.

If you've thought of some day being able to have more freedom and being able to spend more time with your family, you can achieve it. Do it now, time is flying by.Take advantage of the God given freedom in this beautiful country. The United States of America!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ahhh Hurricane Season

Most of the time I like to write about deep meaningful stuff as you can tell but today is special. Here we are in good ole Florida sitting through 48 hours of wind and rain. We've yet to figure out what this storm is doing. It seems to like Florida and has decided to stay awhile. It has traveled many miles and visited many countries and peoples but she's decided to take up residence with us.

The picture is us during a lull in the storm. I took my family out for a moment to see all the water. We received 4.5" of rain the first half of the day. I had to dump out the rain gauge and start over because it only went to 5". As you can tell there's been a lot coming down.

Amazingly, it was just a 10 minute outing but it was the highlight of my kids day. What a thrill it was to go out and weather the storm and wade the deep waters of a hurricane. Whatever it takes to make a memory.

Welcome to Florida Miss Fay, now move along.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

This verse was recently the topic of a bible study I instruct. This verse should be taken very serious by any man who is a husband and /or a father. The first half is all about our character. This verse is describing a man who is and has lived his life before God and man with integrity. What's integrity? Merriam-Webster Dictionary says this: a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. So what is it to us practically?

I'm a practical, hands on kind of guy so I'm gonna put it in my own kinda words.

It's when you're on your way out the door and your little child wants to go with you and you tell him/her "No not right now, I'll be right back." You know by taking the child with you it will take twice as long so you quickly say without thinking, "I'll be right back." The child takes it literally and pulls up a stool to the door and stares out the door waiting. Do you come right back?

It's when a neighbor calls and asks you to take a walk around their house once a weeks while they are out of town. Your family hears the conversation but soon forgets.A week goes by and you tell them "I'm going over to our neighbors to take a look around their house while they are out of town, does anyone want to walk with me?" and they think "Oh Yeah, I forgot about that."

It's when you tell your wife in agreeing with her you need a date and then three days later you have taken the initiative to set it up and surprise her. She thinks "He remembered."

It's when you talk with a friend at church and ending the conversation you tell them "I'll be praying for you." Two weeks later you bump into them again and after having prayed for them every day since, you tell them, " I've been praying every day for you, how is your situation now?"

The second half of the verse is the direct result of being a man of integrity. Your children are blessed. We've got a lot on our shoulders guys. But what an awesome opportunity it is to represent your family before the almighty God and Father. Your faithfulness to Him directly affects your family. If this makes you feel comforted, that's a good sign. If you feel a little uncomfortable then I suggest you examine your walk before our Lord. Being a father is all about living for someone else. You only have them for a little while and then they go out on their own. Live for them while you have them. Love your wife in front of them. You will establish in them an unshakable foundation.

Remember, your amount of integrity will be duplicated in your children.

Be Blessed Fathers

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Focus on the Joy

Do you ever catch yourself being so caught up in "things" that you have totally missed out on any of the joys in life. I recently came to a realization in my life because of a course God has taken me on. First let me explain that I am a very focused person. I set out on goals I've set for myself and try hard to achieve them. Through over 12 years of being married to my wife I've come to know her as being not as detailed as I am and she is most always joyful. And through these years she has had to remind me several times to "Lighten Up". Yeah I got the point but I still had my focus on whatever the task may have been. It could be a project, a problem, a situation in public or church. I am a problem solver and I've been known to walk through screen doors to fix a problem. Ever done that?
God has taken me through certain things that I could not ignore. Life and death situations. Ex: My daughter lying in a hospital bed while her, my wife and two doctors look at me waiting in silence for an answer from me on whether they could operate or not. Ex: My grandmother having dementia and living alone. Conditions beyond filthy from years of neglect. I was forced to step in and make decisions that were uncomfortable yet necessary for her life to improve. Ex: My Dad on his death bed and being forced to make a life and death decision there for him.
Things that we get caught up in on a daily basis can be distracting but don't lose focus on the joys of your life. Think of the positive things God has put in your life. My point is, you will be forced to face tough situations in your life. So when your in your daily life routines don't lose sight of the blessings that make up your life. Life is too short, life can be too serious. Enjoy the people in your life. Spend time with your friends. Stop what you're doing and do something fun with your wife or your children or someone close in your life. LIVE!!! In between the trials, LIVE!!!
Most importantly in all situations depend on the Lord Jesus to give you the strength and wisdom to get through it. There's been plenty more tough situations I've been forced into but every time now I've learned to silently pray and ask God for wisdom to make the right decision and He is always faithful. Things can still shake your world but it's comforting to know without a doubt that God is in control and He's there with you. So don't miss out on the Joy of this life no matter where you're at. I pray God will help you through the tough times and help you enjoy this life.
Be Blessed,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Husbands Love your Wife

Proverbs 12:4 A Virtuous Woman is a Crown to Her Husband:
So do you start out in life looking for this virtuous woman? Do you expect to find a woman who is the role model Proverbs 31? I would have answered yes as a young man. Now that I have celebrated my 12th anniversary with my wife I would tell the story differently. Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. To find a woman with these qualities would be a difficult task. To find a woman with the desire and the potential would be a much more possible task. They still exist today. They are hard to find but when you do find her, it is similar to finding a very valuable item such as a ruby. Keep in mind when you find a ruby it won’t be polished and shining.Every woman was once a little girl with dreams. She had dreams of finding her “Mr. Right”, her “knight in shining armor.” The little girl was forced to grow up whether she wanted to or not. Now this woman has had to face the reality of life. If you are the husband you must realize that you have a significant part in how this woman is able to become the woman God has designed her to be. You as the man can be a great hindrance or you can be the leader of your home and allow God to move freely in your wife and your family. Even your own prayers can be hindered if you are not living in harmony with your wife. 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. I have spoken with men about their marriages and I have been shocked at some of the things I have heard. Men have confessed to using abusive language toward their wives. Once even a man in a position/title I have longed to be myself, confessed to me of cursing his wife in anger with the “F” word. Others refer to their wives as their “Old Lady,” another said he was going home to “The black angel of death”. Others have wept as they tell me their wives are leaving them or they are gone already. I’ve had men sit and tell me they love their wife more than anything and they would do anything to prove to them that they love them. And while they tell me this they are holding and drinking a beer and it is because the wife is tired of living with a drunk that she is leaving.A man of integrity and one whose life belongs to the Lord Jesus will not curse his wife. He is a fountain of living water. A fountain only produces one type of water, bitter or sweet. (James 3:11) What is your fountain made of? From where is its source? Out of the mouth the heart speaks. (Mathew 12:34) Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. If you allow yourself to release damaging words upon your wife or children you defile yourself. Mathew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. You have removed yourself from the Grace of God! For when we sin God turns and looks the other way. (John 9:31, Isaiah 59:2, Proverbs 28:9) A real man will put aside his selfish desires in order to put his family before himself. This is what it means to “Love your wives as Christ loved the Church”. He died to himself for the benefit of others. That is true selflessness.I once came home from work only to go fishing again like I did quite often. I had ignored all the signs from my wife that she didn’t want me going as often as I did. This particular day she was weeping as I was leaving. I still didn’t see that she wanted me home. She missed me. She enjoyed being with me. I was her best friend. So as I was leaving she cried for me to stay. I just thought she was a little emotional so I started to get up to go anyway and she took a pillow from our bed and she hit me with it with all of her might. In defensive anger I looked her in the eye. But when I saw her eyes, they were filled with loneliness and hurt and the reality struck me that I had caused this. It was my own selfishness that brought us to this point. I married her because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I want that life to be good and harmonious.In order for a marriage to be healthy each one needs to be more attentive to the spouses needs than your own. It is about serving the other. Putting the other first instead of you.
How then, you ask, do you live a life that is pleasing to the Lord and in harmony with your wife? You follow God’s instructions: Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. A real man will die to himself. He will not only physically lay his life down to save his wife and children but he will lay aside his life to produce a family that is pleasing and healthy in the sight of God. This is what He was telling us when God said to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Men when we will follow God’s instruction to die to ourselves something miraculous happens. What happened when Jesus gave his life for the church? He rose again, victorious! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. You must first be willing to lay your life down and trust in the Lord to raise you from the spiritually dead as a new creature.
Husband it is not your job to tell your wife what God had already told her in Ephesians 5:22,23 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Trust me I've tried it) By reiterating this to your wife you are saying “God step aside for a moment I don’t think you said it quite clearly enough I am going to straighten this out for myself”. A woman will naturally follow her man if he has humbled himself before the Lord and he is striving to be the leader of the home that God has designed him to be. It may take some getting used to for her. It all depends on how much of a mess you’ve gotten yourself into. But be sure of this, God hears a repentant sinner and He wants to heal the wounds in your marriage. God does not like divorce, in fact God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:14-16) I don’t get up each day and tell the Lord to use me today. I say each day, “God live in me, live through me as I die to myself so that you may live”. In having this attitude it has given God freedom to be in my life. I pray each day and ask God to help me be a better father and a better husband, a better servant of His. So as trials hit me through out the day I see them as God trying to change me into the man He wants me to be. As God grabs hold of me sometimes my wife is holding onto my coat tail trying to hang on but if you could see her face I know you would see a joyfully excited woman, thankful to have her man. I have the happiest wife in all the world. Our marriage is not perfect but it is close to perfect. We both know to truly live, you must die. But it is a daily struggle to die to ourselves and put the other first. I do not allow any unwholesome talk to come out of my mouth or even enter my thoughts about my wife. My wife is truly a crown to my head. (Ephesians 5:33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. It is possible to establish this type of relationship but you must set things in order according to God's word.
As a king comes into his kingdom a hush comes over the crowd and all eyes look for the one who is king. Their eyes see from afar the sparkling and glistening crown that identifies the king. Without his crown he would still be king but when he has his crown on there is no doubt who he is. (Proverbs 12:4) I feel like a king in my home only because my wife honors me in such a way and oh what a beautiful crown I have. More than I could have ever imagined. The Lord has given me a virtuous woman. Husbands do as the Lord has commanded us:
Die to yourself. Die to yourself so that you may receive your crown, “A virtuous woman”.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jesus Christ

Colossians 1:17 “He (Christ) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wide Eyed

One day as I climbed up onto my not so popular tread mill, I began my long journey to nowhere. I started to think of things that needed to be done around the house and instantly couldn’t wait to be done with my long dead end walk. I thought of something I needed my oldest son to do. I think it was to replace an item to its proper location, maybe a game or a toy. I called out to him and his response caught my attention. My four year old son sprang from where he was and ran to my presence and with wide eyed expectancy he said ”Yes Dad”. Wow I thought how did he come to such an attitude of expectancy from me. It caused me to think of my relationship with him. If I had always called to him and told him to pick up a toy or clean up his mess there is no way he would run to my side and ask “Yes Dad”? Only if I had called to him and in his response to me he found an exciting adventure or an outing where he experienced something new, would he respond to me in this way. As I reviewed the past four years I remembered taking him on adventures I knew would be new to him and they would create memories for him. Those times had caused him to know if he gets to do something with Dad, chances are it will be an absolute thrill. I remember times when my loving wife would be outside with the children as I would be finishing work on a project. I would secretly look outside and see that they were quietly and uneventfully playing. I would sneak out and run towards them and before they knew I was coming I would let out a big bear roar and as they would turn with fear in their eyes to see what in the world was coming at them I would sweep them off their feet and lift them high in the air. They quickly realized it was their dad and oh what an element of excitement to have their dad out there with them. Mom is always relieved to see me coming to be with them too as she spends all of her time with them every day. She is a stay home mom who home schools all three of our children so to have a little break from her full time responsibility is nice for her.

Being a constant active part of my children’s lives I know I have their hearts and times such as when my son came running to me in response to me calling out his name caused me to think of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When He calls out to us does He simply have to whisper our name to get our attention or does He have to raise His voice? When we respond to Him, is our response a dreaded “what is it now?” or “Oh No what have I done now?” How about a relationship with our Father in Heaven that would cause us to respond with a “Yes Dad?” Knowing that when He calls there is something on the horizon that is far beyond what we could ever imagine. Oh what excitement in knowing the Creator of the universe has just called to me. Run to Him with wide eyed expectancy.

A note to fathers: If you feel you don’t have your child’s heart there is still hope. God wants your relationship with your wife and children to be healthy. If you are willing to put forth your own effort, I promise He is willing to help. He has designed the natural family (Husband, Wife and children). Fathers we must put aside our selfish desires and put our families first. The time will come when the house is quiet again and the sound of feet running through the house will be no more. Your children will be grown and out on their own before you know it. When this happens then you can go back to doing some of the things you and your wife enjoy that you couldn’t do with children. Until then you only have one chance of raising your children to be a righteous generation. You are setting the foundation for who they will be when they become adults. Invest in them so you can send them out into this world with confidence, knowing they will choose to seek after righteousness on their own. Now is the time to pour your heart and life into them. Find common goals for the whole family. Seek activities the whole family can partake in together. Keep the family united, put off your selfish desires that would take you away to be alone or with buddies. Ex: I love fishing in the river and off shore, I love diving, surfing, mountain biking, hiking. But for now as my children range from 2 to 14 I can not do these things without being away from them. So I set these activities aside for now because I truly would rather be with them. I only have them as moldable clay for a short time and then the clay sets to its form it will hold the rest of its life. You see as a father you have such an awesome opportunity to raise a new generation. Don’t take it lightly but have fun at it at the same time.

Be Blessed,

Suggested Reading for this topic:

  • Outdoor Insights by Steve Chapman “What a Dad Can Teach a Child in God’s Great Outdoors.”

  • The Hands-On Dad by Rick Boyer

  • Jumping Ship by Michael Pearl “What to do so your children don’t jump ship to the world when they get older.”

    Two of these can be found on

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stars of the Heaven

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

As my boys and I were reading the bible tonight we read this verse and I started to think about Abraham looking up to ponder the words of the Lord and trying to grasp what He meant. Later that night I went outside to worship the Lord momentarily before going to bed and I looked up as I always do and I thought of this verse again.
Where I live there is a lot of city lights that drown out the multitude of stars. You can only make out the large bright stars even on the clearest of nights because of all the city lights. I have been in other areas of the country such as Maine and North Carolina where you can clearly see the Milky Way. I understand how it got its name as it looks like a stream of milk in the sky. There are so many stars that you can not count them. They just blend in together and seem to form a white film or smoke line. You can only grasp how many stars there are if you are away from all the man made things. Then when you do get a glimpse and gain a grasp of the multitude, you once again loose grasp of the multitude because of the vastness of God’s creation.
This relates to our relationship with the Lord. When we clutter our lives full of worldly things such as television, movies, chasing after careers and all the other things that take our attention off of the Lord, our visibility gets unclear. We can’t see what God has done in our lives and what He is doing. Nor can we hear from Him clearly. Analyze your walk with Him now and see if you have something making your skies unclear. Are there things in your life that make your relationship with God foggy? His main concern is the condition of your heart. All your good works and all your success will melt away someday (2 Peter 3:10) and all that will remain is you bare naked soul. You will be measured for the condition of your heart toward Him and all He has done for you. When we clear our lives of the worldly man made things our sight becomes so much clearer. We begin to see God’s intent for our lives. We begin to see who He is and His love for us. The more you start to see of Him the more you realize you can not measure His love for you. As the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore His love is immeasurable, uncountable. When you see the Milky Way on a clear night you are overwhelmed with its beauty and vastness. Then in awe you just look in silence and soak in its beauty. The same is true when you realize the gift of God’s son Jesus Christ and all He has done. You simply soak it in, for you can not do anything to earn it nor can you compare it to anything.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Some times you gotta do what you gotta do

Is it men being boys or boys being men? That would have been the question last Saturday. I've had these palm trees scattered in my yard and it's bothered me for years. They are always in the way. If we want to play ball or run we always have to be careful not to run into them. My five year old boy was recently flying a kite and yep you guessed it, he was running and watching the kite and wham! Down he went with a scratch across his face just under his eye.

So I had the opportunity to borrow a track hoe from a buddy of mine. I was recovering from a severely pulled back and should have been taking it easy but I thought "wow would my boys love to ride on a backhoe." So I pulled up in the yard Saturday morning and out they came. They rode on that hoe with me for hours only to take breaks for lunch and water. We dug the trees up and knocked them over and drug them to their new location on the side of the yard. Then we went over to the driveway and scraped it smooth. Then we scraped up some old concrete and knocked over a big stump. We were just looking for things to conquer. They had a blast and so did Dad. (Thanks Rich)

There is something about tools and machinery with boys and men. A fascination or maybe the sense of all that power in your hands. You gotta admit being able to move a big tree is pretty cool especially if you're 5 and 2 years old. Yes, the more I think of it I'd say 50% of the reason I did it was to give my boys the thrill.

One thing I've learned as a father, "Make as many great memories with your children as you can." As the late Larry Burket said, "You have your entire life to make money but only once to raise your kids."

Make the most of it and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do even if you get lots of strange looks and questions from your neighbors.

Life is good, so is our God.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fuel Pump

As I set out to replace the fuel pump and sending unit in my 1992 pick up truck, I had a certain amount of time before I had to have it finished so I could go to work. I had lowered the fuel tank and replaced the parts and was in the middle of re-installing the fuel tank when my wife brought the kids out for some play time and fresh air. My little guy who is two years old and thinks he is a full grown man already, decided he was going to give Dad a hand. I was lying under my truck and he came and laid down on the ground and placed his back and head on my chest. Long ago I would have been irritated and would have wanted to get him out of the way so I could finish the job and move on to the next project. (Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.) But I couldn’t help but pause and take a moment to enjoy my son. I thank God for moments like this. I got to feel his head resting on my chest again and smell his hair as it was pressed up against my face. He thought “wow I’m helping my Dad”. Dad thought “wow a moment with my son”.

The funny thing was when he pretended to start snoring. That’s when Momma walked up and I told her I thought all this time he knew Dad worked on things to fix them but he actually thinks Dad comes out, crawls under his truck and takes naps.


Isaiah 55:12-13
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

This passage has everything to do with our attitude, how we look at life. Everything that happens to us in life happens for a reason. God allows things to happen in our lives to accomplish his plan in our lives and depending on our maturity in Him determines how we view the things that come into our lives. We have a position in the citizenship awaiting us in His eternal kingdom. God is growing our character in this life to become the person He wants us to be in His eternal kingdom.

When I recently read the above verse it became clear to me that our attitude can change everything. I remember reading a story long ago when I first became a Christian about a man who was a prisoner of war. He was stripped of all personal identity. He was beaten and locked into a small steel box like an animal. He was restricted to only enough food and water to keep him alive. After many days in these conditions and feeling every emotion of being treated this way he realized one day that he can choose his attitude this day. The enemy has taken everything away from him except his life. But there is one thing they can not take away and that is his ability to choose his attitude. From that moment on he chose to have a good attitude and later when he was released he knew without that attitude he probably would have died.

I remember when I was a young boy walking through the woods. There was no other sound but my own foot steps and the sound of nature. The wind in the trees, birds singing, a squirrel rustling in the leaves. I remember being very acute to the different sounds and determining what each sound was. When the almost silence was disrupted by a rushing wind coming through the trees it seemed like the trees would come alive and dance. When the squirrels would get close to each other they would get excited and chase each other and the leaves would explode with excitement. The wind would calm down and then it would seem the volume of birds would increase to what seemed too loud for birds to be able to produce. Then there were times when I would come to a clearing and sit on an old cattle salt lick. Away from the trees and less wild life I would look up in the silence and watch the clouds ease over. Big white giants suspended in the air. Large enough to crush a city but yet gentle enough to pass over un-noticed. It wouldn’t take much of this and I would think of God and just knew that He was real. Yet I didn’t come to know Him personally until I was twenty two years old.

Living in the city now and working my career I seldom get the chance to hear the wind rush through the trees or the birds singing so loudly they seemed to have loud speakers helping them. I miss those times. Now being a Christian when I think back to those days, wow, what amazing things the Lord has given us to enjoy. The sound of those trees reminds me of a football game when the crowd all does the wave around and around while hearing their cheers. Or like the Irish dancers who do the rain dance, all dancing in unison to amazing perfection.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Now back to our title verse: When I “go out” if I don’t have a good attitude and I am focused on my problems and circumstances I will not see the awesome wonder of our creator. In fact I can go days with out noticing the intricacy of His creation. In our selfishness our lives revolve around our own personal little world. We get wrapped up in what’s best for us. But when we keep our focus on God’s instruction:

Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

We see the world around us completely different. We put others first before us. We go out with a heart of being a servant to others.

Recently I was in a hospital as my dad had had a heart attack and was in very pore health. I was worried for my dad and as he was having a procedure done and I was waiting for a couple of hours I gazed out the window. Whenever I’m in a hospital I tend to find a window and gaze out. As if I am waiting for the Lord to speak to my heart. This time I was starring down at the ground about 20 feet below. I was thinking and praying for my dad and his heart. A lizard caught my eye running across the ground chasing something and then he stopped abruptly. He was motionless except for his heart which was rapidly pumping and his lungs were making his body rise and fall. I thought “Amazing, this little creature has a heart and lungs and they are working just perfectly to their fullest capacity. In fact those birds over there have a heart and lungs and blood pumping through their veins and as a matter of fact every living creature that I know of has a heart beating in their chest. This is not an accident nor did it come by chance that every living creature would develop over millions of years to have a heart. God we are without excuse, You oh Lord are amazing.” Later that day my dad’s procedure was a success and he was able to go home shortly thereafter.

If we will slow down and be still, (Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God) it would give God the opportunity to speak to us. Maybe not in an audible voice but in so many other ways. Maybe we would see all of His marvelous creation come alive and dance right before our eyes. If we “go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." What a beautiful day it could be if we choose.

Thank You Jesus!
Brad Wilson
Wilson Family Ministries

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Daddy's Hands

As I stood next to my dad’s hospital bed holding his hand, I looked down at our hands together. It had been along time since we had held hands. In fact I think it had been since I was a child. Suddenly waves of memories flooded my mind, I saw my hand as a child in his, thinking how much bigger and stronger his hand was compared to mine. His skin was so much rougher than my young smooth skin. I thought of all the fishing trips he took me on and the projects he provided for my brother and me. A life time of memories flashed before my eyes as I stared at our hands together. I pondered how very serious his condition of congestive heart failure was. This could be the last time I held my fathers hand. My heart started to ache for the relationship I knew we could have had but now it was too late. How I wanted to turn back time and try again. It wasn’t that he was a bad dad, no not at all. He was a good dad in so many ways. He tried so hard to do what he thought was the right things. He provided so much for us but in all the effort he seemed to miss key things here and there. Those keys things were enough to create great voids later. After many years those voids finally caved in and our family was devastated by divorce. Two young men 14 and 16 now had no father in the picture. Unharnessed bitterness and confusion ripped the remaining family apart, including the two brothers. This set the course for the next 25 years. Now I stood at his bed side thinking of how it didn’t seem that long ago. Unable to communicate with him I decided to leave and thought this could be the last time I see my dad.
As I drove away from the hospital I heard the sweet quiet voice of my 14 year old daughter who accompanied me on this long 2 and a half hour trip. Her voice broke the silence with “I love you Daddy,,,,,,,,, I don’t like it when you cry”.

I decided before we left the area we should stop for a bite to eat. As we walked from the car I couldn’t get the vivid memory of holding my dad’s hand out of my mind and how I had lost so much time with him. Then it hit me, my daughter and I were walking right next to each other and I wasn’t even holding her hand. I grabbed her hand and held on to it as if I wanted to etch this memory into her mind forever. Then I thought, I’m going to hold her hand so much that from now on she won’t remember one specific time of holding my hand but she will remember her daddy’s hands and how they felt. How strong they were and how those hands were always there to hold hers every chance there was. How those hands were so rough and solid. So much potential strength in them but always seemed to be harnessed into a loving caress.
Fathering is not something that we men automatically know. This is the first time I have ever been a father to a 14 year old girl, a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old boy. You would think that the successful skills of fathering would be passed down from generation to generation but they’re not. A lot of mistakes are made, a lot of hearts are broken. Pride gets in the way of humbleness. Selfishness over powers selflessness. Fighting for our life gets in the way of laying down our life for others.

The day that I wrote this I had received a phone call at 6:30 AM. My father had passed away. I did get to see him again in that same hospital bed. He was able to listen and nod his head but not say anything. My brother and I both told our father how much we loved him and how thankful we were for all those good years of growing up. I was blessed with the opportunity to rub my daddy’s feet to comfort him as I watched my brother hold his hand.

Ephesians 5:24 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

A note to Husbands and Fathers:
A husband and father should be a high strong pillar in the home. Smooth to the touch so as not to get hurt when you brush up against it. Unmovable from where it stands but confident and sure that where it stands is on a solid foundation of righteousness and integrity. Built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. When strong wind blows it doesn’t sway. When even the ground below shakes, it remains firm and balanced. A wife and children should be able to run to it for protection and always find it right where it promises to be. The surety of the pillar never changing. They have confidence in it. They have no fear of it ever swaying or crumbling. For when a pillar crumbles or falls it crushes anyone near it. Just take a look at the average American family today.
If we as husbands and fathers would follow God’s instructions in the bible our families would be so much stronger and happier. Think about it. If we would die to our selfish desires and put our family first, the members would naturally follow. Ironic but true. Try it and see.

Brad Wilson
Wilson Family Ministries

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

“Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Guide me safely through the night and wake me with the morning light. God Bless Mom, Dad, Matt and etc…

I remember praying this prayer from my earliest memories all through my childhood. It was a prayer my Mom taught me as a child. My brother and I would pray it as we went to bed each night. Somewhere between childhood and becoming an adult that prayer slipped away. As I am a Dad now and I love being the one to put my children to bed every night, I pray with them. I have taught my children to pray to their Heavenly Father openly and to share with Him what’s on their hearts, not just a repetitive prayer. Not that our prayer as a child was bad but that God wants to have a very personal relationship with each of us.

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

If I were to pray that old prayer today it would sound different. There would be one name left out now, “Dad”. My brother and I held the memorial service for our Dad today to finalize his passing away. After I had put my children to bed tonight I was thinking of childhood memories. I even drove past our old homestead today. Memories of our childhood were so vivid as I looked at where we grew up. Tonight with those memories still fresh in my mind I realized that prayer would be different now.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

You see once we pass away it is final. There is no more trying to live right, be a good person and make the right decisions. We need to make those decisions today, while we are here and able. The one decision that matters most is whether we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or not. Do you believe that He died for your sins? Do you believe that God raised Him from the dead. Do you believe He conquered death and all its power? Do you confess with your mouth that He is Lord? (Romans 10:9,10) If your answer is yes to all these questions then if you are still not sure you will go to heaven, what you need is to “Repent and Believe”.

Mark 1:15 Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Our sins hinder God from allowing His presence in our lives. (John 9:31, Isaiah 59:2, Pro. 28:9)
John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

He wants us to live a wonderful life. He wants us to be blessed beyond our imagination. (Jer. 29:11, Eph 3:20) But our sins cause him to look the other way. He does not listen to the prayers of sinners. Therefore you must turn from your wrong ways and turn to His ways. Simply ask Him right now to forgive you for your sins. Ask Him to help you live a more pleasing life to Him so that you would have that guarantee of Eternity with Him in Heaven. And while you finish this life here on earth you would experience His presence and His blessings in your life. Don’t miss out on what He has for you!

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you,
Ephesians 3:20
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Yes the bible is very clear about God not hearing the prayers of the unrighteous person but there is one that He does listen to every time it is prayed. It goes like this: Dear Jesus, I believe in You. I believe you died for MY sins. I believe you conquered death and rose from the dead on the third day. I am a sinner, Please forgive me. I invite you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Help me now Lord to live for You. Thank You Jesus, Amen

Brad Wilson
Wilson Family Ministries

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Guide me safely through the night and wake me with the morning light. God bless Mom, my Wife and Children, Matt and his family and Lord my Dad's soul you keep.”

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