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.”

Pray for our Troops

Life House