Damage Control

Whether we want to admit it or not , we all damage our kids. From the argument over money right in front of them , or dealing with them sharply for no other reason than you’re not in the mood” to deal with with them – we damage them. Granted , these things wont scar them for life but they certainly have influence over who they become. We all do it , and there is no way to avoid it –  we are human ,  and we are flawed… we too , are damaged.

It’s a hard thing to admit.

I woke up from a sound sleep this morning at 2 a.m with this sobering thought and wrestled with myself for an hour before I could get back to sleep. Have I REALLY done the best I can with my kids? I’m already aware of mistakes I made with my oldest  ,but the truth is  – I couldn’t be happier with who she is right now.. She is confident , smart ,talented and beautiful – not mention armed with a quick wit that allows her to hang with ANY of her older boy cousins and absolutely SLAY them when necessary! She is INCREDIBLE and I love her more than I can express – but do I deserve credit for that? I have given her many reasons to fail because of my own damage and yet she continues to blossom…

But , what about my son? – The day I found out we were having a boy , it literally paralyzed me…. I was scared to death…  How was I supposed to raise this baby boy into a GOOD man  , when I wasn’t even sure myself if I was a good man?.. and then it hit me ,like it always does. I’m usually a little late to the party and this was NO exception –

God has given me EVERYTHING I need to raise my kids right in SPITE of who I am or fail to be …This sobering thought brought me to where I should have already been  –  My knees.

 

As I prayed that afternoon , I asked God to help me help him and my daughter.. To help me become the man I want my son to model after ….and to become the kind of man my daughter will look for in a husband one day.. To help me be the husband I should be to my wife so that we together can be a model of what BOTH of our kids will look to for future relationships and NOT what  the entertainment world says relationships are, but what GOD says they are!!  Help me be the kind of man that despite my own damage and despite my own flaws – raise good children ,who will raise good children that will raise good children!!

To be the kind of man who can say he is sorry when he is wrong ,and forgive himself so he doesn’t drag that baggage into the equation as well… because THAT’S where all the damage we do comes from ANYWAY…

Isn’t it?

The truth is , God must be part of the equation with parenting – just like he should be with marriage. So on the days when I screw up , and the days when I get it wrong and the days when I have messed it all up – it all stays together IN SPITE of my best efforts to tear it apart…

I still pray that God will help me be that  kind of man.

As we go through life  ,we continue to grow…. We continue to learn.. and with learning comes mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes , you’re not learning – its part of it… But if you continue to make the same mistakes , you have missed the lesson and aren’t  growing at all. As a parent  , my worst fear is that I will do more damage than good to my kids – That as a human being capable of error , I may fail…But this has been my biggest failure by FAR.

Why ?  Because  fear is only an outward sign of distrust and if I trust my God the way I say I do , then I have  NOTHING to fear..

The reality is , I’m a good parent … My kids are proof of this… My kids are proof that my wife and I despite our flaws , we are doing it right… Our kids sleep more sound than anything I can think of because they KNOW they are loved…and they ,with God’s help will turn out not undamaged or unscathed  – but  physically and emotionally and most importantly SPIRITUALLY healthy!! In a single word – GOOD…

It is my hope that yours do too..

In the face of our flaws and mistakes , God forgives us – so forgive yourself also… Trust in him and HIS way and any fear of being a less than perfect parent will leave you. … We may not be perfect  , but HE IS….. And he don’t make no JUNK.

 

As always – the invitation to study the bible is open. We can study anything you like , trust – it’s all in there no matter what it is.

 

Read  – Ephesians 6:4,Proverbs 1:8-9 ,Psalms 127:3-5 ,Deuteronomy 7:14 and Proverbs 22:6

 

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Perspective

In the face of negativity , I will boldly defy it…

Perspective is a funny thing – you and I can look at the same thing and yet see it completely differently , depending on where we allow our influence to come from…. We can see a world full of anger , or a world full anguish.. A world full of hate or a world in desperate need of love.. A world that demands justice , or a world that I pray doesn’t get it..(think about that one for a minute)… A world that deserves burning , or a world in DIRE need of saving..

A world that needed a SAVIOR and rejects him STILL , or a world that he DIED for and yet STILL SAVES – if only it were willing.

Study the bible with me – don’t allow the media to be your influence , but rather allow God to.

A change of perspective could change everything.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”(Mathew 23:37)

Who Prays for the Preacher?

Pray for me Preacher! he shouted as he was walking away…”OK” I shouted back  ,not really knowing what to pray for ,  just knowing  that God could fill in the blanks that  I may have left open as I prayed..

This is the scene all too often in with what I do.. .”Pray for Uncle  So and So  or Pray for Aunt  So and So” , “Pray for my Mom or Pray for my Dad” or  “Pray for this ,pray for that”….pray ,pray , pray…. And so I do.  I pray for people I don’t even know upon the request of someone I do know… I pray for our Leaders ,yes even HIM.

Why? – because if I can pray for people who I know NOTHING about , I can CERTAINLY pray for a man who is under the microscope of the American people especially when so many are unhappy with him and the decisions he has made in the last 4 years. I can’t  IMAGINE the pressure he and his family must be under… SO even though I don’t support his politics , his beliefs or his lackluster performance – I certainly can pray for him as a human being ,a father and a husband. He is human and humans need prayers to a righteous God who can save…. There is no doubt HE NEEDS IT.

So  , this got me thinking –  As and Evangelist , I do ALOT of praying..ALOT of encouraging…ALOT of caring – even for my enemies  ( Mathew 5:44).  I pray because I can’t help myself… I pray because I’m helpless… I pray because the need flows out of me all the time both waking and sleeping…… I pray  NOT because it could ever  change God – but because  it changes ME…

And yet –

I get discouraged. I get frustrated. I struggle with sin…and I fail – Just like everyone else. I am not immune to humanity..If anything I am numbed by it…almost made callous due to over exposure of it…and that’s when I need God to prick my heart again and make me understand why Jesus Wept… to make me understand my need for Christ in my  OWN life … to remind   me that I am NOT bullet proof , but rather frail and fragile as everyone …and to make me see fully , the power of PRAYER.

So who prays for the preacher? Who prays for the one who continually prays for others? Who prays for ME when I need it?

The correct answer should be “Anyone I ask to” … But just because I don’t ask , it doesn’t mean I don’t need them –

All too often we assume because the preacher is solid  and doesn’t need it when in fact ,  he may be the one that needs prayer the most at that moment. Handling rightly the word of God comes with a massive responsibility and accountability ,as it should. James warns us in chapter 3 verse 1 of his letter “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” There is no “almost right”…its right or its wrong when it comes to handling Gods teaching.  This alone is enough to call for the prayers of others on the Preachers behalf..

But even in the small things of life – Money troubles , family stress, keeping up appearances  or possibly –  even moving your family to another state   to serve with a congregation there (yes , this one is about me) – Prayers are not just welcomed  , they are MUCH needed.

There is no sound louder than that of a prayer not heard on your behalf … especially when it has been requested.

So pray. Prayer FOR our leaders AND  about our leaders ,  The Lord knows they need God’s guidance whether they think they do or not.  Pray for the Preachers everywhere fighting the Good fight , we are human bleed just like you do…

And pray for each other. James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

They can ….  and they do…

But no prayer at all accomplishes just that – nothing.

I will pray for you… so please – Pray for me.

The invitation to study the bible is still open…..  😉

Read the book of James.. yes, all of it.