Monday, November 26, 2012
I think this provides me with regular and important opportunities to remember that parenting is a form of worship. Since God so loves spending time with His children, by reflecting that in time spent with my own child, I feel more closely connected to God's presence. I realize that the joy that He experiences watching me grow up as a Christian greatly dwarfs the joy I experience watching my child grow into adulthood. But, in terms of our faith, we all have some growing up to do. And, with a little help from our Father, I think all Christians can grow into responsible and strong stewards of His shaping.
I love spending time with my child. It provides me great joy, wonderful laughter, and an intimacy that can only be experienced between a parent and a child. The kind of love my child gives me comes about as close to God's true love as I can imagine. It's unconditional, it's raw, it's powerful, and it's always there. My child constantly wants more of my time (if only I had more to give), and so does God.
While I work on becoming a more responsible father, so too am I working on becoming a more responsible Christian. By modelling my fathering after The Father, as best I can, I can be assured that I'm doing the best I can to raise a well adjusted child. God bless all of the fathers of the world, and help them to care as much as You do. Amen.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
|I imagine God shed a few |
tears seeing this created
Saturday, November 17, 2012
I saw these objects in the dim light of the rising sun. Veiled in the darkness, I made an assumption about them that made me concerned and confused. Because I couldn't see them clearly, I thought they were something completly different than they turned out to be, and the things I thought they were carried a negative connotation with them, or at least one to raise alert in my mind.
However, the objects themselves turned out to be completely innocuous. So, the message that God sent to me had nothing to do with what was actually on the kitchen table, but instead about the way I make assumptions about people. I was dead wrong with what I assumed, because I assumed it based on an idea veiled in darkness. When I finally saw the truth, and in the light, everything was revealed as just fine.
So, God was asking me a very important question. One that I'm going to have to spend way more time considering, for sure. Am I seeing life veiled in Darkness, or Revealed in Light?
He was also asking me another important question. How do I make assumptions about people, and what right do I have to judge anything based on those assumptions?
Though this person isn't even awake yet, I'm going to have to ask for forgiveness for what I assumed. I could say nothing, but that's not the way Jesus would teach us to interact with others. Open sharing is the only way to strengthen an important bond.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
|Irresponsibly Mad for God|
Imagine promising to deliver a project on time to your supervisor. Now, also imagine promising to your family that you will take more time to spend quality time with them. Uh oh... here comes a potential conflict. If the project timeline starts to slip, do you give up time with your family? But, then, family should rank higher than work in order of importance, shouldn't it? Like I said, responsibility can get me into trouble. I believe that I have to earn the trust of those around me, but the most important trust I have to earn belongs to God. He provides me with challenges, which in truth, are opportunities to prove that I deserve the responsibility he gives me.
Responsibility given by God sometimes provides interesting and challenging barriers, some of which put me into positions that are counter to the idea that I am, first and foremost, responsible. I trust that God made me the kind of soul worthy the responsibility he gives me, even when I do screw it up sometimes. I know I'm only human. And, sometimes when I'm trying to be a responsible steward in some cases, it makes me irresponsible in others. I'm still actively learning how to prioritize my responsibilities. I'm also still learning how to shut my mouth and open my ears so that God can help me put first things first. I can even say that I've made some serious mistakes recently, counter to the core of my responsible being. I've been irresponsible recently (though, not lately) and I intend on spending time reflecting and working on earning the trust of those I hurt, and also showing God that I am the responsible person He made me and wants me to be.
So, I have some things that I need to be more responsible for, and I have some things that I need to move away from, because it would actually be the responsible thing to do. With God's help, the next few posts I write will actively concentrate on several things:
- Putting God in first place in my life - Being a better Christian
- Putting my wife in second place in my life - Being a better Husband
- Putting my daughter in third place in my life - Being a better Father
- Learning to trust others, and myself, with my professional quality at work - Being a better Employee
Sunday, November 11, 2012
One of the most important aspects of achieving personal fiscal liberty lies in having the ability to support others who are unable to support themselves. Only when our own family finances are in order and responsibly managed can we afford to give to others without fear. Tonight my wife wrote a sizable check for a Good cause, one that I know He would be happy to see us donating towards. If we didn't take care of our financial gifts properly, there's no way this would be possible. I've heard of families with incomes double or triple ours, yet unable to give due to squandering their financial gains. I won't call it wealth, because the truly wealthy are those that respect what they have been given by Our Lord (in my opinion).
Now, this isn't to say that my family is "financially perfect" with our responsibility. However, I can say we strive very hard to take care of our financial independence and growth. We truly see debt as four letter word to be avoided. Credit is a close second, and must be treated with great respect when used, because credit really is just another fancy word for debt, at least if we buy things we cannot pay for in cash.
I thank God that my wife and I are on the same page about having a family budget, and about just about every aspect of managing that budget. As our financial wealth continues to grow (God willing), I hope that we can use our finances to help His purpose in our lives evident.
I ask God only for the wisdom to continue to grow our finances for His glory.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
"Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:31-34I find myself being human much to readily. Granted, God designed me to be human, so that's OK. But, I also find myself worrying too much about every day things. Now, some of these things do matter in the context of my mortal life, and even matter in terms of eternity - as our role in this life directly impacts our place in the next. But, much too often I forget that there's a difference between human business and God business. I forget that some of the things I worry about are really none of my business at all to worry about, God will take care of it for me.
Something that I believe as helped me in the past, and will continue to help me as I grow spiritually, is to look around at the things God has provided for me. Much like a father provides for his family and children, God provides for his spiritual family. He certainly does love me, and I know this because of the love that I have for my child. While my love is grand, His love is immeasurable and He desires nothing more for that love to come back to Him. When I remember the fact that I have a happy and healthy child, a (usually) happy and healthy marriage, and I am healthy, I see no reason not to be happy.
Anxiety comes completely from humanness and desire to control things that are beyond our own grasp. I know the anxiety demon well, I grapple with it on a regular basis - often many times a day. Satan really likes it when I worry, he plays tricks on me and gets me to thinking I can handle things on my own. Thankfully, God knows how to brush Satan aside, sometimes it takes me a while to ask for His help though. I need to remember that all of my strength was given to me by Him. All of my abilities and know-how, He ensured I'd have in place when I needed them. When the anxiety of mortal life becomes a burden too great to bear, I find it important to remember Him. After all, on the last day of each of our worries, we will meet Him face to face. And, for that, I am certainly most thankful.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
At my daugter's daycare they regularly tell the children "make good choices." Sometimes this comes when the children step out of line and need a reminder. Other times it comes as praise, when in deed they do make good choices.
I think it's important to apply this life lesson into a God-driven life. For grown ups, we need a reminder sometimes not to step out of line. When we forget our purpose in life came from God, I beleive we can expect him to remind us to make good choices. And, if we decide to stop listening to Him, He might even have to put us in time out. Not because it gives Him pleasure to do so, but because He loves us and wants us to grow up into good people.
We are always growing, learning, and shaping into the spiritual adults that He designed us to be. How we choose to reflect that in every moment proves to our Father that we, too, make good choices.