Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Yesterday, I had a young man meet me at my office to discuss baptism.  He was raised in a different faith but has been attending our church for quite some time.  I was excited about his initiative – through our friendship, he actually approached me with his questions.

As we began, I explained the differences between the beliefs common in the Baptist denomination and those common in the faith of his childhood.  We discussed the importance of having a real life relationship with Jesus.  We also discussed the reasons for following through with Jesus’ example of baptism.

Then we moved on to being a part of a church family and the benefits of actually putting down roots and getting involved.

Through all of this discussion he was in agreement and had his mind made up that he wants to “go public” with his decision.  He wants to make it official and get plugged into our 1st B family.  So we began to discuss the process that our church recognizes for taking this step.  He has been in our services long enough to have seen the process play out and he is ready to take that step.

All of what I have shared here is exciting.  But what he said next made me sit back in my chair.  He relayed to me that he knows this is what he needs to do for his own journey, but he also really wants his young daughter to see her dad take this stand.

Parents, it is so important for you kids not only to hear what you have to say about faith and following Jesus but to also see you modeling it for them.  Kids have the innate ability to sense “fake.”  We can tell them all their lives what they should do and how they should live but if we are not living it out in front of them, our words and empty and meaningless.  You have to live it.

Make sure you model Jesus’ love for your family today!

Be blessed!

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My Son the Poet

Some days, being a father is hard work.  Some days – it’s not fun.  You know those days – one child has to be at practice at the same time one of the others has to have a parent at the school for a meeting.  Then in the midst of all that, one of the kids has a melt-down or some bad decision they have made comes to light.

Some days it seems more than I signed up for.

BUT . . .

Then there are those days when they do something amazing and you forget all those other days.  Have you ever had that experience?

My boys are pretty amazing as it is, and those days of not wanting to be their dad are few and far between.

Yesterday, was one of those amazing days.  I was on the way to run an errand when I received a text from my middle son.  All the text said was, “I left something for you in your backpack . . .”  I could not wait to get back to the office and check the backpack for what he left.

One of his current assignments in English was to write a poem.  The poem he wrote:  My Dad.

Now understand, this is a 17 year old young man who doesn’t talk much – even to those close to him.  But here I sat, reading a poem he had written revealing how he feels about me.  I don’t mind telling you, it took a couple of hours for the carpet near my desk to dry from the tears I shed as I read and reread his poem.

Yep, some days make this whole parenting thing worth it all!

Go home and hug your kid today.

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First Day of School Prayer

The first day of school.  Kinda brings back memories doesn’t it?  I remember having to get up and get  ready for school when I really didn’t want to go.  I didn’t have anything better to do, but I just didn’t care for school.

Somewhere along the line that changed and I realized I wanted to be a life-long learner.  But when I was the age of my kids – all I could think about was basketball, girls and getting out of school.

This morning I watched my middle son drive off with my youngest son as they headed off to high school together.  This is the first time as a parent that I have not had to carry at least one of our kids to school.  I guess I am feeling old but it would appear they are growing up!

As I watched them walk out the door together, I could not help but think to myself how they each have their whole life in front of them.  Ethan is a junior and Bryson a freshman.  They will have decisions along the way that, once made, could redirect their lives forever.  As a parent, it is a little scary to think about.

But my trust is in the Lord.  I have placed them in God’s hands today.  Today I pray for my kids, and all kids, as they begin school.

Lord God, I pray today that you will protect our kids.  Please grow them into the responsible people you want them to become.  Develop them into sincere followers of Jesus so they can make a difference in their schools, in our communities and in our world.  Amen!

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This past Sunday was Father’s Day.  The plan for my family was to gather together at lunch.  I had some steaks marinating and ready for the grill and so the plan was to cook out and eat lunch together.  When I entered the church building on Sunday, it was a beautiful day.  When we exited a couple of hours later, the dirt was blowing so hard that it was difficult to see the car in front of me on the highway home – in fact, I am not so sure that I didn’t see a cow fly across the road in front of me at one point (OK, maybe that’s a stretch – but it was a nasty day).

So we altered our plan.  We all met at a local restaurant for lunch and we had the best time!  I don’t remember laughing that hard in a long time.  We sat there for over an hour just enjoying being together.  I am sure we created quite a stir in that place.  At one point I began to feel sorry for those around us because of the noise we were making and then someone said something else that brought more laughter and that feeling went away.

Thanks Jared, Ethan, Bryson (and Kristi) for making my Father’s Day grand – and memorable!

I love you all – and I cherish every minute God gives me with each of you!  I am so proud of each of you and humbled to by your dad!

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For the last several weeks, my youngest son has been asking me to take him to play golf.  I have been so busy getting started in my new ministry position and trying to get the house ready to sell that there hasn’t been much time – or at least, I have not made the time.

But today is the day!  Here in just a while, we will load up and head to the course.  I love to play but do not get the opportunity very often.  I am looking forward to the game, to the smell of the grass and the sound of the club connecting with the ball.

But most of all, I am looking forward to spending a few hours with two of my boys!  I can’t think of a better way to spend my day off!

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Make a Memory

This past weekend, the new bedroom suit we ordered for Ethan arrived.  So Saturday was spent moving bedrooms – moving items from one closet to another, and from one set of drawers to another.  Through the process we ran across all sorts of things that brought back all kinds of memories.  There were coins from trips we have taken together, old souvenirs, ticket stubs – a wide variety of reminders.

But the things that caused me to stop and take a break were the pictures.  Each of the boys has a framed picture of the four of us on a camping trip several years ago to Cloudcroft – I labeled it, “The Camping Fiasco.”  It was  a miserable trip.  In fact, one night as it got close to bedtime, a thunderstorm rolled in and it started a downpour complete with lightening.  A tent is not where I wanted us to be in a lightening storm so we all climbed in the truck and for 2 hours, tried to get comfortable.  When the rain finally let up, we got back to the tent to find that it had leaked and all our stuff was soaked.  So at 12:30 am, we rolled it all up, threw it in the back of the truck and headed home in the rain.  We arrived back home at 6:30 am.  Yep – good times!

Honestly, as miserable of a trip as that was – I would not take anything for that experience with my boys.  Now that I have one in college, one in high school and one in middle school, I look back and think: “there aren’t enough of those memories – I wish we had made more.”  Then I remember, there is still today!

What kind of memories are you making with your kids?

My challenge for us is this:  make one today!

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Last Friday and Saturday, my youngest son and I made the trek over to the Guadalupe Mountains and then made the hike up to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the tallest peak in Texas.  We made it up in time to set up camp and then make it on to the summit for the sun set.  It was breath taking!

At the top of the mountain, a monument has been erected to commemorate the transportation and mail industries because the mountain sits along a prominent stage and pony express route from the 1800’s.

At any rate, at the base of the monument is a metal ammunition box and inside the box is a register.  All who make their way to the top get to sign the book – pretty cool.

We both signed the book, took pictures and then prayed together before heading back down to camp – one of those father – son moments I will always cherish.

The next morning we packed up our tent and sleeping bags and all our stuff and headed back down to the base to drive home.  As we were hiking down, the thought entered my head of how proud I am that my son’s name is in the book.  He has joined a handful of people who can say they made it to the top of Texas.

As I reflected on that fact, I became even more moved to think that not only is my son’s name in the Guadalupe Peak register, it is actually inscribed on a much more important book.  In the Bible, Revelation 3 talks about a book of life where the names of all the followers of Jesus will be recorded.  Bryson’s name is there along with my other two sons’ names as well!  What an incredible thought for a dad!

God is good!

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Fresh Starts

Today is the first day of public school here in our town.  As I dropped my 8th grade son off at the middle school, it dawned on me that he is now in the top grade of the school.  This is a new experience for him.  It is the same school as last year but now, because of his age he is in a new place.  In some ways, it is a new beginning.  Really, all the students have a fresh start today – an opportunity to do things differently this year – to try harder – to make an impact.

The beginning  of the school year, in some ways, brings a fresh start for parents as well.  Our schedule has changed –  again!  But it is our opportunity to approach our kids and parenting with a fresh perspective.  What can you do this year to make your child more successful.  What can you do differently to impact your child’s relationship with Jesus.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to spend the next 9 months focused on your own relationship with Jesus.  Then allow that vibrant relationship to impact your relationship with your children with the intent of seeing their relationship with Jesus flourish.

We can do this!

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I don’t make a habit of sending you to another site very often, but I read this post yesterday from my friend Trey Morgan – and you need to read it.  Please take the time to link to it here and read through it today.

Having had my eldest graduate high school recently, I have been analyzing my deficiencies as a dad – and they are many.

Parenting is hard work – it is so easy to slack off and let the raising happen rather than doing the raising.

Don’t let that happen – be an active part of the lives of your kids, and don’t be afraid to be a parent!

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This past week was extremely busy for me.  Normally, I have an evening or two at home with the family but this past week it didn’t happen.  Then the weekend was crazy with things going on at church as well.  Consequently, I spent no time with my family the entire week.  I have to tell you, as I drove to the office today and thought about the week ahead, I was convicted.  I have all these important things on my calendar for this week and, again this week, my family isn’t on the list.

So my challenge today is to look for ways to adjust and put in some quality time with my family.  God has called each of us to carry out the plan God has for us.  And in doing that it is very easy to get so busy doing good things that we lose focus on the best things.

Don’t lose sight of the greatest blessing God has given you – your family.  Make time for them today.

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