Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter 2015. The Day After...

Yesterday was Easter 2015. I have been thinking a lot about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to me. These events in history have accomplished so much in my life today and for all eternity. Here are just a few thoughts:

1.  I am loved. 

·      Rom.5. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

2.  I am valued.

·      1 Peter 1.18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 

3. I am saved.  

·      Eph.2.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. 

4. I am forgiven. 

·      Eph.1. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

5. I am free. 

·      Rom. 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

6. I am empowered. 

·      Col.1.11 - being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

7. I belong. 

·      Rom. 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

8. I am accepted. 

·      Eph. 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.

9.  I am righteous. 

·      2 Cor. 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

10.  I am gifted. 

·      Eph. 4:7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”

11. I am called. 

·      2 Tim.1:9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

12. I am indwelt.

·      Rom. 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

13. I am not my own. I was bought at a price.

·      1 Cor.6.19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

14. He died for me. I live for him.

·      2 Cor.5.14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

15. I am redeemed. 

·      Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

16. I am reconciled. 

·      Col. 1:21   Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

17. I am alive. 

·      Eph.2. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

18. I have hope. 

·      Eph. 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

19.  I am not alone. 

·      Phil. 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

20. I am not an orphan. 

·      John.14.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

21. I have a Father. 

·      Matt. 6:9 - “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

22.  I have a Helper.

·      Heb.13.5…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

 23. I have a family. 

·      Eph. 3:14 - For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

24. I have a good work to do.  

·      Eph.2.10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

25.  I have purpose and meaning.  

·      2 Tim. 2:20   In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.  21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Monday, March 02, 2015

3 Essential Things I Learned With Debbie In 40 Years of Marriage

I am currently in a men's group studying Ken Nair's book, "Discovering The Mind of a Woman." This is a highly insightful book if you want to become a better man and husband. It has made me think of three huge lessons I have learned with Debbie over 40 years of marriage:

1. Listen to the "cautions of your wife."

I first heard this idea when Debbie and I were in our 20's. It is huge. There are times when your wife will want to send you a caution about something or someone. She may not have all the facts and reasons that you need, but something in her is providing you a caution. Pay attention. Do not pass by it too quickly. It will save you a lot of grief over time.

2. "Your wife is feeding you information."

I first heard this idea at 43, 22 years into our marriage, in a counselor's office. On one occasion, Debbie was talking to me and I said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." The counselor looked at me and said, stop that. I said, stop what? The counselor said, "your wife is feeding you information and you keep discounting her." This was a defining moment in our lives and marriage. Gents, your wife is feeding you important information about life, love, the children, the future, the past etc. Pay attention. It is a great source of information and opportunity to connect as couples.

3. Debbie is my "Lady of Wisdom."

Debbie and I were introduced to "5 Aspects of Woman" when we came to North Point in 2001. One of the aspects is, Lady of Wisdom. When I realized that Debbie was given to me as a lady of wisdom, she took the #1 poll position as my counselor. Yes, I still have a CPA, lawyer, realtor and other men, but she took the #1 place of wisdom and counsel to me.

When you listen to the caution of your wife, listen to the information she is feeding you and call her your, "Lady of Wisdom," you will experience a connection, intimacy and oneness in your marriage that you never imagined. Enjoy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Questions From A Son to His Father

In the fall of 2014, my son, Dave, was thinking through his life and our relationship. As a result, he sent me the following questions that I have been thinking about and processing ever since. I initially wrote back an eleven page response but realize that these questions and conversations really take a life time. I hope that as you read them, you too will process and answer with your own father and sons.

Time together
How much 1 on 1 time did we spend together?
What did we do together to bond?
What kinds of things did we do for fun?
What were some of your ways / attempts to connect with me?

What kinds of activities, discussions, or preparations did you do with me to become a man?
What kinds of attempts were made to help me during my lost NOVA years?
How far out did you think about your my future?
What are things you wanted to instill in me?
How did you prepare me for marriage?

What did you notice about me?
When did you realize I was going to become a man?
What did you think I was good at?

How often did we talk about;
- my interests
- my talents
- acquiring hobbies
- managing finances
- attending college
- determining a career
- types of employment
- how to plan for the future
- how to finding purpose
- how to treat women
- preparing for marriage

Current tense
What is the role of a father?
What is the role of a father once his children are out of the house?

My part with my wife and children
What is man's responsibility as a husband?
What is man's responsibility as a father?
What do those responsibilities look like on a day to day basis?
Should father's teach their sons how to be husbands? If so, what should be taught?
Should father's teach their sons how to be fathers? If so, what should be taught?

I am hoping to know and grow with you.

Love you,

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

This morning as I wake and wait for six of my eight children and eight of my twelve grandchildren to arrive for Thanksgiving, I am full of thanks. I thought of many things in this time and season of my life.
  1. My Father in heaven who made me and loves me.
  2. My Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for me and my sin.
  3. My Helper and Comforter, the Holy Spirit who empowers me each day.
  4. The Bible, the Word of God which feeds me daily bread and lights my path.
  5. Creation and all the magnificent things God has made for His glory and our enjoyment.
  6. My story, with all the good, hard and ugly of it...the redemptive beauty that is coming from birth order, time in history, gender, gifts, talents, parents, sisters, and all my experiences.
  7. Debbie and our relationship for over 40 amazing and remarkable woman, wife, mother, grand mother, artist and servant. A true "Lady of Wisdom."
  8. Four married children and awesome spouses
  9. Twelve grand children...10 boys...2 girls, though Olivia is in heaven waiting for us.
  10. My Mom and her beautiful marriage to and ministry with, Wayne May.
  11. Very dear friends and a counselor who help me be a better man, husband, father, grandfather, son brother and servant leader. 
  12. A good work to do with men and (7), with a crystal clear mission to, "Restore man to his original design."
  13. A great church...leading people into growing relationships with Jesus Christ.
  14. A small group of couples we love and love doing life together.
  15. Health, even though at 60 I am beginning to feel the "4th Quarter" changes. :-)
  16. Our home...a place of refuge and hospitality and ministry and so much more.
  17. Anticipation and hope for 2015 and the years to come, Lord willing.
So many more blessings in Christ, in this life and the life to come.

You? For what are you thankful this season?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love and grace and kindness in my life. I am humbled by all that You are and all You have given to me in Jesus and your Spirit. I give thanks this day, for the good, hard and ugly things that have happened in my life and thank you that you are healing, redeeming, restoring and so much more. Thank Jesus Name.