First of all, I need to admit that so far in 2009 my keeping up with these LIFT updates has been rather sporadic (irregular) and not quite the weekly send out of communication and encouragement to you about LIFT and faith that is used to be. So, although I apologize for not being so consistent, I can also ensure you (which is also the underlying message of this update) that my personal priorities in faith, life, family, ministry and work commitments are in order. This Sunday is Father’s Day and this year especially, with now having 3 children (since the birth of our daughter Sarah on the last day of 2008), it’s been a busy year for me…….but it’s also been beyond rewarding in regards to living my worship of Jesus, and I have valued and prioritized being a father more than keeping up with updates! Not doing the updates regularly has been tough for me as I perhaps “need” these updates more than you (kinda like therapy-lol) and I wish I was able to have sent out updates more consistently. (I have three partial updates that never made it out of my journal file.), But really, I have loved the whole dynamic of starting over with diapers and sleepless night those first three of months of 2009 and definitely enjoyed watching Livia and Silas pour out their older brother and sister love to their baby sister as well. Of course, if I even think of writing anything implying “my” sleepless nights, it’s of course Tanya, my wife (and best friend in life) who obviously was/is the one who has wonderfully carried the family transition mode the most and truly lived the sleeplessness at another level that I did.
All that being said, men, especially those of you who are fathers out there, may you be blessed and LIFT-ed up by our Lord in Heaven for all you do for your wives and children! I prayed for you today in particular and ask for anyone reading this to take a moment to pray for their father, husband, daddy, step-father, son, brother, in law(s), grand- or great-grandson that happen to be a man out there and somehow connect to you in their lives. Go ahead…..right now take a moment and pray for your father and the men who are fathers that you are connected to in some way. Too cool. There are prayers of praises and encouragement. There are prayers of asking for strength in health issues. There are prayers of appreciation and thankfulness for such fathers. And in reality for some, there are a few tough issues going through your heads as you may have a broken relationship or hurting relationship with your father, son, brother, grandfather, etc, etc in your life. I just took a moment in particular to pray for those that have tough father relationship issues as well and/or those that may have never known their father. Forgiveness is desperately needed in life’s relationships, for all and on both sides of the a broken relationship, meaning even for the one who forgives the other from their heart, even if the other doesn’t respond accordingly. Praise God, Our Father in Heaven that He is a father who loves each and every one of us!
So for this Father’s Day, reach out to your father and tell him you prayed for him this week and honor him in some way!
Men that are fathers, and men that may some day be fathers, I am including below a devotion I read last week regarding being a father and our main goal in life as a father: “To Help Our Children Know God”! As I read this the first time, a few points grabbed my attention and clearly reminded me what being a real father is all about. I just took a moment to pray again for you and for me, but this time my prayer isn’t about this Sunday on Father’s Day in 2009, it’s in regards to next year on Father’s Day in 2010! I not only encourage you, but I challenge you (yes, a challenge from me to you, man to man!) that over the next year, your children will grow closer in knowing God, by you becoming stronger in living your faith in a more Godly manner! I’m in it as well, please pray for me too! Maybe we can call this the Father’s Day liveitandgiveit 2010 Challenge.
Read on……and go be a daddy!
Fathers: Help Your Children Know God
(by Rick Warren)
“I showed what You are like to those You gave Me from the world. They belonged to You, and You gave them to Me” (John 17:6 NCV).
The world is full of sons and daughters who desperately need a father who is a spiritual leader. Is it possible your kids are among them? You can become a spiritual leader to your children by developing the characteristics that we see in Jesus as He taught His disciples for three years.
Even if you are not a father, or a mother, you will be able to lead others into the heart of God by following the example of Jesus.
First, Jesus helped the disciples to know God.
Dads, this is your number one responsibility as a father. You need to help your children get to know God because eternity hangs in the balance: life or death, heaven or hell. It is your job to help make sure your kids are introduced to God.
Look at what Jesus says: “They belonged to you.” He’s acknowledging that the disciples belonged to God; and reminding us that we don’t own our kids. They belong to God. He loans them to us for a period of time in which He wants you to parent them. Parenting, like all forms of leadership, is really about stewardship. You learn to say, “God, I am the steward of these children, whom You put into my care, and I will do what You need me to do to help them achieve their purpose.”
Notice Jesus then says, “I showed what You were like to those You gave Me.” Jesus doesn’t say, “I preached. I sermonized. I pontificated. I lectured so the disciples would know you.” He says, “I showed.” He led by example. This is one of the most sobering truths about being a parent. For right or wrong, for good or bad, whether you like it or not, your children’s idea of God is going to be largely determined by the kind of father you are. You may not like that. I may not like that, but it’s the truth.
If you are an impatient and demanding father, they’re going to think God is impatient and demanding. If you are distant and detached and never have time for your kids, they’re going to think God is distant and detached from them. If you are inconsistent and unreliable, if you break your promises, they’re going to think their heavenly Father is inconsistent and unreliable and breaks His promises.
What i s God really like?
• God is caring.
• God is close and aware of the details.
• God is consistent.
• God is competent.
If my kids are going to grow up knowing God is caring, close, consistent, and competent, then I must be caring, close, consistent, and competent. I must care about my kids enough to show them what God is like and show how they can become like Christ.
So fathers, time to go live it and give it for your kids! …..and others! It’s an honor to be a father myself and to journey in life and faith with others like you!
In His grip and grace,