Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I just call him Dad

Proverbs 23:24 (The Message)
Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her. Buy truth—don't sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight. Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents. So make your father happy! Make your mother proud!

This Sunday is Father's Day. An opportunity for us to let our earthly Fathers know how much we love them. Many have lost their father, and we pray for every one who will spend this weekend without their dad. It is also one of my favorite preaching days as we challenge the men in our congregation to live for Jesus , and to lead at home.

When I think of my dad, I could not have been given a better one. As a boy, I thought he could do anything. The older I get, I have realized, he can do about anything. He may be a little slower than he used to be, but his wisdom about life and how to do things is still a great teaching tool for me.

I can still picture him at one end of the driveway, and me at the other, passing baseball with our Regent ball gloves, before he headed off to McCall's on second shift. He probably didn't think to much about it then, but I will never forget that he always made time for us growing up, even in the little things. Now it is corn-hole, and I still can't beat him.

On Friday nights as we played high school basketball, he would slip in, taking a few unpaid hours off to see me play. I can still remember making eye contact with him as he walked underneath the basket heading for the bleachers. He probably didn't think I was looking for him, but I was. He was my dad.

It took years for me to realize that a lot of boys I grew up with, didn't have a dad like mine, and they would tell me, how fortunate I was. Now I get it. I cannot recall a time in my life, when he wasn't available to help if needed. He is always there.

Dad would never say it, but he has taught me a great deal about the love of God. The love the Father has for his children. You see our heavenly Father is interested in the little things in our lives also. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to encourage and help us, and He can always be counted on. In the tough times and the good times, He will be there.

The older I get, people tell me I look like dad. I consider that a great compliment.

I wonder if people ever say we look like Jesus, in the way we live our lives? Do others see Christ in our everyday life?

If you are blessed to still have an earthly dad alive, make sure you talk to him this week. Tell him what he means to you. Don't put it off. Make it a priority.

Thanks dad for everything, I love you. Happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rain

Psalm 72:6 (NKJV) He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth.

This morning on the way to the office, I thanked the Lord for giving the ground a good drink. While it has been a beautiful spring, it seemed to be getting dry.

The Christian life is like that. There are times when we may begin to get a little dry, or our heart begins to harden. It seems that God is right on time when we need rain in our Spirit.

How do you detect a spiritual drought? How do you know if you need a fresh touch of God in your life?

I believe first of all, that we need to ask ourselves this honest question? Am I reading the Word of God, and what kind of prayer life do I have? Be honest. Remember, it is not how good you can fool someone else. What does God know in regards to how much time you are in the Bible, and the disciplines of your private prayer life?
Secondly, am I being faithful to worship the Lord? Am I where I need to be on Sunday? Has my church attendance slacked off? Does it just not seem as good as it once did? Am I following through on a commitment that I made as a leader?
Lastly, am I more critical than encouraging? A dry heart will become a bitter heart.

These are just a few signs that we may need rain, and the good news is that when I recognize I need it, and I ask God for it, He will send it, right on time.

Oh God, thank you for the rain outside. We ask you to send rain into our lives today, refresh our souls with Your wondrous love.

Until He comes.... we will go!

Monday, June 1, 2009

VACATION

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

I often think back to vacations our family took when I was growing up. With grandparents in Tennessee and South Carolina, most of our trips were to the southeastern part of the country. Some of the great memories include making the three hour drive, when in South Carolina, across the state to Myrtle Beach.

Vacations back then seemed like it was an opportunity to really relax and slow down. Maybe, it was because I was young and did not have as much responsibility. It is amazing how we made it with no cable, no laptop and no cell phone. "How's that for dating myself?" We never stayed at the biggest and fanciest places, but they were always clean and neat. The Breezeview comes to my mind as I type. Most of the time we stayed across the street for a better rate, knowing that the ocean was within sight. The hi light of the day would be to sit around the pool in the evening with the family to just laugh, and enjoy each others company. Who would ever think that to be content as a kid, a bottle of coke and some Lance peanuts was all that you would need.

When Renee and I were married, we had the privilege to go back and this time we went as parents. While some things certainly had changed (quite a bit), it was still a world of excitement and great enjoyment for the kids.

You know, it brings a parent great joy to see their kids happy, whether young or now grown up, and I imagine that our heavenly Father is pleased when he sees us living obediently and happy.

This summer, make sure you slow down to enjoy things, and if you go on vacation, make sure you don't forget the Lord, and when you get home, we'll see you in church.

You know, if the Lord tarries, one day I may go back to Myrtle Beach.... as a Papaw!

May the Lord keep you clean and close.........