A Date with Dad

How did you celebrate Fathers’ Day?   Did you take Dad out to dinner, gave him gifts, sent a card, posted a message on Facebook or Twitter? Or maybe there was a quick call or text. Or maybe you, like many spent the day remembering your dad, or lamenting the fact there wasn’t a dad in your life.  I celebrated the dads in my life; my husband, my dad, our sons, nephews, uncles, brothers, grandfathers and pastors. I also celebrated my male friends who are there for their families, and their communities.  These dads have struggled to make it better for those entrusted to their care and keeping.  I marveled at their strength, commitment and dedication as they navigate through life’s rugged terrains day in and day out.  I smiled, pondered, and then rejoiced at their presence in my life.  They are a blessing. They have demonstrated their compassion, courage, and willingness to help.  I have witnessed their growth, shared in the good times and been comforted in the bad.   We have laughed, cried, built, taught and challenged each other.  They have gone to the kids games, recitals and car-pooled all over town.  They have given their time and their money as well as a good dose of wisdom along the way.   These dates are, and have been priceless.  There have been missteps, and sure steps taken as well.  And through it all they have strengthen and fortified the family.   I smiled Sunday and then offered prayers of gratitude for the times of providing, encouraging, challenging, teaching, and directing.

When you think about it a date with our “dads” draws us into the circle of life.  A circle filled with wonder and growth; one of hope and challenge; one of joy and destiny. How did your date with your Dad go?  I hope there was a “dad” somewhere within your circle.  I also hope you could express appreciation to God the Father for your dates with dad.

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Breaking Bad

After my prayer and meditation I began writing in my journal about a family whose father’s health is declining rapidly, and the situation did not appear hopeful.  I wrote, “This is a hard time.”  Then I was struck almost immediately by the word “hard,” and I thought how often  we label something bad, or look at painful images.  “It’s a bad day;  This is a bad report; I got up on the wrong side of the bed; I’m having a bad hair day.”  Or we watch shows like, “Breaking Bad, Desperate Housewives (I know it’s been cancelled), Basketball Wives, Revenge, Scandal, Hell’s kitchen, I Hate My Teenage Daughter”.  Our language is sprinkled with words that pull us down, and not lift us up.  We say, “This is horrible!!” with exaggerated gestures and raised voices.  It is no wonder our attitudes and behaviors reflect the current culture.   We are like that double minded man who is unstable in all his ways, because he is being tossed around by everything around him.

I’m not saying we should not define tragedies.  I am saying our daily language needs some refinement.  Philippians 4:8-9 asks us to meditate on the things which are of good report, and the God of peace will be with you.  Peace of mind will evade us, if we constantly bombard our minds and speak language that does not reflect the God of peace.

I challenge you to avoid using those words that do not reflect the God of peace, and only use words that lift up the name and character of our Lord Jesus Christ for one day.  Let’s go for “Breaking Good, instead of Breaking Bad.”

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. A great deal more is made of Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. Just give him a tie, or a wrench, and we’re done. Being father is one who sacrifices, prays, loves, works, protects the family, encourages our children to reach their divine potential is a father. Many within our communities may never receive recognition for their God- given role as fathers. This Father’s Day, let us resolve to express our heartfelt appreciation to our men who serve as fathers to our children. I thank my dad, my beloved husband, uncles, brothers, nephews, cousins, friends, and sons for being fathers. I am grateful to God for allowing me the privilege of being part of their lives, and witnessing their growth as men, and as fathers. I am thankful for their acts of love towards my children, grandchildren, and the children in our communities, and circles of love. They are truly Kings among men. They deserve our respect, honor, appreciation, prayers, and love. Happy Father’s Day to all.

Man’s Image

God made man in His Image.[Genesis 1:26-27] Within man’s image, the essence of the divine resides, and man was originally designed to reflect that essence, and to carry out God’s plans.  Man was told to prosper, reproduce, and subdue the earth; be a steward – a reasonable manager in the administration of his duties on the earth.   Man’s image should mirror and be in alignment with our Heavenly Father.    What a glorious gift and inheritance!  And yet stories like the one involving the slain students near the campus of Auburn University, you can’t help but to grieve.   Our people perish for a lack of knowledge.  So many don’t know who they are and what is their purpose.

Made in the image of God, and yet we hate ourselves.  Our reflection has been damaged, distorted and diseased by the enemy.  We no longer reflect our original image, nor carry out the purpose and plans for which we were designed.

But there is good news!   Our image can be restored!   Christ, our Savior, the hope of glory is our master conduit through which we are remade into a new “creation.”   With His precious blood, He restores our divine image and set us on the path to our purpose.  Through Christ we prosper, reproduce, and fulfill our duties.     Through Christ the world learns the truth about – man’s image.    Reflect today!

Can We Save Them?

Junior Seau, former NFL great found dead in his home of a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He is the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers team, which reached the Super Bowl, to die before age 45.  He leaves a mother, children, and former players, coaches, fans and league officials in shock.  Questions about the enormous physical toll the game takes on players, as well as how much the league does to assist former players, once their active playing days are behind them will once again be raised.  As words of sympathy roll in from all over the league, these questions while valid did not come close to an answer to this tragedy.

We can all speculate on what we believe was the real reason for his decision to take his life, but we will never know.  Or do we know? As tragic as this situation is, and my heart goes out to his mother, family, and most of all his children who will spend much of their lives negatively impacted by their father’s decision.

We all must be alert to those around us who are suffering inside, and who appear like Junior to be strong,invincible, and yet feel like there is no hope, no reason to go on when one season of life is over.

Winslow Townson/AP
http://www.bing.com Taken in 2007

What we sometimes fail to realize is, there is always another plan-a better plan waiting for us. God’s divine plan is always better.  It is filled with love, joy, peace and hope.  And there is always hope.  Not hope in what this world offers, but hope in our strong tower, in our mighty fortress, in our refuge, our Strength, our salvation and in our God.  A God who said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  So when we come to the end of our journey, the fork in the road, God will be there leading and guiding all the way.So let us resolve to do more to share the message of hope for all those caught in the tangled of web of despair.

Let’s do it for the Junior Seaus’ of the world, their families, and others like him.