kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

Month: February, 2013

Share With Others in Need

Ramblings from Evan’s dad – Years ago when I first met Kris, her parents wanted to take me to see Bil Gothard when he was teaching his Basic Life Institute. He was speaking about how God had made Himself real, time and time again in the ministry. Mr. Gothard said whenever there was a financial need, he would take it to God, and no one else. He might tell God the ministry needed $633, and in the needed time period, in would come $633. He told us he was continually reminded of God’s faithfulness. It was a whole new line of thinking for this young man at the time, to see the faith he had that God would provide. Not that He would provide a new Ferrari, but He would provide transportation (although I am confident God could have provided a Ferrari if that was what was truly needed!).

How often when we see someone in need, is God providing us an opportunity to be a blessing? Yesterday I saw a guy pull over on the side of the road and pick up a nice $300 blower that apparently had fallen off a landscape truck. If he had not stopped, the next person along would. Either way someone was going to “get blessed” with a new blower.  We are on this road called life, and God has opportunities along our path. But we have to have our eyes open to the opportunities, and we have to have our financial house in order, so we can act when the opportunities come along.

My final thought is one Dr. Jim gave me years ago while meeting. A friend was in need and I was asking Dr. Jim for his advice on loaning money to a brother. He encouraged me to pray about it, and if we loaned them the money, do it expecting never to get it back (giving and not loaning). He told me if we never got it back, and that was our expectation, then we would not be disappointed. He warned me if we loaned it, expecting it back and but never getting it, we could become bitter. He told me after all if God gives us what we have, then that money is His anyway. He did stress that since it is God’s, we need to be good stewards with it.  Hard to be good stewards with it, if it’s all being used to service credit card debt….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGive, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)

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Do You Have a Budget?

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad  In some ways the terrible economy has forced us to be more organized with our budget. We like many, had gotten used to walking into a store to buy one thing, and while on the way to the check out see a second thing, and come home having spent more than we planned.

That wasn’t a problem when I was growing up. The only plastic my folks used was the fly swatter!  They had two things they made purchases with, their check book and cash. When we went to Woolworth to buy clothes, Big Apple to buy groceries, or Coffer Bros. to buy meat, my dad always did a wallet biopsy first. Prior to setting foot in the store, he knew if we had the money to buy what we were in search of. I don’t think they ever walked in for one thing, and came out with any additional unplanned, unbudgeted items.

My dad never made more than $23,000 in a year, yet when he died, he left my mom a nest egg to live on comfortably. I do recall he always provided us with what we truly needed. Even if it meant him and mom going without!

I can only hope that I am able to do the same thing for my family.

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The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor. (Proverbs 21:5)

Keep Track of Your Finances

“Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.  He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 146:1-10)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad I must confess that I’d receive a failing grade in this area concerning personal finances.  Some of it has been out of our control, with business, the economy, and investments. But some of it is due to poor planning on my part. My optimistic outlook works great in sales, but can stink in personal finances. The eternal optimist invested the money for the future on things, that to date, have not panned out. I grieve the ministry opportunities we have missed out on because we were not in a position financially to play a part in something God was doing. Does the God Who owns the cattle of a 1000 hills need my finances? Not one penny! No more than He needs my help in saving a soul.

God is a loving, merciful and caring God. Just like I used to let the kids when they were small “help” me hammer nails into things, God lets us be a part of His work. But if I am not available because I don’t have the financial freedom to do something ministry related, God is not missing out, I am. Someone more faithful in their finances will get that blessing, because they were available, when I was not.

Father, You know my heart, please give me my heart’s desire.  With Your wisdom,  help me get to that place again with my finances, where You can use me. In Jesus wonderful name, Amen.

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Know well the condition of your flock, and pay attention to your herds, for wealth is not forever… (Proverbs 27:23)

Give Your Attention to Jesus

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but He does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

Ramblings from Evan’s dad  Recently Kris told me that while she and Evan were in the car, they heard a “sound” the wheels were making driving down the road. I asked her if it was when she put on the brakes, and the reply was “no, just driving down the road.” I drove it later with four or five kids in the car and heard nothing. We did however, enjoy some Toby Mac busting from the speakers. I dropped the kids off, and listened to tunes between phone calls, but heard no more “sounds”.

A week later Kris told me she heard a louder “sound” while driving Evan to school, and was pretty certain it was the brakes. Women! I had already driven it and heard nothing. But to pacify  her, I drove it with yet again, a car full of teenagers in it. This time I quickly heard the metal on metal sound when applying brakes, and knew that some new rotors were in my future. I turned all the noise off and told the kids to be quiet and listen. The grinding noise they heard at the traffic light, I pointed out was an expensive sound effect NOT desired. The next day I was paying the garage for a brand new pair of brakes and rotors for our suv.

I wonder how many times the Holy Spirit has quietly tried to speak to me or warn me, yet I drowned it out with the things of the world? Not until the grinding of metal on metal, did God get my attention. By then, when I finally did tune out the world, I had a much more expensive lesson in life…

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Jesus answered,“If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”  (John 4:10)

What Will You Give Jesus?

According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29 NIV)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad  I always drive the car. Kris tells me that I am a terrible passenger. Unfortunately, she’s right. I don’t want to be like that, but I am. I question the route, the technique, the speed, the distance between the car in front of us, why we went over the speed bump instead of straddle it. I am a terrible backseat driver.

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We now have two of our three teenagers driving. Do you think I was a good teacher because I am a self-professed “good driver”? Absolutely…NOT!  Kris had to teach them, because I thought I was using my “green” voice, but instead was using my “red” voice too much. Sadly, I was a failure at it because I am a control freak in the car.

How would Jesus grade me? Do I try and control the part of my life that He should be controlling? Do I do the same thing from the back seat of my life, that I do from the car?  What of my life do I really give Jesus?  I bet He would say, “not enough!”

How might I look different, if today I truly gave Him control of my life? How would my day go? What would I look like to my family and friends? Where would my stress and anxiety level be?….

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When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  (Matthew 2: 10-11)

Come to Worship Jesus

Ramblings from Connor’s dad– Growing up I went to Union Grove Baptist Church, a little bitty independent Baptist church. My dad’s great-grandfather helped build it. It was filled with some of the sweetest people, many of whom were related to me in some way. There were saints there like my dad, who when called on to pray, didn’t just say “Hot dog, Amen”, but instead poured their hearts out to God. They weren’t perfect, but they worshipped the One who is. They knew Jesus was and is God Incarnate, and that He died for our sins and is the Savior of the world.

Somehow I, for the most part, shook that off growing up. The preacher most of the time to me, sounded like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons. I picked what I wanted to hear and apply, from the “rules and regulations”. Jesus in my eyes was more like a school Principal. He was someone to try and trick, and twist the rules with the “King Ted” version of the Bible. I would have been a good Pharisee, acting pious and holier than thou, but in reality I was a lying, cheating, manipulating fake (and that was on my good days!). If I had been with the Wise Men, I’m sure I would have kept a little of the gifts for myself, after all, a baby wouldn’t need all that!

After college I started using God and His big house, First Baptist Atlanta, as a vending machine. It was a big church with 1500 singles, many of whom were nice, attractive, young women. I might have grown up in the country, but I knew what a target rich environment looked like.

One Sunday night I went to meet a young lady, but when I pulled the lever, instead of a young lady, out popped Jesus into my life! Why He would have bothered with saving me, I don’t know!  I was not a pretty person on the inside. Yet, the all knowing God of all creation, said “yes, I’ll take even him”. He cleaned me up and changed my life. I finally understood why the Wise Men would have gone to all that trouble.

Unlike the Wise Men, I did not plan on meeting Jesus that night. There was no planning on my part, and to say I was ill-prepared would be an understatement! All I had with me on that night to give Him…was my heart….

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“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2) 

Don’t Stop Until You Meet Jesus

Ramblings from Evan’s dad Last week Kris had a major flair up with her rheumatoid arthritis and had to be hospitalized for a few days. Sitting in the room, keeping an eye on her, gave me the time to reflect. I saw the distractions in my life that weren’t necessarily bad, but kept me from what was good. Even there, I had a few fires at work I had to put out. But removed from the office, and working from the hospital, things were definitely put into perspective.

At one point I took a call in the 5th floor waiting room. It had a wonderful view of the area, and the parking lot below. I watched as people came and went. It was cold outside and they sometimes made poor choices on where to park. They didn’t have the perspective that I had from 5 floors up. They often were on the phone, took the first spot they saw and parked too close to the car next to them. They were distracted.

It’s amazing what happens when you stop focusing on your little world, open your eyes and ask people whats going on in their world. They give you some non-answer…until they see you looking them in the eyes and realize you are actually interested in their world.  The answers change, and you go from getting a non-answer, to a answer often filled with hurt and struggle. Those questions were asked in a hospital room, and on an elevator, and in the gift shop. Pretty mundane places, kind of like the stalls and stables of life. Rick Warren says you find Jesus in the “stuff” of life.

My prayer is people see Jesus in my life today, wherever I am. I pray they find Him while they are stomping along in the smelly stables of life.

Lord, help me not be so busy, that I miss the opportunity to be used by You today….

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After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was — the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11)

Your Schedule Needs Some Buffer

Ramblings from Kris’ husband – There are so many things I would have done differently when we started our company. I had worked hard for three different medical companies over 25 years. When we started, I suddenly determined that the 10 hours a day I was used to, wasn’t enough. I found myself getting up earlier to get started, coming home to eat dinner, and getting back on the computer to work until 10 or 11 at night. Saturdays were no better!

Kris walked into the bedroom one night, as I was busily working on my computer. She announced to me that she wished we had never started our blossoming company. I remember proudly pointing out that our income was going up, and we were enjoying a much nicer lifestyle. She told me something strange. She said the new success was not worth the cost of “losing” me. Things went from a dad/husband typically being at home for the day by 6:30; to dad/husband appearing for dinner, and disappearing again.  She told me we needed to set parameters, to have some checks and balances. I made the mistake of asking for suggestions…she obviously had been thinking about it! Over the next hour we came up with some suggestions for me. I have massaged them over time but they look something like this.

6am-9am: personal time for growth and ministry.

9am-6:30pm: WORK   (7:00pm turn “work” computer off)

Saturdays: turn “work” off by noon

Sundays: time for God, family and church

I’ve have built in 10% of my waking hours for ministry. With that time available, mentally I am open to opportunities to meet with guys to talk about their life, and guilt-free find ways to serve Him.

When I stick to that schedule, I hope Kris would say things go well. She would probably also say when I let work begin to encroach on that schedule, it hurts me…and more importantly, it hurts the family.

I wonder what God would say, if I asked Him?…

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The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. (Proverbs 10:27)

Commit to Regular Exercise

Ramblings from Connor’s dad – I was just talking yesterday with a friend about the first race I ever ran. It was a simple little 5K in Augusta, Ga.  I had recently gotten back into running. I would go out and run 4 to 5 times a week along the canal.  I ran the race…and thought I was going to die!  I took off too fast (ignorance), tried to stay at that pace (pride), and by the end had nothing left, and all but crawled across the finish line.

Thirty years later I have run multiple races from 10K to Marathons.  I can assure you I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to run 26.2 miles. I ran with some guys much smarter than me, and we built up to it gradually.  We did some speed work at the track, and I limited my running to 4-5 times a week, so my body could recover. Running with that group of friends, I will admit there were mornings I did not feel like running, but still ran. Why? I knew they were waiting on me.

At least for me, if there is accountability, its harder NOT to do what I NEED to be doing. That’s true with small group bible study for spiritual training, and its true for physical training, too. I didn’t just wake up one morning and run the Chicago Marathon. I did it after months of building up my daily mileage, eating healthy, and getting rest. I didn’t just get up one day and have the Navigator’s Topical Memory System  memorized. I did it after years of meeting Dr. Jim once a week, studying God’s word, and memorizing scripture.

I love the Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfus movie “What about Bob”. In the movie, Dreyfus plays a psychiatrist and Murray plays a multiphobic patient. One of the great pearls in counseling was uttered in that movie, “baby steps”.

Speaking of “baby steps”, I think I might start weight lifting today. I am going to start with 350 on the bench press!…

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 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

To Hear God You Must Cooperate

they listen to God’s words and cling to them and steadily spread them to others who also soon believe” (Luke 8:15 LB).

Ramblings from Evan’s dad This past weekend we had 32 high school seniors, who did not want to go on a scheduled scavenger hunt. Many of them simply wanted to go to the park and hangout, throwing the frisbee and shooting some basketball. Some even wanted to go see a movie. However, when I told our Youth Pastor we were probably going to forgo the  scavenger hunt, he let me know that they were going back on their word. Weeks earlier they had begged to have all the seniors stay in one house for the weekend. He agreed, but only if they would participate in the scavenger hunt. With this info, we went back to them and had a talk. We told them they needed to at least start the scavenger hunt because of the commitment a few of them had made to our youth pastor.

One of the speakers for the weekend, Kurt Anderson, was an illusionist. After the seniors agreed to at least start the hunt, we found out Kurt was going with us. Their reserved agreement to participate, turned in to excitement as Kurt fired them up with his personality, and his abilities that he used during the course of the afternoon. You should have seen the 6 SUV’s driving around. We would pull up to a place, doors would open, and out would spill 32 young people. Over the course of the afternoon we took flowers and cookies to a nursing home, we paid for a stranger’s tank of gas, we cleaned up trash in a parking lot, and we took chocolates to the staff at a medical clinic. Several came up and told us afterwards how much fun they had. One said he wished he had known how much fun it was, because he had skipped it in the past. The videos and pictures from the day were passed around and posted on their Facebook page.

That evening the kids decided regardless of who won, they were going to charge the stage, as if they won. Our youth pastor was beaming as he reminded us all that for the past 5 years, the seniors had finished dead last. When they did rush the stage, it was to receive their reward, they won for finishing first!

For me, I can see a sermon in that experience.  I draw several parallels with that group of seniors and the scavenger hunt, and us doing God’s work.

1.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, He will send us His Helper, the Holy Spirit.

2.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, we sometimes actually have fun doing His work.

3.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, the list of things He wants us to do, often doesn’t seem like work.

4.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, others are blessed.

5.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, He rewards us for our efforts.

I wonder how many times He has asked me to do something, with the Helper standing by, people waiting to be blessed, a reward waiting for me, and…I didn’t feel like it because I wanted to do something else?…

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But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit. (Luke 8:15)

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