kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

Month: April, 2013

Managing Your Time

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Ramblings from Connor’s dad –  This time last year I woke Connor and Evan up at 6. Yesterday, it was only Evan.Time flies!!

We left the house at 7:20. I took him to school, drove 30 miles to meet an associate for 10 minutes, drove another 20 miles for a 1 hour meeting, pulled into the office at 12:30 for a lunch meeting, had numerous phone calls and meetings, left the office and went to church and taught a class with Kris, had a dinner meeting, and got home at 9:00 last night.

Yesterday while helping Kris teach that class, I stepped out for a second to take a call. It was our first born, who only a few years ago was a toddler, calling me from Liberty University to say “hi”. Time flies!

Several years back Lacy got the boys into acting, Connor did an incredible job last year playing Lumiere, in Beauty and the Beast. My mind goes back to his earlier childhood when he was Spiderman’s biggest fan. He watched all the cartoons, read all the comics, and was often seen wearing red and blue Spiderman attire.

When Evan was little, he loved Batman. Now he has outgrown that in his teenage years and is in to some cool music like Sinatra. Last spring he went to his first prom with Lacy. The boy looked great in his new suit. Walking around singing some Sinatra, I could easily see him picturing himself as Frank. Time flies!

Yesterday was one of those crazy work days. Now it makes me tired just thinking about it. However, yesterday it didn’t seem that bad. There were even some legal contractual issues that came up regarding one of our suppliers. It was something that could distract or rattle you if you let it. Fortunately, I was able to take it in stride, and chalk it up to dealing with people that DON”T play by the same rule book I do. I conferenced with some others, found out what was needed and moved on.

The days that I am able to juggle things like that, are the days I remember who I am. I’m not a super hero, I just happen to idolize One who is. I know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ ever since He radically changed my life in 1988. It is Him, who I want to please. So yesterday about 5am, before the house got loud, I got up so I could spend some time reading about Him, talking to Him, and meditating about Him.

The days that I make time for that early in the morning, are the days I have some type of success imitating Him. I’ve discovered people would much rather hang around someone acting like Him…then someone acting like me!…

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The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:30-31 ESV)

Remember the Best, Forget the Rest

Ramblings from Evan’s dad – Do I remember the time 4 year old Evan put a small doughnut shaped magnet through our $800 glass door? Sure. Do I remember the time 6 year old Lacy carved her brother’s name into our new coffee table? Sure. Do I remember the time 7 year old Connor accidentally busted out one of Lacy’s front teeth? Absolutely. Those expensive lapses in judgement, now bring a smile to my face. Two were accidents, and the name carving I like to attribute to “creative” needs.

Are there many other occasions where I have been wronged or hurt by people, personally or professionally?  To quote the great philosopher Charlie Brown, “Yep!” I do find praying for them and those situations make it so much more tolerable. I let God know how upset I am over it (as if He didn’t already know!) And over time, the anger or bitterness disappears. The incident is normally not erased, its just rewritten in my mind so that the feelings are replaced with pity, or indifference, or hopefully tolerance, understanding and love.

Should I get mad at a friend or acquaintance, just because they think the earth is flat? No. I accept them for their ignorance, and because of that understand why they make the flawed conclusions they do, and try to enlighten them to the truth. We are in the middle of going through something like this right now professionally. I am reminded that the individual doesn’t have a full grasp of the TRUTH. Their decisions are flawed by the world’s misguided thinking. Bless their heart, they still look at things from the standpoint of we only live once, and need to grab all the stuff we can.

I need to be praying for them, tolerating that ignorance, and every time I am around them, while being wise, tolerate their flawed thinking and try to be a light. Today I might be the ONLY Bible they see…

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  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phillipians 4:8)

Love From the Heart

God has poured out His love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – Rick Warren says, “If people aren’t on my heart…they’re on my nerves.” One of Lacy’s brothers has had a real struggle this year with another teenager. That individual truly got on their last nerve. It didn’t appear to be a situation where they could try and talk to the person more, because that seemed to only make things worse. School became a place her brother dreaded because of the probable confrontation that would inevitably take place. Kris and I grieved for the situation as we saw the joy slip away from our child’s eyes.

There wasn’t a whole lot we could do. So we just prayed. I prayed with them about the individual over and over. We’d pray about their family situation, and the struggles that might be going on there; financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually. We prayed about the pain that child might be going through at home. We didn’t justify their actions, but we did pray for them.

We weren’t around the child’s parents, so we just prayed for them some more.

Time and time again we would pray.

The school year thankfully, is coming to an end. I wish I could say that our teenager and the other teenager are now best friends and “singing and playing together”.  They are not. However, the level of empathy our child now has for that troubled kid, is astonishing.

I still don’t know what happened. We didn’t meet with the kid. We didn’t meet with their parents.

All we did was pray for them…a lot…

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It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel. For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:7-8)

You Can’t Please Everybody

It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” (Proverbs 29:25 LB)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad – It’s a shame we can’t have elected officials who are more concerned with pleasing God, and less concerned with pleasing their voters. The pundits would say thats political suicide. I would agree. There is no way on earth one can get elected trying to please God in today’s society…but there is no way in Heaven they could NOT get elected…if  it was in God’s will. Sadly, the days of Statesman (representatives who are more interested in helping the COUNTRY become greater then helping THEMSELVES become greater), appears to be dead.

A couple of weeks ago the kids took some friends back into the cave at Cloudland. Their small flashlights that do very little in the bright sunshine, with fresh batteries, proved to be very useful in the pitch-black cave. When they turned the flashlights off they were in utter darkness. They were amazed at the effect those little flashlights had in that big cave.

The world is growing darker spiritually. Those of us who strive to please God, and not man, will have more and more opportunities to have a light that grows brighter and brighter as the world grows darker and darker. We might not think we are having much impact. We might not think with our limited resources or abilities, that we can make much difference. But I am convinced that if we are more concerned with what God thinks, then the world, our little lights will grow brighter and brighter. We just need to make sure our batteries are charged…

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We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)

Sometimes God Says “Not Yet’

He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – Selling in the medical arena can be a real pain. I am beginning to see why. Obviously, the buyers in the hospitals have been reading devotions about God delaying answers. 😉 They seem to have developed the same “M.O” as God. The buyers have taken on the attitude of waiting for months to approve new products.

We bring a newer, better, usually at the same price, sometimes even less expensive, product to the hospital that a surgeon wants to use. That process that used to take days, and sometimes hours, for the approval to go through, now takes 4, 5, 6, sometimes 7 months to happen. They tell me that they do it to see if the surgeon REALLY wants it. If so, the delay is met with repeated requests. If its not really wanted, the hospital figures that the request will die in the drawn out process.

Now that I think about it, don’t we do that with our kids?  They want a new toy, and we say not now, or we redirect, or we say wait for your birthday. When Kris and I first started having kids, we learned to have them wait on us to feed them or get them out of bed. They learned over time to be happy and content, knowing that we would come get them up. When we showed up, it was typically met with a big smile…sometimes even laughter.

Now that I think about it, is that why God sometimes says “Not yet”?  In my younger days my goal was to own a Ferrari. I’m pretty sure I probably even prayed about it. I never got one. Now years later, I no longer want a Ferrari. Now I want a new Jeep. I’m still hoping and praying.

Think He knew the Ferrari might not be a wise move?  Think God knew my desires would change, maybe even mature? Did I mature on my own…or did God stick me back in the oven and let me cook a little more till I was done?….

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 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.  (Hebrew 10:36-37)

 

Recharging Emotionally

Come apart for a while.” (Mark 6:31 KJV)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – As I sit here and ponder recharging emotionally, I immediately think of our many trips in the RV. No matter whether it was a weekend locally, or a couple of weeks out on the “left” coast, we seem to thrive on them. As I look at the hundreds of pictures, I am able to relive the moments.

One phrase that came out of our trips is having an “Olive Garden experience”. Multiple times we would be somewhere in the country and decide to go eat at one of Kris’ favorite places, Olive Garden. From San Diego to South Carolina, it seems whenever we found ourselves eating in one, we soon found ourselves laughing. Hysterically! It was almost a euphoria that came over us. All of us.

I reflect back and see a couple of contributing factors. Our family had a time of solitude. It was just us. We were the only friends to turn to and hang out with. Were there arguments and disagreements? Sure. But all we had was each other, and many opportunities to find solitude. With Lacy it was sitting in the back bathroom looking out the open window, listening to her iPod, with the wind blowing in her face. Countless times I recall seeing Evan or Connor, sitting on the couch watching the countryside roll past the window, drinking in the sights. Kris and I would do the same as we looked through the large windshield, often commenting on the beauty of our country.

We had time after time of finding recreation. We rode bikes on the coast, in the mountains, and in the countryside. We hiked through many of the National Parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone. We splashed in the Atlantic and the colder Pacific. Many nights the kids crashed hard from that day’s exercise and recreation.

And then there were the numerous Olive Garden experiences. After a while, I think it was almost a Pavlovian thing. We went expecting to laugh and we usually did.

Yesterday, I was in a VERY long wait in the Fagan’s drive thru. and it wasn’t even for me, but for Kris and Connor. In the past, I would have gotten impatient after the first 4 minutes. Yesterday, I had the roof back, the sunglasses on, and decided to just “chill and smell the roses”. As I sat there with my eyes closed, and face toward the heavens, the warmth felt great.

Instead of being anxious, I enjoyed the solitude and the warm sunshine. I related it to the warmth of God’s love shining down on me. It’s always there. Sometimes, oftentimes, I am too busy to slow down and enjoy it. If I were to do that more often, I think I would look a lot more like Jesus…and I would love a lot more like Him, too!

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The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught. He said to them,“Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  (Mark 6:30-31)

 

Maintaining Physical Health

You made my body, Lord, now give me the sense to heed Your laws.” (Psalm 119:73 LB)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad – The kids love to point out to me the days I appear to miss my quiet time. Apparently I don’t have the patience and tone of voice (love) they’d prefer me to have when dealing with them.  When I look at reasons for missing my quiet time, several things come to mind.

Rest- There are some mornings when I went to bed too late the night before. I wake up tired and sleepy (and some might wrongly say grumpy) from not getting enough rest.  That impacts me mentally, physically, emotionally, and yes, even spiritually.  I have less patience, seemingly less love, and frankly, probably, less Jesus.

Balanced Diet – There is so much I don’t know about nutrition. I do know that if kept fairly balanced, we should do better. Our bodies need protein, carbs, and even some fat, in our regular diet. Is my spiritual diet any different? I have some buddies who love to listen to sports, all the time. I love to listen to Fox News on the radio or watch it on tv, and sometime find myself listening to it for hours without interruption. If Connor hops in the car, he will ask if he can change it. The reason is he tells me it’s depressing. Hmm, is there something to that? Maybe I need to balance my intake with a little less bad news, and a little more “good” news? If I do, when I climb out of the car, maybe I will look a little less like Ted, and a little more like Jesus.

Regular exercise – We are in the middle of softball season. Three times the other night in our game I scored from 2nd base. Each time I was a little winded from the sprint. This is with trying to be diligent and exercise 2-3 times a week.  How much harder would it have been if I didn’t exercise other then in the games? How much easier might it be if I exercised 5-6 times a week? Is spiritual exercise any different? How effective will I be as a Christian if the only time I focus on Jesus is Sunday morning? How much healthier will I be spiritually if I work on it 2-3 times a week?  I wonder what we would look like if we focused on it 4-5 times a week?  Think our friends and family would see our Saviour more often?…

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Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding so that I can learn Your commands. (Psalms 119:73)

Cooperating With The Holy Spirit

Everything . . . connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” (Ephesians 4:22 MSG)

Ramblings from Evan’s dad – When the kids were younger, we were on one of our RV trips. Unlike the infamous RV movie, most of our’s were fun and uneventful. One particular trip, we were on the coast having a wonderful time. The kids enjoyed playing on the beach and in the surf. The setting was beautiful and everyone thought we should just stay there and live.

Unfortunately, we needed to continue our planned agenda, taking us to other destinations. Reluctantly, the orders went out to pack up and prepare to shove off. Evan took it the hardest. He on numerous times, instead of packing up, was seen looking out over the ocean reflecting on what he was leaving. We discussed the nature of our visit and how it was time to move on.

Two days later we were in another part of the country in the middle of our journey. Kris came to me and mentioned a troubling smell emanating from the bathroom. Uh,oh! An RVer’s worst nightmare, the “sewer system” seemed to be having problems. I began in earnest to find the problem. The smell continued to worsen.

The next evening we were debating cutting the trip short to take the RV in to the shop. The smell was now almost unbearable in our front bathroom. It got so bad we stopped using it all together. We tried to open the door as little as possible to keep the rancid smell somewhat contained.

For some reason Kris decided to inspect the cabinets, beside the toilet, where each of the kids had a spot to put personal items. In Evan’s cubby, was an innocent looking oyster shell. When she held it up to her nose to smell, she almost lost her breakfast.

Evan didn’t plan on stinking things up. He simply wanted to bring a part of his past with him. He didn’t know it would have the effect it did.

Aren’t we the same way. Lord, I am moving on in this journey You want me to take. I just want to bring this one little thing with me from the past.  It’s not a big deal. I can handle it. No one will even know. It won’t effect anybody else. What we don’t realize is that thing, that sin, is a stench to God.

Think it would help if our little secrets we wanted to keep, would physically start to stink, too?…

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You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Give Your Life For Something

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less . . . because of what you are a part of.” (1 Corinthians 12:14a, 19 MSG)

Ramblings from Evan’s dad – Last evening a group of us guys from our Sunday Bible Study Class got together. We call it Iron Sharpening Iron and for 90 minutes we try to encourage each other, and hold each other accountable. Sam, one of the guys, asked this question from a book he is reading: “What’s your aim in your Christian walk – obedience, or excellence?”

At first some of us were confused thinking maybe we wanted to be both. Wouldn’t it be good to be an excellent Christian? We talked back and forth for 20 minutes. All of us being dads, we boiled it down to our children. Would we rather have them strive for excellence or obedience? (After all, we are all children of God.) We finally came to the conclusion that God would rather have us obedient.

By the world’s standards, many of the faithful named in the Bible, were in no way excellent. Stuttering Moses, doubting Thomas, co-dependent Samson, and hard headed Peter, are just a few who God used in spite of their imperfections.

We finally talked about the example Jesus gave us in His 33 years here. He consistently practiced obedience doing “His Father’s will”. Even to the point of dying a horrible death on the cross.

After reading 1 Corinthians 12, I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to be an excellent “body part”.  What if I try to be an excellent eye, when God made me to be a foot?  I’ve come to the conclusion in my Christian walk I want to be excellent…at obedience!…

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and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? (1 Corinthians 12:13b-19)

God is NEVER Too Busy

If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11 NIV)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – I just texted a friend who is new in town, inviting him to a show Lacy is in. He texted me back asking if I would be at that show. I answered “I will be at all the shows ;)”. I then jokingly quoted Rule #3 in the fictitious Daddy Handbook: Show up for ALL performances when possible.

I grew up loving baseball. My dad grew up poor, in the country, and never had a chance to play sports or develop a love for them. I played baseball for 8 years, playing several games a week during the season. To my recollection my dad, never missed a night or weekend game. As I look back, I realize that for him that was a real sacrifice.

My dad never talked my ears off, but he was always there. Patiently sitting in the stands cheering me on. When he practiced with me, he didn’t throw the ball right, or hold the bat right. That used to bother me. But now, I love him even more for that. I realize he was following Rule #2 in the Daddy Handbook : Be involved, because they grow up fast! Even with his limited income for a wife and four kids, he always made sure I had the equipment needed to play the game.

Once in a game I was charging in from the outfield to catch a short fly ball. (My favorite thing to do was getting there just in time and making a diving catch.) This particular game our much bigger 1st basemen, who outweighed me by 50 pounds, apparently didn’t hear me calling for the ball, and we collided. Someone turned the lights off for a few seconds! When I came to, they helped me off the field. My mom was waiting for me when I got to the dugout, very concerned. Looking over her shoulder, equally concerned was my quiet dad.

My imperfect earthly dad loved me. He did his best to be a good daddy. I cherish the memories I have of him. The older I get, the more Christlike he becomes.

How could I ever question the love of my Heavenly Father?! He is ALWAYS there for me. He loved me so much that He let His Son die in my place. The older I get, the more I understand He is always there, patiently waiting for me to take a few minutes to spend time with Him. And like my earthly dad, He is always willing and able to give me not necessarily what I WANT, but always what I NEED!

I pray that when our three precious children are grown, they will look back and see an imperfect daddy…who did his best! And because of that, have a better understanding at how much God loves them, and KNOW that He is never too busy for them!…

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If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)

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