kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

Month: July, 2013

God Knows Your Future

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Lacy likes to watch scary movies. She sometimes watches them with a blanket pulled up to her eyes, but she does watch them.

I remember one time in particular that I sat down with her to watch “Jaws”. Seems like it was just before we were heading out west to California. Kris had even lined up having Lacy take some surfing lessons. As the movie was starting I decided to pop some popcorn. If you have seen the movie you know there are numerous scenes that scare you. Being one that has seen it several times, I was privy to when they would happen. Bringing in the freshly popped popcorn, I just happened to time things perfectly to take my right hand and lightly sink my fingernails into the side of Lacy’s neck, scaring her in to next week!!  I am pretty sure the neighbors 200 yards away heard her scream!! (Now that I think about it, she doesn’t invite me to watch scary movies with her anymore.)

Knowing how the movie ended, Lacy could have simply asked me what was going to happen, and I would have told her. (I probably would have left one scary scene out just to take advantage of the element of surprise.)  Instead, she told me not to tell her so she could be surprised.

In some ways we do the same thing. Seldom do we take the time to ask God for guidance or wisdom. He knows how our story ends. He knows every nuance of the plot. The difference is He can step in and change or rewrite any of it that He wants to. If we ask Him, He can steer us in the right direction, even preparing our path, and help us avoid pitfalls along the way. But we are often like headstrong kids who like to say “I can do it Daddy!”

Instead, we really should seek His wisdom each day. Asking for the right doors to be opened, for wisdom and patience, and thanking Him for what He did for us the day before.

I don’t want to be like the stereotypical man in the movies, that doesn’t ask for directions, and gets lost, usually resulting in getting into a major mess. I will be the first to admit, left up to my own desires and whims, I can get in “that” mess in a hurry!….

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Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.  (Jeremiah 33:3)

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God Knows Your Frustrations

You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears.” ( Psalm 56:6 Good News)

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Kris’ granddad, Mr. Hurst, had a major influence on Connor in his early years. Mr. Hurst had his masters in education, and was a retired school principal. He loved to teach, and Connor loved to learn. From the time he was in diapers, they would spend hours together. I am sure one reason Connor has such an inquisitive mind, is the prodding and teaching of Mr. Hurst.

When Connor was around 8 years old, Mr. Hurst who was in his early 80’s, lost his battle with congestive heart failure. Connor struggled with that and went through a sad time in his life. It’s hard to teach an 8 year old that as believers we WILL see our family and friends who are believers again. Its hard to explain to an 8 year old that the man he loved, who was suffering from congestive heart failure and other ailments, is no longer suffering. It is hard for an 8 year old to embrace that his great granddad is “asleep” and when he does wake up, he will be pain free and in much-improved NEW body.

We did a lot of praying. We hurt for Connor. We prayed to our Father that He would comfort him. Over time, Connor got better. Does he still miss his granddaddy? Sure. He still misses him. But now Connor is old enough to understand that it wasn’t “good bye”, but simply “see you after while”.

That time was hard on Kris and me, because it was hard on Connor. We could see the sorrow he had from losing his “favorite teacher”. Because we love him, we grieved with him, and we grieved for him.

It is incredibly comforting to know that the God of the Universe loves us infinitely more.  It’s incredibly comforting when we are hurting to know that the One who made us, cares for us, and is intimately aware of any hurts we are going through. The big difference is He can fill that empty spot, that hurting spot, in our lives!  He might not keep us from the hurts in life, but He will treat those wounds with His soothing ointment of!  Because that is what a loving Father does!…

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Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  (1 Peter 5:7)

You Can’t Hide From God

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” – Theodore Roosevelt

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad To this day some of my favorite TV shows of all time involve names like Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, and Lucille Ball. Some of my favorite characters come from those shows in the 60’s and 70’s. We have many of them on CD and laugh at them over and over.

The Beverly Hillbillies was a show I got a kick out of for several reasons. I could easily see my mom playing Granny! (Don’t tell her I said that, or she will chase me with a broom!) Our outdoor loving, animal loving, cement pond loving, slingshot toting Lacy, reminds me of Ellie May. One day I asked her to talk like Ellie May and say, “I broke the China Cabinet, I’m sure sorry Paw”. Upon hearing her draw out the “Pawww”, I busted out laughing. Lacy was of course delighted she made her “paw” laugh that hard.

Months later I can almost guess the moment and situation Lacy will use her “Ellie May” voice. It’s not too often, but typically when we are on one of our drives.  Now I don’t bust out laughing, but I do get a big smile on my face. Lacy in turn smiles just as big when she gets that reaction from me.

I drove by a sign the other day that said “Have you made God smile today?” As I drove past the little church, I thought to myself that God already knows everything. He knew I would be writing this at the beginning of time.  If He has known it for that long, would He still smile?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s like Lacy and me. Now after hearing her say it dozens of times, I’m usually not surprised when I hear her “Ellie May” voice saying “Pawww”. Yet it makes me smile every time. Why? Because I know she is doing it to please me… And that’s whats going to make God smile today….

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Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

God Brings Good Out of Bad

This is the reason we never lose heart. These troubles which are temporary are winning for us a permanent, a glorious and solid reward out of proportion to our pain. So we don’t look at the temporary situation. We look beyond to see the eternal benefits.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 Phillips)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad – I enjoy running, preferably in shorter distances, but I do enjoy it. When I decided to run a marathon, I quickly moved outside that enjoyable range. I remember for weeks and weeks dreading each Saturday as I got up earlier and earlier, so we could get our run in before it got too  hot. As the weeks wore on, I remember the blisters, the aches and pains, and the pure exhaustion at the end of those long Saturday runs.

Several times I asked myself if I knew what I was doing and was it worth it. Each time I started to doubt, question the sacrifice, or the aches and pains, I would visualize the finish line. I pictured crossing, with Kris watching, and then being given a medal to go around my neck signifying I had run the race and finished. The closer I got to the actual marathon, and the further we ran, the more I had to reassure myself that it was worth it. Because of my schedule, I was getting up some mornings at 4:00 to run. More then once I heard Kris say I was “burning the candle at both ends”.

I remember the determination the first time we went to Chicago to run a marathon. As the fatigue set in, I kept picturing my goal – the finish line. I remember getting to the half way point and thinking “We are only half way done!”  Seeing Kris numerous times along the route kept me going.  After all her patience with my training schedule, and whining, I did not want to fail her. Finishing the race was even more euphoric then I had imagined!

For us believers, isn’t our time here on earth similar? After all, Paul wrote that we are running a race. Thankfully it is called our Christian “Walk”, and not “run”, because I think God is more concerned with us making it to the finish line then how fast we get there. 🙂  There will be some obstacles along the way. There will be times the road ahead of us is uphill. There might be some “twisted ankles” and “blisters” we work through as we run our race. But we need to remind ourselves there is a finish line, and we will be welcomed by our Heavenly Father when we get there. I am confident if we run the race to the best of our ability, enduring the trials along the way, it will be infinitely more euphoric at His finish line…

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In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Choices Control Your Calendar

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RAMBLINGS From Evan’s dad [with snippets from his brother] – Today we have an important meeting with the State about a new product. Last evening I came home from work, read a quick bio on the individual we are meeting, took the boys out for sushi, [washed the car] and then played an hour of video games with my oldest.

Did I do my necessary prep work for this meeting? Yes. Have I been praying about it?  Sure. Am I hoping it goes well? Absolutely! But all work and no play makes Jack a stressed out dude…and a lousy dad and husband. So I am careful to not capitalize on work, at the expense of my faith or my family. Do I work hard? I think so. This morning I got up an hour before I “needed to”, so I could spend time reading, praying, listening, and thinking. [He’s an inspiration to us kids.] If what I believe is true, and God did create us, loves us enough to let His Son die in our place, and wants to have a relationship with us, then I should get up early so I can hang out with Him!

I really wish I could sleep in another hour, especially considering that I went to sleep on the wrong side of midnight! [Yeah, sorry about that…] But I find if I don’t get up early, life happens. Reminds me of the time as newlyweds when Kris asked me if I wanted to have a cup of coffee with her. I said sure and then proceeded to work a few more minutes. By the time I got to her, the coffee was cold, and she was hot. [I’m taking notes here.] I picture God sitting at the table with me a fresh cup of coffee, patiently waiting. [I just envisioned having a college-style coffee cup philosophy session with God, wouldn’t that be mind-boggling?] Many a morning, the coffee gets poured out cold and stale, because I am too busy!

[Unfortunately, I tend to find myself in a similar position. I hate being late, and, as such, I feel the compulsive need to leave up to an hour early for things like school or work. Problem is, many a day I plan to have a devotion and then end up feeling rushed even if I still have a half-hour until I need to leave! Clearly, I end up not giving God the attention He deserves and regretting it later when I’m pacing at my destination for twenty minutes waiting for it to start.]

My prayer today is that I find balance in my day. After I finish hanging out with my Father, I pray I will have a productive day at work as I do my best Jesus imitation. I pray when I get home, I will leave work in the car, and love on my family, again doing my best Jesus imitation. I pray if God lets me see the light of tomorrow, I will do it again….

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Choosing A Simpler Life

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Last evening after dinner Lacy told me we needed to go put gas in the Jeep. Translation: She wanted to go ride around for a while. Unfortunately, I had some unfinished computer work to do responding to two different emails…so we went 5 minutes down the street for gas, and got home 75 minutes later.

As we were driving around listening to music and taking in the countryside, I suggested we check with Connor to see if he’d like to ride around with us. Lacy gave me that “do we have to?” look. I reminded her that in less then three weeks he would be leaving for college. She suddenly became very inclusive and encouraged me to ask him.IMG_3569

Yesterday at the office one of my newer associates walked in and sit down to talk, as I was working on the computer trying to get some important info out for a meeting on Thursday. We talked for a minute before he planned to head out and work. I could see he needed encouragement, and five minutes later we were in my car together talking and working together for the next four hours. When I dropped him back off at his car, he sincerely thanked me for helping him do more in that afternoon then he could in a two months by himself.

I’m not sure he was accurate, but there were a few people I knew that he got to speak with and might not have otherwise. None the less, it seemed to help.

In both situations I had legitimate stuff to do, yet tabled it for others. At those moments I felt like they needed me more then my work did. I have found that work is always there. It is selfish, and demanding, and would prefer my attention 24/7. I also realize when I die and go to meet my Saviour, that is not necessarily the work He will be interested in.

Surprisingly, this morning I have work waiting on me again. It cries for me from my Inbox. It petitions me for time from my calendar. But after reading Solomon’s ancient writings I am reminded that there is a time for everything. Today he might say, “There is a time for email and there is a time for Facebook, there is a time for work and there is a time for play, there is a time for meetings and there is a time for riding, there is a time for man and there is a time for God….”

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

Don’t Understand?…Trust GOD

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad [with snippets from Ted’s son]– Recently Connor was driving across town to see his cousin Jacob. I gave him some specific directions on how to get there [“now when you get down to the intersection, you’re gonna see a chicken on your left but just keep a going”]. The drive was probably 60 miles in Atlanta traffic, but proved to be uneventful.

Luckily Connor did not have to remember every turn I told him for his 60 mile trip.  The car he was driving had GPS in it with real time traffic. If it saw a better way to take, it would re-route him. I look back at when I was his age. We had those bulky folding maps that you had to pull over from time to time to review. Heaven forbid you ever drive with someone else navigating who held it upside down or just couldn’t read it. Those old maps were fairly correct when they were printed. But if you had one a few years old, it did not have the ability to tell you about new construction or delays.

I do have to admit the GPS in several of our cars sometime have moments where they want to “re-compute”. Last week the GPS was taking me across town up near Nashville. It “spazzed” out at one point and decided my route should be circling the little town square over and over [sounds kind of like some earthly “good people” who try to guide us].  After the third loop, I said to myself, “Self, this don’t look right!” I glanced at the GPS and veered off course in the direction I knew I needed to head. Finally, it got over its “moment” and correctly guided me the remainder of the way.

I am so glad that God isn’t like that. His ways are always right. He is the epitome of “real-time” traffic, knowing the bumps in the road we are headed for. He even sees what is yet to happen. It reminds me when I use to stand over Connor and watch him play with his toy cars. Unlike me, not only does God anticipate my next move, He already knows the outcome if left unchecked [and, unlike ME he doesn’t take joy in leading the little cars off course]. So when I am wanting to turn and go down this road, and something inside me is telling me “DON’T”, maybe I need to listen. (Even if I think I know a better way, maybe a faster way [which has led to many a lengthy detour].) Usually when I disregard that quiet suggestion, and take my own route in life it just leads to getting lost or facing delays, or some other problem (unforeseen by me…but not God). I find the more I listen to His directions, the less accidents I have in life.

Today Father I pray that I trust You. Regardless of what my head is trying to tell me, I earnestly want to listen to You. Lead me on the path You want me to take today. Help me be patient with any delays I might encounter. [Help me to follow directions no matter how counter-intuitive they may seem.] Thank You for giving me another day to enjoy Your creation. I pray as I travel down this road called life, when You do slow me down, I will take that opportunity to smell the roses You have planted along the way!…

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

Tuning In To GOD

“Even though you may not understand how God works, you know he does.” ― Max Lucado

RAMBLINGS From Evan’s dad – The boy loves music! If we are in the car, the Jeep, any moving vehicle, Evan is going to want to listen to music. The neat thing about him is he doesn’t want to do so with ear buds. He wants to listen to it with us, sharing the experience, enjoying it together. It can be Big Band, Classical, Rock, Blue Grass, Country, Gospel…pretty much any genre.

The other day we were driving down the road and he was disappointed because the station he picked had terrible reception. It was pretty much loud static. Every now and then you could pick up a note or word, but could make no sense of it. I pulled over in a parking lot, turned off my little XM receiver (that transmits over the FM signal) and Evan’s station came in perfectly. We sat there for a minute and enjoyed the song and the water color sunset we were getting with the clouds and the sun.  I love that boy!

I am pretty sure God is the same way. He, the creator of the universe, is always ready to spend time with us. All we have to do is pull over for a minute, tune out the other noise in our life, and tune Him in. If you want to top that experience off with some icing, be in a place where you can enjoy His handy work at creation, while you listen!

That evening with Evan I listened and looked at the beautiful sunset He made for us. I then turned and looked at my youngest, and marveled at how good God is!!….

a Kris Family 2011

For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. (Job 33:14)

Ask With the Right Attitude

“Ask and it will be given to you…”  (Matthew 7:7)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – My kids are pretty good about not asking or expecting name brand stuff.  I think our mission trips to impoverished areas have given them an appreciation for simpler things.

Lacy is a great example, not feeling a need to wear designer clothes.  You might catch her wearing her mom’s nice sunglasses, but that’s about the extent of it. Lacy doesn’t ask for, or expect a lot. When it came time for a new phone, she said an iPhone would be nice, but not a necessity.  She was perfectly content, instead with my hand-me-down.

So when Lacy does sincerely ask me for something, I take her request seriously. I love that girl with all my heart. So if we think she needs it, and we can afford it, it gets thoughtful consideration. Over time, I think she has gained confidence in our willingness to deliver when appropriate.

Isn’t God the same way?  Well, sorta. The big difference is He can ALWAYS deliver, it’s just a matter of IF it’s in His will. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you…”  So does that mean all I have to do is ask for it? Sometimes I have to remind myself that the Bible tells us a few verses earlier in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  

Sounds like we need to be dialed in to Him and His will, when we are praying. We also need to remind ourselves with confidence, how big our “DADDY” is!

I find now when I pray, I make my requests, and often wrap up with the Lord’s Prayer.  Just as Jesus did, I pray that His will be done.  I find myself more often now thanking Him for the daily bread He gave me yesterday, and asking for it again today…confident He will provide it. As much as I love my kids, He loves His kids infinitely more. I need to grow not just in my faith of what He can do, but what He WILL do!…

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.   (James 1:5-6)

A Guide to Help You Decide

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad – Earlier this week I ran by my favorite place to get a BLT. While there I bumped into an old roommate and we started reflecting on our past 25 years. Gary is a strong Christian and in the medical arena, similar to me. I went the way of implants and devices, he stayed pharma.

We talked about our highs and many lows in our careers. We both are strong believers, with Godly wives, and have consistently sought God’s will. We contemplated why God might let us hit some of the bumps in the road, we have hit. We agreed that we prayed about things, discussed them with our spouses, and prayed about them some more. We petitioned God, somehow got the green light, and then in numerous situations, had things derail.

I read a quote the other day that said basically “when we think things are falling to pieces, their actually falling into place”.

Maybe God gave me the green light to start down the road. As I approached another intersection, He gave me another green light because He wanted me in that zip code. However, as I got to the next intersection, He threw up a red-light or maybe a detour sign. Maybe He knew coming down that stretch of road would help me get closer to Him. And, maybe He kept me from continuing down that “promising” road…because the bridge was out in a blind curve, and He knew it would be devastating for me.

On the other hand, maybe it seemed like such a good fit, that my prayer was actually more like me mumbling to Him where I was going as I walked out the door with my keys. Maybe I didn’t bother really listening to Him, because it seemed so good it just had to be His will. Maybe it was never His will because He knew what would happen if I went down that road….

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There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

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