kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

Month: September, 2013

Do Every Task With Equal Dedication

do it with all their heart.” (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – At one time Connor, like many of us, struggled with helping do things around the house like wash the car. It got in the way of things “he wanted” to do. Like most of us, he complained and wanted to know why he had to help with it. Over time though, he changed drastically becoming one who had no problem helping, and even began to look for ways to help.

When we were working through some of this slothfulness, I recounted a story Dr. Jim once shared with me. We were talking about marriage being a partnership and he was encouraging me to out serve Kris. He told about how he came home at night after a long day. Often he came home exhausted from being in the operating room doing surgery all day. But when he got home the first thing he did after he ate dinner was start washing dishes. Dr. Jim was stressing with me the importance of trying to out serve our wives.

That story rings in my mind like he told it to me yesterday. It’s a word picture that I hope resonated with Connor (and Evan). Hopefully they would say that even on an evening when I was wiped out from a long day of work, they saw me get up after finishing with dinner and do the dishes. They now have been taught to do the same thing.

I can assure you it was not because I love to do dishes. I did it because that’s what Dr. Jim taught me to do…and we both do it because that is what Jesus would do….


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“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)

Serve With What You Have

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  – Theodore Roosevelt   

RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Last night I went up to Evan’s room where he had gone to bed sometime earlier.  I did what I try to do every night and prayed for him just before he goes to sleep. I prayed that until God calls him home, he will love God each day, more then he did the day before. I prayed that Evan will be a light to those who don’t yet know Jesus, and I prayed he would encourage those who do.

Evan (who is now a teenager) has heard some form of that prayer for years. I am praying that it has seeped in to his mind, his heart, his very soul. My hope is that he will be more of a servant today then he was yesterday. And, I am hoping he will be a better servant tomorrow, then he was today.

A buddy messaged me the other night and asked if he could get a ride home from church last night. I replied back to my friend “Sure”.

My mom’s birthday party is this Saturday 56 miles away in Conyers. There is a 10K race earlier that day that is a fund raiser for a ministry a friend runs.  He asked me if I could run in it that morning. I looked at my schedule, knowing it would be tight and said “Sure”.

Earlier in the evening Evan was busy doing his school work at his desk. I needed his help to move some things and non-chalantly called out to him and asked if he could help me for a minute? From his desk I heard the reply “Sure!” He immediately hopped and headed my way. (Evan’s “sure” reminded me that we need to be aware of the words our kids hear come out of our mouths!)

I hope I am as compliant with God when He wants me to do something, as Evan was with me. Evan didn’t tell me he was too busy. He didn’t ask if Lacy could do it. He didn’t complain about his work load. He didn’t whine or complain and ask “why me?” He just answered a simple “Sure”.

So whatever You need me for today Lord, the answer is “Sure!”…

IMG_3979He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11: 4)

Do What Others Won’t Do

Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10 GWT)

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Years ago when Lacy first got in to theatre, she met Mallory. They were in a play together where Lacy was basically the rock on the left, while Mallory had the lead role in the production. Lacy probably 9 at the time, was constantly shadowing Mallory. Yet time and time again Mallory, 18 at the time, would be kind to Lacy and spend time with her. That made an indelible mark on Lacy’s life.  Mallory could have been the typical diva, who’s time was too valuable to speak to the “little people”. We’ve all seen them. The people who are just too important to take time out of their very important schedule. Thankfully Mallory was not typical, and instead was kind, and Christ-like.

Fast forward to present day. Lacy is now the older girl in the productions with the lead role. She now has the younger girls who follow her around and want some of her attention. I am so thankful that she had a “Mallory” to be an example to her. Mallory was not a diva, she mirrored the heart of a servant. Now I watch Lacy as the younger girls come up to her after a show. We stand there sometimes for hours while she has her picture made with them and kneels down to speak with them. She never seems to be in a hurry (although she typically is).  They walk away smiling, feeling special, feeling loved.

Lacy made Christ the Lord of her life several years ago. I see Him in her a lot! In fact, I read in the Gospels where little children would come to Jesus. His disciples missed the memo about the little children, and were trying to keep their little grimy hands off Him. But Jesus reprimanded them and told them to let the children come to Him. Here was the Savior of the world, on His “farewell tour”, by Jewish standards, taking time to speak to the unimportant! I am confident that they walked away smiling, feeling special, feeling His love.

I love what Paul tells us in Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The Gospels tells us over and over to be kind to one another. I really wish the WWJD was still popular. I wore mine on my wrist for years, until it broke. When people’s days got sideways, or schedules got delayed and the ripple effect delayed everybody, I would often look down at mine and be reminded to treat people like Jesus would (and not like I wanted to!). And when I did, I am hoping they walked away smiling, feeling special, feeling His love…

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So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

Serve Even When Inconvenient

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Several years ago I was the guy who really got bent out of shape if you threw a wrench in my daily schedule. I would get all stressed out taking time away from “putting bread on the table” for the family.

I believe Connor had something going on where I needed to leave work behind for a little while to see it. The whole time I was there I was looking at my watch and checking my phone. It was extremely stressful for me. I was disappointed in myself.

A day or two later a friend going through some hard times wanted to meet me for coffee. The whole time we were meeting I was fighting the urge to look at my watch and check my phone. I’m confident I wore my stressed emotions across my forehead while we met. Once again I was disappointed in myself.

Sometime soon after that I was reading a passage on tithing. The Holy Spirit kind of bopped me in the head and said why won’t you tithe your time?  I thought, “Say What”?  After reading through it again and pondering it, and then praying about it, I got convicted about being so stingy with my time. A day or two later I was somewhere and heard about a guy my age dying. I immediately had an overwhelming appreciation for life, and the fact that I was not the one who died. After that I started tithing my time to my Creator.

Every morning now when I wake up, I have an overwhelming appreciation for another day of life. And with that, I recognize I have the opportunity to serve Him. Since that epiphany, I find myself thanking Him for another day of life just about every morning.

Last evening Kris and I were helping with the youth at church. We are there officially from 6:00 till 7:30, but we needed to hang around until all the kids were picked up. Last night the last two weren’t picked up till 8:15.

The old me would have been stressed out and in a bad mood. The new me just chilled with Kris and the kids, enjoying the beautiful weather we were having. As our kids enjoyed hanging out in the parking lot, I had the opportunity to get to know these kids, find out they were originally from another country, and where they went to school. They were two awesome kids.

I think about our Savior whom we were learning more about at church last night. From what I’ve read, if He had been there He would have been in no hurry, ready to hang out and shed a little “light” on the time together…

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No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:4)

Jesus Measures Greatness by Service

Jesus said, “You can tell what they are by what they do.” (Matthew 7:16 CEV)

RAMBLINGS from Kris King’s hubby – Kris and I had a great time relaxing in beautiful south Florida with some wonderful weather. We really enjoyed our ride a few days ago in the water-taxi. Everyone on board was fascinated with the magnificent homes and yachts we passed. I thought about our kids, and how much they would enjoy taking in all these sights.

There were names being thrown around that you would recognize immediately, many of whom graced the most recent issues of People or Forbes. As I look back, I consider lives that by the world’s standards are the epitome of success. People who have $10 million beach homes in addition to other properties. People who own multi-million dollar yachts that sit around most of the time unused.

Home after home, yacht after yacht, we saw staff cleaning, repairing, replacing, serving. I watched on one yacht 7 different crew taking care of one individual sitting at a table on the stern of a 140′ vessel.

Could these people be involved in some great ministry work? Sure. We know wealthy people that stay busy spreading the Gospel while helping worthy causes. But unfortunately that seems to be the exception. The majority of these have all the world offers today, but with no hope for eternity. Early in my career I worked for a man who recently sold his company for $20 billion. Unless things have changed in the last 10 years, at an age near 80, he is spiritually bankrupt …worshipping nothing but money and Mother Earth.

In the twinkling of an eye, their lives here will be over. God won’t ask them what kind of Bentley they drove. He won’t ask in which jet they flew. He will ask them one of two questions: Why they didn’t accept the gift His Son had for them, or why they didn’t do more with what He gave them?!?

The bottom line is that we have all been called by God to serve. Jesus was the model of the servant leader. In the end, those men and women “servants” on those yachts I saw may be the ones with great heavenly wealth in the end. God’s standard of measurement is very different from our own.

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…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10: 43-45)

Cure for Procrastination

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Lacy is our marvelous middle child. She is incredibly creative. There have been times however, that her creativity got in the way of her productivity.

When she was younger her free spirit was constantly wanting to “free” things in her room, like socks, jackets, socks, shoes, and socks. Did I mention socks? She would “free them” wherever she was at the moment. Often while in the middle of song. As she got older, we begin to try and reel in that energy and help her focus. We have worked on several different game plans to help her dial in on the best one for her.

Like many of us, she seems to prefer gentle encouragement. I honestly think much of the time she doesn’t see those little lonely socks laying around on the floor dying of boredom and neglect. But like many of us, when she does, she tends to think “I’ll get to them in a minute”.

Sometimes there are good legitimate reasons for the “socks” in our life being on the floor.  Maybe we were in a big hurry to help someone who needed us. Maybe we were distracted on doing something really important.

However, if our life now looks like it is carpeted in socks, Rick Warren says we probably need to do a couple of things.

Stop the excuses — I am pretty sure the socks in my life did not jump off my feet and fall to the floor. They got there with some help. Moi?

Start today — Those socks will not get back in the sock drawer without some help. You know how you eat an elephant?…One bite at a time.

Establish a planned schedule — Rick says “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” You need to set aside some time periodically for the socks.

Face your fears — Once you have time set aside, stick with it. A friend of mine does the hardest thing of the day first thing. He says that makes the rest of the day a piece of cake.

Focus on what you gain, not the pain — Think about how the floor in your life will look sock-less. Think about some of the long-lost socks in your life you might be reunited with, too.

And once you see that floor sock-free, be sure to pat yourself on the back and say well done. You never know who is going to be watching and be inspired by your ability to manage and overcome your battle with socks. One day you will be talking with someone. They will embarrassingly admit to a struggle they have with socks, adding that you obviously can’t relate. You will be able to smile and reply, “let me tell you a story”….

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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:13 )

The Cost of Procrastination

If you won’t plow in the cold, you won’t eat at harvest.” (Proverbs 20:4 LB)

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Connor is the antithesis of procrastination. I remember one time when the school term started on a Monday. We were home schooling all three at the time. Each of the kids had a separate room in which they did their work. Lacy came out shortly after lunch and proudly announced she was finished. Evan finished soon after her. Connor’s door stay closed. We checked on him several times. And each time he said he was still working. We asked him more than once if everything was ok, and he assured us it was. He finally came out just before dinner and announced he had finished. I asked him if he had some problems since his siblings had finished hours earlier. He said no, and then smiled a big smile and announced he could take the rest of the week off because he had knocked out the whole week’s worth of work in one day!

Connor has always been one who knows the deadline, and then methodically schedules his work to finish early. Having watched him do that time and time again over the years, I noticed several things.

Connor almost never let having something due, turn into a problem. He worked on it methodically to finish it early, so if something came up in his schedule, it was never more then an inconvenience.

Connor seldom missed the opportunity to do something because of incomplete work. I remember once having a big midnight movie premier he wanted to attend the night before a project was due. When I hesitated to let him go, he informed he that he had finished his project days earlier.

Connor not procrastinating, has helped in several situations when someone else did. I remember him having a “group” project at school. He had finished his part the week before. The night before it was due he found out the other person in his group had done a very poor job, and, had done it incorrectly. So Connor, had to step in and do the other half of the “group” project. Thankfully, because he had finished his part ahead of time, he had the flexibility to do it.

As usual, I learn a lot from my kids, and Connor is no exception. I don’t want to procrastinate because I want to always be caught up on what God is wanting me to be a part of. I don’t want to procrastinate because I want to be in a position that I don’t miss out on any opportunity He might have for me. I don’t want to procrastinate because I want to be in the position to be able to step in and help someone else when needed.

I look at the life of Christ and see Him never procrastinating. He was never getting in a hurry, but He was always on time….

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The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.  (Proverbs 20:4)

Why Do I Procrastinate?

If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done!” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 LB)

RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Evan, our youngest, who is now also our tallest, sometimes struggles with procrastination.  It is not atypical for me to ask him to do something, and come back later to find it is not done…yet. He then usually jumps up, sincerely remorseful that it hasn’t been done, and does it.

Now that I think about it, aren’t I like that sometimes?  Either it is a report that needs to be done, or our taxes that need to be figured, or a phone call that needs to be made.  But instead, I procrastinate deliberately because I am not looking forward to doing it. Indecision, perfectionism, fear, anger, and laziness, are some of the factors that influence us.

I think sometimes it can also be as simple as the “noise” of life distracting us. I see it with me and I see it with Evan. We know we need to do “that”…but “this” is catching our attention. Maybe it is a motivating video on Youtube, or an interesting life or death show of survival on NatGeo. The world is full of distractions and noise. It can be good distractions like your favorite team playing in a big game. It can be not so good distractions on the internet, the magazine rack at the convenience store, or even the latest video game.

Evan and I have both found that we need to minimize the noise in our lives. The less noise we have when we are working on something, the better.

Kris and I are in our final days of vacation.  Two days ago I tried to sleep in a while and then get up to have my quiet time. By mid-morning I had too many distractions pulling at me with Fox News, FB, email, and my phone wanting to enlighten me with up to the minute news. They weren’t doing anything terrible, just slowing me down on what I was trying to do by distracting me.

The next morning I found myself getting up earlier so I could spend some quiet time when it was actually quiet…

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Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering. (Proverbs 13:4)

Prayers Have an Impact

God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20 LB)

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – I just hung up the phone with Lacy.  She was busy doing her school work at home while Kris and I are down here in Florida. Lacy, like our other two, is a real joy to us. I am so amazed at the family with whom God has blessed me. But then again, isn’t this been the basis of so many prayers?

Our friends we had dinner with the other night had recently come out of that bad business relationship.  The rest of the story is a year earlier we were days from entering into the same partnership, and merging our company. Great efforts and expense had been made to prepare for it. Fortunately Kris and I had been praying about it, and in the eleventh hour, we backed out.

There was a lot of pain associated with that debacle.  John was responsible for introducing us to, and bringing us into the partnership. As I have mentioned before, there was a great deal of hurt there for Kris and I to wrestle with. A great deal of pain to pray through. But God helped us through it, and seven months later I was calling John to see how he was doing.

I am so amazed at the feelings I now have for this man and his family. This man introduced us to so much pain and sleepless nights. But I look back at the nights I couldn’t sleep; the nights I really DISLIKED him and his partner a LOT. Finally, after tossing and tumbling, and unsuccessfully finding a good nights sleep, I started praying ABOUT them. In fact, in a few of those prayers I might have mentioned to God something about judgement on them.

Months later, the prayers finally led to praying FOR them. And eventually it led to Sunday night when I saw him and his wife, and could give them both a hug, and be sincere when I told them it was good to see them. God was able to get us beyond that place of hurt, to a place where we could once again love. Maybe prayer is a heavenly version of a healing balm that we are putting on our hurting hearts and lives.

Now that I think abut it, and the power of prayer that has been exhibited in my life, maybe I shouldn’t be so amazed….

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Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for. (1 John 5: 14-15)

Pray For Others

And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” ( Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)

RAMBLINGS from Kris’ husband – My bride and I have gotten away for a few days to relax, recharge, and celebrate her birthday. We are on the 9th floor with a beautiful view of Ft. Lauderdale, watching all the big yachts parading up and down the water. It is quite a show.

Last evening we got together with some friends who live 30 minutes away. They, like us, had eaten a late lunch, so we planned to catch up over a cup of coffee. Kris and I decided before we met them that the conversation would be all about them. We knew they had been through some rough times recently and just wanted to let them talk.  And talk they did…for almost four hours.

John, the husband, one year earlier had come out of a business relationship that had gone sour. His partner had promised the world!  Unfortunately, the world they walked into was one of lies, deceit, narcissism, and questionable business practices. Within months John left the partnership, with major financial fallout from the cost of getting in, and then deciding to get out. One year later they still feel the financial repercussions.

Through appetizers, dinner, dessert, and coffee, they relived experience after experience where promises were made, and not kept. The pain and frustration on my friend’s face was fresh, even though it had been a year.

As we walked across the parking lot my still hurting friend reiterated his anger for the shyster.  I looked at John and told him he would never be able to let it go until he started praying for the guy. He admitted to knowing that, but I could tell it was asking a lot of him.

The subject was soon changed and they drove us around looking at some of the magnificent homes in the area. We talked about our kids, we talked about our dreams, and then they dropped us off at our door.

This morning I got up and prayed for John and his wife. I prayed for his former partner, and the countless families left in the wake of his deceitful business practices.

I should consistently be praying for those I crossed paths with yesterday. I should be praying for those I will cross paths with today. This morning different friends came to mind, so I started praying for them. Maybe a few of them lifted up a prayer for me…

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And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

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