kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

My Favorite Comic Book

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Connor loves comic books. Even now in college, I will catch him reading electronic ones on his tablet. He will show me how the hero fights for justice and often takes a bullet for those around him. But in the end, he overcomes the bad guys saving the innocent bystander or damsel in distress. I guess thats why he, Evan and I have made it to all the Marvel movies, often the night they premier!

Reluctantly I have to admit they get it from me. I was reading my favorite comic book this morning. Conflict was taking place, the SuperHero was confronted by the bad guys. They caught him and took him to their leader. Reading it you knew they were about to kill him. But the leader strangely found him no threat. He did have him beaten good, like you would in any villain movie.

After the beating, the leader went to turn the SuperHero loose. But his underlings wanted no part of it. They had the audacity to demand to their leader sitting on his throne, that the SuperHero be killed. After some back and forth, the leader succumbed to the crowd, and sent him off to be killed.

Here is the curveball I was thrown, differing from most other comic book stories. The SuperHero died! Not only did he die, he willing let them kill him. He even crawled up on the death machine, and then let them secure him to it, when he could have easily used the power he had to annihilate them all.

The bad guys stood there and watched him suffer. They loved it. They taunted him. They spat on him. Yet frustratingly he did NOTHING! Come on SUPERHERO, do something! But unlike other comic book stories, a few hours later he died. No sooner had he died, that his SuperHero dad, who was watching from afar, was upset enough that the midday got dark as night, and the earth shook.

The people prepared to die as they realized the SuperHero’s dad had the power to retaliate 1000 fold. But then another strange thing happened…nothing! They all got up off the ground, dusted themselves off, and went home. The Superhero was uneventfully taken and buried.

I began to wonder if the writer of this story would ever get another job writing! The story line was proceeding terribly.

The SuperHero’s friends grieved his lose. They had such high expectations for him. They were so sure he would be the new ruler of the world.

Three days later some of his fans went by his burial site to grieve. They were saddened even more to find his body had been stolen. As they turned to go tell their friends, they are shocked to their knees as they come face to face with the SuperHero!

This is AWESOME news! Now he will go kick everybody’s tail that was a part of his killing. Especially those jerks taunting him and spitting on him! The adoring fans run ahead to tell the others.  At first they aren’t believed. There are some serious doubters, after all, they saw him die.

Everything changes though, when the SuperHero walks in the room. They rejoice. They celebrate his return. I am sure in their minds they prepare to retaliate. Instead, the SuperHero talks calmly to them. He goes around for a couple of weeks being seen doing nice things and saying nice things. Finally, he tells them its time for him to leave, and he does. The End

LOUSY STORY!

But as the great Paul Harvey would say, “but now, the rest of the story”.

This Superhero was not just any superhero. He was the co-creator of the universe! His Father was the King of ALL things. And His Father, who co-created all of us, let His Superhero Son, come down here amongst those He had created, walk among them, and then LET them kill Him.

Why you ask? Because the Father a long time ago has set the punishment for not following His rules, death. Not a $5 fine. Not writing 100 times I’m sorry. Not jail for a week. Death!

His Dad had the audacity to make ANY of the rule violations punishable by DEATH! A little harsh don’t you think?!? I would agree, except His dad then turned around and told the Superhero, “go die in their place”. And he did. Willingly. Even to the point of crawling onto the cross as it lay on the ground.

Then the SuperHero son came back to life 3 days later, and told everybody that He died in their place. The only thing they had to do was accept His death as the punishment for their rule violations. Not a $5 fine. Not writing 100 times I’m sorry. Not jail for a week. Just recognizing what He did, and accepting it. If they did, He invited them to come live with Him and His Dad in their home, forever. And unlike earth where there was fighting, and disease, and heartache, He promised them peace, health and joy.

WOW! That is a cool story. I can’t wait to see the movie!…..

 

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Can God Use Even ME?…

RAMBLINGS from the King Team’s dad – I started reading through the Bible again this year, and this time I am doing it with a chronological Bible. Reading this way seems so much less confusing. If David fought some of those “ites”, (like the Canaanites), you only read about it once, not several times in different books.

Today I was reading through Joshua. Moses the great prophet that God had used to get His people out of Egypt and through the 40 years of wondering through the wilderness, just died. In fact, the Bible says God called him up on the mountain to die and no one but God knows where he is buried. I guess God took care of that.

Then He wants to make it very clear that Joshua, Moses assistant, is His new man with the people of Israel. He gives Joshua specific instructions on how they will cross the Jordan river on dry ground. Joshua repeats the instructions and everyone crosses the Jordan, never getting their sandal wet. 

So I had read about Moses. Then I read about Joshua. Both great men. But then God throws us a curveball. Joshua sends a couple of spies over to Jericho and check it out. They are seen, and would have been captured, but Rahab a prostitute, saves them by hiding them on her roof.

A prostitute. A lady of the night. Not exactly our idea of an exemplary citizen. So why is this story shared in the Bible?

I hope it is to remind us no matter how badly we have messed up in life, that God will forgive us. No matter how dirty we are with the crud of life from bad decisions, or just bad situations, God is more then willing to clean us off and give us a new start. Not only will He forgive us, but He will turn around and use us. Rahab was a “harlot”, and yet she is mentioned in the Bible in a positive light. 

Not only is she redeemed because of her efforts, it goes on to tell us that she and her parents are spared. Not only her parents, but her siblings…and their families….and all her father’s relatives.  I wonder if they felt any different about her after she saved them, then they did before she saved them?

Her faith had a ripple effect that went out and altered generations. God used her in spite of her past transgressions!  In fact, later she is even mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus! 

Here is my question for the day: How bad have you messed up? 

Here is my answer for the day: Not so badly, that God can’t clean you off, and use YOU. That my friend, is some wonderful news for all of us!

 

Dating: Part 1: Pre-Dating

My incredible wife was a writer for a monthly magazine back when the kids were little. I guess it should come as no surprise that our kids might get that same writing gene. Hopefully, if you have ever read anything I’ve wirtten in the past, you know how incredibly proud I am of the kids God has blessed us with.

I just finished reading another post our middle child and only daughter wrote. Just WOW!

Dating: Part 1: Pre-Dating.

God Will Wait on You

RAMBLINGS from Kris King’s hubby – In reading the story of Herod and John the Baptist, I was amazed at the intensity of his wife Herodias’s hatred. Herod married (stole) his brothers wife, and John the Baptist was outspoken in his disapproval of it.

When her daughter danced for Herod, he found such pleasure with it that he offered her up to half his kingdom. Half the kingdom!! Half his riches!! Here was an opportunity to have financial security equal to the king, for a female whom at that time was considered “second class”…An opportunity that would have been obvious to her mom. Yet, when asked, what did her mom say? The head of John the Baptist!!  Here was a woman so full of hatred that she totally wasted the chance of a lifetime for her daughter. Squandered!! All due to emotions.

Kris often meets with women one-on-one. They talk about life, conflict, emotions, finances, marriage, children, in-laws, and out-laws. It amazes me some of the things that people blame God for. Decisions they, or a family member, made that were so obviously wrong.

Sometimes it’s emotions or ill-will, for things that are not necessarily wrong. Maybe an in-law pointed out a bad financial decision, then again maybe they don’t like the way the towels are folded. Regardless, feelings are raw and decisions are made rashly sometime. Damage is done. Wounds can run deep. Then in the aftermath, when the dust clears, we want God to straighten it out.

Yet often, our heart still isn’t where it needs to be. The healing can’t take place, because we aren’t ready. So God in His infinite wisdom, waits. The hurt continues. The wounds fester. And often we get mad at God for LETTING it happen!

God never rushes things. He is long-suffering, and He is also patient. He will let us wallow in our mistakes for as long as He see’s we need. He is not watching the SITUATION. He is watching our HEART.

I wonder, did Herodias or her daughter pay dearly for the decision made in hatred? Did they ever realize their mistake? Did God let them die penniless?

Hmmm, what bad decisions is God letting me work through, even now?…

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And when it grew late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But He answered them, “You give them something to eat.”  (Mark 6:35-37)

God Knows About Your Stress

RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad –  Evan along with Lacy and Connor, has had the opportunity to travel from time to time on mission trips. The kids have see many things traveling. And they have seen those with many needs while traveling.

In Peru, Evan was as young as 7 years old when he first walked the streets with us. I think he was 10 when we were working with an orphanage in Colombia. He has seen those in serious need. He has also seen people that are very happy, even though they have very little. Even in the midst of poverty, we looked around at the mountains, at the sweet innocent faces smiling back at us, and the beauty of the country, and marveled at God and His handiwork.

This morning I sit here writing this once again from a little cabin up at Cloudland Station. There are no fancy flatscreen T’Vs to distract us. Our phones and tablets get very little signal.  We have to revert to that ancient tradition of interacting with each other.

Last night we sat around and talked. We snacked on food. We laughed and talked some more. A little after midnight we sang happy birthday to Lacy. A few minutes later I went off to bed listening to laughter in the next room. I marveled at God’s handiwork.

This morning there was no CNN or Fox News to watch. There were no sports updates on Sports Center. I went for an early morning walk so I could hang out with God in His creation. It was a wonderful walk. I took in the fresh air while I heard the crunch of gravel under my feet. The only updates I got was from the birds chirping good morning to me. I walked by several brooks and streams and listened to the water tumble over the rocks. I thanked Him for His creation. It was invigorating, yet relaxing. I thanked Him for my wonderful family. I marveled at God’s handiwork.

I wonder how things are back at the house? By now the swimming pool is running, along with the A/C units for the house. The alarm is on and monitoring for any fires or break in’s. The multiple cars need to be checked on. The kids have not learned that they have to be monitored for tires, service and possible repairs, so I still have to worry about that. The office alarm is on and the A/C is hopefully set for “weekend”. Did we water the plants in both locations? Is the rent paid? Is the power bill paid?

Do we really need all this stuff?

Lord, I am noticing things were less stressful when I was just hanging out with You!….

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And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do,  for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them,for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.  (Matthew 6:7-8)

You Don’t Have to Pretend

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Lacy loves to be on stage. It doesn’t matter if it’s singing or acting, she thrives on it. We have watched dozens of performances since she first started.

Early on we might sit through 2 hours of a performance to see her brief appearance of 1 minute. In those early days there was no iPhone for me to occupy myself. There were no mindless games to play on the iPad, so I actually had to sit there and watch and listen. When Lacy did appear, it was often just her standing there being an evil fairy, or a flower. We might even see her sing with a chorus of other evil fairies or flowers. She was not very believable in those early years, but she enjoyed it.

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The years went by and the performances grew in number. The makeup and costumes got more elaborate. And more importantly, Lacy’s acting got more believable. I guess that should come as no surprise with the countless hours of rehearsing and performing.

I recall watching one of her early rehearsals for her most recent show. It was a disaster as people missed their lines, and missed their cues. They bumped in to each other practicing a dance scene. It was like watching an old 1920’s Keystone Cops movie where they were incompetent with everything. It would have been funny, if it they had meant to do it.

Several months later I was there for the opening night. To say I was blown away with the performance would be an understatement. They were a well oiled machine hitting their notes and cues perfectly. The months of practice, encouraging each other, and endless rehearsing was very apparent!

I guess God is the same way. He knows when we first become Christians, we are inexperienced, we are untrained, we are often naive. We go through the motions, but might not be too believable to those watching us. If we are around other Christians, however, like Lacy was around other actors and singers, we can learn from them. If we read God’s word, our “script” for life, we can see how the performance should play out. If we spend time with THE Producer (God the Father) in prayer and meditation, we can begin to understand how we can fit in His show.

But some of us just occasionally run to church for a quick fix at Easter and Christmas. We then go on about life focused on what the world thinks is important. Unfortunately, time and time again, we might be called on to play the role of a true Christian, and not be too believable. Even worse we might falsely lead some of those watching to believe its a low budget movie with cheap props and special effects, and not the real thing….

Lacy drama

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. (Psalm 69:30-31)

God’s Antidote to Indecision

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Connor is in college now.  He and his friends are now navigating life on their own with only the moral tools with which they left home.  Since he is at a Christian college, he says many bad decisions are made with the promise they are doing it “because it’s God’s Will”.  Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes it’s not.

Those who are not followers of Christ do it all the time. They put themselves in a particular situation, and them react to the situation (that they put themselves in) almost in a third person kind of way. “I just happen to be walking through the Fudge Shoppe minding my own business, when out of nowhere this person tempted me with some fudge!”  The only difference us Christians have is we add “…so it MUST have been God’s Will for me!”

Can I let you in on a little secret? If you go hanging out near the Fudge Shoppe, or worse, IN the Fudge Shoppe, your ARE going to be tempted! Even Superman had his Kryptonite. He knew to stay away from it because he got weak. We should be no different. We should stay as far away from our kryptonites (“Fudge Shoppes”) as possible. Take a different route home if necessary.

I grieve at the number of times the scenario has come up where I hear a friend say “But it feels so right, it must be God’s Will. He wants me to be happy.” NEWSFLASH: Very seldom does God direct a married person away from their spouse to another person…actually, NEVER!

We need to start taking Superman’s example seriously, and stay away from our “Kryptonite”. We need to guard our hearts, our eyes, our ears, our, and our bodies, as closely as we do our credit cards. We then need to stay dialed in to God through reading His Word, prayer, AND being quiet, and listening. If we do, we might just decipher what His Will really is!….

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We Love Because God Loves Us

RAMBLINGS from Evan King’s dad –  We all react differently. When Evan was little, you always knew when he got upset because he did what we coined the “rolly-polly”. We have theses little bugs that, when confronted, just roll up into a ball. Evan would roll his shoulders and, like the little bugs, visibly react when confronted. Early on,  pointing out to him he was doing the roly-poly would cause him to roll his shoulders even more. Kris and I would sometimes have to bite our lips to keep from laughing at his comical appearance.

As he got older, he learned to minimize the  physical reaction. But when Evan was corrected or confronted about something, the mental reaction still happened. His eyes, his very countenance, gave it away.

One Sunday afternoon Evan had a little attitude about something. I gave him a task and he reacted to it in the wrong way. The improper behavior, and then his reaction to my pointing out that behavior, resulted in him getting quiet on me. I corrected him, discussed his improper reaction and resulting behavior with him, and then went on about the day.

Later that afternoon, we all climbed in the car and headed to church for our evening with the youth ministry. On the way there, we prayed that God would bless our time and help us to love Him more when we left, then we did when we got there, and when we did arrive we had a great evening.

Afterwards, we piled back in the car and did our customary drive to Steak and Shake, one of Evan’s favorites. Our beloved server, Jerome, came up and everyone started ordering. When we got to Evan, he looked at me and asked if he could have anything. I told Jerome “water and a piece of bread for him”. Then I laughed and ordered his typical four sliders with cheese and barbecue sauce, large fries, and a large double fudge shake. Evan gave me this relieved look, a smile came to his face, and he gave me a sincere ‘thanks’.

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I can be a little slow sometime, and up to that point, I thought everything was fine between us. I had already forgotten the incident earlier that afternoon. But Evan had not. He was still dealing with the guilt and the hurt. He felt like our relationship was damaged because of his earlier behavior. Of course I had moved on, and still loved my youngest son unconditionally.

When is that knucklehead going to figure out how much I love him?!? A little reprimand is not going to change one iota how I feel about him. I am his dad, and love him every bit as much as I do Connor and Lacy. After all, since his birth we have clothed him, fed him, had a roof over his head, and loved him. Heck, I even paid for him to have braces! 🙂

How often do I do the same thing to God? I do something wrong, I go against what He would like, and then I do the “rolly-polly”. I figure that since I goofed up, He is mad with me. Maybe He doesn’t love me as much. After all, I am NOT perfect.

God is probably thinking “when is that knucklehead going to figure out how much I love him?!? A little reprimand is not going to change one iota how I feel about him. I am his dad, and love him every bit as much as My other kids. After all, since his birth I have clothed him, fed him, had a roof over his head, and loved him. I even blessed him with the money to pay for his kid’s braces!

Like Connor and Lacy, I love Evan unconditionally. The good news is God loves us infinitely more! “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV)

When am I going to consistently remember, and more importantly, live my life in the freedom and grace of understanding how much God loves ME?!?…

We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19-21 ESV)

Be Enthusiastic in Your Work

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.” ( Romans 12:11 )

RAMBLINGS from Lacy King’s dad – Our church had its VBS (Vacation Bible School) a few weeks ago. Lacy and Connor helped work it, while Kris and I were with Evan up in Illinois for a shooting competition.

It was difficult to be apart with so much going on. Connor was helping in a very visible way teaching the kids Bible, while Lacy was in the praise time helping lead things from up on stage. It was killing Kris not to be able to see her two oldest participate. She plead with her friends to send her pictures, videos, or updates. She got all three.

What we saw, heard, and read, warmed our hearts. Connor and Lacy were giving their all each day at VBS. And then they were doing the same thing again that evening at VBS for a second group of kids. Lacy and Connor told us that they collapsed in bed each night from exhaustion. But they admitted each morning they hopped up out of bed to do it all over again. Why? Because they were doing something they love. And, they were doing it for Someone they love. That enthusiasm was contagious from the updates we read. That enthusiasm was contagious from the pictures we saw.That enthusiasm was contagious from the videos we watched.

They reminded me of the hands of the man who delivered them from their mother’s womb, Dr. Jim. Everything he does is with enthusiasm, from delivering babies, to washing dishes. He held each one of our kids and prayed over them moments after they were born.

His prayers, with enthusiasm, were answered!…

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Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Become Debt Free

RAMBLINGS from Connor King’s dad – Connor is not a saver. Connor at this point does not place a lot of emphasis on money. It’s not a big deal to him to give whatever he has, to someone who is in need. Countless times we have come home from church and found out that he emptied his piggy bank for another cause.

Connor needs to learn to save better. At this point anything he earns, could easily be in the hands of someone he thinks needs it worse by week’s end. Kris and I finally had to put the hammer down when it came to his siblings. One in particular always seemed to need to “borrow” money from him.

I know we need to work on his “savings” mentality. Just the other day Kris mentioned Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University curriculum for teens. Generation Change teaches teenagers how to handle their money responsibly, which is something so many of us do miserably today in our instant credit society. In his Financial Peace University, Ramsey covers topics like  relating to money, cash flow planning, dumping debt, buyer beware, the role of insurance, college planning to retirement, real estate and mortgages, and the power of giving.

It is sad to think that as a business major, I covered less then 20% of this in my entire college education. Where would we all be now if this were required? How many of us miss out on being used by God because we aren’t in a place financially to act when we see a need? How many blessings have we missed out on being a part of?

Now that I think about it, Connor has a much better grasp on saving then I thought. His savings he has been focused on are eternal!….

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Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

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