Now people were bringing little children to him for him to touch, but the disciples scolded those who brought them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16, NET Bible) Continue reading “The pursuit of power and the powerless”
From my message Sunday morning: Continue reading “The new possibilities for the American conservative church”
As a dad, I watch all these stages of life in our kids. Our youngest just turned 21 and we are all together as a family celbrating Christmas and the coming of our first grandchild. My wife and I are with our three sons, two daughters-in-law, and one awesome grandson. (Have I mentioned I have a grandson yet?)
As a dad I have all these thoughts flow through my mind as I look at each one. I will sit in a corner of the living room at my oldest son’s home holding my new grandson and listen to the conversation going around the table a few feet away. A flood of memories come through as I remember holding each one as an infant. Remembering ball games and plays… times at church… vacations together… the highs and the lows.
As a dad I have a flood of thoughts remembering how badly I did things as a dad. So many times when my temper was too much or my focus was in the wrong direction… And how God graciously brought me back and the goodness of God overcame the faults in my life and there is joy around that table that evening as I sit holding my grandson. God’s grace overcame my bad parenting flaws to produce three amazing sons who love Jesus, two daughters-in-law who are the best to me, who also love Jesus, along with a godly wife carrying us all… and I am so thankful.
As a dad I have all these thoughts flood through me in what seems to be seconds… and then, when I finally the get the chance to actually say something to each of them, it comes out in about three words or less!
“I love you.”
“I’m proud of you.”
Words that formulated in my mind… words I might be able to craft on a page… good grief! I can formulate a SERMON!… but when I get the chance to say something directly to my kids… I choke up. I am overwhelmed. Tears come easily. And all I can choke out is, “I love you.”
As a dad, I live my life praying they all know how much I deeply love them, how proud I am of them, and how thankful I am to God for the beautiful results that came in spite of a very flawed man trying to lead them.
A few years back I mentioned to a friend that with my two youngest boys getting ready to graduate high school I would probably spend the next five years just crying all the time because I was so proud. My friend said, “Only five years? Try the rest of your life.” She was right.
As a dad, I sit back and reflect on the goodness of God in the lives of these “kids”, tears come readily, and all I can breathe out is, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Great is his faithfulness. Even if I can’t say more than three words at a time.
May he give you the desire of your heartand make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victoryand lift up our banners in the name of our God.May the Lord grant all your requests. – Psalm 20:4-5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm20:4-5&version=NIV
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits— (Ps. 103:1-2)
We can speak to our souls. The deepest seat of our deepest emotions is like the “control center” of our being. And there are times we need to speak out and get it in gear.
We can choose to recite the negative things going on in our lives… and the ills of life… and the tragedies we face…
Or… we can line it up and begin to go over the benefits of our gracious God.
What do we choose?