I hear it coming from miles around. It’s the sound that no father wants to hear. No man in his right mind would ask for this type of torture. I know you may be perfect, but I am far from it. Folks, it’s not that I am not compassionate. I truly care about my children. I would go to the ends of the earth for them. I would want for their lives to be filled with joy. But to hear that sound, it sends chills down my spine. I know, you probably are wondering what “that sound” is. Perhaps you don’t even have to ask, because you are a Dad. It’s the shrill cry of drama. Yes, drama. “She hit me!” or “I fell down!” or…well, the list could go on and on. It’s not that I’m not compassionate, because I am. I, however, have found that I lock up and freeze when the drama ensues. I just don’t want to deal with it. Is it just me or when I hear that scream, I go into that spot in my brain that wants to pull my hair out? Again, I digress. I often wonder if God feels that way. Of course He doesn’t, but being the dad that I am, I have to wonder these things. All three of my girls have heard me tell them “quit with the drama!” I know it is in their blood, it is in their DNA, it is in their bones, but seriously?! God has to be showing us as parents what we look like to Him when we go to Him.
Drama Isn’t Always What It Appears
I found myself there just a few days ago and I caught myself before I even got started. I was done with class that night and needed to get gas. I decided to check on my handy dandy new phone this awesome thing called an app and bam! I found out that our account was in the hole. I had been diligent in balancing our books and making sure that it was all correct. But there it was, -20.10. It’s a weird number. And no, I don’t mind airing my laundry on-line. Why? Because it wasn’t my fault. No, really, it wasn’t my fault…this time. Of course, I knew that the app had been messed up for a bit so I decided to wait until I got home. It was so tempting to go into full on drama mode. However, I decided to check once I got home and by the time I got home I didn’t think there would be any use because I would be wide awake thinking about it all night long. In the morning, I checked it online and it was the same. I recognized an issue, though. The bank’s computer was charging me double for every transaction. It’s a wonders that it was only that much in the red!
Anyhow, I knew that a phone call would fix the situation. Lo and behold, the representative at the bank had said that they were aware of the issue and were fixing a lot of accounts. Where does this go in with drama? I could have easily flown off the handle, casting every word known to God and man at people, worrying about what was going on, and taken it out on that lady who had absolutely no control over the situation. I want you to catch that last part for those who call in and scream at the representative on the other end. She did not go into my account and say “well, I will just jack them up so they can’t get anything they need…” No. The computer made an error. It taught me a valuable lesson…keep cash at all times!
Whatever You Want to Think
The real lesson is this; drama only gets you so far and then you have a breakdown. While I writing this, I was working on our check book and I could have gotten upset. I have done it a lot over the last 8 years that we have been doing this. Instead, I purposed to follow Philippians 4
“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”Philippians 4:8 AMP
In other words, we have control over what we think. I just stepped on my own toes here so you can own it too. You and I have the opportunity to either let the situation control us…or we can control it. I was listening to a recent podcast about becoming a millionaire. I can’t quote exactly because of the language that came out but in essence, the person speaking was talking about how we live in a woe is me world when in fact when we are broke or when we can’t make it, it’s not so and so’s fault…it’s your fault! I have to agree to a point. It is yours and my responsibility to put the right thinking in our own minds. I am not talking about weird, name it and claim it, yada yada. I am talking about taking control on what you’re thinking about. Think upon the things that are … … … If we can’t do it, then why are we instructed to do it?
I Don’t Want To Hear No Drama
To put it in perspective, Maleah was walking down the hall the other day and heard one of my other girls crying about running into the wall. “I don’t want to hear drama!” Sara about hit the floor. I wonder if that is what crosses God’s radar sometimes. What would happen if we decided to turn drama into faith. Our children would certainly grow closer to God if they see you drawing nearer to God… no matter the situation. God wants to hear your drama…but He does not want you staying there.
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
God wants you to bring your cares right to the altar and drop it. Some translations of this scripture says “drop it and let it go.” I want to encourage you men, take the check book and drop it at the altar. I want you to drop your marriage… right at the altar. Whatever it is…at the altar.
I will hold you accountable…you can hold me too. Drop it…and let it go.
There is a reserved seat for you in Heaven. A place has been set at the King’s table with your name inscribed. A place has been set so that you can enjoy the feast even before your enemies. Through His Son, Jesus, God sent the invitation. I love how Jesus put it so simple for us;
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Whenever we receive this invitation, the enemy himself squirms at the thought that you would forever be in the Kingdom of God. With that, there are five basic lies that the enemy will try to throw at you about your reservation.
Lie 1: God will force you to take your reservation. (Luke 15:11-13)
The Holy Spirit will not force you to come to take this reservation from the King. He will speak to your heart but you are the one who has to respond. He will give you the opportunity to accept. However, He will also allow you to walk away from it just as the father did in the story of the Prodigal Son. The father did not shame his son nor did he withhold his son’s inheritance. What would have gone through our minds if something like this had happened to us? I love how the father welcomed his son back with opened arms even after he had walked away. God, too, welcomes you with open arms.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”
Lie 2: You are not worthy (Luke 15:14-17)
God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t pick one and forsake the other. God does not see favoritism in the Kingdom.
“I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.”
He doesn’t decided that you aren’t good enough to be on the team.He doesn’t hold the faults of your past to keep you out. God’s invitation for you to take this reservation isn’t contingent on the things we do. It is done by our trust in Him.
“As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”
Lie 3: You must come to him clean, sinless, and fixed. (Luke 15:17-19)
God doesn’t have a dress code in heaven. He doesn’t tell you that you don’t have the right label on your shirt or the fancy jeans. He looks at the heart.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Lie 4: God will revoke this RSVP. (Luke 15:20-24)
Imagine this with me. We are all sitting around the living room together just after singing happy birthday and eating cake. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle around when all of a sudden, someone walks in with a huge box wrapped in beautiful paper and a gigantic bow on top. They walk up to you and give you this amazing gift. You reach out and then as soon as they brought it in, the person snatches it out of your hands!
This imagery is exactly what people think about God when He gives us the gift of eternal life through Christ. However, God has a different take on it;
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
God has given us a great gift that cannot be revoked on His behalf.
Lie 5: Everyone will be happy with you for your decision to accept the RSVP (Luke 15: 25-31).
Don’t expect the enemy to roll out the red carpet for you. In fact, there will be a target on your back for receiving this gift from God.
“For there is a wide-open door for a great work here, and many people are responding. But there are many who oppose me.”
1 Corinthians 16:9
The fact is, there will be those who will be envious of your found faith in God because there is such a void in their lives. God will redeem that. Why? He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He will use your life to reach out to others.
The truth is that God is waiting to throw a party! All through out the word of God, we see that God loves to celebrate! Although we receive his invitation, there are a lot of reservations about receiving it. Here are a few places to visit to know;
“NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. “
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
“So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).
Romans 10:17 (AMP)
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Psalms 103:12 (AMP)
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].“
1 John 1:9 (AMP)
To close, I want to encourage you to receive this reservation from God. Take His invitation and be prepared to hear, “Well done, they good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Over the weekend, I had the honor of attending a men’s retreat in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Honestly, I have never heard of Bonne Terre. We drove a short distance into the middle of nowhere to the old mining town that is located just south of St. Louis. With 160+ men, we joined together for one common goal – glorifying God. Being part of a Network Marketing company wasn’t always what I had in planned. As a matter of principle, I avoided them like the plaque. This one, It Works, gave us an opportunity to be a part of a Christian company that starts with God at the top.
The weekend was spent learning about how we could be better men in our homes. I know. It’s a network marketing company – we are learning about how to be great men. It was said best;
“If you know your WHY the HOW will fall into place.” – Blair McFarlane
Isn’t that true? If you know the reason why you are doing something, how you do it will come together. The first night was spent learning about the people in our company and how they succeed in all that they do when it comes to Multi-Level Marketing. Then…it was all booming from there. I will be going over my notes with you and hope that these will help you to grow your business, however, that is not my pure intention…it is to help you be the best YOU!
Panel 2 – The Take-Away from Made for More Event: 1 Year Ago
“Are you working for your marriage or for your divorce?”
Saturday After noon
“I’m just a dude. You are just a dude. Jesus died so that you live an extraordinary life. There’s a load of crap sold to you to live a life that is mediocre; go to school, go to work, work work work, and retire.”
Panel 3- What Does Putting On The Full Armor of God On Mean (Eph 6:11-13)
“God will not put you on the earth defenseless”
– Andrew Phillips
“Failure is the Fertilizer to Success” Chad Kneller
From There to Here to There
Jake Warren (Luke 12:12)
Ryan Cunningham (1 Sam 16:17)
“Am I the guy in the crowd that might have gotten upset or angry about the distraction or be the guy who caused it?”
Written in collaboration with my awesome wife, Sara
Joanna is probably one of our most observant children. It doesn’t take much for her to see the obvious – up close or from afar. We can be driving down the road and she will shout “hey! Look at that….” and we end up missing it! Recently, Sara was talking to Joanna about school and what one of her favorite things was. Joanna’s response sparked the purpose of this post.
“I like when the chef fixes us lunch.”
Chef? You mean school cook, right?
Joanna’s perspective of those who make her meals on a daily basis is that of a chef. They are not merely a cook. They don’t just show up for work for Joanna. They make her meals and they are a chef! I wonder how many times that the school cook went to work and said, “I am going to work today as a chef!”
John Maxwell said it well in his book The Difference Maker,
“You are not what you think you are, but what you think…you are.”
You and I have the potential to either be amazing or be mediocre. We can become our greatest ally or our worst enemy. Our perspective is vital to what world we make for ourselves. I am not talking about some New Age theology. I am speaking about changing our way of thinking about who we are. According to The Law of Human Behavior, “Sooner or later we will get what we expect.” If you expect that you are going to have a mediocre life, then your life will become mediocre. If you expect that your life is going to amazing, you can expect that your life is going to become amazing.
In Proverbs 23:7, the KJV says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he“. I have heard it said best “as the mind goes, the man follows.” It is true. Let’s take this story for example;
“Writer James Agee recalled how he once struck up a conversation with an impoverished elderly woman in the heart of Appalachia during the Great Depression. She lived in a tiny shack with dirt floors, no heat, and no indoor plumbing. ‘What would you do,’ he asked, ‘if someone came along and gave you some money to help you out?’ The old woman thought for a moment and answered, ‘I guess I’d give it to the poor.'”1
Poverty, in this example, is a matter of perspective. The lady had nothing, but in her heart, she was a wealthy woman. Could you imagine the shock on his face when the old lady said that she would give the money to the poor? He probably walked away speechless! Just as the cook is known as the chef, the impoverished lady was known as a wealthy philanthropist.
As I wrap up, I just want to encourage you to change the thoughts of yourself. Even God Himself finds that you are amazing. In Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Someone who doesn’t think that you are amazing wouldn’t have an awesome plan for your life filled with hope. It is time to change your perspective on who you are!
Just when you think that Murphy couldn’t do any more damage, he decides to sideswipe you. You just can’t seem to get a break, yet there’s complete peace about what is going on all around you. I have heard it best put this way; “chaotic peace.” Recently, this is where we found ourselves. It seems like we can’t escape this cycle that never ends. But I know one thing that is for sure is that He never ends either.
Perhaps, I should start with the reason that I decided to write this. Last year, Sara and I had some major things that occurred in our house. In one week, we had our furnace, microwave, and dryer go out. Needless to say, these were not cheap fixes or issues to take care of. One may bring up the fact that we are tithers and according to Malachi 3, the one who devours is rebuked for our sakes. It would be easy to question and wonder. It would probably be even easier to doubt that it would be to know in faith that God has taken care of it all.
I had a lot of questions in our previous issues. I asked the Lord a lot of questions. I also made this statement “Lord, I just don’t understand.” Within a moment, I heard the Lord say in my spirit, ” I have not called you to understand. I have called you to trust Me.”
The response honestly took me off guard. Aren’t we, as human beings, designed to understand all things and learn them? Then I recalled a scripture that I have always remembered since I was a child. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” In some translations, it reads “and He will make it plain and straight.” This can be found in Proverbs 3. Our trust is not in the government nor people, our trust is not in ourselves or our own ability to provide, but our trust is in Him who provides for every single need according to the riches and glory of Christ Jesus (See Philippians 4).
I am so grateful that during this trial that we are seeking our true Provider. Our trust is in the ultimate Godly Dad. I believe it’s so important that our children see that our trust is in God. When they become older, our hope is that they will trust Him. Sure, it would be easier for you or I to automatically go into the woe-is-me mode. I will tell you one last thing before I leave you and it’s found in Ephesians 6:13;
“Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”
Having done all that you can possibly do that the crisis demands…stand. Stand firm. Don’t quit. Press into what God has in store for you and not what the enemy tries to throw at you.