I Love Being A Dad!!!

Since tomorrow is Father’s Day, I thought I would celebrate with all the dads out there and encourage them with some articles and videos on fatherhood… some new ones and some older ones that are well worth reading.

Happy Father’s Day,
Dale

1.) Fathers: Key to Their Children’s Faith by Michael Craven at Center for Christ and Culture

2.) Two Sermon Ideas for Father’s Day by Joe McKeever at Pastors.com

3.) Without Fathers, Who Knows Best? by Jeff Myers at Passing the Baton

4.) Courageous (movie about fatherhood)

5.) Ten Conclusions About the Power of a Husband and a Father by Brian Dodd

6.) Action Points for Fathers

7.) 40 Ways for Fathers to Make a Difference

8.) Superdad or Superdud: Which One Are You?

9.) The Council of Dads

10.) Dad’s Duct Tape from Bluefish TV

11.) Fatherhood Matters

12.) The Tragedy of America’s Disappearing Fathers

And the classic…….. Dad Life

And here are some things I’ve written with “dad the family shepherd” in mind…

Men’s Midweek Encouragement

Men’s Midweek Encouragement
May 18, 2011

Good Morning Brothers,

I thought I would share with you this prayer from John Baillie followed by a few thoughts that I had about it…

Give me, O God, this day a strong and vivid sense that Thou are by my side. In multitude and solitude, in business and leisure, in my down-sitting and in my uprising, may I ever be aware of Thine accompanying presence. By Thy grace, O God, I will go nowhere this day where Thou canst not come, nor court any companionship that would rob me of Thine. By Thy grace I will let no thought enter my heart that might hinder my communion with Thee, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for Thine ear. So shall my courage be firm and my heart be at peace. Amen.

Can you imagine what it might look like in our lives if God answered the petitions offered in that prayer?

  • To know and feel deeply that God is by your side – when you’re with family, friends, clients, or even strangers.
  •  To believe with all your heart that God is by your side – when you get up in the morning; as you drive to work; as you sit down for lunch or supper; as you turn on the computer when no one is around.
  • How would it change the way you spend your day to first ask yourself before every decision: Can the Lord come with me here? Can the Lord be a part of this thought I am having? Or can he take part in this conversation I am having? Or would God want to participate in this transaction that is taking place?
  • Will the pursuit of this interest, thought, conversation, etc., damage my fellowship with the Lord? Will it “rob me of my companionship with God?”
  • Our thought-life represents what’s going on in our hearts. Sin – whether it’s in thought, word, or deed – doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. It originates in our hearts. If I may paraphrase Baillie’s request to God: “Lord, please, by your grace, protect and defend me from any thought that would come into my heart and mind today that would become an obstacle in my ongoing communion and fellowship with you. Cleanse my heart O God. Purify me. Make me holy, as you are holy.” Do you need to pray for that today?
  • So too the mouth. James reminds us that with our tongue we can worship God and with that same tongue we can curse a person. How are you using your words? To build up? To wound and tear down? To justify and build yourself up? To lie? What if you asked that every word from your mouth had God as its intended target? How would that change the way you speak to others and/or about others?

Be encouraged brothers. All things are possible with God. You can live the life that he has called you to through the power of Christ’s Spirit who lives in you.

Don’t settle for mediocre Christian living today. Be the man that God has created, redeemed, called, and gifted you to be. That’s how you’ll be a blessing to your family, friends, coworkers, and community. That’s how you’ll glorify the Lord today.

The Lord bless you.

Grace and Truth,
Dale

The Heart of the Matter (Men’s Devotional for this Lord’s Day)

Good Morning Brothers,

Part of my devotional Scripture reading this morning was from Proverbs 27. This chapter could be called the “men’s ministry” chapter. There are some great texts in it. Two of them, I believe, are right on target for part of what we’re trying to accomplish in our small groups (accountability).

Proverbs 27:6 – Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:17 –  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

The other text summarizes a great theme of Scripture.

Proverbs 27:19 – As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

Pursuing godliness as a Christian man is not merely trying to live a more moral life. It’s much deeper than that. It’s a “heart” issue. Jesus said that what we say, do, and think reveals what’s happening in our hearts. That’s why becoming a Christian isn’t simply changing a few behaviors. It’s about becoming a new creature in Christ. When this happens, God’s Spirit dwells within you to enable you to become more Christlike each and every day. That’s our whole purpose of existence.

How are you doing in this pursuit of godliness? I recently heard a phrase I like: God is more concerned with your direction than your perfection. Of course, the ultimate goal is perfection… but we have start moving in that direction before we get there. Are you moving in that direction? Are you trying? Is that your goal in life?

Besides a new heart and God’s Spirit, God has given us tools to enable us to draw closer to him and move in the direction of godliness in our lives. One is meeting with like-minded brothers who are on the same journey. Another is meeting with someone who has been called by God to build up and encourage brothers for their walk with Christ (if I can ever serve any of you in this way, please don’t hesitate to let me know). Another way is by regularly being in prayer and God’s Word. Here are two payers for you to lift up to God this week…

“Heavenly Father, fitness experts claim I am what I eat. Personal sports trainers say that exercise gives me a healthy body. Lord, I understand that spiritually I am what I read. For the right spiritual life, I must read, study, and feast on your Word. To be strong spiritually, I also need to exercise what I’ve learned. I pray I will take full advantage of the spiritual training and strengthening provided by your Word.” (from Prayers with Purpose for Men)

 “Dear Lord, I will open my heart to you. I will take my concerns, my fears, my plans, and my hopes to you in prayer. And, then, I will trust the answers that you give. You are my loving Father, and I will accept your will for my life today and every day that I live.” (from Prayers of a Righteous Man)

The Lord bless you today brothers. Have a wonderful time in worship and may God be glorified in all that we think, say, and do today.

Blessings,
Dale

The End of Men???

Very sobering reflections by Mohler as he shares his thoughts on an even more sobering article. In an age of men’s ministries that seem to be overly concerned about being wild at heart, perhaps we should concentrate more on growing up, taking responsibility, and pursuing biblical holiness. This post by Mohler is a must-read.

SDG,
Dale

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Is our postmodern, postindustrial society simply better suited to women than to men? Hanna Rosin makes the case for this claim in the current issue of The Atlantic, and her article demands close attention. Men, she argues, are simply falling behind women in almost every sector of cultural influence and economic power. This shift, she understands, is nothing less than unprecedented in the span of human history.

Rosin begins her article with the fact that sex-selection technologies in the West are now more often used to select a preference for girls than for boys, reversing the historical trend. Why? She explains: “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed. Cultural and economic changes always reinforce each other. And the global economy is evolving in a way that is eroding the historical preference for male children, worldwide.”

Click here to read the whole article.

New Blog – Southside Men

I’ve been missing in action over here at Renovate Your Life over the last week because of a new blog I’ve been putting together and which I just finished today. I would love for you to check it out and recommend it to men that you know who may be blessed by such a blog. Here’s a little bit about it…

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Greetings in the Name of Christ,

In an effort to expand our ministry to men, as well as widening the ways in which we inform, encourage, equip, educate, edify, and enrich our men, we have a new blog for the men of Southside. It’s simply called, Southside Men. I’m very excited about it!

First of all, it will be another way to remind the men involved in our weekly discipleship small group ministry, The Baxter Boys, what lesson is coming up for that week. It will also serve as another means in which we can notify our men concerning upcoming events, service opportunities, etc.

However, what I’m most excited about is using the blog to introduce our brothers to one another by having a “Southside Brother Highlight.” This will provide an opportunity for one of our brothers to share a little about himself with the rest of our men at Southside. Sometimes, with a church our size, it can be difficult getting to know the folks you don’t often or routinely see. My hope is that getting to know some of our brothers by way of the Southside Men blog can help us with that.

The blog will also be a source of inspiration, motivation, ideas, encouragement, etc., for our men so that they might continue becoming the Christian men that God has called them to be – as individuals, husbands, fathers, men at work, men in church, men in the community, men in every sphere of life.

Please click the following link which will take you to the new Southside Men blog. Once you are there, you can click on the email subscription button at the top of the righthand column. Once you sign up, you will be notified every time the blog is updated. (PS – you will not be overwhelmed with updates) Here’s the link: Southside Men

As always, please contact me if you have any thoughts, needs, or questions. You can reach me at d.tedder@southsidemethodist.org or 396-2676.

To learn more about Southside Men, please check out the three labels at the top of the blog: About Our History, Men’s Discipleship, and Other Ways to Connect.

The Lord bless you,
Dal