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