Showing posts from February, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Act Justly

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8 The prophet Micah has just boiled down the entire Law of Moses into three goals. The whole Law, everything God requires of his people, is summed up in these three requirements: 1) act justly, 2) love mercy, and 3) walk humbly with God. Now, this is actually a paradox for me. As I said last week, the more rules, regulations, and requirements there are, the better I can look by comparison. There's a bigger safety net should I stumble in a few areas. So in a way, having rules upon rules upon rules is easier, safer, more comfortable. When it's boiled down to three simple areas, there may be momentary relief from the weight of the Law, but then reality hits you. Justice, mercy, love, humility, and faithfulness are too big to ever perfect. There will never come a time when you can look at these three requiremen

Weekly Devotional: What Does God Want?

What's God's will for my life? People ask that question all the time. I've asked it. You've asked it. It's as common of a question as they get. And it seems that for every person who asks that question, there is another person trying to answer that question for others. Even when you read Scripture, the answers to the question, "What does God want?" vary from person to person. Ecclesiastes says this: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind" (12:13). Fear God. Keep his commandments. Done. But...which commandments? There are, according to most counts, 613 commandments from God found in the Law of Moses. Just fear God and keep his checklist of requirements. You'll be fine! Yeah, yeah, yeah. But 613 is a little steep. So let's boil it down to 10. Keep the Ten Commandments and you'll do well. In fact, Jesus tells a guy that if he ju

Weekly Devotional: What's Love Got To Do With It?

This Friday is Valentine's Day. Little is known about Saint Valentine, but there is evidence that he was died in northern Rome on February 14. One thing led to another and now we commemorate his life by buying expensive chocolates and cut flowers. Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love - specifically romantic love. I'm sure there will be countless proposals in fancy restaurants across the globe, and many more children who are able to do the math backwards 9 months from their birth date. To the world, romantic love is about as good as it gets. Hollywood makes billions by capitalizing on our felt need for love, affection, and romance. Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steel know exactly the kind of thing their audience longs for. Songs are written in the name of love. Masterpieces are painted and sculpted for love's sake. Romantic love has inspired plays and poetry, wars and suicide. To the world it would seem that the pursuit of romantic love is the highest calling on

Train Up a Child: Five P's of Parenting, part 2

I've been on a parenting kick recently. Not sure why. Probably has to do with the fact that being a parent of two is much more demanding than being a parent of one. No offense to anyone who is raising a single child! I've just found that, for myself, raising two demands much more of my time, efforts, energy, and patience. So I've been trying to focus recently on what it means to be a good father. And as I study, learn, and grow, I am attempting to share my thoughts so that somehow I might help make a difference in the lives of other parents and children. I'm offering up Five P's of Parenting that tie in closely with Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Yesterday, I wrote about the first two P's, Prayer and Presence. Now I'm going to finish up with Passion, Persistence, and Perseverance. 3. PASSION I think Proverbs 22:6 is one of the most misunderstood and misused of all t

Train Up a Child: Five P's of Parenting, part. 1

I am a horrible bowler. I'm lucky if I get within 20 points of 100. On the Wii I'm pretty good, but in real life I'm that adult who should probably go ahead and use the bumpers. And I know why I'm no good at sending a 10-pound sphere down a 60-foot lane in an attempt to knock down the ten pins. Two reasons: 1) I only go bowling once or twice a year, tops, so I have no chance to practice at getting good. 2) My release is horrible. Really good bowlers have their steps, their back swing, their release, and their follow-through down to a science. And it's all a matter of muscle memory for them. They know as soon as the ball is released if it's going to be a strike or if it's going to veer left. It's all in the release. Give the ball a good start down the lane and the rest will take care of itself. It's all in the release. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Let's Talk About the "P" Word

I am a young father of two amazing boys. My amazing wife is a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM). We are in our mid-twenties. We've been married 5 1/2 years. That puts us right in the thick of a raging battle. We are on the front lines of the "Mommy Wars," the "Daddy Wars," the "War on Women," the "War on Men," the pacifier wars, the cry-it-out wars, the circumcision war (I wish I were kidding about that one...), the home school vs. public school wars. ( In a sad twist of fate, one of our guilty-pleasure shows is Cupcake Wars. Our ancestors will be quite confused by that one when they research our culture in the coming centuries. ) It's BRUTAL out there. Everybody's an expert. Everybody has an opinion. Everybody knows what worked for their kid, so of course it must work for all kids everywhere for all of time! The dreaded "P" word has been cause for taking offense and going on the defensive. Wars and battles and bloody massa