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November 2007

Posts from October 2007

Ten Things Kids Need From Their Parents

As I led our Men's Fraternity session this past Tuesday, the material focused on things that every child needs from their parents.  I was encouraged and challenged by these.  No one is a perfect 10 in all areas, so there are areas where all of us could do better.

Perhaps some of you reading this need to be reminded that healthy, loving families do not just happen.  What is our desire for our children?  We desire they grow up and leave the home with strong values and a faith that is real.

It takes authoritative parenting (which is high in love and high in discipline and instruction) to develop children like this.  BTW - this is not easy, nor was it ever promoted to be.

Here are the ten ingredients for a healthy family:

  1. The family is characterized by strong, supportive, honest communication.
  2. Family members spend a large quantity of time together.
  3. Family members share a common faith and practice.
  4. Family members agree on key values.
  5. Family members practice love and mutual appreciation.
  6. Family members sacrifice for the good of one another.
  7. Family members have common goals and interests.
  8. Family members demonstrate trust with one another.
  9. Husband and wife engage in regular sexual intercourse.
  10. Husband and wife have a firm parental coalition in raising their children.

Grade yourself and your family.  We can all do better.

*Thanks to Robert Lewis for the top 10.

Masks - Being Someone Else

The first in a series titled "Masks."

It may be fun to see the kids dress up and pretend to be someone else.  It’s healthy in developing a creative imagination.

However, it’s not fun when you’re an adult and you still aren’t sure who you are – deep down.

A mask can be funny.  It can be scary.  By definition, it’s not real.

God desires to help you understand your purpose in this life.  In fact, he is life.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the father, except through me.” 

Today, it’s time for you to put aside the mask.  Stop trying to be something you’re not.  Discover that unique you that God created.

Download 01_being_someone_else.mp3

Back Home

Our study team just arrived back from Israel.  What an incredible trip.  I'll write more soon about the impact and post some pics.  Trying to answer e-mail and get used to the time difference now.  I hope to lead a group to Israel again in a couple of years.  If you're thinking about going, let me confirm it for you - You Need To!

A Miracle in Miami

I don't use the word miracle much, because I think often it's been watered down in today's society.  Not every really cool thing should be classified as "miracle."  For instance, the fact you found a great parking spot at the mall is probably not a miracle, though you may say "It's a miracle.  I found a spot right by the door."

However, when God intervenes and does something totally out of the ordinary or realm or normal possibilities, "miracle" becomes a good describer.

As many of you know, I'm leading a group of ten to Israel for an eleven day study tour.  We leave Sunday.  I have been planning this trip for over a year and everything was falling into place.  For some reason earlier this week I woke up with a dread that my passport had expired.  I found my passport to check the date.  No problem - it expired February 2008.  So, I put it back and didn't worry about it.

Wednesday of this week at about 3pm I began to go over all the last minute details to make sure everything was in order.  I read a statement that my guide from Israel gave me that said "if your passport expires within 6 months of your return date, the airline will not let you board."  Oh my, this just couldn't be true.  Not only was mine to expire in February, Skipper Rodgers, who is also going was to expire in January.  Following are details of what then transpired.

  1. I called Delta Wednesday at 3:30pm and they said "No way.  You cannot get this done.  You won't be able to board the plane."
  2. I called the US Consulate in Washington DC and the lady I talked to said "I don't think there's anything you can do."  She gave me a little hope and said to call the State Dept. office in Miami and maybe they'll let me walk through.  She gave me a number for Miami.
  3. I called Miami and the first number given was disconnected.  Not too encouraging.  I called the optional number and the operator forwarded me to th Passport office.  The line went dead and so I called again.  This time the call went through.
  4. I talked to a lady in the office.  I told her my situation.  She actually cared (which amazed me.)
  5. She said if I could get down there and bring my current passport, she would get me a new one.  I had some hope, but wasn't sure.
  6. We (Skipper and I) left Thursday morning at 2am and drove to Miami.  We arrived at 8am. 
  7. We made it into the Federal Building and went to the passport office to find a line.  While in line the security guard was giving instructions and one thing he said was "Have your airline tickets in hand."  I was worried.  I left the tickets in Jacksonville.  At that moment another guard came up and said "Can I help the next in line?"  I went to him and said "I talked to (the lady who works there) yesterday.  She told me to ask for her."  The guard said "Go on in and go to window 1."
  8. We went to window 1.  The lady at window 1 was busy, so I had to go to Window 2.  I guess that was God's plan as well.  I told the lady at Window 2 we were there to see the woman I talked to.  She looked up and asked "Are you the guys from Jacksonville?"  Yes.  Then, she went to get our contact.
  9. My new friend (whom I had never met) came out.  They took our forms, bumped us to the front of the line.  We paid and were told to wait while they printed the passports.  There was no line at the windows when we went in.  In a matter of 2 minutes, there were 20 people behind us in line.  We overheard another lady being told that her passport would be ready in about six hours.  We were prepared to wait a while.
  10. We waited for the passport and within 30 minutes had the new ones and were headed home! 

If you have ever dealt with government offices or renewal of passports, you know this is not the norm.  Most folks just told us "Sorry, you'll never get through."  God had other plans.  We stopped and praised God there in the middle of Miami.  We knew He had orchestrated this.  Worried?  Yes I was, and I repented of that.  God came through, just like He always does.  I trusted Him.  I pray you have a chance to trust Him this week.  Remember, He is truly in control. 


The One About Commitment

What can we learn about friendship from a plate of bacon and eggs?

The pig was committed.

The chicken was just involved.

This is true for friendships as well.  Every friendship reaches a point where those involved in the relationship have to make a choice to be either “just involved” or committed.

Will you be just involved or will you be able to take the step to totally committed as a true friend?

Commitment is a huge step that can lead to a truly deep friendship.

Download 01_the_one_about_commitment.mp3