Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One thing...

Can you name one thing that if you were to do, could radically change your life?

Perhaps its starting something new? Perhaps it stopping something? Perhaps its just taking stock of life as it stands just now and simply appreciating what you've got.

Ive recently come to believe, that I have one thing that if I could get it right, would so radically change my life that I would be a new man.

My one thing, is simply to read the bible.

My whole life, I have never ever got this right. Ive been so PASSIVE in my efforts - in truth its embarrassing. Its not like I don't desire with my heart to hear God speak to me. Its not as though I don't understand the math, or am unable to make an effort for something - there are plenty other things in life I'm more than happy to routinely do.

So why does it just not cross my mind to get down to it?

I think that part of it is, frankly, I hate reading. I don't read. Period.

But I do love visual and audio communication. And one thing I do have is the "Inspired By: The Bible Experience", which my wife, knowing me so well, bought me for this specific purpose. But still - I fail to make the effort to use this amazing (and it is amazing) resource.

What is the deal with this?

It is something so simple in concept, that can have such an astounding impact on my life - why am I so unable to just to make the small effort needed?

So that's my "one thing". Please feel free to pray for me - as I'm seeking to break the bad habit of life time...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First things first...

I grew up with a lot of kids, who at one point or another, had painfully realised that their family home was filled with what they saw as hypocrisy. The parents, specifically their dads, would lead double lives - one at home and another in the church. I remember observing one situation, when this person's father was as deacon and elder in the church - and preached that Sunday night on the subject of God's grace. He then came home that evening and tore down his family in a fit of rage.

I have memories from an even younger age, of going to my parents' friends' houses, and noticing how strange it was - that these men I saw my dad talk about God with - their sons would cry out in fear even at their father's raised voice.

Heck, if I am to be truly honest with myself, I remember sitting down with my parents once, and blatantly admitting to my dad, that I was scared of him.

I don't mention these things as a means to shame, or blame or even complain. These memories and thoughts are not coming to me because of a need to resolve an issue of the past.

They are coming to me now, because of all the fears I have in my life - to be seen like that by my own children - I can think of few things worse.

I truly believe and live by the fact, that as a father, my attitudes with my kids have the ability to impact their view of God for the rest of their lives. Irrelevant of what the causes are of whatever issues I bring - it is my primary responsibility to ensure that they see God through me. It is my responsibility and delight to be demonstrating God's grace and love to them - as he does to me. For my relationship with Him to be growing, and for them to see it and feel encouraged to seek him also.

Ultimately - I believe for my relationship with my children to be a continuing edifying experience for them, in the same ways and to the a similar extent as living with Jesus should be for me.

How can I possibly call myself a follower of Christ if I fail in any way with this? Its so easy to become self obsessed. Its so easy to become wrapped up in my own stuff - to the point of justifying my actions and attitude as part of that primary responsibility. I can get so hooked on an idea, on ideals - so fixated on a single target that is not my kids - Godly or otherwise - ....... it is worth NOTHING if I let this slip.

How can I be serving God in the world at large, if I cannot get it right in the home? How can I be succeeding at home if my kids don't see an accurate picture of God through me? How can they see God through me, if they are fearing me, or feeling rejected or even not being edified?

Surely it is getting these things correct that is considered in 1st Timothy as having your "house in order"?

So it is first things first - I am going to work on my calling as a dad.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The sensational effect of purpose

I recently was involved in a conversation where my experiences at Men's Fraternity came up. I am always more than happy to tell people about the course, and to then encourage them to try it themselves - but this time I was a little hesitant since I knew one of the people listening would react very negatively to a lot of the truths I learnt there.

As I tried to carefully mention details that did the course justice while simultaneously not causing a stir, I started talking about the changes we had experienced. I talked about the re-evaluating of our past and how some men had gone on to contact people from their past to seek healing and forgiveness. I the chose to mention one guy specifically who had contacted his ex-wife and children to ask for forgiveness for his mistakes of past.

And that was it.

I had not said anything with any inference to anyone present - but he suddenly fired back "that's just sensationalizing the whole thing". And the conversation stopped.

See, the truth is - it is sensational. And to me I cannot see why the has to be a 'bad' thing.


To cast and present in a manner intended to arouse strong interest, especially through inclusion of exaggerated or lurid details

Is it just me, or is it truly sensational to have sent your only son to die for all of humanity so that they might live the rest of eternity with you. Is that not sensational? Is it not sensational for the disciples to have gone on to be martyred for their beliefs?

When we testify about what God has done in our lives, do we not mention the gory details?

Through the men's fraternity, I was educated in my purpose for God. And I can say life has become sensational since then. I live each day expecting something sensational to happen (preferably something good) Because for me, the process of getting to know God has been, and continues to be sensational. How could it not be when I'm surrounded by his creation and the people he has put in my life. He went to sensational lengths to give me my purpose.

A note to my friend and contributor to my thoughts -
In all I have said I have to also confess....I wish I was more of a man. Man enough to challenge you and encourage you to your face - without fear of reprisal. I dont claim to have all the answers - I only know what God has done for me. I can only testify to what Ive seen in my life - I can only relate through my context. So please do not see me as proclaiming to have the answers - the truth is I dont - we dont - so lets go find them in God together.