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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

You were made for so much more...

It is a line from a song I sang on Sunday night for National Men's Ministry Day 'Where are you men of courage? You were made for so much more." It resonates with me because, my whole life I felt, and at times was literally told, that I was useless and would never amount to anything. But God says in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. It's the verse that I have held onto for most of my adult life.

The problem most men have is that we like to see the big picture, we want to know where we are going so we can plan accordingly. Not that we don't like excitement or adventure, or that we can't be spontaneous, but in general we like to have a plan. I have found however that God doesn't always let us see the whole plan, sometimes we don't even get a glimpse of the road. That's because God wants us to trust him. In Psalm 46:10 he tells us to Be still, and know that I am God. The preceding verse of this chapter speak of natural disasters and warring nations, things that would make even the most stalwart man worry. Then God breaks through and says Be still and know that I am God. It is like God is says "Hey, chill out, I've got it under control."

That is such a comforting thought, to know that the creator of the universe has our back. So, why do we have such a hard time standing up. The world tells us to get out of the way, that as men we are obsolete. We are either portrayed as chauvinist pigs or as bumbling fools. Boys don't know how to grow up to be men because they have no one to show them the way, so inevitably they don't grow up at all. We end up with boys in men's bodies being told to man-up and get in touch with their feminine side. It's ridiculous.

So, how do we stop the trend? Quite honestly, I don't know. I don't know if there is really a one size fits all solution. Every man is different and every man will have a different answer to the problem in their own lives. For me it was facing those things in my childhood that I had buried deep down inside and tried to ignore. But as many have learned before me, Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. The one thing that did help me was realizing that I'm not strong enough to do it on my own. Philippians 4:13 says I can do everything through him who gives me strength, but the key here is him. I needed to stop trying to do things in my own strength. It was only when I truly let God lead the way that I began to understand what being a man was all about.

I guess if I needed to point someone in the right direction to start, I would tell them to love God, love our wives as Christ loved the Church, and to love our children by spending time with them. The second verse of the song summed it up well:

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall

We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise
- Excerpt taken from Courageous by Casting Crown

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adoption=Love

So my wife and I have been burning the candle at both ends all week. Between her getting up early and my FMS flaring up due to the cold weather, we've both been hurting. Add to that the meetings we have scheduled this week and we both feel exhausted. On the other hand I wouldn't change a thing this week.

As I'm writing this my head is spinning with all the things I need to get done before Easter. Yes, I said Easter. The Adult Choir at church is performing a full cantata called Love's Greatest Story Written in Red. So practices have to start in January so we can all learn the song selections, add to that narrations and drama and...ouch my head hurts.

Anyway, the highlight of the week thus far has to have been Monday night. 'Why?' you ask. That's simple, my wife and I went to an adoption open house at Communities for People. We had already started the classes to be licensed foster parents but were unable to complete them due to some scheduling conflicts. But, we can make up the classes we missed with this next session. so by the end of March we should be fully licensed.

So, you might be thinking, 'Wow, adoption huh?' Believe me when I tell you that we have heard every argument against adoption there is. From 'You'll never love them as much as your own.' to 'You know the biological parents could always take them back and then where will you be?' It's not like we don't have our own fears, but I just see this as another way to live out my faith. After all, if I truly believe that as a Christian that I have been grafted into the vine of God's family, in essence being adopted as a son of God, then how can I not want to adopt a child.

We are going through the foster care system for many reasons, but as I write this I'm reminded of the parallels in God's plan of salvation. Before I was saved I was a slave to the world, and as such I was beaten down by the world. I have on numerous occasions told my testimony of how my entire life I was told that I was worthless and useless, but God broke through and revealed that He has a plan for me. In many way spiritually we are all like these children who have been physically abused and abandoned. But God, in his mercy takes us and lovingly brings us into His family, and if I am truly to be like Christ should I not love these children and bring them into our family and ultimately into God's family.

I have more than enough love for any and all the children that God would bring into my life, because I don't love even my own wife and child in my own strength, but in the strength of God. As a good friend once told me: 'I love my wife as much as I do because I love Christ more than her. If I didn't then I wouldn't love her as Christ loves her, unconditionally.' That's a powerful statement and its true. I know because I couldn't be the husband and father I am if I didn't love my God more than them. Because when we truly love God we begin to see the world the way He does, and our hearts should break for what breaks His and we should be spurned in to love others the way He loves them. So to sum it up to me, Adoption is synonymous with Love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Still Running the Race

I'm still alive and kicking. Had a battle with a head cold last weekend and then my FMS flared up at the end of the week, So I really haven't had a chance to post anything until now.


Been feeling kind of down lately because my birthday is just around the corner. It just seems surreal that I'm going to be forty. The funny thing is I don't feel like I'm forty. I just have a hard time believing it. On the other hand I feel like I've lived a couple of lifetimes already. In four short decades I have done and seen so much (the Great Pyramids anyone). Yet, sometimes it feels like my life is just beginning. I guess that's because I'm still running the race. I know I'll cross that finish line someday, but until then, I'm going to keep running.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Don't confuse religion with God

It was something said on a DVD we watched at our homeschool coop planning meeting this week. It echoed the theme that we spoke about the night before at worship team practice and it is something I have believed since I first accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. What it boils down to is serving God, worshiping Him with all that we do, not because we feel compelled to but because of the great Joy we experience through knowing Him.

So as we head off to church in the morning ask yourselves why do we go to church, why do we sing songs to our Lord, why do we give our tithes and offerings? Is it to usage some sense of guilt, is it because it is our duty, or is it out of our deep love and reverence for the creator of the world who died on the cross for our sins so we could be called sons of God? What is your reason?