Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23


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Back Online

Dear friends, yes it has been three years since I have posted on my blog.  Much has happened over the time with some highs and lows of life.   Our oldest daughter became engaged and then married, our oldest son transitioned from the medical field with assisting people to working at a veterinarian hospital and our three youngest children all graduating in May of 2016 and are pursuing different areas of interest.

During this season of life and transition we have experienced some very lows with still unresolved family struggles that many of you are much aware of and are in prayer.  We are so grateful for your continued faithfulness to pray.  But as always through our lives, God has been faithful and good to us and has blessed us above measure.  We have learned so much over these years from our good and gracious God.   Over time we will share insights and lessons that God is teaching us as a family.  I also want to get back to finishing my layman’s walk through Ephesians.

As a reminder, I have broken up the book of Ephesians into sections about relationships.  So far we have discussed the following:

  • Our Relationship with God = Chapter 1-2:10
  • Our Relationship with Christ = Chapter 2:11-3:21
  • And we will now continue with the third section: Our Relationship with Fellow Christians and the World = Chapter 4:1-5:21

Since it has been awhile, why not go back and review some of the previous posts.  These can be found to the right under “Categories”.

My goal will be to post one blog a week initially.  If you pick up following the blog, feel free to make comments, insights and encouragement to other readers.  If you like my postings feel free to share it with others and if you see I am falling behind in posts, feel free to also give me a little nudge here or on Facebook!

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In Christ Alone,

Donn


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Faith of a Family BOGO Nov 16-Dec 16

dec-bogo-2016Looking for a unique Christmas gift for your Spouse, Parents, Grandparents, Siblings or Friends? Take advantage of the BOGO at www.faithofafamily.com . We have new frame colors available and soon, black and mahogany quivers.

Don’t forget to share this with friends and family, and let others know you would like this set too!

 


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Happy New Year From Faith of a Father and Faith of a Family

Happy-New-Year-2014
Happy New Year to all our friends and family!

As we begin a new year, many of us will set new resolutions or new goals.  This is a great opportunity to make needed changes in our lives and it is a very important step in our personal growth as it helps us to re-focus on what is really important.

I found it interesting that the next passage of Scriptures that we were set to review in our study in Ephesians tells us that our success is at least a three step plan.

Ephesians 4:20-24

But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  1. Put off the bad (the old man) – Write down how you are going to do this
  2. Change your heart and mind  – Write down how you are going to do this
  3. Put on the good (new man) – Write down how you are going to do this

A. You have to get rid of something.  I can’t say that I will now do that which is righteous and holy and yet continue to do that which is sinful.  If I want to read my Bible more, lose weight or spend more time doing __(whatever)__, I must consciously give up something.

B. You have to change the way you think.  So not only is there a Stop and Start process, but there is an internal action required.  To do steps one and or three without step two (a heart/mind change) will only bring a temporary or ineffective outward change.  (Please note, only in the power of Christ can the heart and mind truly be changed.  This would make for a great personal in-depth study).

C. You have to replace the old with the new.  We must fill the void with something profitable, if we don’t, it will be easy to slide back into the same old rut of doing what we have always done before.

Romans 12:1-2 says all this in a slightly different way:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So when you write down your 2014 goals or resolutions, remember to also consider what you will be stopping, make it clear.  Also think through how you will be seeking the Lord’s direction and looking for his continual reminders and encouragements along the way to change your mind and heart.  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:  – Proverbs 27:7a

Don’t forget to share your goals and action plan with an accountability partner to help keep you accountable throughout the year.

And remember:

I can do all things through CHRIST, which strengtheneth me. – Philippians 4:13


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It Was Only The Beginning

cross-shadow-on-manger-743969

As we celebrate Christmas tomorrow, let’s not forget about the reason for Christ’s birth.  Christ’s birth was only the beginning of God Himself stepping down from Heaven to rescue sinners headed to a godless eternity in Hell.  Christ took upon human flesh so that we might have everlasting life; for without this new life, we were dead in our trespasses and sins.  Christ knew that He was coming into a world that would reject Him, curse Him and even murder Him yet He still came.  Why?  Because of His great love for each of us.  A love that no man, woman or child could ever comprehend.  The virgin birth was His humble entrance into a sin filled world.  His death was the ultimate price paid for your sins, and for my sins.  His resurrection was His victory over death and our salvation from sin, eternal damnation, Hell, and a new life in Christ.

John 3: 16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15: 13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Listen to this song from the Ball Brothers.

Romans 10:9-10

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Because of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection (all three must have happened), we can have new life.  What a great reason to celebrate and praise the Lord for his wonderful Grace and Mercy.  Christ was born once so that we can live again!  Do you have new life in Christ?  If not but you’d like to, send me an email.  Why not receive the greatest gift of all today.

Merry Christmas from Faith of a Father, Faith of a Family, and the Schnarrs


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How well do you still see in the dark?

man in the dark
In this post I want go back to my study in Ephesians.  I left off at Ephesians 4:16 so I want to pick it up from there.
About a month ago our family gathered together with friends to enjoy an evening around a bonfire.  We had a great time.  Although it was a little on the cold side, it was a good evening.  That night the kids even pulled out their instruments (banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle) and played along with another friend that brought his large bass. Everyone seemed to have a great time eating chili, drinking hot drinks and fellowshipping with other believers. Of course the evening began in the light but over time, as anyone walked away from the fire, the darkness would engulf them.
At the beginning of the event the boys and a few of us old guys played some football in the front yard.  It was easy to see the ball for awhile but over time as the darkness crept in it became more and more difficult to see.  The older guys gave up shortly thereafter for fear of getting hurt while the younger boys played on in what seemed to be complete darkness.
Ephesians 4:17-19
 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:   Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul told the Ephesians how to walk worthy of their calling in Christ.  He encourages them to have meekness, longsuffering and uphold one another in love.  He describes our unity in Christ and then outlines spiritual gifts that we have in Christ. After all of this, Paul brings his readers back to the basics; he reminds them of who they were before Christ.  As unbelievers they were ignorant to God because of the blindness of their heart.  They once lived in darkness but now live in the light.
I consider our world today and how so many willingly walk in darkness and how this verse can apply to them.  I find it so easy to point fingers at the world, but as I look at this verse, I must consider the audience to whom Paul was speaking, he was speaking to believers.  He is reminding them to not walk like the world, and don’t think like the world.  The world is blinded by their willful ignorance of God and is willingly following their hardened heart’s desires.  He is saying this should not be so of the believer.  I wondered for a second why would Paul take the time to tell the Believers at Ephesus not to walk as the Gentiles (world), they were Christians.  My conclusion is that even though we see in preceding verses that the Believers were following after Christ, Paul was giving a warning of the potential dangers that could befall them.
As Christian’s we are born into the light of the wonderful Grace and Mercy of God, but until we are raptured into heaven one day, we continue to live in a sinful body and a sinful world.  It is this sin nature that is a continual pull on the believer and if we are not careful we too can be drawn back into a dark corner of our sinful life without recognizing the subtle changes in our walk.
Although some individuals lose their sight through a tragic injury or accident and go from light to darkness in an instant, most people lose their sight very gradually like the boys that played football that night.  Yes, they knew it was getting dark but to them, it was no big deal, they could “handle it”.
As parents, it is our responsibility to train our children to walk in the Light of God’s Word and to recognize when the darkness of this world begins to creep in.  Often the question may not be, “Is it sin?” rather, “Is it the right timing or best thing to do?”
The following are a few questions to ask ourselves on a daily basis:
1.      Do I want to serve the Lord today, or myself?
2.      Did I feed on God’s word today to fill me with His ways and thoughts?
3.      Have I prayed that He would direct my path today?
4.      Is what I have done or about to do:
          a.       good for me?  How?
          b.      good for others? How?
          c.       beneficial for me or others?  How?
          d.      affect faith and witness to others? How?
          e.      does it glorify God, How?
          f.       does it honor my parents (if applicable)? How?
          g.      will it bring me closer to God? How?
          h.      Scripturally permissible, but is it likely to be a stumbling block to those around me?
5.      Do I have that still small voice speaking to me about what I have done or am going to do?
Asking ourselves and teach our children these types of questions can give us insights into whether something may or may not be of God.  Asking the follow up question of How, helps us to get specific and not brush off the question as easily.
We all have blind spots in our lives.  If you haven’t already, why not partner with someone close to you that can give you honest and loving feedback so that iron sharpens iron?


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Arrows of Faith – Launched

faith of a family facebook ad

I like the idea of symbolism.  I like the idea of having a tangible item to remind me of an important spiritual message.  By having something visible, it is not only a reminder to me but also a potential opportunity to be a catalyst for conversations with others.

About 5 years ago I was really struck by the passage in Psalm 127:4 that says, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”  At my oldest daughter’s high school graduation, I spoke about this passage of Scripture and gave my daughter a store bought arrow and quiver signifying that we were launching her out into the world.  To be honest, a black 32 inch arrow with blue fake feathers really didn’t impress me.   So, over these last five years I started slowing developing an idea in my head.

This store bought arrow and plastic quiver really wasn’t what I had in mind as a display piece symbolizing Psalm 127:4.  I could tell it would be just too big for most rooms, and well, it just looked cheap and “store bought”.  I came up with the idea of having a shorter arrow displayed in a quiver, accompanied with a picture frame to display a photo of our children.  I couldn’t find the types of short arrows that I wanted, nor a quiver to fit them so I began the search on how to make the arrows using authentic arrow shafts, feathers, sinew, and tips.  I had a pretty good idea of how to make a quiver out of leather and lacing, I was able to located a supplier for the picture frame and found a local engraver to assist with the engraving of the names on each individual arrow.  Through trial and error and numerous variations of each product, I believe that I have designed a product that I hope many will enjoy for years to come.

It is my desire that these products will be something cherished by parents and children alike.  I trust that you will consider these as a reminder of the awesome responsibility that we as parents have in rearing our children.  As I said in a recent post, we as parents are launching our children into the next generation, into a generation or even generations that we ourselves may never experience.

Take a few minutes to review our “Arrows of Faith” and visit our new website:   www.faithofafamily.com   Please feel free to share the link with your friends.


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How Strong Are You Making Your Arrows?

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. — Psalm 127:4 

This verse is the theme of a new venture that I am embarking on.  As I have read a number of commentaries, articles and comments about this verse, the overriding theme seems to be what the arrows (children) mean to the parents in their old age.

Before we get to this topic, I want to first discuss the topic of our children as arrows.  When my oldest daughter graduated from high school, on the night of her graduation party, I spoke a few words on this topic.  I explained that she was the first of 5 arrows being launched out into the world.  I went on to describe a few of the qualities needed in an arrow.  In the next couple of posts I would like to take some of those comments and expound on them, followed up with how Psalm 127:4 has spoken to my heart regarding the future.

Let me preface my comments with letting the readers know that I am not an archer and therefore my reflection on this topic is from my readings and observations on the topic.

As I look at an arrow, the first thing that I see is the shaft.

The shaft.  Today, the shaft can be made up of a number of materials, both natural and man-made.  “Back in the day” the arrow shaft was made from a number of woods and the selection of material by the fletcher (arrow maker) was dependent on what was available.  Just as we find diversity in the shafts of arrows, so is the diversity between, and in families.

The shaft of an arrow needs to be strong, firm but flexible, and straight in order to fly true and accurate to hit its mark.  What a tree takes in as nutrients, and how much, determines how well rooted or grounded it is and will ultimately affect the overall strength of the tree, including the density / strength of its branches.  A tree flooded regularly with water, or one that does not get enough water will be severely affected.  The same can be said of a tree that received too little or is overwhelmed with nutrients.  Our children’s spiritual strength will be determined by the kind, how much, or how little spiritual food they are given systematically.  Dumping fertilizer at the base of a fruit tree a few days before harvest time is useless and can very likely cause damage.  The same goes with our children, we can’t expect to ground them in the Word of God their senior year in high school in anticipation of launching them into the world and expect wonderful results, the cultivating, pruning and nurturing must be done over time.

It is our responsibilities as parents to learn and understand our children, and with God’s grace and wisdom, design a plan to systematically “water and fertilize” our children with the Word of God so that they can grow to be strong in the Lord.  The Bible tells us to

“stand fast in faith…and be strong” –I Corinthians 16:13

“be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” – Ephesians 6:10

and we are to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” – II Timothy 2:1

If we expect our children to grow up to be strong in the Lord, we cannot relegate their primary biblical instruction to others.  Sadly, too often Christian parents think that because their children are involved in Christian School or in an active youth group at church, their responsibility somehow is fulfilled.  These godly resources are wonderful supplements and can be of great value to a family, but God’s plan is for the parents to be the primary instructors of righteousness to their children.  As parents, we are to carefully recognize the grain of our children, in other words, the way God has made them and get to know and understand each child individually as we nurture and instruct their lives for the future.  I know of many families that homeschool their children because they recognize that even within families, children learn differently.  Yet how often do we, do I, use a one size fits all when it comes to training our children spiritually?  Sadly, in most cases, we as fathers tend to not do as well in this area as our wives.

Have you ever seen someone try to shoot an arrow made from a very green shoot from a reed of some kind?  The moment the string is drawn back and pressure is applied to the arrow, it bends and fails in its purpose.  The world is a dark and evil place and Satan is a roaring lion, waiting to consume our children.  If we as parent fail to encourage our children and teach them to stand strong in the Lord and in His Word, when we release our children into the world their lack of spiritual strength to stand will cause them to buckle either when we release them or when they hit a target.  Parents, how are we teaching our children to stand strong?  Are we presuming that somehow our own spiritual growth is going to rub off on them?  Our influence as parents is critical, but their faith has to be their own.

I’ll end with this illustration.  With my father being pastor, I never knew anything but living in a Christian home.  I received Christ as my Savior at a very early age and never really had many doubts about it.  I went to a Christian School for grade school, was homeschooled for middle school and attended a very small Christian school for my high school years.  Upon graduation, I went off to a very small, very conservative Bible College.  Being in a Christian environment all my life it seemed like I knew all the answers to all the Bible questions.  I served in various ministries started at about the fourth grade from bus routes to a music group in college.   I transferred to a different college / university my senior year causing me to have to go an extra semester.  In that summer between my second and third semester of my senior year I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment above a little old couple.  I shared the apartment with another Christian young man (maybe five years older than me) who was working at the university.  This summer was truly a turning point in my Christian walk.  This young man named Terry played the organ at a large Presbyterian church in town and immediately I could tell his standards and mine were very different.  I think the first time I met him he was holding a wine cooler.    Obviously he didn’t come from the Fundamental, Independent, Bible Believing, KJV only, hell fire preaching, no TV, Baptist circles that I grew up in.  God knew that he was just the roommate that I needed that summer.  If you know the Schnarrs, I grew up on good lively debates.  And so that summer, Terry and I had some good lively debates about our differences.  During one of these debates, he said to me, “Don’t tell me what your parents believe, tell me what YOU believe.”  And that was a new beginning for me.  I had all the answers memorized but I didn’t know the Whys.  Why did I believe what I believe?  Over the next few years as I began to study and understand why I believed what I did, based on Scripture, some legalistic convictions I held for many years turned to preferences and some preferences became convictions.  My faith began to grow deeper.  As I began to absorb God’s Word into my life for myself, my faith grew stronger.  I learned not to take what a preacher said at face value, but to search the Scriptures for myself.  Oh, if I had only learned these things earlier in life.

Parents, are your children following your faith because it is something that is expected, or are you teaching them to learn and develop their own faith?  When the winds come, and the enemy attacks, and they will, will your children be able to stand firm on the Word of God or will they parrot only what you have told them and bend like a young green branch?  Faith is not inherited, it is planted and cultivated, one life at a time.


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Remembering Dad

I posted this blog about my father 3 years ago on Father’s Day.  He passed away the following April after a battle with cancer but I am so glad that I was able to share my admiration with him prior to his passing.  I’m also glad that my kids were able to get to know him better the last few years of his life.  Yes, some days were “better” than other days due to his pain and his frustration that he couldn’t do some things on his own or not at all, but even to the end he was an example of someone with a deep desire to learn.

Thanks Dad for your love and godly example.

June 22, 2010

As I was reading Proverbs chapter one on the plane last night and when I got to verse five it reminded me of my dad. The verse reads: “ A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

My dad has always been a learner. I can remember way back even as a little boy my dad always trying something new. If he didn’t know the answer, he sought out the answer. If he couldn’t find the answer on his own he would find someone who knew the answer or he got a book and read until he found the answer. I remember him tell us when we were young kids about how he used to work with a friend by the name of Ken Gull during the summers of his college days. Dad said that they used to do odd jobs and home repairs for people. He said that even if they didn’t know how to do the work they would accept the job. He said one time they were asked if they could repair a slate roof. Of course they didn’t have a clue but accepted the job anyhow. Once the deal was made they sought out some old-timers who knew about slate roofs and they asked them how it needed to be done. I don’t recall ever hearing if the customer was pleased with the finished job or not but Dad always did it right so I’m sure it got done to the customer’s satisfaction. Over the years dad could do about anything, hang wallpaper, paint inside and out on a house, build churches, and do electrical and plumbing work. He learned how to be successful as a door to door sales man selling encyclopedias and he learned how to start a church with just his family. He learned how work with computer, how to make the world’s largest milkshake, burger and popcorn bags, he learned all the facets of the Jewish Seder and how it all points to Christ. Dad has always been a constant reader and pursuer of information and knowledge. Even over the past number of months as he struggles with stage four cancer, he has been getting books and reading about gardening. He continues to gets books out on CDs from the library and learns more about American history and great men of the past.

This is one of the many things that I have learned from my dad but don’t do very well. Continued learning is something that I continue daily to struggle with in my life. Oh if I would learn to be a better learner, to broaden my knowledge, to learn more about the things of God and His love for me, to have a broader knowledge of His Creation, to have a real hunger rather than a passing interest in learning.

I am thankful for the opportunity we have to homeschool our children and see their growing desire to read and learn. I’m thankful for the tender hearts that my children have for God and how they are faithful to have their own quiet time with God each day. It’s my heart’s desire that my kids would grow even deeper and in their desire to know God and then to have a desire for learning all that God wants then to know for the future He has prepared for them. My desire is that each one of them could talk with a king but also with the beggar. Not to be a stuck up know it all but a person diverse in the wisdom of God.

Thanks Dad for teaching me the importance of always learning. You truly are a man that exemplifies what it means to hear, and will increase in learning.


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E-Book Release: Lessons Learned From A Heart Attack

https://faithofafather.com/free-ebook/

New E-Book Release, to get your free PDF file click here or on the ad to the right.  Feel free to share this link with your friends and family and let me know what you think.  Don’t forget to submit your reviews to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com


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#11 Running the Race: The Finish Line

                                                                                                  Finish line

11. A goal is set – the finish line. Every race has a finish line. I remember running in the 4 miler and I started to see signs indicating the finish line was “just” ahead, so I was inspired to press on. I’d go around the corner and see another sign indicating the finish line was “just” ahead, so on I struggled. Finally, I could see the finish line, it was in sight! I was hurting and exhausted but once I actually saw it I was encouraged again. It didn’t matter that hundreds had crossed the line before me, I made it. I finished my first race. I was satisfied.

The goal of all runners is to finish their course. To finish the course set before them. Depending on the runner the goal may be to just finish the course and to have a feeling of personal accomplishment while for others it may be to finish in a specific time or in a specific placing such as in first place or top ten. Some run for the fame or the endorsements, but whatever the reason, completion is the goal.

I Corinthians 9 Paul talks about how as a free man he became a servant to have an audience with the slave, he became a Jew that he might witness to the Jews, and he became as weak to have opportunity to minister to the weak. In verse 23 he says he does all this, he denies himself of what is rightfully his position and station in life so that he might be a partner with whom he writes and that they might share in the winning of souls to Christ to the honoring and glory of Christ. From this Paul moves in to the passage that states:                                                                                                

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

In my 4 miler, while many received a prize, only one received “the prize”. Not so in our Christian race, God is no respecter of persons. Everyone that runs His race receives an incorruptible crown, the crown of everlasting life. What more could we every want or need, a reward that will never perish. A reward of eternity in heaven with the God of the universe, how great is that?

In Philippians chapter 3 Paul tells of his background, his pedigree, a man of means and station but he says he counts it all loss for Christ. He calls it all dung. What he had, the fame, the position as part of the Sanhedrin, the revered name, the success, and no doubt the fortune, he gave it all up for Christ. In verse 13 he says that he hasn’t “arrived”, nor is he some great man in society because of what he had accomplished in his past. Paul willingly put all these things, all these worldly successes behind him so that he might reach forth to those things which God has before him. He said he presses toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Reader, are you willing to leave those things behind that are hindering you from moving forward with Christ? Many people pursue fame and fortune, they strive for status and position in life, they seek recognition and accolades above all else. Some are even willing to put their struggle for material success above even their family and worse, their faith, to obtain a perishable crown. Is there anything wrong with success and striving for excellence? Of course not, as Christians we are commanded to do our best in whatever our hand finds to do. The question is how do you define success? Is it defined by things and position or in a relationship with Christ? As we see in the passages previously mentioned Paul didn’t define his success in his pedigree or in his status with the religious leaders of the day, he defined his success by his relationship with Christ.

What is your life’s goal? Yes we all want to live a comfortable life but what is driving you to live each day? How do you want to finish your course? Are you, am I seek a corruptible crown or an incorruptible crown? When your life comes to an end how will you be remembered? Will your life be summed up by the dash between two dates or will your life have eternal significance? Will your friends remember you for a brief period of time or are you striving to leave a lasting legacy?

“Two little lines I heard one day, 
Traveling along life’s busy way;
 
Bringing conviction to my heart,
 
And from my mind would not depart;
 
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, 
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
 
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
 
And stand before His Judgement seat;
 
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, 
Gently pleads for a better choice
 
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
 
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
 
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, 
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
 
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
 
living for self or in His will;
 
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, 
When Satan would a victory score;
 
When self would seek to have its way,
 
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
 
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, 
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
 
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
 
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
 
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, 
And from the world now let me turn;
 
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
 
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
 
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, 
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
 
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
 
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
 
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
 
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
 
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
 
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

C.T Studd


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Endurance to Finish Your Race

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9.   The race requires endurance to complete it successfully.  Being able to withstand the pressures of the race both physically and spiritually is critical for no one wins a race by skipping their training and taking a blasé attitude.  

Hebrews 12:1  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us,”

I am reminded of when I was a freshman in collage I helped coach a high school soccer team that went all the way to the state championships.  We weren’t an overly talented team but we were a team that had a dedicated head coach and players that were willing to work harder than the other teams.   During practices the head coach pushed his players hard to build their stamina.  He would run them around the field over and over again requiring the last runner to sprint to the front of the line, when he got there he yelled and now the new last runner sprinted to the front of the line.   This training, along with other endurance skills enabled the out players to play hard throughout the entire game.  While other teams played hard, part-way through the second half they would start to drag.  Our players on the other hand had a second wind and were able to push past the other team and win.  The point of this story is that it is not always about being the best and the most skilled at something but having the endurance to outlast your opponent.  It is the same in our Christian life, while it is important to hone our “skills”, continue to learn and do our best ( I Corinthians 10:31), like a tortoise, plodding along, being consistent and developing the needed endurance is what gets us to the finish line.  

Physical conditioning is not easy.  It is tough, you want to quit, it hurts and often it is just plan no fun.  So it is with our spiritual conditioning, it is tough, there is often pain, and at times you just want to quit.  But like a runner in training, they press on.  We are reminded in II Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient for us.  When the pain seems to become overwhelming and we think of giving up, it is HIS grace that is sufficient, not our works.

So how do you want to cross the finish line?  Will you be a casualty in the race and have to be carried across the line on stretcher, will you allow the things of this world, the heartaches of life take your breath away or will you strengthen yourself in the Word of God and recognize that His grace is sufficient for you to finish your course? 

Oh let us not become distracted by the world, let us not give up but press toward that mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14) .


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Preventing another Newtown tragedy

Friday, December 14th, 2012 was a tragic day.  Twenty-eight individuals lost their lives due to a lone gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, CT.  Since then the families and friends of these individuals have been in our prayers continuously.  This act of terror will change the lives of so many people forever.  As a parent of five children I can only begin to imagine and yet even then fail to grasp the brokenness that comes to a parent’s heart when such devastation hits a family and community.

Over the past week we have heard from many people proclaiming what needs to be done to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again.  From arming teachers and placing armed guards and police officers in schools to stricter gun control laws and a re-implementation of the “assault rifle” ban.  Gun sales and accessories are skyrocketing and concealed weapons permits are on the rise.  As a concerned citizen and parent, I support an open and honest discussion on these topics.  I have heard politicians such as our President, House Representatives and Senators on both sides of the aisle seek to politicize this tragedy and have taken the popular position of never letting “a serious crisis go to waste.”  I am saddened that selfish goals and agendas have gotten in the way of the real issue.  In an effort to promote their agenda many politicians and influential organizations are attempting to treat this tragic incident like a cancerous disease that is spreading wildly throughout the body with only an aspirin.  It may make them feel like they are doing something to affect the cancer but in reality they are only covering symptoms of the bigger problem.

Our President, in a recent speech said, “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end.  And to end them we must change.”  I agree one hundred percent.  Change is necessary.  The answer to the tragedy in CT and similar attacks across our country is not that difficult to figure out but it will be a difficult “fix” because many, if not most, will lack the courage and fortitude to make the necessary changes.

Tragedies of this kind don’t happen just because someone had access to a gun, and the answer is not just to have armed guards in assault garb roaming the schools.  Tragedies of this nature don’t happen because of lax gun laws, access to “assault rifles” or because our mental health system failed us.  This tragedy and others like it happen because we as a society have devalued life itself.  The teaching and training of righteous morals, values and absolute truth have been replaced by situational ethics, relative truth and “live and let live”.

 I’m not implying that we as a nation condone such murderous actions that happened in Newton or in any other area of the country, but what I am saying is that we as a nation are sending mixed messages about how we value life itself. 

 We all love the occasional heart-warming story of a life saved from the clutches of certain death yet in our entertainment, general media consumption and even in our political speech we allow ourselves to feast at the table of distain, anger, hatred, violence, all slathered with the au jus of depravity.

Why are we surprised when such a murderous terror act occurs in a small town like Newtown when saving the black footed ferret or the Mississippi gopher frog is more important to us than millions of unborn babies?  Why are we surprised when a horrific act occurs like what happened at Columbine, when violence and murder are popular movie and computer games themes?  Yes, some would say that videogames, TV programs, movies and music violence don’t affect societal actions, but go ask those who spend billions of dollars each year in advertising how medium affect societal actions..  Why are we surprised when such horrors like 9/11 happen, when we teach our children we are only accountable to our societal rules?  A society whose morals and values change almost annually based in large part on its emotions and feelings.  Why are we surprised when a 16 year old shoots and kills someone over a pair of tennis shoes, when we view ourselves and teach our children that we are nothing more than a higher form of life in the animal kingdom which evolved through the process of survival of the fittest? 

We will spend millions if not billions of our taxpayer dollars debating, posturing, politicizing and defaming one another over the symptoms of these violent attacks in our country while most will ignore the root cause; the devaluation of life due to the depravity of man by the ignoring of our need for absolutes (truth, morals and values) that are unchanging. We give ourselves too much credit when we make ourselves the authority over what is right and wrong.  Left to our own devices and a lack of these absolutes as our compass, chaos would abound.  We don’t need laws and rules because we are so good, it’s because we are not as good as we think we are.  Until we as a nation are willing to come together and address the root cause of our problems, like the cancer patient taking only aspirin, the President, Congress and “We the People” are fooling ourselves.  

So yes Mr. President, we must change.  But it is not our rhetoric or even our laws, but our hearts.


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Legacy

Mom and Dad.bmp

Sorry for the delay in posting. These past few months have been pretty hectic leading up to the death of my father 3.5 weeks ago on April 6th. Dad passed peacefully after a long bout with cancer. Ashley, my daughter, was able to sing with my sister and her cousin for about the last half hour of dad’s life here on earth. Dad left this life listening to “I Can Only Imagine” being played on an I-pod and I can imagine him entering singing, “I want to See Jesus, the one who died for me” ( title: “I bowed On My Knees”). Mom and Dad both wanted me to read the post that I put here on my blog about Dad and his continued desire to learn June 22, 2010. It was a pleasure to do so. Dad’s Memorial Service was a celebration of his life well lived.
I saw my Mom as she walked through this valley with such grace and faith. Yes she had tears and it is obvious that she misses Dad, but she taught me how to go through life’s most difficult struggles hand in hand with her Savior. I was amazed with my Mom. After Dad passed away shortly after mid-night, we called hospice to come and to officially pronounce his death. After the nurse came and completed her tasks, we were all waiting for the funeral home to come and take Dad’s body for funeral preparations, and what did we all see? Mom sitting and witnessing to the nurse in the corner!
I am so thankful for the legacy that my parents have left me. Dad was in full time ministry for over 42 years and Mom was his helpmate. They partnered together in life to spread the gospel and minister to others. The number of lives that both Mom and Dad touched over the years for the Lord is innumerable. There are men and their families, now in full time ministry. There are countless people across this nation and even the world that are much stronger Christians in part due to the ministry of these two faithful servants of God.
This is the legacy I and my siblings are being left. I am so thankful that my children have been able to get to know my parents more fully over the past few years since they moved to town in September of 2009. I want my children to be left with a strong faithful legacy as well from both Sherry and I. This leaves me with the question that I ask myself, that I ask of you. What am I doing, what are you doing to leave a godly and faithful legacy? Are we living our lives each day to the fullest for the Lord or is service to our King, our Lord, our Savior an afterthought? Do we compartmentalize our faith? This question leads us into our next study in Ephesians chapter four. What is our vocation?
I trust that you will come back and continue with me in my study of the book of Ephesians.


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The Meaning of Christmas

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style…The decorations, the lights, the giving of presents and brotherly love. This is what Christmas means to so many. As a family we pile the children in the van one evening during the Christmas season and we drive around the area for several hours looking at lights all the while drinking hot chocolate and eating sugar cookies and playing Christmas music. We’ve been doing this for years and enjoy it each year as if it were the first time. Is this what Christmas is all about?

The giving of gifts is an exciting part of this season. It is neat to see the kids getting excited about their Christmas shopping and giving sacrificially to those they love, searching for that special gift for each family member. While time consuming, the making and giving out scones to the neighbors and friends is fun, knowing that you gave of your time and resources to be a blessing to those you know and love. Is this what Christmas is all about?

For many, giving out of our abundance and even sacrificially to worthy causes that touch our hearts is an important part of Christmas. Brotherly love tends to be a theme for many this time of year. Charitable giving is at its peak this time of year. Is this the meaning of Christmas?

Remembering the Christ-child being born in a manger over two thousand years ago is a wonderful event to ponder, not just around Christmas but all through the year. It’s amazing the numerous prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold of Christ’s virgin birth, what tribe he would come from and in which city he would be born have come to pass. Every prophecy in the Old Testament of the Messiah’s birth was fulfilled in Christ’s birth. But is the baby Jesus the complete meaning of Christmas?

Sadly, for many this year, these will be the only events that they celebrate. The lights, the decorations, the gift giving, brotherly love, and even the baby Jesus fall short of the full meaning of Christmas. For the Christian, the birth of Christ is only part of the Christmas event.

We celebrate each other’s birthday each year to remember the beginning of our life. Each year we look back at the previous year and recall the ups and downs of life and look forward to the unknown ahead of us. But for that baby in a manger, two thousand years ago, He knew what His life’s purpose was to be…to die. To die a bloody, painful, cruel death. The God/man who knew no sin, came to die so that each of us might live eternally with him. “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17 “Here in is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation (he became our substitute and assumed our obligations) for our sins.” I John 4:10

Christ, the only Son of God, came to earth to die so that we might have eternal life through him. God sent His perfect gift to mankind, a gift that we could never obtain on our own through works or deeds. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6.

Yes, Christ came to earth as a babe in a manager, but He grew up and became our Savior. The full meaning of Christmas is: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” My version, Christ became man, to die, that we might live. Why do so many reject so great a gift?

Tomorrow morning, on Christmas day, we’ll get up and have fun, share gifts and enjoy the day, but I pray that before anything else, we celebrate not only Christ’s birth, but also be thankful for His sacrifice, so that through Him, and only through Him, we might be saved.

Merry Christmas, and praise God for His unspeakable gift of salvation.


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Ephesians Chapter 3

Well it has been a while since I wrote on my blog, and even longer on the book of Ephesians. Picking up in chapter 3 we see the chapter broken into 2 parts. The first part is Paul’s call on his life to the Gentiles and the second is his prayer for the Ephesians.
Paul begins this chapter telling the Christians at Ephesus that he has been called by God to minister to them, and more broadly to the Gentiles. Of course this did not sit well with many of the Jews, as we note that he was actually persecuted for bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. How sad that people would actually be upset for spreading the Gospel.
Paul then explains that he was called to this ministry by God. He did not appoint himself to this role, but it was a calling from God. What does this calling mean, what’s the difference? I think we have all seen examples of people going into a ministry in their own strength just to see then fizzle or fade away. Maybe they had good intentions, or maybe they saw it as a way to lift themselves up in the eyes of others, or, maybe it wasn’t their desire at all but an expectation from their parents. As we see of Paul’s ministry throughout the Scriptures because he was obedient to the will of God, his ministry flourished.
Lord, help me not to place a calling onto the lives of my children, but to teach them to listen to your will for their lives and then that I can truly say, not my will, but thine be done.
Next we see that Paul confirms to the Christians in Ephesus that they are not second class Christians in God’s eyes but are fellow heirs with the Christian Jews. I’m not sure whether the Christians at Ephesus had an inferiority complex or whether they were feeling the heat from the Jews but either way it was a good opportunity for Paul to encourage them and to strengthen their understanding of their equal position in Christ. This encouragement from Paul has reminded me that I do too little encouraging to those around me, particularly to those that seem to be more introverts or seem to have a lack of self worth. This act needs to be more prevalent in my life. Why not examine your life, how are you doing in this area?
Also in this passage, it is interesting yet sad that some of the Jews actually persecuted Paul for his ministry to the Gentiles. Somehow they must have felt “better” then the Gentiles, and why not as they had been told all their lives and for centuries past that they were better as they were the “chosen people”. It is sad how they seem to forget how often they rejected God’s will and plan for them as a people. Yet Paul told his friends in Ephesus not to faint because of his tribulations but that it is there glory and his ministry to them was a gift of grace to him.
Here we learn from Paul that we are to preach and teach the gospel of Christ to whomever God calls us to go to regardless of how who we may disagree. We have to be willing to suffer for Christ’s sake and not follow a path of ministry by it’ ease. I think that we as Christians in America are far too often too quick to say woe is me for the little discomfort we feel when we witness yet Paul, even though he was being persecuted for ministering to the Gentiles, he thought so much of them to not think of his problems but to pray for them at Ephesus.
I wonder how I would have responded if I were called to minister to an “outcast”, a “second rate” people group? And if I were to heed the call, how would I respond to the persecution? Paul took all of this as a great gift, would I? Would you?
While some of us are called to go to another part of the country or another part of the world to share the Good News to others, I believe that each one of us has been called to a special “people group” that are all around us. This might be our immediate or extended family, our neighbors, co-workers, or those we meet on the street or next to us on the plane. How am I, how are you doing reaching these people for Christ? Do we shy away because we may be viewed as a kook or a religious fanatic? Are we willing to take some verbal abuse as we share the Gospel in Christian love? I think of those in other parts of the world that are bold Christians that are willing to proclaim the Good News to others even in the face of physical abuse, torture or even death.
In the past, the Gospel was not directed specifically at the Gentiles but now, through revelation from God, the Gospel was opened publically to all men. Paul counts his ministry as a gift of grace. Praise God that He is no respecter of persons and that we, Gentiles, have free access to the unsearchable riches of the Gospel.


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His ways are not our ways…

This past weekend we took a trip to the Sight and Sound Theater near Lancaster PA. (www.sight-sound.com) to see Joseph, about a 6 hour drive. Because of all my traveling this year I earned Marriott points that I was able to use for our 2 hotel rooms. The catch was that when I went to redeem some of the points for our hotel stay, the closest hotel was about 45 minutes away from the theater. This of course did not make me real happy but we were able to save the cost of the two hotel rooms.

Well we arrive in the area early afternoon and went to the hotel to freshen up. We left our hotel room early enough to meet my niece and her family for dinner prior to the show that evening. On the way, the oil pressure would drop real low when we would slow down and we began hearing some “ticking” coming from the engine. Although I had recently had the oil changed about 2 month prior, I knew immediately that I was getting dangerously low on oil.

We were able to stop at a nearby convenience store and check the oil levels which of course I couldn’t even see it on the ten foot dip stick. Well actually it was only about 3.5 feet but it seemed like 10 feet. While I was filling up the oil, a young man named Mike came along and asked if we needed any assistance. I told him my problem and he said that he works on cars for living and would be glad to help us.

He looked under the van and said the oil filter was loose and that it appeared that the old gasket was not removed so I wasn’t getting a good seal and that is why I lost my oil. We finished filling the oil and followed him to his home. In short time he had the van fixed and us back on the road again.

While we were driving away we were commenting on how the Lord provided just the right person to be at just the right spot at just the right time to help us. For this we were all very grateful. It took one of our boys to remind us that we would not have been at the little store at the right time and the right place if God had not planned for us to stay at the hotel 45 minutes away.

You know, God knows what we need and what the future has in store for us. If God had allowed us to have a hotel closer to the theater we would have missed out on His miraculous working. If He had allowed us to have our way and not His will, we could have been stranded for hours by the wayside and could have paid hundreds of dollars for repairs or even thousands for a new engine.

Thank you Lord for supplying our needs and not always our wants! Far too often I get discouraged or even upset when I don’t get my way. Let me not forget your grace and mercy in our lives and how you care for our every needs. Let me be ever grateful for your provision. You truly are my Jehovah-Jireh!
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path.”. – Prov 3:5-6


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The Duggar family and God’s Will

Yesterday I was on the SHRM bulletin board, an online forum for HR professionals. On the off topic section a discussion was going on about the Duggar family. A homeschool family that has a “reality” show on the TLC channel the chronicles the life of an extremely large family. Recently the Duggars brought home their 19th child from the hospital and the discussion on the bb was about the largeness of the family. Some believe that since this family supports itself and doesn’t take government funding – good for them. Others could care less one way or the other. Others supported the Duggars as they appeared to be rearing their children in a caring and loving home. There was another groups of people that felt how could they have so many children, it was irresponsible of them, there was no way the parents could provide enough attention to all those kids, how could you force the older children to care for the younger children, and on and on it went.

After a short while, several people brought up the issue of the Duggar’s faith and that they thought the Duggars had so many children because they believed it was God’s will. Some said that it was not faith but selfishness, and that it wasn’t God’s will for a woman to give birth to so many children. “They had mistake their lack of restraint with God’s will.” Well it was an interesting conversation to say the least.

One individual brought up the issue that they took this to their spiritual advisor, and elderly priest and he apparently said, “How would they (the Duggars) know God’s will?” And he was “appalled at the Duggars having 19 children and contemplating another.” Another agreed that you can’t know God’s will.

Well the discussion went on and on, to last count, 134 posted. When I got home from work last night I noticed a little book that my daughter Ashley had recently read called, Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur. It was a short read so I read it last night. It is amazing how God places in front of you just the right things you need, when you need them. After reading the short 60 page booklet, I posted the following on the forum bulletin board:

“I support the Duggars 100%. Is having 19 children for our family? No. God has only given us 5 and we are blessed above measure. Close friends have 14 children. With 4 of their children married, at this time all 13 (1 died of cancer at age 17) seem well adjusted and contribute to society. I say all that to say large families can be very successful.

About knowing God’s will.
1. God wants us to know his will.
2. God’s will is not elusive.
3. Knowing God’s will is not as difficult as many would believe.

The problem is most people don’t know God’s will or can’t “see” God’s will because they don’t know God any more than at a very superficial level. I highly suspect the Duggars have a deeper relationship with God than just a head knowledge.

All this can be found by reading the Scriptures. It is there in black and white.”

To which an individual replied late last night (in full):

“The Duggars believe in having as many children as possible. That’s their religious belief. It is what they want to do. Donn, you and I have discussed this in the past. Certainty is not faith.
The idea that God speaks to people directly is an interesting one, but NOT believing that doesn’t indicate one “doesn’t know God.” It is equally possible that being willing to accept the mystery of God requires a stronger faith than decreeing you can discern His will from “the scriptures.”

The scriptures are not — for many people — literal. For the vast majority of theologians, they are not.
I recognize the Duggars can do whatever they want. I just don’t consider it God’s will. They are doing what they want, and I think it is irresponsible. If you think I’m arrogant, you should read what you’ve posted from a perspective other than your own.”

Now it is getting interesting and I see a huge open door that as a Christian I felt I must walk through. The following is my response in full:

“To say that this is not faith is to say one knows the Duggars’ thoughts, their heart and their relationship with God. Neither you nor I (nor your priest) can truly know these things otherwise we would be equal to God.

While I do not believe God uses an audible voice to speak with us, He does speak to His children primarily through His Word. He doesn’t leave His children guessing at His will. The Bible is clear that if someone does not “hear” and do the will of God than their relationship with God should be in question. As a parent it is my job to instruct and teach and even discipline my children. If someone is not “hearing” the instruction, teaching and even being disciplined when needed from the Lord, then they must question whether they are truly a child of God. God chastises His children.

Ephesians is one of a number of books in the Bible to read regarding God’s will. Ephesians 5:17 says, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” In essence, we are being told we are UNWISE not to understand the will of the Lord. So no, it doesn’t take more faith to not know the will of the Lord.

Does God come down and say, “Go thou to that school.” No, but there are ways Christians can know if going to “that school” is God’s will.

I will agree that someone just stating that they know the will of the Lord doesn’t mean that they always do, although there are some very easy things to know about God’s will that are very cut and dry in the Scriptures. There is a progression of our Christian life to get to know the deeper things in God’s will. The more we know God, the more we know His will and the more OUR will will be His will.

Regarding whether the Scriptures are literal or not, knowledge of the Scriptures will help someone determine what is literal and what is not it truly is not rocket science. Unfortunately, many “theologians” don’t want to believe certain things to be true so they try to explain away portions that may be convicting or what they just don’t understand. God reveals Himself to those who seek after Him. For others, they won’t understand because the Bible says their eyes are blinded.

Some may call all of this arrogance, I’m sorry that you feel way. What better way to know God’s will then to use God’s Word.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

BTW, I have great little book that is 60 pages long and can be read in less than an hour that takes someone through the Scriptures on knowing God’s will. If interested, send me an email. Schnarrx7@verizon.net”

After posting this response, I have had two so far request the book which I will gladly send out to them tomorrow.
I posted all this, not to try boast about myself or to imply how great of a Christian I am as I am the least of all men, but I share this with you today as an example of how depraved and how messed up our world is today. As a society, as a nation, we go about our lives not having a clue about what God’s will is or means. Even as Christians, we “seek and seek” God’s will but we seem lost.

Can I say that I know God’s will all the time? No. But I am reminded through this discussion that to know God’s will, I have to know God. And each day that I fail to build my relationship with Him, I move further from knowing His will.


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My Dad and his desire to learn

As I was reading Proverbs chapter one on the plane last night and when I got to verse five it reminded me of my dad. The verse reads: “ A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

My dad has always been a learner. I can remember way back even as a little boy my dad always trying something new. If he didn’t know the answer, he sought out the answer. If he couldn’t find the answer on his own he would find someone who knew the answer or he got a book and read until he found the answer. I remember him tell us when we were young kids about how he used to work with a friend by the name of Ken Gull during the summers of his college days. Dad said that they used to do odd jobs and home repairs for people. He said that even if they didn’t know how to do the work they would accept the job. He said one time they were asked if they could repair a slate roof. Of course they didn’t have a clue but accepted the job anyhow. Once the deal was made they sought out some old-timers who knew about slate roofs and they asked them how it needed to be done. I don’t recall ever hearing if the customer was pleased with the finished job or not but Dad always did it right so I’m sure it got done to the customer’s satisfaction. Over the years dad could do about anything, hang wallpaper, paint inside and out on a house, build churches, and do electrical and plumbing work. He learned how to be successful as a door to door sales man selling encyclopedias and he learned how to start a church with just his family. He learned how work with computer, how to make the world’s largest milkshake, burger and popcorn bags, he learned all the facets of the Jewish Seder and how it all points to Christ. Dad has always been a constant reader and pursuer of information and knowledge. Even over the past number of months as he struggles with stage four cancer, he has been getting books and reading about gardening. He continues to gets books out on CDs from the library and learns more about American history and great men of the past.

This is one of the many things that I have learned from my dad but don’t do very well. Continued learning is something that I continue daily to struggle with in my life. Oh if I would learn to be a better learner, to broaden my knowledge, to learn more about the things of God and His love for me, to have a broader knowledge of His Creation, to have a real hunger rather than a passing interest in learning.

I am thankful for the opportunity we have to homeschool our children and see their growing desire to read and learn. I’m thankful for the tender hearts that my children have for God and how they are faithful to have their own quiet time with God each day. It’s my heart’s desire that my kids would grow even deeper and in their desire to know God and then to have a desire for learning all that God wants then to know for the future He has prepared for them. My desire is that each one of them could talk with a king but also with the beggar. Not to be a stuck up know it all but a person diverse in the wisdom of God.

Thanks Dad for teaching me the importance of always learning. You truly are a man that exemplifies what it means to hear, and will increase in learning.


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Patience, Grace and Hope

Sorry for the delay in posting. Life had been busy and I just have failed to keep this up. I have been working on a project for work that had been taking me out of town up until about the last month. Since then I have been trying to keep up with my regular work as a Human Resources Manager. Additionally, we have had lot of sickness in the immediate family was well as with my parents. Through all this I can say that God’s strength is sufficient.
I was reading in Hebrews today and in 10:36 it says, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” What an awesome verse. We all have struggles and difficulties in our lives. Some more than others, but we have them. I think of my parents and the struggles they are experiencing right now. Dad has stage 4 cancer and the prognosis is not good. When one has patience, they have hope. We as Christians can have the patience Hebrews speaks of because we have hope in Christ. This hope is not a wishful thinking type of hope, but a knowing hope, and expectation of what has been promised to come. And oh what a promise. A promise of an eternity with Christ our Savior. A place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, a place where continued worship of the Almighty God who has granted us both mercy and grace. Only as Christians can we have the patience as we go through today’s difficulties realizing that His grace is truly sufficient and as we look ahead, having the hope or expectation of His promise of what is to come, we can have complete rest in Him.
Each day as I pray privately and with my children, I pray for wisdom for my parents that they would be able to have the wisdom in the decisions that they need to make for treatment. I also pray each day that they would have God’s grace as they walk through this trial. After today’s reading, I will begin to pray also for patience as well in their lives (in ours too).