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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear 'Ol Dad



My dad with my grandmother and grandfather.
Father's Day is a special day for me.

The reason is because I have three sons ("My Three Sons!") who are great young men.

In the looks department they take more after their mother - which is good.

But my wife and I work together to raise them to be men of integrity and honor - something I like to call "True Men."

Recently I was watching a movie with my family. In one scene a father and son are saying goodbye as the son goes off to war. He tells his father "I am the man I am today because of you."

It is certainly true for me and my dad. But it is more true than I might think at times for me and my sons. It scares me but also gives me great hope.

It scares me when I take a good look at the man in the mirror and worry that I'm not a good father. I'm a sinful person, I do sinful things. Surely, I think to myself, I'm messing up as a father.

But it gives me hope as I realize that the greatest gift my dad gave me was to introduce me to God the Father Almighty, His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the great Comforter - the Holy Spirit.

My dad taught - and still teaches - me that a father doesn't have to be perfect. What he has to do is be a father who loves his children and introduces them to the only perfect Father there is.

That lesson I learned from my father is the one lesson that I do every day with my sons. Lead them to God, show them the love of Christ, and pray, with my wife, that the Holy Spirit gives them understanding and strengthens their faith in Jesus.

For me there is no greater lesson that I learned from my dad.

My dad and the 1st reason I'm a dad.

My dad and the 2nd reason I'm a dad.

My dad and the 3rd reason I'm a dad.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Daddy's Heroes - My Review


I am the father of three sons. I started reading to my oldest son at bedtime when he was just an infant. I started with “Good Night Moon” and that became a tradition with him until he was old enough to request new stories.
As his brothers joined him, I’ve read many different kinds of books. From classic Science Fiction (my favorite growing up), to fantasy, to classic literature (King Arthur, Treasure Island, etc.).
As time went on, it became a challenge to find books that keep my boys’ (now quickly becoming young men) interest.
Tom Garcia had the same challenges with his son. That’s why he decided to write a series he calls “Daddy’s Heroes.”
Tom’s publisher was kind enough to send me one of his books to review – “The 2004 Red Sox: The Curse is Broken.”
Written by Tom Garcia and Karun Naga it also features the wonderful illustrations by Jenifer J. Donnelly. It tells the story of the improbable 2004 playoff run of the Boston Red Sox at a level young children can follow and enjoy.
It also includes – at the end – the box scores for each of the games of the ALCS and World Series for mom and dad to enjoy.
I highly recommend Daddy’s Heroes to any mom or dad that wants to read – or start to read – to their children at a young age.
You can find out more and order books for Daddy’s Heroes at the Daddy’s Heroes website here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Be Incarnational


I use three of the biggest social network media available today: Twitter™, Facebook™, and email. The reason I use these is
Image courtesy of fredonia.edu
because I have been called to tell the Good News about Jesus. Through these tools I can tell the Good News about Jesus to nearly 2000 people every day.
Twitter™ has been in the news a lot over the last two or three years. Facebook™ had a multi-million-dollar-earning moving about it last year. Email messages outnumber postal mail (“snail mail”) 81-1.
Social network media is here and it is popular and it is growing. Over 40 million Americans tweet. Facebook has over 500 million members. There are 39.6 billion email messages sent every day.
1/12 of the planet is connected socially – and doesn’t have to see the light of day to connect.
This is why these media have been called virtual media. People can connect with other people and never have to actually be in the presence of a flesh-and-blood person.
That’s pretty cool. It is also efficient and immediate – two things 21st Century American culture loves very much.
But when it comes to telling the Good News about Jesus, it isn’t enough. I believe that Jesus came when He did – 2000 years ago and not today – because of the social network media stuff didn’t exist then as it does today (not only because of it but it was part of the reason, I believe).
Jesus may have been able to reach more people using Twitter™, Facebook™, and email than He did in the three years walked this earth. But I don’t believe Jesus would have changed nearly as many lives.
The whole point of Jesus Christ coming was so that God could interact with humans in the most intimate way – by taking on flesh-and-blood and dwelling among people.
I will not condemn social networking media but I will emphasize that we must livebeyond the virtual media and actually go out and talk and walk and live among flesh-and-blood people.
We must be just as incarnational with people as God is with us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

D-Day 2011


June 6, 1944 - the largest military invasion in the history of the world began as paratroopers dropped into occupied

Image courtesy of PhotoBucket.com
France and troop transports steamed across the English Channel towards the beaches of Normandy.


The commander of this invasion - General Dwight Eisenhower - wrote this letter to his troops:


Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!


You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. 


But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-1941. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!


Good Luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.


Signed….Dwight D. Eisenhower


That happened 67 years ago. It is quickly becoming relegated to history as each day there are less and less people who lived through D-Day and World War II.


But we are still at war today. I'm not talking about the War on Terror or the conflicts in Afghanistan or the Middle East.


We are at war against evil. This war started with a temptation by a serpent in a garden thousands of years ago.


But there was an invasion - not by a expeditionary force but by one person.


Jesus Christ, born of a woman, born under the Law, came to redeem each one of us. He fought the good fight, died on the cross and took the sin of the world away.


Jesus won the war, but the battles still rage.


Satan is a defeated enemy, but he's still fighting against us. Our battles are not "against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).


How are we to continue to battle? We can learn from the example of the men who fought in the world's battles - battles like D-Day, Monte Casino, Bastogne, the Argonne Forest, Waterloo, Gettysburg. We learn their history not to glorify war, but to find ways to fight against evil in this present day.


We also learn from the people on the front lines of today's battles - certainly the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. But also others - pastors like Rev. K and Rev. M; teachers like Mrs. R and Mr. D; writers like Kat and Billy, youth ministers like Natalie; moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Saints and sinners who - through faith and with the Word of God - stand up to evil and say "this further and no more."


Today can  be your D-Day - your Deliverance Day from evil and sin. Jesus Christ called many to this fight and they are praying for you to be saved.
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