Fatherhood is not a job.
It is the blessing from God for men to lead the next generation into a life with Christ.
I love going fishing with my daughter. There are a lot of plusses: beautiful scenery, peace, learning stillness, working on patience together, celebrating success and commiserating in defeat. And you can bring home some good eating at the end of the day. How many other activities allow you the range of experiences that you can have fishing? Not many.
Is it difficult sometimes? Absolutely. Challenging? Yes. Rewarding? Doubly so. Watching the frustration and disappointment turn to joy and contentment is priceless. Helping them overcome squeamishness to hook a worm or gut a fish beats any app on any phone any time. Being there when the eyes go wide and the mouth drops opens as they get the first fish landed can’t be bought without time, patience and untangling a fishing line a few times.
Do it. Check out the local fishing spots in your area. Ask people in your church if they like to fish and you will find them quickly. Get some fishing gear – nothing expensive – and your license and get out there. It is worth it.
Please don’t ever forget. For some the wounds are still unhealed, tender and sometimes hidden. Please pray for those victims who survived on 9/11. Below is a link to a post on my other blog.
This is a blog about fatherhood from a biblical perspective. It started as a walk through the Bible to see what I could learn about fatherhood and I have enjoyed the journey immensely. Recently that journey has been going slower. With various commitments and the growing involvement of my daughters in activities outside the home, I am finding less time for writing.
I will continue to post to this blog, but it will not be more than once a week (unless inspiration allows). On a side note, I am also working on a book and will be dedicating more time to its completion. I may even post a chapter or two here for your honest criticism.
The gratitude I feel toward the many encouraging words I have received while on this journey is inexpressible. It has pushed me through writer’s block on more than one occasion. Thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for responding. Thank you for joining me on the journey.
America is a materialistic society. The American Way is to get more money, more stuff, more status, more, more, more….
“Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl”
Madonna released “Material Girl” in the mid 80’s, in the last 30 years our world has become more materialistic than ever.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah – Psalms 61:1-4 (NIV)
It is hard to be in between. Feeling unsettled, un-rooted, unfamiliar. Being in that place that fills in the space from where you’ve been and where you are going. Between now and then, here and there and what is and what shall be we find ourselves realizing how much we need God. David was a man who understood the time and place in between.
David learned the hard way that the only thing that could fill the in between was God. It was God alone who made sense of the in between, revealing it as the connective tissue in a life of purpose and meaning. Instead of the in between being a place of isolation and disorientation, God uses it to reconnect and reorient. But it is easy for us to get lost in the in between.
If we are not ready for the in between, it can overwhelm us and leave us wandering, hovering in a holding pattern with no place to land in sight. God uses everything to transform His children, even the in between. I need to show my children how valuable the in between is before they become professionals at distraction busyness.
It is a common habit to keep children occupied, but I think the better discipline – and the harder to teach – is to teach our children to be content when they are not occupied. Our society has made whole industries based on distraction for the in between. We don’t enjoy the quiet of a drive on mountain roads; we pop in a CD or show a movie to keep the kids from tearing each other apart. But maybe we are missing something. Maybe our kids will benefit more from seeking what is profitable during their in betweens rather than finding ways to waste time.
Will our children run to the Wii or to the Word? Do they seek comfort in the still small voice or the next track on the CD? Are they following friends on Facebook or following Jesus? Are they filling the empty space of in between with distractions or with the things of God? What do my children see me do with the in between? (That one stings!)
I want the in between in my life and lives of my children to be rich and meaningful and time well spent. I want to look back and see how the in between connected the crisis and celebrations and calms of our life together into a storyline of purpose and power and meaning. I want to see what the time of longing for God’s refuge and being securely in the midst of His refuge looks like.
Lord, help me to live fully in the in between. May I lead my children well in making use of the time instead of wasting it. Show our family how You move in the in between and let us linger as long as You need us to. Amen.
Perusing Pinterest today, I came across this photograph...
Do you know who this is?
Okay, I'll tell you.
I was shocked. I mean, I love The Duke as much as the next classic film lover, but I had NO idea that The Duke used to look like this. No wonder he went to Hollywood.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psalms 51:13-17 (NIV)
One of the plotlines repeated by Hollywood goes something like this: a young boy who is part of the uncool crew at school somehow breaks into the cool group and then forgets his uncool friends or that he was ever uncool in the first place. Usually the main character has a critical moment of decision whether he will continue on the path of coolness or reject coolness to redeem broken relationships. The movies and shows with this storyline vary from corny to heartwarming, but the storyline remains the same.
David went through this same story arc. He was a lowly shepherd in a field, but he had his faith in God. He was considered tiny by his brothers and the king, but he wanted to fight a giant. He was banished to a life of running and fighting by a jealous king, but he still fought the enemies of that king. He is finally ordained as king and takes his place on the throne of Israel, but somewhere along the way he forgot where he came from. He never would have considered stealing another man’s sheep when he was a young shepherd, but that is the truth Nathan confronted him with.
David’s journey took him to a point of decision, a humiliating dressing down by a trusted prophet where he realized, in God’s eyes, he was still a simple shepherd boy. His story is a reminder that no matter how much we grow, how mature we act, how knowledgeable we become, we are still little children in our Father’s eyes. The appropriate response from us for the forgiveness and grace of God is a humble and obedient heart, and yet it is easy to be that Hollywood character that forgets where they started. David reminds us that it is always easier to be humble than to be humbled.
Lord, help me to be humble. Remind me every day who I am in light of who You are, so that my eyes will see everything with clearer vision. Amen.