Happy Father’s Day

Proverbs 4:1 -5:1 – Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.  My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (NIV 1984)

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My Musings – Like Steve Young, my dad taught my brothers and me responsibility, accountability and the importance of hard work, among many other things.  I’ve tried to do the same for my son Joel.  I think it took, as I am proud of the man he’s become.  I never really had the opportunity to do this with Joshua, although He knew he was loved (just look at his happy face!).  While I say “I,” it is really we, for dads usually do not do it on their own.

I don’t know if Joel ever thought I was ignorant or found it hard to be around his old man, I don’t think so.  I know I never felt this way about my dad, and I’d love to still have him and Josh around.

I think the lesson here is to always appreciate them, cherish the time that you do have with them, and make memories.  It is over way too soon. While it is important to have a strong work ethic,  don’t spend all your time working and rushing around.  When it is over, memories will not be all that you have.  If you are or were lucky blessed enough to have a dad like mine, He will live on not only in your memories, but in your character.  And if you are or were lucky blessed enough to have sons like mine, do your best to pass along the character that you received, if not from your earthly father, then from your Heavenly Father.

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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8, NIV 1984).

My Advice – Be a good father, be a good son or daughter.  Learn from each other.  Cherish your time together.  Do not let your job or profession define who you are to such an extent that you spend your life working and rushing around.  Consider your ways and be wise.  Your job  is there for you to make a living (and hopefully a difference), not to make it your life.

Someone Else’s Musings

At 4 years old: My Daddy can do anything.
At 7 years old: My Dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
At 8 years old: My Father doesn’t quite know everything.
At 12 years old: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know it all.
At 14 years old: Father? Hopelessly old fashioned.
At 21 years old: Whoa, is that man out of date. What did you expect?
At 25 years old: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
At 30 years old: It’s amazing how wise he got in the last few years.
At 35 years old: We need to find out what Dad thinks about it.
At 50 years old: What would Dad have thought about it?
At 60 years old: My Dad knew everything.
At 65 years old: I wish I could talk it over with Dad one more time.

-Author Unknown

 

 

Musings on Joel

Joel 1:2[L]isten, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? (NIV 1984)

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My Musings – While written to ancient Judah as a call to national repentance, another “day” draws near that will be like nothing that has ever happened in our days or the days of our forefathers.  As you read today’s headlines, you can almost hear the whir of locusts’ wings approaching.  But even as the day of judgment advances upon us, God is eager to show mercy and grace to “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord . . . For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.

My Advice –  Have you made your decision?  Like in the days of Noah, the day is coming when it will be time to shut the door.

Disciplined Love

Dad Devotion

Psalms 89:32, 33 – “I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Just as certain (“I will”) that God will deal with our unrepentant sin and continued unfaithfulness is the certainty (also “I will”) that He will not stop loving us or being faithful to us.

My Advice – Never mistake God’s discipline and correction for a lack of love and faithfulness on His part. Rather, the very fact that He does correct us and discipline is evidence of how great His love and faithfulness really are.

Sweet & Sour

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SWEET IN THE MOUTH, SOUR IN THE STOMACHThen the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” (Revelation 10:8-11)

Sweet Yet Sour – By eating the scroll, John is enabled to speak the very words of God (see Ezekiel 3:4, Ezekiel 2:9–3:3, Jeremiah 15:16). In Ezekiel, the prophet is also told to consume the words of God (the scroll) to make them known (compare also Jeremiah 1:9).(1) Honey, which is sweet to the mouth, sometimes turns into bile in the stomach. The thought that God would be glorified (Revelation 11:3–6, 11–18) was sweet to John, yet Continue reading “Sweet & Sour”

A Thousand Elsewheres

Psalms 84:10Blessed is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Unfortunately, our actions can be just the opposite. We spend the thousands elsewhere, devoting little time to spending with God (reading His Word, prayer, church).

My Advice – The allure of the world is strong, but do not let it take you away from God. Even in abundance (a thousand times over) it cannot satisfy as much as a single moment spent walking with God.

The Last Trumpet

The Seventh (Last) Trumpet – As previously discussed, the seventh (last) trumpet referenced in Revelation 11:15-19 appears to set in motion the sequence of events (seven bowl judgments) that will end with Christ’s return and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth. Some believe that this is the same trumpet referred to in Jesus’ Olivet discourse in Matthew 24:31 and by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Still others believe that there is no basis for equating these trumpets with the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15–19. The trumpets in Revelation pertain to Continue reading “The Last Trumpet”

Stubborn Submission

Psalms 81:11-14“But My people would not listen to Me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. If My people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Sometimes we can be so stubborn, that the only way for God to get our attention is to let us have our way and reap the consequences. But even then, He is close at hand, ready to deliver us when we call out to Him.

My Advice – Do not be so stubborn that God has to let you have your way. Better to be submissive to Him at the outset. The end result is the same, He ultimately will deliver you, but the path is much shorter and less bumpy when you go His way. You gain nothing by being stubborn, but you gain everything by being submissive.