Ugly Word

Many of us rationalize, despise, and take great effort to avoid self-discipline. I have struggled with it in various areas. For most of my life I bit my fingernails. I agree that it’s a pretty disgusting habit. But I am free of it now.

In junior high I took comfort in food when our family fell apart. I know, no excuse, and it did not help. Eating more than my body required has been an up-and-down lifelong struggle for me. I told Teri I want to beat it, and as long as I have breath, I’m not giving up.

Where are your battles? Are you determined to fight a good fight? It’s not too late. Pick one area at a time and conquer it. 

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)


Inner Compass

Parents have to decide what they will encourage, discourage, limit, or restrict in their children’s lives as they disciple them in Christ Jesus. It starts with what the child will eat or not eat and over time includes activities and influences. If we do not take a position, our children will often interpret that as a blanket endorsement, which will produce disastrous fruit to be harvested later in the child’s life.

It is not enough to say “no” or “that isn’t according to our standards.” It takes careful, biblical explanations for each member of the family to either own or reject something for life. When so many today, even in the “church,” embrace things that are (at best) not edifying, the peer pressure our children will face to compromise is huge.

We dads first must live the example and disciple our children to look to God’s written Word and to walk in the Spirit. Those two will always be in agreement and never let us down. Our children must own the leading of the Spirit and delight in following Him.

Paraphrasing Andrew Murray: “Teach them to live for giving joy to their heavenly Father and in fear of grieving Him.”

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:4-6)


Confusion as to Who Does What

You are what you eat. That means the quality of food you ingest will have great impact on your health. As with the body, so with the mind: You are what you mentally ingest. Media such as reading, music, videos, and video games have greater effects on a person than most people realize.

You reap what you sow. What is being sown into your children’s lives? Be sure you know because a harvest is coming. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:8)


Seriously Fast November 14th

It has been a year since we had a Seriously Dad’s fast day. I’ve wanted to have another one, but I have not been able to set aside a day to pray for those who sign up. I decided it would be better to schedule a fast day, even if I couldn’t pray for your requests individually. Therefore, we won’t have a signup for it.

I will join you in fasting and pray generally for you. Will you lift up other dads who are fasting as well? This will be a no food fast all day Monday, November 14th. I encourage you to take part.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).


That’s Not the Way We Began

Some businesses are in trouble. Their current core values are not the ones they began with (i.e., Enron).

Some marriages are in trouble. They loved each other in the beginning.

Some children are in trouble. That wasn’t the way their parents began raising them. 

Our country is now in deep trouble. Yet, it was founded on Christian values.

Anything good will receive great amounts of negative pressure to compromise. Even though something begins well, it will usually drift over time. To stay the course year after year, however, takes courage and determination to do the right thing. Good values that are founded upon, must be values that are lived.

Life in Christ will take the same diligence. Satan wants you to compromise. He knows that if you are not in the Word every day, you will drift. If you are not listening to the Spirit and living what you are reading, you will drift. Will you cling to the blessed Lord Jesus, the Anchor of our souls, or will you be tossed to and fro? It comes down to your choice.

Hold fast. Your own life and the lives of your wife and children are far too precious not to.

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)


Seeing the Other Side

I have recently made a challenge to myself that I am finding a little more difficult to do than I thought it would be. I decided that I will no longer bring up negative things in conversations. I don’t want to tell what didn’t go well, what I don’t like, what someone did that I think they shouldn’t have done, or what’s troubling me. I think you get the drift. Instead I find positive things to talk about.

I believe Paul truly had sound direction for us in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

It starts with what I allow in my mind. If I am thinking about the negatives, that is probably what is going to be in my conversation. On the other hand, positive thoughts should lead to positive words.

Then Paul says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Do my negative words edify anyone in any way? Do they minister grace to the person I am talking to? For me the answer is no.

As I have accepted my personal challenge (I haven’t even told Steve, but now he will know so that gives me added accountability :)), I regularly find some of my conversation being shut down. That means I need to come up with new things to talk about—the positive, the good, the areas of gratitude, what I can praise the Lord for—those are edifying and those bring grace to the hearer.

I find myself doing well for a while until there is something negative I really, really want to tell Steve or another family member. Then I justify talking about it by deciding that they either need to know or would want to know, so I speak it out. As I have done that, though, I have also discovered that it really didn’t matter. It just satisfied my desire to tell it. They didn’t need to know and likely they didn’t want to know.

With November being the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, we tend to think more about being thankful. As I sat down to write this Mom’s Corner, gratitude was my first idea for a topic, but then I realized that my thoughts of thanksgiving right now are rooted in a desire to be free of negative thoughts. When I look for what I can thank the Lord for in a person or in a situation—and that can take a concerted effort—then I avoid dwelling on negative or critical thoughts.

Even though I have failed regularly in my personal challenge of positive rather than negative conversations, I am determined to continue. I believe this is pleasing to the Lord and that it will make me a more pleasing person to be around. What would happen to your thoughts and your conversation if you gave yourself the challenge that I have given myself? What would happen to your relationship with your husband, with your children, with others?

Trusting in Jesus,

Posted in: Mom's Corner