We Have President Lincoln to Thank

He is the one who in 1863 proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving and praise for our country. Some will truly make it a special day of proclaiming thanks to our Father in Heaven. Very likely the majority will not. But what about us?

How thankful are we? Do we require a special holiday to voice our gratitude to our Lord and Father? When our family hears us pray, do they know that our thanks come from the very depth of our heart and soul? How often does our family hear us thank our wife for all she does? Do we thank the children for their contributions? Thanking verbally is good, but writing it is even better. May we be good examples for our family in teaching them gratitude. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m working on it.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).


Get Out of Dodge

When is the last time you read Song of Solomon? It sets forth quite the love and imagery. The love between a husband and wife is a beautiful gift from God. In the busyness of life, it is easy for the marriage relationship to lose its zest. Husband and wife go about life, manage their responsibilities, but forget the treasure they have in each other.

When is the last time you went away with your precious wife for some special time together? I remember one time in particular many years ago when I surprised Teri with a weekend away from home. She shed tears of joy and relief as the weight of her daily responsibilities was lifted from her shoulders for a few hours. It was a sweet time of talking and pampering her. Truly it was a delight for both of us.

May I encourage you to take your wife away somewhere very special? Show her how grateful you are for who she is and all she does. Most of all, l i s t e n to her heart.


“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29).

What Voice Are You Listening To?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

I was at the Paris Nord subway station at peak transit time. With the sea of humanity flowing around me, I was trying to read the board and find my next train. A man spoke to me in English with a heavy French accent, “Where are you going?” I told him and he said, “I will show you the way because I’m going that way myself.” I thanked him and off we went in the direction I was intending to go anyway. We had not walked more than 50 feet when a French policemen stopped me and said, “Come with me.” This was not a request but a command. I quickly diverted my intended course and went with the policeman. After another 50 feet, he stopped me and said, “That man you were with is a known thief and was leading you into a trap where you would have been robbed.”

Today we are bombarded by a host of  “voices” from media and “friends” telling us what to do and how to live. Could they be setting traps so that they could rob us of God’s light in our lives and the lives of our families? Are you feeding on God’s Word personally, leading family Bible time every day, and obediently living for Christ Jesus?

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21


P.S. I’m excited to see how God will answer our prayers on Monday the 17th! Thank you for allowing me to pray alongside of so many of you men.

Are You Stressed?

Stress Takes Over

I just read an e-mail from a friend telling me how stressed she was. This friend generally deals nicely with the stressors in her life without allowing them to overpower her. This time, however, she was expressing much frustration over her stress and suggested that I should write a Mom’s Corner about dealing with stress. I wasn’t sure I was the one to write that article, but I decided to try.

Is there any mom who doesn’t live with occasional feelings of stress? It seems that whether we have little children or older children, whether we homeschool or have our children in another type of school, whether we live in the city or in the country—no matter what, moms have potential stressors in their lives, waiting to raise their ugly heads and strike, stealing our joy and peace.

Stress and Deadlines

My family will tell you that I don’t like deadlines! If anything can cause me to feel stressed, deadlines can. In August, I was faced with a number of back-to-back deadlines starting with preparing for a 2-week vacation. After that we would be home for two days before leaving for our son’s wedding, which would also be the start of a four-week speaking trip. Any one of those three events had the potential for plenty of stress. Add all three together—wheweeeee!

When I give in to stress it changes me, and I feel emotional pressure. If I focus on the stressors, it makes me anxious about the situation. I can become frustrated. Often my attitudes and responses toward my family change.

Where do those stress responses come from? Could they possibly come from a spirit of pride in feeling that everything depends on me? If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. It has to be done, and done my way! If that’s at the root of our reactions, we have to remind ourselves it isn’t true.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Whatever is stressing me, the Lord assures me that He is in the yoke with me, and that actually makes the burden light. If it feels heavy, then I know it is because I think I am bearing the burden alone.

Stress Comes from Outside Circumstances

Perhaps the stress is coming from circumstances outside of our control. Several years ago, we were in California interacting with our conference coordinator. She was a vivacious, sweet-spirited mom, and I heard her say a number of times, “No worries, no worries.” She seemed to never carry any anxiety or stress.

I believe she was doing what Philippians 4:6 tells us to do. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” “Be careful for nothing” means don’t worry about anything. God tells us right out not to worry, and no worry equates to not being stressed. I do what the Lord would have me do and trust Him for the results.

What does Philippians say is the outcome of not worrying but instead praying and making requests with gratitude? “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Now that’s the state I want to live in! I desire to have the peace of God that passes understanding keeping my heart and mind through Jesus.

If I am not to be stressed, I have to make a choice. I can allow the stress to fill my mind and build the emotional pressure I am experiencing, or I can do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

I believe those feelings of stress are “imaginations,” and negative thoughts are to be taken captive—brought under control. To do that, I choose to pray with thanksgiving, letting God know my concerns. I remind myself that the responsibility isn’t mine alone. For me that takes a conscious effort. I have to stop myself, quiet my mind, refocus on the Lord Jesus, and pray. I need to speak God’s truth to my heart or else I will continue feeling the emotional pressure of the stress. When the feelings come back, I do it again.

During that high-stress time this late summer and fall, I worked hard toward all three goals—vacation, wedding/rehearsal dinner, and a speaking trip. When stress started to sneak into my mind—which it did regularly—I prayed, taking my thoughts captive, turning the responsibility back to the Lord, and trusting Him. Not only did I have the Lord to help me, but I had a whole capable and willing family team as well. There were things I didn’t have to do because they had volunteered for the responsibility.

I even asked my girls to tell me if they could discern the attitude that I have that goes with stress, even if I wasn’t recognizing it myself. I vividly remember one morning when they told me it was okay, and there was nothing to worry about. I knew by those statements, without them actually verbalizing it, that I was in stress mode. I was determined to be a victor over the stress that could bring me down. Rather than pushing aside the conviction and running on in my frenzy, I put a smile on my face (that may be one of the biggest de-stressors), took a deep breath while I prayed, and chose to set aside the worry in my thoughts.

During those weeks, I continually did what I could, was grateful for help, and came back over and over to resting in the Lord and trusting Him to help us bring it all together in time for each deadline. Do you know what? He did!

Do you face stress regularly, if not on a daily basis? Could the solution be so simple? Could I encourage you to not feel alone but to know that Jesus bears the yoke with you? Could I also encourage you to pray and take the negative thoughts captive? No worries!

Hungry Yet?

Do you have any challenges that you consider quite serious? Maybe you are struggling to lead daily Family Bible time. How have you sought answers? Have you prayed—I mean really prayed? Have you fasted and humbled yourself before the Lord?

Maybe you have never fasted from food for a day before. Maybe you haven’t had a brother who said he would come alongside you and fast with you. Even though I dislike fasting, I love fasting. I love to see my God reveal His will in response to a problem. There are some fasts in response to serious problems that are much longer than one day, but one day is a great beginning.

I’m excited to do a fast day with some of you brothers who read these Seriously articles. The fast day will be Monday November 17th. If you have a situation that is burdening you, and you are willing to fast over it, I’ll fast with you. Please respond here, if you want to be a part. I’ll email with specifics. Will you join me with other dads who want to see the Lord work in their homes? 

“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:17-18).