Category Archives: Dad’s Corner

What You Eat

It has been well-documented and accepted that our health is greatly affected by what we eat yielding the expression, “You are what you eat.” Years ago, a similar expression was “Garbage in. Garbage out.” In essence, what you take into a system determines its output. 

We understand this in relation to our bodies, machinery, and electronics, and even what we take to recycling. Then why don’t professing Christians “get it” regarding their souls? I’ve heard it said that Christians aren’t concerned about the negative effects of watching or listening to worldly stuff because they treat it like they eat chicken, “You eat the meat, and spit out the bones.” However, look at how this analogy breaks down. When a person bites the meat from the bone, he isn’t swallowing any of the bone. If someone does swallow some bone, the body attempts to digest it, extracting everything it can from what was consumed before expelling it. In addition, if the meat eaten was chemically treated, or laden with bacteria, it could make him sick.

Maybe that partially explains why many professing Christian adults appear to be more like the world than their Savior. Now consider, if that is the effect of worldly activities and entertainment on professing adults, who think they won’t be negatively affected, what about their children who are consuming it by the hour, with no pretense of discernment. Oh God, have mercy. 

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

Don’t Mess With Them 

Two close neighbors are sharp, fit, young guys who are sheriff deputies. One day they stood side-by-side near the corner of our yard, and one said loudly, “Three, two, one, go!” They took off sprinting like the wind down the street, turned in the driveway next to their house, and raced toward the chainlink fence, stretched between their house and the neighbors. Still moving faster than anyone I’ve ever seen run, I now winced as I anticipated them crashing into the fence. To my shock, they both cleared the fence effortlessly, like a couple of deers, and made a huge arch (because of their speed) in their backyard. I expected them to come out on the other side of their house, but then I heard one yell, “I won.” 

I laughed out loud when I realized what I just witnessed. They were practicing chasing a bad guy who thought he’d outrun the police. Pity the poor criminal who has these sheriffs in the chase. They are committed to being the best they can be at their jobs. 

My brothers, are we that serious about being an ambassador for Christ? “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, …” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Do we represent our King well? Are we busy with His business or wasting His time on our pleasure? 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

It’s That Time Again

I’ve talked to a number of guys who say they don’t discuss politics or religion because it makes them upset. Soon, however, with the Presidential election coming up, everybody will be talking about politics. It’s a “great” way to start a fight with someone who is passionate for one candidate or another. Those leading our country can certainly affect our quality of life and our security. If our lives and future depended solely on those in office, we would have plenty to be terrified of. “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes” (Psalms 118:9).

Yet, may we never lose sight of Who is actually in control. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). Our God is sovereign, in control, and on the throne. Brothers, what we can do is pray. 

In Debt

Debt is a cruel master, and likely most know some who are deeply hurting under its load. Debt is easy to take on but very difficult to be free of. The pressure of it has been a key factor in destroying countless marriages. Debt is an ugly monster except for one which is surprisingly wonderful. Try to imagine one that is good and so big it can never be repaid! How could that be good? Any guesses? 

Paul said in Romans 1:14-15, “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” Paul treasured the unfathomable worth of Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for Paul’s sin, redeeming his soul, as an indebtedness to share the gospel with all that he could, under whatever hardship necessary. 

For those of us who are saved, we are indebted to our Lord similarly. Of course, we can never repay Him, but that constant awareness is such a good thing that motivates us to take any and all opportunities to share Christ with others. This isn’t to be construed in some legalistic way but a debt of love. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Every Happen to You?

I asked Teri the other day if she could remember anyone ever engaging her about Christianity while she was out. No, never. I never have either. Is your experience similar? 

Pew Research says that the number of Christians in the US today is around 2/3 but was around 90% in the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, the number is spiraling down when few are sharing/living their faith. Even if few engage in witnessing while out, we have never had a neighbor ask either. The goal is not to criticize others but to let that be an example to motivate you. 

Think about the fact that the God of creation, Jesus Christ, came to this world to die a cruel death on a cross to purchase us for Himself, not to have our best life now. By His blood, we are owned by Him to bring glory to Him and the Father. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22). We have the greatest, most wonderful gift in all creation, and we aren’t telling others? How can that be? People will rave about restaurants and entertainment they like but be mute about Jesus. Oh, God forgive us. 

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).

But Dad Said

Have you ever heard one of your children say, “But Dad said…” to a sibling? I’m guessing most of us have. It is the automatic “free pass” to whatever the child was demanding. Oh, such power wielded in the name of Dad. The only problem was if they were misrepresenting what you said. 

What about us dads? Have we ever been guilty of misrepresenting our Father’s Word or missed many opportunities to apply it?  

Jesus said in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Here Jesus, the God of all creation, is saying that whatever we ask of the Father in His name, the Father may give it to us. 

How often is that misapplied to our prayers? Are we guilty of simply tacking on “in Jesus name” thinking we automatically get what we are asking for? But, is our prayer actually in accordance with what Jesus Himself would ask of the Father?

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).

POWs

Teri and I were shocked to see what seemed like two POW’s within 60 seconds of each other. I have seen photos of POW’s in history books, but I’ve never considered someone to be a possible POW. Then to see two of them within a minute was hard to imagine. These men were walking skeletons due to starvation for some reason. Yet, here they were in Walmart. Their arms and legs were just bones without muscle. How these two guys could even walk was hard to imagine. They both had shorts and tee shirts so their physical condition was obvious. Could they both have been cancer victims or have some other illness? Maybe, but the rest of their appearance indicated most likely otherwise. They broke our hearts. They were possibly prisoners of a cruel master. Satan was winning the war in their lives and likely using addictions to kill them. 

What a contrast to having the God of creation as one’s Lord and Master. The One Who cares for and blesses His children. “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1). It doesn’t mean we won’t have sickness or problems in life, but we know that everything God allows in our lives will be for good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Brothers, Satan is crafty, and cruel and wants your family. He’s happy with just an inch. Give him one bad choice, and he will give you another “opportunity.” It may be alcohol, weed, or a spicy movie. That is the beginning. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“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). If it isn’t glorifying to God, don’t do it.

Always Learning

If only we could objectively view our lives as the Lord sees us, we would see that we are constantly changing. Our values shift because of those we expose ourselves to daily, whether in person or social media or in movies. They affect our walk with Christ for good or for evil. That is why the Lord cautioned His people. “Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:12-14).

Those influences affect what we love and hate, revealing a great deal about what sort of person we are and will become. Normally, we embrace what we love and shun what we hate. However, life is not absolutes, but continuous shades of gray between two extremes. Isn’t that where the challenge begins? “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Psalms 11:5).

I plead with you—be like Paul and others we look up to. Spend your time on what edifies and builds you and others (including your children) up in Christ. Make serving Him the joy of your life. When you do, you will have no need of a TV and movies (big smile). 

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23). 

First chirp 

Today it was around 5:15 a.m. when I heard the first bird chirp. Very soon others will join with more chirping as a new day begins. There is a first chirp in every neighborhood around the world that begins the chorus. 

 In a similar way, I want to be a first chirp too. I want to proclaim my Lord’s goodness every day to those around me. I want to be heralding my Lord’s goodness and His return. He is always good, always. 

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).”Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalms 106:1).

What a Surprise

I mentioned her in a previous Seriously. Every time I would drive past her garbage “decorated” home, I would feel so sorry for her. I shared how I stopped and offered to help, but she said her children were going to help her (which they never did). After more time, I saw her out again and stopped to check on her. She recognized us and was happy to dialog a bit. 

“The people across the street—they are Christians ya know—have been helping me. They are such kind people. They are even going to fix my lawn mower and keep my lawn cut for me.” We could see that now with the trash gone, mowing would be possible. 

Driving by on occasion, we have seen ongoing improvement. Her home now looks almost normal (on the outside at least). No doubt all the neighbors are aware, very aware, of the family across the street from her showing practical love for this somewhat demented woman. 

My brothers, are you letting your let shine? Do you know the names of your neighbors and their spiritual condition? Are you showing the love of Christ by helping them when needed? Are you praying for them? Do you love them? Do you identify with Christ and seek opportunities to share the gospel? 

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).