Category Archives: Seriously

Guaranteed Cure for Too Busy

Do you struggle with time to:

  • Read your Bible daily in the morning
  • Have Family Bible time
  • Spend time with your wife
  • Spend time with your children
  • Increase the value of your vocational skills
  • Exercise

Someone screams, “The house is on fire. Get out!” Whatever you were too busy doing before, now means nothing. You have a new priority that produces action. Brother, your problem isn’t time but misplaced priorities. 

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34).

Steve

Will You be Next?

Last year while hiking two 14ers with the family, I had some discomfort in my chest. I attributed it to the cold and very heavy exertion. I would either slow down or rest to relieve it and then trudged on. To my disappointment, I recently encountered a similar ache during Teri and my exercise multiple days in the cold. I realized I needed to get it checked out. 

Today, a heart catheterization and two stents later, (99% blockage on one and 90% on another), I’m sharing what I’ve learned.  

1) Family history of heart disease should be taken very seriously. 

2) Proper cholesterol levels are very important as well as blood sugar levels. 

3) The amount of excess weight one carries is a significant factor. 

4) Exercise alone isn’t good enough. 

My Brothers, I want to encourage you to consider the above points and get your cholesterol checked at least yearly and move the numbers in the right direction. 

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Two Schools of Thought

1. Let children be children.


“The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” (Proverbs 14:18)

2. Childhood is the season for preparation for life.

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” (Lamentations 3:27)

Which do you believe is best? Which do you consistently practice as your raise your children?

A Lesson From Arnold

The cat sat against the wall in the hallway—head fixed, eyes intent on Teri as she attached the carpet head on the vacuum. I was fascinated watching those eyes and the one ear that never moved, as if riveted on Teri. 

Arnold obviously uses his ears as a warning system. One ear was trained on her, while the other one, alternated one second on Teri and then one second down the hall behind him. Back and forth, back and forth, he was ensuring he was safe from sudden attack from behind. Arnold had lived outside before we took him in, and his survival depended on how alert he was to threats.

I wonder how many dads are that watchful for spiritual danger. Satan wants your family. Are we merrily strolling through life without a care, or do we hold our family’s spiritual wellbeing as precious? I grieve when I learn what children in professing Christian families are reading and seeing. Some examples would be books such as Harry Potter and “classics” that are wicked and evil, but justified because they are literature. In addition, there are horrific, violent video games and movies galore. Dads I plead with you: cherish your children’s souls.

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Steve

Full Circle

Our country was founded because men were in pursuit of religious freedom. They desired to peacefully serve their God as they understood what the Bible taught. Many Englishmen suffered terribly in prison for being non-conformists to the Church of England. John Bunyan was one who spent twelve years in prison with much hardship to his family. 

In 2019 the accusation has changed, but the concept lives. Today you could be called  “intolerant” if you gently speak out against what God calls wrong. Each must choose who you will align with. There is no middle ground. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5b). 

Steve

Craftsmen

We ate Saturday evening dinner at my oldest son Nathan’s house. He and Melanie have five children from 10 down to almost 2 with another one on the way. The children had baths that afternoon, and after Bible time it was apparently fingernail cutting time. I watched with interest as Melanie cut the little’s nails. She used nail scissors and deftly moved from finger to finger. Actually, it reminded me of a craftsman, due to how smooth and quick she was.

There are many skills that moms acquire and utilize throughout their days with the children, and that spurred my thinking to dads. We typically think of dads’ skills in regard to providing for their families. Could that be wood, hay, and stubble compared to the gold skills of discipling the children?

Are you a craftsman when it comes to leading an interactive, engaging Bible time or having heart-to-heart talks with your children? Can you artfully apply Scripture to the precious, teachable moments that come along as you strive to reach the soul and not just attain outward conformity? How committed are you to bringing up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord that they might love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength?

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Steve

I Can’t

At my suggestion a man repair or build something himself, I have often heard, “I couldn’t do that. My dad never taught me how.” Pardon my candor, but so what! Anyone of average mental and physical ability can do just about anything he is determined to do. 

From my observation, initiative is usually lacking when “I can’t” is the excuse. This lack is generally due to a serious case of “couchpotatoitis” combined with “workaphobia” and “learnaphobia.” The symptoms become even more obvious in the children of the stricken parent.  

The good news/bad news, is that it is curable, but it is a rough, tough road. Feed the good appetites, and starve the bad. Cultivate a sense of pleasure and excitement from accomplishing things. 

Read these books with your children: Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family and Buying a House Debt-Free. Discuss the books, and give your children a vision for an adulthood of enjoying work and being debt free. 

Most of you have mortgages. Do you like that? Why not help your sons buy their first houses debt free as my five sons have? (I don’t say that to brag but so you know it is possible. Come on. If we can do it, you can.)

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction” (Proverbs 24:30-32).

Steve

Man to Man

I’m confident that not one of you dads is reading weekly articles on being a great Christian mom. Even if you were interested in the subject, there is a good reason for you not to read them. Wouldn’t you be comparing your wife to what was being shared? In doing that, might it cause you to focus on her shortcomings and then be discontent with her? I believe the answers would be “yes” to those questions.  

Dad, if you have asked your wife to preview Seriously articles, please reconsider. Might you be creating in your wife unhealthy comparisons/expectations? Everyone is busy these days, and some with productive and edifying endeavors. If Seriously is edifying, embrace it, if not, why encumbereth the ground (take up room in your inbox)?  

(Moms, do you really believe reading these is good for your heart and your marriage?)  

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). 

Steve

Whose Side Are You On?

Likely you have heard someone in a disagreement exclaim, “Just whose side are you on?” where loyalty was being questioned. Maybe those have been your words or at least your thoughts. Maybe (hopefully not), your wife sided with someone other than you. Hurts doesn’t it? Loyalty is something that goes deep. 

Picture how your wife may feel when someone influences the children to want something  harmful to them–the children she carried for 9 months, bore, and then nurtured as they grew. Think how she deeply desires to see God’s best in their lives. But what if it is you, the man she has vowed before God to follow, who has instilled, negative or even harmful influences in the children’s lives? She wants to be loyal to you, but her heart cries out and fears for what she sees in your children. You might ask “How can I be the problem? I love the children too.” Two words Dad—your appetites and affections — in other words your example.

Regularly we hear from moms whose husbands are leading the children astray. 

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and “Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries” (Joshua 5:13-14).

Steve

More On The Secret

I shared the article “Shared Secret” on the Titus2.com blog. I received this comment and the following is my response. I felt it would be helpful for Seriously dads as well.

Blog comment: I concur with the idea that entertainment detracts from more useful application of one’s energy, especially since time can so easily slip away when you’re distracted. My question for you is whether there comes a point in time when one is too focused on serious pursuits, i.e. being a “work-a-holic”? How do you balance focused learning or on-task time with relaxing fellowship time? Erica

Hi Erica, First, I’m not sure it follows that the opposite of loving entertainment is being a work-a-holic. It seems like there might be a subtle inference of that in your question. That aside, maybe there are some who became too focused on serious pursuits. However, our personal experience and observations of others is that the natural pull/tendency is toward wasting time, particularly through various forms of entertainment, versus too many serious pursuits.

For believers, Scripture sets an example of working six days and resting one. Thankfully, most don’t have to work six days to live, but Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 10:23 is important: ”All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” Given available time, how can it be used to edify (build up) ourselves or others?

To spend time beneficially has become a guiding principle for our family. Serving, loving and learning are foundational verbs in making time edifying. The following verse keeps everything in balance because it is easy for something to get out-of-balance, whether it be learning, resting, and even working. “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). 

That verse means that our time is to be completely surrendered to our Lord Jesus. He may for a season shift time so that it is heavy in one area, maybe serving, or another time in loving someone in need. But if our time is under His direction, then we can have confidence the result will be 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” (Romans 8:28).

Steve