Category Archives: Seriously

Going Forward

Seriously is for men who are serious about their walk with the Lord Jesus and their roles leading their families in Christ Jesus. It is also for men who aren’t there yet, but want to be (“Lord, help my unbelief”).

If Seriously has been good for you, why not recommend it to brothers in Christ whom you feel could benefit from the weekly challenge? Then, after they sign up, consider discussing the articles with them. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17). Look back in your life to those God has used to challenge you to a closer walk with the Lord Jesus. Might it be time for the Lord to use you in someone else’s life?

Steve

Don’t forget the Seriously fast this Saturday January 17th.

Are You In?

“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

Our first fast in November was highly successful with a large number of dads participating with very positive feedback. This is not for spectators! If you will fast all day Saturday, January 17th, I will come alongside you to fast and pray for you. There were enough men last time that it took most of the day to spend quality prayer time for each dad’s request. I loved it. I felt such a burden and heart-connect with each of you who fasted! What a blessing it was and then afterward to read the feedback from the men.

A number of men asked for the fast to be on a Saturday so they could have more prayer time. So the 17th is the day. If you will fast from food and caloric drinks from Friday bedtime to Sunday morning, sign up. Meet you at our Saviour’s glorious throne of grace and mercy!

Steve

Its Relative

We had quite a cold snap move through the area and drop temperatures much lower than everyone is used to. We tend to shiver and shake while the colder temps hang around. Then it warms up to what we considered cold before and, to our surprise, what was once uncomfortable, actually feels fine. It’s amazing how quickly humans tend to acclimate to extreme swings.

Sadly, we all too easily can adjust to spiritually unhealthy “things” that come into our lives. We might be exposed to worldly music, movies, ads, or commercials with visual entrapment, lewd clothing, or inappropriate behavior or language long enough that we adjust to accept it as the new normal. Compromise works in small steps that move us in an undesirable direction. It takes great effort to guard our walk in Christ Jesus. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Satan’s strategy is to wear us down through compromise. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High…” (Daniel 7:25).

Steve

Job Opening – Omniscience Required

Can you imagine how difficult a job it is to forecast one’s life?

What will the family’s finances be like 5, 10, 15 years from now – maybe good, okay, or bad?

How much time will Dad have to work to feed the family?

What will their home be like over the same period – too small, just right, or lots of room?

What will Dad’s and Mom’s health be like?

What will the health be of their current children?

Is it possible a child might be lost?

Will Dad and Mom be happy with their children, want more, or wish for less?

Might God plan to use child-induced challenges to develop Christ-likeness in Dad and Mom and a dependence on God?

Could it possibly be that there is no earthly way parents can answer those questions and adequately plan when and how many children to have?

Could it be that is why God never told parents to decide?

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1).

Might this area of life require us to trust our loving omniscient, Father?

Joseph and Mary didn’t “plan” their family. Aren’t we glad?

Merry Christmas,

Steve

Are You Whining or Worshipping?

When the “children” were singing for residents at a nursing home, there was one woman who was a total invalid. She was all curled up in a ball in her bed-style wheel chair and covered with a blanket. She couldn’t move herself and was in constant pain. One foot with a well worn blue striped sock stuck out from under the edge of the blanket. I was brought to tears as I watched her worship the God of creation. Her foot danced before the Lord more beautifully than anything I’ve ever witnessed as it was choreagraphed to the music. I saw her spirit dance in worship of Almighty God even though her body was broken. She could have been bitter over her circumstances, but instead she worshipped.

Are you worshipping your God or complaining? May we lead our families in worshipping, regardless of our circumstances.

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:20-22).

Steve

I Didn’t Trust God

During a recent road trip, my son John began driving early while I was waking up. I thought I would spend some time praying, so I prayed, “Lord, teach me to pray.” Almost the second I prayed that, I was flooded with the concern What if the Lord allows serious things into my life so as to teach me to pray? I felt myself rescinding that prayer about as quickly as I had prayed it. Then, to my shame, the Lord revealed to me that I didn’t trust Him. That was shocking and very disappointing to me.

I didn’t trust Him completely with my life and that He would accomplish His best. When I joined the others up front I shared my new insight with them. It was nothing to be proud of, for sure, but it was so good that God revealed it to me. Over the next few days, I prayed that God would “help my unbelief,” and He did. I was able to pray, “Lord, teach me to pray using whatever means You think best.” I can tell you that, to my joy and delight, He is teaching me to pray.

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).

Steve

What is Your Level of Confidence?

My heart breaks when I receive e-mails from dads who are in crisis mode. Often, the appearance is that these crises involve problems that likely could have been averted if Dad would rightly lead his family.

I have been sharing Seriously articles with you since March. The feedback has been that they are on target in challenging men as they lead their families. My goal is to keep them short so you will read them. I pray I have earned a level of confidence through what you have been reading in Seriously.

There is so much on my heart that I want you to know so that your family could avoid future heartbreak. I have already written much concerning this in four key books: Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family, Redeeming the Time, and Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son.

Will you allow me to get even more serious with you for a moment? I’m encouraging each one of you to check with your wife and see which of those books you already have. Then order the ones you don’t have, and systematically read them. We have audio versions available for two of them if you struggle with reading time, but please read them all.  Be men of action and lead. If you are committed to reading all four, e-mail me so I can pray for you.

Steve

“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

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).

Steve

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.

Steve

“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

Steve

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.