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A Post-It Note From God

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As I rushed out of the house at 9:00pm last night on the way to the hospital, I didn’t think to take a Bible with me.  By the time it crossed my mind, it was too late to turn back for it.  How could I not grab my Bible!?  Ugh!

Stopping to fill the car with gas and grab a coffee for the long night, I sent a text to some brothers in the faith asking for prayer.  My phone almost dead and my access to a digital Bible thus limited, I had no written Word of God to take with me so I also asked for some Scripture to share.

Praying for the 45 minute drive downtown to comfort a friend in his hour of need, I asked God to reveal to me what to say.  I asked for SO much in that time.  I asked…and asked…and asked some more.  I praised, and I glorified.  I sought Him, and I sought His Word.  I sought to recall it, knowing I would have to rely on my weak memory alone to speak Truth into the lives of a family hurting in the dark hours of the night. 

Stepping out of the car at the hospital, I looked at my phone, on its last minutes of battery life, to see the texts from the brothers praying for the situation and the various Scripture references they pointed me toward.  And I prayed, “if only I had a Bible with me.” In that instant, it’s as if God whispered directly in my ear “look in the back seat.” Finding NE’s children’s Bible, I laughed and praised God for it…and then walked inside.
Isn’t it awesome how He provides exactly what we need when we need it!

Hours later, as midnight approached, I opened it and read through some Psalms.  In turning to find what I was searching for, I turned too far and landed right dab on Proverbs 15, and this.  
Proverbs 15 This.  A post-it note written by my son in his newfound faith, as he seeks to know his God better…seeks to know the Jesus that died for him in a deeper, more intimate way.  This was the calming voice I needed to remind me that I don’t have to have all the answers when life happens.  

Because I don’t.  And I never will.  But I know who does.  He’s the Jesus/God of the Bible.  And I love Him …and His Bible!  Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me through my son.  And thank you, son, for being faithful in your quest for Him.  In your youth, you are witnessing to those around you (i.e. me) more than you know.

Love,

Dad

Lord, help me lead him and his brother in YOUR ways.  Help me to die to self so that I may live for you.  Guide me as I guide them.  Let them see you in me, and let them follow you, not me.

Amen

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A Field Trip

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I did something I thought I’d never do today. I walked through the doors of an art gallery. Intentionally. You see, I’m not much into art. It’s never really been my thing. Really. I mean, don’t get me wrong here, there’s nothing wrong with art…it’s just not MY thing. The extent of my art-viewing experiences is glancing at the walls in the dining room

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on my way to the refrigerator.

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Nonetheless, far be it from me to impose my likes and dislikes on my kids. So, we picked the boys up from school an hour early and took a field trip to the art gallery.

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Why, you ask? What brought me here today? Because, tied with your mom, I’m your biggest fan! I always knew you have mad skills, dude! My son…an artist who’s work is on display for the whole world to appreciate.

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They’ll never appreciate it as much as I do. Keep up the great work son! I’m proud of you. Then. Now. Tomorrow. Always. Not merely because your art made it into the gallery, but because you’re MY son.

Love,

Dad

Dating Number Two

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Dinner and bowling…
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Some arcade games followed by ice cream…
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And lots and lots of silliness…
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It was a good night bud. We need to hang out together more often. I love you, and will remember tonight for a long time.

Love,

Dad

I’m Missing a Wheel, But Not The Point

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a note…been busy living life.  Today, I’m just checking in long enough to share my favorite part of this last week.  Last night, I got to hang out with all three of you for a couple hours, and we played Legos…building creations with our imaginations.  That was, by far, the most relaxing and fun night I’ve had in a couple weeks.

Hanging out with you is fun for me.  I don’t always show it, but I’m going to keep working on that.  I’m still learning the value of disconnecting from the outside world for awhile so that I can better connect with you.  I have a lot of forces competing for my time, and I know from your perspective it can often seem like I place spending time with you near the bottom of my priorities.  I want to assure you, though, that I may not always show it, but YOU are the most important of those forces to me.  Last night was a good wake up call for me…just chillaxing with you and creating with our imaginations…making up stories about our creations and just being silly.  Smiling.  Giggling.  Laughing.  Bonding.  I gotta get me some more of that.

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Props to SI for having the heart and spirit of a giver!  Dude, I couldn’t have built this thing without you.  Literally.  I was a wheel short.  I tried for 20 minutes to use the pieces we had left to make it into a 3-wheeler instead, but couldn’t find a way to get the front wheel mounted facing forward.  I finally said, “I don’t think I can make this work with just three wheels…I don’t know what to do now.”  Bubba, you just looked right at the pieces I was holding…looked back at the two you had…one with wheels and one without.  And you said “dad, you can have mine.”  And proceeded to take yours apart to give me a wheel.  There.  Are.  No.  Words.  Don’t ever change buddy!

Props to NE too for your creativity in helping me to piece together various parts of my creation…but also in telling stories about yours and mine throughout the night.  Your imagination is inspiring and just simply fun to be a part of.  Others are…and will continue to be…drawn to you for it.  Don’t ever change buddy!

By the way…one of my favorite memories of being a young boy your age is of playing with Hot Wheels and Legos.  It does this daddy proud to watch you enjoying the same now, 30+ years later.  Secretly between just you and me…last night brought out a little of the kid still in me.  I’m looking forward to doing that again.  Soon. 😉

Love,

Dad

My Son is My Brother

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I read Romans 8 in my quiet time this morning. And prayed. I’ve been praying for you for some time now. In more ways than I could ever share in just this note. You’ve had a handful of other Godly men praying for you for over a month now. An army of believers has prayed for you…and today I write this and etch into history the account of how those prayers have been answered.

A SINGLE PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING…

It was just over a month ago that we were sitting in church listening to the message when out of the corner of my eye I saw you clasp your hands, close your eyes and subtly move your lips as if whispering. Fifteen seconds later, you opened your eyes smiled like only you smile and whispered in your mom’s ear. As she smiled and whispered something back, motioning my direction, you leaned over and whispered,

“Guess what I just did?”
“What?”
“I ‘axeded’ Jesus into my heart.”
Heart knowledge…you first received it that day over a month ago.

FROM HEART TO HEAD…

As I mentioned earlier, I’d been praying for your faith to grow to the point of understanding and acceptance of the free gift of salvation through Christ for long before this moment. Now, as your heart became filled with the Spirit of God, it became time to begin praying for the understanding of what that means for your life and how to apply it. Over the course of a month of more in depth conversations…lots of questions. You’re so analytical and inquisitive. Finding ways to explain it in ways you can understand was a fun challenge. And then it finally sunk in.

FROM HEAD BACK TO HEART…

I read Romans 8 in my quiet time this morning. And prayed. God’s timing then to arrive at church this morning and have you tell me you were ready. Who am I to stop the Spirit from moving a person to action? 🙂

A NEW BROTHER…

I read Romans 8 in my quiet time this morning. And I read it again this afternoon. In a whole new light. The light of the joy found in having a new brother in Christ. And I share a part of it here now as my prayer over your new walk of faith (with emphasis and underlining added by me for effect.)

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bod(y) by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” – Romans 8:1-17 (NLT, NIV)

SECURE FOR ETERNITY…

God answers prayers son. You are evidence of that truth. You are, now, not only my son, but now also my brother! My brother in Christ. My fellow co-heir to God’s glory! We have a date with eternity, you and I, that can never be snatched from us.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’ No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39

I’m going to “carry my cross” (Luke 9:23) and embrace my responsibility to live my life raising you as my son, and I’ll see you in heaven brother!

Love,

Dad, and fellow co-heir

First Day of First

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Just yesterday you were learning to walk. No really…it was just yesterday. And now today you’re heading off to first grade.

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My little man is becoming quite the young man. Overnight, you’ve matured right before my eyes. Okay, maybe not overnight…but when you have kids of your own you’ll understand what I mean. So this morning, as you scramble around the house looking for your new shoes…the ones you’ve been looking forward to wearing today for over two weeks, there are a few things I want to share with you before you head off into a world without your mom and I for the day.

1. Remember who you are. Your identity sets you apart from every other person trying to fit into the world around them. Don’t try to fit in, son. Don’t try to conform to everyone around you and blend in. Don’t try to please your friends or seek their approval. You don’t need it. You have the approval of both your heavenly Father and your earthly dad, and that’s all you need. Stick out. Stand apart. You’re God’s son. When you blend in, it becomes too easy to adopt the world’s values and morals (or lack thereof) as your own. You’re better than that. You have an identity in Christ that is yours alone. Claim it. Own it. Live it.

2. Remember why you’re here. Just as you’re set apart as God’s son, you have a purpose…a reason for being called into existence. It may take you years to discover what your purpose is, but trust that you have one. God has placed you right here right now to fill a purpose. To do something that no one else in all of creation has been able to do before now…or can do now. I can testify that part of your purpose has been to help me become a better dad and Christ-follower. Simply put, I’m a better man because of who you are…not by anything you’ve done…simply because of who you are. You bring out the best in the people around you, and you bring out the smile in everyone who gets to know you. Keep God close to your heart, son, and let people get to know you…and then share your story with them. Be the light to your friends today. Go out there and find your purpose.

3. Remember how to live. You are wonderfully made, righteous and holy. Your body is a living sacrifice. How you live today will directly impact who you become in Christ. The way you live today will directly affect your ability to be the light for Him. You are holy, not by your own actions, but because you are made holy though Christ in you. Understand that, and then live your life today in a way that reflects it.

4. I love you, and I’m proud of you. Not for what you’ve done, are doing, can do, or will do. I love you for who you are…my son. I’m proud of you for who you are…my son. There is nothing you could ever do to take that love and that pride away. EVER! Have a great day son!

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Love,

Dad

Birthday Boy

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Time flies too fast son. Six years ago this morning, I got to walk into the operating room and watch the doctor reach in to your momma’s belly and pull you out, kicking and screaming. What a joy that day was…seeing and holding you for the first time.

Our miracle baby who doctors said would never be, you proved them wrong…and have been forging your way through this world ever since.

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I’m proud of you son. Proud of you for being you. Proud of you for who you are. Proud of you for the young boy you’ve become and the young man you’re becoming. If these last six years are any indication of what the next six will be like, I look forward with eager anticipation to what lies ahead.

I love you bud!

Dad

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