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Monday, November 6, 2017

Dear Isabella: A letter from your Daddy

Dear Isabella,

Recently I read something that made me think about our relationship.
Although you are only 6 months old; can’t talk, walk or crawl. You need to hear this. 

Recently, I wrote an article about being, “A Good Girl.” In the article I highlighted two very important qualities that all girls should embody. The first is that you should know your worth. The world has a way of creeping up right behind your ears whispering all kinds of untrue messages. Messages like, “You have to act certain ways to fit in.” Or, “you should try to be part of the cool crowd and despise the other kids around you.” And then there is, “You don’t have to listen to your parents, especially your father …” (That last one you should especially reject and take special note of if you ever want to get your license or go to prom or leave the house … ever). The lesson here is simple and powerful: Isabella, know your worth and know it well. You are a person of infinite value! This I hope is something you get a handle on early in life; you are created in the image of God and hold tremendous value that cannot be added to or taken away. 

The second thing I want to relay to you is the implication of understanding and embracing your inner value. A firm grasp on this will leave you strong. You will be the type of person that will not be defined by the TV shows you watch or the pressure your acquaintances put on you. You will be above it all. You get to set your own limits, live your own life and steer your own ship. You will also ward off many, many rotten apples that roll your way. And in doing so, you will have saved yourself a lot of grief and heart-ache (and lectures by your dad that will go on and on and...). 

So let’s peer into the future together because your dad is planning something special for you. 

Sometime in the future, say when you are 12ish, I will take you on a date. We will both be dressed to the 9’s. During dinner, I will pull out a box wrapped in fancy paper with a bow on top. I will then share how important it is for you to understand and embrace the things that I have written about -that you know your worth and so forth. I will probably be crying so you will have to listen intently. And don’t worry; I will have requested a private booth so no one will see me sobbing like a baby. 

At some point, I will hand you the box and you will open it to find a necklace with a golden apple charm inside of it. The apple will represent a few things: 1 is that you are the apple of my eye and 2 is that the apples that grow on the top of a tree are valued the most since they are the most difficult to pick. I will then come over to your side of the table, take the necklace and put it on you. It is an outward symbol representing your inner beauty and worth. My hope is that every time you see the apple around your neck you remember the high standard that you are called to. That you always remember that day as the day your earthly daddy pointed you to your Heavenly one. 

Isabella, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, full of life and joy. Each day you bring new light to the worldI! 

Know who you are.
More importantly, know Whose you are.

Signed,
Daddy



If you have a daughter that you cherish, pass this on!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Getting the Man right.

 

Prologue

Once upon a time there was a very successful business
owner. His company had faithfully served millions of customers
for many, many years. But lately, business had not been so good,
and his competitors were just waiting for him to fail. For weeks
and months, the man pondered the crisis, but the problems were
so complex, and solutions seemed nowhere to be found.
Everyone was wondering what would happen to this great
company, so finally the businessman announced that he was hosting
a dinner for all of his employees to unveil a plan that would
save the company and return it to its former glory. He wanted to
convey to them how important each person was to the future success
of the organization.

The morning of the dinner, he was sitting in his study at home
working on his speech, when his wife came in and asked if he
would mind watching their son for a few hours while she ran
some errands. He was about to say, “I really need to focus on finishing
my speech,” but something caught his tongue and he found
himself agreeing, reluctantly.

His wife had only been gone about ten minutes when there
was a knock on the study door, and there appeared his seven year-
old son. “Dad, I’m bored!” he exclaimed. The father spent
the next couple of hours trying to amuse his son while also trying
to finish his speech. Finally he realized that if he could not find
some way to entertain his child he was never going to get his
speech finished in time.

Picking up a magazine, he thumbed through the pages until
he came to a large, brightly colored map of the world. He ripped
the picture into dozens of pieces, and led his son into the living
room. Then, throwing the pieces all over the floor, he announced,
“Son, if you can put the map of the world back together I will
give you twenty dollars.”

The boy immediately began gathering the pieces. He was
keen to earn the extra money, as he needed just twenty more dollars
to buy a toy he had been saving for since his last birthday.
The father returned to his study, thinking he had just bought
himself a couple of hours to finish working on his speech, because
he knew his seven-year-old son had no idea what the map of the
world looked like.

But five minutes later, just as he was settling into his speech,
there was another knock on the study door. There stood the
young boy holding the completed map of the world.
The father said in amazement, “How did you finish it so
quickly?” The boy smiled and said, “You know, Dad, I had no
idea what the map of the world looked like, but as I was picking
up the pieces, I noticed that on the back there was a picture of
a man.” The father smiled, and the boy continued. “So, I put a
sheet of paper down, and I put the picture of the man together,
because I knew what the man looked like. I placed another sheet
of paper on top, then holding them tightly I turned them both
over.” He smiled again and exclaimed, “I figured, if I got the man
right, the world would be right.”

The man handed his son twenty dollars.

“And you’ve given me my speech for tonight. 
If you get the man right, you get the world right.”

Told by Matthew Kelly.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

When God gives you a Bloody Nose


By:  Jean de La Fontaine 

Once there was a country bumpkin
Who observed a great big pumpkin
To a slender stem attached;
While upon an oak tree nourished,
Little acorns grew and flourished.

"Bah!" said he. "That's badly matched."
"If, despite my humble station,
I'd a hand in this Creation,
Pumpkins on the oaks would be;
And the acorn, light and little,
On this pumpkin stem so brittle
Would be placed by clever Me."

Then, fatigued with so much thought, he
Rest beneath the oak tree sought. He
Soon in slumber found repose
But, alas! An acorn, falling
On the spot where he lay sprawling,
Hit him--plump!--Upon the nose.

Up he jumped--a wiser bumpkin.
"Gosh!" he said. "Suppose a pumpkin
Came a-fallin' on my face!
After all, if I had made things,
I'll allow that I'm afraid things
Might be some what out of place.



The meaning of the acorn and the pumpkin?

God knows better than we do. Before the man took a nap under the acorn tree, he mocked God's creation.  He stated that a tree as giant as an acorn tree surely would have been better fit for something large, like pumpkins, to grow on.

However, he later found that he was mistaken when an acorn fell on his nose, causing it to bleed, making him realize that had it been a pumpkin, he would not have been as fortunate.

That is why at the end of the poem he says,"God knows His business after all, no question!" He realized he does not know more than God, and he should learn to trust Him.


"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!"
-Romans 11:33-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

it IS your fault!

There are 2 types of people in this world, those who take responsibility for their lives, and those who do not.

Have you noticed that we live in a culture of blame? There is the overweight woman suing McDonald’s for making her fat. Did the Golden Arches reach out, grab her, and force food down her throat?  There is the guy that throws his money away at the casino. Did the blackjack dealer drive him to the bright lights; take the money out of his wallet and place bet after bet? In both cases, shift went from the individual to some outside external force.

I read a book once with the title, “Take control of what’s controlling you.” Aptly fit for our society today. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a fascinating book that inspired this post (It’s Not my Fault) that I benefited from measurably. In it, he says you need to, Take responsibility for your life, then put your arms around reality and take ownership of it …”





(B.O.B.) The beginning of blame
Genesis records the origins of much of what you and I experience today. Life, death, murder, marriage, etc. In Genesis chapter 3, we discover that right after Adam and Eve disobey God and sin, they start the blame game. Adam points to his wife, his wife then points to the serpent. Blame, Shame and Guilt. All there in the garden. For our purposes however, we will focus on blame shifting. We just love to shift blame and responsibility on to others. We love pointing to external factors that will get us off the hook. One interesting element about blaming outside sources is that they may be true AND we may even have good reasons to blame -but it does not solve any of our problems.

I will unabashedly state that if you are the type of person that consistently shifts blame on externals --you have serious problems. I know it and your friends / family know it too. I can’t say for certain that you know it, but the sooner you understand this hang-nail about yourself the better off you will be. See, those in life that are successful, those in life that have risen above their circumstances have figured out some important life lessons, one is that they take responsibility for their own lives. 

Is it time for you to look inward, instead of outward?
Choose to man-up and rise above the external forces and when you do, you choose to be a victor instead of a victim.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The BEST poem in the WORLD!!!

I was shocked, confused, bewildered 
As I entered Heaven's door, 
Not by the beauty of it all, 
Nor the lights or its decor. 

But it was the folks in Heaven 
Who made me sputter and gasp-- 
The thieves, the liars, the sinners, 
The alcoholics and the trash. 

There stood the kid from seventh grade 
Who swiped my lunch money twice. 
Next to him was my old neighbor 
Who never said anything nice. 

Herb, who I always thought 
Was rotting away in hell, 
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine, 
Looking incredibly well. 

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal? 
I would love to hear Your take. 
How'd all these sinners get up here? 
God must've made a mistake. 

'And why's everyone so quiet, 
So somber - give me a clue.' 
'Hush, child,' He said, 'they're all in shock. 
No one thought they'd be seeing you.'