EVERYONE Needed to Be in Bed

Image from memegenerator.net

Let’s have some honest talk about home life. As much as we would love to think our family time at home is a beautiful scene from “The Waltons” or a black and white program, it is farrrrrr from the truth! Some nights are great, but tonight was not one of them. At one point, our 1-year-old was acting the best (parents included). I was looking at the clock around 8:45 pm and exclaimed, “It’s bedtime for everyone!” Did we get there quickly after my shout? No! I’m awake enjoying a quiet house at 11:50 pm and writing.

How many of us get moody? All of us! When we should be understanding and compassionate, our flesh quickly takes control. We have a fight on our hands. That fight is with ourselves.

I have been a parent for almost 16 years and have far from mastered this thing of being a husband and father. I must admit that I was a grouch like the rest. So what do we do when we have days like this?

Pull away if possible! If you can remove yourself from a situation so you can calm down, do it.

Apologize when appropriate! I discovered many years ago that my children respected me for apologizing when I reacted inappropriately.

Forgive yourself and learn from the mistakes! Easier said than done. Nonetheless, we are going to really bomb some days. Learn the lessons and move forward.

Speaking of bed time, I’m headed that way.

Blessed

I must be honest with you. I was dreading today, and it was for totally selfish reasons. It’s not because my Dad is out of the picture. There are so many that have major reasons to dread Father’s Day. I have none of those reasons. For me, this was my first year without my oldest children present. Since their mother and I separated and divorced, they have always been here with me. They did, however, have a good reason for being away. Yesterday, their stepdad had the funeral for his father. My kids loved him dearly, and they needed to be there.

I got up and did my current Sunday morning routine. I woke up, got ready, and left for sound check at 8:00 at church. Both campuses gather for prayer at 9:00, and the start of the service at 9:30 quickly approaches. The lead worship pastor from the main campus joined me today. The people sang out, the message was great, and we went out to eat afterward. My oldest son called, and I engaged in my typical Sunday afternoon ritual – nap time.

The hollering of my little girl woke me up, and I discovered that my wife and the other kids were gone. They came back with my meal preference for the evening, a card from each of them, and a gift from everyone. All I could think was, “I did not have everyone here today, but I’m still blessed with a wonderful family.” The older I get, the more absentee children will become the norm. It’s not that they don’t love me, but they will grow older and more than likely have obligations that keep them away.

Circumstances do not dictate your blessing!

We are so quick to allow circumstances to be the thermostat of our level of blessing. This is a lie from the enemy. The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians from a jail cell and spoke about joy and contentment. If he can do that, I have no excuse. He reminded the Philippian believers that Christ is our Source of joy. Even when all hell is coming against us, we are blessed when we know Christ as our Lord and Savior.

I don’t know where you are in life. You may be in a bad circumstance. Don’t let your circumstance tell you how to feel! Tell your circumstance that you are a blessed child of God. Perspective can make you or break you. Choose to think like the victorious believer you are!

In Awe

Not everyone is an emotional worshiper, but I am. It must be rooted in truth, but that truth will set me on fire. Charity Gayle sang “Amen” with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and all I could do was lift a hand and lay here in awe. Chills came over me as I imagined these words in the eternal worship scene of Heaven. Let this song minister to you, and don’t forget to worship along.

Theme Song

I don’t you if you do this, but I have a theme song for different stages in my life. During high school, it was “You Learn” by Alanis Morrisette (an artist you won’t find on any worship team, so this is not an endorsement). When I stepped out of music ministry into the pastorate, it was “My Life Is In Your Hands” by Kathy Troccoli. In this season, I have two – “My Life Is In Your Hands” by Kirk Franklin (recorded by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir) and “Won’t Stop Now” by Elevation Worship.

I am going to share these songs with you because I believe at least one of my readers needs the message of one, if not both, of these songs. Listen carefully and let the Holy Spirit minister to you.

Latest and Greatest?

Some of you may be wondering if I’m still alive. I used to write frequently, but life happens. Between work and family, I find my mind divided in many ways. Because of my absence, I want to update you on what is happening.

I have sensed that 2019 would be a year of huge transition. Six months in, I am seeing that come to fruition. First, our workplace is facing a HUGE change. This may be one that will change my future with the company. So much is yet to be seen, but I am always one who wants to think ahead.

As I shared with you a few months ago, I had a potential ministry opportunity that did not materialize. It did rekindle my desire to serve vocationally in the local church which led to some inquiries into some ministry possibilities. I met with one committee and knew that was not where God wanted me, but a pastor friend found out about this meeting and called me about helping with their worship ministry. So, I am there at least for the month of June. This church has been through so much. I preached there one Sunday before the merge. It is now the traditional venue for a thriving ministry in our community. I don’t know what the future looks like there, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity.

On the home front, life is good. We’re all getting older. Seriously, I’m thoroughly enjoying watch all these kids grow up. The babies are growing and learning. The older kids are getting busy. One is away at camp for a few days. One is busy with basketball and soon to add volleyball to the list. Another will be busy with football this Summer, while another will most likely be interning at his church at the age of 15 (the age I was when I took my first paid ministry position). Only one of the kids is taking it easy this Summer so she can spend a lot of time with me since she lives with her mother. It can be easy to get lost in all the hectic moments of raising kids, but the joys are sweet.

Stay tuned to see what is next in the book of my life. God is a great story writer. Honestly, I would not have chosen parts of my story. God knows best, and He can use the worst of things to help others. The latest in my life may not always feel like the greatest, but it is when Jesus is at the center.