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So, I have been a father for over 30 years.  If you have been a father (or mother probably more importantly because mothers carry all children even longer than us guys and bear pain we can’t even imagine) you know what this parenting means, especially that of a teenager….16 year old..and a daughter….I have 3 of them (daughters) and one son.  All but one are over 16.   It is first an honor.  I cherish being a dad.  There are few relationships as precious as that of a parent.  I am proud to be a parent of all my children but…this does not change the difficulty of being a parent…..of a young child…..like I once was…..and am in many respects …. still am….a young child…Immature….me…and my children….still growing up….together.

As my wife and I dealt with just normal issues of being a parent with one of our children…I just began to think about me….the selfish part of me….that part that is so self centered…..yes, I thought of me as a child and not a parent…..that part of me that wants to take and not to give, … that part of me that wants it all my way and not any other way…..I began to see what it all meant.  If I am honest with myself…there are times that I don’t want to go to work, to get out of bed, to answer any emails, to talk on the phone…..to not want to have to speak to anyone….I want it my way, in my time, like I want it…..and many times….alone.

God is in charge of our lives, whether we want it or not.  God loves us so supremely that he gave a part of himself so that we could have life forever with him….  

Then I came back to my responsibility.  A parent.  But in love, my wife and I shared with our child what we know God had for her.  

Just like with me….it is up to me…whether I accept or reject God’s plan for my life.  So it is with all of my children.  Accept or reject what God has for us…for me, for my children, and for you.  

God is awesome in my family.  

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It happens even at 5 years old.  Raw Sin Exposed… 

It was a little late at night, my son is 5 and was tired….I was tired….my wife was tired…  When he did not get what he wanted….he began to become sarcastic with my wife…  We knew he was tired…we are experienced parents with a lot of kids, a lot of years, a lot of patience….but it was over the top the way he was acting.  I just pulled him aside….looked at him and told him, “I will not let you talk to your mother that way….it is wrong”. 

He began to cry.  I did not spank him, I did not grab him hard, I did not yell or scream at him.  I just exposed his sin.  It was even evident to  him…a 5  year old that his wrongs…his sin…raw sin was exposed. 

In the Garden of Eden,….they knew they had messed up.  They knew it was wrong.  They knew it was out-of-order.  Sin exposed…raw sin just made them feel naked….and they were.

My wife and I talked about Tyler after the incident and I could not help but reflect on how I feel when my raw sin is exposed,… my willful disobedience, my absolute disregard for God…..I feel naked, I  feel exposed….  I will sometimes get in my place of prayer and just cry to God to please understand, please don’t hold it against me….. He doesn’t. 

You see, our raw sin…we try to cover it up, like Adam and Eve in the Garden.  But what we do is insufficient.  God Himself covers us.  That is complete.  I am so glad He has it covered.  Because I don’t.  God has a lot of kids, a lot of years, a lot of patience.  When our raw sin is exposed….He loves us.  I am so glad. 

louie

Well, not all day was tough but from 3pm today until bed time was.  My kids go to school across the street from our church.  One girl is 14 and the other is 11.   They go to the Rock Church (check out www.pkmo.wordpress.com for one of the teachers).   Just as soon as they got picked up today at 3pm, my wife was on the phone with me and they were all going at it like only 3 women in a van can do it.  (I am so glad I am a guy).  So, this one wants this, that one wants that….homework plans are laid out,…they want to go on the internet and when we are not home, that is usually forbidden.  But now one of them needs to download a song for Praise Band practice for tonight before church so I allow it.  I rush home at 540 pm, tired, hungry, wore out and need to be at church at 6pm for practice and 7pm for church….and they are still at it.  Get both girls loaded up and leave my wife and 3 year old son at home…we strike out for church….but I find out that my 11 year old is not finished with her homework.  The 14 year old reminds me that I told the 11 year old several times to do it but……

Well, on the way to 6pm practice, I decided to take the 11 year old back home and drop her off to do her homework.  As I left the older one at church for Praise Band practice, I turned around to go home with the younger one.  She began to cry and cry and apologize for not being honest about finishing her homework and begged for forgiveness…….please daddy,….pleeeeeaaaassssseeee.  But I was mad and disappointed that she had not leveled with me.  I really, deep down, wanted to punish her for the lack of maturity, the lack of respect she showed me and the lack of responsibility.  I also began to think, as I was very tired and hungry…..just how being a dad was tough today.  Then, of course, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me.

I had to ask myself, how many times…….JUST TODAY that I had not respected God with my thoughts.  How many times….JUST TODAY that I had not shown maturity.  How many times,…JUST TODAY that I had not acted responsibly with my thoughts, actions and words..Ouch.  God, I hate it when that happens, that God exposes my stuff when I am right smack dab in the middle of judging someone else. So I began to think about how Peter, in Matthew 18, asked Jesus how many times that he should forgive someone when they sinned against him.  Jesus said, a whole bunch..  I remember how Jesus, in Luke 6:37-38 was talking about forgiveness and He said that if you don’t judge, you won’t be judged and that the measure in which you forgive, will be given back to you, pressed down shaken together and running over.

So I forgave her.  Had her get her book assignment and let her bring it to church to read before prayer.  I told her I forgave her, and I really did.  I am so glad that God forgives me/us, that same way.  He just keeps on forgiving us.  I wonder how God feels as a dad sometimes?  Glad he can handle it. 

Pastor Louie