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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 is not about music.  In the last post, Abraham was the one that brought sacrifice to the worship scene. I always thought about music as the central theme in worship.  I now “use” music sometimes to get me to a worship state..  But that is not all worship is about. 

Joshua crossed the Jordan River from East to West.  After he crossed the Jordan River,…he and about a million or so people entered the Promised Land….and almost immediately had to fight all the big folks that were there on their land.  But Joshua brought something with him to that new place…the promised land.    Rocks.

He had those with him bring out of the riverbed….rocks.  From the bottom of the previously uncrossable barrier….a river…..Joshua and his nation stopped the water….crossed the river on dry ground….brought up rocks from the river and then….well,..  they fell on their face and worshipped God. 

They listened to God.  Crossed a barrier.  Got stuff up out of the barrier,…rocks,….built an altar and worshipped God

What are you bringing to church?  What barrier are you crossing?  You bringing with you something?  Just checking?  I often bring criticism of what is going on.  I often bring selfishness in what I want at church.  I even want the temperature to be just right or the music to be just so loud….I often bring problems I have and want someone to solve them……I often preach about them myself……  Seldom do I just lay down and worship God.  Seldom do I bring a rock…..something of worship to bring with me into church. 

louie

So, yesterday I did Mooowhich was an introduction to Romans 8:6.  It sort of had a Chic Fil-A bent to it.  Sort of an eat more chicken sort of thing.

But what does it really mean to be carnally minded?  What does it really mean that you are involved in a way of thinking that produces death?   Carnally minded, the first part of Romans 8:6 means that if you think a certain way, you can die.  It means that if you focus on your ego, your pride, your personal way of doing things…..that it is not pleasing to God. 

Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback church and creator of Purpose Driven Life says in his book with the same title, that it is not about you…..it is not about us….it is not about our way of thinking, doing, acting, existing, ….. it is not about our wants or desires, our place in the bigger order of things…our satisfaction….. it is about God. 

You see, if we focus….or have a bent that is focused on us….well, then we will never be pleased.  We will just continue to want our stuff… want our way….want to be the center of attention….want to be the one…..and it is not about us.  That is carnally minded. 

I have been that way most of my life….and if I am painfully honest…..I still am carnally minded in many areas of my life.  It does not produce life.  It does not produce growth…..it produces disappointment, discouragement, depression….well, death.   And not just physical death but spiritual death…or separation from God.   

Take a hard look at your life…like I try to do and see where there are areas of …..selfishness, ……. self centerdness…… flesh….. carnally mindedness…..and death.   Refuse to be a part of it…a little at a time. 

louie

garmin-nuvi-670-gps-unveiled

GPS is a global positioning satellite.  It tells you where to go.  Guys hate asking directions.  We just want to figure it out.  But guys also like technology.  So, you can merge the not liking to ask directions with some techno stuff and walla….you got some guy stuff you can live with.  GPS.  Cool because you don’t have to ask directions and cool because you can do it on an IPhone or Blackberry and you are in the technology loop. 

So, what is the big deal about directions?  In Haggai 1:5, the scriptures say, “This is what the Lord Almighty says,  ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’ “  You see, God cares about directions.  He cares about the way we go.  Whether we use a GPS, IPhone, Blackberry or have to ask directions…..God is concerned about the way we go.  He wants us to give careful thought to where we go.

I used to hang out in the nightclubs.  It was a “way” in my life.  I abused my life and those around me.  I got what I wanted.  That was a “way”.  I used to talk a certain “way”.  I used to think it was ok to do whatever I wanted as long as it made me feel good.  That was a “way”.  I never gave anything of value to anyone else because it seemed to lower my value, my personal wealth, my bottom line.  That was a “way”.   I used to never spend time with my family because it was sometimes inconvenient and stood in the “way” of my climb upward.  That was a “way”. 

God wants us to consider these things.  You got a “way” going on?  Consider it.  God says to give careful thought to this “way”.  Plug in the GPS and see what “way” you are headed.  I did and found I was not pointed in the right direction.                      How about you?

louie