Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Do you pray for your children?

Do you pray for your children? Most people would answer yes. We are usually consistent at joining together the two greatest parts of our life - our faith and our children. Let me offer you a suggestion to take that a step further. Talk to your children about your prayers. Try, this week, to have an intentional conversation with your children about your prayers on their behalf. Ask them what they would like for you to pray about. And do the same with them. Ask them to pray for you and share what it is you need their prayers about. Also, tell them what you have been praying for.

You will be surprised at the blessings you will both receive from this experience. It will deepen your relationship - horizontally and vertically.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Five things a Dad should do every day . . .

1. HUG your child. Show them with hugs just how much you love them.
2. Tell your child that you LOVE them unconditionally. Explain to them what unconditional love means to you.
3. PRAY with your child. Take time to show them that your relationship with God is the only thing that is more important to you than them or their Mom.
4. PLAY with your child. Spend time with them doing something that they enjoy doing.
5. Let your child see you LOVE on your wife. Show them what a healthy marriage looks like.

Moms, encourage and support your husband to do these things and be the spiritual example and leader that God calls him to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who’s Really Prodigal? pt.1

One of the most famous scriptures in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. This text has been preached on, studied over and shared – probably as much as any other in the Bible. Most often, we approach this story from the perspective of the wayward son who sinned against the father and returned home to open and loving arms. That’s accurate. But I don’t think it’s the complete message that Jesus was sending to his original audience.
So who was the original audience? It was the Pharisees and the Scribes. The same guys who thought they had the market on religion and relationships with God. So Jesus told them a story to set them straight. Look first at why Jesus told them this parable. They had a problem with Jesus eating and fellowshipping with sinners and tax collectors - the unmentionables of that society. They were defining what and who a sinner was (on their own terms). Jesus had a problem with this. So he told them a story about TWO brothers and their father. Look at how Jesus began the story in v.11. He said, “A man had two sons.” From the beginning this was about both of the man’s sons. Not just the one who we most often focus on. Jesus goes on to highlight the differences in the SIN of the brothers.

The first brother was as disrespectful to his father as anyone could be in that culture. For a son to ask for his inheritance was to tell the father that he no longer existed and no longer wanted to be considered a member of his family – the ultimate disrespect. Had a son actually done that, he would have been kicked out with no questions asked, and no chance of a return. The Pharisees and Scribes would have certainly understood who the bad guy of the story was. In their eyes, a good Jewish father would NEVER have let that boy back into the family. So to say that he was welcomed back with a party – no way!

Webster’s dictionary defines prodigal as abundant, luxurious and extravagant spending. You tell me who was more prodigal – the son who took his inheritance and wasted in on sinful living? Or the father who welcomed that sinful son back into the family by running to meet him (not making him walk all the way in shame), bringing him sandals for his feet, putting the families’ signet ring on his hand, giving him his best robe, killing a calf (which was meant to feed the entire family) and then throwing an extravagant celebration for everyone to attend?

I’m so glad that my Father is a prodigal Father. He lavishly covers with me His Compassionate Love, His Mercy, His Riches, His Blessings and most importantly – His Reward and Promise.