Compassionate Friendship – Benevolent Bonding – Faithful Father Series

Compassion = Benevolent

Bonding with our children is so important that the Bible made sure we understood the need to provide benevolent bonding for our children. Proverbs 22:6 tells us what that bonding can lead to.

I consider my home an institution and I think that men should look at their own home that way as well. Consider the children you are raising and that they learn from you and your wife. Together you are forming who they are, what they value and how they interact with the world more than any other persons God has put in their life. This foundation, this institution, should be a benevolent one that aims to guide our children in God first. Way easier said then done man.

You have to be intentional about it, this whole series is built on the hope that as someone comes across me sharing my life, they find inspiration that is the catalyst for improving their relationship with God, wife, children, family, and friends. On one hand you have authority and discipline but you must also be compassionate with those same people. Especially your wife and children, I mean, you don’t have them except by God’s grace. That is the way we need to approach this series. We are not seeking to judge how lucky those are around us but the reverse. How lucky are we to be surrounded by those we love because God placed their paths and our paths together?

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Compassion is Not a Weakness

We live in a world that views aggressiveness as strength and compassion as a weakness but I tell you it is not. The expression of either of those traits is entirely situational and my belief that compassion is a strength almost always comes from a singular Biblical reference. In Psalms 103:13 fathers are called to show compassion to their children just as God does to those who fear Him. There is a reason why God uses compassion so often in the Bible. Even when Jesus gave the Pharisees a good tongue lashing over their lofty perch in Matthew 23 he wept for Jerusalem in the last three verses of the same chapter (Matthew 23:37-39).

Compassion is an inspirational emotion that can drive us towards goals. It can help us recover from being distraught and it makes us better people. Francis Schaeffer said, ‘Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.’ He is completely justified in that statement, there are groups that exist, specifically the Westboro Baptist Church who we are just going to call a hate group, use the Bible to treat people as if they were so far from God’s forgiveness that they have no hope and will burn in Hell. Now does that sound like Jesus? The man sat with whores and outcasts throughout His ministry. He was compassionate in all things he did and that is part of why the disciples followed Him. He was strong and meek, authoritative and compassionate.

Compassion = Benevolent Bonding

We cannot spend all of our time critiquing and correcting our children. They are kids who will make mistakes just like adults do. I lose sight of that sometimes on days I feel like they are testing all the barriers at once. At 5 and 7 that can seem like it is every day but I know that is not true, we just have a tendency to focus on the short intense spurts instead of viewing the overall picture.

Bonding with your children is an intentional activity and not something you can assume will happen because you are a parent of that child. We are always so busy, doing what? Work? Personal interest? Just not wanting to do anything because we just need a break. I’m guilty of this, and trying to change it but how often has your child wanted you to do something and you make an excuse? It’s so easy to say later or anything that puts it off until they forget or give up.

Sometimes the things our kids want us to do are just plain boring. Sometimes it is messy (a lot of times at our house!). We are missing out on a critical time with our children when we do this. They thrive and learn and grow every single time we set aside other things and make intentional bonding experiences with them. You’re going to make memories that to you may seem small but to them it will be profound. That reminder you get from them when they say “Hey Daddy, remember when…” is humbling and something we overlook in our daily parenting routines. We sabotage our change for benevolent bonding.

Parent and Friend

We can be our child’s parent and we can be their friend. We may not be their best friend but we have a compassionate friendship and a benevolent bond that even their very best friend has. We just need to continually pour in to our children the love Christ has shown us. The poor outlook of a parent being a friend to their child comes from the parent enabling irresponsibility. You’re 50, you don’t need to go to the club so you can watch women twerk.You also shouldn’t be operating on the premise that your child is going to be drinking or smoking weed so why not do it with them when you can control it. That control is illusory, a powerful tool of the enemy. All you are doing is saying those behaviors are okay.

If we want long-term healthy relationships with our children it spring from intentional time spent with them each, intentional time spent with the family. It does not come from giving them gifts and condoning their poor behavior. As a father my goal is to teach, love, sometimes discipline but mostly love. We wear many hats as parents. Sometimes we even have to wear birthday hats on your forehead and pretend to be a unicorn.

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I Wish You Were Dead; Powerful Words From a Child

Angry young girl

“I Wish You Were Dead.” – Ella

It is one of those things you never expect your children to say. In fact, it is something they should never say at all. The wishing of the death of someone can be a tragic statement simply because it is an explicit evacuation of love. Imagine for a moment if that is how God felt towards us? The difference between our ability to wish someone dead simply by words and God’s ability is that He could do it. Instead, God gave His son up for sacrifice in lieu of the complete devastation of His creation. That is where God is a perfect father that we can only aspire to be.

Yesterday we stopped at a little place for dinner called Roma Pizza. We grabbed a booth and Eli sat next to me and Ella sat next to Bethany. They take turns on who sits next to momma, no one is ever stoked about sitting next to me. Such is life.

We have to combat the typical behaviors that parents who take their children out to eat must deal with. There is climbing on the booth, peeking over the booth at other people, trying to crawl under the booth. Anything that is not sitting still basically. Eli has this habit of taking his shoes off despite our multiple commands to keep them on and once again he did this. I told him get his shoes off the floor and get them back on.

His cheerful “Okey dokey!” before disappearing under the table gets him out of a lot of trouble. A few moments after he went to put his shoes on, this awful howl of pain came from beneath the table as Ella had kicked him in the knee. Normally this would not be a huge deal and we’d just tell her to apologize and keep her hands (or in this case feet) off of him. The problem is that the knee she kicked him in had a large crusty scab on it from a fall he had taken a week or so ago. His skin split the scab and the wound weeped a bit of blood which threw him in to a new squall of hysterics.

I’m far from a perfect parent  and I’m not going to pretend to be. Ella received the ninja-eyed gaze of an angry daddy because she had already been in trouble before we had entered the restaurant for talking back in a disrespectful manner. So when she kicked his knee I assumed (yeah I know the age old adage) that she had done it to be spiteful. I could have been wrong there, she’s kicked him while he was under the table before, he’s kicked her too, like I said, not a perfect papa.

Regardless of that, she got upset and angry and then uttered words that really break my heart, “I wish you were dead.”

So you take a breath, let it roll off your back even though you may want to breakdown or become angry. Your knee-jerk reaction to that really can be an indicator for how you parent under duress. She put her head down and Bethany rubbed her back. I did not say a word because I know those things were said in anger and she may have felt like she meant them but really she did not. It is an unresolved issue that we will discuss tonight when I get home but I want to use that as a tool to teach her.

I’ve told her before that hate is a very strong emotion and one that was a part of the reasons Jesus was killed. He was challenging the status quo and basically telling the Pharisees, “Guys, you got this all wrong.”

The Pharisees responded with anger, fear and hate. They wished Jesus was dead. The Son of God dead because their pretensions of superior sanctification was more important to them than the word of God. It’s dangerous to pretend that we do not fail or that our skills as parents are so amazing we never have problems at home. It’s dangerous to think we are perfect leaders as men. It’s the same danger the Pharisees refused to see when God walked among them in flesh.

How short is a child’s anger? A minute can pass and they forget what angered them. When it was bedtime Ella hugged me tighter than I think she ever has. That speaks volumes more than her sharp-tongued words ever could. It’s also an example of what Jesus gave us that we so sorely forget, forgiveness. Ella and I will talk about what happened, we will talk about God, we will talk about Jesus and we will talk about His gift.

My wish is that I would rather her understand that gift and how to use it and how to emulate it more than my pains of heartbreak over vapid words said in a moment of difficulty.

Wish Daddy's Girl

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The Big I Do

I Do

I’ll preface this by saying that I am no authority on the role that I am about to take, but this is about my hopes, my dreams, my prayers to be what I discuss. After October 15th at 3:00 PM (I just checked the time of the wedding. No seriously, I did.) I will not be just Scott; I will be Scott, the husband. Legally it’s a small change with profound repercussions. I do not wish to discuss what the law says I am because that is simple and far easier than explaining what God commands of that position. It is quite terrifying frankly.

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Say What You Mean

Say What You Mean

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
 – Colossians 3:9

This verse speaks for itself. If you have taken off your old self then a change has begun. It isn’t overnight and God doesn’t expect us to instantly become a completely different person. The Holy Spirit gets deep in side of you and starts helping you shovel all of that darkness from your heart. A little scoop at a time is really how it works. To believe that you get saved and you live just like Jesus did instantly is a myth. If you mean the words your have said then the next thing to do is step back and take a deep breath because a moment that defines you just happened. Seek those who love Jesus an they will support you. If you just say a few words and walk away thinking you’re ‘all good’ with God then you will be setting yourself up for spiritual failure.

Colossians 3:1-25 is all about how we should be living when Christ has redeemed us. I think that 3:9 is crucial because lying is the oldest deception we have in the Bible. Satan used the serpent as a means to an end. The lie was the misrepresentation of who was speaking to Eve. Of course this went downhill afterward and we all in some shape or form find ourselves telling lies regardless of how small or big they may be. I do it, I try very hard not to and usually restrict my tales to stories for my kids but I make sure they know the stories are not real. Saying words you think have saved you but continually living in no ways whatsoever doesn’t sound like redemption to me. I am not a judge, only the trinity can discern the true nature of our souls but meaning what you say and saying what you mean are important in securing that salvation.

Our marriages work like that too. Communication is the most important goal after ensuring God is first in your home. In many ways you must communicate better to put God first but if you have God in the home then you will have God in the heart.

Saying What You Mean

Jesus tells us this plainly in Matthew 5:33-37 where He is wrapping up speaking about oaths and how we should not make oaths based on Heaven or Earth for Heaven is God’s throne and the Earth His footstool. In v. 37 He says, “All you need say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” This applies to us outside of just oaths. If you hear someone constantly saying ‘I swear to God’ or ‘God as my witness’ it’s usually because they have a tendency to lie or at least not tell the whole truth. As Christians we should say what we mean and do so in love. We should be saying what we mean with sincerity and truthfulness behind it because we should live as Jesus did. He did not lie, we should be striving to do that as well because if not the Holy Spirit is going to convict us and we are going to end up begging forgiveness from the Lord, provided we have that light in us and have not just said some prayer of rote that is supposed to affirm our salvation because we were told that it will save us. Words do not save your soul. Saying what you mean is about the consistency of your thoughts and the words you put forth. Both of which should be grounded in your faith.

Mean What You Say

Meaning what you say is to have a consistency with the words you put forth and the actions you then perform afterward. As an example, I hate to use Peter again but he is the one most familiar to people because he said he would not deny Jesus but he did anyway. He meant what he said at the time but when it came to fulfilling that obligation he fell flat. I try to be very careful but I fail in this on a personal level. Doing a devotional publicly for a year was more ambitious than I could handle but I am doing it as often as time allows. It isn’t that I can’t but I do have family obligations that have to be done before I can do this. God’s work is not put on a backseat because I feel that I am filling my role as the leader of my home by taking care of my family and doing my best to put God forth in all we do. I fail in that too sometimes but Jesus knows my weaknesses and I ask God for the strength to endure them without falling into a tailspin.

Final Thoughts

When we say things it should be wholeheartedly and again in love. When we say what we mean in truthfulness then we are doing as Christ instructed us to do. Say what you mean plainly and in honesty but without cruelty. Mean what you say by putting your heart into what you say so that love is communicated.  Do not say negative things to your wife because I promise you, she will remember that. Do not promise anyone things unless you intend to fulfill those promises because they will remember that you let them down. Our faith is rooted in the trust we have in Jesus that our salvation is secure. How can we expect people to have trust in our testimony if we are acting shakily in behavior?

Our relationship with God requires honesty in all things, trust in Him and the desire to continually communicate with him. Our spouse, our children, every person you meet deserves those same qualities because anything less takes away from the testimony God has given you.

Communicate Love

Communicate Love

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. – Malachi 2:15

What is the most important way you commune with Jesus? Is it by reading the Bible? Maybe by doing good works in service to others? Those are great but our most important and necessary way to keep in touch is by communication. We have to communicate with Him in order to keep the connection we foster alive and healthy. The way we do that is through prayer of course, on our own or with others. In Malachi this specific verse is in regards to our relationship in marriage to our spouse. How we keep our relationship healthy with God is how we should keep our relationship healthy with our husband or wife.

In fact you can see a lot of similarities in the Bible of what marriage ultimately is. By definition it is a relationship recognized by custom or law. This may be a long-winded thing but stay with me, We will get to my point. God had a covenant with Adam in the Garden it was a relationship that was recognized by the law that God gave man and woman. Do not eat of a single tree and it worked well before the Fall. God walked with Adam in the Garden and could communicate with God but eventually there was a communication breakdown because both man and woman stopped  communicating with God and instead began communicating with the Devil. I don’t believe it is too far of a reach to say that we see that cause dissolution of marriages in the here and now too. Look at how many spouses of both sexes start off a friendly flirtation and then it becomes something it shouldn’t have. Man of course violated the law set forth and God in turn cursed him.

It is not the last time that happens. In fact it happens with Moses & Aaron, David, Solomon, and Peter are all good examples.

Moses & Aaron’s Disobedience

Moses had direct communication with God and was leading Israel to the Promised Land of Canaan but because Moses & Aaron did not do as God commanded when the Israelites were in the wilderness they could not receive the prize that God has promised (Numbers 20:1-12).

David’s Coveting

David was a man after God’s own heart, a man who wrote many Psalms of the Bible still failed to communicate with God well. He lusted for and ultimately laid with Bathsheba while she was married to Uriah the Hittite. In fact, David sent Uriah off to the front line so that Uriah would (he did) perish. David sacrificed an innocent man so that he could covet Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 11:1-27). David’s first child conceived during this time did not survive as punishment for what he did. His second child, Solomon became king.

Solomon’s Idolatry

Solomon was the wise king who once discerned the lie a woman told in court by decreeing to cut a child in half. The real mother would rather give up the child than see it killed. This was a mark of the wisdom that God had gifted to Solomon. Even with that wisdom Solomon cheated on God. He had hundreds of wives from the Ammonites, Edomites, Hittites and more. All of which God said not to intermarry because they would lead His people from Him. (1 Kings 11:1-6). His punishment was that after his death the kingdom of the Israelites would fall into dissension. That did indeed happen and all but two tribes rejected his son Rehoboam as king.

Peter’s Denial

Poor Peter, Jesus told him that when the time came that Peter would deny knowing Him three times. Peter of course denied that saying, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matthew 26:35 NIV). Jesus was correct in what happened and Peter did deny Christ to save his own skin. Christ had professed that Peter would be the rock of His church even knowing that Peter would break communion with Him. Peter like almost all of the Apostles was put to death under Roman rule while Nero was emperor. His death is said to have been by crucifixion.

Tying in to Marriage

I know all of that history may seem far fetched because they have nothing to do with marriage in context but they do represent things that cause breakdowns in the unity we seek with God and the unity we should be seeking with our

Moses & Aaron ignored something that was important to God. His command to provide water in a way that glorified Him was put aside and for that they paid a steep price. If your spouse feels something is important enough to say directly they want your assistance then provide that to them because we are called to serve everyone and we are served in return. That is the real value in helping out. God didn’t need Moses to lead the Israelites but Moses was chosen to serve the people and serve God and for that God would make Moses the leader of the Israelites. The moment that Moses & Aaron lost sight of this glorification of God through their service, they lost everything. They were able to gaze upon the promised land but neither could enter.

David’s problems is far more straightforward. He was given the kingdom of Israel to rule by God’s hand putting him there. Despite David’s worship of the Lord he lead a woman to commit adultery and she became pregnant with his child. His desire to hide that sin lead to the death of Uriah and the baby not surviving. This clearly applies to marriage because even the ten commandments say we should not commit adultery nor covet and David did both. The blood of Uriah was on his hands as well. Covetousness and adultery will cause the death of a marriage if the person doing those acts does not place themselves back in the middle of God’s will.

Solomon’s worship of other God’s caused the dissolution of the united kingdom of Israel. Something hard fought to happen but man made it tenuous at best. This is exactly the same thing that causes marriages to fall apart. A marriage should be God first and when that doesn’t happen we lose sight of what Malachi is speaking about. Couples find other things to put their energy in to and instead of building each other up together it causes them to tear one another down.

Peter’s denial of Jesus was a terrible act. Imagine if you will someone saying, “Isn’t that your wife?” and the response was, “No, I’m not married.” The truth is we are married to God and without Him we will founder. The saying that two heads are better than one is awesome but what if you had the Godhead on your side? Denying your spouse your time, attention, affection etc. can lead to more than just hurt feelings, it will lead to resentment, arguments and potentially divorce.

Communicate Love

Communicating love should be a natural thing for us because it is what Jesus commanded. It was his greatest commandments. Sometimes it isn’t about communicating as much as it is miscommunication. To minimize the miscommunication with our spouses we should identify our love language. A love language is a set of five personality types that were defined by Dr. Gary Chapman to help couples communicate better. You can take a profile test to find out your language and then if you want to know more you can purchase his book and read it. I strongly suggest this because you get to learn how each language is different and how to balance or cope with the other languages. That knowledge can be vital to squashing arguments because sometimes it really is a communication breakdown. You will learn how to communicate to your partner in love instead of anger or other emotions.

Final Thoughts

Marriage is on my mind a lot these days. It should be since I am getting married in October. Some couples will not do pre-marital counseling but we have. I think that it is healthy for the relationship if the couple goes through it because they can learn how to communicate better and how to serve one another without feeling bitter. I think that knowing your partners love language before you make that wholesome commitment is important because what if you cannot fulfill their needs and the obligations of marriage? It makes no good sense to knowingly set the relationship up for failure. God attempts to communicate love to us but we have this knack for ignoring Him when we want something. We cause our relationship to fail while God is steadfast. I’ve been witness to marriages like that and they do fail unless someone makes the commitment to start listening. I hope that I never go down that road and pray to be the best husband and father that I am capable of. With God’s strength I know that I can provide a good environment for my children and hopefully it rubs off on them.

Persevere in Faith

Persevere in Faith

The one who stands firm to the end will be saved – Matthew 24:13

Do you go to church on a Wednesday? Maybe depending on your denomination it is required and that’s okay. What about Sunday morning? Maybe back again in the evening? I grew up attending Grace Bible Baptist Church and would be there Wednesday and twice on Sundays. If you are in the Maryland area, it is worth the drive. It’s where I was saved, where I was baptized and obviously where I learned to love the Lord. It’s also one of the places I missed the most after I moved out of the city. I was still a kid then and it is in no way my parents fault but I stopped going to church. I was becoming more independent, I saw that I could work, make money and buy lots of stuff. I had lost the ability to persevere my faith. I didn’t have someone that was involved in church to look up to. I didn’t talk about God at school because no one else did. So I just stopped.

Failure to Persevere is a Slippery Slope

I didn’t stop believing in God. I never lost my faith in His existence or that Jesus died for every sin from beginning to the last. I just stopped pursuing a relationship with God because I was so young I didn’t understand how to foster a better relationship. I didn’t know how to persevere my faith. It’s something I failed in but understand better now. That comes with age and life experience of course. Sitting in church on a Sunday isn’t close to enough. It is good, it’s the easy stuff and there isn’t anything wrong with that but it also opens a soul to temptations. If you just attend to say you went to church are you really advancing your love for Christ? Maybe you are zoning out and not listening to the message when it is likely for you. God doesn’t stop knocking on the door to your soul even if you try to pretend He isn’t there.

Christianity is hard, don’t be fooled in to thinking it’s a few come to Jesus moments and you’re good. Life doesn’t just float on by when you are God’s child. That is why I want to encourage men to hold fast to their faith and persevere God because the rewards of Heaven make the fruits of life on Earth seem dead. Don’t just be a Sunday sitter, get involved, pray, love and seek God’s face. Persevere God because if we do hold fast to the relationship we have, no man can take the crown God has promised us (Revelation 3:11)

Daily Devotional – To Reject God

To Reject God

The Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” – 1 Samuel 8:7

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Satan authored a wonderful sin for us and we read it. We loved it and we fell from grace for it.[/su_pullquote]To reject God is to embrace eternal separation from God as a lover. We know that the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23) and yet there are those who do reject God. Sometimes it may be the idea of being subject to a sovereign power or the belief that Christians must live perfectly or they lose their salvation. The idea is, “why bother if one slip up undoes everything good I have ever done?” but that is not what the Bible shows us.

And there is doubt. Believer, non-believer, antagonist, atheist it doesn’t matter your position on God because we all experience doubt. I do it, you do it. It’s hard not to because of the tragic things we see in this world. Why, if God is so powerful and mighty, does he allow things like murder or rape to happen?

It’s a very valid question and it’s part of being human. We are not perfect, we have never been. It’s also why we reject God. We like to do things our way so we doubt that God can do it better. We like to make it on our own and we struggle in doing that. Man fell because of that thinking, God said not to eat of the tree and we did. We thought that we could do as we wished even if He forbade it. Satan authored a wonderful sin for us and we read it. We loved it and we fell from grace for it.

Reject Sin

If we can reject God then surely we can reject sin. Sin is part of us but it does not define who we are. God has given us free will to live how we wish and to choose to embrace sin and rejection or to push it aside by faith in the truth that Jesus Christ brought to us. That can only happen after you recognize one indelible thing…

God is Sovereign

Final Thoughts

To reject God is to try and reject the fact that He is in control even when we think that we are doing it on our own. When we find peace, that stillness that signifies that our soul is in alignment with God’s will then we can see how beautiful it is to let go and just be held. God is an awesome Father who allows His children to make terrible mistakes and reject Him like the prodigal son did. Yet, when that child returns He is there, happy and patient. Willing to overlook the demons we struggle with. Every time we falter we reject God in some small way but He is always full of grace. God allows suffering because man rejects Him by using the free will given to him as a means to go against God’s wishes. Isaiah 5:24 warns us of what life would be without God when it tells us how our unredeemed soul will be blown away like dust. Embracing God will gives us life, give us peace and ultimately free us from the bondship of sin so that we can spread His word of redemption. His grace is not a blank check, we will sin again and again but if we truly hold fast to Him it will be a failure of will and not an intentional rejection of who He is and what He represents. We should guard our place as a child of God’s with the utmost desire to not dirty His name. Who we are represents how we really believe in Him.

Daily Devotional – The Person in the Mirror

Person in the Mirror

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. – James 1:23-24

When we exercise spiritually we are practicing for the potential spiritual threats we may experience in life. I say may because we have been guaranteed to face hardships but I do not wish to come across as a person speaking hopelessness! I speak life! It is why I started this, I want anyone who comes across this to get something spiritually from it. We may be focused on the Christian male but that does not mean we exclude anyone. Spiritual fitness is not like riding a bike you can lose your agility to combat the enemy if you do not keep in touch with God. When we look at ourselves in the mirror do we confront the person we are or do we look and see a person we are pretending to be and live in denial?

Fearing the Mirror

A person who looks in the mirror and sees a person they have fooled themselves in to thinking they are is a person that is spiritually shallow. I in no way mean this to be condemnation because a whole chapter of Romans was dedicated to why we should not condemn anyone (Romans 2:1-29). The first part (Romans 2:1-4) deals with the hypocrisy of the Christians in Rome against the Gentiles. In many ways these Christians were not looking in the mirror  because ultimately the saying, “we’re all human” applies to this so much. The new covenant dissolved the idea that only the Israelites were God’s only people. Sometimes, we as Christians get so caught up in the righteousness that we have through Christ that we also forget that the very righteousness we have is given through faith and that it doesn’t matter who you are (Romans 3:22). We should not be hiding ourselves or trying to because fact is, God sees us even in our hidden place.

Owning the Mirror

I can’t even remember this guy right here. Not who he was but that I looked like that.

Scott - Freshman Football

When I look in the mirror every day, and let’s be honest, I got to keep my hair looking good, I mean look at the brillo pad I have.  When I look at myself I want to be happy with the man I see because ultimately I represent my faith. Am I happy spiritually with who I am, with how I lead my life, my family? If I can say yes to that then I am owning the mirror. Whether it is at work or home take a minute to look at yourself. Not your physical shape, you have the ability to change that just as much as you do your spirituality. Can you say you’re leading a life that represents Jesus to the best of your ability? Maybe you don’t realize the full potential you have for being a disciple. Don’t fret, we all don’t know that. Only God does. We can however ask Him to help us understanding or guide our decisions to be His will. That is why praying is important. how can we ask God to help us if we don’t talk to Him? Own the mirror. You’ll see a happier person.

Final Thoughts

We need to own the mirror every day and we can only do that by diving deep in to the waters of faith. It is a great unknown but He walks beside us. Reading the Bible every day is a great way to start. Do a daily devotional and you’ll start hungering for me. Who was Jesus? Who can I help see Jesus in me? The Bible is God’s word put to ink by men that He breathed words in to. Read, Pray and then get rid of that fear of the mirror and own it. Be what God wants not only in public but in private. He sees it all. Since the beginning he has watched man sin and then try to hide it. Since the beginning He has called man out for those sins and their desire to keep it hidden. When we look in that mirror what do we see? A paper Christian or a man who wears the armor of God and is ready to do battle with hell wherever it is at?

Daily Devotional – When You Pray

Pray Continually

Pray Continually – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

I think that Prayer is not as complicated as we make it. Humans have a wonderful way of taking an action like prayer into realms it is not or to forget about it. I’d like to talk about what prayer is not. I think that to understand why we pray we should think about what causes us to pray. What is the purpose of prayer? These questions that God has given us answers to. So why do we misuse it or disregard it all together?

Prayer is Not…

A get out of jail free card. We should not be using prayer only in tragedy. God gave a greater purpose to praying. It also is not a means to lie, by this I mean that if someone asks you to pray for them, you do it. If you tell someone, “I’ll pray for you” then do it. They leave feeling as if you are genuine but instead you have taken their trust in you, their hope of your words to heart but they are lip service. You have subjugated your faith to save face to sound empathetic to someone’s needs. Prayer is not a complacent action and when we pray it must be done in truth (Psalm 145:18).

Prayer Is…

Personal and yet also public. The Bible is clear about prayer as the reference verse says we should pray continually. My morning and evening commutes are often spent with God. I talk to Him as if he is there in the car with me physically. He is the Father unseen but he is also the Father who sees what is done in secret and will reward us. Jesus speaks that in Matthew 6:6 and in the NKJV version unseen is translated as the “secret place.” This secret place is not a physical place, it can be where you go but what Jesus is speaking about is within us. When we pray it can be hard to turn down our mind to focus on God only. That’s where spiritual fitness helps us. Prayer is our connection to the Father.

Final Thoughts

One of the things I enjoy is prayer and it doesn’t take time out of my day it is an integral part of my day. I get time with God and I am preparing myself for any potential spiritual warfare that I or my family may face. It sounds kind of silly but I did one of those “What is your Biblical Name” tests from Facebook and I received Yishmael or Ishmael which means God Listen’s or God hears depending on your translation.

Biblical Name - Ishmael

I like the idea of that, who wouldn’t? God listens to me! He listens to you too if you pray in truth He is there. Approach His throne in confidence and God grants us the mercy we so need. The healing we desire and the comfort of his presence.

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