A Message about Fatherhood to Dads, Moms and Children of all ages and stages

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A request was made to write a post about Fatherhood.  It’s an important topic – for dads, moms and children – of all ages and stages of life.  I hope you enjoy it …

This was a special message for fathers, children and mothers for Father’s Day 2013. Here are my sermon notes from the message on June 16, 2013.

3 THINGS CHILDREN SHOULD DO FOR THEIR FATHER

(note: Remember, we are all children, so this applies to all of us).

Honor Your Father

This is a command (the 5th) and is also mentioned several other times in the Bible (including by Jesus).

Ephesians 6:2-3 – Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.

What does it mean to “honor” your father? We go through stages, that overlap. First, we honor our father by being obedient when we are younger and under their authority/household. Strive for “first time obedience” which is especially honoring of him. Second, we honor our father by showing respect, involving him in our lives, allowing him to participate with us and on behalf of us in our lives. (illust. – Sadie and Willie returning dress on Duck Dynasty). Third, as they (and we) grow older, we honor our father by caring for him.

Learn from Your Father

Proverbs 2:1-5 – My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

note: this passage, written to a son from his father, encourages an active seeking of help and advice from the father. From our fathers we learn about life as well as about how to do things. We can also learn from our father’s mistakes. In any event, I believe that dads want “better” for their kids and desire for their children to learn from them – both the good and the bad.

Forgive Your Father

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” – Matthew 6:12

Fathers make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. Forgiving them for those may be the best father’s day present you can give him. Forgiveness is about leaving the past in the past and focusing on the future.

3 THINGS MOTHERS SHOULD DO FOR THEIR CHILD’S FATHER

This section is for mothers — all mothers. Even if you are not with your child’s dad any longer, you have one of the largest influences over the nature of your child’s relationship with his/her dad.

Encourage (don’t nag) Dad

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – encourage one another and build one another up, …

Try not to impose what you think is right upon the dad/child situation. This often leads to a situation where whatever dad does it’s not “good enough.” Be encouraging. Tell dad “thank you”. Compliment him.

Praise Dad in Front of Your Children

I read a blog post recently titled “Is Dad a Hero or a Bum – the Answer often Depends on what Mom Thinks.” — That is so true. Praising dad in front of your child strengthens the relationship more than you can imagine. You can do it — at one time in your life you thought at least something about this guy was pretty awesome.

Be a Partner

Don’t setup a situation where it is “mom and the kids v. dad”. Don’t hide things from dad. Don’t complain about him with the kids. Instead, do all you can to be a partner with the dad — unified in parenting the children as a team.

3 THINGS FATHER’S SHOULD DO FOR THEIR CHILDREN

Be a Godly Example

Like it or not, good or bad, you ARE an example. But are you a Godly example?

John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Being a Godly example involves being an example in these areas:

Character – this is what you are all of the time, no matter where you are or who is around. Your kids are watching you. Are you a man of honesty, integrity, consistency?

Discipleship – this is showing your kids what it looks like to follow the Lord Jesus and grow in your faith. Do they see you going to church, studying the Word, etc.

Service – your kids need to learn from you that life is not about them (or you) but about other people. They learn this from your example in serving others who need help, serving your church, and serving your community.

Demonstrate Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is the theme of the Bible — God loves us not because of anything that we can do and in spite of anything that we have done. Your kids (especially your daughters) will come to believe that God loves them the way that you love them. Love them unconditionally, which means:

Love them for who they are, not what they do

Love them in spite of their mistakes and bad choices

Remember: love is an action not a feeling

Leave the Right Legacy

You will leave a legacy of some form. But, God has given us the power and the freedom to choose what our legacy will be. Will you leave a legacy where your children and your children’s children seek to know the Lord personally? Or will it be a legacy of absence, abuse, excuses or mediocrity?

On My Mind and Heart: The Things We Worry About


I’m continually surprised at some of the things that we let upset us:

Little things.

Things from the past that we can’t change.

Things that other people say or do that have nothing to do with us.

Things we can’t control.

I’m no stranger when it comes to allowing some of the stuff listed above to distract my focus during the day (and keep me awake at night). And I know you’re no stranger to this worry either. But we shouldn’t be.  There are more important things on which to spend our time and energy. 

Rather than worry about who said what to whom about whomever, let’s spend our energy encouraging one another with a surprise card, post or text.

Rather than spinning our wheels trying to figure out what someone’s vague FB rant means and whether they are talking about us, how about we spend our time praying for them.

Let’s spend some time making lists of all the good things in our lives, our marriages, our cities, our schools and our churches rather than list everything that might be wrong.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we ignore real relationship issues, nor do I believe that there isn’t room for improvement in our relationships and institutions. But it seems to me our mindset is backwards.  Too often, we look for the bad before the good. Too quickly, we assume the worst instead of the best. Too many times, we focus on the little things of the past rather than the big things of the future.

At the top of this post is a picture of a button we hand out at our church. It says, “These Are My Church Clothes.” We hand them out to everybody. Anyone can wear them anytime. Why? Because we aren’t concerned about what people wear to church.  That’s a little thing. We care about whether they feel welcome at church.  That’s a big thing!

I suggest we stop worrying and start focusing.  I know if I choose to do that, my days will be a lot better. And my nights will be too!

On My Mind and Heart: Trunks, Treats, Families and More …

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I love this time of year.  I love it because it’s just cold enough that you have to wear a jacket (or hoodie) but not so cold that you have to shovel snow.  I love it because it’s football season.  I love it because it reminds me of when we started Adventure Church (11 years ago this weekend).  And, I love it when we host our annual Trunk or Treat Event at ACC.

The Adventure Trunk or Treat event is Wednesday, October 28.  It has routinely become one of our largest invitation events of the year.  Last year we had over 500 people attend.  It’s a great time to invite your family and friends and neighbors — especially those who may be a little skeptical about church.

Why is this such a good time to invite people?  Because there is no pressure on them!  This event is all about having fun.  Kids and adults both dress up in goofy costumes, candy is handed out by the bag full, and there are more hot dogs to eat than at a baseball game.  People can tour around the building, meet our pastors and staff, and get a feel for what it would be like to come and visit on a Sunday.  All without having to do anything, say anything, sing anything, read anything or believe anything!  No pressure.

So, who do you need to invite to our Trunk or Treat event?  Post this on your FB page.  Tweet it.  Email it.  Everyone – invite someone!

Peace —

Pastor Buddy

New Year’s Challenge – #LearnContentment – #’s 6-10

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New Year’s Challenge for 2015: Tweeted with the #LearnContentment

Challenge #6 – “Spend your mental energy looking forward instead of dwelling on the past”

Challenge #7 – “Each day give your spouse and kids 5 compliments each & refrain from complaining about them”

Challenge #8 – “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”

Challenge #9 – “Ensure that your attitude dictates your circumstances rather than the other way around”

Challenge #10 – “Give thanks if you have clean water to drink, food to eat & a roof over your head. Many don’t.”

New Year’s Challenge – #LearnContentment – #’s 1-5

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New Year’s Challenge for 2015:  Tweeted with the #LearnContentment

Challenge #1 – “Read at least 1 new book per month”

Challenge #2 – “Forgive someone against whom you are holding a grudge”

Challenge #3 – “At least one entire day a week don’t turn on the TV.  Read or walk or both”

Challenge #4 – “Every Monday make a written list of 7 things for which you are thankful. Read it every day”

Challenge #5 – “Tithe 10%, Save 10% and Live off the rest of your income”

Men Are Easily Distracted

One of the favorite posts from my blog this past year.

Buddy Howard

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This is the third article in my series on spiritual disciplines titled “Why Men Need Discipline.”  Today’s article is called “Men Are Easily Distracted” and begins our discussion of the obstacles men face in engaging in spiritual disciplines routinely, over time, in an ever-increasing measure.

The first article, “What is Discipline?” defined “discipline” as a means of God training us versus God punishing us.  The second article, What is a Spiritual Discipline, Anyway? provided some examples of spiritual disciplines.

Men Need Discipline Because We Are Easily Distracted

Are you still reading this blog?  Great!  You passed the first barrier!

It surprises me that I am such a poor driver.  Fortunately, I haven’t had a serious accident or caused any severe damage to my car or the cars around me.  But, the truth is that while I am driving, especially when there is not a lot of traffic…

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