New Year’s Non-Resolution Resolutions

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It’s the last day of 2015 and a new year is just a few hours away.  Recently I asked several people if they made New Year’s Resolutions to improve their lives each year and if they did, did they keep them?  Almost everyone said they made a resolution but had never kept one!  That got me thinking.  If we always break our resolutions, why not make some Non-Resolution Resolutions?  You know, use a little reverse psychology on ourselves and make some resolutions that, when we break them (which we are likely to do), it will actually be good for us!

So here are a few of my Non-Resolution Resolutions for 2016:  

I hereby Non-Resolve Resolve to ….

Be Less Healthy –  That’s right.  I’m going to gain weight, take up heavy drinking, eat only sugar and never exercise.

Not Read My Bible Every Day — Nope.  Not me.  I’m not opening my Bible every day to hear directly from God.  Who would want to do that?

Be Mean to My Wife and Kids — I’m going to be a terrible family man and a poor spiritual leader.  I’m going to fail to provide for them or protect them.  I will never encourage them or forgive them either.  They are the ones who are lucky to have me.

Not Give Regularly to My Church or Charity — No way. I’m going to feed my greed and hoard my money (or spend it on extravagant stuff that I don’t really need).  Why not?  It’s all mine anyway.

Be an Absent Friend — Who needs friends anyway?  Why would I ever help anyone else?  I’m going off the grid of friendship.

Hold Lots of Grudges — I’m mad and I’m not going to take it anymore!  I will never forgive anyone for anything, no matter how small and no matter what it does to my relationship with them or to my own emotional and physical health.

Never Read Anything — I’m giving up on reading.  No books.  No articles.  No blogs.  I’m already smart and wise enough, why would I try to improve by reading?

Watch More Mindless T.V. Shows — I will spend every free hour I have (when I’m not spending my money on stuff for me) sitting on my couch in front of my big T.V. and endlessly watching reruns of Oprah, Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer. I might throw some binges on something with vampires or zombies too.

Never Pray — Not once will I pray.  Not for guidance or gratitude.  Not for help or forgiveness.  Not for understanding.  Nope.  Not once will I speak to God all year.

Well, those are my 2016 Non-Resolution Resolutions.  I think when I break these (which I am certain to do since I never keep my New Year’s Resolutions), I’ll have a pretty good year and so will those around me!

Happy New Year!

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?