“Old Man Marley” – God With Us

🎄 From the last scene of the movie Home Alone. The previously misunderstood ”Old Man Marley” embraces his granddaughter while waiving to his 8 year old next door neighbor, Kevin, who looks on in joy from the window of his home.

The night before, Kevin had urged Mr Marley to take the initiative and reconcile with his adult son, the father of the girl he’s hugging in the picture. Mr Marley had taken that advice, and as a result the family was reconciled, together again at Christmas.

Broken relationships require someone taking the initiative to be mended. At Christmas we remember that God, in Jesus Christ, took the initiative for us to be reconciled to Him. God has come to us, have you come to him?

Could you describe your relationship with God to be close like the one pictured here? That’s what God wants, closeness. Christmas reminds us that God became a man and lived, died and resurrected so that we never have to be distant from Him again. Not on his end, anyway. He’s taken the initiative. Have you welcomed, and by faith, received Him? Do you know and love Him? #GodWithUs

How To Grieve From a 2 Year Old

Holidays are hard for people who are dealing with loss. Wanted to share a lesson on dealing with grief from our 2 year old.
Luka’s holding a picture with Stormi in it. Stormi is our foster baby that was recently reunited with her momma after spending a year with us. The framed photo was in our Christmas decorations and Casey set it up in a prominent place over the weekend. A couple different times now, Luka has brought it over to me, pointed to Stormi, and with a sweet and sincere voice asked “Daddy do you miss this girl? You miss Stormi? Do you love her?” And I say “Yes I do buddy, very much. Do you miss and love Stormi?” He nods his head yes, and puts the picture back in its place.
Y’all see what he’s doing? He’s grieving. He misses her and wants to make sure she’s not forgotten. I bet lots of folks can relate to Luka in this way. But a lot of folks may not wanna bring it up for fear they’ll bring the mood down at the Holidays. But it needs to be said. It’s a natural and healthy way to deal with loss. Doesn’t mean that you’re sad about everything, just means that you miss and value the person you’ve lost. Like Luka, you don’t want them to be forgotten.
I wrote this, hoping that maybe Luka’s innocent but effective method of grieving might give someone else permission to share what’s on their heart and mind with others. “I miss ______. Do you miss and love him/her?”
One day, we’ll see all of life from God’s perspective, and things will make sense. But right now, from our vantage point, life is a mixed bag of happys and crappys. It’s important that we get outside of our own head and process what’s heavy on our hearts with others. A 2 year old inherently gets that. Hope we can too.
Y’all keep looking up!

Tuesday Morning…

Men’s Bible study this morning—We had some serious iron sharpening iron going on with a heartfelt personal testimony of how Christ helped overcome addiction. That helped some other guys feel comfortable to share their struggles and what the Lord is doing in their life.

I love these guys and am thankful they’re willing to be up early for the Word and for one another.

Here’s some Bible references we looked at:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:7-8

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… – Galatians 5:22-23

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. – Proverbs 23:20-21

What our children need from us

Back to school time may turn our hearts toward our kids more than any other season. Hoping this is timely — here’s 10 things (among others) that children need from us with applicable Bible references.

1. PEACE – Proverbs 17:1

2. TIME – Ephesians 5:15-17

3. OPTIMISM – Philippians 2:14

4. SPACE – Ephesians 6:4

5. TRUTH – 2 Timothy 3:14-17

6. EXAMPLE – 1 Corinthians 11:1

7. ESTEEM – Proverbs 22:6

8. ACCEPTANCE – Proverbs 17:17

9. AFFECTION – Romans 12:10

10. DISCIPLINE – Proverbs 23:13

We went through these 10 in detail last Sunday, but hopefully these words alone can serve as helpful reminders. As a dad and friend to many of you I’m praying that we as parents raise our kids for His glory. God is the best Father. And ultimately our kids are his, I just pray that we be faithful and steward well what He’s blessed and entrusted us with.

Also, here’s 4 important passages on the subject of godly parenting : Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 127:3-5, Psalm 128:1-3, Ephesians 6:1-4

8 Things the Bible Says About Itself

📖 8 Things the Bible says about itself:

1. IT’S INSPIRED. All Scripture is God-breathed… – 2Timothy 3:16

2. IT’S TRUE. The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. – Psalm 12:6

3. IT’S AUTHORITATIVE. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22

4. IT’S CLEAR. The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. – Psalm 119:130

5. IT’S SUFFICIENT. All Scripture is…profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

6. IT’S POWERFUL. The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword… – Hebrews 4:12

7. IT’S CHRIST-CENTERED. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me… – Jesus, John 5:39

8. IT’S PRECIOUS. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. – Psalm 119:72

H/T Matt Smethurst @ The Gospel Coalition 1/20

Psalm 23 🐑 📖

I know Psalm 23 by heart and reference it and recite to myself all the time. The fact that the Lord is my Shepherd is a huge help in all kinds of circumstances.

🫣 Scared? Psalm 23 📖

🥺 Worried? Psalm 23 📖

😵‍💫 Can’t sleep? Psalm 23 📖

🤨 Getting slandered? Psalm 23 📖

😢 Preaching a funeral? Psalm 23 📖

🤔 Need reassurance in life? Psalm 23 📖

This evening I was researching the last part of Ps 23:2 ”He leads me beside still waters” and I came across something kinda cool — a lengthy, in-depth audible meditation on Psalm 23. I think the idea is that it allows you to focus and enter into the rest that God has for us in the Psalm so you can rest your mind, your soul and your body.

So, I don’t know what you have going on in your life right now but I bet Psalm 23 can help! Here’s the YouTube link

⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8oSbFlTpwiE

Point Man ch 6 Aerobic Kneeling

From our #PointMan Bible study this am…

⏱ 30 mins / 15 in Bible📖 / 15 praying🙏🏼
3️⃣ 3 X’s a week
📍 at particular place
⌚️at specific time
🗓 for 6 weeks

🏃‍♂️Medical research shows that if we consistently engage in cardiovascular activity for just 30 minutes 3 X’s a week it makes a dramatic difference in our overall health. 90 minutes out of 7 days can keep you from having to go under the knife for heart surgery 😬 Seems like a no brainer.

Now think about it in terms of spiritual health. If we would set aside at least three times a week of focused on interrupted time with God, 15 minutes in his Word and 15 minutes in prayer, imagine the difference it would make!

1 Timothy 4:7-8 says…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Are you engaged in regular, intentional spiritual training? Would you commit to 6 weeks of 30 mins, 3 X’s a week, 15 mins in the word and 15 mins in prayer? If so you’ll need to pick a time and a place and make it a priority. If it’s not something you’re already doing it’ll be life-changing! And if you already do it YOU KNOW it’s life-changing!

For your reading, just do a chapter or a few vs’s a day for 15 mins. Here’s a few of my go to ch’s/readings:

Psalm 23
Psalm 1
Mathew 6:5-15
Luke 15:11-32
Romans 3:21-31
Romans 8:1-11
Romans 8:12-30
Romans 8:31-39
Psalm 91
Psalm 42
Psalm 51
Psalm 127
Psalm 128
Psalm 119:1-8
Exodus 20:1-21
John 3
John 9
John 11
John 14
John 15
Galatians 2
Ephesians 2:1-10
Philippians 2
Philippians 4

Well, that’s more than enough for 6 weeks 3 X’s a week 😅 🤷🏻‍♂️ These are just a few that came to mind for me. A quick google search will reveal tons of Bible reading plans. The main thing is DO IT. Make it a priority with a time and place and I guarantee you won’t regret it. 👊🏼

For 15 mins in prayer? Pray about what you just read! God has just spoken to you by His Word, speak back to Him. Also here’s a helpful/memorable model for prayer:

A.C.T.S.
•Adoration
•Confession
•Thanksgiving
•Supplication (requests)

Hope someone finds this helpful! Y’all keep looking up!

Point Man Ch 5

Our Point Man study this morning was about the necessity of the Word of God in the life of a man. It was so encouraging to hear man after man share about how God has used the Bible in their life to help them get rooted, grow, and keep perspective. Many shared how it wasn’t until they got gut punched by the storms of life that they realized just how important daily time in the Word is. Jesus said man does not live by bread alone but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). Our souls need the Word of God like our bodies need food!

Steve Farrar writes “God’s Word gives me a dose of reality. There is right and wrong; there are consequences for making wrong choices…I need God’s commentary on life every day. A Christian man in this society is swimming upstream against the current. Without the constant nutrition of the Word, he will soon tire and be dragged off by the sheer force of the current. A solid education of biblical truth is not optional for the family leader…It’s not easy to hold onto convictions when you’re in the minority. You and I live in a society that is constantly trying to chip away at our biblical convictions. My time in the Scripture each morning underscores why I hold those convictions. We are in a war for our families, and we cannot afford to compromise the divine absolutes given us…As I read and ponder the Scriptures, I am forced to evaluate my convictions. Perhaps some of them don’t agree with God’s Word and need to be changed. Or maybe I’ve started to compromise convictions I’ve always held. As I am exposed to Scripture, I find encouragement to stand firm in the truth and not negotiate what the Bible clearly teaches. Each day I have to make choices based on my convictions…I need God’s input to make consistently right choices. I must feed on Scripture every day…I cannot afford to be spiritually anorexic when I’ve been given the responsibility to lead my family. A malnourished man is worthless in hand-to-hand combat. Because he has no strength, he is easy prey for the enemy.”

Also, here’s a quote and some statistics from a Men’s devotional by an author named David Murrow: “Spending consistent time in the Bible can literally turn your life around. Research indicates that men who engage in the Bible at least 4 times a week are:

• 57% less likely to abuse alcohol

• 68% less likely to stray away from their marriage

• 61% less likely to view porn

• 74% less likely to gamble

• More than twice as likely to share their faith and disciple others

• More than 4 times as likely to memorize Scripture”

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:1-3

POINT MAN WEEK 2

Great group of POINT MEN here! I love these brothers. This morning we talked about TIME, how “less time = less influence” and how we can better invest in those around us, especially our kids. 

I made this acronym for myself as a reminder for how to best use T.I.M.E. as a dad.

T – thank God for the kids daily. In the Bible children are always a blessing, never a burden

I – integrate/invite my kids into my life and let them know me

M – moments that teach. Leverage natural teachable moments rather than lecture.

E – example. Don’t just tell them, show them. Live out in front of them what I want to see in them.

#pointman

Our little towns are growing…

Lots of conversations about how Gunter and surrounding communities are growing. How should small town people respond to lots of growth? What should our attitude be?

I’ve lived in little towns in Grayson County pretty much my whole life. I remember when all the water towers had fresh paint and Melissa was just a beer store. Sounds funny to many, but I like waving at people on the road and having them wave (or nod) back. I enjoy knowing most people by name, hearing coyotes at night and shotguns on opening day of dove season. I like most people chipping in to help and getting to know who you’re working beside. Heck, I even enjoy getting stuck behind a tractor on the road! It’s just what I know and have come to love.

So when I hear Gunter’s the next Prosper or Celina’s the next Frisco, or whatever the comparison, I have mixed feelings. But I keep having this one command from the Bible come to mind that seems especially applicable “welcome one another as Christ welcomed you.” (Rom 15:7)

Seems pretty clear how God wants me to respond to new people, He wants me to be welcoming. And not just welcoming, welcoming like He’s welcomed me! Christ met me right where I was, loved and helped me beyond measure. His welcome to me has never been anything but warm and encouraging. Seems only reasonable that I’d strive to do that for others.

The fact is, despite all the talk, we’ve got a looong way to go before we’re anything close to a big city But if it’s 1 new neighborhood or 50 new developments, doesn’t matter.

Faithfulness to God’s commands is our role. He’s is in charge. There’s a lot of comfort, encouragement and rest in that!