Book For Fathers

Father’s are the first book their children will read! What will it tell them?

I think that if a father is seeking a guide book on how to be the best father he can be, he should look for:

A book that teaches about unconditional love.

A book that teaches about forgiveness.

A book that teaches how to put other’s needs (not wants), especially their children’s, above their own.

A book that teaches about sacrificial love.

A book that teaches how to subdue their pride, especially when it comes to their children.

A book that teaches how a father should guide their children.

A book that teaches about tough love when faced with a rebellious child.

A book that teaches him how to expect the best from their children.

A book that teaches them how to teach their children to think for themselves; not spoon-feed knowledge/truths to them.

A book that teaches them how to lead their children by example.

A book that teaches them how to teach their children to respect authority.

A book that teaches their children how to stand up for those being wronged.

A book that teaches about the importance of honoring others.

A book that teaches them how to be an example of courage.

A book that teaches them to stand strong in their faith.

And finally, a book that would teach them how to be the kind of father that would reflect the Heavenly Father.

Because after all, a child first learns about God’s character by first witnessing it in their earthly fathers. That image will either prepare their hearts to love God or reject Him. Or create such a disinterest they will not pursue finding out who the Heavenly Father is.

Guarding our Graduates…

Graduating from high school is a monumental experience. The whole idea of venturing into the unknown is akin to a StarTrek quest. Yet, our graduates are thrust into this unfamiliar environment whether they are ready for it or not.

When the world wasn’t so far removed from biblical morality, being thrust out into that world wasn’t as formidable as it is today. In the not so distant past a graduate would have time to adjust and come to terms with their faith as it applied to the requirement of standing on their own two feet. 

Not so today! Today’s graduates, as soon as they take their first step into the real world, can be carried away with the flow of philosophies and ideals that run contrary to Truth.  That is unless they have become grounded in what is Truth prior to their graduation.

Due to their age, graduates can’t be expected to enter into a world with all the wisdom that experience usually teaches them. Therefore, it is imperative that they have at the ready a source to call upon to guide them through the uncertainties, confusion, and temptations of this world. 

A mindset filtered by negativity is a byproduct of a mentality lacking the impact of godly truths. The negativity that clouds their minds blinds them to the good in their lives. Blessings, usually in abundance, are all but ignored due to this negative focus.

The wisdom of the Scriptures, enables graduates to be aware of the schemes of the evil one and how to thwart those schemes. From this source they will become wise and skilled to not only recognize the lies behind the temptations, reject the path those temptations lead to, but will supply the enabling power of God’s truth instead. 

Therefore, prayers offered on their behalf, need to contain the following:

That they would not conform to the patterns of this world.

That the blinders of negativity would be removed.

That they would learn to listen to the Holy Spirit

That they would cooperate with God as He enables them to recognize the difference between Satan’s plans and God’s plans.

That they would feed daily on the strengthening power of the truths of Scripture.

Additionally, Remember the 3 R’s of Fighting the Fiery Darts

Recognize the fiery darts

Reject the fiery darts

Replace the fiery darts

Unmasking our Idols

Please fill in the blanks below:

_______________ comes first in my life.

_______________ influences the choices I make

______________ forms my perspective, attitudes, & beliefs

______________determines how I spend my time.

Whatever we write in the above blanks, is the force that rules our lives. It is what we worship, bow down to. It is our idol!

Next give the following some deep thought.

Can whatever we wrote in those blanks offer us eternal life? Can they offer peace in the midst of a storm? Can they offer solutions that just seemed beyond our understanding? Can they offer forgiveness. Can they offer guidance or light in our darkness? Can they put the broken pieces of our lives back together? Can they faithfully fulfill our needs?

Yet they do offer something. They can offer us eternal death. And existence forever separated from God.

Have we stopped to think that we have made other people, our jobs, seeking after money or pleasure, or even just pursuing our own will, the things we bow down to instead of God? If we give more consideration to these than we do to God, we have made them idols.

That may be shocking to us. Yet, hopefully this realization will shock us into making God first in our lives. That God’s word will influence the choices we make. That His Truths will form our perspectives and attitudes. That we will seek to follow God’s in how we spend our time.

These are not what they seem!

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry, 1 Corinthians 10:14,ESV

God’s Way vs Man’s Way

In light of the trauma cast throughout our country in recent days, we grasp at words wherever we can find them to help us find sanity in this insane crises. And it seems to me it comes down to finding Truth. For without Truth, we will search in vain for words to bring peace in the midst of our chaos.

But how can our country expect to find Truth, when we reject the one true source of Truth? Nevertheless, we continue plunging forward under the false impression that we are doing so in the name of personal freedom. We have thrown off the restraints that have restricted what we became convinced would make us happy.

Here is a brief sampling of the restraints we have discarded:

Wisdom to discern what is good and what is not.

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 ESV

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”Psalm 111:10 ESV

Peace in the midst of life’s storms.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Soundness of mind/freedom from fear.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

So, when we throw off the ability to recognize what is good and what is not, where does that lead?

So, when we reject God’s peace, what’s the outcome when the storms of life face plant us to the ground?

So, when we cast off God’s offer of soundness of mind and to be free of fear, how will we know what to do when we are threatened?

Replacing lies with Truth thoughts…

We have Recognized. We have Rejected. Now it’s time to replace!

Replacing fiery dart thoughts with Truth thoughts

Something that often gets overlooked, is the necessity of replacing the lies of a fiery dart. For the empty space left when the lie was rejected, needs to be filled. Otherwise when the lie returns, and it will return, the lie gains reentry. This is when Truth thoughts come into play. For thoughts about what is true are required to fill the void left by the rejected lie. And to know what Truth thoughts to call upon, we must be familiar with the source of where they are contained. That, of course, is God’s word, the Bible. Therefore, we must be prepared and stand ready to wield this Sword of Truth, if these lies are to be extinguished.

Doubt and confusion, resided in the background of my thoughts. Every ready to spring into action when given the opportunity. Even though I had been a Christian for many years, I had allowed too much of the world’s concepts of truth to influence my attitudes, perspectives, and actions. It was easier to listen to the world rather than take time to delve into the Bible for answers. Needless to say, doubt and confusion were given many opportunities to inject their poison. Plain and simple – I didn’t know enough of what the Bible had to say, in regard to my doubts and confusion. As a result, my skill in the use of my Sword of Truth was sorely lacking.

My only hope to gain strength and successfully fight off the lies of the enemy, was to daily expose my thoughts to the Truths of Scripture. It is the main food for any soldier in God’s army. In my weakened state, God nourished me with a simple but powerful Truth to rebuff the enemy. By applying the Truth of Isaiah 54:17a, “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed;” to refer to the weapon of fiery darts, the lies were thwarted.

This verse has become the first swipe of my Sword of Truth in my attack. This affords me the opportunity to search for a specific word from God to extinguish a specific lie. Thereafter, I could wield my sword with tailor made precision to attack and extinguish the lie.

The benefit of searching for specific scriptures to add to our weapon cache, is obvious. The more our weapon supply is increased, the greater our victories over the enemy. That translates into our becoming more knowledgeable of the Truths of God’s Word. Knowledge that empowers us to be equipped with the weapons needed to counter Satan’s attacks.

This taste of victory over the manipulation and deception of the lies is sweet. It is the one thing that guarantees our release from the bondage we have been tricked into believing is freedom. This Truth sets us free from the lies that have created our bondage.

Rejecting the enemy and his weapons

Step 2 – Rejecting the fiery darts/lies of the enemy

As we grow in our knowledge of Truth, by comparison our ability to recognize what is not Truth grows. But even recognizing the enemy and his weapons, doesn’t insure that we won’t be fired upon. Often, and especially when we are in a weakened state, the enemy’s weapons will strike. And as he so often does, he will aim them at the areas where we are most vulnerable.

Since we have recognized the enemy and his lies, the timing of step 2 is critical, if the enemy is to be repelled. Allowing the lie to sit awhile, even if you recognize it as a lie, will only allow it to gain a footing in your thoughts. The following quote from my book paints a concise picture of how to react to the enemy’s lies and the consequences if we fail to reject it immediately.

Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks. Someone has said very aptly: ‘Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength.’ First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.1

p. 66, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

Believe me, it’s dangerous to continue playing and replaying the lies (fiery darts) our flesh seems to be hungry for. The enemy doesn’t care if you recognize the fiery dart as one of his lies. His aim is to plant the lie just long enough to inject its poison. The longer that lie remains the more the poison he can inject into our thinking.

He plays to our flesh, that part of us that wants what we want, when we want it. As long as we live here on this earth, this civil war will always be raging. When we give into our natural self, strongholds and false arguments from the anti-God society that is prevalent today, will begin determining our attitude and actions. Acting in tandem, Satan, our flesh, and the world will bear down upon us, tempting us at every turn.

Our skill at recognizing Satan’s weapons develops as daily we become more familiar with the Voice of Truth. So as soon as the enemy shows himself, the Voice of Truth will expose him. Without hesitation, we will act upon our training and reject the fiery dart before its poison has a chance to enter our thoughts.

After that, Step 3 will complete the battle plan.

Recognizing the enemy…

September 21, 2014 I added a page to my blog titled the 3R’s of Fiery Darts. That page contains a threefold strategy for battling the enemy. For the next three blog posts I will attempt to offer more depth and details to the use of these 3 strategies.

Every time I listen to the news, read social media, watch a tv show or movie, simply listen to the conversations around me, pay attention to the lyrics of songs, notice the magazines and books in a library or bookstore, it is glaringly obvious people are being deceived as to what is Truth.

September 21, 2014 I added a page to my blog titled the 3R’s of Fiery Darts. That page contains a threefold strategy for battling the enemy. For the next three blog posts I will attempt to offer more depth and details to the use of these 3 strategies. Every time I listen to the news, read social media, watch a tv show or movie, simply listen to the conversations around me, pay attention to the lyrics of songs, notice the magazines and books in a library or bookstore, it is glaringly obvious people are being deceived as to what is Truth….

Step 1 – Recognizing the enemy

I have often wondered how this deception became so widespread. I believe it boils down to a failure to recognize our enemy. Therefore, without the skills of recognition, we are clueless when he pulls out his weapons to steal, kill, and destroy.

Of course, I am speaking of Satan. The Bible refers to him as the fallen angel, who is hell bent on destroying the influences of God’s Truths on human beings. His hate for God is that strong. So what’s his strategy?

First and foremost, he works to distract and draw us away from the Voice of Truth. Once this has been accomplished, then a whole smorgasbord of lies and deceptions are available for his use. For example, by manipulating humankind to reject God’s Truths, behaviors that would have horrified our grandparents are now accepted as rights. Behaviors that would have been called insane in the not so distant past are now embraced and even popularized by the general media.

Satan knows that by removing the Bible and it’s Truths from our lives, then he can operate unnoticed by his victims. We won’t notice the evil behind the subtly of the distractions tempting us to rely on anything and everything but God’s Truths to guide us in our daily lives. Then the next strategy, to discount Satan’s activity in our daily lives is set in place. For when we are deluded into putting aside the Bible, Satan doesn’t get exposed. Which is exactly his plan. The stage is set for the opening of Pandora’s box of lies and deceptions to creep into our thinking. We are easy prey after that.

The Bible is right on about what happens when we loose our moral compass. It’s the situation our nation finds themselves in today. For when we discard God’s Truths, something else must fill that void. Unknowingly, we have been maneuvered into choosing our own feelings as the authoritative replacement. We think we are seeking after freedom to make our own choices. Yet, the enemy knows it’s having the license to do whatever we want to do without the discomfort of being chastised is what’s appealing to us. We are duped into thinking we are choosing freedom, when in fact, we are choosing bondage.

But then, if our feelings are based on what we want instead of what God wants, we won’t recognize the subtle unraveling of our sense of right and wrong.

Next post, Rejecting fiery darts (Satan’s lies)

Love in its purest form!

4Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not envy,

is not boastful, is not conceited,

does not act improperly,

is not selfish, is not provoked,

and does not keep a record of wrongs.

Love finds no joy in unrighteousness

but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Paul’s purpose in writing the above verses was to illustrate what true love looked like. It would do us all well to study this chapter and in particular verses 4-7, in order to possess a clear picture of true love. And if we desire to have a visual of something on earth that comes the closest in comparison, we need look no further than a Mother’s love.

Consider a Mother’s love as it compares to the above description. Does it express the heart of this biblical description? Anytime, pleasing self take priority above the object of our love, we are not loving with a pure love.

But thanks for the unchangeable word of God, we will always have sources to go to when our vision of true love becomes blurred. That clear source of a Mother whose love for their children reflects the love God has for them as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 will always reflect love in its purest form here on earth.

Why do we do what we do?

Why do we live without Christ when we don’t have too?

Why do we endure trials without having victory over them?

Why do we believe the words of man over the words of God?

Why do we choose convenience over sacrifice?

Why do we put our own needs over the needs of those we love or others?

Why is money more important to us than God?

Why do we choose pride over humility?

Why do we choose our own way over God’s way?

Why do we read books by man, rather than read the book God wrote?

Why do we live our lives as if there was no eternity?

Why do we hurt or kill the innocent?

Why do we lie instead of telling the truth?

Why do we seek to harm others?

Why do we desire to have what others have?

Why do we get what we want by stealing, instead of getting what we want honestly?

Why do we choose unfaithfulness over faithfulness?

Why do we hate, instead of forgiving?

Why do we choose turmoil over peace?

Why do we choose to do wrong over choosing to do what is right?

Why do we choose to live in bondage, when we could live in freedom?

Why do we think truth is lies, and lies are truth?

Why do we not cry out to God when we need Him so badly?

The Answer is: SIN

Everyone of us is a sinner. Our human nature wants whatever it is we want. This produces bondage of the worst kind; the eternal kind.

But by turning to God and accepting Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf, we experience freedom of the best kind; the eternal kind.

The Real Me…

Ever had a thought intrude upon your mind that made you shutter? Have you had thoughts about a situation that just couldn’t move beyond the negative? Do these types of thoughts plant seeds of concern about who you really are? If we persist in giving sway to these concerns, they will set us on a path of lies and deception.

But as Christians, we have a defense against such deception. It is clearly stated in over 100 verses in God’s authoritative word that our true identity is based on our personal relationship with God. By believing in Christ and accepting His sacrifice on our behalf, our bodies became the dwelling place of Christ via the Holy Spirit. At the moment of salvation, our old self’s took on a new identity. Therefore, my true identity, my authentic self, is based on my new life in Christ. I am no longer deceived. I have the assurance my negative feelings are not my true self. In other words, “I was one way then I was completely different and what happened in between was Him.” (Season 1, Ep. 1, The Chosen)

Ponder these Truths:

…and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

Yet, when we reject God’s authoritative word, we open our sin nature (our old identity) to any and everything false. And today the downward spiral of the morals of our country gives evidence of the consequences of such rejection. Some have even digressed to the point that they place authority and value on feelings, over God’s transcendent truths, to define their authentic selves.

In short, the modern self is one where authenticity is achieved by acting outwardly in accordance with one’s inward feelings.

Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists redefined identity and sparked the Sexual Revolution by Carl T. Trueman

When the feelings of ‘self’ dictate our attitude and actions, we are capable of choices that fly in the face of God. Choices that will eventually set us and those directly affected by our choices on a path of destruction. Attitudes and actions that deep within our hearts we know are wrong.

Feelings as authority vs God as authority?

The Scriptures explain the nature of our old selves and why the world rejects those of us who belong to God, as well as God’s authoritative word.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 ESV

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,..Ephesians 4:22

Consider

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV