Dear Son, Words of Wisdom #3

dearson3Dear Son,
Travel as often and as far as possible.
Love, Dad

I believe travel is one of the greatest teachers. You learn a great deal about yourself, others and God’s creation.

Visiting the actual location will make stories, movies and history come alive. Walking the streets of other lands will make you understand their issue, hopes and fears. Eating at their tables will help you feel the hunger and taste the abundance that is all around.

travel-pics

You have witnessed hope in the face of poverty. Walked were Jesus, Moses and King David walked. Stood where presidents and politicians of old stood. Sat in the locker rooms of amazing athletes. Floated down the Amazon. Led others to worship God in Africa and the Dominican Republic.

These are a few examples of travel that have helped shape your perspective and vision. They will serve as a filter and lens for future education and entertainment. They will help you step into the stories you encounter in literature and the news.

Do not forget where you have been and do not limit the places you will go. It can make all the difference.

Click here to find out the story behind Dear Son, Words of Wisdom and to find other Words of Wisdom.

Dear Son, Words of Wisdom #1

dearson1Dear Son,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love,
Dad

Thus begins my journey of passing on words of wisdom to my oldest son.  This journey began after listening to my son prepare a speech for school.  The topic was Robert E. Lee.  He was an interesting character, but that is not what reached out and grabbed me by the throat.

As my son read his speech, he gave two quotes.  The quotes where good, but that is not what shook me.  Both quotes were letters from Robert E. Lee to his son.  The fact that this form of delivery of wisdom from father to son grabbed by sons attention…grabbed my attention.

The impact of words of wisdom being intentionally delivered from father to son is both amazing and absent from modern parenting.  

Look through history and you will find excellent examples of heroes and leaders throughout the ages formally passing on their wisdom.  Look in the Bible and you will find the greatest example as Solomon passes his wisdom to his son in the book of Proverbs.

I do not want to miss my opportunity to positively affecting my son and help equip him for the road ahead. I plan to give him one hand-written card (word of wisdom) each week. I will also write a story or commentary for each card and post it on my blog. I hope that the card will serve as a point of reference as he walks through life.

So I begin my journey.  Maybe other fathers will join me.

Discover God’s Story To Help You Live Your Story

Many times we feel like we are living this life alone. Our journey of faith becomes discouraging, confusing and at times empty. We ask God for guidance…talk to friends…or read 3 minute devotionals. But we do not have any breakthroughs, and the will of God remains a mystery. The Apostle Paul gives us a remedy to this dilemma.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1(NLT)

Learn From The Stories of God’s People

Many years ago I heard a pastor say, “When the Bible says ‘therefore’ read the verses before to see what it’s ‘there for’.”  To this day, I am convinced it is one of the most useful Bible study techniques I have learned. When we look back a chapter, we find a list of the heros of the faith including: Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses.

THe Bible tells stories of God using ordinary people to do amazing things. We find people from every walk of life: young, old, farmers, kings, prostitutes, runaways, rich, poor, beggars, and givers. In these stories, we discover how God can take any person and make a wonderful story. We must read these stories to help us discover the story that God has for our lives.

There is a frighten trend in modern Christianity, we are ignoring the past…we are not reading the Bible. The Bible continues to be the top selling book, but it is also the most ignored book. We look to devotionals, pastors, and praise music to guide our journey of faith. There is nothing wrong with any of these as part of our journey, but we have to take personal responsibility to discover God’s Story for ourselves.

Discover God’s Story

You may have resisted reading the Bible in the past because it is so long, complicated and at times boring. Do not give up. The Bible is the most amazing book. It is a collection of stories about one big story, the story of God and His love for His children. The best part about these stories is they are true and will change your life.

The stories introduce you to the main character, God. You also meet some other interesting characters along the way. Sometimes they are heroic, but most of the time they are average people that God uses in amazing ways. You see God’s love and grace on display every step of the way. Throughout the stories, God rescues and guides His people, leading to the ultimate sacrifice that provides salvation to all who believe.

Two Books To Help You Discover God’s Story And Pass It To The Next Generation

There are two books that I recommend to my family and friends to help them discover God’s story and to pass it to the next generation.

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  It is written for children but it also great for the adult reading it. It is not just about Jesus.  The book walks you through the whole bible and ties each story to the great rescuer, Jesus. It is a beautiful retelling of the Bible stories and the art is amazing. I have not found a better children’s Bible out there.  You can find the book in bookstores or at Amazon.

2. The 3-Hour Bible by me. The goal of the 3-Hour Bible is to help you discover and understand the whole Bible in a fast-paced and engaging reading plan. You may have struggled with other Bible reading plans in the past, but you can complete this one. The twelve stories have been carefully selected to walk you through the whole Bible. With each story taking less than fifteen minutes to read, you will be able to read and understand the big story of the Bible in three hours.

In the 3-Hour Bible, the Bible speaks for itself. The stories are crafted from the actual Bible text. They are not a retelling or summary, but the actual Bible. Each story presents important people, events or turning points in the bigger story. Find out more here. The 3- Hour Bible is available in paperback and Kindle edition(only $.99) exclusively at Amazon.

Begin Your Journey To Discover God’s Story

Start today by getting one of the books I suggested above or by picking up one of the Bibles sitting around your house. Learn from those who have walked this path before us. God has written an amazing story for your life. Discover God’s story to help you live your story.

The Secret To Raising Exceptional Kids

As parents, we believe that our kids are exceptional…or at least way above average.  But we also have this hidden fear that we are not doing enough for our kids to reach their potential.  So we wear ourselves out getting them into the right school, playing on the best sports teams, hanging out with the right friends, etc.  In all this activity, we might be missing an absolutely essential ingredient for our kids success….God.

This morning I was reading the story of Daniel in the Bible.  We are probably very familiar with his visit with the Lions and his friends stay in a blazing furnace.  But something early in the story grabbed my attention.  It was a picture into the formative years of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

As teenagers they were brought as slaves to the court of the King of Babylon to enter a special school to work in the king’s court.  Early into the training, these young me experience great success and are rewarded for it.  Here is a short excerpt from the story found in Daniel 1:17-20,

“God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.  When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar.  The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service.  Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.”

The secret to their success is found in the first verse.  God gave them the ability to do exceptional things.  It was not based on their training or family…it was based on the blessing of God.

I am not proposing that we do not provide the best possible training and environment for our kids.  I am suggesting that we must pray that God will bless our kids so they will be exceptional citizens in God’s kingdom.  Pray that God may give our kids, like Daniel and his friends, the ability to stand and change the world around them.