Archive for April, 2009

The Night Light

What father hasn’t been jolted out of bed by the cries of their child racked by nightmares?

Nightmares of gross monsters under the bed, or evil bad men hiding in the dark corners of the room, possibly a wicked witch flying around the ceiling deep enough into the darkness that they could not be easily seen.

What father has not calmly sat beside their frightened child with the lights on to convince them that there is nothing in these places?

The dark of the night seems to bring out the worst in the minds of our children. Thoughts so vivid they are undoubtedly real to the small child.

I remember some of these dreams from my childhood. Although I now blame much of my fear of the dark upon the original Kind Kong movie I saw on television one night with my older brothers and sisters. Though a fantasy, my older siblings did what they could to convince me it was real, that fear ran deep in my mind for many years.

Most of these nightmares are generally harmless and in most cases the ultimate answer to the problem is very simple.Winniepoo

   The Night Light.

The night light is an amazing invention. A very small wattage light bulb, with some cover, usually a theme known to the child as positive, e.g.: Toy Story, Cinderella, Dora the Explorer, etc; plugged into an electrical socket in plain view of the child.

This devise provides just enough light to supply a measure of comfort but not enough to prevent sleep.

A child awakened by uncomfortable dreams is reassured by the light that all is the same as when they said their night time prayers. The comfort of this simple light is enough to quell the fears, in most cases, and the child returns to their much needed slumber.

In our older children, we as parents often play the role of the night light in their lives. As the pressures of school or work build, thought of potentially devastating outcomes take the place of these childhood nightmares. Often these thoughts are not any more real than the proverbial monster under the bed, but our child needs reassurance.

As fathers we provide insights into the real situation that our children often face. We can speak in love and out of experience to the logical outcomes and the long term impact of many perceived issues.

In effect, we become the night light to our older children.

eyesLikewise, we as parents, sometimes face monsters of our own. In these cases where do we turn? What options do we have?

  I believe the answers to both of these questions in our relationship with God. Like the frightened child we often see in limited ways during our times of darkness. We awaken to what we perceive as a true situation and we cry out for help. All the while God is there providing the light that will calm our fears. Reminding us that things are not what we think. He is in control and we can rest in his light.

Our job is to understand this simple truth and teach it to our children so they can live a healthier and happier life, free from the monsters under the bed.

En Servicio Como Padre

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En Servicio Como Padre

Am I Worthy of Love?

Can you imagine the guys are gathering in front of the television before the big game. Charlie inters the room with a platter of buffalo hot wings, a bag of pork rinds, and chips with salsa. He wears a troubled look on his face. Bill, the sensitive one of the group, notices the underlying emotion and queries Charlie about it. Without hesitation Charlie announces to the group of men, “I’ve been thinking; am I worthy of love?

In another case; a group of neighbors are sharing the afternoon by grilling steaks and hot dogs in the backyard of one of the families. As the men joke and interact with one another, the group suddenly enters into an impassioned discussion around the question; “Am I worthy of love”?

Or, how about two men are laboring to change the water pump on an old 1969 Plymouth Road Runner. As one tightens a bolt the wrench slips and he mashes his finger against the engine block. As he regains his composure he comments. “man that really hurts. It kind of made me think, am I worthy of love”?

Something tells me none of these scenarios are likely to occur in groups of men anywhere in the world. It’s simply not a question commonly discussed among men.

Yet, it is one of the greatest areas of insecurity among men today.

Most men today struggle, in one way or another, wit their identity. In fact, Bill Perkins, in hi book Six Battles Every Man Must Win: Tyndale House, 2004, lists “Fight for Your Identity” as the very first battle. If you don’t win this battle you have no hope of ever getting through the other five.

For the majority of men, their identity is tied up in their relationship with their father. If they could not get some level of acceptance, some level of love, with their father, their heart was wounded deeply. Over time this would gets covered over with more junk fro life and the wound is never healed.

With an aching would in their heart, men move on in their lives and begin to self-medicate to avoid the pain. They self-medicate with sports, work, sexual exploitation, drugs, alcohol, and a whole host of other things they hope will distract them from the pain.

This pain can not be healed until a man comes to the point in his life when he begins to ponder the question; “Am I worthy of love”?

His past has certainly not encouraged a positive answer. Without intervention, without healing, a man’s relationship with his wife, his children, close friends, can not and will not develop in a healthy way. He will continue to go through the motions and remain that wounded little boy who could not measure up to his father’s expectations. A child unworthy of his father’s love, unworthy of love at all.
As men, as fathers, as friends, we must realize the impact to this wound. We must turn to God, in the form of Jesus Christ, who can move aside all the trash of life and by His love go straight to the heart and heal that wound. Only through the perfect love of Christ, will we be able to answer this question in the positive. Only by knowing how perfectly God loves us can we begin to understand how limiting a wounded heart is and begin to live our lives in freedom from the pain of a wounded heart.

En servicio como padre
Dave

Raggedy Man

To each of us is given the ability to organize and set straight, some just a little; some a great deal. For those of us with little strength in this area, the world has deemed us a little “Raggedy”.

Raggedy…..perhaps a little too loose for most of the world. Engineers hate us, Accountants despise us, Psychologists probe us, and Religious leaders look down their long pious noses at us.

I contend that he Holy Spirit prefers, maybe even calls, us to be a little on the “Raggedy” side.

Jesus had a small, but “Raggedy”, band of men. John the Baptist was more than a little “Raggedy”, Paul the Apostle started out straight, but ended up “Raggedy”.

In the end, being “Raggedy” opens doors for us. Religion ties our hands. We can’t open doors with hands that are bound. We are relegated to looking through the windows and never experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit that only the “Raggedy” man can. “Raggedy” men are not prone to even see the constraints of the religious, which is why we keep running into the vicar.

Paul was perhaps the consummate, “Raggedy” man. The most unlikely of apostles, he was not accepted by many in the early church because of his history and because of his challenge to the early apostolic teachings.

He was not embraced by the early church and was rejected by his Jewish roots. The Jews rejected him because he challenged the authenticity of the teachings of the Pharisees.

Paul the Roman citizen, rejected by Caesar and placed under house arrest for years. He did not accept the deity of Caesar but used their own laws against them.

Despite all this, Paul did more to advance the cause of Christ than any other Apostle.

Paul gave his all, refused to be bought by money, admiration, or affiliation. He just loved Jesus. He was obedient to the call of the Holy Spirit. Passionate about his relationship with Christ, devout beyond belief, and free despite chains that held him most of his adult life.

Can we dare to be as “Raggedy” as Paul? If not, we might not realize the fullness of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

En servicio como padre
Dave


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