what controls me?

I have been doing a really good study in the mornings before work with my wife. This has been a wonderful time of growth spiritually for both of us and also a time where we can draw closer to the Lord together. Well, this week we did a brief re-visitation of the story of Abraham and Isaac and the events that transpired on Mt Moriah. If you’d like to read it for yourself, the reference is Gen 22:1-18. If you haven’t read or heard it, this is the time God asked Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him. The faith of both men amazes me every time I read this story. How could a father willingly sacrifice his son and on the flip side of that coin, how could a son allow himself to be done thus so by his father? I believe that Isaac knew what was transpiring even as they made their way up to the mountain he questioned his father, “where is the sacrifice?” to which his father replied “God will provide Himself a lamb”. The eventuality is that God did indeed provide the sacrifice needed without having to harm Isaac.

As my wife and I shared some thoughts from this passage and we pondered on  the goodness of the Lord I had another thought. My thought was, “what controls me?”, what do I serve, what drives me every day? How did you get this from the story of Abraham and Isaac you may ask? Well, give me a bit and you’ll understand. Last year beginning of December I decided to take a long needed break from Twitter. This may not seem important to you but that’s because you don’t spend the time hollering about politics on twitter like I do. The goal was simple….take a couple weeks off and focus on God and family instead. During the first couple of weeks I had enrolled in school and gotten some other much needed things done. Optest sat….I am officially finished with letting twitter control my life and if it ever interferes with my life again I will simply delete the accounts. Twitter is something that was sidelining my relationship with God and was in turn affecting my marriage and family, it had become an idol.

Exodus 20:3-5(KJV)

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

I made a little test I’d like y’all to perform entirely between you and God but answer truthfully or it’s kinda pointless.  WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU GRAB A HOLD OF IN THE MORNING??         For me the answer was simple #1 my phone #2 my can of snuff. Near as I can tell the first thing you grab is most likely the thing which controls you the most.

Psalm 24:3-5 (KJV)

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

If God doesn’t have the preeminent spot in our hearts and lives then we are kinda wasting our time just playing at religion. And if this is just a game to us then we are wasting valuable time. God says in Isaiah 42:8 that “My glory I will not give to another”. Our God is a jealous God. He is jealous for our time and affection. He is jealous for our worship and adoration. He is jealous for our service and commitment. Serving God is similar to being married, a man cannot share his heart with 2 women and leave both physically, mentally and emotionally satisfied. So I leave you with this simple thought…..WHAT CONTROLS YOU?

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My goodness parenting is tough.

Tonight I asked my son to give me a five step solution to resolve the lack of integrity in his life. And I ain’t throwing my son under the bus here cause in reality if my son has an issue with personal integrity then that falls directly on my fatherly shoulders. As he sits at the table and writes his solution I’m pondering what my my own solution might possibly be.  Where have I gone wrong and what could I possibly do to rectify this situation.

Disclaimer;  I am by no means any sort of profound PHD holding child psychologist.  I am a simple man trying to raise his son to walk in the footsteps of God.

1. The first question I must ask is ‘is it too late?’ (Establish a timeline)
Man that’s a doozie….but it’s a legit question, especially as a parent. Have you ever looked at your child and thought to yourself “it’s too late and I can no longer make a difference in his/her life?”.  And I believe the Biblical answer is a resounding NO! I know that in my life and through my journey that God has never given up on me and said it’s too late fer that one. And if God has the patience and understanding to deal with me and all of my faults then I need to pass that same love and patience on to the rearing of my son.

2. If it’s not to late then what’s my next step? (Realize my faults)

Well,  my problem is that I feel there’s a 5 step solution to darned near everything and there are some situations which can be resolved with sometimes a simple heart change. But in this case I reckon the next step since we’ve established that it’s never to late is to further establish that I am by nature a lazy person. You see I sometimes lack follow through. I begin projects with the absolute best of intentions and half way through I lose the drive and zeal unless it’s something I’m totally sold on. And as a parent shouldn’t this be something I’m completely sold out on? When one finds them self a parent this is a really crappy character trait (laziness) and one which needs to be immediately dissolved.

3. Now that I known I am by nature a lazy person what do I do next? (Visualize an objective)

Fer me this one is a no brainer. And is actually something I do at work on a daily basis. What I’m going to say here is really contradictory to my previous point. I am a hard worker.  I known that sounds crazy right after I said I am by nature a lazy person but hear me out fer just a minute. You see, I said “by nature”, if we were honest I think we’d all admit the same thing. I started working at a very young age because I discovered the value of U.S. currency. It was amazing. If I gave someone some of my time they would trade me m.o.n.e.y. and that’s something tangible that an 11 year old could understand. I also have the ability to work unsupervised.  I’m not bragging I’m just stating a fact. I’ve never held a job at which I didn’t excell. And in all practicality the same rule applies here. I need to get my butt in gear because the value of my son’s life is far greater than any money which I could possibly earn.

4. Now that my butt has been motivated what do I do? (Remain diligent)

I love training dogs. I’m not incredibly good at it but I know a few tricks. The most important thing when training any animal is consistency. Use the same methods and rewards over and over and eventually you will establish the action which you are trying to accomplish. My son certainly is no animal (well, he is on a football field :mrgreen:) but consistency is essential to the raising of him. I can’t be strict one day and lax the next. I can’t change the rules as I go along to fit the current situation….this could give my son reason to compromise later in life. If I ground him then I need to stick to my guns and follow through. I need to be just as willing to love and compliment him as I am to nurture and admonish him.

5. Once consistency has been put into practice what can I do next? (Vigilance is key)

Children are constantly changing. Sometimes I look at my son and I don’t recognize the person he has become. That’s not to say I don’t pay attention to my son it’s just the reality of being a parent. It’s almost as if he’s a different person from day to day. They are forever developing new character traits and life habits. As a parent it is my responsibility to remain vigilant and aware of these changes happening within my son’s heart and life. Some of the changes may need to be addressed as potential threats to his well being and some need to be nurtured and developed. And that’s really the rewarding part of being a parent. You get to watch a child become a man. Sometimes it’s scarey because the man he will become is entirely on my shoulders, and I am VERY aware that one day I will answer to God for the decisions that he makes.

These five steps are off the cuff and just some thoughts that I wanted to jot down. Really to help myself more than anything. But thought if share with y’all and perhaps you could give me some feedback. After all I’ve only been a parent once. Oh and FYI. I totally missed the first step. GO TO GOD IN PRAYER AND SEEK HIS FACE FOR WISDOM!!

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