Parenting is Hazardous on the Heart

Good Morning my friends,

This weekend as I chilled at the house and played on Facebook, I saw that it was move-in weekend for college bound Freshmen. That’s one experience that left a lasting emotional impression imbedded in my heart two years ago when we moved Zakk into his dorm at Texas A & M. The move-in wasn’t so bad, other than he was on the fourth floor of his dorm and it was built without an elevator which meant stair and that was very rough on a then 44 yr old chunky guy. We got him all me moved-in and all his stuff put up where he wanted it, we then grab a late lunch and then back to our hotel. We woke up Sunday morning, picked him up and took him to breakfast. During our conversation at breakfast he said he slept well which was a good thing in my mind. After breakfast we went back to his dorm and chilled with him for 2-3 hours. When it was time to go, he walked us to our car and we did our hugging, kissing and said our good byes. I will never forgot the look on his face as we exchanged our good byes. The look in his eyes as we drove off from him crushed my heart.. It took everything I had to do it. It’s only a 3hr trek back to Willow Park. We went to the evening service because we knew we needed to go to the altar. The drive seemed like it took 7 or 8hrs. Me, Keri & my youngest son Michael cried the whole way.  

Keri & I did our best to prepare him for road ahead and not the road for him (thank you Jessie Simon) but I think life had thrown him a little too much for his 18yr old mind & heart could handle at one time. You see we moved him in on Saturday and I had exploratory cancer surgery on Monday. He was in a new place, he didn’t know a single sole, he was in a new more challenging atmosphere, and his dad was having surgery. Zakk tried to come home that whole first week but Keri was able to soothe his mind each day. Her continuous advice was to pray and give it to God. Keri & I had many tearful days those first 2 weeks he was gone. We kept replaying that look over and over in our minds. It took him about three weeks for him to get in his groove but once he did he has never looked back..

“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

Parenting is without a doubt the hardest job you will ever undertake and the most rewarding. For those that their parenting days are ahead of you, brace yourself! To those that are mostly behind you, then you know what I mean. One of the goals as a parent is to work yourself out of a job because someday your children are going to leave home, and a major part of your responsibility is to prepare them for that day. From teaching them to brush their teeth, tie their shoes, to help them with their homework and to encourage them to make wise decisions when they go off to college. A parents goal is to prepare them for the day when you won’t be there. 

What about their spiritual foundations? Have your children learned from you what it means to walk with Christ every day? Have you taught them to pray, love the Bible, and to live by its truths? Have you encouraged them to give their lives to Jesus Christ? Don’t leave it until it’s too late, start now so you can help them build the moral and spiritual foundations they will need for a lifetime. 

                          

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬ )

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU.. Teach your kids to possess their faith not just profess it..

 

I hope that you all have a MAGNIFICENT day.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 

If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com

In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

Advertisements

Tranquility, Solitude & Splendor

Good Morning my friends,

As adults when we plan our vacations, we do our best to go somewhere with a lot of beauty and splendor. A place where we can try to get away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life and get re-energized or seek a renewal of our Spiritual well being. Most of the time we either aim for the mountains crisp cooler air or the ocean where we can see crystal clear water and feel the sand between our toes. In the majestic mountains we seek a place of tranquility, where we can get in touch with nature.. A place where we can hear all kinds of birds singing, the butterflies fluttering & the smell the sweet scent of the tall pines with a hint of brewing coffee from the cabin.. Then there’s the beach. The salty smell of the ocean, the sugar sand beaches, the crashing sound of the waves rushing a shore while the sun try’s to burst from the Eastern horizon on the rise while the moon slowly descends behind you. There’s something about the solitude of nature in the early morning air that soothes the soul but in all honesty I wouldn’t exchange the mountains or the beach for how I’m awakened almost everyday. My morning wake-up call is usually with a gentle kiss from the love of my life. She does this while her hands are cupping my face and she softly tells me it’s time to get up. I then give her a big hug while focusing on her loving beautiful blue eyes. I then eagerly dive directly into my morning prayer seeking my Savior’s permission to start my day as my boys use to do with me on the weekends when they were in early elementary. I don’t have to go on vacation away from the world to find tranquility, solitude and splendor. I find those things in my Lord & Savior and He is more refreshing than any ocean wave or a mountain breeze.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

God wants you to meet with Him in the splendor of the early morning. It is there that He eagerly awaits for you. It’s in the stillness of Holy Time with Him that He will renew your strength and fill you with Peace and Tranquility. While the world hits the snooze button for a few minutes of extra sleep or turns on the tv for the latest in overnight news, take the time to connect with the Creator of the universe. He will awaken your hearts desire to know Him which will burn brightly in you. When you seek God’s Face in response to His Love-call, you will be blessed. God delights in your enjoyment of everything that’s true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. His Light and those things will illuminate in you and make your day even brighter.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

MY CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU…. Seek to find solitude and splendor in prayer with your Savior..

I hope that you all have a MAGNIFICENT day.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com


In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

Change is More than Coins

Good Morning my friends,

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”-Gandhi

     I say those words often, along with don’t gripe about the world unless you’re unwilling to be the change you want the world to be. I haven’t nor will I ever claim to be perfect or even close. I still have my failures. I still have my moments.. I still have my pitfalls but everyday I try to represent the change I would love to see in the world. When I gave my life to Christ, I knew that things weren’t going to be easy. I knew that people would be watching me like a hawk waiting for me to mess up, so that they could point out each mistake or call me a hypocrite. It’s happened many tines. When I accepted Christ, I knew that it didn’t mean that I was no longer going to have trials & tribulations. I knew that life wasn’t going to be stress free. People often turn their back on God because they thought once they gave their life to Christ that their life is going to be nothing but rainbows & butterflies. That couldn’t be further from the truth.  

     As a Christian there are going to be ups & downs, trials & tribulations and turmoil & conflict but it’s the change in your heart that will separate you from the rest of the world. Your reaction to those things is what makes you different. There have been times in my life when I turned to alcohol or drugs when life got difficult. There have been times in my life when I turned to worldly pleasures when the pressures of life began to squeeze tight.. I use to run from trials & tribulations. Things are different now.. I learned to embrace my conflicts. I learned to say bring it, pile it on me because it’s not me that’s going to be carrying the load. It’s only temporary.   The saying, “God will never give you more than we can handle” is not true. He wants you to be dependent not independent. Dependent on Him. Everything happens for a reason. We’re not to understand it but we’re to glorify Him in ALL things..

  

“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” (Mark 7:21-22)

Very few words that Jesus spoke were likely to win Him the affection of those who opposed Him. Jesus cut through their veneer of righteousness to reveal the pride and evil that actually motivated them-and every human being. That’s why, over twenty centuries later, our world is still filled with conflict and war, turmoil and insecurity. The basic problem is in our hearts and the reason is that we are alienated from our Creator. Instead of giving God His rightful place at the center of our lives, we have substituted the god of self. Only Christ can change one’s heart which then will begin the changes in our world. God wants us to fight evil, poverty, war, injustice, famine, sickness, disease-wherever we find it. But our greatest need is for repentance and spiritual renewal.

MY CHALLENGE PRAYER FOR YOU… Renew yourself and be the change you want in the world..

I hope that you all have a TERRIFIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com



In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

My Stubborn Will

Good Morning my friends,

Yesterday was a long and difficult. It’s began around midnight when I was awakened from a deep sleep with severe bone and joint pain and muscle spams in my back that were almost unbearable. I immediately took my pain meds & muscle relaxers but the onslaught had already set in. After two hours of writhing in pain, the meds finally started kicking in which allowed me to fall back asleep for a couple hrs, but the pain wasn’t finished. It’s was a little after 4am when it kicked in again but this time it was even worse. I could no longer tough it out. I was at my weakest point. There I was lying in bed with tears in my eyes when I reminded myself that I have nothing to prove and that I don’t have to do this alone. I cried out to my Holy Father and asked Him to wrap His Loving arms around me and help me with my pain so I could sleep just a little. As I cried out to Him the pain slowly began to subside but it did not vanish and I was able to get some rest for a couple of hours.  

My stubborn will clouded my judgement. I know that I don’t have to do this alone. I know I can rely on my Heavenly Father to lift me up during my most dire need. He is always wiling to lift us up so that He can place His Loving arms around us and bring us comfort. We just have to not be to stubborn to ask. After getting a little rest, I woke up a little before 7am to more back pain. Once again I took my meds immediately but it was too little, too late. I moved from the bedroom to the living room and prepared myself for what I was about to face. As the pain set in with a vengeance, I went to my Lord again and ask if it was in His Will to reduce my pain enough so that it was tolerable. My prayers were answered again and finally around noon all the pain had totally subsided which in turn allowed me to get some much needed rest. I’m probably as stubborn as the come especially when it comes to taking meds. I just don’t like prescription meds, especially pain meds because I don’t like to feel doped up. The only prescription meds I don’t hesitate to take are my nausea meds. The nausea that is caused by chemo is too much. This bone & joint pain is all new to me. I’ve talked to several cancer patients that have gone through it before but their description off it didn’t even come close. The back pain and spasms is by far the worse. I guess with my core being compromised with my last surgery, it’s expected for my back to be weakened..

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬)

Becoming a Christian is a once-for-all event, when you repent of your sins and cast yourself on Christ alone for our salvation. We are converted instantly when God takes us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Being a Christian is a daily, ongoing experience. It’s a lifelong process of daily repentance and faith, of turning from sin and seeking to live for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s where our wills come in. Although we have been converted and God has come to live in us, our old nature is still alive and kicking and Satan will also be doing everything within his power to trip you up.. It is our stubborn wills that demand us to put ourselves first instead of Christ. It’s a difficult job trying to bring our stubborn wills into submission to Christ, but once we do, it’s as if a misplaced vertebra has snapped back into place. Instead of the stress and tension of a life without the harmony with God, we discover the Serenity & Peace of His Holy Presence..

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,.” (Acts 3:19)

MY CHALLENGE PRAY for YOU… Don’t allow your ok’d stubborn will to interfere with your transformation. 

I hope that you all have a TERRIFIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24      #wpbc      #eternalmission      #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com


In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

Decisions in Parenthood

Good Morning my friends

I love talking about my boys. When I look at them I can’t help but smile. They’re only 2 years 4 months 2 days apart and were raised the same but yet so different. When Keri I decided to have kids we prayed for boys and there were never any doubt in our minds that they were going to be anything different. We wanted boys because we both knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle a girl(s). I have several good friends that have girls and my hats off to them because the thought of my teenage daughter leaving with some irresponsible boy with only one thing on his mind scared the begeebers out of me. Keri & I have tried to raise our boys to be different.   

So far, there’s only been a few difficult times that we’ve sit back and watched their hearts get broken by a girl that chooses another boy over them. Those are the times you just sit back, shack your head and say girl, “if you only knew what you’re missing out on.” Keri & I pray continually for God to be preparing someone special that will win the hearts of our boys. Someone that deserves their gentle kind heart. Someone that will respect them and stand beside them and allow them to be the leader that God wants them to be. We’ve instilled in our boys that females are not just objects that fulfill their passion or desires and they should never be treated that way. They should never be taken advantage of physically or mentally. They should be always be treated with honor, dignity and respect. They should be treated as you would want your mother or sister to be treated. 

We were able to instill these things in our boys because we made sacrifices when they were babies and toddlers. We chose to let Keri be a stay at home mom. When we could no longer afford for her to do that, we made the decision for her to work evenings so they wouldn’t have to go to daycare. We did this despite knowing that it would put a strain on our marriage. Once the boys got into elementary, Keri was lucky to find jobs that allowed her to work out of our home and then later she became substitute teacher. I chose a career that would allow me to stay involved in my boys life. One that would allow me to be a father and attend school functions and never miss practices or games. I could’ve made a lot more money in other careers but instead I chose to be involved.   Is that the right way or the wrong way?  It was the right way for Keri & me.   I’ve watched my boys over the 3-4 years develop a bond that we hope & pray will only grow stronger and last for the rest of our life and beyond. We wished that it would’ve developed earlier in life but they both finally realize that they’re both pretty cool to be around. They have found that common ground. Is it a coincidence that it comes at a time in our life that as a family we have never been closer to God? I don’t believe in coincidences but instead I believe that God has always had His Hand on my family. 

“The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation.” ~ Adrian Rogers

Today there are more pressures on the home than perhaps at any other time in history of the world. By necessity or by desire, more women are working today than ever before.. Many feel guilty about leaving their children in the care of others or having them return to an empty home after school while they’re at work. A lot of parents still devote more attention to working life than they do to their family life. It’s no wonder that so many homes are in trouble? There is no achievement in life that is equal to a happy home and children who grow up to praise their parents. All material goals that are ever reached will eventually rust and be thrown away. However, the heritage of godly children is timeless and will be passed on to many generations..  Our primary responsibility is to be sure our children grow up in homes where God is honored and the love of Christ reigns. 

“Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3)

MY CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU…. Chose the betterment of your kids not yourself..

I hope that you all have a GREAT day.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com


In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

My Not So Secret Sins

It’s Friday but SUNDAY’S COMING!!!

Good Morning my friends,

Have you ever tried to hide your sins? Do you have secret or private sins that only you know about? For many years I thought I was getting away with sin because it was done it private. Whether it was alone time surfing the internet or “innocent” flirtation with my vendors they were my very own hidden/secret/ private sins.. Only I knew about them…haha I find that harilious now, only because I was so caught up in my own little world that I thought I could hide my sins from God. These sins although they feel small most of the time can have a much bigger impact on your life because they will eventually lead to a chance to make more devastating sins. We have a tendency to separate us our sins according to big & small. We can separate our sins in degrees as much as we want but no matter how big or small the sin we commit is, they ALL have one HUGE consequence. That consequence is that they separate us from God. The further we move away from God the easier it becomes to commit even more sin. As a Christians, we should willingly ask God to search us daily from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet and cleanse us from all our sins.  

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”‭‭ (Acts‬ ‭3:19)

Have you ever stopped to think how difficult it must’ve been for David to pray this prayer? It’s uncertain whether or not he penned these words before or after his terrible sin with Bathsheba. But either way, David knew he was capable of terrible sin and that like the majority of people his first impulse when he sinned was to deny it or try to hide it from God. David had to have a lot of courage to ask God to search out the darkest, most secret corners of his heart and mind. If you aren’t willing to do this often, then these sins that we know about remain unconfessed, and our fellowship with God remains cold and distant. More importantly, there are some hidden sins that you may not even realize you have like pride, suppressed anger, withheld love, jealously, a secret yearning for recognition. If these sins remain firmly in place they could eventually manipulate you and destroy you. Have the courage to pray this prayer. Whatever God reveals to you, confess it, repent of it, and ask Christ to replace it with His purity and love.

                                 

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Ask God to search you. Whatever He reveals, confess it, repent of it, and ask Christ to replace it with His purity and love.

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day… Blessing & much love…D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com

In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.

Giving it All You Got

Good Morning my friends, 

 One of the things my dad taught me and that I’ve tried to pass on to my boys is that no matter what role you’re playing you should always give it your very best. When I was a kid, I started working with my dad in construction during the Summer. Of course me being10 there wasn’t much I could do besides sweeping, cleaning up, etc..etc.. But everyday I did my best to make my dad’s job site the cleanest anyone had ever been on. As I got older, my skills and responsibilities increased each Summer and I was able to help out around the job site more than just cleaning up. It wasn’t but a couple Summers later that I was helping set forms, tying rebar, dragging concrete, etc..etc.. The things I learned during those Summers were much more than skills to perform a job or duty. There were life lessons that were learned which were of great value at such a young age. I learned that there was great reward in the construction trade with a beautiful finished product and a claim that I helped build that building. But the greater lesson was the lesson I learned from the sweat of my brow working outside in the Texas heat long hours. Those were they lessons that I would never forget. You can work hard out in the Texas heat or you can choose to develop other skills and do something less physical, less demanding and in a lot cooler setting. I have to admit, I loved managing people and running a successful business, however when I look back on it all now I wish I would’ve chosen the path of working outside in the Texas heat. I could’ve easily managed people, own & run a successful business that involved me actively working outdoors. Either way, I was always going to try my best at whatever I did because that’s how I was raised Today as I wake up, it’s my goal to be the best disciple I can possibly be, the best husband, father, son, brother, patient (I’m under the care of nurse Keri) and friend. It’s my goal everyday to bring you the best message of faith, hope, insight and inspiration that will help make your day better than the previous. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

We often forget that for most of His life Jesus was a carpenter, working with His hands among His neighbors in the town of Nazareth. “Isn’t this the carpenter?” Some of Jesus’ critics asked scornfully, implying that no mere carpenter could possibly be the promised Messiah (Mark 6:3)

Do you tend to downplay the work you do? “I’m only a housewife.” “I’m just a plumber.” “I simply teach school.” “I’m merely a clerk in a grocery store.” “I make my living as an accountant.” If God gave your skills and you’re where He wants you to be, then your work is valuable and significant in His sight. Here’s another thought for you to think about!! What kind of carpenter do you suppose Jesus was? Did the doors fall off His cabinets? Do you suppose He took shortcuts or did just barely enough to get by? No, of course not. The Bible says, I think we can probably Can rest assure that Jesus did exactly that.  

                         

“So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1)

MY CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU.. Be the best you can be in whatever you choose to do today.. 

I hope you all have a TERRIFIC day… Blessing & much love…D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24 #wpbc #eternalmission #itslife

TO RECEIVE THIS DEVOTIONAL AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL 
If you would like to receive my daily devotional via email copy & paste this link in your web browser: https://last24ministries.wordpress.com


In the bottom right hand corner click Follow and enter your email address.. You should immediately receive a confirmation email where you have to confirm that you meant to sign up.