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Father’s Day: The Beauty, Strength and Power of A Father

Genesis Chapter 2 recounts the power and influence of a father as we see how a single rib from Adam, the first earthly father, significantly impacted Adam and Eve’s lives as well as the lives of men and woman for generations to come.

The movement of a single rib from Adam to Eve had such a strong and magnetic impact that it fused their souls together like a super-glue bond, creating a bond more powerful than their combined differences.

The transfer of Adam’s rib and DNA to Eve’s body is in large part what causes a man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife (Gen. 2:24). However, I also believe this same cleaving process occurs between a father and his children and family.

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Son-in-law and eldest grandson

Hence, the spiritual and natural bond that’s created by a good father, similar to our spiritual connection to our Heavenly Father, will never lose its power to influence, correct and make whole. One word from a father, and a child will stand straight and walk right – not only in his father’s presence but also the mention of the father’s name can influence a child to course-correct quick, fast and in a hurry.

A father can have a strong influence on the course of his children and family, and leave an indelible imprint upon their souls.

Fatherhood is a big and rewarding responsibility entrusted to a man by God. And it’s a beautiful thing to see a father in action, following God’s lead and doing what he does for God, himself and his family.  Fatherhood is a divine and holy calling.

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My father in his 30s

I have been so blessed to have several good fathers and father figures in my family, and many other fathers whom I know, and many more whom I’ve never met who are filling big shoes in their role as fathers/father figures. And I’m thankful for my own father, who has been deceased for many years now, but who’s memory remains just as alive today as it ever did.

I encourage all fathers and father figures to stay the course, stick with God, follow his lead and keep doing what you’re doing to fulfill this most holy calling of fatherhood. God bless you all, and thank you for answering God’s call to fatherhood. Your leadership and example truly make a difference in the lives of your children and family, and our world.

Happy Father’s Day!

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The Resurrection of Jesus: The Gift That Never Loses Its Power

Resurrection Image

Jesus lives!

Worthy is the Lamb (Jesus) who was slain for us!  During the days after Jesus’ death on the cross, He was not simply laying in a dark, damp grave.  Jesus was alive in the Spirit, going to spiritual places where his human body was unable to go.  Jesus submitted his body to the grave in order to release His spirit to effectively descend to the lower regions of the earth and take back everything the enemy had taken from God’s people through the fall of Adam and Eve.

For many generations, God continued to protect humankind from harm by instituting the recurring practice of animal sacrifices to deal with the deadly consequences of sin that had long continued to separate God from His creation.  Then, God provided for our security through Jesus’ death and resurrection, ensuring our future and a life more abundant than any of our predecessors.

When Jesus’ body was laid to rest in the tomb, He had spiritual work to do on behalf of  humankind that would secure the wellbeing of our souls and allow us to live an empowered life in the here and now.  So, while Jesus may have been silent atop the ground, He was very active in the lower regions of the earth taking back the keys of death and hell from the enemy of our souls. And when He had accomplished this work, He rose from the dead with all power in His hands, having broken the curse and bondage of sin that had fallen upon all humankind as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve.

Therefore, once and for all, God provided a permanent sin solution and a way to ensure that we always had access to Him.  God gave us the ultimate gift and sacrifice of Jesus, his beloved Son.  Jesus was divine, and only a divine sacrifice would be able to provide a permanent solution to the spiritual problem of sin.  So the sacrificial gift of Jesus as a means to secure our future and access to life more abundantly in relationship with God, makes us some of the most blessed creatures on the planet!  We only need accept God’s precious gift with the love and thoughtfulness in which it was given.

God’s plan for Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection was an act of sheer love and genius. The Bible is filled with passages that express the depth of God’s love for us, one of which is John 3:16.  God’s love for us was, and remains, so strong that He gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in Him can have access to eternal life with Him in the afterlife, and live in communion with Him daily through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is applicable to us right here, right now, so that we are complete in Him and never alone, even if we emotionally feel like it at times.

Freedom from the bondage of sin, death and separation from God is available to everyone – no matter our ability or disability, whether deaf or hearing, speechless or speaking, rich or poor.  God is accessible to us directly as result of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  Thank God for Jesus!

Happy Resurrection Day!

 

The Evolution of Mom: Lessons for Life Learned as a Caregiver, Part IV

My mom often makes several attempts to get herself from a seated position to standing. And on most occasions, she has the most difficulty when attempting to rise to standing while holding something in one of her hands, whether a napkin, a lap tray or other trash debris.

Each time I’ve observed  her doing this, I’ll remind her that it will be harder for her to go from seated to standing without full use of both hands to assist and support her.  The last time she attempted this hand-half-full standing maneuver, I reminded her that she could more easily, safely and effectively rise to stand if she’d let go of what’s in her hands.

And suddenly, I had an ah-ha moment, realizing that before I can begin a new thing, go to the next level in my life, and experience the kind of results that I want and need, I must be willing to let go of what’s already in my hands (the old) so I can embrace something different.

Principle 4:  Letting go of what’s in your hands

The things in our hands that we hold on to usually can be easily recognizable since they represent things that have long since passed their usefulness in our lives.  Instead of helping us, these are things that now enable us, cause confusion and/or add another level of stress and anxiety to our lives and the situation.  They usually have no significant connection or impact on where we’re going but are more focused on where we’ve been.  These also are things that we do and/or hold on to that hinder us from doing, and doing well, the next thing in our lives.

If we hold on too tight to people/things and ways of being that no longer add value to our lives, these people/things begin to elicit unnecessary pressure and hardship, and become a hindrance and a stumbling-block not only to one’s self but to others as well.

Marriages have ended, and families and friends separated over the inability to let go of grudges, jealously, unforgiveness, disrespect, resentment, preconceived notions (and even problematic people) that we entertain for years without change.  And over time, these long-held negative emotions and behaviors begin to hurt and divide us from our dreams and those around us.

As adults with influence, responsibilities, goals and purpose, we will fall short in these areas if we attempt them with our hands full, potentially impeding our forward progression, limiting our options, jeopardizing our relationships and career, and keeping us stuck in a rut.

And you’ll find that when we release the negative clutter that we’ve been holding on to, it helps to open our hearts, minds and lives to life’s possibilities and options.

Happy Easter: He Is Risen!

Jesus lives!

Jesus lives!

Jesus’s death on the cross was the most significant death the world has ever known, and will ever know. It was significant for several reasons, including the fact that Jesus was the Son of God; He died quietly and humbly while enduring excruciating pain nailed to the cross; death didn’t have the power to take His life but He released Himself to die; the power and life of God in Him was so strong that death couldn’t keep all that He was in the ground.

He was, and is, our salvation … the Savior or the world … King of kings and Lord of lords!

When Jesus died on the Cross, the Bible says the veil of the temple was split from top to bottom, as Jesus had prophesied it would be. This signified the breaking down of those things that prevented direct access to God, meaning that all sinners can now go directly to God in prayer and thanksgiving. This is the gift of the gospel of Christ that allows sinners to connect to God through pardon and forgiveness of sins.

The Holy Spirit calls us to draw near to God, our spiritual Father, by accepting salvation through Christ and forgiveness of sins and allowing us to talk with God and He with us, enabling us to know Him in a more intimate way and to lead us into a more fruitful and abundant life here and now.

Through Jesus, our everlasting mediator of a new and better covenant, all things are possible to us, and we are free from the bondage of sin and death … depression and oppression … rejection and low self-esteem … abuse and misuse … and all forms of “dis  ease” and disease. All of this, and more, are a part of our spiritual inheritance in Christ and are made possible through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Now, we can boldly enter into the presence of God, leaving our burdens, sins, worries and cares, and find healing for our souls, peace that passes understanding, acceptance because of who we are, and Whose we are.

When we accept Christ, we become believers who are more than conquerors through Christ – who loved us so much, and the same power of God that was in Christ that could not be held down by grave clothes and a tomb, is the same resurrection Spirit of God that is within us all.

We have the same power of God resident in us to do great things – here and now – in our lives and the world!  Thank God. And Happy Resurrection Day!

Embracing Change

TulipsI’ve been away from this blog far too long on a sabbatical of sorts, and lately it’s beckoning me to get back to it. So, here I am.

Over the past weeks and months I’ve undergone, and have been thinking about, change – its importance in our lives. Change is vital for our success in so many areas. Simply breathing requires our body to change or shift as air moves in and out of the lungs. Change occurs as our heart is constantly beating and our blood is continuously circulating.

What’s more, our relationships can fail or succeed based on the extent of our willingness to change. And, our ability to forgive, to renew or change our minds, and to repent of our sins is all based upon our capacity to embrace change.

Embracing change is one thing that has the power to change everything else in our lives. Change will happen with or without our consent. However, embracing change allows it to impact us for good and not evil. And, only we can decide which it will be.

I pray you will join me in embracing change and subsequently choosing to thrive and keep on the path to a more productive and abundant life.

Until next time, know that you are worthy of admiration, simply because you are one of God’s wonderful creations!

A Very Present Help

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) by André Karwath (Wikimedia Commons)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) by André Karwath (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The holidays are a great time for connecting and reconnecting with family and friends. It’s a time of great joy and anticipation of the upcoming year and the adventures that lie ahead. The holidays also can be bittersweet if you are separated from or have lost a loved one, or feel downtrodden by your circumstances. Memories and reminders of that absent loved one or persistent circumstance or situation can be especially painful during the holidays.

At such times, it’s important to encourage yourself, knowing that:

  • You are loved and worthy because God has made it so, second
  • Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing remains the same all the time so change will come, and third
  • You have a place of refuge and strength in God.

Therefore, there is hope, help, comfort and peace wherever you find yourself. Through Jesus the Christ, the great I AM, there is healing for the voids in your life. Trust HIM.

I recommend placing whatever you need God to be for you after his name I AM, and allow God to take on that role for you, whether your provider, physician, counselor, comforter etc. God loves you and is with you. And HE can be whatever you need, if you allow him. Listen for his voice from within and be willing to follow his lead. Your I AM is literally only a prayer, even a thought away.

I leave you with excerpts from Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (v1)

Be still, and know that I am God (v10)

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (v11) 

Psalm 46:1, 10-11