Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When Daddy Comes Home....

As I stated in my earlier post I was away for the weekend at the Convocation. However, when I arrived back at home, my children came running to me as I came through the door both shouting "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" My heart was surely filled with joy to hear this and see this. Of course I didn't burst out in tears or anything like that...working on that whole showing emotions thing ;-), but as for most men displaying our emotions is not on the top of the list.

Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see and hear the love from my children. As Godly men, we should thrive to have that type of relationship with our children, that when/if we do leave or are gone for a specified time, they should be over joyed to see us return. If your children, aren't happy to see you or excited about your return, that is a good indication that something is wrong. You have to build a rapport and relationship with your children. 

Men, I say to you once again, nothing should be more important to you than your family, especially your wife and children, however if you are single, then after God, should be your children! Whatever it takes to provide for them, show them your love and care, and be there for them, it is your job to do it. Too many of us slack off of our job, for whatever reason, but it is time to rise back up and take our rightful place in our homes and in our children's lives.

Bishop C. E. Blake, Church Of God In Christ Presiding Bishop read a scripture from Ezra. Its found in chapter 8 and verse 21b. It states " that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones," It was important to the leaders of Israel that not only they find the right way, but also for their little ones or children. As fathers, we must have that same concern, not only that we are safe, healthy and well taken care of, but for our little ones, our little girls and boys, that they too are safe, healthy and well take care of. 

You have to be protective over your children, after all they are God's gift to us and on judgement day we don't have to tell God that we misappropriated his gift for us, because of misplaced priorities. We must be sure to always keep our children in the forefront of our minds. No game, friends, trip, phone, gadget, person or any other thing should be able to hinder us from fulfilling our duties as Godly fathers. God has given the covenant to us and we must execute with care, diligence and discipline. Remember, Godly fathers provide protection, care and love for their children. It is always safe when daddy is home...

From My Eyes...

Hey guys! Hope everyone enjoyed Veteran's Day, well it's back at it!....

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Church Of God In Christ Annual Holy Convocation in St. Louis, MO. It was a last minute trip but definitely a much needed one. I just want to talk about some of the things I saw this year. For some reason, I was at a different vantage point this year, maybe it was because I didn't have my family with me, not exactly sure, but nevertheless, I saw some things differently.

First off, my heart was grieved, my spirit was vexed and my mind was troubled as I watched the sight of young people at the Convocation. Many of the young men walked around acting like little girls, with tight clothes on, switching and twitching. It disturbed me because I saw so many and they seemed so comfortable among the people of God. "WOW", became my statement for the weekend! Then I saw young women, who had some of the tightest clothes on, that I have ever witnessed in my life. They were showing cleavage, lower and upper thighs, and not to mention the shape of their behinds. I am all for the young women not dressing like "old grandma's" but my goodness, decency and respect for yourself should come into play at some point.  I wondered if these young men had stable fathers in the home, I wondered were they aware of their mannerisms and actions. Even my roommate asked at one point "I wonder do their moms know they are out here acting like this?" It was a sight to behold. As for the young women, I wondered if they lacked attention somewhere in their life, I wondered are they trying to get the attention of someone in particular, I wondered did they realize what they were advertising? I don't care how saved and holy you are, when a man, a real man sees that type of exposure from your body, his mind automatically reflects to something else, now if he is a godly man full of the Holy Ghost (much like myself), he is able to pull himself back from those thoughts, however if he is not, he enters a lustful state of mind.

Secondly, I saw another group of people at the Convocation. I call them the "movers and shakers" probably not for the reason you think though. I call them that because everywhere I saw them they were moving and shaking somebody's hand. Everywhere they went, they were trying to leave their indelible print in the minds of famous people, authority figures and church leaders. Their sole focus was trying to climb what I call "The COGIC Ladder of Success." Ascending to the leadership of our church through namedropping and keeping appearances. I wondered, did these people really know what it meant to be in leadership? Are they sure that there character can handle all of the scandal that comes with leadership? Have they been trained for leadership? Do they have the qualities needed to lead others? Do they have a genuine love and concern for people? That is one thing that I can truly say about my pastor, He has a true concern and love for people. It takes that kind of attitude and perspective to be able to lead people and gain their respect. I even heard statements like "Don't forget me doc" and "When you get elevated, be sure and promote me too!" Those statements worried me so, because I would rather have a spirit led appointment than a man-made appointment and also faithfulness does still count for something right? Not all the time do people have the background, money, or experience, but because of their faithfulness, they should receive something. 

Thirdly, I saw a dying church. Again, probably not in the way you are thinking, but let me explain. I saw a church that appeared to be doing well on the outside, with our designer clothes, money and good appearances but on the inside there were so many internal problems. The power of the Lord moved so strongly during the youth services on Friday Night and Saturday Morning. Praise God for President Dillard, Vice President Young and Chairlady Rodgers who allowed the Lord to use them mightily as God completely and utterly destroyed the program to do what he wanted to do, however as I looked out over the crowd, there were still so many who were sitting there looking. The Lord had me to walk around in both services and I just observed people as the Holy Ghost was moving and I saw so many young people and adults for that matter, still playing, talking, texting, tweeting, facebooking, some were even changing shoes, putting on make-up, fixing their hair and at one point eating. I was so amazed at how they sat nonchalantly as the move of God went forth. Something else I saw, was a young man really trying to breakthrough, but those that were working with him, were lacking the fortitude and power to help bring him to his deliverance. One of the old mothers got up and began working with him and he almost reached it, but Mother became tired and had to sit, yet those who were there all along didn't have enough spirit or power to pick up where she left off. 

Finally, overall the trip was good, I definitely received what I needed from the Lord, but my heart was still disturbed for those individuals who had another agenda. My prayer for this generation is for us to become that Psalms 24:6, the generation that seeks him! Until next time.....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Whose That Lady?

There are quite a few single fathers in this generation. Either from having children out of wedlock or divorce. This group of men is sometime rarely addressed and they too face issues and problems.

As my dad once told me "Once you taste apple pie, a regular apple just won't do!" In other words once you've been exposed to sex, that's what your flesh will call for. 

Single fathers, once you commit your way to God and become determined to live a pure and chaste life before God, you must eliminate all contacts, relationships and ungodly ties with those individuals who are not thinking the same way. If you continue to hang with those who are sexually active and those who constantly talk about it, it will only draw you back into that web of impurity. 

As a single father, your first and most important priority is your child! Finding a new wife or getting a new girlfriend is secondary to your child. Yes, I realize you are a man, and it is not good for you to be alone, but when you bring a new life into this world, that becomes your sole priority above all else. You should not leave the burden to the mother, simply because you two are not together anymore. Do not use that as a way to cause heartache for her, because that is immature and childish. Remember, you are a man now!

If and when you do start dating again, don't expose your children to multiple women. Don't let them see you being a player and always dating some new girl. That is not the image you want to display to your child. If you have a son, he will see that it's OK to have multiple partners and not commit and to your daughter you are saying, it's OK to have a man that dates other women. Be discreet! Use wisdom! Whoever you do decide to marry will have interaction with your children, and you want her to be someone who will love your children and treat them with respect.

As a single father, don't neglect your financial obligations to your child, to buy things to impress others, such as clothes, shoes and accessories. Instead use your money wisely and invest in your child's future. Women who are impressed only with your outer appearance, are vain and not the type of woman you want to hook up with or expose to your children. You want a woman who loves God most of all and who will help build you up and help you as a father, not one who will be concerned with clothes and impressing other. 

Lastly, as a single father, work with your children's mother. Although your relationship with her didn't work out, you still have to work together in raising this child. Don't make things difficult for her, especially when it comes to visitation and child support. Do your part! Be a Godly man! Don't give her any reason to speak negative against you as a father. And if she is not doing her part, don't you try to make her do it....you pray..........yes I said pray! Prayer can reach places in the heart that you didn't know existed and as the saying goes "Prayer changes things and people too!" Sometimes this seems like its not enough action, but trust me Prayer works!

Remember, the example you set for your children today, will be the actions they show tomorrow!

D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E Part 1

This is a subject not often talked about in the church anymore. Our modern times are not filled with basic teachings of the Bible for basic living. Topics such as marriage, parenting, finances (tithes), education, prayer, attending church, etc. are not preached or taught about. Most of the times we hear messages about "blessing plans" "get rich quick" but very rare do we hear basic fundamentals and principles. So with the help of God, I am going to attempt to be transparent and real with you about this. 

Discipline with children, is very necessary! The Bible says  " It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace. (Hebrews 12:11 CEV). Listen at the wisdom of this scripture! God is telling us that although it is not an enjoyable thing to be corrected, if we are we will do right and live at peace! Now who doesn't want their child to live right and be at peace? Discipline is what keeps children from going the wrong way.   As Godly fathers, we must discipline our children. Too often, do we put discipline off to the mothers, while we watch the game or hang out with the boys and leave all the discipline to them, however as Godly fathers, we must step up to the plate and discipline our children as well.

"If you love your children,you will correct them; if you don’t love them, you won’t correct them. (Proverbs 13:24 CEV)" It is just that simple, if you find yourself not disciplining your children, then you don't really love them! If you find yourself letting them  get away with doing wrong, then you don't really love them. True love sees you going the wrong way and wants to help you get back on course. True love does not pacify you in your wrong, but it gives you direction to the right path. 

Now for the big one "spankings," well lets see first what the word of God says Do not withhold discipline from a child;  if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod  and save them from death (Proverbs 23:13 - 14). Sounds simple enough to me! What we must understand as Godly fathers, is that we do not follow opinions, theories, or heresies...we follow God's Holy Word! We have to live by the word and obey the word! And if God's word says to spank them, then we must be obedient and spank them when they have done wrong! Now remember, your job is not to kill them, but to spank them, which is a physical form of correction for their wrong. Spanking is still God's way! Some mothers don't want the father's to spank the children, but father you have a mandate from God to discipline your children................Stay Tuned for Part 2

Copy Cat

The other day, my wife was downstairs in the kitchen I believe, and I was upstairs with my son. I started calling her name, ans she didn't respond, so I began to call louder, only to realize she had gone outside. Well, it wasn't a good two seconds later, that my son started calling her name! I wasn't aware that he was paying such close attention to what I was saying. It startled me at first, because I also didn't think that he could pronounce her name, but sure enough he was calling her name. After we laughed about it and moved on a couple of days later he started calling "mommy, mommy" and when she didn't respond, do you know what he did? he started calling her by her name again. I was astonished that he had remembered that! 

The next day, while riding to work, I really thought about it and it hit me....he was mimicking what I was doing......had I never yelled out her name, he would've never known it nor would he have used it! As Godly fathers, we must be careful of what we say and what we do...our children are very impressionable and the least little thing that you think they are not paying attention to, is the one that they are watching the most! 

Immediately, I began to think of some things, that I may have said before that I wouldn't want to hear him repeat and my prayer down the road quickly became "Lord guide my tongue that I only say those things that would please you, so that when my son hears them, he will be repeating Godly words." I never want to say anything around him, that would cause him to question my walk with God or my love for him. Furthermore, I was brought up in a home, where my parents didn't discuss adult matters around children(me) and I am always attempting to be watchful that I do the same. Some things children just don't need to know. They should be free to enjoy childhood and focus on what's important to them at that age...playing, school, cartoons, meeting reading goals and learning!

Also, I thought about the flip side of this.....I am God's child, and he is my father.....am I repeating what he is saying, which would be his word? Am I confessing his word over my life? Am I confident and believing when I confess it? When my son was calling my wife's name, he didn't do it with hesitation or reservation. He knew that if Daddy called Mommy by that name, than it was definitely her name. He never once questioned it or looked back at me as if to say "Are you sure that's her name?" He had confidence in what I said. As Godly fathers and husbands, we must have confidence in what God says about us and to us. Take God at his word!

The Balancing Act

 I am a preacher, husband, father, I work two jobs, attend church regularly and am very active in my church. This of course makes for a hectic schedule. Sometimes it seems as if I wake up, go to work, go straight to church and come home. It seems to be a never ending cycle, because of the demands of life. As a father and husband, I have to provide shelter, utilities and food for my family which dictates that I must work. In addition, God has placed a special call on my life to minister his word, which causes me to travel and work extensively in my church, on a local, district, state, regional and even national level. This is what I call "The Great Balancing Act." 

Being a father is a totally new idea for me, although I had a great father, who taught and showed me what a Godly father is, doing it myself, has definitely been a challenge in itself. I took it upon myself to become heavily involved in my newborn son's life. I refused to be the typical father, who let the mother do all the work, while I sat idly by. I made the choice to be an active part of his life from his birth. As a result, my son is very close to me. In fact, there aren't many places I go, whether they are preaching engagements or traveling for ministry that he doesn't attend also. Very rarely do I leave him home, and if I do, it is usually with my parents or a dear friend of mine, who I refer to as my sister. As a child, my parents never threw me off on just anyone, I typically stayed with the same people, which showed me consistency and left me feeling comfortable. So, in return I have tried to give my son that same type of environment. 

I admonish fathers, to be an active part of your child's life. If you are going somewhere, and they can go, take them with you! That is the only way they will be exposed to new places, ideas and things. I remember so well when I was 4 years old, my Dad took me with him to Memphis, TN to our National Holy Convocation. It was my first time traveling out of state. We rode with our cousin, Greg Horton in his little burgundy Toyota Camry. I remember us stopping at Bojangles and getting a plain biscuit with strawberry jelly. I remember going to sleep and waking up asking "Are we there yet?" I remember arriving early, early in the morning. I also remember the convention center. It seemed so big at that time! Do you see what I mean? My dad took me with him and look at all the memories I still carry. I was four years old and I am now 24 years old and I often reflect back on that trip. He didn't leave me behind, but he carried me with him. I hope you can see where I was trying to go with this one! 

Until next time, remember Godly Fathers Produce Godly Sons!

Being A Godly Father

Well, this is my first blog entry! I am so excited about taking this journey in writing my thoughts, concerns and expressions about being a Godly Father & Husband. 

First off, let me say to every young man that is a father...be proud to be a father! That is one of the greatest gifts you can have as a man, to have the opportunity to sow and pour into another human being who may one day be the next greatest man or woman in our country!

Being a Godly father, first requires you to be a Godly man. To be Godly simply means to be God-like. My pastor (Bishop Leroy J. Woolard) always tells us that God is our greatest example of Godly fatherhood. Look at the sacrifices he made, look at what he gave up for us, who were not his "biological" children, but as the Apostle Paul told us in Galatians 4:5 "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." He adopted us in through grace, and we have the same benefits as natural children. And at the same time, with his grace and mercy, he chastises us and holds us accountable for our own actions. You yourself may not have had a Godly example of fatherhood, but pick up your Bible, read the scriptures, take time to study them and you will see how to be a Godly father to you own children.

As Godly fathers, we must be sure to raise our children according to the scriptures. We cannot deviate off into some beaten contemporary path of society to conform to their ideals of what fatherhood is, but we must do as the Apostle Paul instructed us in 2 Timothy 1:13 "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." In this ever changing, ever evolving society, we must stick with the Godly traditions and instructions of the Bible for child rearing.

I often think about, when the Judgement day of Christ shall come and I have to give an account for my stewardship (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:12), I do not want God to look at me and say, yes you preached my word, you operated in the gifts I gave you, but you didn't raise your children according to my standards, so depart from me.....In the words of the youth of today "that would be so messed up!" To have done everything else right, but that!

Being a parent is a great responsibility and unfortunately if you do not want to be one, it is not something you can reverse. Once the child is born, the child is born! The responsibility is now on you to do your part, not just as a father, but as a Godly father!