Monthly Archives: August 2018

Completely Obedient

This past week we had our men’s Bible study from Genesis 22.  I wanted to share with you the lesson that I learned from this passage.

This is the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac by God.  Abraham finally got the son he had asked for.  Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90!  Talk about waiting till the last minute for a great gift!

So the most precious gift that God could give Abraham was in the form of this son Isaac.  Not cattle, not land, not money or fame – no the most precious gift was a son.

So one day God asks Abraham to sacrifice this precious non-renewable gift in his son.  I have one son in Austin, and I tell you – I would struggle greatly if I was asked to sacrifice my precious gift.  I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Abraham’s mind.

But Abraham was obedient, and got up early the next morning and let out with the sacrifice – his son.  They made their way to the place where God led them to and built an altar.  In obedience Abraham laid Isaac on the altar and was about to kill him when God intervened and provided a ram for an acceptable sacrifice.  Abraham did not stop in obedience – God stopped him after his obedience.

The lessons I learned this week from this passage are these:

  1. More important than the sacrifice God just wants me.  I have things to sacrifice and give to God (money and talents), but the real deal is those things are already His.  I am His also, but that is what He really wants (time).  Just like how I want my son spending time with me – that is what my Heavenly Father wants from me.  Spend time with Him.             I have been listening to a song that really brings this into focus.  Listen to CT and Becky Townsend sing “When I Lay My Isaac Down”.
  2. I got to thinking about what obstacles are keeping me from spending time with Him daily?  Work, wife, family, TV, yard work, selfish desires and social media.  All of these can be good things in my life, but they also play a hand in keeping me from giving Jesus the #1 slot in my life.  I have to focus on Jesus 1st thing in the morning, and the last thing at night.
  3. What is it that God really wants from me?  I believe He wants me to simply…
    • Read my Bible daily asking what Jesus wants to say to me
    • Pray asking what Jesus wants me to do today
    • Go out in my day and be obedient to what He has told me
    • Sleep – repeat the next day

When you read Genesis 22 – what does God say to you?

 

Look Again to Understand Better

Sometimes in life we may look at something and might not understand it’s importance or value.  Sometimes we need to look at that thing again to better understand.

Take my old hat.  (no don’t really)  But you probably wouldn’t want it anyway.  Just at first glance at my hat you would see that it is just a worn out old hat that doesn’t have much value.  And you would be right, but let me help you look at it so to better understand why it means so much to me.

You see this old hat was given to me at a trade show.  A freebie!  Probably had to listen to a sales pitch at the time, but for the most part it was free.  I brought it home and would mow with it occasionally.  Then I took a mission trip to Guatemala and decided to hand sew the John 3:16 tab over the original logo.  So as to “look” like a Christian.  That’s what we do on our first mission trips – at least I did.  So the hat made three trips to Guatemala and one trip to Montana.  It has been on several hikes and been my shield on during many blackberry picking adventures!  And yes still tries to keep the red neck out of me when mowing (but that is a whole nother story).

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So you may not appreciate my hat any better, but by looking at it differently you see that it means a lot to me.

We all have items, keepsakes, family and friends that mean a lot to us, but even they can surprise us sometimes when we look at them differently.

This brings me to my daughter Danielle.  When Cindy and I married in 1996 Danielle was 5 years old.  Her birth father was never really part of her life after that, so I got to do all the good things with her growing up

I participated in the PTA in elementary school.  I was a youth leader of her youth group at church.  And I just generally watched her grow into a fine young woman.  I consider her my girl – and I just know her.  I thought….

After her senior year in college she went with me on a business trip to Maine.  When I wasn’t working we spent a great week looking for great places to eat lobster and drink coffee.  We went exploring for water falls and perfect ocean views.  We even rode bikes on the beach (for just a short time – but ask her to tell you that story).fullsizeoutput_7d

What I found out about Danielle on that trip was about her big girl decision making.  I found out what really makes her tick by letting her make some of the decisions on what we would do every day.  I was able to look at her in a different way to better understand her that week.

Then she came home with “the” man.  Well she actually picked a good one I have to say (hope he doesn’t read this and get the big head).  Tommy and Danielle were married in June and were good for each other.  They compliment each other, and strive toward the same goals.  Then around Thanksgiving they shared that they were expecting a baby!

So I thought I knew Danielle and I am learning Tommy, but during the delivery of our little grand baby I saw something in both of them that helped me understand them better as a couple and parents.IMG_0028

In Danielle through the labor pains I saw two characteristics that made me proud: Toughness and Determination.  Danielle went through a lot of pain during the process.  She took it so well.  I was surprised and comforted to see how tough she was.  I also saw that she was so determined to not take any medication to help with the labor – she wanted it all natural.  She had already made that decision, and she was sticking with it!

In Tommy I saw a couple positive characteristics after his nervousness wore off: Encouragement and Coaching.  He was consoling during the early parts of labor.  Always telling Danielle what a good job she was doing, keeping her calm and was attentive to her needs.  Then when the pushing got tough he turned on his inner coach!  He remembered what they had learned in preparation and knew what he need to do to get her through the last stages.

Then on 7:38pm on that July day Adelyn Grace was born into this world!  I think she was the prettiest baby I have seen since Austin came into the world!

She is a good baby.  She eats good, sleeps good and man can she poop good!  Cindy and I are both looking forward to seeing her grow and become all that God has designed her to be!

And I just know that one of these days she is going to look up at me with those beautiful eyes and say “Granddad, why do you wear that old worn out hat?”

And I’ll say, “let me help you look at it so you can understand it better”.

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