Funk, Depression, Not just myself

There is always hope through Love

Dear Legacy Dad (and all of our readers),

thanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving to all of you!  Lance and I would like to wish you the best of Holiday on remembering all the things that you are thankful for.  We are thankful for all of you and for your desire and commitment to grow and be a legacy dad (and family).

Philippians 4:6-9New International Version (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Tell Your Story

Share the Gospel Always

whats-your-story-4I gave my life to Jesus Christ on November 7, 1976 in a fundamental, independent Baptist Church.  The pastor was a humble and intelligent man named Reverend Donald G. Humbert.  He was a godly man who believed in the Bible word for word.  I grew up Catholic, meaning I grew up in a tradition and religion rather than a genuine faith and friendship with our Creator.  That is, to say, that I was not connected to God’s word, His truth, nor did I have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  My sister started attending this church and eventually got my mom and I to start attending this church.  After several months, I remember one Sunday evening (11/7/1976) that I was so convicted by the Holy Spirit that I stood up during the “alter call” and gave my life to the Lord.

I cannot tell you that I always followed the road to biblical discipleship (read more:  Here), but the Lord never gave up on me even at my most darkest of times.  During my late adaloscent years and even into my early teens I was on fire for the Lord.  I was President of my youth group and CEO of our high school ministry.  I loved the Lord with every part of my being.  And then I met high school football and the like and turned away from God and toward earthly idols.  My youth Pastor, and my friend, noticed a dramatic change and wrote me a letter about this (I still have this today) and called me out (or tried to) in being raw and honest with his walk.  I really always love and respect that man for his truth in love.  As a result, I walked away from my relationship with God for over a decade (again see the post above).  It was not until I went to a friend’s wedding and met his wife’s best friend did my life begin to change.

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BE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

(looking at social media through the lens of true biblical Christianity)

If you are an American, like me, then unless you are completely off the grid then you have been drastically affected by social media like myself.  That is, to say, both mentally and physically this has been a really exhausting poltical year.  I have to say in this Presidential election neither candidate would have made my top 20 list of who I would vote for.  As a matter of fact, given the political climate and social barometer there weren’t too many that would have made the list in the first place.

In either case, we the American people, had to choose to 1) vote for either candidate, 2) vote for neither and pick a 3rd party that has no chance of winning (which was a vote for the incumbant candidate) or 3) choose not to vote giving up our right and privilege to vote.    Either way, you had to make one of these choices, however, if you choose options #3, then shame on you if you are one of these protesters or internet haters (in my opinion, you shouldn’t be allowed to have the right a privileges as an American citizen – just my opinion).

Okay, now enough about me and my opinion on the 2016 Election.

Here is an article about posting on Social Media from the Gospel Coalition:

1. Will it edify? Or significantly inform a useful conversation? (Mark 12:29–31; 1 Cor. 14:26)

Think of what will edify others. All we do is in obedience to the command to love God and others. How will it increase their knowledge, faith, or love? Am I accurately representing positions you disagree with? Am I sure of my facts? Trivialities hopefully fill up our lives less than they do so much of the Internet.

As John Piper has said, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove on the Last Day that our prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” He’s right.

2. Will it be easily misunderstood? (John 13:7; 16:12)

The privacy of a personal conversation limits misunderstanding. Some public posts will sound one way to those who know us and another to those who don’t. Negative assessments are often best shared privately, or not at all. How many of us have learned at our workplace that e-mail is a terrible way to share negative comments? When it comes to public postings, ask yourself: Are there reasons I may not be a good person to speak on certain matters?

3. Will it reach the right audience? (Mark 4:9)

If you’re correcting someone, should the audience be wide—or more narrow? Is that audience correctable? When you use social media, consider who’s listening. What if everyone in your church eavesdropped on your conversations today? Yet we do this all the time online.

4. Will it help my evangelism? (Col. 1:28–29)

Is what you’re about to say going to help or hinder those you’re evangelizing? Is it likely to diminish the significance (to them) of your commitment to the gospel, or enhance it?

5. Will it bring about unnecessary and unhelpful controversy? (Titus 3:9)

Think carefully about controversy. The line between the vigorous exchange of ideas and a kind of social war is sometimes thinner than we think. What’s this particular controversy to which I’d be contributing good for? Might it be unhelpful? How much time will it take up? Is this an unavoidable primary issue, or a matter about which disagreement is fairly unimportant? Will this controversy play into any other division that threatens the unity of my local church?

6. Will it embarrass or offend? (1 Cor. 12:21–26)

Will anyone be embarrassed or offended by what you’re saying? I understand that the mere fact something is offensive doesn’t mean saying it is wrong, but we must be sure it’s worth it.

7. Will it convey care? (1 Cor. 12:21–26)

Will those mainly concerned appreciate your motives? Privacy in communication conveys care, an honoring of the person receiving the information. You like the fact that your doctor’s report is private, but you don’t mind that the store’s sale is advertised. If someone would rather be addressed in person, why not do that?

8. Will it make people better appreciate someone else? (1 Cor. 12:21–26)

Point out God’s grace in the lives, ministries, and arguments of others. Highlighting something that will build esteem for someone else glorifies God and encourages others to see his work in them.

9. Is it boasting? (Prov. 27:2)

Does what you communicate online draw attention to yourself more than your topic? How could that be spiritually harmful? Will it leave people with a more accurate understanding of yourself? Are you simply being tempted to draw attention to what you know? When was the last time you encouraged others by sharing something embarrassing or even sinful about yourself?

10. Is the tone appropriate? (2 John 1, 12; Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29; 2 Tim. 2:24–25)

Will people understand and be encouraged in the truth you communicate? How important is the tone to your message being rightly received? Is it evidently kind, patient, and gentle? The literal tone of your voice and the look on your face fill out so much of what you mean. In a personal conversation, you can more quickly understand that something needs clarifying. The Internet doesn’t sanctify anger or frustration.

11. Is it wrong to say nothing? (Rom. 1:14)

Do you have an opportunity or even a responsibility to communicate something? Some of you do this for your job. Have you established a “relationship” with readers, friends, and followers online that would expect you to comment on a particular issue or situation? Our freedom of speech is a wonderful stewardship. Use it well and responsibly.

12. What do others advise? (Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6)

When you’re about to communicate something provocative, do you have good sounding-boards to help you estimate the response? Do you take the time to consider before you publish? Speed of response is both an ability of the Internet and a temptation to speak too quickly (contra James 1:19; Prov. 10:19; 14:29; 16:32; 17:27). Remember, you will give an account for every word you type (Matt. 12:36). Does saying things at a “safe distance” from people tempt us to say things we wouldn’t say in person?

Perhaps you could write down these questions and ask a friend to look over your social media feeds with them in mind. Or, even ask someone you know disagrees with you on an issue you’ve posted about and see what they say.


 

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” (Frank Outlaw)

 

Blessings,
Dante

 

 

Always Prepared

List of items and brands we use:

Ultralight Tent – Sierra Designs

Backpacks – Deuter, Lowe Alpine, Tactical Tailor

Sleeping Bags – Kelty, Marmot

Sleeping Pads/Pillows – Exped, Nemo

Camp Stove – MSR, Soto, Snow Peak

Water Purification – Katadyn

Cooking Sets/Utensils – GSI Outdooors

Medical – Adventure Medical Kits

Base Layer Clothing – Polartec Silkweight

Clothing – Kuhl, Mountain Hardwear, Prana, Five Brothers, TruSpec, Vertx

Jackets – Mountain Hardwear

Rain Gear – Gen III ECWCS Level 6 , Outdoor Research

Boots – Asolo

Knives – Gerber, SOG, Benchmade

Handsaw – Bahco, Silky

Hatchet – Schrade

 

I hope you guys enjoyed our little adventure, and don’t mind this off-topic post!

-Lance

Discipleship

A legacy dad approach

dareAs you have read many posts and listened to both Lance and I blog about various topics ranging from modern day issues to relational topics through a biblical lens, we hope that you realize our heart is that you grow in your faith, strengthen your walks (and relationships) and be able to call God your true friend.  All that being said, leads me to this post in building true discipleship in your life.

Job 28:28 “The fear of the Lord –that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding”. 1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

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My body is a temple

1 Corinthians 6:12-20English Standard Version (ESV)

Flee Sexual Immorality
photogrid_140581942836912 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined[a] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[b] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

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What is God’s will for my life

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Dear Legacy Dads,

understanding-gods-will-for-our-lives-custom-672x372I want to apologize to all of you for being absent these past several weeks.  As life would have it, my father passed away at the end of September and we have been in all out take care of family and finalize details for his burial and add to that fall break vacation with the wife and kids.

This is a bitterly sweet moment for me in that my dad is no longer in pain, no longer suffering and with Jesus and my mom.  The bitter part is that I don’t get to see him or talk to him until I see him in Heaven.

All this being said, brings me to this blog post, “What is God’s will for my life?”

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10 Books That Changed My Life

I’ve read and listened to hundreds of books over the years, some better than others.  Some are written like a thesis paper and are hard to get through and others are written in a common vernacular that seems to speak like a wise friend giving advice.  While many of the books I’ve read have provided insight, learning, and growth – I tried to narrow a list down to ten books that I know have had a profound impact on my life (besides the Bible of course.)

10 Books

Some of these were just timing, the age I was at or the season of life I was in, while others have proven to be timeless classics that I often re-read.  It was difficult to narrow the list down to ten but these are the ten, for me personally, that influenced me at various times in my life.  They are listed in no particular order.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

I was blessed to be able to attend a conference by John Maxwell on this book back in 1999.  I was in my mid 20’s then and just starting to take on real leadership roles.  Maxwell uses these 21 “Laws” to illustrate attributes of successful leaders.  Maxwell helps the reader understand that leadership is a privilege and should be used to help others, build teams, and advance the organizational goals. Maxwell uses the idea of Servant Leadership, casting a vision, and influencing others to follow you not because of your position or title but because they believe in you as a leader and the cause you are working towards. Now, I often give this book to leaders as they start out in life or when starting a new venture.

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

People either love this book or hate it.  Manning was a former Franciscan Priest turned alcoholic who very openly and transparently explains his discover of God’s redeeming Grace.  Manning rejects the idea of earning salvation or Christians who try to grade others by a list of Do’s and Don’ts.  He uses powerful literary illustrations to show the reader our own personal biases and paints the picture that Christ died for all of us, even those we may detest.  Coming from a conservative Christian or Catholic background, this book opens the reader up to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrine that we are saved by grace, through faith alone.  “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” 

Twelve Ordinary Men by John F. MacArthur

On my bookshelf, I have an original copy of the 1871 book The Training of the Twelve which is one of the most in-depth books on how Christ discipled His chosen 12. Twelve Ordinary Men was originally a sermon series by MacArthur that finally became a book. This is probably the most in-depth study of the 12 original apostles of Christ taken from Scripture and known church history, to include their final fates. This book truly illustrated to me how Christ chose (and still chooses) ordinary people to fulfill His mission.  Christ did not choose religious scholars but men from varying backgrounds and even some with questionable pasts, to ultimately lead his Church after he was gone.  Not only is this a great historical account of the apostles, but it may also spark a fire in you that God can use you right now, where you are, to fulfill His Great Commission.

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri Nouwen

This book was given to me by a Chaplain as I prepared to go to combat for the 4th time. I was initially skeptical as Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest but within the first few pages, I realized that this book not only had solid theology, but was a lifetime of wisdom and obedience wrapped up in an easy to read few hundred pages.  Nouwen touches on Christian community, accountability, and realizing our limitations and boundaries.  In the ultimate act of a servant of God, Nouwen left a prestigious position at Harvard and ended up ministering to a handful of mentally challenged individuals. He left prestige for obedience. This book is for those who are still searching, still wanting to grow and mature in the faith.  However, if you tend to compartmentalize your faith and not live it out openly on a daily basis, this book will be difficult for you.  However, if you are ready to get a healthy dose of what sanctification truly looks like, read this book a few times through and soak up the wisdom.

Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

I’ve read countless books on marriage, been to many marriage retreats, and even attended marriage counseling during some rough patches in the early years of my marriage. However, Love and Respect was when the idea of unconditional love finally sank into my thick skull.  Although we don’t want to admit it, often times we hold back in our marriages, we keep a count of the times we were wronged by our spouse, and we argue with our spouse to win the debate rather than trying to seek understanding and maintain the peace. This books taught me that no matter what my spouse does, my job is to love and support her unconditionally, with 100% of my effort, at all times. Even if my needs are not being met, even if she is not intimate with me, even if she is mean or disrespectfully to me – I will love her and show her my love every single day.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Most Christians have read this classic apologetic on the Christian faith.  While John Stott, N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, and Wayne Grudem have probably provided a more elaborate and in-depth examination of the Christian faith, Lewis is still a master at rhetorical argument for and depiction of the Christian faith. Lewis asserted that he was not a theologian, although he was trained in philosophy, therefore Mere Christianity reads as a “common persons” thoughts on faith. It’s not going to convince the skeptic to jump on the Christian ship, but instead lays out the basic tenants of the Christian faith in easily understandable terms.

The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley

In the Spring of 2000, I saw this book on a display at a local bookstore. Being young and thinking that money will solve all my problems and make me happy, I bought the book hoping to learn the unknown secrets of millionaires. Instead, I was introduced to Stanley’s research and interviews with “real millionaires” (not people who buy expensive cars and big houses on credit to look wealthy) but people with 7-8 figures or more in semi-liquid assets. What I learned from this book is that the average million doesn’t “make it rain”, vacation on exotic, private islands nor did they go to Ivy League schools. The average millionaire lives below their means, buys quality or second hand, and invests their income in their own businesses or assets that put money in their pockets.  They are normally B and C students with a strong work ethic, high integrity, but they are willing to take calculated risks like starting their own business.  Stanley’s research in this book will flip your ideas (and hopefully your habits) into what it takes to actually become a real millionaire.

The Christ Files by John Dickson

As a former atheist, I really loved this book. The Christ Files goes a step further than Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ by illustrating the peer-reviewed academic, scientific, and anthropological evidence for the New Testament and Jesus Christ.  What I love is that Dickson draws his research from unbiased historians who have little interest in debunking or defending Christ or Christianity. These researchers are interested in historical accuracy and treat the writings of the New Testament as they would any other historical documents. Dickson also explains some of the tools historians use when authenticating historical documents such as coherence, dissimilarity, and multiple attestation.  Dickson covers dating the Gospels and the New Testament, the accuracy of oral tradition in anthropology, why the Gnostic gospels and other early church writings were not included in the final Canon. Dickson also introduces other historical writings of the time, outside of Christianity, that write and speak of Jesus and his following.  This book is a great primer for historical accuracy and authenticity of the Bible.

Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

I discovered this book when my kids were almost school age, after reading it, the book changed my entire parenting philosophy.  Kimmel highlights two popular extremes in parenting—legalism and permissiveness.  Kimmel also discusses many popular parenting fads – micromanaging children’s lives, focusing too much on academics and sports – and teaches readers about the three driving inner needs of every child, how to develop character in children, and how our parenting practices need to be Biblically balanced between truth and grace. Grace Based Parenting uses the example of Jesus and how He discipled others as the primer for this parenting philosophy.  Grace Based Parenting focuses on an overall parenting philosophy not necessarily a step-by-step formula.  I highly recommend parents combine this book with Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp and Parenting by Paul David Tripp for a well rounded parenting strategy.

If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg

I read this book while I was in Europe in 2006 and it uses the story of Peter walking on the water with Christ to illustrate how God can use us if we trust in Him and get outside of our comfort zones. Far too often Christians “stay in the boat” and play it safe in life rather than answering the call to advance God’s Kingdom and fulfill the Great Commission. God has repeatedly asks ordinary people to engage in acts of extraordinary trust for the glory of His Kingdom, this is getting out of the boat and walking towards Jesus. This book highlights that you don’t always need to have all the answers or need to have a 5 year plan in place, often we need just enough faith to walk towards Jesus. Ortberg notes that the water was scary, getting out of the boat took courage and faith but the water is where Jesus is and Peter was the only one who walked with Christ on the water. Jesus is waiting to meet you in ways that will change your life forever, deepening your character and your trust in God…You just have to get out of your boat.