The Father I Didn’t Know

SCAN0002_002_2My father died of a heart attack one month before I was born. Although my mother was an amazing woman and raised me the best she could as a single parent, I never had a male role model around me as I grew up.

My father wasn’t there to teach me to throw a ball, fix my bike, or change the oil in my first car. I didn’t have a daily example of how a man lives, works, and treats his wife and family. Although I longed for it, I never heard the words “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” from a man I called Dad.

Over the years, I’ve met many men who despite having a father physically – lacked a father emotionally. They too never heard the words “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” from the man they called Dad.

When I became a father myself, I vowed to be the man in my kids life that I never had. Although I had idea what this looked liked – I read, reflected, lived, and learned. I led them spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I treated my wife the way I wanted my mom to be treated. I taught them all the things I had to learn the hard way and disciplined them to put others first, stand up for those in need, and unconditionally love others.

In some ways, I’m still searching for my own fathers love and approval. My life and Legacy Dad is a journey and exploration of becoming what I never had and although I will never hear these words on earth, I hope that one day I will hear the words “I love you, I’m proud of you, Well done good and faithful servant!” not only from my own father but from our Heavenly Father.

I love you dad and I hope I make you proud!

Happy Fathers Day

  • Lance

Email Spam

Greetings Readers – This morning, I noticed a large amount of SPAM emails being sent from one of our Legacy Dad email accounts.  First, if you are a subscriber to Legacy Dad, I assure you that your email has not been compromised.  Second, if you get an email from Legacy Dad that reeks of SPAM or advertising, please know this is NOT from us. Delete the email and DO NOT click on any links.  This is apparently an “email spoof” which we cannot control, however most spam filters have caught these emails and deleted them.  We apologize for this issue.

SPAM

Which path to follow

As for me and my house...

20130121_crossoffenseMatthew 24:12-13 (NIV) 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Proverbs 4:26-27 (NIV) 26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

To be a legacy dad and a follower of Jesus Christ, your life will bear the fruit of the Spirit no matter what.  As an Elder of my church and the men’s ministry leader I can honestly tell you that you can look at Christians and know them by their fruit, which is not to say that we will know whether or not that they are saved by Jesus Christ as that privilege will only be known between God and them.  The fruit of the Spirit, though, cannot help but overflow from that person’s life if they truly are saved.

There is a transformation, a change, a repentance to go the other way.  That person is no longer guided by self-indulgence, rather, they feel the presence of the Holy Spirit who guides them in which way to go.  Does this mean that we will always get it right?  Of course not!  Does this mean that we will stop sinning and making mistakes?  Of course not!  The one thing that will be is their fruit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

When you get to be as old as I am (48 and counting) you can be honest with yourself and say that the Word of God (the Gospel) does offend!  The Gospel tells us that Jesus is the only way.  When you read the Bible (honestly read, and study and meditate) then you will come upon three expressions to your spirit and walk with God:  1) The Word will reveal truth and encouragement and the path that you are taking and you will feel a WOW moment and know that you are on the right path and that you are not grieving the Holy Spirit.  2) When you read, like me, and come across a key verse or passage and are immediately convicted by the Spirit and have un-confessed sin and/or are angry with a brother or sister you are left with a feeling of WHOA, then you know that the Spirit is guiding you in the way that God wants you to go.  3) When you are reading, studying and reflecting on the word and you are immediately given the feeling of WOE and you know that your life is completely out-of-bounds and out of God’s will for your life, then you are given two choices:  A) Continue to wallow and sin or B) Repent.  Turn.  Go the opposite way and ask for God’s forgiveness.

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5 Traits Every Leader Must Have

I recently had the privilege of sitting on a Leadership Discussion Panel with other leaders from all different industries, backgrounds, and organizations.  One college student posed the question “What Characteristics or Qualities Should Every Leader Possess?”  The answers that were given cannot be learned in a textbook or prestigious MBA program, they are learned over years working in the trenches – filled with both trials and errors.

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1.Integrity – Leadership is influence and influence must be earned and given.  You don’t earn trust with people by being dishonest. People today are marketed to more than any other time in history and because of this, we can tell authenticity from a sales pitch, transparency from rapport building.  In the past, leaders could get away with being one person in public and another in private, but today with social media and instant news access – you have to live congruent to your values.  If someone is willing to cut corners with the little things, they will do it again on bigger issues.  Integrity is what you do and the decisions you make, even when no one is watching.

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We will remember

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."

 

Mr. President, General, the distinguished guests here with us today, my fellow citizens:

In America’s cities and towns today, flags will be placed on graves in cemeteries; public officials will speak of the sacrifice and the valor of those whose memory we honor.

In 1863, when he dedicated a small cemetery in Pennsylvania marking a terrible collision between the armies of North and South, Abraham Lincoln noted the swift obscurity of such speeches. Well, we know now that Lincoln was wrong about that particular occasion. His remarks commemorating those who gave their “last full measure of devotion” were long remembered. But since that moment at Gettysburg, few other such addresses have become part of our national heritage—not because of the inadequacy of the speakers, but because of the inadequacy of words.

I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.

Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.

It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. War will not come again, other young men will not have to die, if we will speak honestly of the dangers that confront us and remain strong enough to meet those dangers.

It’s not just strength or courage that we need, but understanding and a measure of wisdom as well. We must understand enough about our world to see the value of our alliances. We must be wise enough about ourselves to listen to our allies, to work with them, to build and strengthen the bonds between us.

Our understanding must also extend to potential adversaries. We must strive to speak of them not belligerently, but firmly and frankly. And that’s why we must never fail to note, as frequently as necessary, the wide gulf between our codes of morality. And that’s why we must never hesitate to acknowledge the irrefutable difference between our view of man as master of the state and their view of man as servant of the state. Nor must we ever underestimate the seriousness of their aspirations to global expansion. The risk is the very freedom that has been so dearly won.

It is this honesty of mind that can open paths to peace, that can lead to fruitful negotiation, that can build a foundation upon which treaties between our nations can stand and last—treaties that can someday bring about a reduction in the terrible arms of destruction, arms that threaten us with war even more terrible than those that have taken the lives of the Americans we honor today.

In the quest for peace, the United States has proposed to the Soviet Union that we reduce the threat of nuclear weapons by negotiating a stable balance at far lower levels of strategic forces. This is a fitting occasion to announce that START, as we call it, strategic arms reductions, that the negotiations between our country and the Soviet Union will begin on the 29th of June.

As for existing strategic arms agreements, we will refrain from actions which undercut them so long as the Soviet Union shows equal restraint. With good will and dedication on both sides, I pray that we will achieve a safer world.

Our goal is peace. We can gain that peace by strengthening our alliances, by speaking candidly of the dangers before us, by assuring potential adversaries of our seriousness, by actively pursuing every chance of honest and fruitful negotiation.

It is with these goals in mind that I will depart Wednesday for Europe, and it’s altogether fitting that we have this moment to reflect on the price of freedom and those who have so willingly paid it. For however important the matters of state before us this next week, they must not disturb the solemnity of this occasion. Nor must they dilute our sense of reverence and the silent gratitude we hold for those who are buried here.

The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery. One gets that feeling here on this hallowed ground, and I have known that same poignant feeling as I looked out across the rows of white crosses and Stars of David in Europe, in the Philippines, and the military cemeteries here in our own land. Each one marks the resting place of an American hero and, in my lifetime, the heroes of World War I, the Doughboys, the GI’s of World War II or Korea or Vietnam. They span several generations of young Americans, all different and yet all alike, like the markers above their resting places, all alike in a truly meaningful way.

Winston Churchill said of those he knew in World War II they seemed to be the only young men who could laugh and fight at the same time. A great general in that war called them our secret weapon, “just the best darn kids in the world.” Each died for a cause he considered more important than his own life. Well, they didn’t volunteer to die; they volunteered to defend values for which men have always been willing to die if need be, the values which make up what we call civilization. And how they must have wished, in all the ugliness that war brings, that no other generation of young men to follow would have to undergo that same experience.

As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice. [ See APP Note below. ]

Earlier today, with the music that we have heard and that of our National Anthem—I can’t claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don’t know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: Does that flag still wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? That is what we must all ask.
Thank you.

  • Remarks at Memorial Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery
    May 31, 1982 (by President Ronald Reagan)

Thank you all for serving against tyranny and evil men!  Thank you for knowing the cost and being willing to pay it!

Blessings to all who have served and continue to serve this Memorial Day!

The power of Words

Words that strike chords amongst us all

If I were to say a few words to you, without reacting, be honest with yourself and tell yourself out loud what emotions they initiate:

  • Anger
  • Overwhelmed
  • SuccessfulWords
  • Accountable
  • Reasonable
  • Spiritual
  • Bad
  • Moral
  • Realistic
  • Good
  • Should’ve
  • Forgiveness

Raw emotions when unchecked can cause a lot of pain for some, reactions from others and even some extreme outbursts from a few.  If we were to be completely honest about this, then we would have said (aloud) that some, if not all, these words either had us thinking about something very emotional in our life or about someone else who caused a response in this.

Lance put this quote on his Facebook post that sparked this blog post from me: “When it comes to conflict, hurt and resentment, it is the one who has been wronged who has all the power, not the one who does the wrong. And our power comes in the form of forgiveness. When we forgive, we liberate ourselves to live the life God has given us.”

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The Church Millennial’s Want To Attend

Like it or not, the Millennial Generation is the future of God’s Church.  The good news is that they are passionate, socially active, engaged, and ready to fight poverty, human trafficking, and social injustice.

The bad news is that they are not seeing the local church in America as a place for them to engage in these areas nor do they see the Church leading the way and bearing Fruit in being Christ-like.

millen

‘We want more than a ‘lecture’ on Sunday and a group of people to sing songs and hold hands with. We want to be active and engaged in the world around us.’

For many years now, the local church has catered to the Baby Boomer population. Our methodology – the way we do worship, small groups, even the lighting and how our church buildings are set up – have largely been to please the Boomers. The reality, however, is that the Boomer population is aging and the church has already alienated many in Generation X.

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Words…

part 2

colossiansOne day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. 

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