Good Friday is Good because Sunday is coming!!!

Isaiah 53English Standard Version (ESV)

53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a] And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men, a man of sorrows[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f] he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;[g] when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j] and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[k] because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. 

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What really matters?

A story of two men.  One man who lacked nothing and another man who had to work for everything.  The Rich Man for all intents and purposes was all that the world would define as successful.  His retirement account was fully funded  at the age of 30 had 8 zeroes attached to it and his kids and grand kids (future children) and wife were fully funded as well.  He drove an Audi, a Porsche and a Range Rover along with an Indian Motor-cycle.  He had a condo in Vail, Colorado, a summer home in the Hampton’s and a Penthouse in Chicago.  Everything that he touched whether good or bad seemed to always work out in his favor.  There was even one year where he had a bad year in investing in the stock market and bought property instead only to find out that he bought the bottom of the real estate market and doubled his investment in less than one year.  His parents were divorced as their parents were divorced as well.  He was a trust fund kid and never really appreciated anything that he earned or was given.  This man was very agnostic.  He knew that there was some superior being, because to say that there wasn’t would be foolish.  But he lacked any positive legacy in faith and or mentoring in the way that God would call us to do so.

The other man had a decent job by worldly standards.  He wasn’t rich, by US standards, but he wasn’t poor either.  If you were to mark him down based on income tax he would fall in the upper middle-class.  He had a wife and three kids and a family that he looked forward to getting home to every day.  He was by far not the smartest nor was he the dumbest.  He was average to above average in all that he did.  The difference is that he had to work hard for everything.  His dad instilled in him a work ethic that could be rivaled by few.  His mom gave him the importance of relationships and to treat the least of these with the utmost respect whether they deserved it or not.  His mom had a faith that was unending and yet realistic to know that she was a sinner that was in constant need of God’s grace and forgiveness.  This man’s relationship with God was the knowledge of Jesus Christ as his Savior, but to say that he was truly a friend of Jesus would be a stretch. That is, until a men’s conference that challenged the very core of his being.  One speaker in particular asked him what legacy would his life leave?  That question haunted him and the other 40 men that went to this conference.  Ten of the men (including this man) pledged to take this further, to be real with each other and to confess their sins together.  They were not going to do fluff or pat each other on the back, but they were going to get real and get accountability and to start a regular men’s group at their church.  So that very night six months before his big work trip came about these ten men confessed to each other.

All of these 10 men did not hold back nor hide anything.  One shared some infidelity, six shared pornography, one shared anger and two shared addictions.  All shared that they loved Jesus and they no longer wanted to just follow him, they all wanted to befriend Him and be His disciples.  So the journey began.

Six months later these two men, unbeknownst to them, met on their way to South America.  As God would have it, their paths crossed on first class.  The Rich man always flew first-class, but the other man was traveling for work and both of these men were going to somewhere in South America.  Both flew 11 hours to their destinations and both coincidentally sat next to each other on the flight down.  Out came the nuts, and the drinks and the dinner and dessert.  They both sat next to each other and both started a conversation about life and what really matters.  The man (who was in his 40’s) respected the Rich young man because he was both astute and very well-educated.  Even though he exuded money and privilege, he didn’t flaunt it in public, which was contradictory to what was written earlier about him.

The Rich young man envied this other man because something was different from any other man that he met or chatted with on long flights.  This man had contentment in a way that surprised this Rich young man.  He loved his family and he could tell there was something different so he asked.  And Faith was the topic of the remaining few hours and couple of glasses of red wine.  They talked about faith, about religion, and about this man’s faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ.  At one point, the Rich Young Man asked if the other man was trying to convert him.  Of which, nothing was said either way, just what this men’s group and God’s word was doing in his life.  The conversation was riveting and neither man slept through this flight as both were intrigued by the other’s lifestyle.

As they landed, both were shocked to find that they were staying at the same South American hotel.  The Rich Young Man offered the other man a ride in his arranged car to the hotel, of which the other man willingly said yes.  As they grabbed their luggage and found their driver they both were given water from the driver.  Only something was desperately wrong.  There was a woman in the front seat (the driver said it was his niece and he was going to give her a ride to the city after these men were dropped off.)  The Rich Young man said that would not be a problem and to bill his card for both of the men.  As there was long conversation on the flight and more than two glasses of wine, both men willingly drank the water and both did not realize that the water was drugged.  Hours later they both woke up somewhere in the rain forest and both were in shock as they were locked in separate rooms next to each other.  Drugged and tied and being held for ransom.  These men were the victim of kidnapping and the other man was at the wrong place at the wrong time given the Rich Young Man’s status.

They were held for ransom and the ransom was huge.  The older man’s company was working with the Rich Young Man’s corporation on trying to negotiate for these men’s lives.  Months had passed and the camps that held them were moved every 3 weeks.  A trust and friendship began between these men and the only thing they were allowed to have with them were the Bible that the older man had.  As his men’s group was working on Scripture memory he gave the Rich Young Man his copy of the Bible.

And so they read – through the entire Bible.  Focusing on Romans, on James and on John.  Not really sure of the date, as either men weren’t sure of how much time that had passed, these men both discovered God in a whole new way – one had a new Savior (Jesus Christ) and the other had two new best friends (Jesus and the Rich Young Man).  Through this conversation and conversion there was a guard in the camp that took a liking to these two men and took more of a liking to what was being shared between them – the Word of God.  This guard also came to know the Lord and just one week before these men were going to be either negotiated for ransom or killed for lack of payment, the guard freed them late at night and drove them across the border to the US Embassy.  These men were able to call their work and families before a ransom was paid out and the Rich Young Man chartered a plane to take them both back to Chicago.

They made the local newspapers and then the national news papers and then the talk shows and then more and more kept coming.  They both had their “10 minutes of fame” but neither used this for their own kingdom – instead they used it for God’s kingdom.

Both were asked what really mattered when they were being held prisoner and both said the same – their faith in God, in His Word and their relationship with Jesus Christ.  They both left the US wanting and both came back completely content.  Their lives were forever changed and from that moment of conversion for the Rich Young Man and the other man was life-changing.  Their wishes and desires were no longer what they wanted, but instead was replaced by what God wanted from their lives.

“When it is all said and done”, they said in their last television interview, “and we are kneeling at the judgement seat of Christ, we only want to hear two things:  1) Our names read in the Book of Life and 2) Well done my good and faithful servants”.


what really mattersWhat really matters to you?

The world’s view:

  • Riches
  • Wealth
  • Retirement
  • Popularity
  • Fame

God’s view:

  • His Word
  • A relationship with His Son Jesus Christ
  • To be his disciples
  • To love the Lord God with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves
  • To finish well

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

Impacts of homes without a Father

What is the big deal....?

Photo by Leo Weijs

Photo by Leo Weijs

More Data on the Extent of Fatherlessness

  • An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological father.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, “Living Arrangements of Children under 18 Years/1 and Marital Status of Parents by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin/2 and Selected Characteristics  of the Child for all Children 2010.” Table C3. Internet Release Date November, 2010.
  • Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39 percent (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers.
    Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. Table 1. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, 2001.
  • 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.
    Source: Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements 2012. Current Population Report. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.
  • According to 72.2 % of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
    Source: National Center for Fathering, Fathering in America Poll, January, 1999.

maxresdefaultThings to know:

  • God created man and woman
  • God has a plan for the family
  • God tells us to be fruitful and to multiply
  • God wants us to be His disciples and to go and make more disciples sharing the Good News!
  • God has a plan for Fathers
  • God has a plan for Legacy dads

Let me ask you this:  Are you too busy building your kingdom and your desires and your habits and recreational lifestyle or are you choosing to be a part of God’s plan and build His Kingdom?

Fathers lives matter!

Many churches today have thriving women’s ministries, power worship experiences and world-class children’s curriculum yet struggle to implement effective biblical road-maps and turn-key strategies for empowering and discipling men, parents, and marriages.

  • 93% of families will follow when the father takes an active role in his faith and walk with Christ.  When fathers are not active in their faith, 60% of children stop attending church or leave the faith altogether even if their mother still attends regularly.
  • Church ministries will average only 40 hours per year to influence the lives of children, youth and teens while parents will average over 3000 hours.
  • 1/3 of Church attending Christian marriages will end in divorce.  We can lower these numbers by effective marriage outreach and premarital counsel.

Legacy Dad empowers men to become the spiritual leaders of their families and take an active role in their faith. 

Looking forward to you spending time with God this week through reading His Word and praying to Him!!!

 

Blessings,
Dante

 

 

 

Is your church building disciples…

...one relationship at a time?

1 Timothy 3:1-7English Standard Version (ESV)
1timothyQualifications for Overseers
3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Titus 1:5-9English Standard Version (ESV)

Qualifications for Elders
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[a] and his children are believers[b] and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,[c] as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must titushold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound[d] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.


If your church does not have a discipleship plan to build Elders who are to care and shepherd the flock, then I am going to say that your church is not growing (disciples).  In case we haven’t realized it yet, the Church is a Family.  That is, because we died to self and were born again in Christ, we are now sons and daughters of the living King.  We should no longer have an identity crisis in life – we are heirs to God’s Kingdom.

Jesus commands the disciples before his death (and resurrection) in Matthew 28:

Matthew 28:16-20English Standard Version (ESV)

The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Great Shepherd (Jesus) gave us the command to go and make disciples.  Note that he didn’t just say go and make baby Christians who never grow in their faith.  The Creator himself tells us to be fruitful and multiply.  If it is alive, then it multiplies, that is the laws of nature.

If your church is alive in Christ, then it is building its disciples and they are growing in Christ and the church will bear the fruit of the Spirit and it will multiply.

So tell me, is your church building up Elders to oversee and shepherd its church (the Family of God)?

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

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

Therefore confess your sins to one another

A men's group that honors God (The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit)

Lance and I were talking about raw, authentic and uplifting men’s group and we shared how we see that in my men’s group (Men of Faith) and his men’s group (Fight Club) and the relationships Printthat are not only being formed, but are growing both spiritually and physically.  For Lance and I, our men’s groups have never been about numbers.  Rather, they are about guys getting together in raw, honest and transparent ministry.  The thing about Lance that drove me to this website back in 2007, was his willingness to abase himself and be real with who he is and where he came from.  He is brutally honest (in a loving way) and tells me how it is.  We often say that we wish that each of us lived closer, but we do not!

1st John 3: 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 24 Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.  Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (His love).  9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  James 5: 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working..  19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

men-af_600x144Legacy Dads (and men)  if you are looking for a men’s group in your church like this (and you don’t have one) don’t wait on someone else to affirm it.  Grab a few other guys (who you see are willing to be faithful in the word and prayer and an admitted sinner – saved by grace) and start worshiping together.  Start praying together.  Start reading the Bible together and talk about real life issues.

Remember the Cardinal Rule #1 – what is said in that group stays in that group.

Remember the Cardinal Rule #2- if a brother confesses and shares that you are now on holy ground.  Don’t trample over that with your words and thoughts of how to fix that brother- BECAUSE YOUR SHOULDN’T.  If the Spirit is moving you to talk or walk with that brother – then grab him after the small group of sharing and ask if you can meet for coffee or lunch or a meal or to talk and tell him that you were truly moved by him.  If you build trust and a relationship that brother will likely give you the permission to speak into his life (then that is the time, not anytime before) to speak into him.

Remember the Cardinal Rule #3- Be relational.  Be transparent.  Share from your heart, share your sin, your failures and what God is doing in your life right now.

In all that you do, lean and trust on the Lord.

Blessings,

Dante