Trust in the Lord – a time of reflection

Proverbs 3 New International Version (NIV)

trustWisdom Bestows Well-Being

 

  • 1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
  • 2 for they will prolong your life many years  and bring you peace and
  • prosperity.  3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck,
  • write them on the tablet of your heart.  4 Then you will win favor and a good name
  • in the sight of God and man.  5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart  
  • and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit to him,
  •     and he will make your paths straight.[a]
  • 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.
  • 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
  • Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
  • 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,  and your vats will brim over with new wine.
  • 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,
  • 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.[b]
  • 13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,
  • 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
  • 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
  • 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
  • 17 Her ways are pleasant ways,  and all her paths are peace.
  • 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.
  • 19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;
  • 20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.
  • 21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
  • preserve sound judgment and discretion;
  • 22 they will be life for you,
  • an ornament to grace your neck.
  • 23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
  • and your foot will not stumble.
  • 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
  • when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
  • 25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
  • or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
  • 26 for the Lord will be at your side
  • and will keep your foot from being snared.
  •  27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,     when it is in your power to act.
  • 28 Do not say to your neighbor,
  •     “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
  •     when you already have it with you.
  • 29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
  • who lives trustfully near you.
  • 30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
  • when they have done you no harm.
  • 31 Do not envy the violent  or choose any of their ways.
  • 32 For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • 33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.
  • 34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
  • 35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame

—–

Some take-a-ways from Proverbs 3:

  • Read His word daily (keep His commandments and repent when you don’t)
  • Work out your salvation daily (with fear and trembling of God’s AWEsomeness)
  • Let Love and Faithfulness abound in you daily (and in your daily walk)
  • Fear the Lord and do not entertain anything perverse/evil
  • Do not hate His discipline, but understand that He is treating us as a loving father would treat his son
  • Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight (keep the word close to you and your heart)
  • Honor the Lord with your wealth (tithe).  This is the only time that we can test the Lord (Malachi 3:10-11)
  • Try and out give God in doing good (see what He does for you)
  • Do not withhold good and charity from others when it is in your power to act (this will be a great sin against the saints, so repent if you do and ask for his path the next time)
  • Do not envy the violent or worldly individuals (their wealth and prosperity is fleeting if their hope is not in the Lord)
  • Do not choose their ways of living (worldly) for this does not prosper us, nor does it make our Father (in Heaven) happy
  • Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that is in each of us that profess the name of Christ
  • Finally, Trust in the Lord with all of your heart
  • Lean not on your understanding
  • In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

 

Blessings,
Dante

Top 10 reasons when you know your life is too busy

isolated 3d golden text "TOP 10"Back when I was in college for both my undergraduate and graduate degree, I had the privilege to travel to many different countries.  One particular year I was able to take an international course in Rome, Italy.  This was a two-week course in graduate school, which allowed some of my friends and me to travel all around Italy, Greece and Switzerland.  I thoroughly enjoyed this time and was in awe of how laid back the Italians were especially during their siesta.  Literally, in the afternoon there was a four-hour siesta (time for rest) and the town that we were staying was literally shut down.

There is a lot to be said for that, sometimes when we find ourselves in life’s fast lane, we need to take a break and slow way down, and even get off at the proverbial rest stop.  This got me thinking about this post and how important time management is as stewards of God’s time.   How important are some of the most little things in life that we are so busy (world standards) that we miss God’s standards.

So here it goes, my top 10 reasons when you know your life is too busy:

#10   You worry too much  - the demands in your life keep pulling you in every direction (Job lists keep growing, there is always more to do, your kids activities are taking you in every direction – family dinners are in the family vehicle going from one sport to another instrument).  You have not been keeping up with the goals that you set for yourself when you were younger.  You are not sure about this economy and what that means for you your loved ones.  You don’t give these worries to God (let’s be honest, if you worry too much, I want to challenge your prayer life)

#    9   You are too busy to forgive others – you let everything else pull you in every direction and to do things that really don’t matter.  Relationships that need to be edified and nurtured and cultured.  Sometimes we neglect loved ones (our wives, kids, family members and friends) You need to say you are sorry and make them a priority.   You need to forgive if you let life get in the way of forgiveness.

#    8   You are lonely – let’s be honest here.  You can be successful, you can technically have it all and you could have a wife and family that loves you and friendships that would do anything for you, but you are too busy to notice and to busy to realize that you are wealthy in friends and family and relationships – so you feel lonely

#     7  You are in debt – because of the busyness and the time pull you justify the debt in your life due the demand of this rat race called life

#     6  Your family and friends’ relationships are suffering – as point #8 said, because you are so busy the very things that give you peace, contentment and happiness are left out in the cold of this busy and the time away both by being their presently and or being pulled away by life still keeps you disconnected from the ones that you need to cultivate and build up and invest in

#     5   You procrastinate too much – you have so many good ideas and dreams that will bring you to levels of contentment and happiness, yet you are too busy to take the tasks to hand

#     4   You are truly bored – life is crazy, you are way to busy to slow down and breath in the life of peach and tranquility, therefore you believe that you are bored instead of busy – so you make your life busier and busier pursuing the very things that are in front of you (slow down smell the roses)

#     3   You have no spiritual life – the way you used to pray, the way you used to spend time in the word, the way you used to devotion – where is the time

#     2   You are lacking community – what more needs to be said, refer to #8 #4 and #9

#     1   You are not making time for the right things – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, body and strength.  The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as your self.  Put God first.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.

LDWhen you reflect on these things (and be honest) my next post will point us to Scripture to meditate on (Start with Proverbs 5).

Blessings,

Dante

It is the Veteran

“IT IS THE VETERAN”

It is the Veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the Veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Veteran, who salutes the Flag,
It is the Veteran, who serves under the Flag,
To be buried by the flag,
So the protester can burn the flag.

Author: Anonymous

To all of you who have served, are serving – we at Legacydad would like to thank you for your sacrifice (of time, of talent, of treasure and even unto death) we thank you for your integrity, bravery, fortitude and all around real american hero!

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you the peace of Christ -

Best wishes,

Lance & Dante

 

The “g”od complex

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

another-breath_the-god-complexA god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility. A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of complex or intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks, or may regard their personal opinions as unquestionably correct.[1][2] The individual may disregard the rules of society and require special consideration or privileges.[1]

God complex is not a clinical term or diagnosable disorder, and does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The first person to use the term god-complex was Ernest Jones (1913-51).[3] His description, at least in the contents page of Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis, describes the god complex as belief that one is a god.[4]

—-

When Jesus referred to Satan, he called him a liar and the Father of all lies.  Satan, the Devil, in his heart was proud and sinned because of it and thought in his heart to set his throne above God’s throne (Read here:  Isaiah 14).  Knowing that the devil (Satan) prowls around like a lion seeking to destroy God’s disciples, we need to be on guard and to be in the word daily to protect ourselves against his evil arrows.  We need to be rooted in the word.  The problem with this “g”od complex is set at the beginning of our lives when we reach cognitive thought, in that, we desire to seek our own kingdoms and sometimes at the expense of God’s Kingdom.  Meaning:  We often find our motives and heart in place of God’s will for our life.

When God spoke to Cain:  Genesis 4:7 (ESV) 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?[a] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for[b] you, but you must rule over it.”.  He gave man a clear path on what Sin can do to our lives.  Cain murdered his brother out of jealousy and anger.  Jesus took the 10 commandments in his teaching and expounded the definition even further with us in saying that if we hate our brother(S) then we have already committed murder in our hearts.  In the 10 Commandments, if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of them all.

So where is the hope?  How can we sustain?  How can we overcome?

Constantly the world bombards us with media, advertisement and daily jaunts of how they know what is best for us (pleasing ourselves) instead of pleasing the one who creates us.  This type of rationalization does not please God, it please the god of this world, that great liar and deceiver, the devil.  He is a bitter and evil creature that turned from his Creator.  He was the first in Scripture to turn to self and please himself and to try and overcome his way instead of God’s way.  Often we find when sin tempts us we are given a choice.  Sometimes this sin materializes out of our own desires and greed.  Other times, it is clear that there is likely spiritual warfare and the evil one and his minions tempt (or put situations) in front of us to stumble us.  However, God gives us hope in His Son Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

throneroomImagine for just a moment a throne room in each one of our lives.  Imagine the great royal chamber and what that looks like.  For me, when I think of Jesus and God in all their glory, I see a magnificent throne room with all types of gems and diamonds and brilliant light and rainbows and clouds and thunder.  I imagine what it would be like to try and look upon this throne room and to see the Angels and saints all around praising their names:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and how awesome and how wonderful and even how terrifying that would be.

Now imagine when sin creeps in each of our lives and for a moment we see a flash and we no longer see God (in three) on that throne, instead we see ourselves for what we are:  A sinner in need of a savior and who is weak and feeble and full of our own pride, insecurity and greed and selfishness.  We need to put ourselves to death daily (our old selves) and too seek God’s will for our life each day.  As one of our readers said recently to me, when I say the phrase “let go and let God” it grate him because he believes that true discipleship is just more than letting go, it is required daily surrender of self and obedience to God’s will for each one of our lives.

It is taking the small “g” out of our lives (for some g = greed,  g = gluttony, g = god complex) and putting God back on that throne and realizing he is in all, through all and above all.

Let go of self, let God in control and trust and obey and surrender to Him each day.

Blessings,

Dante

 

Mini Church: Faith, Family and Friends

FFFFor the past four years I have had a small group that to me, was family, and we used this as a place of prayer, friendship, trust and encouragement.  This group was family.  It was a place to let my proverbial hair down and to be fed instead of pouring into.  Two of the couples felt called to lead in other areas.  This was a group of leaders, not followers and it was really nice to lean on each other during these past few years.

This group helped me through the death of my mother.  They prayed for my wife and me when we needed it most.  And most importantly we didn’t feel judged in this group.  That is not to say that they didn’t hold me accountable, because when they did, I knew it was out of love (and truth).

The beautiful thing about these changes are that they will bless other people (other marriages and individuals) as much as they have blessed my wife and me.  They will comfort and encourage and urge others to live a life worthy of God.

So what about the others that I left with us?  What about the new members in our group?  The more the merrier.  Seriously, these others are still part of our family.  They love me and we will continue to grow and challenge each other, to pray for each other, and to be there for one another.  We just had another family start coming and we have been truly blessed by them.

Faith Mini ChurchSo as I am leading this group, I was praying on what best to talk about:  Marriage?  Stewardship?  Missional? Discipleship?  Of course, I decided on a topic after serious prayer:  Parenting!  We all have kids and we all are our own experts on this subject (not).  The one thing, among many, that we have in common is at times we begrudgingly admit that we do not like bedtime when it is difficult – don’t get me wrong, there are many nights were tickles, snuggles, bedtime pillow fights and songs from the heart ring true to my ears, but then there are those nights (well, you know those nights).

This topic was clearly an answer to my prayers because we have had some honest discussion and really good prayer time with each other.  The thing that I realize is that there are a ton of books about parenting that try to give you cookie cutter solutions on how to raise your kids, but the honest to God conclusion is that not all kids are the same.  Not every child responds to the desires of our hearts that we would like.  Not every child can be disciplined the same.  Not every child, so the list goes on and on and on.

In my opinion, God gives us the privilege of parenting so we can see exactly how much he loves us.  He gives us this blessing to help us understand his mercies are new every day.  He shows us how to love even when we want to scream in frustration and he shows us no matter the good or the bad (the child – each one of us are His) He still loves us.

The Bible has a lot to say about parenting, but there is no clear cut way for each parent to follow.  I will say this, Lance was spot on in his last post, Parents:   You can’t Rush God’s Plan.  Because we cannot.  He is in control even when life seems out of control for us.  He has plans for us, not to harm us, but to give us the abundant life for those who fear and love Him.

God tells us clearly in Scripture to train a child in the way that they should go and that they will never depart from that.  There are a few caveats that we have to apply for this to be the case:

  • Our faith has to be real
  • We have to trust the Lord with all our heart
  • We have to not lean on our own understanding
  • We have to acknowledge God in all our ways
  • And we have to believe that He will make our paths straight
  • We have to stay grounded in the Word (because that word is our lifeline to God)
  • We have to show love, faith and hope to our children

This all sounds like it would be an easy formula to follow, but the problem with this theory is that we are married and there is one man and one woman in this marriage.  The potential problem with this is that we continue to try and fall back to our old selves (the old sin nature) instead of putting on our new self (in Christ Jesus) for those of us who profess the Lord Jesus as Savior.

When we get in the way of ourselves:  To our spouse, to our children, to our church and to our work and community – a whole slew of problems begin to unravel themselves.  So what to do:

Turn ourselves back to God (confess this to him:  our doubts, our fears, our troubles)

Lean on Him (all the time – He is faithful even when we are not)

Let Go and Let God.

As Lance, said, “It’s the difference between living your faith versus knowing about faith.”  Your kids can smell a fake a mile away – so be real, make mistakes, get angry, be sad, cry, love, laugh, and live true faith.  Let your kids know that God is a God of second, third and infinite chances as long as we continue to pursue him, trust him and love him.

What say you?

Blessings,

D

Prayer and God’s will

2 Kings 20:1-6English Standard Version (ESV)

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

daniel-was-a-man-of-prayer-with-an-excellent-spirit20 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”

—-

When I read this, and many other various passages in Scripture, I find hope and anticipation.  The awesomeness of this Scripture, as believers, is that God does hear our prayers!  He knows our hearts and cares for our well-being.  Many academics may argues as to God being Omniscient and Omnipresence, however, I am choosing not to engage in mortal discussion. I am, however, going to literally take the word of God at its merit.  Does God know our every thoughts?  Of course!  Does God know the outcome of our lives and the actions we take?  Of course He does!  Does God want us to pray to Him?  Yes He does:

  • “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)
  • “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
  • “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)
  • “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)
  • “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13)
  • “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
  • “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16:23)
  • “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Romans 10:12)
  • “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

prayer1This past Saturday, in our men’s small group, we challenged each other to read through the Book of James this week (Monday – James 1 through Friday – James -5).  It has never become more clearer to me that God wants us to not only worship Him (as he so deserves) but He wants community with us.  He wants more than just fanfare, he wants a relationship with each and every one of us.

Prayers that benefit us and not His will is not what He is asking for.  True Disciples of Jesus spend their time (and devotion) on the things that matter:  God’s will (not ours).

Share our fears, anger, sadness and needs with Him, but in all we do seek His Kingdom first.

Blessings,

D

Awesome weekend: Joy and Excitement

Dear Legacy Dads,

It has been a while since I posted, not because I do not want to, rather, life has been somewhat busy.  This past weekend was pure excitement and joy for me.  First of all, my son, decided to finally make a profession of Faith and now is a new member at our church.  He really has been saved since about 3 (he truly gets his salvation), but I didn’t want to pressure him, instead I wanted him to own his faith.  So he went through our Church Class to become a member and this weekend he brought me joy.

TreyI am not sure about your goals and dreams, but my wife and I have a top priority and that is leading the type of life where our faith is real and our kids really want to own it.  Our prayers have been that they will all come to know the Lord as Savior.  So far, we are two out of three and I couldn’t be happier.  The youngest is very smart, and may even be able to comprehend her love toward Jesus, but I am waiting on her (not what I want).

The coolest part of this weekend is just how much he internalized the moment.  I was so excited that he was called to be called a son of God and now to have a community of believers walk around him as he grows in wisdom and discernment.  This was a very humble moment for me and I am still so thankful that the first of three has made a profession of Faith.

My in-laws made the trip out to attend this service and I was just so excited by the Legacy of Faith that was present.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law raised girls that love the Lord, love their husbands and teach their children scripture and purity – it is an amazing thing to watch and I am so thankful that God keeps all of his promises (even when we don’t).

He is a God of second and third and so many chances because He loves us so much that He gave us His only Son.  With all this joy in my life that came from this event and the weekend of worship and praise, I didn’t think I could get any more excitement until she walked into my room and I paused and took a picture.

AudreyI am not sure about you (who have daughters) but I can tell you that I would sacrifice my life and for any one of my kids and that I want them to enjoy their lives and to love their spouses and to love the Lord with all their mind, body, soul and strength.  My middle child walked into my room and showed me a glimpse of my future (Excitement) and to be perfectly honest (as a father) some concerns:

  • Am I being the dad/father that I need to be?
  • Am I teaching my girls what to look for in a man?
  • Am I treating them like I should be (the way that I want their husbands to treat them)?
  • How can I be more intentional in my parenting and influence?
  • What else do I need to be doing?
  • Am I giving them enough of my time (hugs, kisses and quantity of time)?
  • Are my wife and I parenting as well as we should be?
  • I only have just under 10 years left to truly parent with 100% influence? What’s next?
    How can I get others to help me along this process?

 

When it is all said and done, I would like to achieve a few things in my life:

  1. To lead a humble and content life
  2. To leave a legacy for my wife and kids and men that follow
  3. To leave a love that can never be replaced (except by my kids spouses and their new lives together)
  4. To have my tombstone say that I did it right
  5. and most important to hear the words from our Lord, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

What about you?
Blessings,

D

 

 

Top 10 things in order to be an effective leader

Top 10 things in order to be an effective leader:

  1. You must have a vision (where are we, where are we going and how do we get there)
  2. You must be able to communicate this vision and convey it to your leaders (if you turnaround and not everyone is following refocus your efforts on communication)
  3. You must encourage those around you
  4. You must listen to those who you empower to carryout your vision
  5. You must often refer to #1 (have a vision) and #2 (communicate this vision)
  6. You must be relational (this means that you should comfort, encourage and urge others around you
  7. You must be open to those who you are empowering (give them a voice, because if they believe that they have value then your vision becomes even more invaluable)
  8. You must continually go through this list in order to make sure that you didn’t stray into your own circle of non-communication to your team
  9. You must be a humble leader
  10. You must be an accountable leader

All of this is only possible when your vision is aligned with God’s truth.  This is not about a man, instead it is about God who became man to save you and me!

Blessings,

Dante