Happy Memorial Day

From Legacy Dad to all the soldiers and family of soldiers who sacrificed so great for us....

John 15:13 (ESV) “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

On behalf of Legacy dad we would like to thank you to all the brave military who have sacrificed for this great country.  For those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with integrity, perseverance, bravery and valor and have won and lost loved ones through and through – thank you for all that you have done, do and will continue to do.  Thank you to the families who have sacrificed and who still risk this day for our freedoms.

Blessings,

www.legacydad.com

What’s my Hill?

Commencement speech by Matthew McConaughey

As I was perusing Facebook this morning and catching up with some work emails, I noticed this commencement speech from Matthew McConaughey and liked what he was saying to the graduating class at the University of Houston and say that “life should not be a popularity contest.  Be brave, take the Hill, but first ask ‘What’s my Hill?  So me, how do I define success?  For me it is a measurement of 5 things: 1) Fatherhood, 2) Being a good husband, 3) Health (mind, body and spirit), 4) Career and 5) Friendships.  These are what is important in my life right now.”

Everything in culture talks about self and what is best for me and how I express myself and my identity in such a narcissistic society that the world is spinning further and further away from biblical truth:

  • 1 John 2:15-17 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
  • Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
  • Ephesians 5:11 ESV / Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
  • James 4:4 ESV / You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
  • Titus 2:11-12 ESV / For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

So let’s test what Matthew said to Scripture:

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The Gospel Offends

The air of politically correct that is going so wrong

Maybe I am a skeptic and maybe I suffer from critical thinking, but I have to say that I have come to a point in my life when I have to take the words of Popeye when he eloquently says, “that’s all I can stands, cause I can’t stands no more!”.   Everywhere we turn, everything we read and listen to has been moderately changing from being able to be different and to have a difference of opinion and to even argue and debate on those opinions to an era where we are told that we cannot offend, we cannot insult, we cannot be different because that would not be acceptable to cultural terms.  If we look different and act different and do not like the way others carry themselves and have an opinion as such you will no longer be posed as a dissenter, rather, you will be classified as insensitive, a hater, someone who is prejudice and if you turn on the media something much worse.

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Top 10 Ways to build a healthy marriage

We live in a world that is defiled with consumerism.  We live in a culture that says you deserve and you need to be served and you, you, you are the focus.  When we put this toward God’s word and test society by the truth in the power of the word – we see truth and honor and integrity and the ways in which we should go.  Maybe you find yourself reading this to say what am I missing, or just maybe you are in a small minority of men and you are thinking what is this guy missing?

Let’s be real!

 

 

 

 

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When a boy turns thirteen….

This past February, my oldest son turned 13.  I only really have 5 more critical years to pass the torch of boyhood to manhood.  When Lance and I and Gary first met face to face many years ago we had in depth conversations about this very thing.  Going back there, in my mind, recently reminded me at that time how ill-equipped that I was for this journey with my son and my wife and I with our daughters.
Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I are equally yoked and we are doing a lot of things that are good and godly and teaching accountability and responsibility, but I think that I was out of my league when I listened to Gary and Lance talk about this plan and path that they had for their grandsons and son, respectively.  Needless to say, I did a lot of soul searching and planning for this with my son during that trip and the time since.

Anyway, my son and I had the first, of what I pray is many, a conversation about this journey from boyhood to manhood and what are some things that are to come.  From reading some books, to watching some movies, to taking some trips and facing some fears along the way, I cannot wait to see how he responds and for what God has planned for him.

I am so thankful that I do not have to do this alone.  I am thankful for Lance and Gary and for men of faith that I can walk with and talk to and lean on God and not my own understanding in all this.  If you scour this website you can see stages and even find Lance’s plan with his son along the way.

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Magnify

mag·ni·fy  verb  “extol; glorify.” “praise the Lord and magnify Him”

Psalm 34: English Standard Version (ESV)

3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

If you were to examine your life (your walk) this past week, ask yourself to take inventory in all that you do.  That is, to say, when you wake, work, eat, play, sleep and interact with others where does the Lord stand in your life?  Is God the Father, The Son and The Spirit the authority in your life, in all that you do?  Are you using your time, your talent and your treasure that you have been given by God in ways to honor Him?  Are you focusing more on what you want and how you want to promote your Kingdom instead of God’s Kingdom.

For me, this is a daily struggle.  If I am brutally honest, there are days when I wake that I want to just roll over and sleep all day.  Or there are days that I just want to do life for me and my indulgences.  There are days that I just want to be selfish and not look out for others that God has given me to steward over.  

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What you permit, you promote

What you promote, you permit

Matthew 12:33-37New International Version (NIV)

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

This past Saturday, I led our men’s group (Men of Faith) and focused on the question of what matters to God.  I read some scripture in the Book of Psalms and the Book of Job.  Over the past week and a half, I attended two funeral services.  One was for an Uncle and the other was for the father of my Senior Pastor.  I was impressed by the legacy that these men lead both in their families and in their community.  The eulogies among friend and family in both services were very touching and from the heart.  These men said words that they believed and were true about these men who are in Heaven today.

The other two things that I talked about was when my wife was really sick 8 years ago and we almost lost her as her body was approaching renal failure.  I had very young kids at the time and couldn’t believe what was happening to me and asked God if this was His plan for me?  I prayed, I cried and I wrestled in confession and prayer to our Heavenly Father.  After several days (5 days) in all, the night before my wife would come back home to me and my kids, I finally prayed in a pool of tears that I trust God and that if His will was for Him to take my wife home to Him, then I trust Him and His will.  I let go of my wife and gave her to Him.  She’s your’s Lord – your will be done.  The very next morning, the prayer team called and my mother-in-law and I both had this unbelievable peace – the Peace of Christ.

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Reshaping Manhood: Strength

5 Traits That Develop Strength

Strength is one of the main biological differences between males and females and throughout history, strength has defined great men. Strength obviously differentiates men and women but strength also differentiates among men. Historically, men who were physically stronger often did better in battle, agriculture, and were seen as more desirable by women and there is no known culture in which weaker men were considered more valuable than stronger men.

Strength is the ability to exert force in accordance with ones will and while history favored physical strength, modern society also leans towards mental strength. Based on the same definition, mental strength could be seen as the ability to carry out tasks or goals based on ones will power and self-discipline. Being a good husband, father, leader, and Christian all requires mental strength, will power, and self-discipline. We all know men who lack these traits and have made their marriages, families, careers, or walks with Christ a train wreck because they lacked the mental strength, will power, or self-discipline required in these areas.

Mental strength, just like physical strength, is an aptitude that can be developed and increased through practice. Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, studies achievement. She tracked 2,441 West Point cadets spread across two entering classes. She recorded their high school grades, SAT scores, leadership potential scores, physical aptitude and a number of other variables to determine what develops a great leader. She discovered that it wasn’t grades, IQ, or leadership potential that accurately predicted whether a cadet would be successful. Instead, it was mental grit, perseverance, and self-determination to achieve long–term goals that made the difference.

5 Traits for Mental Strength

Set Goals to Improve. Step one is seeing that you need improvement in whatever area in your life you are lacking. Compare yourself to the best not the mediocre and set achievable goals to improve. According to neuroscientists studying Nay SEAL trainees, they found that trainees who were able to pass the most rigorous tests are the ones who set many goals. Not just any goals but very specific goals with short, mid, and long-term milestones.

Segmentation. Segmentation is the process of blocking out distractions and focusing on accomplishing one task at a time to accomplish something. First, you slowly divide tasks, goals, or objectives in small parts then take on your challenge one small step at a time. You focus on the next immediate objective and accomplish that objective without letting your mind worry about the other tasks or the entire magnitude of your goal.

Visualization and Self-Talk – Performance coaches have long used visualization techniques with Olympic athletes and top performers. One study showed that subjects simply visualizing the successfully completion of a task had almost as much success as those who practiced actually doing the physical task. The process involves vividly visualizing yourself successfully completing a goal, task, or a habit that you want to obtain. Each day, you visualize incorporating all the five senses, what it would be like when you accomplish your goals. Another aspect of visualization is positive self-talk. Top performers “talk” to themselves with positive words to keep their spirits up. They are actively aware of negative or self-defeating thoughts and constantly remind themselves that no matter how tough the situation is…it will always end.

Consistency – Mentally tough athletes, performers, and leaders are also more consistent than others. They don’t miss workouts, they don’t miss assignments, and they always have their teammates back. They don’t let short–term distractions, negative feedback, or hectic schedules prevent them from continuing their actions towards their goal or vision. In addition, they make a habit of building up the people around them repeatedly and sharing in victories rather than touting their own contributions and wins or claiming sole responsibility.

Emotional Control – Controlling your mental state is another very crucial skill in mental strength. Most people commonly have erratic or knee-jerk reactions to stressful situations or circumstances. They react out of emotion or the fight or flight response rather than in a calm, methodical manner. The other common reaction people have is the opposite, indecision or freezing up, they cannot make timely decisions and therefore do not act at all. These responses are not unique to high stress situations but even to everyday decision-making. Some people react emotionally or cannot make a decision and fall into “analysis paralysis” but we have more control over our reactions than we think. We often can’t control people or what happens in our outside world, but we can control our interpretation of it and our decision making process in light of it. In high stress situations, top performers breathe deeply and make decisive actions based on logic rather than emotion.

Mental strength isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage from an event; this is why retreats and resolutions usually fall short. Mental Strength is more about building daily habits that allow you to stick to a routine, control your emotions, and overcome challenges and distractions on a consistent basis. This could be with your family, your career, or in your spiritual life.

Throughout the Bible, we find numerous stories of men with mental strength. Many did not start out with mental strength but through the course of their lives and with a trust and faith in God, they developed many of the traits for mental strength. Not only did God use these men to build his kingdom but they also now serve as examples for us to emulate.  If mental strength is about building daily habits and consistency, I challenge you to apply these five traits each day this next week while also reading some of your favorite stories of men in the Bible who exhibit these traits or simply repeat the following verse 10 times throughout each day.

The next characteristic is Courage.