Raising Godly children who become Godly adults AND stay the course!

There has been a continuous thought on my mind ever since I have had children, and have become a church leader. I often ponder and ask the question to pastors who have gone before me, how do you in my case especially as a pastor, raise your children to not become burned out with church, or worse fall out with God completely…. ( pastors kids see the good and the bad) maybe I can explain it like this, when you go to your favorite restaurant where the food is absolutely amazing, but if you were to go in the kitchen and see how the food preparation area was in chaos and possibly not even clean and how the cooks often got in verbal confrontations over the preparation of a meal, it would make you have second thoughts about your favorite restaurant. Even though you love the food, when you have access to the kitchen it makes you view your favorite dish much differently, and if you’re not careful it will make you not want to go back to that restaurant at all…

It seems that I am learning there are a few commonalities of those who are successful, and some commonalities of those who are unsuccessful. Some of the things that I have noticed that will keep your children in church and loving the Lord is don’t use the Bible to tell your kids only how bad they are. It’s like using God as just the disciplinarian (goodcop/bad cop scenario) in their life.

I have also noticed that you do not need to talk church business in front of your children especially when it is of a negative manner about the things that take place in church. In my case, I am a veteran as well as a pastor so I tend to lean more towards the strict conservative personality type. BUT here is the thing, you can be as disciplined with your children as you want to be, (within reason) but you also have to balance that out with loving them and having great family time and lots of 1 on 1 FUN moments with them. Let them know you can enjoy life and be a believer. I have learned that you have to be just as much fun as you are strict…. also, let your house be the fun house for all of your children’s friends. I always rather my kids and their friends to hang out at our house because I know the morals of our home. (And I am not saying everyone else has loose morals, I’m just saying I can be certain at my home what will be going on……)

Again, what I am sharing is definitely not a written law somewhere, but these are just things that I have noticed.

Jentezen Franklin once asked Tommy Barnett how he was so successful in raising Godly children who became Godly adults, and his response was, “I live it just a little higher than I want them to live it”….. The reasoning he gave was each generation will take it down just a notch. In other words, if you want your children to live at a certain level, you need to “model” just a little higher than that level.

I have also found that when you let your children help you with ministry within the church, even from a young age, it helps them take ownership and realize that they can make a difference. Your children want to feel connected and needed in the body of Christ…

And lastly, be completely honest with your children. They are way more aware of what’s going on than you think. So be truthful. Don’t go overboard with details they do not need to know, but sit down with them and talk it out. If you make a mistake, simply apologize and let them know that no one is perfect.

I pray continually for my children, the ones that are grown and the ones that think they’re grown! (Hadley) And as Randall Lowery always tells me, you are either going to lose your children or win your children from the 13 to 16 years range. You can absolutely raise Godly children to become Godly adults, even in the world we live…..

Joshua 24:15

Advertisements

When God is simply being God

After being a lead pastor for 16 years I figure I have misjudged or handled things wrongly well over 1000 times…
I have allowed close to 75 people in leadership positions that never should have been there…
I have preached about 300 really bad sermons…
I have been walked out on by people who I thought were my very best friends, and thought they would never leave…
I have given up to quickly AND held on for too long….
I have been lied on and my intentions misunderstood…
I have been defensive…
I have seen literally 1000’s give their heart to the Lord…
I have witnessed 1000’s get free from harmful addictions…
Sadly I have seen many go back…
I have had to pick family members up off of the floor after having a ministry related nervous breakdown…
I have had to explain to my young children why they were not invited to birthday parties and so on…
I have been accused of being too private…
I have seen great years financially….
I have seen years I was thankful to still have lights…:)
I have seen absolute medical miracles take place after prayer…
I have had some die after prayer…
I have buried more friends and family than anyone should ever have to….
I have performed more wedding ceremonies than I can count…
I have been through deep depression…
I have been through amazing moments…
BUT in all of the aforementioned statements, God has never quit being God…
I have never given up on Him and he has never given up on me…
Im not perfect but I am called…
IM PRAYING FOR ALL MY PASTOR FRIENDS TODAY

Perspective

Have you ever had a day that just wouldn’t end?? It would seem yesterday was that type of day for me. As I attempted to get home from Nashville,  by flying “a certain airline”😒 I was delayed, bumped then cancelled. I ended up at DFW with no flights out to Monroe until the next day, but I needed to get home before then. While waiting at DFW, I get a call that my dog was dead, (I know not that big a deal to some, but he was a good dog) so it was a long day. I ended up having to rent a vehicle at about midnight and drive home, (hopped up on skittles to keep me awake) getting in not too long before daylight. I said to myself wow, what a bad day. After making it safely home and sleeping a couple hours, I crawled out of my bed remembering the reason I was needing to get home in a timely manner. One of my dear friends had lost her sister, and the funeral services were that day. Also, while traveling home last night another one of my friends wives contacted me to tell me her husband, my friend had a heart attack. As I began to put my “long day” into perspective, we are always going to have long days. We will have unfortunate things happen to us, but there are people that are hurting far more than we are. Flight delays are nothing compared to funerals. Driving all night is nothing compared to your husband laying in a hospital room after suffering a heart attack. When we start looking at the needs of others, our issues don’t seem so large. I guess I say all this tonight to say look around you, in the midst of your “delays” maybe a friend needs your prayers or a simple text to say hey had you on my mind, how are you….. If you are having a  difficult time or going through a trying time, keep your head up and shoulders back. Nothing ever catches God off guard! If you’re not going through a trial right now, pray for your friends who are….

Is Life Liken To A Bus

Life is liken to a bus ride. Some people just want to go some place and will use you to take them there and then change buses. Some want to see where you’re going, just out of curiosity and will hop on for a while. Some like the momentum your new bus brings until it loses its “wow”. Some are just along for the free ride. Some make the ride stressful. Some will make your bus better then get off at the next stop. But then Some will even try to flatten the tires and sabotage your journey if you don’t watch them. Some will help you maintain, fuel and when the time comes, get a new bus if needed. The bus makes stops. People will come and people will go. Make sure you notice the ones that are always there…Don’t get upset when people get off your bus. It just makes room for ones who will get in and stay with you. Fist bump the ones that leave and let them walk, they were good for where you were but not where you’re going. Life is too short to hold the bus up chasing down people that were never meant to ride your bus forever. Selah

Looking For Unity

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. #MLK
We do have a “skin” (racism in every direction) problem in our nation, but the biggest problem we have is a sin problem. I see so many good people struggling today with feelings of racism, who I know for certain you are not racist at all. Make no mistake there is evil at work below the surface. There is a spirit of division and hate driving this #americandivide. WE, white, black, red, yellow or any other you would describe yourself as, WE believers, have got to be the church; we have got to be light. If you call yourself a believer, you have an obligation to act like it. Stop spreading division on your social media and personally and from our pulpits. Our adversary, the devil is good enough at perpetrating his will without the church helping him. We need to pray for unity in our nation. Our nation will never see revival until it shows up in the church, and revival only shows up in #unity. Please, stop throwing fuel on the fire of hate! Pray for the families that have lost their love ones in the past week through this violence. Justice is never served through hate…..

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another John 13:34-35

Thin Blue Line

Every day a law-enforcement officer gets up, puts on their uniform and performs their duties. Their duties range between the spectrum of protecting and serving. Now this sounds like a simple enough task, but each officer has to determine when it is time to serve and when it is time to protect.

There are certainly some that make bad decisions; even some who are themselves bad people, but the other 99.9% willingly put their lives on the line every single day. My family has been involved in LE for well over 20 years; so I understand the stress that they go through on a daily basis.

Sure, most of the interaction the general public have with LE is traffic violations or some other “daily enforcement” type of protection that we certainly do not enjoy. But the fact is they are there protecting lives even when they stop me for speeding. (Over 40,000 will die this year from vehicle crashes)

So when we become frustrated with them for doing their job, remember their job also consist of, when a maniac wielding a gun shows up, they will with great courage and valor, stand between you and the crazy with the weapon. While we run from the danger they run towards the danger.

Just this morning, in my home town, we had officers shot while doing their daily job. (Please stop and pray for them and their families) My brother/my best friend H.R. Lowery, got up this morning, put on his uniform (as he has for over 20 years) and in doing so he made you a promise and he made me a promise, that if his life is needed, he will lay it down in the protection of our community.

Law-enforcement officers should not be targets of hatred and bias or political whipping “dogs”, they should be honored, thanked and prayed for daily. Take a moment each morning and pray for your LE officers. Pray for their safety, and pray for them to have wisdom.

God bless our great nation and those who protect it.

Do you desire me Or tolerate me?

I will get what I need, one way or another

Desire- to strongly wish for or want (something). If you have children, have you ever had your child act out in a negative way, just to get your attention? (picture the cartoon clip of Stewie Griffin, mom, mom, mom, mother, Lois….what?? Hi) He didn’t need his mothers attention, he desired his mothers attention. Or maybe if you have a pet (dog), have you ever had that pet come up and continually drop their toy at your feet, pick it up, look at you, drop the toy at your feet again? It is the nature of living things, rather people or animal, want to be desired in a relationship rather than tolerated.

I can remember as a small child, my brother and sister (both older and by default, making me the baby and obviously my parents favorite:) they would quite often meet the end of a switch, paddle, belt (honestly whatever my 5 foot tall mother could get in her hand. No, she wasn’t abusive) and she would tell them, “I am doing this because I love you…” Well, I surmised that if I wasn’t getting corrected or disciplined at the time, that she did not love me. So, as my siblings were getting their almost daily “correction”, I told my mom, “you never correct me; you don’t love me….” Well, without even missing a beat, she quickly picked me up, and applied the pressure of the object she was holding, against my backside and said, “now, do you think I love you.” I learned a valuable lesson that day!!!!!!! Love can be present without the pain:)

Current day, one of the tasks of the job that I hold, I am often asked to counsel individuals for a number of reasons ranging from, well you name it….. And I am finding out that in probably 90% of all cases, at the bottom or the root of the issue, is a person in any relationship wanting to be desired, not just tolerated.

I am learning, that a lot of infidelities begin because of a lack of desire from their spouse. (Now, I am not saying that if you are not getting the attention you deserve from your husband or wife, that you have an excuse to have an illicit affair), but what I am saying is a lot of the infidelities could be stopped before they ever get started, by simply showing your spouse that you do not just tolerate them, but you desire them. (And Not just physically)

I have watched as really good hearted children, go down the wrong path, seeking attention from their parents, (that not on purpose), but having to work two and three jobs to support the family; they just did not have enough time to spend the much needed time with their children. (Don’t judge them, there aren’t enough hours in a day, for single moms working two jobs or a dad with a sick wife..) So we find ourselves, in the quandary of supporting our family financially vs. supporting them emotionally. We want to let our children know, we do not just tolerate you, but we celebrate you.

I guess what I am saying today, in any relationship, rather your spouse, your bff, or your pet, make sure that in every relationship, they know that you have a desire for them to be in your life. That you do not just tolerate them out of [have to], but you desire them out of [want to].

Make a concerted effort today to write a note, send flowers, or just time at a swing set (even 5 minutes) write on the mirror with your lipstick before you leave for work. Sometimes, it is the smallest, non-time-consuming actions that mean the most.
Your time will always matter more than your money.