Category Archives: My Family
Here are my sermon notes from Mother’s Day 2014!
Our culture is missing honor. We are so preoccupied with our own progress and contentment, we often forget respect and honor. Although honor is missing in our culture, it is a fundamental part of scripture.
Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Mary witnessed the crucifixion from the foot of the cross. Can you even imagine how she must’ve felt? Jesus turns to John and says, take care of her, and looks at his mother and says, let him stand in my place as your son. John lived a very long life, and I believe he took care of Mary until she went to heaven.
You cannot be wrong with your mother and be right with God. If your mother is still alive, regardless of your and her ages, you can HONOR her in these 4 ways. If your mom is not alive find another one! Many people borrow my mom.
Let’s Talk about 4 Ways to Honor MOM!
1 – HONOR MOM WITH YOUR WORDS
Mom taught us a lot with her words!
• Mothers teach us about foresight: “Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”
• logic: “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, don’t come crying to me.”
• religion: “You better pray that comes out of the carpet.”
• contradictions: “Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!”
• contortionism: “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?”
• perseverance: “You are going to sit here until you eat every last piece of that broccoli.”
• circle of life: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.
Men have the philosophy—“I don’t have to say ‘I love you’, you already know it. I have told you before, if I change my mind I’ll let you know!” Or, “I SHOW love, not just say it”
That may be true, but momma needs to hear those words, “I Love You!”
Children need to hear it…and saying it makes you more of a man, not less!
-Erica and I have been intentional about creating a verbal affirmation culture in our family.
Our spouses need to hear it, our children…our mothers also!
Some men would say, “I’m just not comfortable…”then be uncomfortable!”
What could you SAY to your mom that would honor her?
2 – HONOR HER WITH YOUR TOUCH
When’s the last time you gave her a big hug w/ out her asking for it…or a kiss on the cheek, or a neck rub, or just sat on the couch with her? Mom was the first person who ever touched you…she held you in her womb for months. Pregnant moms go through hell.
Her first priority was to hold you, she cuddled you, stroked your head, rubbed your feet, held your little cheeks against her, gave you a finger to grasp…in love she did all these things, including grooming you w/ a licked thumb.
When you were little she could say, “give me sugar”, and you’d pucker up and she’d accept your wet, sloppy kiss and even say thank you! You give her bear hugs so tight she didn’t have to hold on to you…you’d just cling to her as she walked around!
She changed your diapers, Momma CLEANED AREAS THAT YOU PROBALY HAVEN’T CLEAN SINCE, potty trained you, and held the Kleenex for you to blow your nose! She wiped food off of your face years longer than she should have had to!
She constantly touched you! Mom’s life may endure some heavy changes, but she deserves your touch and should never have to give that up completely!
How could you show honor to your mom by your touch?
3 – HONOR HER WITH YOUR PATIENCE
Mothers have an incredible job w/ no pay. Minimum wage: $75,000/year. No position in the business world compares to the physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment she has in motherhood.
In spite of all she does for us, we often become impatient with her.
She was (to some still is) your taxi, chef, nurse, wardrobe manager, career advisor, counselor, mentor, confidant, teacher.
Honor her patiently…just because she’s tender to your needs is no reason to take advantage of her, it’s reason to be patient and to love her all the more!
Teenagers: If you treated your friends like you treat your mom you wouldn’t have friends.
If you treated your friend’s mom like you treat your own, their mom wouldn’t let their kid have anything to do with you!
Your mom deserves better…she’s not a rug to wipe every negative thought on!
For us adults w/ living mothers: Love her patiently.
James Dobson read on Focus on Family Radio—letter from 80 yr. old woman on her birthday:
To all my children: I suppose my upcoming birthday started my thoughts along these lines…This is a good time to tell you that what I truly want are things I can never get enough of, yet they are free. I want the intangibles. I would like for you to come and sit with me, and for you to be relaxed. We can talk, or we can be silent. I would just like for us to be together. I need your patience when I don’t hear what you say the first time. I know how tiresome it is to always be repeating, but sometimes I must ask you to repeat. I need your patience when I think too much about the past, with my slowness and my set ways. I wan you to be tolerant with what the years have done to me physically. Please be understanding about my personal care habits. I spill things. I lose things. I get unduly excited when I try to figure out my bank statements. I can’t remember what time to take my medication, or if I took it already. I take too many naps. Sometimes sleep helps to pass the day. Well, there you have it: Time, Patience, and Understanding. Those are priceless gifts that I want. Finally, in his letter, Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I know I can, too! It’s a wonderful feeling to know His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me. I guess being 80 isn’t so bad after all!
How could you be more patient with your mom?
4 – HONOR HER WITH YOUR ATTENTION
Mom recently caught me in the hall and said, “I need counseling, I haven’t spoken to my adult daughter in days.”
Mothers listen as you pour out your heart…she has a sympathetic ear, always has…and even as an adult you’ve gone to her when you want someone who will really listen and understand…and she’ll always be on your side.
Several years back there was a documentary of men on death row. They interviewed the men and their mothers, too. Invariably the moms would say, “He’s such a good boy!” Interviewer: yes, but he slaughtered 37 w/ an axe!…” Mom responds with, “I know, but he has a good heart!”
It’s no wonder we like to talk to mom…she listens…but now she has issues, and now it’s your turn to be her “rock”…and take time to listen…it’s payback time!
Susanna Wesley raised 19 children including John and Charles. There was a visitor in their home one day when Charles was 5/asked mom question, she answered/5 minutes later asked it again/3rd time…7 x’s total/visitor said, why do you keep answering that question 7 times?/she answered, because, 6 would not have been enough!
Lord, help us to be that patient/attentive to our own parents as they grow older.
In older days, our parents have many fears/anxieties…may we treat them as we’d hope to be treated when we are in their shoes!
How could you honor your mom with more attention?
I have baptized hundreds of people. Strangers. Friends. Family.
However, until this past Sunday I had never baptized one of my kids. I baptized 2 of them. Wow! What a special day.
The whole service was unique because we were focusing on children. We wanted to show our congregation how important the next generation IS (not will be) and we wanted the adults to remember how important it is to remain like kids. You can check out the sermon notes here. You can listen to the message podcast here.
Erica and I have been talking to our boys about baptism for years. Of course, they see tons of people baptized at church every year. They are compelled to talk about it and ask tons of questions. Erica and I have been extremely careful to push the decision later in life. Something in us wanted to make sure the boys were making the decision for themselves and not simply because their friends were or because there was any pressure from mom and dad.
The last month or so, the boys have been telling us over and over that they wanted to be baptized. I would quiz them over and over with random questions. I would surprise them in the car, around the dinner table, or getting ready for bed. “Why do you want to be baptized?” “What does baptism mean to you?” “What does sin mean to you?” “How does sin go away from you?”
Click here for a podcast of this message.
What is Winning and Losing when it comes to Fighting with Family? Unhealthy couples fight to be right. Healthy couples fight for resolution.
Dr. John Gottman: can watch a couple for 90 seconds and know if they are going to make it.
Proverbs 27:15 a continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
It is better to have severe hemorrhoids than to live with a jerk of a husband. Erica 2:4
We all Fight.
Erica and I have fought a lot in 15 years of marriage. We have disagreed over making the bed, buying clothes, how to discipline kids, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
All couples will fight because we are sinners. However, Healthy couples fight fair.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
3 Rules to Fight Fair
Stop to Listen Carefully – quick to listen
We are often quick to prove our point. We are wanting to get a word in edgewise.
Proverbs 18: 2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
If you feel like you have to prove your point or get something across, then you are believing a lie about God. That he is not capable to defend you or make the situation right. Or that God is not the one who gives you strength and credibility.
Prove to your Spouse that you are Quick to Listen:
- Repeat back to your spouse what he or she just said. It lets them know what you just heard. It keeps it focused on the topic at hand. “I understand why you feel this way when I do _______”
- Validate the fact that the feeling is there! Whether you agree with it or not. This is crucial.
When you don’t feel like you are being heard, you will feel helpless and like there is no hope.
FROM MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE!
Robin and I haven’t posted since Kennady got home from the hospital during her last stay because the pace of life right now, feels similar to the pace of an avalanche at your back while skiing straight down a hill.
Kennady made it home and recovered great after her baclofen pump was implanted.
Approximately 1 month out from the surgery, she got an infection in her site which ultimately resolved on it’s own.
10 days ago (2 weeks after the last infection healed up) Kennady’s incision on her back, developed a red raised spot on it. This grew over the week and then the redness spread to the front of her belly and incisions.
I took her in to the E.R. on Saturday knowing that we were most likely not leaving until we got some antibiotics, at a minimum.
Low and behold, she was admitted.
I was asked to close and pray at the funeral service for my grandfather, Vernon Steele. Here is what I said:
death there is a natural tendency to remember the good times, the endearing qualities. We thank God for this tendency. We think of the smiles and the lessons learned, the protection and provision of a man like Vernon Steele. Wow, no one like that. Strong as an ox, creative, inventor, craftsman, lover of classical music and Mercedes Benz. Not sure I ever heard him explain anything with such love as his collection of Mercedes.
However, our mind sometimes wanders to other moments when times were tough. We want to wrap things up and put a bow on someone’s life. I have been doing funerals officially for ten years and it is a struggle for anyone. Now, I have been asked to be the final speaker for Vernon Steele and then say a prayer.
I just want to say that every time Vernon showed us his humanity and brokenness. Every time we were faced with a situation where we tried to make excuses or say that is just the way he is… Jesus Christ was dying for Vernon.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
In the midst of us trying to make sense and make wrong pieces fit, the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses and make right. Jesus makes all things well. We rejoice in the reconciliation of all things. We serve a Jesus that doesn’t give up on something that is broken but endures the cross so that we are FREE!
Lord, we are grateful today that we have been blessed a husband, father, grandfather, friend. We are thankful for his life and all of the values passed down. I pray that the Holy Ghost empowers my grandmother to seize this season of life. That she experience peace that passes all understanding. That she feel strength in her body, soul, and spirit. That each son, daughter, grandchild, and EVERY ‘in-law’ would bond like never before. I pray for unity and a kindred spirit to permeate every relationship. Lord, may we BE the body of Christ on earth that you have called us to be. We are needing you. We desire you. We call on you today to give us YOU. That is all we need. In Jesus name, and EVERYBODY say “AMEN”!