"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Friday, October 30, 2009

En-ing it All!




"In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame." - Jose Raul Capablanca, World Champion 1921-1927

Chess was played many centuries ago in China, India, and Persia but no one knows for sure in which country it originated. Then, sometime in the eighth century, the Moors invaded Persia and they learned chess from the Persians. When the Moors later invaded Spain, the soldiers brought the game of chess with them. Perhaps if they (the Moors) spent more time playing chess they wouldn’t be invading other countries…just a thought. Anyway, soon the Spanish were playing chess too, and from there, chess quickly spread throughout all of Europe. Here’s the lesson in all of this. The downside of invasion is loss of independence, the upside? Why, new board games!

In chess, the endgame refers to the strategy geared towards the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board...in my case that would be the beginning. In fact, that’s the case with most games I find myself playing. The beginning and the end are so close together. Still, I like the way my son Isaac plays chess, a six-year olds view of games is always more entertaining than the actual rules. Isaac chess combines chess, checkers, dominoes and something close to Australian Rules Football. You’re never quite sure what is going on and pieces are flying everywhere! The best part is that the pace is swift and you can clearly see the end.

Believe it or not, that’s the point. Fathers can (and need to) see the endgame – the time when parenting ends. This is generational significance time – making our “now” matter for the future. We need to “en” it all now…no, I didn’t forget to spell check and I’m not suggesting a lemming-like leap off a cliff somewhere. Knowing the endgame means the opening and middle-game needs a strong strategy.

Here is how the strategy works…with words. Impartation “en” words like encourage, enlighten, enjoy and enlarge. These words speak life, strengthen our moves and help us see the board clearly. We are no pawns but we are in the hands of a Grand Master who enables us when he imparts His character into us. With power and purpose released in our lives our endgame strategies are honed. They add significance and purpose in the present and future moves of our children. Let look at a few.

Encourage:
“For the rest, brothers, rejoice! Perfect yourselves; encourage yourselves, mind the same thing, be at peace; and the God of love and of peace will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11


Enlighten:
“The eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18

Enjoy:
“Charge them that are rich in this present world, that they be not highminded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” 1Timothy 6:17

Enlarge:
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be not to my sorrow! And God granted him that which he requested.” 1Chronicles 4:10

Check out other “en” words, search their meaning and find scriptures for them. Then apply them to your endgame strategy, man…what a move!

Blessings,
Jay

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Awarding my father-in-law a officer's sword on his 75th birthday.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNeX64t8ANA

This wa such an awesome time. Awarding my father-in-law with an officers sword on his 75th birthday. Dad served in the Navy, has served his family and God faithfully. He deserved a sword. As I explain in the video, I award my sons a sword on their 13th birthday during a manhood ceremony. This made it all the more special to have my sons cross their swords with grandpa! I hope you enjoy watching and please comment.

Peace,
Jay

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good Will Hunting

My son Mike (14) and I are on a manly quest. Over the course of two weeks we are spending over 10 hours in classroom lectures and field operations (blood trail exercise included!) just to earn to right to bear arms…safely, that is. Taking the New York State hunter/gun safety class is a huge stretch for me. I have no desire to go where other crazy people are running through the woods with guns and live ammunition!  One of my favorite authors, John Eldredge, would probably shun me if he found out.


Growing up in a rural area in upper NY State, I was exposed to rare culinary…uhm, treats. One of the more common entrĂ©es was the fuzzy gray speed bump known as the squirrel. My father hunted for them often, which never seemed much of a challenge to me. Our cat seemed to have no problem catching one in our backyard. My father would come back from hunting with a few and act like it was from some dangerous safari expedition. Our cat would go outside, catch and drop one at the front door and be done with it, all the while looking at my father with pity. Eating them would prove to be a far greater challenge. Since we were quite poor, squirrel “graced” our table frequently. My Mom’s squirrel stew was enough to place the little gray rodent on the endangered species list. Meaning, your own species was very much in danger if you ate too much of it!

So why exposed myself to field walks; long lectures about bolt actions, 12 gauges and how to call turkeys? I’m good will hunting…that’s why. My son and I are close, very close but I’m always looking for opportunities to grow closer. Mike wanted to take this course and learn more about hunting, guns and survival techniques. Rather than tell him that if we stay away from guns and hunters we probably survive longer, I decided that it would be a great bonding time. Investing in good will moments strengthens the relationship we share and calls to the heart of my son to come close.

“One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.” - Anonymous

Peace,
Jay

Thursday, October 22, 2009

19 Years Ago



It was a sunny cold fall day and my life changed radically. 6:32 in the morning she decided to come into my life and basically ruin me (in a good way) for life. My daughter Sarah has ruined me for ordinary moments for there has been none with her. I was already a young father, her older brother Joshua born just 15 months prior, had already changed the man I was. This was different…I now have a daughter! Could a man like me raise a daughter? Will she even like me? It was too late, I was smitten and all I could do was love her.

Sarah’s wonderful gift of herself was deposited into my life to make me a better father. I became a gentler version of what I thought I should be, she helped me become more like Jesus. In her I sense the strength of her mom mingled with the stubbornness of her dad, all soften by her quiet spirit. Yet, it’s her love for life that I admire, her expression of worship towards her Father God that brings me to tears (even now as I'm writing this).

Her life is a dance, a wonderful blend of emotions, giftedness and love and I have blessed to see her spin every day.

Happy Birthday Princess!
Love,
Daddy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You Know You're a Dad When

1. Your suits go from looking like they came from Brooks Brothers to looking like they came from the Marx Brothers.

2. Your garage becomes an unofficial warehouse for Toys R Us.

3. During potty training, the football terms ?end run? and ?backfield in motion? take on a whole new meaning.

4. You give up watching football to watch someone called ?Spongebob Squarepants?.

5. Sleeping is all relative?depending on all the small relatives in your house sleeping.

6. The EPA declares your clothes a biohazard after ?sharing lunch? with your 2 year old.

7. You take on all the characteristics of a pack mule on family outings.

8. Your clothes become ?costumes? for pint size ?actors? living in your house.

9. Action figures and former food items find their way into your
shoes, pockets and pillows.

10. You say ?Did you go potty?? so often, that your kids think it?s their nickname.

Screw up

My philosopher son Isaac, now nine, gives me great things to think about. On a recent vacation to the Outer Banks, NC he mad a great observation. His grandfather had given him the assignment of tightening all the wood screws in the deck furniture that needed it. With great eagerness he went work, after a little while he came up to me and said, “Dad, I like screwing things up!” When I stopped laughing I started to realize a simple truth in what Isaac said. To me “screwing things up” is a bad thing, something I’m familiar with. To my son the same phrase meant something totally different and was a pleasant moment. Sometimes, we need to look at situations in a different light; we might be surprised at what we find. Our mistakes are huge opportunities to grow and become stronger as we let the Spirit mold us.

Blessings,
Jay

Open my eyes so that I may behold wondrous things. Psalm 119:18

Monday, October 19, 2009

Balloon People



Twitter me this…Is publicity an addition? Does a person’s 15 minutes of fame get syndicated? Is a Reality Show more important than the reality of leading your family?

People across the country had been captivated Thursday, October 15th by the sight of a flyaway helium balloon thought to be carrying a little six-year old boy. Media from TV to Twitter reported the story for all its suspense and heartbreaking possibilities.

Thankfully, it turned out to be a huge mistake, the kid was pronounced safe at home the whole time. Then it turned out to be a hoax…all that money, resources and energy spent on some dad’s ego. It was just a stunt to try to land a TV reality series.

Lame, so very lame.

This story did get a rise out of me (yes, the pun was intended) and gave me a lot to think about. Why are we constantly seeking something outside to satisfy our craving to “be known”?  What kind of approval ratings do we desire that don’t include our family?

“Anytime there is a struggle between doing what is actually right and doing what seems right, then your ego is interfering with your decision”. - Darren L. Johnson

The Bible puts it this way.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”.
Proverbs 14:12


In today’s culture, it is critically important for men to rise up and be different than that! The whole thing is a significance issue. We try to find significance in our work, in what we do, even in the way we serve Him. Real significance in found only in who He says we are. Our worth is not in airtime, exposure or the media presence we might gather in 15 minutes. Our value is in Him, which is the only reality we must show.

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.”  - The Message Bible

In Him,
Jay

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Support a good cause



I happen to be the Chairman of the Board for a local Christian radio station. Totally listener supported that holding it's Fall LIFE-a-thon 2009. Would you consider a donation to help support it's mission? Click the link below.

soundoflife.org

A call to Father

“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!” Romans 8:15


The calling to be dad is an awesome one and make no mistake, it is a calling. This call to fathering is simply following the example of Father God fleshed out in the life of Jesus. The power of this calling is born in the spirit of adoption, the extreme makeover of people into sons and daughters. The flow of the Holy Spirit through our lives is essential, not just as fathers of course, but as followers of Christ. The love of God, the example of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit are the building blocks for a strong father.