Widescreen Sunrise

What I learned today with my kids:
God’s paintbrush is really really big. On the bottom of the above picture is an 18-wheel semi-truck. Today’s sunset was a widescreen view. We had a wonderful talk about how God creates beautiful things all around us. And they were marveling at the rays of sunlight going all around the sun through the clouds. Thank You, Father, for reminding us of your glory today!
What did you learn with/from your kids today?

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The Most Important Story…

…is the one you write on your child’s heart.

My mom was the most incredible elementary librarian. Super fun and energetic, she was the rarest breed of librarian ever created. Her God-given gift of storytelling captured the imagination of every child. She is part of the reason I’ve always enjoyed good stories and authors, and had a hunger to tell stories well and write well. Unfortunately, to put it nicely, I can often suck at the most important writing I’ll ever do as a man, husband, and father.

God has called me, as the spiritual leader in my home, to write the truths of God on my children’s hearts. In recently reading through 2 Corinthians 3, God gave me some encouragement that this seemingly impossible task is possible in Him. So here’s what the Lord spoke to me and I hope is a good word for you today:

1. Don’t dish out laws “written on stone”. Since the Israelites didn’t do so hot obeying laws written by God’s own hand on stone tablets, why on Earth do I ever assume that simply giving out rules will affect heart change? Bummer. I guess I can’t just post Christian wall art that says “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” and expect it to magically produce disciples. I actually have to do some hard work. The hard work of being a humble grace-giving father that leads by example in the home. Why get excited about the hard things? Because…

2. We are adequate in Christ! (2 Corin. 3:5) This isn’t the Saturday Night Live “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough” self-help talk. Jesus makes us sufficient! Praise you God for giving us confidence and strength to endure as parents in this tough world. This is the toughest job we’ll ever encounter. But we never do it alone! This means Jesus empowers imperfect people to write on the hearts of their children!

3. The Spirit gives life and liberty to both parent and child as we obey His Word! What’s the result of the hard work? Life and freedom even in the home! This God-given life in the home is so desirable you can almost taste it. So stay in the Word, listen to His voice & declare His glory in your home. Then by God’s grace we will mirror the Author of Life!

In what ways are you writing God’s truths on your child’s hearts?

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Take It On the Chin

Sometimes, maybe most of the time, being a parent means you just take it on the chin for your kids! When a parent becomes a line of defense for their kids and puts boundaries in place to protect them they often experience backlash. Please as a parent realize in all the eye rolls, the sighs, the attitude and screaming… your kids are really saying thank you!

In their own messy way, they are realizing you care about them, that you are protecting them and making them feel safe. It’s messy because they don’t like being reminded they don’t have it all figured out and that they still need help maneuvering through life. Working with kids day in and day out I get to see the other side. You see them lash out while I see them sit in a chair across from me and say, “I realize why my parents did that. I know they love me and want to protect me.” I say that is a victory!

So let’s put on our big girl and big boy pants and take it on the chin for our kids. Let’s show our love not by being their friend, or buying them things or taking them places, but by being their parent. Let’s make them feel safe by establishing boundaries to protect them. Let’s not conform to the world and leave our kids to themselves. Let’s commit to do some hard things. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not encouraging you to be a legalistic ruler in your home ready to squash your kids when they mess up.  Rather, let us create relationships, communicate, and  point the next generation to Jesus Christ! And when our kids break our hearts and make unwise choices, let’s love them through it and work graciously to restore them. After all, this is not about us . . . this is about training them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

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Bread and Circuses

According to Warren Wiersbe,

“Bread and circuses” was Rome’s formula for keeping the people happy, and people today are satisfied with that kind of diet. Give them food and entertainment and they are happy. Rome set aside 93 days each year for public games at government expense. It was cheaper to entertain the crowds than fight them or jail them.

I’d love to say that the overwhelming majority of Christians in America aren’t satisfied with this “food and entertainment” level of contentment, but I would only be far from the truth. We live in a culture of stuffed stomachs and starving spirits. And this world has us believing that a happy belly full of all the finest foods equals a happy heart. The only problem is this concept is nowhere to be found in Scripture.

If all we seek for ours and our children’s spirits is entertainment then we will receive that momentary reward. But if we see Jesus for being the true “bread of life” for our family’s then our spirits will never go hungry! Jesus is the Word of God and the Word of God is real food. Feed on the Word of God today!

How are you as a family feeding on the Word each day?


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Happy Anniversary Pat

 Today is our 11th anniversary. 15 years together counting the 4 years of dating! And boy we have some fun stories to share about dating. But I (Ryan) will stick to the marriage part. This post will mean the most to those who know us best, but I want to share some truths about our marriage that might give a glimpse of why we are who we are. This will appear as if I’m boasting about my wife, and I am, so deal with it folks.

  • If you think that I am a remotely good leader, it’s because Pat supports me as I practice leading our home.
  • If you think that I might be a good dad, it’s because she gives me grace to mess up and faith that I’ll come through next time.
  • If you think that I am happy, it’s because I have a smokin’ hot wife!
  • If you think I have joy, it’s because she creates a peaceful home where I absolutely long to be.
  • If you think I am loving, it’s because I feel loved, honored and respected in my home.
  • If you think I’m fun or goofy, it’s because she is my best friend with whom I have the utmost freedom to be the person God has created me to be.

In short, Pat Golightly is a representation of God’s love for me. She shines the light of Jesus in our home, and she’s is always growing in her relationship with the Lord. She is a woman who causes me to worship the Lord greater, and desire to serve others faithfully. And she is an incredible mom to 4 amazing children!
I Love You, Pat! Happy Anniversary.

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