Nothing is more important to me than raising my 4 boys. And as a dad, I don’t want to be “just a father,” I want to be an “unforgettable father.”
So how can I become an unforgettable father? Where do I go to find an example of an unforgettable father? What can I say to my children that will affect them for a life time.
Notice what God said to His Son: “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
Here are 4 Phrases “Unforgettable Fathers” Use on a Regular Basis:
1. I Claim You.
God told His son, “You are MY Son…”
Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m so glad you are mine,” and “I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world.” Do you know that children who have fathers who bless them, tell them they are special and are actively involved in their lives are more likely to succeed in all areas of their lives? (More on that later this week.) Children need to hear from their dads how special they are. Don’t take for granted that they know, just tell them.
2. I Love You.
God told His son, “…whom I LOVE …”
Unforgettable fathers show their children an irrational love. I remember doing a funeral for a Christian man who had raised a beautiful Christian daughter. But, I remember hugging her neck, and as she wept she kept saying over and over, “I know my dad loved me, but why didn’t he ever tell me.” Children need to hear their fathers say, “I love you.”
3. I’m Proud of You.
God told His son, “…in Him I am well PLEASED.”
Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I believe in you,” and “I’m your biggest fan.” Children need that affirmation from their dads. Just like the little boy who grabbed the football and told his dad, “I’m going to the back yard to kick the football. You come out with me and say ‘good job.'” When is the last time we told our kids “good job.” I still remember flubbing up my first ever sermon. I knew I had stunk-up-the-show. Following the service, my dad was one of the first to meet me down front to tell me, “Great job. It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard.” Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m proud of you.”
4. I’m Sorry.
God was the perfect father so He never had to say He was sorry to Jesus.
I’m far from the perfect father, so “I’m sorry” has to be a regular part of my vocabulary. I fail as a parent more times than I’d like to remember. I fail to love unconditionally. I’m often selfish and controlling. Sometimes I discipline out of anger and not love. So the question is, what do I do with my failures? I ask my children to forgive me. I’m not too big or prideful to say, “I messed up.” And hopefully I model for them how to handle a mistake. I believe unforgettable fathers are able to tell their children, “I’m sorry.”
Four phrases I need to add to my regular vocabulary. Three of them I learn from the greatest Father of all. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be just a father, I want to be an unforgettable father.
Can you think of a time in your life where your father blessed you in one of these ways? How about sharing one?
For the past two weeks the media has only focused on the fact that, for the first time ever, the two Super Bowl coaches are both black. The following is another story that I foundabout the similarities between the two coaches that you probably won’t see in the paper. I thought it was extremely cool.
MIAMI (BP)–Super Bowl XLI will feature two teams making their first super game appearance in two-plus decades, two Midwestern teams separated by only a couple hundred miles, but most importantly two coaches who are strong believers in Jesus Christ.
Head coaches Tony Dungy of Indianapolis and close friend and fellow Christian Lovie Smith of Chicago gave credit to God following their respective teams’ victories in the conference championships Jan. 21.
“The Lord set this up in a way that no one would believe it,” Dungy said following the Colts’ win over New England. “The Lord tested us a lot this year, but He set this up to get all the glory.”
The news that two witnesses for their personal faith in Jesus Christ would have a two-week international spotlight for their beliefs thrilled Christian leader William Pugh, executive director of sports ministry Athletes in Action, a branch of Campus Crusade for Christ.
“We are so excited to see the Bears and Colts in the Super Bowl,” Pugh, a close friend of both head coaches, said. “We could not have picked two better coaches to represent all that is good about sports.”
AIA organizes and runs the annual Super Bowl breakfast the day before the game. Last year, Dungy was the keynote speaker just weeks after his son’s tragic death, giving an inspirational message about God’s love in the best and worst of times.
Smith is in his first tenure as a head coach and hasn’t had the public opportunities to share his faith like Dungy, but he has told the Chicago media he believes in Christ, listens to Christian music when driving his car and does not smoke, drink or curse.
“I’m so happy for Lovie who does things the right way, without cursing and shows things can be done differently,” Dungy said of Smith. “We give God all the credit.”
Dungy has served as the cover spokesman for a special Super Bowl witnessing video and tract. Several of his players, including star tight end Dallas Clark, put out a special faith-based DVD titled “Power to Win” about their faith in Christ and their need to honor Him in all that they do.
While the media will concentrate on the game itself, the men in charge of leading their teams to the big game plan on sharing the most important things in their life, something that has nothing to do with runs or passes or even the final score.
You’re welcome to leave a Super Bowl prediction if you’d like…
Many people are uncomfortable with the words change and church being in the same sentence. Some people are comfortable with the way things are, and don’t want anyone changing things up. Many Christians want things only done one way. Because of this many people have often come to blows over change in the church. Some want to change everything. Some want to change nothing. There must be balance. (And then there are others who are content doing nothing but sitting back and complaining.)
Actually, change is inevitable. In just the past 10 years, you and I have changed physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your hair has changed. Your weight has changed. Your furniture has been moved. You are probably driving a different car. You probably now carry a cellular phone that you didn’t have 10 years ago. Your life and mine is full of changes. Not many things actually stay the same.
The same is true with the church. Change is inevitable. And for the church to grow and mature, it must change& make changes with the times. If we’re not willing to change, we’re not going to grow. But understand not all change is good. There are certain things that shouldn’t ever change. Our problem is figuring out what we can change and what we shouldn’t change. We sure don’t want to all change in an area God doesn’t want us to change. So what things are changeable and what things shouldn’t be changed?
1. Things that are Changeless in the church…
The Master is Changeless (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus should always be at the center of everything we do. Jesus needs to be the focus of the church. We need to strive to be like him, serve like him and love like him. Don’t change Jesus.
The Message is Changeless (John 3:16). Our message must be the gospel. The message must be that eternal life is available for everyone. Don’t ever allow the message to change.
The Mission is Changeless (Matthew 28:18-20). The great commission wasn’t the great suggestion. It isn’t an elective. Jesus said our mission is … go. Let’s don’t change the mission of the church.
2. Things that are Changeable in the church…
Our Methods should Change (1 Corinthians 9:20-22). We can’t always keep doing the same things the same way. I know that the Gospel Meetings of old that were used for reaching out to the community don’t work here like they used to. So we’ve had to change our “methods” of outreach. We’ve replaced Gospel Meetings with Friends Day and other community outreach events. Don’t be afraid to change methods for outreach, because the 7 last words of a dying church are, “We never did it that way before.”
Our Mindset should Change (Philippians 2:5). Our mindset needs to change to be more like Jesus’ every day. Jesus was a giver and a servant, and that’s the mindset we should have. Every person has a gift that God wants them to use to show others Christ. We need to become people who aren’t afraid to wash feet and get our fingernails dirty. Our mindset is how we think, and we need to get off our rear-ends and be more servant oriented like our Savior. Don’t be afraid to change your mindset.
Our Ministries should Change (Acts 10:1-48). Who are you ministering to? Jesus ministered to those who no one else would. He ministered to the sinner, the tax collector, the prostitute and the less fortunate. How many times do we overlook the drug addict, the homeless and the divorcee to reach out to the new middle class family that moved into town? It’s time we start looking for the ones that Jesus would look for. We definitely need to change our ministries.
It’s been said there are 3 kinds of people in a church: Risk Takers, Care Takers and Undertakers.
Risk-takers are willing to try something different to reach more people with the message of Jesus.
Care-takers are just satisfied doing what they’ve always done. Don’t stir the water and leave things just as they are.
In the last 100 years more churches have closed than opened. We don’t need more undertakers .
What kind of “taker” will you be? Hopefully someone who’s not afraid of change. Hopefully you’ll be a “risk-taker” for Jesus.
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