Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daddy, Where are You?

One of my favorite hats to wear is the hat that says, "Daddy".

I am not the most patient Dad, and I am in no means the best. I do not have a monopoly on the "Daddy" skills and I will be the first to admit that my mistakes as a Daddy are plenteous, however I do love being a Dad.

It is one of those things that a lot of people can be, but few truly are.

It is also amazing to me how the dynamic that we have in our relationship with God changes when we become a parent and specifically when we become a father. (Sorry Moms, but Dads do get a unique understanding on this one.)

 As a father, God has used my son Blake to teach me more about Him and His relationship with me than any other living soul. I love all of my children and each of them has been used, and will continue to be used,  by God to teach me, but Blake has had a significant impact on my life.

I have posted about some of these things in previous post such as, "Daddy's Hand" (Click)and "No Multi Tasking Allowed" (Click) and it overwhelms me how a child this small can be such an effective teacher of the nature of relationship with a God of the universe.

Yesterday I was enjoying a day off from work and just being at home. I love my home and if I were given a choice of activities to do on a day off, being at home with my family would be my first choice.

My youngest child Blake was particularly happy that his daddy felt this way yesterday and decided to reward me by being the clingiest child that has ever walked the earth.

Have you ever had a day like that?
Everywhere you went there was a 3 ft shadow following you?

He would bring me toys to see, books to read and hats to wear and all with the command, "Daddy...".

And play we did.

This went on throughout the day and really it was not as annoying as I make it sound, but there were a few times when I just said, "No buddy, not now."

He would walk off and a few minutes later be back with the request that always started with , "Daddy..." Children have no concept of time and really all they know is that they want and need.

Last night when bedtime rolled around, he was still extremely clingy and as I carried him down the hallway to bed dragging his blanket he did something very unexpected. He began to cry so I decided to lay down with him for just a bit to calm him down.

I looked him and said, "Blake, you need to sleep in your bed."

He patted my bed and said, "Daddy, down".

We laid down and in no time we both were asleep. This morning as I was getting ready for work in the next room I heard him call out, "Daddy? Daddy? Where are you?"

I opened the door and looked into the bedroom and saw the light from the hallway slip across the floor, up the bed, and onto the bed where it spotlighted this little boy.

There he was. Sitting upright with his blond hair sticking straight up, cheek red from where he had been sleeping on it, and his eyes closed tightly because of the light. He held his little hands in front of his clenched eyes and called out again as he looked toward the light, "Daddy? Where are you?"

The place where I had been laying was still warm, and he knew I had to be somewhere close by but just could not place where that might be so he called out.

I stood there and just stared at this little boy absolutely overwhelmed at the picture God let me see through this moment.

I was in the next room and fully aware of where Blake was and fully assured that he was safe in the dark even though he was startled by my apparent absence.

Have you ever been there?

You suddenly looked around and felt as though Father was gone?

The place beside you was warm indicating His presence "at one time", but it seemed as though you had been abandoned?

You  may have even found yourself at times through tears of emotional overwhelming crying out, "Daddy? Daddy? Where are you?"

This passage came to my mind as I went to reassure him that Daddy was there and that he was OK.

"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:" ~ 1 Timothy 1:19
 I like that phrase.

"Holding faith"

Timothy was Paul's preacher in training and felt the calling of God to deliver a message like Paul's to those around him. Paul was writing a letter of advice and the words in this book truly are amazing words of advice.

This term "Holding Faith" surfaces and it is this term that brings to mind the actions of a little boy yesterday that have reshaped my understanding of my Father!

"Holding Faith" does not mean to hold it in your hand like you would hold a book or a pen. It literally means "To grasp or cling to tightly" like a valuable possession!

Let's look at it in that light.

"Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and always keep your conscience clear, doing what you know is right."

In other words, once you have a grasp of who God is, what He has done, and who you are in Him, never let it go for anything or anybody or any circumstance that life may bring your way!

There will be days when you will be clingy to the Father and not want to let Him out of your sight. There will be nights where you wake up and feel completely alone and distant from your Father's arms. There will be moments when your heart is overwhelmed by His absence but NEVER, under any circumstances, ever decide that in your loneliness that He has lost sight of you!

He knows exactly where you are!

Let me say that again and if you feel that your decisions have made Him leave read this again slowly and out loud:


You are safe, and He is closer than a prayer away and just in case you were wondering... That is really really close!

Cling tightly to the knowledge that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells within you!

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:11

Paul's prayer for the church at Ephesus was this:

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." ~Ephesians 3:14-19

To live by Faith is to live your life out of the abundance of Christ!

It is to live your life as He sees you and in His view of you rather than your own view of you. The victorious Christian life is only achieved by believing that God truly is who he says He is and that He has done what He has said He has done and that you now are what He says you now are!

Cling tightly to that Faith. Do not let another person, organization, or religion tell you anything different than what He himself has told you!

Go ahead, call out within your soul, "Daddy? Where are you???"

Listen very closely, because the answer that Father gives is this, "Here I am, you were never out of my sight. Go ahead and cling as tight as you want! I am here with you."

Climbing with you,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bigger Than Any Giant

His touch instantly revealed to him the smoothness of the stones in his hands. A sharp shiver rocketed up through his spine to the base of his neck as the wave of reality of what was happening suddenly crashed into his shoreline of common sense.

He could be sitting with his harp perched on a rock out in tall grass like a marooned sailor in a sea of green surrounded by grazing sheep that looked like whitecaps in the wind blown grassy waves right now, but instead he was tasting the dirt that had blown back into his face where he had tossed it into the air to judge the wind speed in that valley.

There just several yards to his left was standing the largest human being that he had ever seen in his life.

There is no doubt that David had been prepared for this moment. His adversaries had increased in size and would continue to increase in size. It was a lion, a bear, and now a giant. It would become seven giants down the road and then entire armies. The obstacles in David's life never stopped growing and increasing, but neither did his methods and skills in handling those obstacles. It was his hands, a knife, a sling, and then an entire army of soldiers at his disposal. God equipped him in accordance with every difficulty.

I was reading this event and was again inspired by it, but this time i noticed something that I had always missed up until this point.

David's biggest obstacle that day was NOT a giant on the field.

David's biggest obstacle that day came before the giant and his obstacle was the same one that stops so many giant killers it is pathetic.

When David was stirred to challenge the obstacle of a giant he was faced with a more deadly obstacle. Eliab.

Wait a minute?

Wasn't Eliab his brother?

"And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle."   ~ 1 Samuel 17:28

Eliabs show up before and in the middle of every challenge that you will face and their sole purpose is to keep you from taking on the giants in your path.

I am not sure why Eliab was so mad at David or tried to stop him in his purpose. It may have been because the same passion to slay the giant pulsed in Eliab's heart but he stopped short. There is no doubt that Eliab wanted that giant killed just as bad as David, but Eliab had decided long before David and his purpose showed up that the giant could not be defeated.

That is what happens to most Eliabs in life.

The first thing to do before the challenges in life that come your way is to stop for a second and survey the situation and put it into a size perspective against the God that led you to that path.


He led you to this and He can lead you through it, and if you look back over the battlefields of your life you are going to see that your enemies have increased to this point along with your skills and methods for handling these walls.

Look at this response!!!

"Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." ~ 1 Samuel 17:45

This is AWESOME!!!

"Dude, that's all your going to bring to fight the God of the universe? Seriously???"

His perspective was set, but it was Eliab who stood in the shadow of his giant.

Eliab stands between you and your giant and he challenges your purpose by questioning your motivations.

Listen to David's response carefully because this is the key to handling the Eliabs that each obstacle will bring.

"And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" ~ 1 Samuel 17:29

It went back to the purpose that was placed within his heart by a God so much bigger than the obstacle that he now faced..

It seems so feeble sometimes in the shadow of a giant, but reminding yourself of what you have inside that drove you to this wall is more than enough. It seems like such a simple response doesn't it?
Is there not a cause?

This question is so tremendously huge that it staggers the mind to really understand that was being asked then is the same question that is asked of you and I anytime an obstacle stands between where we were are and where we were made to be.


Do you believe in what you feel you are supposed to do enough to risk a chance that others will believe in it as well?
 "And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner." ~ 1 Samuel 17:30

David's purpose inspired and army who were more than ready to adopt a purpose and move ahead in that purpose as well.

His touch instantly revealed to him the smoothness of the stones in his hands. A sharp shiver rocketed up through his spine to the base of his neck as the wave of reality of what was happening suddenly crashed into his shoreline of common sense.

"Giants were made to be killed." ~Scott Baker

You were made for greatness. It beats within your chest and the victories ahead far surpass the magnitude of any obstacle that seems to loom larger than life. What have you been made to do and be?

Don't allow anyone who has been stopped by the same obstacles to tell you that you are unable to defeat what you face. Your purpose is bigger than you or anyone else.

Climbing with you,