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Showing posts from August, 2006

Working for Jesus

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17, NIV

Young Harry worked for a shoemaker named Dan Mackay. He would take a piece of cowhide sole and soak it in water. Next he would pound it with a hammer until the leather was hard and dry. Then, he would nail the sole to the shoe. It was a very tiring and boring task.

One day Harry visited another shoemaker whose business seemed to be making more money than Dan's. He noticed that the shoemaker did not pound the leather at all. After soaking he would nail it directly to the shoe. He asked the shoemaker, “Are the soles as good as the ones pounded dry?” With a wicked wink, the shoemaker answered, “No. But the shoes come back quicker this way.” Harry rushed to Dan and shared what he thought was a clever business idea. Dan said, “I am making shoes for the glory of God. On judgment day, I don’t want Jesus to show me a pair of my shoes and sa…

Leaving a Living and Lasting Legacy

More than two weeks ago, Taipan John Gokongwei marked his 80th birthday by giving away a whopping P10.25 billion to charity, donating his entire personal shareholdings in JG Summit Holdings. When asked why, he answered, “Life has been good to me. I want to give back the blessings that I have received.”

You don’t have to be a billionaire to leave a living and lasting legacy. Life may not be that good to us. But God is. He has blessed us to be a blessing to others. In his birthday speech, Gokongwei shared a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. A portion goes like this: “to leave the world a little better... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”

In his Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald wrote about a very successful man who was actually crumbling inside. He had accumulated a lot; a house in an upper-class neighborhood, a sports car and a boat. But his marriage and family life were in life-support. And his wife was about to …

Be the Parent of Your Child's Dreams

There was a pastor who gave a talk about parenting even before he had a child. His title was, “How to Raise Your Children.” Then he had his first child. It took him some time before he gave that talk again. When he gave it, he changed the title into “Suggestions for Struggling Parents.” Then he had two more children. Again he changed it into “Hints for Helpless Parents.” Finally, when they became teenagers, he ended up with this: “Anyone here got a few words of wisdom?”[1]

Parenting is really tough! It can bring out the best or the worst from us. But it is God’s will that we experience meaningful relationships. The book of Ephesians teaches us how to live a significant life, “a life that measures up to the standard God set when he called [us].” (Ephesians 4:1b, Good News Bible)[2] A significant life leads to significant relationships. We already discussed the husband and wife relationship in Ephesians 5:22-33. Two weeks ago, we talked about the responsibility of the children to obey th…

A Father’s Influence

One time, a Jewish boy was confused when his family started attending a Lutheran church in Germany. He asked his father, “Why are we giving up our Jewish faith?” His father’s reply shocked him: “If we want people to frequent our business, we must abandon our faith!” He never got over his disappointment. His faith in God crumbled.

When he grew up, he wrote a book that became a scourge of the world. One third of the world swallowed his philosophy. For 70 years, billions suffered because of this ideology. Such was the tragic result of a father’s hypocrisy.

The book was “The Communist Manifesto.” The boy was Karl Marx.[1]

The Bible instructs us: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, New Int’l Version) Ever wondered why God focused on the fathers? One study showed that if both parents regularly go to church with their kids, there’s an 80% chance that those kids will worship God on a regular basis when th…

Be the Child of Your Parent's Dreams

Allow me to share a “wish list” of what parents wants to hear from their kids.[1]

“Who cares if I don’t have a cell phone?”

“You can just forget about my allowance for this week. I will use my savings.”

“No thanks. It’s too expensive.”

“OK lang. I understand.”

“Bored? How could I be bored? I really enjoy chores.”

“I really like homework!”

Parents, you can stop pinching your kids.

Now, we have dreams for our children. There are times when we even end up pressuring them to fulfill our dreams. Proverbs 22:6 goes like this: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”[2] The question is who determines the way our child should go? J. Vernon McGee wrote, “What [Proverbs] is saying is that God has a way He wants him to go, and parents are to find out that way. They are not to bring up a child in the way they think he should go, but in the way God wants him to go.”[3] I think the best dreams for them are the ones God dreams for them. And I pray that our c…

Dream God’s Dreams For Your Children

A student who went up to the next grade level met his teacher for the first time. The teacher looked at him with mean eyes and said, “I heard you were the number one troublemaker in your previous class. I am watching you!” The student thought, “Wow! I have a reputation to keep! I better make sure I don’t go down to number two.”

Such is the power of expectations. To paraphrase J. Grant Howard, Jr., “We have a picture of the perfect child, but we get an imperfect one. Then we have two options. Tear up the picture and accept the person, or tear up the person and accept the picture.” That is, our expectations from our child can either be encouraging or devastating.

That’s why we have to be realistic and responsible. Realistic because setting our expectations too high or too low can cause frustration on both the parent and the child. Responsible because we have to model what we expect from our kids. We can’t say, “Do what I say. Don’t do what I do.”

I encourage you to base your expectations o…