If you were really honest right now, where do you need to keep loving? Who do you need to keep loving?
Fathers, guard well what has been given to you.
It is not your job to simply bring home the bacon.
It is not your job to simply make sure the lawn is mowed.
They don’t need your wallet, even though they will some day ask for it.
Security is important, but it is not everything.
What they need is different.
What they need can’t be purchased.
What they need is set apart.
What they need is you.
All of you.
The part that may be locked deep inside of you.
It is time to reach in and let it come out.
They need to see the real you.
Imperfections and all.
They need you.
They need to know you love them.
They need to see that you love them.
No matter what.
Even when they are bad.
That you will always love them.
That you love them so much that you will show them a different way.
Through your gentleness and respect.
Through your consistency.
By being authentic.
By being all there.
By showing them the example that you’ve been called to show.
Even when it hurts.
And even when you don’t know how.
This is your job.
When the world tells you it is about buying their heart.
You will win it by a different method.
You will win them over with love.
And they will change the world because of you someday.
Now go live it.
Dads, what is the single greatest challenge you face as a father? Those that are not dads, what is something you’ve picked up about fatherhood that may help the rest of us?
We get frustrated with other people when they won’t change. The reality is that other people won’t change until they are ready to change. Sometimes life has to run its course in them and around them before they are ready. No amount of pulling, pushing, persuading, arguing can change someone. True change has to come from within. Otherwise, it is simply an act of external modification that will not last.
Frustrated that you can’t change someone? It might be time to focus your limited energy on something you can control, like your attitude, mindset about the situation or your prayers for that person!
Why is this a difficult concept for most of us? Love to hear your thoughts!
If I’m honest, brutally honest, I’ve spent much of my life trying to “work my way” to heaven. Through much of my own strength and my own ability, I have…
Worked harder than anyone I know to build the best company I could build.
Worked on my marriage and relationships and strives to be the best parent I can be.
Worked on my spiritual life so that I can have enough of God to give to other people.
Work. Work. Work. Much of my life. Much like one of the seven dwarfs every day, “Hi ho. Hi ho. It’s off to work I go.” Except with out the whistling and joy and Snow White part.
What is quite ironic is the fact that while trying my whole life to work my way to heaven, I’ve realized the brutal truth:
Working your way to heaven is the fastest way to hell on earth!
When we try to work our way to heaven through our own strengths and our own abilities, we are essentially doing nothing more than working our way to hell.
That “hell on earth” can be the consequences of trying to attain something that can never be attained. It’s dealing with the collateral damage of lost opportunities and precious time.
Working our way to the approval of God is like trying to make it rain by running around frantically in circles and dancing and jumping and chanting all day.
It’s like a child trying to create water when all they have to do is ask their parent for a drink.
It is trying to do something only God can do.
It makes me laugh when I read in the Bible where God says even our best efforts are like refuge to him (dung).
It’s like imagining all our works, our efforts, our struggles that we think will earn us God’s love, all these things that we work so hard for. It’s like imagining ourselves lifting these things up to heaven for God’s approval. All the while, what does he see?
A big stinky pile of excrement.
Basically he is saying that this type of living is sin, and in the end will lead to death.
“Here you go God, isn’t this awesome what I have created?”
I think God looks back and laughs and says, “No you are the awesome thing I have created and because of Christ alone you are made perfect and whole.”
It’s like he is saying, “What I really want is just you.”
It’s not that he doesn’t want us to do loving things with our lives. It’s just that he wants us to live this way only out of a response of what he has already done in us through Christ.
He waits for us to put our faith and our trust not in our own works or efforts but in him alone.
He is serious about this and sometimes he will take away all the things in our lives that we lean on so that we can depend more on him and less on ourselves.
So we are often praying the wrong prayer when we say, ” God help me this so I can be more comfortable.”
Instead, maybe we should be praying, “God help me trust in you so that I can be more faithful.”
The problem is when we have been working our whole lives. Working our way to hell.
How about you? Love to hear- Chad
I know you love your kids.
And you want to show them love.
So you want to give them stuff.
Like Silly Slippers.
And sports camps.
Stuff is great.
But here is one thing that you can give them.
That will change their lives forever.
And could change the world in the process
This is what they need the most.
More than boundaries and rules.
More than being told no.
More than crazy experiences and fun.
They need grace.
They need to know they are loved.
Without perfect performance.
Give Them Grace.
Why is it so tough to give kids grace? Where do you find the balance between discipline and love? This is a tough one for me. Love to hear your thoughts!
Welcome to TheWayItCouldBe.com, a site promoting cultural impact through personal and spiritual transformation. Post topics include family, faith, and leadership. Feel free to browse around by category. If you dig the site, you can subscribe for free email updates by simply entering your email address in the sidebar out to the right. Thanks for visiting – Chad
Repost: What makes a REAL man? Who is he really? What does a REAL man do? These are questions that our culture answers in a ton of different ways. I posted this on Twitter & Facebook to clear the air- Finish this sentence (U Can help write a blog post! Thx N advance): A real man ___________. 50 responses below; thanks everyone!
I think my favorite (they were all good & thanks for adding to the post) was a tie between: Emily Pierce’s response- A real man will lead. Short and Sweet! Kim Jackson’s response- a man that takes responsibility…for his family, actions, choices, his time, and his feelings. Never leaving it up to the “whatever”…or leaving it for someone else to fill in the blanks. Wow, love it (also loved jfinley’s). Here are the rest of the responses, enjoy:
Jubilee888 A real man… has backbone, yet knows how to be gentle. A real man doesn’t use women, & he treats them as equal value!
msvandt1 isn’t lead by emotions, will ask for help, and will provide for those he cares for.
jfinley becomes great with a woman by his side.
MontanaFry Does whatever he needs to do, no matter how ‘unmanly’, to provide for his family. (as long as it’s legal).
Meeshell_Buck takes care of his kids
Lori_A_Moore A real man is not afraid to show his vulnerability to his wife.
kimjackw a man that takes responsibility…for his family, actions, choices, his time, and his feelings. Never leaving it up to the “whatever”…or leaving it for someone else to fill in the blanks.
pastortomjam a real man does not compromise his convictions
tmtully Loves Jesus & loves his wife the way Christ loved the church”
cvii1216 knows how to read a woman’s needs. Good or bad.
eizusdoow A real man stands his ground even when unpopular. A real man gushes to his friends abt his wife.
Panchogrande04 a real man cries
rebeccagood A real man/ _takes care of his family__.
revcoldfire writes his own blog? Just kidding (Ha! Chase, I know you’re kidding, that was funny! – Chad)
nikkibelsheMTBC loves God first!!!!
YonasA Sacrifices what he loves, for what he loves more.
MonsieurMoise Is like “Blood Diamond” lol (movie)
EmpressOfPink A real man has his own mind, his own spine and they both function at the SAME TIME! (*selah*) *hmmph*
Kyle Cretsinger …is the priest of his family and should take the job of spiritual leader seriously.
Gina Gardner Ward Fuller loves and honors God. Everything else will fall into place.
Jennifer Nunley will do the right thing everytime.
Rachel Gill Honors his marriage vows
Rachel Gill And makes God the head of his household
Teresa Diseker shows affection.
Melissa Lovin would never harm a child.
Kyle Moss a real man doesn’t wear deodorant (I chose to not give a Godly answer like everyone else)
Paige Hudson Garcia keeps his promises, and avoids willfully doing or saying anything he knows is wrong.
Olayemi Eric Ogunbase recognizes that his REAL job is that of Husband and Father. Not the one for which he receives a paycheck.
Pamela Henckel Hunter Loves God first, then his wife and kids.
Emily Chance Pierce will lead.
Natalie Fletcher has reached success when his children are waiting at the door for him when he comes home from work,
Aimee Sapp desires to please God above all else.
Emily Chance Pierce Will pray with his wife.
Terence Kelly trusts God.
Stephanie Williams puts Gods will above his own.
Sam Morrison Hussman Loves God.
Michele Dosier Hollar admits when he needs help from his helpmeet.
Missy Tucker-Meitzen helps with the housekeeping!
Miriam Naomi Brant knows that his actions, words, and thoughts should not be about promoting himself…but promoting God.
Miche Traina Knows how to be vulnerable with his wife
Conrad Jackson Eats Graham crackers without anything to drink at all…
Jody Hoova Allows his relationship with Christ to guide him in leading his household, loving and respecting his wife, and raising his children. God, family, self, then everything else!
Miche Traina Can kill the spiders but still cry at Toy Story 3
Jody Hoova Catches a mouse in the house before his wife has a nervous breakdown
Bob Balkcom Resists passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects a greater reward, God’s Reward (Mens Fraternity)
Joe Breneman Doesn’t write blogs… ha! Congrats Joe, you just helped right one, ha! – Chad
I thought it was interesting that I didn’t see one response involving a car, clothes, etc. Love it. What was your favorite? I’d Love to hear in the comments below! Please feel free to add to the list in the comments…
Action Area for dudes: What are one or two key areas above that really stand out to you? These are possibly areas that you could work on. Pick a few out and right them down, then write a few action steps for each area (Ex. Area: I would like to be more vulnerable with my wife over the next month). Action Steps #1: Once a week (for a month) I will take time to open up to my wife in an area that I am uncomfortable talking about. Action Step #2: Once a week (for a month) I will ask my wife one area that she sees that I can grow in personally. I will not be defensive! Action Step #3: I will ask a friend to hold my accountable to this area of growth in the next 5 days.
Action Area for single ladies: What are two or three key characteristics that you are looking for in a future spouse? (Ex. Area- I want a dude that puts his faith and relationship with God before his job or anything else). Action Step #1: Write these down; maybe there are more than three. Action Step #2: Commit to praying weekly for your future spouse, whoever this may be. Pray for these areas in his life. Action Step #3: Commit to one of your friends that you will not compromise in these areas with the guys you are involved with. Ask them to hold you up to it and see if they want to make their own list.
Action Area for married ladies: What do you see currently in your man that you are thankful for? What are areas that you think he may be able to grow? (Ex. I am thankful that he is so engaged with our kids. I would love to see him grow spiritually as a leader) Action step #1: Commit to telling him once a week over the next 4 weeks one thing that you see in him that you really dig. Action step #2: Commit to praying for him weekly for one area per week. After a couple of weeks, just rotate to a new area. See what God does in his life! Action step #3: If it is an area that is appropriate (be careful with this one), talk to him about it. “I’d love to pray with you, can we pray together tonight?” or “I’d really love it if you showed affection to me in this way.”
Ok, just wanted to give you guys some ideas for taking action on any of the above things people listed. Get after it! – Chad
Rewind: God does not care about our timing.
I am not so sure our five year plans impress Him too much. I’m not certain our sense of timing is too high on His list of concerns.
We want it today. “Today” for him is this century.
We tell him our game plan and sometimes imagine him thinking, “Wow, that is as BIG as you can dream.”
We look at things from our measly little perspective and think we can see it all. We can’t even see the tiniest sliver.
He on the other hand snickers. Sometimes I think he may even be saddened by our lack of trust in his timing.
Meanwhile, we go nuts worrying and fretting, point to our watch and looking up to the sky with open arms asking, “Where are you God?”
All the while he is saying, “I am right here,” but we are too busy to hear. Sure, he gave us brains and yes he wants us to set goals, but does this make Him our puppet when it comes to the when and how?
Paul spend three years in Arabia after a powerful encounter with God before his ministry would begin. Moses? How would you like forty years as a goat roper? Even Jesus spent thirty years “learning obedience” before beginning his public ministry. Our sense of timing is not that always as big of a deal to him. He cares way more about who we are becoming that what “work” we can provide.
And here we sit with our calendars and five year plans, pretending to tell the Creator of the Earth when to do things. Craziness.
Church leaders, take note, your church’s moment will come. Entrepreneurs, be patient and work hard. Parents, don’t be discouraged.
He knows what he is doing and has just a few years in us in the area of timing. Young people, do not fret!
So don’t you think it might be time to give up control? It is that time for me.
Love to hear your thoughts- why is it so difficult to trust in God’s timing?
Rewind: Where are all the MEN? We look around and see a lot of grown boys and even guys. But what about the MEN?
Is there a MAN shortage? I see lots of dudes mowing yards, working a lot, talking and living and breathing sports like an nineteen-year-old with a ball will really matter a year from now. But where are all the MEN?
Sometimes I don’t even see a MAN in my own house, when I work too much or check out when I am supposed to be the most engaged. Or when I am scared of spiders or roaches.
Seriously, is someone abducting all the MEN? Where are the spiritual leaders? The ones who are confident in themselves?
The leaders, where are they? The ones that will take risks, where did they go? Is there a MAN shortage? Did the MAN factory run out of materials?
I’m not talking about ties, church clothes or bank accounts. Nor am I speaking of egos, popularity, followings. I’m talking about real MEN: Guts, integrity, honest, vulnerable, faithful to their family, faithful to their faith, MEN. Where are they?
Our prisons are overcrowded, our schools are strapped for dads and mentors, our cities are dragging in a slow, painful, cultural death. Our churches have Lone Rangers, floating around on their own. Where are all the MEN?
I guess we should do something about it. I guess if we knew we had one day to live, we would act different. I guess we should start BEING MEN and then helping others learn how to be MEN. I guess we shouldn’t just sit around and blog about it, gripe about, wonder about it. I guess we should DO SOMETHING about it. Raise up some MEN who can teach some more MEN who can lead even more MEN.
Are there any MEN out there than will join me? What are YOU going to do about it?? Let’s hear it…. I’d like to challenge you to share this post with some other men.
Are there any women who will join me in praying for men everywhere to STEP UP?? I would also like for you to share this post ladies.
Welcome to TheWayItCouldBe.com, a site promoting cultural impact through personal and spiritual transformation. Post topics include creativity, family, faith, culture, social media and leadership. Feel free to browse around by category. If you dig the site, you can subscribe for free email updates by simply entering your email address in the sidebar out to the right. Thanks for visiting – Chad
Rewind: Maybe you feel comfortable knowing you are in full control of your life. Many of us struggle with giving up control of our life to God. We want to know the next day, call all the shots and in the end maintain control. However, are we really in control like we think we are? Is control a myth? Think about it.
And as you think about whether or not we are really in control anyway, think about this…
Our planet spins on it’s axis at around 1,000 miles per hour. That is pretty smoking fast. But we don’t feel it so much because of this great thing called the atmosphere. Not out of control enough for you?
We are orbiting around the sun at approximately 67,000 mph. How do you like that? Think you are still in control? Our solar system is in an arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, rotating at around 490,000 mph. How is that for being in control??
Ahhh. The Myth of Control! Even if we think we are ultimately still in control, it is just a myth!
So maybe it is time to give up control, since we really aren’t anyway.
Your thoughts? Why do you think we try to maintain control in life instead of letting go?
I have a number of confessions to make. A lot of people think as a pastor at a pretty influential church that I must be bullet proof or something. If you followed me around for about twelve seconds, you would quickly find out how far that would be from the truth. Heck I got my foot stuck in the recliner today for crying out loud. It’s amazing I make it around some days. Confession time. Here we go…
1. I’m not always a great parent. Sometimes I check out when I’m supposed to be checked in. I try really hard. I pray a lot with our kids. I love their mom a lot and try to show it. But every day I do something stupid. Every single day. I made a beautiful little two year old cry today. Good thing she forgot about it nine seconds later.
2. I’m not always a good husband. I’m often selfish. Sometimes I leave clothes on the floor. Sometimes I’m not listening and nodding at the same time. I try really hard until I realize that trying hard isn’t that big of a deal, that maybe I shouldn’t be trying so hard. We do pray together every day as a family and as a couple. But I do silly things that men tend to do. I forget about important things. I’m late sometimes. I’m not always a good husband.
3. I don’t share my faith as much as I used to. I’m not sure why, I try to all the time. I pray for opportunities and sometimes I see the opportunity and more than not I miss it. I get too busy and I’m not always present where ever I actually am at the moment. I may be there physically, but I might not be there mentally. Like you might think you see me at the grocery store, but there is a good chance I might not even be there. I’m trying to be more present wherever I am, but I’m not that great at it.
4. I don’t know my neighbors as well as I would like to. We tried to meet them all at Halloween. We bought candy and waited to pass it out to our neighbors, but no one stopped by. Not one person. So we walked around and met as many neighbors as we can. We’ve only been in our new neighborhood for nine months, but we still haven’t hung out much. This bothers me a lot.
We are supposed to be making a difference in the lives of our neighbors and loving them as much as we love ourselves. I think we love ourselves too much. In our last neighborhood, we threw a block party once and had the entire neighborhood over to our house. We built some pretty amazing relationships there. I think I still may be there in my mind, too busy for our new neighbors. Too busy living in the past. Too busy making excuses while the people across the street go on living their lives without us in them.
5. I don’t have that great of a grasp on grace. I try really hard at everything. I try to perform for God. I try to earn his approval, even though Jesus has already taken care of all of this. I have a tough time when I mess up or let someone down.
So here is the point of this post I guess. Have you noticed something? Have you noticed how much I have used a certain word? Have you noticed how much everything revolves around….me? I this. I that.
This is the stuff that I bet God laughs at. I bet he thinks, “don’t you see how much of the focus in on you and what you can do instead of on me and what I’ve done for you.” I bet he laughs and laughs. I bet he thinks, “I told you so. I’ve been trying for years to tell you so.” I bet he loves me anyway. I bet he feels the same way about you. I bet he loves you in your brokenness, your messed-upness, your pain, your disillusionment. I bet he loves you even when you lost your marriage. I bet he loves you even when you hurt your best friend. I bet he loves you even when you don’t love him back or think about him much. I bet he loves you anyway. I know he does. I bet you he is waiting to talk. I’ll put my bet on that. I not betting on me anymore.
Am I alone here?? Love to hear in the comments!