A Child’s Nighttime Blessing

Good night my sweet child,
Rest your weary head.
May the Lord bless and keep you.
May the Lord grant you peace.
You are my sweet child and I love you dear, but you are a child of God and He loves you even more.
I cannot always see you but Jesus is always near.
So rest my sweet child and dream good dreams – may they be filled with joy.
And one more thing, as you drift off to your sleepy land,
Your Daddy in heaven has defeated the one who would harm you.
So do not fear the darkness for Jesus is your nightlight.
So good night my sweet child and rest.
You are in good hands.

Help Me Father

Father God,
You have called me to the holy calling of being a daddy.
I am happy.
I am thankful.
I am overwhelmed,
Overwhelmed at what this calling means.
Help me, Father, help me.
Help me be the daddy my kids need me to be.
May they see in me what it means to love You.
May they see in me what it means to obey You.
May they see in me what it means to serve You.
I want to be an example to them of what a godly life looks like; one that honors and glorifies You.
Help me, Father, help me.
Sometimes I feel like I am messing this daddy thing up.
Sometimes I feel like such a failure.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.
Help me, Father, help me.
Grant me wisdom and strength.
Grant me compassion and boldness.
Grant me mercy and empathy.
Grant me gentleness and tenderness.
I want to be the daddy my kids need me to be.
I want to honor You.
Help me, Father, help me.

Father’s Day Prayer

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there. You are being honored today for showing godly love to others and for living out your calling to reflect God’s glory. The following is a prayer that I have adapted from a Mother’s Day prayer that I came across years ago.

Have a great day, guys, and to God be the glory.

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless those fathers, who have been called and accepted the responsibility of parenting and/or showing fatherly love to others.
Bless those who have lost a spouse to death or divorce.
Bless those who, through various circumstances, find themselves parenting their children alone.
Bless those men who have been called to parent children through adoption or the foster care system.
Bless grandfathers who share their wisdom and love with multiple generations.
Bless those fathers who have had to bear the grief of mourning the death of a child.
We give thanks for uncles and godfathers and neighbors, who share fatherly love with so many children; and for far too often overlooked stepfathers.
We give thanks for those who choose to remain without biological children, sharing love with the world in many ways.
We pray for those who struggle with infertility, whose desire for a child is met with frustration.
We pray for the fathers of children with special needs and chronic illness, who know anxiety and exhaustion better than most.
We pray for those who were given abuse and heartbreak by the ones called to love them.
We pray for fathers who have made the difficult and loving decision to entrust a child to adoptive parents.
Strengthen all these men by your love that they may become the loving, caring persons they are called and meant to be; reflecting Your love and glory. Grant this through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Kindergarten Graduation

It’s hard to believe that my daughter is graduating from kindergarten. It feels like just yesterday that I first held her in my arms. And now I blinked my eyes and here I am — my little girl growing up. I am afraid to blink again because then it will be high school graduation, then college graduation, then her wedding day, etc. I’m not ready for that. Where are the tooth picks to hold my eyes open? I don’t want to blink again.

The following is a poem I wrote in honor of my daughter’s special day…

Here we are, my little one,
This first year is sadly done.
You have grown up oh so fast,
Time has flown by right on past.

I am very proud of you,
You’ve worked so hard, that is true.
Numbers, shapes and letters too,
Reading stories you can do.

What is next, God only knows,
In His love He always shows.
Bright and shining star you are,
God will use you near and far.

Keep it up my little one,
Your first year was lots of fun.
Now it’s First Grade, here we come,
A shining light you’ve become.

Help

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth.
[Psalms 121:1‭-‬2 ESV]

We have family staying with us this weekend and because of that, my 4-year-old son has been displaced from his room and is sleeping in our room. He usually ends up with us in our bed each night but is not accustomed to starting in our room.

Anyway, an hour or so after he went down, my wife hears something upstairs – it’s our son, whimpering at the top of the stairs. She scopes him up and brings him back to our room. After a little while she returns downstairs saying that he wants daddy. I rush up there and he’s crying. I ask him if he’s scared and with a crying whimper he says, “Ye-e-s”. I laid down next to him and held him close. Within minutes he was out. All he needed was to know daddy was near.

From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth.” Isn’t it nice to know that your heavenly Father is always there for you? You are never alone in the darkness. You are never alone in your fears. You are never alone in trials. You are never alone in tribulation. Cry out to Him and know your heavenly Father is there.

From where does your help come?

Daddy

During the week, I get the pleasure of waking up my children for school.

[I use the word “pleasure” very loosely here.]

Anyway, yesterday at 7 AM, I made my first attempt to wake up my 6-year-old daughter. There is usually protesting when I go in and so most mornings I end up giving her a couple extra minutes, but not yesterday. That morning was different. As I entered my daughter’s room, I noticed she was already in the process of sitting up. Maybe she heard me in the hall, I don’t know. Whatever the case, when I said, “Good morning sweetie.” She immediately reached out her arms and said, “Daddy“. I went over to her and she climbed into my waiting arms, buried her face into my chest and clung to me with everything she had. I reciprocated by wrapping my arms around her and carried her down stairs; enjoying the snuggle time. I could definitely handle that routine every morning. What a great start to the day. But regardless of the reception I get from my little girl in the morning, my love for her won’t waver.

Our heavenly Daddy also desires that routine every morning; waking up and immediately reaching out to Him in prayer saying, “Daddy“, and then falling into His loving arms. For you see, He loves you with an amazing love, even though you may protest and go to your phone first or the coffee pot or the refrigerator or whatever. Or maybe Daddy doesn’t even get a mention until later in the day. Whatever the case, His arms are waiting for you with an unconditional love that doesn’t make sense to this world.

Try it sometime. When you wake up in the morning, raise your arms and say, “Daddy” and then fall into His waiting arms. What a great way to start the day 🙂

The Redo

I don’t know who is reading this but I am writing this anyway. Maybe this is more therapeutic than anything else but hopefully the beginning of something. I was reading my devotions this morning and could feel something stirring in me; a stirring to explore and write. I am not sure where this is going so we’ll see what God is up to.

So why am I writing this morning?

Today got off to a bad start. First, I over-slept, which is something I rarely do with two young children. One of them is usually up early. Second, I got so caught up with being on time that I didn’t see the needs of my family. I was rushing to get myself ready while trying to get the kids fed and ready for preschool. I got flustered and impatient when I should have been more composed and compassionate. It was no one’s fault but my own that I over-slept (my Fitbit alarm has now been set for tomorrow, hopefully that problem solved).

After a moment of conviction I had a little heart to heart chat with my son; seeking forgiveness for being impatient and not there for him. I received a big forgiving hug and a smile from him. I was then ready to go, but still unsettled. I dropped the kiddos off at preschool and made my way to the office. Once settled in I turned to my Bible reading plan. What I read first got my attention and thus the motivation to write this morning. From Psalm 145:1-13…

1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The underlined parts grabbed me and convicted me. This is our awesome God but doesn’t it also point to how a father ought to relate to his children? Granted, this psalmist probably wasn’t thinking of parenting when he wrote this, but it still works. I mean, think about it. A parent ought to…

~ Commend God’s mighty works and deeds to his children…every day.
~ Be gracious
~ Be merciful
~ Slow to anger
~ Abound in steadfast love
~ Be good to all

That right there is the call for ALL Christian parents and thus I am going to be reflecting on this more and, God willing, be writing more about these actions. Once again, I am not sure where this is leading. Maybe it is more of an outlet for my own thinking and exploring. Who knows (well…God does), so we’ll see. For now, I am anxious to get home and have a redo with my children; to do better. I am anticipating some hardcore playing in the backyard. Hopefully my bad back will hold up 🙂

The Pastor -|—