Your Work is NEVER Done!

SXSWlypse.

As grandfathers, realize that as long as you are alive your ministry to your grandchildren is never done. So you need to continually…

 

Expand Yourself

As a grandfather, when you get stuck in neutral

you end up making a lot of noise

while going nowhere.

 

Many, if not most, grandfathers will spend their living in neutral, waiting for something to happen.  Like the car stuck in neutral we end up making a lot of noise but going nowhere. What gear are you stuck in?

You will only be able to give away

what you have first discovered for yourself.

Are you stuck going nowhere or are you moving toward God’s will and purpose in your life? Your personal and spiritual growth becomes part of God’s will, purpose and legacy for you to live and to leave. Will your children and grandchildren want to follow your example? What are you showing them? Where are you leading them?

Don’t miss out.

God is not through with you.

 

Give Yourself Away

One of the greatest paradoxes in life

is that when you are willing to give it all away,

you really gain it all.

 

What or who are you holding onto? Maybe you are hanging onto yourself for dear life. What has God given to you that He is now asking for you to give? Look and see. It probably is something to do with your time, talent, treasure and touch. Have I left something out? Oh, He wants that too!

When I was in my early 50s, God said to me that He wanted me to resign my job as one of the pastors of a wonderful church. Churches don’t pay that well, but they do pay every two weeks. I honestly told God, “Wait, another day. See me in a few years. Talk to me when I have enough money in the bank, more time, etc.” The problem was not with God; it was with me. I would not be the man or the grandfather I am now if I was not willing to give it all and let go.

God has heard all the good excuses.

It is only when we let go we can then let God.

God loved me enough to lay me up in a hospital bed to tell me that He had a “Greater Yes! – a greater potential and destiny for my life.” My wife drove three hours to find me ready to go into surgery. I told her I had to resign the church and do what God was calling me to do. She said, “It is about time!” That began the rest and the best of my life. A few months later, my first book, “Finding Your Greater Yes” was published. Your “Yes” and God’s “Yes” equals a “Greater Yes.” God has a greater yes, a greater potential and destiny, for you also.

 

Trust me; your “Greater Yes” must include your grandchildren.

What excuses are you making right now that are keeping you from becoming the man and grandfather God wants you to become? What are you hanging onto that is keeping you from your potential and destiny, which in turn is robbing you of your God-given potential and legacy?

 

Reproduce Yourself

God has already prepared in you

what he wants to conceive in you

and birth out of you.

 

The great artist Michelangelo stood staring at a huge piece of marble for months before he began his artistic endeavor. What was he doing? During those months of staring, many asked what he was doing. He simply said, “I am working.” He was mentally formulating the image that would emerge from the giant stone. He saw its’ potential. He saw this stone for what it could become in the hands of a skillful artist.

Just as Michelangelo chipped away at his “David,” God is even more skillfully chipping away to display what he wants to see in our lives and in the lives of our grandchildren. He is removing what does not belong and He is revealing his and our best.

Trust God, He knows what He is doing.

He wants to chip away what does not belong.

Although you may know that God is at work in our lives to change our character, this process takes time. We must decide on a daily basis whether we will follow Him willingly. Are you willing to open your life to the influence of the master artist? He wants to create a masterpiece from your life, but you must be willing.

 

Reminder: What God has dreamed for you as a grandfather

 can echo now and for eternity

through the legacy you live and leave.

 

Dr. Dan Erickson

Chief Servant Leader  |  People Matter Ministries

www.peoplematterministries.com

Helping the Single Fathers in Your Life

Man talking to man

Helping a single parent is a whole new level of reaching someone. It can be discouraging, messy, and rarely consistent. And unless you have ever been a single parent yourself, it can be quite intimidating to lend a helping hand to- let alone even knowing where to start. For anyone who may have a son, brother, or friend who is a single dad, here are five very quick tips that you can use to help them along the way.

Keep them covered

I know this may seem like an obvious one, but never underestimate the power of prayer. You may not completely understand everything they are going through, and that’s fine. Pray specific and transparent prayers, not manipulative or selfish ones. Be sure to love on the involved children unconditionally through it all and even pray with them whenever possible. Prayer can move mountains and when we pray within God’s will, we know we have the petitions we ask of Him (1John 5:14-15).

 

Seek godly counsel

Believe me when I say that I am fully aware of just how little there is for single fathers out there when it comes to Christ-centered help. Start by contacting some of the local churches in your area- ones that may have a higher single parent population than others. Even if the church doesn’t have an actual “single parent” ministry, many of the pastors may have counseled single dads in the past or at least have a general understanding of what they face regularly. You may also search for additional resources on our website: www.afatherswalk.org.

 

Do NOT slam the mom!

This is our “Golden Rule” of the ministry. Yes, the entire situation may be a mess and perhaps she is being spiteful or manipulative. I am sure it can be quite painful to watch your son of friend go through it all. I am right there with you when it comes to experiencing how unjust some situations may be due to the other parent or the courts’ doing. Still, if we allow the sin of anger and bitterness to seep into our hearts, it will only overflow into other areas of our life, perhaps even around the children. Instead, ask the Lord to remove these negative emotions from you if need be (you may really have to do some hardcore praying here!), but a softened heart is the only way to honor God (Psalm 86:11, Heb 3:13)

 

Help them build a foundation

Statistics show that only 33% of single parents attend church on a regular basis. Single parenting equals brokenness no matter how you slice it, and we know the only path to complete healing and restoration is through Jesus Christ. You know the single dads in your life well. Bible thumping and condemning talk isn’t going work- I will tell you that right now. What they need is to see the true love of Christ. Remain focused on creating a safe zone where your son, grandson, or friend can feel completely accepted and loved; somewhere they can heal and their feet can be set upon Rock.

 

Preparing for the long haul

Whether or not things ever get better between Dad and Mom no one may know. A father can always keep in mind that he is Dad for life, regardless of the circumstances. Things began extremely rocky between me and my daughter’s mom. Ten years later, it’s bumpy at best. Children get a huge part of their personality and self-perception from their father and our enemy is a master at keeping us spinning around in circles instead of looking to God for help. Any single father that holds fast to his relationship with the Lord will not only be able to persevere through the storms along the way, but will one day see His glory revealed through it all (Romans 8:18).

 

Single parenting is a tough situation for everyone involved. Our responsibility as Christian individuals is to show the unconditional love of Christ to others. The Bible tells us to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. Love never fails and perfect love casts out fear. Hold fast to all of God’s promises, because we know in Christ all of His promises are “yes” and “amen”.

 

Matt Haviland is the founder and director of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry and the co-author of The Daddy Gap. For more information, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.

Teaching God’s Word From the Overflow

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“My cup overflows”. –Psalm 23:5b

As a Christian leader, how healthy is your root system? Is your personal time in the Word primarily motivated by the satisfaction of making a check mark on your daily “to do” list? Are you investing time in the Word primarily with the objective of preparing materials to teach? Or do you pour yourself into God’s Word for the sheer joy of tapping into the living water that satisfies every part of your being?

God loves to give teachers of His Word amazing previews of what He has in store for His people. As a shepherd of God’s flock, there’s nothing more delightful than getting up early and going out to find the greenest pastures and stillest waters that the Lord has created for my unhurried and refreshing enjoyment. I can feel His pleasure as I linger over His Word, listen for His still, small voice, and drink deeply satisfying gulps of living water. All this before the rest of His people stir and move into the day. My heart overflows, and I am truly “full”.

From this place of deep communion with my God through His Word, I am solidly rooted in Him. Abiding with Him extends far beyond reading words on a page or hearing the sound my voice makes in prayer. It’s the place that I live from, as I have gladly invested my first thoughts of the day in hearing God’s perspective on the World that He created for us. And more significantly, it’s the place–the only place–where I consistently get the pure unfiltered perspective of who God says I am. When I can get underneath the stream of living water, my cup truly overflows.

As a Christian leader, you have a front row view of the difficulties of true discipleship. You see the utter darkness of men’s hearts, and you are struck by the total impossibility of any one of us walking in Jesus’s footsteps (including yourself) -without supernatural transformation of the heart. And you have experienced that grace, like an earthquake breaking every demonic shackle, allowing you to leave the prison of the heart as a free man.

But you also recognize the opportunity–day by day, and even moment by moment–to grow up into the freedom that has been bought for you with such a price. By simply abiding in Him, and digging deep into His Word, you have unlimited access to the living water that satisfies every fiber of your being. And as you stay in that place of fullness, you are involuntarily bubbling over into everyone you come in contact with.

As leaders in the path of discipleship, we have great authority–sometimes greater than we think. The desire to get rooted in God’s Word is more “caught” than “taught”. Those who follow us will naturally seek to emulate what they see in us. Will we demonstrate how to read the Word as a duty, a chore required for spiritual promotion? Or by our example, will we project a man sized thirst for the living water of the Word that compels us to sit underneath its beautiful stream until we are so full that we start overflowing onto everyone in our path?

Tim Truesdale is a husband, father of 4, and nationally recognized leader of Men’s Ministry. The Father is very fond of him.

Build Memories, Not Just Moments

parent-child-bike

I love taking my grandchildren to Disney, to the playground, or to the beach. These activities are fun but do they create memories that keep on keeping on even after this lifetime has passed.

A lifetime runs out,

eternity is a very, very long time!

Build…

Buildings that have no foundation will never stand the winds of time. Wow, how profound. Life’s trials will come and go, but the foundations you help build in your grandchildren’s lives will last for a life time. 

The key words I think of when building anything is “structure” and “intentional.” What kinds of structures are you intentionally building into your grandchildren’s lives that are done with a purpose and done on purpose?

Build with purpose.

Build on purpose.

It’s hard for your grandchildren to see God’s purpose working out in their lives just as it is for us. God does not do anything by accident. All we have gone through is all part of what God wants to build in us. Year by year, challenge by challenge, decision by decision, God uses them all to build his image in us.

Think about how you can intentionally build in each of your grandchildren. Here are some things I want to build in my grandchildren and in myself.

It is more caught than taught.

The world around us is in direct conflict with what we want to see in our grandchildren’s lives. The world creates expectations that may have nothing to do with God’s purposes. We must live and actively proclaim the truth over the lies. As a grandfather, I want to be one of the louder voices saying to our grandchildren that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. Words, thoughts and actions can build up or tear down, which do they hear and see from us?

What you want your grandchildren to remember

must be said and lived now. 

Memories… 

The best legacies you will ever leave

are the memories you create.

 

If I were to ask each of my grandchildren what was their most memorable moment I hope there are seven, one for each of my grandchildren. Why? Let me say it again, because they are all individuals. We must see them as individuals and seek to build memories that last for their life-times.

Memories are made over time.

I am sure all of my grandchildren will remember the great time we had at the lake, at an amusement park or on a Disney cruise. But what memories would each of my grandchildren recall as being special; working together on a project, a mission trip to the Navajo Nation, maybe playing Scrabble or Dominoes and beating Papa over and over again? Those memories have very specific meaning, because of the time and conversation we have while doing them.

 

I want to change history and memories on purpose.

Memories by accident can be scary.

 

Build, structure, and create the times you want to live and the memories you want to leave. Recently we spent a week in Breckenridge, Colorado, and the best things I did with our grandchildren was make snow angels. It did not cost us one dime. It was not the reason for the trip; it was simply spontaneous and great fun. We have the pictures!  

Your grandchildren will not judge you by the car you drive,

the house you live in or by the stuff you own

but by the memories you live and leave.

For a Lifetime

 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, for a lifetime! There is plenty of time for that.” Really? Only God knows for sure, and you ain’t God! So what are you waiting for?

How much lifetime do we really have left?

Oh, you don’t know!

You might want to get on with it now.

 

May I make a suggestion? Well, I’m going to do it anyway. Ask each of your grandchildren this simple but leading question, “If I could do anything for you or with you that I can afford, what would you like most?” What would they say? If you don’t know, at least ask. I promise I will, too!

Remember…

Money and stuff will be spent and rust away but memories last for a lifetime.

When you ask them what you could do for them remember they are different ages. You may need to ask the parents for some insights.

 

Reminder: YOUR greatest investments or achievements are not found

 in your “what’s”: possessions, power, privilege or prestige,

but in your “Who’s”: God, your wife, family, and

the legacy you live and leave.

  

Dr. Dan Erickson

Chief Servant Leader  |  People Matter Ministries

www.peoplematterministries.com