Father’s Day Flip

Last month in May, we honored our Mothers. This month, June, we are honoring our Dads. The Iron Sharpens Iron Network has declared June as National Fatherhood Month. It is a time to encourage and equip Dads of all ages to engage with their children and grandchildren. We should be doing this all year, but we want to focus on helping dads be Dads, especially during June since Father’s Day occurs this month.

On Father’s Day, we Dads usually receive gifts and dinners from our children, but Dads, I want to encourage you to do something special for your children this month. I want you to flip Father’s Day to honor your children.

Now let me say this is not something you should be doing just on Father’s Day, but you should be doing it regularly. It is a way for us Dads to speak into our children’s and grandchildren’s lives every chance we get. If you have been doing this – I applaud you. If you haven’t, what a great time for you to begin to do this simple act.

In the Bible, we see our Heavenly Father setting the example by speaking into his child’s life. That child, of course, is His only begotten son – Jesus.

In Matthew Chapter 3, we read about Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be baptized. After John baptized Jesus, God the Father broke through the heavens and declared His approval. In verse 17 Matthew records that God the Father stating, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him up to the mountain. Matthew does’t explain why, though we can suspect it was to pray. Why, because it was not unusual for Jesus to go up into the mountains to pray.

But while they were there, Jesus began to be transformed before their eyes. Matthew 17 recounts that Elijah and Moses joined Jesus there on the mountain. This account is what is known as the Transfiguration.

During this event, God the Father once again broke through the heavens and said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him.”

With both of these accounts, we Dads can take these examples and imitate our Heavenly Father by speaking into our children’s lives.

You see, on both occasions, God the Father told those listening, “This is my beloved Son.” Jesus, “I Love You.” God also said, “with whom I am well pleased.” I am proud of you. Then finally, during the transfiguration, God the Father told those listening to “listen to Him.” Why would God say this? Because he knew that Jesus was good at speaking into people’s lives and helping them to develop an intentional relationship with God the Father.

So Dads. This is my encouragement to you. If you have been speaking these words into your child’s life, I applaud you. If you haven’t, start this today. Tell your child regularly, “I love You,” “I am proud of you,” and that they are good at whatever they are good at.

Dads we need to encourage and confirm our love for our children often. So Dads if this is an area you have been lacking – step up today to be the man – a real man – a man who affirms his children.

To the challenge and adventure to disciple men.

Mike Sandlin

What Kind of Fruit Do You Produce?

Have you ever seen a Fruit Tree Shaker? You may have seen a YouTube video of a machine with an arm that grabs the tree’s trunk. Then the machine spreads a net under and around the tree. As the machine grabs the tree trunk, it shakes the tree, and the fruit falls into the netting for harvesting. Brilliant idea to save hundreds of hours from picking the fruit by hand. Here is a link to a short video of a Fruit Tree Shaker: https://youtu.be/RKIQ5PqPLb4

How would you like it if something grabbed you and started shaking you? You probably would not like it. But you know, this happens to us regularly. Hopefully, you never experience someone physically grabbing you and begin to shake you physically, but there are things in life that periodically shake us emotionally to the core of our being.

It could be that someone says something that insults you or your family. It could be something that happens at work. It could be you were cheated out of a promotion, or someone took advantage of you financially. Maybe a family member was short with you with an answer or comment, which rubbed you wrong.

Maybe you have been diagnosed with a debilitating disease or a family member. It could have been a car accident where someone ran a stop sign or a traffic light, damaging that new car. I was a witness to something like this years ago. Or how about when someone cuts you off in traffic or breaks in line when you have been waiting for a while?

The point is that many things can happen in our lives that can grab us and shake us emotionally to the core. Think about the last time something did this to you. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could have been something small like forgetting to pick up your child at Day Care… Okay, maybe that is not a small thing. But I think you get my drift. Let’s try stumping your toe in the middle of the night while trying to walk through your house without turning on a lamp. Oh… that can hurt!

All of these things are like that Tree Shaker that grabs you by the truck and just shakes you—stirring up emotions. Emotions that will bring out the true you. It could be a particular word you didn’t know was there are maybe an action you find yourself doing automatically. In both cases, you may or may not regret what you said or did.

When this happens, what kind of fruit will fall from your tree – from you? You do know that you grow fruit in your life, don’t you? The Bible tells us in Matthew 15:18 that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.” The fruit you harbor in your heart will fall out when you have been shaken. You may not think it is there, but then there it is – surprise!

The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Then in verse 25, the Bible says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

If you are a Believer claiming to be living by the Spirit, these fruits, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should be growing in your life.

This is what I hope is falling from you when life events shake you; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. People will respond differently when these fall from you either by your words or physical action. So often, it will calm the situation. It will make you feel better knowing the Holy Spirit guides your thoughts and behavior.

In the next post, we will break these down and see what the Bible says about each of these attributes.

To the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike

Be Strong! Do Not Be Afraid.

I recently read in Nehemiah when I was struck with a scripture I have read many times and have even written and spoken from this text in the past. But for some reason, I had forgotten until I recently read the text.

The text comes from Nehemiah 4:14, and it impacted me many years ago when I attended a men’s conference. It helped me understand my responsibility as a man of God and especially to my family.

Nehemiah 4:14 states,

“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Now Nehemiah was telling the people of Jerusalem and their descendants who were left behind after Israel had been invaded and many had been exiled to Babylon. The walls of the city had been burned and were lying in rubble.

Nehemiah had returned with the king’s approval to rebuild the city and especially the wall that surrounded the city. However, the leaders of the kingdoms in the area did not like this, and they threatened to attack the people of Jerusalem for undertaking this task.

It was then that Nehemiah stood and gave a message of encouragement to the people of Jerusalem, and this is when he made the statement to “not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Men, we are still being attacked by the enemy of God from all directions. Watch the news. Read the newspapers and magazines. Listen to the talking heads on the TV, and you will hear men and women condemning the Word of God and threatening us to be quiet about our Lord and Savior.

They tell us if we want to believe what we believe to keep it to ourselves within our homes and in our churches but do not speak of it when we are in the public square at public meetings.

We are being told we cannot fly the Christian Flag on public property when any other flag for any other cause can be flown because it may offend someone—well, telling me that I cannot fly the Christian flag offends me. We are told we cannot pray on the 50-yard line after a football game because it might offend someone. Well, telling me that I cannot pray on the 50-yard line offends me. Some have been told they cannot read their Bible in public because it might offend someone. Well, it offends me that I cannot read the material I want to read, but you can.

Men, it is time for us to stand up and be counted. It is time for men everywhere who call themselves a child of God, a mighty man of God, and a warrior of God to no longer be afraid of those against God. Remember, our God is great and awesome.

Men, we are in the Battle for Men’s Souls. God has already won the war, but we are still fighting skirmishes until the Day of the Lord.

So put on the whole armor of God so you can stand firm. Be watchful. Act like men and Be strong.

Join me in the Battle for Men’s Souls and the challenge and adventure to disciple men.

  • Mike
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