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Six Essentials Values of a Father

Single parent homes are not just a trend.  Single parent homes have become the model of a normal American family extending from urban communities to the suburbs. And when I speak of single parent homes I am speaking of the majority, “women raising children”.  It is a proven fact that women of every generation and race have been the fabric, backbone, parent, and in some cases the primary bread winner of the family. In many cases, women have to assume a unique role of parenting to overcompensate for the absence of fathers.  Where are the fathers that care?

My story is a little different, I grew up in a two parent home in which my father was a very active parent. My mother and father assumed very distinctive roles that cultivated an environment driven by faith, love, affirmation, discipline, determination, and perseverance.  There are values and wisdom that my father instilled in my siblings and I that reflect in and throughout our personalities.  There are times in which we have not always personified the values instilled but yet the foundation remains. These values are essential and act as foundational tools to give a person significance, character, and integrity in a vastly changing society. There is something unique about the presence of a father in the live of their children.  I want to share some values that I have learned through my relationship with my own father that I will strive to instill into my family.

Faith-the acknowledgement of God  and reliance on the supreme essence of the the Holy Spirit to lead and guide as a father, husband, and teacher.  Make children aware of God’s redemptive plan of salvation and unconditional love toward us. Openly conveying your beliefs and values.

Love-acknowledges and develops strong relational bonds.  The presence of genuine need for transparent and embracing your children with the gentleness and tenderness of one who is concerned and willing to protect and comfort. Man, hug and kiss your children.  Are children are not here to serve us but we are here to serve our children.  Be affectionate!  Tell them that you love them!  Not just on Christmas and not to manipulate them to doing what you want them to do! 

Affirmation-an awareness and commitment to provide strong support for emotional needs for child; gives a child significance; making your child feel like their presence is needed and wanted. Celebrating successes and acknowledging failures with hope of succeeding again.  Willingness to create an environment where children can feel like they can become someone and achieve even before they ever try to do anything.  

Discipline- the presence of preparation, to correct when wrong, provide understanding and vision; presence of self-control, and continue nurturing and guidance…  

Determination- instill problem solving skills, allowing child to make decisions, and committed to help support them in achieving their goals and celebrating when they follow through with their actions.  Having your children look forward to something…Acknowledge when you fail or come up short…it will free them from perfectionism and release them into excellence…

Perseverance-instill a quality of mental and physical stamina and strength opposition and challenges.  The willingness to stand with your child to teaching them the quality of not giving up in other words, spot them as they bench-press life.  

I pray that as fathers we would become committed to these essential values and think through how you can implement these into your family life.  These values may translate differently based on family structure.  And to the fathers that did not grow up with a father (your father was not active) you can still be what you never had.  It takes time and you being intentional.  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.  We all have but get up and do better next time.  Our children need us.

TjS

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in young adults

 

10 Essential Steps of Praying

Good morning, I have received quite a bit of Facebook messages,etc. expressing that many of you  are looking for information to help you understand prayer and how it works.  It’s the right time for you to build a sturdy foundation with your Heavenly Father, and it is done through prayer and reading scriptures, and applying it.  I want to help you.  I want you to know that prayer is an essential ingredient in my life. To me, prayer is a linguistic vernacular that only my Father understands.

How long should I pray?  I interpret prayer as a conversation.  All my phone conversations are not long. Some are short and some of them can get pretty lengthy…it depends on the subject matter.  So take your time.  But it is a conversation with your Heavenly Father…

Build a prayer schedule?  Hey I have found that setting a schedule of times in which you will pray is a good tool.  Like Mon-Wed.-Friday set a part 10-20minutes to read scripture and share your heart with your Father.  T-Thurs.-Sat. you may have more time or less time… But set up a routine that works for you.  Also, be open to how the Father may want to talk to you…So be open!  (My schedule varies from week to week.  Sometimes I spend more or less time.  However, someday I spend 30 minutes or hrs at a time praying, listening, mediating, and reading my word. SOMETIMES A LAY PROSTRATE ON THE FLOOR, OTHER TIMES I AM SITTING UP, AND MOST OF THE TIME I WALK AND PRAY OR READ MY BIBLE.)

But Travis, Really?  Prayer is  really Boring.   Yep, I thought you would say that.  I have learned to pray that God  instill in me a joy in knowing that I have full access to my Father.  I take joy in knowing that I have access to Him through the Holy Spirit.  I don’t take it for granted and neither should you.

  • Step 1. Acknowledge God as your heavenly Father.
  • Step 2. Praise God for who He is and what He has done.
  • Step 3. Choose one of God’s names, attributes, or characteristics and Thank Him for being that you. ex. Deliverer, Counselor, Peace, Rewarder, Wisdom, Shield, Refiner, Ocercome, God who forgives,loves, gives peace…We need God to BE our Healer, Comforter, Redeemer, Forgiver, Strength, Resting Place, Provider, Light, or Refuge,
  • Step 4. Present your day to the Lord…(Prov. 3:6-7)
  • Step 5. Present your body to the Lord. (Romans 12:1)
  • Step 6. Confess your sins before God and ask Him to help you live His way…(Ps.139:23-24, 1 John 1:8-9)
  • Step 7. Ask God to help you speak only words that bring life. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Ps.19:14)
  • Step 8. Ask God for whatever you need… ask god to meet all of your needs today
  • Step 9. Pray for God’s will in your life.
  • Step 10. Pray for other people and situations.

                    (Exerts taken from “The Power of a Praying Church” by Stormie Omartian with Jack Hayford)

Leave comments if this helps  Also, if you want additional info let me know.

Grace and Peace,

TjS

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in busters, mosaics, young adults

 

Why does my life feel so meaningless?

Have you ever said to yourself,”this right here is meaningless!”  It feels MEANINGLESS!  What do you do when life feels so meaningless that you don’t even want to go to work, talk to your close friends, etc.? What do you do when your job feels meaningless?  What do you when reconciling a relationship feels meaningless?  Yes, when things get in the “meaningless zone” your thoughts feel void of hopeful creative assurance that what you’re doing is going to produce a purposeful outcome.  There is a loss of hope and strength

How does this thing that we have categorized as meaningless relate to where I am going?  How can something so meaningless be associated with my life that is suppose to be so full of purpose?  This doesn’t make sense! Everything we do in life does not yield immediate self-satisfaction and a nice pat on the back. So take courage! I have often found that what I have concluded as meaningless was quite purposeful.  I have learned that you can’t always allow your feelings to govern your life, but yet you should be in tune with your feelings.

You must also learn the art of purging.  I have found that the meaninglessness of my life is always a sign that I needed to purge myself of sometimes people, stuff, and refocus my attention on the vision and the goal that I first had in mind.  So don’t be afraid of moving on because some people coupled with a situation will drive you insane robbing you of valuable energy and time.  Something has to give!  In contrast, sometimes other people are not our problem, its our perception of where we are.  So work on your perception by doing some serious self-reflection and prayer to reinvigorate and reestablish your passion, vision and goals for your own life.

Word to the Wise: Don’t do anything stupid.  Don’t go out and lose your mind….making permanent decisions in a temporary situation.  Ride this out!  It will turn.  Encourage yourself!  Make sure that you stay focused.  Make sure that you stay positive and are constantly feeding yourself with knowledge that will make you a better person.  Make sure that you’re not grieving yourself by avoiding the truth.  Learn to embrace the truth about you and where you are!  Oh and by the way, I have always found that when I  stop praying to my heavenly Father my life feels meaningless.  *Smile real big*

tjs

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in young adults

 

The Short Complex Part I

I know its been a few weeks,  I have been SUPER BUSY!  I know you’ve been busy too.  Every time I intended on finishing this blog entry something else would take me away.  However, here we are! I want to share this special entry with you.  I hope it blesses you.  If it does I want to know about it.

As many may know I am a young adult director/pastor.  I recently finished a series entitled, “Dreamchasers”. I really do believe that our generation has what I call the “short complex”.  I know you’re saying, “short complex, what the heck is that?” LOL.  Okay, let  me explain…

Psychologist Abraham Maslow once wrote “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.”  Read this quote again…  Think about it.  It’s quite BEASTLY! The profoundness of this statement points us to a deep, critical, and serious reflection of how we live our lives and what we are doing with our lives. Is there a greater capacity?  Is there more that we could be doing?  Is there brilliance inside of us?  Is their creativity inside of us?  What’s in you?  Notice I didn’t ask you what people say about you, I asked you about you!  Most people have a tendency to blame others for their lack of drive and ambition.  Or we even blame the DEVIL!  OH, the big scary devil.  Please!!!!  Stop it!!!!  The devil has no power over you unless you start believing his lies and foolery.  Believing the LIE only empowers the LIAR.

We are all born with potential but yet with no instruction manual.  So many of us have lived in environments where our true potential, purpose, and capacity was not realized until years later after we wasted quite a bit of time. Or our parents were so busy working just simply to provide that the environment was not conducive for discovering our true essence but just a environment of SURVIVAL.

So, if you ever have wasted time you’ve had a case of ,”The Short Complex”.  If you have ever been distracted by people and been led down the wrong path,”The Short Complex.”  If you’ve ever spent precious time complaining about stuff that you have the power to change then you have, The Short Complex.”  If you’re waiting on someone in your family to die and leave you a lot of money so you can say you are rich but in the meantime you’re doing absolutely nothing you have, “The Short Complex.”  If you are currently enrolled in college or graduate school and are not giving your all and KNOW that you can do better, you have, “The Short Complex”.  If you have become weary in  WELL doing, and absolutely hate where you are in life…then you have “The Short Complex”.   If you are currently insecure with other people’s success then you have “The Short Complex”.  If you are only concerned about you and have not considered that everything you do will effect other people then you have “The Short Complex.”  If you think that you are going to be 22 or 23, 19, or 30 the rest of your life and you’re just chilling…you have “The Short Complex”.  If you have to tear down others to make yourself look good…you have The Short Complex. If you’re a Christian but don’t apply any of Jesus’ principles to your life then you have “The Short Complex”.  If you know that you have more in you but your next level will take a leap rather than lip service but you won’t leap, you have It!  I’m just saying!  If you operate in fear verses Faith you have “The Short Complex”.  If you have dreams but won’t move on them…you have it too. SN:  To be honest we all have had “The Short Complex”…

Do you realize that you were created for far more than what you have accomplished?  So “The Short Complex” is defined as men and women selling themselves of their true potential and capacity  “The profoundness of this statement continues to provide me with the mental space to reflect and to be prayerful about my life, marriage, family, ministry, business, and my future!  Where you are today is a direct reflection of where you were yesterday and where you will be tomorrow will directly reflect where you were today.

A very wise man told me that what ever you are going to do, Do It Now!!!!  I pray that will recognize that you have greatness lurking in you, a greater capacity, brilliant concepts, and ideas that are waiting to get out!

 

 

What Are You Wasting?

Hey folks, I have been super duper busy. However, I want to share something with you.

I recently ministered about The Prodigal Son (Luke 15). In this message I highlighted key elements of truth in the life of the prodigal son and how this story relates to the life of many youth and young adults. I want to share a few thoughts from that message…

As Christians we are sons of God however, it is very possible to be a son and be immature. The prodigal son was an heir but had an issue with his behavior. Being chosen doesn’t take the place of personal character, integrity, or behavior. Let’s grow up in our faith and conform to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29) The only way that your behavior will change is when your heart, will, and your mind change.

What made the son leave? I would argue that the son gained a desire for something that was outside of the father’s house. Whatever you desire you will or have gained an appetite for. Desires begin with our 5 senses…Please be careful of the things you desire. Desires will lead you to something or desires will lead you away from something. I don’t know what your something is…but be careful. The prodigal son’s desires left him broke and starving. What are your desires leading you to? (SN:You can be in church and be wreckless! We have many In-House Prodigal son)

He wasted “his substance”. The Greek word for “substance” is “ousia” meaning goods, property; personhood, identity, being. So the prodigal son is not just wasting money, he is wasting something more valuable, his identity. He is wasting his time, identity in a place that is not his purpose. What have you been wasting? Time? Energy? Creativity? Emotions? Resources? (See, the prodigal son was given substance that only he could be given because he was his father’s son. The substance was a representation of who he was to become, also an inheritance) The things that we possess are a representation of who we are, how we think, and what we know. When we waste your -ousia (being, personhood, identity) we will also waste valuable assets of eternity. There are things that God wants to download to us, but we have to be in the right posture in order to receive the entirety and measure of what God wants to download to us.

But the son is reminded of the valuable gift of being in his father’s house. His father has compassion and receives him with loving care. Notice, that the son REPENTS! Saying I am sorry is not repenting! In order for true fellowship to be restored you will have to repent to God and to others. Repenting is a form of humility that many people avoid. Maybe what’s holding quite a few people back is their resistance to repent. Humility is born out of repentance. Repent!

The prodigal son’s father gives him a robe which represents a change of garments “cleansing from sin”. Also, a ring which is also a sign of “authority, power, strength”. He gets his power back. And he receives a pair of sandals which mean “to lock someone in”. So the son has been restored and locked back in to his identity! I pray that you would repent and get locked back in to God’s plan for your life. Amen.

Note:If you read this please offer some feedback, I would love to hear from you. *please share with friends, youth group, young adults, colleagues, family, and peers.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in young adults

 

Out Of The Way

Earlier today, as I was en route to a lunch meeting I had a moment.  You know an “Ah Ha Moment”.  As I took a few moments to prepare my mind and thoughts for the meeting, my thoughts for the meeting were interrupted with the thought of what will be best route to take to the meeting.  The highway that I was currently on leads to two different highways that would take me to my destination.  Both highways would lead me to the destination however, one highway would take me a few minutes out of the way. (I had about 5 minutes to make up my mind). I was very FAMILIAR with the highway that would take me a few minutes out of the way. On the other hand, the most likely highway to travel to this destination was a road that I had NEVER driven down before.

As I approached the highway that I never drove down before, I quickly looked at my calendar to check the address of the meeting.  To my surprise the same exact highway was listed in the address on my calendar.  As I continued to approach the highway,  I realized that all I had to do was get in the left lane and follow the road straight to my destination.  There were no traffic jams, no oncoming traffic that would make my merger difficult or nearly impossible.  I had enough time to make up my mind.  Again, the highway on the sign and was listed in the address on my calendar.  Something internally said, “It’s a match. This is the right road, its your turn. I know you’ve never been down this road before but its a match. Gen.12.  Abraham knows oh so well what it means to travel the sound of an invisible voice to a place that he has never seen before.  But Abraham trusted the voice to lead him to new vistas of possibilities to unfold the next dimension of his purpose.  

Yet with all of this internal confirmation, I never made the turn. What?  After I passed the exit to the highway that I had never traveled down before (but was confirmed by the address on my calendar, and an internal assurance that this was the right road) I felt horrible.  Yet, I stayed straight, heading toward the other highway that I was totally FAMILIAR with, but would take me OUT OF THE WAY!

  1. I felt like I missed an opportunity to discover something new that would help me and not hurt me.
  2. God can say, “Go.” But you have to be willing to move!
  3. Faith was waiting on me to make a Move!  I felt that I was in a moment of faith in which faith was to be appropriated by me. (Faith is action not only by God but also by the believers.)
  4.  All the signs of confirmation where invisible but yet clear.  (The external confirmation being the sign on the road and the calendar.  And the internal confirmation my intuition/Holy Ghost. )
  5.  Faith will not be packaged in the familiar, but faith will be packaged in what you have never experienced.
  6. Trust what you hear.
  7. It is so easy to be trapped inside of the familiar because we are very sure of the familiar because  it has become normalcy.   And anything that has become normalcy to you, you have become extremely comfortable with…and it could take you OUT OF THE WAY.
  8. I don’t want to be half on, almost on, or out of the way…I want to BE DEAD ON!!!! Bull’s eye!
  9. Out of The Way represents unnecessary pressure, heartaches, headaches, debt, and WASTED TIME etc. that can be avoided if you would allow the Holy Spirit to navigate you.

How many times have you had ridiculous confirmations but still trail down the same path of familiarity because it was familiar and comfortable to you.  This journey of faith will lead you down paths that are full of fear, uncomfortable, uncertain, strange, humiliating, and most of all to some CRAZY!!!  Just make sure that its Jesus leading you and not YOU! There is no one standing in the way but you.

There might be some one reading this and the road that you are on has led you OUT OF THE WAY.  Don’t waist another moment in OUT OF THE WAY stuff (ppl and stuff that waste your time)  But Jesus came to the earth, died, and rose to show us His way.  (John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.)  Faith in Jesus is the WAY.  Jesus may be trying to navigate you to knew untapped areas of potential and purpose.  Job 23:10 says, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

I MADE THE WRONG TURN SO YOU COULD MAKE THE RIGHT TURN…

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in young adults

 

Give It Up!

I am pretty new to this fatherhood thing.  My daughter, Sydney is almost 2 yrs. old. WOW! (Where did the time go?)As a parent I have become quite observant of Sydney’s likes and dislikes. She has a a unique sense of humor. Also,  I have noticed that she is most apt to pick up things that do not belong to her.  And because of her curiosity she seems to want things that she should not have.

The other day, I  noticed that my phone and my daughter had made their way out of my sight. I called her name several times and their was no response.  I began searching for her…Whenever a child has something that they shouldn’t have they usually hide and get extremely quiet.  That’s kinda what Adam and Eve did after they were deceived by the serpent in the garden.  They hid themselves.(Genesis 3:11)  They isolated themselves. They hid themselves in a new found perception of life that was revealed through disobedience.   Many young adults have hidden themselves, covered themselves, and become non-responsive to the clarion call of their destiny.

Due to the non-responsiveness of Sydney, I felt the need to project my voice in hopes that the projection of my voice would convey a sense of urgency which would demand an immediate response from Sydney.  So I called her name several times! SEVERAL TIMES!!!  In life, I have noticed that the closer we are to God through obedience the softer His voice is in our lives, but the further we get away from God  through disobedience the louder His voice projects.  Its funny how young adults try to become so (hiding) busy hoping that “being busy” would silence His voice.  Hiding only creates an illusion that you have escaped His call.   However,  hiding doesn’t Hide HIS VOICE.  There is no place that the Father’s voice can not and will not go!  The Father’s voice will search you out.  You can’t get high enough to silence His voice.  You can’t get drunk enough to silence it either. Sexual immorality doesn’t silence His voice!  I don’t care how loud the music is in the strip club, it can’t silence His voice.  I don’t  care how much you are active in ministry that still won’t silence His voice.  Working late to avoid the true reality of your life doesn’t silence His voice.  Having a lot of friends can’t do it either.  Staying up late at night on Facebook doesn’t silence His voice.  Having a great job doesn’t silence His voice. Eating excessively doesn’t silence His voice either.  The Father’s voice will end up in the most strange places.  Trust! Wherever you try to hide…He won’t let go of you…His voice will find you. You can never mute His voice, you can only ignore His voice.

Sydney was drawn away to hide with a thing that she knew she shouldn’t have. Most young adults are drawn away by things that we shouldn’t have. In so far, that there will always be a THING or things that draw us away from God; greed, lust, drugs, sex, pornography, orgies, pride, bitterness, hatred, lying, rebellion, discord, and jealousy (just to name a few).(Colossians 3:5-10)  It’s the things that draw us away that makes His voice get louder. Sometimes the Father’s voice get’s louder because we know better but don’t do better.   In contrast, some of us don’t know better because we haven’t been exposed to better.  God wants better for you.He wants to free you from hiding.  He wants to expose you to the wonders of His grace, unconditional love, true friendship, and the beauty the Holy Spirit and being free from sin and death…(Romans 8:1-15)

Eventually I found Sydney. She was startled. I discovered what she had done. (The thing “my phone” was intact but she was startled. Seldom does the thing(s) get altered but most of the time we end of being financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually discombobulated.) I asked her, “Sydney, did you hear daddy calling you? Sydney, totally disregarded my question and replied, “Daddy your bone(phone)..Here daddy…Here.” And with no hesitation, she handed me the phone.   In her mind, she knew what I was calling her name for the whole time.  Many of us know what God is calling us to, but we are so disenchanted, bound, disillusioned, and stubborn that we don’t want to let go of the thing that has held us hostage from exploring the greater possibilities of purpose. You know what the Father is calling you from and what He’s calling you to.

Stop hiding. You know what God wants,  GIVE IT UP! (Hebrews 12:1)

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in young adults