Archives For December 2011

It is comforting to know where we’re going.  It’s comforting to have clarity.  It’s comforting to know that there are signs out there to guide us.

Before becoming a Christian, I always knew there were signs out there telling me what to do.  Things like this would happen:

  • That must be a sign the girl likes me (or not like me).
  • That must be a sign that my golf round is supposed to turn around since my errant show hit the tree and bounced back into the fairway.
  • That must be a sign that I got a C in Chemistry so maybe I’m not supposed to be a doctor.

It didn’t take me long in life to recognize that there are no coincidences.  Is that rational?  Not really, right?  It takes faith to recognize that there is probably something bigger behind something that is simply deemed a coincidence.  But sometimes God gives us crystal clear signs and if we aren’t paying close attention, they will simply fade into the being part life’s daily happenings.

In the movie Signs (2002), this issue is dealt with directly. Some signs were given to the main characters years in advance. But none of them made sense until the characters were fully aware that they had a purpose at the present moment.  The characters may have missed them but they paid close attention and when the time was right, it all became clear on the meaning.

One of the main characters played by Mel Gibson, Graham Hess, asks his brother Merrill,

See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?

This past year I feel like the signs have been very clear.  I have worked in publishing for the past 6 years and never felt so bombarded with the message of “become a better father to your daughters” than this year.  My two girls are 2 and 3 respectively and I know this is the time to develop and grow with them.  The signs looked like this in 2011.

This past father’s day, I worked on a book called Daddy Dates by Greg Wright.  It is a personal story of Greg Wright learning how to raise four daughters but also offers very practical ways on fun “Daddy Dates.”

Before leaving Thomas Nelson, I was able to work on initial planning a very practical and helpful father’s book called All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill. I am eager to see it have a strong impact on dads when it releases in May, 2012.

The first day of my new job at The A Group, I discovered that I would be working on some pieces of curriculum for the bestselling book,  Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, PhD.

God apparently wants to use a megaphone this year to tell me that I need to focus on being a better father. Who doesn’t want to become a better father (or a mother)?  But for me I really needed this “push” to be intentional in developing.  I could have gone about my days and completely missed this.  This next year and beyond I’ll update you on this journey of learning, listening, praying, and engaging with my daughters.

Be intentional about praying for God to show you signs.  The signs may be subtle hints and feel like whispers from God.  Pray for God to bring you clarity and take steps to understanding what these things mean.  Pray for patience as these signs may be most helpful years down the road when need them most.

What about you?

Do you feel like you are being shown signs in your life?  

What are these signs telling you? 

Are you not entertained?

December 9, 2011 — 6 Comments

“Are you not entertained?”

These were the words shouted by Maximus in the amazing movie, Gladiator (2000). After slaying Roman soldiers in The Coliseum, former General and now slave Maximus gave them what they wanted.  He gave them entertainment.

I am an entertainment and information junkie.  Pre-digital age, I could spend hours in a library or a Barnes & Noble just filling my brain with any type of information possible. I even subscribe to Entertainment Weekly as it is my magazine candy.  How appropriate.

I read blog post after post about being distracted by the entertainment of this world.  I’m the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to this.  I often wonder what I would do if I couldn’t access “entertainment” and “information” at every moment? To illustrate my point, I’ve got ESPN on in the background as I writes this (cue me taking a moment to turn the tv off and actually focus on writing this to avoid extreme hypocrisy).  It hit me how much I try to cram in so much information into each moment when my body, heart, and mind can’t process it fast enough.  I’m simply not created to effectively keep up with this information madness.

I can feel God saying in my life, “Dave, you need to have balance. Focus on me first and slow down.”

Today’s reading from My Utmost for His Highest put it into perspective for me,

It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best.

But is it sin to be constantly distracted?  By my experience is sure feels like it.  Oswald Chambers points out that even though some of the things we fill our lives with are good, they still keep us at a distance from God.  It keeps us from the “best” God wants for us. I fear being behind in the information age but I’m reminded by God in his whispers that I need to focus on Him first to make sense of it all.  So that leaves me with this commitment:

 I’m going to spend more time thinking.

I’m going to spend more time dreaming.

I’m going to spend more time praying.

After that, I have a stack of books (physical and digital) that I have waiting to read.  He will bless in that time after spending time first with Him.

Furthermore in My Utmost,

If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road.

God gave us Matthew 6:33 for a reason:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

It is not easy. It is not supposed to be but know that you are not alone in this daily if not minute by minute battle.  But I know in those moments when I do seek him first, the blessing is beyond imagination compared to any entertainment.