Life 101 – Parenting Is Important

Dear Reader,

It has been a while but my revelation I just received reading the Judges 8-9 needs to be written down. I have highly valued ministry, the work of the Church and lately (the past 5-10 years) how I can apply myself in business to make a positive difference in the world. It fascinates and thrills me to think about what a successful business person could accomplish if they started a business based on God’s values/priorities. I want to start a scaleable business that invests in younger people and trains them to solve problems and start their own missional for profit businesses. The tear drop affect of something like this can change whole countries as has already been seen.

HOWEVER, it is all too tempting to derive my sense of worth from the success of whatever project I am working on. This can lead to me not prioritizing being faithful to my wife (I committed to a lot more than simply not having sex with other women) or my family. Sometimes that doesn’t seem like a big deal as long as it is only temporary. However, Judges 8-9 and many other old testament stories strongly challenge that line of thinking.

Gideon is a hero. Right? He did some awesome things. He had enough faith to test God’s angel and eventually obey God’s instructions. He pushed through his fear and attacked a huge army with 300 men and saved Israel. However, after his success he used his fame and money to have many different concubines (one step above sex slaves usually) and obviously wasn’t faithful with instructing his many children about God’s history with His people or His ways. His children led Israel astray and nullified the victory he helped win.

What a waste. God can use his story to inspire us a bit but ultimately Gideon missed the bigger picture. If we want to make a difference in the world we need to think in at least a two generational timeline! What a waste to do something great for God and then to simply have it undone by your children because you weren’t faithful to God in taking care of them properly… How much better would it be for each of us to accomplish a little in this life and train our children to take it further, than to accomplish much for God yet fail to be faithful with the most important resources God has given us (our spouse and children). Just like Jesus said in Matthew 23:23

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Also in 1 Timothy 5:8

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I would like to extend our interpretation of that from simply financial provision to also spiritual provision. We are clearly responsible to prioritize those closest to us by blood and then by faith. Then we focus on ministry once we have provided for those God has most called us to. Also, if love is concerned more with others benefit, how much better to see our children to succeed then for us to succeed and they be spiritually poor.

I consider myself warned. Are you on the path to multi-generational success or epic failure?

Steve

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The Work of The Cross/How to Be a Christian

Jesus,

You are who this is really to. You have always been there for me even when I knew so little about you. I don’t understand how I have missed for so long what now seems like it should have been the beginning of my relationship with you. I guess I knew it in some ways through experiencing you but I understood so little of what was happening… it was more like I was seeing glimpses of you through a fog instead of receiving a written invitation to a new you/me.

My First Beginning

I guess to understand where I am at now it is important to understand where I began the first time. I started Continue reading

God is Love. Love is… 1 Corinthians 13

I, like I assume most people do, normally read the “love chapter” 1 Corinthians 13 as an astoundingly impossible list of criteria that we are supposed to live like. The other day though, it occurred to me (thanks God 🙂 ) that the best way to read this chapter is to marvel at God’s love for me! God is love (1 John 4:8) after all. And when we marvel at who he is, the best part is that we become more like Him. So here you go. Enjoy my rephrased version of this chapter that God has written to you.

Dear Child,

I love you. I just can’t help it. When you struggle and feel like you are taking forever to figure out how to live this life properly, I am just patient. I love to give you good gifts and will never shame you. I don’t wish you were anyone else and I already have everything I need. I don’t look down on you and critically compare you to myself. I know who I am and the limitations I gave you when I formed you. I know sometimes it is hard to believe but trust me when I say that I never have and never will do anything carelessly or just to hurt you. Know that I am not just wrapped up in my own thoughts. I am intimately aware of what is going on with you and care deeply about your needs and desires. When you sin against others or myself, I don’t get angry right away because I understand why you choose to sin. It always makes me sad because I love you but I know how much you need me and I only judge you based on what I have given you in life. I don’t see a list of things you have done wrong when I look at you. I choose to focus on the things you have done well and I am so happy when you succeed in righteousness. When everything feels like it is falling in on you know that I will always be with you protecting you and strengthening you. I always have faith in you. I will never stop hoping for you to choose me and to become the person that I created you to be. I will never give up on you even when everyone else has. I will be with you to the end. My love is never wasted because you are worth it even if you reject me until you die and I don’t get to see you again.

Love,

Your Father in Heaven

 

Father,

Thank you so much for creating me and loving me like you do. Please forgive me for the times I reject you and choose sin. It never satisfies for long (if at all) and I long to remain in the peace and joy that you want for me. Please guide me and hold me close as I try to find my way. I need you,

Steve

How to Make Happy Endings

She has dementia. The last time she remembered him was many years ago… but still he keeps coming and sitting beside her bed, lovingly looking at her as she passes away. Faithful till the end.

It makes us cry to see or even here of a story where someone loves someone else truly and faithfully seemingly regardless of their emotional, mental or physical state. This is the picture in many people’s heads when they say their wedding vows. But how can I become that person? I can tell you I don’t look like that yet! Well this last year I have been learning more about what it takes to become that man. Continue reading

Direct Energy Worst Customer Service Fail Ever

You may have guessed from the title that this post is a departure from my usual goal of inspiring others. Just to be clear, DON`T CHOOSE DIRECT ENERGY. OK. Now here is why. As I explain please keep in mind neither I nor my wife have time to get jerked around like this and the only reason we haven’t cancelled so far is because we have been scared of just never getting our money back. We are in a tight spot in life where the time and financial needs have been growing, the economy hasn’t, and I have a million other ways I would rather be spending my time then writing this post right now. But, Direct Energy has earned this post.

Timeline

July 27, 2017

We had previously sent a request to update our address on August 27 as that was when we were moving to a new house. Continue reading

Prayers of a Parent by Steve

As are all of my personal posts this one is just as much for me to pause and meditate on what I value and to serve as a landmark to look back on in the future as it is to encourage and challenge you… There are times each of us catch glimpses of what we really want/are made for. Love. But what does love look like when your toddler won’t stop crying for water in the middle of the night or your newborn seems like a different baby from one night to the next? Some questions have easy answers but usually struggles of value have pictures and more questions that help lead us in the hard times. Hopefully my prayers will lead you to the pictures/questions your heart is searching for.

Father,

Thank you for adopting me as your son even though it would be and still does take me so long to succeed in the instructions you give me. Thank you for your patience and unselfish love. When I look at my children please open my eyes to see as you see. Please keep me from judging my children and put in me the words that will bring each of my children to life more and more. Help me to submit my thoughts to you and humbly receive your Spirit’s correction to my motives. Give me strength instead of laziness so that I may pursue valuable activities that build up my children as appropriate.

Remind me of the big picture that love wants others to accomplish greater things than I can and especially in the case of my children. I believe that the dreams and visions you have given me are not just for me but to pass on in some way to my children so that they might receive the things I have pressed in for and go further. I pray especially for their identity that you would be a shield around it that they recognize as from you. May they grow up knowing you chose their gender, time of life, family and strengths and weaknesses. May they know their worth is found in your love and that nothing they or anyone else can do will change that in your eyes. Reveal to them the unique purpose that you created them for but also give them patience to endure your process of refinement as they pursue it.

I know I have and will treat them wrongly in painful ways. Please draw others around them that they can receive your healing and encouragement through so that they will know you are always with them. Forgive me for the ways I have wronged them and set your Spirit to not let me hold any grudges against them. I ask that you would give me words of loving correction when they are holding onto hurt and resentment.

Rest.

Father, teach me to rest. Give me the patience and wisdom to know the season I am in and the season each of my children are in. May I never set goals that don’t align with your values and timing. Help me to choose grace instead of performance. Reveal to me realistic expectations of myself and my children so that I don’t exasperate either them or myself. But don’t let me set the standard based on the worlds evil, self-centered world view but based on Jesus standard.

Whoever seeks to gain his life… Lastly, teach me to submit to your ways even as many of my dreams and desires are laid down. Show me the light at the end of the tunnel so that the parts of me that have to die do so in a timely and appropriate fashion. Give me your life! The joy that never dies and gets deeper and deeper.

Love, your son,

Steve

 

RC Project – The 3D Printer (Tevo Tarantula)

Well this is the post that most of us have been waiting a long time for! Time to make stuff! This topic is only about 3D printers but it belongs in my RC Project category because of course, what kind of a custom designed RC car can you make without a 3D printer? Not much, or at least not affordably for me. This post is going to be long and as thorough as I have time to make it because I haven’t seen anything else like it yet. Let’s get started.

Choosing a 3D Printer

Hobby Printers

Anyone new to 3D printing first learns that there are two main types of printers to choose from for hobby use and they are Continue reading

Where Does Donald Trump Stand on Issues Number 1 – Abortion

I haven’t heard ANY insightful comments in the mainstream media as to why Trump supporters are voting for him based on where he stands on key issues. This is obviously because the MSM disagrees with Trump on key issues and doesn’t want to give them any airtime on the chance that would make them seem like valid arguments. Without anything insightful to add to the discussion they simply avoid it (which is wise for them). The only insightful comment I have heard in the MSM is that people are angry and want change. That is now obvious. However, anger fades and now there is a new president so lets talk about what now. This post is for Hillary Clinton supporters who are now interested in respectfully trying to understand their previous opponents. If you just want to argue/blast someone, please move to the CNN comments section. Hopefully this post will actually be read by someone and they will begin to understand more what many of the people who voted for Donald Trump are expecting from him and why.

Pro Abortion Logic Responses from a Pro Lifer

Continue reading

A Personal Confession

So I began to understand something more fully today. This train of thought occurred to me as I read “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken. In the book he shares how the last message a Christian Russian gave to his family before he died was Revelations 2:10. Basically, “be faithful, even unto death”. That was his life’s message and he was martyred for that less than a few weeks after. I just broke down when I realized how far my life is from that. These people lived and breathed scripture and songs of worship. At a conference they could recite several books of the Bible and hundreds of songs by memory. This kept Christianity going during intense communist persecution around the world and still does in China. True Christianity has always been persecuted like this somewhere in the world. The reason of course why it seems Christians aren’t persecuted in some places is likely because they haven’t warranted it. They just don’t seem that Christian. But enough general talk, back to me since this is my blog lol.

I have struggled consistently my entire life with Continue reading

Why Women Are Awesome!

God made men to need to be significant. God made men to need to do work that has a significant impact. This is something that God thinks is special about men. God made women to be beautiful. God made women to need to make themselves beautiful and desirable. This is something that God thinks is special about women.

One way that I can tell this is because satan attacked these two areas of men and women in the garden as soon as God created them. The curses that God gave men and women after they sinned wasn’t to make their life unbearable but a natural consequence of sin in general for their specific gender. Men would have strife in their work. Women would have strife in their relationships. Both would Continue reading