Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Emergency Scene

This is not a typical post found on this site.  No real heart-felt thought or moving idea.  Just a simple observation and a little advice.  Last night, I had the privilege (I call it this for a reason) to respond to a car accident scene as a firefighter.  The call information came across as two cars and one motorcycle involved with injuries and debris.  I feared the worst.  Most motorcycle accidents are very bad.  There is just so much working against the rider – lack of protection, velocity and so on.  As I started my response, my mind focused on “preparing for the call”.  It was then that I thanked God for the privilege to be able to serve in this capacity.  Not everyone can do it.  It is a gift, I think, to be able to process and handle being an emergency responder.  After a quick prayer of safety, I focused clearly on arriving safely.  I am sure most people think that first responders have “tunnel vision” and are not focused on anything but a heavy foot on the gas and loud sirens.  This is not the case.  I watch every single car coming at me and going in my direction.  I anticipate what they may do – worst case scenario stuff.  As I begin to pass, I continue to watch – do they hear me, see me, are they yielding, can I safely react if they change their mind?  I learned a long time ago that my lights and siren merely ask for permission to pass, but don’t guarantee it.  As I near the given location, I begin to focus on where the traffic will start to back up.  The last thing I want to do is come around a corner and be involved in an accident myself.  Then, once on scene, my priorities shift to: My safety, my crew’s safety, the patients / bystanders safety, and finally traffic mitigation.  In that order, every time.

Now, on the other side of things, I understand and I sympathize with the people stuck in the traffic line.  I have been there.  You just want to be home, or get to work, or get wherever you are trying to go.  You left without the thought of being delayed.  Now, you are stuck in traffic.  Maybe you are near the front of the line and see a clear path that you could take, but we have instructed you to sit still.  It’s frustrating.  I have had more “angry” conversations with folks that just didn’t understand why the road was shut down, than any other situation.  Believe me, we don’t like to shut down all traffic.  It means there is potential for more accidents, and we know we’ll be on scene longer ensuring traffic begins to move and clears out.  But when focused on safety for myself, my crew, and all others that have to be there, it is sometimes necessary.

I say all of that to offer these words.  Be patient.  That’s all we ask.  The most dangerous thing anyone can do on these scenes is lose their patience and try to remedy their situation of being stuck in traffic despite our efforts.  I have seen countless accidents, and read about so many others that happened because a driver didn’t heed the instructions of those controlling the scene.  Cars trying to turn around to go in the other direction hit by the cars that have been allowed to proceed, or even worse, emergency crews  being struck by cars that decided there was an opening and they were going.  Many may not realize, but failing to obey an emergency scene worker is against the law – even firefighters.  We are technically in charge of the entire scene on a car accident (above EMS, law enforcement, etc.).  Everyone there has a job to do, but the fire department is responsible for ensuring the overall scene remains a safe environment to work.

So remember, we will get you through that scene as soon as it’s safe for you and everyone else there.  Try to remember that if you were involved, you would want to be able to focus on what was happening and not worrying about someone running you over.  Understand that we are not trying to torture you or needlessly shutting things down for our enjoyment or because that is what we always do.  If you want to learn more about how this works, we are accepting volunteers every day.  While you are waiting, try offering up a simple prayer for the safety of those involved.  Take a minute and talk to your kids in the backseat.  Be thankful that for the briefest moment there is nothing you can do, but be still and relax.  God may be placing you there to give you a short break.

TGIF (Today God is First)

Today God is First.  This should be the first thought in my mind every day that I open my eyes.  So many times, I find myself staring at my work around noon and realize I haven’t spent anytime in God’s word, or in prayer that day.  I was looking for a new online reading plan / devotional and saw this title.  It’s a great little devotion, but the title just stuck with me.

I imagine this was the perspective that Paul had when he was sitting in prison, awaiting a sure execution, but pressing on with everything inside of him to share the gospel.  I was challenged this morning while reading 2 Timothy to have perseverance and to not be afraid to be bold and faithful.  The world is a scary place right now.  Maybe it has always been a scary place and we just didn’t know it because we were young.  I am sure my parents had fears in their time as young adults and wondered what the future held for their children, but now it is a reality in my life.  As I search each day for the right words, and actions to model a christ-like existence to my kids, I am reminded that I have to model boldness in the light of love and peace to them also.  I love the context of Paul’s encouragement to Timothy.  He is basically telling him to be bold, and on fire for Christ, holding nothing back, but be sure to do it with love and self-control.

Christians are being condemned in societies eyes because we are standing up here and there and defending or even just proclaiming our faith.  The world is on edge looking for another opportunity to portray Christians in a light of hate and bigotry.  We are just sitting on our high horse judging people.  I have heard that statement at least a hundred times just this year.  In some cases, I am sure that is how it comes across.  But we are encouraged to realize that the power of God is within us as believers, but also the spirit of discernment and self-control.  We need to rely on the perfection of God’s ability to reach His people through us and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in how we speak and represent.

I will admit, at times, I just sit back and refrain from saying anything, even when I know that God is prodding me to stand up and share his message of love and truth.  I hate controversy and sometimes it’s easier to just sit back and pray that someone else reaches this person or that person.  Today, after reading through the opening parts of 2 Timothy 1, I am encouraged to not hold back.  Even though this world is turning inside out and going against everything I know to be true in God’s word; the work is still there.  God has given us a new day today and the work is there.  I am promised the power of the Holy Spirit and the ability to exercise self-control so that I am bold in proclaiming Christ through a tongue of love and gentleness.

Finally, the last take-away for today is that as a Christian, I have many brothers and sisters that could use encouragement.  Paul’s last focus in the opening chapter of 2 Timothy was pretty clear about how the abandonment of some of his friends was hurtful and discouraging to him.  He knew he had work to do, but he was still a human being that needed the encouragement of a visit or some contact from his friends.  I want to remember that being there for my brothers and sisters in Christ is just as important as reaching the world for Jesus Christ.  We are one body with one purpose and have only ourselves and our faith to depend on as we press forward.

Lord, today, I thank you for another day to live.  I thank you that your love is flowing freely within me and that you have given me the power to be a servant for you in this world.  I pray that I would use that power with an eye for self-control and be bold, yet loving.  Help me to remember that the work is there, and that you have called me to do it.  I pray you would also fill me with the desire to be an encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ.  In your name – Amen.

Playing Church

When we think of playing things, especially thinking back to our childhood, I would venture to say playing church isn’t what comes to mind.  In fact, I can remember playing just about everything else – cops and robbers, superheros, even school – for some weird reason.  From a young age, church was just that – somewhere you went and learned a little about the bible and then you came home to reality and didn’t really think about it until next Sunday.  While we didn’t intentionally play church, that is exactly what we were learning to do.

For so many people, church is the building.  It is an appointment on our weekly calendar.  We may be 100% faithful in attendance, and may be overly involved in the various activities, but all the while, still just playing the part.  For years, that was me.  Even today, there are times when I reflect on where I am with my walk and realize that I am playing more than I’m living.

Playing church is a dangerous game for non believers, and can be a major roadblock in the life of a believer.  For the non-believer it’s an eternal game changer.  The bible is clear that there will be many people who come before Christ and are surprised to find out that they never really had a relationship with him, but were simply “playing the part”.  Mathew chapter 7 is pretty clear that many people will cry out Lord Lord and he’ll respond with “Depart from me, I never knew you.”  If you are someone who has played the church game, but never taken the time to really give your heart to Christ and be intentional in your faith in the finished work of salvation through Christ then this is where you are heading.  There are a lot of people out there that look like Christians but have nothing to show for it other than church attendance.

Playing church is also something a believer can do too, and I think that it’s just as dangerous.  When do we tend to slip up in work, or when we’re playing a sport, or whatever?  Is it when we are totally focused and thinking about the next move, or is it when we are cruising along and comfortable?  Most often, it’s the latter.  As a Christian, I find that I become the dirtiest when I am not moving or being intentional in my seeking to serve Christ.  It’s just like stagnant water.  It stinks.  It gets a film on it, has an odor, becomes cloudy, etc.  It’s no good.  It’s still water, but it’s not good for anything.  That is our life if we let up in our walk to be more like Christ.  When we are stagnant – who are we attracting?  No one.  It’s a domino effect.  We aren’t growing in our personal life, and we aren’t serving others or more importantly Christ.

So rather than playing church we should be living church.  Everyday, our mission should be to live in each area of our life for Christ.  Seek how to handle each situation and decision with an eye on how this may or may not bring glory to Christ.  When facing habitual sin habits, seek the power of the Holy Spirit to help us change direction and make a better choice.  Be intentional in our race to be like Christ.  This will produce an attitude of service and love in us that can’t come from anything else.

Lord today I confess that I have spent too many days playing church and not really living it.  I have been lazy and apathetic toward my walk with you.  I have let habitual sin drag me down time and time again.  I pray for your forgiveness of my apathy and my intentionally choosing worldly pleasure over serving you.  I pray that you will fill my heart with a desire to be more like you and to seek your face through prayer and study.  I pray that each choice I make will ask the question – how does this bring God glory.  I thank you that you are committed to my life and that your love has no limit or stopping point.  Thank you for helping me see my need to be more intentional in both my public and private life.  It’s in your name I pray – Amen.

See you at the Pole

See you at the pole (syatp) is celebrating 25 years of students uniting themselves in prayer before God, interceding on behalf of their generation.  This time of prayer, completely organized and facilitated by the students, is a great way for kids to reach their own with the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Tomorrow, 9-23-2015, will see thousands of students come together at 7:00 a.m. around their school flagpole to pray.  Nothing more and nothing less, but bowing before the throne of grace to pray.  We are living in a time when prayer has become so important.  Everyday, our students face more and more adversity when it comes to their faith and everyday, thousands walk away from that adversity.  Adult influence has been all but eradicated in the school setting when it comes to faith.  In some instances, teachers are even discouraged from living out their faith personally, without any influence on their students.

With that kind of climate, it is imperative that our kids exercise their right to live out THEIR faith.  There is no law or rule that prohibits student led worship and prayer.  SYATP is a great opportunity for young believers to reach out to their friends and share the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  It is also a great opportunity to live out their faith in front of their peers.  There are two options for uniting with friends in prayer:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 – 7:00 am
This is the date and time set aside for students to come together and pray around the flag pole at their school.  This is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for this generation.

September 20 – 26 – Week of Prayer
Students are encouraged (regardless of where they attend school) to gather their friends and pray whenever and wherever they can during the school day – for the entire week.  This week is a great time to launch or promote a school bible club, student ministry or prayer strategy.

As a parent, I will be on my knees tomorrow morning at 7 am praying for each and every student in my area.  The times are tough and there is an eternal battle for their mind and more importantly, their soul that is being waged daily.  My prayer for them is simple:

Lord, I ask that you protect our children from the harms of this world.  I pray that you give them a peace and comfort while they are away from our care.  Lord, I pray that our student believers will rise up and be bold for you.  I pray that they will show the true love of Christ, open and accepting of everyone around them and not be afraid to befriend and share the love of  Christ with their peers.  Your promises are real and your love is undefinable.  I pray that this generation will make a stand for you and that we will see more and more young people give their lives to you.  Help these students defeat the negative stereotypes of this faith by taking on Christ-likeness all while sharing the gospel message of salvation that was freely given to us all.  In Christ I pray – Amen.

Winning the Lottery

I would venture to say we have all been down this road…daydreaming about what it would be like to win the lottery.  Without any real reason why, my train of thought tends to go there when I am driving –  long trips somewhere and no one to talk to.  My thought process usually starts out with figuring out just about what my “cash-in-hand” would be after the lump sum payout and taxes.  Then I start planning away all that I would do.

The funny thing about this process, other than I am sure I could have better things to think about, is that somewhere along the line, I always increase the amount.  Maybe I start out with winning the 110 million jackpot, then take the 55 million lump sum and then cut that by 30 or so percent and I am playing with less than 40 million.  After thinking about this purchase or that initiative, I unconsciously think, well maybe it wasn’t 110 million. Maybe it was 200 million.  I never really paid much attention to why I do that, but after a small group bible study last night, I think I found my answer.

We were studying Philippians chapter 4.  Paul (an Apostle of Jesus) is sitting in prison.  In his letter to the church he is rejoicing and proclaiming his joy.  Wait…he’s in prison and writing about how happy he is?  Pretty much.  But the context is that he is telling the church why he has such joy.  It’s pretty simple, really.  He has joy – a perfect peace because he has all he needs – Jesus Christ.  The more I read and studied, the more it hit me.  The reason why my daydream is always interrupted with the need to increase my winnings is because that type of thing will never “fill me up” and be enough.  Even in my daydream, I wanted more.  The world tells us that we never have enough.  We are always striving for more.  No matter what our motives, we are not content with what we have.  I am not saying it’s wrong to want.  We are humans and we have desires.  But what I will claim is that if our desire for more from this life, or this world is clouding our view so that we aren’t focused on Christ, then we have a problem that needs to be addressed.  I should  be willing and pray that Lord will change me this way to be content, perfectly, with just the assurance of my salvation through Christ.  There is nothing more that I need than that.  What would our life look like if we could cast off our worries about things and what we don’t have, or what we think we need or want?  Looking at the example of Paul, it would look something like this: we could be in our worst situation, stripped of all freedom and possessions, not knowing if we were about to be taken out of this world or not and be smiling with an inner joy and peace.  We need to turn from the world’s perspective of what brings joy – possessions, achievement, etc. and turn to what God’s word tells us is the true source of joy…Jesus Christ.

Lord, today I thank you for the perfect joy you provided through your son Jesus Christ.  I thank you for the promise to always provide all that I need.  Help me to lay down my worries, my fears about what I don’t have, or what I think I need.  I pray that you would change my thoughts to be focused on how I can proclaim you in all that I do in life, and let that be my joy.  – Amen.

Further Reading: Philippians 4

It matters to this one

I was searching google for something today…not even really sure what it was now, but came across an image with a familiar story on it.  It goes something like this:

An old man was walking along the beach one day when out in the distance he could see someone frolicking and dancing, bending this way and that way.  As he got closer, he realized it was a young woman picking up starfish and throwing them back into the surf.  He became curious and asked what she was doing.  She explained,  “the sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”  The old man chuckled and said, “don’t you realize there are many miles of beach and thousands of star fish?  You can’t possibly make a difference.”  The young woman listened politely, then bent down and picked up another star fish and threw it into the sea.  “It made a difference to this one.”

It made a difference to this one.  What a powerful statement.  I have read this story before, but today it really made me think of the similarities to what we are called to do as believers.  My church has been on a crazy big push to bring awareness and interest to missions, especially foreign missions targeting un-reached people groups (those that have never heard the gospel message).  According to the Joshua Project nearly 2.1 billion people have never heard of Jesus.  That number is overwhelming.  Just like the story mentioned above, it would be real easy to become discouraged when you read the words of Jesus and think about what he commanded us to do

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mathew 28:18-20)

Go and get them ALL. Simple instructions.  He said, I have one job for you.  Tell EVERYONE about me.  But then you remember that number.  2.1 billion people who have never heard.  How can I possibly make a dent in that?  What difference does it make?  I am only one person and I can’t possibly reach everyone, or even coordinate an effort to reach them all.  You cannot possibly make a difference…

Remember the words of the young woman above.  Without hesitation, she bent down, picked up another starfish, flung it into the sea and said, “It made a difference for that one”.

We CAN make a difference for every single individual we come in contact with.  We CAN help lead single individuals to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  We CAN make a difference in the eternal destination of our family, friends, and strangers we meet on the street.  We CAN make a difference in the lives of an un-reached people group.  Jesus only gave us one task.  He could have given us a list of things and set the expectations high, but He only gave us one thing to do.  With a heart full of Christ-like love, go out and tell everyone about me.  Tell everyone what I did because I love them and don’t want them to live an eternity in hell – separated from me forever.

Lord, I know that I complicate things.  I know that I make being a Christian so difficult sometimes.  I make it about all that needs to be done, and how I need to live, when you have called me to make it all about how I share your message.  You are all powerful and all knowing.  You have given us the holy spirit that will surely help with the growing part when someone chooses to accept your salvation.  Help me to remember that I am to model your love and never miss a chance to share your message with those you place in my life.  It matters to EVERYONE that I tell.  – Amen.

A look back

A nice quiet Saturday filled with laughter and fun with my family defined the celebration of yet another year of life.  37 years.  It is remarkable to me when I start to realize the brevity of life.  I spent Saturday morning  reflecting with a nice cup of coffee on the front porch.  The blessings were too many to count, but I tried to thank God for all that I saw and heard.  In my normal prayer, I asked God to forgive me for my shortcomings (which also were far too many to speak of) and thanked him for the peace in my heart to know that He had already answered that prayer with Jesus Christ.  I prayed that God would shape me, even on this day, to be more like him.  To walk away from habitual struggles and sin and step into His light and drink from the living waters that quench my soul’s desires like nothing on this earth can.  When I lifted my eyes again, I started to let the idea of growing older sink in.  I never really understood what my parents were talking about when they spoke of the fast-paced life and how quickly we were all growing up, etc.  It seemed to take forever.  Today, I understand it with perfect clarity.  My daughter, who was born just yesterday…so it seems is nearly 4 ft tall and running as fast as she can toward adolescence and more.  Sometimes, I simply stare at her to keep from missing a major change.  Corbin is quickly turning into a young man.  He has filled out and I am watching him search for his place in this world.  It doesn’t seem like any time since I met his tiny face at just 6 weeks old.  Then my oldest…my graduate…my adult son.  Hunner is maturing every day and I know that a bright future is waiting for him to take hold of it.  All of this seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.  Through all of this reflection, I could feel the holy spirit working in my heart and I began to reflect on what has happened in the past 16 years since I gave my life to Christ.  Nothing will humble you more than when you reflect on w hat you have done for Christ, especially if you look at it through His sacrifice for me.  Try this “lens” on for size: Jesus Christ left perfection, took on a human body in a fallen world, suffered like any other human being, then went through a suffering that no one can fully appreciate at the hands of those charged with his Crucifixion.  Why?  What was He thinking?  He was thinking about me, sitting on my porch some 2000 years later.  He laid down his life so that I could have mine.  He doesn’t need me, he wants me.  He loves me.  Then I place that filter on how I repay that love and devotion.  Sobering, humiliated, and ashamed are all good ways to describe how this thought process makes me feel.  I have wasted a lot of precious time chasing my own desires and living just for this brief moment called life.

So, I am doing all that I can do on this morning.  All I have control over is how I choose to live my life from this day forward.  Looking back is a great thing to do.  I like to do it often so I don’t forget.  But more importantly, I know that I need to keep my eyes forward most of the time, and I need to keep my mind and heart on Christ so that each year that I am blessed to be able to wake up on my birthday, I can reflect and see that I grew in Christ, and that I tried to live for Him every single day he blessed me with.

Lord, today I commit to you.  All the time you bless me with from this moment on, may I use it wisely and always strive to bring glory to your name through my choices and actions.  I pray for your guidance and discipline in my life so that I can follow you and grow in you.  Thank you for the past 37 years of life.  Your love for me is endless and I pray that it will never be lost on me how much I  mean to you.  I pray that I can honor your love for me with a life of service to you.  – Amen

Where were you…

I can not remember a more peaceful and clear morning than what I awoke to on that day.  A junior in college, pursuing a dream of a degree and a career.  I was just beginning to understand the value and depth of brotherhood as a fairly new firefighter – only 5 years on the job.  In the bright blue skies over Athens, WV there wasn’t a hint of the tragedy that was unfolding just 10 hours north of us.  That day was September 11, 2001.  I don’t suppose I will ever forget what I was doing, where I was at when the world, forever, changed.

By the end of the day, my heart was immensely heavy and my mind raced with the questions of why and how.  As a firefighter, I was numb to the thought of losing my entire house in one single moment – it just wasn’t something I could comprehend.  As we gathered at our local station, there were no words spoken, just deep embraces and a look in each pair of eyes that told the story of despair and grief.  Brothers that we had never met, had answered their final call without even the hint of fear or reluctance.  Over the past 14 years, I have read numerous accounts of bravery, watched documentaries detailing how many of the first-responders entered the twin towers that morning, knowing the loss of life was probably great, but with the hope of finding just one and leading them to safety.  Some of the accounts I have studied over and over, and each time, I am just as enamored with the mentality and heart that was displayed on that day.

Today, as I reflect on yet another anniversary, I am humbled by the Holy Spirit to remember that God never leaves us.  He was right in the midst of that tragic day and that He is ultimately in control of this world.  I think of the helplessness that must have been felt by emergency workers and victims alike when it became clear that a safe escape was unlikely and try to wrap my mind around how difficult it must have been to lean on God in that moment.  It is with these thoughts that I pray tonight…

Lord, I humbly fall to my knees tonight and thank you for the precious gift of your son Jesus Christ.  I thank you that you have filled me with your Holy Spirit and that you are always with me.  I pray for the families of each of the victims of the tragedy that unfolded on September 11, 2001. I pray a special measure of comfort would be around each and everyone.  I pray that your presence would be felt and that hearts would turn to you.  I pray for the men in my firehouse, that you would protect each one and that you would always impress upon their hearts your closeness.  I thank you for each one that I call brother and ask that you would grant me the courage and wisdom to be there for them in their time of need.  Bless this nation as we reflect on that day, and cause a spirit of revival and patriotic pride to wash over the face of our country.  I ask these things in your precious and holy name…Amen.

“The LORD is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock—I take refuge in him!—he’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety” Psalm 18:2

Dating my daughter

Dating my daughter.  It is nearly impossible for me to put those words in the same sentence, but this post isn’t what the title suggests.  Seeing those words, you immediately begin to expect a list of rules or “punishments” that are sure to come to the unlucky male that shows up at my door asking to date my daughter.  (And yes, if he wants to have anything to do with her, he WILL show up at my door and ASK me for permission to see her…but that’s another post).

No, this post is about me dating my daughter.  On April 14, 2011, my world forever changed.  The first time I locked eyes with this insanely loud, screaming child, I was hooked forever.  In that first evening, I went through so many emotions and thoughts…thoughts about her future.  It was crazy, she was just a few hours removed from birth and I was already worried about her love life.  But more importantly, I was already thinking about how to help shape her heart and mind and how to be an example of the type of man she would one day search for.

Now at 4 years-old, she is a ball of energy with an infectious smile.  My first prayer, that she would somehow be unattractive until she was 25, hasn’t come to fruition.  She is beautiful.  But in the past four years, I have learned that she has a beautiful heart and soul.  She is, by the very definition, precious.  I also know and understand how precious she is to the Lord.  I have begun to feel the weight of responsibility to help lead her to a relationship with Jesus Christ, and to be the role model for a Christ-like relationship later in her life.  This is a tricky place to be.  On one hand, you have to be the father.  The authority figure in her life, working side-by-side with mom to help lay down the rules of life and keep her in check according to those rules.  On the other hand, I am responsible for helping to protect her heart and mind and to model the character traits I hope she looks for in a mate later in life.  This is where the idea of dating my daughter comes in to play.  By spending that quality and meaningful time with her, I am in her world.  As she grows older, it will be ever more important to seize those opportunities to be in her world and help be a guide to her.  While, it would great if she would always be open to in-depth, life altering conversations at the drop of the hat, I know that isn’t likely.  She will become a typical teenager with a deep heart of secrets that will be off-limits to mom and dad.  But, my hope and prayer is that by taking the time to share father-daughter dates with her and show her how interested I am in who she is and who she is becoming, she’ll be more comfortable opening up and letting me help her grow into the woman that God wants her to be.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Never underestimate the power of prayer…pray for her regularly and together[/pullquote]

So, how do you date your daughter?

Be there.  It’s that simple.  When she is young, be there in her daily life.  Help her in her daily activities, don’t be afraid to spend time playing silly games, singing, laughing and more importantly, praying for her – openly.  As she gets older, make it a point do special things like watching a movie together (her choice), taking her to dinner – even if it is a McDonald’s happy meal.  In the later “child-hood” years, be the affirming voice in her life.  Reaffirm her worth to God, how beautiful she is and how beautiful her soul and spirit are.  Pray for her regularly and together.  When the teenage years role around, be a steady rock in her life.  Always willing to listen, genuinely interested in what her world is like, what she is in to, and supportive through the roller-coaster of changes.  Never underestimate the power of a simple prayer before a big day in her life – school activity, test, etc.

I pray that the Lord will guide me as the father of a daughter to be the steady, rock in her life.  I pray that he’ll help shape me to be the type of man that I want my daughter to seek after when she grows up and spreads her wings.  I pray that he’ll help strengthen our relationship with each other, so that she never has to spend a day of her life trying to replace or find the love that I should be providing.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a father to a beautiful little girl and it is a priority in my life to be the father that God is calling me to be for her.