Courageous: A tribute to my Pops

I know Father's Day has come and gone, and this blog post is probably the first one that SHOULD have been written when all of this started 3 years ago. In fact, to be honest, it should have been written when I was 15... but I didn't know then what I know now. The reason I am writing this now, is because I finally saw the movie Courageous.

Now, for those of you that haven't seen the movie, I don't completely want to ruin it, however I do need to explain some things in order for this to come full circle so... *SPOILER ALERT*. As with most Christian Family Films there is a certain aspect of cheesiness and bad acting in the movie, but it's really more about the story and the moral of that story that really matter here. Essentially the movie revolves around a group of men that are Police Officers. They come together as friends, officers, and fathers to realize that there are areas in their lives as Fathers' that are lacking greatly. So they sign this pledge, the pledge states that they will do everything in their power not to be "good enough dads" but to be outstanding fathers. To be Fathers that teach their children to love Christ, and especially to be fathers that call their sons into manhood the way Christ designed manhood to look. Seeing as that I'm not a father, I have a different take on this movie than most people do I would assume. The first way I looked at it was what I could learn from it for the future. Things that I needed to remember so that I could be that kind of father when God calls me to become one. The big thing I took away from the film in this respect was that before I become a father (and by that I mean before my child is here) I need to take time to sit down and study what the Word says about fatherhood. I have a desire the kind of father that God commissions men to be through His Word.The beautiful thing about that, is that God has blessed me with a perfect example of what it means to be a Courageous father.

One of the main themes in the movie was that the fathers realized that one of the most important aspects of being a father was to spend time with their children. Lucky for me, that was always my Pops' number 1 priority. Pops coached me in everything, from the time I started to play anything. When he wasn't coaching he was in the stands cheering me on. When I wasn't playing sports as a child, we were camping, fishing, riding bikes, taking trips, wrestling in the living room, watching movies, or doing chores together. I wanted to be just like my Pops from day 1, he was and is my hero. Now, the worst part of all this is that it took me about 8 years to realize how great my Pops is. I spent the better part of my teenage years being a jerk. I thought I knew more than he did, thought I was better at things than he was, and thought that he just wanted to give me a hard time. I had very little respect for the man that deserved every ounce of respect I had in me. Even though I lied, excluded, yelled, and ignored my Pops for a few years of my life, he loved me through every last bit of it. Once I got out of high school and got away to college I started to realize just how smart my Pops is. I got to see a new side of him, that included us sharing a (rare) beer together. Going to baseball games and being able to really enjoy the feud between our two favorite teams. Then I got my relationship with my heavenly Father moving in the right direction, which allowed me to see the relationship my Pops has with Christ. It was something I never took the time to notice before, probably because I wasn't looking at it in the right perspective. I am thankful for who my father is and I am thankful that he taught me about my heavenly Father.

My Pops is a Courageous father. He has been there for me through tough times, he's always worked harder than anyone else I know, and he's always loved stronger. Because of the courage of my Pops to be an outstanding father, I have grown into a man that, when I look into the mirror, I am proud of. My Pops, and his dad my Poppy, are the reason I moved back to Hope, IN. Because even though I acted like I wanted to leave more than anything else, what I knew in my heart was I wanted to learn to be just like Pops, and I wanted to learn everything he had to teach me. The best way to learn is for me to be only 2 miles from the teacher. I am blessed to be able to say that Pops isn't just my dad, old man, father, or pain-in-the-rear... but my friend. I can call him to ask how to build something, to borrow his pickup (or lawnmower, tools, etc.), just to say hey, or to go catch a game or movie and I know he'll always be there. I know I have a golf partner when I need one, and a spiritual mentor that doesn't have to say a word, because his actions speak louder than his words. I am thankful that my Pops is a courageous man, and I pray daily that I will be half the man that he is.

I love you, Pops. Thanks for being courageous.

Grace and peace


Dive-bomb blessings

Shhhhh... don't tell anyone that I'm writing this really quickly at work, but I had to share my excitement about how crazy awesome God has been this week!

First off, last Sunday I got the opportunity to teach High School Sunday School. It was so legit. These kids are such an awesome group of people. They were funny, they had insight, the loved spending time together, and they love the Lord. I think my favorite part was during our prayer time at the end, I asked for requests... now, I expected some prayer requests for family, friends, etc. but I never expected what I got. The requests were for refocusing on Christ, discernment, jobs based on where God wanted them to be in order to best serve Him for the summer, priority, and calmness. It was such a humbling experience to hear these guys, most of them between 5-8 years younger then me asking for guidance, reassurance, and admitting their downfalls. I wasn't like that in high school at all. What an awesome way to start a stellar week...

The other cool part about Sunday was how the lesson has played into today (and the rest of the week). As many of you know I, we, tons of people have been praying for my nephew Elijah. My prayers for him started on August 26th, 2010. Now almost two full years later, he is finally coming home! Mike and Amy got a call this morning that they had passed Embassy and they could set up their court date to go back to Ethiopia and bring their son home for good! Let me explain why this is so perfect:

1. Today is Mike and Amy's 3rd wedding anniversary (I must be honest, I tried to trick Mike by asking him if it was really on Friday... he has his anniversary date memorized, good job bro)

2. God chose today, because he knew what an amazing anniversary gift that would be for two people that have humbled themselves before the Lord and made sacrifice after sacrifice to answer the call of giving this little boy a home.

3. The majority of the lesson on Sunday was about how God is aware of Himself. God knows how powerful, wise, and loving He is, and He shows it.

4. Another brief snippet of our lesson was about trusting Christ, being content and happy with life, and understanding that we must accept his purpose even if it doesn't align with our own plans. Amy and Mike have followed that to a T and God provided in a huge, mind-blowing way.

God is such a cool guy. No seriously, I laughed a little when someone phrased it that way to me in a text last night... but it's such a simple and absolutely true statement. I couldn't say it better myself. He is the Great Provider, and just when we think we have hit a point of complacency as opposed to contentedness, He dive bombs us with blessings that are so big and exciting that we can't help but look up and say "Thank You". I am excited for the rest of this week, I am excited for a number of reasons and I can't wait to see what God is going to do in my life and the lives of those around me. Thank you, Savior for all that you have blessed me with!

Grace and Peace