John Piper Sends a Message to Our President

01/27/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

In the spirit of “Facing the Truth Before Our Righteous Judge” I have attached a riveting message from my friend to our longed for president.  Please pray for repentance and courage to stand for truth!  Be Courageous, Mr. President

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community, family living, growth, masculinity, meaning of life, parenting

Reflections of 1 yr. over 40

10/16/2007   |      |       |    3 Comments

I’m not one of those bloggers who seeks to draw attention to himself to get everyone to read my blog but since I just celebrated my 41st birthday I think I have some wisdom to share.  You see, when you get “seasoned” you gravitate to things like reflecting on what you’ve learned in life rather than persistently thinking about the future.  Needless to say, I’m a visionary but every good visionary has to surmise what he or she has learned from the past.  Thus, my desire is to share random bullet thoughts that capture where I am in life regarding a few areas.

1.  JESUS

He is my hero and central focus.  I aim to please Him and not people.  I’m too old to care what people think about me anymore.  It’s too much work.

I’m reading, teaching and preaching about Him more these days – I think I finally understand.

I love Him with a fond affection and not just my head.

He is indeed Sovereign and Savior not simply theologically but intimately.

I repent to Him more and more these days as more years have past enabling me to really see how sinful I am.

2.  GOSPEL

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.

We live out the reality of the gospel in culture, not in a vacuum or in our heads.

Jesus’ penal substitutionary atonement was sufficient for my salvation.

The gospel is not something I just responded to 20 years ago, it’s what I am learning to live out everyday.

It is my very life, not just the “Four Spiritual Laws.”

I didn’t do squat to deserve salvation, it’s ALL GRACE.

3.  MY WIFE

I love her more than anything in this world and will serve her faithfully until I die.

Serving and leading my wife is true manhood not living in spineless apathy appeasing her every wish…  So many dudes are waiting on their wives to lead them instead of them leading their wives through humble servant leadership.

Headship is more about my response to God’s order than my ability to tell my wife what to do.

I need my wife more than anyone else in this world.

I’m learning to comfortably lead out of my weakness and not out of my strength.

I allow myself to be corrected more by my wife now than ever before (she’s my partner and cheerleader not my adversary).

We celebrate each other’s successes and embrace each other’s failure (it’s about the team win rather than the individual win).

4.  CHILDREN

I repent more than I ever have before.  Some days I really stink as a dad but really learn alot from those funky days.

I’m learning how to parent through the gospel and not out of a law narrative.

I love my kids tremendously and pray consistently for them.  I’ve aged watching them grow up but it’s been wonderful.

The only desire I have for my kids is that they love Jesus, His Word and honor us as parents.

5.  RELATIONSHIPS

It’s a waste of time to be anything other than myself.

Nurture a few intimate friendships and discern carefully who you let in your personal space.

Speak the truth in love to those who want to hear it and pray for those who are hardened by sin.

Don’t waste time with people who can’t rejoice with you and weep with you.

Maturity is not about how you posture yourself before men on the outside but how deep is Jesus inside of you.

6.  MINISTRY

I take joy in being a person not simply a title… Pastor is what I do not who I am.

I seek to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in all ministry and not my flesh. 

I value a gospel-centered ministry more than ever.

My ministry and service in my home means more to me than what I do before those outside my home.

The fame of Jesus is more of a priority to me than the fame of men.  This must be due to age because early in ministry it was all about how I could be a Christian celebrity… Now I try to quietly live life because Jesus is the real hero.

I can’t stand arrogant men or woman who seek to impress people with their theological smarts when their hearts are full of themselves.  We can serve Jesus because of His work not ours.

7.  SEXUALITY

Men are called to lead in the home and in the church in full dependence of the Holy Spirit so that women can properly respond to his leadership.  For example, the Bible calls men to be elders and pastors, not women.

Men are gravitating too much towards apathy, timidity, game-systems, idol time, sillyness and meaningless hobbies.  Age has taught me to redeem the time with diligence, be courageous, read everything, serve without the longing for applause, enjoy humor and simplifying life to keep the main thing the main thing.

Some women are hurt, broken and seeking for meaning in life oftentimes at the expense of competing with men for roles clearly defined by God in the church.

Women are precious, tender, feminine, industrious, strong and worthy of respect.  Men and women are equal but distinct in their roles.

8.  HEALTH

Healthy eating and exercise isn’t optional anymore, it’s MANDATORY.

Taking vitamins have been a life saver.

It’s thrilling to age… Thanks for listening.

 

 

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family living, growth, masculinity, meaning of life, parenting

From a Sermon to an Apple Cobbler

08/24/2007   |      |       |    1 Comment

There is never a dull moment when you have children that like to eat.  I thought I had the evening planned for working on my sermon until the word “cobbler” was mentioned.  Since I am the self-proclaimed chef, it was my responsibility to slice the apples…  Off I went, slicing over 15-20 Granny Smith apples.

  apples

As my kids, hovered over the bowl asking for every fifth slice, I hurried as fast as I could in order to prevent getting weary.  After a cramp in my finger and sticky fingers, my job was over and Les’ job began.  She is what I call the “Crust Master.”  I passed the bowl of apples to her and she started mixing the crust.  However, my ego was shattered as my kids suddenly began migrating now to where my wife was working.  My stock had tanked, nonetheless, I was pumped that my job was over and forty five minutes later, the masterpiece was done.

 cobbler

In those few moments, God taught me an incredible lesson about the beauty of teamwork.  My wife and I have been teammates over 17 years… We cherish our ability to work together to see that the Bond family wins.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. 

As we are preparing for our community group that we will teach on teamwork – http://www.familylife.com/1-800-358-6329/detail.asp?id=6524, we are attempting to live it out. 

You may ask yourself, how do you move forward as a team:  (1)  Recognize that if a husband and wife don’t work together, no one is going to win; (2)  Determine what is the win for your family and work together towards that win; (3)  Serve one another sacrificially even when you don’t feel like it; (4)  Fight against pride of wanting to win by yourself and for yourself; (5)  Try to see the end from the beginning; (6)  Allow the strengths of your spouse to help the team win; (7)  Celebrate a win when you both work together; and (8)  Thank God always for your mate because if they weren’t in your life, you wouldn’t win.  I think this apple cobbler was God’s sermon for me this evening.  Sorry, I wish I did have a Blog-smeller! 🙂

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family living, growth, masculinity, meaning of life, parenting

The simple things in life

06/25/2007   |      |       |    3 Comments

j & k

Recently, I was reminded by my two boys of the simple things in life.  As we were on the beach today enjoying some rest and relaxation, I had to capture them while they were taking advantage of some wholesome fun.  Kids are bombarded with so much these days that it’s hard for them to just be kids.  It was refreshing watching them be kids. 

There is such a valuable lesson in watching kids “keep it simple.”  My life is really complex at times which requires me to constantly practice “keeping it simple.”  Part of keeping it simple for me is not allowing life to get so complicated that I’m not having fun.  As I watched them, they didn’t care that it was over 93 degrees and humid, or whether the sun was beating down on their backs… They were in their element, focused on their mission – building an indestructable sand castle. 🙂

All of us may not have sand to build sand castles but we do have a simple equivalent.  I am compelled by my kids to find out what building my “sand castle” will take.  I wonder what adventure they will try tomorrow that will teach me about the simple things… 

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meaning of life, parenting

Father’s Day reflection

06/20/2007   |      |       |    0 Comment

kaminThis past Father’s Day really reminded me how much I love my children individually.  They are all growing up so fast, right before our eyes.  My youngest son, who is six, recently lost his front tooth.  He cracks us up with his already charming smile… but now with a new twist. All of them are so unique and so special to me.  My prayer is that they would grow up to love God with a passionate purpose and that they would honor Him all the days of their lives. 

Over the last few days before Father’s Day, I was sick of seeing all the ads, advertising the top 10 gift ideas for dads… I have concluded that the greatest gift a father can receive on Father’s Day is being with his children.  Kudos to all the godly father’s across the nation.

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Father's Day reflection

06/20/2007   |      |       |    0 Comment

kaminThis past Father’s Day really reminded me how much I love my children individually.  They are all growing up so fast, right before our eyes.  My youngest son, who is six, recently lost his front tooth.  He cracks us up with his already charming smile… but now with a new twist. All of them are so unique and so special to me.  My prayer is that they would grow up to love God with a passionate purpose and that they would honor Him all the days of their lives. 

Over the last few days before Father’s Day, I was sick of seeing all the ads, advertising the top 10 gift ideas for dads… I have concluded that the greatest gift a father can receive on Father’s Day is being with his children.  Kudos to all the godly father’s across the nation.

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pretty men

06/05/2007   |      |       |    5 Comments

male lipstickWhat has become of the industrious man who has dirt in his nails, scars on his hands, sweat on his forehead, a distinctive smell and a pocketknife in his pocket?  Have we become so removed from being masculine that we’ve become “pretty?”  In the African American community men are spending anywhere from 6-8 hours a week getting twisty braids, cornrows, perms or dreadlock maintenance.  Where are the real men who still pride themselves on their ability to open up a jar of peanut butter with their bare hands?  Where are the men that get joy and satisfaction out of pumping gas for their lady?  Where are the men who live responsible, not looking for short-cuts at work and who don’t mind cutting grass and getting their hands dirty?  Forget the weekly manicures, facials, eye-brow maintenance and pedicures.  Get a checkup in the mirror to see that God made you distinctively male, not female. 

Recent studies report that men are spending over $4.8 million dollars on their own personal grooming… This is ridiculous.  If you are a man you better beware.  The new attack on society is the feminizing of men through personal grooming and beautification.  God hasn’t created you to consume yourself with beauty.  God has created you to be consumed with being on mission.  You better get back on your masculine post – Satan knows that if men can be feminized then there will be no stable leadership for society including the home, the church, the military and the government.  So here it is – watch out for your boys… watch out for yourself… Make sure that being “pretty” isn’t more important than being masculine. 

Get out in the backyard with your boys are play tackle football.  Get your boys to take out the trash, touching the gross things if necessary.  Plant a tree with a shovel.  Fix something small around the house.  Climb a tree with your sons.  Slide up under your cars with a piece of cardboard.  Allow them to take the oil cap off of the engine.  These things may sound basic but there not… Our boys are spending too much time removed from masculinity.  Let’s put back into culture an army of real dudes and real boys who see it as an honor to be masculine. Check out the article:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18062886/

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masculinity, parenting

Trickology

01/23/2007   |      |       |    0 Comment

Did you know there exists in familial life a study of trickery that is lived out by your children?  Trickery is a sect of deception that is housed in your offspring.  Yes!  Children want what they want, when they want it, no matter what you want… Don’t sleep!  Trickology is a subset of the depravity of man that if not CHECKED can spring up into an adult that is controlled by his own selfish desire to please himself.  Obviously, I’m facetious in terms but serious about the reality.  Ask God for extra discernment; if you are married, work together.  If you are single, ask someone around you to peek into your home and help you see what you may not be able to see.  Children, teens and young adults are wonderful gifts from God but they can be tricky.  As stewards and coaches, let’s pay attention, ask God for wisdom, not avoid conflict and stay on post…  May God give you strength to endure the most exciting times of your life. 🙂

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needy parent

08/23/2006   |      |       |    1 Comment

God, please help me and parents throughout america to parent from the scriptures… help us to not depend on the re-engineered responses to our let downs and put downs growing up.  our junk really will jack our kids up.  help us to stay broken and utterly dependent upon you… if we were raised in legalism, don’t allow us to coast into permissiveness.  if we were raised with an iron fist, help us not to make our kids the center of the universe.  if we were raised with a license to sin and disobey, help us not to lead them like an army soldier…  help us yield the imperfections and mistakes of those who knowingly or unknowingly parented us from their own capacity. 

keep us teachable.  don’t allow us to pridefully assume that we have all the answers.  help us to not abuse our stewardship of our children by becoming a sole provider.  help us to learn from the experiences, wisdom, successes and failures of those around us that humbly stand ready to assist us in the journey.  help us not to barricade our thinking in the four walls of our homes as if there is no one able to assist us in doing something that we’ve never done before. 

strengthen those who are experiencing silent frustration.  encourage those who have lost perspective in anticipating any change.  bless those who have taken the baton from a savior that has their heart.  give us endurance to never quit, always trust, pour out grace, establish boundaries, follow-up on instructions, continuously love, make them a priority and stay in your presence.  we can’t do this without you!  we love you, we love our children and we know you love us all.  in jesus name – amen!

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fightn 4 perspective

06/07/2006   |      |       |    2 Comments

we better crank up the incentives, hi-fives, hugs and kisses, creative rewards, “pats on the back” for academic achievement, good choices, and self-control in the lives of our kids.  when kids work hard, achieve good grades, avoid the world’s messiahs, and apply themselves in school, let’s celebrate!  do you remember when being a scholar was so admirable?  it was so refreshing to see black n white pictures of clean-cut scholars, historians, mathematicians, scientists, inventors, innovators and thinkers on stage as our heroes.  where are those dudes impact gone?

here’s a sobering question – who are your kids heroes?  please, don’t stick your chest out if they say, “mom or dad” because when you aren’t looking their real heroes are thumpin’ their hearts, minds and controlling the swagger of their bodies.  fight your tail off for your kids perspective.  let’s not act like we don’t see our kids redefining heroism and occupational choices with our entertainment and sports driven culture at the expense of academic enrichment.  if you have an aspiring scholar, fight 4 his or her perspective.  keep the pursuit of scholarship cranked up…  don’t be discouraged as everything around them fights to snatch their perspective.  keep pluggin’ away…

remember that not reading, not thinking critically, not working hard, not having vision, not making application and not living against the grain all trickles down to spirituality.  you wonder why american christians aren’t reading their Bibles.  go figure.  watch out, there is another generation not too far behind…

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