Life May Not Be Fair, But It Can Be Good

“It’s just not fair!” the boy cried, “Why is this so hard?”
The father stood there in silent anguish wishing he could remove the pain he heard between the sobs. However, he knew the truth and knew no words he could convey to his child would help.

“I do what’s right and good father, and what do I get for it? Nothing!” Balling up his fists, the young man began pounding the pillow under his head. “They’re all out to get me! That’s what this is, they want me to fail!”

Laying his hand gently on the boy’s head, tears forming at the corner of his eyes, he said a silent prayer willing some of his own strength towards his upset child. Tensing up at the touch, he flopped over onto his back and pulling his head away from the hand screamed, “Aren’t you going to say anything? Aren’t you going to do anything? Why are you taking their side? Why do you hate me?”

With compassion in his eyes, the father said, “Son I love you more than anything. I have given everything for you. One day I hope you realize how much I sacrificed in order for you to have the life I want you to have.”

“Whatever! Get out, just leave me alone!”

Looking over his shoulder as he left the boy’s room he said, “Son, I do love you.”
How many times have you been the young boy in this story? Have you ever screamed at God about life not being fair? The truth of the matter is this; life isn’t fair, and it never has been. Since the Garden of Eden and the fall of man, life on this planet has been hard . Yet for some odd reason, Christians feel they are entitled to an easy life once they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And nothing could be further from the truth.

In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this life you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus said this to his disciples, not to the sinners of the world. If he tells us we’re going to have trouble, then why do we act so surprised when it shows up? Could it be because in our efforts to add numbers to our churches we fail to tell them the whole truth? Are we guilty of painting this rosy picture of life as a Christian and in the process set up people for failure?

Being a Christian doesn’t mean living a carefree, easy existence. It means bringing the light of the Gospel to people in dark places. People are watching us; they face the same challenges we do, and notice when we overcome them. I’ve been asked numerous times, “How did you do it when things got hard?” And my answer is always the same, through the Word of God. The Bible is the solid foundation upon which I stand. This doesn’t mean I always understand how, but I don’t really have to understand how God works, just that He does.

Having a good working knowledge of God’s Word will help lead, guide and direct you when life gets difficult. It’s like having a bank account; if you want to use your debit card to buy things, then you have to have made some deposits into your account. You wouldn’t whine and complain to the bank about not being able to buy things, if you had never made a deposit at the bank. Then why do you complain to God about how tough things are when you never put anything into your “spiritual” account?

Listen, life is going to be tough, get used to this fact. But no matter how tough it gets, you can overcome everything life throws at you with the Word of God. But you will have to make an investment by reading your Bible every day and doing what you read in it. With the Word of God firmly rooted in your heart, you will be able to face the challenges of life and overcome whatever it throws at you.

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Who Changes Your Mind?

“I should’ve done more!”  “I could’ve done more!” “What could I have done to make them change?”  “I should’ve said more!”  “I should’ve loved more!”  

These are all thoughts which have run through my mind at one time or another when it came to situations I’ve had in my relationships with people. These thoughts usually come during a time where things aren’t going the way I think they should, or had hoped they would. For many years I tried, (unsuccessfully I might add) to get people around me to see the error of their ways by trying to get them to live by my convictions. It took several years, and many arguments for me to realize the impossibility of this.

I really came to understand this when people would try to get me to make changes in my own life by telling me what I needed to do. I found it very aggravating when they didn’t agree with things I felt were okay in my life, and would try to force me to change. They were never able to get me to see their convictions as my own, and consequently I came to the realization I couldn’t change anyone else’s convictions either. This was one of the most freeing in days of my life too. It meant I no longer had to try and police the lives of those around me, and was finally able to focus on my life and what I was doing.

In James 4:17 it says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” Look closer at what it says here, it is sin to know what YOU ought to do and then not do it. James is not telling us to pay attention to what others are doing, he is telling us to focus on what we ought to be doing. This is where I was missing it, and where so many other people miss it too. God never called anyone to point out the mistakes or missteps of others. He called us to follow Him and to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) In plain english this means God wants you to focus on your own walk with Him and not so much the walk of others.

I don’t mean God wants you to ignore the lives of the people around you. He wants you to be a positive influence on everyone you meet, He just doesn’t need you pointing out everything they do wrong. One of the things I’ve learned in 53 years is I already know when I’m doing something wrong and really don’t need it pointed out. Most of the time, I’m already beating myself up about it anyway. The thing which helps me the most, is seeing someone live out what I’m struggling with in a positive way. When I see someone else overcoming whatever thing I’m struggling with, then I know there is hope for me as well.

Truthfully when someone points out what I’m doing wrong and tells me about it, I just want to scream, “Don’t tell me!” like Arthur Spooner from the sitcom King of Queens. I’m sure it’s the same with you too, none of us like to be told what to do. I’ve found out if I’ll spend more time on what I’m supposed to be doing in my life and stop telling others what to do with theirs, things become much simpler. And as the old acronym K.I.S.S. says; “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

Let’s stop pointing out the things other people can do to change their lives, and work on our own. Because I believe when we get our house in order and follow the Lord the way He wants us to, it will cause those around us to do what it is says in 1 Peter 3:15;

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Living for Jesus with an honest and transparent life…

Stop Screwing Around And Control Your Kid

Several years ago when I owned my own retail shoe store; a grandmother brought her grandson in to look for shoes.  I was checking merchandise in on the computer, while my employee Jason was helping them.  This little youngster was about three years old, and decided it would be fun to start kicking a mirror which was on the front of the counter where I was working.

After a few minutes of this, the kid literally kicking the mirror over and over, I leaned over the counter and said, “Young man, you need to stop that.”  He looked up at me and then ran over to his grandmother.  I stepped into the back room to put some shoes up, and this lady said to Jason, “He’s got a lot of nerve telling my grandson what to do.”

“Well mam, he wouldn’t stop kicking the mirror, I’m pretty sure Dave just didn’t want it to get broken.”

“We don’t have to put up with this kind of service, we’re leaving!”  And she grabbed the boy and they left.  When I came out of the back room, Jason told me what had happened, and I just laughed.  I hated losing a sale, but this woman needed to learn how to control her kid.

One of my pet peeves is people who refuse to control their children.  It’s your job as the parent to see to it your little ones aren’t causing disturbances and acting up in public.  You’re the parent, so be the parent.  Stop telling your kids that someone is going to “get them” if they don’t quit misbehaving, and discipline them.

Too many parents are trying to be friends with their children instead of teaching them how they should act when they are in public.  And parents it is YOUR responsibility to do this; not teachers, grandparents, or Sunday school teachers.

If your kid acts up, get a small paddle and swat their behind with it. (Never use your hands to spank.)  And I’m not talking about abusing your kids by hitting them so hard you bruise them.  (This is actually a misdemeanor in Oklahoma.)  What I’m talking about is behavior control through the use of corporal punishment.

If your child is acting up, tell them to stop it.  If they don’t then explain to them if they don’t stop you will take them to the car and spank them.  If they persist, then take them to the car and spank them.  If you say you’re going to do something, then do it.  The worst thing you can do when raising children is to not keep your word.

Most parents don’t want to discipline because it is inconvenient for them.  I don’t know how many times my wife would leave a basket full of groceries in the store and march our kids out to the van to spank one of them.  It isn’t easy to administer discipline, because it takes commitment on your part to see it through, every time.

I know your kid is probably the exception to the rule and never needs discipline (yeah right) but if you’re  going to take them out in public, do the rest of us a favor and make them mind instead of letting them run all over you. Be the parent, grandparent or guardian your child actually needs, not the one you want to be.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

Lies, Lies, Everywhere Lies

One time I lied about my son to my wife.  I told her he was being disruptive and causing problems with the customers in my shoe store and he needed to go home with her.  He was just a little boy at the time, probably five or six, and the look on his face as I stood there and lied about what he was doing was a mixture of shock and disappointment.  Not to mention the fact his mother got very upset with him for doing the supposed things I had said he’d done. It was not one of my best days as a dad.

Lies.  We’ve all told them; either to get out of trouble, to save someone’s feelings or just to get past some uncomfortable situation in our lives.  And if you say you’ve never told a lie, well you just did.

No one is immune from being put into a position to tell a lie, but it’s like the old saying goes, “You may not be able to keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can sure keep him from building a nest.” It’s  what we do in these situations which makes the difference.

Remember the story of Pinocchio?  The little wooden puppet who came to life in the workshop of Geppetto, and every time he would tell a lie his nose would grow.  Wouldn’t this be awesome if this happened in real life too?  There would be no guessing who was lying to us, not to mention it would be a great deterrent to keep us from telling lies as well.  But alas, this is not the case; so it falls to us to use self control and discipline instead.

Lying seems to have become the norm in our society.  It seems I expect to hear lies than truth any more. Or at the very least I’ve come to expect that I will have to weed out the lies in order to actually find the truth; which is exhausting.

It’s uncomfortable to tell the truth though isn’t it?  For example say your friend is learning to play the banjo. They’ve been at it for a year or so, and you know they are not really getting any better, but when asked by them how their latest song sounds, you reply, “Hey, that sounds great!  When are you going to produce a CD?”  What will they take a way from your words? They will believe they sound better, when in all reality they aren’t.

Yeah Dave, but I don’t want to hurt their feelings, it’s easier just to tell a little white lie. I understand, I wouldn’t eant to hurt their feelings either, but by telling them they sound really good don’t you think maybe it will hurt them in the long run?  

The Bible encourages us to speak the truth in love.  Perhaps instead of lying, you could say something like this, “You know, that song needs a little work, but keep at it, you are sounding better than you did a couple of months ago.”

Constructive criticism can seem hurtful if you let it, but it really is a good thing if you’ll let it be. I remember a few years back asking a friend to read through and help me edit a book I was writing.  When I sent it to her, I felt as if I had written the next best seller. 

 When she replied a few days later with her critiques I was devastated.  I thought, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”  But after a few days, I re-read her comments and looked at them objectively and I realized she was right and made the changes. Her truthful comments made my book so much better.

The bottom line is we should never lie, because it goes against everything a man should stand for.  If you are honest at the core of who you are, people will notice and then you can and will make the difference in this life you are destined to. You’ve got what it takes to do this, so stop telling lies and begin cultivating honesty in your life and see what happens. You may be surprised by the reactions.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Lift The Dang Seat Dude!

Here’s something which aggravates me greatly; toilet seats covered in pee. It’s completely inconsiderate of any male to think its okay to splash their urine all over the restroom facilities.  After all, we’re not dogs marking our territory.

There are worse things I guess in the world, but after visiting a public restroom recently and having to spend several minutes cleaning up after someone else before I could even do my business has left me a bit jaded.

I grew up in a household of boys and I’m pretty sure none of the four of us (my dad included in this number) gave lifting the lid much thought.  Mom let me apologize now for all those years of having to clean up after all of us. 

Once I married, it dawned on me my bride probably didn’t appreciate having to clean up after me before she could use the restroom either and I began to make sure to lift the seat and then place it back for her. I’ve been told it is a rude awakening to sit down on a toilet with the seat up and getting your toosh wet. Guys remember this it’ll make your marriage better.

The bottom line is this, it’s just rude to place your needs above those of others.  And when you pee all over the seat because you’re too lazy to lift the seat for your fellow man, maybe you should reconsider your actions. 

Do you think it’s possible the world might be a little bit better and a much more pleasant place to live if the selfish people of the world would just lift the seat first? Perhaps world peace isn’t tied to peeing all over the place, but it’s still something to think about you know.

Well now you know what I think, what do you think?

Spank That Butt!

Have you ever been out having dinner with friends or trying to enjoy a movie, only for there to be  a family there not controlling their kids and letting them run wild?  Kids like this can ruin a pleasant evening out, not to mention bring added stress if it turns out it’s your kids causing the problems.

My bride and I were at dinner last night with friends and we told them to bring their little girl Mia with them.  Afterwards, Cheryl and I talked about how good she was on our way home.  We were together with them for about three hours and she never acted up, even though at one point she did say, “Mommy, I’m ready to go home.”  It was the most pleasant evening with a four year old I’ve ever had.

I wish I could say this was true of all little kids, but unfortunately it is not.  One of the reasons Mia is such a good girl is because her mom and dad know the importance of discipline.  As we were leaving from having our dessert, Mia’s mom told her to thank me for buying her dinner.  She became bashful and didn’t want to.  For my part, I was okay if she didn’t say it, but I knew what Amberly was doing so I stood there in uncomfortable silence waiting for her to thank me.

When it was apparent she wasn’t going to thank me, her mother said to thank me or they were going to the restroom and have a talk.  They ended up going for a talk, so I went outside where Cheryl and Will were waiting.  Will gave me a “what’s going on look” and I told him they were in the restroom talking.  He grinned and said, “Oh she probably needed it.”  When the ladies came outside from their talk, without hesitation, Mia looked right at me and said in a loud voice, “Thank you for my dinner.”  The main reasons she did this is because her mom and dad know the importance of discipline and spanking her when she needs it.

Now before you get mad, hear me out.  When I talk about spanking, I’m talking about doing it the correct way; using it to reinforce positive behaviour.  I am not talking about spanking your child because they are annoying you; this is wrong and should never be what spanking is about.  And if this is what you’re doing with your kids, stop it.

My bride and I spanked all three of our kids, and despite what the “experts” try and say, none of them turned out to be homicidal maniacs, killers or horrible people. Spanking your child in the correct fashion is a deterrent to bad behaviour not an encouragement of it.

The biggest problem with children acting up in public is the parents.  If they would be consistent in their discipline and actually make their kids mind, 99% of the problems would disappear.  Unfortunately parents for some reason or other choose not to do anything about their children, thinking it will all work out in the end.  And yes, it usually does, they become bratty teenagers, then adults who refuse to take any responsibility for their actions later on in life.

One last thought on this for today; when you spank, please don’t use your hand, use a wooden paddle.  Your hands were designed to hold and love your children, not hit them.  Plus hitting with your hands makes them fear you, not the paddle which administers the discipline.  When you use a paddle, they will come to respect it.  So don’t wait, start spanking that butt today.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

Hi, My Name Is ED And I’m Addicted To Porn

Their dinner finished and the kitchen cleaned, John and Suzy settled into their respective places in the living room; she on the couch reading her latest romance novel and he in his recliner on his phone surfing the web.  This had become a typical night home for them, now in their second year of marriage.

Turning page after page only heightened her desire for John as the evening wore on.  And after about an hour she laid the book down, got up and walked over to him.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw her moving towards him and quickly switched the screen of his phone over to Facebook from the pornographic images he was scrolling through.

“Honey, let’s go to the bedroom.” she purred tugging on his earlobe with her lips.

“Sounds good,” he said, “go on and get ready and I’ll be there in a minute.”

Running her fingers across his chest she rose and went to the bedroom.  Quickly he opened the browser on his phone and started looking for a video which would give him an erection before heading to the bedroom.

Porn usages have risen in the world by extraordinary rates in the past few years, and with it so has erectile dysfunction. One thing which has not been discussed much until recently however is the connection between porn usage and ED.  In watching a video about this subject I was surprised to hear that many young men now between the ages of 18 – 25 have little to no desire for sex.  What?!?  When I was this age, it was predominantly on my mind.  Oh who am I kidding?  It’s still predominantly on my mind today and I’m 52.

In his book “The Brain That Changes Itself”, MD Norman Doidge said,

“Today, young men who surf porn are tremendously fearful of impotence or “erectile dysfunction” as it is euphemistically called.  The misleading term implies that these men have a problem with their penises, but the problem is in their heads.  It rarely occurs to them that there may be a relationship between the pornography they are consuming and their impotence.”

An interesting finding is intense exposure to pornographic stimuli results in a down regulation of the natural neural response to sexual stimuli.  Meaning quite simply, when you flood your mind with pornographic images seeing your wife’s naked body just doesn’t do it for you any more.

The question I must ask, is why do you feel the need to look at porn in the first place? Is there something missing in your relationship with your bride, or did you bring this into your marriage from bachelorhood? Whatever the reason, you need to eradicate porn from the equation of your relationship.

If you are suffering from ED, don’t go to the doctor for a pill; the problem is more than likely not in your pants, it’s in what you’re viewing, so stop your porn usage. The one thing I found in my study of this, is the men who are having trouble with ED when they stopped their porn intake, regained their normal sexual desire within a few months.

The good news is this is one area where willpower actually is the main ingredient in your success. If it helps however, find a good accountability software and put it on your phone and computer.  Slay this giant before it slays you, and get back to enjoying sexual fulfillment with your bride, you’ll be glad you did and so will she.