Being a father is hard. Being a father to a daughter is extra hard, because I know nothing about tiny women people. They flabbergast me. I barely, kinda understand her mom sometimes, so I am in constant fear that I am failing as a father. What I have learned is that day in and day out I have to fight hard against the devil to not have control of my daughter. I mean really fight. Other fathers understand how hard you have to fight. If you are going to fight, fight like you are the third monkey on the ramp to Noah’s ark…and brother…it’s starting to rain. I teamed up with some other dads who have thoughts on what it means to raise strong daughters. Go to this link and see what some God fearing men think about what it takes to raise strong daughters. Thanks for the taking the time, you will not be disappointed.
I haven’t been blogging for very long. The experts say you lose most readers in the first paragraph, so it is important to have a strong opening. Tell a story your reader can relate to, they say. This is what makes them keep coming back for more. Kind of like a drug dealer (but not really). Here is my story. So this guy is walking down the street….you know what, put a pin in that story. I must explain something first. I live in Texas. People here love a good story. To understand a good story you must understand the vernacular of the story teller. For example, here in Texas you don’t say “you all” you say “y’all”. Which means “you all”. Unless it is a lot of y’all, then it is “all y’all”, which means “all of you all”. Got it. That reminds me of when I moved to Texas from a little island in the Bahamas. It was very overwhelming. GPS was not the common thing like we have today, so asking for directions was the norm. It was a happy day when you stopped and you got an old guy who would start the conversation with “y’all folks lost? He would always help you out and would tell you to go past 4 stop signs, turn left by the gas station. If you go by the big oak tree with the tire swing you have gone too far. It would be a bad day when you got some young kid who would tell you to go 2.7 miles south by southeast….I stopped listening already. That old guy knew the way out. He had been there before. But the best part was he knew how to tell you how to get there in a way you would understand.
I love old hymns. My all time favorite line from my all time favorite hymn is from “What a friend we have in Jesus”. It goes : O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer. Very powerful stuff. It’s such a simple concept. God has been here before and he knows the way out. Somehow we mess this up (if you are like me you mess this up constantly). Some things are just too simple of a concept and I think that scares us. We believe it can’t be that easy. Like for example, you can distinguish an alligator from a crocodile by paying attention to whether the animal sees you later or in a while. Very simple. So is the decision to trust God. Maybe we don’t trust God as much as we should because we trust ourselves more. Maybe we feel we know ourselves best, and we can make the best decisions for us. Jeremiah 1:5 says Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Now that sounds like it came from someone we should be trusting. Today I choose to put my trust in the Almighty God. Sometimes I forget and start to trust myself. I lean on my own understanding. That is quickly corrected. Psalms 5:4 says: Show me the right path O Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Just like that old guy who’s been there before, and knows the way out.
Recalculating…recalculating…recalculating. Those words to me are so infuriating and frustrating. That is what we get from God when we continually try to do our own thing. Then we sit there and wonder why it’s not working out. Sometimes it is even things we believe that are good. Maybe you tried to open a business and it failed. Or you chose a space to serve in church and dread going there every Sunday. Proverbs 11:14 says where there is no guidance, the people fall. Most of us don’t like asking for help. Some of us ask for help and do not heed the wisdom that is given to us. Some of us ask for God’s help, we heed his wisdom, but decide to put a little bit extra on the back end. Now, we all know how much God needs our help in our decisions for our lives *sigh*. But I digress. I was supposed to tell a story at the beginning to get you hooked so you can read this blog post. I got a little distracted. Let’s take that pin out, here is my story. So this guy is walking down the street, when he falls in a hole. The walls are too steep and he can’t climb out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then his friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it’s me can you help me out?” And the friend jumps down in the hole. Our guy says “What are you crazy? Now we are both down here!” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
I’m sorry the hook to keep you reading came so late, but if you are still here reading I have a message. Don’t stay stuck in your situation. God can and he will help you. He will send you someone, a dream, a vision, maybe even a messenger pigeon if he as to. If you ask him he will help you get out.
I googled the definition of familiar, and it said
1. well known from long or close association and
2. in close friendship: intimate
I made a list of my top 3 things I like to be familiar with:
- My wife
- It was a tie between xtra-large pepperoni pizza from Big Joe’s Pizza, and my kids.
If you read my other blog “Member of the Dad Bod Squad” you already know how important food is to me. I know what you are thinking. Is the pizza from Big Joe’s actually that good? Yes…yes it is. But before you judge me, my kids are doing great. They are on the fast track to having the number 3 space all locked up by themselves. They are 11 and 10 years old at the moment. While I love them very much, they tend to annoy me from time to time. Like I hate it when they pour me a glass of water. They don’t know how much I want. They don’t know my life. They don’t know what I have been through.
But seriously, God is number one on my list because I took the time to get familiar with him. Even when I didn’t want to. You know how sometimes you don’t consult with God on some decisions because you know what he is going to say. And you want him to say something else, because something else is what you really want to do. That was me from the ages of 12-27. He knows my life. He knows what I have been through. I work hard at hearing his still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). It took years for me to get to a point where I can see and hear God in the things that I do and/or say. To do that I had to get familiar with how he talks to me.
Quick tangent for some marriage/dating advice. I know, I know, you didn’t ask me, but I have seen The Notebook, Gone With the Wind, Titanic, and at least 7 other famous romantic movies. So trust me I am a marriage/dating expert. Anyway, my expert advice: Before you seriously date or marry someone you should make them use a computer with slow internet so you can see who they really are as a person. Get familiar with them.
Okay back to getting familiar with God. Hebrews 4:7 says today if you hear his voice, do not harden our hearts. God wants to grab a cup of coffee with you. He wants to binge watch Netflix with you. He wants to run 5 miles with you (in my case walk 0.25 miles; Dad bod remember). Learn as much as you can from him. He loves you so much, and wants to be number one in your life. He doesn’t just want you to be familiar with him when you are struggling to pay bills. Or if you get sick. Or if you are this close to losing your family. He wants you all the time, in all situations.
All God wants is all you got.
People claim God is number one in their life, but rarely put it into practice. Before I made a conscious effort to put first things first, as soon as I woke up I would check my phone for any notifications that I missed last night. Old text messages, game scores, people liking my Facebook statuses. Then I would remember after a little bit to maybe read the Bible if I wasn’t too late getting to work after doing all that other stuff.
After years of trying and failing and trying again, I finally got into the habit of starting my day with God. I would start with a devotional, a prayer, and quiet meditation. I decided to put God first. I decided to get familiar with the greatest friend I know…Jesus Christ. I am still working on it because sometimes I slip up and forget or get busy. God still loves me anyway.
Now all I have to do is translate that into a relationship with every day people. I am a loner, and I am working on getting familiar with others. I like to keep to myself. The less I know about other people’s affairs the happier I seem to be. I once worked with a guy for 5 years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes. I think we treat God like that from time to time, and wonder why we cannot hear that still small voice from 1 Kings.
This week let’s make an effort to get familiar with God and see how much better our day goes when we put first things first. I did and it was the best decision I have ever made.
But don’t take my word for it. Try him for yourself.
This is a monumental occasion. I am so humbled and blessed to have my first devotional published at TheLife.com. I plan on being a monthly contributor there so check them out for daily devotionals. I haven’t been this happy since they introduces the skip intro button on Netflix. Both times very important dates in my life. Stay tuned I will have more up later.
What was that?!?
Have you ever messed up? I mean like really messed up. To a point where you are looking around to see if someone or a camera caught you in the act. And when you are sure no one saw you, and no cameras were around, you promised yourself you are burying this deep in the recesses of your soul and never speaking of this again. Like the one time my driveway was iced over (which hardly ever happens in Texas so I don’t know all of the rules of how to behave on an iced driveway), and I was walking to my car so I could warm it up for the drive to work. Two steps in I had an epic fall. I said several curse words, and unsuccessfully tried to grab a hold to everything I could see. I fell and hurt my whole left side. To make matters worse I had my brand new iPhone in my pocket and heard a crack. Like any other human the first thing I prayed was “God please let that be my leg!” I looked around to make sure no one was watching and to make sure no cameras caught this for my great grand kids to talk about for generations. For the longest time this story was just between me and God. I have no idea why I am sharing this with you now except to say, I buried this deep and in that moment on the ice just wanted to disappear.
But what about those horrible things that we do that only we and God know about. When we wish evil on someone, or looking at that very questionable website, or changing a few numbers on our taxes, or told a lie to get out of a situation and it actually works. Those things that we are ashamed that we did. We are glad that no one knows and even wish that God would just forget about it. I can only imagine this is what Peter felt like after Jesus was betrayed. It’s story time with Uncle Cool Breeze. Allow me to summarize what happened. John 18: 15-18 and 25-27 Jesus had just been betrayed and all of his disciples fearing for their lives just disappeared and left him on his own. Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times. Knowing Peter he probably hit him with the #JesusisBae text with three heart eyes emojis saying he would NEVER do that. But sure enough, around a fire, he was asked “Aren’t you one of the disciples?” The first time Peter was like “nah, fake news bro!” Someone else was like “Are you sure this is not you tagged in this Instagram photo with Jesus and 11 other guys #squadgoals #disciplesforlife?” Second time Peter denied him “that’s photo-shopped, I never met the guy!” Someone else said “Isn’t this you in this YouTube video feeding 5000+ people with like 1.2 billion views?” For the third and final time Peter said “I don’t know this dude!!” The rooster crowed and Peter just wanted to disappear. I am not sure this is historically accurate but I am sure he started looking around for cameras to see if it caught him in his shame. (Legal disclaimer: I am paraphrasing and also Instagram and YouTube were not available in bible days so please do not write me mean theological letters).
This leads me to my all time favorite verse Mark 16:7, but go tell his disciples…and Peter. I like to insert my name whenever I mess up, “Go tell his disciples and Prescott”. He wants me to know that he sees me in all of my shame and disgrace. He sees me when I lie, when I lust, when I disobey, when I disrespect, and when I procrastinate. He wants me to know that he sees it all and he loves me anyway. I don’t have to live with the condemnation, because when I shake my face at the fist of God he doesn’t strike me down like I deserve. Jesus loves me. Jesus forgives me. Sometimes I ask my wife: Hey wife, do you love me? and she says “maybe”. Then I slide a cupcake in her direction and ask “how about now?” And usually she says “Yes, now I do!” The good news most people don’t realize is we do not have to do anything to receive the love of God. Redemption can be yours. No matter how bad you have messed up in the past God still loves you. This brings me so much peace. So go tell his disciples and (insert your name here) that it’s ok. It’s time to let it go and move on. Come home to God and receive your redemption and find some rest. If he can forgive Peter and me he can do it for you. Don’t take my word for it just try him for yourself.
My wife came to me with those 5 dreaded words “We should start working out”. Wait…what?!? Am I being punished? What did I do to deserve this? Apparently there is this thing where people run, and workout, to be healthy and whatnot. Yeah, I know, it didn’t sound like a real thing to me either. The bible actually speaks about it I Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, with you, whom you have from God. You are not your own.
So she convinced me to start running around the neighborhood like some kind of psychopath. Here’s the thing, if you go running with me you better be prepared to walk…like a lot. Crazy thing is the more I did it the better I felt. I started to lose weight. The more I did it the longer I could run without my heart feeling like it would explode out of my chest. Your body is a fined tuned machine that God created. He gave you the tools, the wisdom, and the resources to keep it in tip top condition. Working out your body is only part of complete fitness. You have to work out your mind and most importantly, your spiritual health. They all need constant reps to build muscles and get stronger. If you are weak in anger, how about working out your relaxation muscles. If you have a problem with lust, do 10 sets of 10 to build up your purity muscles. You spending too much money, dust off the money saving workout machines and get to work. The bad habits seem hard to stop because we have worked them out so long and with such frequency they are inhumanly strong. Science proves that exercising just 10 minutes a day raises your risk of posting inspirational posts on social media (I may have made this up, and I also may have gotten C’s in Science).
Ephesians 6:10 says to be strong in the Lord. What’s that you say…how do you get strong? Glad you asked. Study your bible. Learn and memorize verses to repeat in times of weakness and troubles. Pray for someone else. Give away something you really need/want, and do not expect anything in return and don’t tell anyone that you did it. Then tomorrow do it all over again. Then when you have those few things down to where you are doing them out of habit; Switch it up and find some other ways to please the Lord. And then do those on a regular basis. Start off with just one or two things you want to work on. Get those down to a science, then find something else you want to work on. Do all of these things. Run, work out, study, serve and you will be flexing those physical and spiritual muscles in no time. Now don’t get me wrong I have a dad bod. I am always notoriously eating bad food. All those foods you see in the documentaries they say to stay away from. I am eating those 2 to 3 times a week. It got so bad I just told people that I used to weigh 350 pounds so they could tell me how good I looked even though I was overweight (I didn’t do this, but I was very tempted cause people can make you feel so bad about yourself for being overweight). I’m not where I want to be but I am not where I used to be. It took me a while to get this bad so it will take me a bit to reverse the process. I am not giving up. Step out of your comfort zone and do not be afraid to try something new. Trust me I know about fear. My biggest fear is that my wife will say something crazy like “Let’s cut sugar out of our diet”, and I have to leave with the kids in the middle of the night. I am not an expert. But like most people I know what I am supposed to do, I just do not do it. Sometimes it is easier to just be lazy and pick up a burger and watch 5 consecutive episodes the Walking Dead. But we owe it to God to try to take care of what he has given us. Be good stewards and honor him with our bodies, mind, and spiritual health. So let’s get up and work out.
I read a very interesting verse the other day I Corinthians 14:33. It says God is not a God of disorder/confusion. King James says that he is not the “author of confusion” If he is not then who is, because I find myself in much disorder, and in a constant state of confusion. Just ask my wife. I have a simple yet brilliant method for my clothes. She calls it disorderly, but it is so simple. Dirty clothes are on the floor right here, and clean clothes are on the floor over there. Clothes that are too dirty for the closet, but too clean for the laundry…welcome to the “chair”. My side of the room is always in much disorder and that’s when my wife hits me with what I can only describe as “divorce eyes”. (she is very passionate about clothes on the floor)
Even worse, so many things confuse me. I use the phrase “wait…what?!?” like 64 times a day. A guy named Norm MacDonald had a show on Comedy Central that used this line. The bit went like this: Norm would read a completely insane, very true story, and then with a totally straight face he would wait for a split second, do a double take, and then scream “wait…what?!?” Life is so full of these moments, and so is the bible. My most favorite wait what moment in the bible is Matthew 27:52-53. Jesus had just died on the cross, and the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints, which slept, arose and came out of the graves and appeared to many. Wait…what! So all these dead people just got up like “what’s going on around here, what did I miss”. I have so many questions. Did all of them come alive? Was it walking dead style? Did God feel like Jesus could be the only person dead at the time he died so everyone else had to get up? Can you imagine the a scenario in a funeral home business? Gabriel running in the door yelling “Hezekiah, I just saw Elisha, who we buried last month, outside buying a new goat. (I am just assuming this is what they did back then, I don’t know. Don’t judge me) With 89% certainty I can say that Hezekiah’s exact words were probably “wait…what?!?”
If God is not the author of confusion, then why am I and so many other Christians so confused about so many things. I want to remove “wait…what?!?” from my vocabulary when it comes to what God is doing in my life. I believe it is because we as humans feel we need to understand things before we do them. We need to know who, what, when, where, and why before taking a step and trusting God. That is not how it works. God says move to this state, or start serving in this new ministry, or adopt this child, or give your car to this person. Then we say wait…what, and then ponder the 5 W’s. This is where the confusion takes hold. But you know what is great? God is very patient. we will stay confused as long as we operate outside the will of God. He loves that moment when we decide to trust him, and that ball of confusion in our minds gets unraveled. He loves to watch us grow as Christians and become the people he has called us to be. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding Proverbs 3:5.
Maybe all those old ladies in church were right, and just maybe we will understand it better by and by. So for now I’ll stay confused about why people who use baby changing stations in public bathrooms always come back with the same baby. But it’s all good. God has all the answers and one day I will never have to ask “wait…what?!?” ever again.
I was born on the small island of Nassau, Bahamas. With it being so small and growing up in the early 90s, we had one channel. ZNS Channel 13. It came on air about 2 in the afternoon, and went off air around midnight every night. Even though we had that one channel, there was still good stuff to watch. There was this one show in particular, The Fresh Price of Bel-Air. Because Will Smith got spun around like a helicopter he had to go live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air. My whole life changed. I grew up with the Banks family, and they taught me many important pieces of information, like how to do the Carlton, who Tom Jones was, and that Jazz had hundreds of the same shirt (seriously almost every time he got thrown out of the house he was wearing the same shirt, fyi #3 is the best).
This was a comedy that made me laugh every single episode, multiple times an episode. But there was this one scene, THE scene. If you forgot how it went please watch it here. This is a superb piece of acting from one of all the all time greats. Every time I watch this my allergies start acting up for some reason. All you have to say to someone is “you remember the fresh prince dad scene?”, and they know exactly what you are talking about. Fun fact: The hug at the end was not in the script. It was so powerful and Will was so believable cause he didn’t know his real dad that he channeled the emotion and pain from growing up and Uncle Phil saw the pain in his eyes and just hugged him. Powerful stuff. It doesn’t just make you feel some of the feelings, it makes you feel ALL of the feelings. He wanted his dad to want him so badly. How come he don’t want me man. If you are being lazy and haven’t clicked the link to watch that clip go back and watch it so this post will make sense and then go hug your dad. I’ll wait…..ok, you caught up now. Good.
It makes you want to line up all of the dead beat dads of the world and commit unspeakable torture to them like dropping lemon juice in their eyes, or watching every episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, just the sickest stuff you can think of. My daddy was super awesome. He taught me how to fix stuff, how to do my homework, took me places, and was always there for me. But the most important thing he did was show me how to be a true man of God. We weren’t all lovey dovey, or had lots of hugs, but I never had to question whether he wanted me or not. Not one time….ever. His actions said it all. I’ve had many friends who have wondered out loud the very same question “How come he don’t want me man?” And they are still searching for answers to that question.
I have been a Christian for a long time and one of the greatest things I can share with others is that I NEVER have to wonder, question, ponder, or ask if God wants me. One of the key components of laughing, having fun, and being happy/content is knowing that GOD period WANTS period YOU period exclamation point. If you are like me you are probably saying “If God really knew me and what I did when no one was looking, he definitely/for sure/for reals for reals/most definitely would not want me”. Think of the worse thing you have ever done and I don’t mean insane things like putting ketchup on macaroni and cheese or putting milk first then cereal (if you do either of these things I have already called the police on you and they are on the way). But just think of all the bad, low down stuff you did. Those things are exactly the reason that God wants you. If he didn’t have you then he couldn’t help you get through these horrible things that happened to you or the horrible things that you did.
Ask any Christian you know and they all have something that they have done that they are ashamed of. Yet God still wants them and he still wants you. Maybe you put on some weight, have a disease, dishonored your family, or betrayed a friend. It doesn’t matter because God is in the forgiving and broken people acquisition business. The reason that I can laugh, smile, and enjoy life is because we never have to ask that question of God “How come he don’t want me man?” Psalm 118:6 says the Lord is with me, I will not be afraid, what can people do to me? Actually people can do a lot to you. They can shoot you, kidnap you, rape you, hurt you with words, or just deplorable things like when my kids leave empty cereal boxes in the pantry. There is nothing quite like having disappointment for breakfast. God is with me and I am not afraid. He wants me man!!! If that’s not something to smile about then I don’t know what is.
Three simple yet powerful words, Proverbs 10:9 says to walk in integrity and people in who take crooked paths will be found out. Fake news is all the rage now. There are actually sites out there that publish 100% fake news stories just to show how people will share fake stories without checking their sources. These stories get shared thousands of times before someone finally comments “you know this is fake right?” All it takes is one post from someone who someone else trusts and they share it, and so on and so forth. You have all these people making up obviously fake stories for attention and no one pays any mind to real heroes like me who beat up a volcano (legal notification: I did not beat up a volcano).
Why do we wear masks around other people? Why are we afraid to be who God calls us to be? God doesn’t call us to keep it 100. God calls us to do what he wants us to do to further his kingdom. We have to be all in. To be honest there are things in the bible that I do not agree with. One of them is the whole thing about vengeance. If it were up to me, that verse would be “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Prescott.” But to keep it real, I do not get to choose what part of the bible I want to be real, and what part I want to be fake. You can’t be a little pregnant. Either you are or you aren’t. Either you choose to be real and follow God or you don’t.
There is also a downside to keeping it real. You have to allow for others faults. Most people know the difference between right and wrong. Your job is not to constantly beat down on someone when they are doing wrong as if you are living a pure and blameless life. There is mercy in keeping it real and some of the best people I know portray this skill. The good news is you do not have to be the same. You can always change. Think of it like this. If you jump out of an airplane, and your parachute malfunctions, you have the rest of your life to fix it. Be real for God, and if you aren’t at the moment then you still have the rest of your life to fix it. But you don’t have forever.