This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

Father’s Day Let Us Be Transformed

by J. Jeffrey Smead

 

Let us Pray….

O’ Gracious Father – bless now the words of my lips and the meditations of our hearts. Breathe your Spirit into us and grant that we may hear and in hearing be led in the way …… you want us to go. We ask this in the name of your son Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Someone noticed that the word “father” appears in the dictionary …..just before the word “fatigued” …..and just after the word “fathead.”

So to all us fatigued, fathead fathers, ……Happy Father’s Day!

One time a little boy was asked to define Father’s Day and he said, ……”It’s just like Mother’s Day,…… only you don’t have to spend as much on the present.”

I recently found a site called Kids speak a different language:

Parents frequently make the mistake of thinking they speak the same language as their children.

We see this kind of misunderstanding all the time.

Even though we Americans and the English people supposedly speak “English” there is often misunderstandings.

For instance when an American says “bonnet” they mean a kind of hat.

When the Englishman says “bonnet” they mean the hood of a car.

The same is true when talking with your children.

At first it seems we are all speaking English ……but, on closer inspection, ……it becomes clear ……that children and parents ……..speak entirely different dialects.

In the interest of better trans-gen-er-a-tion-al communication, …..here are some key phrases ……. and their translations.

“I cannot finish my hamburger.” Meaning: Your son has eaten enough.

Or, “I cannot finish my fish.” Meaning: Your daughter, who does not like fish in the first place, ……figures she’s eaten enough to satisfy you and still get dessert.

“I can’t finish my dessert.” Meaning: Your child is defiantly sick and should be taken to the doctor ASAP.

“I didn’t do it.” Translation: It has not been conclusively proven that I did do it.

“Frankie Smith is such a no-good rotten liar!” Meaning: ……Expect a call from Frankie’s parents.

“Mom said it was okay.” Translation: I’m going to ask Mom as soon as you say “yes.”

“Dad, can I have a dog?” Meaning: Your son wants a dog.

“Dad, can I have a boa constrictor?”

Meaning: Your son wants a dog, but figures asking for something really awful……. put him in a better bargaining position.

I think…… that all parents….. can testify…. that their children or grand-children….. do speak a different language….. than they do ……. and it is one of the reasons…… that it is very difficult ……to bring up Children.

There are other reasons of course …… but I don’t want to go into those today ……….rather I want to speak to the men who are here …..both fathers and grandfathers ……… about some of the things…… we can do …….to make ourselves better parents …..and grandparents.

There is a wonderful wisdom saying ….in Proverbs 22:6 …..”Bring up a child in the way he should go ……and when they are old they will not soon depart from it”.

We love our children and grandchildren….. and treat them well …….yet sometimes they turn away from us; …….. sometimes they journey on roads ……that we do not understand …….or approve of.

But in the end ……. if our hearts are open ……. if the foundation is well laid …….. we see them return to us …….. much as the Prodigal Son ……returned to his Father.

This seems to be …..the record of things.

If the door is open, ……they will normally….. pass through it.

I think part of the problem we have as parents ……is not that we have difficult children ……or even that they speak a different language than we do ……. though all this ……is very often true.

I am convinced ……a portion of the problem ……is that we too….. as parents ……often do not know the way ……our children should go.

And more importantly …….. even when we know the way …….. we so often fail ……to live it.

And so ……our children become angry ……..distant …… alienated from us ……. and from God.

So what is the way?

As men ……. we must …..actually live ….Godly lives.

We must….. keep promises …..concerning our relationship…. to the Lord.

We must keep our promises …..with our relationship with our family…….and our relationships …….with other people.

We must be mature in the faith ……and be the spiritual head of the family ……as God…… has called us ….to be.

We as men …..must commit ourselves….. to building strong biblical marriages ……and support the mission of Christ ……with our time,….. our talent …..and with our prayer.

As men of Christ ……we must devote ourselves …..to demonstrating…. the love of Christ….. in our community.

As men of Christ …..we are to live….. moral and virtuous lives ……based on…. scriptural principles.

The result …..will not only be the renewal of our own lives as men; ……. It will bring renewal …..to our families, …….to our churches, ……to our community and ultimately ……to our world.

And it is working …….it is working ….because the secret….. of all successful marriages ……… of all successful parenting…….. always rests….. in two sets of hands.

First and foremost in the hand of God …….. and secondly….. in our hands.

If we allow those hands …..to be linked together …… the results are incredible.

Lives are changed……. Lives improve……. Families are healed.

If we lead godly lives …..then the odds are …..that our children …..will lead Godly lives.

Now……there are times ……when we men….. do not always say….. what we mean, …….ladies …..please allow me to translate ……for your future benefit:

When a man says “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN”…… He generally means: ……”I have no idea how it works.”

When a man says:…… “TAKE A BREAK HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD”……. He really means: ……”I can’t hear the game ……over the vacuum cleaner”.

When we say “I HEARD YOU.”

It means:….. “I haven’t the foggiest clue…. what you just said ….and I am hoping desperately….. that I can fake it well enough …..so that you will not spend …..the next 3 days telling me …..I never listen to you,”

When a guy says, …..”that’s not what I meant.”

He means:….. “If something I said ……can be interpreted two ways, ……and one of the ways…… makes you sad or angry, ……I meant the other one.

And lastly …When a guy says …..’I CAN’T FIND IT.”

He means:…. “It did not fall into my outstretched hand, ……so I am completely clueless”.

Am I speaking the truth here ladies?….. Amen!

In Ephesians …… and again in Colossians ….. Paul shares ……the word…. that he received from the Lord….. concerning children and their parents. He writes:

BIBLE “Children, obey your parents in the Lord ……..for this is right. Honor your mother and father ……. which is the first Commandment with a promise …….. that it may go right with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Then he writes:….. “Fathers, do not provoke your children …… do not exasperate your children ….. instead bring them up…. in the training and instruction….. of the Lord” END

These last words are surely inspired.

Do not provoke,….. do not exasperate your children …….. do not break your promises to them ……. do not neglect them …….or mindlessly indulge their every whim….. so that they lose all respect for you ……. instead bring them up …..in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Someone once said,….. “A boy loves his mother,….. but will follow his father.”

Parenting is never easy.

It is not easy…. being a father or a mother ……. it has incredible challenges …….. incredible pains …….as well as incredible joys.

We can do no better thing for our children …..than personally walking….. in the way ….we should go.

To be mature in the Faith ….and to be continually open to the Transforming power of Christ.

Some time ago I heard a touching story about a humble, consecrated pastor whose young son had become very ill.

After his young boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests, …..the father was told the shocking news….. that his son ……had a terminal illness.

The youngster….. had accepted Christ as his Savior, …..so the minister knew …..that death would usher him …..into Glory.

But he wondered …..how to inform….. one in the bloom of youth …..that he soon ….would die.

After earnestly seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, ……he went with a heavy heart …..through the hospital ward …..to his son’s bedside.

First he read a passage of Scripture….. and had a time of prayer…. with his son.

Then he gently told him …..that the doctors could promise him ……only a few more days ….to live.

“Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my son?”….. asked his devout father.

Blinking away a few tears,….. the little fellow said bravely,….. “No, not if He’s like you, Dad!”

Beloved, ….. the best thing that we can do for our children and grandchildren …..is for each one of us ……to personally be right with God …….and to walk in the way….. of the Lord.

To never be satisfied …… but to continually seek to be transformed….. into the image of Christ.

To finish this marathon of life ……. the race laid before us …..and to finish well.

To give our all …….and when we cross over to the other side of eternity, ……to collapse into our Saviors arms …….knowing we had no more to give.

And to hear our Saviors voice;….. “Well done good and faithful servant. …….You have fought the good fight, ….you have finished the race.”

Amen & Amen!


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