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In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16
I have said this many times over the years. One of the greatest attributes I love seeing in people’s lives the most (including mine) is generosity.
For those of you who have ever heard me speak, you know I am the first to admit that I have failed a lot as a parent, husband, and follower of Christ.
I also frequently admit to being a selfish, self-centered person who cares only about myself a lot of the time.
I also talk about the fact that my family is not a perfect family by a long shot.
With that said, I am going to take a minute here to speak highly of my wife and kids to illustrate this Faith Tip.
My wife Carol is one of the most generous people I have ever met and she has modeled that for our kids their whole lives. For those of you who know Carol, you know this to be very true.
Our kids have received an allowance from a young age. It was not only important to Carol that she taught our kids how to manage their money, but she taught them right away to always be giving their money away as well.
When my dad (who happened to be a very generous person) passed away, he had an insurance policy with his kids names on it. So I was given some money my dad planned on me having.
I divided the money into parts and I gave each of my six family members a share.
Without exception, within 5 minutes of giving each person their money, each one of my six family members said, and I am not exaggerating here, “Now I can give some money to so and so.”
That made me so very proud.
I love seeing true generosity from the hearts of my family and friends. I love when I allow God to break through my own selfishness and generosity spills through.
Thank you, Carol, for modeling this to each one of us. Your generosity has been contagious in our family.
Christians, show generosity to the world around you.
Bosses, to your employees.
Pastors, to your congregations and visa-verses.
Friends, to your neighbors, co-workers, and families.
Parents, model generosity to your kids so when they grow up they have hearts to give.
We serve such a generous God that He gave His entire life for us. Jesus is the ultimate example of generosity!
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
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When my twin sons Stephen and Andrew were young they had a dream; they wanted to own Cedar Point, the worlds greatest amusement park in Sandusky Ohio.
Cedar Point is owned by a company called Cedar Fair, it is not owned by one person. It is impossible for one person to own Cedar Point.
After they told Carol and me they wanted to own Cedar Point, we never said to them, “No you can’t do that.”
However, we also didn’t say “Sure, you can do that someday.”
What Carol and I did when our kids dreamed big is we would say, “Tell me what that looks like. What would Cedar Point be like if you owned it?”
Then we would sit back and listen to their dreams.
Don’t be afraid to let your children dream big dreams.
And don’t dismiss their little dreams as well.
If they are dreaming about something that would harm someone, then step in and intervene.
Most of the time our children’s dreams are harmless. Let them dream big.
Today Stephen and Andrew are huge roller coaster enthusiast. it has been so fun to watch their childhood dream turn into a hobby they love and still get excited about.
I still believe our son Andrew, who has been employed by Cedar Point, would be a phenomenal president of Cedar Fair someday. Is this Papa looking for free tickets?
Let your children dream big dreams and enjoy listening to them tell you their stories.
I am convinced that God created each of us with big imaginations.
Let your kids soar.
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There may be some who would wish to dispute this but I am a very firm believer that a family starts when a couple
gets married, not when the kids are born if a couple has kids.
Carol and I were a family as of 1 pm September 30, 1989. Our wedding was at noon.
I say this because I know many of you reading this are newlyweds who are just getting started.
Newlywed or not, please consider hearing what’s on my heart as I write so that you can pass this word onto newlyweds in your life.
From my heart to the newlywed.
You have a family now. Honor that family. Pray for God’s loving protection over that family. Look your spouse in the eyes and know that your family is worth fighting for.
Don’t give your family leftovers. Give your very best to your family. Don’t throw your family away to chase fantasies. Realize that your family is your reality and that God is crazy about you both and you are His family.
Live for Him and die for each other. All day long. Then get up and do it again.
Don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with friends who will run the good race with you and not fill your head with smoke.
Don’t do it in your own strength. Ask God to be your all-powerful provider each day.
Don’t give up. Never give up.
Don’t be the one who gave up on the family. Love your family. Don’t let go.
God is doing something brand new in you. Never let go.
Is there an exception? Yes. Never allow yourself or your loved ones to be abused. Take action if that is happening.
Alright, I think that’s it.
Have a great week!
“The family is born when the betrothed conclude their sacred vows.” -B.K. Raymond (Presbyterian Evangelist)