Friday, April 27, 2012

The prayers of a full-time dad

Good morning dads,
It's 4 AM here in Nashville. Usually I'm up at 4:30, but last night I was so exhausted that I collapsed into bed at 9:45. I typically stay up until midnight studying for school. But I was so worn out last night that I just couldn't do it. So this morning I was up at 3:30 and I thought I'd make use of the time by getting in a brief post. I know guys appreciate this blog a lot. I can tell by the traffic count. I want you to know that even though I haven't been active here, I've been praying for everyone who comes to this sight and for anyone who will in the future. You aren't as alone as it feels.
I just want to pass along this one thought. I know the frustration of not being with your kids all the time. Especially as they grow into teen years or when there is potential danger and you can't be there to do you "dad thing". 
Nashville sits in the edge of Tornado Alley. Last night we had a small tornado come within 1/2 mile of my house. Now, my daughter lives about 25 miles from here so she was never in danger, but there have been so many times when warnings were being flashed across the screen on TV and storms were bearing down on her home and I would worry myself sick until I heard from her that she was okay. It's hard to be a divorced dad because your protective nature never takes time off between visitation. You always feel the drive to protect your family.
This morning I thought I'd share with you a prayer I pray over my daughter every day.
Revelation 12:11 says; "And they overcame the evil one by the power of the Blood and the word of their testimony."  "They" here were the Saints of the church. The evil one, of course, is Satan. The Blood was capitalized in the text because it wasn't just any random blood. It was the blood of Jesus and it has power. His blood being shed on the cross broke the power of Satan and became a dividing line that Satan could not cross. Dad's, each day I pray something like this for my daughter...
"Father God, in faith I apply the blood of Jesus around my daughter. Your word tells us the devil was overcome by the power of the blood and the word of our testimony and I know your Word is true. You never lie. Let the blood of Jesus stand as a boundary that Satan cannot cross. Keep him from Morgan by the power of the blood and the words of her testimony. Lord as her daddy I can say with pride and thankfulness that she knows Jesus as her Savior, she loves Jesus as her Lord, and I can pronounce her a godly woman based on those assessments. Her testimony is strong. Father I can't be there all the time to do battle for her and protect her but YOU can! Send your strongest, fiercest warrior angels to surround my little girl. Let them go in front of her, behind her, besides her and let them  hover over her. Do for me what I can't do. Thank you for the privilege of being her dad. Amen"
Guys I can't tell you how much better I feel when I pray that. How much peace I get knowing that God loves her more than I do and He will keep His promises. men of God!  Get to know your Heavenly Father so you can be a tremendous earthly father.
We'll be back here soon. I graduate May 12th and we'll resume blogging and the radio show not long after that. Be great dads. You have a friend...


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hey dads...
I am crushed with the workload for my final month before graduation. I apologize for the long gaps without any entries. I am praying for you men and I hope you'll take the time to scan back through previous posts or listen to podcasts of the radio show until I am back here again regularly. In the meantime, please check out my chronicle of the final month of my journey toward my long overdue Bachelors of Religion from Liberty University. I'm writing it daily on my other blog Check it out and be inspired.
Thanks dads...we'll be back soon

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In the blink of an eye...

"In the Blink of an Eye it all changes...
With a kiss and a sigh love whispers your name.
It's here and gone...and life goes on...
Passin' like a ghost on the water"

My friend Rick Elias penned those words about 15 years ago or so. It's from a song called "Blink" on his album of the same name. Rick is nothing if not a prescient lyricist who seems to know what I have tried to say for most of my life. "Blink" is no exception.
I have been pondering my daughter and her life thus far. I have been preparing the Bible Study on godly womanhood as we've moved closer to her 14th birthday. We will celebrate her birthday in a special and emotional way this year. Often I've recommended Ed Tandy McGlasson's wonderful ministry here and on my radio show. Ed teaches about his method of pronouncing blessing and adulthood on all of his children as they reached a certain age. I am doing that with Morgan this year and leading into that is this study on the basic guidelines and definitions of godliness, particularly as it pertains to a young woman.
I am proud of my daughter more than even a verbose and wordy guy like me can express.
 God, knowing I would only have one child because of my divorce, sure gave me a special child to raise. I could not have designed her myself and done better. She is bright, funny, extremely caring, smarter than anyone I know, beautiful, gifted as an artist and possessing an amazing...amazing...singing voice. It has been such a pleasure being her daddy.
And yet it has come and gone so quickly.
It seems like she just got here. She was a tiny little thing, and I am a big man. I engulfed her the night she was born and she returned the favor in my heart. My daughter has been the fuel that restarted the fires that died in my soul when my world collapsed 5 years ago and she was the beacon I followed through 3 1/2 years of homelessness and doubt and shame and fear. I didn't know how things were going to get better but I knew they must because I had her. And because they God they would
She has become an inquisitive, compassionate, God-loving young woman with a heart as big as the sky and a burning desire to honor Him with her life and her talents. In May she turns fourteen and I will pronounce my fatherly blessing on her and she'll begin her next phase as a young adult.
The years have flown by. Especially being divorced and not being there every night for every bedtime prayer or helping with every page of homework. I have three legal sized manila folders stuffed full of her drawings from the earliest days when she was scribbling on copy paper in my office, through the handmade Fathers Day cards and the pictures of our family...Me, Her, our two dogs and our cat...right up to the incredible current work that, along with her vocal abilities, got her into Nashville School of Arts.
It has come and gone...passing like a ghost on the water.
In four years she'll be approaching her 18th birthday and that fall she'll be leaving for Virginia and college at my Alma mater, Liberty University. Four more years of weekends and summers and sneaking to her school for lunch once in a while. It has been such a privilege and such a blessing and I am so much better a man for having been her dad.
And it has flown by so darned fast...
Dads...especially you divorced dads...make the most of this time. Stuff each day with a week. Make your kids collapse into bed at night so full of memories and happiness and so marked by your touch, that they smile when their head hits the pillow. Talk to them more than you talk to your buddies. Listen to their dreams and help them visualize them, and make the promise that you will do whatever you have to do to see those dreams come true. More than anything...tell them you love them. Tell them so much that they know when it's coming and they start to smile before the words leave your lips. My daughter tells me all the time that the one thing I've done that mattered most was consistently tell her I loved her. Having never heard those words even once from my father, I can assure you they mean everything to a kid.
Treasure every day and live each moment with them as if the only people on earth were your children. Because soon enough they'll be on their way...set in flight by their archer-dad who sees the target God intended them for and has been readying his arrows since the day they were born. The arrows bear the mark of the a fine arrow and leave a good mark, dads. matter what, you are their daddy. Divorce does not change that.

I am praying for you,

PS The show "DadMatters" will resume in two weeks with some changes and big announcements so stay tuned!