FATHER’S DAY 2010

June 18, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about what makes a man a good dad. I’ve boiled my thoughts down to eight qualities that I hope will describe me as a father. Hanging next to the computer screen in my office are these eight personal expectations. Above this list is this statement: The father I will to be determines the father I will be. In the coming days, weeks, months, years, and decades I hope these eight qualities will find their way into my relationship with Haven and Pierce. Here they are…

1. Be a good Christian and a good husband.

2. Provide for my family’s physical and emotional needs.

3. Be silly and serious.

4. Praise and discipline.

5. Spend quantity time and quality time.

6. Prepare them for life and eternity.

7. Do and teach.

8. Pray for them and for myself.

I’d like to know what qualities you think are most important in a dad…

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THREE NEW PARENTING RULES

April 17, 2010 1 comment

Okay, so it’s been a while since my last post. Well, I’m back…at least for today.

The other night I was reflecting on the sort of parent I am and noticed some areas that need improvement. This was not the first time I noticed these deficiencies; it was just the first time I made a real, verbal commitment to begin working to resolve them. Out of this process came three new rules I have for myself and one question I have for those of you reading this.

First the rules:

  1. NO RAISING MY VOICE. I will talk quietly and calmly no matter how frustrated (or infuriated) I am on the inside.
  2. NO DISCIPLINING WHEN ANGRY. I will send Haven to her room or, if we are out, count to 10 (or 100, as the case may be) before carrying out the appropriate discipline.
  3. GET IN SHAPE. My kids are just one more reason to get serious about eating less and exercising more. I want to be actively involved in their lives (and maybe the lives of grandkids one day).

Now for the question: Do you know of any good books on parenting that you’d recommend?

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WALTER SCOTT ON THE HOLY SPIRIT

December 3, 2009 1 comment

These things being so, you will no doubt like many others, experience no ordinary degree of surprise on being told, that there are now certain preachers affecting to espouse the cause of the Ancient Gospel, who cease not to proclaim all over their fields of labour, that there is no Spirit now; that there is no Spirit given; that the word is the Spirit! Yes, brother Campbell’s brother-in-law, writes me, that the cause in certain places, which he has lately visited, is loaded just with the intolerable burden of such proclaimers; but I here protest, that such men have neither brother Campbell nor us for their examples in such sayings, and I am sure, that such individuals do neither conceive of the gospel as it has been delivered in the Holy Scriptures by the Apostles, nor as it has been lately restored again in practice to the church.

-Walter Scott, “Restoration of the Ancient Gospel,”
The Evangelist (1833) 98-99.

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PERSON OF THE WEEK

December 2, 2009 1 comment

My basketball career began in the first grade with a purple jersey, white shorts, white knee-high socks with two purple stripes each, and I hope white and not purple Converse All-Stars (can’t remember that part of my statement-making, intimidation-producing ensemble). Despite my embarrassing uniform, my grandfather, Kenneth Hope, was always–without fail–at every single game with a paper bag over his head.

Okay, maybe he didn’t have anything on his head, but he did have something in his shirt pocket and something else in his pants pocket. In his shirt pocket he carried a mini spiral notebook–you know, those 2 1/2 by 4 inch note pads with spiral bindings on top. That’s because my grampa was my personal statistician. Throughout the game he wrote down on that pad all my points, free throw attempts and makes, assists, rebounds, and steals. In his pants pocket he had a few one dollar bills and some loose change. After the game he’d calculate my earnings, adding 10 cents per point and subtracting 25 cents per missed free throw. Then he’d reach into his pocket, pull out some cash and coins, and make my day.

He had a similar system for when I was pitching in Little League baseball–always in the stands even on the hottest of Texas afternoons (one heat stroke to prove it!). He travelled with my AAU basketball teams on all of our trips, whether we played in San Antonio, TX, Kingsport, TN, Salt Lake City, UT, Tulsa, OK, or Orlando, FL. He was always in the stands for all my high school basketball games, and he even made several trips to Henderson, TN, when I was playing ball at Freed-Hardeman University.

In short, Grampa Hope has always been interested in my success and involved in my life. That’s why he’s the Person of the Week. And more importantly, that’s why he’s the best grandfather a kid (or grown up) could ever have.

THE LOVE OF GOD

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

ME: Is daddy upset with you?

HAVEN: Yes.

ME: Does daddy love you?

HAVEN: Yes.

Every time I hear Haven’s responses to those two questions I think of my Heavenly Father, who continues to love me even when my sin angers him.

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HE WAS LIFTED UP

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Those four words, “he was lifted up,” is how Luke, in Acts 1:9, describes the ascension of Jesus back into heaven. Last week, in preparation for my sermon Sunday, I explored the New Testament’s teaching on the significance of this historic event. What I found surprised me. In addition to the future implication of Jesus’ ascension (our own ascensions into heaven), there are multiple ways in which the ascension of Jesus shapes my life now.

Here are four ways that I mentioned Sunday:

  1. SPIRITUAL PRIORITIES AND THOUGHTS: Since Christ has ascended to the right hand of God, I should seek those things and set my mind on things that are above (Colossians 3:1-4).
  2. COMFORT AND COURAGE: Stephen, as he was about to be stoned to death, saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56). It was this visual reminder of Christ’s exaltation that gave Stephen the comfort and courage to persevere through persecution and be faithful to death.
  3. POWER: God’s power is at work among Christ’s followers (Ephesians 1:19; 3:20). This power is the same power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand (Ephesians 1:20-21).
  4. HUMILITY: Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God was the fitting reward for his life of selfless obedience (Philippians 2:5-11). Those of us who desire to be exalted by God will have Jesus’ mind in us and will choose the lowly path to exaltation, which is the only path to exaltation.
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6 TIPS TO TAMING THE RESEARCH PAPER BEAST

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

This post is obviously not for everyone. If I knew I would never have to write another research paper, I would not bother reading beyond this period. If you, however, are one of the unlucky ones who still must occasionally write research papers, perhaps these tips will help you tame the research paper beast. I’ve discovered these strategies to help me immensely. See what you think:

  1. GET ALL SOURCES. First thing I do is print off all full-text articles online. Then I make copies of all the other journal articles. Then I find and locate all the books and encyclopedia articles and copy the sections of each that I need, including cover pages (this way I don’t have to carry all my books around and can write on the copied pages). I then put all my sources in alphabetical order.
  2. TYPE BIBLIOGRAPHY. Once all my sources are in alphabetical order, I type my bibliography. I like the sense of accomplishment I feel this early in the process. Plus, already having the bibliography done comes in really handy when you start writing your paper.
  3. READ EVERYTHING. Next I familiarize myself with all my materials, reading through my stack of sources, making marks in the page, jotting down selective notes on a legal pad, and constantly thinking about the best way to organize my paper.
  4. REVIEW EVERYTHING. Once I’ve pretty much read through all my material, I flip through all the pages of material again, paying special attention to my marks and highlights. It’s at this point that I write down the source and page number of important info on the appropriate page in my legal pad/ appropriate section of my outline.
  5. WRITE THE PAPER. At this point, the tedious work is done and the writing process is much more enjoyable (as enjoyable as a research paper can be, obviously). Since I have notes on each section of my paper and since my materials are still in alphabetical order, finding the right quote or support for a point is a piece of cake and writing time is dramatically reduced.
  6. PROOF THE PAPER. Once the rough draft is complete, I proof the paper a couple of times and have some trusted friends do the same. I make my final changes, hand in my paper, and sigh a big sigh of relief, having successfully tamed the research paper beast.
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