A Letter to My Sons

This past Sunday was Father’s Day. As a dad myself, it was a chance to get a bit reflective. What would I tell my three boys if I had the chance? Here’s what I said.

A Letter to My Sons

There are occasions in our lives that prompt us to do some deep thinking.  For me at least, days like today are one of those times.  As I was preparing for this morning, I began thinking about what I would like to say to my sons if I had the chance.  You know, one of those deep, parental wisdom speeches that they won’t want to sit and listen to until I’m lying on my death bed and they’re hanging on my every word.  As I grow in my experience as a parent and Noah and Josiah and Micah grow up some of what I have to say to them will probably change, but hopefully not much.  As it turns out, there isn’t children’s church scheduled for today which means they’re stuck in here and have to listen to this.  Well…I can’t make them listen—when I figure that out I’ll let you know just after I patent it and retire—but they’re at least going to be in the room while I’m saying it.  Anyway, as something a bit different this morning, I’ll let you in my head and heart for a few minutes and then we’ll all go out and celebrate Father’s Day together. 

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 1:2-3a

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This morning we ran into this incredibly hard statement on God’s part that He hated someone. Namely, He hated Esau, Jacob’s brother. But, the observation wasn’t specific to just Esau. It included the entire nation of his descendants as well. Fortunately, the way God was using the words “love” and “hate” in Malachi, wasn’t the same as the way we often use them today. He simply meant that He chose one over the other. There were no emotions involved. The thing is, even understanding that, this passage is still really hard to accept. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 1:2-3a

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When God asserted His love for the people of Israel at the beginning of Malachi’s little collection of prophecy, the people whose hearts were hard from years of doing religion without any kind of relationship meaningfully in place, immediately fired back a challenge: “How?” God’s response is, for modern ears, one of the hardest things we find Him saying in the Old Testament. What are we supposed to do with this?

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Morning Musing: Deuteronomy 28:1,15

“Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all his commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth. . .But if you do not obey the Lord your God by carefully following all his commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Every day we are faced with choices. We face all kinds of choices. We choose what to wear and what to eat. We choose where to go and what to do when we get there. We choose what kind of attitude we will have and how we will treat the people around us. Now, very rarely does one single choice hold the power to dramatically impact our lives, but a pattern of choices eventually becomes a habit and our habits do possess such power. There is one choice that is the most important we can make. This choice more than all the rest combined has the power to shape not just our character, but everything about us. Let’s talk about what it is. 

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:35

“And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever regretted anything? Of course you have. You may even have a lengthy list of things you’ve said or done which afterwards you wished you had not. That’s part of sin being loose in the world. If you had known you were going to regret them, you might not have said or done them (okay, you probably still would have done some of them anyway because, sin, but many of them you would have avoided). But, you don’t know everything. God does, though, so what are we supposed to do with Him expressing regret? Read the rest…