It’s all about me!


I’m a selfish man by nature… I really can’t help, I was born that way.

I was thinking about this recently and discussing how easy it is to live that way with a brother of mine. It comes quite naturally in most situations, but one of the times I notice it most is when I return from business trips.

I’m in an unusual sort of business. Believe it or not someone pays me to provide times for the participants in a running race. This business requires me to be away from home on numerous occasions and sometimes during the peak running season I can be gone for up to a week at some of our very large events.

It’s in these times that I’m particularly prone to myself. It’s almost like a surreal world that I reside when I’m at these events. The bottom line is that I have a certain amount of work that needs to be accomplished and I need to ensure it gets done. I wake up when I need to wake up, do the things that I need to do, feed myself when I’m hungry (in most cases) and don’t have to wait around for a wife and children.

It’s probably similar to a military man on deployment. He’s hanging with the guys and then they head out on their missions. When I come home it’s sometimes difficult to re-adjust. I have to attempt to snap out of “Kevin only” mode and start considering the ones God has placed in my life to nurture. It’s really much more difficult than you think and on more than one occasion (or maybe all of them), my wife has to gently remind me that she desires adult conversation when I return home. And, “oh right, I almost forgot God requires me to lead my family.”

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and this is very sharp indeed for me.

Husbands love your wives…  Ephesians 5:25

Husbands your wife is a weaker vessel… 1 Peter 3:7

Father’s train your children… Ephesians 6:4

It goes on and on for me and I’ve often found myself knowing that I need to put things off to stay ahead of the impending email that will soon invade my inbox. I’m pulled in a lot of directions, because Jen wants me to lead and I just got done leading and I’m a bit worn out.

It would certainly be a lot easier to just hide somewhere, but I can’t wait to get home and I can’t wait to see Jen and the girls, so the war rages inside.   I have responsibilities and I must provide for my family, but I must also lead them and nourish them and train them.

So the battle continues and it will for a lifetime, because one day the kids will be out of the house and then my role will change, but God still doesn’t let me off the hook. Lord willing I’ll still be a husband, and Lord willing I’ll still be a father, and Lord willing I will be a grandfather and have the opportunity to live out a multi-generational vision for my grandchildren.

What a battle…what a life…what an opportunity to deny myself, take up my cross and serve and honor the Lord.   He never promised a life of ease and comfort, actually just the opposite. If the Christian life you live is a little too easy, maybe it’s not true Christianity and maybe a war needs to rage within you?

It’s pretty easy to live life on cruise control. Jesus said those who desire to keep their life will lose it and those who desire to lose their life will find it. I desire to lose my life, but that doesn’t make it easy.



“It doesn’t feel like you love me…”


“It doesn’t feel like you love me…”

These were the words of my daughter Madeline after being on the receiving end of her father’s instruction and correction.  To put it bluntly she didn’t like it.  How many of us like chastisement?  Especially as adults, when we think we’ve got things figured out.

Proverbs 3:10-11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD love He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.

These words, more often than not, are very difficult to accept, especially if you are in the middle of correction.  I know I don’t like it in most cases, “it doesn’t feel like you love me…” say I.

It’s painful…  Isn’t that the point?

Should the believer enjoy chastisement?

Hebrews 12:7-8 If you endure chastening, God deal with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

The word chasten is paideuō – which means to train up a child, that is, educate, or by (implication) discipline (by punishment): chasten (-ise), instruct, learn, teach.

For children, this can mean the rod….  Gasp! Yeah, not culturally relevant but since when has God’s word been culturally relevant?

For adults, this can mean the sword, the word of God (Hebrews 4:12), this is equally unpopular today.  When was the last time another believer came to you and confronted you with sin in your life?  I would say it rarely happens because it’s uncomfortable for the person coming to you, and it’s uncomfortable to the one going to that person.

It’s really tough, yet God’s word is pretty clear isn’t it?

Aren’t we commanded to go to people, or does it say only if it’s a really big sin?

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 

Jesus also told us to go to them if they’ve sinned – Matthew 18:15 and James affirms this in his epistle James 5:19.

Why is this so unpopular, and if we truly love people wouldn’t we warn them about unhealthy practices in their lives?  Don’t we have warnings on cigarette packages that this is an addictive sin and it could lead to cancer?  Do we condone drinking and driving and just wink and nod if a friend tells us they did that?

We don’t do it very often in the church because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, or we don’t want to risk embarrassment, or we most often don’t want to have that person turn on us and get angry.  It’s pretty easy to know why we don’t do it.

Is it loving to confront sin or unloving?  If we really care about people should we tell them they are in sin?

Or is your definition of love that you just look the other way and hope God deals with them?  No!  Believer this is your job.  This is love, but yet to them, “it doesn’t feel like you love me…” as my daughter said.  How can you trust your feelings? (Jeremiah 17:9)  We can only trust the word of God.

This whole topic is very relevant in my life right now and I deeply love someone that I confronted in some sin.  This is not a “10” sin on a scale, but does it matter?  I say that because how much sin do we tolerate?  Do we think for even a moment that the Lord is tolerant of a little sin, and only cares about the big stuff?  Should we REALLY pursue holiness?  Well the scripture tells us without it we won’t see the Lord and along with it we must pursue peace with all people (Hebrews 12:14).  That is peace between man and God.

Did our Lord suffer a brutal punishment; take on the wrath of God, so that we can dabble in a little sin from time to time?  Are we covered by grace?  Well yes, we are but we shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to sin more.  Certainly not!, emphatically says Paul (Romans 6:1).

John Owen writes: Until then (speaking of glorification) believers are ever to be killing sin, or sin will be killing them.”[1]

God’s word has a lot to say on this topic but most people will just gloss over it…and churches certainly won’t preach and teach on it.  “That’s waaaay too offensive and judgmental, besides we don’t even really know them.”

Yes, that is a problem isn’t it?

I want to finish with something that we should all meditate upon and really consider how we love people.  All people, believers and non-believers alike, we must teach them that if we love God we will keep His commandments (John 15:9-10).

Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Do you see that when we confront sin, we are looking out for other’s interests?  Can you also see that when we don’t we are being selfish?  We are being selfish because we don’t want to deal with what might come our way.  We are afraid to offend others, to possibly lose relationship with them.

Have you considered that love is an action, not a feeling, and to truly love we must give of ourselves for the benefit of others.  You know like Jesus did… or do we live in fear of how they will react?

That is very real isn’t it?  We don’t fear God enough to risk hurting others feelings.

That is really what it comes down to, and if we love them we must, just like I must discipline my children if I really love them.

We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God. —William Gurnall


[1] Owen, Mortification of Sin in Believers, in Works, 6:9.

Child warriors


Throughout history children have been used in warfare, through either direct combat roles or in support roles.  Can you imagine strapping an AK-47 onto your 12 year old and sending them out into the field to fight?  Seems crazy, yet this is not uncommon in parts of the world that are entangled in fighting for freedom, or at least what they view as freedom.

Today I’m asking Believers to do the same thing with their children.  Today I’m asking and telling myself, my children need to be engaged in war.  I don’t own much in the way of firearms.  I have a shotgun that I’ve missed a few pheasants in my day.  In fact I’m not sure I’ve actually killed anything with this shotgun, but my poor shooting is not the point of this article.

Today I hope we’ll consider the purpose of the training and equipping of our children.  Why did you have children?

Psalm 127:3-4 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.

The first thing we see is that children are a reward.  We recently attended a conference and one of the speakers was telling a story of his father and how his father had discussed this with a couple that were committed to not having children.  He said to them if God wants to give you a gift, why would you refuse that?

Most of society views children as a nuisance, not a reward.  Something we are obligated to have.  Two and out is the general rule of thumb, unless you have the same variety twice and then it’s okay to have a third to try for a boy or a girl.

Verse 4 tells us children are arrows in the hand of a warrior.  The first question to ask, are you a warrior?  If you’re not a warrior, there’s no need to have arrows in your hand, they will only hurt you.  Have you ever watched someone untrained try handling a weapon; they look clumsy doing it.  If you are not being trained for battle you have no business training your children, you are incapable of this without being this yourself.  Note: this does not absolve you of your responsibility, and if this is not you then I would encourage you to read my articles on A Sure Guide to Heaven.

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

So what is the battle?

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

This battle, this holy war, is against things seen and unseen.   Our only offensive weapon in this battle is the word of God; verse 17 goes on to say, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

To engage this battle we must be saved and we must be training in the word of God.  This word is sharp and it cuts and it divides.  It discerns the intent of one’s heart (Hebrews 4:12).   Have you experienced this before?

This article draws a clear line in the sand and I’m hopeful exposes our hearts before God.

Are you bumping through life with no clear purpose and no clear vision for your family?  Do you have purpose in your own life?  Please don’t pass over this question today.  Sit and think today about your purpose.

Society is training children very well for the playground of life.  A Believer should be training children for the battleground, to take ground for the Lord Jesus Christ.

What simple, practical steps can you take today if you’ve failed in this endeavor?

Repent.  Gather your family together tonight and confess your lack of vision and leadership and explain to them their new mission.

Create a vision statement.  Write something out on paper.  Have them help and develop a plan.  Have you heard the worn out financial advisor cliché, “nobody plans to fail, they only fail to plan”.

Turn off the television.  The word “amusement” means to NOT THINK!  How can you be engaged in a battle if you turn off your brain?

Have family worship consistently.  Sit around a table and talk with your family.  Have deep and meaningful conversations.  Learn to know your children and your spouse.   We’ve benefited from a study in Proverbs by Kevin Swanson.  Other ideas are going verse by verse through a book of the Bible; we’ve done this with most of Paul’s letters and parts of Matthew.

Today we were discussing Proverbs chapter 11 and with tearful eyes my daughter Grace said, “thank you Dad for reading this with us”.  Praise God for His grace.

Don’t be lazy.  Just do it!

This call is primarily to men.  If you are a man that is concerned about your family and wants them to be warriors for Christ, you must take action.  The world will quickly scoop them up and take their hearts if you don’t.

May the Lord bless you today as you fight for His kingdom!