Happy Birthday, Dad!

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells fathers not to frustrate their children.

I’ve always been frustrated by this teaching. It’s as if Paul couldn’t think of anything positive to say to fathers, so he ends up writing, “Hey, dads…just don’t mess your kids up…”

As I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to a different understanding of this passage – working at Kairos has brought me to see an interesting interpretation of this verse.

A lot of young adults have a problem believing in God because their dads were such poor fathers. When I teach, “God loves you like a father,” many young adults shut down. Their experiences with their fathers were so bad, they just can’t go there.

So, here’s how I’ve come to interpret that verse, “Fathers, don’t make it hard for your children to believe in God.”

And I’m grateful every day that my dad didn’t make it hard for me to believe in God. In fact, he made it very easy.


I learned to love Scripture watching my dad study to teach his Sunday School class.

I learned to tithe watching him handle his money.

I learned about marriage from watching from my dad love my mom.

I learned to love Jesus watching him love Jesus.

No, my dad wasn’t perfect, but he loved me the best way he knew how…and you know, that’s all right.

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. He would have been 80.

He passed away in April of 2012. I’ve missed him every day.

But he left me a life time of memories.

He left me a legacy of what a good dad looks like …  a legacy that I am, as a dad myself, trying now to pass on to my sons.

Out With the Old

Over the holidays, I finally got around to putting up my summer stuff and getting out my winter stuff. (OK, I ‘m a little behind this year.) As I was pulling out my summer stuff I noticed some things. For one thing, some of the stuff is ugly. Other stuff may be out of style, but some of it is just ugly. It had to go. No need to keep it only to throw it out later. Other things were just worn out.. Even favorite shirts sooner or later wear out. Again, no need to keep stuff just to throw it out later.

When I sat down at my desk and studied my new 2011 calendar, I began to think: perhaps there are things in 2010 that I just don’t need to bring into the new year. Just like my clothes, there are some things that are just ugly and worn out and don’t need to be kept in my new year.

There were some hard feelings in 2010; I don’t want them to be part of 2011. Grudges? No need to keep them either. Failures? Learn from them, but let them go. I could keep adding to my list, but you get my point. A lot of things in our old year don’t need to be part of our new year.

So what about you? What from your old year needs to be thrown out so you can make the most of the new year? Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

-Ephesians 4:22-24 MSG

Things Change

7 Things that have changed since I became pastor of Brentwood Baptist in 1991.

1. We moved! From 409 Franklin Road to our new facilities on 7777 Concord Road.

2. My first computer had a green screen and used a DOS operating sytem.

3. We have 6 weekly worship venues every week (4 worship experiences on Sunday at the Brentwood campus, one at Station Hill campus and Kairos on Tuesday night).

4. Our membership has gone from 900 in 1991 to over 7,500 in 2010.

5. We have 500+ people who join our services by internet every week.

6. Social media is a big part of my job now. I’ve learned to Twitter.

7. My twin sons Chris and Craig have graduated college, married and started their own lives.

But the Word of God has not changed.

What’s changed in your life?