By Faith Noah

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I want to remind us all, that in the tasks and projects God is is calling us to, we must all start somewhere in order to get where we are going. Often the beginning steps are so small that we wonder if we’re even making a difference.

The goal that you have in your heart may seem insurmountable, but you must remember that it’s not by our power that it comes to pass. Yes, an effort is demanded on our part but more often than not it’s to prepare us for what is going to happen. It’s God that does the heavy lifting.

Noah put a tremendous amount of time and energy into building the ark. He was responsible for making the accommodations, as well as taking care of the animals once they were on-board. Noah had duties within this vision, but God was faithful in filling the ark. Noah’s efforts were not in vain.

If you are called to lead worship, start by setting some individual worship time aside every day, and choose to invest some time honing the skills you have. Or if it’s preaching and teaching, get your bible out often and ask God to show you something new that you can apply to your life, and share with the people around you.

What ever it is that you have been created for, I encourage you strongly to start cultivating that gift, and the associated skill-set. We should all pursue excellence on this side of heaven in all that we put our hands to.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
(Zechariah 4:10a NLT)

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But What are They Among So Many…

I want to genuinely encourage you today.

I want to remind you, that we are more than capable of making a significant impact in our current environment for the Kingdom of God. You can make a difference.

It might be a smile you give, or maybe some canned goods to a local food bank. Maybe you have an extra jacket or hoodie that you can take to a homeless shelter. Never underestimate what Jesus can do with what He has put in your hands.

Let me remind you about the boy with the two fish and five loaves in the New Testament.
The bible doesn’t provide us with the exact dialogue between the boy and the disciples, but I can’t imagine that the men would have taken the fish and loaves against the boy’s wishes.

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9 NKJV)

John captures the common attitude perfectly in this verse, “but what are they among so many?”

Don’t we often think the same way?

It’s only a hoodie, what is it among so many homeless people? It’s only a few cans of soup, what are they among so many hungry people? It’s only $20, there are so many people that could use this…

Be encouraged and reminded God is moved by our faith, and not our needs. (If He was moved by our needs, we wouldn’t haven any…)

Giving in faith moves the hand of God to work mightily in the situation. Be encouraged to never underestimate your potential when you mix obedience and faith. Just watch what He will do.

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 NKJV)

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Response vs. Reaction

I’ve heard it said that while we can’t control everything that happens to us in life, we can definitely control our responses in these situations.

I’ve also learned that there is a significant difference between responding and reacting.
The difference is rather simple actually; a response comes from the mind. It is a calculated action based on previous training and experiences; whereas a reaction comes from our emotions.

Think about it for a minute. Who would you rather have rushing to help you if you were in a car accident? A “First Reactor” or a “First Responder?” A reactor might be the one who calls 911, but it’s the responder you want kneeling over you if you stop breathing.

We need to condition our minds with the Word of God on a daily basis so when these trails and tribulations come, we don’t melt down and go into crisis mode, but instead fall back onto the everlasting name of Jesus!

It’s obvious that the uncertainties and trials ahead of us in life are plentiful, God doesn’t hold any punches when He tells us about life on this side of heaven. His written Word provides us with ample warning of the troubles of this world, and more importantly, how to navigate through them.
His Word will always fill us with hope when applied to our lives on a daily basis.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5, 6 NKJV)


Let’s remember that God gives us hope when we feel like breaking, peace when our world is shaking, and real joy when we feel like faking.

Success… and the backstory

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If we were really honest with ourselves, would we admit to looking at successful people and thinking that it must be so easy for them? That if only we could make as much money as they do, or if only our kids behaved like theirs did, or if only we could only get a house as big as theirs…

We think that they must always have more money than month, the ideal marriage, the perfect kids, the massive house, the newest vehicles…

What we don’t normally realize, is that true success isn’t developed overnight, and looks can be deceiving.

We didn’t know that when they were first married, he worked 2 full time jobs and only slept for 4 hours a night for 3 whole years to make ends meet. We didn’t see the sacrifices made and all the hours worked without wages while they started up their own business. We didn’t see the long hours, the disappointments, and the uncertainties.

We didn’t know that he bought a beat up car straight out of high school and drove it for 10 years until his Dad died and left him an inheritance, with which he bought a new truck. We didn’t know that he would gladly trade the truck in for another 10 minutes with his Dad.

We only see what meets the eye, and we get jealous.

This reminds me of Joseph in Egypt after he had been put in power by Pharaoh.
I’m sure there were people all around him, wishing they were in his shoes.

But how quickly would that change if they realized that in order to get to that destination and position, they would have to spend 13 years in slavery, innocently imprisoned, and slandered? Would you be so eager to get into his shoes?

Everyone has a back-story.
The hard-times, the disappointments, and the failures. Some stories are more public than others, but we all have them.

Lets make it our goal this week to pursue the success that God has for us, instead of wanting what others are experiencing. We’re likely to miss-out on what’s coming our way if we’re always rubber-necking.

And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 AMP)

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When You Just Don’t Know

We as Dads have a tremendous responsibility to be there for our kids as I mentioned in my previous post, “Where’s Daddy.”
When taken to the next step, it’s important to realize that we as Dads are also called to lead our children through life, equipping them with the values, skills, experiences, and attitudes necessary to navigate life until they come of age. Now, this is no easy task, but fortunately for us, we aren’t doing this alone. God’s word makes it crystal clear that He is ready, willing, and able to hand out wisdom all the time. It’s up to us to ask, the effort demanded on our part.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)

How awesome is it, that our God isn’t up in heaven thinking about how stupid we are when we don’t know what to do? Instead he’s right there, with his hand outstretched over us ready to give us all that we need.

…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8b NLT)

I can’t tell you how many times Angela and I have asked God for wisdom in certain situations, and the number of times that the required wisdom has come at just the right time.

Everything from the best discipline techniques for each child, how to be fair in certain situations, and especially for more patience on my part.

Be encouraged this week! We don’t have to have all the answers for life, just for the problems of the day, and God is more than willing to give us these when we are obedient by first asking, and then listening.

So go ahead, ask Him how to handle the situations you are in, His arm is not shortened by our uncertainty, and He will never belittle us for asking for His help.

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)

Have you ever had a time where God totally gave you an amazing answer for a problem you had? One that you never, ever would have thought of? Please share!

Please don’t forget that you can sign up to get my posts in your email each week automatically. Sign up on the right!

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Where’s Daddy

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“Where’s Daddy” is a wonderful game Angela and I play with our kids when they are little.

I take cover behind a baby blanket and say, “Where’s Daddy?” I suddenly drop the blanket and to the baby’s delight I laugh and smile at them while they giggle with surprise. (Kids are SO fun!)
For our family, this is a joyful game of bonding, but for many others this question is a harsh reality that leaves a wake of invalidated and hurting kids.

Some kids never meet their Dad, some only see him as he grabs a cup of coffee on his way out the door in the morning, and others still question (years later) if it was something that they did to cause their Dad to desert the family when they were young.

Our kids crave our attention and they need our affection. We must acknowledge and comply with their yearnings on top of our nine to five.

To put it plainly, there is no easy path in the life of a Dad.

How many movies or shows have you seen where the kid is at their sporting event and scanning the bleachers for Dad? Kids need consistent affirmation and validation from their dads.

Dads are often portrayed as blundering idiots and buffoons in mainstream media. They tell their kids to act one way, while doing the exact opposite. We should all understand by now that this is a gross misconduct of the responsibility placed upon us as Dads.

Too many men are quick to make a deposit, and just as quick to leave when the reality sets in that it’s time to grow up and stop thinking about someone other than themselves.

If you still don’t believe me let’s take a look at the statistics.

Father-deprived children are:

72% of all teenage murderers.
60% of rapists.
70% of kids incarcerated.
twice as likely to quit school.
11 times more likely to be violent.
3 of 4 teen suicides.
80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
90% of runaways

I hope I’ve made my point clear, Dads have an unsurmountable amount of responsibility placed on their shoulders the second they make a contribution to a life. Every single child in the statistics above started from an egg and sperm, so where are all the Dads?

It’s no wonder God says that sex is confined only to the marriage bed. A child needs both a committed father and mother to train him/her in the way he/she should go. The statistics prove it.

Being a Dad is easily one of the hardest things I have done and continue to do, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is worth it. Much correction occurs, both in our children’s lives and mine, but I won’t stop. Ever.

I refuse to be one of these dads who continuously puts work, a hobby, a vehicle, a raise, his own ambitions, or his own ego before his family. God is my provider and sustainer, He will continue to make me complete in every good work to do His will.

Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. (Hebrews 13:20, 21 NLT)

What is one of the things you feel a Dad should always do? Maybe it was something your Dad did for you that made you feel loved, or maybe he didn’t… Please share your thoughts below.

Please don’t forget that you can sign up to get my posts in your email each week automatically. Sign up on the right!

Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)

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Blogging Break

I’ll be taking a blogging break for a few weeks to re-focus, I don’t feel like this blog is doing what I hoped it would. Thanks for reading.

See you in a few weeks!

Integrity

For today, I’d like to share a post from All Pro Dad on being a man of integrity.

Please follow this
link

Have a fantastic day!

Don’t Forget to Play

I was delighted when Jarel asked me to come ride my bike around the yard with him the other night. He’s getting crazy good at cruising around on just two wheels; he definitely has the knack for it. He got super excited when I then asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride while he was waiting for his turn in the bath. We took off down the street with his little legs pedaling at lightening speed. It was obvious that he was thrilled to be out with Daddy doing something he thoroughly enjoyed. We had a great time out together that evening and we made some great memories. I’m sure he will point out the rose bushes that he crashed into every time we ride past them in the future.
Angela and I have come to notice the high importance of not necessarily including the kids in tasks or jobs that we think they will enjoy, but asking them what they would like to do. Sometimes this even means leaving the yard-work for later, and running full tilt for the kiddie pool towards the kids who want to have a water-fight. Let’s try to remember not to get so busy with life that we forget to have fun with our kids.

I Won!

So apparently I won my first blogging award from Michelle Woodman over at This Time Around!

Thanks Michelle!

This award comes with a condition that I provide you with 11 fascinating (and quite random) facts about me as well as answering the following questions from Michelle.

Here I go.

The Nate

  1. My favorite color has always been blue, but I try to embrace change so I am thinking of switching to something different.
  2. I’m a problem solver (which means it shouldn’t take me too long to fix #1.)
  3. My favourite pizza is Papa John’s, it’s not greasy at all (until you find the garlic dipping sauce… drool…)
  4. I know how to throw a boomerang so it will come back; I have the scar on my forehead to prove it.
  5. My first job was at Tim Horton’s, and at that point in time I didn’t even drink coffee and I didn’t like iced capps. (Bummer.)
  6. I discovered a newfound enjoyment in swimming within the past week, I really enjoy it.
  7. One of my deepest desires is to have dynamic life-long relationships with my kids.
  8. I don’t drink enough milk.
  9. My shoes have often been referred to as canoes. (Size 11-12.)
  10. I’ve always wanted to play the cello.
  11. When I hear a new song I like, I often listen to it repeatedly. Often until I don’t like it anymore.

Questions from Michelle

  1. Do you own an iPhone or Android (or neither)? iPhone. I tend to “pester” others who have the Android but really, it’s whatever works for you.
  2. What is your “go to” snack food? Pass the chips?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? The Pass
  4. Is your writing space tidy, messy, or a mix of both? Depends where I sit. 😉 I don’t see myself as “professional” enough to have my own desk for blogging.
  5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a blogger? Being real and trying not to sound “preachy.”
  6. Is there ever a wrong time for ice cream? If it’s late at night, yes.
  7. Which is your favourite pair of shoes? Vibram FiveFingers. I wear them everywhere.
  8. What is the first thing you do in the morning after you wake up? Hit “Snooze.”
  9. Which household chore do you try to avoid the most? I don’t mind doing the trash, but for some reason I find replacing the garbage bag to be quite a hassle.
  10. What is your favourite summer time beverage? Tim’s Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie (no thanks, I wouldn’t like to add yogurt for an additional $0.70.)
  11. What one word would describe a perfect Saturday evening? Datenight withmywife!

So now you know a little more about me, have a great Tuesday!