Dear Jack: Writing Bible Verses On Our Unfinished House

3 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: Writing Bible Verses On Our Unfinished House

Dear Jack,

Today as we drove out to see the progress on our new house we’re having built, we had a very special plan: we brought a permanent marker with us.

Dear Jack: Writing Bible Verses On Our Unfinished House

No, it wasn’t for you to draw pictures in the back set. Mommy and I decided we wanted to both contribute a Bible verse on the soon to be covered up walls of our home.

As we walked in today, workers were starting some of the base coat painting; now that the dry wall is up. The brick is up, too; along with the siding, which will be painted later on.

Some of the only unpainted surface inside was the door frames. So in the door frame of your bedroom closet, I wrote “Jeremiah 29:11”; a verse Mommy is actually more familiar with that I am:

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.’

I thought that was very thoughtful of Mommy. Obviously, she and I have plans to give you a hopeful future as well; and it’s so cool to think that God does too.

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

As for my Bible verse, I chose Joshua 24:15:

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

I see this house as a blessing, yet one we’ve also worked very hard for. It’s important to me that we honor God as we grow in this new house together as a family.

So today, in our own quirky way, we dedicated our home to the Lord. It’s His anyway.

Granted, you were more fascinated by the painter who was using stilts to paint the walls around the stairway. It was pretty awesome to see.

"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

But even if you don’t remember today, let this letter serve as a reminder that whatever crazy things may go on outside this house, God has wonderful plans for you.

And I believe, part of that is because our family is letting it be known, we serve the Lord; not any other power in the world, and definitely not ourselves.

Those are all just words, though. How we love each other and serve each other in the years to come is the true testament of our actions today.

Please know that every day I pray for wisdom, humility, faith, grace, patience, and creativity. Those are all things I focus on, and all things that will make me the father you need me to be.

I’m far from perfect, but despite my many faults you’ll see during your lifetime, I want you to know me personally as a man who loves the Lord with all my heart; as well as you and Mommy.

Love,

Daddy

 

Taking a God-Nudged Leap of Faith (Like a Guinea Pig)

And hoping not to fall like an idiot in the process.

Thinking back on the lyrics of the popular traditional song, I’ve never really understood or wanted to understand why ten lords were ever leaping in the first place.  But after much thought, I perhaps have come to the realization that I have been one of those lords a leaping the entire time.  Needless to say, I’m not cool with wearing tights.

Desperately trying to avoid imagined images of myself wearing tights, yet still needing to get a grasp on my way of thinking, I’ve always been a bit of a Peter Pan.  (You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.) People like me never really grow out of that 1980’s propaganda mindset for kids that taught us we could do anything dream of if we put our mind to it.  Then we graduate college and realize that with this many people graduating college, having a college degree is less of a major advantage and more of a basic necessity.

On paper, my life looks pretty normal and planned out and even typical.  But behind the scenes, my life is series of leaps of faith that always got me where I wanted to be.  And I think by now, I’m just used to it.  My life plans are often void of much practical reason, instead, they are intertwined with my lofty dreams which I interpret as God’s will for my life.

I realized a while back that God tends to use me as the Guinea pig.  He already knows the plan will work but I become the human example to show others.  This is a fate I have accepted with surprisingly little fuss.  One of out 20,000 people in America has dyshidrosis, a vicious form of eczema that consumes a person’s hands and much of their body.  I was one of those 20,000 people.  But after several years of devastating torture embedded with anxiety and some depression, my skin problem has now 100% left me.  But God wouldn’t instantly heal me like I prayed for Him to do about 30 times a day.

Instead, He spoke through the wisdom of soft-spoken people in my life.  As well as random websites.  I now know the cure for dyshidrosis and eczema.  I proudly serve as God’s spokesman on how to overcome the skin condition, refusing any monetary compensation.

I feel honored to give out  this information.  Read The Cure for Eczema. Also, my e-mail address is listed on the upper right side of the screen for my more info.

That being said, I had prayed that God would get me around or over the problem, instead He took me through the problem to the other side.  And that is a classic (yet annoying) truth about life.  God doesn’t often use instant magic to fix our problems, He enables us to solve them ourselves.

But ultimately, even after God equips us with the wisdom and direction we need to solve the current problem; the ultimate issue is whether or not we give God the credit for it.  I remind myself that life is ultimately a spiritual war, and we can either say “God is good” or “look what I figured out” when we move from “tragedy” status back to “normal”.

Like the game between Jacob and The Man in Black on LOST, we serve as islanders who prove to the spiritual audience what’s really inside of us. It’s true that physically spoken words here in the physical world play a major part in the spiritual world.  That’s why I take these words of King Solomon so seriously in Proverbs:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in all things, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (3:5-6).

So whatever leap of faith that is required of me from God (or that I throw myself into), I have to ask myself, “what’s the worst that can happen?”  If it is of God, or God finds favor in my plan, I’m not convinced that God will allow me to simply make a fool of myself when I am completely focused on finding a way to honor Him through it.

“Something good coming, there has to be… And I’m in it for the long run, wherever it goes, riding the river.” –Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (“Something Good Coming”)

Read the sequel to this blog, by clicking right here.

For a related post by the same author, read Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People ?

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on faith, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one