By way of Introduction

I still don't totally get life. But mine is probably half over, so maybe I'm old enough to have learned something, and young enough to learn a whole a lot more.

Jesus said that He came to give us life and that more abundantly. Apparently, His idea of an abundant life and mine are not the same thing. My idea of an abundant life would be to win the lottery and live a life of pleasure. But that isn't happening, so He must have something else in mind. According to John 17:3 His idea of life is to know Him. So that's what I'm trying to do (get to know God), and hope to help others to do too.

The name of this blog is my attempt to express this. I choose the term FOG as an acronym for Friend Of God, but also as a way of saying the way isn't always clear to me.

Anyone who knows me knows I can be blunt at times. So was Jesus. The difference is that He was blunt and loving at the same time - I am not always. I don't mean to offend people (honest), but chances are I will at times. Please try to forgive me and not be afraid to come back.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Loving Obedience

The Lord knows (and now you do too) that sometimes I wish I didn't have any kids, but man have I learned allot from them. All the books and teachings about the Father Heart of God, or even the Scriptures about being like a child always confused me until I held my son (the firstborn) on my lap for the very first time. In those few moments, the flood of emotions (I know all you parents know what I am talking about) overwhelmed me, and so much made sense to me in a flash. And then to have another, and hold her for the first time and feel that same flood of emotions for her. It is truly profound beyond words.

There have been many lessons since then, but the most recent (and heopfully most meaningful) just hit me.

My kids are now 9 and 7. Old enough to understand a fair number of things and make plans and decisions on their own. Young enough to still need my guidance, but old enough to think that they don't. The types of motivations I could use when they were pre-schoolers are less effective. (Somehow "because I said so" doesn't seem to carry much weight anymore). And, I've always tried to relate to my kids as though they are individuals with unique personalities and (at least a little bit of) intellect. So now that they are bit older, I want my relationship with them to be one of mutual trust and respect (with me still having the final say, of course). I try to punish less, and allow them to simply deal with consequences. But what if the consequences are not obvious to them? That's when I want them to obey me (or take my advice) simpy because they love and trust me.

Sadly, this doesn't always work. I can stay "stop fighting please" six times with no effect. Finally I get frustrated and raise my voice to the point where they can no longer ignore me (yes, I know this is not the best parenting technique in the world, but feel free to cast stones if you've never done the same thing). Then I ask the dumbest question of all time: "Why do you only listen to me when I yell?" Of course they can't answer that (again, I KNOW why ok, so get off my back!).

Then my heart hurts that they listen to me only when there is some sort of negative consequence. I want them to listen to me simply b/c I have proven myself to be a decent dad and have their best in mind...

...and for the very first time in my life I understand what Jesus meant when He said "if you love me you will obey me." And I realize more profoundly than ever before how little I truly love Him.