Sunday, September 10, 2006

Keep It Simple!

Football season has now officially begun! It's a chance for the Seattle Seahawks to get back to the big game and our Washington Huskies to get back above .500 (maybe) and our favorite high school team to fuflfill our Friday night football fantasies. Perhaps the world's greatest football coach of all time, Vince Lombardi, used to start each year with his players by holding up a football and saying, "Gentlemen, this is a football." He did that to former All-American and all-Pro football players because he knew that no matter how far a player may have developed, he "never gets beyond the basics.'

To be reminded of the fundamentals continually is so important in football, but it is also key idea for fathers who follow Christ. My pastor is beginning a series at our church this fall called, "The Master Plan," based upon the book of Colossians. This book in the Bible is about keeping a focus on Christ, filling our life with and carefully obeying His word. When I was a young Christian, a close family member warned me about my faith, to just "keep it simple." Unfortunately that family member did not heed her own advice and is no longer following the Lord.

How do I do this? I believe the most important thing I do to keep it simple is to make sure I am having a daily "Quiet Time," a time of reading my Bible and prayer in the morning, mostly. It is strange, but my 28 year-old daughter has repeatedly said that it positively impacted her to see me doing that as she was growing up, even though she never told me that when she was a teen in our home.

But besides the example it sets for the family, when I do this it is like my "Declaration of Dependence" upon Christ as well as a time to get filled up, to receive hefty "Love Deposits" by Another Father. I need this because the inevitable withdrawals from my account WILL occur during my work day and even from my family interactions, as great as my wife and kids are.

The morning Quiet Time helps me see Christ's presence in the most mundane parts of my day, even starting with getting breakfast for the kids and seeing them off to school. If you haven't started this habit that can help you "keep it simple" here's a link to Richard Foster's classic, "Seven Minutes With God' that you may want to print out. Seven Minutes With God, Robert D. Foster Use his format just like your kids used training wheels to help them learn to ride their bike. It is designed to get you started and help you KEEP IT SIMPLE!


Anonymous said...

In anything that is built the foundation is key and so it is in our spiritual life and the relationship we have as fathers with our children. If the foundation is not secure than all the building we might do will be shaky at best and as St. Paul reminds us, "there is no other foundation that can be laid except that which has been laid, Christ Jesus." So choose what you will build with, but spend time on the foundational building blocks of faith, hope, love and encouragement.

Rick Ytreeide said...

I would like to say having a Quiet Time every day was a priority with me. I seem to get time alone with God reading the Bible a couple of times a week. It is refreashing and encouraging. Why don't I do it more often? This is something I plan on working at. I am excited our pastor is preaching on a new series about life and devotion to God.

J & J Sanders said...

Thanks for a great reminder of Quiet Time. We can't agree more! It is the fuel we need before the tank is empty! Let's listen to His Word that brings the clear message of how to live every day. It is at the foot of the cross we humbly find our focus and direction to live out His example of love and mercy. J&J Sanders

Chuck G. said...

Why something so obvious... and so simple to do is one of the hardest disciplines to maintain boggles my mind. I have to work extremely hard to maintain a time and a place and a regular schedule for quiet times. There is nothing like spending quality time, alone, communing with our God. I am always strengthened and uplifted when I take the time to read pray and meditate on the Lord! I pray for consistency and strength to continue in this spiritual act of obedience and worship.

Rob said...

I used to be a very strong believer in Christ. But, I just don't believe anymore. I do my best to help our fellow man/woman. But, to follow Christ or the Bible or church I don't have it in me anymore.