Category Archives: Parenting

A Guide to Learning How to Love

This is a very vague guide and I admit that.  Yet, it is also very simple.  Since I first got into ministry, 1997, I’ve learned a lot about the Lord, and people.  Often people notice that they have trouble with the many different relationships they have.  This is a lot of a pastor’s ministry; helping people to become “better” in the relationships that they have.

The relationships that we have with each other are very important.  However, some are more important than others.  You will see this in this little guide I have.

Often people have trouble with their heart feeling right in their relationships.  This can be helped by the Holy Spirit working with His people to change.  I like to think of it like this . . . He brings the change to pass, but our part is to set our minds and hearts on what is acceptable to God.

So here is a priority list that may be helpful for people who want to do a better job of loving in their relationship with God and others.

Priority list

  • Jesus
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Church
  • Job
  • Friends
  • Money

There may better listings.  Nevertheless, this seems workable.  Notice that often, people flip-flop this in their lives.  Those who flip-flop this list are both those who attend and do not attend church.  I believe that our troubles with relationships would be decreased greatly if people lived by this simple list.  In this list, we can see the proper place of money.  Money should not be valued more than those ahead of it.

Just a thought. Blessings.


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Filed under Love, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Sacrifice

What I want Teens to know

As a pastor I hear many stories from teenagers who struggle in different situations that they find themselves in.  Sometimes it is because of their own choices.  Other times they are in situations because of someone elses choice.  Parents, when you have kids there is more to life than thinking of yourself.  Sometimes it just works out that teens are placed in a hard situation.  Sometimes, it could be God who placed teens in a bad situation.  Just being honest. 

Here are some things I want to tell you that I wish I would have known.  I grew up in a hard situation too; and like you I did not understand why.  I was terribly angry, bitter, and hateful, toward people. 

You may find yourself being the class clown; but you know that it is not really you.  Sometimes you wonder, when nobody else is around, why you have to continue to be the person you show yourself to be.  The answer, you need to know someone pays attention to you.  What I want you to know is that God does because He has dreams for you even when others who are supposed to be important in your life don’t. 

You may find yourself alone.  You might think that nobody cares if you live or die.  Don’t fall for that!  More people do than you think, and again, God really does.  What looks like to you a situation that will never change, God knows it will.  You see the now in your life, but God sees the later (future). 

You may find yourself feeling the need to be sexually active because that is when you feel at peace and connected (I mean what seems like a good relationship because someone is listening) with someone.  Stop, because you feel worse and become angrier and more hurt.  You need to know that the other person is likely just using you which, at this point, is the last thing you need.

You may find yourself at odds with teachers and authorities who are in your life.  The problem is that they don’t realize, sometimes, how hard your life is right now.  They are trying to live their lives too.  You need to focus on the good that they give to you instead of the bad you receive.  Now consider, if you were in their place, you might bring the discipline too.  If you fight against those in authority over you, you will lose.  Don’t confuse giving respect, that is deserved, with getting pushed around some more. 

You might only have a relationship with one parent, maybe not even one, but I want you to know that this is not what God wanted for you.  Sometimes parents make mistakes, and they get caught in a cycle that keeps them from being able to change.  You might not know how hard they had it when they were in your shoes.  But God can make things happen for you, if you live for Him now.  What I mean is that if you live for Him now, He will have a better life for you later. 

I want you to know that all of the hard times that you face now will make you a strong person later.  And if you rely on God now, you will be a strong Christian later. 

I want you to know that you don’t have to choose to be uncaring.  It is okay, in fact, it is good to care even while it seems that nobody does for you.  This is character building because when things are good, it is easy to pretend to care for others. 

I want you to know your life that seem so bad now will get better.  I want you to know that I am frustrated for your sake and that I am mad with you.  But, I want you to have hope with me for your life later.  You are going to be great to your kids.  But you will have to choose it.  You have to ability to break the chain that has bound your family. 

I want you to know that not do I care for you, but God cares more than you know.  You can ask me things and you really need to ask Him things.  Read your Bible.  He is not angry with you and is not making your life hard because He doesn’t care.  He cares.  He can help you now.  Read your Bible and you will see this.

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Filed under Discouragement, Faith, God, Pain, Parenting, Reality, Youth ministry

A Hair Band Classic with Something to Say about Parenting

Adults, do not take parenting as a chore.  It is a privilege.  Kids grow up fast.  While serving in the ministry for some time now, I have learned how delicate child development is.  I remember a little girl who came to our church when she was in the second grade.  She was a real sweetheart and had the face of an angel.  She was also very clingy too.  She grabbed onto my leg and would not let go on our Wednesday nights.  Church was likely a break from having to take care of herself.  I knew her parents had other things on their minds besides caring for her by spending time with her and giving her the love that she deserved. 

Like many parents, they split up and went their separate ways.  While looking for their own lives, they forgot that they were responsible to build up her life still.  She had to take care of herself.  When she saw her dad her face would light up.  But I don’t think that he had a lot of time for her.  It was maddening to watch.  She looked forward to seeing me for the rest of that year.  I made sure to spend time with her and tried to affirm her too.

The next year, I looked for her so that I could somehow fill a void in her life.  She was in the third grade then.  When I saw her, she had developed the attitude of a teenager.  Her angelic face had changed to the face of a hardened person.  She had become a mean girl.  She was no longer clingy and even ignored me and other adults who tried to pour into her life.  All I could think was that this did not have to happen.  I don’t know where she is now, but I know that all she needed then was someone to care for her. 

Parents, school, church, and other organizations for children cannot take your responsibility.  You are the foundation builders.  Here is a song by an 80’s Hair Band that captures what kids feel when parents leave and ignore their children. 

House of Pain by Faster Pussycat

It’s a little past supper time
I’m still out on the porch steps sittin’ on my behind,
Waiting for you.
Wondrin’ if everything’s alright,
Mama said,”Come in boy, don’t waste your time,”
I said,”I’ve got time. Well he’ll be here soon.”
Five years old and talkin’ to myself.
Where were you? Where’d ya go? Daddy can’t you tell?


I’m not tryin’ to fake it, and I ain’t the one to blame.
No, there’s no one home in my house of pain.
I didn’t write these pages and my script’s been re-arranged.
No, there’s no one home in my house of pain.

Wasn’t I worth the time?
A boy needs a daddy like a dance to mime and all the time,
I looked up to you.
I paced my room a million times.
And all I ever got was one big line, the same old lie.
How could you?
Well I was eighteen years and still talkin’ to myself.
Where were you? Where’d ya go? Daddy can’t ya tell?

Well if i’ve learned anything from this, shh, it’s how to grow up
On my own.

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Filed under Parenting, Youth ministry