Words Hurt: Bad fathers are Evident…So are the good ones.

 

Hello,

It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life has been happening and is still happening as we speak.  With school, my upcoming marriage, and children, time seems to get away from me.  This isn’t any excuse, per se.  Just an observation.

Speaking of children, I would like to talk about fathers for a second.  Yes, we get that annual day where we have the opportunity to be celebrated but there is a lot that is unseen during the other 364 days.  Now, I do not claim to be an expert in the art of Fatherhood, nor am I downplaying the art of Motherhood.  What seems to be prevalent are the numerous opinions and think-pieces about how there are so many bad fathers out there without too many opinions of think-pieces about the good ones:

The good ones that, despite lack of whatever, they still manage to sacrifice what they have so that their children get what they need.

The good ones that are trying to do the best that they can.

The good ones that are managing a career, school, etc. without neglecting their children.

Those guys.

Again, I am not trying to shame mothers in any way.  I just want the record straight.  When fatherhood is reduced to the showing of bad opinions, unresolved feelings, name calling and general disdain, it takes away from the MEN out here taking it to the max.  In other words, there could be a reason why “part-time dads”exist that have nothing to do with them actually being part-time.  Maybe, just maybe, their “part-time” status is not their doing.  Maybe, their “full-time” status has been reduced because of said issues above.  IT JUST MAY BE NOT THEIR FAULT!

For the Gentlemen doing the best that they can, this does not give you the option to slack off or stop.  This means that, despite what may be said about you, you keep doing what you’re doing…if not more.  Don’t let the words of some dictate how you help raise your children (some of this is directed right at me).  Stay focused, stay involved.  No matter the situation or circumstance, your impact matters.  You were given a gift(s) from God and the very least you can do is show appreciation by being present, involved, and dedicated.  That’s only the minimum.  The more you add makes it that much sweeter in the end.

Until next time…

(Photo courtesy of voicemalemagazine.org)

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What Ministry Has Taught Me While Working in a Library

I have not posted anything here in a good while so I pray that everything is going well with you.  School, work, fatherhood, and ministry have taken up quite a bit of my time as of late.  Hopefully, if things slow down, I will be able to share with you a little bit more.  In the meantime, I’m asking for prayer and patience.

I’m not sure that some of you know but, I work in the library system.  I got this job almost 3 years ago.  To be truthful, this was not my first choice–I’m in the IT field and I kinda miss it–But I’m still thankful in the long run because this experience has given me a glimpse of what the Pastorate feels like.  Let me give you a few examples.

1.  Everyone that comes in needs help in some way.  My branch is open Monday-Saturday.  During the times that we are open, there are several people who come in that need help.  Some of these people are regulars and some aren’t.  This is not unlike your local churches where we have some members that have been there for decades but there are the occasional visitor that will come to worship.

2.  There are some that want your help.  Of the people who visit the branch on a daily basis, there are some folks that really need your help.  It could be looking for a book to read for themselves or their child or looking for directions to a location in the city or faxing paperwork to various agencies or even needing help with research on the computer.  At the church, there are folks that come to worship but they are in need of prayer, healing or a question regarding scripture.  They come because there is something missing in their lives and they feel the church is the place where they can get it.

3.  There are some that don’t want your help.  This is interesting.  There have been many times where a patron has come into the branch and did not or does not want your help.  I could go into several reasons why but that could take a while but to give you one example, we offer free computer classes every week where I personally teach basic computer skills.  Remember those folks that come on but don’t want help?  Well they fit into this category because sometimes, my class attendance may be two to three at the most.  Again, the church is parallel to this scenario.  Some folks will come but will refuse to the help that we offer.  Like the library, there are several reasons why but there are too many to name here as well.  Remember the ones that have questions about scripture?  Well, a lot of churches have bible study during the week with a regular attendance of just a few so, where are the folks that have questions?

So what is my point to all of this?  Well, it’s simple.  Since I have been in ministry longer than I have been at the library, I had to come to terms with the fact that both places are a lot alike.  The only thing in common from my perspective is that I’m at both places and I am also there to serve the folks that come in.  Is it frustrating? Sure.  Are there days where I don’t want to go to either place? Definitely.  However I have to remember that it really isn’t about me but who I am serving and who I am trying to help.  It can be draining mentally and sometimes physically but when it’s all said and done, I know I will be back to do it all over again.

P. K. Minister: The Sophomore Years

Well, here we are again.  I do apologize for not being so active in this space.  Things have been really busy on my end.  I hope and pray that you have been as equally successful in what you’re doing.

I just got word a few days ago that, after the fall semester, I will be a Sophomore at Liberty University.  You have no idea how excited I am about this.  I am almost done with my first year of college!  I honestly did not think that I would have gotten this far.  This is nothing but God’s grace and mercy.  Granted I’m not pulling a 4.0 or anything like that but, I am doing my best under the circumstances.  I am continuing to pray for strength and guidance, as I press on to my goal.  The classes themselves have been very enlightening and assuring me that there is so much to learn out there, especially when it comes to the Word of God and His Theology.  There were some days that I totally felt like my head would explode from all of the information.  It’s definitely been a challenge.

Can you believe that Christmas will be here soon?  I promise you that it seems like just yesterday we were saying “Happy New Year”.  Things seems to always go by a lot faster not that we’re in adulthood.  Not enough hours in the day when you’re working and raising kids and going to school.  You’d think that I wouldn’t have time for anything else.  Luckily, I was allotted some time so that I could take a mini vacation.  I was able to visit Chicago for the very first time a few weeks ago.  It was really cool seeing some of the things that I have only seen on TV and to also try some Harold’s Chicken for the first time.  I was not disappointed.  Most importantly, I was able to spend time with my Sweetheart.  It was her birthday that weekend so, I wanted to make sure that I was there for that.  I never really thought I could actually get into this long-distance relationship thing.  Seemed like a lot of work to me.  Well, to be honest, it is even though it doesn’t feel like it.  Probably because we spend a lot of time talking or shooting a text here and there.  We can’t forget about Skype!  That tool has been a blessing to us.  Getting to look at each other while we talk is a great thing when you have a few states distance between you.  We make sure we set aside time just for that reason.  Sure, it’s usually only an hour but I’d rather have that than no communication at all.  Basically, you make it what you make it. If that doesn’t make sense, try this:  Make the best of your situation in order to have a positive outlook.  Was that scholarly enough? LOL

My boys are definitely growing up!  I have a 3rd grader and a Freshman in high school!!  I’ll reference the above paragraph about how times can slip away from us.  They are becoming young men.  They say that life is full of new challenges.  Well, the three of us will be facing some together.  Two boys growing up in a crazy full-speed ahead world and their father trying to make sense of it all.  BRING IT ON!!!

Well, that will do it for this session.  Stay blessed folks!

P. K. Minister: The Freshman Years…One Term Down

Well, I’ve done it!  I have successfully completed my first term at Liberty University.  It was definitely an amazing journey.  Walking through the corridors of the Old Testament and learning how to be a successful online student have both given me some much-needed insight on how to keep this school thing going.  If there was a drawback, I would say that starting my second term in the process of finishing he first term deemed difficult but, now that the first two classes are over I can get back to being less stressed.  The only difference now is that I have to prepare four sermons for the month of April.  That part I’ve done before but never while attending college.  One of my second term classes is evangelism so, I decided to use that as the focus for the month.  You can never learn too much about how to share the Gospel with others.

I hope everyone had a great Easter celebration.  We had a really great time yesterday, starting with our Sunrise service and followed by morning worship and Holy Communion.  We had a really great attendance as well.  I just pray that the numbers will continue.

Speaking of evangelism, we took to the streets 2 weeks ago and passed out some care packages to the less fortunate folks not too far from the church.  I’m not sure whether they were homeless or not but, they were in definite need.  One of our ministries made bags that contained Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and soap.  After service that Sunday we passed them out and tried our best to “plant seeds” that, hopefully, landed on fertile soil.  Amazingly, one of the ladies we gave a bag to asked us, “where are the bibles?  It would be really nice if we could have one of those small New Testament bibles to read.”  WOW!!  Goes to show you that even though there are some people out there that are going through life struggles, they still want to read the Word of God. Pretty amazing actually!  I took her request back to the ministry and they said that they will see about buying some for the next time.  I am looking forward to that.

Well, that about sums up my latest adventures.  Stay tuned for more…

Friday Rant

Well, here we are at the end of another week.  I am also proud to say that I have also come to the end of my 4th week of school.  You have no idea how this makes me feel.  Actually, it feels REALLY GOOD!!!  So far, I have finished one essay on Biblical Worldview from my own perspective, taken a few quizzes, posted a few discussion boards, and even taken math and English assessments.

My essay on Biblical Worldview was based on the first 11 chapters of Genesis and how it relates to my own beliefs.  I have had no problems preparing sermons but this was definitely a different animal altogether.  Nevertheless, I got through it with an 85.  The only thing that kept it from earning a 100 was formatting.  My degree program calls for Turabian or Chicago style citing which was no problem there.  The issue was that I had too much spacing.  No problem.  I can fix that.  The good news is that I have to continue to use the same style of citing for the rest of the time I’m in school.  I have my Dad to thank for this because of his mission to rear the four of us knowing the Word of God.  Not necessarily everything (there is no way that we can know everything down here), but definitely where to go and how to read and interpret scripture.

The other class I’m taking for this term is a class on how to become an online student.  I thought that I was pretty good at that since my being in IT calls for a lot of research and using Google (yes, Google is IT’s best friend). Well, it turns out that there was still some new stuff to learn.  For example, I learned about the terms Pedagogy and Andragogy.  Both are learning styles but, Pedagogy is how children learn and Andragogy is how adults learn.  Obviously, since I’m all grown up (gasp), I am learning to use Andragogy.  We even get deeper into them but that’s for another blog.

My English assessment went pretty well.  I’m so glad that my Mom was an English major as well as a teacher.  And, since we weren’t really allowed to speak slang at home growing up, this made the assessment go well.  It’s really funny how you have to try hard NOT to speak slang.  This is partly due to working with the public on a daily basis and, of course, my Mom.  She made sure to correct us if we weren’t correct with diction and\or grammar.  “I don’t want you going out there speaking any kind of way.”  Of course you know that I have turned right around and done this to my sons.  Hopefully, the cycle will continue.

And then, there is math.  My least favorite subject.  That assessment did not go so well.  I say this with confidence because I have to challenge myself this time around.  I know my limitations but, I also know my strengths.  Again, being an IT guy, numbers are part of the job especially dealing with networks and IP addresses.  Fortunately, there is dynamic IP addressing but, in school, we had to learn the hard way – with exponents.  I will definitely keep you entertained with that class, once I get to it.

Well, that about wraps it up for this time…

P. K. Minister: The Freshman Years

Well, it’s finally here.  I am officially a Freshman at Liberty University.  The process of just trying to get in was trying enough but, I am glad I am able to start my studies.  One thing that I will admit is, school was not my forte when I was younger.  In fact, I really did NOT like studying at all.  The irony here is that I will read article from magazines, newspapers, and even the occasional Wikipedia entry about something that interests me.  But reading for school? Not so much.

One of the good things about going to college these days is that you can do it all online.  Granted there are tons of “colleges” that will offer you degree programs online that may or may not be transferable but, having the ability to sit in your living room for class is the best, in my opinion.  I am just praying that I can maintain this excitement throughout the process!  Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve been in school.  I really don’t have the distractions that I had when I was a teenager running wild.  Years in the Army, two sons, working, and now preaching have, in my opinion, prepared me for this test of scholastic will.  When I told my boys that I was going back to school, my youngest said, “So are you going to have homework?  Who’s going to help you when you get stuck?”  This made me laugh because he was really interested in my scholastic well-being.  My oldest wanted to have a study hall.  Again, the laughter!!

Well, I am going to have a busy weekend ahead of me so I am getting myself prepared and mentally and spiritually.  In other words, “I’m going in!!”

P. K. Minister: The College Years

Hello folks,

It’s Friday afternoon and I am really ready to call it quits.  Sometimes, there are not enough hours in the day.  I pray that you all are doing well.

Well, the time has finally arrived.  Yours truly will FINALLY be starting college.  Yes, that’s right.  After years of working for nothing and being unable to break the glass ceiling, I am ready to embark on post-secondary education.  I was recently accepted into Liberty University.  I will be earning my Bachelor’s of Science in Religion with a focus on Biblical and Theological Studies.  This has been a long time coming for me since I am closer to 50 than I am to 20.  I’m really excited about this endeavor and I pray that, once this degree is earned, it will help me in exercising the gift that God has given me.  I will definitely keep you posted.

Until next time…