Merry Christmas

I wish you a Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas wreathWe hear it this time of year, but what does wishing a merry Christmas mean?  What does it mean to you?

To me there are several things in mind when I wish you a Merry Christmas.

First and foremost I am wishing you well wishes at a time we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus the Christ, who came to earth as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Without His birth in the way and the manner in which it happened, then He would not be qualified as a perfect sacrifice.

John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” No other man do we celebrate this way, and no other man should we celebrate this way.

Secondly wishing your Christmas to be merry means I hope that the way you celebrate His arrival brings joy and peace in a festive way!  I hope you celebrate His gift by giving to those you love!  Sometimes that means we buy things they would like and present them as gifts, but it also means giving of your time and attention.  That is why I am glad we eat and play at Christmas parties and family gatherings – enjoy each other with lighthearted fun!

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Lastly I wish you a merry Christmas season.  Not just a day, but a time to celebrate, give thanks and share love.  To do that right it will take more than just a day – it will take a well orchestrated season.  A day can be built up and fall so anti-climatic, and you will have to stuff so much into one day.  But in a season you will have time to enjoy and share with more people – more time to spread the love as Jesus taught us!

So from me and my family of four – we wish you a Merry Christmas!

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Pigeon Forge Fun Day

This past week my work allowed us to take a 1/2 day for team building exercises.  So, we spent the afternoon in Pigeon Forge, TN!

I am thankful to have been able to experience a few new adventures.  Below is a snapshot of our day.

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Our first stop was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster on the way to Wears Valley.  I had heard of these kinds of coasters before, but never had an opportunity to ride one.  This was like a personal roller coaster – with brakes!  It wound up and through a mountain side.

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The only picture I took was really not what I wanted to show the coasters, but it gives you an idea of what they look like.

 

 

 

 

 

My buddy Greg Norton shot a video during his ride, and I thought I would share it: Greg’s alpine video

Wonders of Flight

The next destination was one that I have been wanting to do since I first saw it!  The Wonders of Flight is a hot air balloon lift that takes you up 400′ above Pigeon Forge!  I had so wanted to ride this, but once I stepped onto the platform I quickly considered whether this was a good idea or not.  My adrenaline kicked in so I decided to stay – plus the others were boarding so I couldn’t back out now!!

When the gate closed our “pilot” said we would be ascending to 400′ above the ground we just stepped off of.  A single cable was what held the balloon to the ground, and slowly released as we smoothly ascended.

From the top we had some awesome views!  The air was cool and the sun was warm.  Just a great day to be enjoying these views of creation!

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One cable holds the balloon to earth
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Getting ready to ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View toward Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains
View toward Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains
View toward Knoxville and House Mountain
View toward Knoxville and House Mountain
Panoramic view !
Panoramic view !
View looking down
View looking down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Carts then Supper

Our last adventure was to ride go carts.  Our team found this to be an opportunity for paybacks through bumping of carts!  Of course we were warned not to bump, but that was merely a good suggestion!

I will share a short video of this adventure: Go Cart Adventure

After all this adventure we settled in to eat at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.  The food was tasty and the atmosphere was really fun!

 

House Mountain Hike

This past Sunday I was able to hike a local treasure – House Mountain in east Knox County.  At 2100 ft House Mountain is the highest peak in Knox county, and you can see over 30 miles away on a clear day.

House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville. It is cooperatively managed by the State by Knox County Parks and Recreation. The park has a small parking lot, but includes a restroom and covered picnic area.

From Knoxville, take I-40 East. Exit on U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike) and go north and east on Rutledge Pike. After about 10 miles, look for the “House Mountain State Park” sign on the right side of the highway and then turn left on Idumea Road. Turn left on Hogskin Road. The entrance  is less than a mile on the right.  More information on House Mountain can be found here.

IMG_6010IMG_6011We took the East Overlook trail which is a fairly steep trail at the top of the mountain.  The trail is well marked, but is narrow in places.

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The weather was excellent and cool.  The parking lot was full and we passed many folks on the trail.

Once at the top the clear day allowed us to see the Smoky’s to the south and east, and the Cumberland Plateau to the west.

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Eric and I at the top
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Looking toward the Smoky Mountains
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“Top of the World!”
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West view toward the Cumberland Mountains
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Panoramic view facing West
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Local farms in Corryton
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Looking toward the East

When is a boy a Man: Part 4

In the previous three posts I have covered the first three characteristics of a man. Please refer to them individually:

Accept Responsibility for a Will to Obey

Accept Responsibility for a Work to Do

Accept Responsibility for a Woman to Love

 

The last three characteristics where a man should lead courageously:

Lead Courageously with your Character

A person’s character is who they are when no one is looking – who you are when people cannot see you. Character is the thoughts that control our actions. Character includes but is not limited to:

  • Self-discipline
  • Morals
  • Purity
  • Honesty
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance

Whether you realize it or not, our character is shaped by:

  • The input we consume (music, TV, movies, books, games)
  • The relationships we pursue (especially our five closest friends)
  • The habits we acquire (talking, thinking, eating, etc.)

 

Lead Courageously with your Conduct

Your conduct is how you handle yourself in front of others. It is the actions that people see when they see or think of you.

Your conduct includes but is not limited to your actions of being:

  • Courteous
  • Considerate
  • Patient
  • Giving
  • Humble

 

Lead Courageously with your Charisma

Your charisma is how you influence others. How you are able to get others to do the things you are leading or asking.

Your charisma comes from your ability to positively influence others by being:

  • Courteous
  • Decisive
  • Charming
  • Loyal
  • Kind

 

I welcome comments on whether you agree or disagree with my conclusions.

When is a boy a man: Part 3

The first two posts on defining the qualities of a man can be found at these links:

1.  Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

2. Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Work to Do

Today’s post covers quality three of six.

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Woman to Love

MOM

Each of us have one thing in common in this world.  We each had a mom.  A woman who carried us for around nine months before we were born.  Through the process of caring for us when we had no way to do so, our mothers displayed an unconditional love for us.

No matter if we were calm or kicked a lot, she ate and slept for both of us.  Then we were born.

Most of us have a mom that also cared for us and loved us after we were born.  Here again she loved us no matter what we did because we came from her.  We are her flesh and blood!

I think we should always treat our mothers with respect.  I never want to embarrass or bring disgrace to my mom.  I never wanted to disappoint her either.  I know sometimes I did, and I always felt bad about it.

WIFE

Genesis 2:18-25

For unmarried young men I want that you and your potential wife (girlfriend) should not be unequally yoked.  Meaning it is best that a Christian date and marry another Christian.  There is a lot to be said about why, but let’s just leave it at that right now.

Your wife (or wife to be) should be an extension of how you treat your mother.  Treat your wife will only follow the patterns you established with your mother (respect, admiration, care and love).

The good part about what is different with a wife and a mother is the fact that the intimate relationship can now be sexual within the covenant of a marriage.  Yes, once we are married to our wife the pleasures God intended between a man and woman can be fully explored.  And those pleasures are wonderful – within a marriage of a man and a woman.

You should also be ready to change with her during the different seasons of life.  We will all grow older if we do not die first, so if we are still living we will grow old with our wife.  There will be seasons where things are going good and seasons when things are tough – and they may not balance out.  But you both will change as you grow older.  Just be ready for those changes and find new ways to love her.

A man should remember what he promised on his wedding day.

To Have and to Hold

For Better or for Worse

Whether Richer or Poorer

In Sickness and in Health

To Love and to Cherish

from that day forward until death does part you

 

 

 

When is a boy a man? Part 2

My last post covered Part 1 of what it means to be a man which was to accept responsibility for a will to obey.

1. Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

The first thing to know is that as a man there are responsibilities we must accept.  The first responsibility is for a will to obey.

The second quality of a man is to accept responsibility for a work to do

2.  Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Work to Do

When God placed man on earth He told Adam to work the land.  Genesis 2:15 says that God took Adam to the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.  Adam had work to do!  But it was not hard for Adam, it was a pleasure to tend to the garden the God had given him.

But when sin entered earth in Genesis 3, work that was such a pleasure became labor.  It became hard.  Work was not as pleasing then, but it had to be done.

Fast forward to today.  Work is still needed, but it is not always fun or a pleasure.  But as men of this earth, we were commanded to work by God.

How do we work today?  What kind of work should we do?

I believe there are four places we should contribute to with our work.

HomeDad and Son working

First as men we are responsible for the spiritual, mental and physical health of our home and family.  It does not mean we cannot share some of the burdens with our wife and kids, but at the end of the day – the man is responsible as the head of the household.

Church

Men should be responsible for using our Spiritual Gifts to serve others in the church and to glorify God.  I believe that by the time a boy is in high school, God has already given him his Spiritual Gifts if he is saved.  You will not be given any of these Spiritual Gifts until you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and trust Him with your life.

Spiritual Gifts are mentioned primarily in three locations in the Bible:  Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28.

Job

In today’s economy I know it is sometimes tough to find a job, but as a man we are responsible for a steady job to pay for our expenses and be a witness for Jesus while there.  As the leader of a family we are also responsible for income of the family.

Community

As a man I believe we are responsible for making a positive contribution in our community.  Either as a school volunteer, youth sports coach, or community clean up, we need to make positive investments into the community where we live.

 

When am I a man? : Part 1

When does a boy become a man?  When he can shave or grow a beard?  When he can drive?  Graduates high school or college?  When he gets married?  When he becomes a father?  When he gets a job?  All of these are milestones to look forward to in a boy’s life.  But when does he become a man?  When is he told he is a man?

I want to share over the next four posts what I consider the characteristics that make a Godly man.

I first need to give credit to Robert Lewis who wrote Raising a Modern Day Knight.  I suggest you read his book and explore his web site for a different and more exhaustive perspective.  From reading Robert’s book and other sources that have inspired me for help raising my son, I developed the six characteristics that define a Godly man.

I welcome your comments and feedback for this most important topic in our culture today.  I feel there is no greater need in our country than to raise up Godly men who will lead the next generation.

Truett Cathy said it so true in one of his book’s title It’s better to build boys than to mend men.  We have to be intentional about how we raise our boys today.  I am in no way saying I am doing it the right way or the only way, but I am raising my boy the best way that I can while seeking help from God.  I first shared with him and taught him these six characteristics of a man.  After we covered these characteristics I asked him if I could share them on this blog.  He said that I should … and so I do.


 

When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
               1 Corinthians 13:11

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

The first thing to know is that as a man there are responsibilities we must accept.  The first responsibility is for a will to obey.

Who’s will do we obey?  We certainly will obey somebody’s will with our life.  But a Godly man will obey the will of God.  When we say the will – it simply means doing what someone desires of you.

So – how do you know what your creator has in mind for you?  What does He want you to do with your life?  How do you know when you are obeying Him not yourself or other influences in life?

I believe God wants at least four things from every man:

  1. To have a relationship with Him  [Matthew 6:6]
  2. To love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and strength  [Mark 12:30]
  3. To love others with your deeds  [Mark 12:31]
  4. To resist satan  [James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11]

I believe that through our circumstances in life God has uniquely equipped us for certain tasks in life.  Certain things He wants us to do, that only we will be able to do.  God can accomplish all He wants in this earth, and some of those things He wants to use our mind and body to accomplish!  We just need to ask.

Do you know that the Creator of the universe, the One who made the moon, stars and earth, wants a relationship with you and wants to communicate with you!  How does God do that?  How does he communicate directly with me?

God will communicate the desires of His heart to you if you will:

  • Read and study the Bible regularly
  • Pray to God   (which means talking and listening to Him)
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you

If you do not know exactly how this works I would love to talk with you and explain how our Father in Heaven wants to communicate with you and me here on earth.

Blackberry Wisdom

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