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A Start-Again DadStory

Photo: Getting ready to break’em in at the Buck Creek St. Jude Trail Ride in Alamo, TN.

It was quite a morning. Crisp fall weather made the horses lively to begin with. While my dad’s mount has been on rides in the past, my little steed had not been off the farm since arriving on the premises since he was 2 years ago- maybe 10 or 12 years ago. Horses seem to arrive on the old homestead but never leave. It was time to turn this pasture rat into a lean, mean, trail-eating machine.

We were saddling up for the Buck Creek St. Jude Trail Ride, West Tennessee’s largest trail ride and a huge moneymaker for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We had never attended in the past. Along with the fun day of horseback riding and helping a great cause, my dad and I needed the chance to get a couple of horses ready for a 3-day trail ride later this month.

Every sight, sound, and moving tree branch got ol’ Sonny’s attention. There were horses as far as the eye could see, and he was on sensory overload. Dead-broke, but green and unpredictable in the new environment, this promised to be interesting.

 

A little about me and my cowboy cred- I’ve ridden all my life. Trail rides, chasing calves, riding buckers bareback in the pasture, 4-H horse shows, raising and training foals, and rehabilitating former race horses into moldable hunter-jumpers or fox hunting mounts are all a part of my resume. Riding was a huge part of my life until I went off to college.

Then, like so many things in life, horse-related activity came to a stand still. I left some things undone, like the colt I raised but never quite got trained. I left some things neglected- my old saddle I bought when I was 12 with money I earned working construction with my dad.

I came back home, and as I started building a life with a family of my own, riding and working the farm didn’t materialize as priorities. Time remained stopped on these old childhood dreams for a while yet. I married, worked, started and finished 2 college degrees, had children, and started a career.

The story has been told time and again- you never know what you’ve got until you try to live without it. The refrain over and over is that children grow up and leave the farm for better things, only to return to their roots in agriculture and rural living. Prodigals returning. I guess that’s me.

Change, even desired change, is very difficult. Change is especially difficult when you look back and realize the distance and the effort it will take to get to where you want to be. I’ve experienced it all. Physical health, higher education, relationships, and especially ministry and Christian living. In each of these areas, I have looked back and wondered, “How did I get so far from where I should be? And can I ever get back on track?”

The answer to the first question doesn’t matter so much, at least not at first. What is important is understanding that getting where you want to be in any area of life begins with deciding on a first step and taking it. Then, it’s a series of steps over time that gets you to the outcome you want. Guilt will try to overtake you because of the things you neglected or the time you wasted. There’s nothing to be done about that now. Guilt is counterproductive; it will stop you from acting. And action is paramount to achieving.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭NLT

‬‬God gives grace. First Corinthians 13:13 speaks of faith, hope, and love. Hope is best defined as having determination and direction- a will and a way. In this scriptural context, faith provides the will, and love is the way. Hope falls in the overlap of faith and love, so if you have no faith, you have no hope. If you have no love, you have no hope. You may be driven and you may have a plan to achieve what you want in life, but without the faith in God and the love of Jesus Christ, you’ll never overcome the times of crushing doubt about the future, or guilt about the past.

It is amazing the difference 20 miles under saddle will make in a horse. Sonny has a long way to go, but he got a good start today. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an achievement. I have a long way to go, too. My steps so far have been slow and sometimes faltering. But I want to see my boys have the benefit of knowing Jesus, family, and a few good horses in their lifetime. I want to build something that’s ours under God. Something meaningful. And there is no way to do that, other than to start.

You want to start something today? Let me know; I’d love to hear about it.

 

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A DadStory About Contentment

Photo: 5 years ago as of the day of this posting. There’s something great about this time of year!

It was a beautiful day. All 208.8 miles of it.

The first thing I noticed- the sun was bright and the breeze was cool. It was some of the most autumn of all the autumn weather we’ve had so far in West Tennessee. A lot of asphalt was being laid on the highways. It’s finally cool enough I guess, and the extra tax money we’re contributing must have kicked in.

I saw the fullest, whitest cotton fields I’ve seen all season driving through Crockett County. They were even picking some when I came through Dyer County. Dust clouds arose from the bean and corn fields- It is that strange and wonderful time when everything is ready all at once.

Trees are still green, though. Which is fine. There’s no reason to rush the fall foliage. No sooner than it gets here, it’ll be gone. Like the way the weeks and months of 2017 have ticked down so quickly, I wonder where the year has gone, and I’m a little bit sad.

I wonder if I’m the only one who noticed all this today. Because today I have travelled for work, and the people I have met are so focused on the immediate problems in their lives that a lot of the blessings can end up going by unnoticed.

I witnessed tears today. One family experienced the wonder of new birth; another, the gut punch of miscarriage. The scars of cuts made in desperation were there. The inside scars of physical abuse, they were there today, too. Frightful parents, at the end of their rope; I saw them as well.

I spoke my recommendations. I ascertained safety. I assessed. I even spoke my piece- I told her being treated like trash doesn’t make you trash. Believe the people who care about you. If God didn’t take you, it isn’t because he hates you. He loves you and he has something left for you to do.

Somewhere, there are two kids I know are safe and sound, treated with the utmost care. I’m missing them. The highlight of my day is when I had to ask their mama to meet me halfway through Gibson County because I left something at home I needed. Circumstances put them close enough to bring me what I needed. I saw those two boys for the only few waking minutes they and I would have today. In a few minutes, when I’m done writing this, I’ll go look at them and kiss them while they sleep.

I travelled from near the Mississippi River in Northwest Tennessee to nearly the Tennessee River in the Southwest, on rural state highways; through 7 counties including my own. God sped me along safely, and I was blessed. I prayed. I looked around. I knew the day would end and the labors would end, and I felt hope.

I hope I’m not the only one who found some contentment, in the midst of the busyness, and even the tragedy, of today. In a discontented state, it’s easy to become a victim. It’s easy to blame others, even those closest to us, for our dis-ease and discomfort. We have a society of such people these days. It’s the worst when adults blame their children for the problems they experience as a family. It seems that children are either being accused or ignored these days. And in that environment, it is a learned behavior to blame others, blame circumstances, avoid responsibility. And so the world turns…

I have a better hope than that. I look forward to better things. And I can see God in everything. In the sky and the fields. In the opportunity to help another person. In the faces of my loving family. In the Word of God. If it wasn’t for the Lord, where would I be?

Just thoughts on a page. But this is my DadStory today. Do you have one? Let me know.

7 Things That Amaze Me

Thirteen of us raised money for St. Jude by running the Marathon for Memories in Trenton, TN on Sept. 16th. I’m amazed by these people!

  • The love of God through Jesus Christ, that when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  • The generosity of people. Twenty-nine teams of runners raised over $17,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday at the Marathon for Memories in Trenton, TN (thanks, Mark Finton and family). Churches and church organizations of all kinds raised money and provided relief, and will continue to do so, following this summer’s massive hurricanes in Texas and Florida (Shout out to First Church (UPC) of Pearland; the United Pentecostal Church Relief Fund and affiliated organizations, Compassion Services International and Reach Out America, the latter of which received some of the $1 million President Trump donated; and my own local church at Beech Bluff UPC, among many, many others).

  • The upbringing of a family that works hard and cares about people. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

  • The love and servant heart of a wife who never stops loving, who gets cracked up in the oddest way by the things I say or do and who will step out on faith as long as she is convinced God is in it. She made the decision to give a sacrificial offering to the missionary who visited on Sunday when she knew better than anyone we could have used it on something else. Something else that would have been of far lower value. Thanks, baby.

  • Amazing sons. They’re fun and full of personality. They’re great at reading AND math. They love animals and Jesus, and Mommy and Daddy. And they’re lights in a dark world. Not just for us either…

  • A home in the greatest State of the Greatest Nation on Earth. We are duty-bound to pray and stand up for this home with which we are blessed.

  • The calling to be saved, loved of God, and a minister of His Word. It’s the most amazing thing there is.

Bonus thing I’m amazed by: the speed of this kid!

 

There’s a lot more to be amazed by and thankful for, but I’ll let you think of some for yourself. Care to share?

How to Communicate Without Ever Having to Say “I’m Sorry.”

What is your strategy for communicating with important people in a way that you never have to say you’re sorry?

I have been writing a lot for lessons and sermons lately, so original content for this page has been a little low. But, if it can be spoken, it can be printed. So here is one of the more significant presentations I have made over the past week. This was done for our church’s marriage and relationship workshop in Wednesdays in August.

“Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Do not sharply reprimand an older man, but appeal to him as [you would to] a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters, in all purity [being careful to maintain appropriate relationships].
‭‭1 TIMOTHY‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices. Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon. You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭4:9-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

In the KJV, the word “treasure” in Song of Solomon chapter 4 is translated “sister.”
God has put us in a familial relationship with one another in the kingdom of God.
If you skip “sister” and go straight to “spouse,” then you have sacrificed a lot of depth and entered a relationship you have not properly developed.

The end result would be a childish relationship, an immature relationship, where certain needs have not been met, or have even been sacrificed for the sake of more pressing wants.

The consequences of skipping key developmental tasks are:

  • You become stuck at the stage at which development became interrupted
  • You have to return to that stage and learn the tasks that you would have learned in order to move forward in your life and relationship.

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:15-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Following are the famous verses on how wives are to submit to their husbands, and husbands are to give their lives for their wives, as Christ did for the Church. These separated forms of submission are based on developing the submission outline in verses 15-21:

DON’T be foolish. DON’T act thoughtlessly. DON’T be drunk.
But, DO be filled with the Spirit, DO sing and speak of spiritual things, DO give thanks, and DO submit one to another. Skipping steps in spiritual development will have consequences for the married life.

In a Jenga match- which piece made the tower fall?
The last piece was the trigger, or last straw, or precipitant.

But the first piece that was pulled is just as much to blame, because it led to the next piece, and the next, and the next. And in an effort to WIN, each person in the couple was responsible for bringing down the tower.

As the blocks stacked up (unresolved problems, unaddressed issues, resentment, danger), the base of the relationship became weaker.

When I titled this session “How to Communicate Without Ever Having to Say I’m Sorry,” I caused a little confusion. I’m not referring to never having to apologize. In some cases, the earlier you say I’m Sorry, the better. I’m not addressing the problem, whatever that problem is.

I’m addressing the problem behind the problem. The problem behind the problem is how we don’t communicate about what’s bothering us. Or we communicate too aggressively. Or passive-aggressively. Or hyperbolically.

It isn’t a matter of these things happening once. It is a pattern of behavior that leads to the final straw. It isn’t about the pile of laundry that’s left lying in the floor. It’s about the pile that’s left lying in the floor again. It’s about the feeling that says, “I’m unappreciated.” And if it was only the laundry, it may not be so bad, but the problem is also that there are other signs you’re being unappreciative that find their outlet in the laundry argument- “Why do you ALWAYS leave your dirty laundry in the floor?” Or the more common passive-aggressive or silent treatment.

The problem behind the problem is you won’t say you feel unappreciated.
The problem behind the problem is that you may erupt.
The problem behind the problem is that you might withdraw or withhold.
The problem behind the problem is that any of these reactions might be an act of manipulation. You will never get a change in behavior through manipulation.

Any of these malignant modes of communication will eventually lead to you saying, “I’m sorry,” if you want to save or maintain the health of your relationship. That means saying I’m sorry on top of whatever you may actually need to apologize for. And if you were not in the wrong to begin with, you will be in the wrong after communicating in one of these ways. Two wrongs do not make a right.

No one just snaps and kills someone. The victim may be random, but the violence is not. How often is your spouse your victim? Is he or she really the problem? And if so, did you just handle it correctly? In other words, without having to say your sorry?

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:45‬ ‭KJV‬‬

A Time-to-Adapt DadStory

(My little blonde shadow looks on as I race in the photo above.)

Have you ever experienced a challenge in your life that required you to adapt?

I picked back up on race training this week. The next race is a relay, Marathon for Memories, and I’m happy to have my wife and sons join me!

I attempted a 3-mile run at a 9 minute pace, which normally I would be able to do pretty easily. Not today. The last month has been consumed with training for the Tough Mudder 5k in Nashville that I ran last week. While I trained hard for that run, it was different than training for a regular 5k. Even though obstacles and exercises interrupt the run in an obstacle course race, it does provide a break from keeping a rigorous pace. So I was out of my usual element when I tried to run a straight 3.1 miles today.

Walking the last mile gave me a chance to reflect. It was just Monday that I ran with Julie, who is just starting her training for the upcoming relay. Playing as her personal trainer, I pushed her to cover distance without worrying how fast she ran. Could I swallow my own advice, even though a month or so ago I was running 5k in around 8 minutes?

Further reflection on my current state of racing preparedness was about the footing. I was training today on a dirt field road, the “war path,” as I call it. It was slightly muddy today, which made it even tougher than usual compared to asphalt. So recognizing that brought my level of concern down.

Aside from that, I’ve learned recently that when it’s time to quit, it’s ok to quit. That probably is not a positive sentiment with trainers, but I’ve never had a trainer. I’m better off for having gone the distance, even with significant walking, than I would have ifI had stayed inside today. Besides, I have a month, I’m in good shape thanks to my recent training, and it won’t take long to recover an 8 minute per mile pace, maybe even better.

The next challenge you face may require something more, or something different, from you than the last one did. It may be tougher. You may feel less prepared. But don’t stop, and know that God gives new grace every day.

You can’t curse the road you’re on, whether you’re on it by your own actions or at no fault of your own. You may be on the road you’re on due to your biological makeup and physical traits; you may have been put on this road intentionally or unintentionally due to the acts of others. But you’re on it, and you can be stringer because of it. Don’t be a victim of your conditions.

The choices you make, make you. It’s ok to recover and regroup. It’s fine if you need more time. All that matters is that you start again when you’re ready.

Just some thoughts from the road. I’ll be hanging out with horses and boys a lot over the next few weeks, so count on some stories from the corral and the trail. Also look for our fundraising page for the Marathon for Memories, coming soon.

Contact me at glengaugh@gmail.com if you have a story to share, or if I can help in any way.

Rules of the Red Rubber Ball- A Daddy-Son DadStory

(Elisha with the flowers he arranged for his Granny.)

What are you constantly pursuing?

Elisha, my oldest son, came home from school today. As with every day, he was a bit impatient wit hour questions about how his day went, what did he learn, did he get in trouble (always asked jokingly), etc.

After all that, Elisha thought about something, and with that bright look indicating good news, he told me, “I finished reading the book you gave me about the red rubber ball.”

Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, by Kevin Carroll, was given to me years ago by a friend and mentor in youth ministry. I came across it recently in storage and brought it into the house to re-read later. Elisha is an excellent reader, but he has a very narrow preference of reading material. So I decided to give him a reading assignment. “Here, read this.” I gave him the tiny, 96-page book. It’s easy reading, well within my son’s ability to comprehend. He balked at the idea of having to read something that did not have cartoons in it.

This was a week or two ago, and occasionally I’d reminded him to read some of the book about the red rubber ball. All of a sudden, he had finished it.

“What did you learn?” Elisha recounted some of the stories, like when Kevin was a new Air Force recruit, in training to become an MP, when he realized he would hate the job. He spoke up to his drill instructor and said he wanted a different job. In spite of the low odds of changing jobs, especially after disrupting his class and defying his drill instructor in the process, Kevin became a language specialist and instructor in Germany, where he earned his sports medicating degree and played soccer.

Elisha told me how Kevin applied for a job in his old neighborhood, at a boys high school that catered to wealthy families. He got the job after sharing with the principal that, as a kid 20 years before, Kevin would jimmy the window to the gymnasium so he could play basketball at night. The coincidence was amazing to both Kevin and the principal, and Kevin became the athletic director and the first black employee of the school.

One of the rules of the red rubber ball (the goal you want to achieve for yourself) is, “Maximize each moment and focus on the present.” I praised my son for following this rule already. He reads his Bible every day, sometimes first thing in the morning. It is not something I have to remind him to do anymore. By maximizing the moment in the morning or right after school, he prepares himself for future success in the kingdom of God. “That’s really important for meeting your goals,” I said. He was happy to hear it.

If you put expectations out there, even if it takes a little while, children will rise to the occasion. Growth seems to happen slowly, then all at once.

I can see lots of potential red rubber balls my children may chase. Encouraging my son to use his skills and to step out of his comfort zone has helped him move in the right direction.

Recognition goes a long way. Children need to be affirmed they are doing right, that you’re proud of them, that they are making progress, and that they should keep trying.

And so, I am encouraged to keep pursuing my red rubber ball- sons who become men of God.

A proud papa DadStory. Got one? Let me know at glengaugh

Detained? Or Delivered?

“Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭21:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭22:9, 18-19‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

David came to Nob seeking what little he could find to get by, but he left with more than he bargained for. (1 Sam. 21:1-9)

Got bread? Not just any bread, holy bread. Shewbread.
Got a sword or a spear, just any old weapon I can take? Not just any weapon, only the best sword you can find anywhere.

David knew where to find what he needed. It was in the house of God.

Doeg was detained before the Lord in the tabernacle. Commentaries give several possible reasons he was detained: he was unclean for some reason; he was suspected of leprosy; he was unable to travel due to the Sabbath; he was fulfilling a vow; he was in violation of some law; or he was a proselyte.

We don’t know which reason precisely, but there are some clues we can use to create the scenario. Consider that the story may have gone like this.

Doeg was rising as David was falling in favor with Saul (comp. 21:7 with 22:9).
Doeg was close to Saul, probably for a long time, even prior to his kingship. But with the anointing to be king, some things had changed. It seems reasonable that Doeg was fulfilling a request from Saul to convert (he was not a native Jew, he was of Edom, or Syria).

Doeg was not just zealous for Saul, but also jealous of David.
He perhaps would have killed David, but he was fearful (Doeg means “fearing” of “fearful”). His plan apparently was to simply tattle on David to Saul once he was free to leave the tabernacle and be back at Saul’s side. Doeg apparently did not have an original thought in his head; he had to filter everything through Saul, otherwise he would have acted when he saw David. Aside from the fact that David was a mighty warrior and Doeg was a herdsman, Doeg wouldn’t have done anything without Saul’s approval. David says it later, in 1 Sam. 22:22, that he knew when he saw Doeg that he knew the guy was gonna go tattle on him to Saul. He was attached to Saul that closely.

Saul was his meal ticket. David was a fugitive. Doeg was working his way up the ranks, taking advantage of the situation. He owed all he had to Saul, even to the point of being detained in an act of proselytization to maintain appearances and keep his momentum going to the top.

Doeg was only interested in pleasing a man. He had no interest in pleasing God. That’s why he was detained; he had no desire or delight in being in God’s house.

Once he finally broke free from the bonds of God’s house, he treated the righteous as profane and embraced the wicked as righteous. He killed and destroyed God’s anointed and the things set apart for God, at the word of a fallen man.

You follow man, and he will lead to to places you don’t want to go. No man can give you the great things that God will freely give you. You must not follow a man, you must follow after God and the things of God, in the house of God!

Doeg was favored, and David was a fugitive. But David was not detained, David was free. David came willingly to the house of God in a desperate hour. He could no longer stay in the palace for Saul’s wrath, but he could run to God for what he needed.

 

In the house of God, there are two kinds of people: the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS. And this is not measured the way it is measured in the world. Before God, there is no man that can keep you from becoming a HAVE. Christ gave all so that you could be a HAVE in the house of God.

Doeg was surrounded by the things of God in the house of God, but he was a HAVE NOT. He had no use, no desire, and he sought not the gifts of God all around him.

But David became a HAVE in the house of God. The Bible says:
“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  1. Get out of the world and into the House
  2. Get the world out of yourself, stop longing to go back out there, and get the Holy Ghost inside.
    “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
    ‭‭James‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
    You can’t be a hostage to God and a friend to the world and expect to receive anything.

David on the other hand, Asked and Received

Gee, I wish I could find 5 loaves of common bread around here, but all I can find is 12 loaves of holy bread, the best we have!

I’m looking around for any old spear or sword, but all I have here is the greatest sword that’s ever been held by a warrior.

When we come to the house of God in desperation and say, “God, I need something, anything!” He looks around and says, “I wish I could find something, anything, for you, but all I have is the best of everything.”

The whole armor of God. the bread of life. the gifts of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit. The waters of baptism. The oil of anointing. An old-fashioned altar. The blood of Jesus. The way, the truth, the life.

Where else can you go? What else do you need? God’s house is well-stocked with only the best- none of the rest!

The church of today across the landscape of the US is in the “something, anything” business. Those churches are looking at the questions, “What can we offer that will attract people? How can we do church that looks different than other churches?” They’re saying, “Come on in, no expectations here. Tell us what would make you comfortable. Tell us what would keep you entertained. Tell us how we can serve you.”

Programs. Facilities. Convenient service times with your preferences of preaching and worship styles. Lax dress code.

A form of godliness that denies power is all they offer. Why go into a place that just puts a pinch of the word out there, when you can enter the house of God and get the whole loaf? All 12 loaves?

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

If you’re stuck in the house of God, detained, when you look around all you can wish for is something “out there.” If I can just get OUT THERE I’ll find what I want, I’ll get what I really need.

 

The ties that bind…

Guilt
The expectations and opinions of others
Station/Status quo/Social hierarchy

From Ed Stetzer:
97%- life changes (wanted a break, moved to college, work schedule)

58%- problems with their church or pastor (judgmental/hypocritical saints, little-no connection with church people, unfriendly/unwelcoming people)

52%- stopped or never believed what the church taught on religious, ethical, or political beliefs (disagreement on issues, only going to please someone else, or no longer wanted to affiliate with church/organized religion).

According to Ken Hamm, students and young adults do not feel that they get their questions answered on hard issues in the Bible.

Another source faults lack of intergenerational fellowship (the youth group is a bubble), and states that each young person needs 5 adults who actively influence their spiritual development.

To sum it up- people simply do not develop a vibrant, personal faith in God that carries throughout their lives. Bibles are not opened. Prayer is not a priority. The Holy Ghost and the power thereof is neglected.

I know what it’s like to grow up sleeping under a pew, going to Sunday school every week, sitting under the preaching of the Word of God, while all the while riding a drum stool to hell. I couldn’t wait to get out from under the detainment of God’s house. Everything was going to be the way I wanted it OUT THERE. But I never found anything that didn’t sooner or later bring me shame and regret.

Don’t be a Doeg, whose loyalty to God is as shallow as TN top soil. Don’t be a Doeg, whose devotion to the things of God only extends as far as what a man or a woman thinks of you.

Don’t be a Doeg, imprisoned by obligation. Unlike Paul centuries later, who called himself a “prisoner of Christ.” It’s not about obligation or what you can get out of the church, it is about being sold out to Jesus Christ and bound to Him

Be a David, who said
“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Who said of Doeg:
“Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

And of himself:
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭52:7-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Who also said:
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭86:12-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Don’t be Doeg the Detained; be David the Delivered!

If I’m speaking to Doeg now, it’s time to let go of the pain of the past. It’s your responsibility to go from Detained to Delivered.

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

There is one inevitable outcome for Doeg. Doeg will go and be gone without a holy intervention. If you’re Doeg today, you feel detained in this house, trapped against your will, and you’re hoping things will change, things will not change unless you surrender to God today. And if you don’t surrender, then the odds are in favor of you going out of this place and committing atrocities against yourself and others, things you do not want to do.

If you see Doeg around here today, that’s good because there is a chance to save him or her before it’s too late.

We fail to tell our children what is right, leaving it up to them to decide for themselves. Doeg starts out as a person in need who was left hanging.
We fail to recognize and reward holy characteristics. Doeg could go either way; Doeg could be David. But We’re more interested in compliance than character.
We fail Doeg when Doeg could be delivered.

You can reach Doeg, and you can prevent someone from becoming Doeg. You can put both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road as a parent or a saint and reach someone who we know already has the deck stacked against them. There is no place out there that has the best interest of your son or daughter at heart, only Jesus and the things of God are best for your child.