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    Speak Up!

    [dropcap]M[/dropcap]y journaling is sporadic at best.  Occasionally I get hit with a transport of emotion and write about my family.  A moment like that happened in April of 2005.  The following month was Mother’s Day so along with the traditional gifts and hallmark cards I printed and read my journal entry to my family.  Here it is.  I’m reading as voraciously as ever.  I’ve been working on lessons to help train, equip, and cast vision for our home groups.  I’ve also been planning some time off (finally).  The boys and I are six chapters away from finishing Young Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley.

    We’re really enjoying it.  Cara and I went to see Phantom of the Opera last Saturday.  It was my first time to see it and her fifth.  She went again on Sunday with Deb  (Cara’s sixth; Deb’s second).  Yes, we like the movie.  {My wife’s name is Debbie.  I call her ‘Deb’ however, she doesn’t like for anyone else to call her that.}

    Deb gives me such a deep sense of contentment and peace.  I feel completely anchored and solid with her.  I know I can share my impulsive feelings and meandering thoughts and she’ll listen well.  She’s taught me the value of true listening; of being there for others.  I hope and pray I do the same for her.  She is the most diligent person I know.  I remain intrigued and captivated by her dignity and beauty!

    Caleb gives me such a sense of pride.  I am amazed at the consistency of his character.  (He reminds me of his mom in this way.)  Being the first born was not his choice.  God has used him to ‘break’ Deb and me in as parents.  He is always constant in all that he does.  Watching him grow up gives me a profound sense of pride in my heart for being his dad.

    Kenny (Kenaniah) brings me such a sheer sense of joy!  Maybe it’s innate for the second child, but he has always made me smile.  He didn’t choose to be our second child.  But both Deb and I felt more comfortable simply because Caleb broke us in.  He is always conscious and sensitive of the feelings of others (like his mother).  Watching Ken grow up gives me great joy in my heart for being his dad.

    Cara provides me pure delight.  I am astonished at her focus and diligence (like her mother).  I’ve been impressed with her establishing her own identity in lieu of her brothers.  She has developed quite a resolve in her will.  When she determines to do something absolutely nothing will deter her from accomplishing it.  I see God developing in Cara the same dignity and beauty her mother displays.  Watching her grow up gives me immense pleasure in my heart for being her dad.

    God is so, so, good!  I have been abundantly blessed through my wife and kids.  It is so humbling to be the husband and father of such wonderful people.  I marvel at it all!  My words fail so miserably to capture and express my contentment, peace, pride, joy, and delight.  I echo the resonate words of the Psalmist, “Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (139:14b).

    My reason for sharing this with you is this: In Scripture, a blessing is not a blessing unless it is spoken.  As we observe Mother’s and Father’s Day we do so in obedience to Scriptural teaching.  Paul writes in Ephesians 6:1-4, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”, which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (NIV).

    In their bestseller, The Blessing, Gary Smalley and John Trent wrote, “If you are a parent, your children desperately need to hear a spoken blessing from you.  If you are married, your wife or husband needs to hear words of love and acceptance on a regular basis.”

    Speak and write blessings to your family members on a regular basis.  Speak up.  Write down.  Bless others in doing so.

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