There I was…
7 years later…. I’m in the same room where I had an encounter with God. It was a surreal moment to say the least. I’m walking down the main corridor of the Benton Convention Center looking for the room where I was to deliver a session to Fathers at the North Carolina Home Educators annual conference. I looked up and saw the sign and it said:
I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked at the sign and then at the large four-some of doors which led to the room. I opened one of the doors and slowly looked inside. There was a session underway, but I could see inside the room nonetheless. Yep…same room. I remember where I was seated. Third row. Third seat from the center aisle. Yep…that’s where it happened. An encounter with God.
Ever had one of “those moments?” I bet you have. Two days later…here I was standing in the same room where I had been seven years earlier. A room that at that time had dads seated in chairs in rows, just like now. I heard a man who shared the truth with me that was sent by God. He said, “Dad, you are not getting the job done.” Initially I was mad and offended, but as the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, I realized that I was dead wrong in my way of thinking. I was getting everything right in my career and hobbies and even in God’s house…but, I was not leading in my house.
I share with you an email I received Saturday evening after I returned home…
Thank you for your talk today at NCHE. You weren’t just throwing darts, you hit me between the eyes with a hollow point shell.
I am the chairman of the Deacons, I sing in the choir, an ensemble, the praise team and fill in when the quartet when they needs it. I serve on the finance, media shout, vision committees and as moderator. I make six figures working in a sales management job. My wife does the home schooling, I am uninvolved. I coach sports of my kids and lead a devotional sporadically and bring home the bacon. Not saying I’ll be a Pastor in 7 years, but today is a turning point! Please send me your devotional. Time to go wash my family in the word.
Thank you and God bless your ministry!
I could have written that email seven years ago and now I was the one delivering the message to Fathers. The message?
Developing a Spiritual Vision for Your Home…
Here’s the 9 points of the talk:
- Make certain Christ is their Lord. Many children who are being raised in “Christian” homes have “Hell Insurance,” versus truly serving Jesus Christ
- Be careful of a “compartmentalized faith.” Do your children “own” their own faith, or is it yours? What’s the handwriting on their “spiritual box?” Is it your name on their spiritual box or theirs?
- Dad’s, realize it is your job to spiritually train your children, not the Youth or Children’s Pastor. (Eph. 6:4) Don’t let your child be a part of the 92% who leave the faith.
- Seize the Day. There’s only 168 hours in a week… How are you spending yours? Every home is a classroom. What is your’s teaching?
- Train, train, train in the Word of God. The Word of God must become a priority in the life of your home, or your children will be raised by the culture. After all, shouldn’t our children know more about Abraham than Algebra and the Bible than Biology? And shouldn’t we value Jesus more than jerseys?
- Our Children should follow Jesus’ Model at age 12: “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” Whatever you make your children crave is what they will love.
- Establish Family Devotions: Remember: Nothing that doesn’t occur on a daily basis will ever dominate our lives. I will gladly add you to my daily devotion list if you will email me and ask for me to add you to the list.
- Eat Meals Together. If you can’t do this 3-4 times per week, then you’re too busy!
- Get them “Home” (heaven is our ultimate home) and forget the American Dream and the pursuit of “stuff.”
To say that I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak at the conference was an understatement. I also sold out of every single book I had! I’ve got more on the way!
The conference was a time of refreshing for me. I hear such wonderful speakers, who provide me, as a pastor (teaching Elder), the ability to listen and learn, when I’m usually the one doing the teaching.
The conference was packed with close to 6,000 people…
In the state of North Carolina there are now…
In Wilkes County, there are now over 500 homeschools. (Again, that’s just homeschools. In my family for instance…we have four children in our homeschool. Well…actually just three…since Katy just graduated. :))
I really enjoy the book fair…
There are dozens and dozens of vendors. Clara really liked this vendor’s books and other stuff…
A wonderful time was had by all…
We baptized 7 more on Sunday. And get this… I had the privilege of baptizing a grandfather and granddaughter at the same time!
Here’s the entire group…
Note the ages of these folks. There are no children here. These are young adults and adults who are nailing down the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives. Yes, Jesus is more than just “Hell Insurance.” That’s 42 we’ve baptized in the last 6 months! The Lord is on the move and I’ll never tire of the looks on the faces as they come out of the water! Proud of you Emily!!
Sunday afternoon was a blast as well! I attended a wonderful graduation celebration for a young man that was a bar mitzvah of sorts. What a fantastic family!
That’s Keith Michael Anderson on the right and his mother and father on the left…
Keith is a loved young man. He has missionary grandparents on both sides. Talk about an amazing legacy!
There were several men in the church invited to share about faithfulness to the church, the Word of God, purity, missions and to handling money wisely. The testimonies of the grandparents and parents and words of encouragement offered was one of the most moving things I’ve been a part of in a long time. I really enjoyed this scene…
I began this post talking about fathers. Well…this one is getting it done right. He’s trained and discipled his son well and to see them sitting side by side and even at times, with their arms over each other’s shoulders was so heart-warming to say the least. They were watching a video put together by two of Keith Michael’s younger brothers. Keith Michael is the oldest of six children. Thanks so much for including the church in your celebration and thanks to Keith and Kim for opening up their home to us all!
After we left the Anderson family, we went and celebrated with the granddaughter and grandfather I was telling you about earlier at a fabulous cookout. What a special day for them (being baptized together). Here’s Mary Anna…to the left with grandfather, James Richardson behind here. Mary Anna’s mother is in the back and her grandmother, Mary to the right…
There is something special about coming together and sharing a meal together with brothers and sisters in Christ around a table. Thanks so much Mike and Caroline!!
What a glorious weekend! And we finished it off last night with catching lightning bugs.
Well…that’s plenty for now… Blessings to you all!