The Lesson of the Copper Pipe, Part 3

You really should try out this copper pipe idea. Here’s what I’ve discovered: if I see the copper pipe in everyone, I don’t judge them. It’s no longer my goal to judge them.

Let’s take anger as an example, because there’s plenty of that going around. When I see the copper pipe in someone, I don’t look at them and say, “Hey man, you’ve got a serious anger issue. You need to clean that up.” It’s not my goal to even think it.

Why not? Because I’m a copper pipe too! I could have a serious anger issue. In fact, it would be very easy for me to have that same anger issue. Continue reading

The Lesson of the Copper Pipe, Part 2

The initial concept of Eden was complete beauty and peace. We would live in harmony, and we would love each other. We would look out for each other. We would all want to help each other.

But what we live in right now isn’t paradise. We live in a judgmental society. When sin came into the world, judgment flooded right in with it. We saw it with Adam and Eve. Continue reading

The Lesson of the Copper Pipe

I met a guy last year who gave me quite a workout with a word picture.

He put a copper pipe in front of me.  Then he asked me, “What is this?”

I said, “It’s a copper pipe.”

And he said, “Yes, it’s a copper pipe, but what is it?”

I said, “Okay. You have a faucet on the end of it and you have a red handle. I’m going to say that it’s a hot water pipe.”

“That’s right,” he said. “It’s a hot water pipe. “ “Okay,” I said.

But then he asked me, “Does it ever change?” Continue reading

It’s So Easy to Judge

The Bible tells us, Judge not. Most of us try to believe we’re good at not judging, but the truth is, judging is a really natural thing to do.

This is how normal it is to judge. You hear somebody say, “Well, I don’t have a problem judging,” and you immediately want to say, “I doubt that.” Right? But that means you’ve just judged them! It’s that natural.

Sometimes our discipleship makes it even harder. You’re trying so hard to be a good Christian that it almost makes you more aware of your beliefs about other people. Because you’re so conscious of trying to be good, you might look at someone in your life and think, “Well, I’m good, and he’s not.” Continue reading

Christian Dads (Part 1)

I believe my job is to be the best replication of Christ that I can possibly be.

I ask myself what it means when the scripture says that a husband is to be to his wife as Jesus is to the church. And for me, it comes down to one exact thing. I stand in the gap. How my family is viewed is on me. How my marriage is going is on me. How my children are raised and the decisions that they make while under my roof is on me.

Maybe someday my son will get in a fight at school and he’ll punch somebody. I’ll get called into the office and they will say, “This is what your son did.” On that day, I’ll look at my son and I’ll look at the school principal and I’ll say, “This isn’t what my son did, this is what I did. This is on me.” I’ll take full responsibility for it, and I’ll address it.

God_changesI’ll deal with my son directly. I’ll teach him to take responsibility for his actions and to apologize for his mistakes. But first, I will go to the child’s father and apologize. And I’ll make sure that the child, the one my son hit, will know that it was my fault. As the head of my family, I’ll apologize for it. I think my son will take responsibility and apologize, after he sees me do it.

I think that when my son hurts someone and then sees me, his father, literally turn to that person and say, “I’m so sorry, this is on me,” he’ll want to change. When my son sees me accept shame and embarrassment because of his decisions, he’ll want to make better decisions. So my son won’t see me yell at him or say, “This is your fault.” My son will see me say, “This is my fault.”

And I think anyone who sees that would say, “I need to make better decisions.” Think about it. What would it feel like if someone is always being embarrassed because of you but they never embarrass you back? They never blame you or call you out in front of people. Instead, they always take the embarrassment for you. How would that make you feel? You’re going to want to change!

This is what Jesus did on the cross. On the cross, He took our shame and embarrassment. We respect what He did. His sacrifice inspires us to be different. Because of Him, we want to be better. We’re not always going to make the right decisions, but we want to be better. And I think that’s how our kids will do it. They’ll want to be better because they will see their fathers say, “It’s on me. This is my fault. And I’m sorry.”

I really believe in this. I think if you do this, your kids and your wife will respect you for it and they’ll be better for it. Your family will be better for it.

I also think that when it comes down to it, men aren’t willing to accept this job. And if you’re not willing to accept it, then I say you’re not willing to be married.

More on this next time. See you Monday.

Replacing Judgment with Love

Nietzsche said the last Christian died on the cross.

That is such a bold, yet powerful and piercing statement. Is it true? In some ways I feel that it is. And that’s painful!

It’s not just how one man saw it, either. I think a lot of people see it that way. Jesus would not want it to be true, so we need to do something to change it.

It’s a joke how much we judge in the church. Continue reading

Believing Without Seeing

When Jesus left, He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Those who have not seen are the people of faith.

The disciples died for Jesus Christ.  They died on crosses.  And I know they felt some fear, because everybody fears death to a certain point.

But they cheated!  I’m sorry, they did!   Continue reading

Teaching My Sons About Money

I don’t want to make all this money and die knowing that I did nothing with it.

And I really don’t want my sons to grow up thinking that life is all about money.

I don’t want to raise them to think that success is something we achieve only for our own sakes. I just don’t want them thinking that way. Continue reading

Good News is Life!

I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. Last time, I wrote about what I think that means. You can see for yourself what the Bible says about Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. Continue reading