An Open Letter to young dads on Father’s Day


There is no greater responsibility on the face of this earth, like being a father.  The power and influence on our children is astounding.  I have had so many failures at being a perfect dad, but I realized the Lord wants us to be great dads not perfect.  The example we live in front of our kids they will most likely embrace.  Our values will be their values, our faith their faith, our speech, their speech. It is a glorious but serious responsibility.  Don’t diminish that, or deny it. You play the most important role in your kids lives.  Your blessing, will be the fuel to carry them through life.  The lack of blessing, will be their burden.

May I offer you a few words of encouragement that  I have learned as I fathered my 3 kids these past 2 decades?

  • Be an example you want them to follow.  They will be like you. Your behavior matters, don’t think it doesn’t. More is caught than taught.
  • Talk with honor to your wife and they will treat their mom right, and their future wives.
  • Get control of your temper and your tongue.  It can wound deeply.
  • Make God a priority, and they will also. Skip God, and they will too.
  • Compliment them about everything. Constantly build them up. The world, friends at school, and the media will be tearing them down all the time. Your words will combat the demeaning messages they hear all the time.
  • Encourage them to try new things, never quit, and to never give up.
  • Pray to Jesus for more patience than you have ever had in your life.
  • Live with integrity.  Grow in the Lord so your character is seen.
  • When you are home, be home, not on your phone, etc.
  • Make family time and family vacations a priority.  The memories will never leave them, and they will do this healthy thing with their families.
  • Try and have meals with the whole family as much as you are able.
  • Talk to them. Ask questions. Don’t let them live in their rooms.
  • Be quick to admit mistakes, and ask forgiveness from them when necessary.  Let them know you blew it.  They love you and are quick to forgive.
  • Show your love to them, and always daily tell them you love them. It makes a difference. Make sure they never wonder if their daddy loves them.
  • Never run them down, call them names, tell them they are fat, stupid, worthless, lazy, etc.  It’s like sucking the life from a child, and can be worse than physical abuse. They will suffer and hear your voice saying this crap for years. Don’t do it.
  • If your dad did things that hurt you, don’t repeat that curse. Jesus breaks curses.
  • Make time.  Delay your hobbies at times, and desires, and pour into your kids. Don’t leave selfish with your time. Sacrifice financially for them.
  • Support their interests, be there as much as you can, for them.
  • Love their mom, and show them how to love and treat a lady. Yes, show them “in front of the kids” that you love their mom.
  • Don’t give them everything they want. Make them do chores.
  • Teach them to give to the Lord’s work and to missions.
  • Pray with them, even if it’s not profound, seems short, or awkward. Do it anyway.
  • Encourage them to read the Bible, go to church together. . Let them see you worship, pray, and seek God.
  • Listen, listen, and then just listen.

Being a dad is great!  A great challenge. A great reward. Greatly confusing at times. I have learned great dependence on the Lord, and great humility being a father.  It is the greatest blessing God has given me. I am not perfect.  Don’t give up dad.  Keep at it. Happy Father’s Day. Here’s a good video, that speaks a lot of truth.

Thy Kingdom Come…really?


The Lord’s prayer that Christ taught the disciples has this line for us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6.9-13).

I have heard teaching on the mostly as a proof text that God wants to heal everyone for there is no sickness in Heaven. So on this earth we should all be healed and in perfect health  ( I do not believe the Scriptures teach healing this way, but I do believe in divine healing).   I believe the intention of what our Lord was teaching is a little deeper.  Remember, usually our theology slants toward our comfort.  The Kingdom of God is more than physical healing so we can just avoid suffering in this life. It is about Jesus Christ.  His Kingdom wants to reign in us.  In you.  But there is a problem.  For that to happen, you must allow your “kingdom” to be dissolved. To live in His kingdom we must not have our own kingdom.  We must get off the throne of our life and kingdom and let Christ and his will reign, and we must live in His Kingdom.

He wants to be here in our lives, on this earth, in us.  He has to violate our kingdoms for His Kingdom to come in us.  Simply His Kingdom is His will.  What Jesus has say over. Our Kingdom is our will, it’s what we have say over.  So how much of our lives are living in Him, His will, His desires, His Words, His ways, and His goals?  Do we look to what he says, before we decide and have say over?

  • Is your time His Kingdom or your domain?
  • Is your money under your authority? Or in His Kingdom?
  • How selfish or selfless do you live for Christ.

The benefits to living in the Kingdom are awesome!  His will gets done in your life, not yours.  Our will is always janked up with selfishness, but his will is glorious. Your time and efforts will produce heavenly fruit, not earthly results which are always so disappointing.  A great marriage is a Kingdom of Jesus marriage.  Greatness is in the Kingdom. Perceived greatness, is our kingdom, and in reality, it’s self worship.\Pray the Lord’s prayer differently maybe.  With divine intentions, that may have more to do with discomfort, than your comfort on this earth. In Him, regardless, is the greatest comfort and joy.

Thy Kingdom come (in me and overtake my Kingdom)  Thy will be done (I relinquish my say and want yours)  on earth (in my heart, my mind, my words, my life, my marriage, my time, my money, my talents) as it is in Heaven (in your amazing presence!)

The Sickness of Self


We live in a world where self is god, and our feelings are first.  At times, it seems everyone is consumed with self. Their health, appearance, clothes, hair, and so on.  People mostly resist correction, spiritual direction, and no one likes it when it is pointed out that they are wrong.  Crossing someone’s will can bring deep conflict.  We are honestly a people that appears to be consumed with self. It is accepted and it is normal.

Lately it seems the Lord is reminding me of a verse I learned in College at North Central.   “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and raised himself for me.”  Galatians 2.20

Here is the problem and sickness I deal with. It is the sickness of self.  It is the opposite of dying for Christ and letting your flesh stay in the grave, and being risen in newness of Jesus.  Denying self is not necessary in our society because everyone seems to be so narcissistic, being intoxicated with self is the norm. But it is very, very necessary to truly know God, and to have Christ seen through you. The Lord is showing me deeply, and painfully, this basic truth and the reality of the power there is in denying self, along with the joy that this alligns me with my creator, which brings me close to the Lord.

How do you know if you have this sickness? I offer these pointed symptoms.

  1. You are currently breathing.
  2. You talk about how you feel a lot like Aches, pains, tiredness, hunger, etc.
  3. Comfort is king and we find ourselves thinking of ways and purchases that make us more comfortable.
  4. You are distracted by your appearance.
  5. You insist on your way.
  6. You must always be correct.
  7. Your opinion must be known to all.
  8. You avoid the uncomfortable things in being a follower of Christ. Things that push against self.
  9. You must control your kids, your marriage, your finances, and anything else you actually believe you are in control of.
  10. Worry about what people think of you. This consumes a lot of your thoughts.
  11. You put yourself ahead of your family, and your time is yours and you deserve _____________.
  12. You struggle with giving things away and giving money to the Lord and to missionaries.
  13. You covet your stuff, and you want more, updated, and bigger.

I think  you get the idea. When these kinds of thoughts and behaviors rule us there are effects in the Kingdom of God, and to our character, attitude, personality, and of course relationships.

  1. We can’t submit to the Word of God (self is first).
  2. We are unable to see other needs, as our needs are at the front of the line.
  3. No one dare disagree with us, our opinion and will must be first.
  4. The voice of God, becomes distant…then gone, we hear our voice in our head, putting us first.
  5. We actually cannot truly see Christ unless we die to self.
  6. We have a lot of conflict with spouse, friends, and family.  We get offended and hurt a lot it seems.
  7. We become shackled with self, and miss the freedom of only glorifying Christ, not us.
  8. The “Lord” is always moving us to different churches, or we just don’t even go anymore.
  9. Many don’t become saved and born again, they can’t break away from the god of self, and let Jesus be Lord.

How do I know these things? I am like everyone else. I wrestle and struggle with self.  I find myself, needing to be heard, needing to be right, needing to be selfish, BUT I really need to “die” to self, and let the life of Christ shine through me, and so do you.  This morning I again knelt before the Lord and crucified my flesh and repented of my selfishness and thoughts of me, and not of Him.  I love the freedom that living for Christ and dying to self brings to my heart and spirit.  Take some time with Jesus and ask him if you have this sickness, and let him heal you.

Luke 9.23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Six Signs Your Heart is Drifting From Jesus


This weekend I am going to be talking about the heart of a disciple.  The heart is our center.  So naturally, when the heart becomes deceived by incorrect thoughts, wrong priorities or spiritual neglect we then begin to drift from the Lord. When we drift from the Lord we drift from His ways. When we drift from His ways we drift toward our ways. Our way is selfish, self-centered, and not Christ-centered.  In my experience and knowledge of the Word I offer these five signs that manifest when a believer’s heart begins to move away and drift.

  1. Behavior and Beliefs no longer match up. What you know is right and true begins leaving your life.  What you lived with passion and grace was once fed by your convictions and commitments. Now things are changing. Your behavior is being compromised and sadly most people will align their beliefs to their behavior sooner or later, and simply stop believing.
  2. Time alone with Jesus rarely happens anymore. There is time for TV, IPAD, phone, friends, Facebook  and constant looking at social media, but your private time to be in the presence of Jesus in prayer and the Word has, or is, disappearing from your daily routine. Your desire for that connection with Christ is being lost in the desire for other things of this world. The world’s ways is gripping stronger on your heart.
  3. Being part of the faith community (church) is stopping. There is always a reason why skipping church, not being in a community small group, or serving is now more normal. Always a reason to appease a conscience, but in your heart you know you are jeopardizing a lot. Your kids are learning the habits of their parents. The body of Christ misses out on what you have to offer and the opportunity for worship, encouragement and the voice of the Lord in your life is lost.
  4. Desire to see other’s saved has vanished. There is no thought of the commission to make disciples. Talking about your faith with unbelievers or inviting them to church is the farthest thing from your priority list.  Gone is giving to missions, volunteering for missional events, and crying in God’s presence as you pray for unsaved family and friends. The heart has been deceived that their salvation is not a priority. Your own life and thoughts of you, your needs, wants, hurts, desires,  has gobbled up your heart.  You are into “you”, and others and their eternity has become or is becoming irrelevant.
  5. More connected with your time, money, and interests to the things of this world, than the things of the Kingdom of Christ. My brother Steve once told me; “let me look at your checkbook and your calendar. I will tell you what you really believe.” I have never forgotten that. It’s true.  Talk is cheap, and actions and priorities are manifested.
  6. Your kid’s sports, and schedules, are more important than their faith. The five things above, affect your children’s faith. Parents, not to be fears-ish but we are accountable to the Lord for how we raise our children. I know when they are adults they make up their own minds, and choose their ways, but until then, it’s our ways that affect them.  More is caught than taught. We must lead by example and by heart.  They will follow us, but we must lead them and be a godly example with Jesus and His word a priority of our life.  Disciple your children. Don’t let the world do it.

What to do if you know this message applies to you?

Repent, which means to change direction.  Adjust and calibrate your life to Jesus.  Pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness and recommit your ways to Him.  Open the Bible and read once again.  Raise your hands to heaven and thank Jesus for His grace and patience.  Bask in His love for you and the knowledge that He wants the best for your life, your marriage, and your children. Pray for your family, pray for those that are not saved yet.  Get back to your church and don’t let the enemy give you anymore weak excuses.  Manage your life daily and don’t let the things of this world dilute your fresh commitment to Jesus.  Then, never look back.  Serve Jesus with all your heart.  With prayer and the heart of God.

– Nate

Calling Men to Fight


Sometimes we might get the idea through the church-culture world or the imbalanced view of Jesus that he is just a loving dude. We might view our savior as passive, detached and unengaged.  Sometimes we can also feel this way about our faith. That it should all just fall into our lap. All the victory, the faith and blessings just, “plop” into our laps and we have little to do with them. We don’t have to put any effort in at all.  I am here to tell you:  the things of God, the presence of Jesus, the power of the Spirit, it takes a little fight.

Men of God it is not time to be passive about our faith or unengaged about the devil. It is not time to be detached to pursuing the power of God.  Many men walk in a mediocre relationship with God. They don’t decide to fight. They don’t decide to engage and pursue their God. Their decisions do not result in a closer and deeper walk of victory and godly masculinity. We need men of God. These men are gentle enough to worship on their knees. They pray through tears in their eyes and act humble and gentle even when it does not go with the culture we are living in. Yet these God-chasing men are not afraid to war with the Enemy. They face their flesh and the pressure of the world around them. They understand that being a sissy for God is not a dent in their manly exterior, but seeds they are sewing into their eternal reward. 

                Let’s be like David; full of faith and courageous enough to face Goliath. Trusting in God and bringing the giant down, then to cut off his head so he would never have a chance to breath again. We need humble warriors.

                Let’s be like Paul; boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus before Felix and Caesar without worry of his reputation. Never caring what these other men thought of him or his life. We need fearless proclaimers.

                Let’s be like Peter; who failed Christ and then denied him, but instead of living in his failure took the second chance of God. He boldly proclaimed Jesus, being filled with the Spirit, resulting in thousands of new followers. We need forgiven sinners.

                Let’s be like Thomas, who was not afraid to go and die with Christ. We need faithful givers.

                Let’s be like Stephen, who told the authorities the truth, and died because of it. Jesus stood in honor in the heavens to Stephen. We need fearless martyrs.

                Don’t be like Demas, who did not have the guts to stay strong. He loved the things of the world more than his faith, and walked away. Men, let’s walk to Christ, not away.  Our family will follow us to him, if we lead.  Don’t be a chicken about it.  Man up and lead for God.  Like a gutless, wimp, he walked away.  Don’t be like him. 

                 Feed your Spirit men. Read the Bible and pray.  Pray with your family. Get them to worship.  Master your flesh through the Spirit and make a great difference in this world.  Let’s engage in the things of God, and let’s not be passive about the Devil who wants to Kill, steal, and destroy. Let’s defeat Him in our lives, our families, and our church. Walk in Jesus’ power and His victory.  I encourage us to fight.

                 Fight against being spiritually passive.

                Fight against contentment with mediocrity.

                Fight the enemy that is always lurking in our midst.

                Fight against your flesh that is prone to wander.

                Fight the urge to live without self-control.

                Fight spiritual laziness that results into spiritual weakness.

  If you think Jesus called men to be passive little wimpy disciples then read this verse from Matthew 11:12:

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”  (NASB)

Men Let’s take it by force, let’s fight!

11 Things I Learned at My Daughter’s Wedding


Thankful for our family!

Thankful for our family!

On October 3, 2014 my daughter married an amazing guy, Justin Isacson.   It was one of the most amazing days of my life.  The feelings I had, some unexperienced before, were amazing.  Here are a few things I learned.

1. I learned that I had not experienced all the depths of God’s love.  When I went down the hill to get Abigail and walk her down the aisle and the sun came out, after raining most all day,  I believe it was the closest to God I had ever felt. I can’t explain the rush of emotions at that moment.

2. I learned that my love for my family is much deeper than I comprehended.  We worked for weeks, months, on the wedding together. That day, was a proud day for me as a dad.  Pride in a great way and a godly way.

3. I learned my wife Wendy can coordinate an amazing wedding. Her talents, gifts, love, and patience were awesome. Her love for Abby came out in every detail. She is such a gift to me and I love her so much. The wedding was sure great and her work, and Abby’s made it happen. They are awesome.

4. I experienced life accomplishment.  I can’t explain it, but, to know my daughter and new son, love the Lord, and are making great choices.  It’s hard to explain, but it was euphoric to experience these feelings.

5. I learned our  greatest efforts in our life toward our children have the greatest payoff and is a parents greatest responsibility and calling.  Parenting our kids is a mission, not a hobby.  It’s all worth it.  Loving Christ and having a godly home, teaching your kids the ways of Christ, is so worth it.

6. I learned that family is so important and my love for them is so deep. Thankful to all Randy and Carol, Eric and Rachel did for us, and how we all worked, talked, and coordinated everything. They expressed their love for us in all their help.

7. I learned joy is so real, and we need to experience it more.  The reception was full of joy, eating, laughing, smiles, love, relationships, and rejoicing with dancing. You don’t need booze at a wedding reception. We experienced pure joy, happiness, and goodness. It was so holy, and the joy was sacred.

8.I learned living for God is worth it because our kids benefit the most.  I learned that Randy and Carol’s faith, passed down a legacy that my kids have benefited from, as I have, because of their love for God as they raised their children. Their lives emulate Christ and shines on their grandchildren.  Walking with Jesus is worth it, living for the world, and self, wrecks families and futures.  Live for God, and your children, grandchildren, and beyond will reap the blessing. Thank you Randy and Carol! Your fingerprints and legacy are on our lives, and the lives of all your grandchildren!

9. I re-learned how precious my kids are to us.  Abby blessed me beyond words. My boys continue to exceed my greatest expectations.  Praying for their future mates is worth it. God answered our prayers and will continue to I am confident. I love Justin so much and I am so excited that he is in our family.  He is a great guy, and God’s hand is on his life.

10. I learned that Gabe can sing. He did awesome. And Levi can dance and do the splits.  Watching them throughout the event blessed me and moved me.  We are a close family and will continue to be. Their love for their sister again, blessed me deeply.  It’s part of that feeling of life’s accomplishment feelings.  They are close and get along so well.

11. I learned I am blessed by friendships. What great friends we have. The feelings of seeing so many friends and I know we could not invite everyone, and some could not make it, but relationships and friendship go deep. Some of our friends worked so hard to help us. What a blessing.  I was blessed to know how much we are loved.  It was humbling and I know it’s because of Christ. Thank you all.

Abby called her wedding “The Best Day Ever”.  And it was!!  I learned so much and loved every minute of it!

My daughter Abigail and I.Levi, Abigail, and LeviMy beautiful Girls filled with joy!

Have a great marriage, improve your marriage, prevent divorce and marital unhappiness.


Marriage takes continual love and growing in Christ.  Marriage also takes an understanding of your spouse and a life committed to growing and learning.  Here are some of the best marriage books out there. I refer these the most to a lot of couples.  Too many marriages are not happy, and many talk too much about divorce.  The devil hates marriage because it is God’s idea!  Don’t settle for a lame marriage.  Guys if your marriage is broken?  Fix it!  It starts with you.  Lead the way and your wife will love you more than you believe is possible.   These books are available as e books also and we have a few of them at the church in the book corner.  People get a chance to read in the summer, so why not read a book and improve your marriage. Here are some great marriage reads.   Comment and share some other marriage books too please!

Guys, a must read.

do you fill your spouse’s needs?

For Couples working through an affair.

This book will change your marriage if you let Christ change you.

Lades, a must read.

Great, fast easy, and life changing read.