Our guest speaker was Lt. Colonel Kent Walker. He is the Head Chaplain at Brooks Army Military Center. He gave an inspiring word for fathers about how God knows and sees how you make a difference in the lives of your family members. This is a hugely important role, yet there are no “manuals,” even though how a man fulfills his role as a father impacts the entire household and generations to come.
Colonel Walker closed today with General Douglas MacArthur’s prayer for his only son. This is, of course, applicable to a son or daughter and is appropriate and powerful as we dive into how we have influence over others in our lives and what we are doing with that influence:
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee—and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.
INVITATION: Join us this week as we consider a different angle and reflect on leaving a legacy. This can apply to parenting, but also to any capacity in which you influence another person’s life and journey with God.
MONDAY: Psalm 127:3-4: Children are a heritage from God. This verse uses the metaphor of an archer, and states that children are “arrows in the hands of a warrior.” Stop and think about the young lives you have influence over. It can be children, or it can be co-workers, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc. Now think about how they are “arrows” that will be propelled into the world at some point (if they aren’t already). How does that make you feel? As you take that to prayer, do you sense any invitations from God regarding these young lives and your role in them?
TUESDAY: John 9:25 & I Peter 3:15: Colonel Walker talked about the power and importance of telling your “God story” to others. You need no seminary degrees, don’t require training in biblical doctrine and need not have theology memorized - -you just need to be ready to tell others what God has done in writing your story. Have you ever considered doing a spiritual autobiography, noticing and acknowledging with gratefulness the hand of God in and around your life journey? Perhaps you might consider doing a personal retreat for just that type of spiritual exercises? How were you once “blind” but now can see?
WEDNESDAY: James 1:14: As you consider this verse, are you being “dragged away” or distracted from what God has for you in your life? Even “good” things can keep you from God’s perfect things. Are you willing to ask God about what might be drawing you away from Him and what He is calling you to do and be? We were created for God’s glory. Are you seeking to glorify God or yourself?
THURSDAY: Proverbs 22:6: Colonel Walker spoke about the need to create desire in children to seek God and the things of God. You must win their heart and be trustworthy. There are historical references to a horse and bridle. There must be gentle guidance, consistent training, molding and making. Will you pray about if you are “bridle worthy” in regard to the younger lives within your circle of influence - particularly your own children? Are you open to God changing you, molding you and training you so that you can then pass it on to others? Charles Spurgeon says, “train up a child in the way he should go - but be sure you go that way yourself.”
FRIDAY: Jeremiah 6:16: Colonel Walker compared rules to math. Neither makes sense when you are first exposed to them, but if you don’t do the math right when you start a business, you might not ever make money and will fail. Don’t forget God’s rules. They are here for our own benefit and well being. Are there any “ancient paths” you could be ignoring in your life?
SATURDAY: Malachi 4:6: Do you pray about the heart of your children and/or the younger people within your circle of influence?