Richard Hamilton had his head screwed on right.

“Rip” as he was fondly called, was no.7 overall in the 1999 NBA draft, a 3 time All-Star, played 14 seasons and in one of those seasons winning a championship ring with the Detroit Pistons winning over a star studded LA Lakers cast led by Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neil, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.

After his jersey retirement a few days ago, watching his short speech reminded me of some of the things that matter the most. You can have an illustrious career and a fat paycheck, but the people that matter are right in your home.

Listen to a part of his speech during his jersey retirement at The Palace of Auburn Hills and you’ll know what I mean.

 

It seems like my 21 year old was just 5 years old yesterday. They say that time flies when you’re having fun. I say, time zooms by too fast.

We are pulled in many directions daily. It seems like there’s never enough time for anything.

But an understanding of what’s most valuable will determine how much time is spent where.

Five minutes? That seems short. But it is eternity for some people.

Read the story I read years ago and I hope it helps us all evaluate what is most valuable.

—–

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. “He’s a fine looking boy,” the man said. “That’s my son on the swing in the blue sweater.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son. “What do you say we go, Todd?” Todd pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nodded and Todd continued to swing to his heart’s content.
Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. “Time to go now?” Again Todd pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.” The man smiled and said, “O.K.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded. The man smiled and then said, “My older son Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I ‘d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch him play.”

—–

Kids grow up really fast… so it seems.
Action step? Drop the gadget and get some face to face conversation.

That five minute conversation may spell the difference between being a good parent from an amazing parents your kids can have.

Have a great weekend everyone!

blog-banners-001(Snippets from Carol Mkize’s message at the Every Nation World Conference 2016 Day 3)

Ukunqoba is a word that means overcomer.
You are an overcomer because God abides in you.
Intimacy with God will drive you to continue when you are no longer with other people.
You will overcome because God’s word abides in you.
Chaos is fertile ground for Christians.
Everything we learned we can now apply in the campus.
1 Samuel 17:38-40: Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
To (Spiritual) Fathers:  
What God used for you to overcome, it might be time to put it down.
The armor you used may not be the armor the next generation will use.
To the Next Generation.
Try it on first.
Don’t deny it right away.
Obedience and submission are not out of the question.
Don’t assume first that it will not work.
We have to walk with this God our fathers walked with.

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(This was a message given by Pastor Brett Fuller of Every Nation Virginia at Every Nation World Conference 2016, Day 2.)

Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? Amos 3:3

Walking together has many benefits. It may have challenges but the fruit we produce is so much better. We can do things much better than if we do them all by ourselves.img_3429

Walking together requires CONVICTION, CONSISTENCY and COMMITMENT.

1. CONVICTION

Conviction to walk together in the midst of diversity.
Acts 13 shows us picture of diversity. The leaders were Barnabas who was Jewish, Simeon who was also called Niger (word when translated is black), Menaen who was a friend of Herod, Lucius from Cyrene and Saul who was a Jew who loved Gentiles.

Walking together requires a conviction to walk with each other no matter the differences.

2. CONSISTENCY

Walking together also requires consistency.
There ought to be a rhythm.
We are with one another enough that we have lots of opportunities to offend each other. But that is not the issue. We are walking together in the rhythm of the same beat – to go and make disciples of all nations.

We walk together towards a specific direction.
Direction is necessary to get to where we need to go. Going the same direction means confining myself to a navigable route. One of the highlights being in an Every Nation Conference is being in the sessions. But equally amazing is walking through the lobby meeting with the people we can call family.

“We may not know each other – I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I like being with you because we’re going the same direction.”

3. COMMITMENT

And finally, walking together requires commitment.
We are with each other enough, we will give more than enough reason to stop walking with each other. We will say things that may offend. We will give each other dozens of opportunity to say goodbye. But we are here for the long haul. And it is a privilege to walk together for the long haul for the purposes of God.

This is miraculous.
But while it’s miraculous, it doesn’t happen by serendipitous moments.
It is because we make a commitment.
Coming to a conference like this maybe inconvenient and expensive but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re walking together for the long term purposes of God.

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Blog Banners.001When values are clear, decisions are simpler.

Now, simpler doesn’t mean easier for many decisions we need to make are difficult. But when priorities are clear cut, choices are simpler.

I read a recent article by Sports Illustrated on Jermaine O’Neal, a six-time NBA All-Star, Most Improved Player in 2002. He helped Indiana Pacers reach the NBA Playoffs 6 times but never got a championship ring.Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 8.34.42 AM

In 2013, he signed with the Golden State Warriors to play through 2014. But after a year with the Warriors, he decided to call it a career. The year after that, the Warriors went on to win their first championship after a 40-year drought.

When his former team won the championship, he was watching the game back at his house in Southlake, Texas. His 15-year-old daughter, Asjia watched her dad watch the game and asked, “Are you OK?”

O’Neal didn’t say a word.

She knew he was pondering on what might have been if he stayed another year.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 8.34.17 AMBut for years, he told his family that they were his priority. His daughter just recovered from an open heart surgery. And while contemplating on signing with the Warriors for another year (the year they won the championship), his son told him, “Hey dad, I need you.”

“Physically, I could have done it. Mentally, no. My son and my family asked me not to, and that was the trump card. That did something to me. I was seeing changes in my son, he became more angry. And for a guy who didn’t meet his dad until seven years ago myself, I understood what it meant not to have a dad there,” O’Neal mentions in his interview with Sports Illustrated.

After she asked her dad if he was ok, Asjia walks up to her room.

A few minutes later, she sends him a text telling him about how happy she was that he was home. After recovering from her open heart surgery, she made it to volleyball team in her school and is now a rising star.

Asjia tells her dad how she appreciates him not only being home but also being able to travel with her to watch her play her volleyball games.

“Dad, you being home is like you being a champion.”

This text made what he gave up all worth it.

“It made me so emotional. When she wrote the text, how much it meant to her, to get that, it cleared up everything. All the emotions I had, missing out on the championship. That did it and I knew right away that my time was over,” O’Neal said.

“Sometimes you can’t be a champion. That doesn’t determine who you are,” he says. “But you can be a champion father, and that means everything. That means everything.”

When values are clear, decisions are simpler.

To read the full article from Sports Illustrated, click here.

 


Building a tree house was one of the most challenging yet fulfilling endeavors I accomplished with my father.
He had a house in the province that had a huge backyard.  Right in the middle of the yard was a massive tree that was shouting to have a tree house on top of it.  I asked my dad if he was up to it.  He agreed and without wasting any time, we got the materials that were suitable for the project.
Now it wasn’t a sophisticated piece of work but it was work indeed.  Aside from the effort and time we poured in, we needed to have the appropriate materials to build our “mansion” in the sky.

As in any building, structure and undertaking, it is important to have the right raw materials. In building a family, there are “raw materials” we need to fashion in the lives of our children.

The Bible says in Psalm 127:1 that “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  

First and foremost, God is the Builder of any household.  We cannot hallucinate and think we are the master builders.

Furthermore, in verses 3 and 4, the psalmist says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” 

This verse compares children to arrows that we can fashion.  Arrows were made not to merely stay in the quiver.  They were made to be released.  But while they are with us, here are a few things we can build in them.

A – ttentiveness

R – elationship

R – esponsibility

O – bedience

W – isdom

In the next few weekends, I will expound on each “raw material.”

But before I talk about the arrows, I want to make one important statement:

“Arrows can only be successfully launched if the bows are reliable.”

As parents, we need the grace of God to prepare and equip us to raise the next generation of world changers.  And it starts with a relationship with the Master Builder, God.  Any progress or gain will never have a lasting impact apart from God’s involvement, intervention and influence through His Word.

The only way we can fulfill all that God has designed for us as parents is if we allow Him to fashion us and equip us by His Word.

You’ll be surprised how the principles from this antiquated book are still so relevant to 21st century parenting.

Till next weekend’s post.