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A Hard Lesson for Dad!


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This is the true story of a dad who learned a hard lesson about how important his relationship to his children was. This father was a bright, innovative young EXECUTIVE who quickly climbed the corporate ladder of SUCCESS. He, along with his wife and two boys, lived in a nice suburban neighborhood just across from a beautiful park.

His children, one Saturday morning came bursting into his BEDROOM, “Dad let’s build a FORT in the park.” The father said, “I’m sorry sons. I can’t today, I’ve got some things I have to do at the OFFICE.” Both of the boys had a very disappointing look on their faces. “Next Saturday,” the father promised, “we’ll BUILD a FORT.”

The next Saturday they burst into his BEDROOM again. This time they’re not taking any chances—they come bringing boards, nails, and hammers. “Dad! Dad, wake up! You promised that you would help us build a FORT today in the park.” The young father said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot all about it!” Seeing the DISAPPOINTMENT on their faces again he says, “I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get on the PHONE and in your hearing, I’m going to take next Saturday off. I just can’t get away today.” “Okay, Dad,” the boys said understandably. (KIDS ARE SO FORGIVING, AREN’T THEY?)

Next Saturday comes, and the father and two boys are sitting around the table eating breakfast. The boys are EXCITED, bouncing back and forth singing, “We’re going to built a FORT. Dad’s going to help us BUILD a FORT.” As they start out the DOOR, the phone rings. SILENCE! You can hear a pin drop. WHAT IS DAD GOING TO DO? Dad goes over and answers the phone. He doesn’t have to say anything to the boys. They can tell by his expression that it’s the BOSS.

“John, I need you to come in this morning. You are the only one who can close this DEAL.” He looks at his sons carrying their boards and hammers and thinks to himself, “Well, I guess it’s either a CHOICE between my JOB and my KIDS.” Reluctantly he says, “Listen boys, I’ve got to go into work. I’ve got something I need . . .”

“No, Dad! No! You promised.”

“I’ve got to go in just a little while. You start the FORT without me, and I’ll be back very soon to help you FINISH it.” The father got into his car and DROVE away.

The youngest son started across the street carrying his boards, hammer, and nails crying because his Dad BROKE his promise again. Blinded by the tears, he doesn’t see the oncoming CAR, walks out in front of it and is struck KILLING him instantly.

Three days later the young father is at the FUNERAL of his little boy. He looks out over the audience and sees his BOSS and all of his male COLLEAGUES. And he realizes the IRONY of it all; what the CHOICE he made COST him. He begins to CRY. He then stands and speaking through the TEARS he says for all to hear, “Men, if I can leave you one piece of ADVICE this morning, it will be this: BUILD THE FORT TODAY, FATHERS. PLEASE, BUILD THE FORT TODAY!”

I want to leave you with this… Our children need us, they thirst for us, they require that we be fathers. At the end of the day, can you say you did EVERYTHING you had to do to be the dad that your kids deserve and need? Can you honestly say you lived a sacrificial life that overflowed onto your children? Take a few minutes today to do something completely opposite of what is expected of you. Hug your children and tell them “Dad loves you”. Then help them BUILD THAT FORT!


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My Father Was, So I Am


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Imitate Me!

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I’ve enjoyed sharing a variety of common interests with my dad throughout my life. One of my favorite bonds has been related to music and singing. It started at a very early age. My parents tell a story of a time when dad was practicing a solo he had coming up at church, which was a common occurrence in our home. This particular instance, though, included my 2-year-old-self mimicking him throughout the house, singing “Jesus, Jesus, the sweetest name I know.” It was the beginning of me wanting to be like my dad.

For many years, I’ve referred to dad as my hero and role model. While other kids idolized sports heroes and movie stars, I chose to look closer to home for my inspiration. In dad, I found a man worth learning from and being like. As the years passed, I realized how fortunate I was to have a dad like mine because many people didn’t. It was this realization that opened my eyes to something very important: my kids are always watching me and wanting to be like me…because I wanted to be like my dad.

I am because He Was

I sang because he sang.

I played basketball because he played basketball.

I worked hard because he worked hard.

I loved God because he loved God.

One of the guys who wrote parts of the Bible, named Paul, encouraged his readers to imitate him a number of times. He lived his life in a way that taught them how to live as Christ-followers not matter that cost to himself. Why? Because he cared about them. He understood the challenges of his spiritual children would encounter, so he committed to showing them a path to follow until they were able to figure it out for themselves.

Do IT!

Like Paul, my dad lived in a manner that invited me to imitate him. He lived his life in a way that taught me how to be a man, a Cg5tNVVWkAA7ZmHfather, and a Christ-follower. His commitment to God is strong in my memory. He sang at church, taught Sunday School classes and bible studies, and encouraged others in their faith. He was generous with the blessings God has given him, often paying it forward to missionaries, family, and those in need. His love for his family was evident in how often he was involved in the things that mattered to us. Dad rarely missed one of my high school basketball games, even though I rode the bench most of the season. He heard every note of every concert. And he made himself available so I could talk about what mattered to me at the time.

No Man Is Perfect

Dad wasn’t perfect. No man is. But he modeled a way for me…a way for me to follow until I was old enough, strong enough, and mature enough to begin figuring it out for myself. And he’s always been nearby to help me when times became hard. He stood by me and encouraged me as my world fell apart during divorce. He has listened to me spew anger and pour tears. I can’t fathom the heartache he experienced as he watched me suffer, but I know one ChIg03fWwAACEQDthing is for certain. He modeled yet again a way for me to follow if the day comes for one of my own children to suffer so deeply.

I know there’s no such thing as the perfect father, and to aspire to perfection is foolish and unrealistic. But, I want to live my life in a manner that invites my kids to imitate me because that is exactly how my dad lived his life.

Kevin Bradford

To find out more about Kevin and his work at Strategic Ministry Solutions click on these links:

Kevin Bradford – TWITTER

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Co-host of the Strategic Ministry Solutions podcast


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FATHERS, GUESTS, MEN

My Father Taught Me 25 Things – Pastor Matt Bell


Dave BellMy father passed away in 2012. He was young and healthy. His death was sudden and totally unexpected. His absence left a huge hole in my life and our family.

My dad was not a perfect man. But he was great man and model of what a husband and father should look like: faithful husband of 33 years, father of 5 boys, pastor and mentor to many other men. Not a day goes without me wishing he was still here with us.

In honor of him, I want to share with you 25 things I learned from my father on how to be a husband, father and all around decent human being.

1. Follow Jesus.
If there was only one thing he could have taught his children, this would have been it.

2. Always tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Proverbs 12:19 – Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

3. Your integrity is the most valuable thing you possess.
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

4. Finish what you start.
Luke 9:62 – Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

5. Be quick to repent and confess your sin.
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

6. When you’re done with something, put it away.
My dad hated messes. And with 5 boys in the house, there were plenty of opportunities for messes to appear. He taught us to clean up (take responsibility for) our own messes.
Proverbs 18:9 – Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

7. Guard your heart.
Whenever I would fall into sin, my dad never condemned me for my actions. Instead he always asked me what was going on in my heart. Of course there was penalties for wrong behavior, but he always started by helping me examine my heart issues that lead to my actions.
Proverbs 4:2 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

8. Never be alone with a woman.
This was a non-negotiable rule in our house. Even into our twenties, my dad wouldn’t allow us to be alone with girls. To this day I hold this as a personal standard for myself.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.

9. Never hit a woman.
1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

10. Be a one woman man. Marriage is for life.
Proverbs 6:32, 33 – He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

11. Never talk back to your mom.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’

12. Don’t put people on a pedestal.

13. The Christian life is the only way to live.

14. You’re a champion.
1 John 5:4 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

15. Your words have power. Speak life not death.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

16. Put God 1st.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

verseofthedaywide317. Next to your relationship with Jesus, your family is the highest priority.
I saw my dad model this on a daily basis.
1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

18. He modeled unconditional love.

19. He modeled unconditional commitment.

20. Always included us in his life.
He would often include me and my brothers in whatever task he was doing. It was more important that we were with him, that the job getting done perfectly.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

21. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. You do what’s right.

22. Responsibility is not something to run from, but should be embraced.

23. True riches aren’t found in money and possessions.
Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

24. The world is an evil place full of wicked men.
This might not sound like the most positive outlook. But my dad taught me to be on guard against those who would try and abuse and take advantage of me. As a father and husband, it’s now my God given calling to do that for my wife and children.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

25. God is our perfect father who sent us his perfect son.
John 3:16, 17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

I know that I have been blessed beyond measure to have had Dave Bell as my father. Most of the things I learned from my dad were taken straight from God’s Word. By God’s grace, I hope to continue in the things I have been taught and impart God’s Word into the hearts of my own children.

Thanks for reading!

If you want to know more about Matt Bell, here are some links that will surely bless your socks off!

Pastor Matt Bell – FACEBOOK

Pastor Matt Bell – TWITTER

Destiny Church – TWITTER

Destiny Church – FACEBOOK

Destiny Church

Verse of the Day with Pastor Matt – Podcast

The book of ACTS

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My Father Provides


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A REAL MAN WILL HAVE A FRUITFUL WALK
Psalm 128

A song of ascents.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.

God’s plan for the man is to provide for his family. He is to be a provider for the home. This goes all the way back to Genesis 3:19. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” Now he’s saying it’s not going to be easy. And that ladies is why God gave men a tough exterior. He’s suppose to be tough because he is the primary breadwinner. God did not make the woman to be the primary breadwinner. God made you ladies, to be the nurturer.

God made the man to provide. That provision goes beyond food and clothing and housing. If you think that you can give your kids things and put your wife in a beautiful house and you’ve done your job, you’re wrong. You are to provide the emotional and spiritual security of that home. We have a generation today that has forgotten that principle.

You are not to be only a provider, you are to be a provisionary. That is to say what does my family really need? Have you ever sat down and thought out plans for your family? I have. I have them on my prayer list. I’ve thought out plans for my life and plans for each one of my children. That doesn’t mean that I can rule their homes. I can not.

But I have something that I can pray for. I have something that I can work towards. I have something that I can hope for. What is God’s plan? What is man’s fruitful work? He is to be a provider and he is to be a protector.

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