Blog

On A Dime

Games

Our family loves playing games!  Hide and Seek… Tag… Kickball.  And we really love board games.  Recently, the boys have really been enjoying Monopoly, Jr.

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Not Good

It’s embarrassing when your five year-old and eight year-old trounce you at a game of Monopoly.  But they have beat me so many times.  Rarely do I pull off an upset.  And I’m really trying to win!

Turnaround

But I’ve begun to notice something recently in that game which really got me excited about life.  I discovered that one of us can be way ahead… with all the momentum going in that person’s direction.  They appear to be the odds-on favorite to win the whole game.

And then, all of a sudden, things shift.  We start landing on someone else’s properties.  They draw the right cards which give them cash and more properties.  And soon, things have turned in a completely different direction.  Suddenly, the one who was ahead is behind, and someone else ends up winning a massive victory.

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On A Dime

The same is true in our lives… Things can seem to be going downhill.  We can be encountering difficulties and challenges that make it look like others are winning and we might lose.  But God is control, and He can turn things “on a dime.”

Suddenly, the situation begins to turn in our favor.  Suddenly, favor abounds.  Suddenly, miracles happen.  Suddenly, the check comes in the mail.  Suddenly, a relationship is restored.

Scripture points out this truth in Luke 1:37 when the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

There is no situation so bleak, so hopeless, so impossible that God cannot turn it around in your favor at a moment’s notice.  He who calmed the storm instantly, and healed the sick instantly, and raised the dead instantly, and fed the multitudes instantly can absolutely turn your situation around today on a dime!

Don’t Give Up Now

So don’t give up now!  It’s not too late.  Hold onto hope.  Let your faith rise up.  Give God the opportunity.  You could be the big winner!

Let’s have a great weekend.  And why don’t you share this particular post with someone who looks like they are about to lose?  You’ll be glad you did… and so will they!

Thankful Thursday

It’s “Thankful Thursday” again & today I am thankful for… my family.  I am a man most blessed to have the family I have.

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PR31

“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)  That’s my life… God has shown me great favor by placing the treasure of Angela in my life as my wife.

She is the epitome of… no, the incarnate representation of… the Proverbs 31 woman.  She does all she can to support me & make my life easier.  She makes me laugh when she pretends to cry.  She is my best friend and confidant.  She is my loudest & proudest cheerleader.  She loves God for reals. (No, I didn’t mis-spell it.)  She has an incredible sense of justice.  She is talented, craftsy, loving, generous and an amazing cook!  Did I mention that she is also smokin’ HOT?!

So I’m thankful for a partner in faith & love with whom to do life together.

Da Boys

We weren’t able to have kids biologically for the first 12 years of our marriage.  We had decided that adoption was our best option, and even that wasn’t working out.  So you can imagine our excitement when out of nowhere the Lord miraculously helps us become pregnant with Alex.

We were thrilled!  And since we wanted more than one child, we stayed in the adoption process… which still didn’t work out.  And then two and a half years later, along came Austin.  Our delight at least doubled!

I’m obviously biased, but those boys are intelligent, funny, good looking, strong, talented, and basically amazing in every way.  (Told you I am biased. ha!)  And I can’t imagine life without them.  They keep us on our toes… and on our knees.

The Rents (aka The Units)

I feel so blessed that Angela and I each still have both our parents alive.  Both sets of parents have been in ministry for nearly 50 years and are people of impeccable character, honor and integrity.  They raised us to love and serve.  They have been so generous to us.

The legacy handed to us from our parents is almost unbelievable.  There are times I actually almost feel embarrassed for having such a leg up in life and ministry because of the homes in which Angela & I were raised.  We are reaping the benefits of godly parents and even godly grandparents on both sides.

Sibling Rivalry

I would put my sisters up against anyone else’s siblings.  They love fiercely, argue passionately, pray sincerely & give freely.  Sure they drive me nuts sometimes.  (Don’t all siblings?)  But I also wouldn’t trade them.

Growing up with sisters, I always wanted a brother. And while God did not see fit to give me a biological or adopted brother on the Chapin side of the fam, He did decide to give me three brother-in-laws… one married to one of my sisters and two from the Cumpton side.  Those guys are gold!  All three make me laugh like crazy.  One has my back whenever I’m being treated wrong, one keeps me up to date on tech-stuff, and one influenced the man of God I am today.

Lagniappe

In Louisiana, the Cajun French word for “a little something extra” is “lagniappe.”  And I don’t have time or space to list all the nieces, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, et al who make up my family.  But I can tell you this, I am a man most blessed when it comes to family.

Some we only keep up with on social media.  Some we only see from time-to-time.  But all are blessings from God.

And so this Thursday, I am thankful for all the family with whom God has blessed me.

What about you?  Do you have any family for which to be thankful?  Why not take to your social media accounts and give them some verbal applause?  Then challenge others to do the same.  Maybe, just maybe, we could generate a movement of letting those we love know that we love them and are thankful for them.

And before you go to bed tonight, how about taking a few moments to thank the Lord for the blessing of our families?

Return On Investment

Friends Are Friends Forever

Tonight I had the opportunity to spend time with some really great friends. One I’ve been friends with for nearly 18 years. The other I’ve been friends with for more than 7 years. And I have spent SIGNIFICANT time in multiple situations with each of them.

The Kind of Friends You Keep

These are the kind of friends that no matter how much distance separates you… no matter how rarely you get to be together… you just instantly pick up right where you left off.

These are the kind of friends who get your sense of humor, but would laugh anyway even if they didn’t.  These are the kind of friends who would help you move. These are the kind of friends you love reliving old memories with as you make new memories.


ROI

Somehow, tonight felt like a return on the investment of time and love over the years. Tonight, I harvested the benefit of friendship planted over those years. 

And you know what? I don’t regret a moment or a dollar of that investment. I can’t recall feeling put out or burdened by making that investment. All I have are good memories made & renewed tonight. Tonight was compounded yield on investment made.

Invest

Do you have those kind of friends in your life? If so, you have much to be thankful for. If not, I encourage you to find someone and begin making that kind of long-term investment of time and love. Trust me, years from now that love will come back to you & you’ll be glad you did.

Plans

Plans

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One of my favorite lines from a movie is one of the most ridiculous lines ever.  It comes from the animated movie Turbo about a snail who wants to be a racer.  An elderly woman who gets on board with the taco vendor who wants to help the nitro-infused snail race says to him, “You got a plan, Taco Man?”

And it instantly reminds me of George Peppard’s character, Hannibal Smith, on the A-Team, who would always say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Parental Plans

Good parents plan for their kids to do good things.  They see a future in which their kids speak kindly, work hard, give generously, and so much more.  They believe in their kids.  They support their kids.  They set their kids up to do good in this world.  They have a plan of what they hope their kids turn out to be.  Maybe not their profession, but their character and their general lifestyle.

And God is the best Parent ever.  God wants you to do good things.  He even expects you to do good things.  And He loves it when a plan comes together.

How do I know?  Because Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God made you a masterpiece so that you can do the good things He planned for you long ago. How long ago?

A Long Time Ago…

A LONG time ago!  Like before you were born…  Like before the world was created…  Like before time was even kickstarted.  Psalm 139:16 tells us, “Every day of [your] life was recorded in [His] book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

These are two of my favorite verses in all of Scripture.  I suppose it’s because they let me know there is a plan that is bigger than what I can come up with, and also because it means that God has created me to succeed at whatever He has planned.  And if I will simply go along with that plan, then I can be assured of success.

But God doesn’t force His plans on us.  He encourages them.  He sets us up to succeed at them.  He has a plan.  It’s a plan that He knows can bring us the greatest fulfillment and make the greatest impact on this world.

– When Noah went along with God’s plan, his family and animals of every kind were rescued.

– When Moses went along with God’s plan, an entire nation was freed from slavery.

– When Gideon went along with God’s plan, an enemy army was defeated & God’s people were protected miraculously.

  • When David went along with God’s plan, Goliath was permanently hushed.
  • When Jeremiah went along with God’s plan, a nation was warned.
  • When Jonah went along with God’s plan, a city was spared from destruction.
  • When Jesus went along with God’s plan, a world of sinners was offered forgiveness.
  • When Paul went along with God’s plan, the Good News spread across the known world.

What Would Happen…?

What would happen tomorrow in the world around you and me if today we determined in our hearts that we would seek to know God so intimately that we could learn His heart and hear His will?

What would happen tomorrow if today we believed that we are each a Divinely-designed masterpiece created for an eternal purpose?

What would happen tomorrow if today we got on-board with God’s plan for us to do the good things He set us up for before time began?

Perhaps human trafficking would be ended.  Perhaps orphans would be adopted into forever families.  Perhaps college scholarships would be funded through new foundations. Perhaps the hungry would be fed.  Perhaps a cure for a disease would be discovered.

What would happen tomorrow…?

Like No Other

Think Like No Other

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”


Too often, we are too critical of ourselves for not matching up or keeping up. But the truth of the matter is that God never intended for us to compete to copy others. He designed each of us as one of a kind, really limited edition, unique creations who could bring joy to Him and joy to this world in a way that only we can.

Worship Like No Other

Mark Batterson writes in his book, Chase The Lion, “There never has been and never will be anyone like you. Of course, that isn’t a testimony to you. It’s a testimony to the God who created you. And it means that no one can worship God like you or for you.”

Live Like No Other

So, forget about keeping up with the Joneses, or dressing to impress, or measuring up with some unwritten, unstated standard of compliance this world might try to enforce upon you. Be you! You are spectacular, phenomenal, outstanding, amazing and better at being you than anyone else ever could be. And the God who created you will smile and applaud as your life becomes worship to Him!

You Have No Clue

Things Did Not Go As Planned

Recently, one of our boys was having a bad night. Well, at least he felt like it was a bad night. Things weren’t going the way he wanted them to, and it was really frustrating him. 

We pushed through “bummerville”, tucked the boys in bed, read the Bible, kissed them goodnight and prayed. And he went to bed thinking that life wasn’t going all that great. He even mentioned that the next day was probably not going to be so great either.

Plans


What he didn’t know was that we had already made fun plans for the next day that he was going to really enjoy. We had set activities up to do together as a family that were going to make his day great.
But he had no clue. He was so focused on how bad things looked at the moment that he wasnt thinking about the potential for a better tomorrow. He didn’t know that loving parents were making plans specifically to make his life great.
Not So Different

We’re not so different from sometimes. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us deeply, who has made plans for us… plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). 

All we see is our current situation and how bleak life looks to us at the moment. We can hardly imagine a brighter, better tomorrow. We don’t envision a scenario in which our life goes from what seems difficult to what will be delightful.
Heavenly Setup

Little do we know, our Father has set up activities specifically designed for our joy and pleasure. If we would just stop and ask Him, He might not give us all the details, but He might just tell us to cheer up because we are going to love what He has in store for us tomorrow.
Why not stop right here, right now and ask Him about tomorrow? It might take the edge off whatever has you discouraged today. Try it.
Father, I know You love us and have good things in store for us.  Please help me to remember that even in the most discouraging times You have planned better days ahead for me. I trust You and look forward to what You have waiting. Amen!

There. That’s better. 

Now, when your discouragement from today is swallowed up by the delight of tomorrow, I would love to hear your story!

Thankful Thursdays

There is so much to be thankful for in life that I am committing Thursdays on this blog to expressing my heartfelt thanks to the Lord and to others for the many various blessings I enjoy.

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God is great — God is good — Let us thank Him for our food.  Amen!

Childhood Sarcasm

As children growing up, many of us who did not want to finish a meal… or who did not necessarily appreciate the menu on the plate set in front of us… would be told by our well-meaning parents that there were starving children around the world who would be thrilled to have the food setting in front of us at that moment.  Sadly, some of us who have the made-up spiritual gift of sarcasm and lacked the actual gift of the Spirit known as self-control, would retort, “Well then, let’s box it up and send it to them!”

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Teenage Scavenger

I suppose that my appreciation for food changed as a growing teenage boy who inhaled nearly everything set in front of me.  I didn’t just like food… I LOVED IT!  I can remember eating till I was nearly sick.  And till age 27, I could eat almost anything I wanted without any adverse side effects.

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Married Meals

Once married and moved away from home, there was new-found freedom in buying whatever foods we good and well pleased.  Nobody was telling me what veggies I had to eat.  They also weren’t buying that food for me  now, and so I began seeing the value of food a little more.  But even in those early years, we pretty much had plenty of food.

As the years progressed, we arrived at the place where we could buy whatever foods we wanted.  Sure, our tastes have changed.  We’ve discovered the value of whole foods. Now I have to be a little more careful about how much food I eat, as well as what kinds of foods.  But we still have plenty.

Becoming My Parents

Enter the boys.  Formula (wow, that stuff is expensive!), baby food, oatmeal.  Chicken nuggets and burgers.  Asparagus, broccoli, carrots?

And then it happens… As they sometimes struggle to want to eat what is deliciously and painstakingly prepared by their amazing Mama, I hear faint echoes of my parents voices in the back of my mind.  It’s only in those moments I begin to realize how ungrateful I was back then because I simply did not understand how wonderful it is to have good food to eat.

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Choices

And now there are mornings when I get up before daylight, go into the kitchen to brew some coffee, and I stand in front of a cabinet full of choices.  Sometimes I get frustrated if I can’t decide what I want to eat.  And then I think to myself, “How amazing is it that I have so many choices of what to eat?”

I’m reminded of the story Pastor Denny Duron told at his father Rodney’s funeral about the time he saw his dad crying in the grocery store.  When he asked his dad why he was crying, his dad replied, “Look, son, look at all this food.  The basket is full of food and we have enough money to pay for it all.”

My diet does not consist of a daily ration of rice and beans.  I am not restricted by health to not consume most items.  I have been so well provided for that I have been able to purchase the types of food I want and need to eat… from ice cream to iceberg lettuce.

Soon, any momentary frustration with too many choices turns to gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who provides so well that David writes in Psalm 37:25 that in all his life he never saw the children of the godly begging for bread.

Today, I am thankful for food to eat.

What are you thankful for?

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