Friday, November 4, 2011


Hobbies are something that, not so long ago, few people really had time or money for.  Today, for many people it is what defines them.  It`s their reason for working and becomes a large focus in their lives.  Many of us live in a day of relatively great wealth, in the Western world that is, and pursuing things we enjoy doing can be done with quite a bit of disposable income.  For some it`s not disposable and jeopardizes other important things in our lives.  What can also be sacrificed though is time. Time with our family, time with those who need help, and time with the One who gave us the very number of days, already determined before time began.  He already knows the date of our last breath, yet we often spend it with the attitude that it`s all ours, and as if it never will end, with a large focus on our own wishes and wants.

I started this blog as a way to share with a few interested people, a hobby and interest of mine, which when I have the time, I enjoy pursuing. Obviously lately I haven`t done much of it as there hasn`t been a new post in a while. Part of it is due to a very busy fall season of work, church responsibilities, and fading light in the evening hours, etc. There is also one other reason which has somewhat affected the sparser posts... I share this because it has to do with this hobby in some ways....

I recently saw the movie Courageous...

This movie was made by a very small, independent film company called Sherwood Pictures.  The makers of the movie lay down quite a clear challenge to fathers, putting clearly into question
our priorities and goals in raising our kids.  Not that I'd consider that I've gone into excess with my fun with photography, but the movie   certainly caused me to stop and think - do I put as much effort into raising my boys as I do other interests so that looking back, it will be clear that I made a concerted effort to instill in them the things I believe to be important?  My children are not my own, but both a gift and responsibility from God - to raise so they  know who they are and teach them the most important truths of life (and death).  That includes teaching the the truths of God`s Word which explain the purpose of life, how and why He made us, our broken relationship with Him because of the way we fail to live the way He made us to be, and then to top it off, the amazing story of His love and grace, completing the way to make our relationship well with God again by trusting in Jesus Christ who died to pay the debt instead of me.

I realized, that aside from the semi-regular wrestle on the floor after supper, I don`t do a lot of purposeful things with my three boys.  (My daughter, the youngest, is almost 2 and doesn`t join in on the wrestling :) ).  While they`re still young, I realize I need to lay the ground work for the later years when more specific, life changing moments will arise when I hope they`ll still be willing to listen, and that by then I`ll have become wiser and more patient.  And even though going out for a Saturday morning to get some great shots of wildlife might be enjoyable, and not all together wrong, I want to be making sure that I keep a balance in life, taking the time to let them see what serving others looks like, getting mundane chores around the house done, and then taking time to talk about ordinary life things to help them learn a healthy focus in life on what is important above all – our standing before our maker the day we die and stand before him.

See, I think many of us likely aren’t terrible dads. Problem is, I know for myself, it’s hard though to be working on being a great dad who is putting the effort into purposely taking steps to train our children, feed their ever inquiring minds with good challenges and uplifting lessons in life, and showing them how important the things we believe are to us by how we actually live. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll likely somewhat identify with the main character who just lives with his son, but not actively trying to be involved. Too often I think we look down, at the dead beat dads who aren't their or really are obviously doing poorly to be able to feel good about the little we do. That`s no the way to measure ourselves. The standard and calling is much higher.

Some have criticized the movie for putting out a challenge to make a commitment of better fatherhood without the reliance on God`s grace to complete it. Although I think there the movie could have provided a little bit clearer picture of the fact that failure will still be a reality as sinful fathers and more obviously point to the reality that abundant grace is provided if we`re saved sinners, I think it still presented a clear picture of the gospel for all, parents and children alike.

I`m not much of a resolution type person. Likely because I`m not always the most disciplined and don`t always set out goals for myself very ambitiously.  However, I've realized there are a few things I would like to work on:
1. I have resolved to try and be more purposeful in the things I do with my kids, both in trying to actually do things with them that takes some planning and is of some lasting value, and simply do more every day things with them.
2. I`ve slacked off on a devotions "program" I started with the older boys a little while ago. It was maybe a bit ambitious at the time, but I should try to get back to something of a regular time with them to read and pray.
3. Make sure that my hobby is second to my calling as a father (and husband of course). That might mean fewer photography outings. In later years that might mean some shared interests with the kids. 

I have to confess that an outing or two with them has been to go for a walk and had a benefit of bringing along a camera.  That resulted in impatient kids wanting to keep moving down the trail rather than wait for dad (for a couple more minutes!) trying to get that slightly better picture.

So for now, I have no new pictures to share.  Hopefully I will get to enjoy some time in the near future, as time allows, to enjoy the amazing creatures He has given us to enjoy, reminding us of His wonderful love for us.  Everything in balance right?

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