Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blog Fast

FYI for those who read this blog. All (2) people. :-) LOL!! I am taking a fast from Blogging, Facebook, and Twitter till July 6th. I temporarily removed the Apps from my I-phone turned off all my email notifications and gotta focus on some other priorities. Sometimes internet social networking can draw you in and you realize it is stealing time that should be given to other priorities. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say "I'll BE BACK" Have a great 4th of July!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fatherhood-Where are the fathers?

Fatherhood is one of the highest offices in the Land. The title "father" is not a title to be used loosely, after all the God of the universe carries the same title. To be called a father six times gives me goose bumps. It is such a prestigious position, but at the same time it is very humbling.
Something is really bothering me about our culture in regards to fatherhood. People complain continually about how there are not enough fathers living up to their responsibilities in our world. Then people meet a father that is living up to his responsibility and people try to insist that they should not have any more children. Hugh?? The culture is confused they don't know what they want. Check out this verse:

Psa 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. (4) Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. (5) Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

According to this verse a man is blessed according to the fullness of his quiver. Children are a blessing. Don't believe the lie that is permeating in our culture that children are a liability. They are truly an asset. The culture has shifted and changed our view on the value of a child. We have let daycare cost, college education, and food cost dictate to us our family size. I am not a person that says people should never take birth control nor am I a person that dictates how many children a person should have, that is a personal decision. I am a person that WARS against the false mentality that people have, that treat their children like a necessary evil that takes 18 years of hell to raise and hope they get out of their house as soon as possible. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Would the real fathers please STAND UP!

Many have bought into this lie about children because it feeds a parents selfish, self-centered, non-sacrificial, impatient, ego. The thought goes something like this, "the child rearing phase will slow me down so the sooner I get it over I can really do what I am called to do." That mentality will cause you short circuit the blessing of enjoying your children and you will completely miss out on the fact that your calling to be a father is one of the HIGHEST offices in the land. So I have a few questions:

Where are the fathers, that esteem Fatherhood and look at their children as an asset and not a liability?
Where are the fathers, that take loving rule over their households and lead their families into the Father’s heart?
Where are the fathers, that still love their children so much that they will loving administer the rod of correction on their backsides instead of humanistic psychological and mind control?
Where are the fathers, that will be present not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually for their families?
Where are the fathers, that still understand what honor means? That understand in order to receive honor you must be humble enough to give honor. In order to be a faithful father you must be a submitted son. Heavenly Father I pray that men will turn back to use as Father.
Where are the fathers, that not only say that their families are a priority but their calendar and checkbook testify to the same.
Where are the fathers, that understand that no pastor, teacher, social worker, mother, big brother, mentor, grandpa, or such like can ever take your place? Your influence on a child can be substituted but never removed. There is a chamber in a child's heart for their father that no one else can fill, it is reserved for you.
Where are the fathers, that take the role of priest of their homes seriously and pray over their families?
Where are the fathers, that take the role of pastor in their homes and teach, guide and instruct their families in the ways of God.
Where are the fathers, that still understand that their responsibility is to not only teach about a Godly life but model a Godly life.
Where are the fathers, that have destroyed the sinful idols of their forefathers and put down the bottle, refused the drugs, stop chasing the women, refused the porn, and conquered the over indulgence in food, sports, gambling, entertainment, cars, bling-bling and such like?
Where are the fathers, that break the generational curses in their families by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, striving to live a blameless life before their families?
Where are the fathers, that will stop the sick practice of trying to relive their lives through their children driving their children to a point of rebellion?
Where are the fathers, that will not be passive when it comes to this culture that is swallowing up our children by the mouthfuls and be counter-cultural for the sake of the next generation?
Where are the fathers, that still think gathering with the church and worshipping God as family is important?
Where are the fathers, that are unashamed to open their hearts, be vulnerable before a Holy God, turn from their sinful ways, and present their lives as a living sacrifice to a Loving God?

Anyone that is a male, responsible for chidren, and feels they don't measure up to be a father, I would love to meet you. I have seen God's power turn a man's heart and entire family around. Don’t settle for our cultures view of fatherhood. Fight within your own soul to denounce the false mentality that is sweeping our land. Where are the fathers? Will the real fathers STAND UP?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Family Dinner Table - Family Time

TIME TO EAT!!! I love to hear those words after a long day. Those three words echoing through the house mean it is family time in the Hill house. This is one of my favorite times of the day for several reasons. The family dinner table is place of communion, fellowship, and a means of reconnecting with the people I love dearly. Early on in our marriage Lisa came to me and asked, "can we always eat dinner together?" A little surprised at that request because I thought all families ate together I said, "sure no problem." After further inquiry, she expounded and told me she just wanted to be sure we did things that kept our family together. God knows that food brings people together. In Acts 2:46, 47 eating from house to house was one of the key elements to keep the church together. If it works for the Church, how much more will it keep a family together and reinforce the parental and sibling bonds in a family. It seems like the larger our family grows the richer our family time gets. Although eating is a given at the table, over the years we have attached other traditions along with eating that have equal if not a greater importance. It has truly turned into a time where we not only connect with each other, but we also connect with God.

So many essential components that keep a family strong happen around the dining room table. I am completely aware that every family has their own traditions. But Lisa and I wanted to have traditions that spoke our hearts and that kept Jesus in the center of our family. Five things that have developed in our family over the years are:

1. We Sing-First thing we do is sing praises. We sing a lot of hymns and biblically rich choruses around the table. I am not sure we would win a dove award for our singing but everyone from the babies up to the parents join in and sing. Occasionally one of the boys will have learned a song on the piano and we will sing along with that. Be careful if you are one of our guest we will hand you one of our Hill song books for you to sing along.

2. We Pray-We pray for more than our food. Typically one of the children beg to pray. We have some long winded prayers and some that are short and sweet. But we teach our children to pray from their heart versus a memorized chant.

3. We eat-During our eating I must say we do break some of the rules of manners. There is so much talking and laughing, I am sure we talk with our mouths full. We buckle down when it is time for me to inquire about what everyone did during the day and what they learned at school. During that time we try and work on proper speaking, eye contact and their overall mannerisms.

4. We read the Bible-I will have to blog about my struggle for consistent bible devotions on
another post. But we finally found our family niche. Most times we just push the plates aside (to be cleared later) and open our Bibles. We strive for five chapters a week. Some weeks are good and some are not so good. But the net effect is glorious. Any child that can even partially read gets to participate in reading God’s word. Of course we all chip in on expounding on the word and stating what it means to us, that is where the life application takes place at any age level.

5. We Pray, confess, and repent to God and each other-We end by allowing everyone that desires, a chance to respond to the word. From Ju-Jude our three year old on up to the parents. I am telling you the word of God is so alive and active, to see the response of the young children to the word is mouth dropping.

This special Family meal time has helped Lisa and I as parents when dealing with sibling rivalry, name calling, pouting, laziness, salvation, lying, and on and on. It is so amazing what happens to our hearts when we, day after day, verse after verse, chapter after chapter, book after book slowly read through God’s word together as a family (Old and New Testament). Some days we are all done with everything in 30 minutes some days we sit and talk for three hours and no one wants to leave.

IT TIME TO EAT!!! Is a sacred trumpet call in the Hill house. Our family table has become our family worship altar before the Lord.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Daddy Time Pt. 3-Birds and the bees and basketball

DJ play that Daddy time song (turn down your speakers)

Justus is eleven and will be twelve in July. I guess he is the veteran "daddy timer" being the oldest. He is at the age where he talks noise and wants to challenge daddy in everything. So we went to shoot hoops today. I get excited about Daddy time just like I would feel when I was a child and got to go on that special trip to the amusement park. I know everybody keeps telling me that I will lose my coolness in my children's eyes as they get older but I am going to fight for every year I can get till that day comes. Right now I think it's cool to hang with my child and they think it is cool to hang with me so as one of my good friends would say our daddy times are full of coo'ness.

An old Hill-boy pastime was to go to the park and see who we could whip-up on the basketball court. After all I was 6'-2" while my little brothers towered at 6-7 and 6-8. Needless to say they had no problem getting picked to play and I was just part of the package deal. Today, I let Justus experience that feeling. We did a few drills together and then four young boys came up and just watched. I asked them if they wanted to play against my son and I. I let Justus get to experience what it feels like to be double and triple teamed. Of course we beat them both games but I think my son grew some hairs of confidence on his chest since I forced him to make most of our shots.

I continue to look for challenges that will help my son build his confidence from sports challenges to public speaking. He can be well versed in the bible, but if he has no exchangeable life skills then his communication to the world, we are to reach, will be limited. I don't want that for my son. What I love about Jesus is that he delivered a gospel message in a way that was exchangeable and relatable with the people during that time.

Daddy time is not all recreation though...we also talk. I tell you with my oldest I have had some of the most interesting talks. One my most memorable talks was "THE TALK" you know "THE BIRDS AND THE BEES". In a booth in McDonald's after a double cheese and McValue fry the big question was asked. How does the sperm meet the egg? Since my children read this blog I will have to be limited in what I share. But my stomach was in knots with laughter hearing the innocent thoughts that my son had on how this fertilization process happens. I gotta mention a few...through the lips, through hugging, just like it happened to the Virgin Mary, God just makes it happen. I was so glad that we guarded my sons innocence for the first 10 years of his life so that I would be the one to explain the process to him.

Lisa and I are old fashion we shelter and protect our children until their conscious and personality are ready for certain things. That is why the TV is only on I would say and hour or two a week. That is why I pre-screen every movie they see on websites like or That is why we don't allow them to go to sleepovers except with children and parents we know intimately. We are jealous over our children. I am so glad that I had a Daddy time to breakdown the birds and the bees to Justus. With diagrams on a McDonald's napkin and all. He was completely grossed out and at moments hiding under the the table, but he didn't have to hear it from his athletic buddies, his school friends, some TV show, some immoral teacher, or immoral coach. NO! That is a Daddy's job.

I LOVE DADDY TIME. It gives me that special one on one time to instill principles and Godly character during these formable years of my children's life. Like I said in Part 2 of this series, God desires all Fathers to turn their hearts to their children. Malachi 4:6 "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..." I am learning that in order to have my children's heart they must have mine.

I mentioned in Part 2 of this series we always read proverbs on daddy time. So why the book of Proverbs? What is in that book for children?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Screeech!!!!-Monday Meltdown

If you are an organized planning guru don't read this post. If you have ever had a Monday that made you feel like a black streak on the pavement read on. Do you remember the dirt bikes with pedal brakes as a kid? I would get going as fast as I could slam on the brakes and see how long of a black streak I could leave on the pavement. My brother and I used to compete to see who could leave the longest streak. Of course I won (I actually don't remember who won but I was the oldest ya see). I also remember the first car I was allowed to drive, I can't remember the name but it was green, made of titanium was about 12 ft long and had at least 8 cylinders under the hood. When you mashed on the accelerator the tires would scream over the pavement leaving a nice black streak as a symbol of teenage power.
Well the glory days of teenage vanity are over and today I don't feel like the bike or car with speed and power, but rather, I feel like the black streak on the pavement. I don't feel like this everyday it is just occasionally so today I decided to dump it on this blog. Yes, I am a Man of God fully surrendered to Jesus, Pastor a church and often teach on the peace that God can give you and the importance of keeping and maintaining Godly priorities. Counseled hundreds of people and encouraged them to get through their tough times. But when I get from behind the podium, lift my head out of my devotions, or end that counseling session I have to face the same fast paced world everybody else does. Time to practice what I preach.
Everybody I know has there hand in lots of things and are busy. So I know I am no lone ranger. But maybe through this blog I can get some things out of my head and have a productive Tuesday.
When crisis strike they appear to come in waves. My dad has a major surgery and follows up with a stroke. I took a week off to go to Iowa and help my parents, which was my honor. But when I came back guess what was still staring at me? Four rolls of drawings I need to review for the store I designed in Columbia, the same store is 5-3/8" too wide to fit at the location, the same store the drillers discovered an old building underneath that is hindering the foundations from being drilled..Jonathan what do we do?
On top of that had to put the finishing touches on my extended taxes, pay two to three bills that were close to being due, I still have a few jobs that I need to get the invoices out to so I can get paid, and Oh yeah need to tidy up that sermon for Sunday, my wife hasn't seen me in a week we need some time together, and Oh yeah, my wife's Grandpa is dying and she may have to turn around and go back up to Iowa, should she drive should she fly? Take some of the kids? Take all of the kids? Jonathan don't forget you have to finish your online class before June 30th or that was a wasted $400, In 2 weeks we are having the Church picnic is everything in order for that? Twenty minute Phone a church member that escaped jail time phew! give God praise. My second son needs my attention he can't focus on his school can you help him? (how ironic). Come hear son let me help you out. HA! Always finding the right words for someone else.
Got to get on the plans for moving my parents to Oklahoma, rent an apartment? rent a house? buy a house? which way to go? Oh no! I missed payday I have to get on my boss and tell him I didn't get a check..oops I am the boss. Off to the bank write myself a check and I might as well deposit the other checks I have on my desk. The church financials stewards were on vacation I might as well go to two banks while I am out and make that church deposit. And on and on and on....
This was about 10 seconds of thoughts that was on continuous loop and cycled around in my head today spinning like the wheels of car and left me feeling like the black streak on the pavement. Well I gotta admit this Monday got the best of me...gonna have a talk with my Heavenly Father and practice some Philippians 4:6-7..practice a little of what I preach and have a better Tuesday

Php 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Now today is DADDY TIME!!! Time to go hang out with my oldest son and tie some relationship strings. What new adventure will he have me doing today? Whoever took time to read this Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aging Parents-Oh no! A Stroke!

I often thought, what would it be like when I would begin to care for my parents. I would hear stories of parents moving in with their children, heart attacks, strokes, etc. I would always encourage and pray for others but could not relate. Now it is my turn.

My dad had a prostate surgery on May 19th that was suppose to be routine. Well he ended up being in the hospital twice as long, then after he was discharged two days later he was rushed in an ambulance back to the hospital with a confirmed stroke. Within 11 days every thing turned a round in our family. I am currently in the hospital with my dad doing what ever I can to help.

I have learned alot in these last few days.

  1. Even the strongest of men eventually will wither. My dad is the strongest man I know. I look up to him more than any male on this earth. Yet the Bible is still true when it declares in Isaiah 40 the grass withers and the flowers fade. Strangely, I see even more of his strength as I watch him begin to recover. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Cor 12:9
  2. When your parents start showing signs that they may need help, ignore what is familiar. For 37 years of my life I pulled from them for strength and then in 11 days it is tough to come to reality that roles are reversing.
  3. Do whatever it takes to be close when your older parents have surgery. I made a mistake and was 550 miles away when my dad went through the surgery. I talked to my dad all they way up to the day of the surgery and he was so nonchalant about it I didn't it give it the level of importance that it really was.
  4. Communicate with your parents and loved ones often. It was so shocking when one day I was talking to my dad and then the next day I was told he can't talk. I was glad that I communicated with him often and understood his desires. As we stuggle through our charade games of communication now, it makes it a little easier when you know a man's heart.
  5. In marriage practice loving each other as God's word declares (Eph 5) and keeping your vows. To watch my mother unashamedly care for my dad is a glorious picture of their marriage vows. "In sickness and in health" Starting early in marriage the right way pays off in the latter years.
  6. Be sure proper legal work (Living will, power of Attorney, etc.) are in affect in case of emergencies that may impair your parents.
  7. Know where all of your parents important papers are. Get in their business, NOW, especially if you are an executor or trustee.
  8. Earn your parents respect by honoring them through all phases of their life. That will help them to rest when they come to you in a time of need.
  9. Take God's word and hide it in your heart. The word of God is amazing. My dad has trouble expressing words he is thinking, but can recite back to me chapters of the Bible. That tells me that God's word has a special place in his mind that the stroke didn't touch. Mediatation on God's word pays off when you are in times of dire need. To hear words of praise to God come out of his mouth through this time of pain and discouragement is a model of the scripture that says,"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds" James 1:2