Get out and do what you were meant to do…

Today on the way to the office I was listening to KLTY Christian Radio and heard their theme song “We Live” by Superchick. I heard Superchick in concert a few years ago. Ok, so now you are wondering what I was doing at a Superchick concert or how is it that I am into Punk, Alternative Christian Rock. Well, I wish I could say that I am that current but Belinda and I took our three boys to hear them. They were awesome. No, I haven’t considered dying my hair red or sporting a purple streak or spike down the middle of my head. But, looking past the superficial issues, their message is right on target. I was moved by their words this morning…

There’s a cross on the side of the road
Where a mother lost a son
How could she know that the morning he left
Would be their last time she’d trade with him for a little more time
So she could say she loved him one more time
And hold him tight
But with life we never know
When we’re coming up to the end of the road
So what do we do then
With tragedy around the bend?

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

There’s a man who waits for the tests
To see if the cancer has spread yet
And now he asks, "So why did I wait to live till it was time to die?"
If I could have the time back how I’d live
Life is such a gift
So how does the story end?
Well this is your story and it all depends
So don’t let it become true
Get out and do what we were meant to do

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

Waking up to another dark morning
People are mourning
The weather in life outside is storming
But what would it take for the clouds to break
For us to realize each day is a gift somehow, someway?
So get our heads up out of the darkness
And spark this new mindset and start to live life cuz it ain’t gone yet
And tragedy is a reminder to take off the blinders
And wake up and live the life we’re supposed to take up
Moving forward with all our heads up cuz life is worth living

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love

All the stuff that I have been talking about since January is Kingdom specific. Serving Children and Families is the focus of my ministry but part of who I am is being a dad and a husband too. My first responsibility is building a strong family right in my own home.

We live, we love, we forgive, and we never give up. The lyrics just seemed to resonate with my soul this morning as I viewed the downtown skyline of Dallas. My eldest son, Joshua, and I have begun a journey together for the next 30 days. He is a teenager and I am 48 years old. He is cool, I am not (at least for now). We are changing the nature of our relationship as is the case with our 12 year old, David and our 10 year old, Thomas. So what is a dad to do? Work at the relationship! We have just survived a move from San Antonio and Dallas so the grief associated with the move has been tough but we are beginning to turn the corner.

Back to the idea of 30 Days. I was introduced to a resource that has made a tremendous difference in my relationship with my eldest son. The resource is called “30 Days: Turning the Heart of Parents and Teenagers Toward Each Other.” You can find this resource at www.josiahpress.com . Joshua and I are only 5 days into this experience and I have seen a 180 degree turn around in the quality and depth of our relationship through spending 10 minutes a day together and alone. We look forward to it each night. Our relationship is changing. If you have a teen and you feel like something has changed or is changing in your relationship this tool will help you immensely! Pray for me and Joshua that we would move closer to each other daily.

In the same way that BCFS’ credibility around the world lies in the quality of the staff and work we do here in Texas, my credibility as one who serves children does not go further than the quality of relationships I have at home. So let me encourage you to get out and do what you were meant to do, wake up and live the life we’re supposed to take up. Just don’t forget to start at home.

Tomorrow, I will reflect on where we are with Growth Planning. I am so excited with what is around the bend. Stay tuned.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “Get out and do what you were meant to do…

  1. Albert,
    Thanks for directing me to your blog. I have done a similar thing with my son about a year and a half ago. We used the material written by Richard Ross for 30 days. It was a very good experience and has been valuable to our relationship ever since. Thanks for reminding us that we must minister to our families. We often forget to build relationships with our families when we are so concentrated on building relationships in church.
    Wesley

  2. Albert:
    thanks for the suggested materials. We had Richard Ross in our church a few years ago and he introduced this material. I didn’t feel the need for it then … I do now. Thanks for reminding me about this great resource. I just ordered it!
    blessings,
    ellis

  3. Albert,
    Two years ago, my now 27 year old son, Andrew, asked me to be his best man at his wedding. That blew me away. Out of all his friends, I was chosen. He said I was “truly his best friend”. From the rough beginnings (yep, same as yours – him: 13 and “cool”, me: 40+ and a “dork”), I survived it! You will also.
    Praying for you brother,
    Rick.

  4. Allow me tell you a thing or 2 about punk rock.
    Shakespeare was the first person to use the term “punk”. In his words it was used to describe beggars, prostitutes, thieves and others. During the 70’s, a journalist begun to use the word “punk” to describe a urban movement. Today “punk” can be a marginal, underground, rebel…
    Punk has to do with attitude, not just a tribe. Many people don’t have a Mohawk, don’t listen to punk rock, and don’t skate, but still have the punk attitude of not conforming to the patterns of this world.
    There’s also the MTV generation punk with their colored hairs, chains all over the body, and junky clothes. They just think about having a good time, drinking, doing drugs and fighting. Some have that big anarchic “A” on their chest, but have no clue who was Bacunim or what is self government. They stay on the Shakespeare term of being “punk”.
    John the Baptist told Herod that his wife was not his, and we know what happened to him.
    Nathan was scared of King David when he called him an adulterer and a murder.
    Martin Luther King wasn’t scared of being shot, and he was shot.
    They all knew what they had to do or say and they did it.
    Our God is a God of minorities. I’m not talking about Liberation Theology, but minorities of Christians. Few people really leave their lives behind and dive into a deep devotion and commitment to God. These are people of attitude and they usually end up being marginal, undergrounds and rejects.
    God uses the courageous, and they are the minority.
    Let’s think about Gideon; he called 32,000 men to a war. 22,000 of those got scared and ran away. 9,700 ran away with the excuse of not being prepared. 300 went to war. Gideon went to war with the 300 courageous men remained and they change the reality of a nation.
    Fearful people or chicken: It’s easy to be part of a majority. It feels safer and correct. Carry the tradition. That’s a good alibi, to be anonymous in the multitude.
    Unprepared people: that’s also a large group. Those are the ones that question everything that has to be done. “If there’s a chance that this project will fail, let’s not even try.” Predictable people.
    Courageous: men of faith that believe on the impossible. Don’t question the power of truth and don’t conform to the injustices of this world.
    Very few people; to some a gang.
    Truly an army.
    Punk is attitude.
    To be a Christian is to have attitude. A Christian without attitude is just an adornment.
    Conferences, bible studies, mission/vacation trips, more bible studies, church duties, Wednesday services, more bible studies…. All easy and under control. What happens when we have to get out of our comfort zone, nock on doors, evangelize, look like fools because of our beliefs; compromise?
    Christianity has a broad field of attitudes: charities, visits, prayer, listen, care, seek, plan, community work, neighborhood, donate, hospitals, jails, asylums, children and on and on…
    Sad is that most of these activities are done by the minority while the majority is on conferences, bible studies, mission/vacation trips, more bible studies, church duties, Wednesday services, more bible studies….
    The minority just like punk rockers are discriminated and at some point cast aside. Do I care? Of course I do. The last verses of the second chapter of the book of Acts give us a glimpse of what Christian unity is like.

  5. Ellis, you and Gabriel will be blessed by “30 Days.” Josh and I are on Day 8. It really does turn the hearts of parents and teens toward each other. I feel like I am getting to know my son all over again. I guess we are both changing. I thought it would be wise for us to go through 30 days before he starts high school this year. Thanks Bro.

  6. Cesar, you have put the focus right where it belongs…on the heart, the inside of a person. That is what the Lord told the prophet Samuel when Samuel went looking for a king. Does does not look at outward appearance but the heart.

  7. I have to agree with you about God looking into the heart of man, not the outward. Punk is not the Mohawk, army boots and jeans jackets; there’s much more to it. It is at some point a philosophy, a huge one. The sometimes extremist punk thoughts are very interesting. It can be very damaging and wrong also. The worst example is with GG Allin, which od’d and did some very weird things.
    Now, when a punk becomes a Christian and funnels all that energy towards the Gospel, it set things on fire. It turns from a Anarchist atheist mentality into full devotion to Jesus Christ. It is amazing to see punks living the Christian life, because of their “I don’t care what you think about me ” mentality. They don’t fear the ridicule and also don’t make weird alliances to be able to share or improve the kingdom work.
    One of the greatest things of Christian punks is the underground movement. Most of the underground is totally forsaken by the mainstream organizations. What do I call underground? It has nothing to do with criminals. There is a big amount of people in the world that abhor the media, any kind of organizations and established religion .
    We can’t r4each these people through regular ways, because they wont accept it. When a punk becomes a Christian, he has free access through the underground world. The Christian punk is not worried of what other Christians will say about their friends and habits. Punks are not bound to “Christian traditions” like not drinking, partying and maybe even using some language.”
    Because the punk movement is a critique of the society, it gets carried into the Christian Punk movement, and that’s where things get complicated. Some of us don’t stay only in the underground movement; we might go to school or even get our masters; we might score some big jobs like working in a maternity center or even a church. We might even seem a little domesticated by working on mainstream ministries, and having to put up with main stream Christian leaders, but that’s all in God’s plan. The beauty of this is that a mainstream leader can learn a lot from a punk, because their thoughts are totally different, and yet connected to God. One is not better or more recognized by God (even though punks tend to think that they know everything). On the other side, a punk can learn with a main stream Christian executive, can get some wisdom and some good thoughts.
    Usually, it will be very hard for them to hang out together, or even do ministries together, because of the ideological differences mixed with human stubbornness.
    The main stream guy will always look at the punk Christian as a mischief, a guy that only criticizes and commits abuse in grace. The punk guy usually have the conception that the main stream Christian is trying to run his ministry in a secular, capitalistic way.
    Sometimes they can co-exist, but that is only possible if they are willing to put assumptions aside and be ready to be shocked, learn and teach.
    For my experience ,most punks are open to this experience, while the main stream Christians avoid it. I think that is a lost, because both sides can learn from each other.
    We might need this in our country, because while Christian organizations like to play with big numbers and show the growth of their ministries, the sad reality is that our great USA is becoming less and less Christian, and our churched people don’t share the gospel.
    Main difference?
    Main stream thought: things are okay and will get better; stop criticizing the system.
    Punk thought: things are not fine, we are failing miserably on discipleship and teaching, we don’t share and our disciples don’t share. And I will not be silent about it weather you like it or not.
    Oh, I think that together as a whole body, main stream and punks would be a kick.
    I’ll send you some Christian punk rock lyrics.

  8. All That You Wanted (Hangnail)
    What do you see in me, that I can bare your name.
    How do you justify, forgiving once again.
    If giving my all to you, is all you truly need.
    Then I give you everything, to work in spite of me.
    All that I have, at all costs, anything that I should gain,
    I count as loss, to know you, is all that I wanted.
    The past left behind, out of my way,
    pressing on to what you have now granted me,
    can this be, I�m all that you wanted.
    When all of the feelings pass, along with certainty,
    I cling to a faith that lasts, completely covering me.
    “Mycro” (Dogwood)
    I walked outside one day,
    The sun wouldn’t look my way,
    Only darkness,
    I felt alone yet safe with you,
    I felt the promise to be true,
    Swollen teardrops drowned,
    The wind was blowing down.
    I felt His presence all around,
    A voice came through black thunder clouds,
    Tell me you’re scared.
    The rain kept drumming fast,
    (Such guilt)
    The devil tried to make it last,
    But to no avail.
    I prayed and cried that night,
    I hope that God can make this right,
    Just like He always did,
    I know I am Your son,
    My life has only just begun,
    To praise Your Holy Name,
    We praise Your Holy Name,
    Now, not alone,
    This can be made alright. You know my life,
    I’ll give it back to You,
    I know we are Your sons,
    We know are lives have just begun,
    To let the world know where we stand,
    We stand with You.
    Down In Flames (Relient K)
    “Down In Flames”
    Christians– we’re all afraid of fire.
    We prefer to suck on pacifiers.
    Baby pacifists, we’re throwing fits.
    We don’t shake hands, we shake our fists.
    We’re cannibals.
    We watch our brothers fall.
    We eat our own, the bones and all.
    Finally fell asleep on the plane
    to wake to see we’re going down in flames.
    We’re going down, down, down in flames.
    We’re gonna drown, drown, drown insane.
    We see the problem and the risk,
    but nothing’s solved.
    We just say, “Tisk, tisk, tisk,”
    and, “Shame, shame, shame.”
    Finally fell asleep on the plane
    to wake to see we’re going down in flames.
    Let’s go!
    Christians– we mourn, the thorn is stuck
    in the side of the body watch it self-destruct.
    The enemy is much ignored
    when we fight this Christian civil war.
    We’re cannibals.
    We watch our brothers fall.
    We eat our own, the bones and all.
    Finally fell asleep on the plane
    to wake to see we’re going down in flames.
    We’re going down, down, down in flames.
    We’re gonna drown, drown, drown insane.
    We see the problem and the risk,
    but nothing’s solved.
    We just say, “Tisk, tisk, tisk,”
    and, “Shame, shame, shame.”
    Finally fell asleep on the plane
    to wake to see we’re going down in flames.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Na na na na, na na na na.
    Bana na na na, na na na
    Let me pause to clarify
    (’cause I’m sure you’re asking, “Why?”).
    I stand before you and proudly claim
    to belong to what this song complains.
    I’m part of the problem,
    I confess,
    But I gotta get this off my chest.
    Let’s extinguish the anguish
    for which we’re to blame,
    and save the world
    from going down in flames.
    Get Up – Superchik
    “Get Up”
    I’m not afraid to fall
    it means i climbed up high
    to fall is not to fail
    you fail when you don’t try
    not afraid to fall
    i might just learn to fly and
    i will spread these wings of mine
    [Chorus:]
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    we get up anyway
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    I might fall back down again
    We’ll just jump and see, even if it’s the 20th time
    we’ll just jump and see if we can fly
    I’m not afraid to fall
    and here i told you so
    don’t want to rock the boat
    but i just had to know
    just a greener side
    or can i touch the sky
    but either way i will have tried
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    we get up anyway
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    I might fall back down again
    We’ll just jump and see, even if it’s the 30th time
    we’ll just jump and see if we can fly
    i’m not afraid to fall
    I’ve fallen many times
    they laughed when i fell down
    but i have dared to climb
    I’m not afraid to fall
    i know i’ll fall again
    but i can win this in the end
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    we get up anyway
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    I might fall back down again
    We’ll just jump and see, even if it’s the 40th time
    we’ll just jump and see if we can fly
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    we get up anyway
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    so let’s get up come on
    If i get up i might fall back down again
    I might fall back down again
    If you want, I can send you the MP3 of each of these songs, they are great.

  9. Awesome! Party’g with ur boys! I luv that Super Chicks song (Girls rule!). Barlow Girl have an awesome song, “I need you to love me.” The song talks about how difficult it is to believe that GOD truly LOVES me.
    Say Hi to Belinda. Blessings
    sara silva

  10. See, I am not religious.
    I wasn’t raised to go to church, pray, etc. etc.
    But I listened to this song, and fell in love with it.
    It’s really wonderful. 🙂

  11. Nutmeg, thanks for your note. I am not sure I would call myself religious either. I am a follower of a first century prophet who taught how to live both in this life and the next. The Super Chic song really speaks to me about making the most out of the life we are given. Way too little time to not live, love, and forgive. This is what my 1st century leader teaches me. The messenger behind the song is the 1st century I am talking about. Glad the song spoke to you.