Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is Your Child Spiritually Prepared?

It’s the first day of school.  Facebook timelines were filled with snapshots of kids posed with backpacks, uniforms, and lunchboxes standing in their front yard smiling for the camera. Hold the camera phone for a second!  I’m not talking about a kid’s first day of school EVER.  I’m saying there were several people who had pics of their kid’s first day of school…as a Sophomore!

It makes me laugh how the web has made posting pictures socially acceptable and fun.

Can you imagine if you went over to your friend’s house, they pulled the shades, and showed you slides of their kid’s first day of 4th grade?  I doubt any of us would “like” it.  We’d be thinking, “What’s next, your kids first trip to Skyline Chili?” *see Will Howlett’s facebook page circa 2010

I can’t blame parents for taking pics of their kids on their first day of school.  They’ve put a lot of time, money, and energy into preparing them.

The right clothes,
The right shoes,
The right classes,
The right transportation route,
The right supplies,
The right amount of sleep,
The right paperwork....all with the goal of their children finishing the year successfully.

I recently attended a workshop on how to prepare students for the transition from middle school to high school.  The JCPS counselor leading the session shared that 9th grade has the highest attrition rate because students aren’t prepared. 

My daughter doesn’t even start school til next year and we’ve been talking about preparing her for over a year!

Now let’s change gears.

If you are a parent, what are you doing to prepare your child spiritually?

Do you put in the same amount of time, money, and energy in making sure your child isn’t a victim of the attrition rate?  Researchers found that almost three out of five young Christians (59 percent) leave church life either permanently or for an extended period of time after age 15.

What things can we do to prepare our kids spiritually so they are prepared  not only for this life, but more importantly the next life?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Well, the blog's been operating for just over a year now.  As I said on the first post, the name does not mean I'm looking for job applicants.  There is a slightly more well known Manpower already in existance (little p though).  Since I just came up with the name on the spur of the moment as I stumbled into creating a blog, and since I've decided this shouldn't be relegated to only men, I'm thinking about changing the name.  What do you suggest?  I think it should complement the tag line underneath it.  Whoever comes up with the best name gets a free lunch or dinner at the (cheap) restaurant of their choice!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Who would have thought that the battle for the morals of America would come down to a chicken sandwich?-Greg Steir

I promised i would write this blog post as soon as I got my sandwich-man that line was looooonng!
Line outside Hurstbourne Lane Chick-Fil-A at lunch time. 

I've been trying to formulate an opinion on all the craziness surrounding the recent comments of Chick-Fil-A President, Dan Cathy.

I was one of the masses that took my family to Chick-Fil-A on August 1st for Support Chick-Fil-A Day to support the right the company has to free speech. It upset me that elected officials in other parts of our country were attempting to block the company from expanding in their markets because of the owners comments.

As my family and some friends stood in the crowd at Chick-fil-a, a man shouted "GOD BLESS CHICK-FIL-A!" his hand raised, clutching a bag of waffle fries.  The crowd erupted in shouts and applause.  I started to laugh as I thought, I wonder if that guy ever shouted "GOD BLESS BURGER CHEF!!" or “GOD BLESS EAR-X-TACY!!!" before leaving those places of business.  If he had, I may be writing this blog while eating a burger and listening to a rare KISS import CD.

It’s easy to stand in line for a sandwich and shout amongst like-minded people.  It’s more difficult to pray daily for your friends, family and country, or do the work of getting your hands dirty.  

This isn’t to say that guy who shouted isn't doing those things.  He may very well be.  

And maybe he does shout “GOD BLESS RAVE CINEMAS!” every time he sees a movie...i dunno.  I  just want to encourage everyone to use this event to “spur one another on to love and good deeds”.

Or as my friend, Keith, wrote in a recent email:

May I suggest that going to a local Chick-Fil-A once in awhile does not constitute a spiritual revival.

That comment made me laugh as well as my spirit jump!  Somebody actually “gets it”!  A spiritual revival can only happen through prayer, followed by action.

What if instead of going to Chick-Fil-A, everyone took their money and donated it to a crisis pregnancy center, or homeless shelter?  What if all the food that was bought was donated?  What if people took their lunch break and prayed?  What if we used the opportunity to start conversations with people?

I’m not saying going to Chick-Fil-A was a bad thing. I went...and will again. However, there is a perception, real or imagined, that Christians:
A) hate gay people 
B) are too political 
C) talk a lot but don’t do anything 
D) are only interested in converting you,  

Sadly, while I was pleased with the turnout, i’m afraid that this is just another event that perpetuated our image problem.

Most of us will get fired up and wait in line for an hour for a sandwich, but complain when the church service goes too long.  We will take a “stand” for Biblical marriage, when we never even open the Bible with our spouse.  We oppose gay marriage, but don’t have any relationships with gay people.

I posted the above picture on Facebook on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.  Among the “Amen” and “Halleluiah” comments posted by others, Chris, a gay kid I’ve connected with at Campus Life, an after school ministry at a local high school, commented, “makes me feel loved...oh wait...the exact opposite”.  

Again, we have a perception problem.  To some, the Chick Fil A Day was a rallying point for lovers of free speech, for others it was saying “Christians hate me because I’m gay,”
If we really want to see the needle move, eating a sandwich isn’t going to do it. 

Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God and love your neighbor.  

It's time to move from a defense to a discussion.

If we focus on God and people, and not just “causes” God will honor that and hopefully we will see revival.  

Are You Afraid of God?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom...”  Psalm 111:10.  There’s a similar verse found in Proverbs (1:7)  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge...”.  Job 28:28 says “The fear of the LORD is true wisdom...”.  

What does the 'fear of God' mean?  

Most people describe the word 'fear' as meaning 'reverence' in the bible.  Plainly, however, the word 'reverence' was not used.  The word 'fear' was.  I'm not saying that reverence isn't part of 'fear', but it seems that the 'reverence' camp would have me believe that being afraid has nothing to do with 'fear'.  
To quote Mr. Spock:  This seems most illogical.

The NLT translates the word 'beginning' in the above passages as 'foundation'.  I've read other teaching on this concept that promoted the idea that fearing God is the 'start' of wisdom.  But then, as you progress in spiritual maturity, you grow out of that fearful state.  There seems to be a correlation between this idea and the way we raise our kids.  When they're very young, they are required to mind us, regardless of whether or not they understand, and sometimes the lesson is applied with a small dose of pain.  I think there is a 'fear' of disobeying mom and dad in that situation.  However, as they grow older, there is less corporal punishment (hopefully) and more discussion about the whys of instruction.  Maturity.

1 John 4:18 says: Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. NLT  

So does that mean as justified Christians, we should have NO fear of God?

I'm just asking questions.  Tell me what you think.

Will:  This took about 20 minutes.  Now get going.