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Wednesday, January 27 2021

Psalm 118:24

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Note: *For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word... #Prepare.

In this "pursuit to prepare" I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging every Week about one aspect of preparation God lays on my heart. This week 4“we prepare”for “work.”

As mentioned in week 1, the word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, prepare, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.

For years, my students heard me say “Its a great day to be alive!” The origin of this “mantra" began one hot August afternoon, on a long walk out to the practice fields for the second practice that day (in the midst of two-a-day practices for football season). The players were dragging, and so was this coach!

And then, from the rear one of my fellow coaches, (Coach Stephens), swiftly caught up and sprinted past us all, exclaiming along the way, “It's a great day for football gentlemen!”

Isn’t it funny, if we are paying attention, even the simplest statements at just the right moment, can challenge us and become a call to action?

As I quickly responded to the coach's exhortation, without thinking, I found myself picking up my pace and breaking into a trot to join him.

From that day forward, I enthusiastically reminded others, in my many roles; as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal, (adding my own version), that everyday is "a great day to be alive” to anyone that would listen! When I spoke at FCA or church, I always provided a little extra “intel” telling my audiences that my daily reminder of “Its a great day to be alive” was simply a paraphrase of Psalm 118:24,"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

DADs, if we don’t allow ourselves to #prepare for our work with the appropriate mindset, then our work will soon cease to provide fulfillment. The joy of “doing" becomes a burden versus a blessing. When that happens our opportunities for positive impact is diminished.

So, DADs, I ask these questions in regards to your own work:

What needs your deliberate effort?

What do you need to do to#prepare today to help make it a better place, and to increase your sphere of influence?

When I was the principal, we started a tradition for seniors on their last day of school. A symbolic exercise representing both an end to one part of their lives, and a beginning to another called the “senior walk.” On that final day the seniors would gather in the commons, I would celebrate the legacy they were leaving, and I then shared the emotional story of walking my own daughter and son to the door on each of their last days of school, as both their parent and principal.

I explained with the gathered seniors that once they walked out the door, they could turn around and come right back in, but it would be somehow different. Walking out as a senior, they would then be returning as a graduate.

But before they each individually walked through the door, receiving a hug from me, I read to them from Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

DADs, what if we saw each day in our workplace as a gift and a ministry? What if we were more intentional to live and to share with others the blessings of each day, with the focus on those things “admirable” and “praiseworthy”. Therefore, in our own work, our mere presence would support others to #prepare to be the best versions of themselves?

DADs, maybe we should all stop counting down the days we have to work, and start to #prepare making every day at work count for ourselves, but more importantly for those that we serve and for those working beside us.

To God be the glory!

Dads “get in the game”…

Today is game day…and so is every day…

God gives you! So…C’mon Men Suit Up!

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 11:37 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 20 2021
The Place to Start...Home

"The Place to Start...Home"

DADS, 

Week 3 - #Prepare -“The Place to Start...Home"

Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Note: *For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word... #Prepare.

In this "pursuit to prepare" I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging every Wednesday about one aspect of preparation God lays on my heart. This week 3“we prepare”our “homes.”

As mentioned in week 1, the word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, prepare, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.

What are the things you need to #prepare at home? What needs deliberate effort to “fix” at “home?” (And I’m not talking about in the backyard or in the garage!)

I have shared with my wife numerous times, (to remind myself as well) with all the blessings, all the accolades I may have received, all the acknowledgements for things outside my home, it is only amplified and given true meaning because of her love and support.

"Meaningless and shallow" would be the gathering and collecting of things without having or at least striving to have my own house in order. 

Purposeless! 

As Solomon, who many would consider the wisest ever says in Ecclesiastes,“like chasing the wind."

The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:34, “If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home - so that when you come together it will not be for judgment.”

DADs, if we are not taking care of our families first, feeding them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, then we are missing the boat, plane, taxi, Uber or whatever your choice of transportation is!

1 Timothy 5:8 - “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

How can we truly as the DAD, child, and disciple of God, really celebrate “success" at work, at play, or even at church if we deny our responsibilities at home?

Does this mean all things must be perfect? All things at home in order?

Does this mean we beat ourselves up knowing there are areas of our lives at home that need a greater “deliberate” effort?

No! But to be “intentional" is key as we #prepare our homes in 2021.

It is the striving for. The aiming for. The focused action of establishing” family goals, as the DAD, bringing your house together, and preparing” your home to a place where it is very clear God is at the center of it all!

To God be the glory!

Dads “get in the game”…

Today is game day…and so is every day…

God gives you! So…C’mon Men Suit Up!

Posted by: Jeff Springer AT 05:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 13 2021
Conversation - #Prepare

Week 2 - #Prepare - “Conversation"

2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness"

Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?

Note: *For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word... #Prepare.

In this "pursuit to prepare" I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging every Wednesday about one aspect of preparation God lays on my heart. This week 2 “we prepare” through our “conversations."

What are those conversations you need to have not only sometime in 2021 but right now?

And who are those needing to be in your audience?

Today, and days like this, 

I am reminded of the importance of church and family.

I am reminded that;

I am not an island.

I need others.

I am not in control.

I am only here for a short time.

I need to get ready.

To #prepare!

We are not guaranteed tomorrow and I need to have the important conversations and speak love into those I care about the most, today.

As a friend, brother, husband, dad, and grandpa, there are times in my life that I have asked myself, “When I leave this earth, have I done everything in my power that I can to equip those I love for when I am gone?” 

Have I set a spiritual example that has given my friends, extended family members, my children, and grandchildren the foundation needed to be strong enough to endure hardships, pain, disappointments, and loss of loved ones? 

Will their faith be sufficient because of my influence, my guidance, and my loving conversations? 

Today I want to speak to you, my readers, as a believer in Christ!

To the adults, I speak to you as your brother, and to the youth and children, I speak to you as if each one of you was my own son or daughter.

 

I want you to know and to remember a few things I think our Heavenly Father would want us to hear today in our preparation.

 

First of all, because God loves you so much, even in the darkness, be reminded you are not alone! You are not alone! God will not desert you, and He will give you strength you did not know you had! 

Whether we live or die, we belong to God, nothing can separate us!

Romans 8:38 & 39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord.

Be mindful my precious friends, God loves you. AGAIN, He will not desert you!

 

Secondly, be reminded that God designed us for fellowship, to need each other and to lift each other up. What will sustain those relationships and grow those bonds is by seeking Christ first.

 

For it is Christ who helps us endure the pain of days like this and it is Christ who delivers us the joy that is not temporary but eternal.

 

Thirdly, my hope for you is to seek Christ daily, the only real HOPE is found in Jesus Christ!

 

Finally, today and everyday remember the amazing child of God YOU are!

 

Pass on God’s positive influence He has had on you, take up and live out His best qualities each day!

 

Add some Jesus into your life and others as you prepare through vital conversations today!

To God be the glory!

Dads “get in the game”…

Today is game day…and so is every day…

God gives you! So…C’mon Men Suit Up!

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 06 2021

"Change my heart oh God"

DADS, 

On December 19, I was on scrolling through Facebook and smiled as I landed on a post of a dad surrounded by his three boys sitting around their kitchen table, one who had finally come home after months away while serving in the Navy. According to the caption posted by the wife and the boys mother, it was the first time for a long time to be all together!

She added the words, “First family meal since 2017...year made.”

Only four days later I saw yet another post from the same mom, only this time she was asking for urgent prayers for an unspecified need!

Rather than posting to the public newsfeed I messaged her and asked her what I could pray for specifically. She quickly replied, "my husband had a terrific accident and they told us to expect and plan for the worse.”

So literally four days after one of the happiest days of the year this family was no longer gathered around the family table, instead circled around the bedside of a husband and dad facing imminent death.

What I have yet to share is this husband and dad is one of my former students who I had recently reconnected with the last two or three years.

As we turn the calendar from 2020 to 2021, this recent experience serves as a harsh reminder to me, the priceless gift of every day. We have no guarantee of tomorrow instead we must understand the urgency to prepare.

For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word. #Prepare.

In this pursuit of preparation, I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging to a single aspect of preparation as God lays them on my heart.

And, speaking of my heart, that seems to be the best place to start this initial week one focus. I am calling it “preparing your heart.”

The word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, prepare, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.

I cannot tell you how often I hear people tell me after an experience, such as listening to a message at church, attending a conference, a podcast for the very first time, or trying something new; "I just didn’t get anything out of it."

I know that when I have walked away feeling like I have learned nothing or experienced anything positive, it is typically because I have not properly prepared my heart to receive.

Either we quickly become the critic with our participation or presence, sometimes becoming distracted from the moment, or simply think we know more than the messenger, deciding in our “already knowing” mind this has no application.

So the question I would ask in such circumstances like these is simply, what have you done to “prepare your heart?”

In 2021, if we are to get prepared, we may need to ask God to soften our hearts. To change our hearts. To prepare our hearts.

One of my favorite song lyrics is so simple to say, yet so hard to do.
If we are to be in position to make a deliberate effort to prepare ourselves and help others to as well, we must prepare our hearts.

Maybe this simple song, with an eternal path, can serve as your prayer today as you prepare this new year of 2021!

Change my heart oh God. Make it ever true, Change my heart oh God. May I be like You

You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, this is what I pray

Change my heart oh God. Make it ever true/ Change my heart oh God. May I be like You

To God be the Glory.
Please pray for my former student's family as they prepare to heal their hearts this day.

DADs…“get in the game”…Today is game day…and so is every day…God gives you! So…C’mon men…Suit Up!

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email