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Wednesday, September 29 2021
Rend Your Heart

Week 39 - #Prepare “Forgive”

“Rend Your Heart"

Ephesians 4:32: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Micah 7:18: "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy."

Joel 2:13: "Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity."

Acts 3:19: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

I know many reading this have heard the proverb, “it is easier to give than receive.”

I’m wondering if this same “giving and receiving” pattern holds true for you reading this when it comes to forgiveness?

At least in my head I believe at this point in my life I am more readily willing to give forgiveness than to receive.

As I take a personal inventory today, I cannot think of anyone I need to forgive. But, pausing in reflection, allowing myself to go into a deeper contemplation, I would no doubt be able to think of many I have caused strife to those crossing my path.

In some situations requiring forgiveness, in my own simple mind, I have often rationalized, time has healed their pain. So instead of humbling myself, I deny the opportunity of a possible reconciliation for all in these cases.

Why is it so difficult for me to receive forgiveness?

For one thing, it means I have to admit to myself, and then to others, somehow I was wrong! Then there is the struggle with this idea of humility, and the thought of confessing to another, with no guarantee of receiving another’s forgiveness.

You see, in the “giving" of forgiveness, we’re still in control, but in the “asking" of forgiveness we are acknowledging what goes against our human nature to “surrender.”

DADs, why does it seem to be easier to ask God for forgiveness, than our own friends, family, and even strangers we have hurt along the way?

Why are we more afraid of the wrath we imagine we might receive from others, more than revealing our failings to God?

Maybe it's our pride getting in the way? Maybe because we know God already knows our every move? Or that we see His unconditional love everyday?

I do not know the answer, but He does.

In Ephesians 4:32, Paul reminds us all, both "giving and receiving" and to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

DADs, if we are truly living, we will find ourselves in both circumstances. At some point we all will need to forgive, while other times we will need forgiveness. In our preparation for forgiving, whether giving or receiving, we must be “kind and compassionate.”

A gracious giver. A gracious receiver!

Who do you need to forgive today?

From whom do you need to seek forgiveness?

DADs, let us begin today towards our preparation of forgiveness, by heeding the instructions of the Old Testament prophet Joel, to:

"Rend your heart and not your garments,” - Joel 2:13

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!


**Today we prepare to“Forgive.” Next week we will consider how critical it is to prepare to“Relent."

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.

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

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 24 2021
Focusing on Such Things

Week 38 - #Prepare “Focus”

“Focusing on Such Things”

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Hebrews 12 :2 "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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."


The best and most simplistic explanation I have found so far for the meaning of focus is “to pay a particular attention to.”

So why take this time in this yearlong series to “prepare” to shine the spotlight this week on a reminder to focus?

Why lean into this topic area of preparation, and acknowledge it’s essential urgency for today?

Maybe it’s because this is something I struggle with daily and thought you may too!

Focusing can be a double edge sword. It can be a benefit or a hindrance. It is vital for success on one hand, but can also lead you down a rocky road depending on what your focus is.

I find it’s much easier to coach others on the fundamentals of having a healthy focus, but find it much harder to actually practice and prepare to be focused myself (or at least on the right things).

Focus on anything, even “good things” may cause us to be detoured or preoccupied if not governed. The trick is learning to monitor and adjust our attention, so our focus doesn’t become blurry in our either zealousness or to the contrary, our laziness. We need to be alert as it is shared in 1 Peter 5:8 to "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

So what do we need to focus on? How do we know where the balance is as we prepare to direct our focus?

One way is by heeding Paul’s words found in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

In this world, where everywhere we look, we can see messages flashing before our eyes, demanding our attention and focus.

All fighting for our time, energy, and passion.

DADs, ultimately what we focus on, will reveal who we are. And when our focus is detrimental to our preparation, remember there is always one way to come back home, centering our focus upon the light God calls us towards.

Our direct way home can be found in Hebrews 12:2, by "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith," and in 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 where do you need to “fix” your eyes today?

Let’s adjust our lenses, today!

While preparing our laser focus on “such things,” worthy of God’s blessings, and His focus for our lives!

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!


**Today we prepare to“Focus.” Next week we will consider how critical it is to prepare to“Forgive."

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.

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

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 15 2021
Perseverance Built on HOPE

Week 37 - #Prepare “Persevere”

"Perseverance Built on HOPE"

James 1:12 "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

Romans 5:3-4 "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;"

Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up"

Why is it that two people can find themselves in the same circumstances, one finding the tools to navigate the struggle, while the other failing to persevere?

While I know there are many variables contributing to how people respond to the circumstances crossing their paths, I believe those reacting to challenges favorably possess a foundation to persevere in one essential element. HOPE.

And isn’t HOPE what we all desire in our lives moving us forward?

But "having hope," and “hoping for something" are two distinct things. “Having" hope means we have done some prior preparation allowing us to endure, meeting the struggles head on, and with perseverance.

“Hoping" for something relies on someone else’s actions, and decisions. “Having" hope emerges, because of what we have done to prepare for our perseverance.

I believe the word HOPE is an acronym for humility, obedience, prayer, and eternal (yes yet another favorite acronym of mine).

The best way to prepare to persevere is to put into practice the four steps of HOPE!

1 Peter 5:6 says to “humble yourselves before the Lord and he will raise you up in due time!” To gain a perseverance perspective we must first find ourselves holding the realization that we cannot do this life alone. Either we realize this today, or tomorrow He may make us “lay down in His green pastures.”

It is this necessary humility, leading us to the second step of obedience. Obedience grants us the strength to keep us on a path, following God’s plan for us. Obedience encourages us to study His word daily, bringing life to the scriptures, and pursuing the life God has called us to live.

Included in this authentic obedience is the need for prayer. Prayer becomes an immediate outcry from obedience connecting us to God in a perpetual communication with our Heavenly Father. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says to “pray without ceasing”

DADs…your humility, leads to obedience, and this obedience naturally will guide you to have daily meaningful and deliberate prayer. All three steps play a strong foundation for the final step of HOPE, “seeking the eternal versus those things external.”

In this “eternal vs external” battle we all face, our stumbling blocks or missteps may be revealed. But, if we have practiced our preparations for perseverance, we will find our way home, starting back on our knees in humility, obeying God's instructions, while discerning His voice through prayer.

Only through repeating and practicing these intentional steps of HOPE, can we possibly prepare to endure and persevere, flourishing well in our second half of life.

DADs, let's not wait till tomorrow to prepare.

You are just four steps away from your preparation to persevere!

Humility. Obedience. Prayer. Eternal.

A HOPE enduring forever!

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!

**Today we prepare to“Persevere.” Next week we will consider how critical it is to prepare to“Focus."


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.

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

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 08 2021
It's Time To Rally

Week 36 - #Prepare “Rally”

"It's Time To Rally"

2 Samuel 3:21

"So Abner told David, "Give me permission to go out and rally all of Israel to your majesty the king so they can enter into a formal agreement with you to reign over everything that your heart desires." So David sent Abner off, and he went away in peace."

Nehemiah 4:20

"Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!”

Psalm 80:2

"before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.Rally Your power and come to save us."

Isaiah 11:10

"At that time, as to the root of Jesse, who will be standing as a banner for the nations, the nations will rally to him, and his resting place is glorious."

Judges 20:22

"But the Israelite army rallied and again took their battle positions in the same place where they positioned themselves on the first day."

To rally: "to muster for a common purpose . . . to arouse for action . . . to come together again to renew an effort." 

That's the way Webster defines the verb. He says the noun means: "a mustering of scattered forces to renew an effort; a summoning up of strength or courage."

As a former high school football coach and then principal, my favorite type of “rally" was a “pep" rally.

Yes, I was always somewhat relieved when the pep rally was over, because of the potential issues associated with gathering over 2000 students, tightly enclosed in one small space. But, I also understood this kind of rally to be essential in helping to create the full high school experience for all stakeholders involved.

So what are some of the things you deem essential to rally for?

Let me suggest something that might seem unusual in your normal way of thinking.

I recommend in your "preparation" this week, for you to consider to rally around your deepest wounds. Yep that’s right. I said wounds.

I’m talking about those hurts you have endured in life, somewhat buried, something perhaps you have overcome, but still carry. Maybe collateral damage caused by another, a disappointment, or failure. A deep wound taking up residence inside you.

So why rally?

Because although you have weathered this wound, you have continued to allow it to hold you hostage. And by rallying around it, and acknowledging its pain, you will discover opportunities to share a story needing to be set free, and shared thus benefiting others.

And quite frankly through your sharing, rallying around your deepest wounds will bring needed healing while providing a platform for reaching your full potential, and allowing God to fully use you to His maximum.

In his book “Falling Upward,” Richard Rohr, describes what God wants for us all, to be on the “heroic journey.”

Rohr writes about the importance of discovering the secret key of unlocking the “second half” of our life. He shared, if we fail to acknowledge our deepest wounds, we will continue to fall short towards becoming all God has for us.

Discarding or avoiding, and failing to rally around those wounds deeply cutting us to the core, essentially prevents us from moving upward..

DADs, if we don’t want to be stuck in the first half of life, then we must "prepare to rally" around the wounds we have yet to truly and intentionally acknowledge.

And DADs, by “summoning up this courage,” preparing to rally around our wounds, will enable us to face our past struggles, to more fully know ourselves, but even greater, to more fully know God.

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!

**Today we prepare to “Rally.” 

Next week we will consider how critical it is to prepare to “Persevere."

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.

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

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 01 2021
Defending What Matters Most

Week 35 - #Prepare “Defend”

“Defending What Matters Most"

I Peter 3:14: "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"

I have a passion for college football and all its pageantry.

The "Buckeye Battle Cry," to no surprise to anyone who knows me, is my favorite college fight song.

I especially like the last two lines…

“Our honor defend

For we'll fight to the end for old Ohio.”

Funny how I can get more worked up into my defense mode with just one word said against my beloved Buckeyes, but silent on many of the things I truly hold eternal.

In today’s world we are often quick to become defensive, over things in reality that are meaningless. But to the contrary we can also find ourselves walking away from confrontation regarding things that should matter most, and from the things we should be willing to stand up for.

What are those things that matter most to you and are willing to defend?

Your family? Your home? Yourself?

How about the defenseless?

What brings you to the front? What moves you to action? And when you defend, are you able to “temper your temper,” with how Peter describes in the last part of I Peter 3:14, “yet do it with gentleness and respect?”

No doubt there are things worth fighting for, all those things worth defending, holding such importance, mirroring in our head, the old cigarette commercial’s slogan, “I’d rather fight to switch."

What are the ditches you are willing to die in, and literally willing to fight to the end?

It always amazes me that I can post what I think is a meaningful and thought-provoking opportunity for other’s reflections, and get nothing but let me speak negatively about someone’s favorite team and watch out sparks will fly and often are not careful to mince their words!

Although I can resonate with their passion (guilty as charged), I often have asked myself the question, "what if the passion we carry for those worldly things we so love, and cannot live without, was replaced with the same passion for our love of Jesus Christ?

What if we raised up on our toes with the same fervor we cheer as fans in the stands, or in front of our 60 inch screens, screaming for victory?

What if we exemplified the first part of the scripture found in I Peter 3:14: "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you?”

DADs, maybe our best "preparation to defend" is to consider today, reflecting on what matters most never allowing what matters least to occupy our lives with an exhaustive and non-kingdom like defense.

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!


**Today we prepare to “Defend.” Next week we will consider how critical it is to prepare to “Rally."

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.

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

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Springer AT 05:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email