“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.
~ Jane D. Hull
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
~ Charles R. Swindoll
Proverbs 22:6 (New Living Translation) direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Forward Thinkers, we have a responsibility to protect and provide for our children in the midst of a dark and negative world; we must battle and fight for our children’s future.
Forward Thinkers, as Democrats and Republicans rotate living in the White House and playing games with our social security system, we need to be creating our own social security for our children and our children’s children. We owe them an opportunity to be equipped with the ability to prosper in life and create a society that they can exist in that is secure.
Forward Thinkers, the bible says to train up your child. We know every championship boxer has a great trainer in his corner; the trainer makes sure the boxer is prepared to defeat his opponent. Forward Thinkers, understand this very clearly, the trainer is not focused on being the boxer’s friend and often during the training sessions, the boxer can’t stand the sight of the trainer but after every win, both the boxer and the trainer celebrates the victory.
The NLT bible uses the phrase, direct your children. The director has the responsibility to put everyone in the right place and position to win. Forward Thinkers, the director is not silent but always giving directions to equip the team to perform at its full potential.
In 2016, the family structure is under great attack and the children often become casualties of war. Forward Thinkers, let’s pause and repent for not fighting more to save our families.
Forward Thinkers, I attended a meeting last week with the President and Vice President of a Christian University and they discussed a survey that was done at Arkansas State University that caused me to rethink my approach on ministry. They took 1000 incoming freshmen who all identified themselves as active Christians and after 4 years, this group was totally different. 500 out of 1000 (that’s 50%) said they no longer identified themselves as Christian and 250 stated in the last year they had not attended church other than weddings and funerals. Forward Thinkers, only25% of the students still identified themselves as active Christians 4 years after the initial survey.
Forward Thinkers, there is a great battle for our children and we must refocus before the world totally destroys the future. I pray you have noticed the church is quickly becoming less relevant to this generation of millenniums. I can get them to march with me for peace, protest with me over an injustice, and even go to jail with me to promote a cause but when it’s time to go to church they have other things to do. Just sitting in church no longer stimulates their passion; they desire to do something great and meaningful.
Forward Thinkers, I refuse to lose this generation without a major fight, therefore; I’m seeking God for the wisdom to reach them and to surround me with an army of believers who will sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure to assist me in saving this generation.
I still believe Jesus is the truth and the way but, I also believe our presentation of Jesus is outdated and ineffective in thisfast paced high tech social media world.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Let’s break this down:
But Daniel: Forward Thinkers, the King has created a culture that was designed to produce an ungodly generation but Daniel refused to participate. What a great testimony of Daniel’s parents’ training and directing. His parents produced a son who had the courage to say no. Forward Thinkers, I saw a powerful picture of 3 former high school teammates in a courtroom where one man was in law enforcement, one was the judge presiding over the courtroom, and the 3rd guy was the guy in the orange jumpsuit and handcuffs being sentenced for armed robbery. What they said No to determined what their destiny could say Yes to. Forward Thinkers, we must equip our children with the courage to say No.
Forward Thinkers, notice that favor follows those in position to receive favor. Life is not about luck but being in the right position to receive; and the director and trainer’s role is to put everyone in the right position.
Daniel and his crew out shined the competition. Life is not fair. In life, we will be tested but if we are properly prepared, we will come out on top. Forward Thinkers, how much confidence do you have in your children passing the test; remember, your answer is a reflection on both them and you as a coach.
Forward Thinkers, the world has a term called “balance” and I totally agree, we need to live a balanced life but, what I don’t understand is why we think living reckless, undisciplined, and ungodly is balanced. The prodigal son was not being balanced, he was being rebellious and living beneath his full potential but thank God he came to his senses and returned to his father’s house. You better believe that keeping your children in the presence of God still works. God gave Daniel and his crew knowledge and understanding to compete and win. Forward Thinkers, don’t fall for the trick like Eve and miss out on the blessings from God.
Daniel and his crew became 10 times better than the youth of their generation. Forward Thinkers, our goal should be to train up and direct a generation of leaders and world changers. We must make sure while they are hitting the “Quan”, they are also hitting the books and the bible. We don’t have to protest dabbing but, we have to promote praying and studying even harder. Yes, my granddaughter knows the NaNa but don’t get it twisted, she also knows Jesus is the Way. Forward Thinkers, we can’t hide the world from our kids but we can empower them to become the light of the world.
In a world full of negative images of young black men, I’m filled with joy over the images we have been able to display to the world over the past two Sundays at the Green House International Church. Morris Sibley, a young Black father prayed with power at the altar to close out one service; last Sunday, we also read from Anthony Collier, a young Black male off Homestead Rd. who is currently a student at TSU on his way to Harvard; Tony Jones, Jr., a Freshman All American football player prayed out loud over his peers; and then this Sunday, Jerry Ford Jr., a young Black well spoken male running for Sylvester Turner’s former seat in Austin was a part of our service.
Forward Thinkers, time is running out on us having a positive Black man in the White House but, the time is just right for us to be positive men in our houses. Later in their journey they will be tested again but, because they were prepared they would again come out on top. Daniel’s crew of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had to make a difficult decision that could have cost them their lives but they stood strong on their faith. Faith comes by hearing, so Forward Thinkers, remember, it’s very important what we are saying to our children. In a tight spot, the 3 Hebrew boys declared our God is able because they had heard over and over again that God was able. What you are saying to and over your children will determine how they respond under fire.
When Daniel’s faith was challenged, he did not give in to peer-pressure but he remained strong in his beliefs and challenged those who were challenging him. Forward Thinkers, we all know how the story ends, Daniel excels and God promotes him in the presence of his enemies.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church now located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.