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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taking inventory as Father’s Day draws near

Posted by Gary on June 1, 2012

It’s funny what you think about while you wait for a medical procedure to start. As I waited for one the other day Harry Chapin’s, “Cats in the Cradle” started playing in my mind. Why? Who knows, but I am one who believes that as things come to mind, especially things that challenge it is wise to ponder.

Father’s Day is soon to be upon us. On that day millions of fathers will receive cards and gifts which is all very nice. I am always grateful for the homemade cards I receive from my children and my wife always gives me an encouraging card and nice present. Of course the purpose of Father’s Day is to recognize fathers and let them know we are grateful for them and we should be.

We all know how this works, everyone is told that they are a great father on father’s day. Every father is loving, every father is involved and every father has filled their wife’s and children’s lives with great memories. At least that’s what the greeting cards all say. But is it actually so with us?

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Now how could that be? (President Obama’s claim that gay marriage strengthens families)

Posted by Gary on May 15, 2012

Genesis 1:27-28 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…”

Well, at least he is finally being honest…we all knew that President Obama was a champion of sodomy but until now for the reason of political expedience, he has walked the wire. Finally, his political life and his real views serve each other.

This week the President has declared that, “Gay marriage doesn’t weaken families, it strengthens families”. We would ask the President, “How can gay marriage strengthen families when it cannot create families”? This is the marvel isn’t it? For there to be a “family” a gay couple must pilfer from the union of a man and a woman for their “union” can produce nothing but disease and death.

Not only this, if homosexuality were to be embraced wholesale (as we can advocate for male and female with no harm coming to humanity) there would be no more families for sodomy practiced wholesale by humanity would lead to extinction. Sodomy leads to extinction and would end families, yet it strengthens families! This must be the new math.

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A time to celebrate?

Posted by Gary on July 13, 2009

As one whose calling and work includes performing funerals, I have a vantaged place from which to view the thinking of society when it comes to the death of others. In recent years you may have noticed that funerals are less frequently referred to as "funerals" they are more and more frequently called "life celebrations." The thinking here isn’t hard to follow, "funeral" sounds negative and sad, "life celebration" sounds joyful and hopeful.

There are times when we can rightly call for celebration when a person dies, when and only when that person was in right standing with God through the merits and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. When a forgiven, redeemed sinner dies it is reason to celebrate, that person has gone into the presence of God:

Psalm 16:11 "In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever."

According to the Bible, God Himself celebrates when one who belongs to Him dies and is brought to heaven with Him:

Psalm 116:15
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones."

Here painful honesty is required, an honesty that apart from enablement from God we will never apply. How many people are entering God’s presence when they die? How often do we truly have a right to call for celebration? Did you know, not many? "On what authority do you say this?" one might ask. On the authority of the Lord Jesus:

Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

In twenty years of ministry and many funerals I can tell you that I can’t remember one time it being said of a person who died, "I don’t think they are in heaven." In virtually every case the declaration made of the deceased is that, "They are in a better place" or "They aren’t suffering anymore" or "God took them home". It doesn’t matter if the deceased never made any profession of faith in Christ or gave any indication of ever coming to repentance in their life. The base assumption is that essentially everyone goes to heaven, with every funeral we can rejoice. Oh, perhaps Hitler isn’t in heaven but beyond him virtually everyone else is in heaven.

Our calls for celebration without discretion flows from denial, a refusal to listen to the Son of God. Not many are going to heaven, only a few are finding the path to life.

How do we know if someone is in heaven? First, we cannot make the ultimate declaration in this matter can we? I do not mean it is impossible for a person to know they are going to heaven because Christ’s death insures that those who come to Him by faith will be saved. But even here we must be cautious…have you ever questioned whether or not you are truly in the faith?

2 Corinthians 13:5
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?"

If you have not tested your claim to heaven I would warn you that you are not standing on safe ground.

Knapp Family Scorecard: Little Booger (1)-Dad (1)

Posted by Gary on May 24, 2008

Photo_052208_001 My son Joshua (4) loves to ride the lawn tractor with me as I cut the grass. Last week after starting our ride my tractor cut out after about 40 seconds. I was sure that I wasn’t out of gas. After repeated tries it became evident the tractor was not going to start.

I pushed the tractor into the garage and sought the help of a neighbor to no avail. The next day another neighbor came over. We had new fuel, the spark plug had spark, churning and churning but the engine wouldn’t fire.

A few days later a brother from our church came over and cleaned the carburetor, certainly that would do the trick, nope.

Later that evening I came into the garage and found Joshua near the tractor with the lid open and the cap off the gas tank, as he stood there he was holding a plastic Spider-Man cup. Immediately the picture came into view.

I said, "Joshua, what did you do?" He responded, "I poured it in the tractor". It appears that Joshua had been filling my gas tank with water and orange juice. What is frustrating is that I emptied the tank and put new gas in but apparently the old had not cleared out and in the meantime he must have added more.

Well, dad knows how to fix that. Off to Lowe’s for a latch and some metal screws and viola, a custom made tractor lid lock (I will install one for you for a mere $79.99).

To top the fun off, even after finding out what was wrong I couldn’t get it to start. I loaded it into the back of my mini-van (no easy task let me tell you) and took it to the small engine repair shop nearby. The repairman had some real ramps and we backed it down, he hopped on, worked the throttle up and down as he turned the key, a little sputter. Same thing again, more sputter, finally, it fired, belched out smoke and started running. I stood there half happy, half mad, off the van 30 seconds and its running. Four men and a few hours produced nothing, one engine repairman and 30 seconds and it starts.

I plan to unveil this story at a very opportune moment in Joshua’s life, I see him in our living room with a young woman for whom he has intentions, I’ll be sure to tell her all about it. The score will then be dad (2) little booger (1).

Shameless proud father pictures

Posted by Gary on December 26, 2007


    

I am off for a week or so here at Christmas and New Year and it is good to have some extended time with my family. Here are our children top to bottom, left to right: Elijah (7), Josiah (8), Thea (8), Joshua (4) and Abigail (14 months).

This made my day

Posted by Gary on April 28, 2006

Picture_582

It is a joy to have young children at age 40. We have two seven year olds, one six year old, a two year old and thank God, another child on the way. Having these young children helps keep me young and I am glad for it.

Today we left Myrtle Beach after a week of vacation. After getting on the road my son Elijah told me that he saw a cartoon where a child entered a television and went into another world. He then said, "That can’t really happen right dad? That’s just a camera trick right?" I of course answered, "Yes".

Elijah then quite seriously said, "I know it can’t happen because I tried it once and hit my head on the screen." What a priceless laugh for me. So often I am impatient with my children and fail to appreciate the moments God gives me with them.

Tonight we worked on putting a LEGO car together (tons of little pieces-a parent’s nightmare). Elijah said, "Dad, your the best dad in the world, is it alright for me to say your the best dad in the world?" I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dear God, help me to appreciate these gifts from You and forgive me for being so grown up sometimes. I long to have a child’s heart toward You: Believing everything You say, looking up to You and being honest and needy instead of dishonest and self-reliant.