June 26, 2020 – A Tribute To My Parents

Yesterday, my parents celebrated their 43rd anniversary. While they are by no means perfect, Growing up, I was able to observe their relationship and learn from it. I learned what a successful relationship entails: things like biblically resolving conflict, remaining faithful, exhibiting and receiving love, and sacrificially serving one another. I have watched by dad selflessly care for my mother through two battles with cancer. I have watched my mother pinch pennies to provide not just for the family’s needs but also many of our wants. I was directed towards spiritual growth through their commitment to God and the church. While my dad worked long hours year after year, both my parents did their best to be at my athletic events and my sister’s music concerts. A memory I will always hold dear occurred in my junior year of college. My college soccer team again competed at the national championship tournament in Kissimmee, Florida. As we warmed up prior to the first game I thought I heard my parents’ voices. As I played, I became more convinced I was right. Sure enough, when the game ended, there they were walking across the field. Unannounced, they had flown in for the weekend to watch me. In my desk I still have the picture taken at the end of that tournament, in which I am holding the national championship banner with my parents.
Why do I mention this? Because the nuclear family is the creation of God. God intended children to be raised by both their parents. Through this arrangement, the children naturally learn important life lessons. Specifically, how to interact with others and in the Christian family, how to interact with God. Husbands it is vital that you heed the commands of Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3. You must learn to lead your family towards Christlikeness. You must love your wife and serve her the way that Christ loves and gave himself for the church. You must learn to understand everything about your wife. Your children are watching. Mothers, you must also learn to heed the commands of Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3. You must learn how to lovingly submit to your husband’s leadership. You must care well for your family. You should be a picture of grace and care. You children are watching.
Many of the social ills our society faces today can be traced back to the breakdown of the family. Children are being raised without fathers and are left adrift to fend for themselves. Children are being raised without mothers and are failing to learn empathy and care. Left to fend for themselves, missing the God ordained structures, these individuals live out their own fleshly desires and chase the wind. Now we are reaping the whirlwind. If you are struggling in your marriage, there is no shame in seeking help. If you have a strong marriage, guard it well. For the sake of the next generation, let us be a church that values the family.
~ Pastor Dave

June 19, 2020

Dear Cambria Family,
Although we are now gathering together again, I have decided to continue this weekly update. It will be renamed the Pastor’s Pen and will be available on our website as a blog as well. It was a joy to gather together again with you all. I have missed hearing you sing, watching you fellowship, and interacting with you in person. I hope that this time away has infused in you a love for the gathering of the body. 
Sunday is Father’s Day. This day serves as a reminder to us of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Many of the social ills we face today are exacerbated by the fact that fathers have failed in their responsibilities. Often as dads we may look to those who have abandoned their families and pat ourselves on the back that we are still present. But many have practically abandoned their families while still being physically present. They see the raising of the children, the discipline of the children, and the teaching of the children as the mom’s responsibility. Yet, Ephesians 5-6 demonstrates that, as the head of the home, the father has the responsibility of leading his family in Christ-likeness. Too many father’s are busy advancing their careers, paying the bills, and playing at their hobbies to spend quality time with their children. But the day will come when their children are grown and lost to the world. Of what value then is their job or hobby? So dads, let me encourage you to begin to do three things:
First, lead your family spiritually. Establish a time where your family prays together and reads the bible together. Perhaps you will read a devotional book, or straight from the Bible. Be in church. Make it a priority. Why would your children follow God when you don’t make it a priority? And speak to your children about God often. In Deuteronomy 11:19, God challenges fathers to teach their children about God “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many.”
Second, be with your family. Set aside that hobby or work your job around so that you can be with your children. Talk to them. Play with them. engage them. If they play a sport, be at their game. You cannot pass off the raising of your children to someone else. They are a gift from God, so engage in that gift. 
Finally, be patient with them. I believe that there is a reason that Ephesians 6:4 is addressed to fathers. We are our children’s protectors. And when we provoke them, we undermine that special place. So seek to guide them, not bully them. Love them and nurture them. In short, be a dad. 
I am thankful for the many great dads we have in our congregation. May God bless us as we follow him in this glorious task. 
Dave Locke
Senior Pastor
Cambria Baptist Church
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