Why the Steve Jobs Biography?

I recently discovered that Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of the Apple empire, spent a lot of time toward the end of his life allowing research for his own biography. Why you might ask? Check out this article, re-posted here:

When Steve Jobs official biography was announced, everyone wondered why the notoriously private Steve Jobs would let Walter Isaacson interview him over 40 times, let Isaacson talk to family and friends and pretty much have unprecedented access to Jobs’ entire life. Turns out Jobs had a very personal reason.

Isaacson saw him a few weeks before Jobs passed and finally asked him that very question, “Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private?” Steve Jobs responded:

“I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

With all the things Jobs did in his life, it’s nice to see his heart was in the right place at the end.

Another writer in the Daily Mail (from the UK) goes on to say that the book is ultimately a love letter to his family. He wasn’t there for his family, but now his children will be able to read all about him in this posthumous biography in order to get to know their dad.

Steve Jobs left behind over $6 billion in personal assets. That’s more money than many of us will ever see in our lifetimes combined, but none of his huge fortune will buy a relationship with his children now. Steve Jobs made choices which earned him a lot of money, but apparently he alienated his family in the process. How sad.

Can you imagine the regret you would feel if you spent your last days apologizing to your family for not being there? With all of the advanced technology, Steve Jobs never created an app that would build a relationship with his children.

This story is shared for only one reason: don’t buy into the lie that your job, hobbies, money, financial success, business, fame, pleasure or prestige are worth sacrificing your relationships with your wife and children.

Too many of us fathers make these same poor choices. Maybe your father made poor choices as well, so you are merely passing on the family tradition.

Steve Job’s position at work has already been replaced, and Apple will continue to grow and develop new products for our enjoyment and productivity, but his family lost an irreplaceable person. Don’t be that guy.

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Courageous Movie Trailer

King’s Grant Baptist Church has a license to show the feature film Courageous. It is free, and space is limited. Join us on Friday, January 20, 2012, at 7:00 pm. This film can be a significant event in the lives of our men and families in the Little Neck community. It will challenge men to strive to be more than “just good enough” as fathers and husbands.

Here is the movie trailer:

The Meaning of DAD

There’s an old commercial when I was a kids that begged the question, “How do you spell relief?” Take-offs and jokes were a part of most every area in life. I ask today how you would spell “dad,” and what that really means:

D-Depend on God!
Start each day asking God to give you the wisdom and strength to be the best dad you can be. Never sacrifice your family on the altar of work. Yes, God is first in your life, but your family is second, and work is at best, third. This also means stop looking at your phone during dinner or e-mailing while watching TV. My daughter knows when I’m engaged and when I’m just in the room.

A-Always Love Them!
Give your kids a hug and tell them you love them each and every day. No matter what age, hug them and talk to them. Stephen is 24 now and we still hug. Don’t replace authentic love with texting and e-mails. Use your voice and use your arms to convey love. It will reassure them that they are your priority. If you don’t know the love languages of your kids, learn them so you can connect with them through the way God wired them.

D-Devote Your Time!
Kids spell love T-I-M-E, so make time to be with them. While I’m not perfect in this, find a way to give your kids the best part of your day (instead of the leftovers). I like getting up with Bethany before the day gets started, even though she is not a morning person. The hope is that she will remember that I was there each day getting her breakfast and wishing her well as she goes off to school. Don’t wait until the end of the day. It is too easy to slip into busyness and allow other things to suck your day away. Be deliberate in finding ways to give your kids your time.

I hope these reminders help strengthen your relationship with God and your kids. God gives us the gift of fatherhood (Psalm 127:3-5) and we need to fight to be the best we can be.

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Jesus on God as Father

Being a father, my goal is to be the best I can be, at least, be the kind of father that God wants me to be. I often fail like all of us, but I thought it might be interesting to think about Jesus’ thoughts about the Father.

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon” (Luke 11:2).

For those of us who have grown up praying the Lord’s Prayer, we find it familiar and comfortable to address God as Father. But it’s hard for us to relate to the extraordinary invitation of Jesus as he teaches us how to address God. We can simply turn our hearts to God and say, “Father.”

Why is This So Amazing?

Well, before Jesus, people didn’t speak to God in such a personal way. Though the Old Testament sometimes pictures God as a father to Israel (for example, Psalm 103:13), and though Jews could address God as “our Father in heaven,” the simplicity and intimacy of Jesus’ “Father” is unprecedented.

The fact that Jesus referred to God as “my Father” or, more simply, “Father,” was a potentially scandalous presumption. Yet, given his unique relationship with his heavenly Father, we might allow Jesus this extraordinarily familiar communication. But the fact that Jesus invites us to address God as Father boggles the mind, or at least it should.

A Word Study:

The Aramaic word that Jesus used in this prayer was Abba (see Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). Abba was a word used by children in the time of Jesus, something like “Papa” or “Daddy” in contemporary English. But Abba could also be used by adult children as a term of respect, much like “Father” for us. So, this word encourages us to come before God as free, open-hearted children, while it does not surrender the respect we offer to God as we approach the King of kings and Lord of lords.

A Word Picture:

Jesus himself offered a fascinating picture of God as Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In this story, a father runs to embrace his wayward son, even as he reaches out to his obedient son as well. God as father extends himself in unimaginable love and forgiveness, always seeking reconciliation with us, his children.

Application:

  1. Do you address God as “Father” when you pray? Why or why not?
  2. What does it mean to you to speak to God as your father?
  3. If your father is lacking in honorable qualities, it may be difficult to address God as your Father, but we must understand the “ideal father” that Jesus set before us. How can you overcome any negative images of “father” in your heart?
  4. If you are a father, how are you embracing the characteristics of God as Father to your own children: love, acceptance, care, protection, familiarity, discipline, guidance, encouragement, comfort, support?

It is so amazing to speak to the God of the universe with such directness and intimacy. Sometime today, thank him for the invitation offered by Jesus to speak to God as he did. Thank him for his sacrifice that makes it possible for us to know God as our Father in heaven. Thank him for the mind-blowing, heart-filling privilege of being one of his children.

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