{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/uyWADizqtHk?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Garth Brooks has been making the news lately.  I rarely get to watch Good Morning America anymore, but I kept the television on last Friday, just to hear Garth Brooks sing.   I don’t listen to a lot of country music, but every now and then I hear a song that I just love.  I wrote about Carrie Underwood’s new song, “Something in the Water” and I wanted you all to hear Garth Brooks’ new song today.  It is simply titled, “Mom.”  Garth Brooks defines himself as a “momma’s boy” and he said that he wished he had written this new “favorite” song.  I loved it and I hope you enjoy the video.

I was also touched by the story about a moment during Garth Brook’s recent concert in Minneapolis.  He was singing his famous song “The Dance” when he noticed Teresa Shaw in the audience.  She was holding a poster that read, “Chemo This Morning.  Garth Tonight.  Enjoying the Dance.”  An usher had seen her holding the sign and escorted her to the front of the stage so Garth Brooks could see it as well.  He sang the rest of the song as a serenade for her and then brought her up on the stage.  I won’t quote his exact words because they included a “colorful phrase” but the gist was that he wanted everyone to send Teresa Shaw strength and purpose for her journey with cancer.  Shaw wept and was amazed at the attention.  Garth Brooks gave her a kiss on top of her head and after his concert was over, he made sure she got his guitar.

I don’t really know about Garth Brooks’ walk with God, but I do admire some of his choices.  He stepped away from his amazing music career thirteen years ago so that he could spend more time with his kids.  He told an interviewer once that, “even after spending every day with his three children, it still didn’t feel like enough to him.”  He said, “The greatest gift God or the people have ever given me, is that time with my children.”  He described those thirteen years as “phenomenal” and said, “the crazy thing is, you know, I was there every day, and it still flew by.”

I recently wrote about the absent father crisis, but there are a lot of dads who understand the importance of being there for their children.  Garth Brooks is one of those dads.  I am a fan of Garth Brooks even more for that example than for his music.  I love when a person uses their influence or fame in order to make the world a better place.  The video of his song, “Mom,” and the video from the concert were quickly posted on the Internet and went viral.  One interviewer said, “the world needs a little more joy.”

Our world does need more joy.  We are getting closer to the season that we will celebrate the most joyous event in history, the birth of Christ.  I see the power and influence of a man like Garth Brooks and realize that I should be doing more to share joy as well.

Christians own the most joyous message the world could ever discover.   We can tell people that God loves them so much that he gave his own Son for their salvation (John 3:16). We can encourage people to trust that the baby in the manger grew to be the “Lamb, who was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).   We can help people receive the greatest gift of joy.

As I was writing this blog post, I received a visit from Bill Dotson, a man who is involved in prison ministry.  He said, “almost every one of the men he ministers to in prison were neglected by their fathers or never even knew them.”  His ministry, Abiding Fathers, is a mentoring ministry aimed at teaching Christians the importance of being a father who “abides.”  Bill is using his influence to help other men be better fathers and better men of God.  

God has given each of us the ability to influence others.  We may not have a stage like Garth Brooks or a ministry like Bill Dotson, but we share a similar responsibility.  Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  We can use our influence to strengthen God’s Kingdom today.   Let’s get out there and use our influence to shine his light.  Our stage is bigger than we realize.

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