Guideposts – November 18, 2017

Freely ye have received, freely give. —Matthew 10:8 (kjv) It was a cold day in Nashville, Tennessee. I was meeting my mother for lunch. Her mother, my grandmother Bebe, had died just a few months before, and today would have been her birthday. In addition to the generous life Bebe had enjoyed, she was the person who had most inspired us to live like Jesus. “Brock, you can’t outgive the Lord,” I could almost hear her say as I got out of my car and threw on my warm overcoat. I was looking ahead to my mother and her loving smile. Even in her sadness, it was clear she chose living in joy, as Bebe would have wanted. “Brock, did you see that poor homeless man? He must be freezing!” I hadn’t, but it was just like her to put something like that first. Mom and I had a great visit regaling ourselves with the many “Bebe-isms” that meant so much to us. Lunch almost finished, she motioned to our waiter. “Can we get a cheeseburger and fries to go?” She looked at me, eyes dancing. “A birthday present for Bebe.” As we walked out, my mom made her way to the homeless man. “My mother went to heaven a few months ago, and today is her birthday. We’d like to celebrate with you.” The man got a big smile on his face and wrapped his arms around my mother. “Miss, I knew there was something special about you when I saw you walking by!” He was right. Happy birthday, Bebe! Father, we celebrate Your saints by giving freely....

Guideposts – September 17, 2017

Give…an understanding heart… —1 Kings 3:9 (nkjv) Help!” I half-whispered as I got out of bed. My son, Harrison, had started high school, and I knew all of the temptations and possibilities for poor decisions that lay ahead. How could I help him? At the other end of the spectrum, our daughter Mary Katherine had just turned three and our youngest, Ella Grace, was one. Between diapers and fevers and toddler tantrums, my wife, Corinne, and I were often overwhelmed. Help! I thought again as I brushed my teeth. My career was hitting its stride and business was great, but success came with more responsibility and longer hours. And I had recently said yes to chairing the board of a start-up school for some of the poorest children in Nashville, Tennessee. “Am I in over my head?” I whispered as I hurriedly showered for church. “Help!” We dropped off the girls in the nursery, and Harrison, Corinne, and I quickly slid into the pew. Our pastor was explaining, “Today, we’re going to talk about Solomon.” Next came the familiar story of how God appeared to Solomon in a dream, offering him the gift of his choice. Solomon, surprisingly, asks for wisdom rather than wealth or power. I thought of my earlier pleas. In my distress, I’d forgotten where to go that would allow me to tackle life’s problems. The answer was and would always be God. Church wasn’t yet finished, but already a calmness had settled over me. Whatever lay ahead, if I, like Solomon, looked to God for wisdom, help would be on its way. Father, stay by...

Guideposts – May 31, 2017

I will give thanks… —Psalm 9:1 (niv) Brock, we need to leave soon!” my wife called from the kitchen. Two down, one to go, I thought as I tied my tie. Finally, the last graduation ceremony of the season. I longed to stay home and write. I was rotating off a board after nine years and would be offering my farewell message that very week. Working with the poor through Nashville, Tennessee’s oldest nonprofit organization had been gratifying and I wanted my parting words to be profound. Corinne and I found seats in the bleachers. We looked to the podium, expecting a wave of weighty advice. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised. “As a Southern lady, my mother always spoke of the importance of writing thank-you notes,” a fresh-faced girl began with a hint of exasperation. The crowd chuckled. “But as much as I hate to admit it, my mom was right. So this morning, I have written a thank-you note to all of you.” Her words were poignant and expressed her appreciation for everything she had gained from her teachers, friends, and school. “Best graduation talk ever,” Corinne said on our drive home. I agreed, my mind churning. Two nights later, I stood before the board and pulled out a simple thank-you note. Dear God, thank You. —Brock Kidd Digging Deeper: Romans 1:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:18   Reprinted with permission from Daily Guideposts 2017. Copyright © 2017 by Guideposts. All rights reserved. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions of the Daily...

Guideposts – January 8, 2017

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight… —Hebrews 12:1 (nkjv) My church, Hillsboro Presbyterian, had formed a relationship with a local African-American church, Spruce Street Baptist, years ago. The initial goal was to bring groups reflecting different demographics within Nashville, Tennessee, to worship together. But as time passed, the exchange became something more, a gathering of family and a reunion with people we had grown to love. As the designated Sunday approached, it was beginning to look as though the decades-old tradition might not happen. The week had brought one of the worst ice storms that our hometown had ever seen, plus I was in a mood and wanted to avoid people, stay dry, and read the newspaper without interruption. But at the last minute, Corinne and I bundled up the girls and headed for church. The service started with an old spiritual hymn sung by Spruce Street’s choir. There was something about the warmth of their smiles that began to thaw my grumpiness. Next, one of the members reported on the past week’s activities. In spite of record cold and treacherous roads, the churchwomen had managed to serve 150 meals to people who were stranded. “With Jesus there with us, the weather didn’t slow us down and we fed our hungry neighbors,” the member said. The ice around my heart cracked. I’d seen the bad weather as a personal inconvenience; these women had seized on it as an opportunity to help. Their spirit was contagious, and it was with anticipation that I pledged to put their lesson to...

Guideposts – April 15, 2016

Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. —Proverbs 3:12 (kjv) I took up fly fishing as a young man. There’s something magical about the rod creating beautiful loops that sail the fly on a long arc. If luck is with you, the fly will land gently on a calm drift where a perfect trout awaits. Later, reading A River Runs Through It and discovering my commonality with the author, Norman Maclean, who was also the son of a minister, I was hooked for life. I longed to share this passion for fly fishing with my son, Harrison, and chose my birthday as the ideal time for our first outing together. In preparation, we practiced casting for hours in the backyard. We drove to a secluded place on the river, put on our waders, and slogged through the stream to the first fishing hole. I could sense Harrison’s nervousness as he began to cast out his line. “Over there, H!” I pointed to a trout near the opposite bank. He quickly lifted up his line, attempting to get it close. But the fly landed too hard and the fish darted away. “Harrison, you need to be a little gentler in your cast.” I badly wanted him to get a fish, but I didn’t want to be so bossy that he wouldn’t want to keep trying. We spotted another fish, and Harrison cast again. But when the trout rose to sip in the fly, Harrison was too slow and missed hooking the fish. “Harrison, you need to try to be quicker.” Again, I caught myself. He...

Guideposts – February 4, 2016

And the Word was made flesh…full of grace and truth. —John 1:14 (kjv) I was walking to my car when I saw a man coming toward me. Oh no, not again, I thought. It was obvious that he was homeless, hadn’t had a bath in a while, and didn’t plan to buy food with whatever money he might ask of me. A day earlier, I’d had a similar encounter as I walked down this same street with a friend. “These guys spend all their time begging,” he had said. “I don’t support that sort of behavior. If you give him money, he’ll just get drunk.” Now this man was approaching me. “Do you have any money to spare, sir? I’m awfully hungry.” I stopped dead-still. A story my dad had shared with me played across my mind. It was by a nineteenth-century theologian who told of his childhood. When walking with his father, they came upon a blind man begging for money. His father pressed a bill into his son’s hand and told him to put it in the man’s cup. He did as he was told and returned to his father. “You didn’t tip your hat to the man,” the father said. The son answered, “But, Dad, he’s blind.” To which the father replied, “Yes, but what if he’s faking?” “This, Brock, is a story of grace,” my dad said. I smiled at the man who stood before me. I slipped some money into his hand. “God bless you,” he said. I’m sure I saw God’s love filling his eyes, and that set me to wondering about grace. Was it...

Guideposts – December 30, 2015

Tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope. —Romans 5:3–4 (kjv) I want to start a college fund for my son,” Bill said as he entered my office. The look on his face told me there was more, so I waited. “Sometimes I think it’s the only good thing I’ll ever be able to do for him,” he explained, describing his nasty divorce and the ensuing separation from his son. “I feel like he doesn’t want to be with me and that I should make it easy for him and just give up.” Tears pooled in his eyes. I had a lot to do and appointments were backing up, but I could feel God nudging me: Tell your story, Brock. I leaned back in my chair. “I’ve been there, Bill, and it’s not easy. My son, Harrison, wasn’t even two years old when his mother and I divorced.” I went on to describe the dread I felt waiting in his mom’s driveway: how I’d plaster a smile on my face and walk to the door, anticipating Harrison’s screams when I reached out for him. “Luckily my sister, Keri, an expert in child behavior, had programmed a scenario in my head: Be patient. Speak calmly. React with love. I would drive to a nearby parking lot and tell Harrison, still screaming and kicking in his car seat, that I loved him, that I was going to get out of the car and wait until he stopped crying, and then we were going to Daddy’s house to have a fun weekend. I would stand by his window with my head...

Guideposts – October 19, 2013

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. —Psalm 30:5 (KJV)   I’ve known lonely. I’ve worked hard all day, trying my best to serve others, only to come home to an empty house, a microwave dinner and silence. I remember once saying to my sister Keri, “Maybe I’ll just move in with you and Ben and sleep on your couch forever.” I’m fortunate now. My wife Corinne has known lonely too. When we married, we shared many of the same dreams, centered around a longing to have a safe, happy home where love was always waiting. Already, I was approaching forty and Corinne was thirty eight, and more than any other thing, we prayed that having a sibling for Harrison might be part of God’s plan for us. Five months after we wed, His answer came. “Brock, we’re going to have a baby,” Corrine said. “Wow, Dad, I always wanted a little sister!” Harrison added. Our due date quickly approached, and before we knew it, we were in the hospital, welcoming our new baby girl. I was speechless as the nurse handed Mary Katherine Kidd to her proud momma. Corinne looked up into my eyes. I wanted to say something profound but “You did it” was all I could manage. Corinne’s eyes were filled with joyful tears as she shook her head and softly pointed upward, saying it better than I could have hoped: “No, Brock, it was God Who did this for us.” Thank You, Father. Thank You. –Brock Kidd   Reprinted with permission from Daily Guideposts 2013. Copyright © 2012 by Guideposts....