Jimmy McNeal


Aug 18, 2014

Jackson is Finally Here; Let the Memories Begin!

My son is now 9 days old today. Here he is....Jackson Jett McNeal, and judging by the smile on that handsome face of his, I think he was having a pretty good dream. 

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I still can't believe I'm his dad, but his feet, nose, eyes, gas (as Staci would say), eyebrows, and toes are evidence that "I'm that boy's pappy". It's been a life-changing week to say the least; full of memorable moments and images I hope never to forget. One of which happened this morning...

It wasn't because of the projectile urine that almost hit a brotha unexpectedly, twice, yes, twice in one night. Although that was unexpected and hilarious, it was a walk that I hope to never forget. My first father & son prayer walk. As I pushed his stroller around our neighborhood, I was reminded of one of David's prayers from 1 Chronicles that I've been praying over Jackson since he was in Staci's womb. 

...Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes..." 1 Chronicles. 29:19

The first thing that David asks for his son Solomon was a whole heart, not a good heart, nor the heart a good person, but an impartial heart that is whole. A whole heart that is useful, vibrant, and full of life. He asks for this because he knows that with a whole heart one can keep the commandments, testimonies, and statutes of God. That's the kind of heart that I continue to pray that Jackson would have. I want him to know Jesus and point others to Christ with both his words and his deeds. I'm begging God to grab his heart and make it new so that he would not only be a man of character, but a disciple who makes disciples.

As we walked passed tree after tree and I saw glimpses of my own shadow casting down on Jackson, I began to pray for someone I don't pray for enough, myself. I want to be a good dad. I look at the lineage I've come from and see how easily I could follow in the footsteps of most of the men in my family line. I have fears of making some of the same generational mistakes my dad made, that his dad made, and so on. Even with me knowing Jesus as my Savior I'm not exempt from making the same mistakes as they did. I don't only pray that I would be a good father to Jackson, but I pray that I would be an obedient, God fearing disciple maker. I know I'm not perfect and will never be, but I want my imperfections to always point Jackson to the only perfect man to walk on this earth, Jesus Christ. That's the reflection of my lineage that I want to pass on to my son. 

I don't think there will be many other firsts as memorable as this. I love my son dearly and believe one of the best things I could pray for him is this prayer of a whole heart and that God would use him as one of HIS own. I'm thankful for this gift God has entrusted to us, but make no mistake, God is the one who has gifted us with the life of Jackson Jett McNeal, and God is the one I continue to surrender Jackson to. 

I am one blessed man, and just wanted to share this to not only help my forgetful mind, but also encourage other moms and dads to do the same. 


Nothin' but love,




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