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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Yesterday, I had a young man meet me at my office to discuss baptism.  He was raised in a different faith but has been attending our church for quite some time.  I was excited about his initiative – through our friendship, he actually approached me with his questions.

As we began, I explained the differences between the beliefs common in the Baptist denomination and those common in the faith of his childhood.  We discussed the importance of having a real life relationship with Jesus.  We also discussed the reasons for following through with Jesus’ example of baptism.

Then we moved on to being a part of a church family and the benefits of actually putting down roots and getting involved.

Through all of this discussion he was in agreement and had his mind made up that he wants to “go public” with his decision.  He wants to make it official and get plugged into our 1st B family.  So we began to discuss the process that our church recognizes for taking this step.  He has been in our services long enough to have seen the process play out and he is ready to take that step.

All of what I have shared here is exciting.  But what he said next made me sit back in my chair.  He relayed to me that he knows this is what he needs to do for his own journey, but he also really wants his young daughter to see her dad take this stand.

Parents, it is so important for you kids not only to hear what you have to say about faith and following Jesus but to also see you modeling it for them.  Kids have the innate ability to sense “fake.”  We can tell them all their lives what they should do and how they should live but if we are not living it out in front of them, our words and empty and meaningless.  You have to live it.

Make sure you model Jesus’ love for your family today!

Be blessed!

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The Family That Skis Together

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This past week was spring break in our area, so we decided as a family to head to New Mexico for a little skiing.  I took a day of vacation and we headed to the slopes.  Our three boys are teenagers, so the drive was pretty quiet – each with their own headphones plugged into their favorite music.

But once we hit the slopes, we had a blast.  It was so good to be together as a family doing something we all enjoy doing.  The boys had a great time – and except for one dislocated collar bone, we had a relatively safe time.

Our time gathered around the back of the car eating lunch in the parking lot was filled with talking about our favorite runs and what we were going to go do next.  We laughed and genuinely enjoyed being together.

Now that the boys are older, unfortunately, those kind of times are fewer than they used to be but they are no less meaningful.  In fact, I think I cherish them more.

Family is so important.  Don’t take yours for granted.  Take some time today and remind each person in your family just how important they are to you.  You’ll be glad you did.

Be blessed!

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Unplugging For the Holidays

The week between Christmas and New Years is typically pretty quiet around the church.  So, I have chosen to take some time and spend with my family and also getting some things done around the house.  I will be in the office some this week, but I am unplugging a bit.

So all that to say, unless God impresses on me to post something else this week, the next post will most likely be next week.

I hope your holidays are glorious and filled with joy, peace and happiness!

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My Son the Poet

Some days, being a father is hard work.  Some days – it’s not fun.  You know those days – one child has to be at practice at the same time one of the others has to have a parent at the school for a meeting.  Then in the midst of all that, one of the kids has a melt-down or some bad decision they have made comes to light.

Some days it seems more than I signed up for.

BUT . . .

Then there are those days when they do something amazing and you forget all those other days.  Have you ever had that experience?

My boys are pretty amazing as it is, and those days of not wanting to be their dad are few and far between.

Yesterday, was one of those amazing days.  I was on the way to run an errand when I received a text from my middle son.  All the text said was, “I left something for you in your backpack . . .”  I could not wait to get back to the office and check the backpack for what he left.

One of his current assignments in English was to write a poem.  The poem he wrote:  My Dad.

Now understand, this is a 17 year old young man who doesn’t talk much – even to those close to him.  But here I sat, reading a poem he had written revealing how he feels about me.  I don’t mind telling you, it took a couple of hours for the carpet near my desk to dry from the tears I shed as I read and reread his poem.

Yep, some days make this whole parenting thing worth it all!

Go home and hug your kid today.

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Nailed It!

Last Friday, I spent the day working on the house.  We are doing some remodeling and so I had plenty to do.  When Kristi got off work, she and Ethan joined me.  I put Ethan to work cutting some 2×4’s in order to frame up a wall to make a closet.  He did a great job and in a couple of minutes, we were ready to put them together.

It was tight quarters so I handed the nail gun to him and I held the boards.  As he set the nail gun on the board, he took his free hand and grabbed the board for leverage.  He then fired a nail into the board – or at least that had been the goal.  The nail hit the board at an angle and shot out side-ways.  He dropped the gun and gave a yell.  My first assumption was that the board splintered off and a piece had hit him.  After closer examination I realized that the 16 penny nail had shot through three of his fingers – “nailing” them together!

I would include a picture here but trust me, the sight was not for the faint of heart.  But take my word for it, he nailed it!

We then spent the next 2 hours at the emergency room having the nail pulled from his fingers.

By the protective hand of God, the nail did not hit a single bone and at this point, other than some puncture wounds, there does not appear to be any lasting damage!

But as I stood there in that ER with Ethan, I could not help be feel responsible.  I wished with all my heart that it had been me and not him that took the nail.  But all I could do was stand beside him and try to comfort him.

As I have reflected on that experience it has made me wonder:  in some very small way, I wonder if those feelings I had were not unlike the feelings God had as Jesus took the nails for the cross event?

Have you ever experienced having to watch a child suffer?

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Concrete, Jack-hammer and My Son

Yesterday, I told you about my concrete saw trials.  What I did not tell you is that I did finally get the concrete cut in the bathroom.  Unfortunately, I did not return to that particular project until last night.  But, I had help!  Some help came from an 80 pound electric jack hammer.  But most of the help came from my son.

Ethan was a huge help as we broke out the concrete that I had cut last week.  Then we dug a hole in the slab of the bathroom almost 3 feet deep.  Neither of us had ever dug a hole in the house before.  It was kind of cool!

But you know what the best part of the evening was?  Working side by side with my son.  It was a pretty manly project!

 

Thanks Ethan for your help!  I don’t suppose you would want a jack-hammer for your birthday next week would you?

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Most of the time, my mind and heart are focused on pushing forward – never being satisfied with the way things are and where I stand in my relationship with God, in my family life and in my work.  I approach my leadership with the church in the same way – we cannot sit and stagnate, we must constantly being looking forward and pressing on toward the goal for which Jesus has called us.

But every once in a while it hits me.  I serve a loving and compassionate God who occasionally tells me, “Why don’t you just sit a minute and rest in me.”  Unfortunately, it takes discipline for me to do that but when I do, it is amazing!

I also need to remember that God has given me a wonderful, caring, supportive and totally hot wife whom I love with all my heart and who loves me.  And beyond that, God has  blessed us with three amazing young men for sons.  While I am not the husband and father that God wants me to be all the time, I am trying.  So maybe for today, I need to stop trying so hard and just for a moment simply be present and offer thanks for a great family.

And as it relates to my work – my calling, I serve the God of the universe who has placed me in what might just be the best congregation in America.  Our people are loving, supportive, welcoming, outward focused and committed to pray for me as their shepherd.  What more could a pastor want?  I had one of these loving and supportive members approach me last week after the service and say, “You are exactly the person our church needs as our pastor.”  As I gave her a hug, it dawned on me and I told her, “This is exactly the church that God knew I needed too!”

Today, I am taking a break from thinking exclusively about how things should be (just for a minute) and thanking God for how the important things are in my life.  The result?  I am truly blessed!

How about you?  Has God blessed you?

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