Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Boys

Last night as I was putting my twins to bed (Drew and Ty - just over 3 years old) I had them kneel down beside their new "big boy" beds to pray. We've never done that before. I usually just lay with them in their beds, say a quick prayer for them, and that's it. But for whatever reason, decided to switch things up last night. It was crazy! By that I mean - they did it - and did it so well! They knelt there, folded their hands, and repeated line after line that I prayed - probably for about 2 minutes or so. I was absolutely blown away.

Made me realize something important that relates to all of us. We need to be pushed spiritually. If we just settle for the same old stuff - we will never grow. When I pushed my boys to grow spiritually - they did - even at 3 years old.

I'm 37. I've gotten comfortable with my spirituality. Have you? Let's push each other to grow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Wow. Forgot how much I need "sabbath" - the Biblical concept of "rest" (instituted by God Himself in Genesis). Been in Pennsylvania visiting family for a few days. Staying through Thanksgiving. Been a great time to relax. Refocus. Find my center in God again. Makes me realize that I need this more in my life daily. No matter "where" I am. Need to take the time to "be still" / Sabbath.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't come to church this Sunday

I'm feeling like I need to tell folks not to come to church this Sunday .... unless they want to be confronted with the truth and the need to change. We're doing a "Thanksgiving" theme ... but we're talking about American consumerism as it compares with world hunger, poverty, etc. Just one of the stats I'll be sharing is that a child dies every 6 seconds from hunger in our world. During the course of my sermon/message Sunday - about 350 children will die around the world. Because of lack of food. I wept as I wrote that statistic into my message this week as I sat at a local coffeeship drinking my more than $2 cup of coffee (by the way - half the world's population lives on $2 per day). I wept because I AM NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. BECAUSE IT IS NOT AN EMERGENCY TO ME. How can children dying not be an emergency to me? It would be if it was my child. I would never allow it to happen to my child. But as followers of Jesus Christ and His Way, we are called to view all children as His children. Our children. The reason children are dying is because we are not responding to the way and the call of Jesus. It doesn't matter enough to us. I must change. God help me to change.

So I hope and pray no one shows up Sunday. Because if they do, they will never ever be the same again. They won't be able to be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Just ran into a guy outside our church facility with a backpack shouting out something as he walked by - something like - "down with the new world order." I was inquisitive, so I walked over to him and asked - "what are you saying?" He said it again and then proceeded to talk about "the new world order," another group called "the illuminati," and a couple other groups I can't recall. He talked about how they are trying to take over the world, etc. I asked him - "Brother, what do you believe?" He told me he believed "in Jesus, the Christ." I said - "well so do I." I asked him why he didn't just talk about Jesus and His love if he's going to walk around shouting stuff, and he told me that Jesus is going to come back to this earth "angry" and full of "judgment" for these groups. I challenged him, asking if that is really what he believes the central message of Jesus was - judgment for a few select groups of people. He said "yes." I told Him I believe Jesus' central message was of the Kingdom and of love. I challenged him again saying that his speaking just didn't seem to be relevant, and because of that, people wouldn't listen. He then murmured a few things and turned and walked away. Interesting conversation.

It makes me realize that each of us is a "picture" of Jesus Christ to the world. What we say and how we say it reflects Jesus Christ, if we are claiming to follow Him. Man, we need to be responsible with this message and really be sure we are reflecting Him. Running into that guy today was a good thing for me. I'm challenged to look at my own life and ask myself - "What am I saying about Jesus with my life?"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Daddy Daughter Dates Update

One of the coolest things I started doing as a dad over a year ago is taking my oldest daughter, Morgan, out for a "date" every Friday. Actually, it's a very intentional discipleship time where we talk about God, life, etc. Got the idea from a guy named Mark Batterson, pastor of NCC in DC. He had blogged about doing something like this with his son. I started this when Morgan was 9 --- now she is 10. I'm planning on doing this with each of my children when they turn 8 (I have 4 kids --- going to be busy!). Not sure at what age it may end. Just want it to be natural. Over the past year Morgan has read a couple books of the Bible, as well as several other books, she's learned more about praying, and serving, and even learned some pretty deep Biblical concepts/words. I believe that it is my job (along with my wife) to invest in my children and share with them God's truth, etc. It an awesome responsibility.

Wanted to share the "system" Morgan and I have developed over the past year. We spend the same time every Friday out at a local cafe or restaurant where she gets a "treat." Her favorite place is Starbuck's (some of you are like "sure" - you think I brainwashed her - but I'm serious - not that I complain when she chooses it!). We spend about 30-45 minutes together. The first 10 minutes or so is just talking about life, etc. Then we get into her Bible reading assignment. I have her read 2 chapters of the Bible a week. She handles it just fine. Right now she is reading the Gospel of Matthew and Psalms. She did all of Genesis already, along with a couple shorter books. I have her underline stuff in her Bible (I let her pick out any Bible she wanted when we started all this) that she thinks is cool or makes her go "wow." I have her put question marks by stuff she doesn't understand. Lots of question marks at her age - but makes for great conversation. After the Bible section, we talk about a second book she is reading. I have her read another book along with the Bible - one chapter a week. She's read several this year - 2 CS Lewis Narnia books, a kid's version of "Pilgrim's Progess," a book about Corrie Ten Boom, one about Esther, and several others. We talk about that for a bit. Then we make go over the prayer list she made out the week prior. We talk about the prayers God may have answered, or didn't, or if we aren't sure if He did. Then we make a new prayer list for the coming week. Anything she wants to pray for. After that - we discuss what we call her "Serve Challenge" - every week she decides something she will do for someone else. Could be someone in our family, a friend, anyone. She has to accomplish that thing during the week. We talk about how that went, then think up a new creative thing to do for someone the next week. Just recently we've also added either scripture memorization (key Bible verses about God's love, her identity - girls can struggle with that, etc) or we have a Biblical word/concept she learns about. For instance - right now she's learning about the word "Trinity" and how that relates to the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Sounds like alot, but she has pretty easily worked this into her life and has become much more disciplined. Two things I'm praying come of all this ---- 1)She falls in love with God her Father and learns the discipline of spending time with Him that will last a lifetime, and 2) She knows her earthly daddy loves her and spent time with her consistently. She definitely won't remember everything we talked about. That's not the point. But to know she is loved by God and by me is something I'm praying desperately for.