Three Parenting Wins

September 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

It made my day when my daughter, Grace now 24, mentioned something that I repeatedly tried to teach my kids. She said something close to, “like you always told us …” It made my heart all warm and fuzzy inside for quite some time to realize that something I considered a foundational value or principle got through.

Young girl on dad's shoulders at the shore.

I’d like to share today three parenting wins that at least one of my kids heard and continues to have as a core value. In the next few days, I hope to elaborate on each of these principles. For now, here is a brief overview of the three principles

1.  Don’t Scream Unless It’s an Emergency.

For some reason, young children especially girls, can have a tendency to scream as they’re having fun. I remember trying to help my kids to realize that if they were always screaming when there is no danger, it could be hard to know when they were really in need of immediate assistance.

Now parents might be saying I can tell the difference between the screams. You might be right but I didn’t want to take the chance. Plus, a little less noise pollution in the world is always a good thing.

2.  Stop Means Stop.

This was a rule that we had especially when the kids were young. Inherent in the rule was the idea that even the youngest or smallest was empowered to stop whatever activity was going on if they were getting hurt in the process. Continue Reading…

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I can still remember like it was yesterday.  As a young child growing up, whenever we would hear a police siren go by, my mom would immediately say a  brief prayer.

I don’t remember what she prayed.  I’m not even sure she prayed out loud. But, she made sure to pass on the reminder to pray for whatever situation they were heading into.

CLEAR FONT FirstRespondersPrayer

 

Now, more than ever, we need to support those who risk their lives on a daily basis to serve and protect us.  To be sure there are a few that make tarnish the reputation of the many.  To be clear, that happens in any field.  Unfortunately, those are the ones who make the headlines and viral videos that we see over and over. Continue Reading…

Have you ever sat in a conference listening to a speaker and thought to yourself, albeit humbly, “I could do that… and probably even better.”? But, there you sit in the audience while someone else was picked to speak.

I have been on stage since high school as an entertainer, a trainer, and currently, a pastor. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to consider speaking at conferences. I have much to learn, but fortunately, I now have expert help in my corner.

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID:48763103

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID: 48763103

Maybe you’re a church leader who teaches regularly, a business person who gives in-house presentations often, or a writer longing to promote your works. Since you’re reading this, chances are you have something to offer and you long to spread your influence beyond your own organization.

If speaking at conferences is your goal, you need to develop a speaker proposal that will make you stand out from the crowd. Continue Reading…

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.

It is so easy to get out of balance in one direction or another. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. For example, we are commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Normally, that would be a great pursuit.  However, some people get so caught up with loving God that they lose sight of the second half of Jesus command to love our neighbor.  Other people are so focused on loving their neighbor that they forget their first love and leave God out of their lives.

On one hand, prayer is so simple even the youngest child can pray.

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On the other hand, we can overcomplicate things so much that we get confused, intimidated, bored, or distracted. Prayer can be particularly challenging to balance.  We can get so focused on our laundry list of prayer requests that we forget to thank God for the blessings he’s already provided.  We can get so focused on praising or thanking God that we never get around to asking for forgiveness for our sins.

There are many prayer methods, systems, and tools. The ACTS pattern has been a tremendous help for me. Continue Reading…

It has been two years in the making.  The first Encourage and Equip book is live on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle devices and readers.

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from siteTime with God is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, and distracted.

As we focus on God and spend time with him, we can bring our joys and needs to him. Then, we will be better able to partner with God in what he is looking to do in and through us.

At the heart of Time with God is a desire to help develop the habit of communicating with God in practical and powerful ways. Practical, because we will balance four different aspects of prayer. Powerful, because we will use God’s Word as the basis for many of our prayers.

This book is filled with Scripture verses translated from the original languages that have been reworded into prayers. They are chosen to help us nurture and develop our focus on God and our love for him. As you get more comfortable with the concept, it will revolutionize the way you read the Bible on your own.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

I have so much to be grateful for.  Sometimes, it’s so easy to take our blessings for granted.

I pray that our hearts would overflow with thanksgiving for the many ways that God has blessed us.

Johnson Oatman, the hymn writer, urged us to count our blessings and to name them one by one.  I have listed some of mine below.  How about you?  Care to share in the comments some of your blessings?

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I am especially grateful for:

  • making it through another year.
  • the chance to finish and publish a book–with the help of many friends and family.
  • my family and the chance to be together to celebrate God, life, and each other.
  • friends (both from
  • the chance to serve as an Intentional Transitional Minister and help prepare a church for their next Senior Pastor.
  • the chance to serve as a Marketing Coordinator for by design ministries.
  • opportunities to write or teach knowing that God might choose to bless someone through my ministry.
  • the prospects of what God has in store for the next twelve months.
  • YOU.  Thank you for reading, liking, and sharing posts, tweets and status updates throughout the year.

Photo credit:  DepositPhotos.com 54943239 by PixelsAway

A lot of people find spending time in prayer particularly challenging. They carve out some time. They muster up all their self-discipline and courage, get on their knees, and then say, “OK, what do I do now?!”

Personally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book. I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination in Time with God: Develop Confidence and Consistency
in Your Personal Prayer Life.

Time with God Book Cover

This book is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, or distracted. Continue Reading…

The Supreme Court delivered another major decision today. Some of my friends will be Partying like it’s 1999 and other friends will be thinking “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”. What an opportunity to Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Matt Wade's Picture of the U.S. Supreme Court

By UpstateNYer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • To those who are celebrating, may you enjoy your new freedom to move around the country and the rights that accompany it. Please be patient with those who will be processing what this will mean in the long term. I’ve seen people in both camps voice concerns over the impact.
  • To those who mourn today, my other friends, who are wondering how this decision will affect your ministries or churches, can I share a few thoughts?

Continue Reading…