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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

Feature Friday (11/09/18)

I have always loved Apple products. It has never been one aspect that drew me to the Mac world, rather a plethora of little things add up. Their design is sleek and beautiful. The ease of use and clear user designed software are killer. Even the feel of the items has always just been more solid and higher quality than other products. But there is one aspect of Apple I never knew about until recently, that actually makes me like them even more…the way they train their employees.

In his article, “What Apple Gets About Disciple Making” Craig Etheredge recalls an interaction with an Apple employee concerning her training experience and process.  As I read the article it became apparent, another reason this company is so great is not just because of the time and energy they put into their product, but more importantly the time and energy they put into their people. This is a reality I believe the church can and must learn from. With so much of the church’s mission being accomplished by “volunteers” it becomes even more vital for training (aka discipleship) to take place strategically, intentionally, and relationally – three ways Apple is killing it at training.

Enjoy the article, and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

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Feature Friday (11/02/18)

It’s a constant struggle. Similar conversations over and over again. Simple instructions are given and clarified and yet still argument ensues. The action would take no more than a couple of minutes, but the discussion drags on for much longer. Ever have this type of feeling or interaction? Maybe as a parent with your children? A teacher with your students? A leader with those you are leading? Or even with your spouse?

As a husband, father, and leader the struggle always exists between simply getting others to do the things that need done and helping them want to do the things that need to be done. It is a difference of action and motivation. It is the difference between conduct and character. It is the difference between doing and being. But as a leader, I must understand one major truth…

Jared C. Wilson shares the insightful principle between action and motivation, conduct and character, doing and being in his article “Life in the Spirit Isn’t Just ‘Doing’ Differently, But ‘Being Different“. So if you want to know how to help your students, children, or other loved ones go from just doing to being, check out the article.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day! And I’d love to hear your thoughts or reflections on the article!

Feature Friday (10/26/18)

I am often exhausted, worn-out, and ready for a good day off. It’s not because I am overworked or sick. It’s not even because I am doing too much (even though I sometimes do say yes to many times in a given week). And just when I think I am tired, I glance over at my wife and see what real exhaustion looks like. No the real reason we are routinely exhausted and ready to fall into bed at any moment is because we are parents of toddlers.

As a parent of little ones, I have often dreamed about the days when they will give themselves baths. Or the day they will all be able to feed and clothe themselves. Or that glorious day when they will actually be able to drive themselves and their sibling’s places. But here is the funny thing: I keep hearing, “parenting teens is more exhausting than parenting toddlers”. Thanks for the encouragement…NOT!

However, when older parents give advice I tend to listen up, especially when they are speaking of the teenage years. Those are years that seem to make life difficult for everyone involved. The teenager. The parent. The siblings. Everyone. But it is a stage of life we all must go through and I want to parent not only my toddlers well, but I also want to be as prepared as possible to parent my teenager well. Which is why I loved reading Christine Hoover’s article “What I’m Learning About Parenting Teenagers“.

Christine writes in the midst of parenting teenagers, so her advice is not trivializing the struggles – as those who are past that stage can often do. She is no writing as a disconnected, unexperienced expert either. She is writing as a mom of teenagers. While her article offers hope (there are joys in having teenagers), she also speaks about realities (teenage years are the busiest, most exhausting years of all).

I hope you enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Feature Friday (10/19/18)

One of my personal hero’s just had his birthday. So like every good admirer and mentee I wished him a happy birthday. To my shame it did take a Facebook notification to help me remember it was his birthday. I felt a bit guilty for not remembering and for not making a bigger deal of it but the reality is he appreciated it all the same. Which shows one reason this man is still a personal hero of mine, but there are other reasons.

This man came alongside of me in a very difficult, trying, and stupid season of my life…junior high and high school. He was a model of love, encouragement, but also of truth and wisdom. This hero of mine loved me daily by spending quality time with me and challenging me in every area of life. I believe I am the man I am today at least in part to this hero. So much so that I wanted to become like him when I grew up – a hero.

But, as Todd Wilson shares, over the years, I’ve learned that there is an even better role to aspire to than “hero”—a role that shifts my focus from addition to multiplication, and from “me” to “others.” The shift is counter-cultural. Ultimately, it’s a shift that makes us much more like Jesus!

To find out what the shift was for me and what Todd is talking about check out his article “Are You a Hero Maker?“.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this area as well as any stories of hero’s or hero makers in your life.

As always enjoy the article and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (10/05/18)

What a game? It was back and forth all night. The home team had a commanding lead heading into half time, but the visiting team came out in the 3rd quarter and took the lead just before the final quarter. The home team responded and went up by two scores and left the visitors less than 8 minutes of game time to work with. But the visitors responded and went up by one with two minutes to go in the game. The home team got the ball and had to drive 60 yards for a score. They had a crucial 4th and 5 around midfield that they had to convert if their hopes were to stay alive.

All night long the Lions quarterback had been tearing the defense apart both with his arm and by scrambling with his legs. It seemed obvious that he would be the one with the ball in his hands, with the game on the line. The ball had been snapped a handoff was made and after one yard of progress the defense smothered the ballcarrier for the loss. No first down. No continued drive. No hope of scoring. Nothing to do, but watch the time run off the clock.

What was the coach thinking? Why did they not run a different play? Why did they not put the ball into their best players hands? That’s what I would have done. But that’s why it’s easy being a Monday morning quarterback. It’s easy to criticize others when you are not in the game yourself. The same is true of discipleship and the local church. Which is just what Jim Putnam’s article “Don’t Miss This: You Need to Get in The Game” is all about.

“Whether you want to grow spiritually yourself, or disciple someone else to do so, getting involved and serving others is a great way to do it. But don’t just take my word for it – let’s take a look at how Jesus got his disciples in the game to teach and equip them.”

Check out Jim’s article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Feature Friday (09/28/18)

Tent? Check! Tarp? Check! Firewood? Check! Camp chairs? Check! Sleeping bags? Check! Smore sticks? Check!

Want to guess what we are getting ready to do this weekend? You guessed it. My family and I are going camping. We will pack up the van. Drive to a nearby national park and settling in at a campsite for the next several hours. And the best part about it is while we have had rain the past 2 weeks straight, we woke up today and God has given us some amazing weather, sunny and 75.

While I do love the processes of setting up a tent, gathering firewood, starting a fire, and cooking over the open flame, by far the best part about going camping and enjoying nature as a family is the undivided attention we can give to one another. No TV’s. No computers. Very little cell phone service. Just me, my wife, and our kids. But this can prove difficult as well. How do I keep a conversation going? How do I ensure I lead my family well and use this time wisely to continue to get to know my wife and kids and where their hearts are?

In steps Parent Cue and their regular blog on intentional parenting. Weekly they release articles to help parents understand their children and engage them in meaningful and creative ways. One such resource was a recent blog post entitled, “21 Questions to Get to Know Your Kids Now“. I will be using this resource this weekend while we set up camp, hike, and sit around the fire at night.

I hope you find this resource helpful and useful and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Michael Guite on Unsplash

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