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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Family

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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Feature Friday (07/27/18)

Family! Anyone who knows me knows that family is high on my priority and value list. Family takes time. It takes energy. Family is not just some ideal that can be talked about and not affect our reality. Having and caring for a family in real life is anything but convenient.  And that is true even if it just you and a spouse. If you add children to the mix it gets even messier (and harder).

But the family is one of the analogies used throughout Scripture to describe the church. The best illustration is in Ephesians 5 when Paul compares the marriage relationship to Christ and the church. Throughout the epistles we see people refer to other followers of Jesus as “brothers” or “sisters”. But remember family is not easy or convenient. Yet so often we want convenience over community.

Convenience is easy. Community is hard. Convenience is about me. Community is about others. Convenience receives. Community requires giving. Convenience is what we want. Community is what we need!

Jesus understood this and evidenced it even in how He cared for His own mother at the end of His life. He knew that for Mary to be cared for like family she would need a community. The same is true for us. Yet living in community, like living in a family, requires time, energy and effort. That is exactly what Christ wants for His bride, the church. That is what Rachel Macdonald unpacks in her article “Behold, Your Mother!

So enjoy some family time this weekend. With your biological family, but also your spiritual family by being with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day! And enjoy the article!

Feature Friday (02/23/18)

There are lots of things I hope and wish for my children. One of my great desires is that my son will grow up to love and enjoy sports as much as I do. I already see the joy music brings my oldest daughter and I am excited to see how that grows over the years. All our children love to sit and read and listen to a good story. But there is one area, one object, one thing I not only hope and wish my children to love but pray they enjoy thoroughly. What is it?

Reading God’s Word. It is a constant, daily prayer of mine that our children will come to not only be able to read but desire to read God’s Word on their own. I pray that will long to read how God rescued His people out of Egypt. My desire is for them to be enthralled with the unconventional means God used to save Israel and mankind on so many occasions throughout history. But the hard part is: how can I be part of an encouraging that desire?

David Murray shares “6 Tips for Reading the Bible with Your Kids” that challenged me toward this goal. While he shares 6 great tips the greatest truth I walked away from by reading this article was that in order for my kids to desire God’s Word I must first be reading and desiring it as well.

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

Feature Friday (12/08/17)

It’s beginning to look a lot like…Christmas! Every year, after the turkey has been stuffed, cooked, eaten, and enjoyed there seems to be a week or so of a lull before the December litany of scheduled events ensues. It was during that week of a lull that my wife and I discussed how we would ensure that our family would not get sucked into a hectic schedule of preparing for and attending one event after the other. Our conclusion? Reading an advent together. Now the question was which one?

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to advents out there. Simply Google “Christmas Advent” and over 9 million results are at your fingertips. So how does one choose an advent with so many options? While there may not be a correct answer (honestly, doing something to keep focused on the reason for Christmas is better than doing nothing), a great solution and resource we found and have loved thus far is Paul David Tripp’s “Come, Let Us Adore Him“.

It is a daily advent devotional that challenges the most mature Christian to refocus and remember the One who truly is at the center of the Christmas story as well as engaging young children by having a discussion question for each day. While we have not read it every day so far in December, the days we have sat down together and been reminded of the Christ child, it has been a joy and much-needed encouragement.

So if you need some help remaining focused on the Christ of Christmas over the next 3 weeks or simply a daily encouragement, make sure to grab a copy of “Come, Let Us Adore Him“. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Feature Friday (11/17/17)

“We have to move.” I remember telling my wife this right after getting off the phone with our landlord. We had been renting this townhouse for the past year and now it was forced upon us to move out. The city we lived in was engineering a new road that would cross right over our current home. They offered the landlord a nice buyout and we were the recipients of an early evacuation notice. But there was an upside to all of this.

We now had the joy and privilege of choosing what part of town we would love in next. And there were many factors to consider: distance to shopping and grocery stores, the safety of the neighborhood, crime rates, and the list went on and on. But there was one factor we did not give much thought to at first but I believe should be a high priority when choosing where to live. Which is where this weeks article comes in handy.

Bryan Ellis shares: The Church Commute: Why Where You Live Matters. I believe how close you live to your church is an important factor when deciding where to put down roots.

Enjoy Bryan’s article and as always be with Thebes Lord’s people on Thebes Lord’s day!

Photo by Brandon Jacoby on Unsplash

Feature Friday (10/2/17) A few days late

It’s not often that I miss posting on Friday, but every once in while there are experiences in life that interrupt and cause us to push everything else aside. Thus, was the case for me this past week. The world lost an amazing man. A loyal friend. A faithful husband. An amazing father. While this happens to many families around the globe each and every day this time it was my family and my father-in-law that was lost.

Over the past week, we sang, cried, laughed, cried, rejoiced, cried, grieved, cried, ate, and cried some more. It has been a really short and really long week all at the same time. I have heard it said and experienced myself numerous times before, but it really is the case that you never truly understand how much someone is worth to you until they are gone. And my father-in-law, Shawn Michael Stockdale meant a lot, not just me, but to over 500 other people who attended his memorial service.

I had the privilege and honor of making the opening remarks at dad’s memorial service yesterday, Sunday, October 1st, 2017 and wanted to share my reflections on the life of an excellent, godly example of a husband, father, and friend.

“Good afternoon! My name is Kenny Kirby and I am one of Shawn and Kay’s son-in-laws. I am married to their eldest daughter Bethany. On behalf of Kay, Bethany and myself, Brynna and Brent, Micah and Liz, Caleb, Talia, Ana, Shawn’s brothers Chris and Mark and the rest of our extended family, thank you. Thank you all for joining us today to celebrate and remember dad’s life.

All of us are here because of Dad. Not because of his authority. Not because of position. Certainly, not because of his stature. We are here because of his influence. And as John Maxwell says, “Leadership is Influence”. Truth is, we are all here because Shawn Stockdale led each of us in some way. He led some of us as a trusted financial advisor. He led others of us as a faithful friend. And he led a few of us as a family.

But dad would be the first one to tell us all he was not the greatest leader. He was not the greatest influencer. His greatest identity was not as one who influences. It was not as a leader. Dad’s greatest identity was as a follower. Dad would remind us that the only way he influenced and lead any of us was because of WHO he followed.

Dad followed another leader. A leader who had great authority. A leader who had the most elevated position. A leader who to influence others gave up His position and unmatched authority. A leader who became a servant. Shawn Stockdale followed a leader, an influencer who, ‘though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.’

Shawn Stockdale’s greatest identity was as a follower. A follower of the humblest of authorities. A follower of the greatest servant leader. A follower of Jesus Christ. You see dad’s impact. Dad’s leadership. Dad’s influence was all because of WHO he followed. And the hope of today’s memorial service is not simply to recall Shawn Stockdale. It is not to remember the trusted financial advisor. It is not to recall dad as the faithful friend. It is not to remember dad as the leader of a great family.

Our hope, dad’s desire, is to influence all of us to follow him as He followed the greatest influencer, the greatest leader of all time, Jesus Christ.”

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