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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Family

2 Years Later…(Feature Friday 09/27/19)

Time flies. I hear it said all the time and I say it quite regularly. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into years. Time does fly, but no matter how much time goes by in some instances things are still hard.

Such is the case as we (specifically my wife’s family) enter and face this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since her dad passed away. I remember the first few months were difficult. The entire first year was hard. This past year it seemed like new normal was setting in, but this weekend will reveal just how abnormal her dad not being around really is.

Two years ago for his funeral, I was asked to give the opening remarks. As I re-read them this morning, tears came to my eyes again and I was reminded just how great of a man we lost and heaven gained. I hope reading my remarks on my father-in-law’s life gives you comfort, hope, and a gentle reminder of our purpose in life as it did me two years ago and again this morning.

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

Have more Fun (Feature Friday 08/23/2019)

The past few days have been exhausting. Our six year old has had the flu (including all the fun things that come with that). Our 14 month old has been avoiding sleep like the plague, even though sleep is what he needs and we want most. With all this going on we feel like we are just surviving.

I am up early preparing for the day, taking the breakfast shift before I head out to work and have gotten home late because of multiple evening meetings. My wife is managing the ever growing piles of laundry, making sure everyone is fed, and doing the bedtime routine solo most evenings. Needless to say we are exhausted.

It is in weeks like these where I can come home, we can do the dinner, clean up, bath, and bedtime routine on autopilot. But there is something we have been missing and I needed the challenge in…Having More Fun as a Family.

Anyone who knows me know I love a good time, but this last week or so has been a struggle to have or even want to have fun as a family. So I was exhorted and encouraged by this article.

I hope you will remember and seek to have some fun this weekend as a family or individual. Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (03/30/19)

12:10am is a timestamp that will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. I found myself in a hospital room. I knew it was coming, but I never knew how it would feel. 12:10am was a moment in time that changed the routine, thought-process, and course of my life. 12:10am was the moment in time when I became a father. I was now responsible for the provision, protection, and maturity of another individual. It was this last one, maturity, that concerned me the most.

How would I help my firstborn son grow? What would be the indicators that I was succeeding at raising a man not just a boy in a man’s body? There are so many things to consider and stages along the maturing process it can be overwhelming at time. To this day I still question if he (and my other children) are maturing as they should, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

While physical maturity is pretty easy to spot via the external indicators of size, weight, and other aspects; spiritual maturity seems a bit more nebulous or difficult to define and recognize. This is a question I have asked repeatedly and still wrestle with from time to time: how will I know that my children are maturing spiritually? What are the indicators? Jim Putnam wrote a great concise article on this exact subject titled, “The Biggest Indicator of Spiritual Maturity Might Not Be the Thing You are Looking For.

It is a great article and Jim boils spiritual maturity down to the irreducible indicator to help me, you, and others recognize the greatest mark of spiritual maturity. So whether we are raising children, leading groups, discipling individuals, or pastoring people this article will prove extremely helpful in clarifying and simplifying what we should be looking for in those we lead.

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

Feature Friday (03/15/19)

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Peter Drucker is quoted on this statement often. Honestly, I love and hate the quote. Not necessarily because of the quote itself, but because of how frequently it is used, yet infrequently it is lived out. As someone who is constantly trying to grow as a leader (yet failing at it every day), I have realized the importance of culture, yet have so much to learn on how to create or change it.

Culture is one of those curious and nebulous words that packs so much punch, but we often don’t know why. Culture is kind of like love – it’s hard to define and completely wrap the idea up in a few words, yet we know it when we see it. We know when we have been a part of a good family or culture. We equally know when we have been a part of a bad family or work culture. And yet as a leader, I am finding it more and more difficult to put into words how to create, change, and shape the culture in which I find myself and lead.

Into this void steps Vanderbloemen and an article titled “20 Proven Ways to Improve Your Church Staff Culture“. Don’t be fooled, while Vanderbloemen aims the article at shaping church staff culture, the principles are transferable to business, community, or even family living. All you have to do is simply change the nouns a bit.

So enjoy the article, change your culture for the better, and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Feature Friday (11/30/18)

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Falalalala lalalala!” Halloween is long gone. Thanksgiving came and went. And it’s hard to believe, but December begins tomorrow. Eleven months have gone, one to go. 334 days of 2018 are past and only 31 remain. But it is exciting as well.

Peppermint milkshakes, coffee, and treats. Crisp, cool mornings. A few snow showers have either already come or soon to be depending on where you are located at. All of this and more make December an exciting time. Family visits, vacation time, and time to relax and get a break from the routine. All of these are fantastic, but still not the most exciting thing about this season.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. A time to look back and reflect. A time to look ahead and imagine. But just like the dating of history, each year hinges on an important reality – the God of the universe descended to earth to be born of a virgin. The Creator of all things became part of the creation Himself. The Sustainer of heaven and earth came to be the Savior of the world. But all too often that is hard to keep in the forefront of our minds and focus during this season.

To aid in our focus I want to point you to two great resources during the Advent season. First, Dallas Theological Seminary Christmas devotional. This resource is a daily email you can sign up to receive directly to your inbox that contains a Christmas advent devotional. Second, over at The Parent Cue, they have put together an advent calendar that will allow your family to gather around and read God’s story of compassion, one day at a time, then go and do the suggested activities and live out your own story of compassion as a family.

Enjoy the resources and reflecting on the Advent season together with your family. And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Annie Spratt 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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