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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Family

Sticking with Community in a “Gotta Go” World (Feature Friday 02/14/20)

Ask my wife and she will tell you we first met when we were college freshmen. I don’t recall the “love at first sight” incident. It would be almost 2 years later, in July, until we began dating. Prior to that fateful and life-shaping July evening there was plenty of communication and interaction, but needless to say, I was often a bit naive.

I still have messages from my wife, hinting heavily at her interest in me and I didn’t see it. While we will look back on those memories and laugh for years, but they remind me how much I appreciate my wife’s character…she stuck with it when she could have (and some argue should have) headed another direction. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, it appears that we are a people far too easily exiting when we should be engaging.

For this reason and more I appreciate and highly encourage you to read Jay Kim’s article “Sticking with Community in a ‘Gotta Go’ World“. In it, Kim states: “If we really want true community, we have to be willing to endure necessarily difficult and uncomfortable situations. True connection is never as clean as a swipe or click would have us believe.”

I hope you enjoy the article, have a great Valentine’s day, and engage rather than exit relationships today…as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

How to Pray for Unbelieving Family Members (01/31/20)

The holidays are wonderful times. We see family we don’t always see. We eat way too much food. And we have time away from the routine that can be refreshing. However, for me, there is a reality I face every holiday season with extended family. There are still some in my family that are living without a life-giving relationship with Jesus. But that is where the tension lies…I don’t see all my family very often. What am I to do?

While I wish I could see all of my family more often and live life with them and have more opportunity to share about my life-giving relationship with Jesus, that does not mean I have no opportunity to care for them. One of the greatest ways I can love my family from afar is by praying for them. This is why I enjoyed reading William Philip’s article “How to Pray for Unbelieving Family Members“.

I hope you enjoy the article, what else would you add? As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash

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

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