Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pastoring: the happiest of jobs, the most painful of jobs

Within the same hour yesterday I came across two different articles that speak about the job of being a pastor: 
Though seemingly in contradiction of one another, both are accurate. 

To be honest though, I hope more people read the second one.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you." 1 Thessalonians 5:1

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Stop comparing grass colors

Stop looking at other yards!!!
If yours needs weeding, then take care of it!
If yours needs mowing, then take care of it!
If yours needs watering, then take care of it! 

But the energy you spend comparing grass colors is a waste. There's as many weeds and dog piles and beetles in the other place as where you're standing now. You just can't see them from afar. 

Your marriage. Your friendships. Your church. 

Stop comparing yards! Take ownership of where you're at and make it amazing!

Take off your socks and shoes and squish your toes in the grass under your feet.
Stop checking out the neighbor's yard and dance where you're at.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Did you fall for yesterday's Back to the Future scam?

Oh Back To The Future.

You are up there with Ferris, the Breakfast Club and Ghostbusters as movies that inspired my generation's mindset (probably explains a lot about my weirdness). You also inspired us to skateboard more than Tony Hawk ever could and to play guitar before we ever heard of Guitar Hero. And though hardly any of us had ever seen or heard of a DeLorean before you (just admit it), nothing can take your place in our minds when that word is by chance uttered.
So yesterday was a big day.

It started slow but then grew like wildfire on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Yesterday was the day that Doc set the time machine to in Back to the Future II:
Obviously anyone who grew up with these movies would get instantly excited and then share the big news. I did. It was like an instant reaction: BOOM! RETWEET! RESHARE! REPIN!

Thing was a scam.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to give comfort to soldiers

Over the weekend Jeannette and I were able to take the kids to the Magic House in St Louis. It's one of the best children's museums that we've been to with tons of different environments for the kids to be creative and play make-believe.

"Once Upon a Time" was an exhibit of walking through various storybooks. One of the stories took place in a civil war setting, so there were tents, prairie items, soldier gear and the such. 

Amongst everything our kids definitely liked the drummer boy's tent:

But one thing I thought rather interesting was in the "medical tent." It was completely decked out with bandages and stretchers so that soldier patients could be attended to. On the back wall of the tent hung this sign:

Friday, June 22, 2012

A needed reminder for when life is turbulent

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, 
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, 
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
the holy habitation of the Most High. 
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; 
God will help her when morning dawns. 
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; 
he utters his voice, the earth melts. 
The LORD of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah 

Come, behold the works of the LORD, 
how he has brought desolations on the earth. 
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; 
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; 
he burns the chariots with fire. 
“Be still, and know that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations, 
I will be exalted in the earth!” 
The LORD of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalm 46

I woke up needing to read that this morning.

Maybe you did too.

He is strong. He is present.

Be still.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love being a dad!

Little else brings me more joy than being called Daddy by these two:

I couldn't have asked for two better kids. Not trying to be a perfect dad, gave up on that. Just trying to do my best and do a good job. 

And a big Father's day to some :
  • My Dad
  • My Step-Dad Tom
  • My Papa
  • My father-in-law Jim
  • My step-brother Tommy
  • My brother-in-law Vince
  • My buddies Todd (soon to be dad), Josh, Jason, Luke, Micah 
  • And all the "Dad's" at New Life Lincoln Park and on the New Life pastoral team!

Friday, June 15, 2012

One year of school down: Hot! Hot! Hot!

Last weekend was Baylee's last day of preschool, complete with end of the school year music program. Baylee's class did "Hot, Hot, Hot"

Two really funny parts of the video:
  • Around the 00:44 if you listen close you can hear Jaxon yell for Baylee from the audience =)
  • Just after 02:02 some serious booty shaking takes place
One year of school done. 

We found out on Tuesday that she is accepted to be a student at the Walt Disney Magnet school. Incredibly grateful. Grateful but now we're just one blink away before she'll be heading to college.  


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't quit too soon

Seth Godin wrote the following on his blog today.

"I don't even know what I'm afraid of"
This is the fear that kills brands and b2b sales and individual creativity. It's the fear without a name, without a face, without false facts that can be shot down or arguments that can be reasoned with.

This is the amygdala firing, the lizard brain being triggered without rational explanation.

When we are wrestling against the elusive and resilient fear with no name, often the only choice is to live with it, to care enough about forward motion and practical progress that we can come embrace the inner trembling that won't give up.

In market after market paralyzed with fear, this trembling might be the very best sign that you're on to something.

He is speaking about business, but the truth flows into faith and relationships as well.

Life gets shaky at time. Life can bring a ton of uncertainty. Life can be downright scarey. Throw in a side of loneliness or hurt or letdown and things can move from uncertainty to overwhelming in the blink of an eye. 

Living in the red white and blue doesn't like this. We don't like uncertainty nor imbalance and certainly hate the feeling that we have no control. So whenever we find ourselves wrestling with the "elusive and resilient fear with no name" we would rather step away than step up. We'd rather go after balance and wholeness somewhere else than risk facing the unknown outcome of where we are.

So where does faith come in then?

Maybe that shaky, uncertain, scary, lonely, confusing, fearful spot is the most amazing, holy, beautiful, incredibly spot you could be in. 

Maybe you look around with, "God, why do you have me in this impossible situation? 
And maybe God looks around with, "Why not? It's perfect! You get to trust me and I get to show off!"

Easy doesn't produce faith. 
Easy doesn't produce anything.

Imagine what you're on the verge of!

Whether marriage, family, friendship, or church: Avoid backwards. Move forward. Don't give up. Keep on.

Don't quit too soon.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 10:39-11:1