Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Everyone does it

A few days ago I was speaking with our camps internet hosting company. My intent was to get some pricing on changing plans, but it went a little farther, okay, a lot farther. I ended up changing service and that change took down two websites (essential to our ministry and during our busiest time) and our email service.

I was very angry at myself. There was about 24 hours of tension, but the websites are back up and running again and we have a temporary email solution until we can address the other issues.

Okay, so here is the point. Sometimes we make huge mistakes and it affects people. Sometimes, we make mistakes and because the impact is limited we think it's not that big of a deal. Trust me, it's a big deal ALWAYS.

This accident was a great reminder of the power of being humble. I had nothing to hide and when I explained it to the staff, they responded with understanding. Here I am a grown man appologizing to our College summer staff that I goofed up a few things and I am sorry.

It wasn't hard to be humble because we all make mistakes. How we deal with mistakes is where the differences begin to emerge. How are you dealing with mistakes? Could you do better? How is your pride when you face a mistake you have made?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Being lifted up

I had this cool picture of getting lifted up yesterday. Jordan (5 years old) and I were hiking a trail at camp. He is wearing flip flops and I have running shoes. It's a hot afternoon walk on this trail with boulders and loose gravel.

We made it up to the top and were heading back down. We were talking and looking at lizards and listening to birds. It was great. We come to a short uphill section with step stones on the left and the smooth rock face on the right. Jordan chose the rock face and I thought he would slip...he did.

Anticipating his problem I moved closer and reached out from just as his feet gave way. I was able to place my hand under his arm and keep him moving. It was nothing big, except that it saved a scraped knee or greater injury.

It made me think how many times has God caught me. I did not think of it as much, but it likely saved me from LOTS OF PAIN. Thank you God for having my good in your mind and protecting me. Jordan said thanks and the hike continued, but I wanted to capture that moment for you.

Hope it helps with your day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Honored for being a Dad

Yesterday was Father's Day. Let me just wish all the dad's a "Happy Father's Day", and for the first time in a long time, I actually saw some ads praising dads. You know, it's rare in our culture for fathers to be praised. They are normally made into idiots on TV & movies. Well, as a dad, I am not always an idiot. I take my role seriously and work hard to provide a home for my family, plus I invest in my wife and kids relationally and practically through training, etc.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about how my kids honored me. They planned with mom about how to "love me" in my own language, so they each gave me coupons for service. I default to serving as a way to show love and they met my love language with acts of service for me! Thanks kids for loving your dad. Without you, I would just be husband to Lori. Thanks for making my life more complete!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Leadership, good and bad

"Leadership means getting things done", was a comment I heard this morning on the news. Erica Payne made the statement in an interview. She was being asked by the host about "ramming health care legislation through" and responded with the quote above. Hummm?

So Erica, leadership, by your definition, sounds like a dictator or a tyrant. The majority of America was against the proposed health care legislation, so passing it anyway is LEADERSHIP. I don't think so. While people throughout history have lead this way, I would prefer leaders who listen, understand and take all that information and make difficult decisions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Passing on the Faith

Last night I watched a friend baptize his son in their hot tub. It was an amazing site. I got to read a few verses and pray for the family and Isaiah as he takes this next step in his relationship with Christ.

What caught my attention most was the influence of family and faith! First you have mom and dad who have been teaching and training their children about Jesus Christ. For this event, the mother's parents were there as well, so it was 3 generations of faith celebrating. Add into the mix the children,s pastor and people like us as friends and you see the whole picture of family and faith unfold!

Thanks Andre & Krista for asking me to be part of this celebration! Keep it up, you have 3 more kids to go!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Simple thoughts to fix the economy

To fix the economy is difficult. Duh! To encourage people to participate in fixing the economy is not so difficult.

Seems like there are two extremes. 1) Create more federal workers or 2) help private business to create more private sector jobs. I firmly believe that #2 is the better way to go. If you want businesses to create jobs then you have to pave the way for them. You have to soften some restrictions, provide benefits because they are taking risk and hiring people. Sadly the culture of business is the opposite. I have friends who own private businesses and do very well. Their reality is "work your butt off to pay more taxes that go to people who sit home and do nothing". Sounds stupid to me. Why try???

Perhaps we should all remind Congress and the White House that people "vote with their money". If you tax them more, they will find ways to get around the taxes if possible. If keeping money in America is too expensive, it will go "offshore". If the government is willing to extend unemployment indefinitely, then were is the need to look for work?

Let's have some leadership that helps people take responsibility for themselves and provides support to that end!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Developing Faith

Saturday night I went to Heights Church. Austin went into the main service with me and after the music, he was dismissed attend the Middle/High School class. When the service was over, Austin began talking about his experience. Last week he attended and was bored and did not get "it". This week was very different. Austin began to talk about the discussion.

The students were discussing if they ever doubt their faith. As Austin began to process the questions, he publicly asked, "How can God be everywhere at once? How can He be in all of us at the same time?" That question was music to my ears.

I don't have an answer, because God's ways are way beyond my understanding. As a parent I could not be more thrilled that Austin is beginning to grasp his own faith. He has moved from an elementary understanding to a faith of a young man actually trying to follow Christ. Keep it up Buddy!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ticked about money

In America today it seems like individuals who manage themselves and their finances well are penalized. If you don't have debt, then you are missing out because the banks will forgive your debt. If you have worked hard and saved, managed to live within your own means, you will now be paying more in taxes.

I know you cannot control all aspects of your employment, but we need to practice some discipline as individuals and as a Nation. Here is the most basic message I can muster: CONTROL YOUR SPENDING.

That's it! Personally and Nationally, we cannot always create more income, so CONTROL YOUR SPENDING. Hey Congress and the White House, did you hear that? I hope we are all getting the message. As a Nation we need to get this figured out before it's too late!

Friday, June 11, 2010

High Standards for God's people

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

While God's Word is clear at times, we add context or understanding as we make application to modern life. Our intent is to take what was written in ancient times and apply it to our lives today. We try to conform OURSELVES to HIS WORD, not the other way around. In that effort, we come across passages such as this one. No explanation needed...Just a high call to live in a way that goes against our nature at times.

My prayer is that WE would live like this and the world would notice the Love of God IN US!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We have gotten lazy

Over the past few weeks, it seems like our youngest (5 years old) child has become a real bear to deal with. He whines about most things, he doesn't eat like we want, he isn't kind to his friends, etc. You know where I am going.

Jordan is a great kid! We are crazy about him, but truthfully, I have been lazy as his dad! So, mom and I are going back to the beginning! #1, we are praying for his heart and attitude. #2, we are working on obedience and verbal response like, "yes dad" when asked to do something. #3, we are working on how he treats others, specifically looking at their interests FIRST.

I will keep you posted, but it has already begun to make him happier and me too! Sometimes a "do over" is just the ticket! Do you need a "do over" today?

Monday, June 7, 2010

The power of the stars

The other night (Saturday) we had lost power for the day (7am - 11pm). The power loss is not that important but the day finished with a hot house and no lights. We brought some cushions out of the trailer and laid them on the porch in the cool evening.

We just laid there on the front porch and looked at the stars. You know, the loss of power was not fun, but I would not have changed that time for anything. All five of us were on the porch...priceless. If you have a chance to unplug and look at the stars with those you love as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Running for office

I heard a radio interview yesterday with Ben Quayle (Son of Dan Quayle). He is running for office in the State of Arizona. He was being asked about how "idealistic" Freshman members of Congress are before they arrive in Washington, but then they change because of all the pressure. Wisely, he began to talk about having "core values" that don't change regardless of pressure. He also spoke about leaders who are not afraid to do what is right instead of preserving their job.

I could get behind candidates who put others above themselves. The reality is that the issues in a divided nation are complex and not quickly solved. I don't care how difficult the issues are, they must be addressed and the best way to handle them is through a deep resolve to care for the country first and standing on the principles you believe in. Good luck Ben and many others. Your work is admirable!