Archives For Family

Rest

July 2, 2012 — 10 Comments

 

For the last ten days, our family took some time off. We went to the beach at Pawley’s Island, South Carolina and enjoyed just having fun. We played golf. We went fishing, We played in the ocean and in the pool. We ate way too much food. We laughed and we acted crazy. And we visited a church and worshipped together while on vacation. The last few years have gone by way too quickly, and this is the first time we have ever taken a vacation this long. We have been a little stretched financially  over the past few years and have only been able to take long weekend trips, so this trip was extra special.

I quickly realized that when I am under stress, I am not that fun to be around. I don’t laugh as much and I’m always thinking about problems and what needs to be done. Personal conflict especially bothers me, and as a pastor, there are always people who don’t like something you’ve said or done. It’s hard for me to not take it personally, so I’ve had to learn that I can’t please everyone and that I only need to focus on pleasing God. Getting away helps me to focus on what is really important in life. I love what Mark Batterson says: A Change of Place + A Change of Pace = A Change of Perspective.

I appreciate everyone stepping up at Cornerstone while we were gone. I really am recharged and ready to move forward. I can’t wait to share some of what I’ve read and learned.

It was also great to disconnect from email, the blog, Facebook, and twitter. I checked things a few times, but I didn’t worry about responding to everyone, and I didn’t worry about what everyone else was doing. Our society has become consumed with reading about everyone else’s activities, while neglecting their own families. I don’t want to make that mistake. I am blessed to have an incredible family. My wife and I have been married for 17 years, and our journey together just keeps getting better.

Here are a few more pics from the trip.

True Hokie

December 22, 2011 — Leave a comment

Our family spent the day in Blacksburg and Christiansburg finishing up our Christmas shopping and visiting Jennifer’s sister Sara and her family. I took the picture above while walking across the campus with our kids. Virginia Tech is really a special place for me. I spent four great years there, and I fell in love with the campus and the people.

Growing up I was a fan of the Hokies, so when I decided in 10th grade that I wanted to be an engineer, everything just started falling into place. Duke was the only other school that I applied to, but My heart wasn’t in it. I applied early and chose to attend Tech and I became a true Hokie. This great engineering school is just an hour away from my hometown where I now live. 

It was at Tech where I really started growing in my faith. I got involved with the local Baptist Student Union and was surrounded by some great friends who helped teach and encourage me. Many of my friends eventually found their way into full time ministry, so when we visit the campus it’s a constant reminder of what God has done in my life. God has always put the right people into my life at the right time. I would have never have guessed that I would end up as a pastor, but God was working out the plan every step of the way.

We still are able to visit the campus often, but it’s been over 16 years since I graduated. I’m troubled by the violence that has rocked the Hokie Nation and I still can’t understand why it has happened in Blacksburg of all places. This small, beautiful mountain town has a slower pace of life, one that is peaceful and quiet. But the people of Tech have pulled together. I love the mountains of Virginia and I’m so thankful that God has me here.

And finally, all I can say is Go Hokies!!! Let’s beat Michigan in the Sugar Bowl!

Physical Discipline

November 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

Have you ever looked down at the scale and wondered how the number got that high? For me, I finally took a long hard look and realized that I need to make a few changes. It’s not that I’m extremely overweight, but I am definitely heavier than I should be. I can rationalize it by saying that I’m still in decent shape. I can play basketball, go run a few miles, ride my bike, and I’m still relatively healthy. But the truth is that I have been undisciplined in my physical life. This summer, I was at the heaviest weight of my life. Since then, I’ve dropped about 10 pounds, but it was a wake up call to me.

I feel like I’m a critical point in my life, and I don’t want the demands of ministry to turn me into a fat and frustrated preacher. Since I want to be healthy and be around for my family for a long time, here are some changes I’m making.

  • Losing weight – I’ve already lost 5 pounds over the past week. I started Weight Watchers online for some accountability and it’s helping me really think about what I eat. I would like to drop about 20 more pounds. It’s been good motivation for me.
  • Exercise More – I’m going to schedule regular exercise times. This is tough in the winter, but I don’t have any excuses. Exercise really helps me clear my head and deal with stress and worry.
  • Regular Physicals – I’m 38 years old and I think the last physical I had was in high school. I’ve been to the local Urgent Care a few times, but I haven’t had a regular Family Physician since the mid 90’s. I’ve never even had my cholesterol checked.  That changed this week. I’m going to take advantage of my health insurance and start building a relationship with a physician. My family has history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other health problems, so I’m going to keep watch over my physical health.
  • Fasting – This may seem out of place to some of you, but I am going to start regularly fasting. Not for weight loss, but to help my discipline. I am spending these fasting days praying for our church and praying for my family. This is something I’ve been reading and studying about for a while, but I have never really incorporated it into everyday life. I’m getting more intentional about seeking God guidance for my life. This is just one way to help that.
  • Laugh and Play – Finally, this one is huge for me. I tend to be a pretty serious guy. I am going to be much more intentional about laughing and playing with my kids and wife. Life is too short to not enjoy it!
Let me challenge you to think about your health. Are you living a disciplined life?

Okay, you might read that the wrong way, but this is a good thing. My wife and 13 year old daughter are planning on going on a mission trip to Nicaragua next month. I am super excited for them, because I have been on similar trips for the past two years with Because We Care Ministries. This picture is of a little girl I met at one of the villages. When we arrived to fix a hot meal for the people there, she lined up and waited for her food. So many people are hungry and hurting, and we have a chance to meet both their physical and spiritual needs.

Mission trips really open your eyes to the world around you. I’m excited for both my wife and daughter since neither have traveled outside of the country. I’m also glad they will be learning and serving together. They will be ministering in the northwest part of Nicaragua, reaching out to remote villages to share the love of Christ. Our church has formed a strong partnership with this ministry, and we have sent numerous people there to serve. But the reality is that it’s also expensive to go on a trip like this. We’ve been saving, but we aren’t quite there. Here’s how you can help me send my wife out of the country :-)

Pray: Prayer is powerful and I ask that you pray for their trip (and pray for me at home with two boys for a week)

Cakes, Cheesecakes, & Desserts: My wife is simply incredible in the kitchen. If you are interested in having her prepare a dessert for you, please email her or call her and she will give you a price. All proceeds will go towards the trip. Also, she is a Pampered Chef consultant, so let her know if you would like to do a show.

Websites: Many of you know that I design websites in my spare time. I’m trying to do a few extra websites this month to help raise the money. If you are interested in a site, please go to FEDesign.net to find our more info.

And finally, if you simply want to donate to help us, you can send money through paypal by clicking on the link below.

 

 

I appreciate your help. We’re trusting God to provide the necessary funds to make this trip a reality.

We just got back from a quick four day trip to the beach.  It’s great getting away with the family to just have fun. We really didn’t do a whole lot except hang out on the beach and play at the pool. There is just something special about hearing your kids laugh as you make a fool of yourself in public.  Not that I would do that … :-)

We didn’t have a good internet connection, so I actually got to rest from computer stuff for a change. I had my phone, so I checked email, but that was about it.  It still takes me several days to start unwinding from everything. It’s hard to get my mind off of what I need to do and what I haven’t done, and what I could do if I had the time. But it really takes a change of pace and a change of place to give you a change in your perspective. I really came away from the trip with some much needed clarity in my personal life. I’ll be sharing more on the blog over the next few weeks. I’m also reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns and that book is giving me much needed perspective about serving others.

We also did something a little unusual for the trip. We kept the radio on country stations the entire time. It gave the kids some good laughs and we had to have a lot of parent talks about drinking, chasing after girls, and divorce. I miss old Garth Brooks and Alabama, and I can’t believe they are actually rapping in country music now. Times have definitely changed. I think we heard the new song by the Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett about a million times, but it was great to sing along with at the beach since Jennifer and I are closet parrotheads.  We actually went to a Jimmy Buffett concert years ago, so it’s good to see him still singing strong. So just for your listening enjoyment, here is the song we couldn’t get away from.

Yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary. Jennifer is an amazing women, and I feel like our marriage just keeps getting better. As a pastor, unfortunately I hear about many problems in marriages, so I know that we have something very special and unique.

Great marriages don’t happen by accident. You must be committed to keeping your marriage strong. We have to fight to keep our marriage on the right path. We’ve spent a lot of time reading books together, going to marriage groups together, and praying together. Here are a few keys to our marriage.

Prayer

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. If you start to disagree or have a time of intense fellowship, take the time to pray together. Prayer puts our focus where it needs to be.

Communication

This is a given. If you want a great marriage, then you can’t hold back. You have to share what you are feeling, and the only way you can really do that is through ….

Trust

When you trust each other, you can share anything.  Intimacy happens when we truly know and trust each other, and there is no fear of rejection. Trust takes time, and it must be earned, but it is imperative that you build that trust early in your marriage.

Commitment

Your priorities must be in order. Strong marriages take commitment. A commitment to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage strong. I believe that marriage takes precedence over your children. I am not saying that you neglect your role as parents, but the best gift you can give your children is for them to see a strong marriage. I see way too many child-centered homes in today’s society. Children leave, spouses stay!

Time

The old saying that quality is better than quantity simply isn’t true. Make time for your spouse. Go on dates, pray together, have fun together, go on long walks on the beach, be spontaneous, revisit some of your old hangouts, just spend time together. If you don’t plan in advance, it won’t happen because you will have busy schedules.

Vision

Do you have purpose in life? Do you have something that you and your spouse are both passionate about? For us, knowing that God has a calling on our lives is huge. We can get through hectic and crazy times when we know we are doing God’s will.

Passion

I’ll keep it PG, but let me just say that it can get better with age :-)

 

What would you add to the list? What are the ingredients to a strong and lasting marriage?

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