Archives For Family

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?

Winning Isn’t Everything

October 18, 2010 — 1 Comment

Photo from Dreamland Images

I survived! After only running a few times this summer, I finished the Race for the Cure 5K in Charleston. My time was slow, but I finished and ran the entire way. I am super proud of my daughter Emma, my wife Jennifer, my mother-in-law Mary Anne, and my sister-in-law Sara who all ran the race as well. The website listed almost 9000 participants in the race! As you can see from the picture it was a huge race.

For the first several minutes it was almost impossible to really run since I was back in the pack, but the experience was awesome. Almost $400,000 was raised for Breast Cancer research. The goal of this race was to raise money and raise awareness, so it didn’t bother me too bad that I finished in 1538th place. It was a little strange when the guy in combat boots and a pink tutu passed me :-)

You can see the map and stats of my run on the runkeeper website. I especially want to thank everyone at Cornerstone for allowing me and the family a weekend to get away and have fun.

Race For The Cure

October 12, 2010 — Leave a comment

I don’t ask for much here on the blog, but some things are too important not to mention. I’m getting ready to run a 5k this Saturday for a great cause. For the second year in a row, I’m joining with several members of my family to run in the Race for a Cure in Charleston, South Carolina. My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and we’re running in her honor.  If you want to support breast cancer research, then please consider a donation. You can find my personal race page at the LowCountry Race for a Cure website.

I’ll be running with Team Bambu, so if you are ever in the Charleston or Mt. Pleasant area you’ll want to check out their great Asian restaurant. My brother-in-law is the executive chef there and it is definitely my favorite place to eat in Charleston. Here’s a picture of me struggling through last year’s race. :-)

The story begins twenty years ago when some of my friends convinced me to ask a sweet young lady to prom. Fast-forward through the end of high school of four years of college and I found myself walking down an aisle of a little country church fifteen years ago marrying the love of my life.  A lot of things have changed since then, but one thing has remained constant, and that is our commitment to God and to each other.

I’ve heard a lot of people over the years talk about how marriage brings out the worst in people, but in my case, Jennifer has brought out the best in me. She is my encourager and friend, and she is an incredible wife and mother. I can see glimpses of her in all three of our children and it reminds me how lucky I really am.

Looking back to our teen years, I don’t think I would have ever imagined that I would end up as a pastor of a church, and I know Jennifer never thought she would be a pastor’s wife. But God knew what He was doing when He brought us together, because we really make a great team. I can’t wait to keep writing new chapters of our life. Jennifer, you are an amazing woman of God, and I am blessed to be your husband :-)

Decade by Decade

January 20, 2010 — 1 Comment

It’s amazing how much things can change in a decade.  Twenty years ago, I started dating a sweet girl named Jennifer. After three kids and fourteen years of marriage, I can look back and realize how lucky I was. Check out this video Jenni made to introduce our family at our local homeschool cooperative. Our oldest daughter is in middle school, but our two younger boys are still homeschooled.

Thankfully, we didn’t include many pictures from the 70’s and 80’s (I still can’t believe plaid used to be in style), but I am thankful that we can look back and see how God has blessed our family. Enjoy the journey!

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