Archives For Family

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!

Things I Think

January 11, 2010 — 2 Comments

Just wanted to share some random thoughts tonight.

  • I enjoyed spending the day with my family in Christiansburg and Blacksburg today. Emma was able to go with us since school was canceled due to a power outage.  It’s always great going to Hokie country, and I’m slowly getting my kids used to the campus. It’s such a great town.
  • I unplugged completely from church activities today. I need to do that more often since our weekends are so crazy. Honoring the Sabbath is not a suggestion, but a command, and I need at least one day a week where I can rest and enjoy my time with God and family.
  • Speaking of a crazy weekend, Cornerstone was awesome this week. We had a great leadership retreat on Friday and Saturday, planning and dreaming with our elder team and administrative team. I’m excited about the direction we are going and the unity we are building in our group. God is blessing us with talented and gifted people who are in love with Jesus. I’ll be sharing more about some of the exciting new things that are in store for this year.
  • Sunday was incredible as well. We had the highest weekend attendance ever this week and I saw many new faces in both of our services. You don’t hear me talk about numbers very often, but I want to share with our Cornerstone family that we had 330 people in attendance this week. For a small church in a small town, that is exciting! And I think we’re just seeing the start of what could be. I have heard so many people talking in the community about how God is moving and working at Cornerstone. Keep investing and inviting.
  • I’m really enjoying our series on 20/20 vision. This past week we talked about discovering and following your Holy Discontent.  For those of you wanting to find out more about what that could mean for your life, check out the book Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire That Ignites Personal Vision by Bill Hybels. It goes into far more depth about some of the things we talked about this weekend.
  • And finally, I’ve been spending a little time on facebook recently.  Why can’t young people spell? I’m not sure what the root of the problem is. I don’t think it’s texting, because most of the misspelled words are longer than the correct spelling. You can’t blame it on public schools either, because I see the same thing in many of the homeschoolers.  I’m thinking we are seeing the results of a generation raised on Hooked on Phonics and spell check. Just sound it out and it’s close enough. Are there any teachers out there who know why there is such a decline in basic spelling skills?

    Thinking Through the New Year

    December 30, 2009 — 3 Comments

    If you haven’t noticed, my blog has been pretty quiet for the past few weeks. It’s been a busy time with all the excitement of the Christmas season, and I have definitely been doing a lot of planning and thinking. For the first time in my life, I’m thinking through some long term goals. In order for me to be the best husband, father, and pastor that I can be, I am making some changes.

    One of the biggest changes is the amount of time I use the computer in the evenings.  While it may seem minor, I am making sure I am fully present for my family. That means I am disconnecting from much of the tech world after I get home until the kids go to bed. Although, I’ve had much less time to work on the blog, there is no doubt that I am making the right decision. I will continue posting to the blog, but it will not be as frequent as in the past. My goal is 3 high quality posts per week. I simply don’t have the time to do more than that right now with the demands of a growing church and a busy family.  I will still be on twitter for other day-to-day thoughts, so you can follow me there.

    I am also making changes in the way I take care of myself. I want to finish strong and I want to finish healthy.  That means I will be working out and eating healthier and taking more time off. I’ll share some more of my goals for the next few years in a future post. I am excited about the changes and I want you, my blog readers, to know that this site will continue to have great information about church technology, about ministry in a small town, and about the lessons I learn along the way.

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