Archives For Family

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.

I am one of the clueless guys who waits to the last second before buying Christmas presents.  If you’re like me, then it’s always tough to figure out something for your family members.  So I want to give you a great idea.  One that will benefit both you and me :-)  And just so you know, this is a shameless plug for my wife’s business.

Pampered Chef logo

Jennifer is selling Pampered Chef cooking products and even has her own website where you can order the items. She is doing great with the company and with her background as a home economics teacher, selling this is definitely one of her strengths.  They have lots of great ideas for Christmas, and you can order directly from her website.  If you’re local, then you can even host your own show and get some free stuff in the process.  Over the past several years, way too much of our income has been used to buy their products, but I can honestly say that they make quality stuff.  I can highly recommend their products because I’ve personally used many of them.  I have really enjoyed the times that Jennifer and I have cooked together. It’s fun to get the whole family involved and just enjoy your time together.  Check out their stuff and commit to cooking at home more often. It’s better for your health, your wallet, and your marriage.

Nineteen years ago I was running in the state cross-country finals.  We had a great team and I was a scrawny 135 lb senior running 18 minute times in 5K’s. Since that time, I really haven’t continued running and the years and pounds have added on.  Over the last couple of years I have tried to start running, but I have lacked consistency.  This summer I have managed to rack up about 25 miles, but I am still far from being in shape.  But I am playing basketball regularly, biking, and jogging.  I am definitely making an effort to be more disciplined in all areas of my life.

This morning I ran the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race For the Cure near Charleston, South Carolina with over 5000 other people.  It was a fun race, but the real reason I ran was to honor my mother-in-law (you can see the details of her previous battle with cancer here) .  My wife Jennifer had planned to run, but her knee has been locking up and will probably require surgery in the next few weeks, so she was unable to run.  But I ran with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law for Team Bambu.  Our kids all ran the 1 mile fun run as well.

I wasn’t real pleased with my time of 32 minutes, but with my lack of training and current weight, it is all that I really could expect.  I started developing shin splints several weeks back and they really bothered me during the race.  I wasn’t used to running on pavement and the impact took it’s toll on me. I still need to drop about 25 pounds to get to a decent running weight.  It was still a fun race and I’m glad that I ran it.  Check out some pictures below.

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If you want to learn from my mistakes, here is what I recommend:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.  Even if you get passed by 70 year olds, women pushing strollers, your sister-in-law :-), and a man in a fat suit (which all happened to me today) don’t give up.  It takes discipline and hard work to get in shape.  And some people are just natural runners.
  • Forget your past.  It doesn’t really matter what you used to do.  All that matters is where you are now and where you need to go.
  • Music is a great motivator.  Be sure to pick music that keeps you running at a good tempo. Nike has some great running mixes and the free podrunner podcast is a great place to pick up some good techno running music.
  • Have a plan! Start gradually and work your into shape – the couch to 5k plan is a great way to get in shape for a 5k in two months. They also have a podcast and a couch to 5k application for the iphone and ipod touch.
  • Mix things up, don’t feel bad changing your workout routine. Weight training is important as well
  • And finally, train on the same surfaces that you will be racing on. I’ve been running on the trail at home and the road really bothered my knees and shins during the race.

Running For a Reason

September 21, 2009 — Leave a comment

raceIt’s been a long, long time since I ran in a 5K.   It was actually my senior year of high school when I was part of the cross country team.   I have ran off and on over the past several years, but something always comes up and causes me to quit.   Whether it was a kidney stone, ankle problems, my psoriasis, or just plain laziness, I seem to always find an excuse.  Well, I am officially out of excuses. I have signed up to run in the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race For the Cure in Charleston, South Carolina in October.

This will be a special day because I am running with several family members. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35 and has been blessed to overcome this disease. She will be running the race as well, joining with my wife and my sister-in-law to raise money to help others in their fight against cancer. I will be running  with the team from Bambu, the restaurant in Mt. Pleasant where my brother-in-law serves as the executive chef.

Although this will be my first 5K in almost 20 years, I am excited about running for such a great cause. I don’t ask for much here on this blog, but I am asking that you consider making a tax-deductible donation to support breast cancer research.  You may donate online with your credit card by clicking the “Support” button at my personal race page. Your support helps us get another step closer to a world without breast cancer.

We just got back home from a vacation to Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia.  We had a great time seeing all the historic sites and memorials for our great country.  But the sights and sounds weren’t the focus of the trip.  The time with family is the important part of any vacation.

It’s easy to fall into a trap of over-planning the places you visit.  You can fill your schedule up with so many activities that you don’t make time to talk and laugh and play with each other.  In D.C., I was slowly falling into the trap of trying to do too much.  I’m a task-oriented person by nature, so it’s easy for me to go full-steam ahead.  It was a little stressful walking all over D.C. and riding the Metro.  I have always felt pretty safe in D.C., but with my family there, I was a little on edge.  If you have watched Hillbilly Ninja, you know what this Southwest Virginia boy can do.

But after a few days, I’m glad to report that I finally unwound and slowed down and started having fun with the family.  And by the time we got to Williamsburg, we were having a great time.  The kids were wild, we were laughing, and we even saw a few great sights in the process.

You can plan a great trip, but I think it is much better to plan a great vacation with your family.  Don’t forget what is really important.  Create great family memories by having fun together.

It’s good to be back home in the land of sweet tea and friendly people. ;-)

Here are a few pictures from our trip.


August 13, 2009 — 2 Comments


Our family is leaving in the morning for a vacation, so I’ll be unplugging from my internet world for several days.  We’re going to Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg with the kids.  I plan on attending Mark Batterson’s National Community Church on Sunday and also checking out Ebenezers Coffeehouse while I’m there.  I’ll see if I can pick up any ideas for our Cornerstone Cafe.  I’ll try to send a few updates over twitter, but for the most part, my blog will be silent.  See you guys on the other side.

image by Darren Hester

I have returned!

June 25, 2009 — Leave a comment

Just letting you know that I am still alive.  Our family has been on a short vacation for a few days. We spent a few days at the beach visiting family and getting sunburned. I’ll be posting about some things I learned and observed from our trip, but for now, I’m still getting caught up. It was an awesome trip, and I had so much fun playing with the kids and spending great quality time with Jennifer. These times away are so important to strengthening my marriage and showing love to my kids.

On a personal note, pray for me as I travel with Scattered, our Cornerstone Saturday night band and speak at a youth camp Friday night near Gate City.   It will be a very busy and crazy day, but I love the opportunity to share with teens.

First of all, I want to share a video with you that we showed at Cornerstone this morning.  Just look at the pictures of fathers and their children.  You can see the joy and pride in each picture.  Then think about how your heavenly Father views you.   Don’t forget this Father’s Day that you are loved!

I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day.  I’ve spent the day with my wife and children as we visited my parents and her parents.  We had way too much food and good times for one day.  I shared in church this morning about Drew making me a special Father’s Day card.  On Saturday night, he spent a long time coloring it and drawing on it and then it was time to give it to me.  He couldn’t wait until Father’s Day, so he presented the card to me, grinning from ear to ear.  As I opened it, a $1 bill fell out.  You see, he had emptied his piggy bank, found the bill, and happily gave it away.  I gave him a huge hug and let him know how special of a gift it really was.  Luke and Emma have also shown much love to me today.  I am so proud of my children.  I want to share a post with you from Mark Batterson at  In his post, All I Want For Father’s Day, Mark shares his hope and prayer for his children.  I hope reading it will bless you as it did me.

What do I want for Father’s Day? It’s so simple and so important. I want my kids to grow up to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. I know I cannot control it, but I can pray for it. I pray that they would personalize and internalize their faith. I pray that they would own their faith and that their faith would own them. I pray for an intense spiritual hunger. A hunger to know God. A hunger to serve God. I pray for a double portion just like Elisha. I don’t carewhat they do or who they become as long as their love for God grows deeper and stronger. That love will define them. That love will give them a sense of destiny. That love will sustain them through the ups and downs of life.

That’s what I want for Father’s Day.

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