Thanks for explaining this in a way us dumb Christians can finally understand.

Thanks Richard.

Not a spiritual posting today…good thing, that last one took a lot out of me.

Today I got a hair cut at Great Clips (6.99 special).  I walked in and was greeted quickly…sat down in the spinney chair and this older black woman began cutting my hair.  Now I know that doesn’t seem all that revolutionary but it was to me.

This lady was a master of the art of conversation–a dying art that kids are not learning.

Now, to brag about myself for a second, I think of myself as a pretty darn good conversationalist.  I make it a point to ask lots of questions and keep the dialogue off me (most people love talking about themselves).  “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a great read and as far as I am concerned, should be required reading in high schools…but I digress.

The conversation as I was getting my hair cut flowed nicely, there were no awkward moments of silence, and she seemed to have a real interest in who I was as a person.  I didn’t realize how many chances at great conversation we are missing out on.  I walked away from a simple hair cut feeling better about myself and ready for the day.

All because a lady knew how to conduct herself in a conversation.

Needless to say, I will be back at Great Clips…even after their prices go back up to $11.

I listened to an old school Southern Baptist preacher this morning and he made the comment that we must die with Christ each morning.

If you know me at all, you know that I have a low tolerance for old school preaching by preachers who can’t seem to get a grip for what’s going on in the world–which is exactly what this guy was.

I do believe, however, that God can and will use all types of people to speak into your life as He sees fit.  Today, God saw fit that this dude would speak to me a truth of God that I really never fully understood.  1 Cor 15:30-31 says,

“And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.”

For whatever reason, this verse stuck out and captured my heart like never before…I desired to die with Christ.  I thought to myself, “self…I am a Christian, I accepted Jesus, I died with Him already, so what are these feelings?”

The last little word of the second sentence…daily.  I can say that I do not die with Christ daily.  I usually die with Christ on Sundays (obviously) and some Wednesdays (because that’s when we have our worship service for students). 

As I get closer to Jesus and as I take steps in ministry I am finding that more is expected of me spiritually (and rightly so).

Two years ago, God would have never convicted me of this…while today I am eager to listen to Him and do whatever He desires of me. 

Beginning now I am dying with Christ each and every day.

Fathers Better Wake Up

April 19, 2010

I bought Dr. James Dobson’s newest book titled, “Bringing Up Girls.”

The book, recently released on April 13, is a must read for my wife and I.  I respect Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family resources have all been outstanding.

Anyway, to the point.

The second chapter of Bringing Up Girls reveals the scary reality that young girls face.  One sentence that got my attention is:

Sales receipts from a few years back indicated that parents spent $1.6 million on thong underwear for their seven-to twelve-year-old daughters.

We should be furious.

Our culture has influenced more than the younger generation of girls, now parents are onboard with society–telling girls they are not good enough, that they need to be what men expect them to be, and that anyone who says differently is holding them down.

I related to the words of Steve Lopez, in which he wrote in the LA Times:

Three months ago, with my wife’s contractions getting closer and closer, we flicked on the TV as a distraction before going to the hospital.

Bad Idea.

No one expects a great deal of enlightenment from the tube these days.  But as we switched from one tawdry and vapid reality or dating show to another, I wondered if we should have our heads examined for bringing a child into this world.

Especially a girl.

It’s not just television that scares me.  It’s the Internet, pop music, radio, advertising.  The most lurid elements of each medium now dominate pop culture, and the incessant, pounding message, directed primarily at you people is that it’s all about sex…Today, if you haven’t just had sex, you’re a loser.  If you don’t expect to have it in the immediate future, try plastic surgery, because sex appeal–the one true standard of human achievement–is the only thing worth aspiring to.

Jesus needs to come fix this crap.

In the mean time, how about parents—fathers in particular—wake up and lead your families like you’re suppose to.

Jesus Fish Christianity

April 16, 2010

The arrival of our baby girl has got me thinking a lot about my relationship with God.  Mainly I think about how I can best guide my little girl toward the creator of everything, and help her to have a relationship with Him.

There is power behind a person who walks closely with God. 

People see something different within you, and they want it, and they are not sure how to get it, even if they know what it actually is.  (Did you follow that?)

My desire is to have a authentic relationship with God.  Not that “I have a Jesus fish on my car” Christianity, but real Christianity.

I desire to walk through suffering while my little girl watches.  I want her to see her daddy trust God and believe in the power He provides.  How powerful would that be, and what kind of character would that produce within her?

It is my prayer that McKenna is a great woman of God, and my desire for her to make a difference in this world for the only One that matters.

Lord, help my family and I live life differently.

Advance One Level

April 15, 2010

April 5th something amazing happened.  My wife gave birth to our amazing daughter McKenna.

Two things are evident from the arrival of Micky-K (trying out nick-names).

  1. Everything people told us about missing out on sleep is completely true–I thought they were exaggerating
  2. My wife Jessica and I are moving into the next phase of life

I feel like I beat a level on an X-box 360 game and get to move on to the main level–the level with the ultimate adversary.  Except this time it’s real life.

Many questions come with this level advancement.  A few questions I am asking are…

  1. How do you raise a daughter?
  2. How do you raise a daughter well?
  3. How do you raise a daughter with Godly morals and values?
  4. How do you raise a daughter that loves Jesus?
  5. Ohh yeah, did I mention, how do you raise a daughter?

All joking aside, God has given me a great opportunity to be the best father to a little girl that I can be.

Family Vision

March 30, 2010

Living Christianity is difficult.  Living Christianity as a family is even harder.

I have a hard enough time motivating myself to communicate with God or act in a way that is pleasing to Him (when I don’t feel like it).  Sometimes, I am the ultimate Christian but other times I really struggle.

The question I have been throwing around is:

“How can I instill a vision into Jessica and my children that motivates them to be all Jesus knows they can be?”

I want my kids to understand who God made them to be, how they fit into our family, how to have a relationship with God, and how to live in a way that displays all of the above.

In order for this to become a reality you need to have what I call a family vision–that is a motto or statement that drives everything your family does.

The vision of my family can be summed up in 3 words–Live Life Differently.

Next blog post is about the importance of a family vision–don’t miss it.