Back in Town

May 12, 2010

Jessica and I have returned from showing off our daughter McKenna to our family and friends back home in Michigan.  And of course, they loved her!  How could they not?

This trip was by far the best time Jessica and I have had while in Michigan.  The relentless pressure from our parents and grandparents for our return to West Michigan made us feel loved; however, can’t say just yet that moving back is God’s plan for us.

The reality is–with the arrival of McKenna–the desire to move back home has increased (our family is taking full advantage of our temporarily weak mind setting).

I understand that we experience one life, and one life only on this side of Heaven, and family is beyond important to Jessica and me.  As much as I want to settle down and buy a house and spend the rest of my life comfortably positioned in West Michigan, I can’t help but think that there is so much more to this life.

Christianity in many ways has lost its edge.  There is no adventure, no excitement, no fun.  Is that a result from the comfortable lifestyle that many Christians want?  Buy a house, work hard, don’t complain–much anyways? 

I can’t stand by and watch my life fade away little by little while God is looking on–shaking His head thinking “if only you knew the greatness I desire for you.”  I believe God wants to do something amazing and He is looking for this generation to step up and conduct a movement of God that has never been experienced.

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Love Vs Obedience

April 29, 2010

Great time with Jesus this morning.  Have you ever had those moments where you sensed His presence?

It was nothing planned or constructed–I had some extra time sitting in my car, and opened up my Bible to John 13.  I read John 13 and nothing really struck me or stood out.

Then I got to John 14.  Jesus started speaking.  The verses that stood out were: John 14:15, John 14:21, & John 14:23.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”  — John 14:15

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”  — John 14:21

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  — John 14:23

You can see from the repetitive nature (all within 8 verses) of this idea of love and obedience that Jesus found the relationship between the two very important.  I think many times we become infatuated with one or the other…we focus on Jesus is only love or Jesus demands obedience.

I think the scripture is clear that the two have a significantly close relationship and I don’t think you can have one without the other.

The question I was asking in my journal this morning is…is it my love for Jesus that generates obedience or is it my obedience that produces love?

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

Thanks Richard.

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.

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.

Lead and Invest

March 20, 2010

I have a sink or swim mentality.  I prefer to jump into things and figure them out as I go along.  Well that is all fine until your speaking about being a father to a little girl.

EKKKKK!  I know.  No way do I think that a first-time father should figure things out as they go–so I read a ton of books written by “fathers of the years.” 

I dove into these books and found that the number one quality of a great father is someone who is connected with Jesus.  The overarching theme of all the books I read is that the father must be the leader of the household and give everything they have to the family (in terms of time, love, investing in their children).

Sounds like common sense I know, but in the post-modern era we live in now common sense is not so common.

Fathers: Lead and Invest

God.

I believe in dreaming BIG and I hold tight to Ephesians 3:20–

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

I truly believe in Ephesians 3:20 and 1 Corinthians 2:9 (no eye has seen, heard, or conceived what He has ready for us), but why?  I desire to be great, to do great things, but need to keep my motives in check.

The vision God has put in your life begins with Him, but…it also ends with Him.

Motive check–is my dream a means to please God or is God a means to fulfill my dream?