Category Archives: My Family

I baptized my boys!

I have baptized hundreds of people. Strangers. Friends. Family.

However, until this past Sunday I had never baptized one of my kids.  I baptized 2 of them. Wow! What a special day.

The whole service was unique because we were focusing on children.  We wanted to show our congregation how important the next generation IS (not will be) and we wanted the adults to remember how important it is to remain like kids.  You can check out the sermon notes here.  You can listen to the message podcast here.

DSC_0017

Erica and I have been talking to our boys about baptism for years.  Of course, they see tons of people baptized at church every year.  They are compelled to talk about it and ask tons of questions.  Erica and I have been extremely careful to push the decision later in life.  Something in us wanted to make sure the boys were making the decision for themselves and not simply because their friends were or because there was any pressure from mom and dad.

The last month or so, the boys have been telling us over and over that they wanted to be baptized.  I would quiz them over and over with random questions.  I would surprise them in the car, around the dinner table, or getting ready for bed.  “Why do you want to be baptized?”  “What does baptism mean to you?”  “What does sin mean to you?”  “How does sin go away from you?”

Read the rest of this entry

How to Fight with your Spouse and WIN

Click here for a podcast of this message.
What is Winning and Losing when it comes to Fighting with Family?  Unhealthy couples fight to be right.  Healthy couples fight for resolution.

Dr. John Gottman: can watch a couple for 90 seconds and know if they are going to make it.

Proverbs 27:15 a continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

It is better to have severe hemorrhoids than to live with a jerk of a husband.  Erica 2:4

photo

We all Fight.

Erica and I have fought a lot in 15 years of marriage.  We have disagreed over making the bed, buying clothes, how to discipline kids, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

All couples will fight because we are sinners.  However, Healthy couples fight fair. 

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

3 Rules to Fight Fair

  1. Stop to Listen Carefully – quick to listen

We are often quick to prove our point. We are wanting to get a word in edgewise.

Proverbs 18: 2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

If you feel like you have to prove your point or get something across, then you are believing a lie about God. That he is not capable to defend you or make the situation right. Or that God is not the one who gives you strength and credibility.

Prove to your Spouse that you are Quick to Listen:

  • Repeat back to your spouse what he or she just said.  It lets them know what you just heard.  It keeps it focused on the topic at hand. “I understand why you feel this way when I do _______”
  • Validate the fact that the feeling is there! Whether you agree with it or not. This is crucial.

When you don’t feel like you are being heard, you will feel helpless and like there is no hope.

Read the rest of this entry

Kennady Update Aug20, 2013

 

FROM MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE!

Robin and I haven’t posted since Kennady got home from the hospital during her last stay because the pace of life right now, feels similar to the pace of an avalanche at your back while skiing straight down a hill.

Kennady made it home and recovered great after her baclofen pump was implanted.

Approximately 1 month out from the surgery, she got an infection in her site which ultimately resolved on it’s own.

10 days ago (2 weeks after the last infection healed up) Kennady’s incision on her back, developed a red raised spot on it.  This grew over the week and then the redness spread to the front of her belly and incisions.

I took her in to the E.R. on Saturday knowing that we were most likely not leaving until we got some antibiotics, at a minimum.

Low and behold, she was admitted.

Read the rest of this entry

Final Thoughts for Vernon Steele

I was asked to close and pray at the funeral service for my grandfather, Vernon Steele.  Here is what I said:

death there is a natural tendency to remember the good times, the endearing qualities.  We thank God for this tendency.  We think of the smiles and the lessons learned, the protection and provision of a man like Vernon Steele.  Wow, no one like that.  Strong as an ox, creative, inventor, craftsman, lover of classical music and Mercedes Benz.  Not sure I ever heard him explain anything with such love as his collection of Mercedes.

However, our mind sometimes wanders to other moments when times were tough.  We want to wrap things up and put a bow on someone’s life.  I have been doing funerals officially for ten years and it is a struggle for anyone.  Now, I have been asked to be the final speaker for Vernon Steele and then say a prayer.

I just want to say that every time Vernon showed us his humanity and brokenness. Every time we were faced with a situation where we tried to make excuses or say that is just the way he is… Jesus Christ was dying for Vernon.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

In the midst of us trying to make sense and make wrong pieces fit, the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses and make right.  Jesus makes all things well.  We rejoice in the reconciliation of all things.  We serve a Jesus that doesn’t give up on something that is broken but endures the cross so that we are FREE!

Let’s pray:

Lord, we are grateful today that we have been blessed a husband, father, grandfather, friend.  We are thankful for his life and all of the values passed down.  I pray that the Holy Ghost empowers my grandmother to seize this season of life.  That she experience peace that passes all understanding.  That she feel strength in her body, soul, and spirit. That each son, daughter, grandchild, and EVERY ‘in-law’ would bond like never before. I pray for unity and a kindred spirit to permeate every relationship.  Lord, may we BE the body of Christ on earth that you have called us to be.  We are needing you. We desire you. We call on you today to give us YOU. That is all we need. In Jesus name, and EVERYBODY say “AMEN”!

Why Do We Watch Movies?

animated_slideMy thoughts on Movies

We are currently in a sermon series where we are using animated movies as parables.  We are taking the storyline and seeing how it can be used to preach the gospel and illustrating where the storyline deviates from the authentic message of scripture.  Why?  Why not just stick to other storylines?  Well, millions of people are shaped by movies. Movies seems to be the mainstream voice of the culture today.  Instead of just ‘preaching against’ movies, I think it is very eye-opening to see ‘innocent’ movies picked apart and illustrate how the message makes a difference.  The biggest risk is that we take the message of redemption (almost all box office hits are stories of redemption) from movies and apply them to scriptures.  We often get a tainted or skewed picture of Jesus’ gospel if we use modern cultures version of redemption.

Here are some bulleted thoughts I have on watching movies:

  • Movies can cause us to sin immediately. Porn and even mainstream movies could lead to you to actual/literal sin.
  • Movies show us what we are entertained by.  You can step back from a movie and say, “that disgusted me. I don’t want to watch that type of movie.”  You can step back and say I liked to be entertained by that. Wholesome movies are encouraging.  However, it should be convicting to you if the entertainment came from activities that nailed Jesus to the cross.  In other words, if you are entertained (amused or thrilled) by sinful activities, then that reveals where your heart might be or might be headed…a bad place.
  • Movies can show us the gospel AND what is not the gospel if we go into the viewing with a firm grip on what the gospel really is.  We can be entertained and at the same time learn and distinguish what is correct and not correct about the storyline of the movie.

How do I determine what movie I will watch?

Erica and I have set up boundaries to help our movie watching decisions.  It is laborious to review movies one by one and find out if the movie will violate our conscious or cause us to sin.  It is a waste of time/money to begin watching a movie that disgusts us and we eventually turn it off or leave the theater (we go to theaters some).  A very easy way to get a quick, easy review is www.kidsinmind.com.  This website reviews movies on 3 criteria: sexual content, violence/gore, and language.  It gives a number rating for each of these categories.  Depending on your background and culture, you should determine what movies are appropriate for you and your family. As for our house hold, our general max rating in these categories are: sexual content 3, violence/gore 7, and Language 4.  There are exceptions to these boundaries on rare occations.  For example, sometimes we watch movies for educational purposes in order to learn a sub-culture.  We have to sit through things mostly language and violence that we wouldn’t normally sit through.  An example of this would be: The Passion of the Christ.

What are your thoughts? How do you determine what you watch?

Beautiful Truth

encouraging & inspiring authentic relationship with God and each other

rheaofsunshine

a Journey of Finding Faith

mialuanne

HoPE for Mia Lu Anne

Made Meaningful

Let's Walk Together

it is what it is (and what YOU make of it!)

a blog about faith, family and life

Miguel Diaz

El lado opuesto de las cosas.

Jason Warman

A life-giving, life-changing blog for churches and leaders

Brandon Stewart Communications

Inspire. Equip. Coach.

DUSTYDEAN

husband. father. pastor. founder of reveal. lover of chips.

Melissa Mon Amie

Loving God with mind, heart and soul

Sammy Yammy and HoPE

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Dr. Seuss

by Sarah Halstead

snapshots & memoir

Abiding in the Kingdom

An exploration of spiritual life

Journey Full of Life

The Story of Braxton Joseph

Red Road Diaries

Musings from the back roads

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,308 other followers