6 Things My Kids Need For School

Here we are again. Where did the summer go? Maybe you’re getting ready to send your first born off to school. You might be sending your oldest to college. Maybe you homeschool and you’re ramping up for another year. Wherever this post finds you, I thought I might share the 6 things that I firmly believe my kids need before they start school. These 6 things are part of that “hill I will die on” I often refer to. I know each child and home is different, so take these for what they are worth. Here we go…. 1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T … Continue reading 6 Things My Kids Need For School

Broken and Beautiful

My kids love birthday celebrations at the house. Especially our youngest (aka Princess 2.0). Throughout the day yesterday I was instructed that I “couldn’t go in the loft” and I “wasn’t allowed in the dining room.” Since I was running out of places in the house to go, I ended up in my office. Princess 2.0 would later come in, head down, tears streaming down her face. All I heard in between deep breaths and sniffles was “daddy…I tried to make a basketball…and it fell apart.” At this point, she handed me a broken beaded iron ornament….and she broke down. … Continue reading Broken and Beautiful

What You Believe…

My father-in-law was recently at the house and popped his head in my office. He said “so, are you ready for Monday?” I sat there going through my mental calendar and couldn’t come up with what significance Monday had. I finally had to ask “what’s Monday?” He then reminded me that Monday is a day on the calendar that I age one more year. He asked if I had a post ready to go to impart wisdom I’ve gained in my many years. Nope. I was glad he reminded me what Monday was because I needed to renew my drivers … Continue reading What You Believe…

The Greatest Lesson My Dad Ever Taught Me

Fathers Day is this Sunday. How do you possibly honor your father for all he has done? Especially when you are a father now and know the requirements of the job. Today I wondered what the greatest lesson my father ever taught me was. The answer was simple and it took very little thought. Before I get to the answer, let me give you some other thoughts. Now that I am older and a home and auto owner, one of the greatest regrets is that I didn’t pay closer attention when my dad would work on the house and cars. I … Continue reading The Greatest Lesson My Dad Ever Taught Me

Knots In Your Rope

We arrived home safely last night after a week in the Outer Banks. In case you missed it, I covered why this trip was important (HERE). I also gave a mid-week update of some of the not-so-brilliant moments (HERE). It was an incredible week on so many levels. I once again was reminded who I am on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (AKA – Gods Country). My wife is a runner and I jog at a pace just a tick above walking so we typically map our various mileage routes when we arrive in OBX. One route we mapped … Continue reading Knots In Your Rope

Grace Week – The Finale

So here we are. Seven days of pressing pause during the week of Easter to reflect on the grace that was poured out on Good Friday and the hope of Easter Sunday. How do you wrap this up? How do you put a bow on all that we’ve walked through, thought through, examined and reflected upon? What is the anchor you drop? As I have said throughout this week, I’m certainly no expert on grace. I’ve walked this journey with each of you this week. Actually, you’ve walked it with me and for that I thank you. Tonight as I … Continue reading Grace Week – The Finale

Grace Week – Day Six

It’s Saturday. I was going to end this “Grace Week” yesterday but this morning I felt like this needed to be said today. Someone somewhere needs to know that it’s Saturday. I know we all know it’s Saturday on our calendar, but the Saturday of grace week can be a lonely place. Imagine the isolation and hopelessness that all those close to Jesus felt on this Saturday so many years ago. Everything they had hoped for was gone. They were scattered. Their plans were shattered. They left everything for a man that was now gone. What now? Where do you … Continue reading Grace Week – Day Six

Grace Week – Day Five

This week I have taken a personal journey through what I have called “Grace Week.” As I sat in church last Sunday I felt like it was what I needed to do personally. I needed to spend this week reflecting on grace that was poured out on this day. I needed to reflect on how I walk that out as a follower of Jesus. As I looked back over the years of my life, I found that I’m not so good at that. When it comes to grace, I am not amazing. It is when I begin to feel the … Continue reading Grace Week – Day Five

Grace Week – Day Three

I decided to do something new this year as we enter the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Because one of the greatest gifts that happened on Calvary was the gift of grace, I’m going to take each day this week and focus on that. I thought it would be good to remind myself of that amazing grace every single day. If you’d like, feel free to follow along throughout this week. Let me start off todays thoughts on grace with a couple of ground rules. First of all, I have issues with forgiveness which I’ll unpack … Continue reading Grace Week – Day Three

Grace Week – Day Two

I decided to do something new this year as we enter the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Because one of the greatest gifts that happened on Calvary was the gift of grace, I’m going to take each day this week and focus on that. I thought it would be good to remind myself of that amazing grace every single day. If you’d like, feel free to follow along throughout this week. I never thought God could use a trip to San Antonio to continue to teach me things about grace. A few years ago I had … Continue reading Grace Week – Day Two

Grace Week – Day One

I decided to do something new this year as we enter the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Because one of the greatest gifts that happened on Calvary was the gift of grace, I’m going to take each day this week and focus on that. I thought it would be good to remind myself of that amazing grace every single day. If you’d like, feel free to follow along throughout this week. A Lesson in Grace Several years ago, I received a lesson in grace and hopefully taught one as well. It was the bedtime hour and I … Continue reading Grace Week – Day One

The Baseline

It’s that time of year. Your mailbox is probably full of invites. Lawn signs are popping up all over the neighborhood. Each notification an invitation to attend a local church service for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Let me quickly say that I absolutely support this movement. There are so many great churches. Honestly. Each one has so much to offer. The decision where to go can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially if you are considering where to put down roots as a family and call that church your “home.” Several years ago I read one of the most important books … Continue reading The Baseline

Dear Mom

Dear Mom, It’s Saturday, March 2nd. 4 years ago today I received that call that no child wants to receive. You fell and they were doing all they could to save your life. While those last few years were difficult for you, that last few days came so quickly. No sooner had I boarded a plane, we were all around your bed, saying goodbye. While it still hurts to type those words, I will always cherish those few moments you and I were able to share. I know you heard me. I know you shared that moment too. As we … Continue reading Dear Mom

To Hear The Words

Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” –Deuteronomy 34:4 Most people I know have that list of people they want to talk to and questions they will ask when we get to Heaven. Somewhere on my many lists of lists, there is a simple question I have for Moses. It goes like this…”Dude, what was it like to hear those words?” … Continue reading To Hear The Words

He Will Fix It.

This morning as we were all getting ready for work and school, I heard a small voice calling from the kitchen downstairs. The little voice sounded concerned but not panicked. I figured it was important but not life threatening. As a parent, it doesn’t take long to start to distinguish the level, pitch and tone of the voice of your child relative to the level of emergency. This was about a 5 on a scale of 10. My youngest (Princess 2.0) simply said – “Uh dad….we have a problem.” It wasn’t a Tom Hanks level “Houston, we have a problem” … Continue reading He Will Fix It.

My New Year Resolution

I’m not a resolution guy. I don’t make a list of things that I’ll end up breaking. It’s not that there are a few things that couldn’t stand to get my act together on, or lose, or quit. I’ve just never been one to make resolutions. This year will be different. In many ways, this is a wave that has been building throughout 2013 and is crashing to the shore in 2014. You ready? Here it is…. In 2014, I resolve to make the name of Jesus famous. That’s it. I’m not joining a gym or some 12 step program … Continue reading My New Year Resolution

Let’s Find a Better Way

You’ve probably heard the story. Maybe, like me, you thought it was urban legend or just some nice story that gets retold this time of year. Well, I can confirm that this story is absolutely true. I’ve confirmed it at Snopes.com as well as this article from 2005 in the New York Times. If you’re not familiar with the Christmas Truce of 1914, here’s the story in a nutshell: Yet on Dec. 24, much of the Western Front fell silent as ordinary soldiers made temporary peace with the enemy. This was the remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914. It’s estimated that about … Continue reading Let’s Find a Better Way

Going Home for Christmas

Holidays can be really hard. For many this is a season of lights, presents and parties. For many others, this season brings a heaviness and void that can’t be filled. I fall in that second group. Christmas in our home was my moms super bowl. If you ever spent Christmas Eve at 83 Woodrow in Bedford, Ohio, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Many that will read this were in our home to celebrate. Many probably also left our home that night with a handmade parting gift from the tree. Most years it was an angel of some kind. … Continue reading Going Home for Christmas

A Vision and A Manger

5 years ago, a close friend of mine had a vision. It was a vision she had already experienced in Nashville, Tennessee. Now she wanted to see this vision happen in Columbus, Ohio. She followed her heart and over the last four years, hundreds of men, women and children have had presents on Christmas morning to unwrap. Each present was purchased with money from someone in the family. Each present picked out specifically for each family member. Friends…welcome to “THE MANGER“. The vision of THE MANGER is that adults that are going through a tough time financially will still be … Continue reading A Vision and A Manger

One Last Sermon

Today is the 95th Birthday of the incredible Reverend Billy Graham. One of the most recognizable and respected men to walk this earth, Billy Graham has influenced Presidents, changed lives and inspired millions. He will leave a legacy that no one will match. He is on record as saying that he has “One sermon left in him” and when the time is right, he will deliver it. Tonight is that night. Tonight, to mark his 95th Birthday, Billy Graham will share “My Hope America” with all that will watch it. You can find your local stations and times (HERE). With … Continue reading One Last Sermon

The Oddest Thing

Yesterday I happened to catch the exceptional documentary on Mariano Rivera called “Being: Mariano.” If you missed it, it will be on again October 22nd at 8:30pm on FOXsports. I highly recommend it. At some point during the show, he said the oddest thing. I hit rewind on the DVR, listened to it again and again and again. Then I tweeted it and 6 people retweeted it and 2 favorited it. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that found this statement so interesting. https://twitter.com/AaronConrad/status/392038989068124161 This little quote has done a number to me the past 24 hours. So you’re telling … Continue reading The Oddest Thing

Mission Trip Prayer Guide

In July of 2012, my wife answered the call to go on her first mission trip. She said “yes” to the invitation to go to Honduras and be the hands and feet of Christ. She said “yes” to working to build homes, and to spread a message of hope to those that need it most. From the moment she arrived, she felt right at home. It was no surprise that when an opportunity to return was announced, she would say “yes” again. Our finances aren’t quite what they used to be so she would need to once again look to … Continue reading Mission Trip Prayer Guide

Facing A Giant

Like most guys I know, I’m a big fan of David. How could you not be? He is every man. He was a warrior. He was a king. He made HUGE mistakes. He paid for those mistakes. He made more mistakes and somehow he was a “Man after Gods own heart.” We all know the story. It’s been in coloring books and on velvet boards in Sunday School rooms for as long as we’ve been around. David and Goliath. The ultimate underdog. Great stuff (did you catch the fun part of that image above by the way). Yet my favorite … Continue reading Facing A Giant

Pastoral Appreciation Month

October is “Pastoral Appreciation Month.” The first thing I thought of was a conversation I had with a ministry friend of mine recently. Several years ago, it was recommended by the Lead Pastor (where my friend is also a Pastor) that they seek counseling. When you first read that, it might sound harsh, but if you understood their relationship, you would understand that he was recommending this in my friends best interest. Their role is one that lives in the midst of the tensions in ministry, creativity and leadership. As with any occupation, those tensions can do a real number … Continue reading Pastoral Appreciation Month

Do It Again

I’m not sure if you are like we are, but thanks to digital cameras, we have tons and tons and tons of videos and pictures. Last week I got into a late night project moving those files around and archiving them and discovered we had 100GB of photos from the last 13 years. That’s a lot. I can’t complain though because it was 100GB of wonderful memories. Sometimes we get so busy we forget how quickly life moves and how treasured the moments are. Thank God for pictures and video. I was recently looking through my blog archives for something … Continue reading Do It Again

Saying “Yes”

I’ve never been accused of being the smartest guy in the room. If I was on trial for the least crazy, there wouldn’t be much evidence to convict me. We’ve all got some crazy in us. I just happen to let my crazy show a little more than the next guy or gal. Who drives 12 hours total (6 hours one way) to attend a one and a half hour worship night in Nashville, Tennessee? That sounds all kinds of crazy and makes no sense. So I said “yes.” Truth be told, I didn’t just say “yes” because it was … Continue reading Saying “Yes”