If you want to know what’s going on in our culture, go to the movies. Screenwriters are not only amazing storytellers; they also have a way of tapping into the soul of society, resonating with large audiences. Movies work like a mirror that reflects how the culture is feeling.
For example, in 1977, 1980, and 1983, the Star Wars trilogy dominated the box office. George Lucas told a story about a dark force that was clouding the galaxy as the... Read More
Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite comedians, and I usually find myself laughing along in solidarity with most of his jokes, whether he is quipping about parenting or bacon. I like to think that our big families would get along well together, and hilarity would naturally ensue. But there’s one area where we disagree: camping. Here’s what Gaffigan says about camping: “My wife is always bringing up that camping is a tradition in her family. Hey, it was a... Read More
Recently, I heard a leadership podcast that suggested there are several essential stages of parenting. That message got my mind thinking about one of my personal passions—showing people what God is like through our actions.
This passion and that podcast combined to create the following—3 essential stages of parenting.
Stage 1—Show God’s Loving Authority
This stage, which stretches to the first years of school, is about one simple message: You, child, are not God. You are not running this world.... Read More
When I was a teen, my friends and I used to compare our scars with pride. We called them “battle scars” because they were proof we had been through something.
Scars are not so easily noticed as adults because very often they aren’t physical. They’re the pains of loss, the unmet expectations of unrealized dreams. They’re the awkward and unavoidable relationships that have turned sour and the painful separation of relationships that have deteriorated altogether.
Earlier this year, Christian radio... Read More
I had a headache. I was tired. I had worked that morning, been in the car for three hours, and attended my son’s eighth-grade graduation. And I needed to be up in six hours for work again.
That’s when my daughter informed me that her graduation gown was wrinkled—and rehearsal was in the morning. Now, I am all about making my kids do their own chores, and they have all been doing their laundry since they were 8. Still, I... Read More
I just started serving my third church as a pastor. I began ministry in Orlando, FL. Then, for the last five years, I served a church in Winona, MN. Now I serve a church in Franklin, WI.
With each transition, some aspects are getting easier. I’m finding it easier to assimilate into the ministry. I’m finding it easier to make decisions as a leader. But there’s at least one aspect that seems to be getting harder for me with each... Read More
A few weeks ago at the Morehouse College graduation ceremony, billionaire Robert F. Smith was given an honorary doctorate. During his commencement address, he told the nearly four hundred graduating seniors, “My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans!” The news story went viral—because the student debt from each person adds up to a gift of about $40 million.
Graduate Aaron Mitchom stood on the top of his chair and said, “Thank you, God, I’m... Read More
Over the course of 12 years in ministry, I’ve delivered hundreds of messages, but few stick out like the one on depression.
It was one of those topics that I knew was important but didn’t realize how important until after it was over and dozens of emails filled my inbox. The sheer number of them proved that mental health is a major battle for so many of God’s beloved sons and daughters, even at a church that strives to be... Read More
I stopped to talk to a neighbor and friend from church at the end of my walk. It didn’t take long for us to discuss the ever-present worries and fears we have for our children. We would be the first to admit worrying is pointless, irrational, and ridiculous. We beat ourselves up for doing it, but still, as moms, it is our natural sinful bent.
That’s why moms need to pray for wisdom. My favorite definition for wisdom is from... Read More
Last week was a week of milestones for my family. My youngest graduated from eighth grade, and my oldest graduated from high school. My friends and I were mentally preparing ourselves for how much we would cry. We all spent a few minutes (or hours) looking at baby pictures and school photos, recalling all the good memories.
Because it’s graduation season, I know there’s a whole bunch of parents in the same emotionally melancholy boat right now, wishing we could... Read More