Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me - Part 7

Several years ago, I was involved in a prank that rated 10 out of 10 on the camp prank scale.  Yes I was the youth minister at the time.  Our group was stationed in two different cabins - one for the guys and one for the girls.  One night, the girls made the mistake of leaving all their swim stuff out on the railing in front of their cabin to dry.

I remember laying there in the dark talking with the guys, when I wondered out loud, "wouldn't it be cool if we took the girls' swim stuff, tied it in a long rope, and strung it between the roof of that shelter out there and the light post?"  It wasn't ten seconds before the guys were out the door.

The prank was fantastic.  One of our guys (that I was sure could handle it) climbed on the roof of the shelter and taped the "rope" along the entire length of the roof.  Two of the girls had their own life jackets.  They made up the ends of our "rope".  We sent the tallest guy (happened to be a counselor) up the tallest step ladder we could find positioned on top of a picnic table.  He fastened the life jacket about 17 feet up the light pole.  It looked like this.

I was sure to wake up early.  I crouched behind my car and watched the girls jump to try to reach their stuff.  They weren't within five feet of the lowest point.  That was one of the most joyful small-scale moments of my life.  Kind of sick isn't it?

Getting to the point...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Motivation and Big Decisions

When we face major life changes, decisions, or transitions, it is unrealistic to expect ourselves to stay motivated and have the same willpower that we normally do.  It's important for us to step up and lead our families through these exciting and difficult times.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Desert Week: The Highlight Reel

So this is the end of Desert Week.  Hope you enjoyed it.

This week:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Desert Week: Things To Do With Kids - Go Camping

This spring, my dad and I are taking my son camping for the first time.  I am in no way a camping expert, and I've never taken little ones with me.  While I love to get outside, it has historically revolved around running.  It's only in recent years that I have even begun camping.  So instead of pretending to know what I'm talking about, here are some nice links to help you in your adventure.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Desert Week: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated

Losing motivation is honestly one the scariest things that happens to me.  It feels like I have no control over it, though I know it has to do with my own brain.  Immediately, I see my plans and goals in jeopardy.  Nothing says “desert” like being stuck without motivation to get unstuck.
Lack of motivation is something we all deal with.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, get in shape, spend more time as a family, read more, or start a side business, your ability to stay motivated can be the limiting agent in your plans.
Luckily, as I’m getting older and more mature, I’m learning how to recharge the old motivation batteries before I find myself facing a complete breakdown.  Here are five ways I’ve found to help you when you lose your motivation:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Desert Week: The Scriptural Armory - God Uses Bumbling Screw-Ups

Moses is a really interesting character.  Obviously, he’s a hero.  He saved an entire race from the hands of extreme oppression.  Though reluctantly, he followed God into an amazing adventure marked by opposing royalty, a pillar of cloud and fire, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from Heaven, and receiving direction from God etched into tablets of stone.....not your average afternoon outing to the mall.  But we tend to forget that the same guy who encountered God in all of the above ways, started out by murdering someone then fleeing for his life to a far away land.
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” 14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well (Exodus 2:11-15, NIV).

Desert Week - Re: What the Race to the South Pole Can Teach You About How to Achieve Your Goals

I read another amazing article on Art of Manliness this morning, and couldn’t help but chime in.  This one looks at two competing treks to the South Pole taking place in 1910 - one ending in success, one ending in death - and learning from the contrasts between the two approaches.
There is one specific lesson I found particularly interesting.  The team winning the competition was focused on one thing - reaching the South Pole first.  The team that lost, had two goals.  They were attempting to reach the South Pole first, but also scientifically study the Antarctic environment.

The authors of the article point out a very important lesson.  If you want to be successful, focus on one goal.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Desert Week: What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 6

Welcome to Desert Week on Lead Yo Fam.  For those who didn't read last week's Highlight Reel, all of this week's posts are desert themed.  If you are wondering why, I really don't have a good answer.  It just seemed to fit, so here we go.

In 1977, George Lucas introduced the world to one of the great cinematic heroes in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, launching a global phenomenon.  Out of the barren deserts of Tatooine and into the hearts of millions world-wide, roars an elderly Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Not only does Obi-Wan have mad Jedi skills, he also has his rugged, rebel individuality that draws the admiration of men like dune banthas to an oasis.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Highlight Reel

Last Week

On Sunday/Monday, we kept on keeping on with "What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 5".  Love is not rude.  If you are like me, you are rude.  The problem arises when we go to lead our families after being a slob.  Our wives and kids are going to have a difficult time taking us seriously if we can't even behave ourselves in a halfway decent way.  You can't hold a family meeting in the stink you just made, my friend.

On Tuesday, we joined a conversation on, where John Saddington posted an article originally directed to entrepreneurs insisting they probably don't need as much money to get started as they think.  In "Lessons From Cutting Our Living Space In Half", I extrapolated to address all men, describing the experience we had with selling our house and consequently cutting our living space in half. Bluntly, we buy a lot of crap we don't need.  This thought was burned into my cranium as I took box after box and bag after bag of worthless stuff to the thrift store.  Spend your money on experiences, not stuff.  It's cheaper in the long-run.  Memories don't take up space.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things To Do With Kids: Don We Now Our Bib Overalls

My wife says that the only men that should ever wear overalls are those whose work somehow requires it.  I strongly agree with her.  But, if you are a guy that just loves the feeling of covering your entire body with one continuous piece of denim, here's your chance.  Take your kids out to the farm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Interview With School Psychologist

School psychologist, Kirstin Wilson, was kind enough to spend some time with me talking about the effect fathers' decisions can have on their kids.  I think this video turned out great, and hope you enjoy it.  Much thanks, Kirstin!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Scriptural Armory: Bait In The Water

"By transgression an evil man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices."
- Proverbs 29:6, NASB

Photo from official River Monsters Page
If you follow me on twitter, you may know that I am a HUGE River Monsters fan.  I first stumbled upon River Monsters during a marathon one night on Animal Planet.  I went to bed really late.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of beholding the glory of this show, host Jeremy Wade, travels the world following ridiculous stories of man-eating, fresh-water fish.  In most cases, he finds them.  Before I watched Wade's heroics, I hated fishing, but now I am a man inspired.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lessons From Cutting Our Living Space In Half

I just read a great article on called "How Much Money Do You Really Need?".  Read it.  John Saddington makes some really good points.  I thought I would join the conversation.


Last August, my wife and I sold our house that had been on the market on and off for about four years.  Not surprisingly, we lost our pants in the deal...and then thousands of shirts.  Believe it or not, we were really excited to move on, so it didn't bother us a great deal.  We had been praying for the house to sell for years.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 5

Do you remember that cartoon The Ren and Stimpy Show?  If you don't, it was a cartoon that aired from 1991 to 1998 on Nickelodeon featuring a chihuahua and a cat most known for their song "Happy Happy Joy Joy".  Surprisingly enough, it's rated Y7, though here is the parental report.  The show was unabashedly, unashamedly rude, which was it's only real appeal. (source: IMDB, "The Ren & Stimpy Show").  To be honest, I never really liked it. It was too over the top.

Now it's time to get personal.

I have chronic sinus trouble.  Sometimes I can't breathe, and there are some different.....we'll call them practices....I use to clear my nasal passages.  There is a consistency that ties them together.  They are all gross.  These things no one should ever do in front of another living person.  Instead of excusing myself, I often do what I need to do to breathe in front of my wife and son.  It is repulsive. They tell me it is, but I am too rude to care.  (I'm going to work on that in the future, honey).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Highlight Reel

This Week:

On Monday, I shared with you a story of the greatest dodgeball player who's ever walked the earth, Ryan McCarty.  Even greater than Ryan's dodgeball skills is his heart for God.  As my mentor, Ryan told me the key to success is to find where God is working and be there.  The problem comes into play when fathers are arrogant enough to think that the only thing God wants to do with their families is dad's thing.  Love is not arrogant.

On Tuesday, we reflected on an article by John Maxwell.  Maxwell reminds us that the way we spend our time today greatly impacts tomorrow, though sometimes we forget it.  I extrapolated this concept to focus on the family.  As fathers, it is very easy to get pulled off our game.  Everyone wants all of us.  The fact of the matter is the people and things and people we give our time to are the things and people we grow.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things To Do With Kids: The World's Greatest Game

In last week's Highlight Reel, I promised to tell you about the greatest game the world has ever beheld.  It's called Tomato War.

Here's the first secret.  I invented it, so I am way biased.  But it really is the most fun I've ever had playing a game.  Just look at the joy in my blurry figure throwing the frisbee below.


- Field
- 2 Large Trash Cans
- 1 Quality Frisbee
- Several Large Cans of Whole, Peeled Tomatoes
- Goggles
- Boundary Markers

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Wife and I Talk About Our Marriage And How We Saved It

My wife was gracious enough to join me in a video to talk about our marriage and how we saved it.

The Scriptural Armory: Dealing with Disappointment

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
"I am disappointed with myself. I am disappointed not so much with particular things I have done as with aspects of who I have become"(source: John Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, 2009).
When I read that for the first time, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. I thought someone else feels this way?  Maybe there's less wrong with me than I thought (this is still up for debate). We're reading this Ortberg book with our small group, and the consensus is that nobody really told us when we were growing up adults don't really have it all together.

I guess I just thought all along that at some point, I would cross over this magic line and become an adult...a certified, well-adjusted, adult. I would have the answers.  I would have a GREAT job.  I would be achieving life goals left and right.  Things would be easy for me, and I would be able to show my kids how to do life without a thought that my advice is really a load of crap.  You know what I mean?  All along, my teachers, principles, astronauts, presidents, sports heroes all said I could be whatever I want.  I could do whatever I want.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

People You Grow

In an article entitled, "How does today impact tomorrow’s success?", John Maxwell talks about the impact our decisions today have on our future.  I do not think this could possibly be overstated when it comes to the arena of fatherhood.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. Part - 4

Not Ryan McCarty
When I started out in youth ministry, my senior minister set me up with a mentor.  His name is Ryan McCarty.  Ryan is one of the biggest, strongest men I’ve ever been around.  I saw Ryan play dodgeball once at a large youth retreat.  It was truly terrifying.
The high school boys are running like frantic chipmunks around a tennis court, with Ryan standing in the middle of his team, a menacing figure, just waiting for the opposition to run out of ammo.  You can tell he's a seasoned dodgeball vet.  Unfortunately for the kids, he's also college baseball vet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From?

Last night, my wife and I were sitting around wondering where the Easter Bunny came into the mix, so I decided to do a little research.  I was surprised at what I found.

There may not be a more controversial figure in folklore than Peter Cottontale.  Many conservative Christians view his cute, cuddly demeanor as a rouse disguising his evil intent to commandeer our remaining Jesus holiday.  However startling it is, the Easter Bunny is not the candy conglomerates attempt to make a quick buck.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Helicopter Easter Egg Hunt

I realize this is not a typical Lead Yo Fam post, but I couldn't resist...

Imagine Church in Westfield, Indiana hosted the most amazing outreach event I've ever seen.  They kicked off an easter egg hunt by dropping 10,000 eggs out of a helicopter.  I had to show you this video I took while I was there.

Crazy, huh?

The Highlight Reel

This Week

On Monday we dove back into 1 Corinthians 13:4 with "What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 3".  When Paul says that love is not jealous, he is not referring to romantic jealousy.  Rather he is talking about love in general - agape love, and the jealousy that causes us to make stupid consumer decisions.  It's the kind of jealousy that causes rivalries between siblings and neighbors.  We demonstrate love when we play the spoiler to society's games - when we say no to the Jones'.  In doing so, we protect our families from financial crisis and cluttered homes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things To Do With Kids: Go Exploring

Where does that road take us?  What's that park like?  Is that restaurant any good?  Go exploring.  Stop asking questions, and find out.

I'm here in New Smyrna Beach, Florida with my family, my folks, and my brother.  Florida was named by Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer who discovered this peninsula during his quest for the fountain of youth.  After spending the week here, it seems that all the exploring has already been done.  But has it?

My parents have been here four of the last five years, but this is our first time.  With the addition of a three year old comes the need for a playground - for those times when you just can't handle sand between your toes any longer.  Last night, armed with a Garmin and list of playground addresses, we set out on a little voyage of our own.  We didn't find the fountain of youth, but considering I'm still in my twenties, we founds something way better.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Hear Voices.....The Good Kind: Fatherhood Advice From Andy Stanley

Today, I'm going to introduce you to a book that changed my life.  It's called
Choosing to Cheat: Who Wins When Family and Work Collide? by Andy Stanley.  I'll point out two lessons from the book and how they changed me.  I am recommending this book so strongly, that I don't want to blow it for you when you read it.

Lesson One

"Simply put, you must choose to cheat at work rather than at home"(p. 12).  In other words, the law of scarcity applies to our very being.  Everyone wants all of us - our bosses, our pastors, our wives, our kids, our in-laws.  But you just can't be everything to everyone.  We all try at some point, and eventually we all fail.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Scriptural Armory: How To Hear The Voice of God

Hearing the voice of God is not as hard as people make it out to be.  There is so much gobbledygook out there about listening to God, that I think we have confused ourselves about something that is really pretty simple.  From what I can tell, most of the confusion comes from two basic questions that aren't being answered.  1. What if God can't get a hold of me?  2. How do I actively seek God's voice?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Five Tips for Creating a Five Year Family Plan

I have a confession.  There is a blog that I read religiously called Simple Mom.  I don't read it because of some secret desire to get in touch with my feminine side (if you even suggest it I'll punch you in the face right now).  I read it because it's content is incredibly good, even though I'm certainly outside of author, Tsh Oxenreider's, target market.  Listen to me when I say, "get your family in touch with her work now"!  She also has a book out called Organized Simplicity.

Today, Oxenreider published a blog entry called "I Wrote A Five Year Plan (and you can too)".  You can read it yourself, but she encourages her readers to create a five year plan for their family.  During my vocational ministry years, I was involved in a great deal of long range planning, so I thought I might be able to add a short list of helpful thoughts.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me. - Part 3

1 Corinthians 13:4 says "Love is not jealous"(NLT).  So is it wrong for a man to be jealous if his wife is getting too close to another man?

We live in a very tolerant and accepting society.  Men and women are supposed to have their own space.  How often do we hear someone say, "It's alright for me to look as long as I don't touch" or "there's nothing wrong with a little flirting" as long as it stops there.  In general the notion of a jealous husband is met with fury and suspicion.  Accusations of a controlling personality are sure to follow.

Strangely enough, this verse seems to support such views.  If he loves her or she loves him then they will be ok with an anything goes relationship, granted there is nothing physical happening outside the marriage.  My wife and I have friends who say their spouses have no business influencing their lives - separate checking accounts, calendars, and agendas.  The verse does say that love is not jealous, but something just doesn't sit right with me about this.