Showing posts from February, 2011

Police Officers & Speeding, Integrity & Peace

Last night I was driving home from hockey around 10 pm and I was passed by a police officer going the other direction.  Immediately I looked down at my speedometer to check my speed.  I was happy to see that I was right on the designated 30 MPH speed limit.  I had a feeling of peace and continued driving home without looking in my rear view mirror to see if the officer was following me.

I haven't always had this kind of peace.  There have been times I have looked down at the speedometer and been concerned about what I've seen.  Sometimes knowingly, and sometimes not, I have been speeding.  The feeling I get when I'm speeding and I see a police officer is not peace, it is fear.  Fear comes because I know I am not doing what I should be doing, and I am afraid of the consequences I may have to endure.

Integrity is walking without fear because you know that no matter who is around you are doing what is right.  Integrity is a trait that I am pursuing more and more of.  There is…

What Jesus Did for Me in a Prayer Meeting

Sunday night I attended a prayer meeting at my church.  It is a meeting open to anyone who wants to come and join with a community of believers and pray to Jesus.  We pray for all sorts of things.  We pray in petition for our town, our neighbors, our classmates, and our enemies.  We pray for the lost, for healing, and we pray for jobs.  We pray in praise, adoration, and worship to God.  And we pray for each other.

I went primarily because I am out of work and wanting God's provision and guidance as I take my next steps.  I also went because I love Jesus and I want to experience him more and more.  Finally I went because I am not the person I want to be, and I am believing that I can be transformed through prayer and intimacy with my heavenly Father.

Towards the end of the gathering I was asked what prayer requests I had for the group.  God gave me the courage to open up my heart and share some battles I had been fighting for many years.  The small group of people gathered around m…

Strength for Today

On Tuesday I met my friend Jon and his kids at the Mall of America for Toddler Tuesday.  I had a meeting Monday night that didn't go quite as I planned or hoped and Jon came to help me process my feelings and get moving forward.  It was a really great of him to do that.  I've mentioned it before but it bears repeating, a Christian brother/sister is critical in growing in your walk with Jesus.

One of the things Jon shared with me was the importance of focusing on 'one day at a time' instead of worrying about what will happen during the next 4 weeks, 4 months, or 4 years.  When it comes to changing routines, stopping habits, or breaking addictions focusing too much on the future can be detrimental and demoralizing. 

Instead, the goal should be to focus on making it through today without giving-in or giving-up.  What is critical to remember is that Jesus is always there to offer 'strength for today.'  Getting stuck worrying about tomorrow only takes up energy that…

Calm in the Midst of the Unemployment Storm

This morning at church our Pastor shared some words about living a dangerous life for Christ.  He said we should be dangerous to evil and dangerous for Jesus.  He read the story in Matthew 8:23-27 about Jesus waking up on a boat and rebuking the wind and waves of a storm.  In the story Jesus turns to his followers and asks them why they are so worried about the storm they are in.  He says to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?"

The Spirit spoke to me at that moment and gave me comfort about my job search.  As I seek employment there are many 'winds and waves' that swirl around me and bring me anxiety.  Things like bills, groceries, questions from others, lack of interviews - these are all things that worry me.  However, as I heard the Bible preached today, I was reminded once again that I am in the hands of an Almighty and Great God, who has all the necessary resources available to Him, and who can, in an instant, command peace in the midst of a storm.

Driving Through the Fog

Last night I traveled to Madison, WI to prepare for an interview with a company located there. I'd been emailing with the company for the last couple months and, needing a job, I was excited about getting the invitation to interview. However, the more I learned about the position, the travel demands and the requirement to relocate to Madison, the more I wondered if this was the job for me. Stephanie and I prayed a lot about it, and this morning as I was prepping and praying in my hotel room I sensed the Lord leading me to withdraw my application.

It was hard decision to make. As a man I want to provide for my family. I feel the pressure to find a job that will alleviate the financial stresses of life. But the cons of the position I was interviewing for were too great when weighed against the pros. I don't want to take a job and move my family just for a paycheck.

As I was driving home I hit a 45 mile patch of intense fog. I couldn't see more than fifty yards in…

Renovation Church - Tribes, Tasks, and Talents (Acts 6:1-7)

Our Kids on Disney Junior

Oh my goodness.  Disney is stealing my family for TV show ideas.  Check out this new show Jake and the Neverland Pirates!  Thanks neighbor Megan for pointing this out.

Change of Pace + Change of Place = Change of Perspective

This week I've been doing a lot of writing and I have experienced the benefits of Mark Batterson's creativity formula.

Batterson has a belief that"Change of Pace + Change of Place = Change of Perspective."  I have found this to be true as I've spent time in 3 different coffee shops in the last two days.  It's weird how the brain refreshes and then processes different stimuli in the changing environments leading to mental breakthroughs.

Try it sometime.

10 Tips for Love and Respect in Marriage

I had lunch with my friend Jon yesterday to celebrate his birthday and catch up on life.  Jon's been a great support of mine since college and we have a true 'iron sharpening iron' (Pr. 27:17) relationship.  There is nothing we wouldn't be comfortable talking about with each other.  If you don't have a "Jon" in your life you NEED one.

As we talked through things Jon shared a great insight with me.  He said that "almost every problem between a husband and wife is a love and respect problem."  He broke it down like this:

The #1 need of a man is to feel respected.  Wives who belittle, put-down or don't support their husbands do serious damage to morale of their husband's manliness and leadership. 

The #1 need of a women is to feel loved.  Husbands who speak harshly, ignore or minimize the feelings of their wives create a sense of insecurity and inferiority in their wives.

5 Tips to Respect Your Husband
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own …

Mega Stats about Mega Churches

Rob Ketterling is the pastor of River Valley Church* and he posted some statistics on his blog that he'd seen in Leadership Magazine about megachurches .  I thought the stats were interesting and worth sharing here.
- Average age in a megachurch: 40, all church average 53
- Single adults in a megachurch: 47%, all churches 29%
- College degree or higher in a megachurch: 52%, all churches 41%
- Attenders reporting growing involvement in megachurches: 44%, all churches 35%*River Valley Church is a MN megachurch located in Apple Valley, MN.  They are currently a church with 4 different locations (Apple Valley, Faribault, Savage, Minnetrista) and 10 services a weekend to choose from.

Tips from Scott Thomas on Working w/ Female Assistants

Acts 29 is posting links to some of their tops teachings, blog posts and articles of 2010.  Lots of great resources there for pastors, elders and anyone desiring to learn and grow.  One of the top blog posts was from Acts 29 President Scott Thomas called "Ten Tips When Working With Female Assistants." 

Here are a few of Thomas' ideas:
1. Communicate to your assistant your extra security with this arrangement and ask her not to take it personally when you have to restrict your relationship—sometimes seeming cold or disinterested. 3. Be careful showing her a compassionate ear. Females are attracted more to a strong leader who is also sensitive than they are to big studly arms (like yours!). 7. Never be alone with her. Never give her a ride alone. Never be alone in an office where others cannot monitor at all times. 9. Never talk to her about her dating life except as it negatively affects her work for you. Never talk to her about any difficulties you have in marriage.…

Part 4 in my Blog Series for Building Physical Intimacy between Husbands and Wives

This is my final entry on a series of blog entries I have done sharing my learning Men's Fraternity, which is a series of teaching videos by Pastor Robert Lewis.  So far I have posted on what men want woman to understand about them sexually, tips for men to engage their wives emotions which which will lead to wives engaging them sexually, how men can help their wives enjoy sex.  Today I will share some closing thoughts.

1.  Husbands are the keeper of their own sex lives.
You get what you give.Initiate conversation about your sexual needs with each other outside the bedroom.Keep growing in your sexual understanding and insight.  Great books are available to read together.Don't sell out to fantasy.Seek outside help for sexual roadblocks you can't work through.2.  Remember: The best sex is not just an act; it is two lives in community.  This sex will grow richer and more satisfying with time.

The 45 minute video this blog series is based on is an awesome teaching th…

Part 3 in my Blog Series for Building Physical Intimacy between Husbands and Wives

This week I am posting a series of blog entries on my learning froma study I am doing at my church based on the Men's Fraternity, which is a series of teaching videos by Pastor Robert Lewis.  So far I have posted on what men want woman to understand about them sexually, and on tips for men to engage their wives emotions which which will lead to wives engaging them sexually.  Today I'll share some very insightful words from Dr. Lewis on things husbands can do to help their wives find more physical pleasure in sex.  Some of these thoughts are extremely helpful for couples who are engaged or planning on marriage in the future.

How to Help Your Wife Enjoy Sex With You*

1.  There are 4 stages to sex: arousal, love-making, intercourse, and orgasm. 
Many women have never experienced true sexual arousal.  It is not uncommon for women to enjoy the first 3 stages of sex without experiencing orgasm.  For the man, arousal and orgasm are more commonly experienced stages than the middle two.2…

Blog Sex Series, part 2 - Before Play: The Female Viagra

Yesterday I posted part one in this blog series called 'What Every Man Wishes His Wife Understood' about his sexually.  You can click here to read that post.  Today I am going to share with you GUYS some simple things you can do to help keep your wife excited about sex.  Once again much of this information is taken from the Men's Fraternity teaching series by Dr. Robert Lewis.

Before Play: The Female Viagra*

The key principle husbands need to understand about preparing their wives for sex is this:
Husbands need sex to feel close to their wives, but wives need daily closeness to feel like having sex with their husbands.

Here are 8 Ways to Keep Your Wife Feeling Close to You

1.  Reassure her with words and displays of affection
Check out: 10 Things Wives Want to Hear From Their Husbands for ideas.2.  Daily practice the romance of one small sacrifice.
Clean the toilets.  Fix the light bulb that has been burnt out for two weeks.  Wash-off the dinner table and dishes. 3.  Give her r…

Blog Sex Series, part 1 - What Every Husband Wishes His Wife Understood

I have been attending the Men's Fraternity group at my church and I am learning all kinds of great stuff about Winning at Work and Home.  The Men's Fraternity is a series of teaching videos by Pastor Robert Lewis.  Last week's topic was called 'Improving Your Sex Life.'  There was so much great information for husbands and wives that I wanted to share some of it here on my blog.  This is stuff that I benefited from, and I think you (men and women alike) will benefit from it also.

Ladies, this post is mostly for you (don't worry I'll have stuff for the guys in later posts).

What Every Husband Wishes His Wife Understood*

1. My sex drive is powerful, persistent, and normal.
The average wife thinks about sex with husband 1x per day, while the average husband thinks about sex with his wife 33x per day. Most men need to have sex 2-3 times per week to alleviate tension, stress and uncomfort in their lives. 2.  Sex is to me what words of affection and affirmation are …

Notes from Mars Hill Leadership Coaching Video #1

Question: What kind of leader are you?
All leaders fall into one of these categories, and sometimes two.  All leaders and leadership types have different skills and weaknesses.

As you build out your leadership team, looks to ensure that all three leadership types are represented at the top.  Be faithful to the Bible, faithful to the people, faithful to the resources God has given to you.
Jesus was a prophet, priest, and a king. (we see this most clearly in the Book of Hebrews)

- doctrine, preaching, teaching (Sproul, Piper, Augustine, Spurgeon, Calvin)
- into books on theology, apologetics
- most of leadership comes from teachings/writing (sermons, classes, books)

- thinks more about people and their hurts
- Biblical counseling, spiritual disciplines
- more sheep focused than flock/resource focused
- gravitate towards justice, social issues, mercy, compassion
- traditional pastoral activities (counseling, small groups)
- most of leadership comes from friendship


I RESOLVE to Pray!

Earlier this week Desiring God Ministries hosted their annual Pastor's Conference at Minneapolis Conference Center.  I was not able to attend, but thanks to the generosity of many people, the sessions are available to watch or listen to on the Desiring God website.

This year the theme was Prayer.  I have listened/watched to multiple sessions from the conference in the last couple days and the content is unbelievably convicting.  I simply do not pray like I should.  It is embarrassing to admit this but it is true, and I would venture it a safe guess that if the majority of Christians were honest, they would concur that their prayer lives are woeful as well.

Something to consider: as followers of Christ we have an infinitely powerful God who desires to to be known by us and to enter into deep, meaningful authentic relationship with his creation.  God has all resources at his disposal.  He has all power necessary to alter whatever circumstances we face.  He is inhibited and thwarted …

Faith Testing, Faith Revealing Questions

- Do I look, act, talk differently from others?
- Is my life doable without the hand of God actively working in it?
- Am I consumed with passion for God?
- Am I continually aware of the presence of God?
- How often do I abide in God, gaze at God, rest in God?
- Does my behavior show my faith in God's soverignty?
- How often am I amazed that God would speak to me?
- What is the last thing I heard from God?
- When was the last time I know God answered my prayer because there is no other explanation?
- What am I praying for that only God could answer?
- Are there things that I care about more than God?  Does my life show it?
- Do I invite God into all parts of my day?
- When was the last time I acted according to a prompt from the Holy Spirit?
- Do I pray?  I mean...really, really pray like nothing else matters more?

Jesus Blessing In the Midst of My Trial

A couple weeks ago we received a wonderful blessing from Jesus.  I was laying around on a Sunday afternoon when the doorbell rang.  I answered the door and it was our church treasurer.  He handed me an envelope with our name on it.  He said someone had dropped it in the offering plate that Sunday morning at church.  Inside the envelope was a card from an anonymous person in our church encouraging us in our time of unemployment.  They had also given us a gift card to get groceries.  What a blessing!  And how cool to have people in our church who are so generous and open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus has really been good to us during this time of trial.  He has given me much peace through this whole thing.  I am confident that God will provide for all our needs and that he has an infinite supply from which to bless us.  I am really praying that God would continue to speak to me, and that he would continue to reveal his purposes in my unemployment to Stephanie and I.  I am s…