Showing posts from July, 2011

"I Hate Money", A Poem, Kinda

Man I hate money. 

I feel like I never have enough.  Yet I feel strange about how much I actually have.  I spend more time thinking about money (how much I have, need, want, have to pay-off, should save, etc.) than probably anything else. 

I would like to buy many things.  I would like to pay off many debts.  I would like to give many things away.

I am stingy to the point over being over-bearing and a nitpick.  On the other hand, I can drop a wad of cash at a chance to play golf.  I can bear my own inconsistencies, but it must be hard on the people closest to me.

I don't want my kids to remember their dad being cheap.  Yet I don't want them to think they deserve Dairy Queen after ever baseball game, or slushies from SA every time we get gas either.  It is a difficult balance.

Marriage complicates money.  Or is it vice versa?  Who gets to spend what?  How can I argue with a purchase my spouse makes when I make silly purchases myself?  Tough calls.

And how does my faith effect…

An Experience of the Provision of God

Wow Jesus Christ is so amazing!

Today I spent 15 minutes in my car on lunch break with my seat tilted back, my eyes closed, and my heart & mind in prayer.  I was feeling stressed out.  Due to a bit of a gap between my being hired and actually receiving my first couple paychecks, I didn't know how we were going to make it through July and August financially.

In my prayer I told Jesus how I was feeling and I asked him to provide for our needs.  I thanked him for all he has given us during the last 6 months and I asked him to show up again.  Then I declared that no matter what I was trusting in him.  I claimed the words of David in the Psalms when he wrote, "I would have despaired if I did not believe that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."  I stood up on those words and choose belief over despair.

When I got home today I was still feeling kind of down about this.  However, as I started going through the stack of envelopes that had piled up…

Choose Your Words Wisely

This is a great reminder from Pastor James MacDonald that as parents we need to choose wisely what battles to fight and how to fight them.  Too many nights I've laid down to sleep regretting my short temper and angry words trough-out the evening.  I want to pour into my kids, not shut them out.
We only get so many words in our families. The older our kids get, the fewer words we have with them. What are you going to spend your words on? “Clean up your room!” “I asked you five times to take out the garbage!” “How many cookies have you had since lunch?” Is that how you’re going to spend your words? Like that’s going to have a big impact! I fear we’re wasting our words on issues of little value, and then we’re too exhausted to pour into our families the kind of truth that can be a fountain of life to them. Instead, let’s choose words of truth that build and guide and that establish a foundation of wisdom for our families that will last them a lifetime.   Click here to read th…

Emily Days Weekend

Last weekend the family and I went up North to spend some time at my parents cabin.  We had a great time. 

Here are some of the highlights:

- catching four fish with Jacob
- playing at the park with Andrew
- food and games at the Emily Days market
- touring the lake on a friend's pontoon
- watching the Twins and Women's World Cup
- grilling chicken and steaks with charcoal
- listening to the kids play pinball
- dinner at Happy's Cafe
- preaching at my parent's church Emily Wesleyan (listen to the sermon here)
- lighting sparklers on the back deck
- swimming and paddle-boating in the lake

Thanks Mom for hosting such a fun weekend!

- You can read my mom's recap here.

How to Effectively Engage Your Critics

I've been thinking recently about how to build relationships with people who you disagree with, or people who disagree with you.  I think how Christians effectively engage their critics is increasingly important as we move into a more and more hostile, and post-Christian culture.

That being said, here are some things I think you shouldn't do:
- insult them
- put them down
- call them names
- completely blow them off
- let them upset you
- fight online (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

And now, some things you should do:
- seek to understand
- look for points of agreement to build on
- speak from a position of logic, not emotion
- get to know the person - as a person
- stand on your convictions found in Scripture
- live an exemplary life
- admit your hypocrisy
- trust Jesus as the victorious one

15 Behaviors to Make You a Better Dad

Dads, I'm certain if your kids are older than an hour old you've begun to realize effective parenting can seem like the most challenging and frustrating thing you do in your life.  Part of the difficulty in parenting comes because we value and love of children so much and we want the very best for them, so when they misbehavior or display poor character we get upset.  But it is also this way because we are selfish and we have our own priorities that conflict with our children's wants and desires.

Children have the most amazing ways of pushing our buttons and driving us dads up the wall don't they?  One of my kids always has to get in a last word, even if I've said 'stop talking right now' 99 times he will still try and make his point.  Another one of my kids reasons and argues with me like a little lawyer and holds me legalistically accountable to every word I say.  At times I almost need to plead the fifth when dealing with that child!  My third kid walks…

13 Do's (and Don't) for Giving an Engaging, Enjoyable Presentation

I've been a part of many presentations, of all different size groups, and I've seen things that make the time go by quickly, as well as things that have made the time drag along. 

Here are a few pointers to make your presentation to me more engaging, enjoyable and professional.

1. Include some personal stories to supplement your content
2. Use different tones of voice
3. Give me a hand-out to follow along and fill in some blanks
4. Offer me meaningful chances to ask questions or give input
5. Emphasis why the material you're presenting is important

1. Talk with food, gum, or your fingers in your mouth
2. Over use the dramatic/ thinking pause
3. Whisper
4. Ask for input that is obvious or unnecessary
5. Continually repeat yourself, continually repeat your self
6. Talk, pause, Talk, pause, Talk, pause
7. Be completely robotic and monotone
8. Pretend something is more important or exciting than it really is