Five Favorites Friday (11/2/18)

Five of my favorite things this week…

  • I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot this week: 

Hard times create strong men.

Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men.

Weak men create hard times. 

 

  • I’ve spent time reading through the Bible books of 1 and 2 Kings… and wondering “Why are people so quick to ignore God?” While this may not technically be one of my “favorite” things this week… it may have been one of the more important questions with which I wrestled.

 

  • Definitely a highlight of this week has been the time spent with people. As we prepare to transition into a new chapter in our lives, we believe that our greatest memories will be of the people we love… so we’re spending time listening, learning, encouraging, and instructing the people we love!

 

  • This week I picked up Jentzen Franklin’s new book, “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt. I enjoyed the first part (the second part was largely about marriage… not bad but not what I was expecting.) The first part talked a lot about forgiveness and kindness… two things that God has been counseling me on lately!

These are five things that have taken a lot of space on the desk in my head this week! 

Entry #2: Transitioning

Today I spent about 45 minutes talking with my Superintendent (my church boss… ranking right below Jesus 😉 ) about the logistics of a successful transition at Church180

We are still waiting to hear the “final word” regarding our transition date to the military. In the meantime we are doing a few things:

  • Working with our Superintendent and a core of leaders in our church to make the smoothest possible transition for Church180.
  • Identifying projects and departments around Church180 that need focused attention in the days/weeks to come .
  • Spending time with people from Church180, and people in the community.
  • Planning out the final sermons I will be preaching at Church180… actually, they are the final sermons I will preach as a civilian (at least for a long time).

On the home front…

  • I am training hard! I’ll be one of the older guys in training… but I have every expectation of giving the young dudes a run for their money.
  • I’m watching every video and reading every article I can find about military culture and chaplains. I’m talking with every veteran and chaplain I can find who will shed insight on what it takes to be an effective, helpful chaplain… a chaplain that the soldiers WANT on the team!
  • I am writing out workout plans for Sherri and “Morning Shenanigans” for the ladies to be executed when I am not home. (If you’re not sure what “Morning Shenanigans” are… check out my Instagram page).
  • I am spending time with each of my ladies on our dates and making an effort to capitalize on key moments such as breakfast time conversations, etc.
  • I am reading and thinking a lot about the kind of work/ministry I will do in a military environment.

Yesterday I had the chance to sit down with a local Christian bookstore manager and do an interview. It was fun to talk about our transition and I was able to walk through a few key ideas that have been helpful for us as we have arrived at this decision. You can watch that interview here.

Entry #1: Transitioning

Two weeks ago, Sherri and I shared with some of our favorite people in the world (Church180), that we are preparing to transition out of our role as a civilian pastor and move into a new role… active Army Chaplain (I wrote about it here).

As we prepare to do this, there are a lot of things that run through my mind:

 

  • How will my ladies handle my absence? 
  • How will they adjust to the new environment(s)?
  • Will Church180 be okay?
  • How will I deal with sleeping alone? (I’m a cuddler!)
  • What do I need to do to leave Church180 on a high note?
  • How in the world am I ever going to perform a 30 minute church service in the field?! (I can’t even preach a sermon that short).
  • The people at Church180… will I see them again? Which ones? 

And that’s just the stuff that comes quickly to mind! 

Over the course of 21 years of ministry, we have moved several times. Each time we determined to love and enjoy people right up until the very last second! We made a decision NOT to withdraw in an effort to ease the pain of separation. We determined to lean in, even though we knew it would enhance the sadness when we left. 

We believe that seeds of love that are sown are better than seeds of love that are stored. Seeds that are sown will bloom… and bring beauty. Seeds that are stored, though filled with potential, will yield nothing. 

As we prepare to transition, our first determination is to love as many and as much as we can… right up until the very end!

How I disappoint myself

I am most disappointed in myself when I give in to myself.

  • When I hit snooze…
  • When I say the first thing that comes to mind…
  • When I procrastinate…
  • When I skip the gym…
  • When I skip a date with one of my girls…

Whenever I give into my weak desires… I disappoint myself.

As a matter of fact, I can disappoint myself more bitterly than anyone else can disappoint me!

The opposite is also true.

When I do the hard, but right thing… I am deeply gratified and pleased. 

One of my favorite sayings these days is:

Easy choices… hard life. Hard choices… easy life.

Do the thing you know you ought to do… not the thing you want to do… you won’t regret it!

***This post was inspired by the fact that I got out of bed and followed my morning ritual this morning… and I feel GREAT! While on the other hand, I did not do that yesterday… and felt off all day!

Getting back in the swing of things

I just wrapped up a podcast interview with Jennifer Ford Berry from the 29 Minute Mom.

We had a great talk about ladies, marriage, parenting, and exercise… and we did it in 29 minutes!

At the end of the podcast she pointed people to my blog! As soon as she did that I said (in my head), “OH CRAP! I haven’t posted in forever!!! I need to…

swing-of-things

So here I am… posting a blog to say “Hi” and “Welcome to my blog!”

I’ve been meaning to get back in the swing of things for a while now… but I’ve been distracted by other good things.

Today was a good time to kick this back off… so here we go!

For those of you who don’t know, you can track with me on various social media platforms:

Thanks Jennifer for inviting me on your show!

Thinking about “Urgency”

I’ve been thinking a lot about urgency lately.

Here are a few unedited and non-finalized thoughts about this subject:

  • When I am urgent about something I am laser-focused on it.
  • It is almost impossible to be urgent about multiple things simultaneously.
  • Urgency in one area generally means neglect of other areas.
  • How do I live with urgency while maintaining the other areas of my life?
  • It is impossible to work with urgency and multi-task at the same time.
  • Complacency is the opposite of urgency.

I know there is more to say and think about this… and I’m going to be doing that. In the meantime, what say you about this matter of “urgency”?

Do you feel a sense of urgency in any area of your life?

Have you been able to multi-task when you feel urgent?

What other questions should I be thinking about as I process this idea?

The genesis of this line of thinking came from Craig Groeschel’s podcast called “Institutionalizing Urgency.” Check it out in the links below:

 

 

How to spend time with your kids

double-date-copy-2I am a busy guy. I’d bet a dollar you’re busy too.

I’m a husband to one lady and a dad to six ladies!

I am a full time pastor and a part-time personal trainer.

There are always things to do, and I make a valiant effort to get them done.

What I have learned though is that things will wait, but people won’t.

The project I’m working on will be there tomorrow… my ladies may not. If I am not available to them, they will go to places and people that are. I have a responsibility to invest into their lives… and they’re not going to wait, so I need to invest time into them now! And the same is true for you and your kids.

Because we’re so busy, how do we systematically make time to invest into our kids?

I have written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again…

I date my daughters. Every one. Every week. (the picture I shared is of a rare double date… it was just too cute not to share!)

Right now I am not able to spend as much time on dates as I used to, but every week each girl gets a 30 minute date. Here’s how that looks:

  • Monday: 3-3:30 Ashton; 4-4:30 Lexington.
  • Tuesday: no dates
  • Wednesday: 3-3:30 Karis; 4-4:30 Reagan
  • Thursday: 3-3:30 – Riley; 4-4:30 Dallas
  • Friday night – Family night
  • Saturday – 6:30 – 9ish a.m. – The First Lady (The lovely and talented Mrs. Peterson)

These dates are not expensive; for the girls we budget $1 per date (Sherri and I spend $12 on our date). In fact, the last year or so the girls and I rarely even spend our $1! We purchased a key chain from Wendy’s that is worth one Junior Frosty every time you present it! So, for a one time purchase of $1, I get six Frosty’s a week.

What can you do with $1 and 30 minutes? Check this out:

  • Eat a Frosty and play Memory
  • Eat a Frosty and play Truth or Dare
  • Eat a Frosty and ride through the country singing songs as loud as you can
  • Eat a Frosty and tell stories
  • Skip the Frosty and go to Family Dollar to spend the $1 that is budgeted
  • Eat a Frosty and play basketball in the driveway (no one else is allowed to play with us when we are on a date)
  • Eat a Frosty and read a book together
  • Completely blow the budget and go to Wal-Mart to buy Shopkins. (Frosty is optional on this one)

I really don’t buy the excuse that says “I don’t have time/money to date my kids”. I call “baloney” on that. You can do it. Will you?

There’s another way too…

I call it “Filling in the cracks.”

My mornings start early (4 a.m.), and I usually train clients at the gym from 5-7 p.m. So both morning and evenings are full. Because I start so early, I try to be in bed by 9 p.m. There is not a lot of time for extras right now so I’ve been taking advantage of two “cracks” of time I have with “the ladies”

  • 7:30- 8 a.m. I play basketball with the middle school girls (or get a makeup tutorial from one of them) while Sherri takes the elementary school girls to school. When they leave for school I head up to my office and get to work.
  • 3:30-4 p.m. I play with the elementary school girls while Sherri is picking up the middle school girls from school. When they get home I go on my second date of the day and then head out to the gym for my evening clients.

The point is that there are “cracks” in your day when you have access to your kids! Fill those cracks! Play a game. Listen to their stories. Enter their world for a few minutes. You’ll be surprised at the treasure you will find in those cracks!

So there’s two ways to find more time with your kids:

  • Schedule a weekly date
  • Fill in the cracks

I know we’re all busy… but someday we won’t be, and when that day comes I do not want to look back with regret because I didn’t spend time with my kids.

How about you? What are some ways that you make time to spend with your kiddos?