Five Favorites Friday

Hey ya’ll!

Here’s five of my favorite things this week…

  • A quote I’ve been contemplating this week comes from my friend, Shawn Lovejoy“Be where your feet are.” This is a call to be fully present in the moment! Good reminder Shawn… especially in these days of transition! Be present for my family. Be present with my friends. Be present as the pastor of Church180.

 

  • These verses are really important to me right now (especially as we navigate the valley of death known as “being parents of teenagers”):  “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT) #pleasehelpmejesus

 

  • Friends… this week Sherri and I have spent time with friends from Church180 and the community… eating… laughing… reminiscing… dreaming. As we prepare to transition from Rock Hill we realize, the best thing we have here is people. Friends!

 

  • Music I’m enjoying – Fathead! Great for a “chillin” kind of mood! (I can’t believe I haven’t heard of these guys sooner! Thanks for the tip Amazon Music!)

 

  • Tears. I’ve cried a few times this week. Not like a “sobbing” cry… but a “wet eye” cry #hangingontothemancard. This week Sherri and I watched “Indivisible” and “No Greater Love”. Both are stories about Army chaplains and the stuff they see/do in the service of soldiers and country. We know that crazy days lie ahead… but we are equally confident that God has pointed us in this direction! We are humbled, and excited to serve… even if we do it with a few tears in our eyes. (This instagram post from Sarah Sandifer made my eyes leak a little too.) #tearsareagoodthing

So there they are… my five favorite things/experiences this week. How about you? What’s been some of your favorites?

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! 

Five Favorites Friday (10/26/18)

Five of my favorite things this week include:

  • Amazon Music. This is part of the Amazon Prime package. It allows me to create multiple playlists… and it’s a real plus for the garage workouts (aka “morning shenanigans”). I like it better than Pandora because it allows me to pick specific songs I want rather than Pandora which limits me to genre.
  • Podcast I’m listening to a lot these days… my friend, Rob Polenik, owner of Brutal Iron Gym has been cranking out some great content that focuses on health and happiness! These podcasts are short and packed to the brim with helpful information!  I listen while I walk! (you can find him on PodBean or Itunes – search for “Brutal Iron Gym”)
  • Speaking of Rob and Brutal Iron Gym, he and his dad make one of my favorite “recovery tools”… a metal “scraper” used to work through knots in my muscles, break down scar tissue, etc. You can read about Graston work here. You can watch it in action here. If you’re interested in purchasing your own scraper reach out to Rob!
  • This week I finished John Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson. Some of my favorite insights included how much value Jefferson placed on physical exercise, and how hard he worked to avoid confrontation. I also enjoyed watching the man who loved and often lived the “ivory tower life” employ pragmatism! Also, it was insightful to realize that the world of politics has always been dirty and hateful. We are NOT living in the worst days… it has always been bad. We just see it more now due to social media. This was a long book, but worth the read for anyone interested in history, leadership, and the management of power in personal and political environments.
  • Something I’m contemplating is how to take a page out of Derek Sivers practice of taking notes on the books he reads. I read a lot of books and am looking for a way(s) to remember and apply my favorite lessons from each book. Sivers has figured out a way that works for him. Every time I sit down with my books to use his method… I get overwhelmed, so I’m still searching, but I think I will end up using some of his ideas!

And so there they are… my five favorite things from this week! If you find something or someone helpful on this list I’d love to hear about it! 

Peace!

Five Favorites Friday

Heading into this new season of life I want to start blogging again.

Tim Ferris does something that I really like. He calls it 5 Bullet Friday. Every Friday he sends out his favorite things from the week.

I like that, so I’m going to take a page out of his book and do it on my blog too! All of it is of interest to me, but you’re welcome to anything you find helpful too!  Welcome to “Five Favorite Friday”!

  • Shawn Lovejoy wrote a list of “25 Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Marriage.” Sherri and I have printed it out and are talking our way through it. There’s a TON of goodness in this list!
  • As I prepare for this next season of life, I’m inspired by this chaplain who is at the top of his game spiritually and physically. 
  • I’m finishing up week one of Jim Wendler’s strength training program called 5/3/1. I’ve run this program before and never been disappointed. It’s good to be getting under some heavy weight again! (This article explains the programWARNING TO MY MOM – it does have some salty language).
  • The newest app I’ve downloaded and use daily is Libby. I am listening to a lot of books these days and Libby (and Overdrive) let me listen to LOTS of books for FREE!!! (I found a lot of additional resources for free audiobooks from Money Saving Mom.)
  • The purchase I’m enjoying the most right now is the “Slingshot Hip Circle” from Mark Bell! It activates my hips and glutes prior to squats and deadlifts! I use it on most days as part of my warmup routine!

There it is gang! If you’ve found something helpful on here I’d love to hear back from you in the comments! 

Have a great weekend!

The top five thoughts this week (week 1 of June 2015)

the-thinker-1I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in preparation for turning 40! One of the things I’ve been giving considerable thought to is the idea of mental strength. I give a lot of energy and thought to the development of physical strength. Research shows that the brain is much like a muscle… it can develop with use and atrophy because of a lack of use!

I don’t want a strong back and a weak mind, so I’m developing an exercise routine for my mind that includes learning something new on a regular basis. I don’t want to be the middle-aged man who’s best thoughts have already been thought!

To be proactive and growing mentally, I commit a lot of time reading and meditating on new thoughts, or old ideas that I have not implemented well. I’m going to begin blogging, largely for my sake, but you’re welcome to read along, the thoughts that I’ve spent the most time pondering.

So with no further ado… here are the thoughts that have taken up the most space in my mind this week!

The important stuff requires daily attention.

Over the last several months I have been working on a plan that answers “How” I am going to achieve the things I want in my life. (I wrote a bit about it here).

I’ve spent hours putting the details on paper. During the course of thinking and writing it occurred to me…

The most important things I want to achieve will all require daily attention!

Think about it…

You don’t have great relationships just because you wake up one day and say, “I want to be a great husband, dad, friend, etc.” It requires daily attention.

Same thing is true of finances, health, wisdom, etc.

The most important things will all require daily attention!

Second thought…

To be a great dad I must be an expert on my children… each one of them.

I must have a Ph.D in each child. That includes being fluent in each child’s love language, and being adept and flexible in how I encourage, teach, and, discipline each child!

This requires daily attention and a willingness to make adjustments as they evolve!

It also means I need to say “No” to a lot of things that would compete for the time I would give to this cause.

Third thought…

The most important thing in my life is people.

Recently I celebrated my birthday. The best gift I received was the time I spent with my friends! Seriously, a new pair of pants, a new book, etc., all of which I love, are great, but next year I’ll have outgrown or read them. What will never go away is the memory of joy and deep love I felt as I hugged my friends.

As I mature, I am realizing that including friends in the rhythm of my life is critical to creating a beat I can dance to for a long time!

Fourth thought…

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

This is a big one… especially as a parent of strong children! I’m realizing that it’s possible to “win the battle but lose the war” on this one.

I can get louder and more severe here because I’m bigger. I can make them be quiet and do what I say… and in the process create an angry heart in my child.

I’m learning to slow down and quiet down and in the process resolve issues that end with children with happy hearts doing good things.

Fifth thought…

Wise people can become wiser still. The key is in exploration and humility. (See Proverbs 1:5-6)

One of my life desires is to be a wise man. I love the fact that wisdom is not a static state. It is an ever expanding state reserved for those who are humble and willing to continue exploring.

One of the best ways to do this is to interact with wise people (e.g. wisdom literature, etc.)… which means I probably need to spend less and less time with the buffoonery that happens on much of social media! Yes, I do have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but I realize that every time I spend time in those venues, I am choosing NOT to spend time in other venues (e.g. coffee with a wise friend, a book, etc.).

Now here’s the thing…

I’ve got a lot of work to do… but the first step in changing your life is changing your thinking!

So by simply processing these thoughts I’m setting my self up for some positive changes… starting today!

How about you? What have you been thinking about lately?

“Even though”

I can think of a lot of reasons why God shouldn’t use me. Quite frankly, I can think of more than a few reasons why it would seem He couldn’t use me! I’ll bet you can think of a few too (not about me… about you!)

Reading this morning in the Bible, I ran into a couple of people who had the same “God can’t use me” issue, Abraham and Sarah. This couple had some BIG reasons why God couldn’t/shouldn’t use them and yet they discovered the secret becoming “usable.”

It was by faith that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child, even though they were too old and Sarah was barren. Abraham believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man, Abraham, who was too old to have any children — a nation with so many people that, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. (Hebrews 11:11-12 NLT)

There’s one line in here that sticks out to me – “Even though.”

You and me, we’ve got plenty of “Even though’s” in our lives! There are a ton of reasons that God “could not” or “should not” use you or me, but the crazy thing is that when we trust Him, He trumps those “even though’s” and uses common people to do uncommon things!

What are your “Even though’s”? What are the reasons you think that God cannot or should not use you to do anything of significance for Him?

How about if today we stop focusing on the “even though’s” and begin believing and seeking to live out these words from St. Paul,

“We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

The top five things I will do if caught sexually tempting situation

Sometime ago a friend asked me what I would do if I were sexually solicited by a beautiful woman.

I have actually thought through this scenario and I have a plan if this should ever happen.

DISCLAIMER: I understand it’s a bit presumptuous on my part to assume that a woman would want to come on to me, but just in case that should ever happen… I have a plan! 🙂

Why do I have a plan? Why am I posting this plan?

Pastors are falling victim to pornography, and sexual infidelity at an alarming rate. It scares me for two reasons:

  1. I’m a normal man. If other pastors can fail in this area… I can too.
  2. It gives God a black eye when His chosen ones stand up and speak one thing and then do another. I don ‘t want to do that to my Leader.

The wrong time to figure out what you’re going to do is when the pressure is on. If you wait until you’re being seduced to figure out what you’re going to do… you will most likely make the wrong decision.

Be pro-active! Have your plan in place BEFORE the temptation arises.

So, here’s my top five things that I will do if ever sexually solicited (and I’ll do them in this order):

  • Run! (see these verses) I’m going to run out of that room/building so fast that I’ll lose my dignity (but keep my honor). I’ll look like Popeye with my little legs churning away, taking me far from the temptation! I’d rather look like a running fool and stand with honor in front of my God, my bride, and my church, than I would a humiliated, dishonored pastor having to break the news.
  • Tell my bride. The first person that will know about this will be my bride. I want her to know all of the details. She will be the one most affected if I fail and therefore she will add the greatest accountability to my life. This kind of thing is to important to not tell my bride.
  • Tell my staff or key leaders in the church. They will pray with me and then work with me to set up boundaries that will keep me safe; boundaries that will guard me in the future from ever having to face that individual in another dangerous situation. I, or one of the staff/leaders will let the individual know what actions we have taken.
  • Set up boundaries that keep me an appropriate distance from that individual. I will not trust myself or the individual again… at least for a long time! The reality is that after I survive the temptation, it is possible to start thinking about “What if…” scenarios. To avoid any potential “second-chance mistakes” I will set up boundaries that keep me and/or the other party from EVER having a second chance at seduction or failure.
  • Pray like crazy. I will humble myself before my Leader, Jesus Christ and let Him know that I’m not “all that.” I won’t let pride become a stumbling block. Hey, let’s be honest here… if someone “comes on to me”, I’m going to flex my “guns”, look into the mirror and say/think, “You’ve still got it fella.” Cut it out! I won’t let pride seduce me! I will pray against pride and I will pray against any “What if…” thoughts. I will not allow fantasy scenarios about what could have happened if I’d stayed, to run through my head! I will destroy them through prayer.

So there’s the plan.

How about you? Do you have a plan?