Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Help Your Kids be Successful

The title of this blog gives the impression that much of my posting is out of the overflow of my "world." It's my perspective on the "abundant life" promised in scripture (John 10:10). Sometimes, it is a closer look into the events of my personal life. As is the case of this post.

My family has had an unusually public life in recent weeks as our middle child, Logan (13), has been put out in public forums like youth sports magazines, websites, and local papers. She has established herself as quite the distance runner. I'm sure that carries a very strong parent bias, but the stopwatch speaks for itself. I also know that we all have our own tribes and thus her performance is most significant to those within the running community.

As you might imagine, her mother and I are often asked about her background. "How did she start?", "What makes her so fast?", "How does she train?" are the more popular questions. This is not an attempt to answer those questions. Rather I want to share how we ended up in this spot.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You Stuck In the Mud?

As you think about your life in its current state, do you see someone whose life has a clear destination? Or do you see someone uncertain about where their life is going? Or maybe, you see someone who's just stuck...stuck in the mud.

In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah had a clear destination for his life. He was to lead God's chosen children, the Jews, back to a "path" God had prepared for them, but they wouldn't listen. In fact, on one occasion, they seized him and threw him into a cistern. As the scripture describes this scene, we find, " Jeremiah sank in the mire." (Jeremiah 38:6)

Here's a man on a mission but facing adversity at every turn. His faith and resolve was being tested. Would he just give up and get angry at God? Would he play the victim card and offer no resistance at all? Or would he keep his faith engaged, continue taking risks, and trust God to use this event in his life to grow him as a leader? What would you do?

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Gets Rewarded Gets Repeated....Maybe

This week we received a hand-written letter in the mail from one of our children's teachers. She was writing to share her observations of how hard this particular child had been working in her class. Needless to say we were proud parents and wasted no time sharing this letter later that night.

As a former teacher, I loved using this practice: What gets rewarded gets repeated. I would do the same as this teacher did or just pick up the phone and call parents. I wanted my students to know that I was in their corner and wanted them to succeed in my class. I was constantly looking for strides of success so that I could quickly draw attention to it and thus motivating them to continue their hard work.

That same day I observed someone in a position of authority completely blow an opportunity to reward someone who had worked very hard on a task. What surprised me the most was my own emotional charge. I tend to be a very mild-mannered guy, but being an innocent by-stander, watching this unfold I was...simply put...ANGRY!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are You Saving Just One Click?

If you read my post about being an IDEA guy, you'll remember that processing ideas is just how I function in life.  The strange facet of this attribute is that it's not intentional.  I just see "it" and the wheels start turning.

I recently had an experience where I was reading a E-newsletter and clicked on a link to go gather some information. When I followed the link, I landed on a webpage with another link to click by the same name. I clicked again to finally end up where I was hoping to be two clicks earlier. I thought to myself, "Why don't they paste the second link in place of the first link and save one click?"

In typical fashion, I crafted an email with my suggestion...end of story...take it or leave it...I'm good...I've shared my idea (got to keep casting.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dads Talk Purity

This post was the catalyst for a whole new site. You can find it at

The new Sherwood film, Courageous, opened this past fall. If you've not seen it, I assure you this is not a "spoiler" post. It is however, a resource I hope many dads find helpful.

In the movie, one of the dads takes his teenage daughter out for a very nice date. The intent of this date was to talk with her about protecting her innocence and waiting for God's man for her life to engage in the intimacy of sex.  This Daddy-Daughter Date is a great concept. In fact, I shared this same experience with my oldest this past Valentine's Day.

As our big date approached, I wanted to be prepared for what I would say.  I didn't want to just wing it. Like many, I turned to the internet for assistance only to come up short handed. I did stumble across a few things that pointed me in the right direction, but nothing exhaustive. Through much prayer and many drafts, I finally crafted something I felt said what I wanted to communicate.

If you're interested, here is a bulleted list of how I structured the conversation.