Archives For relationships

The holidays are a perfect time to begin new traditions. It gives us parents the opportunity to be a little more intentional with our kids with the extra time we get to spend with them. Whether you have vacation time that needs to be taken, or your kids are on…what do they call it now…Winter Break [if you’re wondering whatever happened to Christmas Break, that’s a topic for another time]. This time of year brings with it extra hours that can be capitalized on to strengthen relationships if we choose to be wise in how we spend it. If we choose to just slow down and stop trying to catch the next best thing [or uh gingerbread man…I had to tie in the title somehow].

Three years ago I started a tradition that with my oldest son. Every Christmas we buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits from the store, and we try our best to make the coolest and slickest house on the market. We lay out all the candy, trying hard not to eat it so there is some left for house, and we piece together the walls and roof with icing that makes it all stick. It is one of the highlights of the year…for both of us.

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They say that everyone loves hearing the sound of their own name. In fact, if you take any type of training on sales or read any books on how to influence others, experts will usually suggest to you to try to use the customers name as much as possible. BUT, as a parent, the one thing I love to hear more than the sound of my own name is when my kids call me “Da-Da”. I have three boys and I can remember exactly when each of them said those words for the first time…and being competitive in nature, I am pleased to announce that each one of them said my preferred name, “Da-Da”, before they learned how to say, “Ma-ma” or anything else. And…since I have all boys, their 2nd word was…of course…”ball”…sorry honey.

Rather than bore you with details of my kids’ phonetic journey, let me get to the point. A couple of days ago, my 7 month old…and last kid my wife and I will bring into this world…said “Da-Da” for the first time. After bragging about this on Twitter, I realized something sobering. This was the last time I would hear those words for the first time.

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¬†One of the things that has changed recently in my life is that I have “switched places” with my wife and now she leaves everyday for work, and I get the joy of working at home and being with our three boys during the day. At first we weren’t sure how this would work out, but I think that it has been one of the coolest things I have ever done. Not because I have the freedom to play video games all day now with my oldest, but because it has allowed me to appreciate even more what my wife does and the time I get to be “just a dad” to my boys.

A couple of months ago, my oldest son looked up at me and said, “Dad I want to be like you…I want to do what you do.”

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“They” say that if a new individual or family in the church is not able to develop at least three significant friendships within the first year of their attendance, they WILL leave the church. Why do you think that is? God has deposited in each of us a desire and craving for authentic relationships and community. If this “hunger” is not satisfied both with God and others, we will constantly be “searching for more.” I’m not talking about a casual friendship. When that is the depth of our connection with God and/or with others, we have nothing more than a shallow, “christian” experience.

We were made to “do life” with other followers of Christ and “to pursue Him” together. In the past couple of years, my family and I have had the joy of doing just that with some great friends and families in our weekly Life Group (or small group as some call it) and at Northpoint.

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