Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the category “Family”

The Heart of 2010

2010 is here and I am beginning to think through my next steps for this year.  I’m asking myself what should I do different as I reflect on my actions from 2009?  How can I be more effective in reaching goals that God has placed in my heart?  I’ve learned for me, the best way to reach personal goals is to write them down and give myself starting dates and deadlines to meet.  Otherwise they just become wishes that I end up neglecting and hopes that don’t come to past.

2009 was a great year for me.  I was able to reach many goals.  The difficult part of reaching my goals, like many of us, is trying to  find “the balance” of life, relationships and personal goals  without losing what is most valuable.  That being for me, my relationship with God and my family.   So in order for me to stay on track I have to keep God at the center of everything that I do (He is the One leading and directing!) and include my family within the scope of my journey.  Allowing them to be my cheerleaders and having them join me in many great experiences.  I also have to shift my goals around and sometimes let go of my goals; so that I can help them achieve what is close to their heart.  Their life goals!  That may mean for me, a little longer strategy to reach my personal goals, but the precious family that God has given me is more valuable then anything that I could ever want to achieve in life.

I see this image in my mind of a man going through life winning awards and being recognized by many, but at the end of his life he looks around only to find that he is all alone.  I know for certain, that we don’t want to end up with a life filled full of accomplishments and a home that is empty!  So let 2010 be a year of new starts, new hope and a life filled full of love for what really matters.  Cheers to a New Year!

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Mom’s Wisdom

This morning I started reading through the book of Proverbs.  I first read it, then as I took my morning run I listened to an audio version of the 1st chapter and finally I stopped running and walked.  As I began walking I took time to pray  the passage back to God and finally too listen to what He was speaking into my life.  I love what my friend Mark says about our pace in life, ‘we need to slow down and become less busy’ – not an exact quote.  Slow down to hear the voice of God and also time to receive what He has for our lives.  Let’s read a portion of this passage together and maybe God will speak something special to you too.

1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David’s son, Israel’s king— Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; A manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair; To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality.  There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn— Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning. 8 Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.  Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers.

Proverbs 1:1-8 (The Message)

The first thing I love about this passage is God’s saying that everything that you need for your life and to be successful is already written down.  Read and put it into action daily and you will experience it!  The truth is…none of us was born with all the knowledge need for our life, so we must seek after it if we are going to experience God’s best for our lives.  I know there are times when we think that we have all the answers, but this is called adolescence – the time in our life where we have very little experience to back up our knowledge.  I think many of us – including myself, revert back to acting in this manner where we go off to pursue our plans; thinking we know exactly what we need to do, but we end up disappointed or depressed due to our lack of success.

One of the first places that Solomon encourages us to start with is a humble heart.  Sometimes it is out of disappointment that we end up humble and ready to listen to God’s wisdom.  He goes on to say, listen to what your father taught you and what you learned from your mother.   So because Mother’s Day is this weekend, I prayed and meditated on this passage thinking back to the things my mother taught me.  Some of it was learned as she held me on her lap swinging me on our swing reading books to me after I would get home from school, while other things I learned in passing as she lived her life.  Here are a few things that I have learned from my mom:

The value to read God’s Holy Word, to pray, and to truly seek after God until you hear his voice! She also instilled in me to work hard and give your best at everything that you do, to listen and empathize with people, to be committed to your home and family, to love your spouse, be people of integrity, to stand strong in the mist of difficulty and to serve.  I wasn’t raised in a perfect home, but God placed me in this home to develop me and shape me and mold me into who I am today.

For some of us we may need to revisit what you  learned as a child because scripture goes on to say…”wear their counsel like a flower in your hair and rings on your fingers.”  This is making a choice to embrace the fullness of God’s wisdom and to daily apply those values in our life.

Do you want to be successful in your life?  Seek after God’s wisdom, relearn what you have been taught and apply it to your life.

Life Goals

I’ve been thinking through my life goals. One thought I have been asking myself has been, what things do I want to achieve before I die? I know that it is a huge question for many people. Some of the categories I am thinking through are:

-travel- places I want to visit
-dates- memories I want to make with Jen
– physical goals-this is health, fitness and long term care for my life
-foods- foods I have never experience that would be exciting to try.
-cultural- this the arts, dancing, and the like.
-spiritual goals- for me, this is leaving a spiritual legacy
-financial- this covers short term and long term, even thinking through passing on finances to my child and my grandchildren.
-education- growing intellectually
-family – thinking through family experiences, parenting, and spiritual growth

My favorite quote that goes well with life goals is by Dave Ramsey, “When you choose to live like no one else; one day; you will be like no one else.”

I know this is a lot to think through, but out of this thought, I have begun to experience things in my life that I would have never pursued unless I had challenged myself to think outside of myself. Sometimes we just exist to be what is offered to us in life, instead of pushing ourselves to experience new challenges.

This year instead of making a new years resolution for 2009, I’m asking myself, what life goals am I going to pursue this next year? So I leave you with the same question, what life goals are you going to pursue in 2009?

UNC Customer Service

Today I had oriantation for my new position with UNC Health Care.   Since our family decided to partner with True Life Church in their church plant, this position will help me supplement my income for our family. 

One of the values that UNC strives as a public health care facility is customer service.  I really like their definition of first impressions.  Basically they said that first impressions is “the consumer’s reality of who an organization is.”  Great first impressions is vital as an organization for health and growth.  We need to continually evaluate how we respond to our customer base,  identify barriers that inhibit our customer to connect to our facility and create an atmosphere where team members go out of their way to make sure that everyone is able to receive the full benefit of the organization.  If you were to evaluate your customer service, how would you rate your organization?  Here are some questions to help:

– Is my facility easily visible?  If not, how can you help your customer have an easier time finding you.

– Once your customer arrives do they have a clear idea where they need to go?  This is where we need signs and team members to help direct individuals. 

– Once our customer reaches their destination, do they receive prompt friendly service?  Do they know that they are valuable as a customer?  How do you communicate this through your team members?  

– Are my team members positive and well educated about the organization and its services? 

 I’d like to keep this open ended.  What other questions do you ask yourself when evaluating your customer service?  I know for us who are in ministry, we don’t call this customer service, but the principles still apply.  I’d love to hear your comments! 

Tagged Self-Disclosure

I was tagged by Ryan Day to participate in the following exercise in self-disclosure.

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
3. Tag random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

Here are my 7 things about me… We might want to call this 7 random facts about me….

1.  I met my wife Jennifer at Southeastern University – Lakeland, FL and was married at her home church in Columbus, GA in 1995.  Yes I married a southern girl!  Since then, we have had two beautiful children.  Samantha (8) and Hannah (6-who believes that she is 16.) A common side effect of youth ministry.

2. I have been in ministry since age 17.  When I was in high school I led worship for our junior high ministry in my home church in Sarasota, FL and was highly involved in multiple ministry opportunities.  What is interesting about that is Chris Connell who is our Associate Pastor at my current church where I am working was the junior high Pastor.  Who would have thought we would have crossed paths later in my life? 

3.  I love being with my wife and children.  There is nothing better in life then hanging out with my family over a good southern cooked meal and just being together.  I really  enjoy how our family can make each other laugh and just have fun with life.

4. My whole married life I have had a sibling or relative live in my house.  Right after I was married my middle brother came to live with us after having some difficulties as a teenager and after he finished high school he joined the military.  Not long after this my wife’s father passed away and her mother became chronically ill and has lived with us since then.  Currently my youngest brother, along with mother in law lives with us.  

5. I am an Associate Youth Pastor currently.  I basically take care of all the programing and oversee all the ministries within our department.  I also do a lot of the design stuff for our ministry.  I create t-shirts, brochures, logos, and anything else that we need.  I also lead worship for our ministry and give direct oversight to our small groups.  All I can say is fun! 

6.  I am a coffee consumer!  I originally started drinking coffee when I was a teenager.  I went to a dinner with my Uncle Allen and he got me hooked!  Since my addiction I have consumed massive amounts of Starbucks, Caribou and Fair Trade coffee- Larry’s Beans.  I enjoy collecting coffee from around the world.  My favorite coffee blend so far is from Ecuador and from the Galapagos Islands

7.   I am the most unique person I have ever met.  I am analytical, creative, relational – at times shy and withdrawn, musical, friendly, I am passionate – about life and God, a leader and humbly down to earth – about life and religion, I am authentic, genuine and yet complex at times because of my analytical mind, I am fun, realistic, romantic – at least my wife thinks so…. and I love to help people succeed at life, I am a good friend. 

I tagged Mark Carr, Micheal Moss, Paul Jenkins, James Halfhill

Merry Christmas?

Wish Me a Merry Christmas

A recent survey released by Rasmussen Reports after the Thanksgiving holiday showed that 67 percent of Americans favor the phrase “Merry Christmas” being used in seasonal advertising while only 26 percent would choose “Happy Holidays.”  There are many Christians choosing not to shop at stores that are choosing to market Christmas with the terminology’s “Happy Holidays” they feel this is one step of taking Christ out of Christmas.  In fact there is ” Wish me a Merry Christmas” campaign to combat against  retailers who are choosing to take Christ out of Christmas. 

 I am interested to hear back from you guys and tell me your thoughts on this.  How do you think the body of Christ should respond to this?  I know James Dobson  believes that we should communicate to retailers by choosing not to shop at stores who take this stand.  What do you think??

U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

 Could this be the new wave of child care? 

Atlantic Beach

Dave & Jen

Last week my family and I went to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina on vacation.  The amazing time at the beach was filled with tanning, swimming, tours – we saw Black Beard’s house and heard many crazy stories about this evil pirate….rrrrr, chasing crabs on the beach late at night and just being with the family.  It was a week full of great memories. 

For me the greatest part of the trip was spending time with my wife, Jen.  Yes I enjoyed being with my two amazing daughters, but there is something special about spending time with the one that you have devoted your whole life to!  We had so much fun together.  One night we went on a ghost walk where the tour guide would share stories of Black Beard the pirate and other happenings in Beauford, NC.  It was a great night for me because there is something in me that enjoys trying to scare Jen!  The kid in me surfaced many times as we went to visit the grave yard.  The guide would share stories of some of the individuals who died and haunt the grave yard.  They said that the person’s spirit would even touch the back of the neck of the ladies who visit the graves.  At this point in the story I would reach over and touch Jen lightly behind her neck to try to scare her.  (It didn’t work, but it was fun!)  Even though we didn’t see any ghost, the time with Jen was great! 

My second favorite thing that I did was spending time on the beach with my daughters.  We would gather sea shells that had washed up on the beach.  It is like treasure hunting, you never know if the next shell that you find is the perfect shell that you have been looking for.  The girls would get extremely excited as they found shells along the beach.  They would rush over to me, to make sure that I saw the new shell that they had found.   

Well, I don’t want to turn this into family video time.  (For those who have had to endure family videos.)  TTFN!  Life is fun when you are making memories. 

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