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a-different-thanksgiving

A Different Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be different.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a big deal. We could never “skip over” Thanksgiving to get to Christmas – we always emphasized Thanksgiving in our home. Mom and dad both cooked, but it was dad who cooked and carved the turkey – he would always give out samples along the way, so we could be salivating for his masterpiece. After the big meal, we would watch the Cowboys football game and fall asleep on the couch. Growing up in Texas that is just what you did. Even after I married Lisa, we would still always go to Texas for Thanksgiving. It was tradition, and our daughters loved it! One year, dad even made fajitas (along with the turkey) because my girls were not much for turkey, but they loved fajitas. “Hey, it’s San Antonio,” he would say. When my parents moved to Tennessee a few years ago, it was still dad carving the turkey (and/or fajitas), us watching the Cowboys game and everyone falling asleep on the couch.

This year will be different. There will be an empty place at our table, and we will need someone else to carve the turkey. My dad went home to be with Jesus in January, and this will be our first Thanksgiving without him. We all miss him.

Now, I know for many of you, this may also be a different Thanksgiving. Maybe it is not a parent, but a grandparent or a friend. I am praying with you and for you. Yesterday, I officiated the funeral for a 29 year-old mom who was killed by a drunk driver. It was heart-breaking and I couldn’t help but think how different this Thanksgiving would be for her family.

Maybe this Thanksgiving will be different for you not because of the passing of a loved one, but because you will be in a different place. Maybe it is a different location or a different place emotionally or spiritually. Maybe not a bad place, but just different. Life moves on. Things change. Loved ones go home to be with the Lord, people get married, family members go to in-laws’ homes, people move. Nothing stays exactly the same. Every year is different in some way.

Regardless of this being a different Thanksgiving, there are still some things that will be the same:

First, it is still Thanksgiving, and I am still thankful. Even though I miss my dad, I know I will see Him again. This life is not all that there is. As 1 Thessalonians 4:13 tells us, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” Because of God’s grace, I do not grieve as one who has no hope. I know I will celebrate the greatest Thanksgiving meal in history with my dad (the Wedding Feast of the Lamb), and for that I am thankful.

Second, the God who is Sovereign over all never changes. Even as everything else in life changes, God is still the same. He loves and He cares. My God sees and He knows what is going on in my life and in my heart. He knows this Thanksgiving will be different, but He will still be with me. I love Him and His love for me will never change.

Finally, I still have so much for which to be thankful. It is easy to focus on what I have lost instead of seeing all that I still have. My God has blessed me – and all of us. He has lavished His blessings on us with His love, family, friends, food (too much food), a couch to fall asleep on and so much more. I choose to still celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Yes, this year Thanksgiving will be different. And, because of that:

I will cherish it more.

I will be more aware and be more thankful.

I will tell people more how thankful I am for them.

I will spend more time with God since He is always there for me.

And, I will embrace the moment because there will never be another Thanksgiving exactly like this one.

Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, be thankful. Know you are loved and cared for that day – and every day of your life – by a God who never changes. As Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Yes this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

God is with you and for you. Also, I am praying for you. May our God fill you with all joy and overwhelm you with thankfulness this Thanksgiving – regardless of how different it may be. As Tim Keller writes, “Our Christian hope is that we’re going to live with Christ in a new earth, where there is not only no more death, but where life is what it was always meant to be.” Remember, the best is still to come. There will be bumps and detours along the way, but our heavenly Father is preparing a Feast for us. He gives us samples along with way – a sweet time with family, an amazing time of worship, listening to the prayer of a child – but one day we will celebrate a Thanksgiving meal in complete perfection. Hold on to the hope you have in Christ and embrace each moment you have with family and friends on this earth. Every Thanksgiving is different, but it is all simply to prepare our hearts for perfection. Your Father is preparing something really special for you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

My Top 10 Highlights from the Summer of 2016

My Top 10 Highlights from the Summer of 2016

Let me start by saying: I love summer! I love the time of ministry, missions and special time with my family. I love the change of schedule, pace and even the warmer weather. While every summer is special, this past summer seemed to top some of my favorites so far. Let me share why:

My Top 10 Highlights from the Summer of ’16:

10. Our summer study of the book of Daniel at church. What an amazing time of digging deep into God’s Word. If you missed any of the sermons, go back and watch the podcasts…you won’t regret it!

IMG_52269. Mabry’s Birthday Celebration. My middle daughter turned 10 – double digits! We had a “Fiesta” themed party with a taste test for the best queso (with me having grown up in San Antonio, our family eats a lot of Mexican food). Plus, a special trivia game: Facts about Mabry. I love her!

8. Rolling Hills Summer Camp. Camp is always so special to me, and this one was one of the greats! So many children and students making life-long commitments for Christ. My wife, Lisa, and our 3 daughters loved it. The Rolling Hills Family Ministry Team did a wonderful job! Read about camp here.

7. Incredible week with just our family. The summer is always full of friends and ministry, but it was so refreshing to just be the five of us for one week. We had new adventures, discovered a new beach, laughed a lot, ate even more and just loved being together!

IMG_45866. Taking Grace, my oldest daughter, to Washington D.C. for her 12th Birthday. Lisa takes the girls somewhere when they turn 10, and I take them on a two-day trip somewhere when they turn 12. Grace turned 12, and we had an absolute blast being together and learning. Read about it here.

5. Baptizing a friend and then watching him turn around and baptize his daughter. I love seeing life-change in people. And, when a dad yields his life to Christ it impacts the entire family as well as generations. I’m thankful for so many being baptized this summer!

4. Beholding the sheer beauty of God’s creation  in Yellowstone. We joined some friends at the beginning of the summer, and it was my first time to Yellowstone. Wow! God’s creation is breath-taking. Bison, Moose, waterfalls, and more. I’m still filled with awe!

3. The last night of our Moldova Mission Trip celebrating the graduation of some of our JMI Transitional Living students. Absolutely incredible! It is awesome to see God changing lives before our eyes. Read about it here. If you have never been on an international mission trip with JMI, then at some point – go.

2. Opening the box of my first book – “Immeasurably More.” I never planned to write a book, but God said, “Tell My Story.” It took a long time, but I am so excited to share what God has been doing here with others. Simply, asking our God to use it to impact lives for His glory.

IMG_49331. Baptizing my youngest daughter, Kate. As a dad, it just doesn’t get any better than this! Every time I watch this video I tear up. I love my daughter and my God so much! What a gift that, because of Christ, we will be together forever. I am so proud and thankful for my Kate. Read about her baptism here.

All glory to our great God!

What were your summer highlights? Take time to write them down. If you just move on to the busyness of the fall, then pretty soon you won’t even remember what God did in your life, family, and ministry. It will just be another summer and another year gone by. Take the time to celebrate what God has done, and thank Him for His blessings in your life. I am so thankful!

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Kate’s Baptism

I’d like to share this with you!

I love being a dad, and this past Sunday was such a great celebration for our family as our youngest daughter, Kate, was baptized! At Rolling Hills we endeavor to do a video for each person being baptized talking about their salvation experience. For Kate’s video, Tom, our expert video directer, added footage of her actual baptism. I want to share this with you, and with the whole world! I am so thankful for the salvation we receive in Christ Jesus. He is our Hope and Life. And, when your child experiences this – there is nothing better.

I am humbled at what our God is doing, and thankful to serve Him with each of you. Thank you for the difference you make in my life, our family, God’s church and in His Kingdom. To our great God be the glory!

With a full heart and much love,

Jeff

 

Why This Father's Day is So Special

Why This Father’s Day is Special

Father’s Day is always a special day. In our home, my girls spend weeks making cards and working together on choreographing a song-and-dance. On Sunday afternoon, after church and some lunch, we all gather in the living room where the girls sing their songs, share their cards and give lots of hugs and kisses. It is always special.

This Father’s Day will be even more special. Yes, we will have time for the dances and cards, but also something more: we will be celebrating our youngest daughter, Kate’s, baptism! For the past two years, Kate has been asking spiritual questions. Seeing her sisters come to know Christ personally, being in church, and the times of talking about Jesus at home have been preparing her heart.

_MG_2642cAs Christian parents, we begin laying the spiritual foundation in our children when they are born. Through the books we read, the songs we sing, the prayers we pray and attending church. Lisa and I have been reading the Bible together with our girls since they were babies. We have moved from a “Read to Me Rhyme Bible” to the “Jesus Storybook Bible” as our children have grown. Every night we pray with them and over them. And, they have been at church since their first Sunday in this world. Through all of this, we have prayed for our God to draw each of our girls’ hearts close to His and that they would come to know Jesus personally. Not just about Jesus, but to have a life-long relationship with Him.

_MG_0505By God’s grace, each of our oldest two children have committed their lives to Christ and been baptized as an outward expression of their faith. As Kate, our youngest, started asking these questions, we knew God was working in her heart. As a parent, you feel this tension of wondering if your kids are too young to understand, but at the same time not wanting to stifle the Spirit of God’s work in their life. As our children start asking spiritual questions, it is important to take those seriously. Responding to their questions – not blowing them off. It is okay to say, “I don’t know. Let me find out and get back to you.” Making this a priority and being excited about their spiritual sensitivity.

_MG_1725As Kate started asking more and more questions, we prayed about managing this tension. Not wanting to do this too early and then her coming back five years later and wanting to do this “for real.” But, also not wanting to squelch what God is doing in her life and leaving her discouraged. As our discussions became more and more frequent, we signed up for the Kids Baptism Information Class at church. This class helps children process what God is doing in their life, and it helps parents with key concepts (like sin and salvation) that we want to help our children understand.

Kate prayed and asked Christ into her life several months ago – she was ready. It was so obvious God was working in her life. When we asked her about baptism, she said she wanted to be baptized on Father’s Day. We gave her other options, but she was adamant. As a dad, I can’t tell you how much this means. I have had the honor, privilege and joy to baptize my oldest two and now to baptize Kate on Father’s Day is incredibly special. As parents, we celebrate this spiritual marker – make a big deal!

I am so thankful for all the people who have partnered with Lisa and I in Kate’s spiritual journey. From her grandparents to her sisters and her teachers at church. From her first Sunday morning in the baby room at church to preschool worship and children’s ministry and community group. So many people have encouraged her and prayed for her.

I jokingly told Lisa, “My job as a dad is over – all my girls will have been baptized and I will have taught them all to ride their bikes! Now, you can take over and talk to them about body changes.” In all seriousness, though, the role of a father never ends. Even when our kids grow up, they will always need a parent to pray with them, counsel them and encourage them. Baptism is just the beginning of Kate’s spiritual journey. I am so excited to see how God will use this wonderful girl for His glory!

What makes this Father’s Day even more special is that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and draws us to Himself through His Son, Jesus. He has saved all three of my daughters, and I am forever grateful. Our Heavenly Father deserves all the credit and the glory. I love my Heavenly Father. I love Him more every day, and I want to honor Him this coming Sunday, Father’s Day, and every day of my life.

_MG_5793In addition, this will be my first father’s day without my dad on this earth. I loved my earthly father so much, and I wish he could be here to see his granddaughter, Kate, being baptized. But, by the grace and mercy of my Heavenly Father, I know he will be watching this Sunday. He will be peering over the edge of heaven and staring down at a baptismal pool in Franklin, Tennessee. As Kate goes under the water, symbolizing her dying to her old way of life, and then as she comes up out of the water, symbolizing her new life in Christ, my dad will be high-fiving all of his friends and the angels in heaven. He will point to Kate, and then give all the glory to his Heavenly Father right there.

I am blessed to be a father. I am blessed to have a spiritual legacy that was passed down to me. Now, I have the opportunity to pass that legacy of faith in Christ on, and that is what makes this Father’s Day is so very special.

 

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The West Wing with Grace

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I just spent 3 days in Washington D.C. with my oldest daughter, Grace. My wife, Lisa, and I came up with the following plan regarding our kids: when they turn 10, Lisa takes them on a trip. This is where they have Mommy/Daughter time, but also where she talks to them about how their body is changing (special thank you to Molly Westmoreland and her “Seed Planting Mom” material). Then, at age 12, I take them on a trip where we have Daddy/Daughter time. Some place that will help them as they grow and develop in life. Since Grace just turned 12, it was our time.

IMG_4610Grace has always wanted to go to D.C. Studying in school about the three branches of government intrigued her, so she wanted to see the White House, the Capitol and more. And then, about 2 years ago on a family vacation, we met Obama’s speech writer and of course, Grace immediately connected with her. Sarada and her husband, Naseem, promised us a tour of the White House if we ever were to come to D.C. So, for 2 years, Grace has been looking forward to this (and we only have a few months left with Obama in the White House). So, we let Sarada know we were coming to D.C., and she made good on her promise.

IMG_4587We arrived in D.C. Sunday evening, and stayed with some good friends, Mike and Kay Minter, who planted Reston Bible Church 42 years ago. Mike is an incredible, godly pastor, and he started the Justice & Mercy International Pastor’s Conference in the Amazon. He has become a dear friend, and Grace loved hearing stories about how they parented their children and the joys, and sometimes struggles, of being a “PK” – Preacher’s Kid. It was a great night.

Then, Monday, we were up early and off & running. We went to four museums – The Smithsonian Air & Space, Natural History, American History and Udvar-Hazy (all free – yeah!). We had a great day of being together, laughing, and learning. We concluded with dinner at Uncle Julio’s and drove back to prepare for our next day.

IMG_4664Tuesday was the big day! Sarada had to be in Vietnam with the President, but she had arranged a tour of the East Wing at 10am, and then a tour of the West Wing at 8pm. Grace loved the East Wing. Seeing the different rooms, the paintings and the history was so fascinating. After our tour, we did a paddle boat ride on the Tidal Basin. Then, we headed to the Newseum. What a great museum! So much to see and learn. After this we had dinner with Lisa and David Shedd (who just retired as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency). He told Grace spy stories (he was in the CIA for 35 years), and she loved it. David also partners with us in the ministry in the Amazon through Justice & Mercy International. After dinner, we headed back to the White House for the West Wing tour.

IMG_4693At 8pm, we met Naseem and David (another speech writer), went through multiple security points, and then walked into the West Wing of the White House. It was amazing! We saw the Oval office, the Roosevelt room, the Cabinet meeting room and the Rose Garden. There were very few people around. Naseem (who has his Masters in public policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard) and David gave all kinds of historical facts on past presidents. We did see Obama’s dog before we headed into the Press Room (where all the briefings and the special reports happen). We spent about 1 1/2 hours touring, and Grace loved it! It was definitely an experience she will never forget.
Wednesday we went to a few of the monuments – Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., FDR, WWII, and then to the Capitol and the Library of Congress. After lunch, we had time for the Spy Museum before we had to head to the airport to fly home.

IMG_4617On the way home, Grace started to tear up. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “I don’t want to share you. When we get home, then I will have to share you with my sisters and everyone.” This was so sweet, and it reminded me of the importance of our one-on-one time.

As parents, it is important for us to raise healthy children. Notice, not “perfect” children, but “healthy” children. There is no such thing as a perfect child, but we can help raise healthy children – physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. How do we do this? Time. The most precious commodity we all have. But, the one commodity that we don’t always invest in the right places. Kids learn by watching, listening and seeing how others live. I am not always great at this. I need to remember, and I need to be better. The days go slow, but the years go fast. Our children grow up quickly, and we don’t get this time back. While it is a challenge, I encourage myself, as well as all of us, to take the time to create experiences and make memories. To invest our lives in what really matters.

As amazing as it was to tour the West Wing, the best part of our trip, for both of us, was our time together. I am so proud of Grace, and I love her more each day. Above anything else, I pray to be a godly follower of Christ, a loving husband and a great dad. And I, too, will always remember the West Wing with Grace.

 

 

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15 Lessons in 15 Years of Marriage

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This past Thursday, Cinco de Mayo’, Lisa and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We had a great time thanking God for all He has done in our life as well as simply being together. I love my wife. We have a great marriage, and I feel so blessed. It doesn’t mean we are perfect, but our marriage has definitely grown through the years.

Here are 15 lessons I have learned along the way:

  1. Say the words, “I love you” often. These words are not implied. They must be said, written and lived. There is power in these words to stir the heart.
  2. A great marriage takes time. Spending time together is essential. The importance of scheduling “date nights,” vacations, and even lunch dates. Life is busy, and if we are not careful, we can fail to invest our time in the one we love the most.
  3. Christ must remain at the center of your marriage. When we take our eyes off of Christ, we become frustrated with each other. Christ teaches us to love and to forgive. We must see our spouse through the lens of Christ and serve our spouse as Christ served others.
  4. Grow in your own personal relationship with the Lord. Think about your marriage as a triangle with God at the top. As you grow personally closer to God, then you will grow closer to one another.
  5. Learn your spouse’s love language. Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The Five Love Languages.” Read it. Every person gives and receives love in a certain way. Discovering this made a huge impact in our marriage.
  6. Your priorities must remain in this order – God, spouse, children, career. Guys often put career first and women often put children first. Keeping your spouse after God, but before children and career impacts everything. Your kids need to see this as well.
  7. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. We learn this in Ecclesiastes, but it is so true in marriage. God, the couple and then the family and friends around you. You need other godly couples who are pursuing Christ. You need church and community.
  8. Praying together and playing together keeps you together. We don’t pray together every night, but we do pray together often. Big decisions and as a family, we hold hands and pray. Then, we laugh a lot. There is a lot of joy in our house. Prayer and play matters.
  9. Never say anything bad about your spouse publicly. Only say good things about your spouse. There may be an argument or a disagreement at home, but you must be your spouse’s biggest fan and advocate. What you say publicly flows out of who you are privately.
  10. Ask for help. Most couples ask for help when it is too late. Be proactive and ask for help if there are struggles in your marriage. Counseling is so important to help you. Be willing to ask for mentors, counselors or even just a third party. Invest the time in making your marriage great.
  11. Don’t let the small things become big things. Most marital arguments start over something small. If you are frustrated, don’t let it stir inside of you and bring bitterness, but talk about it before it becomes a big deal.
  12. A great marriage takes work. Investing time, prayer, focus and energy is important to help a marriage grow. Just like a garden, you can plant it (say “I do”), but you have to put the work in to make it and keep it flourishing.
  13. Pray privately for your spouse. It is hard to be angry or upset when you are praying for someone. Bring your spouse before the Lord, and let Him work in their heart – and in yours.
  14. God gave us marriage not to make us happy, but to make us holy. This is from the book Sacred Marriage, and it has been a great impact on us. Yes, we are happy! But, we realize that God uses us to refine the rough edges in our lives. We need this.
  15. Never give up. With God, there is always hope. Your marriage is too important. Fight for your marriage, pray for your marriage, prioritize your marriage. Your marriage impacts generations. The best of your marriage and your life is still ahead.

God wants you to have a great marriage. I am so blessed to be married to Lisa. And, I am so blessed to have parents who were married 58 1/2 years. We have a long way to go, but we want to have an awesome marriage that demonstrates to the world how Christ loves the Church and shows our kids what a godly marriage can be like.

Just know I am praying for you and your marriage! Let’s love well and make a lasting impact for Christ through our marriage and family.

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Twelve Lessons in Twelve Years

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My oldest daughter, Grace, turns 12 today. I love her, and I am so proud of her! As I reflect back on the past 12 years with her in our lives, I am reminded of 12 lessons I have learned being her dad:

  1. Time goes fast, so embrace each moment. The time of feeding baby Grace in the middle of the night and wishing the time would pass, has now passed – and it did so very quickly. Each stage feels like you will never make it through, but you will, and it is important to learn to enjoy and embrace each moment, because you will miss it when it’s over.
  2. Hearts are tender – handle with care. When she came home from the hospital, I was concerned with the physical – can I take care of this baby? Will she eat? What will she eat? What if something happens? But, as parents, we figure that part out quickly. The bigger concern should be our kids’ spiritual and emotional development – holding her heart with love and care.
  3. The power of prayer. Praying with her and for her are some of the sweetest times I can remember. Hearing her pray still brings tears to my eyes. Pray with your kids. Even the simplest prayer shows you value God and you value them. Hold hands, snuggle up and point them to Jesus.
  4. Read the Bible together. When Grace was born, my childhood pastor gave us a Rhyme Bible. We read it with Grace until we had it memorized. Then, we moved to the Storybook Bible. Now, she reads her own Bible every night before she goes to sleep. Teach your kids the importance of God’s Word.
  5. Reading together is a blessing. Growing up, Grace always wanted for me to read her all sorts of books. We read the same books over and over and over and over… Now, I miss that. The books she reads now are chapter books, and she reads them on her own. Set a strong foundation in reading – it lasts a lifetime.
  6. Church is not only important, it is essential. The role of the church is massive in a child’s development. Where will they learn about morals, grace, putting others before themselves, generosity and Christ besides the church? Not from school, the government, Disney or online. It is the Church, and I am so thankful for a great church surrounding and loving my children.
  7. Their friends matter. The more my Grace and her sisters grow up, the more I see the influence of friends. Kids are constantly learning from others. Who they sit with at school, play with at recess and attend parties with, all impact them. (Again, see number 6!)
  8. Your friends matter. As a parent, the people who surround me, influence my children. Kids are always watching and listening. They are learning about marriage, parenting and values from watching the people around me. Thank You, Father, for surrounding me with incredible friends who love my kids and model Christ.
  9. Be patient – don’t make big deals out of small deals. As I reflect, I realize that most of the times I was frustrated with Grace were more about me than they were about her. The times when I was emotionally spent from work, had a long day or was simply being impatient were the times that I escalated the situation. Be patient. Your response carries weight.
  10. You are always modeling – you are always “on” as a parent. You are always teaching. What do you want your kids to learn? As a parent, I am always teaching. The saying, “Don’t do as I do, but do as I say” is completely false. They will do what you do. As your kids get older, you see them mimic you in their vocabulary and actions. This is scary, but always a great reminder.
  11. You have to grow as a parent – each stage of life is different. I only have six years with Grace left at home. Six years of doing homework, driving her to school or plays. Six Spring Breaks, six summers – only six! Will she be ready to go to college? Spiritually? Emotionally? While you never stop being their parent, your role will change, and you have to keep growing.
  12. Above all, love! Make sure your kids know you love them. Above their grades, performances and their responses, make sure they feel that they are loved. Raising Grace is a joy and a blessing. I want her to have the confidence that she is loved regardless. She is loved by God and loved by me. Say and live it. Love.

Happy Birthday, Grace! I love you!

Here’s a birthday song to Grace from Lily. Lily is one of our closest friends from church, and an absolute treasure.

 

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The Birth of the Men’s Leadership Network

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About a year and half ago, on a golf outing with some guys from church, I found myself in this conversation:

Golf buddy: “I was reading in Esquire about how guys deal with the death of their own father.”
Me: “Really? What did Esquire have to say about this?”
Golf buddy proceeded to tell me some of the things the article unfolded about how men handle this experience emotionally as well as the pressure they feel now being the one to take care of the family.
Me: “Is Esquire where you go to get advice about dealing with issues unique to men?”
Golf buddy: “Where else am I supposed to go?”

It was then and there that the Men’s Leadership Network was born.

I knew we had to do something to help men with the unique challenges they face. I knew we had to help equip them to understand how to handle life from a Christian perspective. God created us and gave us His Word, and so He is a much better source for men than Esquire, GQ and any other self-help magazines. After this conversation I brought it up to some men on our church staff and we began to develop topics that would be relevant to all men. “How to have a great marriage,” “How to be a successful dad,” “How to balance work and home,” “How to manage money instead of having money manage you,” “How to become the spiritual leader of your home,” and, of course, “How to deal with the death of your father.” These were all topics that we knew men needed help on in order for them to truly succeed.

There is so much pressure on men today. First, they feel the weight of trying to care for their wives, children, parents and more while being successful at their jobs as well as their spiritual lives. Second, there’s an enemy who does not want them to succeed. Satan uses tactics like pornography, money, and more to destroy their self-esteem and their marriage. Finally, men compare themselves to others and don’t feel like they measure up. They are well aware of their own short-comings and then compare themselves to everyone else’s highlight reel – thanks, social media!

The aim of the Men’s Leadership Network is to not only address the questions that guys are asking, but to connect them to Jesus Christ. As Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” By interviewing Christian men whose experiences and training have made them well-versed in these topics, we were able to help others learn what the Bible says about it and how to respond as a godly man. We know that the impact on marriages, children, careers and generations will be immeasurable. God created men to succeed and it is only in Him that we truly find our worth, value and ultimate success. Let’s pray and help men become all that God desires and intends. Let’s be the spiritual leaders that God called and created us to be. Let’s change the world!

So, to my golf buddy’s question, ‘Where else am I supposed to go?”

To the Men’s Leadership Network. Join in every Thursday Morning at a location near where you work – Franklin, Cool Springs and downtown Nashville. For more information, check out www.mensleadershipnetwork.com.

Our next semester of Men’s Leadership Network begins tomorrow, April 7th. We have an incredible line-up of speakers and relevant topics that all men face. From learning how to leverage our influence, to dealing with the upcoming Presidential election from a Christ-centered perspective and even how to be a spiritual leader when someone close to you is walking through cancer, the topics are powerful and important.

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Daddy Daughter Masquerade Ball

_MG_8311One of the highlights of my year is our annual Daddy Daughter Ball. It is so fun! My girls love to get dressed up and to have a special night with Daddy. It is awesome seeing them so excited and just being together. This year’s theme was a Masquerade Ball. We danced for two and half hours straight! As the dad of three girls, I never get a break. When one is tired, another one steps right in! We have so much fun, and it is truly a special night!

As parents, we can become so busy. We have all the demands of life tugging at us. However, what can happen is in the middle of the busyness, we can miss what is most important. Our children grow up fast. And, we don’t get this time back. We are creating memories that will last a lifetime, but in order to do that we must schedule time.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.” I long to train up my girls in the Lord. I pray that they have a strong spiritual foundation for the days ahead. I will not always be there, but God will. So making sure they have the security of a deep relationship with Him as well as the strong love of their earthly dad. I never want my girls to have to look for love from a man because they never received it at home. I long for them to know that God loves them and their daddy loves them.

Make sure to schedule a Date Night with your kids every so often. It doesn’t have to be the Daddy Daughter Ball, it can be anything at anytime. The biggest challenge is actually scheduling the time. But, once you do, it is truly worth it. Remember what is most important and enjoy the time you get to train up your children. It really is fleeting.

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