Blended Family Survival Guide

My wife and I were talking recently about some friends that are getting married soon. They, too, will have a blended family. She said that the husband-to-be said he had been looking online for blended family tips, and everything he found talked about how small their chance of success was due to all the extra obstacles you will face as a blended family.

Melissa and I have only been married for a little over two years. And in those couple of years, I have picked up a few things about starting a blended family.

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Letter to AJ: What I Can’t Wait to Teach You

Hi AJ,

There’s going to come a day – and it is soon – when I am going to start pushing you to fulfill your potential. Your mom wants to start pushing you now, but I’m convinced that you’re perfectly content on your back, and have no desire whatsoever to roll over, capable or not. I’ll be pushing you in a lot of areas: taking care of your body, your grades, your hygiene, your cleanliness and, most importantly, how you should respect your mom.

I can guarantee that by the time you’re a teenager, you’ll think I am a tyrant bent on controlling the entire world, but since I can’t, I’m taking it out on you.

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Letter to AJ

Hi AJ,

I’m pretty sure you’re not going to remember the things I’m telling you right now, so I decided to write them down. Hopefully Evernote still exists in 18 years so you can read these. (If not, I’ll see if they still make this thing called “paper” at that point.)

You’re only three months old right now, but you should know that in three short months, you have changed my life.

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“Annual” Check-Up

Yesterday, I had my annual check-up. I’m calling it ‘annual’ anyway. Never mind that the previous one was in 2012, and the one before that was in 1997.

My appointment was at 11:15. I finally got to see the doctor at 12:30. He told me that I was overweight (thanks, but I own a mirror, doc!).

I’m having my first baby in June, and I’m a stepfather to 3 amazing girls already, so now I’m starting the process of focusing on my health. I’ve never actually done this before, but I have joined a gym once. If I remember correctly, the owner told a friend of mine to thank me for the donation.

I spent all evening learning about BMR and caloric intake and trying to decide if I should eat like a caveman or a hipster.

Long story short, I need to lose over 100 lbs. So any encouragement, prayer, tips and/or advice are welcomed and appreciated.

Mentors

I’ve found myself, lately, wanting a mentor.

So much of my days are spent either working (I’m in a sales position) or leading my family.  I am also getting to participate in some volunteer leadership at my church.  My point is that I get to give a lot of advice.  Some of it is good.

But who do I go to when I’m in a tough spot?  When I’m questioning how to handle my family responsibilities and at the same time make sure I’m excelling in my career, who do I turn to?

The good news is that as far as leadership goes, I’m a low-middle leader at best.  Meaning that there are many people above me in almost every area, except my home, where there’s only One.

So I did something that, in hindsight, was probably a little unwise.  I went on Facebook and asked the whole world if anybody wanted to be my mentor.  It turns out that a lot of people want to mentor me.  Some of them I’m excited about.  Some of them… I’m less excited about.

But as it turns out, if you want some help with accountability and discipleship, there are a ton of people in your local church that will help.  Just walk up to them and ask.

Could you use a mentor?

Is Jesus Our Role Model: Loving Others

First off, apologies for the delay in posting.  I’ve been pretty busy lately.  Moving on…

In the last post we talked about how looking at Jesus1 John 2:6 as our role model would affect the way we love God.  Today, let’s talk about how it would affect the way we treat other people.

Let’s start with this question:

What is the difference between Christian love and the love of non-believers?

Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-47…

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

This verse makes it clear that the only difference is this:  Christians love people (and show it) even when the person being loved doesn’t deserve it.

This is tough.  But following Jesus can be tough.

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (including Judas Iscariot’s), He knew that Judas was going to stab Him in the back.  But He washed His feet anyway.  And then He said…

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:15-16)

How will you show love to somebody that doesn’t deserve it today?