One Flesh: Committing For Life

Seven years ago, my wife and I were struggling. Things were dark and getting darker. The dance we had created during the first ten years of our relationship was no longer working.

            Things were magnified by the fact that we had just begun our life as missionaries in Australia. Ministry was thriving. Everyone was counting on us. That was part of the problem.

            That's when my wife hit me with one of the hardest, yet most life giving statements I have ever heard. It is in large part what saved our marriage. Karie said this, “You are my soul mate. You are the man I have committed my life to, I’m just not sure I can live with you.” And with that, Karie began to pack her and Lily our two-year-old for home.

Parental Discipleship

Most parents have no clue how to disciple their kids. I’m not saying it is their fault; they are as much victims of the crisis of discipleship in the church today as their children.

Here is a good way to figure out if you are measuring up in discipling your son or daughter. Imagine that your child is not your own. Rather, Jesus has introduced them to you with a commission of discipleship. Until he or she turns 18, you will be given 3-5 hours per week to show them the way of the Savior. The sky is the limit, but you only get these 3-5 hours to create a sustainable faith in this kid—to make sure he or she knows Christ in the depths of their soul.

What would you do? How would you do it? Would it be different then what you are doing now?

When we think of a discipler we often conjure up a much different picture than that of a parent. Parents can easily turn to provision and protection and miss the parallel call of discipleship. You can be a fantastic parent and fail as a discipler; non-believers do this all of the time.

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I'm not the one-year girl

There is a new fad in the world of publishing.  I call it the "One Year Phenomena." For one year you can try... just about anything: Live the Bible literally or femininely, work in a women's prison, live locally, try out homelessness, or live according to Oprah... and you'll get a book deal. 

I'm only going to say this once (and then explain it a bit - in this blog and next weeks): I am not a one year kinda girl.

It boggles my mind really when I see these seasonal lifestyle changes marketed before my eyes proclaiming a way of life... for a year. Come again?

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Raising Kingdom Bringing Kids

Here's a podcast of a talk I recently gave at the Children Pastors Conference.


Give Your Kids the Keys

“Oh no, oh no!” were the words I heard, along with a scream, as I woke up out of a dead sleep. I opened my eyes to find us heading toward a massive semi-trailer truck at 65 mph. It was the last day of our yearly snowboard pilgrimage to Mammoth Mountain, in California. My wife, Karie, was driving, and we were headed home. We were on HWY 395, about 20 minutes outside of Bishop, and just a few miles from the spot where you can often see herds of elk.

Startled by my wife’s scream, I awoke as my heart raced from a virtual 0 to 60. In front of us loomed a Mack truck. There was nothing I could do. In that moment, Karie had to make a decision that our family’s lives depended on. She had two options. She could slam on the brakes and hope to weave back in behind the truck that was to our right, praying that he would not also brake; or she could hit the gas...

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A Distinctly Christian Marriage

It’s almost June, the month where Bridal magazines fly off the shelf and thousands will show up on our shores, a few friends in tow to have their long dreamed of wedding on the beach in.

I could make a lot of money just by performing wedding ceremonies for these people. After all, I live near the major tourist destination on Kauai and the inherent romantic beauty of the place begs to be enfolded into vows.

In fact, in the twenty years I have been performing weddings (that, I ask no fee for I might add) I have only done two inside of a church building, all the rest were on the beach or in some lush outside location.

To get into the economic gush all I would need to do is to make sure that I was on the list of the hotels and wedding planners, set a “price of paradise” going rate and ba-boom! my kid’s college tuitions would be paid for.

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Making A Mess in Colorado

A lot of paper was ripped in the past four days. And with every tear, I pray that something in the world was stitched up.

I flew to Denver last Thursday.  It was the fourth trip I've been on in a month.  This spring has encompassed another country, another county, another state, and all different kinds of amazing events and people at every stop.

The three events scheduled for this past visit flew by, but not without moments to pause, to meditate, to share, to laugh, to rip, to cry, and to heal. I met over 30 women this past week (and even more up north in Modesto) who are longing to find depth, connection, and growth in their communities and with themselves.

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Starting Blocks

One of the worst memories I can still feel in the core of my being is getting in the starting blocks at the beginning of a sprint.  In high school I was a 100m hurdler.  If you know me, then you’re probably thinking, “Huh… that’s funny, she’s pretty short.”  Short but determined.  (That could be a motto for my life).

I loved jumping over obstacles – running in straight line seemed too easy.  Put 10 large objects in my way, and –bam- I had a challenge worth my time. I even held the school record for a few years.

Theme songs from movies and the Frosted Flakes commercial would play through my head as my competitors and I would warm-up, stretch, and entertain our mock starts.  There was always a feeling of anxiety… always.

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Remembrance of Me

If Easter really happened, I may rest,                                                                                                                allowed to loose my hands from the outcomes of this day,                                                                            flying freely from an identity beyond my own.                                                                                                   Hope of Glory now resides within,                                                                                                                     the wings of Christ, from which I can do nothing without.

Simon


I wonder what it felt like?
I wonder what he felt like?

And why him?  Weren't other people on the road?

How did they choose him?  Did they yell at him, or beat him - did he fight back?  How much force did agreement take?  How did Jesus respond?

What did agreeing feel like?  Did he know the cause at hand?  Or the effect of his decision?  Did he even know who Jesus was?

What does it mean that Sovereignty allows crosses?
Allows us to carry crosses?
Chooses us to carry crosses?
And sometimes forces us to?

 
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. Matthew 27:32
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