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Showing posts from May, 2012

My wife's birthday...and the backstory that makes it special.

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As I was floating in my mother's amniotic fluid in May of 1974, a little baby girl was born in Iowa, 2 months before my own birth into this cruel, yet beautiful world.  Like an astronaut tethered with an oxygen tube to a space station, I was floating with an anti-gravitational bliss tethered with an umbilical chord to my own source of space and meaning, my mother.  I was in Denver.  How could I have known that a little baby girl was being born in Des Moines that would be my wife?  But there she was, entering this world like the early bird getting the worm, a two month jump on me in this mystery called life.

We didn't meet each other for 18 years until our freshman year of college.  But she was well taken care of upon our introduction.  She was the daughter of a dad she adored and still adores to this day.  He protected her heart like he was guarding the Ark of the Covenant.  He prayed for her every morning as he woke early and knelt beside the couch brooding over her soul like…

My Daughter, 13th Birthday, Purity Ring and a Daddy's Heart...

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My Dearest Kami,
It hardly seems possible that you are a teenager!  13 years old!  A teenager...AHHHHHHHHH!  Where did the time go?  How did we get here so quickly?  How did you become such a beautiful young woman along the way? I was thinking about some things today that I wanted to tell you on your 13th birthday “just so you know”.  I can’t believe how many dads don’t actually talk to their daughters about their feelings or their dreams or their pride in their little feminine hearts.  I hope I never turn into that dad.  So in order to prevent that, I thought I’d list some things that I love about you.
- I love how you look at the bright side of things instead of dwelling on what is wrong with the world.  I know that most parents aren’t blessed with a daughter that writes all over stuff, “I love my life!”  This is a treasure.
- I love how you love to snuggle morning, noon, or night.  You fold into my arms and wrap yourself around my body like a blanket.  You have always been this way, so…

The myth of multi-tasking and our desire for meaning...

Simplify

Easier said than done, but probably easier thought than said.

That's where it has to begin, a shift of belief or thought.  We have to believe at the core that simpler doesn't mean lazier.  I think we all get the sense that when we don't "multi-task" we're uneducated clods who can't chew gum and walk at the same time.  We want to be known as a "high capacity" humans who can accomplish great feats of strength while battling strep throat and kidney stones.  Undeterred, undaunted.

But this multi-tasking thing has really gone too far.  So what if you can do three things at once?  Big deal. So what?  The real question is how well are you doing each of the things you're juggling and how long can you do it before dilution leads to internal bankruptcy.  Just taking a cursory consensus on this kind of life, I'm seeing hearty starts and farty finishes.  I see people trying to impress everyone with their capacity to handle above-average loa…

Paradoxology - "The glory of God seen in absurdity."

paradoxology - "The glory of God seen in absurdity."

Don't you see this in your life?  God showing up in the craziest of places using the craziest of things and the craziest of people to accomplish the craziest of purposes.  As Phillip Yancey said, "Sometimes what you press into by faith only make sense when experiences it in reverse."

Reverse engineering.

Retrospect.  That's another word for it.  Or "hindsight is 20/20".  Right.  We come up with these little words to try to explain paradoxology.  That things often only make sense when we look back and see "the root out of dry ground" that we didn't see in the moment.

I think the Lord has been trying to show me how to trust him in the middle of paradox.  That in the same moment I can fully trust him and be filled with fear.  That I can really love my life and be nursing a low-grade fever of frustration.  That I can really revel in my job and at the same time want to pull my hair out…

Simpler. Deeper. Richer. Fuller. - Theme for Impact this coming year.

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Simpler. Deeper. Richer. Fuller.

This is our theme as a church heading into this next fiscal year (June 2012-2013).  For me, it couldn't be more timely.

I penned a vision for the year back in March and have changed it no less than 6 times.  It has gone from the extremes of gang rushing the gates of hell with water pistols to sitting alone in the woods and meditating as a congregation for a year straight with no talking or human interaction.  Some days I would want to take 4 more mountains and other days I would feel drawn to downsize my life so that my belongings could fit in a box and my family in a camper.  Some verses that I've encountered to drive my vision have unabashedly asked me to pour out my life as a drink offering and offer my head with John the Baptist for the greater good of the kingdom.  Other verses have caused me to question whether my leadership in church is nothing more than superficial activity.  If the early church made church about circumcision, I fear we…

My favorite things about being a pastor at Impact

My favorite things about being a pastor at Impact Church:
- Being the first one to hear a hidden story that someone has kept secret right up to the moment they muster up the courage to tell you. - Being in a Life Group on our first night of this last series and having a person introduce himself to the group by admitting he's been sober for 6 days and just got out of a detox facility the week before. - Being able to preach wearing shorts and flip flops. - Seeing people who don't know much about God getting plugged into serving instead of waiting until they "know enough" or are "good enough". - Seeing old people act young and young people act old. - Seeing all generations unite together to ascertain what couldn't be achieved by one generation exclusively. - Watching lay leaders become pastors of each other in the flock instead of relying on the "professional pastor". - Worshipping with a band each week that "Jams for the Lamb" with hum…

Questions for a little child's heart from a Parent...

It was a simple moment, really.

I was sitting on the floor, Aly was sitting on the couch.  We were lounging just before bed.  Heidi was upstairs taking Tay to the woodshed for a misdemeanor of some sort.  Kami was gone on a Middle School retreat, so Aly and I were just sitting silent in the living room together.

The knee-jerk reaction is the turn on the television to break the awkward silence, if only to have some white noise in the background to distract you from the fact that you're alone in the same room together.  It's funny how much we hate simplicity and silence almost allergically reacting to its presence.  But I try to lean into these moments not letting them force my hand.

I leaned back against the couch and asked Aly a simple question that led to thread of questions:

1. What is your favorite smell?  At first she sat there stunned both by the nature of the question and a wonderment as to the out-of-nowhere reason behind it.  But I tilted my head and asked her again. …

Explaining Horse Castration to my Daughters...

Yesterday was a special day.

I mentioned last week that my iPhone autocorrected the word "daughter" into "laughter" and I felt that God was trying to tug me toward a translation that I deeply needed to make in my parenting.

It's amazing how serious life can make you as the soberness of life's needs press in like a pack of wolves.  Joy is devoured and the ability to relax into a moment with your children can be forced at best.  You're trying to sit with them and do their homework, or kick the ball in the front yard, or let them sit with you on the lawnmower, or push them on the tire swing, or concentrate on them exclusively as they share their day's school stories...but something just keeps nagging you and pestering you away from that beautiful moment hanging there like a drop of mercury.  Something just keeps reminding you that more pressing things need your attention or more important matters are waiting for your intervention.  Of course, it's …