Your Words Will Build Up or They Will Tear Down [Podcast Episode 001]

(Expounded Thoughts from 7 Things Your Foster or Adopted Child Needs to Hear from You)

Today’s podcast expounds on a previously posted blog—7 Things Your Foster or Adopted Child Needs to Hear from You. Since this was a popular blog post, I take some time to dig a little deeper into the 7 things that your child needs to hear from you. In fact, you can apply these to any relationship you have.




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Thank you!


How Embracing the Presence of God Will Make Life Better

15 Promises Manifested by God's Presence

God’s presence honestly perplexes me. I both want His presence and am afraid of it at the same time.


How God handles His presence reflects His complex nature. On one hand He presides in a Holy and lofty place. On the other hand He resides with the lowly and contrite in spirit.

Our mishandling of God’s presence can incinerate us yet we also can’t escape His presence. Wherever I flee, He is there.

God is set apart from us yet He resides within us if we allow Him.

A big word that describes God’s presence is Omnipresent meaning that God is always present without any exception. As I said, we can’t escape His presence. For some this creates intense discomfort. But for those who embrace His omnipresence it brings many promises.

These are 15 promises that manifest with God’s presence.

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Are You Afraid of Your Child’s Big Emotions?

The first few years of our marriage I didn’t attune well to my wife’s emotions—especially when she got excited about something. As an expressive person, she jumped, laughed, ran around, and screamed with excitement—all while I stood with a simple smile on my face and would say, “That’s great honey.”


That response, or lack thereof, always threw a wet blanket on her excitement. I definitely wasn’t attuned to her emotions.

Then we got a little guy who also has big emotions. Some of this is his personality no doubt. But most kids from a hard place come to us with big emotions. They are trying to make sense of everything that has happened to them.

Even though I learned a lot about meeting someone in the midst of their emotion from my wife, I still struggle with big emotions—mine or any other person’s. It shows as I interact with my son. My default response is either frustration or shutting down. Unfortunately that communicates to my son that his feelings lack value and maybe even are wrong to have. Both cause shame.

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Here it Is! The Launch of My New Podcast!

His Hands His Feet Introduction Episode


I am excited to share with you the launch of my new podcast—His Hands His Feet. This has been in the works for several months and now here it is!

Here are the show notes:

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5 Ways A Life Is Defined by Generosity

What exactly does generosity mean? A readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected is one definition I like.


Some people live such a life of generosity that other people notice it. Even if a person is anonymous with their generosity, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing kind of generosity, people can still tell that that person is generous.

But what kind of  lifestyle defines a generous person?

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Sometimes It’s the Parent Who Needs to Regulate

Isn’t it a shock when you see yourself on video? Often we say, “I didn’t know I looked or sounded like that.” We aren’t aware of our tone, our posture, our facial expressions, or even how we communicate our emotions.


Part of self-awareness is recognizing that what we think or feel on the inside doesn’t always translate accurately through our voice, emotions, and actions. Or do they?

Remember Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? I can hear him now singing his simple greeting song:

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor. Could you be mine? Would you be mine?”

Hearing that song in my head calms me. He was always calm. Always smiling. Always pleasant.

How I wish I was more like that.

I remember when my son was about four years old, and I noticed him exploring my face when we talked or played, even when I corrected him. He still does this a lot. I think he is gauging to see how safe I am.

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Year Four Adoption Update

Hard to believe that it has been four years since we stood before the judge and adopted our son. The actual “Gotcha Day ” was September 21, 2012.


Working hard at the new house.

Our son isn’t old enough yet to fully understand what his gotcha day means, but this year I got to eat lunch with him at school. He is in kindergarten now, and it was Dads for lunch day at his school. I thought it was a great way to spend some time with him on this special day.

This past year was a year of transitions. Last September I had major surgery on my right ankle; we moved to a new home in January; our son graduated from a preschool that he had attended for three years; Danielle had surgery in May; and finally our son began kindergarten at a new school where he didn’t know anyone.

Whew. As you can imagine all of those events made life just a little interesting around our house.

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What I Have Learned So Far from Writing and Publishing My New Book

You probably know by now that I am close to publishing my next book—Foster and Adoptive Parenting: Authentic Stories that Will Inspire and Encourage Parenting with Connection. The ebook version is launching October 23, 2016 with the print version coming out Spring of 2017.


If you have thought about writing and publishing a book, I bet the how-to overwhelms you. It has overwhelmed me.

I share here a few pointers that I learned this go around both that helped my writing and publishing. I am just beginning the launch and promotion phase, so I will post a blog about what I learn from that soon.

What I learned about writing:

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Is There Something In Your Life That You Need to Get Rid of?

Sometimes You Have to Dig It Out by the Roots

We had the same plant growing in every flower bed in our yard. The previous owners of our home apparently liked this plant. Even though it’s a pretty plant with either pink or purple petunia-like flowers that bloom each day, it’s incredibly invasive. It grows thick and tall, choking out or dwarfing the other plants in the bed.


So Danielle and I decided to remove most of the plants. I took a sharpshooter shovel and started digging in a flower bed in the front of the house. I quickly learned that the plant’s roots were tubular traveling underground with many plants growing from each cluster of roots.

We moved to the backyard flower beds, and we decided for the easier, quicker method—cut the plants off at ground level. We just wanted the flower beds to look better.

Both methods worked and the flower beds looked neat and uncluttered. For a few weeks anyway. Then it began to rain. And rain. One day I looked into the backyard and guess what I saw. The plants were growing again like crazy. I think they were growing back even thicker.

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Have We Changed What It Means to Be a Disciple?

3 Ways We Have Lowered the Bar for Discipleship

When I say “We” I refer to the church. I count myself in that clan. I grew up going to church every Sunday. Our family attended church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any other time something was going on at the church.


That wasn’t a negative thing for me. It was my extended family. We did a lot of life together with other families. Many Godly men and women influenced my life in positive ways.

Looking back I recognize something that has become engrained in today’s church culture. It’s the idea that once a person “prays a prayer” of salvation, the job is complete. Now just keep hanging around the church, and you will be okay.

I prayed a “prayer of salvation” at the age of seven. I have a Bible with the date written in my seven-year-old handwriting in the front cover. I found the Bible on my bookshelf. Take a look!

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