The Most Effective Way to Disciple

Anyone who knows me knows I am all about radically responding to the needs of those around me. Helping build a home a long the border in South Texas; repairing a home of a working poor family in the midst of affluent neighbors in Lake Travis; meeting the need of  a homeless person; defending the orphan, even adopting a child; supporting and serving alongside those on the foreign mission field—these are all ways I have responded.

Helping build a church in Louisiana

Helping build a church in Louisiana

However I can fool myself into believing that I have discipled others through these actions. They are a good first step, but they don’t necessarily disciple anyone. The challenge with this list is that for most of the activities my time spent with people is/was brief, a few days at a time at best.

Now I am not saying I will stop doing these things, but when we think that these brief interactions focused on meeting a need accomplishes the mission, we miss the mark.

7 Financial Decisions that Will Help You Live Missionally

I know, it’s hard enough to take care of your own needs much less put any thought into what other people need. And yes we are entering that time of year where you get hit up by everyone from everywhere—school age kids selling chocolate bars you really love but don’t want lying around your home; mailers from some charity you gave to five years ago; phone call solicitors asking you to support a local organization; and now social media!

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Some of us respond out of guilt or end up feeling a little resentful. How can anyone pursue the American Dream and give to every opportunity that presents itself?

I suggest you can’t nor should you.

Year Two Adoption Update

Time flies as they say. I wonder if time goes by more quickly when life is more intense. Yeah, I think it does. This week we celebrated the second anniversary of our son’s “Gotcha Day”!

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Raising a preschool age child describes intensity for anyone. Constant motion. Endless questions. Creative manipulation.

The second year of our son as a part of our forever family brought all of that and more. Throw in a couple of months of persistent night terrors, more attachment issues and several neighbor friends moving and now we have intensity.

Please Take My 2014 Reader Survey

I want to make my blog better and more relevant to your needs and interests. To do that, I need to know more about YOU. As a result I have created my 2014 Reader Survey.

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Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me make my content even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out. The survey results are completely anonymous. I can’t tell who said what. And it will only take five minutes of your time.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

5 Ways to Seek God’s Refuge

I once heard God’s attributes described as the many facets of a finely cut gemstone. One can spend an infinite amount of time gazing at the beauty of each facet. All of the facets combined create a beautiful, unique, mesmerizing gemstone.

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God as my Refuge is one of His many facets or characteristics that brings me much comfort. A Strong Tower and a Hiding Place are a couple of ways I think of God as my Refuge. I find a lot of different scripture verses when I search on the word refuge. Many describe God as a mother bird covering her chicks with her expansive wings. Or as God protecting us like a mighty fortress providing a safe place for us to rest from the things that attack us or come our way.

How to Repair Your Relationship with Your Child When You Blow It

During the first 25 years of my life I can count how many times I lost my temper, really got angry, on one hand—then I got married. Hold on now, it’s not all my wife’s fault. In fact it’s my problem not hers. Before marriage I either ignored my emotions or withdrew from the irritant so that I wouldn’t lose my cool. Not so easy when this other person we marry invades our space resisting conforming to our demands.

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Over 20 plus years of marriage I have given the Holy Spirit plenty of material to work with to teach me how to repair my relationship with Danielle quickly. Even though I still hurt Danielle by getting angry, making stupid decisions and committing hurtful actions, we are better at repairing our relationship.

What the Chick-fil-A Owners Can Teach Us About Conviction

This week Chick-fil-A founder, S. Truett Cathy, passed away. For me Chick-fil-A represents a welcomed option to take my almost four-year-old son for a more than decent meal that both he and I will enjoy. And in most of their restaurants, he can expend some of his unlimited energy in their playground. For this I am also grateful.

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But for many others, Chick-fil-A represents hatred and intolerance. You will remember the national coverage that Chick-fil-A received a couple of years ago after some comments CEO Dan Cathy made about their stance on marriage. The Cathy family hold deeply to the conviction that the biblical intent for marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

12 Things to Do to Make Sure They Never Meet Jesus

We say we want others to know Jesus. We spend hours at church crafting the “perfect” mission statement that will surely hook the non-believer. Yes, I do think that most Christians want others to meet Jesus, but our actions show that it’s not that important to us.

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Sometimes absurdity wakes us up, so I put together some ideas to help. Maybe you can add one or two in the comments.

Why Do I Have So Many Shoes?

Compared to some of my peers I don’t have that many pairs of shoes. But, I have three pair of dress shoes, a pair of boots, work boots, golf shoes, basketball shoes, three pairs of sandals, running shoes, water shoes, shoes to wear when I cut the grass…And, I spend a lot of money on most of my shoes. I want to “take care of my feet”.

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I don’t put much thought into the fact that I have several pairs of shoes. I know some of my friends, guy friends, have a lot more shoes than I do. It’s common for them to have 2-3 different colors of the same shoe to go with different outfits. Sigh.

I can easily mock them for having so many shoes, and how they can be a little snobbish about the fact that I tend to wear the same shoe or boot over and over with all my different “outfits”. But compared to much of the world who have no shoes at all, I am much more like my friends who have a closet full of shoes.