How to Disciple in A Way That Your Child Will Love

Many mornings Danielle sits at the table with our son to eat breakfast while I stand at the counter. One morning we ate each in our places. Our son had a waffle and asked Danielle for some honey on it.

If I remember correctly, the little guy demanded for the honey on his waffle. I am sure Danielle responded with, “Hey buddy, are you telling or asking? Try that again using some good words.”

After he rephrased his request asking in a proper way, Danielle happily poured sweet honey over his waffle.

3 Things I Love about the Church

Lately it’s easy to find someone bashing the church bemoaning everything that they find wrong with it. However there are many things to love about the church.


I think the disconnect lies with how we define church.

If you are referring to the multi-million dollar campuses that dot our landscape, the endless hours spent by professionals running the “machine”, or the entertainment approach so “they will stay at our church”, then you are right. I am not in love with that church.

What I Learned from Dr. Karyn Purvis about Caring for At-Risk Children

Dr. Karyn Purvis spoke at the A Future and A Hope conference last week. AFAH is an adoption and foster care annual conference in Austin, Texas that focuses on different adoption processes, foster care, and raising foster or adopted children.

Photo by Matt Kouri

Courtesy of Matt Kouri

Dr. Purvis already commands attention because of her passion, experience and research. Her love for children from a “hard place” manifested powerfully as her friend and co-author, David Cross, helped her onto stage.

Dr. Purvis honored her commitment to speak at this conference even though she received a chemo treatment just a couple of days before. Yes, she is battling a recurrence of cancer.

Even though a chair sat on stage for her to sit in as she spoke, the conviction she carries would not allow her to sit.

6 Questions for a Missionary

I am excited to introduce you to many missionary friends from around the world. Some live right here in the U.S. with an international focus, others are in countries that are receptive to their work, and still others are in locations hostile to the gospel. I plan to share with you a recorded video interview with a missionary each month.

Danielle with Nella, director of Tamar Cener

Danielle with Nella, director of Tamar Cener

In my work as a volunteer on the foreign mission field and as an advocate and support person here at home, I have noticed one common theme.

The Western church tends to forget over time about its missionaries it has sent around the world.

Maybe that is too harsh. It’s really human nature. When someone isn’t a part of our daily lives, we don’t think about them as often. But we can’t use that as an excuse for not supporting, staying in touch, and most of all fervently praying for our brothers and sisters serving around the world.

How to Serve the Poor without Causing More Harm than Good

I serve on the board of a local non-profit, Partners in Hope Lake Travis, that serves families who need hope. I use that term intentionally.


Courtesy of Partners in Hope

Courtesy of Partners in Hope

Usually when someone observes the lifestyle of one of these families, they see that they need to clean up their yard, fix their roof, build a wheelchair ramp or repair a fence. While all this may be true, and Partners in Hope serves the families in these ways, it’s not the main thing the families need.

Sacred Space—An Interview with Author Dr. John D. Duncan (Video)

John Duncan and I attended Howard Payne University together in the early 80s, and we recently reconnected. I have enjoyed getting reacquainted  with John over the past year. I am reminded and impressed by John’s discipline, wide range of interests, and his pastor’s heart.



John has pastored churches in Texas for over 30 years, obtained a doctorate from Cambridge, and occasionally teaches. He successfully combines his knowledge, personal experiences and interests in his writing.

John gave me a copy of his book Sacred Space: The Art of Sacred Silence, Sacred Speech, and The Sacred Ear in the Echo of the Still Small Voice of God last November.

The timing was perfect for our family. My wife and I often talk about a need to slow our lives down and create, as John calls it, sacred space.

After reading the book, we both have been able to apply some of the principles John shares.

I asked John for this video interview. I appreciate that he agreed even though this is my first attempt at recording a Skype interview. So, I hope you will overlook the amateur quality and enjoy my conversation with John!

Three Priorities I Have for the Next Place We Live

Danielle and I have discussed moving off and on for the past few years. After Danielle’s trip to Thailand last summer, we decided that we were staying in the states at least for a few years. That decision ramped up the “should we move” discussion.

Photo Credit: JMS2 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: JMS2 via Compfight cc

Understand, we like where we live now. We have owned this house for over 15 years. It is comfortable for our family of three. We don’t “need” anything more.

However, you might wonder how buying a new home fits in with my minimalist lifestyle philosophy like I talk about in the post—The Minimalist Guide to a Missional Lifestyle.

I think you will understand after I explain some of my priorities. I call them priorities, but I guess I could call these motivations.

Perfect Parenting vs. Intentional Parenting

No one would claim they are or even come close to being a perfect parent. However, many seem to strive for that, especially with their first child. We consume book after book about how to parent, buy every gadget that the kid “needs”, and make sure that we document little Johnny’s every move and milestone.

Photo Credit: @DeLarrenSr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: @DeLarrenSr via Compfight cc

I wonder what motivates us as parents. Do we feel a need to meet our parent’s expectations? Maybe it’s keeping up with the perceived standards set by our peers.

Want Some Valentines Box Ideas for Boys? (from Foster2Forever)

Honestly, I am not crazy about Valentines Day or any other day of celebration that I think is a marketer’s brainstorm. But I see the value of expressing affection for the loved ones in your life!

I follow—Fostering Family, Faith & a Full Life. She is a fellow foster parent. She has a lot of great content on her site about foster care, adoption, parenting and family life.

I enjoyed this blog about her compilation of Valentine box ideas for boys. Even if you have girls, I am sure you will get some great ideas!

Follow this Link to See Some Fabulous Valentines Box Ideas for Boys



American Sniper “I Am Just Going to the Mall”

My friend Keith and I went to see American Sniper a couple of weeks ago. I know it is a controversial film. Difficult to watch. I heard myself moan, “oh no!” a few times.


If you are wondering…yes, overall, I liked the movie. But, I like movies that challenge me, especially my worldview. This movie does that.

I have read a few things online about the movie. Some say it’s not reality. Doesn’t portray the Iraqi people or Muslim faith in a fair light. Never talks about the shortcomings of the American soldiers and government. Debate over if it is a pro-war or anti-war movie.

I understand these viewpoints or questions, but my mind gravitated to a another theme.