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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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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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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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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3 Ways Our Faith Frames Our Politics

Guest Post—Matt Peacock is today’s guest blogger. Matt is the Executive Director for Partners in Hope Lake Travis. To learn more about Partners in Hope LT, follow the link at the bottom of the post.

Presidential elections create a national discussion like nothing else. Even people who never engage in political discussions will get brought into the public dialogue whether they want to or not.



Christians need to enter the political conversation carefully.

Political conversations are filled with opportunity as well as potential landmines.

It helps to remember a couple of things:

First take seriously that we are God’s representatives on earth. The words and attitudes we express reflect God for the world to hear and see. That should give us a dose of humility and pause before letting words fly. The Bible says to be slow to speak and quick to listen – which allows us to run our attitudes and words through the Holy Spirit filter first.

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It Is Easier To Serve God Without A Call

Do you think God calls us to His work? Do you think He has a specific vision for your life? Do you give that thought any consideration or would you rather He just leave you alone?


If you do want to serve God wouldn’t it be easier to serve Him on your terms?

It is easier to Serve God Without a Call or Vision.

Here is what that would look like:

  • We decide what kind of time and effort we give to God’s work.
  • We choose what we do for God.
  • We use our judgement to guide us to where we should go and how we can be the most useful.

What is wrong with that you ask? Or maybe that just convicted you, because you, like me, recognize that is how we far too often approach our service to God.

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The One Thing that Will Heal Our Land

I don’t often write about current events, yet I feel a bit melancholy by the events that surround me of the past week or so. It’s not just the tragic deaths of black men and police officers around the country over the past week or so. Over the same week the loss of two people who I knew, both passing on the same day, our day of independence in the U.S., July 4th, has me a bit introspective.


One was a dear relative that I grew up calling Aunt although she was my cousin. She was only 11 months younger that my mother. Battling cancer her passing wasn’t entirely unexpected, still all who knew her will miss her love for life and contagious laugh.

The other was a friend that I knew from my church. His death was a surprise to us all. He seemed to be in good health, and he like my cousin had a passion for life.

Brevity of Life

As I sat in each funeral service, one on Friday, the other on Saturday of this past week, my mind pondered the brevity of life, as it does for most of us when we find ourselves at a funeral. It caused me to think about what is important in my life. I wondered if I was making a difference.

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3 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea To Let People Interrupt You

Are you like me? Are you easily distracted from what is most important? Careful that’s a trick question! Do you get focused on your to do list, and the last thing you want is an interruption?


All interruptions are good for is putting you in a bad mood or helping you procrastinate from the real things that need to get done!

No wonder there is such a thing as a monk’s life. Hmm…

Is that how we really want to live life though? I don’t just mean giving up and living as a recluse. We know that we need and want relationships, even if it means interruptions. But do we want to be in a bad mood or never get anything done because of constant interruptions?

Is there a way for interruptions to be a good thing?

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How To Make Your Life Less Complicated

6 Ways We Complicate Life

If you want to know what God’s purpose is for your life, yet you struggle with hearing His voice, join the club. Even if we are disciplined enough to turn off the TV, put down our mobile devices, slow our schedules, and be still for a few moments, life still seems to be a blur.


Do you wake up some days realizing that you have too much to do and have too much stuff cluttering your home? So you apologetically step out of commitments. You make a trip to Goodwill after cleaning out your closet and garage only to repeat the cycle again.

Do any of these things complicate your life?

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8 Months After Surgery to Repair a Ruptured Tendon

I'm Playing Basketball Again!

The surgeons wouldn’t make any promises. One asked me if I enjoyed golf. The one who performed the surgery told me on the day of the surgery that once inside my ankle, he might just stitch me back up if it looked irreparable.


If you don’t know any of this story, I will catch you up to speed. At the beginning of 2015, my foot and ankle bothered me every time I played basketball. I mean it hurt!

I chalked it up to old age. So I rested. But, each time I went back on the court, if I planted my right foot a certain way, sharp pain shot across the top of my foot and ankle. I had the foot x-rayed to see if I had a stress fracture. “Nope”, said the doctor. “You probably have gout.”

I rolled my eyes. I might have gout, but this wasn’t gout!

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