Calm in the Storm

We had a pretty big storm last night and at one point I was awakened by a HUGE thundering outside. I immediately thought of my little boy upstairs so I felt my way through the dark to his room and when I entered I found him not crying, but awake and wide-eyed with fear. As soon as he saw me he lifted his arms asking me to pick him up. I lifted him out of his bed and sat down in the recliner cuddling him. He tightly gripped my shirt and within seconds he was fast asleep even as the storm continued to rage outside the window and rain pelted the side of the house. But it didn’t matter to him anymore. As long as he was in his daddy’s arms, and daddy wasn’t afraid, he no longer had an reason for concern. When the storms of life hit, my Father also thinks of me and comes to me. And if I will simply reach out to Him, He will gently pick me up and hold me close. And with tight grip on Him, I too can rest in peace despite my situation or the things that try to strike …

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Lose Weight Reading the Bible?

This past weekend I was presenting at the GCSSA conference in Arlington Heights, IL, but as often happens when you are serving God, it turns out that’s not the only reason I was there. I was also there to meet a guy named Dave Wager and to be challenged by him. It’s an amazing thing I’ve been learning over the past two years – when I am focused less on DOING for God and more on BEING with Him, I end up seeing and hearing things I would have missed otherwise. Dave is the president of Silver Birch Ranch in White Lake, Wisconsin. You can’t talk to Dave for long before his passion slips out – a passion for men to be intimate with God and to be men who are IN THE WORD daily. Dave was explaining to me that as he travels around to speak to men at conferences, retreats, etc. he often asks the men if they desire an intimate walk with Jesus, and (of course) they all say ‘yes.’ But when asked how many believe they HAVE an intimate relationship with Jesus, few answer that they do. In fact, he told me that when he asks …

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Educated?

When is a child truly EDUCATED? This powerful video asks that very question. Back in 2000 I heard this most thought provoking poem on WMBI and tracked down the author to get permission to make the following video to show our parents at our church. Many of the kids in this video are now out of high school! Every time I show this video at a conference when speaking on children’s ministry and disciple making I am asked for a copy of it. (We now sell it as a download on Kidology.org) Here is the video as read by some of the kids in my previous ministry. (Many thanks to Pastor Jim Crouter who did the editing for me on his PC) Here are the words: YOU MAY PURCHASE A DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF THIS VIDEO FOR ONLY $4 ON KIDOLOGY.org (You will also get a Word document with the words of the poem) It is also included free as part of my Leadership Lab #4 on Partnering with Parents

So Easy A Kid Can’t Do It!

On a recent trip out of town, I was missing my little boy so I did what many parents do, I dropped into a toy store to find a treat to bring home. I saw something rather fun (and affordable) and picked it up to bring home. It was called a Puffimal. The idea is simple, a rubber ball/balloon that is in the shape of an animal. I picked the elephant and looked forward to giving to Luke. The instructions seemed simple enough: Please note: so easy, right? All you have to do is “place mouth over the nozzle end and blow” – in fact, they even show a picture of a little boy inflating his Puffimal. This is blatant fraud and false advertising! Not only could NO CHILD blow up this little toy, but not even a grown man who when he was twelve was told by his doctor that he had the lungs of a thirty year old due to his asthma. In fact, people often marvel that I easily inflate the long thin balloons used for balloon animals without a pump, since most adults can’t inflate them. But this Puffimal I could not do! I about ruptured …

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Yosemite Here I Come!

As mentioned in the video for the First Things First Kidology online training session, my pastor challenged us to consider what “re-creates” us, and to intentionally PLAN it into our lives. Up until that time I wrongly considered recreation to be equal to play and often said my recreation and my occupation were the same: children’s ministry. How wrong I was! While I DO enjoy children’s ministry, it isn’t what re-creates me, it drains and uses me up! So I took the challenge to consider what truly RE-creates me, and for me it is time AWAY from ministry, out in nature with my Bible and camera. (and perhaps an iPod with worship or classical music playing.) As I prayed about what God would have me do to make RE-creation a regular part of my life, a dream began to form that slowly transformed into Yosemite Summit. God has answered my prayers by filling up this retreat with 8 more men seeking the same. So now I’ve been working on planning the hikes and figuring out what to bring (and not bring). I am so looking forward to this time AWAY from life as “normal” to spend with eight other guys …

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