- If you REALLY want to get God’s attention in prayer, it’s not by being eloquent or using big words, but by being honest and shooting straight with Him.
- The power of praying aloud is ELECTRIC!
- Prayer is not about poetry or posture, but about engaging the heart.
- When it comes to the “power of prayer,” the power is not in the person doing the praying, but in the One who hears the prayer.
- God’s not moved by the length of a prayer, but by your humility (Luke 18:9-14).
- Prayers, even short and informal, are VERY significant.
- There is no secret formula, no special phrases and no exact patterns you must follow to get God to hear you, just ask in Jesus’ name.
- Praying with my wife is incredible. It lets me see into the special places of her heart.
- I should never be too busy to pray. Just as much as I love to hear from my children, God loves to hear from me.
- There will are plenty of times when I don’t have service on my cell phone … BUT I will ALWAYS be connected to God through prayer… any time and any place … I have PERFECT reception and service.
Music has always been such a big part of my life. I thought I’d share with you a few things on my iPod, and I’m hoping to find some new ideas when you share a few things that you are listening to. So here are my lists …
5 things you will ALWAYS Find on my iPod …
- Jack Johnson – HUGE fan.
- Coffeehouse type music. Acoustic versions of popular songs and people like Ray Lamontagne, Jason Mraz, Ben Harper, etc (it’s a sure sign I’m getting old)
- ColdPlay – Love them!
- Lots of Rock (Classic & Modern) – Steve Miller Band, Boston, Journey, Creed, ACDC, Van Halen, Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, etc
- Some contemporary stuff – Black Eyed Peas, Dragonette, Enrique Iglesias
5 things you will NEVER find on my iPod…
- Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey – I’m a man, don’t make me explain.
- Stevie Ray Vaughn – I’m just not a big fan of the bluesy rock stuff.
- Country Music – Yes I live in Texas, but sorry, just can’t do the country thing.
- Nickleback – Sounds like the lead singer needs to clear his throat.
- Bluegrass – When the boys were growing up if they would argue in the back of the car, I punish them by turning it to the bluegrass radio station. With in seconds they change their attitude.
5 NEW things on my iPod…
- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
- The Bird and the Bee
- Michael Jackson – This is it!
- Bob Marley
5 things that may SURPRISE you that are on my iPod…
- Chris Tomlin – Why would you be surprised … because I’ve always said that I just don’t like contemporary Christian music. It’s growing on me.
- Prince – I grew up a 80′s child, so Price was a big part of my youth.
- 2Pac – California Love
- Sermons – Yes, I love to podcast other people’s sermons and listen to them.
- Oldies – I’m a HUGE fan of the 60′s and 70′s music, Cat Stevens, Chicago, ELO, Jim Croce and Bread.
5 Things I WANT on my iPod…
- More Nathan Hale – LOVE this kid. Check him out.
- More Coldplay – They’re supposed to have a new album in the next month or two.
- To find a not-live-version of Bob Marley’s, No Woman No Cry.
- Some new Jack Johnson
- Adele’s latest album. Want it … just don’t have it.
This morning as I dropped Cooper off for school, I told him, “Coop, don’t forget that you are by far my most favorite elementary school kid.” From the grin on his face, I could tell I’d said something right.
God has blessed me with four incredible boys. As their father I want to be proactive in raising them. They are one of the biggest ministries in my life right now. I’d rather fail as a minister, a missionary or a businessman, than fail at fatherhood. Fathers play an essential roll in the lives of their children. Want proof? About 5 miles west of Childress is a prison that houses 1200 men. National statistics say, “85% of those sitting in prison today grew up in a fatherless home.” That just SCREAMS the importance and power fathers play in the lives of their children.
I got to thinking this morning if I could make Cooper’s day by simply telling him, “He was my favorite elementary school kid,” then what other things do my children need to be hearing from me. I may be wrong, but I’m guessing here are 7 phrases that children desperately need to hear from both their parents … but especially their fathers ….
- “I’m SO glad you’re my son/daughter.” Let them know you wouldn’t trade anything in this world for them.
- “I love you.“ Dad, let those kids hear it … regularly.
- “I’m proud of you.” Children crave their father’s approval, so let them know they have it. Let them know you’re their biggest fan and you believe in them.
- “I’m sorry.” This is HUGE, dads! We are FAR from being perfect fathers so “I’m sorry” has to be a regular part of our vocabulary. Don’t be too cool, big or prideful to say, “I messed up.” You model for them how to handle a mistake.
- “Want to do something together?” Whether it’s wrestling in the floor, catching a baseball game or jumping on a trampoline … NOTHING builds lasting memories like playing together. Nothing communicates love more than time.
- “God comes first.” We must communicate and model that the #1 relationship in their life is God.
- “Do what is right.” As a dad we must practice what we preach. If we preach integrity, character and doing what is right, we need to model it.
Can you think of other phrases that our children need to hear?
Maybe it’s my personality, maybe it was the way I was raised, BUT I do NOT like constant complainers. I’m okay with someone occasionally needing to get something off their chest, BUT nothing gets under my skin more than a person who constantly gripes and complains about everything. I’m not talking glass half empty people, who tend to not be as positive … I’m talking people who can’t even see their glass.
Here are a few things I don’t like about people who constantly complain…
- People who complain all the time are unhappy people. If you hang out with a complainer it will suck all the life and joy right out of you.
- Complaining takes no talent and no skills. Anyone can be a critic!
- Complainers never see the positive in anything only the negative. Everything is always bad. They say, “Gas prices are always SO high,” and “Food is SO expensive,” but don’t realize how blessed they are to have both. They could live in a perfect world, and still find something to complain about.
- Complainers can always “one-up” you and always have something worse than you. If you tell them that you had a tooth pulled at the dentist, it just so happens they had to have 4 root canals that same day. If your dog gets hit by a car, it just so happens that their dog was mauled on the front lawn by a lion, while all the kids were watching of course.
- It’s un-Christ-like.
- People who complain all the time only tear people down, and never build anyone up (Ephesians 4:2).
- When a complainer has a legitimate complaint you can’t take them serious, because they complain about everything. You don’t know when it’s a serious complaint or just another gripe.
- They are no fun to be around.
- They are always willing to point out the problem, but never willing to be a part of the solution. Do not ask them to help, it’s just their job to point out what is wrong.
- Complainers feel that their “gift” or “talent” from God is complaining and pointing out what’s wrong. I suggest they do what the one talent man did in the Bible and go bury their talent in a hole! (Matthew 25:14-30).
I guess I should stop now … or someone will accuse me of complaining about complainers. If you want to hear more about what God thinks of our complaining, you can check out this …
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” Philippians 2:14-15
Taz is a young man who blew into our community about a year ago. His past is a rough one and he openly confesses … “I’ve probably done more harm to people than good.”
Thankfully, some kind folks I do church with, saw value in Taz and reached out to him not long after he got to town. They were willing to simply be his friend. We have helped him find furniture for his house, a couple of part time jobs, groceries when his refrigerator would get empty and gave him a ride to church when he wanted.
Recently, my buddy Randy, picked Taz up and invited him to go help work on our Augment House (a house we’re restoring in Childress to give away to a needy family). After about an hour of working on the Augment House and processing everything, Taz looks over and says in his slang the following four sentences …
“I’ve done good for nobody in my life. I grew up in gangs and all we did was do bad on folks. I want to be in y’alls gang. Y’all do good for folk and I likes that.”
How cool is that! It was a simple reminder that you and I can still be a positive influence in the lives of others.
Maybe this would be a good time to ask … “Who are you being a positive influence on in your life?”
Want to step out in your faith and do something that will challenge you in every way? Want to go experience an amazing opportunity to serve? Want to go love on some beautiful people? I will be going back to Honduras this December, and I’d like to invite you to come with me. Here’s the [...]Full Story »
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding…”~Proverbs 3:13 Life is about learning. Learning from mistakes, victories and others makes me a wiser and stronger person. I’m always trying to learn things from everyday events. Little lessons hidden among daily events and activities. Some of the things I learn are beneficial [...]Full Story »
There are probably hundreds of dumb things to do in your marriage, but here are 31 that will destroy your marriage… Believe that your marriage will be great without having to invest time or effort into it. NEVER compliment or praise your spouse. Stop pursuing your spouse like you did before marriage. Be critical all [...]Full Story »
“I’m finding it hard to squeeze some quiet time with God into my daily schedule.” Grrr, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say the previous statement, I’d put all that money in a bag and whack them over the head with it. Let me just simply say that if you [...]Full Story »
I still remember it like it was yesterday. The music went from loud to soft, the lights were dimmed and the disco ball in the middle of the room made little colored lights dance on the skating-rink floor. It was then that the DJ said, “Alright it’s couple skate time, and girls, it’s your choice.” [...]Full Story »
My Mom sent the following that I found very funny … but also very realistic when it comes to the way men and women think. Here you go: A husband & wife’s journal from the same day … HER JOURNAL: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at [...]Full Story »
Christians SHOULD be setting the bar high as the most loving, gracious and generous people on this earth. The problem is … we don’t always do a good job looking like the Jesus we claim to follow. Often times we have treated others unkind in the name of religion. We talk out of both sides [...]Full Story »
Every time I see an Old Spice commercial (like this one), an Axe hair-gel commercial or a TAG body-spray commercial, I just shake my head. According to the commercials, if you just use these products, women will be uncontrollably attracted to you sexually. Now men, I’ll be the first to admit, it is important to [...]Full Story »
Thought I might tell you today about two of our ”Strong Marriages” workshop coming up that Lea and I will be doing. Childress, Texas on September 17th from 9:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Main Event in downtown Childress. Henrietta, Texas at the Church of Christ on October 1st. For more information call them [...]Full Story »
Since so many have been doing the Facebook Marriage Challenge, I thought it’d be a good time to talk about some Facebook Rules for Married Couples. Facebook has become hugely popular in the past few years. Lea and I both love being able to catch up with old friends and family on Facebook. But with [...]Full Story »
About a month ago I wrote a post about how important it is that you praise your spouse … everyday. Part of my post included these words, “I mentioned while teaching a marriage class recently, if there was one thing that could make an immediate positive impact on your marriage, it would be praising your [...]Full Story »
Want some very challenging reading today? I’d love to challenge your thinking for just a moment on how wealthy you and I are. I’m not here to make you feel guilty, but you may … because I did. We, as Americans don’t always understand what real poverty is. A new study by the US [...]Full Story »
I’d like you to meet Canon. He and his family went with us to Honduras. Canon just turned 12-years-old and was a “go getter” in Honduras. The picture fits him perfectly … everywhere he went he had his backpack FULL of things to give away to others. He brought stuff from home like baseball caps, [...]Full Story »
This is Cooper (in the middle of picture). He is my 9 year old son who just spent an amazing week working in Honduras. He built houses, fed hungry people, made LOTS of new friends and even went to the dump with me. I think it is a HUGE blessing for my children to get [...]Full Story »
Here’s a little report on our Honduras trip. Sorry I’m a little slow sharing, but we got in at 2:00 Sunday morning, and I’ve been sick ever since. I was trying to think about what all I wanted to tell you, and finally decided that I’d just show you. We did medical clinics, clothing give-aways, [...]Full Story »
The kid below got to eat. Spent some time at the dump today. The smell was bad, the people were dirty, but this little boy got to eat. We ran out of food about the time he walked up, but with enough scraping on the pans, we were able to come up with a bowl [...]Full Story »
I hope this picture comes through … it’s of people who were heart-broken. These people waited all day in line to see one of our doctors … and time has ran out on them. They were turned away. There were just more people than we could see. It hurt to look them in the eyes. [...]Full Story »
We’re building two types of houses this week … wood and block. Today we’ve spent the day mixing concrete for the block house we’re building. The one cinder-block house we’re building will take us a week to finish. We’re also building several wood houses, those only take a few hours each. We worked all day, [...]Full Story »
Twenty-four hours after arriving Honduras everyone has officially made it. We had 2 that started a day late after travel problems, but as always, God worked it out fine. Today we worshiped with the church in Santa Ana. Although two-thirds of the service was in Spanish, we still enjoyed it greatly. After lunch we split [...]Full Story »
Today we leave for Dallas-Fort Worth. We’ll catch a Rangers game tonight and then leave bright and early in the morning for Honduras. We’ve got a group of 50 who are going to spend the week serving others. Our suitcases are packed FULL of items that you’ve sent for us to take. Remember when I [...]Full Story »
God has blessed me with 4 amazing boys. All so much alike, and yet, all so different from one another. I couldn’t have asked for better boys. This picture was taken in Red River, New Mexico, where we’ve been hiding out as a family the last 10 days. I’ve done my best to take full [...]Full Story »
I had a young lady, who was a couple of months away from getting married, ask me, “What’s the one thing I can do that will really make a big difference in my upcoming marriage?” The answer for me was easy … “Give him LOTS of praise and admiration. You cannot heap it on too [...]Full Story »
It was only a matter of time before I posted something on bacon. If you know me, you know that I love bacon. Obviously I’m not the only bacon lover …Full Story »
I’m getting a little time off at the end of this week and my family and I are heading to Red River, New Mexico. We’ll be attending the Red River Family Encampment and then spend a little time vacationing before coming home. Here are a few things I’m looking forward to over the next ten [...]Full Story »
We’re planning on building LOTS of houses while in Honduras next month. It may be everyone’s favorite thing to do. There’s SO much reward in building a house, and at the end of the day praying with the family that is to receive it saying, “God bless you … this is yours.” Sometimes people pay [...]Full Story »
I was asked recently what a hypocrite is. The dictionary describes a hypocrite as someone who “pretends to be more virtuous or religious than he really is.” Or in simpler terms, a hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does the opposite. I’m far from being a perfect person, but I don’t ever want [...]Full Story »
CAUTION: I’m on my soapbox today. If you don’t want to hear me get preachy … click another link and move right on. I probably don’t need to blog when I’m frustrated. I heard it again the other day. The phrase I hear too often, and when I hear it, it makes me a little [...]Full Story »
A group of 47 of us are heading to Honduras in a little over a month. I just thought I’d ask this morning …. would you, your church, your work, social club, etc, be willing to help gather things up for our trip to Honduras? We need some help with some little things to take [...]Full Story »
Married couples, especially those with children at home, need to regularly reconnect by … Going on a date every week. Going on an overnight trip once every 3 months. Going on a long trip (more than one night) once a year. I’ve always preached this … but have struggled with following the third one. Lea [...]Full Story »