Monday, January 31, 2011

Count it all joy!

A challenging verse for me to deal with is James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Whenever I’m facing trials, obstacles, or challenges… joy is usually the furthest emotion from my mind and heart.  I’ve tried repeating the verse and even breaking it down to just “Count it all joy!”  However, it seems that I only get it long after the moment in hindsight.

I was just browsing through YouTube and came across this incredible story of Counting it all joy!

This couple truly cherished their gift from God and counted every single day a blessing.  I think most would’ve been frustrated with God, but they counted it all joy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Frisco Trail Running

My running sister, Denise, has been running trails and loving it.  I enjoy it as well, but there really aren’t that many trails within driving distance of where I live.

Once in awhile, I tell her that I ran on the Katy Trail in Dallas or the Chisholm Trail in Plano. She gets all excited for me until I have to tell her that, yes it’s a running trail, but it’s concrete.  She definitely thinks they should change the name to something else.

Anyway… I was out running my long run today and was able to get a train run in as well.  I thought I’d share it with her & you…

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Want a New Family - @HopeFrisco

There was a new series kicked off at my church, Hope Fellowship, on Sunday called “I Want a New Family!”  This really turned out to be a very thought provoking, introspective type of series for our family.  Before I get started, it’s not about getting a new family, but committing to making your family new.

Normally our family will discuss the message on the way home from church and a little bit during the week.  This week was a little different since it had to do with our family and making it healthier.  As well, we all filled out a family survey that we could easily discuss from.

I highly recommend that you use this sermon message with your family.  It will be very impactful as it was with my family.

First, watch the message delivered by Pastor John McKinzie.  He does an awesome job of discussing all of the different type of challenges faced by families.  The message culminates into what you can do as a family member to strengthen your family.

"I Want A New Family" Week 1 from Hope Fellowship on Vimeo.

Second or maybe first (if you chose not to watch the video) is to have each family member fill out the ratings for each of the 10 Traits of Healthy Families (listed below).  This is a MUST DO!  Make sure that each family member knows that there is no wrong answer and that they should fill it out without any reservations or repercussions.

Next, one by one, discuss the answers that each person had for their answers to the list of traits.  As a family, we did this at dinner last night.  What was normally a 30 minute family dinner turned into a very healthy discussion for 90 minutes.  There were a lot of eye openers at some of the ratings, but we had very open & honest discussions about what was behind each answer.  Some feelings were hurt, but it was all in the name of becoming a stronger healthier family.  Of course, I got over my hurt feelings… sometimes I heel quickly.

At first, some did not want to share their answers if it was far from the others’ votes. But, after we broke through conversations of the initial traits, discussions happened much easier.

One thing that came out of this exercise was if there was a low number, we wanted to understand the rating so that we could collectively become a stronger family.

Below is the list of the 10 Traits of Healthy Families so that you can share it with your family.  Rate each item on a scale of 1-10.

10 Traits of Healthy Families

Trait #1: Irrational Love - Love for just showing up!

Trait #2: Communicating with truth and Grace - we can talk in this family!

Trait #3: Facing Challenges - how we respond and live when life gets tough.

Trait #4: Vowing to never shame, abuse, control or intimidate anyone.

Trait #5: Sharing Faith - a common spiritual belief system.

Trait #6:Respecting others- gender, race, rules, laws, neighbors

Trait #7:Sense of responsibility - Grow up...

Trait #8: Playing - Unifying recreation that everyone enjoys, making memories!

Trait #9: Seeking Help - Highest functioning families realize how fragile families are and when they need help, they get it!

Trait #10: Giving - Living a compelling story as a family!

Lastly, as stated by Pastor John, no matter your season of family life do three things:

1. Consider (honestly, the state of your family – in every way).

2. Choose (today that you (the only person you have control over) will serve the Lord).

3. Commit (to making our family new).

At the end of our discussion, we all took ownership of things that we could work on to become a healthier family.  I’m sure that we’ll hold each other accountable as we WANT to be a healthier family.

I have no doubt that this exercise will make a huge impact on our family and yours as well!

If you live in or near Frisco, bring your family & come visit Hope Fellowship next week as the message series continues.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dad, I like doing this with you…

2010-08-28 17.28.34Cairo and I serve on the Parking Team at Hope Fellowship in Frisco.  I just thought it’d be a cool way to give back to the church that I’ve been digging.  We serve about twice a month.  It’s probably one of the easiest things we can do to serve – smile, wave and welcome people to church. 

On the way home the other night after serving, Cairo said, “Dad, I like doing this with you”.  I heard it, but didn’t digest it until today.

It’s not always the big things that we do that our kids enjoy the most.  Sure they enjoy going to movies, amusement parks, and other big events, but it’s the true together times that they enjoy and cherish.

Together times could be as simple as a walk, a board game, serving at church together, or anything that brings you both together experiencing the same thing.

Put some Together Time on your planner today!  I’m so glad that I did!