Preparing Yourself for the Second Shift

734352_482449528475699_543133861_nThere are no amount of resources that can prepare us for leading our families well during the evening that compares to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Being a dad and husband is an incredible honor; it is also an incredible amount of work.  I talk with men often about the struggles of withdrawal, laziness, and lack of energy during the evening… when our families need us the most.

I recently wrote an article for The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood concerning how to prepare yourself in practical ways for leading during, what one might call, “the second shift of our days.”  I also call it “the most important part of our day.”

Here is an excerpt:

I once had a leader I respected tell me that he doesn’t listen to music while he drives because he returns phone calls.  At one point in my life, I thought that was a great use of my time, so I began to return missed phone calls as soon as I turned over the ignition.  As I drove down the road, I would solve the world’s problems, catch up with old friends, and make quick decisions so I could continue from phone call to phone call.

I quickly found out that this use of time was not the best idea for me.  As I walked through the doors of my house, I would find myself still in work mode, often times potentially still on the phone.  Throughout my drive, I had done zero preparation mentally and spiritually to walk through doors and take dominion over the most important part of my day.  This was extremely unfair to my family, who was eagerly awaiting my attention as I arrived home.

As a result, I began to use my 20-minute drive home as preparatory time.

No music.  No podcasts.  No sports radio.  No phone calls.  Just me.  Just quiet.  Just time with the LORD.

This began to prove itself invaluable.

It was almost as if I was back in the locker room, with my headphones on, listening to the most get-hyped rap music I could find, as I prepared myself to take the basketball court.

Instead of the basketball court, however, I am now preparing myself for the greatest battlefield of them all—my home.

During this time with God, I am preparing myself to do everything but sit down on the couch and act like this is “my time.”  It’s not my time.  We don’t have “our time” anymore as men.  As dads and husbands, “our time” is when everyone is in bed.  And most of the time, when everyone is in bed, we’re too tired to have “our time” anyways, which leads me to my second point…

You can read the full article here.

Journey Camp || Morning Session Notes

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Tuesday Morning Session
What does it mean to LIVE FOR CHRIST?

What does it mean to LIVE FOR CHRIST?

Do you feel the tension when I bring up things like:

  • Living for Christ… means that Jesus died for you.
  • Living for Christ… means Jesus was nailed to a cross for you.
  • Living for Christ… means that people might persecute you because you believe in Jesus.
  • Living for Christ… means that your parents might not approve of it.
  • Living for Christ… means that people at school might make fun of you and mock you
  • Living for Christ… means you that might be called to take the gospel to places it’s never been before… plant churches… start orphanages… do medical missions… care for widows…
  • Living for Christ… Living for Christ might even mean death.

TEXT:

Phil. 1:19-21 together

  • PAUL SAYS — Yes, and I will rejoice, (19) for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, (20) as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage… now as always… Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by (what?)… by death! (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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SERMON: Work (Part 2) | The King’s Purposes In Our Work

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There was an issue with the recording on Sunday, as you will tell.  Sorry it sounds so terrible.  It won’t happen again.

 

Subscribe to the Foothills Church Podcast.

Visit the FC website.

Maximized Living Radio Show

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to be on 94.3 Knox Talk Radio for the Maximized Living Show.  The main topic of conversation was manhood and redeeming work.

My interview starts at the 1:30 mark.  You can listen to it here:

SERMON: Work (Part 1) | The Idolatry of Work and the Idleness in Work

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Subscribe to the Foothills Church Podcast.

Visit the FC website.

A Few Thoughts on Dating, the Engagement Process, and the Wedding

facebook-fan-engagement1I recently received a question through the website concerning dating and the engagement process.  The question was worded this way:

I am a young dude and I have been dating a girl for 20-months, and I am thinking about proposing to her.  What is the proper way to pursue engagement?  Should I ask the father?  Should she be there?  Can it be a bit romantic?

Let me start by saying thank you so much for being a young dude who is thinking through some of this stuff.  Too often, young guys aren’t even thinking this way.  The pursuit of “adult things” seems to be bottled up into the pursuit of over-eighteeen-vices.  So, I commend you for thinking intentionally… and also biblically… and trying to figure out the best way to pursue your girlfriend.

Here are a few thoughts that I would suggest in bullet point form:

  • First of all, I think 20-months is a pretty long time to date anyone.  If you know you want to marry her, then get to it.  As relationships progress in duration, intimacy begins to spill out, even if the context isn’t appropriate for it just yet.  Therefore, I would encourage short dating relationships of 6-8 months.  That is plenty of time to know if you want to marry someone.  Why is the most important pursuit always the thing that gets pushed to the sidelines until all the other ducks are in line?
  • I do think you should involve the parents in the engagement process.  Sit down with them and ask their permission.  Seek their guidance.  This shows respect for them, and, I think, follows the biblical model for true leaving and cleaving from Genesis 1-2.
  • Go, then, and make the proposal as grand as possible.  There are some occasions that just scream, “Give it all you’ve got.”  I think proposals and weddings are some of them… not high school prom.
  • Finally, make the engagement process short.  I would suggest not having a 1-2 year engagement process, if at all possible.  This potentially, again, will set you up for sexual — and other — failure.  There is a lot of emotion in the engagement process.  Be intentional with your time.  Stay busy.  Pursue Christ above all.  Learn as much as you can.  And serve as much as you can.

 

The Gospel and the Family (Part 2): The Leadership of Dad in the Home

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Last week, I posted some thoughts on the disconnected father here, but I want to continue this conversation within The Gospel and the Family series.

One of the hardest things about being a dad, I think, is to always have yourself un-paused.  What I mean is this:  As a dad, you must always be on; you must always be ready.  After a hard days work, I come home to an incredible wife and two amazingly energetic children.  One of my kids runs through walls, literally, because she has so much energy.  The second child, well, he just cries constantly, because he’s a baby.

I love them both.  I love them uncontrollably.

If you have kids, you understand the tension here.

Having children is simply awesome.  There is nothing like it.  In the midst of chaos in my home, I often think of Jim Gaffigan’s joke, which goes something like this:  Do you know what it’s like to have multiple children?  Imagine you’re treading water in the ocean and someone hands you a baby.

Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.  I feel like there is a ginormous paradox happening daily in the realities of parenting.  To piggy back off Gaffigan, it’s almost like you are on vacation at the most gorgeous beach there is (the awesome part), but you are always sitting on that beach in a storm (the not-so-awesome part).

If anyone disagrees with that, then you’re a liar.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

With that said, dad you have 2 jobs (and so do you mom, but we’ll get to that later).  You have the responsibility to be the best employee at work you can be, and you have the responsibility to be the best husband and dad at home you can be.  It’s tough, I know.  But nothing easy is ever really worth doing, in my opinion.

So, here’s what you should be about, dad:

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