Factors in Passing the Baton

/Factors in Passing the Baton

Nine Elements of an Effective Donut Date

I guess I am becoming somewhat of an expert on the donut date. I regularly took my children out on donut dates, have written two journals for donut dates, and (at conferences) people love telling me their donut date stories.

I truly believe that a donut date might give some of the best return on the investment of time of anything we do as parents. Other regular activities that produce significant results would include regular church attendance at a healthy church, regular meals together, and regular conversations about Jesus. But for the amount of money and time (five dollars and one hour a week) a donut date gives a high ROI.

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to suggest nine elements of an effective donut […]

Power of the Heart|

Family Love Makes The Triune God Visible

If we emphasize the unity of God, we picture in our mind, a lonely, mysterious God who, we think, may have created man and woman because he was lonely. Much as a widower might purchase a dog to overcome loneliness, God made man and woman to have a relationship with.

The truth could not be further from this thought. Our God who is one in essence, is nevertheless three in persons. Before time began, God dwelt in perfect community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Tim Keller states it this way: “So we believe that the world was made not by a God who is an individual nor by an emanation of an impersonal force. But by a God who is a community of persons who have loved […]

The Great Commission Starts at Home

Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission. “Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” (Matthew 28:19-20). This command is so crucial that it is repeated in various forms in the other gospels and at the beginning of the book of Acts.  The Great Commission is not just for the “spiritual” people but is to infiltrate the priorities of all Christians.

As my expression of fulfilling the Great Commission, I felt called to leave the area I had grown up (Alabama) and stay in New England to help plant a church to reach this area with the gospel. With only 1-3% of the population in […]

How Jack Harbaugh Discipled His Two Super Bowl Sons

Very interesting article for anyone who wants to disciple their children to pursue football Jesus. The writer, who I think is a Christian, makes these observations.

What I came looking for was a how-to and what I left with was the feeling that we have overcomplicated things in our pursuit of perfect parenting. How two brothers end up coaching each other in the pinnacle of their profession is actually quite simple. Jack did something that he loved passionately, and he included his children daily in pursuit of that passion.

“I’d like to say that I think that they took from Jack by watching how he conducted himself, they learned to be who they are in coaching.” …

It is not their dream. What Jack knew for sure, after […]

Power of Example|

Wisdom and Justice VS Lack of Wisdom and Injustice

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this …for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart…1 Kings 3:10-12
As a parent, I will be called upon to make a myriad of decisions. Should my child take certain classes? Should he or she do this afterschool activity or the other one? When do I push them toward an activity that they don’t want to do, but I think will be good for them? In the midst of difficult situations, when do I make them persevere and when do I allow them to quit? Do […]

Monsters in the Closet and the BLAST Prayer

Scripture says not to give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27).

Jesus specifically says about himself, that the devil had no place or hold on him (John 14:30).

When we have a sin habit, we give ground to the devil in our lives. There is a breach in our lives and Satan has a place in our lives that he can harass and tempt us more than he should. Think of it as an intruder that we allow to live in a closet in our house. The intruder has no right to be there. But we have allowed him in. From the base of the closet, he has greater access to harass us. Eventually, if we don’t oppose him, he will not be content with the […]

Power of Prayer|

Connecting with Your Introverted Teen

At a recent conference I was urging fathers to press in and communicate with their children. One father asked, “How do I communicate with my 16 year old who is very introverted and doesn’t seem willing to talk?”

Here are a few of the things to consider.

1. Start by considering the environment. I would ask if this is a personality issue or has the lack of communication come about because of something that has happened. Is there an open communication dynamic in our home? Have I sinfully allowed him to turn in on himself because I was too busy or afraid to press in?

2. Prepare him for increased conversation. I would say something like, “Hey Alex, I have noticed that we struggle communicating. But we really […]

Power of the Heart|

Thoughts on Meditation from Spurgeon and the Puritans

From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

“I will meditate in thy precepts.” — Psalms 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, […]

My Family, My Growth: Five Characteristics of Godly Repentance


Children are God-given sanctification tools in our lives.

God gives us little children that we might nurture, train, and instruct them (Ephesians 6:4). But in that process of shepherding their souls, God also intends that we should grow. In fact, our children are one of God’s primary sanctification tools in our lives.

They will stress us and demand upon us beyond what we think we can handle. They will shine a floodlight on idols of our heart. But the reason God shines that floodlight is not to condemn us but so that we might mature and grow.

The first step in that spiritual growth involves repentance. Five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door at Wittenberg, he began with this, “When our […]

Helping our Children Handle Suffering

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

As a parent, I want the best for my child. But in wanting that best, I can become confused, using only human wisdom. I hate to see my child suffer in any way. And yet, following Jesus involves suffering. So, if I am going to call my children to follow Christ, then I am going to call them to suffer.

Perhaps the corrective on suffering needs to start in my own mind. Francis Schaeffer argued over 30 years ago that the majority of adult Christians are worshipping the idols of personal peace and affluence. We, the parents, want a Christianity that brings us a sense of tranquility and […]