Power of the Heart


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|

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|

Asking Life Questions Around the Holidays

The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Proverbs 20:5.

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with our family.  One of the ways we can encourage our children to grow wise is to ask questions when they are in the presence of older and wiser people. Just a few questions can draw wisdom from a humble, self-effacing saint. Our American culture values the young and disparages the old. The church is not immune to this blindspot.

But what questions to ask? I recently stumbled upon a pdf that has a number of good questions to ask. I highly recommend you take a look at this pdf. Pick out one or two questions and use it around the holidays […]

Connecting to Your Child’s Heart

Connecting to your child’s heart just may be one of the most important goals for a parent. And yet how many parents would even think of this as goal? It is so easy to slip into behavior management.

Today, I am releasing a 35 page e-book, The Power of the Heart. In it, you will learn about the priority of heart connection, the communication secrets that parents forget, and how to teach your child to forgive.

You can download it for free for the next week. Go to this page.

Could I ask a favor? As a “payment” for this free ebook, would you help me out?

These four chapters will be part of a book I will be publishing soon. I need your feedback. What typos did you […]

Power of the Heart|

The Most Important Communication Skill: Listening

“If you are waiting for your turn to talk, you are not listening.”

The Wall Street Journal has five suggestions for growing in listening. When we listen well, we imitate our Father who listens to us. More information tomorrow on a new product to help you grow in communication with your teen. – Chap 

Listening has become an underrated skill, but excelling at it can improve your relationships and your career. A recent Wall Street Journal story offered some advice on how to improve as a listener. Some of the most useful tips:

1. Put away your cell phone.

2. Drop any assumption that you already know what the other person will say.

3. Ask clarifying questions to sharpen the focus of the conversation.

4. Use pauses to reflect or draw out more […]

Power of the Heart|

Around the Web – Listening as Ministry, Bible Reading, Cutting

Listening as Ministry – Lessons in Good Listening
1. Good listening requires patience.
2. Good listening is an act of love.
3. Good listening asks perceptive questions.
4. Good listening is ministry.
5. Good listening prepares us to speak well
6. Good listening reflects our relationship with God.

John Wesley’s Take on Formative Reading of Scriptures by Children.
(i.) Reading: Constantly, some part of everyday; regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with the Notes; seriously, with prayer before and after; fruitfully, immediately practicing what you learn there?
(ii.) Meditating: At set times? by any rule?
(iii.) Hearing: Every morning? carefully; with prayer before, at, after; immediately putting in practice? Have you a New Testament always about you (15)?


A Happy Parent Reflects the Trinitarian Delight

Great article about family happiness and smiling as reflecting Trinitarian joy. Joe Rigney encourages parents of young children (and I would add parents of teens also) to:

1) Be thrilled about what they are thrilled about. Join them in their joy, however simple and childlike.

2) Recognize that an atmosphere of joy and delight is the only environment in which discipline is safe and good.

3) Remember that the main way they experience joy is through laughter and play. Fun is joy in kid form.

4) Make the most of temporary separations and reunions. Communicate your pleasure in them as you leave and your excitement when you return. Leave with laughter and come home happy.

Good stuff for parents of young children! (And parents of teens as well!)

Are we creating […]

Becoming Like God: The Great Listener

Excellent article to help us become like God… by listening like him. The foremost communication skill? Listening.  A fruit of the Spirit is …listening.

The author’s points:

1. God listens to God.

2. God listens to us.- Think about all the prayers God listens to!

3. We Should Listening to Others with the Ears of God.

Here Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s rich insights remain unsurpassed: “The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. . . . It is God’s love for us that he not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. . . . But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work […]

Power of the Heart|

Do You Talk to Your Children About Faith Issues?

Dr. Kara Powell relays some statistics about parents who don’t shepherd their children at home. From Sticky Faith, page 71

According to Search Institutes’s nationwide study of 11,000 teenagers from 561 congregations across six denominations,

12% of youth have regular dialogue with their mom on faith or life issues. – Meaning 7 out of 8 don’t!
5% of youth have regular faith or life conversations with their dad. – Meaning 19 out 20 don’t!
9% of teens engage in regular reading of the Bible and devotions with their family.

When it comes to matters of faith, mum’s usually the word at home.

From Search Institute, Effective Christian Education: A National Study of Protestant Congregations (Minneapolis: Search Institute, 1990).