Monday, April 19, 2010


Over the last several months I've been trying to sort out some stuff in my life. Deep stuff. Soul stuff. Casual Stuff. To do list kinda stuff. Just lots and lots of stuff.

In the process, I have sought out some "professional/neutral" help from some leadership coaches around me. In a couple of capacities I began sharing lists of things I wanted to do in life. Some were weekly things; others were far off dreams. Lots of stuff was somewhere in between... and I mean LOTS of stuff. So much stuff that it was overwhelming to me and was very overwhelming to anyone I gave a peek of it to.

The grand consensus has been that before I go much farther in my process, I really should take the time to make sure I know exactly WHO I WANT TO BE before deciding WHAT I WANT TO DO.

So, call it what you will, but I began to formally list out a set of life/core values that I wanted to be very intentional about embodying. For what it's worth, here's what I have concluded so far.

I have 5 main values that I listed below in priority. They flush themselves out in several qualitative ways (listed as bullet and in some Scriptural tags).

PLEASE GOD, NOT PEOPLE (Gal 1:10, Col 3:23-24, Jer. 9:23-24)
  • Guard my heart from the things that will destroy it. (Prov. 4:23)
  • Remain broken so God won’t have to break me. (Psa 51:17)
  • Live for God, regardless of the choices of others. (Gen 6:9, Job 1:8)
  • Be a Passionate follower of Jesus. (Rom 12:11)
  • Maintain sustainable and healthy life rhythms- food, exercise, rest, work, play, etc.
  • Maximize the ministry of the moment.
  • Invest intentional time in my marriage and kids. Be with them and for them.
  • The best gift I can give my marriage is a God-honoring healthy me.
  • The best gift I can give my kids is a God-honoring healthy marriage.
  • The best gift I can give my ministry and community is a God-honoring healthy family.
  • There are only 2 ways to learn things: the hard way and from those who learned it the hard way. Choose the later.
  • Humility is the defining ingredient of Godly leadership, so seek it. (Phi 2:3-8)
  • Spend time in environments that will stretch and grow me.
  • Admit and own my failures.
  • Ask good questions
  • Seek out mentors
  • Say yes and no on purpose, seeking counsel and thinking Big Picture.
  • Do what I love. Build a team that includes those who love to do what drains me.
  • Decide which is more true: (A) If I don’t, others won’t. OR (B) Because I do, others don’t.
  • Personal discipline cannot be delegated to, purchased from, or found in others. It is my job and must be Holy Spirit driven
  • If it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worth doing. (1Jo 2:6, 2 Tim 4:5-8, 1Co 9:23-27)
  • Empower others.
  • Invite a generation to understand, own, and live out a life-changing faith in Jesus.
  • Teach students how to think, not what to think.
  • Provide opportunities for students to fail safely.
  • Develop my teaching gifts to level of mastery.
  • Train and mentor others- especially in youth ministry. (via my writing, one-on-one convos, and teaching/training opportunities)
  • Be a leader and vision caster.
Now my next step is to take the things "I want to do" and prayerfully place them in some kinda priority order or even dump them based on whether they move me closer to or farther from these values.


Thursday, April 08, 2010


My sister and brother-in-law have been on an amazing journey. When God called them to be parents, he called them to do so for 3 wonderful boys. But parenting has it's challenges and for them, the first one came when their oldest son, Brodie, began to show signs of autism at an early age. The good news is, after lots of counsel, tons of help, and endless hours of devotion to the parenting task... Brodie has emerged as full functioning as any of his peers, working in his class without an aid, excelling in school, athletics, and even social skills.

When Shannon and I think of Brodie, we think of perhaps the luckiest kid on the planet. He really struck a gold mine in his parents. They have literally bent over backwards to meet his needs both here in the U.S. and literally half way around the world in Uganda.

My sister has become some kinda master chef learning how to create pancakes, ice cream, and literally everything you can imagine out of foods that are safe for Brodie and don't feed his autism. That means saying "no" to pretty much every processed food out there and creating alternatives to baking needs from scratch.

In the process of learning and growing and discovering about Autism, they have written an excellent book. It's written by parents and for parents, but not as the end-all of autism books. Their hope was to write the book people would read first as parents and friends wrap their head around the parenting task ahead of them when Autism is perceived or has been diagnosed. If you or someone you know has an autistic child, or if you just want to be educated about it yourself, you should pick this book up!



Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Today I celebrated my birthday with family a few days early. The day was absolutely beautiful! Seriously, it was gorgeous in San Diego... one of those "I can't believe I get to live here" kinda days. So glad I got to spend it like I did.

I had already set today aside as a chance to celebrate my birthday with family while my parents were in town and my kids were out of school. So, here's how we partied on this amazing day.

8AM: Full family nerf gun war! Check out grandma bunkered down!

9AM: Taught Billy to ride his bike sans training wheels! No pics, but super fun and exciting for him.

10:45AM: Starbucks run.

11AM: Went to Coronado and played tourist, renting "family bikes". In an hour and a half we did the full Coronado loop. We started where we rented them at the Ferry landing. We then rode to the Coronado Bridge, over to the Hotel Del, then across to the North Island Entrance and finally back to the Ferry Landing along the bay. Super fun way to play tourist on the perfect Day!

1PM: Ate lunch at a BBQ place at the Ferry Landing.

2PM: Played in the Bay and enjoyed the sand, water, and weather.

3:30PM: Ice Cream stop at Cold Stone.

4:30 PM: Family nap time :)

6PM: Dinner at Red Lobster with my family, parents, and in laws.

8PM: Gifts and Ice Cream Cake. I got a new single cup coffee maker, a nice coffee canister, a new dremel tool, some money for mustang parts, and a new pair of Keen sandals. I scored big time!

10PM: Blog and off to bed, ending a dang near perfect day. THANK YOU God for the privilege of breathing and doing life with family here in San Diego. Thanks family for joining me today. Super blessed by all of you!


Sunday, April 04, 2010


Easter with the Berrytribe was fun, relaxing, and a reminder of how blessed we really are. Here's the story in some pics.

Saturday was easter egg decorating, cake baking, and ended with watching a video about the Easter Story.

Sunday morning began with the both sets of grand parents arriving at our house, the Grandpa's and I hiding candy filled eggs while the kids hide upstairs. They know we hide them :)

We then went to church at Journey and headed to La Jolla for lunch at Georges. I had steak and eggs and it was grubbin! The kids had fancy french toast.

We then went for our favorite walk along the coast and took some family pics. It's days like this that make me feel guilty for living in San Diego.



A while ago I stopped calling myself a Christian.  

Like if you asked me, "Are you a Christian?";  I might actually say to you, "Well, what do you mean by that?"  I've been tired of people calling themselves Christian and it meaning essentially nothing for a long time.

I met a homeless guy on Friday who told me he was "Christian".  I don't think "homeless" and "Christian" are necessarily incongruent.... but I asked him, "What does that mean to you?"  He seemed like a decent guy to me and wasn't intoxicated or crazy.  He calmly said to me that his dad was a pentecostal preacher and his mom was lutheran or something.  So he was a "Christian" because his parents were.  My conversations/observations around the world would prove that this is more typical than non.  Many would say you're a Christian in San Diego if you go to a church on some weekends and have a "Not of this World" sticker slapped on your car somewhere.  

I don't think that's even remotely close to what it means to be a "Christian".

Bottom line, it's a term very rarely even used in the Scriptures and today it has tons of baggage to it.  Often in the same way that words like "evangelical", "conservative", "liberal"... etc... also do- So I mostly try and avoid them.

But it's been a progression for me.  I'm not anti-categories.  I just think some categories are so vague they mean nothing.

Here's my personal progression.

CHRISTIAN:  has been reduced to a label that covers basically anyone who celebrates Christmas and Easter but not Hanukkah or Ramadan.  No longer means much to me.  Used to be a label I gave myself.  I initially thought I was a "Christian" because I went to church.

CHRIST FOLLOWER:  this is the "normal" language of my local church.  It's the generally accepted term of what it really means to be a "Christian".  Not just someone who goes to church, but someone who IS the church.  Someone who invites Jesus into their lives and then follows God's lead.   My problem is, this term is beginning to become kinda normal.  It's loosing it's pop and maybe it's value.  It's said so often, that people use it almost as casually as "Christian" in our context.

I had this thought the other day that sometimes I might actually follow Jesus so closely that my footsteps are literally right behind His.   But other times, I'll tell you "I'm following Jesus", but in reality, He is really far off in the distance somewhere.  I felt like I heard God say to me, "Are you following Me or tracking Me?"  There is so much "grace" in the following Jesus process, that we can get lazy.  I get lazy.

Perhaps it's just the nature of language.  I think anything that is said over and over again the exact same way will soon be ignored.   Sometimes my wife and I will change "I love you" to "I like you".  Honestly, sometimes the second means more than the first... mostly because of frequency of use.

So I might start using this phrase:

GOD-FEARER:   It's the title given to many in the book of Acts.  It's given to Cornelius, the first non-Jewish convert in Acts 10.  Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom."  I'm sure that if I use it often, it will suffer the same fate as the other words I mentioned above, but for now, it's been good for me.  It's been a gut check every now and again to ask myself, "Am I following Jesus with the Fear of God in me?"  I think a healthy Fear of the Lord could go a long way to keeping me actually living like Jesus and not just claiming to.    I know a man who prays to to the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" just to bring clarity to the "Dear God" phrase.  It's an ancient label the Old Testament gives to clarify who the God of the Jews really is.  Maybe God-Fearer has a bit of that flare for me.  

So there you have it.  My brain spill on this belief label thing.  Got one you like better?



My photo
San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

Blog Archive

  © Blogger template Blogger Theme II by 2008

Back to TOP