Is There a “Right Way” to Correct Children?

It's not a blog about spanking...

If you were born during a time when you were physically beaten as a child…you’re my people! 

I wasn’t raised in a culture of time-outs, taking electronics away, or writing essays on why I could make better choices.

When I screwed up…I was lovingly (most of the time) physically corrected in a manner that I wouldn’t soon forget.

The boomers didn’t always get everything right, but I appreciated the love my parents put into make sure that I WAS actually disciplined in a way that I was able to connect the dots between my bad choices (behavior/attitude) and the consequences of those choices – discipline.

Now, I don’t disagree that we are living in a different time. Taking a kid’s tablet/ipod/phone away has POWERFUL emotional ties to their behavior and produces a much better result than if you were to take my etch-a-scetch away (or my Rubix cube).

No matter how you choose to discipline, there are a few things that have to happen for it to be REAL discipline.

1. Clear Understanding.

When a child doesn’t know why they are being disciplined, there’s already a problem.  They have to have a clear understanding of what behavior/attitude/choice they are being disciplined for and why.  Even when I had to wait ALL DAY LONG for my dad to come home and reign the fire of discipline over me (just kidding, my Dad was awesome), I knew what I had done, and why I was going to be disciplined. Even when I entered my tweenager years and my biggest issue was my sarcastic smart mouth, my mother was extraordinarily quick to administer a sharp correction (usually a hand to the back of my head) so that I understood IN THAT MOMENT why I was in trouble.  When kids don’t have a clear understanding, your discipline is not doing what you hope it’s doing.

Sex Songs and God

Have you ever heard a sex song and thought of how awesome God is?

Is it just me?

I admit, I find the strangest things sometimes and equate them or find a connection to God. Maybe it’s a movie’s ability to describe the root issue of sin in our lives, or a song’s ability to connect my emotions to a phrase that becomes an anthem, or even just something from a book that was intended to tie the author’s points together but instead, connects me to a better understanding of the tension we feel in life and faith.

Again, I know I’m weird. I embrace it.

Here are some of those lyrics.

Verse 1
You know just what to say
(S#*t that scares me!)
I should just walk away
But I can’t move my feet
The more that I know you
The more I want to
Something inside me has changed
I was so much younger yesterday… (oh)
Chorus
I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you
Who needs butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo…
Closing Bridge
The more that I know you the more I want to…

I don’t know what this song means to you. These words may only speak about a physical act of love in your mind, however I see them as a much more deeply rooted core feeling of desire, want, and need that ONLY one person can fill.

Many years ago, some friends of mine took two Psalms and wrote a song for our church. I’m not really even sure if we performed it more than a couple of times. It’s was titled “Taste and See” after Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the lord is good.” It was a song about our soul’s deepest desire for God

Verse 1
Oh my soul, it yearns for you
How my heart, cries out to the Living God
It’s birthed in me, this desire I cannot hide
How I need, this fountain you’ve invited me to
Chorus
Taste and see, I’m overwhelmed by your goodness Lord!

It may just be me, but I can’t listen to Hailee’s song and stop at just the image of satisfying a sexual desire. There’s something so much larger in me that is STARVING for something GREATER than this world has to offer. The more of Jesus I get, the more I realize my need for Him. The more He satisfies my soul, the more I realize how great my need for Him is!

Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the lord is good.”

God, I didn’t know that I was starving until I tasted You!

The Fear of Reflection…

We fear many things in this life, but one that I’ve personally encountered over this past summer is the FEAR OF REFLECTION.

Reflection is simply that time of pondering over, asking questions of, and interpreting things internally. Some people do this through meditation. Some make this a daily part of their prayer life. Some do it as a deliberate practice when considering a major decision. Others simply are forced to do it when something goes horribly wrong and are working to assess what happened and when.

But I’ve noticed in conversations with people that taking time to reflect and ask personal questions (to ourselves) is not something they WANT to do. There is a FEAR that shows up that they didn’t even realize was there.

  • A Fear of what they will find when they stop moving.
  • A Fear of what they will hear when they stop talking.
  • A Fear of what they will feel when they stop rising to meet the expectations of others.
  • A Fear of what answers they might get to the questions they need to ask.

What’s “Your” Church?

Where does your heart and passion come alive?

For those that don’t know me, I’m not a country music fan.  However, when I let Amazon Prime Music play random selections, about 1 out of every 4 songs is a popular country song.  I heard this one the other morning that got my mind turning. It’s called “My Church” by Maren Morris.  Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

“Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church”

It’s not really a song about church (the way I understand it), but it does shine a light on something interesting. It might not actually have any theological foundation about “washing my sins” away… but in terms of how most people view church, it’s an honest assessment of where this person’s heart is and what stirs them.

Too many people attend a service simply going through the motions with very little passion or heart connection. The song is about listening to people that connect with the driver of the car – “When Hank (Williams) preaches the sermon, and Cash (Johnny) leads the choir” – the song says THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. This is MY CHURCH.

Where Are The Christian Intellectuals?

I read an article recently in the Washington Post that posed a fascinating question that targeted a tension I feel when engaging in political discussions and current cultural issues.

The question – “Where are the Christian intellectuals in the public square?

The article does a good job predicting the reasons that Christian perspectives are no longer a part of the world’s stage in these discussions. However, no matter the reason why – I do agree with the overall argument that there is a vacuum right now in our discussions when we don’t have (fill in your preferred historical Christian leader) presence involved. Is there a voice of faith that can challenge the status quo?

I also read a report about the recent 20/20 episode entitled “The Girl We Left Behind.” It is the tragic story of Kayla Mueller who was an ISIS hostage in 2014-2015 for 18 months. This story was told by those she encountered while held hostage. I was proud of ABC’s willingness to air the testimony of fellow prisoners who spoke about Mueller’s faith in God and the way that it effected her attitude and hope during the abuse, torture, and rape she endued while being held hostage. Do her actions speak loud enough for anyone to hear?

The Top 5 Takeaways From My Sabbatical

Blog post from blog.thejourneyonline.com on August 10th, 2016.


In case there are some people in our church who missed the memo over this past summer, I recently partook in an 9 week Sabbatical and spent my 10th week (transitional week) participating on our Journey GO trip to Peru!

As with most of my content, I struggle to be brief. I would love to have coffee and spend a few hours with each and every one of you to share what an amazing time this sabbatical has been for me (and for my family) but that’s just not possible.

However, at our Partner Night on Thursday August 18th, I will be sharing in more details some specifics from my time away and how I believe it has impacted my heart for the mission and ministry of Journey Church!

Here are the TOP 5 Takeaways from My Sabbatical:

1) I’m Overwhelmed with Gratitude in God’s Plan. Leading Journey Church was never something I had planned to do. The God ordained movements and opportunities that facilitated my leadership here were the last things I expected, but am overwhelmingly grateful for them. I’m so grateful to not only be a part of this Journey family, but to also lead our amazing leaders as we walk towards the future God has for us! I’m still shocked sometimes that He decides to use me and my leadership for His purposes – and I never want to take for granted the call He’s placed on my life.

Romans 8:28  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Surprising Story with Amazing Message

Can Hector find happiness?

jak-dogonic-szczescieSo, I don’t usually make it a habit of recommending movies, but every once in a while one just has to be talked about. Especially one I’ve never heard of.

One night while glancing through the “Recently Added” on Netflix, I came across Hector and the Search for Happiness. I really only stopped on it because I am a fan of Simon Pegg and after recently watching the last Mission Impossible – I’ve been on a spree of watching his old movies I enjoy (Hot Fuzz, How to Loose Friends and Influence People, The World’s End).

This movie is based on a book with the same title by Francois Lelord and is all about a psychiatrist named Hector who takes an epic journey while trying to discover what makes people happy! It’s a more serious film for actor Simon Pegg, and I really enjoyed him in it. His girlfriend Clara, played by Rosamund Pike, is also quite good in her role and I could have used more interaction with her in the movie. A relationship stunted by emotional barriers is the 3rd primary character of this story.

However, the BIG reason I think everyone should now see this movie is because of the questions that are asked 100x in the film.

“What makes you happy? Would you consider yourself a happy person? Where does happiness come from?”

Overcoming our Fear & Need to Control

Fear of the Unknown & Controlling the Outcome

I know you can picture it. She’s walking down a long dark hallway… slowly creeping with a latern/torch/flashlight in handtrying to find the exit. The black in front of her is overwhelming… she hears a noise and freezes! “What’s ahead of her in the dark?” we all think to ourselves. We don’t know.

This is obviously the plot of almost every horror and suspense movie, and one of these many scenes usually shows up in the trailers.

We FEAR the unknown.

This is a common thread that binds every human together, and it’s what makes the epic stories of courage and bravery so POWERFUL – overcoming that fear of the unknown (to get the girl, kill the bad guy, escape, win!)

‘The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.’ – H.P. Lovecraft

Too big of a topic to write about in one blog, I want to focus in on one aspect of this fear that brings tension as we live, work, and play in our everyday lives.

Controlling the Outcome!

Test the Uncommon: Reveal Unnecessary Tensions

What a new book is teaching me about #whatif

I’m enjoying a new (to me) book titled “4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. I was inspired to read it after watching an interview with the author about a different topic, and people in the audience kept asking him questions about issues and questions raised in his book.

After realizing that the book is not a “slacker’s guide to life: how to get away with doing as little work as possible off get rich schemes” – I decided to read it. I don’t agree with every conclusion he makes or suggestion he offers, but it’s one of the first books I’ve read in a while where the author truly see’s life differently than I do. I like that.

I’m only half way through the book, but I can’t seem to shake a statement made towards the earlier part of the book that seems to be a common thread through all of the chapters.

“When nothing seems to be working, what is the cost of a little experimenting outside of the norm. Almost nothing… outside of the mental Olympics you will need to play!” – Tim Ferris

My ONE WORD #whatif

"What if" Unlocks the Power of Possibilities!

Failure

Every year, I choose ONE WORD that I feel God is giving me to use for the year to help filter my goals/resolutions.

2016 will be the year of “What if?”  #whatif

“What if?” unlocks the power of possibilities in your life!  It is the difference between almost doing something (which is nothing) and taking a step into your future.

With every #whatif possibility – fear will also show up.  Fear of the unknown…fear of being wrong… fear of failure!

However, if your goal in LIFE is to avoid FAILURES, then you have NO LIFE!

I’m looking forward to sharing more of my#whatif ideas, goals, and projects with you this year.  Stay tuned!