The past three summers have been anything but restful. Between being involved in conferences and Day Camps my weeks and days have filled up leaving very little time to plan for the coming school year.

This summer however, has turned out to be quite different. Because of various changes in ministries throughout the city over the past year, my summer has turned out to be anything but busy, which has in turn been incredible refreshing.

In the months leading up to summer I found I had ample time to prepare for the school holidays, rather then feeling as though I've had to play catch-up throughout June, July & August. As well, I've had time to plan, prepare and pray for the coming school year. Not only have I had time to get ready for the fall season, but also time to make some changes and do a bit of face-lift to our children's ministry.

I don't know why I'm still surprised when God works out things perfectly in His timing. Truly this summer "off" couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life. Although I faced the summer months thinking I'd be anything but productive, that has proved to be quite wrong, for which I am so happy. If anything, I've learned that I need to make the most of the time I've been given. Whether that's running a children's ministry program at a conference, or taking time to dream and plan for what's to come, how productive I am is totally up to me.

There is no doubt in my mind that God does not make mistakes, and although facing the summer of 2010 it seemed as though there was some sort of mistake, I realize that this is actually perfect!


get it first

Legacy has been on my mind for the better part of this year. And I firmly believe that legacy must first be built in your own life before it can be built in the lives of others.

It's easy to have hopes and dreams of the legacy you wish to leave behind. The thing is, how can you pass something on if you don't posses it yourself?

For example: You want your future generations to love God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Before you can ever expect this legacy to be built in your children/grand children/great grand children's lives you must have it built in your own life. If you aren't modeling the relationship with God you hope your children will have, it's hard to expect them to have it themselves. If you aren't reading your Bible, praying, building the Church...how can you put expectations on your children to do that? You can't except your children to be or do something that you aren't being or doing yourself.

If you want your children to respect you and your spouse, guess what? You need to model respect towards your children and your spouse.

It's all about following the leader. So become the leader you want people to follow. Model the attributes and character traits you hope more people would have. Be honest, kind, respectful, loving, generous...

And when you are the person you hope those following behind you will become, you can be sure they'll just continue to built upon that which has been built for them. May your ceiling become the floor of the future generations. Set the ceiling high, and watch the building continue!

Spiritual Parenting

Call me crazy, but currently some of my favorite books are parenting books. Although I don't have any children of my own, I do have 30-ish children in my life on a regular basis that I have the incredible honor and privilege of influencing.

Recently I read an incredible book called Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony. Truly a must read!

Unfortunately I think often times parents rate their parenting skills according to their children's behavior. The truth is, parenting is about much more then just behavior. I truly believe behavior is secondary to hearts that love God. When hearts are devoted to God, behavior will begin to fall in line with that.

The same is true for all people though, not just children. How often are we concerned with behavior, rather then looking at hearts? There has to be a direct link from the way we talk and act to what is within our hearts.

The great thing about reading Spiritual Parenting is that it only challenged the way I do children's ministry, but also challenged my personal life because it's really not about behavior, mine or anyone elses, it all has to do with the heart.


intentional connections

I remember while at college hearing the following words come out of Lee Bruns mouth many times: "show me your friends, and I'll show you your future."

I don't know that I fully I understood those words at the time; I was young(er), and truly felt as though I was invincible. Surely I had a larger affect on the lives of those around me, then they had on my life. And although I do believe my life can have an impact on the lives around me, I'm starting to realize how important it is to be intentional about those you surround yourself with.

I've come to realize that you do in fact begin to become like those you spend most of your time with. And in realizing that, I realize that I have an incredible opportunity to influence those around me. And in the same breathe, I realize that I have another incredible opportunity to be influenced by those around me.

Proverbs 27:17 states the truth: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Being intentional about relationships is the key.