Living the crazy life that God has given me!

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Refrigerator FRONT Challenge

IMG_1760What does the front of your refrigerator look like today?  What do you have on the front of your refrigerator that communicates who you are as a family?  I want to invite you to take the refrigerator FRONT challenge today.  Before you even read this I want you to STOP and GO look at the front of your refrigerator and tell me what you see?

What is on the refrigerator that shows you are proud of your family?  What is on the refrigerator that shows you love your spouse?  What is on the refrigerator that shows what is important to you? (Included is the front of our refrigerator)  Why do you think that I am asking these questions? (Another question)  I am asking you to look at this because honestly it’s a place where your children go to daily, where you friends stop and look when they are over, and where you spend a some time.  The front of the refrigerator is the place where you can cast vision for your family, where you celebrate wins, and where you can place things that are a matter of prayer.

If you look at our refrigerator in this picture you can see pictures of children that we sponsor as a family and one my daughter Danielle sponsors on her own.  You will see two postcards that have some really amazing friends that are working on the mission in Vanuatu. Those cards remind us to pray for them.  There is a picture of our family that when I look at it reminds be me to be first thankful for my family and then second to pray for them no matter where they are of what they are doing. We have a small picture for Michelle and I up in the corner in a magnet we got while we were in Hawaii.  That is for me to be first thankful for my marriage and then second to pray for my wife and that our marriage will remain focused on Christ.   There is a green card where Morgan wrote out the message from our of experiences at Elevation.  It is a reminder for us about God has given us each special abilities that we are to use to point people to Him.  There is a picture of me as a freshman in high school at Rangeview High school in Aurora.  That is up there so that my family can make fun of me. (I get it 80’s clothes.) There is an orange card from our church that reminds us to know our neighbors, “Beyond the Fence”.   We have filled this card with our neighbors names and when we hear them share something that is in their lives we then write something so when know how to pray for them.  Then finally a magnet from Elevation the church that God lead us to start a little over 7 years ago.  I pray for the church family that is in need of Go’s grace and I pray that I will be the leader that God wants me to be for this church.

So what is on the front of your refrigerator? What are you doing to cast vision? What are the ways that you are using this simple place in your home to grow and lead your family as followers of Jesus?  If you want to feel free to post pictures of the front of your refrigerator here or on my facebook page. (Click here)

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Decide to be Disciplined (Part Three)

disciplineAt the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life.  I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life.  It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.

So when it comes to my wife I have set the goal to make sure that we go on at least 3 dates a month.  I have also placed on my phone an app that I think that many people would find useful. (tell you soon) When it comes to going on dates with my wife I want to do things that are going to fulfill her love language and make her feel that I have planned something special just for her.  Now if you don’t know your spouses love language then you need to either get the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and read it or you can listen to it on audiobook. Once you know the love language of your spouse you need to then download to your phone The Five Love Languages App. Why would you do that if you have the book?  Because it has a challenge and it has ideas of how to date your mate.  That’s right they give you ideas for dates and ways to talk with your spouse in their love language.  I don’t know about you but to me that is a WIN!

So I have decided to make my wife and her love language a priority I have decided to be disciplined about speaking and living in her love language.  Do you know your spouses love language?  Have you read the book? What can you do to speak in your spouses love language?

Decide to be Disciplined (Part Two)

disciplineAt the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life.  I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life.  It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.

So when it comes to the area of my life with Jesus I have decided to make journaling, prayer, and reading disciplined. The goal that I have set is to make sure that I do this at least 5 times a week. My health and my ability to grow in my relationship with Jesus have been connected for me when it comes to being disciplined.  Once I have completed my workout in the morning I immediately get out my journal and my bible with a cup of coffee (we call it Christian Crack) then take a seat at the dinner table at my house.  Sometime it is alone, but most of the time it is with people walking around me.  So I will either put in my ear buds or just gently remind people at what I am trying to do.  Maybe for you having your time with Jesus needs to be ultimate quiet I get that, but the more that you can show and share what you are doing is a good thing. (set the pace for the family)

What I then do is write about the previous day and how I was able to see God at work in me and around me.  After that I write out my prayers. I know that for some people that this would be really strange, but for me it keeps me focused (I also like to go back and read them to see how God is at work).  I make it at least two pages in my journal, why I don’t know I just liked it.  Then I take the next page and write out things that jump out at me while I am reading the bible.  Many of those things I read that day I then write out so that I can read them over and over through out the day.  This is the way that I do it, it is a way not the way.  Maybe for you reading off your phone is good for you.  Maybe for you journalling online is good for you.  Maybe for you praying away for minutes maybe hours is good for you.  No matter what way you do it you need to make the decision to be disciplined.

What are the ways that you can make your life with Jesus lived out?  What are the ways that you are making this time with Jesus a discipline?

Decide to be Disciplined

disciplineAt the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life.  I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life.  It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.

So when it comes to my health I have decided to get up every morning and work out. In fact the goal that I have set is to workout at least 4 days a week.  I had my son who is a personal trainer (you can hire him fright here on twitter @tjbloyer32) design a workout for me that helps me lose weight and gives me energy. Through this I have realized that when it comes to being a follower of Jesus that when my health gives that my ability to serve Jesus better and stronger.  I also understand that when it comes to my health that it is a place that I can worship God.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

So I have decided to honor God with my body and be disciplined to work out and eat healthy. Being disciplined is a decision and today you to can make the decision to live a disciplined life.  It’s not going to be easy and there are going to be those moments where you are going to want to fall back into old habits, (sleep in that’s me) but you have made a decision to be disciplined so work hard.

What are the areas of your life that you need to make a priority and decide to be disciplined in today? What are you going to do to make things change?

Why a Free Market?

need food

We see people with cardboard signs all the time that say, HUNGRY or NEED FOOD. But what can you do about it? What if you could help a family that is in need get food in a dignified way?  This is the question that we have been working to answer over the last couple of months.  So at Elevation Christian Church we have an amazing group of volunteers that take our building and set it up for a free market that helps people that live in our community that are in need get food in a dignified way.

So to do this  we work with an organization that helps us provide quality food through the free market to the people in our community. We choose to work with this organization because most of the time when you ask people to donate food they give you the food products that they don’t like (sauerkraut) or have had for years. (Expiration not noticed)  Or when you ask people to donate money they think they are already helping someone by giving them money as the pass by them holding their cardboard sign. I watched a TED TALK where the Mayor of Albuquerque talked about how by donating financially to a food bank or free market can make a greater impact when it comes to helping people get food.  Unfortunately when we give someone money on the street is less likely to go to feeding them but to feeding their addiction.  So at the Free Market at Elevation we are able to purchase large amounts of quality food where we can then give it to the people that are in need for FREE.  That is why it is called, “The Free Market at Elevation.”

Through the amazing volunteers at Elevation we create a mini grocery store with grocery carts and all where people can get the food they need for themselves and for their families.  We also have people called, “Shoppers Helpers” that walk through the Free Market with the people from the community to build a relationship with them.  It is not someone that probes about their issues or their needs but someone that can become a friendly face.  Then once the person is done going through the market the shoppers helper asks how they can pray for that person and gives them a card or some encouragement.  We recently had over 100 second graders from a local school come and help set-up and while they helped they also created cards to give to the shoppers of the Free Market.  I was told that one man went through the market for the first time where he recieved his food, had someone pray with him, and then he recieved one of the second graders cards.  What I was told was the man thanked his shoppers helper for their prayers, then began to walk out of the building, while he was on the front walk way he read the card from one of the second graders. He was so overcome with with the care and the card that he came back into the building with tears streaming down his face to let the volunteers know how thankful he was for the food, the care, and the card.  He said that it was all just what he needed that day.

I tell you this because you can be a part of the Free Market at Elevation.  You can help people that are in need of food by your donations and when you donate you know that they are getting quality food and dignified care at the same time.  Just click here.  Because when you do you will be doing what is best for the person that is most likely going to be holding a sign some day saying, “In need of food”.  Be a part of the movement to make sure that someone is being fed and fed well physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Prepare for the END

Prepare for the end

Over the last several years I have been actively involved in a funeral home here in the community of Aurora.  I know that might sound strange but years ago I had an amazing group of men challenge me to prepare for the end of life.  I had only been to one funeral growing up so I was intimidated to say the least when it came to this season of life.  But through their support and encouragement I came to understand the necessity of knowing what to do when it comes to the end of someone’s life.  So now as a pastor in the community where I grew up it has enabled me to help friends and family when it comes to a loved ones last wishes.

But one of the things that I have realized is that man men and women don’t prepare with the end in mind.  I know, I know you are probably thinking but that is morbid.  I don’t want to think about my own death.  Ok I get that but here is what I have learned over the last 20 years.  You are not the one that has to deal with your DEATH.  Why? Because you are DEAD!  What happens is either your spouse or your children are left with the emotional and sometime very painful task of paying and planning for your final resting place.  I have experienced this time and time again where I am speaking with a room full of family members and they all stare at each other saying, “I don’t know what we are supposed to do.”  Well here are a few things that I am going to challenge you to do for the sake of your family:

  • Type up exactly what you would like to have happen to you after you have passed away. (I.E. funeral, cremation, burial, thrown in the ocean, whatever)
  • Go to a funeral home and talk with their pre-needs area.  This is where you can find out exactly what the cost will be for what you desire.
  • Start paying now for what you desire for your final resting place. (The costs will change year after year but at least you have payed the way for this.)
  • Place everything in a folder. Mark it and let your spouse or your kids know exactly what it is and how it will help them.  (Yes most likely they won’t want to talk about it but you are taking care of them in the long run.)

You might be asking yourself, “When should I put this together?” or “How old should I be to start this?” Here is my encouragement to you.  NOW!  We are not guaranteed to be around tomorrow, so do the best that you can now for your family.  This might even be a good thing to discuss with your spouse as you start planning so it doesn’t come as a shock when you hand them a folder of your preparation for the end.

What are some things that you are not sure about when it comes to preparing for the end?

Dare U 2 Dad

podcast

So starting in the month of February I am going to be recording once a month a podcast for dads.  Single dads, married dads, divorced dads, future dads, empty nest dads, and mentor dads of kids in your community.  So once that I have the podcast location and have the logo I will be posting the information for you start tuning in.  But what I want to do is invite you to share with me here in the comments section any questions that you might have about being a dad.  It is my hope that we can together discover and recover some of the amazing things that are to be done as a dad with and for our kids.

List below any questions or thought that you think would be good to cover on a podcast for dads.  Because we are going to Dare U 2 Dad!