What 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)
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?
Today is Memorial Day and I wanted to thank the families that have given the greatest sacrifice that a family can give, the loss of a loved one. You see Memorial Day is not about the current men and women serving, it is not even about the ones that have already served, it is about the ones that left this earth serving their country. So I can’t thank those men and women, but I can thank their families.
So if you are a family member of a service man or woman that has given their life in the service of the United States, THANK YOU. I know that this may not be much but from a very young age I was taught that you don’t forget about the sacrifice others have made so that we can live in this country. So today while I am enjoying a day with my wife, my kids, friends, and we are all barbecuing, I want you to know that I do this with the understanding that both individuals and families gave up so that I can enjoy my freedom. So again, THANK YOU.
If you have lost a family member or friend in the service of this country, would you please place there name in the comment section as a way of honoring them on this day.
Ok so I have to say that I am not a fan of Pokemon Go. But it is making people crazy and I am not going to lie, I love the idea of this game for parents and their kids. So I was thinking that we should list some very simple tips for playing Pokemon Go with your kids:
- Make sure that you are dressed for the adventure. If you are going to be outside a ton then make sure you are dressed for where you live. Also make sure that you have something to drink while you are out and about. Who knows this might be something that you can assign to one of the kids to handle. Give them some ownership for the adventure. But ultimately wear good shoes, don’t want those dogs to get tired.
- Don’t worry about catching duplicate Pokémon. Whenever you snag a new Pokémon, you may notice you will also earn candy and stardust. Both items will help level up your characters to make them stronger. With enough candy, you can also evolve your Pokémon into something bigger and more powerful. Any duplicates you transfer to the professor net more candy. So those extra Pidgeys will come in handy.
- Eggs are a good way to snag more Pokémon. When you visit a Poké Stop, you can earn Balls to capture more creatures or Eggs. Players can stick an Egg in an incubator and birth their own Pokémon. All you need to do is once the Egg is inside the incubator, you must walk to complete the process. Now being dressed for the adventure will be worth it.
- Have your phone charger ready always. You sure don’t want the phone to die while you are on the adventure do you? So play with the kids and let them know that with out the phone the adventure stops. So make it fun for how you get the phone on the charger and off when you go hunting.
- The way you toss the Poké Ball is important. When you capture a Pokémon, you flick the Poké Ball from the lower end of the screen toward the Pokémon to catch it. The better the toss, the more experience points you earn. You can even toss a curveball to catch them with flair. A green circle expands and shrinks when you hold down on the Poké Ball before the toss. The wider the circle, the greater the odds of making a catch.
- Beware of your surroundings. One thing that I have already seen is people wandering around without an awareness of what is going on around them. So a good idea would be to have some one as your safety guard through the whole adventure. In fact this also might be a good time to talk with your kids about being aware of people around them when they are walking to and from school, or playing with friends, or walking to practice. Make this a teachable moment about safety.
I think it is important to know that the family that plays together stays together. I also think that a family that attends a church together has a stronger bond then they will ever know. If you want to know more about a church in Aurora, CO then just click here and find a place for you and your family. Don’t let the adventure stop when you are not playing Pokemon Go!
So yesterday at Elevation we had a baptism celebration at Elevation. It is one of the things that we do that amazes me that I get to be a part of. As a church family and team over the last four and a half years we have celebrated 194 people getting baptized. The baptisms are amazing as we see husbands, wives, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and friends baptize the people that they know have taken the step of saying yes to a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing more amazing then watching a little boys face as he looks up at his dad after he comes out of the water. I get emotional when I see a spouse that is getting the chance to baptize the person that they are staying with for the rest of their life and eternity.
But then you get to hear the stories of how and why they said yes to a relationship with Jesus. You get to hear about the struggle, the mess, and many times the hurt that lead them to realize their need for Jesus. But then you also get to hear the stories of how families lead in the area of faith, about how students knew that it was what the knew they needed to do, and amazing stories of a life of faith and growth. No story is ever the same and no baptism is every the same because of what is happening in that persons life.
What I am excited to think about though is the stories that I have yet to hear. I am excited about the faces, the families, and the friends that we get to take pictures of baptizing those that are making their life with Jesus public. Who knows maybe you are one of the stories that we are going to get to share.
Over the last couple of days I have to say that I was not all that excited about what I was doing and who I was at the time. So just like many people I started having a pity party, until I saw this video:
(Make sure that you take the time to watch the whole thing.)
So if you are like me and you are having a tough day and you feel that your life is just to hard. Then I challenge you to watch this video and remember the song “Clouds”. Thanks to the family & friends of Zach Sobiech.
What are the ways that you see God reminding you of how blessed your life really is . . .