Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Wow!!! Another Christmas has come and gone.

I remember when I was 5 years old it seemed like Christmas would never get here. I guess when you've only experienced so few Christmas celebrations it seems like it takes forever for the day to arrive. As I look back on life (as a 37 year old now) I've experienced more Christmas celebrations.

Here are some of the highlights for me this year

This year both of my parents have had some medical scares.
When I look on this Christmas I am thankful they are both alive and healthy. My mom and Jerry came up for their annual Christmas trip. We celebrated Christmas at CPC where I was preaching for the morning. Each year we take our family picture in front of the tree in the lobby. We've been doing it since our kids are young. One day I'd like to look back and see all the pictures.

Today, I'm just thankful to have my family in the picture. It was great having my mom with us. Our kids love spending time with Oma and Opa. Isaiah kept saying: "Opa" when they would come over.

This year Sophie was asked to do a Scripture reading at church. Now, I'm sure you're thinking: "Of course she was asked... you're the pastor!" I actually chose not to volunteer Sophie for the reading. As our Foster City Team was thinking up names for the service someone asked if I thought she would be willing to do a reading.

Now if you know Sophie, she isn't about to turn down an opportunity to have a mic in front of a room full of people! She read from the book of Matthew and shared with us about the birth of Christ on Christmas morning!

Christmas day only falls on Sunday once every six years. This was a treat for us because we have never served at a church that held a Christmas Day service. Having Sophie do a Scripture reading the morning I was preaching made the treat even better!

Each year it's a joy to see our kids open their gifts. Early on I was very honest with them when they would ask about Santa. I didn't want to lie to my kids and looking back I might have done things differently (can't change it now). They loved opening their presents! They also made sure Isaiah had ample help with opening his gifts.

As I think back on this Christmas I feel like it was less stressful, encouraging and filling. I loved the time with my family, had a good balance at work and appreciate my wife so much!

Thank you Charity for all you do for our family.
Thank you Jesus for coming to this world to save us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


This year I turned 37 years old. I had a great birthday with my family and really enjoyed all we did. As I thought about my birthday this year I wanted to share 37 thoughts from being 37 years old.

1. Skydiving is awesome

2. Family is extremely important

3. Flipping a car is scary

4. Seminary was the best discipleship process I ever went through

5. Getting married is the second best thing I ever did

6. Growing up in a small town was rad

7. One time I pet a rhino on my birthday, I'll never forget that

8. Traveling the world has opened my eyes

9. The distinguishing factor in Christianity is the grace that is found in Jesus Christ

10. Enter into messy situations. It may not be comfortable but it will be worth it

11. Life is short, I can't believe I'm 37 already

12. I've failed a ton in life but I keep trying; don't quit! 

13. I'm thankful I get to share the love of Jesus with others

14. Take lots of pictures! You can always delete some later

15. There's something special about holding hands with my children

16. Fire is powerful, especially when it's a fire in your heart for God

17. Don't listen to everything everybody says, find some people you trust and listen to them

18. Taking a risk is worth it

19. Snowboarding always has been exhilarating to me. I'm so stoked to get a snowboard with my daughters now

20. One of the most enjoyable things is seeing my wife smile

21. I wish I was better at time management

22. Invest in someone younger than you. I'm so thankful for all the people who have invested in me

23. I love going cliff jumping

24. I'm thankful that when I was young my dad encouraged me to use "please" and "thank you"

25. A little encouragement goes along way

26. Life change happens best in relationship

27. Reading the Bible on a daily basis helps to center my life 

28. People don't care what you know until they know that you care

29. Bungee jumping is scarier than skydiving

30. Charity and I try to be intentional to have a date every week

31. The first time I did a backflip on a snowboard I was amped 

32. Serving others brings joy to my life 

33. If you own a truck people are going to ask you to help them move

34. I wish I could say the taking my daughters to donuts every Saturday started as a strategic move, didn't but I'm so thankful we have it

35. I love taking my mom out for dinner when she's in town

36. Make sure to tell people you love them and how important they are in your life

37. Life is done best and community

Thursday, December 08, 2016


The following is an excerpt of my teaching to 100 men at my church at Men's Fraternity. We are currently using the 33 series: A Man and His Father. This book has been huge in my life!

In all honesty, the Bible gives us a whole bunch of examples of inadequate fathers; fathers who didn’t validate their sons. Noah got so drunk he passed out and his sons had to cover up his naked body. Jacob exhibited such immense favoritism to one son that his brothers threw Joseph in a pit and sold him into slavery. David failed to discipline his oldest son, creating a rebellious child who attempted to take the kingdom from his father and eventually died.

Realistically, there is no example of a perfect father here on earth. To find a perfect father, we need to turn our eyes to God the Father. Move to the New Testament and we find it was a big day for Jesus as He walked down to the Jordan River to be baptized. As he came out of the water, Scripture records what happened next:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
Speaking from heaven, God the Father makes a bold declaration to the world saying, “This is my Son!” In other words, He’s saying, “No one make a mistake about it, He belongs to me. I am his Father and He is my Son!” God the Father makes no ambiguity surrounding His relationship to Jesus Christ. God was affirming Christ during a monumental time in the life of His son.

The affirmation doesn’t stop with God boldly declaring Jesus is His Son. God goes on, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Affirmation is powerful and we all desperately need it to feel validated! Right here God tells the world that He loves Jesus and is well pleased with Him. Think about this. At this point in His life Jesus has not yet, preached a sermon, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out any demons, called any disciples, or done any miracles. However God the Father validates Jesus not for what He has done or for the future works he will do. The Father affirms Jesus solely because of who He is—His beloved Son! What an encouragement!

If you’ve experienced a lack of validation from your father growing up, please don’t hold back encouragement in your son’s life. The power of our words can bring life to our sons, name them and draw them out. This is what God to Jesus that day on the bank of the Jordan river. We need to see our sons, Fathers with older children, keep in mind the age of Jesus at His baptism. God remained engaged in Jesus’ life through every step and every stage of His life.

You son needs to be validated by you. Your son needs to be seen by you and encouraged by you. There is a huge power that comes in validating a son.

To learn more about the 33 Series watch the following video

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


How's your marriage doing?

Really, how is your marriage doing?

There are times that my marriage has been awesome and times that I needed to invest more into my marriage. There are times that I feel like a super-husband and times I feel like a selfish man. Next month Charity and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage (crazy huh!). We're super excited to celebrate our anniversary.

As I think about our marriage I want to share three books that have been a blessing to us along the way. Here are three books that have helped my marriage and I encourage you to not just read them. In fact, don't read them but apply them.

1) Love & Respect
This book has ben so helpful in my marriage. Charity and I went through this book at the end of 2011. We actually lead a small group through the book. It gave us some new language to help us understand each other. It gave me new ideas I never knew about. It also help me understand my wife in a deeper way.

The book is based off Ephesians 5:21-33. It goes into depth and shares about how women desire to be loved and men need to be respected. I don't want to give too much away but hopefully it's enough to encourage you to read it!

2) The Meaning of Marriage
In all honesty, I haven't read this book. But Charity read it and said it was awesome! She really enjoyed the content. If Charity recommends it, you probably want to check it out!

3) Sacred Marriage
This is the first book on marriage I ever read. I think I even read it before we got marriage. In addition, I'm pretty sure it was John Fairfield (Charity's dad) who gave me the book. This book rocked my world and has shaped my marriage. Gary Thomas is a fantastic author. He shares openly from his own personal experience.

A few quotes that I love from this book go a little something like this:

- A good marriage is not something you find, it's something you work for

- Marriage is like looking into a mirror and seeing all your faults

This book has helped me see how important it is to work on myself to help my marriage.

These books could impact you! As Christmas approaches maybe you could get one to help your marriage, a friend or an engaged person you know.

What other book would you add to this list?