My Quick Hitters Thankful List

Instead of posting one thankful thought a day for 30 days, I’ve decided to post them all at once. They aren’t numbered because the order doesn’t matter. There are 30(ish) reasons listed here. Some are definitely more significant than others, but they’re all a part of my life and so I’m thankful for each one.

I’m thankful for…

  • Jesus
  • My wife (Not only is she my best friend, but she has always been and always will be my dream girl)
  • My marriage
  • laughing
  • that I can grow a glorious man beard
  • that my wife was into my beard this year
  • that I just shaved that beard
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – All of them
  • My sister (who I miss)
  • My brother in law (who I consider my brother)
  • The beach (I get to see it one week a year…)
  • My church (I Love My Church)
  • True friends (People who say you can’t have friends when you’re a pastor are wrong. I do. I’m thankful for them, because they’re real friends).
  • Hilarious group texts (you know who you are)
  • Hot sunny days
  • My waffle maker (It brings a lot of joy to my family on Saturday mornings!)
  • Duke basketball games
  • A car that is paid off
  • Family movie nights and (sneaking candy into movie theaters)
  • Sleep (sleep is awesome)
  • Jaden (my son) – he makes me so proud!
  • Starbucks
  • Family summer pool days
  • that I get to pastor for a living
  • Friday day dates with my wife
  • Ava (my daughter) – she’s so much fun!
  • a trip to Florida with (just) my wife – Best. Vacation. Ever.
  • Great neighbors! (We love our neighbors!)
  • My wonderful parents!
  • Fantasy football (this item may be removed in about two weeks…)
  • My wonderful father and mother in law!
  • My life (God gave me this life, and I’m so thankful for it)

This list only took me a few minutes to put together. There’s so much more I’m thankful for and could be included on this list. God has been good to me and my family this year, and it just feels good to share it.

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Pastor’s Appreciation

This blog post is going to be all about my mom and dad. Have I mentioned before that my dad is also my Pastor? Did I also mention that he’s also my boss? Thats right. It’s a triple play. The tri-fecta. ūüôā

Working with my dad is something that I love. I really do. Thats why my wife and I have committed to helping him in ministry. We have our up and down days, (mostly up) and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A lot of (pk’s) preachers kids have a hard time getting along with their parents in a working environment, especially ministry. Our relationship definitely demands a certain type of balance in order to stay healthy and we both work extremely hard to keep things in perspective. Here is the one thing that we both know at the end of the day. We love and trust each other. We’re family. That never changes.

I very much love, respect and admire both my dad and my mom. So I want to take a few moments and honor my dad for the great pastor that he is. I also want to honor my mom for the tremendous woman of God that she is. I am extremely proud of my parents, so here is a list of qualities and characteristics that I love and admire about both of them.

  • I love that he still gets excited over a brand new Bible. Especially one that has the right font size and translation. He found a new one this week and hasn’t stopped talking about it.
  • I love that my mom prays her heart out. There’s not a day that goes by where I know she HASN’T prayed for our family, me and my family and the church family.
  • I love that he loves people. Genuinely loves people. He knows the best way to show that love isn’t just by saying it, it’s by doing what God has instructed him to do…teach them God’s Word.
  • I love that she is thoughtful. She’s always taking ladies out to lunch to love on them, and spend time with them.
  • I love that he’s strong. I’ve watched people walk away from him, break his heart and still he stands up on Sunday morning and delivers God’s Word with strength, passion and faith. THAT is a big deal.
  • I love that she still cares whether or not I eat healthy. I don’t, but that’s besides the point. ūüėČ She’ll never stop encouraging me to be a healthy person, and that’s a good thing.
  • I love that he’s just as passionate about God’s Word today as he was when he started preaching almost 30 years ago.
  • I love that after 27 years, she still takes time to cook meals and deliver them to people in our church who have been sick and need extra care.
  • I love that he takes great care of his employees. We are paid well, have good benefits and this is a great place to serve/work everyday! New Life Church is awesome!
  • I love that she goes out of her way to make people feel special. She works hard planning special events like the “Princess Warrior Event” for breast cancer survivors.
  • I love that he believes that NOTHING is impossible with God. It’s a fearless faith. It’s a Godly faith.
  • I love that she dances during praise and worship, no matter where she’s at, and no matter whether other people are dancing too. Mom has some moves!
  • I love that he takes pride in being a mans man. Dad is a John Wayne kindof guy. This quote sums it up. “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” John Wayne – the Shootist
  • I love that she is so creative. My mom writes songs, poems and yes even some hip hop. You know what? She’s great at it.
  • I love that even though dad comes across like a tough guy, he still sings. Like Elvis.
  • I love that she hears from God. God has used my mom to help me make the right decisions so many times I’ve lost count. So has dad. Countless times.
  • I love that he’s a coach. Dad went to college to be a teacher and coach before answering the call to preach, but he never quit coaching. He coaches the church to be disciples and he coaches his grandkids in sports. When my son wants to know something about football, I tell him to call or text his pawpaw.
  • I love that she has supported him through everything with everything she has. What a powerful example of a woman of God. He wouldn’t be where he is without her either.
  • I love that he’s sarcastic. You may not see it all the time, but in the right environment, he’s gonna say something that will get you laughing. I had to get it from somewhere, right!? ūüėČ
  • I love that they are both serious about serving Christ with their lives, their marriage, their family and their ministry. They have built their life upon the foundation of God’s Word and have taught us to do the same.

I love that she’s my mom. I love that he’s my dad. I love that they’re my pastors. God has blessed me and my family so much and we wouldn’t be who or where we are without them. God is good.

I love you!

If they have made an impact in your life in ANY way, let them know it today. Submit a comment that I’ll share with them or let them know on facebook. Dads facebook. Moms facebook.

Confessions of an Associate Pastor – Part 2

Confession #2

Some weeks flat out just wear me out.

There, I said it. I’m not bulletproof. And by tired I mean, mentally, physically, spiritually, and all the other “ally” words not mentioned. Ministry is exhausting. Dealing with serious problems week after week eventually wears even the strongest people down. Those that say they aren’t are lying.

There‚Äôs a reason why we tell people pursuing ministry to really count the cost. It’s a distinct calling into full-time vocational ministry. It‚Äôs exhausting, often unrewarding, and will ultimately cost you your whole life. The work of a pastor leaves them worn out emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Pastors would like to tell you they’re worn out, but they can’t because you expect too much of them.

I have a drawer in my desk at the church office. It’s full of encouraging letters, amazing testimonies and thank you notes from people in the church who thought enough to share their gratitude. Anytime I’ve just received an email from an angry person calling me a name, or letting me know all that they¬†disapprove¬†of, or that I offended them with my constant hillbilly references, I go right to this stack. It helps me to be reminded of why I do what I do and that it’s worth it. Encouragement can be like medicine to an aching soul. It’s like receiving an injection of gratitude, positivity, hope and strength all at once.

Something I’m slowly figuring out (not because I’m stupid…just a little slow) is that people who make a difference in life aren’t balanced at all. They’re so passionate that it burns in them so strong, it drives them towards greatness. This driving passion burns in every area of their life. They don’t give 50% to career/ministry and 50% to marriage/family, they find ways to give 100% to both while making Jesus the center of it all. That’s what I’m striving for. That’s my standard. Living this way is simply not easy. It’s rewarding, but also exhausting.

So keep this in mind some week, if you ask to meet with me one evening and I respond with “I’m booked solid this week.” Just know that what I really mean is “I’m tired,” and “I REALLY value time with my family.” ūüôā

Oh yeah! October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I can’t think of a better time let your pastor know how much you appreciate him AND his family. It’s not JUST the thought that counts, take it from me, even a simple card means a lot.

How is Your Marriage Doing?

I’m curious to know how things are going in your marriage. Help me out. Take 10 seconds and rate your current marriage relationship from a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (perfect). All voting is anonymous and there’s no possible way ¬†I can see who voted or how you voted. Marriage isn’t easy, but if you’re married it HAS to be a high priority in your life. Help me out here and vote.

Anniversary Follow Up

Yesterday my wife and I shared our 12th wedding¬†anniversary¬†together. After 12 years together I’m still learning new things about my beautiful, funny and super talented wife. For example…she has some MAD poetic skills. Girl can spit out some crazy hot rhymes.

Here’s what she posted on my facebook.

Once upon a time
I fell in love
He was sent
From heaven above
To make me full
Of joy and laughter
He was sure
To be my happy ever after

Hotter than hot
No one can compare
His height and build
And his nice dark hair
He gives me a kiss
And my heart still flutters
I even love when he mutters

He loves me
Even when I’m crazy
PMS-ing and nagging
And sometimes lazy
He shrugs it off
Without a care in the world
And has even held my hair
When I have hurled

He is the best
For this you can see
He must be special
To put up with me
For the past twelve years
He has made me smile
It seems as though
It’s only been a little while

I am so blessed
To call him mine
For I will
Till the end of time:)

I LOVE YOU
Happy 12th Anniversary!

That’s right…hotter than hot. ūüôā

12 Years Together

Happy Anniversary Megan.
I Love You. 

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 ¬†– ¬†Oh yes‚ÄĒGod takes pleasure¬†in¬†your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse¬†you¬†love¬†Each and every day of¬†your precarious life. Each day¬†is God’s gift.

First Day of School

 

Last night I spent some time praying for my kids (Jaden & Ava). They officially began their first day of school today (Jaden – 3rd Grade, Ava – 1st Grade). I asked for God’s blessing over both of them, their teachers, their classroom and their school.

As I was praying, it sort of just struck me all at once. This emotional rush of a parents pride, joy and honestly a bit of sadness over how quickly they’re growing up. In just one year they’ve grown up so much. In a sweeping moment it hit me that there will come a day when I won’t wake up to my son telling me his latest batman story, or my daughter asking to make her favorite breakfast (fried eggs). The running through the house, the dolls on the steps, the legos (pretty much everywhere), the giggles they make when they play together won’t be there. Excuse me a second while I fight off some tears…It really puts things into perspective “what matters most” in my life.

In the meantime I’ll thank God every day for the time that He’s given me with my family. Every day is precious. Each day with them is special. I don’t want to waste a single one. I love my kids so much. I’m so proud of them. One of my greatest joys in life is being a daddy to these two wonderful children.

Here are the scripture I prayed over my kids.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”
Ephesians 1:3

“For you bless the godly, O¬†Lord;¬†you surround them with your shield of love.”
Psalm 5:12

“The¬†Lord¬†is my shepherd;¬†I have all that I need.¬†He lets me rest in green meadows;¬†he leads me beside peaceful streams.¬†He renews my strength.¬†He guides me along right paths,¬†bringing honor to his name.”
Psalm 23:1-3

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Philippians 2:13