Dealing with Difficult Family During Holidays

The Holidays are approaching, like in just a few days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our precious (but a bit crazy) family. We all have some crazy in our family, it;s the reason we love the Griswolds Christmas Vacation so much ... we can relate! Maybe even you have an Eddie in the family! And if you are thinking, "no one is crazy in our family!" Guess what ... YOU are the crazy one! Ha ha!

So here are a few tips to enjoy the Holidays even when hanging out with some crazy family members!

1) Have a Meeting before the Meeting.

What I mean is that if you are attending a family gathering with a special someone, make sure to prep before the gathering to get on the same page with each other. Like, how are we going to handle Aunt Cindy drinking too much egg nog at breakfast, or Uncle Jim's long hugs and attempted open mouth kisses.

2) Stay Clear.

Stay clear of the conversations you know will bring out the crazy. For example don't get all heated about politics, religion, or being a vegan or whatever hobby horse we may have, specially if we know it's going to cause an uproar! Just stay clear. And the reality is that we all know what those "stay clear" discussions are. Just don't!

3) Decide ahead of time what kind of time you will have.

Much of life is about decisions. So, before you go to a holiday gathering tell yourself, "I am going to enjoy myself ... I am not going to let anything bother me! It's going to be a good time. Yes, maybe fascinating at times, but great!" Manage expectations, as they say ... even though it's your own expectations. 

And lastly ...

4) Embrace the crazy.

I mean really, it's the "Eddie's" in life that make it all memorable. Again, we love the movie Christmas Vacation, why? Crazy Eddie! And all the other nutty quirky family members. Just embrace it, find it fascinating, maybe even entertaining! Find the humor in it all! Do this, and the Holidays will be so wonderful, and memorable! 

Just a closing thought: It's not your job to set everyone in your family straight. Get them to vote right, live right, think right, behave right, invest right, or even eat right! Let them be! Seriously, you just take care of YOU! 

Happy Holidays!

Why Pastors Have Affairs (2 of 3)

1)      Stay Close to Jesus.
To me this is the biggest and most critical thing in keeping yourself from an affair. Live as close to the one who is Holy! And this seems strange that I’d say this writing about “Pastors” but even we pastors can stray away from Jesus. Weird I know, but we can get so busy doing the work of the Lord and forget the LORD of the work. Your relationship with Jesus is the #1 most important thing in living a holy life!
2)      Work On Your Marriage
I speak on this all the time … but a good marriage takes work, so work hard on it. It doesn’t happen just because you walked an isle and said some, “I dos and I wills and I promise” it takes so much more than that. Do it! I highly recommend couples read at least a book a year on marriage, attend a marriage series at church or seminar or do a marriage retreat once a year. Anything you can do for “continuing education” on the subject of marriage!
3)      Work On Yourself
Spirit, soul and body! Take time for yourself. Make sure you are not wearing yourself out! Make sure you are getting rest, exercising, reading, taking time off, journaling, etc. Not only that, but if you have issues, which you do, work through them with a counselor, or close wise friend.
4)      Protect Yourself
You know what your boundaries are, come on! If you find someone at your work attractive you can’t go to lunch with them every day! Come on, you are smarter than that! “Oh but we work together!” So, why don’t you go to lunch with the weird ugly person? Be smart. Don’t put yourself in situations that could compromise all that you believe! Know and understand that we are ALL susceptible to the lures of an affair, and people who feel they are not, are MOST vulnerable! The Bible says that “pride comes before a fall.” Be humble, smart and make wise decisions!
5)      Have Real Accountability Partners
Having REAL accountability partners! Not suedo-accountability partners! Have people of the same sex that you are completely honest and vulnerable with about your every struggle, temptation, fear, dream, passion, etc.
6)      Don’t Look at Porn
I realize this one falls under “protect yourself” and “live close to Jesus” but I felt it needed to be a stand-alone. I truly believe Porn is poison. It is addictive. It is something most men struggle with, and all men are tempted with on a regular basis. The bottom line is that men are visual, and they want to see women naked. Again, it’s important to “protect yourself” however you need to keep you from looking at Porn. I use, I am sure there are others out there.

To Be Continued ... It's About You

Top 10 Things To Completely Change Your life

Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – NLT

1) THINK good things about yourself and others.

2) WRITE good things about yourself and others.

3) SAY good things about yourself and others.

4) BELIEVE good things about yourself and others.

5) WATCH things that are good, uplifting and encouraging.

6) LISTEN to things that are good, uplifting and encouraging.

7) READ things that are good.

8) DO things that are good.

9) PARTICIPATE in things that are good.

10) Be AROUND others who are engaged in GOOD THINGS.

*Excerpt from a message I preached on June 3, 2012 @ Mercy Church

How Far is Too Far

I am asked, "how far is too far" as it relates to sexual intimacy between singles almost weekly. So I figured I might as well share my response here.

This is not an easy question to address ... and definitely not an easy ANSWER to live. I wish I could say that I never went too far in my dating days, but unfortunately I did ... and I do regret it. (many times pastors won't tell you that ... they just say "don't do it ... wait til you are married... which are all good things to say I suppose, but a touch hypocritical don't ya think when they do not add, "I couldn't or didn't save myself for marriage." Anyway ... a personal frustration for me.)

I too believe that saving yourself for your ONE TRUE love ... your wife/husband.

But let me answer the question; How far is too far? with a question.

How far would you want your future wife/husband to go with whoever they are currently dating? I know, I know, that question bits! And it should!

Do you want your future husband/wife to have gone to 4th base with every person he/she dated? How far would you want them to go?

Then I suggest you follow the golden rule: do unto others what you would have them do unto you!

Have fun, just don't go too far!

Dream Again

Remember when we were young (or younger) and we had dreams about what life would be like? What our marriage would be like, what our job would be like ...? Maybe you even had a picture of what your house would look like, the dog you'd have, the car you'd drive? What your kids would look like? Remember that? What has happened to that dream?

Yes, I understand that some of those childhood "dreams" were unrealistic, and far fetched, BUT many of them weren't ... so what happened to your dreams? Have you pushed them aside as childhood fantasies? Impossibilities?

What happen to your dreams? Do you even dream anymore? Why, or why not?

Please dream again! This world needs dreamers, people who will dream the impossible dreams, then with God's help DO THE IMPOSSIBLE!

If nothing else I hope that today's blog will renew your passion for life, for dreaming, for taking the limits off you mind ... dream!

The Hanky Panky Challenge

I was going to wait to issue the “hanky panky challenge” live at our church on Sunday, February 1st for the kick off our new series – It’s a Wonderful Marriage, but due to the media attention we have been receiving I felt I better get this out to you now.

The challenge is for married couples to engage in Hanky Panky everyday for the entire month of February. Now, I looked up the definition of “hanky panky” and it was not the definition I was hoping for … so I thought I should clarify what we mean by hanky panky.


For the guys it means one thing, and for the girls it may mean yet another … so let this be your guide … we are encouraging couples to take the month of February to focus on their marriage by creating moments of intentional intimacy “hanky panky” with each another everyday. Making time to connect, whether that is pure sexual intimacy (intercourse) which most dudes are probably hoping for – you are welcome guys!, or lots of kissing, touching, tickling, loving massages, foot rubs, taking a bath together, washing each others hair, pillow talk, praying together (for each other and your family), read the Song of Songs, try reading a romantic book together, watch Dr. Phil – sorry, just kidding … watching a romantic movie (not Texas Chainsaw), cooking dinner together, talking a walk together, write a meaningful note to one another and read aloud, go on a romantic date … basically go back to what you did when you first met and fell so madly in love with each other!

Side note here; many times this is what I see failing in marriages … everything that I have mentioned above many times stops after a year of marriage sadly. Simply, we take each other for granted, we are too busy (or we feel we are too busy). Yet when I talk to couples about their schedule I see that there are many many opportunities in their “busy schedule” for intimacy, but it’s filled up with TV, Sports, Hobbies, Kids stuff (nothing wrong with that, but honestly how many activities do your kids really need to be in? I mean seriously! Is it worth losing your marriage over? Not a win for your kids!)

I will blog more … I just had to rush to get something up here so if you heard something on TV or Radio you’ll know what it is all about!

Happy Hanky Panky!


All of us have a "gap" in our lives, somewhere ... where we want to be compared to where we are ... where we want our marriage and where it is ... where we want our financial situation to be and where it is ... where we want our spiritual lives to be and where it is, where our life is and where we want it to be ... on and on we could go, but you can fill in the blanks as it relates to your life.

The problem sometimes is that we are comfortable, though unhappy with where something is and where we want it to be, but nothing is motivating us to change ... so we stay unhappy right where we are ... why not change and close the gap?

So, what to do about it?

I think the first question to answer is; WHERE do I want my _______________ to be? Then, what would it take to get it there? Then you must put together a workable plan to get there, then start working the plan!

Unfortunately life doesn't just happen the way we want it always ... we've got to get our hands on the wheel!

Right Where You Are

Change the World right where you are… I think sometimes we think that opportunity lies just over the rainbow … over there. Well I am here to tell you that you can change the world Right Where You Are!

1) Give your best to those closest to you
2) Stay True to the vision and/or dream God gave you
3) Keep learning and growing
4) Never ever Quit, no matter how difficult it gets … keep pressing forward!

Do something great with your one and only life!

Stand Out

The Bible talks about being "separate from the world..." and I think that applies in many ways, but one way in particular is with our attitude.

Thankfully I work in a very happy place, with happy people, but many people I talk to say their place of employment in very unhappy.

Here are some questions to ask yourself on a daily basis to keep your thoughts going in the right direction:

  • What are 5 things I am thankful right now?
  • What are 5 of my positive traits?
  • What are my top 5 achievements?
  • Who are the 5 people who love me no matter what?
  • What are 5 things I am looking forward to in the next 30 days?

Here are the questions you SHOULD quit asking yourself:

  • What are the 5 things that make my life stink right now?
  • What are my bad traits?
  • What are my 5 biggest mistakes?
  • What 5 people hate me, or want to see me fail?
  • What are the 5 things I am dreading in the next 30 days

It reminds me of when The Apostle Peter didn’t like what Jesus said about His coming death… and said…

Mark 8:33 "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

The challenge for all of us is to have the "things of God in mind".