On this Veterans Day, our son is being deployed to Afghanistan. My wife wrote the following thoughts in her journal: As a parent, I dream about my kid’s future. I pray for their future spouse. I pray Brooke won’t have the difficulties I had with infertility. I pray Nate grows into the man God wants him to be. I also process the bad things they may face so we can direct them away from danger.
FARGO — I’ve read two books by Pastor Mark Batterson and own several more. I would highly recommend any of his books. You will enjoy his creative, energetic, action-oriented and engaging writing style. In both of Batterson’s books I’ve read, he shares a helpful formula. Being a huge fan of math, I get excited when I see formulas. But beyond the pure natural joy of formulas, his formula has been increasingly helpful to me and led me to a decision in my 2019 calendar.
Last Sunday, I discussed one of the three attitudes displayed by Samson in the Bible that make strong men weak. When a man sees something that he desires, his emotions kick in and he pursues it regardless of cost. He may lust after a woman, a career advancement, a house or a challenge to conquer.
FARGO — I'm an engineer; wired to observe the realities of this world. For 50 years I've witnessed this reality: Men tend to trail behind women when it comes to spiritual intensity. I've seen many families where mom is active in her faith and local church but dad isn't. It's very rare that dad is active and mom is not. Having worked with teenagers for years, it's common for teens to step away from faith when dad isn't actively engaged.
FARGO — The topic of regrets is not particularly comfortable, but so critical. It's easy to find yourself stuck in an endless cycle of longing and regret. Many people live in this cycle day after day. And it saps our energy and our ability to engage in the opportunities we are currently blessed with. That is the difficult news. The good news is regret does not have to be the finish line. Regret can be the starting line to a closer relationship with God and a healthier future.
FARGO — Karl Pillemer is a gerontologist at Cornell University. In 2011, he and his team interviewed 1,500 adults over the age of 65, asking them what haunts them the most about their life choices. He then wrote a book called "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans." Here are the biggest regrets of those interviewed: • Not being careful enough when choosing a life partner.
The question isn't if we will have problems. The question is when will we and what will they be? Life is a journey full of twists and turns, leaving us with a decision to make: Who or where will we turn when problems come? What will we do? What direction will we take? One of my favorite pastors and authors, Erwin McManus, said "We have to stop pretending that faith makes life easier. Your faith doesn't make life easier, it makes you stronger."
FARGO — My greatest fears and life wounds are: the fear of rejection, abandonment, loneliness and failure. Growing up I felt "poor" so my entire life the spirit of money has whispered in my ear that money would protect me from my fears; money would insulate me from the pain of rejection, abandonment and loneliness, and as long as I had money I would never feel like a failure. Is that true? Of course not! Money makes promises it is unable to deliver with the goal of ruling our lives. This is exactly why Jesus said we cannot serve God and money.
FARGO — I did not grow up around men or women with military experience. As an adult I was thankful for and respectful of those who served our country in the military, but still had little exposure to those with military experience. That began to change when our son came home three months before high school graduation and told us he was meeting with an Army recruiter.
What a blessing it was to recently celebrate my wife's 50th birthday! As a pastor, perhaps in any profession and certainly in life, your spouse is your greatest attribute or your greatest anchor; your greatest blessing or your greatest barrier. I am thankful my wife is my greatest attribute and blessing. Prairie Heights Community Church has grown from a few people in our living room to weekly impacting over 2,500 people in Fargo and Bismarck.