I’m wired to think big vision and strategic steps. I often think forward, contemplating what might be the next mountain to climb or battle to fight. In the process of thinking about the big picture, I can often miss the seemingly small yet eternally significant victories along the way- especially when I’m facing external challenges, struggling with internal discouragement, or things are moving slow. Continue reading
I’m often asked by other pastors and church-planters to describe ministry in Vermont. It often reminds me of a century ride I did on my bike a couple of summers ago. Me and a buddy mapped our route so the pinnacle of Smugglers Notch would be the exact halfway point- which means at 42 miles in, you begin an eight mile, 1800 ft climb. About three miles into the climb you begin feeling the stress in your thighs and calves, and your simple focus becomes spin that flywheel, spin that flywheel one pedal push at a time. You quickly realize you have no idea how far you’ve actually traveled, because all of your normal training rides felt much easier than tackling this mountainous behemoth. Your hope is to eventually reach the summit… you will know it when you get there and not a minute before. Continue reading
Years ago as I my wedding to Christin was approaching a good friend and fellow staff member humbly but firmly challenged me: be very careful not to sacrifice your family on the altar of ministry.
Around the same time another close friend and pastor shared what may sound like very simple advice: keep dating your wife.
Many times over these past fourteen years of being a husband and pastor, God brought these conversations to the forefront of my mind… Primarily because as a laser beam focused, 100 mph guy, I need the divine reminders.
A few specifics I am relearning:
This past November I walked through the back door from a Sunday afternoon hike with the kids and shared a simple observation with Christin: “I am discouraged.” I didn’t mean the discouragement that comes from a tough week, a tense conversation, or even riding the ministry roller coaster of starting a church. I meant real discouragement: the type that lingers in your soul for months and makes you feel like you don’t have anything left in the your spiritual, emotional, or mental tanks. Continue reading
Friends & Spiritual Family,
I want to solicit your prayers for my mom. On Friday afternoon she was taken to the hospital via ambulance due to a high fever (105+) and lack of coherence. She was showing some improvement over the weekend and I spoke with her briefly on Sunday.
This morning my brother Brian called to tell me her condition had worsened. Continue reading