Parenting Secret: 3 Steps To Show Your Child Love

Parenting a childs f


For all the parents, or to be parents out there.  Do you ever have those times when you come back from work, or your kids come to your work, but you’re incredibly busy and you don’t truly acknowledge them?  That happened to me this past week. I want to share three things with you.

  • My Scenario ~ see if you can relate
  • What I’m going to change
  • An old video I found that relates to this topic


I was at work this weekend, in the midst of a busy set up. Teams of people were working all around me, I was directing traffic and in the midst of some important task..or at least it seemed important at the time. Naomi brought the kids, because we were going to have breakfast together in a few short minutes. Judah, my son, saw me in the hall, ran to me, I quickly gave him a high-five and went back to my tasks.  A little later I saw him standing by my wife, head hanging low and he seemed legitimately sad. I asked Naomi what was wrong, and Judah went on to inform me that I didn’t really “see” him. (At least that’s how I understood our conversation) I only quickly high-fived him, didn’t say anything and walked away.  Conviction slapped me across the face and I quickly apologized and made things right with my son.  But It was an important lesson and reminder for me when it comes to parenting.  Our actions, or lack of them, speak life and death into our children.  I think an important parenting lessons is the instant you see your child, after a time away, be fully present with them and acknowledge them.

Parenting Tips To Engage With Your Child (What I am trying to do more consistently)

  • Hug them ~ Stop, whatever you are doing and give them a hug. There is power in human contact.
  • Tell them ~ verbally reinforce your hug with words of affirmation
  • Show them ~ As soon as you see them, make sure your face shows how happy you are to see them. Your face is the first thing they see. Do they see annoyance, or great joy at you seeing them. It better be a smile!

Results of Better Engagement:

  • Acceptance ~ We all want acceptance. No more so than your children, and they need it from you. Your child will have a renewed sense of acceptance. This is something that needs to be reminded on a daily basis
  • Confidence ~ Beyond verbal affirmation, I think a great deal of confidence comes from appropriate physical affection. My son is a different young man when he gets a true hug from his dad. I just see him walk with a little more purpose and confidence. Its bizarre, but its true.
  • Transparency & Trust ~ When acceptance and confidence are fostered in a relationship, the result is often more vulnerability and transparency. I find when my children are in a place of great confidence in my love and joy in them and for them, they open up and share their heart much more freely.  This is one of the greatest joys, to talk about life and see them learn and grow into women and men who have a purpose and are living on purpose to change the world.

So, I’m about to go home, and I’m going to be very intentional to make sure my face betrays the joy my children are to me. They are going to get a big hug, and I’m going to whisper in their ear how much I love them and how proud I am of them.

How about you. Anything you would add to the list?  Here is also an old video I made for a now defunct blog. Reminded me how fast my kids are growing up.

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Photo Credit: Mait Jüriado via Compfight cc

Coattail Riders – A Devotional Thought

The Crucified Life

I’m reading “The Crucified Life” by AW Tozer. Usually one chapter a day is enough to keep me pondering the whole day. I’m a driven person. Accomplishing, creating, building large and effective churches are a passion for me. Sometimes though, my motives get skewed along the way. Just like a yearly checkup from the family doctor, I think it’s important to have regular checkups on ones own motives. God has continually used Tozer as His testing tool in my life.
The Coattail Riders
Are you a coattail rider?  Tozer describes these as Christians who choose ministry for the wrong reasons. But more than ministry,this applies to everyone. These are people that value earthly gain over heavenly gain. They desire…
  • a following
  • to become well known
  • to get a reputation
“This is not for those who are living the crucified life. Those who walk and live the crucified life have no desire for these things and are willing to lose their reputations if they must in order to get on with God and go on to perfection. They seek no place, no wealth, no thing. Those who long after God will not turn their heads to be elected anywhere to anything. Only static Christians seek after high ecclesiastical positions. They want to be somebody before they die.” 
AW. Tozer
I don’t want to ever be a static Christian. I want to be a follower on the move with Christ as He forms and moulds me for His purpose and His good will. This does mean taking up your cross and living a crucified life.
The Crucified Life of God Seekers
“Those living the crucified life do not seek place or wealth, fame or high positions. Rather, they want to know God and to be where Jesus is. Only to know Christ-that is all.” ~ AW Tozer

Paul speaks to this in the New Testament when he says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8) I love what Eugene Petersen says in the Message

The Message Philippians 3: 7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

In closing I have paraphrased some of Tozer’s comments.
  • When you do not have anything real inside of you, you try to get something on the outside that looks real; which you believe will provide meaning.
  • Do you need more of Christ within you? Is there still something that you must give Him so that He has full control and ownership of your life?
  • It is not a matter of how far you have already come, but are you ready to swim further?
  • It is not that you are perfect but that you thirst after perfection.
  • Is your religion only social? Are you satisfied with the once-on-Sunday and done sort of religion?
  • Are you standing still or becoming more like your Lord Jesus Christ
What I really want to know is which one describes you today…Are you living a crucified life?

Darren’s Monday Musings [2 Videos]

Darren's Monday Musings

A completely random list for your Monday.  From an un-contacted amazon tribe to the worst time to schedule a meeting and a great leadership lesson form the movie Moneyball.
  • When is the Worst Time To Schedule A Meeting? Watch this to find out. Especially important if you are asking someone for something.

  • This article is a little long, but makes a good case on the importance of a) knowing your organizations important measurements. And b) knowing what “winning” looks like for your team.  There are a lot of correlations to be made to the church world. What are the important metrics you track weekly or monthly? Are they the right ones?
  • Un-contacted Amazon tribe. It’s amazing to me that these still exist.

Freak Out Much? How To Respond

Stop freaking Out


Freak Out = A person who is “freaking out” over something seeming inconsequential

Do you ever feel that way about some people? Sometimes I imagine these people with a bomb strapped to them. They are fully armed and ready to explode.  Other times the countdown timer is already at zero and they are exploding.

There is only one problem. The outburst doesn’t seem warranted. It wasn’t that big of a deal.  The reaction was way out of proportion to the situation. Have you ever done that or noticed that type of response in others?  When this happens, it’s important to remember that there is likely more going on.  There is usually a deeper issue that is causing the heightened level of response. Here are some common responses we face and how we should respond.

Common Responses to “The Freak Out”
  • We offer a quick comforting word to distract them and to avoid a deeper conversation.
  • We find the nearest exit and  get out of there
  • We avoid them in the future. (No one wants to be around a ticking time bomb, right?)
The Right Response

I believe, as Christians, we are called to intervene.

Instead of avoiding them, intervene for them.

Why? It’s the example we follow in Jesus. He was the one who intervened for us. Now when we choose to follow Him, mysteriously, Christ lives in us and we get to make a difference and intervene with Him for others. The only problem is that it takes some kind of sacrifice on our part… time, vulnerability, follow-up, etc….yup, there’s the Jesus connection again. Here is one of the simplest ways I know to respond to the “freak out.” Ask them if you can pray with them to see what else may be going on.  Here are 3 simple steps.

  • Acknowledge the freak out. “Hey I noticed you were upset about_______.”
  • Pray About It. “Could I pray with you about that right now?”
  • Ask If There is Something Else. “When we pray could we also ask God if there is something else that may be causing stress for you?” Listen to God on their behalf and see what He may say.

The third step is an important step and often missed. Have you ever noticed it’s easier to hear for someone else than it is to hear for yourself.  I believe this is a blessing that comes from Christian community. A blessing from God.  God uses us to encourage each other and to speak His truth to each other. I believe He enjoys speaking through us to others.  (One quick disclaimer: Always take any advice/feedback to Scripture. God won’t contradict Himself)

My Response

I want to be a part of the solution. My natural tendency is to avoid people when they are freaking out for a reason that doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t understand why they are freaking out, that frustrates me, so I avoid them.  Instead of avoiding I am choosing to start intervening for them. I will choose to try to listen with them to see what God might be saying. Perhaps, just perhaps, He allowed me to be present  during the freak out because He wanted to use me in that situation.

No one wants to have a freak out moment, but we all do.  Just think, would you rather have your freak out moment in proximity to someone who will help you process through it, or with someone who will choose to avoid you in the future? Even though it’s embarrassing I would want someone to intervene and help me through it. I want to be that person for others.  Even more, I want to continue to follow Christ’s example…to consider others.

 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

Phil 2:1-5

Be a difference maker,


The Secret To Living A Perfect Day [VIDEO]

“You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
― John Wooden

This video is a perfect example of living for others. Great example Jacob

Be a difference maker,


Darren’s Monday Musings

Darren's Monday Musings


  • Walking With God – This was on my to read list for a long time. I really enjoyed the transparency and the randomness of topics he covered. It was truly like reading John’s journal and how he processed the feelings and issues we all face.  Was a great companion for my morning devotional time.
  • Decisive – I completely enjoyed reading this book. I’ve always enjoyed books that teach about human behavior and include a lot of interesting studies to back up their conclusions and observations.  So, if you’d like to find out how to be more decisive and make better decisions, then this is a must read.

In reading “Walking With God” this stood out to me one morning.  We tend to approach discernment and decision making from one of two perspectives.  Wisdom and Revelation. Some of us tend to seek divine revelation and clarity.  Others of us seek wisdom from ourselves and others.  Both are important. If you ten to seek Revelation, don’t forget to ask others.  If wisdom and input is your first plan of attack don;t forget to ask God what He thinks.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Ephesians 1:17

If you operate with neither…well, you are in for a big pile of trouble.

Longer Conversations with God

I definitely try to er on the side of seeking wisdom. I try to be on the lookout for godly and humble people. God often uses others to teach me. I also notice I don’t nearly ask Him for input often enough. Don’t get me wrong, I pray about a lot of things, but I am feeling led to be much more specific with my prayers and to ask follow-up questions.  I often ask if I should do something or not…now once I get my answer I keep the conversation going by asking a few more questions. When? With who? What do you want to teach me there? etc, etc.  I’m enjoying longer conversations with God

Executive Coaching

I’ve never had an executive coach before, but I’ve wanted to. This week I partnered with a coach to help me work through the launch of a new product/service for churches. The financial cost is a little steep, but learning is never cheap, right?  Have you ever had a coach? Would love to hear who you have worked with, if you’re willing to share?

Be a difference maker!


Help Me…Editors Wanted


Help Me

Here’s The Scoop

  • I’m writing my first ebook. Specifically I’ve compiled some of my best learning on how to live AND implement a life plan. Emphasis on the implement part.
  • I’m not the best editor by any stretch of the imagination so I need help.
  • I’d like to share it with a few people who would be willing to read it and help me edit the content. (I will send a short template to serve as a feedback guide)

What You Get In Return

  • I will publicly thank you on my blog and social media sites (if you are ok with that)
  • I will include a list of my volunteer editors in the ebook. (Again, with your permission)
  • Fun! Yup, you heard me. It’s fun to be part of project and work together on something.

So, if you have time and would like to help, please send me an email here or leave a comment below.

[Image via Vtdainfo|]

Stop Helping Everyone

Stop Helping Everyone

 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

~ Proverbs 3:28

In my bible reading recently, Proverbs 3:28 stuck out to me.  I actually wrote it down in my journal to reflect on later. Today is “later.” When re-reading it  I was reminded of a principle I first heard Andy Stanley mention, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. ”The reality is we don’t help “everyone.” Obviously the title of this post is misleading…but the point is this.

You can’t help everyone, but you can help one.”

Coach John Wooden was famous for saying, “Make everyday your masterpiece.” That statement was actually the sixth principle of seven that his father gave him to live by. I think one of the reasons it was the sixth was because to truly live a masterpiece each and everyday you had to fulfill the first  five steps. Step 2 was to “Help Others.” And Coach’s definition of helping others was this.

“You cannot have a perfect day without helping others with no thought of getting something in return. . . .”

I’m not sure what the perfect definition of helping others is, but I do know this. Jesus, the ultimate servant and example, reminds us to “Love others as He has loved us.” John 15:12. Unselfishly serving others is supposed to be a way of life. Unfortunately  too often, I am the one that is served and not the one serving. I needed this reminder today. Perhaps you did too?  Today, let’s do something for at least “one” person.

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.
― Helen Keller (Tweet This)

Darren’s Monday Musings

Darren's Monday Musings


I was able to finish three books this week. All different, all great!

  • Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours – Great book! I have always enjoyed reading about Coach John Wooden, and this was perhaps one of my favorite. I absolutely love his humble and hardworking attitude. I’ve started writing a summary of this book that I hope to share next week sometime.
  • Love Does – Inspirational! If you are in need of a healthy dose of inspiration on how to live a life full of adventure…a life that is already within you, then this is for you.
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Those that know me well know I’m a stickler for clarity and focus. I’m not a great multi-tasker. Don’t even get me started on multi-tasking. Even more frustrating are organizations that settle for mediocrity by focusing on too many things.  This is a good reminder, and a fresh take, on the power of becoming great at one thing at a time.

On Memories

    • My Opa turned 90 so we decided to have a mini reunion with just our immediate family at the lake this past week. It was cramped (I need personal space), frustrating at times, but it was a lot of fun! I think I’ll remember this week for the rest of my life. This was definitely a memory making trip. I’m thankful for that. I want to be great at making memories for my family. It’s important to be on the lookout for opportunities to make a memorable event.  That’s a good posture to take in life.  Here’s a picture of us celebrating and creating a special memoryOpas 90th
  • Judah, my stud 6 year old, knee boarded for the first time. It was such a shock that he actually got up that I didn’t have my camera ready. If you want to make someone’s day, you can send him a congratulatory note to my Facebook wall. I’ll read every one of them to him. Facebook Judah here.

On Selfishness

The problem with making memories is that I haven’t made enough of them. Why you ask? Because the best memories are almost always a selfless act. I’m a pretty selfish guy at times. It’s hard not to be selfish.  It seems like it won’t be a lot of fun….However, great experiences and thus great memories are a ton of fun. I think one of the best ways to battle selfishness is to actively be creating memories for other people. It’ll be fun too!

That’s it for this week.

Be blessed! Be a difference maker!


3 Simple Steps When Facing Unanswered Prayer

I was reading today and found myself thinking about these 3 simple steps we can take when facing unanswered prayer. Of course this is not thorough, but true nonetheless.  I wrote a more comprehensive list here on the “15 Reasons Why God Might Not Be Answering Your Prayer” (Tweet This)  However, before you read the long list, here are three quick thoughts on unanswered prayer.

  1. You’re asking the wrong question. Ask a new question.
  2. He wants to talk. Stop and listen. He might want to change the topic and talk about something totally different.
  3. Ask Him first what he wants to do with your time together.  Perhaps He just wants to be with you and bring the peace and comfort that can only come by being in His presence

What have you noticed in your prayer life? Does God often change topics? Does He answer quickly? Does He like for you to be quiet?  Let me know.