Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Anxious Parent


I hate to admit it but I am an anxious parent. In regards to my kids, I struggle with anxiety on a regular basis. My anxiety really comes out when I take the girls to the playground. As a father I want to protect my daughters but sometimes it goes too far. I’m tempted to not let my daughters do things where there is a chance they could get hurt.

Even as I watch them enjoy the playground I allow myself to become anxious thinking about the what ifs. What is Norah slips on the rope ladder and falls? What if Anna’s shoes catch on the slide and she flips head first down the slide?

These anxious thoughts can be paralyzing and at the root is my struggle with trust. I don’t trust my daughters’ ability to make smart decisions. I don’t trust God to protect my kids. I don’t trust that their failures or accidents can really be good for their development.

The bottom line is that my anxiety isn’t good for my kids’ development or for my own spiritual walk. It’s hard to overcome especially because the battleground is in the mind. But it’s worth overcoming for myself and for my kids.


Pop Culture Dads

As a kid of the 80s and 90s, the dads on TV were Homer Simpson, Al Bundy and the one who saved the whole lot, Bill Cosby. Now that I’m a dad, I’m a little cynical when I hear about TV shows or movies that focus on dads. I’m usually frustrated because the dads are portrayed as bumbling idiots who don’t know a thing about raising kids. I gravitate toward shows that portray dads as human yet who take their parenting role seriously. It’s one reason I love NBC’s Parenthood. Parenthood even features one of the characters as a stay at home dad who is the main caregiver for the kids and excels at it.

More and more families are deciding that it is best for the dad to stay home with the kids and be the main caregiver. There is even a convention specifically geared for stay at home dads. At our church we have two dads who excel in their roles as stay at home dads. You can read the adventures of one of these dads, Will Culp, in his book “Better Off Dad.” Don’t say these guys have it easy and just get to sit around all day. And don’t call them a babysitter. They are dads who have fully embraced their role as a father. Read the rest of this entry

Leap of Faith to Denver

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!  (Proverbs 3:5-7 Message)

Saturday, May 26 we are taking a leap of faith and packing all our belongings into a UHaul truck and driving to Denver, Colorado. We feel a strong sense that we are to move back to Denver but I don’t have a job yet. My job at First Presbyterian Church is done on May 25. Thus the leap of faith.

I’m in the interview process with two churches near downtown Denver and both look like good places for our family. We have loved living in downtown Champaign and raising our kids in a more urban setting. The neighborhoods surrounding Denver are interesting socioeconomically and culturally. We have lived in the suburbs of Littleton and now we feel led to the urban environment of Denver.

So our hope is that one of these church positions will work out. If they don’t work out I am hoping to jump back into Apple Retail. Then our family would immerse ourselves in a church in one of the Denver neighborhoods that is committed to missional communities and transforming neighborhoods.

Right now we are planning on moving our stuff into a storage unit until a job comes together. We feel strongly about living in the neighborhood where I work. So we are planning on spending some time in Roswell, New Mexico with Hillary’s family until something comes together.

We are leaping and thankfully God knows the future and will keep us on track!

MMA and Fight Church

From Fight Church

In college I served as a part time youth pastor at a local church in rural Indiana. Three of the students I brought each week were from some pretty tough home situations and worshiped the fighters of WWE. They would put wrestling moves on each other and sometimes me. They some pretty big kids so I didn’t stand a chance. I wondered what effect watching wrestling had on their development and especially on how they expressed their anger.

Recently, I have noticed pastors like Mark Driscoll talk about redeeming UFC and mixed martial arts. Now there is even a documentary talking about the interaction of the church and MMA called Fight Church. You can watch the trailer here.

Questions about how Christianity should interact with a violent culture are not new. The early Christians in the Roman Empire asked these same questions about gladiators. How do you follow a Jesus who said to turn the other cheek and beat the snot out of your competitor? Are there negative ramifications of pushing such a masculine Christianity?

As a father of daughters questions like this don’t come up much. But for those that are raising sons it can be more of an issue. How do you think Christians should interact with MMA? Would you let your child watch UFC?

Six Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout