Daddy Loves You!

Posted: November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

I sat and watched my daughter play this evening, I sat because she wore me out! She is a little energizer bunny! I love every minute of it but man… can they tire you out! As I watched her play, I wondered who she will become as she grows up. I wondered if she will love soccer or if she will be a dancer? Will she become a doctor or a stay at home mom? I know she is only 10 months old but this is how my brain works.

Now I don’t want her to grow up too fast. If I had magical powers, I would stop time and have her be little forever, but I know that is not possible. So since she is fast asleep and I reflect on those thoughts from earlier. I realized a few things about being Daddy tonight.

1. Time Is Ticking: She is growing up fast and I only have so much time to be her knight in shining armor. Enjoy every tiring night as if it was my last with her. Teach her the way a Real man should treat her.

2. Tell Her You Love Her and That She is Beautiful: This is something I do everyday. No matter if it is when I carry her to bed or as I feed her breakfast. Every girl needs to hear this from her Daddy! She is never to young to hear her Daddy loves her.

3. Be Intentional: Play with her, take her on dates, be interested in what she loves to do. Spend time with her without being on the computer or connected to your phone.

4. Chose Her Over Work: If I have to stay up late to get work done, Do it! Don’t sacrifice her for the sake of “Ministry”.

So this blog today was written for me. I wrote this so I would never forget how I feel this evening. If it challenges you as well, then it has served two purposes.

-Josh

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Help, I lost my phone!

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Ever been to the point of complete frustration because you have lost something? I can remember many times looking for my sunglasses, searching and searching all over the place. Only to realize they were on my head. The classic example from my life is, one time I was search for my cell phone while I was using my blue tooth.  The phone was in my jacket pocket I was wearing the whole time. I was so worked up that I couldn’t find it I wanted to scream. Have you even been in a situation like this?

Tonight, while watch the Eagles DESTROY the Raiders, a friend lost his cell phone. We looked and looked for it inside, outside, all over the house. The whole house was in a frenzy trying to find it. We eventually found it, but it brought to mind one of the craziest miracles performed in scripture. Elisha is with some younger profits that are cutting wood and the axehead flies off and into the lake. The profit is so upset and turns to Elisha for help. Crazy enough Elisha asks him where it fell in the water. He then throws in a stick and the iron axehead floats to the surface so the young profit can retrieve it.

I know you are thinking whats the point. The point is, God cares about the small stuff. Even when you have lost a phone or a pair of sunglasses. To many times we think He is to busy to care about what we are frustrated over. Remember this is the God who held the universe in the palm of his hands. Is he not the same God who knows the number of hairs on each of our heads? Yes, He is! He is also the God who is not to busy to help you in those moments of life that are so frustrating to you. Just don’t be afraid to ask Him because you think He is to busy. You never know when He is going to make the axehead float.

-Josh

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Today is the day after Halloween and I hope you have recovered from all the candy you ate! No matter how old you get, you know you are tempted to get dressed up and get FREE candy! My wife/daughter took in a haul! If this is my last post you know she killed me for that joke. Let’s get back to the task at hand, interesting stuff found on the old interweb that you might find cool too! That’s right it is Follow Friday!

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Sports: Birds 24/7  

I am a die hard Philadelphia sports Phan! I also bleed green! E-A-G-L-E-S…EAGLES!!! If you are an Eagles nut like me and you are looking for updated information on the team. Birds 24/7 is my source for that information. They have some of the most recant news on what is happening all things Eagles! You will love it!

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Twitter: Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey changed our life! Seriously, his Financial Peace University changed how we handle our finances. He is an unbelievable financial planer with tons of wisdom! I recommend his course to everyone I met that is struggling with their finances. Even if you are not struggling, he can help you as you look toward your future. Trust me this is worth your time!

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Blog: Peter Gowesky

Peter and I have been friends since we met in college. We have often joked about our time in class together saying, “Man should we have payed more attention!” It has been my honor to watch Peter grow as a husband, father and pastor. I love his blog because his thoughts challenge me daily. If you are looking for some thought provoking reads, this is a blog you do not want to miss out on! One of the best parts of Peter’s page is The Network. Peter’s heart is for other pastors is infectious. If you are a Pastor and you need a network of guys to lean on while you go through the ebbs and flows of ministry, this is the place for you! Make sure you click the link and check it out!

So now it is your time! What has tickled your fancy this week as you have surfed the net? I would love to here from you what your Follow Friday’s are this week! As I said earlier, I am an Eagles Phanatic! Here is my bold prediction, the Eagles will win the NFC East! I said I was a Phanatic. I never claimed to be smart!

-Josh

Trunk or Treat

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I write this at 11:05 pm after a night that has drained me. I can not sleep after the event we just held. I know Halloween is a touchy subject for many. I understand your reservations and concerns, really I do. As a new Dad of a little girl, I ask my self this question tonight. What do I want to teach her? So here are some thoughts from our Trunk or Treat.

1. Tonight we saw something so unusual and that was Joy on people’s faces. Those that gave and those that received! No matter your roll this evening, it brought a smile to your face to see 2000 people come together for a night of fun.

2. Did we Love well. Absolutely! This evening the community saw a church that did not have a platform. The only goal was to Love them and to Serve them. We were not “washing feet” but we were parking cars, making hot dogs, giving out candy, even scaring some people! All of this was an act of service to show our community that we love them.

3. Jesus would have been proud. Yes, a Halloween event, he might have even joined in on the “Zombie Run”. I might get flack for saying that, but this is my blog and it is my opinion. Tonight the Gospel was presented without ever having to say a word!

I could keep going but it is late and I am tired. So this evening for me the big take away is this, I want to teach my Daughter to Love others the way we did tonight. We did not have bull horns. We did not have a message. We had candy, hot dogs, coffee, zombies, and the Love of Christ over flowing from all of our hearts! Thank you all that Loved!

Happy Halloween!

-Josh

Who are you? No, really, who do you betray in your life. I work with Young Adults as a College and Career pastor. Yes, it is hard to believe I am a pastor, but put that a side for a minute. I watch college student after college student struggle to find their identity as they are challenged each and everyday about their “faith”.

Why is this so common? Is it that they never had “true” faith? Is it that they have more information in their hands then any other generation? Is it that they just don’t care any more? I believe all of these are just cop-out answers given by those who don’t want to see the real answer.

As I have talked to many young adults, I have come to the conclusion that these excuses are not the main issue. The main issue is us! That is right, I am saying those that have called themselves believers for years. We are the reson they struggle with their faith at this stage of their life.  Why? Let me share some thoughts:

1. Marriage is a joke.

2. Lying is common.

3. They don’t see Jesus in our actions.

4. We don’t Love others.

5. Hypocrisy  is common.

These are just a few things and maybe we can justify why each has happened, but it has caused a generation to run away from the church. So this brings me to the question, what are you doing to change this? It is time for us to Love like Jesus. If we Love like we have been told to Love, we can change this trend!

Matthew 5: 43-48

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

It is time to make a change and Love like Jesus, not how our society tells us to love one another. Are you ready to Love your neighbor? I am! What can you do to reverse this trend? Like Andy Stanley says,

“Direction, not intention, determines your destination!”

-Josh

Aside  —  Posted: October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Follow Friday!!! Woot! Woot!

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

ImageThat’s right, Friday is here again! I hope you have some great plans for the weekend. I know tomorrow, I will get out on the pitch and run around like I’m 18. The next four day I will spend recovering on the couch. Whatever you do, take some time this weekend to do something you love! We spend most of our time living the rat race and enslaved to deadlines.

It is time to refuel mind, body, and spirit! That leads us to our Follow Friday…

Book: Gospel By J.D. Greear

This Book has challenged my thoughts of the what the Gospel is in the church today. Could it be that we have allowed moralism and legalism to hide the true Gospel. This book helps you understand what the Gospel can produce in us, something that religion never will. This book is a must read for all that call themselves followers of Christ. I will leave you with a quote from the book that I love!

There is a fundamental difference in serving God to get something from Him and serving Him to get more of Him.-J.D. Greear

Music: Hillsong

Album: Young & Free

I recently discovered this album from following a friend on Spotify. I typically am up on the latest and greatest, I tend to pride myself on that, but this one slipped by me. I can not turn this album off! It has been on constant repeat the past two weeks as I work in my office. I am listening to it now as I type this blog! Go pick it up you will not be disappointed!

Movie: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

I write this one to all the gentleman that need a “chick flick”. My wife and I love spending Friday nights, after we put the baby to bed spending time watching a movie. This is something that has been a staple in our dating relationship! Yes, I did say dating relationship! I still date my wife even eight years into marriage! She will send me to redbox and I often end up with a movie that is not her favorite.  Until one Friday when she sent me out to pick up a movie,  I remembered she had mentioned wanting to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green . Gentleman this one is a win! Enjoy the story and the date with your special lady. Oh, don’t be afraid to shed a tear! Not that it caused me to cry.

Twitter: @JudahSmith

Judah is the Pastor of The City in Seattle Washington. I was first introduced to Judah at a conference in South Carolina. I instantly was attracted to his views on life and Jesus. He made me feel less crazy about my own thoughts and feelings on the church. If you are looking for leadership and a true Love for God and his word, Judah is a must follow for you. He is a dynamic pastor and speaker. I would highly recommend visiting  thecity.org and listening to a few messages.

I hope you enjoy this week’s Follow Friday’s, but before you leave I would love to hear from you. What have you found amazing this week as you have searched the old interweb? What blog, who’s twitter, what website has impacted you enough that you must share it with others?

-Josh

MMM…Raisin Bran Crunch!

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Yes, I know that is a weird title, but it was so good! This is my favorite cereal! I know, I know it is not as cool as “What the kids are eating these days.”  It doesn’t have fancy marshmallows or even chocolate! Call me a traditionalist if you will! No matter your thoughts, I still love it.

The other day I poured the last bowl out of the box. Now don’t be upset for me. I know the last of anything can be frustrating. Like the last bit of milk or the last egg, but not the last bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch! The last bowl is the one you wait for!  You eat every other bowl just to get to the last bowl! Why? This is the bowl where all the crunchy goodness and raisins hide! With every bowl previous to this one, you may be a bit disappointed with the cereal. After all, who really wants to eat bran flakes? So as I was enjoying my Last Bowl of Crunch, it hit me! This is just like God’s provision in our lives! He gives us just enough to keep us going and then –  Bam! Raisiny Chrunchy Goodness! He never said that this walk would be easy (Trust me it is not), but the blessing that comes from the persistence of trying to be more like Him will blow your mind.

My wife and I have been married for almost 8 yrs. For more than 2 of those years we tried to have a child. Man… month after month, year after year… bowls of bran flakes that had no raisins or crunchy goodness. (This was a very difficult journey for me.) During that time frame God clearly told me to begin another job. I was comfortable where I was in ministry. I wasn’t ready, God! But then one day we finally got to the point where if it was not His will for us to stay, then we had to follow his leading elsewhere. Honestly, we made the move with a heavy heart! We left our family and friends behind to start a new chapter of our lives. Then, Bam…Lisa was pregnant! We now have a 10 month old that is the happiest baby of all time! (I might be biased!) Kate Elisabeth was the “bowl of blessing” at the bottom of the box.

I write all this to say, God has put before you a box of Raisin Bran Crunch. Are you going to eat the whole box to get to that amazing bowl of yummy goodness, or are you going to give up on His leading and direction? Sometimes he is calling you to make a move and it may be crazy! You may want to run away.  But trust me, there is a bowl at the bottom of the box that you do not want to miss out on!

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Josh