an important message for dads

Hey guys out there. I wanted to share two things with you. One is a question that I have personally been grappling with for some time. I am very interested in your feedback and insight and story. Please comment. The second is a clip from an article I got recently via email. There was a link in it, as well, to a larger article. Well worth reading. Here you go.

THE QUESTION I’M ASKING MYSELF:

am I giving at least the same if not more energy, creativity, passion, strategy, and intentionality to cultivating my marriage and my children as I am into my work?

THE ARTICLE: How to crush your daughter

A young woman, Sarah, wrote us the following e-mail:  “My dad is the most important person in the world to me, even though he doesn’t have much time to spend with me.  That affected me negatively in the teen years. If you want me to cry at the drop of the hat, just get me to thinking about him someday dying, and leaving me without him.  I can be doing anything and when that thought floats by, I’m reduced to sobbing. I wish my dad knew how much he could heal in my family if he would just make us feel more important than work.”

Why are workaholics more likely to fail at both their job and their family? Find out here.

Huddle up and ask your kids tonight: If I worked one hour less each week, what would you like to do?

Think about it. We must. Much love.

-jason

teaching at the LIVE SENT conversation

Last week, September 17th and 18th to be exact, the Reproducing Churches Network hosted “the LIVE SENT conversation” in Lakeland, FL. It was an amazing two days of conversation with some awesome leaders who are serious about cultivating cultures of people who live sent daily. Here are three highlights:

  • You can read some of the highlights from Twitter-land by clicking here.
  • You can watch one of Neil Cole’s teaching sessions by clicking here.
  • You can watch one of my teaching sessions by clicking here.

BIG THANKS to ERICK BAUMAN for making the LiveStream happen. He did so all the way from Manhattan! Pretty cool. So thankful for Hal and Robert and Billy and Adam and Sharon and Lindsey and Ashley and Julia and so many others who made the conversation happen. And thanks to Neil Cole and Alan Hirsch and JE Caterson and others who joined us to facilitate conversation. AWESOME TIMES!

If you are in Central FL and want to connect to one of the Reproducing Churches network groups, please let me know. I will try to point you in the right direction.

How are you living sent? Leave your story and feedback from the highlights above here.

Much love.

-jason

@ the beach with Pop

I don’t think you would call either Dad or Mom beach people. Mom’s comment about the beach in the summertime usually was something like, “It’s so hot I think I’m just gonna pass on over to glory.” I know her view in heaven is glorious. Our view at the beach just east of Destin was also glorious this past week. And Pop went with Jen and the kids and me. It was a very memorable time.

Mostly great. There were a few down times for me, thinking about Mom. For Pop, too. I know Dad thought about her a ton. Caleb was his bunk mate, which I think they both enjoyed. Almost every morning, Dad reenacted Caleb’s very active sleep habits. From kicking to getting sideways to laughing to mumbling to screaming something, it made for an interrupted and entertaining nights sleep.

This was a trip we had planned actually back before Mom and Dad’s accident. Erik and his wife and kids along with Jen and the kids and me along with Mom and Dad, all crowded into a rental home near Destin. Well, we canceled the reservations back in July when it was apparent that we’d be transferring Mom to Orlando from New Orleans for rehab around this time. As you probably know, we cancelled for that reason, but Mom didn’t make it to Orlando. So, we kind of asked around. We were blessed so greatly with an amazing replacement option.

We are so grateful for a family from New Orleans that has so loved on our family through the years. They own the place where we stayed, and so generously offered it to us the use of their beach home. It is such a great place. The kids enjoyed every inch of it, especially the pool and the oversized golf-cart. Thanks so much to that family (I won’t mention their name, because I don’t think they would want me to). We were really refreshed and blessed by your hospitality.

The most amazing memories that Jen and I will take home with us were of watching the kids with Pop. To see his smile (yes – he actually smiled :-) and the joy in the kids face was something to behold. Hanging in the house in the mornings. Swimming in the pool. Wading in the water on the beach. Grabbing ice cream together. Sipping hot chocolate together. Meals out. Meals in. And so much more. I threw in some really neat pictures below.

Another memorable moment from this week that Jen and Dad celebrated with me – my book appeared on Amazon.com the day we left to come to Destin (click here to see it!). Pretty crazy. My prayer continues to be one of gratefulness that God would give us a message to communicate, one of excitement for this unique  opportunity, one of usefulness that people would really be encouraged by the book, and one of praise for the sobering reality that God uses people not because they are great but because they are simply willing to say yes. It’s a bit surreal, to be honest, to see something you wrote on Amazon.com. Be my glory, Lord. And please make yourself known through whatever comes as a result of people reading it. I’m thankful. There is actually a special, creative component to the front cover of the book especially for Mom. Let me know if you notice it.

Well, here are those amazing pics from the week. Hope you really enjoy them. I’ll post at you later. We love you guys.

-jason

(where we were, dotted below by the kids' footprints)

(where we were, dotted below by the kids' footprints)

(enjoying the beach)

(enjoying the beach)

(the kids digging in the sand)

(the kids digging in the sand)

(Caleb preparing to take on some waves)

(Caleb preparing to take on some waves)

(Caleb laying the foundation for his sand castle)

(Caleb laying the foundation for his sand castle)

(Caleb was braver than ever in the water this year)

(Caleb was braver than ever in the water this year)

(that's Caleb boogie-boarding)

(that's Caleb boogie-boarding)

(Katey loves the beach!!!)

(Katey loves the beach!!!)

(that's Katey boogie-boarding)

(that's Katey boogie-boarding)

(Katey really likes bugs, and here she was trying to nurse one back to health)

(Katey really likes bugs, and here she was trying to nurse one back to health)

(Abby really digs digging in the sand)

(Abby really digs digging in the sand)

(classic Abby)

(classic Abby)

(Abby and Mommy checking out the clear-blue water)

(Abby and Mommy checking out the clear-blue water)

(Abby's gotta wear shades)

(Abby's gotta wear shades)

(Pop and Ella)

(Pop and Ella)

(Ella was loving the sunshine and the people time)

(Ella was loving the sunshine and the people time)

(Ella and Pop and I wading in the water. Doesn't Pop look great!!! What a miracle man)

(Ella and Pop and I wading in the water. Doesn't Pop look great!!! What a miracle man)

(Ella's first experience with the salt water)

(Ella's first experience with the salt water)

(Ella tuckered out)

(Ella tuckered out)

(Pop enjoying the clear-blue water and the refreshing ocean breeze – the salt-water was good for his wounds on his foot that are still recovering)

(Pop enjoying the clear-blue water and the refreshing ocean breeze – the salt-water was good for his wounds on his foot that are still recovering)

(Pop and I walking out deeper and deeper. We got to neck high)

(Pop and I walking out deeper and deeper. We got to neck high)

(Pop and Caleb and Katey in the pool)

(Pop and Caleb and Katey in the pool)

(Caleb made Pop laugh a lot)

(Caleb made Pop laugh a lot)

(Abby made Pop's heart melt a lot)

(Abby made Pop's heart melt a lot)

(Ella did, too)

(Ella did, too)

(taking an outdoor nap with Abby)

(taking an outdoor nap with Abby)

(Mommy and Katey enjoying some dominoes one of the afternoons it rained)

(Mommy and Katey enjoying some dominoes one of the afternoons it rained)

(the note Pop left most mornings when he would go to grab coffee for him and us)

(the note Pop left most mornings when he would go to grab coffee for him and us)

(our last night there, we took some special pics of the kids on the beach)

(our last night there, we took some special pics of the kids on the beach)

(Abby and Katey running together)

(Abby and Katey running together)

(Katey and Caleb watching the waves together)

(Katey and Caleb watching the waves together)

(Ella wearing her first clip-in bow. She's so pretty!!!)

(Ella wearing her first clip-in bow. She's so pretty!!!)

(Abby watching the waves)

(Abby watching the waves)

(the older three looking out at the water)

(the older three looking out at the water)

(beautiful Katey)

(beautiful Katey)

(chasing the birds)

(chasing the birds)

(I caught a candid of Katey simply walking, maybe my favorite picture)

(I caught a candid of Katey simply walking, maybe my favorite picture)

(the older three standing on the steps)

(the older three standing on the steps)

(all four wonderful blessings)

(all four wonderful blessings)

(all four looking out at the water)

(all four looking out at the water)

(WOW!!! Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful gifts! We surrender these kids to You.)

(WOW!!! Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful gifts! We surrender these kids to You.)

LIVE SENT: you are a letter for pre-order

It is both sobering and exciting to be sharing with you that  LIVE SENT: you are a letter is online available for pre-order. It is on the publisher’s website right now, and it will be at Amazon.com and many others in the next two weeks. It will also be on Kindle soon. All this to say, I hope that it will be an encouraging and challenging book that pushes us all toward living on our intended purpose, being letters of God’s love into culture, and experiencing abundant life in the process. 

You can pre-order LIVE SENT: you are a letter by clicking here

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for and encouraged me to write it. I hope to hear honest feedback from you. Let me know what you think!

Post at you later.

-jason