Men of God are taught to be peace makers.  Studying the book The Measure of a Man, by Gene Getz and specifically the chapter on Peace Makers.

What does it mean to be a Peacemaker exactly? It appears that mediating or facilitating an arbitration between opposing sides.  We are to be fair and just.  We are to be humble and think of others above ourselves.  Jesus informed James and John as well as all of the disciples of what it means to be the the first in heaven.  We must be like Christ and be the servant of all.

Much of this seems self-evident.  Maybe it is more enlightening to see what would be on the other end of spectrum. What is the opposite of this?  Ones that are contentious can create an environment that is not peaceful.  What is the evidence that we may be contentious?  Could it be that we are opinionated, too bold, antagonistic, and always having to be right?  Do we anger easily?  Do we always find ourselves playing the devil’s advocate or just like being a contrarian.  If so, then we may be adding to an unhealthy environment for those around us, including those closest to us.

The first step is to being honest in our self-evaluation.  What would our friends and family say about us in this regard.  Might they surprise us and be a little to free with examples that prove we may have issues with being contentious?

If we come to the place where we say, “nope, that is not me”, then we may want to look at it a bit more soberly.

In 1 John 1:10 it states, If we claim we have not sinned, we have made him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

If we fear the Lord, then we are taking God seriously.  To take God serious, means we need to take His word seriously.  Are we making a liar of God?  Is his word in us?  These questions are where the rubber meets the road.  If we align ourselves under Christ and are obedient to him, then we can be at peace. That may mean we have to dig deeper into these triggers to free ourselves from those traps.

If we are not sure, then we should take people who know us and in whom we trust to ask if they can give any examples of us being contentious or overbearing.  If we have identified it, then we can fix it.  It is important to understand what the triggers are.  Is it caused by poor parental examples?  Is it trigger by poor habits or from insecurities?  It is fair to uncover those triggers and bring those to the foot of the cross. We can then get into transparent relationships with other Godly men who will keep you accountable.

To be a peacemaker, we must first be at peace ourselves.  We need to be aligned with the one true God.  The God who took all of our sin, shame and scorn and took them upon himself.  Our righteousness is not in our works, but in the gift of the cross.  Being contentious can be an early tell as to where we are at any given time as it relates to our alignment under Christ.

If you see it, then do not brush it off. Lean into it and then lean into Jesus.


It is interesting what we do, because we think we are making amends with other people.  Like we are doing this them great favor of forgiving them.  Offering forgiveness is critical for us to have healthy relationships and with God.  The idea is if you have something against your brother, leave the alter and then come back.

T D Jakes said that when we do not forgive, it is like we are drinking poison waiting for the other person to die.  Isn’t that the truth.  We are the ones that are absorbing the damage and we need to find a healthy vent and let it go.  This is forgiveness.  The vent maybe crying out to the Lord from a broken place so that he can help change your heart as well as the heart of the one that had offended you.  But once God has done his part, we need to do our part and actually forgive.  That is what makes us the salt and light. that is how we stand apart from the world.  For greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

We have access to the eternal for wisdom, humility and strength.  We need only go to our father with openness and it is His delight to provide for you more than you could have hope and liver in abundance even amid the trials.  God’s grace is beyond our comprehension.

For me, it seems like we treat God like it is the Nuclear option.  We will only tap into our Lord when traditional warfare as not recorded any advances.  We have to be at the tip of the deceivers arrows before we call on the Creator of all things.  The funny thing is that the imagery of that nuclear bomb being loaded into a long range bomber and getting right above the target.  Your adversary looks up as the Bomber approaches him.  Your adversary drops to their knees and prays and the bomb drops.  But it detonates at 5,000 feet and nothing but the most vibrant and beautiful flowers cascaded down upon them.  Grace is our answer and Grace is our weapon if we want to be able to forgive and live again in abundance.

Time to Detox

I have decided to commit to the Daniel Plan with my wife and daughter.  The Daniel Plan is a Biblical approach to living in abundance.  That is done in several different ways. Fist we recognize that our bodies are temples for the in dwelling Holy Spirit.  Our bodies are not our own and they are paid for at a price.  That was the price of Jesus’s death on the cross to pay for our sins.  As Jesus arose from the grave we to come out of death into life.

The Bible tells us that many things are permissible, it does not mean they are beneficial to us.  That cues me into why I am taking this plunge.  I have certain health issues that seem to be either food or medicine enduced brain fog.  It is scary how seldom I have real clarity of thought.  That is when I realized that I cannot live in abundance or have the rich experiences or relationships without getting my health under control.  The correlation between physical health and spiritual health are real.

When we think of food as medicine, then we can understand how to begin to eat with purpose.  Right now our tastes and cravings have been hijacked by companies that manufacture your food in a plant.  The first step in eating right is to eat things that were not manufactured.  Go from field to fork when ever possible.  Eat one quarter of the plate with proteins, half the plate with vegetables and a quarter of the plate with carbs, but no bread.

The Daniel Plan shows where you can reset your taste and cravings in forty eight hours.  I know the last time I did a detox, everything tasted bad compared to foods that are not good for you. However, within a couple of days of eating correctly, you start to appreciate with grand pleasure what pink salt or a fresh garlic can to for delighting the palette.

I am in week one, but I like the process of having everything I do glorify God.

Move near the water

I have an unfinished basement and I have thought on a couple of occasions to refinish the basement.  I have been reminded many times that I cannot predict when the sump pump will fail and do not want to risk water damage to new flooring, drywall and furniture.  The basement ended up being the catch all room.  That room when you have no idea where to store certain things, so they usually end up in our basement.

We had what I considered junk in boxes and tubs alike.  My wife would call the junk memories and she had a hard time letting go.  Then I first episode with the sump pump failure occurred. When we looked in the basement, the entire basement was six inches under water.  Tough decision in terms of what to do right then.  To leave the house means no one is finding a quick way to start to get the water out of the basement.  We borrowed a back up sump pump that took a smaller volume and used a regular hose to carry the water up the stairs and out the back yard.  That was slow and tedious, but at least we were not we were not adding to the damage. My wife bought a replacement and we started the process of volume based water extraction.

Once that crisis element was over, we had to deal with the fact that a lot of our memories drowned.  All our books that were in boxes, papers from work or school, kids projects, and even clothing were effected.  Then we had to get the basement as dry as possible.  The removing the junk was not that easy, because there were memories in there as well.  The scary part is that my wife’s wedding dress was also in the basement, but was on the top of the pile.

So there should be a life lesson in there to pro-actively look at your stuff and see what you keep and see what you junk.  When a flood comes, it does not make a distinction of what is a memory.  By getting rid of the junk, the likelihood of putting your memories in a proper storage container clearly marked will ensure this does not happen again.

I looked at my basement the other day after a big snow melt and was relieved to see that the ground was still frozen so the melting had not impacted the runoff into the house.  But I also looked at the basement and noticed that it was every bit as bad as the first crisis in terms of memories everywhere and no real system of packaging and labeling.  I think I am going to buy a spare sump pump this week and start the removal of debris from my own basement.

Wisdom is being able to learn from others mistakes.  What is it when you do not learn from your own mistakes.  Yikes.


The Bat and the Butterfly Net

In every marriage, there are assumed roles.  The man is supposed to take out the trash, clean up after themselves and protect the home and it’s occupants.  That means when the dog vomits on the floor or the kids have an accident in someplace that is not the bathroom man dons his cape and takes care of business.

Then I think about all the things guys just do not know, but since it is our role we do it.  Regardless of how long we are married, our wives want to be pursued and valued.  The problem is unless our wives tell us what that looks like then it is a futile endeavor.

I remember having a long day.  I traveled 300 miles to get home and I was exhausted.  When I walk into the house we had a bat flying around the house.  We had isolated the bat in our sun room.  That is the room where we have an addition that has a hot tub and shower and an area to socialize.  My wife was happy to see me, but more to have me get rid of the bat.

I had no idea how to catch this elusive creature.  I went down in the basement and then into the garage to see if there was anything I could use to catch this bat.  All I found was my daughter’s butterfly net.  So the bat was on the ceiling and was almost invisible.  We have a wooded a frame type of ceiling that had plenty of knots.  The bat looked like just another knot in the ceiling.  Once I slowly stepped in and closed the door behind me all heck broke loose.  The bat started flying circles around the interior of the room.  The bat was flying so fast that has he came around every 1/4 of a second I would reach out to grab him.  The problem was that the bat flew so close to me that I had to use the net as protection for me and then once I realized a broke away from me then I could try to snag him. My daughter and wife were crying from laughing so hard.  They actually filmed it.  It was a picture of utter futility.

We finally got the bat out by opening the window and tried to push him out.  Bats are incredibly agile. The bat had to land and scoot through a small opening to get out.

That is the picture I get when my wife says you just do not get it.  Here in this example, I think I have done something totally cool and somehow I missed the boat completely.  I have missed the boats so many times that my passport has lapsed twice.  The point I am making is that not check this box or check that box.  It would be really nice if we could just have our wife give us the list of things that we can do to make them happy.  We actually ask for the list and it actually makes them even more angry.

I liken it college exam where the professor lets you know that it is open book and open notebook.  That is code for do not bother trying to find the answer in the books, because this requires critical thinking.  So the critical thinking is what women cannot understand that guys do not have when it comes to romancing our wives.

The answer is that they want us to write the play book. They want us to think about them enough to plan.  To take enough time to find something new to do.  Yes the flowers, candy, cards, jewelry all are part of checking the box.  But getting a reservation at that restaurant that you always wanted to go to and you made reservations.  That is big.  Finding a card that is appropriate for the situation and adding some heartfelt words is the minimum.  The words are again about effort.  They want to know if we care enough to romance them and that equates to giving it mind share and actually planning something without saying what do you feel like tonight.

So if you are having that common talk with your wife that just goes in circles. Think of me trying to catch a bat with a safety net.  Recognize the futility of it.  Then do something different like open a window. let the bat out, get some fresh air and think about what you are going to different for your wife to make her feel like she is worth planning the perfect date.

Plan time with Wifey

Have you ever think to yourself, boy things are going great with my wife.  We are spending a lot of time together and having fun together.  Then you want to share that fact and then you realize that you are missing the boat.  That can be a major blow when you think things are going so right.  So after my wife sees my jaw hit the ground, she patiently goes through the process of educating me.  She wants to be part of my purpose.  Where I do not just end up places with her, but rather intentionally take her places.

One aspect of that is to take her to someplace new.  Just not the same old same old.  So we can create new memories together that are distinct from the memories that we have already created.

The other aspect is the purposeful conversation of what do WE want to do this year? What about in five years?  How we want to live purposefully together to make them a reality.  When you start dreaming the list starts to get quite big.  Then you sit down and prioritize both based on importance and also you’re your ability to make that happen financially.

It is an eye opener when you start thinking about living purposefully for ministry and things outside of your home.  Mind blown is when you realize that you have not done that with your soul mate first.

So now I need to slow down and think, do I even have a short-term plan in my own mind with my wife much less understand if this is a shared desire.  So my encouragement to all husbands is to see really how you are doing with your wife.  Be prepared for an answers that you may not see coming.  Woman are about plans and being romanced.  With my wife the words mean very little.  It is always about my actions and what I do.  Right now, it is about courting her and desiring new experiences with her.

Apparently wives do not like drifting through life and just watching the dates on the calendar get X’d off.  Living with purpose is a good thing.  Living with a purpose that is totally aligned with your spouse is magical.

Plan the date fellows and have a conversation about your collective dreams.  Then put in a plan to make it happen.  Make a plan. Make a sate, make a life with your wife.  Empty nesters will see the urgency of this process, but trust me, every couple will eventually reach this place if you do not plan it out together.

Design Your Home

When you purchase a new home, that is the time to sort through what gets left behind, recycled or brought with you.  many times people bring junk, that has serious sentimental value.  Many times we are upgrading the size of our home and we think we need to bring everything, because we need to fill up the home.  The problem is that we tend to bring the clutter.  Sometimes all the clutter gets shoved into the 2 car garage so the house can present as clean.  The problem is that now you have no place to put your cars.

I was having a conversation with my Pastor and he took me on an interesting journey.  Imagine that your brain is your home.  What does the front door look like.  He reminds me that right now there is nothing.  So whatever we put in there, we do so purposefully.

The passage that my Pastor was illustrating was Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So seeing everything as brand new was exciting.  I do not have to lug garbage into my new home.  I do not have to design my home like someone else says I should. I can start from a clean slate and add those accents that shine light on the most important thing or person in that room.  What does that room need to reflect.  For me, it represents a rebirth and an opportunity to build something that is worthy of the carpenter that paid dearly to give this room to me.

Continue reading “Design Your Home”

Hard work to think half full

Half Full

So how do we get those negative thoughts out of our head.  These are the notes from Alison Ledgerwood on TEDX.  Alison explained that we have two frames one that is negative or one that is positive.  If we see a glass as half full we are happy. If see a glass is half-empty not so happy.  We look at the good and bad in a day and tend to really remember the bad.

Alison explained that if she had a positive experience at work, she would be happy, but then quickly snap back to her baseline.  If something negative happened then she would have negative feelings.  What was interesting is that she would not swing back as quickly to the baseline.  The tendency is to linger in the negative and not let it go.  As a Psychologist she wanted to understand why we tended to stay there.  Then she questioned can people change their frame.

The study had two groups that they shared the same data with, but presented it in two different ways.  What was being explained to group one was that there was a medical procedure that had a 70% success rate.  Group one was positive about that.  Then group two was told that the procedure had a 30% failure rate.  Group two then had a negative reaction to the procedure.  They then went back to group one to share that the procedure had a 30% failure rate. Now group one has a negative take on the procedure even after first being told that there was a 70% success rate.  Meaning that once the mind turns negative, it tends to stay there.  Group 2 was told that the procedure had a 70% success rate and they still were negative on the procedure.

Alison spoke of another study and it was explaining to two groups that a governor was running for re-election and that with the current budget cuts they expected 10,000 jobs to be effected.  Group 1 was told that the governor was able to save 40% of the jobs.  Group 1 liked that.  Group two was told that 60% of the jobs were lost. group 2 did not like that.  When Group one was told that 60% of the jobs were lost, now there opinion swung negative. Group was told 40% of the jobs were saved and Group 2 stayed negative.  What this showed is that once we turn negative it takes a lot of hard work to move back to positive.


To try and quantify this, Alison explained again using two groups.  the statement is that 600 lives are at stake.  Group one was asked “If 100 lives are saved, how many will be lost.  The answer is 600- 100 = 500.  that took group 7 seconds to respond to.  Then group two was asked If 100 lives are lost, how many will be saved. Again the answer is 600 – 100 = 500.  However, it took this group 11 seconds to respond.  Showing that it is harder to find the positive or bright side.  that we go more naturally to the negative and indeed it is harder work to see the same problem in the positive.

Alison explained that were things we can do to train our mind so that we do not get stuck in the negatives.  She suggested writing about all the good things that happened to you today. Even on a bad day, if you start remembering the good things your attitude starts to turn positive you start to smile and then come to the conclusion that maybe the day was not so bad.

From my perspective I think that is why Christians giving thanks for the many blessings that we have is the little secret sauce for happiness.  The reality is that discipline of giving thanks, or remembering blessings is a healthy discipline that can lead to joy and happiness.


Hello world!

Welcome to my new website.  Please check back often as we talk about taking out the trash.  You know the thing that we train our boys to do when they are early o life, but years into adulthood, we realized that the never really mastered the science of it. We will unpack how the young male adult still is challenged t understand what he means to take out the trash in a physical sense and also in an emotional sense.  Guys tend not to pay attention to those obvious signals staring us right in the face.  I remember when I was first married, my wife would put a bag of trash at the top of the steps of the basement.  We typically had to take the trash down through the basement and outside where we kept the trash can.  My wife thought I was deliberately avoid my chore.  I argued that I never saw the trash.  She screamed back, that you stepped right over it to get to the basement.  my response was, I thought something was there. I could not figure out why my wife would place obstacles in my way.  Well we are guys and Debbie is going to help clear our minds so we can start to see those obstacles in our life and help us to move on to grand things.