VIDEO: Nicaragua Family Rhythm Conferences 2015

3 11 2015

The teaching of Family Rhythm goes beyond good parenting practices, which it does well. Family Rhythm acknowledges the pain and disconnection, or you could say the absence of rhythm, in our relationships and holds out the hope that we can continuously move closer to better and better relationships by getting caught up in the simple Family Rhythm story (see here). Simple pattern changes over a long period of time can take us either down a path of asynchronous relationships or increasing connection.

Family Rhythm seeks to show families simple ways, ideas, patterns or habits that daily increase the peace and wonder they experience.

Close to 50 people came from around Nicaragua to hear this teaching. The encouragement we all shared as we worked together will, I believe, linger for a long time in our minds and hearts. Young moms and dads, grandparents, pastors, ministry leaders and others came with great enthusiasm and energy as we shared stories, experiences and ideas for daily improving the direction our families are heading.

Here’s a short video I put together that inspires me, as one mom put it, “to grow in the love of Christ.”


10 02 2015

In relationships, winning can be difficult to identify. In ministry, to me, winning relationships are marked by the presence of Christ. I’m not talking about flashes of light or some awesome supernatural experiences, which on occasion throughout history have happened. I just mean the simple awareness that God is close and making us a little more like Jesus. That gives me hope as I spend time with children.

Screenshot 2015-02-10 11.22.33

6 Reasons to Attend Church More Often

2 01 2015

Have you taken a moment lately to consider the value of church attendance? Attending weekly services is good for many reasons. Also, church is not just about the traditional services. Church really gets cooking when you join a small group…and eat good cooking together.

Whatever your current church involvement is, consider these six reasons to attend church a little more often:

  1. Meaningful Relationships. When we regularly rub shoulders with people in a positive environment it facilitates good connections and reminds us of our need for others.
  2. Inspiration. The realities of life are tough. We can all use refreshing insights.
  3. Meets Contribution Needs. We want our life to mean something. Church is a fantastic opportunity to serve people and build into them.
  4. Improves Moods. Yes, yes it does.
  5. Passes on Generational Values. If regular church life is a positive experience for the next generation they are more likely to stick with it throughout life or return to it later in life if they’ve left. Read up.
  6. Big Picture Reminder. Church is bigger than just me. Life is bigger than just me. Remember your Creator, Jesus. He has grand plans.

Five Actions for Forming a Strong Family Rhythm

22 01 2014

Below are five simple action steps for each part of the Family Rhythm cycle.


  1. Right relationship: establish core family values. 
  2. Relationship broken: acknowledge realities and eliminate “sap suckers!”
  3. Repercussions: understand life-stage development, then discover and apply relevant and effective training methods.
  4. Repentance: model and expect authentic transformation more than just the flippant, “I’m sorry.” 
  5. Restoration: keep a constant view to your legacy. Will it be one of restored or broken relationships?



Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children – Desiring God

29 10 2013

Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children – Desiring God.

Obedient children leads to joy-filled relationships.

Creative Family Relationship Builders

19 01 2013

Right Relationship Ideas (not a comprehensive list)

For ideas on improving your family rhythm visit Family Rhythm on Twitter or Facebook.

Building right relationships in your home takes a little planning. Start with two or three ideas to master. Later you can build on them. Consistent, yet small improvements are more influential than fizzled big improvements. Work this out in the context of YOUR family. Not all families are alike. When ideas fail, don’t give up, get back on rhythm!

Establish meaningful rituals and traditions

Church, family game nights, special meals, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, stories, cooking together, etc.

Bedtime rituals: Brush teeth, bath, stories, songs, doodle pad, prayer

Remain flexible

Plan a rhythm, but understand things can change

Read together: Morning, after school, dinner, bedtime

Eat together: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, treats, when will work best for your family?

Play together: Weekends, whenever, diaper changes, getting ready, get on the floor, go on an adventure, camp, canoe, climb, hike, swim, take people with you, get out of the house

Talk together (and listen): Dinner, while walking or driving, family meetings, plan/dream together, be a student of your family

Create together: Fix something, get crafty, build something

Date each other: Spontaneous trips, regular trips, go for lunch with your parents

Affirm each other: Always look for each other’s strengths, leave home on a positive note, be a cheerleader, don’t be a downer

Show affection: Wrestle, hug, kiss, high-five, write a letter

Instruct: Formal and informal, dinner, special times, reinforce from church (place take homes in convenient locations), during times of discipline, maximize teachable moments, memory verses, book study, Bible study

Pray together: at the start of the day, meals, bedtime, crisis moments, exciting moments, teach the value of thankfulness

Work together: Team chores/projects, involve others with patience, age-appropriate responsibilities

Serve together: Volunteer somewhere, give gifts, sponsor a child, show hospitality, visit the elderly

Broader circle: Surround yourselves with others, connect to your child’s leader’s at church, get involved in the community, gain healthy relationships/small groups

Be there: Just being around communicates volumes!

Stories! Audio, visual, life, shared experiences, memories, acted, told, slideshows, etc.

God: How is he a real part of your family? Visual reminders, conversations, worship, talk about and model the Gospel EVERYDAY in different ways.

The Power of Persistent Parenting

29 11 2012

A big difference between effective and ineffective parenting lies in the word ‘persistence.’ 

My three children were playing with cards contentedly at the dinner table when out of nowhere my oldest starts crying. Now sometimes, when she cries, I dismiss it as an episode of ‘crying wolf.’ This situation was a bit different. Perhaps she could have cried less and maybe she exaggerated a bit, but the tears were genuine. I quickly found out that my two year old full out punched her older sister in the nose. Now she’s a little tike so a full punch for her isn’t too bad.

[Feel free to debate my chosen approach, but remember the main goal here is persistence.]

My littlest cutie, Selah

Sometimes I don’t want to deal with one more fight at home, but then there are times when I remember why an engaged parent is so critical to raising children. When one of my children does something wrong I have them make a statement of what they did wrong and have them ask forgiveness. Now at two years old this needs to be very simplified. So with her I required her to say, “I will not hit.” (In retrospect, this may have been too many words as she’s not quite putting full sentences together quite yet.) However, she refused to say anything and I could see in her little heart a stubbornness that refused to feel remorse. So when my children aren’t being cooperative they go to sit on the stairs to have a little break until they’re ready.

Here is where persistence comes in. She knew she had to go to the stairs, but wouldn’t let me take her. She trotted over there by herself and plopped herself down. After a few seconds she came back and I asked her if she was ready to say, “I will not hit.” She was not so I sent her back to her spot. She willingly trotted back and then a little later came back, but she again was not ready to make her statement. Cute right? However, this happened at least five times, but I’m thinking about eight times. This gets a little frustrating and the temptation is to just give up and move on. Giving up would have significant consequences down the road. Each time you make an expectation of your child, then fail to follow through, it becomes far more difficult in the future. So persist! Persist until the job is done, an expression of remorse is made and relationships are restored.

I did (thankfully!) persist. And it did pay off. She eventually said, “Not hit.” Then our next step is asking forgiveness. For my littlest, this will take some more time to develop, so for now, saying, “Sorry,” and giving a hug is sufficient for me.

So why persist? Because if I didn’t I would have missed out on seeing my children be restored in their relationship, my littlest would have learned that it’s ok to hit and both my girls would have sustained a small little scar in their lifetime relationship. And most, importantly, I would have missed a moment in time to teach my children that when relationships are broken, they can be restored. Doing this leaves a little hint in our home that, apart from Jesus, relationships could never be fully healed.

Persistence leads little ones to Jesus!

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