Decisions, Decisions…

Have you ever had one of those “money where your mouth is” moments? You know the kind where all of that stuff you talk about meets a moment when you have to back it up? What if said moment means you might be embarrassed or look foolish? That happened this weekend.

Without going into specific details, I had agreed to host a party for an upcoming summer blockbuster film. I received a large box of goodies for the party including a cartoon DVD and hardbound comic books for all of the kids. We invited “the boys” 10 year old baseball team over in the event that their scrimmage was rained out. We thought it would be a good team bonding time and was a chance to give away all of this loot we were sent.

On Friday night “the boy” and I sat down to preview the cartoon since it was rated PG-13. Within the first 10 minutes, there was a reference to the Lords name and a cuss word. Overall, the cartoon was dark and, in my opinion, not appropriate for 10 year olds. We turned it off and I opened one of the comic books to give it a look-see. Within the first few pages was yet another cuss word. I also found demonic images and a reference to “Section 666”.

It was decision time….

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Songs of the Season

If we have Christmas songs, why don’t we have Good Friday and Easter songs too? Why doesn’t the local radio station start playing them sometime after Valentines day and 24-7 after Palm Sunday? For a moment that is just as important (if not more) as Christmas is to Christians everywhere, I wonder why we don’t usher it in like we do Christmas. So, here’s my campaign to do just that. Feel free to add to the playlists with your favorites as well. GOOD FRIDAY SONGS: Ten Thousand Angels Cried – LeAnn Rimes Communion – Third Day Not Guilty – Mandisa* … Continue reading Songs of the Season

Fix You

I recently had a deep discussion with a band of brothers about several people we know that are hurting. Our discussion covered our desire to help those that were hurting move to a place of healing and ultimately to a place of helping (where they then help others who are hurting). As our discussion moved along, I couldn’t help but think of the words to the song by Coldplay called “Fix You”: When you try your best, but you don’t succeed When you get what you want, but not what you need When you feel so tired, but you can’t … Continue reading Fix You

Finishing It

Tonight I watched the live broadcast of Rob Bell’s interview in New York. Not only did I watch and listen to what Rob Bell had to say, I read the comments on the chat box to the right of the screen. I had several comments and thoughts throughout the broadcast but managed to reserve them. I wanted to be more of an observer this time and not someone else throwing in my 2 cents. Believe it or not, I am not going to do that here either. I’ll let everyone else debate Rob Bell and what he says, writes and … Continue reading Finishing It

Message From Japan

I was just about  to log off the computer for the evening and thought I would check my email one last time. Below is an email from a friend of mine that considered moving to Japan a few years ago with his job but elected to stay in the states. Turns out he is in Japan right now and was there for the earthquake. Please lift up my friend Darrin in prayer and all of those that have been effected by this tragic event. Aaron, I know you are a prayer warrior!  Hey, I’m here in Japan with 4 other colleagues – Shizuoka, Japan. … Continue reading Message From Japan

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

So often we hear people say that “heard from God”. It’s such an odd thing. There have been two very distinct times in my life when I can say that is true. There were no bright lights or burning bushes, but anyone that has experienced that knows what I’m talking about. This morning, I awoke with a song on my mind and couldn’t stop singing it. That had to come from somewhere.

For reasons I won’t go into here, I had a two part stress test this morning. The funny thing is that I am not “stressed” about it at all. I think we’re chasing the wrong path, but it can’t hurt to make sure your heart is healthy I guess. Anytime you have tests done physically, I guess there is a part of you that is anxious or concerned. So to wake up with the beautiful reminder that “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me”, was so calming.

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Worship Chicken or Egg?

Thanks to our Worship Leader and my friend Ted, I have been able to take a different perspective on Sunday morning worship. Ted has been gracious (and I mean that literally) enough to allow me to share the stage with the team on Sunday morning and play guitar. It has been an eye opener for me personally as I have really had to check my heart on what Sunday morning worship music means for me. To be honest, it made me begin to ponder…what drives the Sunday morning worship experience? Is it the music or does the congregations reaction to … Continue reading Worship Chicken or Egg?

One Call Away From…

One year ago I received a phone call that no son wants to receive. The call actually came from my sister and the news was not good. My Mom, the women that brought be into this world, cared for me, loved me, taught me, molded me and shaped me was in the ER and some tough decisions needed to be made. It would be over the course of the next few days that she would step from this world into the presence of her King. I plan to cover that later this week, but my point here today is this….

We’re all one phone call away from something.

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Random Thoughts Rob Bell

I’m a pretty big twitter user, but I honestly never follow the “trending topics”. For those unfamiliar with twitter, there is a way of tagging your “tweets” and when enough people are talking about the same thing, it makes a top 10 list of sorts on Twitter. So it’s a list of hot topics so to speak. It’s usually filled with current news and important topics. So when I read a tweet today that referred to Rob Bell being on this list..I was concerned.

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February 20th

I could not let this upcoming date pass without noting it’s importance. It’s not a date that jumps out on my calendar, but it is a date that will forever remain a thankful day for the family of Steven Curtis Chapman. You see, it was on February 20, 2008 that their precious daughter Maria Sue Chapman accepted Jesus into her heart. On that date, she wrote her name in the book of life. As you all know by now, Maria Sue was tragically killed not long after that day. I chose this moment, this date to remind myself how thankful … Continue reading February 20th

The Reason For The World

One thing about social media (good or bad) is that it thrusts you into the lives of others. It’s almost scriptural in that we can rejoice with those rejoice and mourn with those that mourn. If there was a year 2011 version of the bible it was say “Like status updates with those that rejoice and unlike status updates with those who mourn”. Regardless, it can make or break your day when you care enough about your friends and read whats going on in their lives. I post this today for several friends that are having a tough go of … Continue reading The Reason For The World

Sunday Morning Reset

There a times in your life when you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you’ve turned a corner on something. Sunday morning, I think I turned the corner on several levels. While I am certainly no where near Eric Clapton on the guitar, it is getting better. I’ve still got a LOOOONG way to go, but it is nice to see and hear some improvement. It makes it easy to keep working and trying when it is something you’re passionate about. Speaking of being passionate about something, as I stated in my last post, God worked on my … Continue reading Sunday Morning Reset

Are You A Sell Out?

I often troll Youtube for videos of potential songs we will sing at Journey Church. Once I receive the worship set for the upcoming Sunday, I use the videos to practice my guitar along with. I have found a trend in many of the videos that, if I’m honest, I get a bit jealous of. Maybe jealous isn’t the right word, but it’s the only one that comes to mind right now. What I see are people coming to worship the God of this universe completely SOLD OUT. They sing with hands raised, unaware of their surrounding, uninhabited by the … Continue reading Are You A Sell Out?

Beautiful The Mess We Are

There is a song out by Amy Grant called “Better Than A Hallelujah“. Each and every time I hear it, there is a lyric that captures me. She sings: “Beautiful the mess we are, honest cries of breaking hearts…are better than a hallelujah” Tonight I met with some other brothers in Christ and that lyric came ringing back. While this was a “business meeting”, we started off by discussing some prayer requests. Within moments, grown men who you would otherwise think were just fine and dandy are sharing what’s really going on in their lives. “Beautiful the mess we are” … Continue reading Beautiful The Mess We Are

Almighty Wisdom

It’s been awhile since I last saw the movie “Evan Almighty” and I forgot just how delightful it really is. There are tons of great analogies and sermon illustrations throughout the film. The kids and I watched it again tonight and one single dialog really jumped out at me. There is so much wisdom jammed into this brief point made by Morgan Freeman…who plays God in this film. Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does … Continue reading Almighty Wisdom

What Are You Preparing For?

After recently completing the Columbus Half Marathon, the running calendar is now clear with no races on the horizon. Translation = I am not motivated to go for a run anymore. I have found that having another race on the calendar keeps me motivated to get out there 4 or 5 times a week. I have gotten out a few times, but it takes a lot more push knowing that there is really nothing out there to prepare for. Then it hit me today… Am I living my faith that way too? Not to be morbid here, but each and … Continue reading What Are You Preparing For?

Outside The Storm

This morning I was up and out the door by 4:30am for a flight to Philadelphia. As I drove to the airport, a local radio station talked about “winds topping 70 MPH” and severe thunderstorms. My first thought was of the items in our yard that would probably end up in someone else’s. My second thought was of the safety of my family since I would be gone all day. My last thought was about the return flight I had scheduled for later that evening and if it would be delayed or cancelled. Through the wonders of technology (twitter basically), … Continue reading Outside The Storm

Eyes Wide Open International

Last night I received a note on facebook from a college friend. After some discussion and prayer, my wife and I made a commitment to help as best we can. Thanks to the internet and social media, I have the blessing of being able to spread the word to each of you as well. Below are excerpts from my dear friend Nicolle’s note: “My husband David has been volunteering, working and building relationships in Haiti since the earthquake hit on January 12. Just two months prior we launched a non-profit called Eyes Wide Open International fulfilling a life long dream … Continue reading Eyes Wide Open International

Faithful

My running has been a mess lately. It’s been a battle. Ever since completing the 4 half marathons in 4 straight weekends, something just hasn’t been the same. Add the high temperatures and humidity and training this summer has been no joy. What makes it difficult is knowing that I’ve got a half marathon scheduled for September 18th in Dayton. It’s too late to just quit. I often wonder how I’ll get through that race though. As I was getting ready to head out on a training recently, I glanced over to the book shelf in my office and what … Continue reading Faithful

Is Your Cloud Moving?

Last week I spent a few days at “The Mothership” (our Corporate Headquarters) doing some strategic planning. Since I had not been there in awhile, it provided an opportunity to get my yearly review out of the way. Thankfully, the review was positive. I would have been well pleased had it not been for some “discussion” that took place as we talked about future advancement and opportunities. It was at this point that the following comment was made: “Aaron, while staying in Columbus isn’t hurting you (career wise), it certainly isn’t helping you either” Before you start asking for our … Continue reading Is Your Cloud Moving?

Son, there is only one King

Son, sit down here for a minute or two. Let’s talk about what happened last night and what that really means in the big picture of your life. Son….there is only one “King”. You and I both love sports Son. Maybe it’s my fault. Since the time you were born, I have programmed you to follow athletes, teams and sports. I wrapped you in the colors of the Tar Heels and Cavaliers in your bassinet. I clothed you in team colors and we’ve spent many hours breaking down our teams rise and fall. We’ve hung the posters on your walls … Continue reading Son, there is only one King

Taking Risks

On vacation my wife, “the boy” and I went on a one hour jet-ski rental (insert your Gilligan’s Island three hour tour joke here). Prior to pushing off, the instructors gave us specific directions about staying inside the buoys and keeping a distance of 100 yards from the other weekend warriors on jet-ski’s. We then hit the accelerator with “the boy” sandwiched between my wife and I on the jet-ski. We ONLY rolled it twice but that’s another post for another day. What stood out to me was how adamant “the boy” was about the rules. Whenever we got close to someone … Continue reading Taking Risks

I Should’ve Built An Altar

This weekend we were talking to a friend that was recently in Charlotte, North Carolina. As soon as I heard the words Charlotte, chill bumps went up both arms. There is something magical about that city. A few days later, a rabbit trail led me back to a post I wrote when we had sold our home and were headed to Charlotte. There was so much excitement and unknown in that post. I also found this post which looked at what might have been if we would have made the move.  The more I reflected on that time, I should … Continue reading I Should’ve Built An Altar

I Should've Built An Altar

This weekend we were talking to a friend that was recently in Charlotte, North Carolina. As soon as I heard the words Charlotte, chill bumps went up both arms. There is something magical about that city. A few days later, a rabbit trail led me back to a post I wrote when we had sold our home and were headed to Charlotte. There was so much excitement and unknown in that post. I also found this post which looked at what might have been if we would have made the move.  The more I reflected on that time, I should … Continue reading I Should've Built An Altar

Nobody's Perfect

Last night I went for a run with my new favorite band “Thousand Foot Krutch” pounding through my ear buds. It was a time of reflection, restoration and even got a bit emotional at one point. In the 50 minutes I was gone, there was one lyric that grabbed me and stuck in my mind. It came from the song “Look Away” and went like this:

Don’t wanna be perfect, just alright….

Now that might not sound like much, to me, at that moment, it hit me. So often I think I spend each moment trying to be perfect. Particularly in faith. The reality is it creates a self defeating cycle. Strive to be perfect – fall short – get defeated – lose motivation – start the cycle all over again. The reality is that (this side of Heaven), I’ll never achieve perfection. Especially as it pertains to faith. I’m tired of trying. I don’t wanna be perfect anymore…I just wanna be alright.

Continue reading “Nobody's Perfect”

Nobody’s Perfect

Last night I went for a run with my new favorite band “Thousand Foot Krutch” pounding through my ear buds. It was a time of reflection, restoration and even got a bit emotional at one point. In the 50 minutes I was gone, there was one lyric that grabbed me and stuck in my mind. It came from the song “Look Away” and went like this:

Don’t wanna be perfect, just alright….

Now that might not sound like much, to me, at that moment, it hit me. So often I think I spend each moment trying to be perfect. Particularly in faith. The reality is it creates a self defeating cycle. Strive to be perfect – fall short – get defeated – lose motivation – start the cycle all over again. The reality is that (this side of Heaven), I’ll never achieve perfection. Especially as it pertains to faith. I’m tired of trying. I don’t wanna be perfect anymore…I just wanna be alright.

Continue reading “Nobody’s Perfect”

Things I Wrestle With

I’m going to be really honest for a few minutes. I often wrestle with questions I cannot answer. What bothers me even more is that I’m not sure anyone can answer these questions. If you can, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. For now, these are some of the things I wrestle with… If God is all knowing, why was that tree placed in the garden in the first place? Does God really care about the outcome of sporting events? If I say and I am going to pray for someone and … Continue reading Things I Wrestle With

No Man Left Behind

In the movie Toy Story, one of the little green army guys gets stepped on by Andy’s mom. As they rush to hide in a nearby plant, the Sargent of the little green army guys notices that there is a soldier down and goes back to get him. The soldier tells them to go on without him, but the Sargent says they “Leave No Man Behind”. I love that part of the movie. While very funny (because we’ve all stepped on one of those little green army dudes), it is also something I am passionate about. While I’ve never been in the armed forces, I believe that each of us that calls ourselves Christians are in the Lords Army (insert cheesy kids song here). Because we are in the Lords army, we are under attack.

Even the best soldiers fall sometimes.

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To Hear The Words

Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” –Deuteronomy 34:4 Most people I know have that list of people they want to talk to and questions they will ask when we get to Heaven. Somewhere on my many lists of lists, there is a simple question I have for Moses. It goes like this…”Dude, what was it like to hear those words”? … Continue reading To Hear The Words

Not Guilty

Last year I was preparing a post for Good Friday and ended up having one of “those moments”. The intention was to post a picture of the cross and the song below. Once the post was completed, I clicked play and just looked at the picture. I will never forget it. What happened in that moment was my own personal and real Good Friday service. I was literally weeping as I looked at the image of the cross and heard Mandisa sing “not guilty”. Later that evening I attended a Good Friday service and, with all due respect to those … Continue reading Not Guilty

Painful Prayers

As we enter this week that means so much to the Christian faith, I thought this clip by Mark Driscoll would help set the stage. I have posted this clip multiple times, but it is for no other reason than I need the reminder myself. How do you pray in the painful times? How do you pray when it just doesn’t seem to make sense? How do you pray when you are troubled? Maybe this clip will help us all in those times. “Don’t get me out of it…get me through it” Continue reading Painful Prayers

It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That

Image by Scorpions and Centaurs via Flickr It goes without saying but I absolutely love my kids. They are such a mix of my wife and I. It’s amazing how you can almost anticipate how they will react to things because, well, it’s how I would react too. “The Boy” is a great example of this. He is so much me that is scares me to death. The good news is that he has several qualities of my wife too. For example, I think I have tested the boundaries of what you can and can’t do my whole life. I … Continue reading It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That

What’s Behind You

Image by kharied via Flickr Now that spring has started to sprung (poor english intended), it has been so good to hit the streets again for a run. The “dreadmill” was a blessing to have, but believe me when I say it is no way to train for a half-marathon. Outdoor training is just different. Running outside also offers changes in scenery, smells and different terrain. It was during a recent run that  I was reminded again of something I am just not good about. There is a training loop that both my wife and I do that involves running … Continue reading What’s Behind You

What's Behind You

Image by kharied via Flickr Now that spring has started to sprung (poor english intended), it has been so good to hit the streets again for a run. The “dreadmill” was a blessing to have, but believe me when I say it is no way to train for a half-marathon. Outdoor training is just different. Running outside also offers changes in scenery, smells and different terrain. It was during a recent run that  I was reminded again of something I am just not good about. There is a training loop that both my wife and I do that involves running … Continue reading What's Behind You

I Am

Lots of “stuff” going on all around us isn’t there? Sometimes it makes you wonder if God is still in control. The requests are real. The requests are important. The requests are for friends, loved ones and people we don’t even know. We need assurance don’t we? We need something to hold onto. We need peace and a place to stand when the waters ahead appear rough. Anyone that holds a Bible has it. It’s found throughout scripture, but I think my favorite one is in Genesis 3:14: God said to Moses, “I am who I am . [a] “ These five … Continue reading I Am

My Front Porch Lookin’ In

I have said it repeatedly, but I continue to be overwhelmed by the flood of support we have received in my Mom’s passing. Between facebook, twitter, text, emails, phone calls and voice mails, the response has just been amazing. It is a testimony to my Mom. One thing that has been an anchor for us are the stories of her legacy. Things like: “I can honestly say that my husband and I wouldn’t be together today without the loving example and time that your mom took with us.” “Your mom took me under her wing when I moved to Cleveland … Continue reading My Front Porch Lookin’ In

Hers, Mine or Theirs

A post I read over at Dad-Blogs.com regarding faith and parenting, along with an “episode” tonight with our children and their AWANA homework are on my mind at the moment. So much so that I thought I would sit down here at the keyboard and work it through. It all started with a comment that a Pastor friend of mine made a few years ago. Not only is he a Pastor, he is a Dad. He spoke about how he and his wife made the decision early in their parenting that they wanted their kids to have “their own faith” … Continue reading Hers, Mine or Theirs

Lyrically Speaking

You can blame it on the way I’m wired. I love music. Those that know me (or follow me on twitter) have probably seen that my music tastes are all over the map. I have said it before and I will say it again, my iPod is a scary place. You’ll find everything from Wayne Newton to Marlyn Manson. Like I said, it’s a scary place. In my defense, I will say that I find lyrics to be one of the greatest things in this life. I like to pick songs apart and lyrically dissect them for meaning and application. Many of … Continue reading Lyrically Speaking

A Class By Himself

A few weeks ago, I was flipping channels in time to see Michael Jordan’s induction speech for the Basketball Hall of Fame. You all know me enough by now to now that I bleed Carolina Blue. I defend the colors. I am obsessed with it’s history. But I will be the first to say this….Michael, you were a jerk. “The boy” and I often watch old clips of “His Airness” so he can see the amazing gifts and abilities of the greatest player to ever play. I’m thankful that “the boy” wasn’t watching the night I stumbled across MJ’s speech. … Continue reading A Class By Himself

Lord Save Us From Your Followers

If there is one film that I want to see more than any other this fall, it is this one. I am drawn into this trailer and have watched it several times. If the film is anything like the few short moments of this clip, I can only imagine the impact. I read a tweet review from someone that got a screening over the weekend and said it was incredibly powerful. I cannot think of a more timely and appropriate message. From the films website: If you were to meet ten average Americans on the street, nine of them would … Continue reading Lord Save Us From Your Followers

Sermon Notes – "Keep Singing"

A little different approach to this weeks “Sermon Notes”. Our church had the blessing of having a special guest for the holiday weekend, Dennis Jernigan. While Dennis didn’t preach on a specific topic, he shared his music, his heart and his story. There was so much there to reflect upon, I really can’t put it all in one post. God has blessed Dennis with an incredible ability to validate those in the audience to be “real” for a few minutes. He often says “let’s get honest” and that, for so many (yours included) is often very difficult to do. Of … Continue reading Sermon Notes – "Keep Singing"

Sermon Notes – “Keep Singing”

A little different approach to this weeks “Sermon Notes”. Our church had the blessing of having a special guest for the holiday weekend, Dennis Jernigan. While Dennis didn’t preach on a specific topic, he shared his music, his heart and his story. There was so much there to reflect upon, I really can’t put it all in one post. God has blessed Dennis with an incredible ability to validate those in the audience to be “real” for a few minutes. He often says “let’s get honest” and that, for so many (yours included) is often very difficult to do. Of … Continue reading Sermon Notes – “Keep Singing”

Restored

In about an hour I am leaving town to attend a wedding rehearsal. It is with great honor that I have been asked to take part in the wedding of my best friend. The honor and joy I feel for him comes from watching a new chapter be written on what has been a tough journey for him. I remember a time when all we saw in front of him were dark clouds and storms. Tomorrow night, his wedding will mark the start of a new journey and the completion of the promise of restoration. Below is a post I … Continue reading Restored

Do What They Did

I was recently reading an article by the strength coach for The North Carolina Tar Heels (stay with me here) regarding his core speed drill principles.  There was a quote in the article that caused me to pause and ponder for a minute. So often I think we can draw comparisons between athletics and the faith journey. Paul did this often in scripture. There is such a parallel between training and “the race”. It really is amazing. Here is his quote: Do what they did “All kinds of people call and email to ask me for so-and-so’s workout. This happened … Continue reading Do What They Did

When Dreams Die…

Fresh on the heels of being inspired to dream big by the book “Wide Awake“, a dose of reality hit this week. A dream has died Have you been there? Have you chased, to whatever extent, a dream you believed was something God laid on your heart. Did you finally come to the reality that it might have just been your dream and that, for now, your hearts desires and God’s plan are not on the same page? It can be defeating. Or, it can be a matter of perspective. Let me explain. Have you ever heard the old joke … Continue reading When Dreams Die…

Three Athletes, One God

I mentioned it before, but “the boy” asks an interesting question rather frequently as we watch sporting events. The question is simple, but often I cannot give a clear answer. His question is this… “Hey Dad, is (insert athlete’s name here) a Christian?” Athletes he has asked about in the past are Lebron James, Tyler Hansbrough and Ryan Howard. I found out yesterday that Albert Pujols is a man of great faith. “The Boy” and I watched the home run contest together the other night. I had stepped out of the room, but when I returned he told me about … Continue reading Three Athletes, One God

A Lesson in Grace

Last night I received a lesson and hopefully taught one as well. It was the bedtime hour and I was putting the kiddo’s to bed. My youngest daughter requested some juice in a sippy cup to place beside her bed. She got used to doing this during a recent battle with the flu so I didn’t mind agreeing to said request. My middle child heard the request and decided she would like a little bedside refreshment as well. One problem…she has been known to sleep right on through her “potty alarm”….if you know what I mean. Knowing that she would … Continue reading A Lesson in Grace

Fill In The Blank

Anyone else tired of the ordinary? Anyone else feel like you are stuck in the mundane? Have you ever sat down and just pondered what your purpose is on this big spinning piece of real estate called earth? I know so many people that are praying for “Gods will for their life”. You can count me in that group too. Maybe it’s Rick Warren’s fault for teaching us all to live the Purpose Driven Life…. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then this might help. I know it gave me perspective and, even if for a … Continue reading Fill In The Blank

Thank You Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy announced today that he is going to retire as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. To me, the announcement is happy/sad kind of news. I’m happy for Tony Dungy that he did it his way. He will exit the coaching business with the same “Quiet Strength” which he entered.  I’m sad because the NFL needs more Tony Dungy’s. The world needs more Tony Dungy’s. His book “Quiet Strength” sits atop my favorite books list and his name sits atop the people I would like to spend 5 minutes with list. He is class and lives a life that … Continue reading Thank You Tony Dungy