Celebrating Father’s Day

As we celebrate Father's Day, I thought I'd link to some of my posts on fatherhood: 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Dad This is, by far, my most popular post. In this I share some serious and some not-so-serious reflections on the surprises of fatherhood. 5 Things Every Daughter Needs to Hear From Her Dad There is something about having a daughter that softens a man, adds a certain tenderness to his soul. In that spirit, I share five things every daughter needs to hear from her father. 5 Things Every Son Needs to Hear From His Dad Fathering your sons is a serious job, men. And so in that spirit, I offer five things every son needs to hear from his father:  Dads Should Lead on Thanksgiving I wrote this a few years ago, thinking about a Father's role in establishing good holiday traditions. Do This For Dad on Father's Day A short post on how...

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Chocolate Faith

 Within the church of the living God, we must become excited about the gospel.  That’s how we pass on our heritage – D.A. Carson If you want to impress the woman you love and happening to be traveling through the northwest suburbs of Chicago, my advice to you is to spend a significant amount of time in the quaint village of Long Grove and its famous Confectionary. This niche candy shop is a must-stop for those who live and visit the Midwest. I know because my wife considers chocolate as important as oxygen and I consider my wife as important to me as breathing. Those two factors have kept me visiting and browsing the Confectionary’s many aisles of cocoa creations. Interestingly, it wasn’t my wife’s longings that first acquainted me with this tiny slice of chocolate heaven. When I was around six years old, my father, a licensed plumber, was contracted to...

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God’s Adjustment Bureau

Several years ago, I sat with a trusted counselor, seeking wisdom on how best to counsel a friend crushed under the weight of his upbringing in an abusive home. With tears, I poured out my frustrations at my friend’s parents, whose hypocrisy and heavy-handedness had warped the soul of their son. The counselor’s response reset my thinking and adjusted my theology. The counselor told me, “Dan, his parents caused grave spiritual and mental anguish. And yet you must know that God is not in Heaven today questioning Himself for placing this boy in that home.” Those were not words I wanted to hear. But he continued. “As hard as it is, he must come to the place where he accepts the sovereignty and goodness of God in his situation.” My response was to create a list of abuses. What if he had been shown a little love? What if they had nurtured his...

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What Pastoring Taught Me About Spiritual Growth

As a lifelong Christian, I've always known the importance of spiritual growth. But when I became a pastor, suddenly my ideas about this were bigger than simply what was going on in my life. As an undershepherd of God's people, now the spiritual growth of other people is my concern. You could argue that this should have been my concern all along, since every follower of Jesus is tasked with discipleship. But as a pastor, this is a primary job description. What surprised me is how much I learned about what growth actually looks like. Here are five ways in which pastoring shaped my views: 1) Everybody doesn't grow like I grow.  Subconsciously, we use our own lives as the template for growth and maturity. I do this because I'm the person I know the most. But I've learned that my growth process is unique to me and I shouldn't force that onto...

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