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Since today is my daughter Kelly’s birthday, I’m going to tell a Kelly story.
We were at a summer camp in South Carolina and my young boys were all harnessed in and jumping off a zip-line that soared over a lake.
Little Kelly and I (I think she was around 4 or 5 years old) were sitting on a dock and had a great view of her brothers speeding by in the air.
I looked at Kelly and asked her if she wanted to try the zip-line. A look of fear came over her face and she said, “Papa don’t tease me. I’m too small.”
I let her know it was okay and that she didn’t have to do it if she wasn’t comfortable.
After watching her brothers take several turns she shocked me and said, “Papa, if you climb up there with me I’ll do it.”
“That’s my girl,” I said and we raced over to the zip-line.
I asked the man in charge if by chance they had a harness and helmet her size and he said they did.
We got Kelly all secure and ready to go. I was standing behind her with my arms around her way up in the air on the take-off deck. I asked her if she was ready, and before I was ready for her to go emotionally, I got a little nervous way up there, she leapt out of my arms and zipped across the lake.
When she got to the other side and stood up, she turned around and yelled loud enough for everyone around the lake to hear her, ” I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!” There were loud cheers for Kelly from staff and campers around the lake!
And so she did it again.
When I got to the chapel to speak that night, the youth pastor stopped me just outside and said, “Hey Brett, I saw your daughter jump today.” I said, Oh yeah, wasn’t that great!” He said, “Yes indeed but you missed something.” I said, “What did I miss?”
Then he said something I hope to never forget. He said, “You were standing behind her and I was on the dock and you didn’t see her face. It had one thing written all over it before she jumped.” I said, “Oh yeah, what did it say?”
He said, “It was written all over her face, I TRUST MY DAD.”
Dear readers, Is God asking you today to take a leap of faith? Your Heavenly Father is trustworthy. Trust Him because if He is the one asking you to jump, He will be with you every step of the way.
May it be said of us, we have one look written all over our faces. “I trust my Dad”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Happy birthday Half Pint! I love you so much.
This story and many more like it about Trusting God can be found in my book Stories From A Life.
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Make your anniversary something special. Don’t wait for your spouse to move, take the initiative.
Plan a great date night.
Get away for the night if you can.
Take a trip down memory lane with videos or pictures.
Visit some of the special places from your past.
Make sure it doesn’t just slip by like any other day.
Be creative. Put some thought into it. Put a little work and effort into it and see what you can come up with.
Our first ten anniversaries we took a short trip each year.
This took a great amount of scrimping and saving.
I started planning our tenth anniversary before the first.
Our first year we went to the city I grew up in: Livonia
Our second year we went to Disney: Orlando
Our third year we went to a place Carol always wanted to visit in the fall: Vermont
The fourth year we went on a circle tour around one of the great lakes: Erie
The fifth year we went up into northern Michigan: Upper Peninsula
The sixth year we went to a Bed and Breakfast near our home: Clarkston, Michigan
The seventh year we went to a quaint little Michigan town on Lake Huron: Alpena
The eighth year we went on a missions trip: Russia
The ninth year we went to Jamaica: Ocho Rios
The tenth year we went back to Disney: Lake Buena Vista
On our tenth anniversary, I revealed to Carol that all the places we had gone the last ten anniversaries spelled something.
Lake Buena Vista
Celebrate. It’s important. Make some new memories.
Carol and I are celebrating in two weeks with a special dinner this year with a little surprise at the restaurant.
Carol’s planning a special surprise for me but I have no idea what it is.
Don’t let it just slip by. Make it a special day.
Don’t wait for your spouse to act. Get something started.
To the men reading this, take the initiative, guys. Don’t think I’m some kind of wizard. Everything I have done for Carol has taken planning, effort, and energy. You know when you’re at work, in your garage, hunting, fishing, gaming or with that hobby you love, there are some things you do really well. Channel that effort and do something memorable. Take a shot at this. Strategize, Execute, Rekindle.
Have a great week everyone,
Much love to each of you and your loved ones,
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In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16
I have said this many times over the years. One of the greatest attributes I love seeing in people’s lives the most (including mine) is generosity.
For those of you who have ever heard me speak, you know I am the first to admit that I have failed a lot as a parent, husband, and follower of Christ.
I also frequently admit to being a selfish, self-centered person who cares only about myself a lot of the time.
I also talk about the fact that my family is not a perfect family by a long shot.
With that said, I am going to take a minute here to speak highly of my wife and kids to illustrate this Faith Tip.
My wife Carol is one of the most generous people I have ever met and she has modeled that for our kids their whole lives. For those of you who know Carol, you know this to be very true.
Our kids have received an allowance from a young age. It was not only important to Carol that she taught our kids how to manage their money, but she taught them right away to always be giving their money away as well.
When my dad (who happened to be a very generous person) passed away, he had an insurance policy with his kids names on it. So I was given some money my dad planned on me having.
I divided the money into parts and I gave each of my six family members a share.
Without exception, within 5 minutes of giving each person their money, each one of my six family members said, and I am not exaggerating here, “Now I can give some money to so and so.”
That made me so very proud.
I love seeing true generosity from the hearts of my family and friends. I love when I allow God to break through my own selfishness and generosity spills through.
Thank you, Carol, for modeling this to each one of us. Your generosity has been contagious in our family.
Christians, show generosity to the world around you.
Bosses, to your employees.
Pastors, to your congregations and visa-verses.
Friends, to your neighbors, co-workers, and families.
Parents, model generosity to your kids so when they grow up they have hearts to give.
We serve such a generous God that He gave His entire life for us. Jesus is the ultimate example of generosity!
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
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When my twin sons Stephen and Andrew were young they had a dream; they wanted to own Cedar Point, the worlds greatest amusement park in Sandusky Ohio.
Cedar Point is owned by a company called Cedar Fair, it is not owned by one person. It is impossible for one person to own Cedar Point.
After they told Carol and me they wanted to own Cedar Point, we never said to them, “No you can’t do that.”
However, we also didn’t say “Sure, you can do that someday.”
What Carol and I did when our kids dreamed big is we would say, “Tell me what that looks like. What would Cedar Point be like if you owned it?”
Then we would sit back and listen to their dreams.
Don’t be afraid to let your children dream big dreams.
And don’t dismiss their little dreams as well.
If they are dreaming about something that would harm someone, then step in and intervene.
Most of the time our children’s dreams are harmless. Let them dream big.
Today Stephen and Andrew are huge roller coaster enthusiast. it has been so fun to watch their childhood dream turn into a hobby they love and still get excited about.
I still believe our son Andrew, who has been employed by Cedar Point, would be a phenomenal president of Cedar Fair someday. Is this Papa looking for free tickets?
Let your children dream big dreams and enjoy listening to them tell you their stories.
I am convinced that God created each of us with big imaginations.
Let your kids soar.