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Showing posts from 2016

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close, Lyssah & I sit down and reflect on the year that was…
When you think back on 2016, what immediately comes to mind?
CF: There are two answers to this question: The first and most obvious is Caeden. His arrival into the world was by far the greatest moment of the year. The second and not as obvious is the word, ‘horizon’, as in there’s much change on the horizon. In short, I believe the events of 2016 were foundation-laying for the season to come.
LF: The first thing I think about is Caeden being born. That moment set the stage for 2016 as a whole given the year of laboring it's been. In previous years, certain things came easy. This year everything has had a learning curve. Everything from pushing through the pain and discomfort of labor to pushing through my work when I really wanted to be home with Caeden, pushing through and learning new skills that have enabled me to be start my own side business, pushing through church/bivocational challenges, etc. …

3 Underrated Life Lessons from ‘White Christmas’

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One of the most revered holidays classics, ‘White Christmas’ is a timeless, cinematic confection rich in star power, memorable moments, and, of course, incredible choreography.Granted, the plot is forced, trite, and over-reliant on ex-machinas and sing-along potential; however, this doesn’t mean the movie lacks savory dialogue.
Like most Christmas movies, ‘White Christmas’ shrewdly embeds life lessons within its narrative. Yet, while the picture may be more known for its entertainment value, one can find more meaning behind the scenes upon further inspection.
Thus, in the spirit of going behind the curtain, here are three underrated life lessons inspired by ‘White Christmas’. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Davis: “My dear partner, when what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.” B…

Let It Be

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To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin.
I mean…I know it should be the most wonderful time of the year; I know all should be merry and bright.
But after the most brutal month in five years, I guess I can’t help if it doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all.
Not that I’m writing this to implore sympathy. I just know I’m not the only one struggling with disappointment and the idea of sweeping it under the holiday carpet right now.
Perhaps you’re sitting there waiting for the snow to fall wondering how to overcome the heartache you harbor inside. If so, I want to encourage you today. ‘Cause when it comes to disappointment, especially in seasons when we feel we should be in ‘joy to the world’ mode, it can be hard knowing how to cope. I know for me, I can feel a little guilty whenever I have to manufacture an outward expression contrary to my inward state.
Yet, while inner/outer dichotomies can feel awkward, when we choose to be joyful in spite of pain, we can overcome as heroes pu…

Pride Killer: Why Humility Always Wins

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There’s something you should know about me: I make mistakes.

Not a few, not several…but a lot. Why I have no problem admitting this…I don’t know.

Granted, I count it all joy, yet this doesn’t mean I enjoy confessing weakness. In fact, there have been [many] times I’ve shadowed it under the false comfort of ‘closed’ issues staying closed issues.

Yet, after digesting one of the worst weeks of 2016, I can honestly say while it hurts to fall down, there’s gain in the rise up.

‘Cause truth is: a good leader best learns from his failure not by how he stays ahead of it, but by how he responds to it.

Permit me to unpack…

When we talk about leaders doing leader things, it makes sense those things remain above reproach and reproof. I think we can all agree there.

Yet, given leaders are human beings too, it’s important to remember their mistakes are just as inevitable. Thus, how leaders handle adversity, setbacks, and judgment errors are worth discussion.

In my ministerial role, there are time…

The Virtue of Vertical Gratitude

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I don’t know about you, but this time of year can be complicated. On one hand, you have Thanksgiving with its communal/perspective perks; on the other, you have those pesky holiday blues that just won’t go away.

Granted, abiding in the splendor of selfless tradition with friends and family is a wholesome recipe. But perhaps you’re like me in the sense you’re physically and emotionally exhausted wondering how you could be even the slightest bit down in the midst of an amazing year.

If you can relate, let’s cut into this conundrum, shall we?

For most of us, it’s fair to say Thanksgiving has horizontal value in the sense we look around and find reason to express gratitude. After all, we only need a breath and a pulse to be thankful, right?

At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if thanksgiving if really thanksgiving if it has a slopeless trajectory. Yes, we can most certainly be grateful for what is tangible, be it the mash potatoes and gravy, a dominating performance by Ezekiel Eliott, a…

LEGACYouth: Desperation

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LEGACYouth Message Notes: Wednesday, November 9
This morning, as I was considering what the Lord would have me share tonight, the first thing he told me was, ‘Why is it more people are desperate for change than they are for me?

In other words, why are so many people more desperate for what I can give than they are what I am yesterday, today, and tomorrow?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the problem is not a lack of desperation in our hearts (after all, we were hardwired with this from the beginning); rather, it’s the misplacement of desperation that is the real hindrance.

For most, when we misplace something valuable, we're like woman with the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) in the sense we tear up the house until we find what we’re looking for. Unfortunately, when it comes to desperation, we’re far too content in it being there or not. Is it just me or do you find this ironic? The idea we’re not desperate to be desperate…the notion that we’ll continue with our own c…

4 Family & Budget Friendly Ways to Enjoy the Holidays

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We all know Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year wrapped with opportunities to live like no one else by giving like no one else; however, when it comes to our wallet and debt snowballs, it’s often far from the happiest season of all.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to give cheerfully while remaining frugal. Here are 4 family friendly ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.
Go Christmas light hunting While cutting outdoor Christmas lights from Christmas décor may be a solid way to trim holiday spending, this doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed. For those who prefer decking the halls without extra power strips, consider taking a family outing to a Christmas drive-through light show, a downtown square, a fancy hotel, or even a reputable neighborhood known for its Christian light displays.


2. Sing loud for all to hear
Remember the scene in Elf when Buddy admits the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear? Well, he’d be correct. Caroling…

LEGACYouth: A Dive into Mark 5

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So yesterday I’m reading Mark 5 and it hits me: Why does Jesus tell the once demon-possessed man to go home to his people and tell them how much the Lord has done for him (v. 19), but gives strict orders to the ‘sleeping’ girl’s family not to let anyone know (v. 43)?
At first glance, Jesus seems inconsistent. Why tell one party one thing only to contradict it with another?


I mean…yeah, we can settle on the fact Jesus was always following the Spirit’s lead. Fair enough.
Still, I can’t help but want to dig a little deeper.
Let’s dive in…


In 5:1, we find Jesus, fresh off of calming a tempest (4:35-41), crossing the lake to Garasenes, a country region lying on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. Upon arrival, Jesus is immediately approached by a demon-possessed man decked with torn chains coming out from the tombs. So right away, it’s interesting to note not only is this the ultimate Halloween Bible read, but also this man comes to meet Jesus, not the other way around.
Moving on, we note the …

Bye, [Bye]Vocational

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s not easy marrying marketplace and ministry. After all, when you consider secular expectations, the challenge of availability matching flexibility, how most church leadership models are structured…it can be tough-sleddin’. Now, I’m not a church consultant or ministry life coach; however, in my brief ministerial experience, I’ve come to realize while tent-making is often praised behind the pulpit in an evangelism context, it’s rarely incorporated to the fullest in a leadership context. Case and point: I work full-time hours (7:00-3:30 pm) for TDOT Monday through Friday, where at the start of each day, I take the day’s game script, stack it against my church load, and do what I can accordingly for both. For instance, on slower days I create youth discipleship content, plan events, design social media promotions, and field church-related correspondence on my breaks, whereas on busier days, I keep a running ‘to-do’ list to better tackle my gamep…

3 Things On My Mind Right Now

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Not goin' to lie: life’s been pretty full the past couple months. From ‘behind the scenes’ His Girl Fryday work and family travel to ‘end of the year’ LEGACYouth prep and childproofing the house, needless to say, our cup runneth over.

Yet, as summer green has slowly faded into a potpourri of burgundies and burnt oranges, so has my mind subdued into a more placid place, at least, enough for me to latch onto some fresh musings. Call it October nostalgia value; call it renewed perspective; call it whatever you want. I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to share a few life lessons I’ve been reminded of in recent weeks.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

1.Often times, our plan ‘C’ is God’s plan ‘A’.

How many of you have ever wanted what God wanted for you, but imagined a completely different scenario unfolding? I imagine most, if not all, can relate; however, for me, whenever I find myself on a separate page apart from God, I also find somewhere along the line I assumed my way was His way.

Ever wonder …