Make Time Matter

Make Time Matter

Do you ever find yourself saying “time, slow down” as you go through your week?

It seems as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete tasks or to simply enjoy my family. I can find myself rushing through the day to drop kids off and pick them up, get chores done, finish my checklist, and crash at the end of the day.

Some parents are naturally wired to schedule things. Some just aren’t. I can sometimes be so task oriented that the important relationships in my life can get scheduled out.

Regardless of how scheduled or unscheduled you are, there are a couple of things you can do to help make the most of your time with your family:

As a mom, I am constantly filling my days with appointments, deadlines, and tasks that always feel urgent. If I’m not intentional, that’s ALL that will get space on my calendar. So, once every month or so, I look at my calendar and schedule the things that no one is asking me to schedule.

I mark up the calendar with things like:

Take the kids to the park.

Have a date night.
Do a family night devotion.

That may sound silly, but by marking my calendar with these important things, it reserves the time and makes sure that nothing else gets in the way.

Most days are pretty typical and can even become monotonous. But one of the best ways to make the most of every week is to create some habits.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What I love about this passage of scripture is that Moses is writing to God’s people, instructing them to make the most of the time already built into their day to pour into their families. When they wake up, when they are on the road, and when they go to bed.

For example:

What do you do every morning at breakfast?

What if part of your breakfast routine just became looking for ways to encourage your children?

When do you eat together?

You don’t have to make a home-cooked meal to have a conversation. What if one meal a day was a media-free time when you were intentional about having a conversation with your child?

What’s the last thing you do before your children go to bed at night?

Every day ends the same way. We go to bed. So what’s your bedtime routine? How do you make the most of the moments right before your son or daughter drifts off to sleep?

Making sure time doesn’t get away from us isn’t easy. But we don’t need vacations or special days to make the most of our time. Let’s use the time we’ve already been given in the very best way possible.

Don’t let life fly by and forget to make moments that count!

Who Said Anything About Them Leaving Home?

As I prepared to pen these words, I took a trip back to 1990 when our first child, Kimberly, was born in the mountains of Guatemala.

I scrounged up her baby book and took a stroll down memory lane for about an hour today. Born on March 24, at 7:32pm, she weighed 7lbs and was 21 inches long.

Then there is an excerpt taken from the Memorable Firsts page. Tonya writes, “She had worms for the first time at 14 months and amoebas at 16 months.” Now, you won’t find these words in many baby books, unless you raised your children on the mission field!

I don’t know about you but when our first child was born, I was clueless and scared, excited and overwhelmed, happy and proud – all at the same time. I had this grin on my face that couldn’t be wiped off. But, one thing was for sure – we needed some help, advice, instruction, and wisdom.

I am thankful for godly parents, grandparents, pastors and friends who gave us wise counsel and were there to answer our questions in the following years. I am also thankful for good books and teaching videos.

However, one form of support stands out above all the rest. I am thankful for the leading and instruction we received from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

Don’t ever underestimate or overlook His offered help. He will direct you! He loves your children more than you do and He knows them better than you do. He wants to help you raise them to love and serve Him! He will give you insight that only He can give concerning each one of your children.

Seek Him daily for His wisdom! Beg Him to be merciful to your child and to shower your home with His grace.

Three of our five children are married now and they have blessed us with seven beautiful grandchildren. They are all striving to raise this next generation in righteousness. We read in 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

LaTonya and I, along with our parents, continue to seek God for His mercy as our children raise the next generation.

Definition of Success in Parenting

A quick search of the internet turned up this definition of parenting: “The point of parenting is to guide children toward independence.” There are many other definitions to be found there, for sure.

But, I would have to counter with this definition: “The point of parenting is to guide children to complete dependence.” Dependence on the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Others say, “Success is helping our kids be everything they want to be.” But again I counter with, “Success is helping our kids be everything God wants them to be.”

I trust that you are developing a vision for your child’s life that goes beyond the cultural norm. Hopefully, you see that the ultimate measure of your success in parenting is not your child’s future income, education, or social status.

Instead, it is whether your child gets safely home to heaven and is equipped to lead future generations of your family there also.

Let’s begin with a question.

When your son or daughter leaves your home someday – you say, Whoa! Slow down – Who said anything about them leaving home? We’re just getting started and you’re already pushing them out the door.” Well I have news for you, you will blink a few times, take a nap and Voila’, they’ll be headed out the door!  

So let’s start again – when your son or daughter leaves your home someday, which one of the following would you want most for them?

  • academic success
  • athletic success
  • financial success
  • social success
  • to be a person of faith and character.

Personally, I would like to have another option: all of the above. But if you could only have one, which one would you choose? You most likely said that faith and character are most important. At least that seems like the “right answer.”

Let’s change the question a bit. Which of the following parenting issues gets the best of our time, the most effort, money, worrying and planning?

  • academics.
  • athletics.
  • work.
  • social life.
  • faith and character development

One thing is for sure, we will not raise Fully Devoted Disciples of Christ without a plan, a purpose, and a destination.

I’m Tired of Being Overweight!

I’m Tired of Being Overweight!

Three Ways I’m Cutting the Spiritual Fat In My Life

I can still hear one of my freshman coaches screaming at me from the sidelines during our football jamboree, “Get in shape, Beck!” I ran the ball 32 times that game and I was exhausted—mainly because I was out of shape.

Although it wouldn’t hurt for me to shed a few pounds and lose a few inches around my midsection right now, I’m not talking at all about shedding physical weight. Instead, I’m talking about the spiritual excess weight that I carry around.

Just as the excess weight we carry in our bodies can slow us down, make us tired physically, mentally and emotionally (as well as keep us from reaching our maximum potential), the extra spiritual weight we carry around has even more potential to hinder us from becoming the person God intends for us to be.

Even though I weighed over 200 pounds in high school, I could run fast. I ran a 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds my senior year and placed third in the 100 meter race in the state finals.

One of the keys to keeping my speed and preventing extra time from being added to the race, was making sure I wasn’t carrying around any unnecessary, excess weight that would slow me down!

Much like a track race, our lives are a race! However, life’s race isn’t necessarily about finishing fast (like the races I used to run), but in staying  the course, enduring,  finishing, and winning an eternal prize!

Now, most of us do not like to reveal how much we physically weigh – can I get an amen? – but I want to get real transparent and honest with you about my spiritual weight.

So, here it goes.

I’m shedding spiritual weight in three areas:

#1 The Weight of Worry

Proverbs 12:25 tells us, “Worry weighs a person down…”

I’m tired of the weight of worry slowing me down. I can worry about all kinds of things – from my present circumstances to my future unknowns!

Certain studies have shown that 40% of the things we worry about never happen anyway!

When we worry, it reveals our lack of trust and faith in God. Not to mention how it robs us of the peace He wants to give!

There’s a better way! There’s God’s way!

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned about some things; it just means we shouldn’t worry about them—big difference!

I plan on losing a lot of spiritual weight in this area!

#2 The Weight of the Tongue

I really do hate admitting this—I can have a fat tongue! Now, this doesn’t mean as a pastor, I break people’s sacred trust—I don’t. What is said to me in confidence stays between me, the other person, and God.

What I mean by a fat tongue is that I can still spout off things that run through my mind without properly filtering them. That’s gotten me in a lot of trouble in my marriage, my job, and other relationships.

My tongue could stand to lose about five pounds! What about yours?

“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23)

#3 The Weight of Fear

As a young boy, my dad used to drop me off in my deer stand well before daylight. I would hear so many sounds that would lead me to believe that at any moment a monster or serial killer was about to step out from behind a tree and get me. I know that fear can do some crazy things to us, if we allow it to do so.

Fear has a way of weighing us down. It can frighten us into a corner and keep us from taking a step of faith we need to take. It can hinder us from apologizing to someone we need to apologize to because of fear of rejection. It can freeze us like a deer in headlights keeping us from doing something  that God has called us to do. It can play games with our minds.

This year, I’m shedding fear by being filled with the courage that comes from knowing God and knowing that HE is with me.

Think of how fear must have tried to grab hold of the heart of Joshua when he took the place of Moses and was called to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land of God!

Maybe that’s why the Lord told him, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Man, I have a lot of weight to lose this year and I know I can’t lose it all at once, However, by the end of 2016 I’m hoping to shed this weight, be more fit, and run the race God has set before me in victory!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

What weight(s) have you been carrying around that you need to shed?

What steps will you take in order to do that?

2016 could be, should be, can be your best year yet! Grab hold of the promises of God for your life found in His Word!

Happy New Year!

Podcast Ep: 064 Richard Richardson | Overcomers Part 3

This week on the Fully Devoted Family podcast you get a different voice.

Richard Richardson spoke on Sunday and today you have two different ways you can catch up in case you missed it.

All you have to do is press the play button below and you can listen without interruption to the sermon.

If you prefer to watch the service then we have supplied that also.


Podcast Ep: 063 Overcoming Adversity | Pastor Beck Payne

We are in the middle of our Overcomers series at Family Church.

Our podcast today is from Sunday, April 12th, as Pastor Beck shared about overcoming adversity.

In case you would rather watch the service, just click below!

Sunday 4.12.15 from Family Church on Vimeo.


A Reminder About Easter – The Day After

What an incredible day at Family Church!

This being our first Easter as parents certainly made the day carry a new weight. As Aly and I sat and talked last night, we both sadly acknowledged that we felt we had let our life (a 3 week newborn) dictate some of our schedule leading up to Easter.

We both mentioned that we wish we had done a bit more preparing our hearts for this weekend and especially Sunday.

Very quickly though we realized it wasn’t too late. It’s never too late (if you’re breathing) to make it matter.

So as I have spent time today looking and thinking about this post, I just kept coming back to the idea of what could I do to make sure that the day after Easter isn’t just a day, any normal day?

I have watched quite a few videos from this author, so I decided I would see if he had anything that was good. Sure enough he did.

I encourage you to watch this video and listen to the things Jefferson says. Especially the emphasis that we are being used to make His word come true.

The gospel and the Easter/Resurrection story is really quite simple, and I love how he shows that. You won’t regret watching this!

I hope you enjoyed this, and let’s not forget the part we play and the importance of being a New Creation!

We have the opportunity to live out the Easter story, every day! If you didn’t prepare your heart as you would have wished, start today. The day after Easter. And every day after that.

Praise and Worship At Family Church

To change things up a bit this week here is the praise and worship from our service at FC this past Sunday.

Just like our normal podcast episode you can simply press play on the video below and enjoy praise and worship from the FC praise team.

You can go to anytime and not only watch our Sunday services but you can listen and watch praise and worship also.

Have a great Wednesday!

Sanctified By Suffering At A Glance – Pastor Taylor

Wow! It might be exciting to think of being set apart for God (sanctified) or being made holy, but it can lose its excitement when the act of being set apart comes by undergoing pain, distress, and/or hardship (suffering).

Pastor Beck shared a two part series that ended yesterday on this topic of being sanctified through purposeful suffering that God allows. It is so easy to become bitter over the pain and suffering in our lives if we lose sight of the eternal purpose of the suffering that God allows. Pain and suffering is not meant to bring bitterness, but instead is designed to bring brokenness.

In George Barna’s book, Maximum Faith: Live Like Jesus, he list 10 stops on the journey from not knowing God to being totally whole and living the life that Christ has made available to us. Ninety five percent of the people that start this journey never make it to step seven. Step seven is Experiencing Personal Brokenness.

Brokenness can open us to the life that Christ died on the cross for us to experience. Brokenness can help us realize that salvation is not just a simple prayer, and we can come to understanding that we cannot save ourselves. We

What If The Blessings Were Gone?

I don’t know about you but I hear people throw around the word contentment all the time.

What is contentment? Well let me go ahead and let you know that I am not going to give you a definition of contentment at any point in this post.

I plan to simply share my current thoughts on contentment as Aly and I strive to set our life up in a way that contentment is more consistent.

So many times we view contentment as a destination. I don’t honestly think it is something you achieve one time and then have forever. I believe it is something you have to constantly check the temperature of.

Right now what I am using as a scorecard of sorts

What is The Drop Box? |Adoption | Orphanage

In a creative team meeting which is led by Pastor Arvil Ogle, we were talking about upcoming services at FC. As the team was preparing for this week’s message, God is Love, there was a great deal to talk about.

The talk of Love came up as we continued to discuss our current series, ‘God Is’. Pastor Beck asked us if we had seen the Drop Box video.  A few of us had seen it and the conversation moved on to discuss the next few weeks services.

This video and topic has stayed with me since then for a couple reasons. One, of course Aly and I are eagerly anticipating the birth of our very own baby. A baby that we have the opportunity to be parents to because the birth mom chose life.

The other is the fact that I cannot imagine what this full movie will be. The clip you will see in a second is just a glimpse. The man in the video talks about a mom wanting to poison her and her baby.

As our apartment has continued to be filled with clothes for our little girl I have continued to think of how or where the Drop Box video could be used. Today, Pastor Beck shared a message about God is Love. When you watch this video you can’t help but see that this is indeed love.

Watch this video:

If for some reason you do not see the option to press play in the video above, CLICK HERE to play.

You guys, let’s go love.