Archives For josiah

Your local public park can be a great source of adventure. Most people take their kids and sit on a bench while their kids play. They (we… I’m guilty too) use the time to catch up on email or Facebook. But what if we helped their imagination bloom? What if we became part of their games? What if we participated with them? We’re making these YouTube videos to encourage people to play together and Go Do Something. Life is actually pretty amazing and my kids are growing up fast, so I’m trying to be more proactive in enjoying each day with them. Sometimes it’s little and simple and sometimes it’ll be bigger, but it’s something.

What kinds of things do you do with your kids to create memories together?



In our second episode on Go.Do, our new YouTube channel, we go to a brand new pet store in Fresno called Lost Realms Pets. It’s awesome and you should go! Check it out:

My son, Josiah, has recently become interested in vlogging. You know, video-blogging? So we’re going to start recording every-day adventures. So many people believe life is boring or that there is nothing to do in their hometown. We’ll, we’re going to prove you wrong. So we’re starting to put out some videos under the name “Go.Do” because if you’re bored, all you need to do is go do something. Check out our first video, Go.Do Episode 1: Touch Some Trucks. Feel free to subscribe and we’d love to hear what kinds of adventures you’d like us to try out.

What if your kids looked back on their childhood and thought, “those were some epic times?”

I have a friend whose family didn’t save a penny for their kids college education. Their theory was that it was up to their kids to figure out how to pay for college and instead of saving for their future, they spent money on making memories. They took trips to Disneyland, from Oregon, every year. They had jet skies and lived on the Willamette River, just south of Portland, Or. Thankfully, for their family, paying for college education worked out. I’m not advocating that their decision is right for everyone, but I do like the idea that every family needs to create epic memories with their kids.

For me, growing up, my epic memories were our yearly camping trips to Yosemite. In face, to this day, I would say that Yosemite is my favorite place in the world. I have fond memories of swimming in the river, eating at the village, camping in the housekeeping units, floating down the river, hiking, discovering hidden falls, eating ice-cream at happy isles, biking the valley, star-gazing from glacier point after sunset and camp fires! When I reached my teenage years, my parents let me bring 2-3 friends along every year. We swam in the bottom of Yosemite Falls everyday. That will knock the wind out of you!

It’s important, through the crazy-busy lives we live, to take time out. To hang out with your kids. To give them some undivided attention. To take trips, when you can. To make epic memories together. Because one day, that’s what they’ll remember. A childhood full of epic memories, is a happy childhood. It’s a childhood I’d like to pass on.

In that spirit, yesterday morning, my son and I made a movie entitled Epic Battle: Good vs. EvilEnjoy.

We made this movie using an app called Directr. It’s great because they provide you a storyboard with sketches and the music. Essentially you just follow the instructions to make a great little movie.

So, go, create epic memories with your kids. They don’t happen on their own. You’ve got to make time.

5 things christian parents should pray over their kids daily

When I was just a little boy my mom started praying over me at night as I slept. The reason, as I recall her telling me, was because she “didn’t know what to do with me.” I had a tendency to overreact about things. I was a kind of hot-headed. I was a difficult kid to handle at times. But instead of trying to fix me, she prayed and she surrendered her parenting to God.

I’m trying to do the same thing these days. Sometimes your kids can drive you crazy, am I right? The screams, the meltdowns, the overreacting. I’ve come to realize most kids go through a season of one or more of these behaviors. We can help create a culture in our home that leads them away from this and we ought to do everything in our power to do that. But we also need to surrender our parenting to God so that He may do it on our behalf and equip us with what we need to get the job done.

Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram that immediately got attention from a couple of old college friends. It’s a simple thing, praying for our kids as they sleep… but we also have a lot to get done while they sleep, right? But what if we all took some time each night and/or nap and prayed while they slept?

So, what should you pray about? Well, there are lots of things you could pray, but for now I’m focusing on five.

5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily

This is not a complete list because the list is endless. But you’ve got to figure out what are the things that are most important to you, that you want for your kids. Here are five things I’ve just started praying over my kids as they sleep. I no particular order…

  • God Protect Their Innocence
    I want my kids to maintain innocence, not only sexually, but mentally and in every other way as long as possible. So many kids grow up out of necessity, way too early and skip out on childhood. I want my kids to have a joyful and fulfilling childhood. 
  • God Change The World and Use My Kids To Do It
    Don’t we all want to be world-changers in once sense or another. I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus so madly that they’d be willing to follow his call to the ends of the earth. I want them to know personally, the mission God has for their lives and I want it to be grand. I’m not satisfied with a little mission in my life and I don’t want my kids to just fulfill some ideas of what might be the call of God on their lives. I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that God has purpose for them and I want them to pursue that purpose.
  • God Give my Kids Incredible Future Spouses and Life Long Friends Who Love You
    We, parents, have a lot of influence on our kids lives… but we won’t always be there. Kids need great peers to help keep them focused and on track. Think back to your teenage or early adulthood regrets (or maybe late adulthood), who were the people warning you not to do that? Who were the ones egging you on? We all need people in pursuit of the same ideals as us surrounding us because if left to our own individual devices, we’ll make a mess of things. So I’m praying for my future son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I’m praying for their families and their friends. 
  • God Help my Kids Follow Jesus All the Days of Their Lives
    What Christian parent doesn’t want this for their kids? I want them to never stray from the path of Jesus. I know they’ll make mistakes, they’ll have missteps, but they don’t have to be huge and they don’t have to be overly painful. 
  • God Give my Kids Immeasurable Favor
    Have you ever felt the favor of God? I consistently prayed for God’s favor in a particular situation (another story, another future post) for over two months… everyday until God gave me favor with this particular person. And that prayer altered my entire life, forever. I want that kind of favor for my kids, their whole lives.

So there you have it, 5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily.

You’ve probably got your own version of this. I’m curious, what are you deepest desires for your kids? What are you praying over your kids as they sleep?

You may also like:
5 Tips to Kickstart Your Prayer Life in 2014
Secrets Every Christian Parent Should Tell Their Kids Daily

There are a few simple secrets every Christian parent should tell their kids daily. I believe it to the core of my being that parents are the strongest influence in a child’s life. There may be seasons in a child’s life that friends or mentors have a greater influence, but over the span of an entire lifetime, parents win the influence game.

When my son was about 9 months old I started telling him secrets. It was actually my son who started calling them secrets. I would whisper in his ear as I put him to bed. Sandwiched between nightly prayer and a kiss on the forehead were these simple truths, secrets, that I want to be anchored into both my kids souls so deeply that NOTHING can remove it. It want these words to be an anchor when the storm comes, when life is difficult, something they can hold onto that will keep them grounded and not rocked by the waves.

Every night, to this day, I say:

God made you
God loves you
And Jesus wants to be your friend forever
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength
Love others like your love yourself
Take care of the widows and the orphans, those who cannot take care of themselves
Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God
Josiah [or Brynn] I love you
I’m proud of you
And I can’t wait to see the man [or woman] you grow up to be

That’s what I say to him every night and I’m beginning to say it to Brynn as well. Imagine the world we’d live in if we all heard those words from early childhood. How might that shape our self-perception our self-confidence or anchor our path? How might your life have been changed?

At the end of the day, they’re just words and they’ll follow the path they choose to follow, but I’m certainly going to take advantage of the fact that I’m one of the most influential people in my kid’s lives.

I bet there’s somebody who needs to read those words right now, that someone might just be you. Take a moment, replace the name with yours and read it out loud to yourself. Let yourself soak it in and know that your heavenly father says this to you:

I made you
I love you
And I want to be your best friend forever
Love me with everything you’ve got
Love others even more than you think possible
Take care of people who need someone to take care of them
Do justice, love to hand out mercy and walk without arrogance with your God
[insert your name here] I love you
I’m proud of you
And I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow for the rest of your earthly life

So there you have it.
Secrets every Christian parent should tell their kids daily.

This isn’t a complete list and I’m sure you’ve got your own versions of building up your kids. How do you do it? What do you regularly tell your kids in the hopes that it makes an eternal difference? I’d love to hear.

You may also like, 5 Parenting Skills.


On Sunday, October 13, 2013 we held our very first service. You can’t redo the first one. The first one will always be the first one. It’s kind of a big deal. And I am very pleased with how well it went. Here are some things I’d like to share from that day:

  • A volunteer’s daughter has been hesitant to attend a children’s environment anywhere, and was hesitant starting out at our service, but by the end she loved it. Someone overheard her ask if she could come back.
  • A one year old made it through the service in the nursery, that has never been away from his parents before! This may seem small, but to his parents this was HUGE. I know that with consistent faces in the nursery, he will continue to do well.
  • Another 2 year old was able to go home and retell the entire story of Joseph in great detail. We may have a future Bible Storyteller!
  • My son (4) prayed the night before “for all of the kids God would bring to Waumba Land.” These kids are being impacted by building this ministry!
  • Several people went to the Connections table after service and asked for big stacks of invites for the November 17 service.
  • We had 130 people in attendance!
  • Many people wrote on the response cards. We had people say they want to know more about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, one person wrote they want to know more about baptism, and several people signed up for launch groups.
  • As a result we have two baptisms scheduled in Novemeber! We will share their stories via video online.
  • We bought a used portable church system from Church on Wheels and everything worked great!
  • We had a new couple come serve all day with us setting up Waumba Land and driving the trailer. They were excited, and said they will continue to come serve and be a part.
  • Several people came who we didn’t expect and came to various people on our team with great feedback. Several of these people heard about TCC through social media.
  • We saw posts and videos posted on social media with positive comments about people’s experience. See sampling here:
  • Some of the people at our preview have now joined a launch group and are becoming increasingly involved and we are developing relationships with more of them.
  • People who came to “support” us, said they’d return with guests

Were you there?
What was your experience?
Please let me know!

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I love this shot of Josiah.
What kind of caption would you write for this photo?

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of the great things about being a parent is that you get to discover each holiday in a new way again. And Valentine’s Day is no exception. Hope you enjoy this little impromptu photo shoot with our kids…

[photo gallery above]

Disney and Two Cities

December 27, 2012 — 1 Comment

At Two Cities Church our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and our vision is to create a church that unchurched people love to attend.

My family and I just returned from a mini-vacation to Disneyland. I got to experience it in a whole new way, through the fresh eyes of my own kids. Josiah, 3, was blown away, specifically at Cars Land. Brynn, 7 months, was wide-eyed the whole time. Except for when she fell asleep to “Yo-Ho Yo-Ho A Pirates Life for Me!” We had a blast. [For Disneyland Pictures check out my Instagram]

There were three things that struck me differently this time:

  • Disneyland was BOLD in their presentation of the Christmas story. It gave me an incredible sense of hope as I walked out of the park to the sound of Molly Ringwald reading a version of the Christmas story. She even spoke about his death on a cross and how much he has changed the course of human history. You can watch the entire performance on youtube here.
  • Disneyland has thousands of “cast-members” ready to make your experience delightful. If you ask a question and they can help, they will. Nobody says, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”
  • Disneyland ignites wonder in all of it’s guests. You can’t help but become a little enchanted by the collective “magic” of the whole organism working together to create moments that inspire you to believe that this really could be the “happiest place on earth.”
As a person passionate about the mission of the church, I have to stop and ask myself, “Is it possible to create a place like Disneyland that inspires unbelieving children, youth and adults into becoming followers of Jesus?” And I believe that answer is YES!
While working at New Vintage Church, a church much like the one we are creating, a woman who does not profess to be a Christian said, “We [my family] can’t wait to come every week! This is our Disneyland!” She is in progress, I don’t know if she’s put her faith in Jesus yet, but her kids have and her parents have and she keeps going.

Together, we can create a place more “magical” than Disneyland. A place where people who are skeptics and critics would attend and say, “Wow, I don’t know if I believe what they believe… but I’ve got to come back.” And they’ll be back again and again, until one day their doubts shrink to insignificance. Their criticism fades and all that is left is child-like faith in a Big God. And that Big God gave a group of people a Big Vision that took Big Sacrifice and Big Faith to create Two Cities Church.

If you haven’t already done so, I’m inviting everyone connected to Two Cities Church to participate in our Big Vision end-of-year offering. We’ll use 100% of donations of this campaign towards our $100,000 start up goal.

We will receive our Big Vision offering on-line for the rest of December.

You can also mail a check to us at 1865 Herndon Ave K304, Clovis, Ca 93611, deliver it in person at one of our events, or you can give online. It’s safe, secure and simple to use.

I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe in Jesus. Let’s devote our lives to His mission together.