Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Raegan (8 weeks old) is at the stage now where you can talk in a really corny, high voice and she will smile so big. She pushes her head back, opens her mouth really wide, crosses her eyes and gives the biggest smile she can.

I can't think of a whole lot of things that brings joy to my life like seeing my girls smile. It just melts my heart and makes me feel really good and mushy on the inside. There is power in a smile.

I love walking through the mall and just smiling. People usually look at you like you are nuts (in my case they are right) or like you are going to jack them with a sock full of nickels. Sometimes they look at you only to hurry and look away but every once in awhile, they actually smile back.

Sometimes when I am sitting at a light or passing someone, I will look over and smile as big as I can. They usually laugh and then I see their lips move probably, commenting on how insane I am, but it is fun.

Studies show that if you are bummed or depressed and you smile, you begin to feel better. If you take it a step further and look at yourself in the mirror and smile, you start to feel better even sooner.

My point: Smiles, like a lot of other things, are contageous. I would rather affect someone with something postitive than infect them with something negative.

Next time you are cranky -smile.
Next time someone is spewing negatives at you - SMILE BIG.
Next time you come in contact with anyone - smile a big cheezy smile.

Start smiling and see what happens. Let me know what kind of reactions you get...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

grow or go

Konan and I had coffee this morning with a church growth consultant. To hear him talk made my head spin. To see the potential of God through C3 makes me think two things: "WOW" & "Why me"...

I have no earthly idea why I am allowed to be part of something so amazing. Every Sunday morning when we see 200+ people come into a building hoping to "connect" with God, I am humbled.

People that knew me in high school, college or the military would laugh hysterically if they knew I am a pastor responsible to help people "connect with God, grow in that relationship, and use their gifts to serve Him".

Now I look at where I am in leadership and I know that if I don't keep growing, I am going to stunt/hinder what God wants to do. I can't allow that to happen.

My point: if I am the reason C3 is not growing to its full potential, it is MY FAULT!!! I can't look to anyone else and blame them. Your growth is your responsibility. I need to keep reading, finding mentors and challenging myself.

I either have to continue to grow or I need to go! Are you helping your place of employment grow, are you growing. Maybe its time to...

Friday, January 25, 2008

let's dance

Hannah loves Dora. She would watch this bilingual, back pack wearing little girl who talks to a monkey who wears "boots" all hours of the day if we weren't such responsible parents... (can you believe I said that?)

Dora always has a mission. Every time she gets a mission she consults her map and there is a little song. When the mission is complete there is the "we did it" song.

I was walking thru the room and one of the songs started and I saw Hannah spring out of her Elmo chair (that was so last year), and begin jumping and dancing without a care in the world. I stood and watched, laughing until I decided to join in. We were both now dancing and jumping around. Then the song ended and she sat back down and I went about my business.

A few minutes later, I was upstairs unloading the dishwasher (I am very domesticated), and I heard another song come on. I heard Hannah spring out of her chair, but this time she was running. She ran to the steps and yelled "c'mon daddy", so I screamed "leave me alone kid" and went back to what was important - the dishes... WHATEVER!!!

I put down the plates and jumped down 8 steps (I stuck the landing) to dance with my little girl. After the song, I came back up until another song came on. She now expects me to dance with her every time - I wouldn't have it any other way.

My point: I want my kids to expect me to do fun things with them. I don't want them to think "daddy is to busy to play with me". I look at Shayna (11 years old) and remember how fast those years went. I want to make the most of every dance, game, adventure and bath time while I can. I love my girls and I show them love by spending time with them.

Based on where your time is allocated, what/who do you love?

Time is the greatest gift we can give our family.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Kids do what we do whether we want them to or not.

The other day we went thru the Starbucks drive thru. We forgot Hannah's sippy cup so we were a little concerned that she was gonna freak out. As soon as we got our drinks, Hannah started saying "Hanna's dink (drink)"... we thought, oh boy, what are we going to do.

Just then the worker said "we made a mistake on an order, do you want this?" and handed us a caramel frappuccino. We struck gold Jerry!!

Then we gave our kid a caffeine filled milkshake. Giving a turbo charged red-headed 2 year old a caffeine drink may not be the smartest thing we ever did, but we gave it to her anyway. We figured we could listen to her scream for the remainder of the 1 hour drive, or we could give it to her with hopes it would wear off by the time we got out.

We were the heroes. We ended up sharing it between all of us so she didn't get the whole thing, but we all won.

My point: we teach what we know but we reproduce who we are. We can't explain "this is bad for you - but good for us". Those words are hollow. Our actions speak far louder than our words. If you see something that frustrates you in your children, look at yourself , it's probably your fault.

This generation will not know life without Starbucks... we had it rough!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

brother to brother

I got a symbol on Wed. I didn't say a tattoo because it is much more than that. It is a symbol of brotherhood, loyalty and unity.

There are only 5 other people in the world that have this symbol. It was created as a family crest for the men of the Stephens family. Because my friendship with them has grown over the years, they have asked me to join the mob - I mean brotherhood.

I love these people like they are my own brothers and I would do anything in the world for them. I didn't need to put ink in my skin to show this, but now there is a visible - outward expression of my internal dedication, loyalty and friendship.

Each little detail represents something different. Each detail was thought out and is symbolic. It is an honor to be asked to wear this symbol of brotherhood.

My point: When you have great friends, it truly is the greatest treasure in the world. It is amazing to know that there are people there for me no matter what.

Brother to Brother

If you are having a hard time making out the details of the symbol, it's probably because of the muscular canvas it is on...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

the truth is a blog you simply must read.

The author is a great friend from my military days. His witty insight and biting sarcasm far surpasses mine. You may know him from the comments that he makes on my blog aka "the truth".

I hope you will read his blog regularly and enjoy his humor (or lack thereof) as much as I do.

My point: you are a butt-hole if you don't read his blog. (sorry, that may be a bit strong. You are just not cool unless you check out his blog)

side note: this is not a pic of him.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

poop in the tub

Hannah loves her bath. We have a whole routine we go through when it is bath time. We start with a question of "who's that baby gonna get that bath?". Hannah begins to dance and we break out in song as we head toward the bathroom. It only gets better from there.

We then get into the tub followed by the massive amount of tub toys. Then the real fun begins. We spell words with the tub letters, have water fights with Dora and Boots and splash like crazy.

One evening I was on the phone while Hannah was playing and I looked down to see a big ol' turd coming out of her cute little butt. I told the person I would have to call them back "Hannah just pooped in the tub". I grabbed her out of the tub and then scooped the poop out and into the proper place - THE TOILET!!!

I had to wash all the toys. Some went to the washing machine while others found their way into the dishwasher. Then I went and scrubbed the tub. It was quite an adventure.

My point: don't poop in the tub. It ruins the fun and quite frankly, it's really gross.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

a healthy colon

I joined a gym this month. I, like every other American, have decided enough is enough. I am going to make working out a priority.

I know, you are thinking "YOU? You are so hot and good looking already". Well as true as that is (I am humble too...), it isn't all about looks. I want to be healthy. I want to be healthy in appearance and on the inside -literally.

I am ordering a 30 day colon cleanse. I read that most of us are only able to absorb a fraction of the vitamins and nutrients that the good food we eat has to offer. This is a picture of what came out of someone (supposedly). That is because of all the garbage we put in our bodies. Because of all the bad stuff we take in, it makes it hard to absorb the good stuff... hmmmmm, sounds like life.

I read a definition of "hard hearted". It defined hard heart as "overexposure and under-response to truth". In other words, we hear the truth but we never apply it to our lives. We have so much bad in our system, it makes it nearly impossible to absorb the good. You can't fill a glass full of dirt with water. You can use the water to clean out the dirt but even if you combine the two, you get mud...

Our minds, like our colons need a good cleansing. I am making it a priority to be healthy inside and out. I am constantly renewing my mind by focusing on scripture that will help clean the dirt out and become refreshed. I don't want to be able to hear the truth and not be affected in a positive way.

My point: you need a thorough cleansing. Start filtering what you watch, listen to, talk to, eat, etc. Rid your mind of the dirt and rid your colon of the junk that is in it so you can absorb the good stuff.

Let me know if you want in on the cleanse. It is cheaper if I order more... Act fast, I am ordering Friday the 11th. here is the site I am ordering from if you want to read up on your colon health.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

daddy's little princess

Since the new baby, Raegan has arrived, I have been on "Hannah duty". That just means while mommy takes care of Raegan, I get to cater to Hannah's every little whim and request. I have been spending a lot more time with her and I love it.

I love watching her grow and all the neat little things she does. Her latest is playing dress up. When she put on her Christmas dress she kept calling herself a princess. Of course I played it up and made the biggest deal of how beautiful my little princess is. Ever since that day, when I ask "where's daddy's little princess?" - Hannah shouts "here I am!!!". It is so precious.

Now when I come home, I immediately shout "where's daddy's little princess?" and Hannah comes running shouting "here I am!" and jumps into my arms. The funny thing is that even if I see her, I still ask where is daddy's little princess and even though she knows I see her, she still answers. I guess there isn't really a reason to ask where she is if I already know... or is there?

The reason I ask is because I want her to know that she is my little princess. I want her to know that she is special to daddy. I want her to know that I am excited to see her, I want her to know what I think of her. I want her to know that she is the apple of my eye (one of them anyway).

I think this is a lesson for us. I believe we disappoint God when we view ourselves less than what He says we are. When we accpt Christ, He calls us His children and tells us we are a new creation. We are made new, we are more than conquerors. There are so many other things He says about how He sees us. If we want to know what God thinks of us, we simply need to read His book. It tells us what He thinks of us. We let Him down when we choose to think less of ourselves than He does.

What is your response when God calls "where is Daddy's little princess?" or "where is Daddy's soldier/warrior?". Do we proudly yell while running to Him - "HERE I AM!!" or do we look around and wonder who is He talking to?

My point: If you don't believe you are all that God calls you, you are wrong. In fact you are even telling God he is wrong if you don't believe it. God says that you are created with a plan and a purpose but you say you are worthless - you are calling God a liar. Be careful with that.

Get in God's word and begin to believe what He says about you, not what others say.

Friday, January 4, 2008

my daughter did my hair

I have to admit I love it when other people mess with my head. I love getting haircuts, when they shampoo it, comb it, whatever. It is just so relaxing and calming.

My 11 yr old, Shayna thought it would be funny to do daddy's hair. I didn't really care how funny it would be, I just knew it would feel good and relax me, so I let her.

She took about 30 minutes to get my short hair in these little rubber bands. She put 30 of them all over my head. I LOVED IT, I nearly fell asleep 3 times but my head kept bobbing and it messed her up so she had to keep waking me.

Anyway, then she finished and it was time to look at how good she did. I went to the mirror and this is what I saw. I think she did pretty good.

I have to say, I got some pretty strange looks from other people when I went to church (whatever, like I really went to church like this!). Actually, I think I scared Hannah (my 2 yr old red head) and my wife (my 30 something red head) but I wasn't going to destroy all the work Shayna put into this masterpiece. I guess she did the best she could with what what she had to work with.

My point: I chose to spend some quality time with my kid. Everyday, we make choices about how we spend our time. This year I am going to be more intentional about spending time with the people I love. I want my time to say "I love you" as much as my words do.

Of course I got a head massage and a really cool hairdo out of the deal, but it was some great quality time that I will always remember. Party like a rockstar!!!

disclaimer: feel free to make multiple copies to distribute to all your friends