The family that plays together stays together

I recently asked a grandmother “What’s the best advice you can give me as a parent?” I was asking her because she raised four kids who enjoy happy/healthy marriages, successful careers, and have an active relationship with God.

The simplicity of her answer surprised me. She said, “Just have fun together as a family! Embrace life as an adventure.”

Isn’t that simple but wise advise?

fun family

It’s easy to forget that we’re on mission for a joyful God.

How intentional are you at creating fun memories? Why don’t you have some fun together this weekend?

Start the fun by planning together

Call it an “adventure”

Allow time for spontaneity on your adventure

Be fully present (no peeking at email or social media)

Choose to laugh no matter what happens

Plan to recap your adventure together soon afterward (our family likes to recap while enjoying chocolate-dipped cones from McDonalds)

So what is your family doing this weekend?

Take it from Grandma, “Just have fun together as a family!”

Tired of waiting on God?

Are you waiting on God? Have you noticed that He often lets us wait . . . for awhile?

If you’re waiting, you’re not alone. God has a history of leaving people waiting.


He leaves Abraham with his knife raised ready to plunge into his son.

He leaves Joseph languishing in an Egyptian prison for many years.

He allows the Israelites to suffer and wonder for 400 years.

He leaves Jesus on the cross and does not rescue Him.

And maybe He seems to be allowing you to languish right now. God’s rescues are not as timely as calling 911.

Be encouraged, He always rescues. Sometimes His rescue looks like an unexpected miracle. Sometimes His rescue is death. Ultimately, our eternity is with Him. That’s worth waiting on.

2 Greatest Regrets

One day you’ll die.

I know you already know that but, if you’re like me, you don’t think about it often.

According to Bronnie Ware, when you die you are likely to have two regrets. (Bronnie served as a palliative care nurse in Australia serving patients during their last 12 weeks of life. Over the years, she noticed a pattern of regrets.)


Here are the two most common regrets Bronnie observed:

1. Courage to live life true to myself, not the life others expect me to live.

More than half of our dreams are never pursued. We often spend our lives trying to please a boss we won’t have in 10 years while neglecting our spouse, kids, and parents that we may not have in 10 years.

 2. I wish I didn’t work so hard

“This came from every male patient. They missed their children’s youth and spouses companionship. Women spoke of this regret but most were from an older generations and weren’t breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.” -Bronnie Ware

Ps. 90:12 “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

What’s one thing you want to add to your schedule?

What’s one thing you want to subtract from your schedule?

If you’d like to read Bronnie’s Ware’s book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying click HERE to purchase.

Expectations can be deadly

Has someone let you down? Of course. Me too.

“Expectations are like rifles. Used correctly and appropriately, they are valuable and necessary. But, oh, how quickly they are misused . . . Quietly we pull the trigger. ‘You let me down.’ And we both fall victim to the bullet of expectation.”

“Expectations. Alone, they are bullets that can kill; but buffered by acceptance and forgiveness, they can bring out the best.”  -Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him Savior

Father, help me to be a husband, dad, pastor, and friend with high expectations accompanied by greater acceptance and forgiveness.


Leadership lessons from the man who provides our town with Chicken Biscuits!

If you’re like me, you love learning from other leaders. Today I want you to meet my friend and one of Chick-fil-A’s newest Owner/Operater’s, Robert Shaffer.

Shaffer Family

You and your wife Mandy recently moved to Ventura to open up Ventura’s very first Chick-fil-A. Welcome to Ventura! So far, what do you guys love most about our beautiful city?

We of course love the awesome weather, mountains, and the beach. What we love most though are the people in Ventura. We have been welcomed into this community not only on a business level with the new Chick-fil-A restaurant but also on a personal level through the relationships we have started.

I’m a raving fan of Chick-fil-A. Then I remind myself that it’s just a fast-food restaurant that serves chicken. Yet, many of us passionately want to “save the cows”. What’s Chick-fil-A’s secret in creating this vocal and loyal customer base?

The founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy, has built the Chick-fil-A brand by striving to treat each guest who comes in contact with Chick-fil-A with honor, dignity, and respect. When our guests are treated well and feel cared for, it’s natural for them to want to tell others. Our goal is to make our customer feel cared for by creating ‘REMARK’able experience!

Chick-fil-A has a reputation for exceptional customer service. Recently you, your wife Mandy, Ginger & I were having dinner together and you mentioned Chick-fil-A’s “second mile” customer service philosophy. What’s that all about?

I like to think of the story in the book of Matthew where Jesus encourages his fellow Jews to serve the Roman soldiers. By law the Jews were required, if asked, to carry the Roman soldiers pack one mile. Jesus said if anyone forces you to go one mile, go the second mile. There was a lot of tension between the Jews and the Romans. Jesus taught to serve sacrificially from the heart. If you do, you demonstrate care for others.

I feel I can apply this principle to my business. We encourage our team to provide “Second Mile Service” to all of our guests. When you go to a fast food you expect a certain type of experience, we want to go above and beyond that experience to ensure our community feels cared for.

You’ve worked hard (including working at Chick-fil-A’s in 11 different states) to become an Owner/Operator. You’re a gifted leader and a growing leader. What’s a leadership principle or quote that’s meaningful to you?

I feel as a leader, the team I am leading needs to know how much I care. I’ve heard it say, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As the Owner/Operator, I strive to help my team members be more successful on the job as well as be a resource to help them get more out of life.

There is a growing buzz about Chick-fil-A. As you and your marketing team got the word out, what has been the most effective marketing tool?

During our Grand Opening and again in September, each Ventura home will receive 3 offers in the mail for free Chick-fil-A food! We have also distributed 1,000’s of whole product samples to people who work and/or live in Ventura over the last few months. It’s hard to turn away free food!

Our goal when they visit us is they experience great tasting food and our genuine hospitality and choose to visit us again.

Part of your mission is to create “remarkable experiences” at Ventura’s Chick-fil-A. What do you mean by that?

We try to be ‘REMARK’able by quickly serving great tasting food in a clean restaurant with our great team members who really care. We want our guests to ‘remark’ to others about their experience whether about our food, our people, our cows or how we enriched their lives beyond the transaction.

Robert’s bio: I received my business degree from Maranatha Baptist Bible College. Attending MBBC allowed me to strengthen my Christian faith while perusing my business degree. While in college, I had a strong desire to serve the Lord by positively influencing others. However, I still had a passion for business. Partnering with Chick-fil-A as a small business owner gave me the opportunity to use my passion for business as a platform to positively influence others.

Four years after graduation, I had accomplished my goal. I was selected as the Owner/Operator of the Chick-fil-A franchise in Ventura. I am thankful and humbled to partner with a company like Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family that operates its business based on biblical principles.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Take God seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Pride brings a person low but the lowly in spirit gain honor. -Pr. 29:23

The road to a FALL is paved with PRIDE. The road to HONOR is paved with humility.

Don’t take yourself too seriously today.

Mark - Jimmy

One of my fellow staff members “art work” during a staff meeting. I was proud!