Archive for the 'Family' Category


processing the Sandy Hook Massacre and the varying responses

I have struggled to be able to write or speak of much related to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. I have four children, one of whom is in Kindergarten, and when I have spent more than a few minutes contemplating these recent events, I go to a place mentally I don’t want to be. Preaching at Shore Community Church yesterday was particularly difficult in light of this tragedy.

I have a lot of questions about mental illness, access to firearms, violent video games, the impact of affluence on bored young adults, how technology rewires the brain, the impact of doomsday rhetoric on young people, school security measures, the impact of divorce on teenagers, and how the combination of these things motivated Adam Lanza to do what he did. What should I say to my kids? How much or how little?

Since I don’t know yet what my thoughts might add to the conversation as a nation mourns alongside a devastated small town, I decided I should just reference some of the things I have been reading and thinking through in this time. Certainly there are other things worth reading, but here are pieces that I have found helpful personally:

The Loss of the Innocents by Ross Douthat

God Identifies with Suffering by Tim Keller

Christianity, gun violence & the nihilism of Mike Huckabee by Phil Snider. To be fair, here is the Huckabee piece.

A Letter to my daughter by T. Michael Law


I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Also, feel free to posts links to writings that you have found particularly helpful. If you go on a rant, I will delete your comment though.



Happy Birthday Levi Joe

My baby boy turned two today. I’m a proud daddy so I of course I have to post some videos:


What should we name our baby girl?

Tara and I will welcome our fourth child at the end of the summer. This time, the doctors tell us, the baby is a girl. Fourth time’s the charm. So, we are having a terrible time choosing a name and we need some help. Here are ten names we are considering. The spelling is subject to change and the names are randomized. The other day, our son Zak said it was his turn to name the baby and he has chosen one of the ten names. So, we may go with that one anyway. But, please help us decide!


help your marriage: read this not that

Mark Driscoll publishes “Real Marriage” in a couple of days and Ed Young publishes “Sexperiment” today. My friend Mike takes issue with the authors here for multiple reasons and I don’t plan on reading these two books. I have the feeling I can get the content of these books from reviews and twitter posts. After all, I don’t understand how Ed Young can write an entire book based on the idea of having sex with your spouse for 7 days in a row, and frankly, I don’t care to find out. It seems odd to me.I’m slightly more inclined to read Driscoll’s book because I have benefitted from some other things he has written and I appreciate many things he has to say. I enjoyed his ebook Pastor Dad.  If you are looking for good books to read to benefit your marriage, I recommend these:

Paul Tripp – What did you Expect? (or on DVD) You can read my post outlining and summarizing this book here.

Lou Priolo – The Complete Husband

Kent Hughes has a chapter on marriage in his book “Disciplines of a Godly Man“, you can read my review of it here.

Don’t waste your time with Driscoll or Young, there are too many good books to read. What books have your read that you have found helpful?


this will ruin your holloween

The problem with reading is sometimes it changes the way you think and then the way you live. We have already purchased our Halloween candy and are making plans for trick-or-treating. Then I read this article. Now I’m a little disturbed about Halloween.

The tasty treats we enjoy on Halloween are a product of child slavery. You can read more about child and forced labor here. Much of this child labor is reinforced by over-consumption of products like coffee and chocolate. Personally, I pay attention to the coffee I drink. Ever since I saw Blood Diamond I have told my wife I will never buy here any more diamonds (and not just for financial reasons because I can be cheap). But, didn’t consider whether or not the chocolate I eat was harvested by little kids like mine. This is heartbreaking to a dad of three boys. I am learning to make more responsible choices with my purchases, but it is difficult. Sometimes it means paying a lot more. Sometimes it means doing without. But I cannot ignore the FACT that what I buy with my money either helps or hurts. I’m taking steps, even if they are baby steps. It doesn’t have to mean we do without, but consume responsibly, let Fair-Trade influence your purchases.

My friend Mike offers some more insight on the same article I read here. He includes a disturbing picture.

Here is a solution to possibly salvage your Halloween? “Halloween candy that doesn’t suck.”


going extinct

Our family spent the afternoon at N. Division Street in Ocean City yesterday. As the tide was coming in, I moved someone’s bags, towels, and shoes so that the tide wouldn’t soak them.  A little while later, this guy came with his two kids and thanked me for moving his things. We had a few brief conversations over the next couple of hours in between playing with our kids in the water and the sand. As were packing up to leave, we spoke for a few more minutes.  At one point in the conversation he said, “I didn’t think guys like you existed anymore.” I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that, but I hope it was a complement!


Dad Life

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  • Took Nate hunting for the first time today. We didn't see anything but at least we looked cool. 3 years ago
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