1st Day Of School – Its Ok To Not Be Ok.

 

1st Day Of School - Its Ok To Not Be Ok.

Today, my older two sons went off to their first day of kindergarten and 2nd grade. My wife went with them.  She came back from dropping them off, but a piece of her was missing. It was still with them at school. You see, our sons are both dealing with anxiety in different ways. My oldest son, internalizes it and lets a few tears drop, but he doesn't want to seem vulnerable. My second son just doesn't care. He tells you straight up he's not going, ahead of time. And then he makes you rip him from his car seat, and carry him in while crying those horizontal tears you see in the cartoons. This is the reason Gena didn't return in one piece. She couldn't fathom their suffering without suffering some herself. I commend my wife for taking on such a dreaded task, and seeing it through. 

Tomorrow, I get to take a stab at it. I'm one of those guys, where (for the most part) it's out of sight out of mind. So, pray for me between 7:50 am-8:00 am. That's when I'll endure whatever my boys throw my way with assertiveness. I'll do what it takes. After that, I should be ok. But, I have to remember to be more like her when I'm dealing with my children. Gentle, empathetic, and compassionate.  No matter how the boys leave my care, tears and all, they should feel loved. "Carry each others' burdens," takes on a whole new meaning when you watch a mother send her two sons off to the first day of school.

What's your back to school story?

Dad’s Dream Come True – Buy A Car From Home and Have It Delivered

Dad's Dream Come True – Buy A Car From Home and Have It Delivered

My wife and I have not bought a new car for about five years now.  We have been lucky.  We bought my current car in 2008 before the birth of our first son.  We then bought our van in 2011 and it has served us well.  It just hit 100,000 miles today, however, so I am thinking we might need to be buying a new car in the next year or so.

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Ever Heard of Groupon? If You Like Discounts, Read On…

Ever Heard of Groupon? If You Like Discounts, Read On…

This post has been sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are mine.

groupon

My wife and I are constantly looking for ways to cut back on spending.  At the same time, we don't want to quit enjoying life. That's where Groupon has entered the picture.  Groupon marries those two desires. We've been using Groupon since it started back in 2008. I would bet that over the years, we've saved hundreds of dollars just by using Groupon. 

If you haven't used them yet, it's not too late. Just head over to Groupon's website and start searching deals.  Just for joining, you get $25 off your already majorly discounted price. We've used Groupon for anything from auto tint installation, to kids' attractions, electronics, and even resort stays. Groupon has never failed us.

You may be wondering, "how does Groupon work for a resort?" It's a very well respected world-wide entity that is recognized by all the top-retailers, so you never have to question the validity of your voucher. You may be thinking, "I don't want to have to get a voucher when I purchase something expensive." Trust me, it's a simple process, so you shouldn't be worried about losing value. These days, all you get when you purchase tickets to a resort, or something of the like, is a confirmation number, and maybe an email. Groupon works the same way, only it organizes all your purchases into one app. So you don't even need to get the email. You can just open the groupon app and use the barcode/confirmation number saved in there.

I challenge you to think of your favorite thing to do, and head over to Groupon and search for a deal.  

If you have used Groupon, what is the best deal you ever got?

Join ShiftCon in New Orleans!

Join ShiftCon in New Orleans!

 
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disclosure: I am volunteering with ShiftCon, and have received a free ticket in exchange for my promotion and volunteering.


ShiftCon Social Media Conference will be held December 1-3, 2016 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverbank in New Orleans, LA!!  This conference will be the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weather should be perfect!  Come with me to see the city, network with organic and natural brands and other bloggers and social media influencers.  We will dine on nonGMO food, talk and learn more about moving towards a nontoxic environment, and of course…bring home swag!

When:  December 1-3, 2016

Where:  Hilton New Orleans Riverbank in New Orleans, LA

What is ShiftCon?  It's a fun learning experience/get-together/party for bloggers, social influencers, and brands who are focused on or want to learn more about eco-wellness, food, fitness, fun, and friendship!

ShiftCon is offering a special sale price of only $149 for the first 25 Influencer tickets sold. The price of $149 is $200 off the regular price of tickets. After those 25 tickets are sold, they are gone. The price will immediately go up to $249 “Early Bird” tickets which are still $100 off the price of a regular ticket. I know, it’s too good to be true! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn more about incredible brands, organizations and lifestyle practices to help build a healthier, happier future for us and our environment!

Save $50 on your SHIFTCON registration by using my affiliate code at checkout!  "VDFW" will immediately knock $50 off of the cost of one SHIFTCON ticket.  If you're wanting to go with your friends, they can use the code, too!  Hope to see you in New Orleans this December!

shiftcon

A Message To Graduates

grads-2016

I was asked to give a message to the graduates for the MHS Baccalaureate this year. Yesterday I delivered that message. I had an adult female stranger come up to me afterward, and tell me that my message was spot on, and that I should publish it. I've never been asked to publish any of my sermons, so here it is. I omitted a few lines that only pertained to the live audience, but this version gets my entire point across:

All of you are on a journey that has intersected at the end of high school.
I’m so glad God has brought you to this point. Have you given him the credit?
Let’s do that right now. (prayer)

Every one of you have walked different paths with different choices and different people alongside you. Can you remember every choice and every person from your first 18 years? No, you can’t.

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Save Money Today with Groupon Coupons

Save Money With Groupon Coupons

Our family has been using Groupon for many years now.  We have saved big on vacations, recreation, concerts, sports events, and more.  Until recently, though, I did not know that Groupon Coupons existed.  Besides having a cool name, these things really can save you big on stuff you are already purchasing.

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A Threat To Virility: Time Is Not On Our Side

A Threat To Virility:  Time Is Not On Our Side

Just a week ago, Time® magazine published an online article entitled Porn, A Threat To Virility.  Today, their magazine has the article as the cover story, on this week's edition. Kudos to them for speaking openly on it to the masses. There are others who are not afraid to address porn directly for the calamity that it is. Those voices are few and far between. What I've noticed in America is that most preachers don't want to preach on it, and educators don't want to teach on it. Scientists don't want to speculate without enough evidence that pornography is hurtful to a consumer. And parents don't want to talk about it to their children. I won't be quiet about this. I've researched it, I've consumed it, I've taught on it, and I will be speaking about it with my children and my youth group and their parents. The evidence is crystal clear in my experience, knowledge, and in other's stories that I have heard.

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A Texas Boy In South Africa

I recently traveled to South Africa as a part of the leadership team for my church.  I landed on 3 continents in 36 hours. From DFW to D.C., to London, to Johannesburg. Talk about exhausting!  Then from Johannesbug, we flew across South Africa, to Cape Town.  That's a lot to try and see in 12 days. We spent 8 days in Johannesburg, SA, and northern South Africa, and 24 hours in Cape Town, SA. The purpose of the trip was to spend time with our missionaries, Louis and Linda Gerber.  But, when you go across the pond, you don't just schedule a few lunches, and rest your head.  Brent and I made the most of every minute we had in the eastern hemisphere. There's so much I can say about what I learned about South Africa, but you'll have to ask me face to face, if you want that story. The rest of it, I'll just show you, in the slideshow I've made. The soundtrack to the slideshow (and my favorite part of the trip) is of the worship songs that we sang during a Sunday morning service, with the Hilltop Church of Christ in downtown Johannesburg. 

 

Take Time to Be a Dad Today!

Take Time To Be A Dad Today

Take Time To Be A Dad Today

This post has been sponsored.

I am so lucky to be a dad to three wonderful boys.  My life has been blessed by these hilarious little guys.  It is often hard for me to spend time with them, but I do the best that I can and it pays off.

Research has proven that the more involved a dad is, the more successful his children are. A father's influence can determine a child's social life, academic achievement, and future achievements.

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10 Life Hacks for Raising a Son

10 Life Hacks for Raising a Son

10 Life Hacks for Raising a SonNobody knows exactly how to raise their son. There is no instruction manual that comes with the birth of a boy. If someone ever tells you how you should raise your child without actually knowing your child, just glean what you can and move on. No two boys are the same. However, every male is born with a certain set of needs, and the potential to become a great man. 

Here are 10 life hacks I feel may help you in guiding your son through his first 18 years: They aren't easy, but they are worth it.

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The owner of this blog, Ben, and his wife, Gena, are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.