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Marriage – The Leadership Team Begins at Home


By Orrin Woodward

The sad state of most marriages, nearly half ending in divorce, most others in a tedious state of non-aggression, but hardly any truly happy, concerns me.  I do not claim to have all the answers, nor even most of the answers, but I have learned a few lessons in my 18 years of marriage to one of the strongest willed ladies I have ever met.  In truth, I am sure she would say I am the strong willed one.  Don’t get me wrong, Laurie and I love each other dearly, but that didn’t make our marriage happy or workable in the early days.  Bringing baggage into a marriage, having to be right, and suffering from low self-esteem are not recipe’s for success in anyone’s marriage book.  What are the key principles to apply and what are the principles to avoid in building a happy marriage?  This was the question that led Laurie and me on a lifetime quest to improve our own marriage, and subsequently, hopefully, any marriage in our community.   As God led us to faith in His Son, we started asking questions on what our Biblical roles were as a husband and a wife.

How can two people who love each other enough to publicly profess it in a marriage ceremony end up months, if not weeks after, in a crazy cycle of turmoil and despair?  Who is the leader in a marriage?  What does the leader do?  Is it true that anything with two heads is a freak?  I teach men that they are responsible for the results, good or bad, in their household.  This doesn’t mean they they should be a dictator, in fact, it means nearly the opposite since a leader is defined as a servant.  Yes, I am the leader of my family, but that just means that I am the first to sacrifice when sacrifice is needed, that I am the first to accept responsibility when things go wrong, and that I must develop a plan to rescue my family if they need rescuing. Leaders cannot pass the buck and men have been given the responsibility to lead their families whether that assignment is easy or not.  Just as there cannot be tw

Doesn't Matter, Doesn't Matter, Doesn't Matter


By Chris Brady

Sometimes, things are going to hit you.  Details will try to overwhelm you.  Obstacles will pop up in your path.  That's just the way life is.  And if you're a leader in hot pursuit of a vision, its best to learn to expect it. After all, resistance is what build strong muscles.  Ships are safe in the harbor but they aren't made for the harbor.  Strong sailors aren't made in calm seas.  And leaders are just going to have to develop thick skin.

One little phrase I started thinking to myself a long time ago was, "Doesn't Matter, Doesn't Matter, Doesn't Matter."  What I meant by this was that the goal remained the same, the obstacles were just there to add color to the story.  And maybe I'm just weird (okay, maybe it's more than a maybe) but it worked for me.  It helped me remember that the big picture was still the big picture.  The goal was set in stone and the path in sand.

As long as you've got the vision clear in your mind, and you've got the goal set in stone, perhaps keeping this little philosophy in your head will help you advance.  It doesn't matter what happens, it's how you respond.  Respond appropriately with a little self-encouragement and press on.  As Ghandi said, "Your playing small does not serve the world."  So play big.  Expect obstacles.  And realize that those obstacles don't matter!


Wet Light Fixtures and Oatmeal Kisses


By Terri Brady

I had left three children for a few hours in the morning, while I went to a friend who was dealing with news of the unexpected loss of her father.

When I returned, a Brady crime scene was underway.  Water was pouring out of the light canister in the ceiling of the first floor. I walked past to find the two male culprits adorned with wet hair and towels, full of “sorry’s” as they explained disagreeing versions of how the splashing out of the 2nd floor bath tub had caused the problem.

Walking toward the stairs to go examine the jacuzzi tub access, I glanced at my Christmas nativity scene in the front foyer and noticed socks. Ever since the decorations went up this year, this particular nativity scene has had Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and a pair of socks, a lollipop, a jack ball, half of a cookie, a piece of cheese, or whatever else had been in the child’s hand when he walked by and set it there. Tuesday, it was socks…again.

Walking down the second floor hall to get to my room where the water war had begun, I had to complete the obstacle course of a “store,” with signs bearing, “ART FOR SALE!” as my 8-year-old hustled next to me, telling me all about how she was saving to buy a goldfish and would I PLEASE buy her art this time?

Thoughts spun in my head, whirling from the shock of the early phone call’s bad news, to the extent of water damage at the light, to “How could this much mess be created in such a short time?”  (a common question in my head) Yet the thoughts of “When will my house ever stay clean?!” were not completed before I remembered my favorite poem which fantastically reframes my thinking every time:

I found it originally with that famous author, “unknown”, in Erma Bombeck’s book,Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession, although I see many editions online give credit to Bombeck herself.

Wet Oatmeal Kisses

One of these days you’ll explo

Becoming an Active Father


By Dan Hawkins

Are you an absent father? This is a question that hit me right in the gut while reading a book on being a great dad. As I write this article God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and three incredible daughters (and twins on the way!). I guess I should have been more specific as a young man when I prayed to be surrounded by beautiful women! :) I truly consider it a calling to be a dad, a privilege not a right.

When I first started reading about being a dad I would have given myself a decent score, I mean compared to other dads I was good, wasn’t I? Being absent is not just a physical measurement but an emotional one as well. Are you really present while you watch the game, mow the lawn, hide out in the garage or work on your honey do lists? I have realized that both quality and quantity matter when investing in my kids. When I am with my kids I need to be with them, fully engaged. However, life is busy and I have so many commitments to fulfill. I know, I did not say it would be easy but it is needed.

I personally had to start taking control of my time, planning quality time with my family. I refuse to add to the statistics, as a matter of fact I am committed to improving the statistics. First at home and then in my community. Here are the 5 ways to be present as a father and raise great kids. This is just a starting point, do your own reading and mentoring to go all in.

1) Love their mother: The most important lesson to give your sons and daughters is what it looks like to love your spouse. They will g

How we use Words


By Bill Lewis

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.  (Proverbs 18:21 )  For something that we do so often, it is quit amazing how good we can be at times and how bad we can be at times.  We naturally lean to the negative side of using words and that is why it is so important to be working at the skill of words.  Yes, to a certain extent it is skill, but it goes much deeper than just a skill and hopefully I can shed a little light on such a complicated subject.

Author Paul David Tripp says in War of Words,” Adam and Eve‘s ability to communicate in words made them unique in all of creation.  They could take their thoughts, desires, and emotions and share them with each other.  They were like God; they could talk!  By giving them this ability, God was setting the shape of their lives.”

God has given us such a great gift and yet most of the time, our words are more hurtful or self-fulfilling than they are helpful.  Why is that?  Have you ever made some of these statements and wondered why?

You make me so angry!

If you hadn’t ______ then I wouldn’t have _______

Whenever you do that I just can’t control myself        ( blame )

I wasnt like this before I had children                      ( regret )

If it’s the last thing I do I’ll get you to respect me  ( threat )

After everything we have done for you ….             ( guilt )

Remember that thing you wanted?  If you do …. I’ll think about it            ( manipulation )

Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart.  Our war of words is not with other people; it is a battle within.   Have you ever been around someone who reads books and listens to personnel growth cd’s but there still seems to be something harsh about them?  It is because they have learned techniques and can say the r