Author: Reggie Joiner

Airplane Mode

I always feel a little panicked when I hear the announcement from the airline attendant, “Please turn off all personal electronic devices, anything that has an on and off switch.” For the next few minutes I have to be creative with my time, so I have learned to love reading magazines. I wonder if sometimes our personal electronics can actual distract us from more meaningful experiences. This past week, I met with a well-known leader who makes a similar announcement every week in his home. He declares his home a no-personal-electronics zone. When he first announced the idea to his family, there was a threat of mutiny from his kids. The idea seems a little radical. From the time his kids get home until the work day starts the next day, phones, internet, TV, video games are all off. He claims that after a few weeks of withdrawals and the shakes, his family actually began to connect at a different level. So how did they use their extra time together? They had intense bible study! No, just kidding. They actually spent a lot of time playing board games. Here’s an interesting idea. What if you got serious about having fun together as a family?  I’m not suggesting that you block satellites for the entire week, but what if you just start with a day or two? Here’s a simple...

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Imperfect Parents

Do you remember the first time you realized your parents weren’t perfect? I don’t. It was just a gradual realization for me. But I do remember the first time I realized one of my children didn’t think I was perfect anymore. It’s not that I ever believed I could keep up the “Dad knows everything and can never do anything wrong” image forever. I was just hoping to maintain some form of hero status for as long as possible. As a young parent I embraced the idea that the most tangible expression of a child’s heavenly Father is their parent. I still agree with that statement to a great degree, but I could also give you a list of reasons why that idea makes me nervous. As my kids grew older I became increasingly aware of why it was important for them to shift their allegiance and faith away from me and to their heavenly Father as soon as possible. On the one hand, I knew intuitively that I affected their impressions of God. On the other, I guess I didn’t want God to get blamed for my quirks and dysfunction. I remember trying to explain my role as a dad to my youngest daughter one day when she was in the 5th grade. I think I said something like, “You know as a dad I am supposed to show you...

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Cows with a View

I passed by these cows this week. I was taking a couple of days off while in California to speak to leaders. The herd sits off the famous Hwy 1 that runs along the West Coast overlooking cliffs on the majestic Pacific. They have a perspective of life that most cows just never get. The grass they are eating is worth millions to the right developer. But it’s their grass. If they would just stop what they are doing and look at the bigger ocean, they would find out the grass is greener than they ever imagined. I know they are just cows, but they get to see everyday what people fly from all of the world to catch a glimpse of for a just a few moments. I suspect that their routine has affected their view more than they realize. They have seen it so much, and repeat the same patterns so frequently, the beauty seems to go unnoticed by them. Okay, I’m not really talking about cows, but I am talking about my problem. I think I’m identifying with the parent who is scheduled, hectic, and trying to keep up with their daily routine. Instead of working on how to become more efficient, maybe just stop and take a look at the view. See how green the grass really is and soak up some of the scenery....

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Welcome to Orange Parents

So neither Carey nor I are parenting experts. We are simply dads who constantly try to remind each other about the important stuff related to our families. We both openly admit that we are somewhat dysfunctional, a little insecure, more stressed than we should be. Oh, and there is one other fact that we will occasionally hide from strangers we meet. We are both pastors. That means we have spent most of our adult lives working in churches to help people grow in their relationships with God. We don’t really consider ourselves to be experts on God or relationships. But we are both committed to a lifelong pursuit of figuring out how to love God and our families better, and to help other people do the same. The ages of our children add up to nearly 120 years. That means we have collectively parented for over 43,500 days. So we have had a lot of time to experiment on our children. We have made a host of mistakes, but we have also had quite a few accidental discoveries that led to powerful and positive memories. Now that all of our children have turned out practically perfect, we are both comfortable writing a blog and book about our parenting skills. (Not really … just checking to see if you were actually reading.) Let us rephrase: Now that we have realized there...

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