A Letter of Blessing

This week, I’m blogging about our family’s child dedication last weekend.  As part of the process, we wrote a letter of blessing to each of our kids.  Here’s the letter we wrote to our youngest and below is the letter I wrote for our youngest boy…

Dear Jackson,


You like to take your sweet time. You do things in your own timing. You’ve always been that way. We thought you would be born a full two weeks before you actually came out. You took so long that you were huge—over 9 pounds! And yet, you were just the sweetest little baby—our first blond. We were so surprised to see your blue eyes and blond hair after 2 brown haired, brown eyed kids.

I’m not sure there has ever been a sweeter little man than you. You are so sensitive, thoughtful, snuggly and kind. Our hope is that you’ll always stay this way.

You love to do fun things with the people you care about. You’re always talking about your friends, McKenzie, Delaney and Parker. Our suspicion is that relationships will always be very important to you. Friends will always be a big part of your life. May you choose good ones that will be as devoted and kind as you are. We believe that anyone who is lucky enough to have you as a friend will be a better person for it.

One of the things we love about you is that you are so funny. You are a little comedian. We believe that making people laugh will be an important part of your life for years to come. You have a gift. The ability to make people smile—to brighten a sad day is no small thing. God can do amazing things with a gift like this. You’ve already been in one Lifeline video. Who knows what God has in store for you in this area of your life?

Another fun thing about you is that you love Discovery Village. Well, maybe drop off isn’t always super fun, but you always love your time in DV and you talk about what you learned all week long. Our hope for you is that you will always want to learn more about Jesus and always want to grow deeper in your relationship with him.

There is nothing more important in this life than Jesus. We hope and pray that you fall in love with Jesus and live your life for him. Jesus is where we find meaning and purpose. We believe that God has wonderful plans for your life. He wants to partner with you to restore this broken world. We don’t know exactly what your role will be in this but we know it will be exciting and meaningful. We’ll help you figure that part out.

Jack, you love friends, and we want you to know that you’ll never find a better friend than Jesus. There’s no one in this world who loves you like He does. He gave His life for you. Building your life around your friendship with Jesus is the best way to live. As your parents, we want to help you learn to walk with Jesus. We commit to following Jesus ourselves so that you can see what it looks like. We’ll do our best to love and support you always as you grow in your faith and discover who God made you to be.




Mom and Dad

Blessing Kids

This past weekend, my wife and I finally dedicated our children.  That is to say, we dedicated ourselves, before a bunch of friends and family, to teaching our kids to follow Jesus.  It was a great experience, and as part of the process, I wrote a blessing to each kid.  I thought I would share what I wrote.  Here’s the blessing I wrote for my youngest daughter…


Dear Piper,

You are going to change the world. We’re sure of it. You’re full of energy and life. You’re little miss adventure. You’re brave, a little brash and slightly reckless but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Your favorite phrase is, “NO, I DO’D IT!” You believe you can do everything your older siblings can do and you don’t want any help doing it either.

You’re our most independent child, that’s for sure! We love the way you tackle life. God has put all of this in you. We just hope you don’t grow up to be a third world dictator.

Honestly, we don’t know what your adventurous nature will turn into. Maybe you will be a strong leader? Maybe your adventurous side will lead you to take the Gospel where it isn’t welcomed. Perhaps you’ll be a girl who says what needs to be said regardless of the consequences.

Or, maybe your nurturing side will grow stronger as you get older. We love to watch you taking care of your baby dolls. You love to put them to “nappers” or change their “stinkies.” It’s pretty cute watching you mother dolls that are practically as big as you are.

You also love to help take care of your little cousins. You’re always popping fallen binkies back into unsuspecting mouths or planting kisses on baby foreheads. You definitely have a nurturing side. We believe God has placed this within you as well. Perhaps your future involves loving and serving the unloved or raising a beautiful family of your own.

Maybe we’re completely wrong in all of this but it doesn’t really matter because God knows who He has created you to be and He has a plan for you. He wants to partner with you in restoring this broken planet and we’re confident that He has important work for you to do.

As your parents, we promise to guide you in what’s most important in this life: following Jesus and partnering with Him in what He is doing in this world. We promise to teach you all we know about Jesus, the Bible and what it looks like to follow Jesus. We will also do our best to follow Him ourselves so that you can see how it works.

We are so excited to watch you grow up and become the woman God has made you to be. We could not be more proud to be your parents.



Mom and Dad

What I’ve Been Reading

I read some great books in November and December.  Here’s a list with a few thoughts.  I’d love to know of any good reads you could recommend.


PattonI’m a huge WWII nerd so this book was a must.  George Patton was such a controversial and passionate person that reading about his life surely isn’t boring!  In terms of the writing, I really enjoy O’Reilly’s narrative style.  It is very fast paced and exciting.  If you’re into history or WWII history in particular, I definitely recommend this one.



This book made me rethink how I oversee projects.  For our student ministry team, projects are a big part of what we do.  We approach our camps, retreats, trips and the entire summer like many organizations approach projects or new products.  I think I have a lot to learn from principles that guide the technology industry or lean manufacturing.  I’m very interested in adopting the Scrum approach for project management.


My wife and I read this book with a couple we are mentoring.  This is a great book, particularly if you grew up in a strongly passive aggressive family, like I did.  This book teaches a method for talking about difficult issues.  I found it to be very helpful.  I’ve used principles from this book to discuss difficult issues with volunteers, staff and my family.

The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_PeopleThis book is old school but so good!  It’s one of those books that you should re-read every few years, particularly if you are in leadership.  If you’ve never read it, you should pick it up.  It will help you define and organize your life around what you truly care about.


I met this author at the Hutchmoot conference in Nashville this fall.  He is part of the Rabbit Room.    I liked this book because it is historical fiction, which I enjoy and because the author is a follower of Jesus but the narrative doesn’t follow the prescribed Christian novel script.  I’ll just say it, I like a story with a little darkness because it feels more authentic.  Sometimes the typical Christian novel feels a little too plastic.  Also, there are pirates in this story, so it’s hard to go wrong.


Jennifer Trafton was also at Hutchmoot this fall and unless I am completely out of my mind, I believe she is married to Pete Peterson (the author of the previous book).  I read this book to my kids at bedtime and it was perfect!  They loved it.  It stimulated their imaginations like crazy.  In fact, as we read, my son built Lego scenes and characters to match the story.  It was really fun.  If you have early elementary aged kids, this book is great.


In honor of our upcoming snow camp.  Here’s a video we produced to announce snow camp registration.  We could not be more pumped about snow camp this year.  We’re taking over 600 people.  We can’t wait to see how God moves in the lives of our students and volunteers.  Also…pay no attention to how we haze our new staff.

Announcement: Snow Camp from Lifeline Student Ministries on Vimeo.