Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There is HOPE

There is Hope from MERCY CHURCH on Vimeo.

This is our first sermon in our NEW church building given on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is Physical Attraction Important?

"How important is it to have the tingly feeling when I meet someone?" I was recently asked.

I think it's very important to have the tingly feeling when considering a potential partner. It's nice to have the tingly feeling in your tummy about a person. Love isn't just a calculated decision we make and then live happily-ever-after like a robot. To me the physical attraction is the icing on the cake of love. I have had just cake, and it's good, but cake with icing is even yummier.

You must understand that the tingly feeling isn't the most important thing, nor is it something that should be ignored. It has it's place, and when in it's proper place is good. You can't build a lasting relationship on it, but again it's nice to have present in the relationship. I mean let's be honest here, many have left a marriage because they had lost that loving feeling ... so it matters. It's important for me to note also that the tingly feeling is something that can develop over time, and it's also something that if lost can be rekindled easily.  

The bottom line for all you who are dating is - don't settle for someone you aren't just crazy over. Now I didn't say someone who makes you crazy, ha ha! But you should have a strong physical attraction to the person you are considering spending your life with. You deserve it and the other person deserves it too. I mean let's be honest here, I want my wife to get the tingly feeling when she looks at me or thinks of me... I would not like it if I was just a calculated decision someone made ... I want them to be crazy about me.

Here is where people go squirrely: When they are in a committed relationship (marriage) and the tingly feeling leaves - so they leave the relationship. That is dumb. Feelings are fickle and shouldn't be trusted and definitely shouldn't be something you live your life by. Ultimately you and I are in charge of our feelings, or we should be, not the other way around.

The challenge in Marriage is cultivating the tingly feelings! Constantly making sure we are keeping the flames hot and burning! It takes work, just like starting, building and maintaining a real fire. 

When you are dating you meet people, and you either have the tingly feeling when you hang with someone or you don't. You can't really make yourself love someone you just meet. Well, you can kinda, but I am not sure we live in a culture big on arranged marriages, though they have been known to work, but ... just rent and watch Fiddler on the Roof ... it says it all. Most people do not want to be told who to marry (love), they would rather marry (love) who they want for themselves.

If you are already married you must cultivate a culture where tingly feelings grow. Simple as that. 

  • Feelings follow action!

If you are single, date until you find someone you get that tingly feeling for, then continue to explore that relationship with all the important things that make for a lasting healthy committed relationship. 

  • Their Character. 
  • Their Values.
  • Their Physical traits.
  • Their Religious views.
  • Their Philosophy of life.
  • Their work ethic.
  • Their Goals in life.
  • How they treat you. (I meet way too many people who are with someone who mistreats them. I don't get it. Well I know why, but I still don't get it. They do it because they feel they do not deserve better. They have a low opinion of themselves, therefore they accept the poor treatment.  It's a reflection of their self-image.)

And all the other things that are important for you in a the kind of partner you want to spend your life with ... if it matters to you, then it matters!

Leave a comment, ask a question ... I would be happy to address!  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Favorite Coffee in Kansas City

I have some pretty heavy blogs coming up, and have done some pretty heavy blogs recently so I wanted to lighten it up a bit with a list of some of my favorite Coffee Houses in Kansas City.

Timmy's Top Ten List of Coffee in Kansas City

10) Downbeat Coffee House (Just off the Plaza)
9) City Market Coffee House (River Market)
8) Quay Coffee Cafe (KC, MO) *A great cup of coffee
7) Westport Coffee House (Westport Area) *Love their iced-coffee
6) Black Dog Coffee House (Lenexa, KS)
5) Groundhouse Coffee (Gardner, KS)
4) Broadway Coffee House (Westport Area) *Best Chai Tea Latte
3) Roasterie Cafe (Brookside) *It's all good here
2) Little Freshie (17th and Summit) *A great cup of coffee
1) Kaldi's Coffee (The Plaza) *It's my favorite place

Honorable mention: Oddly Correct Coffee Cafe on Main St. in KC, MO is amazing too ... even though if you like cream and sugar you'll need to bring your own. They don't have it, and it's because they want you to get the full taste of their coffee ... I get it, but I still like a little cream and sugar. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014)

I just heard the news of Robin Williams death, and I am deeply saddened. I grew up watching Robin on Mork and Mindy, a TV series that first aired in 1978 and ran up through the 80's! Robin was fantastic, very very funny. He went on to be in so many other popular TV series, and major motion pictures ... too many to list here. Pretty much everything he did was amazing. He was absolutely brilliant, yet he struggled with his own inner demons.

The reports I read said that Robin suffered with severe depression, and that also makes me very sad. He was a man who brought joy to so many, and yet he was unable to bring that joy home to himself. Heartbreaking!

Though I did not know him personally, I will miss what I did know of him; his acting, and his comedic gift.

R.I.P. Robin, you will be missed!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Parenting is Easy, Not!

I used to have all the answers on parenting (long pause with some coughing ....) before I had teenagers! (Laugh) And parents who think they do have all the answers are ... well ... I can't really verbalize it, so I shall hold my tongue. Let's just say they need some Jesus!

Yes I am confident in the effectiveness of certain parental principles, and believe in and trust fully in the famous parenting scripture found in Proverbs 22:6 which says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I like how the New Living Translation reads: "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."

What I do know, and what brings me peace is just that; knowing that all the training I am doing isn't in vain, even if it seems like it is now. Eventually (when they are older) it will take root and grow and produce and become something beautiful. I suppose it's like last year when I planted some sunflower seeds and I went out nearly everyday to see what was happening - nothing, until finally I stopped looking and forgot I had even planted them. Until one day, seemed like overnight there were huge Sunflowers growing in my backyard, like as big as my head! Amazing! They were so cool and so beautiful.The Sunflowers were a sign from God that what I'm planting will eventually grow into something beautiful ... just keep planting, keep believing, keep watering and keep praying ... and don't lose heart!

Things That Surprised Me About Parenting:

1) How different and unique each child is.

This was surprising because I thought and expected both my children to be just like me and Jana, and in some ways they are, but in other ways they are like Martians from outer space. Sometimes little demon martians (laugh).

Our kids look like us physically, for the most part, and some of their personality traits are the same, but then there are other traits that I keep asking myself, "where in the hell did they get that @#$%&! attitude?" That's when I assume they are taking after the Grandparents, on Jana's side of the family! (laugh)

I personally believe that it is our job, as parents, to allow our kids to be unique and not try to get them to conform into whatever image I or society has for them. When I see parents do crazy power-play stuff to get their child to be like them it makes me sad. I've heard of parents holding the inheritance hostage if their child doesn't vote the same political party as them. That is crazy, like totally off-the-charts-nut-job-belong-in-an-institution-crazy, and not to mention controlling. That would be like me, as a Christian, saying to my kids, "If you are not going to be a Christian, then I am not putting you in my will." That would be some twisted whacked-out stuff! Yes, of course I hope and pray they will love Jesus and follow His teachings as I am attempting to do, but if not I still love them.

Side Note: All you get when you try to control a child with power-plays is a to-your-face compliance. You are forcing them to be fake and comply to your face, then behind your back they do whatever they wish. Parents who try and do that only show their lack of intelligence and overall lack of influence and frankly a lack of love.

2) You Can't Make Kids Do Anything.

Now, when they are small you can, without too much trouble, but as they get older it can be a bit more challenging. There may be some parent reading this, whose children were compliant, thinking, "my kids  did what I wanted and were easy." Lucky you! Most likely not a reflection of your awesome parenting skills, though they may have been awesome. Not all parents are so lucky. Though, in my opinion there are some benefits in a child being strong headed, most likely they will be a strong leader and change the world! (Of course, if they apply those traits for good!)

Someone might be thinking, "Yes you can make your child do stuff ... you can ground them, take away privileges, etc. until they comply." And this is sometimes true, but we've all seen children of parents who are hardcore military and yet the child still does what they want to do behind their parents back. You simply can not make them do what you want them to do. You can ask, guide, teach, train, encourage, and even discipline but you can't make. And trust me, I so wish you could!

3) A Child's Behavior is not Always a Reflection of Their Parent's Parenting. 

I say this because I have counseled many wonderful but distraught parents who are just beside themselves with guilt and feelings of failure because their children are making poor choices.  Come on don't you remember the poor choices we made as kids? And even if you were a perfect little kid that doesn't then magically transfer to your kids, wish it did, but it doesn't.

4) You Can't Change a Child.

They can only change themselves. Along with the help of parents, peers and of course God, but even God can not change someone if they do not want to change or allow God to change them. It starts with them wanting to change, then allowing others in to help, then there is hope.

5) I Thought All We Needed Was Love.

This has been the biggest surprise to me honestly. If I just raised my kids in a loving caring Christian home they would just be perfect little saints. Now trust me, I think LOVE is huge and is the best environment to raise a child in, but it doesn't make them perfect. Again, I think this loving home environment will eventually be appreciated in the lives of our children, but now it seems it is taken for granted many times. Right is right no matter the outcome.

6) Children Must Find Their Own Way.

I was always hopeful that my kids would just learn from my lessons learned as a teenager and take my word for why they shouldn't do certain things. I mean why make the same mistakes I made, right?  Ha ha! They must learn on their own, and we as parents must be there to help wipe away the tears, pick up the pieces and give big hugs.


Q: So Timmy, are you saying it doesn't matter how we parent, and that our kids are just going to turnout however they are going to turn out and we as parents play no role?

A: No! We as parents play a huge role in our kid's lives! Just remember not to go crazy if and when your kids do go a little crazy. Don't allow yourself to be riddled with guilt, shame and feelings of failure. You are most likely a wonderful parent, doing a wonderful job and your kids behavior is no reflection on your parenting, but rather a reflection of a unique individual trying to find themselves, just be there for them.


Hang in there, Parenting isn't easy, it's tough and at times heartbreaking. Put your faith in God, not any particular behavior you wish for your kids, and you will be okay, and your kids will turn out okay in the end, if not sooner.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Enamored for Life

Photo by Pedro Ignacio Guridi

I was thinking today how important it is for a couple to never lose the "awe" that initially attracted them to each other. If you lose that, you are losing something that is important to the life and longevity of the relationship. 

I think even after years of marriage we should still be enamored by our partner, even impressed by them and with them. That feeling of "wow, he/she is mine" should only grow stronger and deeper with time. I truly believe the moment that ends is the day the relationship begins to die.

How do you create an enamored culture in your relationship?

An enamored culture starts with cultivating an environment where that "loving feeling" flows and grows freely in your thoughts, words and actions.

1) Remove negative thoughts about your partner.

Like with most things in life, it starts with a thought. Then that thought leads to what we say, believe and eventually do. So it's extremely important to think good thoughts about your partner. Of course if there are real issues, then those need to be addressed and resolved.

2) Speak positive words to your partner and about your partner.

I've never liked or agreed with people who speak badly about their partner with others. It's not only tacky, in my opinion, it's disrespectful. It's important to honor your partner in word, thought and deed. Again, if there is a real issue then seek professional help to get advice, not your friends or worse yet, your parents. 

3) Treat them like you would if you were enamored by them.

The key here is whether you feel like it or not, you do it. Love is a decision, so decide to treat them like you are enamored and the feeling will follow your action.

Disclaimer: I would assume you understand that I am not encouraging people to bury their heads in the sand and ignore or look over real issues. No way, no how! Real issues need to be addressed head on, and maybe even with the help of a professional counselor. But from my experience, many of the "issues" couples face are perspective and by making these simple adjustments in your own view of your partner will drastically change your relationship for the better.