What if Your Dad is a Jerk?

Here it comes. Like clockwork. Every year, in June, that Sunday that we celebrate fathers. What if your father isn’t worth celebrating? What if your dad is a jerk? What if he was never around?

I have shared the story about my dad here. I remember Father’s day being a stinging reminder of what wasn’t. I desired a relationship that never happened, and in my case never could.


Many mom’s this weekend will be taking their kids to church alone, and a lot of people will avoid church altogether. As Hallmark is making money for cards, millions of hearts will be grieving broken relationships with their dads.

Do you punish God for your bad dad?

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What Is Life All About?

by Derek Archer@Daredub

The Hokey Pokey?

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?”

In middle school I would go to the skate rink and circle up with skates on to put my right foot in and right foot out. My friends and I would laugh, fall, get up and put another body part in the center of the circle.


Years later, where I was seriously asking, “What is life really all about?”

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The Problem of Learning

by Derek Archer, @Daredub

Most people hate learning.

If social media has done anything it has revealed that people are who they are. Our political friends will continue to post politically, our humorous friends will find something comical to share, and those with various agendas will continue to promote or woo you to their cause. There are tons of angles on different ideologies, and social media is full of information from every angle. It is easy to grab and re-post material from those who already think or act like us.

There is a great difference between finding a new angle on what you already believe, and actually learning.


True learning is change.

Change is difficult, because there is pain in change. In order to truly change, we must acknowledge that what we understood was incomplete, or wrong. When we d we begin to view the world differently. To do that though is to admit that we have spent years viewing things the wrong way. Learning threatens how we behave, and what we think of our families, culture, or social norms.

Why admit you could be wrong when there are so many others who will validate your wrongness? It is far easier to continue to fight for what you think is right, than to actually learn.

To learn, we lay our preconceived notions on the table, and look objectively at our opinions and beliefs. We understand where others are different, and approach differences without being defensive or having agendas. We seek truth in a way that leads to truth, and not try to make truth out of the familiar. We love where there are differences, and let love agree to disagree.

When we value love and truth more than we value being right, then we are at a place to actually learn.

What have you done to learn?


Your Heart is Stupid

Your heart is stupid.

I hope this does not come as a surprise to you, but more and more people today are shocked to find this out.

Seriously people, let’s agree about this. We want to believe we are noble, we like to imagine ourselves as having pure intentions, but the sooner we can recognize that our hearts are stupid, the better off we will all be.

Kid listening to his heart

Do you realize that when you were younger, you were a little scientist? Read More

The Main Ingredient of Faith

We all desire faith, but most of us do not even understand what faith is.

Faith is not the absence of fear, anxiety, anger, pain or doubt. Faith is the ability to see God in the midst of each of these. Faith is not believing certain information about God, faith creates a trusting response towards God.


Fear, anxiety, anger pain and doubt each trigger a response in our head and our heart. Often we feel one of these and assume we are in emotional quicksand, heading further away from God. Recognizing each one however can be the first step on a ladder of faith.

Sometimes, when we are afraid, we are tempted to think we don’t believe. Fear is not the opposite of faith, very often it is the pre-requisite for it. Fear does not denounce faith, very often it rightly recognizes the impossibility of what we are called to do. Not one wants to die, but Jesus calls each of us to a spiritual death, and we are right to be afraid.

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What Makes You Brave?

Bravery is not overrated.

I love watching movie scenes of heroes risking everything to save others. Something in those scenes speaks to something deep inside me. I long to make a difference, I’d like to be sacrificial, I want to be brave.


There is a fine line however, in many of those movies, between bravery and stupidity. When the hero risks his life and blows things up because it is his job, or in order to be macho, what we see is glorified stupidity. When the heroic actions do not bring about any glory to the person, but is a true sacrifice for others, what we see is bravery. It is easy to be stupid. Bravery seems to require something else.

Beer, hormones, pride, youth, ignorance, insecurity, something to prove or nothing else better to live for might comprise an ingredient list for stupidity. But who has the clear list for bravery? I want that list. Or I think I do.

Bravery, true bravery requires something that stupidity does not: an opportunity to be brave. You can be stupid anytime, but you can really only be brave when a situation allows it.

When an opportunity for bravery comes, our true self is exposed. Do we have fear or faith? Is our character going to crumble, or remain steadfast? Do we make excuses, or make something happen?

Often the biggest excuse preventing bravery is to not wanting to look stupid. Sacrifice however is never stupid, and it takes great bravery to sacrifice.

What will you do the next time an opportunity for bravery presents itself? I am convinced that we will not make great big brave choices until we make consistent little brave choices. Truth telling, personal integrity, and faith building disciplines help sharpen our character and prepare us to be heroic. We cannot let fear deter us, we must begin to make little changes that will prepare us for big opportunities.

Anyone can be stupid. It takes a person of real character and conviction to be brave.

I know I think more bravely when I trust God’s Word over my own way of thinking.

I know I feel more brave when I am surrounded by others with great faith and conviction.

I know I act more brave when I care more about what is right than the negative consequences that doing what is right might bring.

I know I feel brave when I help others in ways that bring no credit to myself.

I want to be brave. And I know you do to.

What would you say are the ingredients for bravery?

Dealing With A Sudden Death

There is nothing worse than the death of a loved one that is sudden and unexpected.

There are no words. There is no comfort. There is nothing to numb the pain, because no matter what you do to try and hide, the painful reality is with you. Life will never be the same again.

I wish at times I could lash out at the world; to cry, to scream, to blame. I wish I could un-do the hurt, or go back in a time machine and stop whatever led to this.


You understand this, don’t you? If you would have known, you would have done anything to stop it. You mind raced with “what-ifs” to try and cope.

  • What if I would have called them just before?
  • What if I had stayed a little longer?
  • What if they would have gone right instead of left?

After a series of what-ifs, you move into a long list of “I hope they knew.” Read More

Your Life Will Be Radically Different If You Do This Daily

How would your life be different is you did one thing, consistently, every day? And if you could chose to do one thing, every day, what would it be? What would totally change your life? How can you feel more alive?

If you believe in God, or the Bible, both are very clear on this subject. (If you don’t believe in God, or the Bible, you need to know that what you see about Christians in the media is a very limited perspective. I imagine that ‘Jersey Shore’ represents all Americans about as well as TV evangelists represent all Christians.) Often we miss the clarity of God in the list of expectations of our church or community.

168482269I am sorry if your faith experience has been simplified to be about a list of rules to try and keep. Life is so much greater than that. The architect of your heart designed you in such a way that you would breathe purpose, and live impact. You are his beautiful creation, a literal masterpiece that he longs to put on display for the world. It is your ability to understand him, and live in accordance to his will and ways that will set you ablaze with life-changing power.

You were designed for greatness, his greatness living in and through you. You were designed to seek. Read More

7 Ways to Be More Alive

2013 is over.

With the end of any year comes excessive lists of the years’ best and worst. There were great movies made, books written, and people dressed on various runways, but how was 2013 for you?

Did you feel more alive?


My wife (who is afraid of heights) takes a risk to get closer to God’s beauty at the Grand Canyon.

Did you take a risk? Did you make a choice? Were you brave?

Life is full of risk-takers and risk-avoiders. In the risk-taker camp you have those taking un-calculated (i.e. stupid) risks just for the sake of the thrill. I am not encouraging stupid risks, but there are risks worth taking. Risks worth taking lead to a better outcome.

The risk-avoider camp is full of those who calculate the cost and do not feel that the potential benefit gained is worth the potential pain or loss that they would have to give up. For this, risk-avoiders live in a constant state of mediocrity.

Here are seven ways to make 2014 the best year ever, and to be more alive:

1. Count the cost. Do you know that people do not change until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing? Change takes risk, and hard work, and often involves loss and pain. Before making a change to be more alive, realize the cost of comfort of apathy and mediocrity that you will have to give up. You will feel more alive when you know what you are getting (life change) is better than what you are giving up.

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