The Best 3 Things I Taught My Sons

I watched my oldest son make a life decision recently and it confirmed how proud I am of my two boys. He wrestled through it with wisdom and landed on, what I believe, was the best answer to his situation.

The title of this post may be misleading, because I don’t know if I taught wisdom to my boys or if they just saw me seek it and so it became a part of their life to pursue it, but either way, I’m glad they gained the practice.

Here are three things my boys have that I wouldn’t trade anything for:

The love of wisdom – My boys love to learn. They continue, into their 20′s, to seek wisdom from me and others.

The learning of wisdom - My boys not only listen to the wisdom of others, they seek it out from their own experience. They seem to realize that wisdom comes best through the experiences of life….good and bad…so they continue to learn from the decisions they make.

The living of wisdom – I have to be honest, my boys are two of the wisest young men I know. They truly take wisdom and apply it to their life, making wiser choices as they grow in wisdom.

I’m addicted to growing in wisdom. I’m so proud my boys seem to have inherited the practice.

Let’s talk wisdom.

Answer these questions:

Do you love, learn, and live wisdom as much as you can?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how wise are you these days? (Be honest with your assessment.)

Who is the wisest living person you know?

5 Ways to Attract Young People to Church

If a church is more interested in protecting traditions than it is in creating a future, then it will most likely fail to attract young people…

At least that’s been my experience.

If a church is interested in attracting young people, then it must think strategically about doing so…

After all, they are the future…

Here are 5 ways a church can attract young people:

Value their ideas - Young people will want to do some things differently. Give them a voice and access to authority.

Give them a place to serve – Find ways that let young people assist others. It’s a huge value for them.

Be genuine with them – Young people can spot the phonies. Let them see that you are real.

Love them - Young people want to sense they are loved….even when they mess up.

Guide them – Young people want direction and they want to learn from your experience. (Just share it in the context with the other 4 points.)

What would you add to my list?

Don’t Pray Before You Eat

It happened like this…

Cheryl and I were eating at a restaurant…

That’s happened many times before…

There was a large family gathered at a table nearby…

We’ve seen that before too….

The family prayed before their meal came….

That was nice…

We noticed…

Then their food came…

The order wasn’t right…

They were mad…

They made it known that they were made…

Numerous times…

They were just plain rude to the waitress…

We felt bad for her…

Cheryl even apologized for “their” behavior after they left…

It made me wonder….

If you’re going to be a rude customer, should you even bother to pray before you eat?

Aren’t you sending mixed signals?

Just asking…

What do you think?

5 Characteristics of True Friendship

young people

True friendship is rare. If you ever get in a bind, have a major failure, or somehow lose your way, you realize how rare true friendship is these days.

To me, the difference in a true friend and one who calls themselves a friend, but is really an acquaintance is fairly easily identified.

Here are 5 characteristics of true friendship:

Unconditional love - Regardless of what you do, what happens, or where life takes you, a true friend loves at all times.

Unwavering support – You don’t have to do the “right things” to keep a true friend. They support you (if not in actions as a person) whatever you choose to do.

Willingness to challenge – A true friendship makes you better. The Bible says “iron sharpens iron”. True friends will correct you if needed.

Consistent over time – True friendships aren’t for a season. They are for a lifetime.

Gives grace freely and generously – True friendship weather the sometime difficulties of relationships, forgive where needed, and love even when it hurts.

Do you have a true friendship? Pay tribute to them here.

More importantly, are you a true friend?

What makes a true friend in your opinion?

How to Discipline a Child

This is a picture friends sent me recently. This couple from our small group have no parents here, so we’ve adopted them and their son Luke. Luke is holding a copy of my devotional book. (You can actually see it HERE.)  It looks like Luke is in trouble to me. Poor Luke. That’ll teach ‘em. Give him a copy of my book and seat him in the corner. He must have really been bad! Ha! (Or perhaps they were trying to put him to sleep…) Either way…what a cruel way to treat a child…Make him or her read devotionals written by me.

Just for fun…caption this photo for me…

Help Me Make a Mixed Tape

It’s been a while since I made a genuine “mixed tape” for Cheryl. I frequently make CD’s for her to listen to in her car, but it’s mostly with the latest Christian music. I’m thinking she needs another true “mixed tape”. You know…the mushy kind…with all the romantic love songs.

What songs should I include?

Honestly, I’m asking more because we both like songs about love, commitment, marriage…Whether country, Christian, slow rock or jazz…there are some times we just love the romantic tunes…(Please don’t tell the guys I work with!)

So, seriously, whether I make a mixed tape or not, what is your favorite love song?

If YOU were making a mixed tape, (have you ever made one?) what songs would be on it?

Do you and your special one have a “song”? What is it?

Friday Discussion: Help Write Your Obituary…Epitaph

For several years, I spent some of my reflective time in an old cemetery in our city. The older the tombstone, the more likely to have an epitaph inscribed. This short sentence or phrase was intended to capture the heart of the person…the way he or she lived his or her life.

If you Google my name “Ron Edmondson”, you’ll easily find my blog, that I’m on Twitter, my church, and some other blogs that I’ve commented on or that have featured some of my writing. What you’ll also find is that I died June 11, 2008. I was an attorney in Texas, apparently well-respected, and I left a loving family. Of course, that’s not the real me, but who knows that in 13 years…or any day…it won’t be.

I’m not trying to be morbid, but when I ran across this Google listing, I couldn’t help but consider what they will write about me some day. By the way, most likely, others will have to say or write something about you some day also.

What will the say?  Perhaps, more importantly, what do you want them to say?

Do an exercise with me. Help write your obituary…your epitaph…beyond your date of birth, birthplace, occupation, and family listings…Those are the basics…everyone gets them listed.  When you get past those points, what will they say?

5 Ways to Rebuke a Friend

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Wounds from a friend can be trusted… Proverbs 27:6

rebuke |riˈbyoōk|verb [ trans. ]
express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions

Years ago in high school, I had a friend tell me I was hanging out with the wrong people. I listened to the advice, switched my sphere of influence, and looking back, it’s one of the best decisions I ever made, considering the different paths our lives took.

That’s only one example. Thankfully there have been many other times a friend loved me enough to help me see the mistakes I was making. Usually I knew, but the rebuke challenged me to alter my ways. I’ve had to “return the favor” many times.

There are times when you have to rebuke a friend, in order to be a true friend. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to tell another where he or she is doing wrong. You may be the only one who cares enough to point out what everyone else sees, but refuses to address.

If you choose to accept the assignment of rebuking a friend, you should be sure you are correct in your assessment, you should pray through the correct timing of your approach, and you should address the person and not others to keep from spreading gossip.

When that time comes, here are 5 ways to rebuke a friend:

Be loving - As we should do with everything, rebuke should come in the context of a loving relationship. In fact, one standard might be to not rebuke people you don’t love.

Be truthful – Don’t dance around or use subtleties when addressing the issue. State the problem as you see it.

Be helpful – Be willing to walk through any necessary recovery with the friend or help them process where they are in life.

Be purposeful - The rebuke should not be vindictive in nature or driven by jealousy or selfish interests. The betterment of the friend should be your sole objective.

Be redemptive – Be willing to extend grace and forgive the friend for any wrong done. Make sure he or she knows you are still in their corner.

Help me with this post:

What would you add to my list?

Have you ever had to rebuke a friend?

If you are messing up…would you rather someone tell you…or mind their own business?

Do you have a friend you can count on to rebuke you if needed?