Grace in the Family Workshops
Saturday was a special day at Scottsdale Bible Church, as over 100 families gathered for the first Grace in Your Family Workshop of its kind. The opportunity was created by the Family Ministry team at the church asking Family Matters to come in with some of their ambassadors to lay out a dozen practical grace-based topics to help support young families in the church.
The Grace Based Parenting philosophy is based on a discovery by Dr. Tim Kimmel that he and his wife Darcy experienced when raising their four kids 20+ years ago. As they read their Bibles looking for clear direction on parenting, a simple truth became overwhelmingly obvious – God is their Father in Heaven and His parenting style is carried out in our lives with grace. With this truth in mind, Tim and Darcy began to craft a vision for grace-based families who followed the Biblical balance of laws and freedoms held together by grace. From this time of prayer and study Tim authored the first edition of the best-selling book, Grace Based Parenting.
What the church asked Tim and his team to bring was a theme of grace spread across practical topics like… Bringing Faith Home, Marriage Beyond Normal, Raising Unique Children, and Grace Based Parenting for pre-schoolers, grade schoolers, tweens, and teens. I personally was asked to teach on the topics of grace in your family chores, and grace in your family finances.
I personally had a great time bringing this message of grace to these young families, and I found the process challenged even my own habits and practices in our own home. Sometimes being the teacher is the best way to learn, and I still have a lot of rough edges in my home!
I’d like to lay out my lesson plan with you in my following blogs, just to help me document the topics, but also to encourage a continuing dialogue on these topics. I hope you will join me in the dialogue – I welcome the comments and questions!
If you were there on Saturday, I’d like to ask what sessions you attended, and what did you learn?
What an amazing 24 ride it was at the Phoenix Convention Center this weekend! The local staff and board from Feed My Starving Children were able to host a food packing event with one goal in mind: pack one million meals in one day. And guess what – it happened! Final count 1,030,320.
Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit committed to provide nourishing meals to hungry children all around the world. Their local distribution facility in Arizona currently invites volunteers to Tempe to come learn about poverty, and help pack meal bags in boxes ready to ship to places like Haiti, Africa, and Asia. The organization runs on a very slim operation budget and relies heavily on donations and volunteers from churches, schools, and community clubs to deliver the help that gives hope to hungry kids in places with conditions that are hard to imagine or even understand.
I was blessed to visit Colombia a few years ago with Opportunity International – a non-profit providing micro financing solutions for emerging entrepreneurs in impoverished cultures. I came home preaching a gospel of the two-sided coin: the world needs organizations like FMSC and Opportunity to deliver to totally different solutions to two totally different needs in an impoverished nation.
I am thankful that FMSC aims to meet the most basic human need to eat in places where people are in such great need that many can not even work at all do to simple malnutrition. I am also thankful that my friends David Roberts and Michael Tooker serve on the local FMSC board, helping to connect many of us with the opportunity to join the volunteers who are providing these meals.
Our family was thrilled to be a part of this weekend’s events, and I am so thankful that we reached our goal of one million meals packed in just one day!
If you went, what did you take away?
As I log another year in the books I can’t help but think about how blessed I am, and what a great life I’ve been given to live. I have great parents, and I am very thankful for their wisdom which was modeled and imputed in my life giving me great hope at every stage of life. I also have a great sister, who has brought a wonderful extended family into my life, including a sweet niece and gregarious nephew… I love em!
Then I think about my journey… I loved growing up in Crystal City, Missouri near my aunt, uncle & cousins, as well as all four of my grandparents. I had an exciting four years in Virginia for high school, and found many life-long friends and many life-inspiring experiences near our nation’s capital. I was able to get back to Missouri for college, where I enjoyed two fun years before transferring to Arizona State to finish my communications degree. Each year had amazing opportunities to shape my career, but I am most thankful for meeting my incredible bride…
Lori and I were originally just two friends in a large gang of energetic young followers of Jesus in a campus ministry called Campus Crusade for Christ. At some point late in my senior year I finally wised up to see that this was the woman I wanted to build my future with – a true friend, lover, and partner, all in one amazing person. Our romance was accelerated, our wedding came quickly, and our honeymoon was a LOT of fun! We dived into the pool of life together and have been swimming in tandem for 21 years and counting!
Finally, we have an amazing family of our own, balanced out by two unique, talented young ladies and a charismatic young man, all who are aimed a true greatness of their own. We enjoy our home, our church, our friends, our community, and our travels together, including our favorite home away from home here at the Newport Coast. Which brings me to a conclusion: none of this story is possible without acknowledging the author… my Lord, and my Savior, Jesus.
I am a very, very blessed man.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God (Mathew 5:9).
Did you know that God created life to be relational? It’s true. The story of the Garden of Eden reminds us that God’s plan was always to create and maintain relationships. It is still true today – God continues to desire that we have peace between us. When we remove peace and cut ourselves off from each other we cut ourselves off from the source of life itself… and that road leads to death.
When the Bible speaks of the peacemaker, God’s blessing is on the peacemaker – not the peace lover. Often, peace lovers run from conflict and avoid confrontations. A true peacemaker meets conflict head on and resolves confrontations, as much as it is possible for him to do it…
Have you ever felt unhappy? This verse holds truth that may be the source of your unhappiness. Yet some of us just don’t know how to be peacemakers. Others just don’t believe it, and others feel like they try but live with the scars from being burned.
Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:3 that we are to work hard to preserve the bond of peace between us. It is true that living this way can be hard, but chosing to avoid peacemaking is hard, too. Just think of how many people you know are living with stress from relationships fractured by people who simply avoid peacemaking…
Are there any unresolved conflicts in your relationships that need peacemaking? What could you do today to make peace as much as it is possible with you?
I realize that more and more people just want to be told what to do by people who have a proven track record. Few want to ask “why?” and actually think thru decision-making with any applied logic or research… We are a microwave culture – please, don’t tell us what’s in that package – just fire it up in 15 seconds on high so we can eat & run!
Well… that’s not my preference, but I accept that this is sad, but true, for a large chunk of our culture. So rather than fight it (and making my long blogs only relevant to a few) I’m going to mix in a few posts that my ADHD friends will appreciate
For starters, I thought I’d share a list of ten things I try to do every workday. Sure, there are days when I don’t get them all done, but I do my best to deliver value every workday to my team and our clients.
These daily routines have proven very effective for me, so feel free to try them out. They are:
- Read something related to my industry.
- Read something related to business development.
- Send two emails to touch base with colleagues & friends.
- Empty my email inbox by responding to or filing every message.
- Check in with my team members on their progress.
- Have a short non-work related conversation with every employee.
- Review my calendar for margin between every appointment I set.
- Reach out to clients & prospects every day to stay engaged.
- Post valuable content on my social media accounts to stay engaged.
- Share valuable content with my network to add value and stay engaged.
What about you? What are some of your secrets to daily success at work?
This week I had the opportunity to attend a local community prayer breakfast, but this was a truly unique event. My friend and neighbor, Tom Sharda, is a pastor at our local church but is also a board member at the local YMCA. Tom recently asked me if I was available to attend and support a prayer breakfast at our local chapter of the Y under the vision of putting the “C” back in the YMCA.
I was intrigued, and I agreed to attend. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised by the Y.
You remember the Y: You might be thinking the Village People… or the local club where you played sports as a kid… or if you are old enough, you might even be thinking of that place that your family stayed on vacation back in the 60′s.
But what you probably don’t remember is that 150 years ago the YMCA was founded as the Young Men’s Christian Association, a non-profit organization genuinely aimed at encouraging a balanced mind, body, and spirit. Along the way the Y has enjoyed a colorful history, and you will be pleasantly surprised by watching this short video to learn more.
Back to this week. On Thursday morning, over 100 local business people gathered at the Scottsdale/PV branch of the Valley of the Sun YMCA to join in prayer with various pastors as well as to hear a keynote address from Jerry Colangelo, the current leader of USA Basketball and former owner of the Diamondbacks & Suns.
Jerry shared some of his personal stories, as well as quotes of great wisdom that have inspired him as a leader. He acknowledged all of the great impact the YMCA has had in our local community as well as around the country. And he reminded all of us that while we are doing a lot, that great leaders do more… and we must do more.
He gave all credit in his life to a great marriage with his wife Joan, and his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, reminding each of us to help bring the “C” back to the YMCA. It was a good event and an encouraging message from one of our city’s greatest leaders. I’m already looking forward to next year’s prayer breakfast as I get going as a YMCA basketball coach for another year!
Some of you have been following my blog for a few years now. During that time I’ve used it as a collection of my random thoughts and musings along with many business and coaching topics. A few weeks ago I decided to separate those a bit more intentionally. Let me explain.
Back in high school I had great dreams of taking my communications skills in the direction of broadcasting, with curiosity about announcing, radio & television. I left for college in 1987 aiming for a degree in broadcast journalism, and had some amazing experiences along the way! During my sophomore year at Lindenwood college (MO) I was able to begin that journey with my own radio program, including regular news casting assignments and sports play-by-play for the MSHSAA. I was even able to call the state championship football and basketball games in 1988-89 on KCLC 89.1 FM, a 100,000 watt signal in greater St. Louis… It was a blast!
I completed my degree at ASU with a BA from the Walter Cronkite School of Communication in 1991 after two more years of regular work announcing, broadcasting, and co-hosting on air news and sports in the Valley of the Sun. And then… without warning (or a decent paying job) I fell in love with Lori, and my plans suddenly shifted toward marriage and a steady job. By mid-1992 I had all but relinquished my plans since the best gig I had going paid about $1,000/mo as a media relations assistant to Jay Alves of the Oakland Athletics.
For 21 years I have enjoyed a career in management & sales, first for a manufacturing business, then for a mortgage bank, and recently for a technology solutions company. Along the way I have been a coaching leader and have learned that my communications background has been very valuable in my business. Life’s been good to me so far (thanks Joe Walsh).
Going forward I have decided that a blog titled Michael Regan Communications will give me a new and future platform for my business interests in coaching and collaboration. It will serve as an outlet for my business ideas as well as a place to invite others to contribute. Who knows… Maybe someday it will even become a business itself. For today, I simply look forward to the outlet.
If you remain interested in my personal thoughts, feel free to stay engaged with me here. My personal Reganomics posts will continue to be shared here and I value the interaction. If you are also interested in my business blogs, please follow my at Michael Regan Communications where I will be focused on keeping communication simple. Please join me.