9 Reasons to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Every Week

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Recently, I was with a group of women and they were talking excitedly about going out for Valentine’s Day. When they asked me what Josh and I were doing, and I said we weren’t doing anything special that day because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

They all looked at me with a look that said, “Poor thing.”

The reality for us is that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14th because 7 years ago, we began having a weekly date night, so Valentine’s day is less important to us.

As a funny way to answer the question, Josh and I came up 9 reasons we don’t celebrate it and instead celebrate it every week with a date night (some are his and some are mine).

Here you go:

Vomit. Someone is bound to throw up (ie. our daughter last night) and ruin your plans.

Action. You will get more action if you celebrate Valentine’s day every week instead of once a year. Scientifically proven fact.

Little planning. Valentine’s day takes little planning. Roses, a card someone else wrote that you signed. Plan ahead and have a great date night.

Expensive. Everything is more expensive on Valentine’s Day. Everything.

Not enough. Celebrating valentine’s day, having a date night once a month or three times a year is not enough for your marriage.

T & A. You will get more of this with a weekly date night.

Irresistible. You will be irresistible to your spouse with a weekly date night. Also, find out what scent they like and wear that.

Never let your underwear drawer go more than a year without updating, keep it interesting (that’s just free advice and has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day but we needed another letter).

Everyone else is out on Valentine’s day. Plan a weekly date night and avoid the crowd.

So what do you do for a weekly date night? It doesn’t even have to be expensive. Here are some of our rules for date night and some ideas on how to do date night at home.

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How to Set Goals and Accomplish Them

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This post originally appeared on The Blog of Manly.

Since we’re now at the end of January and the luster of New Years Resolutions has begun to wear off, I felt like its time to share some ideas on how to set goals and keep them.

Resolutions are just that, goals. They are hopes for the future. In December we look at our lives, the things we don’t like about them and set a goal to change that specific area of our lives.

No one makes a resolution to get into more debt or add 30 pounds (at least not that I have met).

Here are ___ ways to set goals, keep them and accomplish them.

  1. Be realistic. If your goal is to lose weight, losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks isn’t likely or realistic. Possible if you just stop eating but that sounds miserable. The excitement of what could be is easy to get caught up in, but the reality that you will all of a sudden get up at 5am 4 days a week when you have been struggling to get up by 7am isn’t realistic.
  2. Set goals you want to keep. I have had friends set a goal and they are miserable. Now, sometimes our goals will have some pain. When I lost 130 pounds, it wasn’t fun to change my eating habits, but the short term pain was worth it. The same goes for debt. It will require some pain to get out of debt. You have to walk a fine line here. If it is too painful, you will not want to keep it. This is why our goals are often more of a process than a quick fix.
  3. Make them measurable. Don’t make a goal: to lose weight, get out of debt or read my bible more. Those aren’t measurable. How much weight? How much debt? How much more will you read your bible? Make them measurable so you can see how you are doing.
  4. Have a plan. Once you have your goal, you need a plan. If its weight loss, what will you do? If its debt, how will you get there? What are the steps? If its bible reading, what plan are you using? No goal is reached without a plan.
  5. Get some accountability. Equally important is accountability. One of the things I did when I weighed 285 pounds and started mountain biking was I bought some bike shorts that were too small and embarrassing to wear. This gave me accountability to keep riding. Your accountability might be a spouse or a friend, but it needs to be someone that can actually push you. Maybe you need to go public with your goal and invite people to help you stay on track.
  6. Remove barriers to your goals. Your goals have barriers, that’s why you have to set goals in the first place. It might be waking up, food, credit cards, working too late or wasting time on Facebook. Whatever it is that is going to keep you from accomplishing it, remove it. Get rid of the ice cream, credit cards, move your alarm clock so you have to get out of bed. Whatever it is, do it. Life is too short to be miserable and not accomplish your goals.
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Top Blog Posts for December

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In case you missed them, here are the top 10 blog posts from December 2013:

  1. Christmas Music You Should Own
  2. The Best Books I Read in 2013
  3. How to Make Christmas Special with Your Kids
  4. When Pastoring is Hard (And 3 Ways to Survive)
  5. Accountability
  6. The Five Stages of Discipleship
  7. Almost the Best Books of 2013
  8. Christmas is Over, Now What?
  9. You’re One Choice Away from Wrecking Your Life
  10. What’s Happening in 2014 at Revolution Church

Christmas is Over, Now What?

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I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning feeling really down. Just had a blah kind of a feeling. Unmotivated. Not depressed or sad, but kind of down.

My first thought as I finished breakfast was, “Is this the after Christmas blues?” Or, “Am I just getting old now?”

Maybe you feel like that. Maybe you don’t (if not, pass this blog onto a friend that needs it).

I shared this quote on Sunday in my sermon that encapsulates what a lot of people feel around Christmas (I can’t remember where I found it):

Christmas Eve. The perfect picture of anticipation: sleepless excitement for something we’ve been waiting for all year. Every year on December 24, my parents let us open a present. This was a teaser, a taste of things to come, and we kids relished it. Of course, it wasn’t much of a surprise – my mom always got us new pajamas, even when we didn’t need them. But still, it was a ritual of hope, one in which we celebrated the gift of giving and the joy of gratitude. Christmas morning. An unfortunate picture of disappointment. I am obviously only one person with his own set of experiences, but as I talk to others, I find similar feelings of frustration. As they get older, many people seem to develop a general distrust toward any day that promises to fill the emptiness they’ve felt all year long. This explains the rise in suicides during this season and why, for some, Christmas is a reminder of the inevitable letdown of life. The unfortunate answer to the question, “Did you get everything you wanted?” is, of course, no. And we feel terrible about this. Why can’t we be happy? Why can’t we be satisfied? Will we ever be content with what we have – with the gifts in our stockings, the toys under the tree? Why is there this constant thirst for more?

As I thought about it today (after I destroyed myself with Crossfit), I started to wonder if we set ourselves up for failure leading up to Christmas. Christmas in many ways can be like a wedding and the letdown after on the honeymoon, follow me for a second. All of this pressure, build up, energy, stress and thinking and money goes into Christmas and a wedding. Then it’s over. The parties, the gifts, family, friends, the tree, decorations, cards, Christmas specials, church services, meals, over. Then we sit around looking at our gifts, watching our kids play with them and get tired of them and play with them some more.

You wake up on December 27, 28 or 29 and wonder, what now?

Here are some things that came to mind as I prayed through this feeling for me that might be helpful for you:

  1. Stop and take a breath. Slow down. December is a mad sprint for most of us. You went to more parties than you can count, ate more calories than you care to remember. You are tired. Take a break. Maybe take a nap. Read a good book or your Bible. But give some time to slow down. Stop rushing.
  2. Get moving. For me, I went and worked out, listened to some good worship music, prayed and got moving. Maybe you need to get moving and do something active. Most Americans will join a gym this week, maybe you should. At least take a walk, a run or a hike.
  3. Say thanks. Be thankful for what you have. Remember, someone is grateful with less than what you have. You may not have as much as someone else, but you have what God has seen fit to give you right now. Also, you may not see the next Christmas or someone you just celebrated with may not see the next Christmas, so savor the moments. Take a little longer in those hugs or laughs or cries.
  4. Get out of your house. I love being at home, with my family and friends. But, sometimes it is good to get out of your house. Go see a movie, do something fun, go see some Christmas lights. Don’t just sit around (sometimes you should sit around), but get going.

What do you do to fight the after Christmas blues?

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Life is Better with Breathing Room

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I am so excited that we are kicking off a brand new series this Sunday called Breathing RoomI have been waiting for this series for months. I believe that the next 4 weeks as we look at how to find breathing room in our schedules, work/life balance, and finances have the potential to be incredibly life changing and life giving.

This week we’ll look at:

Our lives are busy and fast-paced. The lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers. It can distract us from the most important things in our lives . . . and our relationships suffer. It can even affect our relationship with God because there’s a connection between our willingness to create margin and our faith.

If you or someone you know struggles to have breathing room in any area of their life, this is a great week to be at Revolution.

Don’t forget: We are wrapping up our Christmas offering soon and I want you to be a part of. This year we are using it to fight sex trafficking and plant churches in our city.  Click here to get more information and to give to it.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Merry Christmas!

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From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.

I appreciate the time you take as a reader to spend on my blog, sharing what you like, giving feedback through comments and enriching my life through your thoughts.

I hope you are able to spend today with those you love and that it is extra special.

Eat more than you should, hold your loved ones a little tighter than normal and relax because Jesus came to earth and is God so you don’t have to be.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Hard to believe that Christmas is in only 2 days
  • Hard to believe I can stop listening to Christmas music in 3 days
  • Oh wait
  • I do love this week of the year though
  • The presents, the excitement of our kids, the lack of sleep I’ll get from wrapping things and putting things together after they go down
  • But most of all, I love the days off and the downtime with my family
  • I am glad that this year we basically did all our shopping online
  • So much better than braving the stores and the craziness of that
  • Yesterday was a great day at Revolution Church
  • We wrapped up our 9 months series on the book of John
  • So much in that book and I love how it ends in chapter 21 and the message that Jesus isn’t finished with us
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here 
  • I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for the coming year at Revolution and what we’ll cover
  • This week though, we are kicking off a series I have been waiting for us to do for almost a year called Breathing Room
  • I really believe this series has the potential to change a lot of lives and families as we look at how to have breathing room in our finances, relationships, work and life
  • So many people want this, make resolutions about this but never get anywhere with it
  • I’ll also share some ideas on my blog this week about how to make resolutions that you will stick with
  • I tend to be a driven person, but have also learned some things on hitting goals
  • Well, I’m off to the race that is the next 2 days before Christmas
  • So excited to see my kids faces on Wednesday morning and celebrate our first Christmas with Judah!

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • I love this time of year
  • The parties, gifts, spending time with family and friends and Christmas preaching
  • Love it
  • Starting to love Christmas music more and more
  • It helps when you listen to it non-stop from Thanksgiving to Christmas
  • If you’re looking for some good Christmas music, here is a list of our favorites
  • Yesterday, we had lunch with someone who has been to Revolution 5 times and they brought 4 first time guests with them
  • The first time guests were so excited about finding a church
  • Love it
  • Then, we had our staff and elder Christmas party last night
  • So much laughter
  • Can’t believe who I get to lead with
  • In the background I kept checking the Steelers score only to find out that apparently we still remember how to play football
  • A little late
  • Winning now only screws up our draft pick so we need to keep losing
  • We dedicated Judah at church yesterday
  • Christmas has taken on a new meaning for me as an adoptive dad as I think about the relationship of Jesus and Joseph
  • It was really special
  • I’m posting my “best of” lists this week
  • So hard to go through and make my favorite books and albums of the year
  • Stay tuned for some good stuff
  • Yesterday was a killer day at Revolution
  • I got to preach on the resurrection from John 20
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • One of the things I love about preaching theology like that is how it stretches me as a communicator
  • Things like the resurrection are true, beautiful, overwhelming and the answer to so many struggles and questions we have
  • Yet, so many sermons and books make it too academic and not life changing
  • You have to bring the logical and emotional arguments to theological preaching
  • Read a killer leadership book over the weekend called Catalyst Leader
  • Highly recommend it
  • So excited for this coming Sunday at Revolution
  • We’re wrapping up our series in John and I am preaching on one of my favorite passages in the entire bible: John 21
  • Then on December 29th we are kicking off what I think will be a life changing series for a lot of people called Breathing Room
  • Then, we are going to do something we’ve never done before: a woman series and a man series
  • Going to be killer
  • Time to get to it…

Help Revolution Church Fight Sex Trafficking this Christmas

Every year at Revolution Church we do a Christmas offering. This is a chance for our church to give above and beyond what it normally does and give it away to bless others and move the gospel forward in Tucson and beyond.

In years past, we’ve helped to build wells in Africa, fight homelessness and sex trafficking in our city, and plant churches in Tucson and around the world.

So far, we’ve given away over $20,000 away.

This year, we are hoping to raise over $10,000, which would be our largest Christmas offering ever.

One of the organizations we are partnering with is The A21 Campaign.

Here’s a video as to why we are partnering with them.

Christmas Music You Should Own

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I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music, but thankfully, there is some really good Christmas music out there. Here are some of the ones our family is loving this year:

Enjoy!

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