What Josh Duggar [and each of us] Needs To Hear

First thing’s first:lighthouse

Josh, if by some chance this blog ever makes its way to you, I want you to know that this season of life doesn’t have to define you. I’m sure it can feel like all people focus on these days are your mistakes. And that’s probably true right now.

You’ve definitely made some over the years. In fact, you’ve sinned. And I’m pretty sure that all of the people who write about you have sinned along the way too.

I understand you in that respect. Me too, man. It always seems like the worst parts of me are the ones that vie for the most attention. Hang in there, man. I’m learning and growing, and you can too. And if you ever need somebody to talk to, I would be glad to listen. But even if it’s not me, find somebody you know you can trust, and talk. You need it, dude.

For the rest of us:

Dude, chill out a little bit.

Josh has sinned. And so have you. I think we can all get through this.

We all know the stories. Josh Duggar sinned big time in the past. And as a dad of 2 daughters, I can agree that his behavior was reprehensible. And this week, with the identities of the Ashley Madison clients being released, it’s clear Josh has had more going on even in recent memory.

That being said, I think Josh Duggar [and each of us] needs to hear some really important truths:

1)  If you call yourself a Christian, people are going to want to know if it’s for real > And they will NOT go easy on you if it’s not. The bigger your platform, the more people expect. You don’t have to be perfect, but you must be real. Or you will be skewered.

2)  We all have a sinful nature > And it will bring every single one of us down if we don’t do battle with it. That is a battle that isn’t easy, but it’s worth it EVERY time.

3)  There are dangers to growing up in a Christian home > All of us who grew up in a Christian home are susceptible to a whole different set of emotional struggles. Christian parents often quite unwittingly use shame and guilt to correct behaviors (“when you act like THAT, it makes God sad” or “that’s not how people like US should be” etc). I know this all too well. I grew up in a Christian home. And guess what, I’m raising my kids in one. It’s a tension with which we wrestle everyday.

4)  Dudes need accountability > Guys, you need to be having weekly conversations about your struggles. Then you need to put accountability software on your computer. I have it on my Mac. And guess what, I still need the weekly conversations. Josh may have avoided some of this stuff if he’d had good accountability in place. I pray you and I learn from the situation. (Ladies, I believe you need accountability too…but I won’t pretend to know what all of that looks like, so I’ll save it for the far more capable female bloggers).

5)  It’s not your failures to watch out for, but your successes > The more popular you get, the higher levels of leadership you earn, the more people know your name…the lonelier life gets. When you fail, you work on it and start over. But success is perhaps the most intoxicating drug in the universe. Watch out for it; it’s brought down far more people than failure ever could.

6)  Paul was right > He said it better than I ever could in Romans 7. The things I don’t wanna do…well they come to me so easily. And the things I want to do…well, they’re the ones that seem so difficult. Ugh.

As the great band Three Days Grace once said, “It’s not too late…it’s never too late.”

Josh can find redemption.

And so can you.

And so can I.

The only question is…do you want to find it?


The Best Summer EVER

FamilyFunKeyLimeCoveDo you remember giving those, “My Summer Vacation” speeches in class when we were kids?

No one paying attention, people goofing off in the back, a teacher who didn’t particularly want the school year to start up either.

And you’re up front, trying to tell everyone what you did in ways that set you apart but didn’t sound like you cared tooooooo much.

Now, I’m an old man and I would LONG for that style of presentation.

This was the BEST summer my family has ever had.

We moved to a new area in December, which meant putting the kids in a new school and nesting in a new house and taking them away from everything they’d known.

So we saved every penny of vacation money we could, and we decided to make this the best summer EVER for them…and in the process…we enjoyed it a bit too.

We bought season passes to Six Flags, annoyed our friends with all the pictures of trips there, spent 2 separate weeks exploring Chicago and using a CityPass to see every museum, we developed a new addiction called the Shake Shack, and we even surprised the kids with an unannounced overnight trip to a waterpark hotel, KeyLime Cove.

It was amazing.

Granted, we blew every penny in our vacation fund and now have the arduous task of rebuilding it slowly. But in the 3rd blog post I ever wrote, I challenged people, “This Summer…Make 10yo You Insanely Jealous of Current You.”

And I can tell you that I did.

So how was your summer? Anything to celebrate? Any regrets?

You know, it’s never too late to plan something fun or do something spontaneous.

When you reflect on the ups and downs of 2015, what do you want the tone of your memories to be?

I’m guessing none of us will get to the end of our life and brag how clean the house was or show people pictures of how well-organized the boxes in the basement were or pull a nurse aside to boast about the most beautiful lawn on the block…


What will matter to all of us will be the memories we made with the people we loved.

So get out there and finish out YOUR best summer ever.

[I’ve got to put the kids on the bus and head out to meet a friend at Six Flags…]

2 > 2,000

You wanna change the world. I wanna change the world.

As the great poets in Tears For Fears once taught us, “Everybody Wants To Change The World”…or maybe it was rule the world…I can’t remember. Anyway.

Most of us live on a quest to make a difference. To do something special. To be significant.

So let’s fast forward and think about the implications.

Let’s say you live on fire. You’re pumped about your faith, and people know about it. And not in any weird or off-putting ways.

You make a huge difference. You never miss out on an opportunity. You’re always there when someone needs you.

And sure, there’s that nagging voice telling you that you could be home more often…that you’re neglecting some things, but you’re taking your faith seriously, and it’s making a difference. So you press on.

Let’s even say that you die, go to Heaven, and get to stand at the gates and watch people walk in. And on that day, a full 2,000 people stop on their way into Heaven and thank you. One by one, they tell you that you’re the reason they’re there. YOU made all the difference for them.

But on that day, the 2 kids God entrusted to your care, the ones who grew up in your house, they’re nowhere to be found.

You see, your passion to make a difference everywhere in the world kept you from being the best you could be at home.

You change eternity for 2,000 but miss 2 along the way.

I don’t think that works out in God’s math. I don’t think He’d be pleased.

I don’t think there’s a number high enough to make up for failure at home.


Change the world. Be awesome. Do something significant.

Just remember that it all begins at home.

[and for extra-special-super-cool bonus points…what if you just took the family WITH on your quest to change the world…you might find that you alter eternal destinies for BOTH the 2 AND the 2,000…]

This Summer…make 10yo you insanely jealous of current you

SixFlagsFam1This week, 10yo Jason LOST HIS MIND in jealousy over a decision 34yo Jason made.

Not that 10yo Jason wouldn’t be totally envious of so many things in current Jason’s life. I mean, I remember those warm summer nights of long ago…when 10yo Jason would sit on the porch…and someday dream of riding in style in a 17yo Honda CR-V.

…or long for that guilty feeling current Jason has when he finishes off the entire giant bag of Sweedish Fish in just 3 days…hypothetically…I mean…a friend of mine did… Continue reading