Category Archives: Leadership

Cardboard Cutout Family

The other day I was eating at an awesome breakfast joint when I noticed a family sitting at a table near me.  It was a family of six, complete with mom, dad, 2 boys, and 2 girls all of varying ages.  From the outside nothing too shocking there right?  Hang on, the odd part is about to happen. 

Right after the waitress took the orders, here is what everyone did:

Mom:    Picked up her magazine and began to read

Dad:     Picked up his book and began to read

Boy #1:  Put on his MP3 Player and headphones

Boy #2:  Played his PSP with earphones

Girl #1:  Texted on her phone

Girl #2:  Played a leapfrog game

There was ZERO interaction between anyone for the entire time they were at the restaurant including while they ate.  It was really, really sad to me.

To be fair, I’ll be the first to say there are different family dynamics, and not everyone has to go around the table and tell about there day at school, but this seemed all to routine and a bit much. 

Yes, at some point in the near future I’m sure someone will see my family out at a restaurant and write a blog about us.  But, I really hope it isn’t because we are literally not talking at all to each other.  I could see it being about a food fight breaking out that I may or may not have started, but a cardboard cutout dinner?  I hope not!

For me this was an eye opener and created a goal for me to not get to this point in my family. 

Perhaps for you this can be a chance to reevaluate your family interactions.  

Here may be a few things to think about:

  • Dads:  Does your cell phone sit with you at dinner?  (I’m guilty
  • Moms:  How often do you get up during the meal to get something or clean something up?
  • Parents:  Do your kids bring cell phones, MP3 Players, magazines, iPads, or plasma TVs to the table?
  • Husbands:  When you go out to dinner do you position yourself so you can see the TV in the bar? (Guilty again…crud.  Who writes these?)
  • Wives:  How many questions do you ask your husband that you don’t already know the answer too?

I really hope that my family one-day will be the kind that I can lean back at the dinner table and see all kinds of interaction going on.  The spiritual icing on the cake will be hearing about how God has been working in our different lives, but in order to get to that point I think I have to start early.  I have to start creating an environment in my home now where communication is encouraged and not stifled.  Even if that means putting the cell phone away or leaving a few messy dishes on the table while we talk. 

I sure hope you want this for your family too and the best part is I think this is one we all can do.

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Last Will and Testament

My wife and I had the uncomfortable experience a couple years ago of putting together our Will.  I say uncomfortable because honestly how many people like to sit down to a nice cool class of iced tea and discuss the light and airy topic of death?  You see, a friend of ours from Parkview came over and all three of us sat down at our dining room table and discussed the greatest “What If” question anyone could ask.  “What if you died?”  I know, I know many of you just solidified your answer of “no” if ever asked to come over for dinner with Cherie and I, but believe me we don’t always talk about the deep stuff.  Sometimes we discuss lighter topics like predestination vs. free will, Calvinism vs. Arminism, or whether or not animals have souls.  So come on over! 

In all seriousness, this Will and Testament deal did make us stop and think about some very tough decisions.  Sure a great deal of our discussion was spent on who got what stuff and how much of our little estate would go to him or her, but it made me also wonder about what type of legacy I would be leaving behind too.  What would people say about Brian Hunt after I was gone?  Would people remember me or would I just be a blip on this radar screen called life?  Would I have somehow carved my name in the cement of our culture so that everyone knew I was here?  If the people I came in contact with over the course of my life heard of my death would they think back to good memories or bad ones? 

Would people even make an effort to come to your funeral or would they put the same amount of effort into you as you did to them?  Now I’m not asking you to start making a list of people you want at your funeral and begin the RSVP process or anything like that.  But I am asking you to consider this; if the light switch of life was turned off right now, what would you want people to say or remember about you?  Granted it is very clear in the Bible that we are not saved or defined by our works alone, but what would you want rattled off about you as people reflected on your life?  Or better yet, what would you want God to say about you after you have completed your mission here on Earth?   If the God of the Universe was given the microphone at your funeral and was given a few minutes (FYI- I would hate to be the person given the job of telling God He had a time limit) to say a few words about you, what would He say? 

My prayer for you is to start living dangerously.  I pray that you take a sledgehammer to your comfort zone and destroy it.  Leave it behind with a huge God-sized hole in it so that anyone that passes by to look at your former life will know without a shadow of a doubt that you are living completely for Christ.  That cocoon you used to live safely within restricted you from spreading your wings and flying.  Let me ask you, how many butterflies do you see rolling around in the dirt?  None, zero, nada.  That is because they are a new creation created to do greater things than did before.  They leave their old dirt behind and soar to new heights. 

I want to encourage you to spread your wings, make an impact in our world, and a leave a legacy worthy of God bragging about when you are gone.  Whatever you do, don’t be a butterfly stuck in the mud.  Remember, you are new creation created to amazing things for God! 

So before the lights go out, live dangerously and start writing your name in some wet cement!

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What Have You Done For Her Lately?

I loved being married. 

Over 8 years with my amazing wife Cherie I can honestly say I've enjoyed way more of the minutes than I've hated. 🙂

Granted, it is the most unique relationship you will ever have in your life if you think about it.  One man and one woman with all of their baggage, expectations, anticipations, dreams, hopes, fears, and Faith are placed into the cage of life with the a timer that reads "until death do they part".  You can only imagine what "fun" comes up with that scenario.  Yes, only God could have come up with such a plan…but I love the plan.

I love it because in order for it to have any chance it requires Faith, hope, love, and fun for it to work.  However, for it to thrive it requires one key ingredient…teamwork. Man and woman working side-by-side tackling all of life's obstacles and mountain top moments.  Each separately wired with unique God-given abilities, but asked to  work together to make the relationship click. 

But men I want us look at ourselves for a moment and ask this question:

"What Have I Done For Her Lately?"

Now, before you get your Flintstones club out of the closet and beat your chest while you grunt in disagreement, pull up a rock and keep reading.

I'm not sure when the definition of being man was somehow tied to how much we can make our wives do for us so we can do what we want, but it seems to be happening more and more.  I see so many wives staggering to maintain the weight of being a mother, a homemaker, an employee, a friend, a peacemaker, and wife.  All the while their husband will come home from work only to hop on the computer, play video games, watch TV, play softball, or talk Fantasy Football with their buddies like Junior High girls.  And that's just the guys that come home in time for their wives to see them.  There is a whole other group of workaholics that have weekend families at best.

Listen I'm not saying any of those things above are inherently bad.  Heck, we all need a release, a hobby to enjoy, and to provide for our families but when these start to come at the expense of our wives sanity and/or our marriage that's where the problem lies. I know when I feel the best about my world as a man is when I know my family is taken care of in ALL respects including how my wife is doing.

Recently, I prayerfully did a self inventory of how I was doing as a husband.  With a lot of feedback from my wife, I realized I needed to step up in some areas.  Understand I did this so we could improve on our solid marriage not so I could get a little more "action".  Your missing the point if that is you goal  I'd much rather have you accept the challenge to assess how you are doing as a husband in the effort to make your marriage a success. 

Perhaps consider these:

  • If you asked your wife on a scale of 1-10 how you are as a husband how would you rate?
  • How much of who you are as a husband (good or bad) is determined by your father growing up?
  • How much do you look to Scripture for wisdom on being a husband?
  • Dads, when you come home, who do you kiss first?  The kids or your wife?
  • When was the last time you and your wife talked for over 30 minutes at one time without an agenda?
  • What does your wife want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
  • What are 3 things that you could do right now that could help your wife and marriage with little to no personal sacrifice to you?  (Ex: Fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, get the oil changed in her car)
  • What are 2 things that you could do in the next month that could help your wife and marriage with minimal personal sacrifice?  (Ex:  Plan a date night and you find the babysitter, quit a recreation team for a season and let you wife have that night to herself, turn your cell phone off when you get home for 30 days)
  • What is 1 thing you could do within the next year that could significantly help your wife and marriage with noticeable sacrifice to you?  (Ex:  Alter your work schedule to work a day from home, ask for a transfer to a location closer to home, (if she desires) look for ways for your wife to quit her job so she can stay at home with the kids full time)

Please hear me, I'm not saying I have it all figured out.  In fact my 1-10 rating in my mind is much lower than even my wife said!  What I do know, is that I desperately want to have a marriage that is God honoring and set-up for success.  I know I love my wife so much that I would go to the ends of the earth for her and that includes sacrificing things I enjoy so she is cared for. 

Marriage is awesome, difficult, awesome again, a little more difficult, add a side of frustrating, and then back to awesome but in the end is totally worth every up and down.  

Men we need to show our wives through our actions that we are pursuing Godly marriages and relationships and I think it can start by asking ourselves, "What Have I Done For Her Lately?" 

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Truth Be Told: A Blog Series on Jesus and the Truth

I remember when I was in 6th grade I lied to my mom. I told her that the purple teddy bear that I had taken to school was NOT to give to my girlfriend Sara. That was not true. It was for Sara…and she loved it…and I did like 5 more pull-ups in gym class I was so pumped up.

But mom found out…not good…not good at all.

Sara was a good girl, don't get the wrong idea. She was a choir girl for crying out loud. No seriously we were in choir together so that makes her literally a…oh never mind.

The big deal was that I lied to my mom about something stupid. It wasn't that the truth was a bad thing it was just I was embarrassed about telling my mom so I lied. I was afraid of what the truth may get me.

In our society, truth is a rare gem hidden in the middle of the filth of deceit. Tucked down between the couch cushions of the world that tells us to "win at all costs" and “not to worry about who gets hurt in your pursuit of #1”…is the truth.

Ironically we all want the truth. We all respect truthful people not liars. We all want an honest doctor not one that bends the diagnosis. We all want an honest teacher that tells you how your child is doing not one that says everything is fine even when they are in the 2nd grade for the 8th time. We all want a spouse that you can trust and not have to wonder where he or she is at night. We all desperately want truth, but yet we still run from it.

  • The truth is eating too much will put strain on your heart, but we still overeat.
  • The truth is smoking is almost guaranteed to give you lung cancer, but we still puff.
  • The truth is divorcing your husband to be with your boyfriend won't bring you happiness, but many still do it.
  • The truth is that rooting for Cubs will give you an ulcer, but we still cheer for them.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but so does getting a shot at the doctor. Sure you could avoid the doctor, but you also will pay the price for that decision.

Recently, in my personal study in the Gospel of Matthew I became more and more aware of the phrase "I tell you the Truth". It is a phrase that Jesus uses 78 times in the Gospels and He uses it without any prejudice to the audience He was speaking to. Whether it was a gathering of people, the Pharisees, scholars, Sadducee, criminals, or His very own disciples everyone was subject to a Jesus "truth bomb" from time to time. It seems that truth is truth regardless of who Jesus was talking to.

So over the next few blogs I'm excited to take some time to walk through the "I tell you the truth" portions of the Gospels. It will take some time and I'll most likely throw in different stuff because of course Aniston is a walking source of material, but I'm anxious to see what God will do through our journey.

All of us, including me, will have two choices when we unpack the truth Jesus teaches.

Accept it and uncomfortably grow.

-OR-

Ignore it and comfortably stay the same.

 

Regardless of how we respond…

the Truth is still the Truth.

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