Broken Together – Casting Crowns

This song just hammered me. I mean, it is crushing me. Almost in tears I am.

There are a lot of songs written for a husband and a wife, but this one is one of the most powerful songs I have heard in a while. Casting Crowns, Broken Together, from their 2014 release, Thrive, is a song that has pierced my selfish and prideful heart and left it in complete ruins.

No marriage is perfect. We have our ups and down. These first 2 weeks of the new year have been up. But this third week of January has become a down. I was sitting at my desk this morning, when Broken Together was played on the radio. Immediately, God touched my heart, and I saw just how horrible I had been.

Today, I want to encourage every husband and every wife to watch the video and listen to the lyrics. (And I mean, really listen!) What you have with your spouse, the promises you made, and the hope for a better tomorrow all rest in God’s perfect love.

Fight for your marriage. Be broken before each other and the God who heals the brokenness.

To my amazing bride, I’m sorry.

  • jay

3 Goals for 2015

blog feature graphics.004I don’t do resolutions. They don’t work. Little promises made to ones self are as easy to break as hitting the snooze button when you’ve told yourself your getting up early to get in a quick workout. It just doesn’t work. So instead of resolutions, I like the idea of setting yearly goals. Little things that I can do throughout the year without the let down that comes when you fail to keep your year-long resolution to loose weight after the second week of the new year.

Goals are things to work towards. Not expectation that we put on ourselves. So as we begin 2015, I have a few goals. Today I’m share three of them with you.

1. Date Amy More…
I love spending one on one time with Amy. But over the last couple of years, finding time to have dinner, catch a movie, do a little shopping, or just hang out together minus the kids. So this year, I am setting the goal of dating Amy a little more than last year. The goal? Well, honestly, I’d like to do it every week, but I know that that is not a reality yet. But twice a month sounds like a reasonable possibility. So here’s to dating Amy more.

2. Date My Kids More…
In recent years, Amy and I have tried to spend one on one time with each of our kids. When we were in Somerset we did this fairly well. However, like spending time just Amy and I, these last couple of years have been a littel more difficult. There is a huge blessing that comes from spending time with our kids in a one on one setting. It’s valuable time used for connecting, laughing, and enjoying each one and their unique personalities. This year, I want to try to spend just a little more time with each one.

3. Spend More Time with God…
Over the years I have come to love my time with God. I was fortunate to have some time off between Christmas day and January 4th. While we were away, we had the opportunity to worship in an amazing church in Jacksonville, Florida. Being on the other side of the pulpit, I was reminded of just how important it is to have time with God. To be in his presence. To sit and dwell in his word. And that’s what I hope to do this year, to spend more time in the presence of God.

That’s it, three of my goals for 2015. Date Amy more. Date my kids more. And spend more time with God.

How about you? What are you hoping to accomplish this year? Do you set goals, write a resolution, or create a bucket list? Take a minute and share your 2015 hopes in the comments below!

Happy 2015!

  • jay

When the One Kneels With the Many


As part of my blog upgrade, I am moving and repost some of my most read blog posts. “When the One Kneels With the Many, by far, has been thus far, my most read post. As of this repost, 1,101 reads! Thanks.

Originally Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014.

870388This morning, hundreds of thousands of students gathered around their school flag poles to participate in the 24th annual, See You at the Pole. Among the hundreds of thousands who stood in circles, holding hands, offering up prayers, singing songs; students demonstrated their faith, their boldness, and their love for their God. As a
youth pastor, I have been to dozens of See You at the Pole events. Some circles included close to a hundred students and some circles were just a handful. But regardless of the numbers, it has always been an event that reminds me of the importance of teaching our students (and our children) the importance of prayer.

This afternoon this photo popped up on Facebook. This is Matthew. He is 9 years old and in the 4th grade. At 9:00 his morning he took to his knees to do something amazing. He prayed. By himself. At his schools flag pole.

Matthew is the son of Matthew and Christina Greco. He attends school in Coram, NY. Matthew (the father) is the Lead Pastor at Real Life Assembly of God in Wading River, NY.

I asked young Matthew, “Why did you want to go to the flag pole at your school this morning?” His response, “because (I) wanted to serve (my) Lord and Savior.”

Matthew’s father noted on Facebook, “His youth pastor, Keith Indovino, has done amazing job pouring into their lives and teaching them the importance of moments like this!!!” This picture is evidence of that.

When asked what he prayed for, Matthew said, he prayed for his school and specifically for his principle, so that he could be used to be a great principle and that he’d enjoy the time he spends with the kids.

Matthew’s father said, “I was rocked to the core when I saw this. I never anticipated what I was going to see. All praise goes to God!!!! Just the night before I caught him stealing a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup off the counter before heading to bed, with this picture I forget all about that…LOL!!!”

And Matthew’s mom, Christina? Well she was just overwhelmed with pride!

Too often we get caught up in the national spotlight of events such as See You at the Pole. We post pictures of groups of students from all over the country and around the world. And we get excited by the various numbers present. But then we see something like this. Faith lived out in a powerful way. It should remind us of the power of one, when he is on his knees in prayer… I think it’s worth taking a minute to think and remember, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the heart. Clearly Matthew has already discovered the value of his heart and what it means to honor God with his life.

I asked Matthew’s father, “What would you say to encourage other parents as they train up their children in the discipline of prayer?”

He responded, “Training your children (Prov 22:6) is so much more than bringing them to church on a Sunday morning…it is about modeling it before them day and night. They repeat what they see. Don’t only teach them but show them!!! And then cling to the promises of your Savior. Proverbs 22:6 is one of those PROMISES!”

I should mention that Matthew’s sister also participated in this morning’s prayer events. She gathered with a friend of hers and they prayed together at their middle school.

I’m sure there will be other stories about students gathering around their school flag poles. But sometimes it’s the simple reminder of just how powerful ONE can be on his. Matthew, you are a hero among heroes. May God bless you and grow you into a might warrior!

  • jay

*Special thanks to Matthew and Christina Greco, for sharing their son’s story with me today. It was truly a blessing to be able to tell it.

Husbands, How Do You Balance Your Weekends

The weekend is just about here. For many of us men, it’s been a long week. We’ve worked heard. We’ve battled traffic, endured meetings, and for some of us, we’ve even survived some of the coldest days this winter thus far. But now the weekend is here.

So let me ask you, What are you doing this weekend?

Do you have plans for you and your family?

Here’s something I’ve observed in my own life that I think might be worth sharing. As I manage 3 jobs , juggle kids schedules with my wife, and still try to maintain a spiritual walk, I get that time is short and life can be a challenge.

Read More…The Good Husband Blog