Choosing to Lead

My parents are heroes in my life. I lost both of them at younger ages but I am grateful for the time I had with them and the impact they’ve had both on my life and the lives of others.

Over the years, I’ve met so many people who knew my parents and were affected by them in some way. Strangers come up and tell me stories of my parents loving service, strength to hold fast, and their effort to do everything with excellence and 100 percent heart.

I have even had people come to me and tell me how they disagreed with my folks in some way and how even then they felt like my folks were their friends.

My parents were willing to make hard, unpopular decisions. Not because they wanted to but because it was best and right in the sight of God’s goodness. Their heart was to put up the good fight for those who couldn’t help themselves like those in poverty or foster care, refugees, or hurting friends who needed an advocate.

My parents didn’t just take on a cause to take on the cause. They truly stood with resolve behind what they believed in.

When they were alive, I never understood how powerful the commitment to stand for what you believe in would have a lasting impact.

Allan and Sylvia Eide

I just remember them talking late into the night about the struggle of feeling like an island with no emotion left to offer because of untrue rumors, getting excluded in community circles, and even having hurtful things being said to their face because others didn’t agree with what they were doing.

Understand my folks were not perfect or rebels. Far from it. They just stood firm with hard decisions because of Christ because it was right and what is the point of something that is good if you don’t fight for it.

Remembering these characteristics of my parents is extra precious because there have been many times I have felt like I’ve been in some similar situations.

I’ve had to make some hard decisions regarding leadership positions I’ve been entrusted to. Like my folks I tried to make nothing in haste, sought a lot of counsel, and prayed through it extensively. I feel good about my decisions.

Yet every decision still involves trust and usually affects other lives.

I have tried to my best ability to be loving without vacillating on the choices that seem to be the best.

The hardest part is probably hearing information that is going around that isn’t accurate and knowing that people are responding negatively without having all the pieces to the puzzle in any of those situations.

It’s hard to resist the temptations of trying to control the info or attacking with self-righteousness to bring justice where I think it’s needed. Those never produce good fruit.

I am blessed with friends, colleagues, coministers who stand with me and are for me. Still sometimes you can feel pretty alone. It’s part of leadership and being committed to what you believe.

Maybe that’s one the reasons why the Bible talks about trusting in the Lord with all of your heart and leaning not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It’s interesting that God talks about the heart in this verse when it’s the mind and all the “possible scenarios” of what people are saying or doing that fuels fear and hurt.

Is it because whatever a person speaks usually reflects what’s in their heart?

Is it because the heart is often the metaphor of where Christ lives?

Is it because the heart is how we describe our passions, our loves, and dreams, and God wants us to give all of that to Him daily?

Maybe yes to all three.

To be very open with you: those times are really hard and that’s ok.

When I’m in it, I don’t know who will like me and who won’t in the end. I might learn that I need to do things differently. I’m totally fine with that as long as integrity is kept.

I always want to see God’s Kingdom come and all involved see how much God adores them and loves them in this.

I also do not want to live in my wounds or fear and lean on my own understanding. I’ve always hoped that one day my children will hear from others about how their dad helped them or made a difference so they can be encouraged to fight the good fight.

Here is my take away…

I can’t lead and make choices and measure them solely on peoples agreeing with it.

I can’t make every one happy. Sounds cliché but it’s a reality.

I must, as best I can, try to stay keep a clear conscience before the Lord.

I must remember I may never get to see the fruit of my labor and that’s ok…

Why?

Because the second part of Proverbs 3:5-6 says “acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your path straight”

I really want the straight path. I believe that’s what my parents were trying to show me.

God is good all the time.

Peder

Golf and The Church

I love the game of golf!

No secret to many of you.

I love the challenge of getting better, the competition, and the stories shared among friends.

No two rounds of golf turn out the same, and I especially love getting to play courses around the country I’ve never played before or are famous.

Unfortunately, I don’t play as much as I used to. A lot of circumstances play into why but I definitely appreciate every chance to play now more than ever.

It’s a game that tests the emotions, problem solving skills, coordination, and truly can expose your character good or bad. :)

It’s a fun moment when you make a long putt or hit a long shot that felt so right when you swung the club and lands close to the hole. It’s a game I hopefully can play a long time from now.

The worst thing I can do when it comes to golf is compare myself with other golfers.

Sounds kinda like a cute, simple thought but listen closely.

If I compared myself to other golfers, I would have quit a long time ago.

My brother Tom is a really good player. He beats me every time. I play with Tom more than I play with anyone else, and I’ve only tied him once.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to beat him some day. Beat him bad. I love him and he is my brother but oh I want to take him one time.

Tom and I golfing in Arizona

Tom and I golfing in Arizona

If I would have looked at his game then looked at mine and said I’m not good enough, I would have quit a long time ago.

Quitting would have saved me from a bunch of heartache, greens fees, golf balls, and emotional trauma.

But I also would have missed out on so many laughs. I would have missed out on being surprised in Florida by him and two other friends for a birthday golf outing. I would have missed out on so many good talks we have had about family, career, and life.

There are too many stories we tell from being out on the course that we did together that could never be told because they never happened.

I would have missed those things! All because I compared myself to someone else.

To the Christian Church, I make this appeal: please don’t compare your self to other churches.

Don’t measure your worth on how good you are based on how other churches are growing or their technology or what ever.

If you do that, you’re missing what’s going on in YOUR church.

God is doing things in your church that are not being done anywhere else!

Are you aware of that? Are you seeing them?

Being A Parent Is Hard Sometimes…

Being a parent is hard some days…

It’s not a negative thing; it’s just hard some days.  I never realized how much emotion can be spent on a daily basis just thinking about what each child might be experiencing in their world.

It’s kind of like traveling the border of one country to another. As I go from one child (country) to another we are suppose to speak the same language but the different nuances of each country are enough to feel foreign.

Each country is in a completely different state of development. Some are at peace; some are in conflict either internally or with a another country (sibling). Each country has a different vision for itself. They are beautiful visions for the most part.

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Some countries are not growing like they could; some think that just because they said they are ready that that is enough to be ready. (Oh the frontal lobe of some countries :))

Then of course are the moments where I forget how old a country is and I treat them all the same which makes “the whole world” a bit more crazy and I might be creating an environment for a hostile coup!

As head of these United Nations (dad), it just seems impossible for world peace!

Yet the cost of giving up is way too great compared to the cost of emotion and heart that drives parental diplomacy for the greater good of each country.

This is all I can say:

Thank You, Lord, that I get to be the head of these beautiful, precious countries. Thank You God for allowing me to struggle in this and I pray it would teach me more about You so I can bring You to these unique countries. Jesus remind me when I’m tired, worn out, feeling defeated and like a failure that it’s worth the energy, that everything matters, and Your voice is only saying one thing to me: “Keep going for I am with you.” Holy Spirit, hear from heart thankfulness for what You have given me as a parent and let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in each wonderful country in my care!

To think on other things other than God’s goodness makes it harder to parent.

Today, I don’t need it to be harder. I’ve got five amazing countries in my house of many nations.

Therefore I’ll keep going even if it’s hard today…

God is good all the time.

Peder