Preparing Like the Lynx

Wow, it’s been too long! I hope this blog finds you well! It’s been quite a summer with lots to talk about as well as awesome things to come.

I have a tradition to go with Allison to a Minnesota Lynx game. The Lynx are the WNBA team here in Minnesota. We are big basketball fans, and it’s Allison favorite sport. The Lynx are one of the top teams in the WNBA and have two championship banners. (More than my favorite NFL team ;))

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This year we were blessed by some friends who are season ticket holders to get in early and sit on the court itself during the shoot around. It was right up close.

To watch some of the best female basketball players in the world go through their pregame drills and shooting was really fun. To be up so close and feel the speed, focus, and intensity that these girls warm up with before even playing gave a new appreciation to how serious they are about their jobs.

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They were always verbal and affirming, which is a favorite part for me about girls sports. Always calling out “nice shot,” “you got this,” “push yourself,” and so on. Always positive. Even the coaches bringing their energy up always talking, communicating with the players.

They do this before every game! Every game. Add on to that the practices and the workouts.

Can we learn from this when it comes to how we prepare for worship, mission trips, coffee with friends, small group time, youth nights, and quiet times?

It might sound silly but sometimes we just jump in to our faith events with out any prep of prayer or study. Sometimes we jump in not even expecting God to show up.

Can we be a source of encouragement to those who are coming in the door? They’ve traveled to the event. Can we tell them how glad we are that they came? Or maybe we can look forward to what God has for them.

Can we make a prayer list before we get to our prayer time or quiet time so as not to get scattered and feel like we are not sure what our time was about?

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The Lynx won big that night. They won as team.

Preparation matters.

What would your experience if you look for some prep before your next time of worship?

Just an idea… but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

God is good all the time!
Peder

When Choosing the Hard Way is Worth It

I’m a coach. It’s actually what I went to school for. I thought I was going to be a teacher and a coach. Yet for the last 20 years I have been a musician/songwriter/worship leader for a vocation. Can’t make it up. :)

It’s crazy how being a coach is kinda like being a worship leader/pastor. In both roles you get to pour into other peoples’ lives and try to do what ever you can to help them be successful. I love both of these roles.

I am a coach of girl’s varsity basketball at a Christian school. Doing that while being on the road doing concerts is a crazy experience, but my staff, family, and the school are very helpful to make it work. My daughter Allison plays for the team and so that is a deeper blessing to do this.

Entering this season we had a total of eight girls for the whole varsity team: two juniors, five freshmen, and an eighth grader. Only four of them played varsity last year.

We’re not big and not super fast. We have no real superstars. On the first day of practice, we all understood that every girl was going to have to learn nearly every position and be willing to do things she had not done before.

We would also need to be the most in-shape team we’ve ever been because with so few players, if we were going to win games, we would have to run the floor better than anyone.

One of the hardest things was learning to practice offense and defense. We had no one to play against. You need ten; we had eight. The assistant coaches would admirably stand in but it’s not the same.

We literally would learn during games because finally we had competition. Our timeouts during games were more about teaching and learning than motivation and adjustments.

The deck was stacked against these girls.

They are young, small in size, and small in numbers. Injuries would have to be non-existent, they’d have to learn on the fly during games, and they’d have to learn to play as five girls on the floor knowing what every position does in case they needed to play it.

It would take these girls self-discipline, mental toughness, physical stress, and, most of all, a will to not quit or say it’s not worth it.

We started our season on November 18th. We ended our season on March 7th.

The result? 20-4 Regular season and conference tournament champions!

Conference Champions! The joy of accomplishing the hard thing!

Conference Champions! The joy of accomplishing the hard thing!

Pretty fun I must tell you. When I heard them cheer, it was actually like all the tense air of the long practices, bumps and bruises, and mental fatigue just disappeared like fog being burned away by the sun.

What does this have to do with us? Let’s get excited about doing hard things this spring.

Our world is about shortcuts. It’s why the escalator is packed with people but the staircase is empty.

We’re looking for easier ways to get things done with less investment, less effort, and less risk.

“Get cash instantly.”
“Lose 20 pounds in one week!”
“Become a millionaire overnight!”
“Have it delivered tomorrow.”
“Quick assembly.”

Conveniences aren’t always a bad thing.

But there are experiences we’re missing out on because we’re looking for the easiest way rather than doing whatever it takes to do it right. Sometimes doing it right is hard.

“Indolence wants it all and gets nothing; the energetic have something to show for their lives.” Proverbs 13:4 The Message

I want to have something to show for my life. I bet you do too.

What is something hard you want to do?

Write a book? Run a marathon? Forgive? Make something from scratch? Invite the difficult co-worker to your church?

I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. It’s my way of cheering for you.

Who knows, even with the odds stacked against you, you might still come out conference champions.

God is good all the time!

Peder

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

Family and The Elephant In The Room

“My family does ok.”
“We are so glad just to get through a day.”
“We all get along.”

All we ever hear about is how much work family is. Anything beyond survival is just a bonus.

While getting along is good, it’s not ultimately what God’s designed. He has so much more in mind for families.

Is family hard sometimes? Absolutely.

But is it just for survival and getting along? No way.

One of the challenges for a family can even be believing that family life can be fun and faith-filled rather than just a lot of work.

I think of it like the circus baby elephant. As soon as he’s born, he has a chain put on his foot. As he grows up, every day he has this chain on his foot keeping him captive.

Once the elephant becomes an adult, he could easily break the chain and be set free. But because he has only ever known the chain of captivity, he has no idea what he’s capable of!

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That’s a lot of families. They have no idea what they are capable of in the kingdom of God because of some kind of chain they feel they can’t break!

Your family is made to break any chains keeping you from experiencing God’s destiny for you!

That’s what this year’s All In All Out Family Worship Tour is all about.

My daughter Allison and I want families to know and experience the blessing and adventure that God has created for them.

It’s not too late for your family!

God truly will take you “As Is” and start right now. Being bound by a chain of what life is like right now doesn’t meant you need to stay where you’re at!

The truth is: God is the only one who can take your “As Is” moment and turn it into something beautiful.

Go all in as a family seeking His Kingdom so you can discover the amazing adventure God is making in you and your family to go all out!

That’s what the concert is about. That’s what we believe family is about! That’s what we believe God’s Kingdom is all about!

Will Allison and I get to see you on the All In All Out Tour? Here’s hoping it’s a yes!

For concert information, head over to the tour page.

Over Prepared

Hey my friends,

I admit I’ve been slow to blog as of late. I apologize to you who have continued to stay faithful to reading the devos and follow me on social media. I therefore make my January 19th resolution to blog more consistently, creatively, and just down right better! If I fail, well then…hmm…not planning on that so I will take that conflict when it comes.

I say that because I am a guy who likes to be prepared for any situation. Depending on what I’m doing, I sometimes will actually play all out all scenarios in my head of what might possibly happen so that I can plan a course of reaction. In many regards this ability has made me handle emergency crisis moments well. Anything from spur of the moment changes on stage during a concert to coaching adjustments during a game to bigger things like one my kids choosing to do something that requires a trip to the ER (Yes that’s definitely been more than one time).

I think I handle these well because I think ahead.

It can and has also many times been a handicap to me…

Honestly I need to suck up my pride to even present this side of me because it makes me more vulnerable than I like. Still I’m praying it might be an encouragement to anyone reading this. Really because when you end up in these traps, if you can relate, they are no fun.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared in fact its biblical to have a heart preparedness (I Peter 3:15, I Corinthians 16:13).

The problem is when it starts to grow out of fear and wanting to control outcomes.

Yes, that’s me sometimes.

I want to make sure my kids grow up strong in the Lord and with hearts for others. Yet I will sometimes spend a whole car ride telling them what do if this happens or if that happens, overwhelming them with information that they already know or may not need to know. They get exasperated and frustrated and sometimes even fearful because I brought up some crazy possibility.

Allison with her horse

Allison and Hunter

For example, I will be taking Allison to ride horses because it’s a deep passion of hers and I will double and triple check that her helmet is secure, she obeys the rules, and that the horse meets my approval. Like I really know more than the trainers, my wife (who is a strong rider herself), or even Allison for that matter and that my interrogation and boatload of “what ifs” is really that valuable every single time!

It’s then I realize spent a whole bunch of time covering every possible situation that could happen (most of which will not) and I missed the best part:

I missed being absolutely present with my 13-year-old daughter who is so excited to ride and talk about horses. I missed a whole bunch of potential laughter, joy, relationship because I wasn’t there mentally. I was in some future place that did not really exist and was only filled with possible misfortunes and tragedies.

Living with one foot in a bucket of fear is awful. What I need to remember is that I can’t change my past and I can’t influence something that hasn’t happened so I need to be involved with the present.

There so much going on the present. It is, as they say, “a gift.”

So what does that mean for you and me? For me it makes Luke 12:25 a little more blunt when it says, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

It makes sense that we worry about keeping those we love around us safe, wanting things to turn out how we want them to, wanting to be prepared for certain things, etc. It’s good to be prepared.

Just don’t allow yourself to become so about what could happen and then you end up missing what IS happening.

Usually what is happening is the most amazing thing going on.

God is good all the time!

Peder

Excellence

Switchfoot opens with a great look!

The other day I was given a fun gift by a friend and co-laborer in the kingdom of God: tickets to Switchfoot! This is a favorite band of the Peder Eide family. The seats were great! My wife Sherri and two of our children, Ethan and Allison, sat and prepared ourselves for a rare treat to be together and enjoy a concert where I wasn’t a part of it.

From the beginning song all the way through the end, the whole audience sang every song with the band. People celebrated, were inspired, and were moved by the experience of being in a room with other people who have a common love for a style and presentation of music.

Still there was more. What is it about Switchfoot that made it so welcoming to sing these songs loud and like they are your own?

During the concert, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend on our trip to India in January. We were talking about art and the church, favorite groups, what makes a group or an artist last in this industry we call music. It really comes down to the song. It’s about really great songs. Great communication using music, drama, art, etc. Yes, we all have different tastes and preferences but within those it’s still about an excellent creation of a song, painting, story, play, and so on.

What so powerful to me is how a writer like Jon Foreman of Switchfoot writes these amazing songs we get to hear and sing a long with yet these are not all the songs he has written. These are his best, his favorites, the ones that make the cut for the records. They are the most excellent. The result? Years of powerful messages, inspiring lyrics, and changed hearts because of the commitment to being excellent!

I think about what we create in our everyday lives. We all create. Whether we’re ministers, business people, educators, computer technicians, students, singers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, we all create! We create a level of which we do our occupation or study in school. We create and form the shape of what kind of man or woman we will be. We create an environment by our attitudes, temperaments, words, and actions that direct and affect all those around us.

Do we do it with excellence? Scripture is loaded with verses doing whatever we do with the highest regard to imitating the Father. Running to “win” the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24-27). If anything excellent, pure, praise-worthy, think on these things (Phil. 4:8). Be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). It’s not because we will impress God but truly it is a response to who God is and to glorify Him. It’s always about God.

Here’s another example of excellence from Lake Michigan. What God has created He lets us enjoy and see Himself in it. It’s a loving thing God has done.

(View it on Youtube under “Excellence from Lake Michigan” on the Peder Eide channel)

Do you think that your pursuit of excellence in whatever you do is not only glorifying God but loving to those around you? Imagine your effort towards your art, music, parenting, studies, responsibilities, verbal responses, facial expressions, being a husband, wife, brother, or sister are truly something to be done excellent and your effort to be excellent is loving?

Thoughts? Email me at Peder[at]pedereide[dot]com and give me some feedback.

Peace to you,

Peder

I Love March Madness!

I love March Madness. The time when high school and college basketball tournaments are in full swing. It’s when I take Allison and Ethan for a day to the girls and boys state basketball tourney and dream about what it might be like for them to play in it one day. It’s when I fill out my brackets for the NCAA Men’s Tournament and try to predict who will win. I watch my brackets and catch the games I can.

I love tournaments because of the whole lose and you’re done, win and you get to play again situation. Some of the intensity is heavy. Emotions run high, inspiring plays make memories, and the experience of the smaller, lower-seeded team upsetting the bigger or favorite to win team is a blast. I love the underdog, Cinderella moment.

Trying to pick a winner

Imagine if we knew the outcome. What would it be like to know your favorite team is going to win?

Would you still watch?

I would. Especially if I knew my team was beating a rival team. I know I would enjoy the game with less anxiety if we fell behind because I knew it was going to turn around to my team’s favor anyway.

Isn’t that what the life of being a follower of Jesus is suppose to be like? I mean, we know that because God is for us, nothing can stand against us (Romans 8:31b-32)  and the good work God began in us He said He will take to its completion! Check that it’s GOOD work! (Phil. 1:6)

I can live this life like I don’t know about the victory. I can treat my friends and family like I need to trust no one and gain control of any possible outcomes that may come my way. Man, is that foolish on my part.

If I remain in my Abba Father God and He remains in me, I get to experience what David or Esther or Gideon or Joseph felt, to mention a few.

Remember the war is won in Christ Jesus and by His grace we get to be part of the victory with Him.

I just need to live like it. The people close to me would appreciate it for sure. :)

God is good ALL the time!

Peder

Expecting Help.

So Thursday was a hard day.  It was the day my daughter Allison’s pet rabbit Patches died.  We came home from downtown and right as I walked into the house Allison went to check on Patches where she found him lying in his cage barely breathing.  As soon as she called “Daddy, it’s Patches, Patches, Daddy, it’s Patches!!!”  The fear in her voice and cry for me to help was deeply hurt filled.  We grabbed Patches and hopped in the van racing to the vet, but 20 minutes later, Allison’s precious rabbit passed away.

It’s sad. It stinks. It’s hard to watch your daughter experience a loss like that for the first time.

Allison cried out for Dad because she knew Dad would come.  It’s a promise she knows I keep even though we never have to remind each other. She calls “Dad:” I respond.  It’s what dads do. It’s a commitment I never break.  That’s the second Sunday of Advent, plain and simple and yet so vital.  God has made promises and keeps them.  If we seek Him we will find Him. Promise.

He will never leave nor forsake us. Promise.

He claims us. Adopts us.  Promise.

This week, say out loud what God has promised and expect His truth to win.  Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, all expected God to keep His promises AND He did.

You can expect the same from God.

God is good all the time.

Peace and love,

Peder