Little House On The Prairie

I saw a clip of “Little House on the Prairie” the other day. Yes, there might have been some heart grabbing moments and memories of watching the show when I was a kid. (FYI, not many guys are willing to say they watched this show…but I am that guy!)

This show is set in the settling of family in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and often shows us a picture of simple farm life. No TVs, no electricity, no email, no iPhones, etc. You get it.

It got me thinking about how often we stay up late trying to find something to watch or play. How often are we looking for the next text, email, news item totally missing what’s happening in front of us?

photo credit

photo credit: TheSeafarer via photopin cc

When the message comes, we feel we’d better respond right away or else the person will think we’re mad, dead, or worse yet, they might find someone else to take our place in getting their attention!

Seriously.

This isn’t new information for most of us.

But when’s the last time you sat down to really think about it?

In “Little House on the Prairie,” they went to bed pretty much when the sun went down. They were not exactly searching DirecTV for a movie to watch until midnight or Facebooking until all hours of the morning.

They were sleeping. They were giving the body the rest it needed.

They got up about the time the sun came up and started over. They went to things around the time they were supposed to happen. If they mailed a letter to someone, they would look forward to the reply knowing it would come when it would come.

Much less stress and a lot more patience. Life was about people, family, really hard work, community, and patience.

I wonder if I would be willing to trade the speed of life today for then.

I love technology. I really do. I definitely don’t want to go back to polio, malaria, yellow fever, etc. icky…

But I think back then the food would have been better. (Sorry Taco Johns fans). I think relationships could be deeper sometimes. Winters would be harder (though I give this year’s an A+ for effort). Ministry would look different…

I’m just thinking out loud, friends.

My questions: is how much less stress would the body feel? Less rushing? Less need to spin so many plates?

What do you think? Do you have any insight? Do you think you could live in that kind of a world?

I welcome your words.

God is good all the time

Peder

You Are More Than A Shiny Thing

I joke about how my kids can catch a glimpse of a shiny thing and lose track of what they were doing.

But lately it’s been their dad who’s having that problem.

The reason for my distraction changes all the time. It seems trying to have a conversation with me is trying to have a conversation in a restaurant with a bunch of TVs playing football games everywhere.

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to focus lately because the distractions have always been there and have never affected me. But now…

It’s has showed up with my children. They want to tell me something, and I’m only catching a part of what they are saying. Then I have to ask them to repeat what they said.

I’m definitely not liking that part of me.

They have a fun story to tell me or a question and I’m off in some other thought, my eyes off towards some else I think is more important. As they get frustrated, they might give up telling me stuff.

That makes my stomach churn. I don’t want to experience the day where they don’t want to tell their Daddy about the snow fort they built, how they made the cookies all by themselves, or how they need some feedback on a friend who is frustrating them.

I think about how Jesus picked up children the disciples wanted to keep away from Him. It when He said “Let the children come to Me for the Kingdom of God belongs to faith like this.”

There are so many theological pieces to this that are essential to our faith, but let’s look at the physical part of this moment.

He picked up the children and held them. He didn’t need to. He could have just gathered them around Him, taken a selfie with them, made His point, and shooed them on their way. After all, He was a pretty important guy with a lot of people needing His attention around Him. That’s certainly what the disciples thought.

Instead He picked them up.

I think that’s a crucial part of who Jesus was and even more who God the Father is. Remember Jesus said “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

We don’t know all what Jesus said or did when He held the children. We don’t know how long it lasted, but we do know that Jesus, God Himself, physically held them.

He gave them affection, focus, held them and affirmed who they were in front of all the busyness going on around Him.

Why? Because they were His children.

Hey, are you reading this?

You are His child. When you go to Him, you get God’s focus, attention, and He affirms who you are to all of those around you. God is not distracted by “shiny things.”

He enjoys you, is proud of you and will never, never, never turn you away because there are ”more interesting things going on around world.” You are most interesting to the Abba Father.

Years ago I wrote a song about this moment and recorded it live at a youth conference. If you want to have it, you can download it clicking here. I hope you might find it a push for you to go sit and be held by Jesus. He loves it.

God is good all the time.

Peder

Lent and the Eide Family

As we enter this season of Lent, my family has decided to do something a little different.

Kinda…

The tradition is to give up something in the weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Something that may be taking your focus off of Jesus and basically getting more of your attention than the Lord. It’s a good time for believers to commit to taking something out of their daily living in order to get closer God.

This is a pretty simplistic description but it is a common approach. People give up certain foods, habits, social media, movies, etc.

The Eide Family

The Eide Family

My family and I have decided to make a music commitment.

Being a family that loves music (imagine that) and has a lot of different tastes, we’ve decided to treat it like food.

If you have had an illness, you’re told to drink lots of liquids or eat chicken soup.

If you are an athlete, you’re instructed to eat good proteins, fruits, carbohydrates, do heavy workouts and then light workouts, and replenish your electrolytes.

If someone has the stomach flu, you don’t encourage a trip to Taco Bell for healing.

If someone is trying to improve their physical body you probably wouldn’t suggest to triple McDonald’s intake with everything supersized.

I truly believe that when it comes to the heart and mind, we should take the same approach.

In regards to music, I really believe it’s a big deal. Bigger than we give it credit for.

Without getting into a 20-chapter research project, simply put, music is one of the—if not the—most powerful form of communication we have. It engages emotions; it reminds us of past experiences; it brings feelings and memories to the surface.

You can hear a song with no lyrics and it can move you to tears or excite your heart.

When it comes to lyrics, your brain remembers everything. Everything! Ever walk into a store and find yourself singing a tune you haven’t thought about in years and then realize it was softly playing in the background? Did you realize you know the lyrics of tv show theme songs yet you don’t have the song on you iPhone?

Music is powerful and your heart and mind know it!

With that as a backdrop, for Lent the Eide family decided to listen to only music that we call worship.

Style was not a determining factor. If the song has lyrics, they’ve got to be songs with scripture, hymns, modern worship, etc. If it doesn’t have lyrics, we must recognize the melody line from a hymn or modern worship tune.

It narrows down the playlist for sure.

Before some of you jump on the soap box of “Are you saying secular music is wrong?” or “You can’t tell me that all of today’s ‘Christian’ music is good for you” or “Are you trying to make your family into one of those ‘eyes covered up, fingers in our eyes motivated by our fears’ families?”

That’s not what we’re doing.

Instead we’re looking at what Philippians 4:8 says:

Finally brothers what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what ever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if anything is worthy if praise, think about these things

What we put in our mind through our ears and eyes matters.

Do I condemn all “secular” music? No, I do not.

Do hymns and modern praise and worship fit Phil. 4:8 perfectly? Nope.

But is it closer to fruits and proteins for the mind and heart and a help in the direction of getting focused on the God’s presence? I would say yes.

Well see how it goes. I can tell you I’m ok with a little less Taco Bell in my heart and mind. J

Think it through.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Or tell me what your family’s doing for Lent.

God is good all the time!

Peder

The Star Still Shines

I love what I get to do. Not only do I get to help people love Jesus, I get to see His love in His children.

On Christmas Tour I got to spend time with a family of three brothers and a sister after one of the concerts.

The sister cherishes the time she gets to spend with her friends and has a great passion to help others. The brothers love to talk sports which, of course, I don’t mind at all.

Even though we cheer for different teams, we found common ground in our favorite players. It was fun to hear them share their wealth of knowledge of both basketball and football. I was even more impressed with how these three brothers took turns sharing their thoughts and stories, never trying correct each other or outdo each others comments.

For almost an hour, the four of us sat around the table sharing why we liked or didn’t appreciate certain players and teams. While the boys didn’t always agree, they respectfully listened to one another and each one got a fair chance to share his opinion.

photo credit

photo credit: CliffMuller via photopin cc

Throughout Advent we’ve been talking about light. Both literal light like on my farm and while I’m running and also figurative light like the light of traditions.

Those boys shine a different kind of light. They shine the light of Christ.

When the baby Jesus was born, the star over the manger could be seen all around. It’s how the magi found the Christ child. They saw the star, were drawn to it, and followed it until they found Jesus.

Light still points people to Jesus. Except now it shines in us.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

If we’re walking in Him, then His light shines in each one of us in the way we live our lives, the choices we make, and the words we use.

It shines in the way we treat each other. From the convenience store clerk to the people living in our house.

His light is His presence.  If you are a follower of Christ, carrying His light is bringing His presence.

Chances are this Christmas you’re going to spend some time with your family. Maybe your family gets along great. Maybe you’re like my family and sometimes there’s some tension.

Sometimes shining the light of Christ isn’t the easy option. But it’s the right choice. The good choice. It’s what family does.

No matter which sports team you’re rooting for, root for one another.

Merry Christmas, my friends,

Peder

Am I Trying Too Hard?

Raising children is definitely a joy, challenge, adventure, ride, climb, decent, sequence of failures, victories, and moments wanting to hit the reset button. Yes, it is not for the faint of heart.

I like to go 110 miles an hour at some things. My approach to music, sports, worship, marriage, and family is like that sometimes. This image is kinda a sneak peak at my inner self in certain moments.

scream

The thing is, when it comes to parenting, I approach with a high standard and high expectation. Not that every child has to be the best in the world at grades, music, sports, making their bed, playing cards. But things like honor, respect, truth, effort, grace, being loving, making something better are not blown off.

I’ve think lately though I have gotten out of hand. It’s like I nit-pick everything to the point where it’s all I’m focused on. As you can guess, my five children aren’t really wanting a whole lot to do with Dad or they’re asking if I suffered some type of head trauma.

Maybe I’m trying too hard…

I’m committed to be the best dad I can and I take the verse training them up in the way they should go to the deepest part of my heart. Yet you can water a garden too much or sand a piece of wood to get it smooth and before you know it there is no more wood left or at the very least it gets warped! (I don’t want to warp my kids :))

The other day I got an email from one of Taylor’s teachers, a new faculty member to his school. Here’s piece of what it said:

Taylor is doing really well! He is always attentive, eager to answer questions. He helps others and is doing well academically. I’m really proud of him. He is a joy to have in class. I can truly see the light of Christ in him, shining forth. From what I’ve seen, he has a positive influence on his classmates too. Thank you for all you’ve done in raising him to be a fine young man.

I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t noticed lately. That note says everything that I’m hoping for in my crew.

If the Father God removed grace from His eyes I’m sure He would turn out like me lately: missing it. Yet He continues to remind us how proud He is of us and that we are His prized creation.

Maybe it’s time to take a moment and stop trying. Rather, I need to enjoy the fruit of the Holy Spirit moving in my family. I wonder if trying so hard comes from my own fear and trying to prevent the next fall or failure. If I continue to do that, I’m gonna miss seeing the garden grow and change.

If I miss that, it’s not worth the effort.

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.

Sports, Church, And Family Are More Similar Than You Think

I spent this past weekend attending and coaching my three older kids in their sports. It’s so much fun. I am a sports fan on many levels. I love playing, watching, coaching, you name it.

Ethan’s 12AA baseball team on Friday night was in a tight game. Understand, Ethan’s team has had a really up and down season of some good wins but also really hard losses. It was affecting everyone because sports take emotion. We had won in the morning but it felt like a rough win.

The night came we played well with solid defense and a good spirit.

It had it gone back and forth and literally came down to the last inning. Our pitcher, Trayton, had just struck out the previous batter which was huge! They had two outs, runners on second and third, and their best hitter was coming up.

In his previous bat, this kid hit a rocket to right field over the fielder’s head. The coaching staff told Noah, our right fielder, to back it up.

Trayton threw two amazing pitches and put the batter in an 0-2 count. The coaches, parents were on fire, so loud, so intense. The batter then fouled off the next pitches. Even though we were up by one, the runners on second and third would go when the ball was hit so any outfield ball meant we had no chance.

Then Trayton threw an outside fastball…

CRACK!

Another rocket to right field! Nobody breathed. The coaches were silent. I heard some voices say “Oh no!” It felt like slow motion.

In right field, it was just Noah. All eyes watching, waiting. He backed a step and stopped. His glove went up, he leaned back, his glove went up as high as possible…

Catch! WE WON!

The coaches, players ran onto the field, screaming, cheering, jumping all over Noah.

It was so fun!!!

Ethan's 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces:)

Ethan’s 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces :)

Friends, I really see church and family being a lot a sports team. We have coaches (pastors, parents), team names (church name, family name), players (the congregation, children), the game (our mission, our life), and goal (1 Cor. 9:24-27, Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:17).

It should be intense, fun, full of action, voices cheering each other on, hugging, victories, and most of all delight and passion in the One who owns the team, the game, the purpose and by His grace allows us to play. Even more than that goes crazy with us and over us simply because He is our Abba Father and loves to watch us, coach us, and, I dare say, play with us!

It reminds me again to remind you. Respond and engage in worship at least like a ball game. Celebrate family and church family moments of marriages being healed, baptisms, weddings, sermons, the offering like it’s “the catch”!

Because it is way more important than that!

What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Goodbye Microwave

My daughter Makenzie is a great helper. She loves projects. Cleanup, reorganizing, creating with paint, crayons, you name it. She loves to try to do it herself. She also loves to help make meals and does an amazing job of making her own lunches and even has made meals for the whole family.  She is a very independent, amazing young lady.

The other day Kenzie decided to make some Ramen Noodles for lunch. To make it quickly she uses the a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. She has done it a hundred times before. (Ok, maybe not a hundred. That’s a lot of Ramen. But you get the idea).

Sometime things can happen.

Apparently in her moment of doing too many things at the same time, she forgot a few details:
1. the water for the noodles
2. 5 minutes only needs two zeros rather than three

Somewhere between 5 minutes and 50 minutes later, billowing smoke and the smell of melting microwave safe dish came from our microwave.

Makenzie felt awful. It was an accident and not typical of her whatsoever.

The microwave is finished…so was the Ramen. The bottom of the dish was completely melted like hot tar. I took the leftover bowl and debris to the snow.

Such a small dish. Such a big amount of smoke!

Such a small dish. Such a big amount of smoke!

Getting a new microwave is not an option right now so we have gone old school and are using the stove more than ever. Reheating leftovers in the oven is a lost skill. When my coffee gets cold before it’s finished, I either warm it up with a pour from the pot or drink it as is. We even found ourselves making the popcorn old school because we had become so used to quick microwave popcorn.

It’s not a tragedy; it kinda fun. It’s also good the house is in tact, though the smell is taking a while to leave.

It’s also a good reminder of how easy some parts of life are.

It’s not a big deal. It’s just a little adversity. How we handle it is the real character definer.

We still have a house, food, each other, a purpose, a ministry, and a God who is faithful.

So I can’t heat up a little leftover pizza. I can make an open fire or just heat it up over the so-called microwave safe dish that’s still smoldering. :)

What’s your best microwave mishap story?

God is good,

Peder

The Honor of a Son

When I travel, I love to run and people watch as I go. A few days ago I was out for a run on the sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida. Yep, February, Florida, 70 plus degree temps. Running on sand is pretty good gig especially while Minnesota is under a couple of feet of snow.

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The beach runs along a whole shoreline of condos and hotels, and we pale northerners come out from our private accommodations to join a community as we acquire a new level of sunburn. I saw people running, walking, and splashing in the waves. I saw kids and adults building sand castles and sand turtles. Really, it was pretty neat.

As I looked to the beach entrance of one complex, I noticed a middle aged gentleman putting sunscreen on an elderly gentleman. As I researched a bit more I realized it was a son covering his elderly father with the sun protection.

I know it might sound awkward but it was beautiful.

The son wasn’t embarrassed as he rubbed the lotion on the hairy, worn back and shoulders that he sat on when he was younger. The father didn’t complain or act like he didn’t need the help. Instead of being prideful, he seemed to welcome the assistance.

The son wasn’t condescending or rude. He didn’t use gloves or work quickly. Rather the two laughed together as the son’s skin gently moved across his father’s, careful not to miss a spot.

I’m sure it might have looked weird to see this runner staring as he passed by but I was moved immensely.

How wonderful that the son would not be overcome by any impressions he thought onlookers had. Maybe it’s not true for you but even though I’m well past high school, I still experience the pressure of what my peers might think. Instead the son honored his father by humbling himself, staying focused, and making sure no piece of skin was left unprotected.

I wonder what the father experienced as he felt the tender touch from hands he once taught to throw a baseball. The hands that needed his help as his son walked for the first time now helped him do something he could not do by himself.

It was beautiful worship to our Lord because it was loving touch. In Taste Worship, we believe touch is an act of worship because touch is loving and loving someone is worshipping God.

As I kept running I was grateful for God’s creation of touch, especially between fathers and their children. The only touch we seem to hear about is bad touch when the fact is that God created touch for good and for His beautiful purpose.

As I write this blog, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m on a plane sitting beside my children. If Valentine’s Day is about love, then whether you are a son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, reach out and touch someone.

Really!

Genuinely be loving with a gentle hand, hug, hand holding, or whatever might stretch you just a bit. You will communicate a lot more than you think you are.

It really is worship.

God is good all the time!

Peder

What Does Church Look Like?

I have traveled a lot of miles. By plane, by highway, by both. I’m afraid to add them up. In those travels I have gotten to see and still see a lot of different churches and a lot of different worship services. I’ve seen pretty much every style, format, and size. You name it, I think I’ve been able to be a part of it. It’s actually a real honor and it has shaped me in amazing ways, and even more so it has influenced how I write music and lead worship. Something is simmering in my mind and I want your opinion:

Scripturally-speaking, what is church supposed to look like? What is the picture? Who is there? What are the main things you notice in a service or maybe a building?

The book of Acts comes to mind for me as well as the conversations the Apostle Paul had with the different churches. What about for you?

All of this questioning comes from an experience I just had as a presenter at an amazing conference called D6. D6 draws from Deuteronomy 6 and focuses on children and family worship. I learned a lot and hopefully offered something good. It has pushed my mind and heart to take an important look at church focus.

I’m not trying to fix anything; I’m hoping for some good conversations. Church is God’s idea and I want to understand it more, not just go along with it or make any assumptions.

So, let’s talk it out. Would you leave me your thoughts about what church looks like in comments section of this blog?

I hope to hear from you. Thanks for the time to talk.

Blessings and (as always) God is good all the time!

Peder

P.S. If you are looking for an amazing resource for family worship and family formation, please check out my friend Rob Rienow and his ministry Visionary Family. Awesome stuff for marriage and family!