The Glory of Moms

Jochebed. Now there is a name for you.

Of all the biblical names you might know, this probably isn’t one of them.

Go ahead, take your guess: some incredible warrior whose story is tucked away deep in 2 Chronicles, a prophet who didn’t last long at the hands of Babylonians, or a Pharisee who conspired against Jesus?

Nope, she’s a mom.

But, not just any mom. Jochebed is the mother of Moses.

I love her story.

She was a mother in unfortunate circumstances. She was a slave in Egypt while a partial genocide was in progress. Baby Hebrew boys were being sacrificed to the Egyptian God of the Nile.

She defied the authorities and hid her son for three months. When hiding him was no longer possible, she got a basket and set him afloat on the Nile where he was discovered by Egyptian royalty and adopted.

This is the story of motherhood.

Perseverance. Even in the most difficult of circumstances she never gave up. She was a slave (any mothers beginning to identify?) in a culture so difficult to raise a child she literally had to save his life everyday.

Humility. Her name is hard to find, let alone spell. She is not even identified in this story that describes her most memorable moment. Its chapters later, in the genealogy of her son, that we finally see her name.

Risky. Hiding her son not only implied he was in danger, but her actions now put her and the rest of her family in danger, too. But, it didn’t matter. She made the decision that being a mother was risky business.

Creative. Without the back story, placing your child in a basket and floating him downstream hoping something good might happen probably won’t win you the mother of the year award. But in reality, this was brilliantly creative: children were daily being sacrificed in the river and a floating basket with a boy inside would not be out of place, placing the child in the reeds so that he would not float aimlessly was strategic, and selecting a spot on the river where he could be discovered by the only ones who could save him… that’s how biblical mommas roll!

This Mother’s Day weekend I hope you will celebrate the mothers in your life. Whether it’s your mom, your children’s mom, or just a mom near you, I hope you’ll take time to be thankful and thank them.

For all the times moms have persevered by making those sack lunches creative when the budget was tight. For all the times mom humbly helped with homework for which she never got a gold sticker. For all the times mom risked personal safety to stare down that bully who dared lay a hand on her baby. And, for all the times mom creatively schemed, manipulated and implemented her “whatever it takes” plan to get you in the church; we say thank you.

Mom, you are amazing and today we call you Jochebed, whose name in the original Hebrew means, “Glory of God.”

We see His glory in you… Happy Mother’s Day.

Knives, Throwing Stars & Parenting

No idea how this happens, but it seems like at least twice a year a major cleaning up of the garage is needed. Or, you have find someplace else to park car.

So, after a few hours of shuffling around what goes in the garage sale stack versus what gets “organized” in the keep bins, I wasn’t feeling all that sentimental.

Hit me anyway.

We have on old, particle board dresser we keep for storage. In the top drawer are all kinds of pads and gloves for various sports. Second drawer is for racquetball junk. Third is for hiking stuff. But, the fourth has been my favorite for years.

In this drawer are things that predate my boys, even my marriage. They stretch far into the wayback of my life. Back to the grade school and junior high days.

There’s an assortment of throwing stars and nun chucks from the time in which Chuck Norris was my hero. I have no martial arts skills anymore, but I do have a sweet Chuck beard.

There’s my one and only bb gun. A handheld CO2 pistol. Awesome.

Then there are the dozens of pocketknives, boot knives, throwing knives and anything sharp and dangerous that a teenage boy who spent way too much time on the shelter belts had to have!

At least that’s what used to be in the bottom drawer. But, opening it up to hideaway a pocket knife, I was startled to see it was almost empty… basically just the bb gun remains.

I paused, thought and teared up a little. I guess I haven’t pondered it much, but over the years as my boys have grown I’ve been dolling these things out to them one at a time.

We will watch a movie and see some ninja do something too cool for words, and then I take them out to the garage and show them a bit of my past (trying to lead them to believe I was once a ninja myself… without saying it, of course). The response is usually, “that’s awesome!” and then I pass along a bit of the Addi family heritage to them in the form of some cheap, semi-dangerous, all boy commodity.

So, now the drawer is nearly empty. It’s a good thing.

I hope they grow up like me. I’m not perfect, I have lots I am still working on, but as I press into 40 (wait for it… not there yet), I’m hoping I have a lot of the basics down.

I want them to be stable. I want them to love family. I want them to not give up on marriage. I want them to make a difference. I want them to risk big when the time is right. I want them to hold tight to the things that should never be risked. I want them to love the Lord more than anything else in this life, or the next.

None of that happens naturally. You have to intentionally open up the drawer and give it away.

It’s our job as men, brothers, fathers and mentors in the church to live our lives in a way that we pack items away like faithfulness, passion, discipline, hope and love. Only then can we offer it up to our kids and the young ones of the next generation.

Deuteronomy 6:3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

It’s time for us to unpack the most important things in life. While you’re teaching them how to throw a curve ball, why don’t you talk to them about handling the ones life throws at you.

While you’re straightening up the house, why not remind them it’s a Godly man who keeps their house in order.

When your teaching them to grow up, make sure it’s not just how to look good, but be good, righteous, strong in the Lord.

The next generation is waiting for you to open up the drawer…

Symptoms aren’t the disease

We often get caught up in the trap of the immediate, but when it comes to our spiritual condition we need to look further than the surface.

In this video we can explore the possibility that we are spending too much time of the symptoms and not enough on the disease.

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.


Continue reading “Symptoms aren’t the disease”

Growing up, Graduating & Chuck


I write this blog to you from the corner of the snack shop at YouthFront Camp in Edgerton, Ks. I’ve had the privilege of being the camp pastor here for the last four years and it’s starting to feel like a second home.


They have great facilities, an excellent staff and some of the most unique programs I have every seen. But, probably the most ringing endorsement comes from my boys Noah and Nathan who say this is their “most favorite camp ever”, which is a huge statement because my boys… they’ve seen lot of camp.


When I ask what their favorite part is, it’s hard for them to decide:

  • Is it the paramilitary game NIGHTSTRIKE played late at night when they cut all the lights at camp
  • Is it the grossly enormous free standing water slide that has a 30 second drop
  • Is it the 50s Pool Party, the Renaissance fair, the camp-wide shaving cream war, the daily HYPE sessions of dancing, goofy games and indoor dodgeball
  • Is it the all access free pass they get to the snack shop as the camp pastor’s kids (I think this might be it, but that’s just me)


Whatever it is, I love doing this camp, because my kids love it so much. And, this camp is really unusual because of its facilities and programming.


However, there is one thing that makes this camp identical to the hundreds of other camps I have been to over the years… the kiddos. Continue reading “Growing up, Graduating & Chuck”