Author Archives: First Things First

Why I love “X” and Hate “Y”

OK, so, everyone is weighing in on “the” youtube video about Jesus, religion, and and relationships, so, I figured I would too.

Since there are only two or three of you reading this, I figure I can’t make too many people mad 🙂

First, let me say, I get it.  I understand where this young man is coming from.  I too am frustrated with the state of affairs in The Church today.  But there are huge holes in his arguments (which he himself has acknowledged)

My fear is that we want to take all the benefits of a relationship with Jesus without any of the responsibility it brings with it.  This is not the way it works.  Not with Jesus, or anyone else, for that matter.

Lets play a little substitution game, shall we?

Tell your girlfriend “I hate weddings/marriages, but I love you”

Tell your boss “I hate work, but I love my paycheck”

Maybe I’m way off track, but, this is the track I see us going down.

Following Christ means more than just saying I love Him, I hate the Church.

In virtually every case, when Jesus interacted with someone, he left them with an instruction.  An action point.  Something to “go and do”.  He has high expectations for us.  Yes, we fail.  Yes, we fall short.  But we have to keep doing. I have many relationships in my life that failed because of my own lack of effort and action to make it work.  A relationship with Christ is only real when it is accompanied by action.  Going and doing.  Period.

You cannot say “I love you” and not show it.  You must make it real, or it’s just words.

Religion, relationship, The Church…as my favorite folk/americana singer says, “Call it what you will…words are just words”.

FTF tip for this topic comes straight from the man that all this talk is about:

Matthew 6:33

New International Version (NIV)

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

For those of you who want to know the answer to the religion/relationship question, read Matthew 5-6 and see where you stand.  Jesus answers the question.  It’s not on youtube (I don’t think) but it is worth checking out 🙂

If you fail to plan…

…you plan to fail.

I know. Totally cliche.  Heard it all before.  Nothing new here, right?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Well, our family has never been much on planning.  In fact, for years, we embraced the fact that we were “spontaneous”.  We didn’t cater to schedules, or calendars, or whatever.  We “let the Spirit lead” and had all kinds of crazy excuses for why we didn’t have a plan.

Do I regret it?  Well, I try not to live with regrets, but, I can tell you we’d be in a different place right now (literally and figuratively) had we been better planners.

So, tonight, we started the “Purcell Family War board”.  When it’s done I’ll post a picture of it.  Now, you sales people/business folks know what I’m talking about.  This is not just a calendar.  It’s not just a place to doodle.  This is where dreams happen, plans are made, decisions get made and momentum starts.  And maybe, most importantly, it provides another layer of accountability. Yep, it’s just a plan and the plan has to be executed.  But at least it is a plan.

FTF tip for today…make a plan, and DO SOMETHING!  Don’t be like we have been for so long, reacting to situations and make the most of it.  No more.  We’re planners, baby 🙂

PS, The kids presented their goals for 2012 to me tonight.  I’ll be writing more about this in the coming days.  But I can tell you, it’s gonna be a good year 🙂


Dreaming big dreams…

As we begin to close out 2011 and usher in 2012, we all begin to reflect on the past and consider the future.  Our family has some big dreams for this year.  Jen and I were just talking about the fact that since we have children that are 14, 12, 9, 7, 2, and 9 months we can live like a young family with lots of experience 🙂

I also know that as we think about “New Years” stuff, we are inclined to be burdened by things of the past.  Missed goals, mistakes, etc.  I am committed to focusing on the present and future, and forgetting about the past.  Yes, we have to learn from our mistakes, but, we also have to then learn to let them go.

My FTF tip for you this New Year is leave last year in last year.  No one else cares nearly as much about your mistakes from last year as you do.  LET IT GO!  Move forward, make a new way, and live life to the fullest!  We are a forgiven people; we should act like it!

Do you have someone to forgive?  Something to move past?  Do it today, and start 2012 on the right foot.

Potty Training is not for the faint at heart…

I just had a conversation with Norah, who turned two years old in October.  Norah is still in Diapers, and shows no signs of being interested in potty training.  I asked her to go get a diaper so I could change her.   She brought back one of Leemaries diapers.  I said , “Norah, this is a size three.  I need a size four for you”  She goes and finds a size four and brings it.  I told her “Any girl who is big enough to read the sizes on diapers is big enough to go to the potty”.  She said “No, I like size fours and size fives”.

So…it looks like I’ll have two kids in diapers for a little while longer.  My “first things first family tip” for this is to remember that whether she (or your child) potty trains at two, or three, or (gasp) even four years old, it is not going to affect them in the long run.  They’ll still probably graduate from high school, go to college, maybe even get a job and have a family of their own.  It will inconvenience you, but, please remember one thing – the days are long, but the years are very short.  Don’t sweat it 🙂  I’m not.

BTW, if you’re like us with two kids in diapers, maybe you should check out the very amazing Queen of Free at for some great ways to save $$ on diapers 🙂


…to our blog.  Not that probably anyone will read this (since it’s brand new).

The goal, I suppose, is to give a formal name and description to what we’re trying to do as a family.  And that is, to put First Things First.  In every aspect of life, I believe that if we will do what we must do, before things we need to do, before things we want to do, we’ll get to do a lot more than we thought we could ever do.  So, we’re gonna try, and you will, hopefully, watch, share and learn right along with us.

Feel free to share this with your friends, and send me your thoughts too!