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Exhaust and perfume…


While we were raising our teenage son, one wise parent, who had been through it, told me that once boys get a whiff of exhaust and perfume… things are never the same. Even though it kind of fit, I knew that there was more to it than that even though I can remember experiencing the same thing as a teenager. Both were very distracting at that age! But there’s more to the story so… back to the topic at hand…

I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. There were times when my son would be the kid I had always known and then the next it was like a totally different person occupied his body. Good natured, caring, intelligent and then surly, angry, sullen, rebellious… within a 24 hour period! What in the world? The challenge was how to react, how to communicate and how to cope. Getting angry didn’t work. Being more strict didn’t help. Doing nothing seemed to make it worse at times! So… more research…

What I found was that the hormone levels in a teenager can sometimes swing 300% or more in a very short time frame and that can be a huge factor in mood swings and behavior. So the question then became… knowing that this was somewhat a physical issue… what do you do as a parent? You don’t want to let the behavior just go but you also know that there is somewhat of an uncontrollable in the midst of it. So I pulled out the parenting manual that came with my son and checked out the appropriate section… you didn’t get one of those? Sorry to say… I didn’t either!

So, what I realized… what I would encourage you to do… is to pray, practice grace and mercy, forgive yourself when you don’t get it, don’t take it personally, and make sure you have some sort of support! And… in the midst of all of that, balancing the control and authority needed during the teenage years. It’s not easy… but don’t lose heart… keep the long term picture fully in front of you! The parenting job is not to be friends, make your teens happy or to make sure nothing ever is difficult. Parenting is all about giving children and your young adult teens skills that will help them be productive, contented, spiritually mature adults who can deal with all that life throws at them… and it can throw a whole lot!

What can you do to help your children for the long run?


February 2016 Newsletter


Today is Ash Wednesday, Welcome to Lent.

Valentine’s Day is a few days away. Have you gotten your sweetheart something yet? There’s still time. While you’re getting her a Valentine’s Day card, get a bunch of other cards for her too. Get some romantic ones, silly “thinking of you” ones, and some blank ones. Then you’ll have cards on hand to give her at random times.


God Loves Odd Couples – Stephen Altrogge

“Perfect marriages exist only in Nicholas Sparks novels. Every marriage has challenges, hurdles, and seeming impasses. But God loves odd couple marriages.”

I don’t know what a Nicholas Sparks novel is, but I get the idea. The fact is, “God is for you, Jesus is in you, and the Holy Spirit is interceding for you. Jesus can give you power to serve and sacrifice. The Holy Spirit can transform your marriage into a piece of divine art. You only need to ask.”

Looking for a way to strengthen your marriage? Take one of these courses.


Some Thoughts For Those Who Are Considering Divorce – Randy Alcorn

“Don’t just trust that God can change someone else’s heart. Trust that He can change and renew your heart.”

A challenging but encouraging article from Randy Alcorn.


Saying These Two Words More Often Will Improve Your Marriage –  David Pescovitz

“We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,”

You know those cards you bought because of my Valentine’s tip above? Use a few to give your spouse some random, but specific, Thank you’s!


Ministry to Men is More Than Pancakes – Kris Dolberry

 “Haven’t we had enough pancakes? Let’s take those two words found in men’s ministry—men and ministry—and meet each other, engage, learn, grow, challenge, inspire, and love one another. Walk out of isolation into interaction.”

Amen. You older men, just don’t fade into retirement. Use those experiences and lessons God gave you in life to mentor younger men. We need it.


The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood – Thabiti Anyabwile

“As men, we can fight the symptoms of a disquieted inner life—anger, lust, insecurity, anxiety, and the like. Such fights are necessary. Or we can wage war against the bunker out of which these enemies come: lack of self-control.”

Self-control or as I like to call it discipline, is key in living out God’s calling in our life. It’s tough, but thankfully He gives us the power to do so. And the grace when we do not.



Friendship – Tim Keller Podcast

“The book of Proverbs says that you will not be a wise person and you will not lead a wise life unless you are great at choosing, forging, and keeping terrific friendships.”

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. That’s verse this newsletter is built on. We need friends and not just “Did you see the game?” friends. We need friends that really know us. A friendship like that is irreplaceable.



Your Guide to the Best Day Ever – Matt Rise

Want to have Your Best Day Ever? Download my free guide to getting the day before the day gets you here.  The guide will help you be intentional about your mornings so that you can do those important things first. 3D Mockup I.jpg

Click here to download it for free.








That’s it for this month’s newsletter.


Stay Sharp,


January Whetstone Newsletter

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Welcome to a New Year! Every year I do goal setting in November or December for the coming year. At times I forget them or give up on them.  But what I’ve come to realize is that I don’t need a New Year to start. Every day is new and a chance to begin again. Even if you’ve given up your New Year’s resolution or goal, you can start again too.

“His mercies are new every morning.” Lam 3:23


Articles of the Month 

Preparing for a New Beginning with a New YearStephen W. Smith

“Every New Year begins the opportunity for us to begin again. What didn’t work this past year now has the chance for transformation”

Steve’s articles are fast becoming a monthly feature here on the Whetstone. In this one, Steve gives us 5 challenges to implement this New Year. The one I want to implement: Live a life of rhythm. Which one strikes you the most? Why? Let me know via email by replying to this email or commenting below the newsletter on the website.


Addicted to DistractionTony Schwartz

“Addiction is the relentless pull to a substance or an activity that becomes so compulsive it ultimately interferes with everyday life. By that definition, nearly everyone I know is addicted in some measure to the Internet. It has arguably replaced work itself as our most socially sanctioned addiction.”

When we give our attention to one thing, we’re denying something else of our attention. For me, it’s always the people around me. And, I’m telling them that something else is more important than they are. I wouldn’t ever tell my kids that a cat video is more important than they are, but I do it when I give my attention to that instead of them. Who or what are you giving importance to by your attention?


At the Intersection of Vulnerability and MasculinityJacob Mcmillen

Fellas, we need each other. We aren’t designed to fight through life alone. God has given us each other so we don’t have to endure our struggles alone.


Hack the Facebook Algorithm for Spiritual Growth Marc Alan Schelske

“The Facebook algorithm that determines what posts you can see is already impacting you this way. Those silly memes, political rants, passive aggressive vaguebook posts, and all the pictures of everyone else’s’ best moments are shaping how you feel about yourself and the world. Anything that impacts your mood will also impact your relationships.”

I recently deleted my Facebook account for about 6 months because it was impacting how I viewed others. I needed a clean break for awhile. Now that I’m back on, Marc’s article gave me some useful tips on being more intentional on my Facebook use.


One Question That Can Change the Way You Do LifeMatt Rise

“The question that distills my complicated reasoning to the essence of the struggle is:

Which do you choose: Discipline or regret?”

ICYMI: My first ever actual blog post for the Whetstone. The more I think about it, most of the choices in life come down to choosing between discipline or regret. And most come down to either a long term or short term “reward”. Stick to the diet or regret. Save money or regret. Keep your integrity or regret.

“On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1Tim 4:7


Podcast of the Month

Parenting Without FearRansomed Heart

First, before you listen to this, I do have questions on some of the the theology presented. So listen with a critical ear. And if you have some insight, please comment below or reply to the email.

Fear based parenting decisions. We all do it or have done it. The antidote: parenting with the long term relationship in mind. The Ransomed Heart guys talk about their experiences in parenting out of fear and with preserving a relationship in mind. It’s an aspect of parenting that I’ve had a hard time with: wanting immediate results/compliance and seeing the long term with my kids. What’s been your experience?



App of the Month


Evernote has to be one of my favorite apps/service of all time. I don’t usually pay for apps or web services, but this is one that I do (They have a free service too). I went paperless several years ago and Evernote has become my file cabinet and project manager. I’ve planned vacations with it. I plan the Whetstone with it too. It’s available on every platform and device you can think of.

Get a free month of Evernote Premium here (I get one too if you do).


Stay Sharp!


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