Favorite Tweets from August

Earlier this month, I posted this photo with the caption:

They have had the pillow less than 12 hours, & it already has blood on it.

Within minutes, I had dozens of "likes" on Instagram, mostly from people I don't know. I had a revelation, and then posted this:

And please remind me to NEVER again tag my Instagram pictures with . Apparently every teeny-bopper likes that picture now.

Lesson. Learned.

Here were some of my favorite Tweets from the past month (from others, and some of my own). And you can always follow me on Twitter (@EspinosaJoey) and Instagram (@JoeyEspinosa)


@BackRowBaptistStill a Virgin by Madonna

@MikeGlenn:  What's the reward for good work? More work.

@FirstWorldPains:  "I am starving", in other words I live in a first world country and I'm slightly hungry.

@DailyKellerReligious people find God useful. Christians find God beautiful.

@CoachWithLove:  I don't know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future. -Tim Tebow  

@GraceChurchSCEven when you are feeling God's discipline, you can rest in the fact that God cares enough about you to find you.

@WBlantonSoccerSport will always frustrate you until u understand its true purpose & all the good that can be developed through it

@DaveFerguson:  Good leadership starts with self-leadership: "Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control." (Prv.25:28)

@PaulTripp:  No, you don't know what's coming, but God does and has already made ample supply.


Forgiven people forgive, as Michael Vick teaches us.  

I don't care if it's 83 degrees inside our house at 10PM. I made my calorie goal for the day, & I'm celebrating with hot cocoa.

Dear neighbor - I'm pretty sure you don't need your sprinklers on.

Parents & Teachers: Don't tell kids they're talented. Praise them for their hard work, persistence, & strategies.

Elijah said his braces wire was poking his cheek. I got out a pair of pliers, a hammer, & a lighter. He says it's not bothering him anymore 

One Small Thing: Expand My Taste Palate

At least 5 days a week, I eat the same thing for breakfast: plain oatmeal with raisins and peanuts, banana, orange juice, and coffee.

For the 10 years that I worked as a chemist, I packed myself the same lunch nearly every day: turkey (or ham) sandwich, baby carrots, apple (or pear), pretzels, cookies.

Even when we go out to eat, I tend to order the same foods. As you can tell, I love routines and don't mind eating the same foods over and over.

So this month, my goal was to expand my palate by trying new foods. I was not brave enough to try the variety of pork and beef items from the IGA. But I did make a point to try these foods. . . .

Foods I Tried

  1. Shrimp Egg Foo Yung.  I got this from the local Chinese restaurant. I give the restaurant "two thumbs up," but not this dish. It was too greasy for me. I did eat it all, but I only tried a taste of the gravy. Seems like a weird combination to have gravy with it; maybe it's a Southern thing.
  2. Chile Relleno and Chalupa.  I think I've had both of these before, but I wanted something different when we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant around, (i.e., the only Mexican restaurant within 30 minutes of Allendale). While the relleno may be slightly more healthy (it's a green pepper!), I don't like the texture of the pepper. Next time, give me a tortilla. The chalupa is authentic, not the completely different entree you get from Taco Bell. And that's definitely a good thing.
  3. BelVita Breakfast Biscuit. Before football practice one day, I needed a snack. I saw these on the cookie aisle. They looked healthy (especially with fiber to keep you feeling full), reasonably priced (less than four bucks for 5 packs of 4 crackers each), and I wanted something new. I was surprised how great they tasted (I had the golden oat flavor). I might have to get these again sometime. 
  4. V8 Vegetable Juice. This stuff is great for you if you are on a diet. Why? Because it will make you lose your appetite. I mean, I like tomato soup, I love salads, and I love raw vegetables. So how could something made from just vegetables taste so horrible? Pass me a salad, even without dressing, any time. Ugh.
  5. Lime Wheat Thins.  Deliciously awesome. Awesomely delicious. Best new food I ate all month.

Have you ever eaten any of these foods? What's your opinion?

September Small Thing: Wash Dishes Every Day

My wife and kids are going to love next month's goal (shhhh.... Don't tell them. I'm going to wait and see if they read this blog post). I am going to wash the dishes at least once every day (my kids usually do it in the morning, and my wife at night).

I'll probably just alternate whether I wash in the morning or at night. Or they may all get lucky and I wash all the dishes that day.

I love my family, and they do work hard. This month will just be a small way that I can serve them and show them how much I appreciate them. It's just 1 small thing.



I usually ignore advice the first time I hear it. I'm stubborn and proud like that. 

So, God knows how to get my attention. Like when two of my favorite bloggers posted on the same topic (expectations) on the same day (last Monday).

First, I read a story on Michael Hyatt's blog, about how often we get exactly what we expect. It was a good reminder to have a more positive attitude on things.

Then, I read Jon Acuff's blog about The Problem with Expectations. Not only am I proud, but I'm also a pessimist. (What a great combination, right?) So I use low expectations as a defense mechanism. Jon Acuff has great insight in why we need both high and low expectations, and how each serve a purpose.

I'm glad God gave me these truths and reminders. I hope it helps you, too.

Related Links:

The Mirror of Parenting

From Elisha Galotti --
 "For a parent, sometimes looking at our children can be like looking in a mirror. . . . In many ways children reflect both what is lovely and what is ugly in the original and, when we're watching with careful honesty, we're sure to see moments when the reflection shares uncanny resemblance to ourselves.
Sometimes the the resemblance brings a joy and humility that encourages, that reflects the grace upon grace poured into our home. . . . We hear child voices speaking with kindness to a brother or sister, we see in them a gentleness, a servant-heartedness, and we’re amazed.

What about when these living, talking reflections—our children—give us a glimpse of the jarring, ugly, remaining sin? . . . We watch a child get angry or impatient and, with sinking heart, we know it is a precise and irrefutable reflection of our own sin. We look at them and see ourselves, our sin reflected in them, and we see how our sin ripples out in waves around us.

There may be moments where the reflection is ugly, but the hope--always the hope--is this: even as my child reflects me, I day by day, more and more reflect my Father above. As a parent, I'll never be perfect, but in Christ there will be growth that reflects His goodness and beauty."

Be sure to read the full article.

Related Links:
**image courtesy of Chapendra via flickr

Conversations with My 2-Year-Old

Start of school have you worn out? Need a pick me up? Then you must watch these.

Episode 1:  The Princess   

Episode 2:  The Boss 

Episode 3:  The Cookie   

Watch more episodes on Convos with My 2 Year Old.

What Are Your Biggest Fears?

A few weeks ago, I was asked, "What are your biggest fears?" Here's what I came up with:
  1. Letting others down because I didn't do well enough.
  2. My kids not following and trusting in Jesus, especially if it's because of something I did to embitter them. (See #1)
While it felt good to write down these truths in my journal, I felt ashamed. I wanted to have more faith, but my heart was heavy with worry.

The next day, I was told to name one truth that counters each of these fears. Almost immediately, God gave me these truths:
  1. My value is not based on my performance, but on the fact that I am created in the image of God, and I am loved by Him.
  2. Jesus loves my kids more than I love them.

As soon as I journalled these truths, my heart was lightened. Whereas worldly fear paralyzes, God's truth frees and gives life.

It's not that fear is a bad thing in itself. Fearing God is a good and worship-filled response, and there is joy and blessing in fearing Him (Psalm 128).

And in Psalm 130:4, we learn that we first receive God's forgiveness, and then we learn to fear Him. Forgiveness before fear. Most religions have those two steps reversed.

You see, there is nothing wrong with fear, as long as it comes from the right place (a response to a loving God), and as long as it is directed to the right thing (honoring that same powerful God).

The next time I grow worrisome about my abilities (especially my parenting abilities), I need to remember how much God loves me, and how much He loves my children.

What about you? What is your biggest fear? What truth counters that fear?

Related Links:
**image courtesy of wilderdom via flickr

Is Anger a Sin?

My son asked me this question a few months ago:
"How did Jesus never sin, but the Bible says that He got angry, and you've taught us that anger is like murder?"

(As you can probably figure out, we had been dealing with him about some anger issues.)

I loved the question, and I told him so. I loved that he is putting tidbits of truths together (Jesus' anger in Matthew 21:12-13 and Mark 3:5, and a warning against anger in Matthew 5:21-26). I love that he is seeking deeper understanding.

Here is what I told him:
"Not all anger is sin. The issue is why you are angry. If you are angry for self-focused reasons, then, yes, that is sin. 

But Jesus wasn't angry because of selfishness. He was angry because God was being dishonored. True worship was being hindered.

When we get angry because we are not getting our way, that is sin, and God will hold us accountable for that."

That is pretty much how I explained it. Is there anything else you would add? Let us know in the comments.

Related Links:
**image courtesy of Lara0604 via flickr

Two Inspiring Videos from ESPN

These videos are long for our attention-deficit minds, but they are worth watching. Bookmark this page, and watch them some time over the next few days. You will be inspired, challenged, and (if you are like me) emotionally-wrecked.

E:60 -- Perfect 

A story of a dad's selfishness, and how the child (whom he didn't want) changed him.

"Carry On": Why I Stayed

How a producer developed a bond with two young men who endured challenges with grit and love. "They weren't bitter. The were just dealt a really lousy hand." (You can read a story about it here.)

Pass the tissues, please.

Favorite Tweets for July

We finished up a fun summer, full of camps. (Well, I have a week of football camp coming up.) Thankful for all the support we had, and all the people we got to work with!

When I wasn't running around with kids, I was coming across some good thoughts on Twitter. Here are some of my favorite tweets, from y'all and from me.

You can follow me at @EspinosaJoey.


@LeadersServeGreat leaders empower others to manage today & focus their attention on the future.

@BryceAshlinMayo:  When we serve food to the poor but don't eat with them, we miss the point. 

@LosWhitMay today's pulpits not be filled with talks on 5 steps to better marriages/lives/happiness/ect and instead be filled with the name of Jesus

@GoNasty15Falling down is a part of life. Getting back up is living.

@Greg_BoydIf you know "Jesus Christ & him crucified" (I Cor 2:2), you know all you REALLY need to know about God, yourself, other people & creation!

@PaulTripp Since the DNA of sin is selfishness (puts you in bondage to you), the work of grace is to rescue you from you.

@IamSecond is too short to not .

@TrippCrosby Who's with me in starting a National Take Someone You Disagree with To Lunch Day?

My Own's

Denzell Washington (yes, his real name) from listed as one of top WR's in SC high school football.

What about Easter? // RT : This is literally the best day of the year. Leave my country if you disagree.

Don't rejoice in good circumstances. Rejoice in the One who gave you that good circumstance.

I, too, used to think I was a perfect parent. Until I had my 2nd (& 3rd) child.

Thankful for the men from who are serving at the prison in today. Looking forward to future ministry with them! 

“The strength you gain by letting go is more important than any object you own.” Julien Smith (The Flinch)

Teenager: "Coach, your wife is beautiful." Me: "I know. Why do you think I asked her to marry me?" // 14 years ago, I asked, & she said yes.

This is why we need mentors! "RT : 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes"