Monday, November 22, 2010


We are at that time of year when as parents we will start saying things like, "Santa is watching."  We even teach our children songs that go something like:
He sees you when your sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake.
Yep, that my friends is GOOD parenting. 

In the past, I have worried about who might be watching.  I was not always the best example, and probably, if my life were played out on a screen and I had to account for every moment of the day, I would have many times where I would not be proud of the scene playing out before my eyes even today.

This morning, however, it became obvious I was being watched.  My seven-year old has been watching.  He knows how to use my i-pad, my i-phone, and the remote.  Let's for the sake of arguement call those neutral.  But this morning, I was proud that he was watching.

I was helping him get dressed this morning.  We were sitting at the table that sits in the corner of Tammy's and my bedroon.  My son pointed to a leather-bond book on the table and said, "Bible?" 
"No.  That is not a Bible, but there is a Bible on the table.  Do you want to read a story from the Bible?" I responded.
"No, thank you," he said.  Then after a moment, he said, "Bible.  Pray."
I looked up from his shoes, "Yes.  Mom and I read a devotion and pray most mornings."  (Tammy and I made it a practice in our lives to have about 10 mins of devotion, discussion, and prayer every morning after I moved back into the house in September of '09.)
He said, "Travis pray?"  And he pointed to the TV, and said, "Off."  (He knows we mute the news when we do our devotion.)

So, I muted the TV.  He sat where Tammy normally sits and we prayed.  When Trav and I pray, they are simple, amazingly honest prayers.  We thank God for special people in his life.  When we finished, he kissed me.  (Tammy and I kiss when we finish our devotion)

Yep, he has been watching me.  He knows when I am sleeping, running, being good, wasting time, or even praying.  I am just glad that he sees something good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice Day

So on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the guns on the of the War to End All Wars fell silent. That was in 1918. Since then the world has not known a year without the reality of war. The War to End All War fell at the beginning of the bloodiest century in human history.

So where does that leave us now? We have come 92 years since "the guns fell silent." We have passed two millennium since the coming of the Prince of Peace and still a day does not pass that we do not hear or war or the rumors of war. Surely, there must be a better way.

What if on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year the guns finally fell silent forever? What if in 365 days we did not raise up arms in violence? What if in one year it could be that no one took the blood of another in hatred, anger, or violence? Is this even possible?

Honestly, I do not know if it is possible. I do know it would not be easy, but here is an option. What if every person of faith, or even those who read these words, began to pray daily that peace would breakout? What if we all began to act in small ways that 11:00 on 11/11/11 violence would end? What if we began as individuals and groups to live and believe that all bloodshed could end?

Here is my proposal, my request, and my promise: pray daily for the next 365 days that the guns will fall silent forever; to try and speak only peace and not hate or anger or revenge; to ask God to show us how to love our neighbors, pray for those who persecute us, and to turn the other cheek.

If you would join me, let me know. If you believe in peace, pass this along. If you believe that with God's help this can happen, pray.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


On Monday morning I was driving home and noticed two police cars parked parallel to each other with the drivers' windows only a few feet apart at the end of the street.  I didn't think much about it.  How many times have we seen two police cars parked like this with the officers catching a quick chat? 

An hour later, I was leaving the house and they were still there.  This time I noticed they were not Fort Worth police; they were Tarrant County constables.  At the same time a group of men were going in and out of the house and bunch of stuff was now on the lawn of the house.  I realized the family was being evicted. 

I have found myself thinking about that family, who I do not even know, a lot these few days.  Part of me sympathizes with them for now they have to find a new place to live.  Part of me understands the reality that housing costs money.  Mostly, I hope for them they are safe.  The house now sits empty waiting for someone new to move into make a home.

Over the last several months, I have had to commit a few evictions of my own.  I have kicked some things out of my life that just could not stay.  Self-reflection, prayer, support from my wife, have all played a role in being able to keep these tenants out of my life.  Evicting habits and pain is not easy.  I wish I could have called for an eviction notice and had two constables oversee the work.  It would have taken less time and probably been much easier.  I have learned, however, that bad habits and pain do not pay attention to eviction notices; they keep coming back if I do not keep a watchful eye on my house.

Honestly, I had an option; I could have let those old tenants stay in my life.  Those habits, frailties, and bruises, that brought so much pain to my life and the life of people I loved, could have stayed, but those things are not the things of life.  They stole from me and the people around me much like the family down the street was basically stealing to be point of being physically evicted from a house.

The house down the street sits empty.  My life, my spirit, is not empty.  It is being filled daily with the love of my wife and my boys.  I am being filled by helping on several community boards.  I am being filled by letting the light and grace of God into the darkest recesses of my soul. 

Yeah, I had to evict some things from my life. I had take the time to remove the log from my own eye.  I had to stop and let the peace of Christ take up residence in my life.

Evictions are not easy.  They are difficult.  The fact still remains that poor tenants have to go from our lives so that healthier, better tenants have the opportunity to move in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My wife's Tahoe is broken.  I am not a mechanic so I really have no idea what is broken.  I just know that we had to take it to a mechanic to get it fixed. 

While many of us feel inadequate to the task of fixing cars, trucks, and the like, fixing a broken vehicle is often a relatively simple thing to do.  You take it to a mechanic, they look for what is broken, they put in a new piece to replace the broken one, and after paying them what feels like an arm and a leg (and you have no idea if what they did or what it costs was reasonable) you drive away no longer broken.

Broken people and broken relationships are much harder to fix.  Sometimes, when I listen carefully, it seems as if everyone is broken in one way or another.  Other times, when I am pushed down within myself, it seems as if I am the only broken person to ever walk the face of the earth. 

The broken parts of me caused me to act in ways that broken my most valued and intimate relationship.  A year ago, Tammy and I began working to fix the brokenness of our marriage.  We have had to rely on the grace of God often to bind us up just so we could make it another day.  There is no quick fix, pay the man, and drive down the road answers to this level of bring broken.  And sometimes, even now, Tammy and I can feel the scares and pain of the deep broken place where we were.

I cannot fix my wife's car.  I need a mechanic to do that.  I cannot totally fix myself.  I need the grace of God to heal my brokenness.  Tammy and I cannot fix the broken parts of our marriage alone, we too need the mercy of God's Spirit to bind and heal us.  So today, I just ask for a little more grace and mercy to fix what is broken.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Heart

Seven years ago today, the younger of my two sons went into surgery at two and a half months old.  The doctors at Cook's Children's Hospital fixed a congenital heart defect and literally gave life to my son.  In many ways, today is as much his birthday as is his actually birthday in June.  Thank you, God, for Dr. Tham, Dr. Lai, and all the wonderful medical staff and support staff that used your gifts to give life to my son.

One year ago, this weekend, I moved back into my home after about six weeks of living in an apartment a couple of miles away.  At that point in my life, my heart was broken.  I had just gone on an official leave of absence from pastoring in the United Methodist Church.  I was trying to fix a marriage that I had literally destroyed. 

Over these last twelve months, God has blessed me in many ways.  First, I have had much time to give to my boys as I my primary responsibility has been as a stay-at-home dad.  Second, my marriage is stronger and more honest than it has ever been.  Third, I have had to do some serious self-reflection. 

In this self-reflection and self-questioning, much time has been spent working on putting down the demons of my past.  These battles are not easy, and I have had to rely on God to help me do what I have found impossible to do by myself in the past.  Much time has been spent trying to simply do better today than I did yesterday at the little things that are so important in life. 

I still am not 100% certain where God is leading me in the coming months.  I do know I feel I have less to prove in life than I ever did before.  A year later, I know myself to be stronger mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally than I may have ever been in my life.  I also know my greatest weakness is loneliness.  Many people see me and think of me as an easy-going extrovert, but inside I am introverted and almost chronically alone.

I thank God for the new heart that is growing within me and for the salvaged heart that beats within the chest of a young boy.  And I pray honestly, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Football and Holiness

While driving home from delivering my son to football practice, I heard about a football team in Michigan that is holding the annual two-a-day football practices between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am.  In the Texas heat, I see this as just plan smart.  They are doing this because, according to an article at, 95% of the team is fasting for Ramadan.  See the article here.  I am not complaining.  I am congratulating the team and the individuals on the team.  They are all making sacrifices so they can fast and prayer during these High Holy Days of Ramadan. 

Do we as Christians, take our holidays (this comes from the words HOLY and DAYS) as seriously?  How many of us will attend and or watch the Cowboys play on Christmas Day, or watch a double header of NBA basketball?  Major League Baseball tends to love playing on Easter.  Even Southern Methodist University has followed the mighty TV money and will be opening their season on Sunday, September 4th in Lubbock on ESPN.

Now, we can argue this several ways.  First, they are all following willing money. The teams are simply doing what they have to do to make a buck.  Second, we can blame TV.  They have times slots to fill and will offer good money for teams to play and get TV time.  Third, we can blame the owners of professional teams.  I like to blame Jerry Jones for almost everything anyway, so this is all the same to me.  Finally, we could and should blame us.  We are the ones who demand, watch, and ultimately pay for games to be played on Christmas, Easter, and Sunday afternoon. 

What if, we turned off our TVs, radios, and did not attend games on Sundays?  What if we avoided sports on Christmas and Easter?  Would the sports marketing crumble?  Probably not.  They might find other times to play the games.  But, let's be honest.  We are almost Christian and lazy at that.  If we were not watching our beloved Cowboys on Christmas Day, we would be at the movie theater laughing it up over popcorn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Last night my wife, Tammy, and I had an interesting conversation.  The topic basically was, "Where do you see the Kingdom of God?"  It stemmed from her picking-up our son from Vacation Bible School where two boys prayed during the closing time.  When they finished, the room burst into applause and they literally were high-fiving people as they returned to their seats. 

It reminded me the many times I have been a part of a communion service full of kids during vacation Bible school.  It is loud and restless.  The kids pushed to see what was going on and then some were bashful when they final came to the point of receiving a pinch of bread and a drop of juice that represent to us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Following one of these services a retired clergy, Mike Young, came to me and said, "Communion needs to be like this more often on Sunday morning.  Noisy and energetic." 

Yes, I often brush-up against the divine and holy in private, quiet meditation, but somehow I do not see the Kingdom of God being very quiet.  Rather, I see it being noisy, energetic, a bit sweaty, and possibly dirty.  I say this because every time I go on a mission trip, I see the Kingdom of God.  When I see 100+ kids pushing to see what is going on and learning the stories of our faith, I see the Kingdom of God.  When I hear the stories Tammy tells from the Board meetings of the Women's Center, I hear a retelling of people who are working for the Kingdom.  Tammy says that she sees the Kingdom of God at the Downtown Y in Fort Worth where old white guys play basketball with young black guys. 

So, where do you see the Kingdom of God?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Next Week

Normally, I try not to look too much to the future, for tomorrow is yet to be and often does not live up the hype (good or bad).  This week, though I have been spending a little time everyday preparing for next week.  Sunday morning I am leaving for one of the best weeks of my year.  Sunday, I leave on a mission trip with the CTCYM (Central Texas Conference Youth in Misson). 

This year is different for several reasons.  First, I am not going with my home church.  Second, it is the first mission trip in many years where I was not the pastor.  These two things are a bit disappointing, but they are small mole-hills of disappointment compared to the expected joys of the trip. 

This year will be exciting and new as well.  This is the first time I am going as a dad to one of the junior high youth on the trip.  Yep, Austin is going on his first mission trip.  What a joy to be a father and watch a young man grow up right before your eyes!  Every day he becomes more and more of a young man.  He needs to shave for the second time and we just shave a few weeks ago.  His voice is no longer the voice of a child.  His wisdom and intellegence are growing daily as well.  And he wants to go with me on a trip!

For me this is the best week of the year because in this week I almost always feel close to Christ and his teachings.  Sure some of that is due to the nightly worship, morning devotions, guided discussions during lunch.  Even more it is based in serving my brothers and sisters, semi-monastic living, and being reminded of our interconnectedness as people.

As Christians, we all are called to mirror Christ in our lives.  Some days we are better mirrors than others, but when we stop and act as a servant to someone else, when we tend to one who is in need, when we love our neighbor as ourself, we are acting mostly perfectly as Christ.

Yes, mission trip week is a holy week for me.   My wife, Tammy, almost makes me go because of how much good it does for my attitude and my spirit.  I expect to be blessed because I expect to see a bunch of 12 to 14 year old youth and a group of adults working hard to share the kingdom of God and the gospel of Christ in a real and tangible way in a small town in west Texas.

Friday, July 9, 2010


This summer I have been the stay-at-home father of two boys.  It is amazing how much time they take.  You get them up and feed them breakfast and suddenly it is 9:00.  I run an errand, come home, check email and the bank account, and one of them will start asking about "lunch." 

Lunch?  Really?!?  Well sure enough it is 12:30.

I make lunch, clean-up lunch, and look up and it is now 2:00.  2:00?  But we just finished lunch.  Where did the morning go?  How did it get this late already?! 

Make a phone call for a technical problem with one thing or another, follow-up on an item from yesterday and suddenly, it is 3:00 and I was hoping to write a blog from Wednesday that got pushed by an appointment for one of the boys and where did the week go? 

Was I this busy before?  My "to-do" list is still about 13 items long, and it doesn't look like it will be cleared before more is added.  Yes, sometimes I add things I have accomplished just so I can show Tammy what all I did do while she was at work.  If you are not reading this in a frantic mode, go back and start again. 

I have grown amazingly sympathetic with the many stay-at-home parents that I used to hear saying, "I am tired," or "I am so busy today."  Kids don't wait.  We can't just push them off until tomorrow.

Where do you find time?  Time for the important things?  Not the urgent stuff like bills and dinner.  I mean the deeply important stuff like spouse, family, your kids, strengthening friendships, and the deepening of faith.  Where did you spend your time?  If you looked back at how you spent the last week, would God, family, and friends even make the list? 

Now, back to the "to-do" list before the wife gets home.  We have a few errands to run this evening so we ready to for the next project which starts tomorrow.  AHHHHHHH!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For much of my adult life, I have gladly listed the things I have survived.  It was a pretty heavy and substantial list, honestly.  I was kind of proud of the stuff I survived.  Here is a peek at the list for those of you playing along at home.
  • I developed a slight paralysis in my left arm my senior year of high school
  • dad comes of the closet during my second year of marriage and seminary
  • mom and dad divorce (see above)
  • my youngest son has Down syndrome and a major heart defect
  • my son had heart surgery at 2 months old (heart defect corrected)
  • I have preached a friend's funeral who committed suicide
  • been there as friends and family have committed themselves into mental health hospitals for depression and suicidal thoughts
Yep, this is a glimpse.  For years I wore these and other things in life as badges of honor.  I had survived.  I realized over the last few weeks, I do not want to survive so much any more.  Eventually the mountain of survived events will crush me if I continue to try and carry them around with me all the time.  There will be something that comes along that I cannot survive.  That is the nature of life itself; in time none of us survive it.

I want to surrender.  I want to surrender to God's will in my life, not just accepting a call to ministry, but as a husband, a father, a brother, a son.  I want to surrender not just to say I survived, but that I learned and grew through the events of my life.  I want to surrender in the little ways, the right ways, the things that no one else will notice, but I will know.

I guess the best way to put it is, "Christ bore the weight of the cross so I do not have to bear the weight of the world, even my world."  When I surrender fully to Christ, I do find the saying to be true, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)  Surrendering is much easier and life-giving than merely surviving.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


In the late hours of yesterday morning, I was working out in my garage.  A black car pulled up and two people, a man and a woman, exited the car and went up to the door of my neighbor.  I knew no one was home.  Within minutes they were walking up my driveway.  I felt a tension, even an anger, in my chest.  I could see their big leather bound Bibles.  I, in my indignation, assumed I could perceive their self-righteous condemnation.  I was right about them coming to tell me about Jesus, and again I was right when I guessed they were Jehovah's Witnesses.

I have developed my distrust of the Jehovah's Witnesses over time and personal experience.  I have had them come selling curb painting only to then come back dressed in their Sunday best to win me over to their way.  On more than one encounter, I have said, "I am a United Methodist Pastor.  I am not interested in converting," only to have them then want to tell me how Methodists are wrong, or how they are right.

Now, I have to be honest, I have gone door-to-door trying to tell being about a church.  So, why is it that I am so insensitive to them trying to do the same thing?  Mostly, I think it is about the willingness to listen.  And having knocked on about 1,500 doors personally, I can tell you it is basically ineffective as a tool of evangelism.  Jesus did not come and knock impersonally on doors.  Jesus came to be in relationship with people.  Jesus came to change lives.  Jesus came that we might know God and know God personally and intimately. 

I hope the next time I get a visit, I am a little less tense and much less angry.  I hope the next time, I can see that Jesus has just come to my door.  I hope I will greet him much more kindly, for if I were to be judged on one visit yesterday morning, "I saw him thirsty and did not offer him a drink.  I saw him a stranger and I was rude to him." 

Did I mention that I was carving props for Vacation Bible School? 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So recently, I have not posted my weekly blog.  Recently, I have helped my mom pack to move from Sinton to San Antonio.  Recently, Austin (my twelve-year old) and I rebuilt a wooden ice chest.  Recently, I have been spending about 45 minutes each evening sitting by a pool watching my now seven-year old take swimming lessons.  Recently, life has been very good.  Busy, yes, but good.

Recently, I have been finding that prayer has not come in bunches, but has come in stolen moments through the day.  Monday evening, for example, I was sitting on the TCU campus waiting for my son to finish a day at soccer camp.  Most of the time I would get out my iphone and begin playing Bejeweled or HR Battle.  This evening, I sat on a bench in the cool of the evening and began reading Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ

What have you done recently that is good for your soul or for the soul and well-being of someone else?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


How often do we believe we are insufficient?  Unworthy?  Not good enough?

Several weeks ago, while running, a woman was admitting her unbelief.  During the conversation, this woman confessed her lack of faith at times as she struggled to raise children of faith.  She was truly grieved by her unbelief.  As we ran along I thought about her situation and listened as others said things like, "Put away that doubt," as if it were a thing that could be tucked in a drawer and forgotten.  Eventually, I said to her, "Jesus told a man his child would be made well if he only believed.  The man responded, 'I believe; help my unbelief.'  And immediately the child was made well."  (See Mark 9:14-29)  I went on to say that Jesus knows that none of us are 100% faithful 100% of the time. 

The man's faith was sufficient as incomplete as it was.  Jesus did not then say, "You are not adequate," nor "What I have to give is insufficient to meet your need."  The man's belief was sufficient because the power of Jesus was sufficient well beyond his unbelief.

One of the things with which I struggle is that God's grace is sufficient for me.  It was enough for the man who came to Jesus with a child in need.  It was enough for the woman running along the trail.  It was enough for the Apostle Paul who desired to have the thorn removed from his flesh and pleaded to the Lord three times before Jesus said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Sufficient.  Enough.  An adequate answer.  Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient."

Yes, it is sufficient.  It is good enough.  It is adequate to the task.  God's grace is sufficient for me.  It is enough to set me free.  It is adequate to the task of forgiveness and hope.  I don't need more.  There is already enough.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I would want nothing more than to be able to give the perfect explanation to any wrong, sin, mistake I have ever committed.  To give the perfect explanation would absolve me of everything.  All would suddenly be right with the world.  Last week, I wrote about my hiding in the cave (I also wrote about this same subject back in January).  If I could just come up with the perfect explanation I could come out of the cave, dust myself off, and we could all get back to business.

Here's the problem with that scenario: explanations are often nothing more than excuses we hope will justify our actions.  You know this deal.  You have used it yourself, "But mom, every one was doing it."  Like mom is suddenly going to say, "Well, that makes everything better."  What we were hoping is mom would accept our explanation as an excuse and we would be able to avoid getting in trouble for what we did.

So as I want to make explanation, point to someone else, or come up with an excuse, I realize only I made my choices of the past, and only I can make my choices for this moment and the future.  Yes, we learn from our experience, and I am learning more every day.

Thankfully, I do not have to come up with the perfect explanation.  I simply have to admit I was wrong and repent, that is turn back to God.  I know that God will make everything right in the long run.  It is true not just for me but for everyone.  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."  (Romans 3:23-24)  I do not doubt that God forgives me.  I do not doubt that my boys and my wife forgive me.  What holds me in the cave most often is the doubt that others will not forgive, and I know an explanation will not be good enough.

So, here I am, a sinner forgiven, giving no explanation, and, for today, sitting just outside the cave.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I am on a family leave of absence from serving as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. I asked for this leave to address issues in myself that were hurting my self, my family, and my ministry. I am in my ninth month of leave at this point. I foresee being on leave for at least another twelve months.

I am glad to say that I am doing much better, and my wife and two boys are doing better too for the efforts Tammy and I both are putting into our marriage and family. Still, I cannot help but feel as if I am in hiding. Some people ask me about my "sabbatical." Well, it is not a sabbatical. This is more of a cave into which I have crawled and in many ways, I do not want to come out of the cave. But, I am beginning to wonder - how long can you stay in a cave before you have become the cave? How long can you just stay in hiding?

Honestly, I do not feel worthy at this point to come out of the cave. As one who once had a voice, I feel like I have given up my right to speak. As one who once was a leader, I want to now just hide in the cave hoping no one asks, "What are you doing in there?"

Lazarus was four days dead when Jesus arrived at the front of the cave where his body was laid. Jesus asked that the stone be moved and he called to Lazarus in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" When Lazarus, still wrapped in burial clothes, emerged from the tomb Jesus said to the others, "Unbind him and let him go." (John 11:38-44)

My mistakes drove me into hiding, and, yes, I have died several deaths in this process. Now my fear and shame seem to hold me here. I do not want to stay in hiding forever, but I am not sure how to walk back into the openness of day. In some ways I am waiting for a voice to call to me, "Andrew, come out." I am waiting for someone to say, "Unbind him and let him go."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Have you ever been overwhelmed by the thoughts running through your head? Sometimes, it is the pile of work waiting for you on your desk that haunts you as you try to relax at home. Other times it is an insecurity built in the past and reaffirmed in the present that overwhelms. Sometimes, it is an obsession or an addiction that fills our head and locks-up the ability to move forward.

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) The ancients were not as clear about the separation of heart, mind, emotions and the like as we are. One could easily see this as saying, "What is important to you, on that your mind will dwell."

How do we change the thoughts running through our heads, lay down those insecurities, and better control the obsessions and addictions of our lives? This is not as easy, but obviously important if we want to have a better pattern tomorrow than we did today.

I want to point to a couple of possibilities that I find useful, although, honestly, I do not turn to them as often as I should. First is prayer. Pray for a new heart, a new mind, and a new thought. To quote the camp song, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus . . . and the things of earth will grow strangely dim." When we are speaking oft with the Lord, we tend to not be thinking about our shortcomings and our obsessions.

Second, trying focusing yourself on this moment. What are you seeing, hearing, feeling, and doing at this very moment? For example, I see the computer screen, I hear my son playing in the next room, I feel the warmth of the computer on my wrist, and I am writing a blog. This pulls me out of my head and into the present of this moment.

As anyone who reads these words regularly can tell, I am working on changing my thoughts and focusing on a better treasure.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Last week, I was out of town. Therefore no blog post. Thanks to the people who noticed (and mentioned) it was not here.

A few days ago, I posted on my Facebook status, "I want to get smaller." Almost immediately the questions came, "Smaller how?" " Do you want to lose weight?" "Do you want to be a Hobbit?" Yes, I like many people want to lose weight. No, I do not want to be a Hobbit. "Smaller how?" is the better question.

I am not 100% certain how I want to get smaller. I know I want to leave less of a carbon footprint. It is why I carry reusable bags to the grocery store, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, try not to jackrabbit start from the stoplight when I am driving, and I pull the weeds from my lawn by hand (no poison, please)! So, I want to have a smaller negative impact on the world in which I live and the world I will leave for future generations.

I think even more than being smaller in the carbon footprint legacy (which as a fairly typical Texan is way larger than I want to admit), I want to be smaller in terms of what people perceive when they come in contact with me. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time working with the Missionaries of Charity (think Mother Teresa). I was with several guys, big guys actually. After only a few minutes in the presence of these women one of us said, "I want to get smaller." These women are led so deeply by the Holy Spirit and come so much as the presence of Christ, that the women themselves almost disappeared. We, in our big, bold, brash Texas ways were out of place and out of sorts with this self-giving of the sisters to God, to their Order, and to the neighbor. (To read more about this adventure, you can read the book The Mystic Way of Evangelism by Elaine Heath.)

I want to get smaller. In that vein, I am working on being more diligent in prayer, listening more than speaking, waiting more than rushing, and putting God and family before anything else. To be smaller means to seek the mind of Christ, the will of God, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am not sure I am really getting smaller, but I pray that it may be so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

World View

Sunday morning Pastor Ginger delivered a sermon that pushed an idea to the front of my brain. Nothing new really, just brought it from the recesses of the mind to the forefront of consciousness. I am not quoting her; her sermon is the jumping off point.

There are several ways to view the world. The pessimist sees the glass (see picture to the right) as half empty. The optimist sees the glass as half full. Often this is seen as the two options of viewing the world. Either you are an optimist or a pessimist. That is fine and good but I want to throw out two more options as world views and both have less to do the with glass and much more to do with faith.
The 23rd Psalm says, "my cup overflows." The person who walks in communion with God sees their cup as overflowing. The same cup on the right is not just half full or half empty. That cup is now overflowing, water dripping down the sides, with blessing and peace. I do not believe this overflowing cup is limited to Jews and Christians. Anyone who is in communion with the Divine and Holy can know their cup to be overflowing.
The fourth world view comes from my Papaw. Six years after he breathed his last, he still blesses me. He would say, "My cup gushes over." These are the words of hope spoken by a man of resurrection faith. Hope! Hope in a Christ who defeats death! Hope in a Spirit that lives and breathes in the lives of the faithful! This blessing is not dependent on how much water is in the glass. This blessing is not based on how good life is at this moment. This world view is based solely on the ability to see that resurrection changes everything.
Mine is the fourth view. Anyone can find the glass to be half empty or full. My cup gushes over.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Only You

I am sure you all remember Smokey the Bear telling us, "Only you can prevent forest fires." Never mind that I grew up in west Texas where it was rare to see two trees growing close together and the density of the trees in a true forest kind of freaks me out. That is a lot of pressure on a kid.

I have been rambling on and off about change and my future for the last several months. At some point in the last week I realized, "Only I can make a change in my life." I know this is not some radical thought or insight. No one is forcing me to change or not to change. No one can make me do something that I do not chose. At some point, I get to make a choice. It little and big ways, only I can make this change.

Think of it as Yoda looking at Luke in the Empire Strikes Back when Yoda says, "There is do or do not. There is no try." Either we give ourselves to Christ, and to holiness and wholeness and walk today a little more closely with our Lord and Savior, or we do not. Either it happens or it does not happen. This is a choice we must make every day and often a dozen times each day. It is not a decision we make one time when we are 13 and we are then good for always.

Today, I chose to walk in the way that leads to life eternal. Today, I want to do something good. Today, I give myself to the changes Christ is working in me. Today, I give myself fully to his grace. Today, I want to experience resurrection and life abundant. Only I can accept these changes. Only I can respond and grow in this calling on my life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday evening I read these words on a friend's Facebook status: "Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

We are all subject to temptation. It comes at us every day. It comes to us as a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke. It comes as the big office in the corner. It comes as the office flirt who stops by too many times to say, "hi." It comes as the house that the realtor says, "Yeah, you can afford it." It comes as a cheat sheet on a final exam. It comes as another hour of TV. Temptations are never the same for every person because as James says, "One is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when fully grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)

I know this reality all too well. I gave into my temptations. I let them grow within me and gave into that which did not produce life, but rather death. I did not endure temptation. It almost destroyed me, it almost destroyed my marriage, it almost destroyed much of what I really love. My temptation had grown into sin and sin was giving birth to death. I even could justify my actions to myself biblically using St. Paul's words, "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15) I did exactly what many people do and pull the one verse as my justification and did not take the full lesson. He continues, "Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me." (Romans 7:20) Again, I find that I was being consumed by my temptations, my desire, my own sin.

For those of you playing along at home, we Christians are in the middle of Holy Week. This is the time where we remember and celebrate Jesus' last days before his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. I am here because I participate in Christ's death as a sinner. I was not strong enough to resist temptation and sin on my own. He died because I was not enough on my own. Under my own strength, I simple find death. Paul found himself in the same position and said, "Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25) It is Christ who rescues me from this body of death. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the many saints in our daily lives, who help fulfill the prayer, "deliver us not into temptation."

Every day, as I find myself again giving myself to the will of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit, I find myself being recreated and resurrected in and with Jesus. Yes, temptations still abound. Yes, I am still weak. Yes, I cannot make it on my own. Yes, this change still scares me (see last week's blog). But not changing, not growing, not finding life abundant, that would only mean death.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Change

The human motto is "We fear change!" Even the most go-with-the-flow people want and need a certain amount of consistency and security in their lives. Watch a group of people who meet together regularly. They will sit in more or less the same seats. Change the chairs, or sit in a totally different part of the room and the whole group functions differently. Someone may even say, "You are sitting in MY seat." We really do fear change.

Change is relative however. The more distant the change, the less dramatic it seems. It can also depend on how much it plays with our sense of security and reality. If the change somehow makes us feel vulnerable, it will, no matter how small the change really is, feel like a big shift in our existence.

Make the change personal, and it is even harder. My family watches The Biggest Loser almost religiously. The contestants often breakdown emotionally as much as physically. It is because as they deal with their weight, they are making a huge change. Physically, they are loosing weight and getting fit. As they put away old coping mechanism (in this case food) and habits, the emotional and psycological issues begin to move to the fore. Add to all of this some exhaustion and emotionally these people can almost spin out of control.

Over the last the last 7 months, I have been working on changing who I am so that I can be the person I am called to be. This has meant stepping out of ministry so I can be better husband to Tammy and a better father to my boys. But over the last month or so, I have decided to deal more directly with the issues that haunt me. This change, this admitting to myself that I need to change, is difficult. It is not easy nor is it fun. In fact, it makes me feel less the person. It hurts. It sucks. It scares me.

I know that I cannot change myself. I must take a step and rely on the grace of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit to hold me as together we take the next step. I am blessed that Tammy continues to hold my hand and walk with me on this journey. I do not know exactly where it will end, nor what God has in store for my future. I do know, yes I believe, that as hard and scary as this change might be, this will be a change for the better. So, today, even as I look into a future I cannot see, as long as God is sovereign and merciful, I can say with confidence, "I will NOT fear this change!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Today, I read an article that really bothers me. See if you want to read the article.

Not so surprisingly, a group of people (the Sons of Confederate Veterans) have once again become fired up over someone calling the Confederate Flag a symbol of racism. They are planning on demonstrating in Granbury, Texas. Do we really think that flying the Confederate flag is all about heritage? Somehow, I think race may have much more to do with this fight than many want to admit publicly. But assuming it is all about heritage, is it a heritage we want to honor? I mean we are not even arguing over the National Flag of the Confederate States of America. We are arguing over a battle flag that has gained popularity on and off over the years, often in circles that flew the flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

Would we be OK with people deciding to fly a red flag bearing a white circle with a black swastika? Of course not. The pain of such an symbol is too great. So it is with this flag. All it does is perpetuate the pain, the hate, the ugliness of an era that we hoped had past in days gone by. Too many people have used the Confederate Flag as a symbol of terrorism for it to be seen without conjuring up feelings of shame, hate, and pain.

And I am not some Yankee come around lately. I am Texas born of a family that fought for the Confederate States. I had family members who fought under the Nazi party in Germany as well. We have to remember the past, in the good and the bad, if we truly hope to move to something better in the future. More importantly, we need to move to a future where we learn to work with our neighbors, to be proud but not arrogant, to be a people who incite peace not violence or anger.

Christ never said, "Blessed are those who hold on to their heritage blindly." Christ said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." This is not a question of heritage, this is a question of righteousness.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This weekend I saw a few guys in very vulnerable places. One was a guy on the side of the road at 6:45 in the morning. I would come to learn he was drunk. One guy, who I know, was lost in his thoughts at the coffee shop at about 9:30 the same morning. Both of these guys were obviously in vulnerable places and lost in one way or another.

As I reflected on these two men, I realized we are all more vulnerable than we want to admit. What I realized as I thought about that morning was that God uses vulnerable people to be real to other vulnerable people. Currently, I am still working through some of the vulnerable places in my own life. I still am working to make a marriage better and stronger. I am still trying to discern where God is leading me in terms of ministry and the future.

Why do we fear vulnerability? We have learned not to stop for the guy on the side of the road, because he MIGHT be a bad person. We cannot afford to be that vulnerable. We have learned not to get involved with the person who has that blank stare on their face, for helping them might take too long. Again we do not want to be that vulnerable. More so, I think we are all a bit afraid and know we are closer to that level of vulnerability than we want to admit. We are one bad night from being drunk on the side of the road. We are one bad day from being lost at the coffee shop. We are one step away from feeling helpless.

The truth of the matter is we are not totally vulnerable. This is not because we are strong, but because God is merciful. God is holding us in the palm of that mighty hand. God is tending to us even in the midst of lose and tragedy. Our hope is not that we will never be vulnerable. Our hope is that God will never leave us broken and alone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Fear is an emotion all of us experience from time to time in our lives. Often it is a reasonable or semi-reasonable response of protection. My wife is afraid of snakes, period. I am a hunter, and I am afraid of the business end of a rifle. Both of those fears come from the knowledge of what can happen if a snake bites you or a rifle is discharged (intentionally or unintentionally). Many more fears are based on things that are not reasonable. There is not reason to be afraid of Friday the 13th for example, and still it is a fairly common thing. Fear of open spaces or closed spaces are not reasonable. I know of a little girl that has a diagnosed fear of rain to the point that she cannot go to school if it is raining.

The fears that really control most of us are not the phobias we might have. It is a more guttural fear. We are afraid of what others might think, of how the scenario plays out, of "what if they don't like me." These fears steal from us. Well, I know they steal from me. It is this fear that keeps us from trying the new thing, from taking the steps forward, from being all that God calls us to be.

We even fear our past, that it will come up one day and grab us by the shoestrings and drag us down. But we all have a past. None of us can say we are 100% proud of everything we have done. Tammy had a boss who would say, "It is fine to make a mistake everyday, but let it be a new mistake each day." What he was trying to say was, "Learn from the past and your mistakes so you can do better tomorrow."

But why do we really fear? We cannot control the future. We cannot change the past. The future lies in the hands of God, who will be merciful with us in all things. The past is forgiven, because God loves us through our mistakes, our mishaps, and our sins. Jesus' first words to his disciples after the resurrection were, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19) Peace is the opposite of fear.

What do you fear? Do you trust God enough to not be afraid?

Friday, February 26, 2010


First, let me say, "Thank you, Amanda" for asking about my weekly post.

At this point, I am beginning to weigh the options of "What will I do next?" This is not as easy as it might seem. I know I am enjoying being a stay-at-home husband and dad, but that I do not want to do this forever. I can feel the creative juices, the ones that get you up and moving in the morning, begin to brew. I can feel the first heat of the burning in my bones that says, "I have something to do."

While this energy is rising, the possibilities are more numerous than I have every experienced in my life. Yes, in a year I could go back to serve in a local church. That is obvious. I could write. I could teach. I could stay home some more. God could show me something that is not even on the list as of yet.

The hard part is not worrying about the options and the future. Jesus reminds us that worry brings us nothing but worry in the Sermon on the Mount. "And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?" - Matthew 6:27. In fact worry adds to the stuff physically that can kill us. But it is so easy to worry about well if I do this, then that might happen. And what will so and so think?

Yeah, I worry. Probably more than I should. But I do know whatever option comes to pass, that the burning in my bones that pushes me to share the good news of Jesus Christ and a God who loves us is beginning to burn.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the first of the 40 day (not counting Sundays) season of Lent for many Christians. Many of us will sometime today go to a special worship service and have ashes smeared on our forehead in the shape of the cross. Lent is a time of preparing for Easter and the Easter Season, when we celebrate specifically the life-giving resurrection of Jesus. Lent is also a penitential season. It is a time when give up some creature comfort, when fasting is less the exception, and when we look to the example of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan before beginning his ministry.

Is forty days of penance enough? Will giving up Cokes, or TV, or sweets, or meat, or Facebook really somehow absolve me of any sin? Can we work hard enough to fix ourselves somehow to be ready to meet Jesus, resurrected on Easter morning? Can any of us do enough to be pure enough to greet him when he comes triumphant at the end of time?

I wish I could work it out. Many of us wish we could be given a simply list of tasks that would fix us of our sin, our mistakes, our shortcomings. Several of my friends are working very hard to prove they have moved past the sinful-self of the past. But I know I cannot work hard enough to fix it all.

It is not easy to accept that Christ is more than willing to forgive simply because of who he is. God is constantly waiting and watching for us to repent (to turn back to God). It is the only part that really matters. All that God desires is for us to turn back and walk humbly with God. Our sin is not covered in our penance; our sin is covered in the cross of Jesus Christ.

Still, to all of you (and me) who are trying to find the perfect penance, if you find it let me know.

May you have a blessed Lent,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Busy Week

Most of you know by now that I am a stay-at-home dad. My schedule has slowed down dramatically. This week is one of the busiest I have had in months. Today is my "calm" day of the week, and it is still pretty harried in comparison to what I have had in resent weeks.

Why do we rush so much? In the book, "Life of Pi," in the midst of comparative religion, is a comment about the Christian God taking seven days to create the world with a follow-up of that may be why Christians are in such a hurry.

Where is the fire? This morning, I literally saw a fire engine coming down the street. It was traveling only a little faster than the rest of us, and as far as I could tell, they were the only ones rushing to an emergency.

God has not called us to rush. God takes time with us. God takes time in our redemption and our salvation. Five months into this journey of restorative and healing time where my wife and my boys take the top two slots in my life, I am less sure of the outcome of this journey. I am finding time to be more fully open. I am seeing God working in my slowly as I see God's faithfulness, as I remember the times I felt most alive and faithful myself, as I am recreating and being recreated as a more faithful and loving husband and father.

So, it is a busy week. God had a busy week when God spoke the world into being. And at the end of every day, God looked at what had been created and said, "It is good." Then, even in the vastness and complete other that is God, God rested on the seventh day.

May we all find the rest for the restoration of our souls.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why do people stop following Jesus?

This question, "Why do people stop following Jesus?" appeared as the status of a friend's Facebook. Many people gave comments, a few wrote novels. A few days later, I decided to make it the subject of my blog. I think any one answer will not do, and even the few I give are far from adequate. These are just a few of the thoughts that have stayed in my head on the question.

The Junior High Answer-No one else seems to be doing it, so why should I?

This is kin to the "But mom, everyone is going to be at this party!" When you feel like no one else is on the journey with you, it is easy to decide to stop following Jesus.

The Whining Answer-It is too hard.

Following Jesus, I mean denying yourself and picking up your cross following Jesus, is hard. Let us be honest about that. Sometimes it seems impossible. So, we whine and drag our feet and eventually stop.

The Archery Answer-I missed the target.

This may be the most common answer. Did you know that "sin" is an archery term for missing the mark? We don't have to be far off the mark to find ourselves straying from the goal and, without correction, we look up one day and we are no longer following Jesus.

The Used Car Salesmen-Selling you something that is not Jesus.

This one bothers me the most. But many pastors and churches "sell" something that is not Jesus. By this I mean it is not salvific, it is not resurrecting, it is not hope-filled. They sell something that akin to, "Let's all try to be good people and love one another." I am sorry, Jesus is not Barney the Dino. Jesus is the Savior of the world. Let's get this one right, people.

Thankfully, Jesus is always ready to receive someone who wants to follow him. Yes, we may stumble, miss the target, get tired, and just plain quite from time to time. Still, the angels in heaven rejoice every time one of us sinners says, "I will follow."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More than a Run

In the last 15 months, I have run six, 1/2 marathons and hundreds of miles of training. Today the run was different. Today it was more than a run. Today deserves a tip of the hat for all that it was.

The Benbrook 1/2 marathon is known for the rolling, winding course on the west side of Lake Benbrook. It is a tough course on a good day. Today was not a good day. We started in 27* with a 15 mph north wind, which means it felt more like 14*. Many fewer runners even came to the lake this morning than had actually paid their entry fees.
At about mile one is a low water crossing. It rained pretty heavy over the last few days so water was running a couple of inches deep and about 10 feet wide. Yes, we all got our feet wet. Well, so not all of us. One lady piggy-backed on a guy, and a number of people literally turned around. Now, with wet shoes, on we go.

A couple of miles later a blast of cold wind hit me in the face and which made me turn my head to see a doe, a deer, a female deer (Yeah, I just quoted liberally from the Sound of Music. It is my mom's favorite movie.) come running out of the woods, cross the road 20 yards ahead of me, and then jump the fence and disappear into the pasture.

Another mile or so and the Benbrook ambulance drove by me. I have no idea if someone was hurt. About the same time there is a man standing in the road telling us to run in the grass (which was really just mud) to avoid the ice sheet on the road. On the way back, we just walked across the ice.

Thank you to the nice couple who was standing at the top of the "Nice Hill :)."

On the way back, the hills begin to take their toll. And we were running more or less toward the north. It was brutal. I kept thinking to myself, "If you finish strong you can go to Starbucks or Einstein's." Sadly, my self-motivation was not enough to keep the pace as strong as I had really hoped. The wind, the hills, the cold all proved to be better than my best. It didn't help that at the last water stop gave us water that was beginning to freeze. Nothing says, "Finish strong," like a half-frozen cup of water.

Mile 12 brought me back to the low water crossing. This time I chose my steps poorly as I went ankle deep with both feet. And as the guy next to me said, "I think the water has gotten colder."

Finally, the last turn, you can see the house. And there only yards from the finish was my family, Tammy and the boys. I told them they were crazy for standing out there in the freezing cold. I was so cold much of my stomach and legs were red from the cold even 15 minutes later as I undressed to take a warm shower.
Yeah, if was more than a run today. It was a test. And I passed. I know I can do hard things again. So much more seems possible today. Two hours and 27 minutes of a test in a 15* windchill but I passed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Cave

Ok, so I have been living in a cave, or maybe a underglorified Fortress of Solitude. I have been in hiding more than anything else. Afraid to come out. Afraid to look into the reality of the world. Afraid that the world will not accept me.

My life has been a Fortress of Solitude because I can hide alone in my house dealing with next to no one most of the time under the guise of being a stay-at-home-dad. The biggest difference between my hiding place and Superman's is not that his is a crystal palace at the North Pole and mine is a house in Fort Worth. No the biggest difference is that I am no super man.

My life has been a cave in the Platonic sense. I have been facing the wall of my cave, watching the shadows and assuming (or maybe wanting) this to be reality. Well reality never exists in the cave, it is only a shadow of what is real.

Why do I hide in my Fortress of Solitude, in my cave? Because it is safer than standing up and facing the reality of the world. It is safer to hide than to try. It is safer to settle than to risk. Here, I can be fine with the illusions dancing on the wall before me, but if I stand up and leave my Fortress of Solitude, I will have to deal with the reality that is out there in the world.

Some days, it is not that we have to be super. Some days, we just need the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to stand up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Live You

Last week I texted Tammy, "I live you." Then I said, "I mean I love you." A few minutes later, I get, "I 'live' you, too." I couldn't stop thinking about those texts. When we really love someone, don't we live them as well?

This is not an easy thing to do. To live someone. To let their thoughts and desires be your thoughts and desires. To let their dreams be your dreams. It is what I have found myself trying to give into with my wife, and secondarily my boys over the last months. To live them.

As this kept rolling through my mind this week, I found myself thinking about this living and loving thing and then I found the words of Jesus, "No one has greater love than the one who lays down his life for his friends" swimming in my head too.

For so long, I lived church, work, my own interests, that I could not live and love my wife and family the way I should. Now, I am working to love Tammy and live Tammy more and more, and trying to be a better dad to both my boys.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


St. Paul talks about the discipline of the athlete in his first letter to the church in Corinth (9:24-27). I heard a pastor speak about this briefly on Sunday, and it came into my head as I was running earlier today.

Physical discipline is hard. To go and run, to do push-ups and sit-ups, or to do Bikram yoga (like Tammy does), is hard work. It is much easier to just sit. It is much easier not to be disciplined in what you do. The same is true with the food you eat. The Lord knows, I would rather have a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke, than most of the stuff I should be eating.

As much work as the athlete does to discipline and train the body, so there is just as much work for those trying to discipline and train the spirit. And it is not as readily obvious to the casual observer if the spirit is not well trained as if the body is not well trained.

Here is what I realized today: if you are wounded, the discipline and training are harder. Think of Colt McCoy last week. He was prepared and ready and then with a relatively minor blow to the back of his shoulder, he was unable to play. He will not be able to train in the same manor probably for a few weeks. I realized that as I am trying to put a spiritual life back together, that the spiritual wounds that I carry (some new and some very old) can hinder the training and the discipline I can receive.

Thursday night, Colt knew how to throw a football but he could not. Even today I know how to do many things and expect that some day I will get back in the game. I am not training aimlessly. But or right now, my spirit is resting and healing so that when the day comes, I will not have run aimlessly nor boxed as though beating the air, but I will have punished myself and enslave my body, so that God's proclamation shall not be in vain.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Me

I have not sat down to try and do this in almost 5 months mostly because I was not in the place emotionally to do so. I think the time has come for me to find a voice again and to blog at least once a week was one of my resolutions. I am taking this on as a spiritual discipline at this point, and I am seeking your support. Not that I need readers, I need accountability.

In August 2009, after 15 years of preaching and 15 years of marriage, I stepped out of both in a matter of days. First, I quit on my marriage and on Tammy. On Saturday, August 1, I moved out of our house and moved into an apartment. Dark days.

In those dark days, I realized that wanted to a better father than I could be from a distance, and this proved to be the first step to coming home. To help heal the marriage that I threw into shambles, with Tammy's encouragement, I asked for a leave of absence from the ministry of the United Methodist Church. So, second, I stepped out of the ministry for the first time since I was 19 at the end of August.

Over the course of the last five months, I have learned a great deal about myself, about love, about marriage, about my own personal struggles and demons. I also know I have a great road ahead of me. Thankfully, through some hard work and much grace, Tammy and I reconciled and I moved home over Labor Day weekend. I used to put her behind the church in my list of priorities, then I put her behind our boys, and mostly I put her needs far behind my own wants. Through much self-reflection, work, and prayer, I have realized that I was probably never the spouse that Tammy really needed or deserved. I have learned that my first and primary relationship in this world is Tammy. Ok, so Tammy and I both know Christ is at the head of our relationship, but that is a slightly different question.

I hope and pray that the dreams that Tammy and I are dreaming together at this point can come to bear fruit. We have set new goals for our life together. I do not know when I will return to full-time ministry at this point. I simply ask that you help my keep my dreams fresh by poking me with a stick (or call or email) if you do not see a fresh posting of this blog by Wednesday of any given week.

Grace and peace,