Who do you want to be(come)?

A long time ago... in a galaxy seemingly far away... I wanted to be a player in the NFL.  I dreamed of being a linebacker, who was notorious for destroying the running game and making continuous interceptions. I wanted to be the one guy who was so good, he ended up playing at least a season on EVERY NFL team! I realize that playing on every team would have meant that I was so bad that I was constantly being traded.  And I wasn't even the best of the best playing for the West Monroe Rebels.

That dream faded when my love for non-conformist, yet surprisingly commercial, pop music sprang up within me, and I wanted to be the singer in an English New Wave band.  Only it turns out I wasn't English... nor could I really sing very well.  But I totally dressed the part, though.

That gave way to who I REALLY wanted to be.  My athletic side collided with my artsy side in the Land Where Sports Meets Entertainment - yes, I wanted to be a professional wrestler!  Sorry, not posting a…

48 Random Things About Ya'Boy

A few years ago, I started posting random things about myself on/around my birthday.  Without looking at least year's list, I hereby give you 48 Random Things About Ya'Boy! (which may prove difficult as I'm not 48 things interesting).  If any of these fit you too, leave a comment with the number so we can see what we have in common.

1. Jesus has transformed my life, and continues to do so daily.
2. I am blessed to have an amazing, Godly woman as my wife. I LOVE YOU, SHELLY!
3. Turning 48 isn't freaking me out nearly as much as having a child who will turn 20 in less than a month.
4. Tacos.  I love tacos.
5. In lists, I find it amusing when something is repeated at just the right moment.
6. I drink a lot of water. Half of my body weight in ounces, daily.
7. I go to the bathroom a lot.
8. My oldest son Christian is a pretty cool guy. He's so quiet that most people don't know this though.
9. I have a mini-me named Jericho, and he is so mini-me that its scary.

A Heart Guarded From Worry

In a lifetime of exciting moments, one highlight was when we bought our first house.  After 20 years of marriage, Shelly & I purchased a home in Hot Springs, AR, and for the first time we were owners instead of renters.  We liked the house, and loved the moments we experienced their.

Fast forward to recent times: at the end of June 2016, we moved into our new home in Natchitoches, LA, thus beginning a brand new season of adventure for our family.  We put our first house on the market... and we purchased our second house.  Our prayer, fasting and counsel led us to this decision.  And for 7 months we made two mortgage payments.  No, we could not afford two mortgage payments and stay within our budget.  But we also could not afford to deliberate at length on what we knew was a calling, and direction, from God. 

Over the past 7 months, Shelly & I experienced some level of concern as the sale of our first house topped my daily prayers.  But we never shifted into "panic mode,&…

3 Things to embrace in the New Year

As the sun sets on the year 2016, the sun also rises on the new year 2017.  Although it is just another day on the calendar, New Year's is for me a season of reflection, evaluation, dreaming, and goal setting.  In the midst of this semi-colon between the years, I have been reminded of three specific lessons.

3 things 2016 taught me to embrace in 2017

Life is fleeting!Life is fleeting; capture great moments.  2016 has been labeled by many as "the Year that Took Our Heroes."  Celebrities die every year, because they're people... just like me and just like you, but 2016 seemed to be a year with an overwhelming number of celebrity deaths.  When a celebrity dies, I usually take a time to honor them with a moment of silence, aka "Rest In Peace," then perhaps a few moments, or a couple of hours, immersed in their art.  I feel like my generation really took the idea of celebrity to new places, and see these people as other-than-human, and larger than life (read my …

ADVENT: a poem and a thought

Here we are again on Christmas Eve,
     All dressed up with my heart on my sleeve.
I affirm this is for most a special season
     When love trumps selfishness and faith trumps reason.
But why should this Gift, which casts out all fear,
     Be wrapped in shiny boxes to be opened but once a year?
I'm proposing thoughts and actions take a new way,
     And live out the wonder of Christmas every day.


Milestones: #7 Dealing with Loss & Pain (as a Pastor)

This is the wrap up of a series of 7 blog posts on specific milestones in my ministry/life.  I've done this in order to "build an altar of remembrance and gratitude" to God, and to share a few things I've discovered and learned along the way.  Milestone #7 is a loss/disappointment or tragedy which God brought forth great purpose and good.

Honestly, I haven't experienced a lot of what I would call "tragedy" in my life.  Yes, I have lost loved ones to death, lost good friends to misunderstandings, lost respect because of my own stupidity, and lost my way on just about every road trip I've ever taken.  I am certainly well acquainted with loss and the pain that comes with it.

One of the most difficult things about being in the vocation of a church Pastor is losing friends.  Years ago, in my "college years," I was counseled to not make close friendships in the churches that I would serve.  Well, I'm a people person, and as Jesus works throu…

Milestones: #6 A Tallit, a Prayer & the Healing of My Soul

Collecting milestones of life/ministry.  These are "moments" when Jesus has changed/guided/shaped my life, which I am now using to build an "altar of remembrance" to Him.  Milestone #6 is an answered prayer that God used in a special way.

Sometime around the beginning of 2004, I was depressed.  It was worse than that.  I was sliding slowly into a deep depression.  There were a lot of factors that led to this, but ultimately it was burnout and misplaced priorities.  I was over 5 years into running as hard as I could as a youth pastor - I'm talking "no days off" type of running hard.  I lived, breathed, an even slept youth ministry.  If you were to cut me back then, I would have bled youth ministry. Profusely.

They say hindsight is 20/20; a friend recently said "hindsight is x-ray vision!" I came to the realization that my priorities were very out-of-whack in hindsight.  Had I been able to see it then, most likely the depression I was heading…