Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So this is Christmas

John Lennon wrote a little song called “ Happy Christmas” in 1971, and I like the lyrics. Now, while I appreciate the Beatles, I am not the biggest fan. And though most of Lennon’s later songs were a little too “hippie” for me, this song resonates with me. The song goes:

And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong

I put a challenging question on a few social networking sites this week and got an interesting response. The question: “Was Jesus born to free us from sin and enslave us in consumer debt because of his birthday? It started a debate on the date of Jesus’ actual birthday rather than the larger issue of debt as a result of the holiday. I think it’s because many people are not willing to curtail their spending.

I honestly don’t believe that it’s Jesus’ goal for people to amass large amounts of consumer debt in His name. The reality is that in this economy people don’t have the money to spend a large amount of money on gifts, but as the black Friday rush indicates, most people will continue with Christmas as usual. To that I agree with Lennon in that the world is so wrong.

Many people could get no Christmas presents under their trees, and it would not affect their standard of living one bit. We don’t need others to charge up their credit cards in an effort to make us feel more loved by them. So this is Christmas? Most people can barely remember what they got last year for Christmas, not to mention who gave it to them.

It is a shame that we have reduced this holiday to such a low state. This is the one time a year that the world turns their attention to Christ. Why not make this season about Him and not about regret or guilt over spending money we don’t have, for gifts people don’t need. That does not mean that we can’t give gifts because Jesus was the greatest present the world has ever known. But, how about giving what we can, and making no excuses for what we can’t. Let’s make Christmas about Jesus.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Thankful (the poem)

I’m thankful for my life

I’m thankful for my wife

I’m thankful for my son and how he fought for life

I’m thankful for the good

And even for the bad

I’m thankful for the lessons some of which I wish I never had

I’m thankful for the God’s grace

I’m thankful for His love

Through which the race I run is guided from above

I’m thankful for dad, a man I never knew

Had to learn to be a man here without you

I’m thankful for my mom, who tried to hold me down

Cause daddy played the record, bumped it, and skip town

I’m thankful for the days, back when we were so poor

Don’t got all I want, but much more than before

I’m thankful for my family those who I love so much

When days away I long to see and feel your touch

Especially for my wife, my one, my side, my heart

Please God through death only shall we part

My handsome little son, who brings me so much joy

God’s not done with daddy baby miracle boy

I’m thankful for my friends, those who care and pray

I hope my life encourages to seize the day

I’m thankful for my future, the things yet come to pass

The dreams, the plans, the more of what life eternal has

I’m thankful for all you, reading this even now

I pray thankfulness in you would always much abound

So thankful!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Football Lessons

Think on this…I love football. I have played the game as long as I can remember. My family has a history of producing great players and I have two cousins that went to the NFL and more that could have. I played all the way through high school and made an intentional decision not to play in college, although I was recruited and could have done well. After college I played flag football and coached my team to 2 league championships. I am even now the coach of my wife’s women’s team. I LOVE FOOTBALL! It played such a pivotal role in my character development and I was reminded of one area recently. That is, my resilience.

It was my freshman year and we had an amazing team. Not everyone on the team was a “superstar”, but the handful we had should have led us to an undefeated season. I was one of the few. But, during a scrimmage I dislocated my thumb and was out for 4 weeks. My friend Damon (who is no longer with us) had a disagreement with the coach and quit. The week I returned to play, the guys holding things together Mike R., Derrick C., and Jamie F. decided to skip a practice and they were ineligible to play. So, I was maybe one of 2 stars left, and I was a little rusty and outfitted with a soft cast on my arm. It didn’t help that we were playing the only team that could beat us, our hated rivals, Florence.

I made up my mind that it was up to me to win the game. Once the game started, I GOT POUNDED! Our main play was, hand the ball to Damian and watch him get his head knocked off. It seemed like everyone on the team had given up. Well, that sent me into a rage. I would get knocked down, and would jump back up, “Hit me harder”. I refused to give in. I argued with my team, the coaches, and the players on the other side. My coaches begged me to keep my composure, but I was not having it. There was no way I was going to let the other team beat me. We lost 44 to nothing. But, at the end of the game all the coaches from Florence shook my hand and told me how impressed they were, with my play. It was a moral victory, but a horrible loss, the only one we would suffer that season.

The lesson was worth the beating. I discovered that the harder the odds were against me, the tougher I became. It would serve as a theme for my life. When I was not accepted to college, I fought hard to get in and even earned better grades than I had in my life. When I was told that my wife was too good for me (I tend to agree), I worked to make myself a man that would be worthy of her. When my son was born with a brain injury, Daddy stepped in and fought for his son. I didn’t know any scripture at that point in my life, but God revealing one in me. “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” Proverbs 24:10 Football showed me how to not fail under pressure. So, no matter what you are going through, don’t quit. No matter how hard the challenge, don’t give up. Others will need your strength…Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

China (The People)

Think on this…The crowning jewel of my trip in China apart from some of the most flavorful food I have eaten in my life was the amazing people. Once again nothing in China is, as it seems. I was anticipating a feeling of oppression and control. But, the Chinese people have many more freedoms than we would ever imagine. Outside of all the Asian people and architecture things felt mostly like anywhere here in the states. Conversation was similar to that here, although as a foreigner we were told to avoid the 3 Ts Tibet, Taiwan, and the Tiananmen Square incident. There is a major since that change is in the air and the country is becoming more modern and western.

The Chinese people are exceedingly sweet. I didn’t see one unfriendly face as I endeavored to get out amongst the people. I had the opportunity to visit street markets and by the street food (okay I am trying not to talk about the food), I went through the subway, I spent time on a college campus, and I visited 3 churches. I had an authentic Chinese experience, but all things were consistent, the people are the highlight of the country.

I visited two schools while there. One was the 4th ranked college in China and the other was a smaller less prestigious one. The top ranked school was much larger and you could tell that this was some of the best students the country had to offer. The students were really smart and their English was as good as mine. They were the future of the country and they felt the pressure from both their families and their nation. The second group of students really grabbed my heart, as they were most likely ones who didn’t test as well and they didn’t carry the same sense of confidence. Both sets of students were very knowledgeable about the world and they seemed to not necessarily embrace the leading parties philosophy.

Read more:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

Think on this…we don’t celebrate All Hallows Eve or Halloween. We understand its origins and it’s not something we endorse. We don’t judge people, or even Christians who do; it’s just not our thing. There are no ghouls and goblins on our door, or scarecrows in our yard. But, we do give out candy to the neighborhood children. I know that it might seem slightly contradictory, but read on to get a better glimpse into our reasoning. Think about it, when else will children from all over the neighborhood come to our door? So we see it as a chance to love on those in our community.

When I was a child I remember trick or treating. I am from a small town where many of the homes are right next to one another, that provides for great candy collection. We would forgo the traditional plastic bags or buckets, because bag snatching was a big thing and they simply could not hold all of the goodies we would collect. I would come home with a pillowcase full of candy that would take us hours to sort. The one thing I remember vividly was the homes that would give us the best candy. To this day I still see one house in particular. I am in my 30’s and I still remember a good Halloween house. Someone had an impact on my life because they gave me candy! That is crazy, but my point exactly.

We believe whole-heartedly that we are to touch the live of those around us. To be honest, it’s a bit creepy for a grown man to strike up conversation with children. So, now that we are the cool candy house both our neighbors and their children know who we are, that we care, and we are safe. We didn’t go cheap on them, we gave out full size candy, and it caused a ruckus. After our house kids were saying, “full sized” in the street. One young lady said, “You’re my new best friend”. Now that we are BFFs maybe they will read the scripture card we attached. I know that some would argue the pagan nature of the holiday and I would agree and simply remind you of the pagan nature of our Christmas trees and Yule Logs (look it up). We are not opposed to using this holiday to touch the lives of our neighbors. The Bible says, I became like a person weak in faith to win those who are weak in faith. I have become everything to everyone in order to save at least some of them.” 1 Cor. 9:22 The alternative is to hide in our home making a statement nobody will ever hear…Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

China (The Country)

Think on this…Many people have been asking about my recent trip to China. I figured I would explain my insights through a few blogs. I do understand the interest people have in that country as very few ever visits this mysterious land. It made sense that the first thing we were told was that nothing in China is, as it seems. I found that to be the theme of my time there.

The purpose of my trip was to learn how I might send students there to teach conversational English to Chinese students. I must admit much of the allure was the opportunity to visit the country. Yes, I always love the chance to touch the live of college students. After all I am the College Impact guy. It’s become a life’s work, but the thought that I could be in a country many people will never see was a big deal.

When I hit the ground in China I was a bit overwhelmed. I am used to being a minority here in the states, but 1 in 1.6 billion is very different. People would stand a few feet away from me and just stare. I was polite and said, “nǐ hǎo” and they responded with hello and would continue looking at me. This was not rudeness on their part it was simply many of them had never seen a black person before. It is an all-Asian world so a black person in their context is just an oddity…

Read more:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Change the World

Think on this…Last week was intense and filled with opportunities to make a difference in this world. I think we wrestle with such a lofty goal as changing the world because we see both the greatness of that ambition and the weakness of our own humanity. I believe that this is natural and honest although not the most spiritual response. God has high expectations for us His people, and we will not see the full expansion of His kingdom in the earth unless we choose to follow Him into His prescribed future.

You see I have led a hip-hop environment called Destinations, geared toward reaching urban young adults for almost 10 years now. We have a history of having provocative shows with titles like Naked, Blow, Safeword. We have pushed the boundaries so much that even our more progressive church is a little freaked out at times. We had an idea recently to have a show that married our usual evangelistic focus with a cause. We decided to focus on child sex trafficking. With eighty million children being trafficked for sex, this was more than needed.

We decided to partner with both local and international sex slavery organizations to increase our level of impact. Well this thing took off, and this little event that has had mostly been a local movement got a lot of attention. I was on a national radio broadcast, and we had two media outlets at the event to cover the story. We raised money for a local project as over four hundred new girls are trafficked in Georgia a month, and we raised funds to make a difference in Asia…

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love God & People

Think on this…it’s easy to love God but people are a different issue all together. Let’s be honest, people have a tendency to be losers. Before you decide that I have completely walked away from God please read on. I just want to admit the truth here. People tell you that they will do something and let you down. People get mad at you and refuse to forgive. People abuse, miss use, bring harm, etc. Can you agree with me that people have a tendency to let you down? Parents, friends, spouses alike either have or will disappoint. It’s their nature.

I would be okay with that thought if church people were better, but they usually aren’t. I know that they are supposed to be, but they often cheat, lie, complain, and gossip as much as non-church folks. For some reading this blog, this is a confirmation of what you have always believed about church people. Others would jump to defend and cover the flaws of other Christians, and I would do the same, but we must first own up to the problem.

What is my point? It’s that people stink; I thought I said that. :-D Just kidding! Jesus was asked about what he considered the most important law in the entire scripture. This was his answer, Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy… and love others as well as you love yourself. There is no other commandment that ranks with these." Mark 12:29-31. You see very few people will say that they have a problem loving God. Some will doubt God’s existence and others will argue over His interaction with man, but most have no issue with thought loving God. To love people is hard. Jesus did not tell us to love good people or Christians only he said love everyone. From the most hypocritical to the worst humans alive, we are to love them. We don’t have to like it, but we are to love them anyway. If we loved people more, maybe they would not have such a hard time deciding to love us in return…Just a thought.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Under Construction

Think on this…we have been raising funds to make our home handicap accessible for my son who has special needs. We are well into the first phase of this process and things and a bit of a mess. There is dust everywhere inside of the house and we have a massive amount of debris outside. We can see steady change and improvement, but the process has my family disheveled and out of sorts. We have had to embrace the reality that this is the new normal, at least for a while. The interesting thing is that I am learning a lot about life transformation as I watch my home renovation.

One lesson I have learned is that whenever a major change needs to happen there is usually destruction that must happen first. Whether quitting smoking, or trying to be a more empathetic person we usually struggle when change starts in our lives. Things get ugly before they get pretty. Another learning is that everyone in the family is affected when an adjustment begins in the life of one person. You can’t avoid it. We are communal beings and when a person is being changed we all have to give them space.

The truth is that we are and should ever be under construction. That is because no person is perfect, and who doesn’t want to grow to reach his or her full potential. But, when people are in transition we need to allow things to be messy and give them an opportunity to make the change. We can desire the needed change so much that we can despise the necessary process. The Bible says,As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 As my house is being changed I hope my life is as well…Just a thought

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Superhero & Champion

Think on this...My wife has always called me my son’s superhero. It stems from the first days of his life when I was the primary. I was the one who watched him emerge from the womb blue, saw him take his first breath, was the one fighting with doctors initially when they were saying he needed to be institutionalized long term, etc. My wife had recently had surgery, and I had to be what both she and my son’s hero. The other reasons that she calls me a superhero is the fact that Damian Jr. is a total daddy’s boy, and now he is my full time job. So yes, I will embrace that designation, but she is undoubted his champion.

I remember six years ago with tubes coming out of every part of his little body, and my wife struggled to pull herself up to his bed to see her son. Having had a major surgery, this was no small feat. I tried to explain to her everything that was explained to me while she recovered, and she just stroked his head and whispered into his ear what would be the defining words of his life, “Keep Fighting, just Keep Fighting”. That was all she had that day, but she would quickly model that statement.

Before she was well enough to move around, she was working to make sure that our son had everything he needed. It started with his breast-feeding; as she was in tears making sure that he had what was most nutritious. I soon had to go back to work so she took the lead. There was meeting after meeting with doctors and specialists. She was interviewing therapists, finding programs, and firing people who weren’t in agreement with what we believed God was doing in his life. She was a force to be reckoned with...(read more)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Family Business

Think on this…ever wonder why as children we were told to always wear clean underwear in case we get in a car accident? As if while bleeding profusely a medical professional would look for dirty underwear. There is a deep philosophy that we were being taught. It simply, you don’t embarrass the family in public. We are supposed to represent ourselves well when outside of our homes.

If I am completely honest I feel this way about Christians. So many of us live with such low standards that it makes me a little ashamed of us. Not ashamed of Christ, but of others in His family. I understand that it takes new believers some time to develop Christ-like character. I fully believe that even though we have been clean from all sin we still have habits that are hard to shake. I am no different. But, we can do better. We lie, cheat, divorce, quit, and complain just as much as people who don’t have the hope of Glory living in them. Not to mention all of the sexual, financial, and marital scandals of church leaders that have been in the news. We are supposed to be better than this!

I am not condemning anyone, but my heart breaks when someone outside of the family of God says, “See, they are all a bunch of hypocrites”. Yes, God’s grace covers us and we are in continual need of a savior. But, we must remember that people are watching us, and they may or may not join our family based on what they see in our conduct. The Bible says, " The name of God is maligned and blasphemed among the outsiders because of you! " . Romans 2:24 I love both God’s people and those who have yet to join His household. It’s a shame that people won’t give their hearts to God because of our poor character. I know that this is family business, but it needs to be said…Just a thought.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tree Hugging Dirt Worshiper

Think on this…I recently saw a bumper sticker that read, ‘Tree Hugging Dirt Worshiper’. At first it made me chuckle, then it saddened me. Now, I am not a fan of bumper stickers, both Christian and other wise. I simply believe that a car looks better without them. But, every so often I will see one that makes me think. This was one of those. It was in the midst of a bunch of messages, but none of which grabbed my attention like that one.

On the surface, this bumper sticker was of care and concern for the earth. I can wholeheartedly agree with that. Save the whales, decrease your carbon footprint, conserve when possible. I am fully on board with that. My family recycles, and we even try to use eco friendly detergents, because the Bible encourages us to be good managers of this planet. But, I saw a deeper meaning in the message. It was that the environment is the most important thing, and life is all about taking care of the planet. With that thought, I strongly disagree.

You see, saving the planet doesn’t do anything for our inward souls. The environment is not important enough to pour our entire lives into. Preserving this world is valuable and necessary, just not worth our devotion. The Bible says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Mark 8:36 We shouldn’t be ‘Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipers’ because the ball of dirt we live on is too small. The solar system, galaxies, and universe are all too insignificant in comparison to the God who created everything. We must choose to live for the One who designed, shaped, and is holding them all together. His name is Jesus…Just a thought.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still Breathing…

I came across a box of photos of Damian Jr being resuscitated in the delivery room. When Damian Jr was born, he came out blue and was not breathing. The medical staff invested 30-45 seconds resuscitating him.

I was unaware that all this was happening. The doctors and nurses intentionally did not indicate that anything was wrong as to not put me into to shock. All I remember is one of the nurses crying and whispering in my ear with such joy and relief, “He made it…”. My initial reaction was, “Of course, he made it!”. I no idea what our son had just experienced.

My husband, on the other hand, witnessed every second. He kept pacing back and forth and taking pictures. He too was crying while holding it all together. And he finally shared that our son almost didn’t make it. BUT he was breathing.

About the Breathing Process

You have to breathe because all of the cells in your body require oxygen. Without oxygen, your body wouldn't move. It would be like a parked car with no battery. The car might have gas, but without a battery, you are not going anywhere! So you might have blood in your body, but without oxygen, forget it! You receive oxygen from breathing in air, and then the oxygen goes to your blood which is then circulated throughout your entire body….Read more

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Suffering, No Thank you

Think on this…we can be our children’s worst enemy as it pertains to their health and development. We can be so focused on giving them what we didn’t have that we forget to give them what we had, that got us to where we are. I grew up with very little, so I would often have to eat what ever what was available. To my chagrin that was often liver, yuck! Liver, although disgusting to my palate is rich in iron and very good for you. But, ever so often it would be what’s for dinner and if you didn’t eat it you didn’t eat.

There were no special meals for little people who were not pleased with the selection. There was no, “If you don’t like your veggies then you have the option to opt out”. It was eat or starve. Many of us are so far removed from that life that we have succumbed to the pressure from ungrateful mouths that don’t know how good they have it. Now we have to give our kids supplements because they don’t have the enough vitamins in their systems because we have acquiesced to their desires and not given what they needed most, to gives them what they wanted most. If we as their parents don’t give them what they need they will be malnourished.

Spiritually the same thing applies, we often want what sounds and feels good and not what is going to be most beneficial. Suffering is one of those things, which the church has lost a taste for. Early Christians saw it as a necessary part of their journey. Now we want fast food faith that tells us we can have it our way. No, God does not care about our childish ranting; He wants us to eat what is necessary for growth. The Bible says, ““ . We can kick, scream, hold our collective breaths, proclaim prophecy, quote scripture and the same thing will be waiting for us, when done complaining. God loves us too much to keep suffering off our plate. That is good news for us…Just a thought.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

National Exposure

Think on this…I recently had an opportunity to do my first national interview, and it was amazing. I did better than even I expected. I have an extensive production background so I know what makes for good broadcasts, but my experience has been being the camera not in front of it. I did have a cheat; in that, my local church has been using me to do video devotionals, which gave me a chance to develop my skills. Then following the national interview, I had an opportunity to go into a studio and shoot promotional segments for my book. This has been a great learning and marketing all at the same time.

One thing I have come to learn is that just because you have a video, interview, promotional material, people won’t necessarily purchase the product or bring you out to speak about it. I was keeping my eyes on the book sales, and there has no direct connection. The people who book my speaking engagements were waiting for nothing. All I could think was, “COME ON!” I have hustled to get this resource done. Students that have received the book, love it. Still, trickle, trickle, trickle… What do you do when you have done everything you know to do?

I believe the answer is wait. Wait for the people who have it to read it…wait. Wait for the people who are waiting to view the interview to view it…wait. Wait for those who are interested in having me come to their event to move on it…wait. Wait for the right person to mention back both the book wait and me... Wait for God to do what I can’t do…wait. The Bible says, “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” …Just a thought.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Damian Jr.'s Story

I have a new favorite blog. It just so happens to be one telling the story of my favorite little kid of all time. Please visit the site and make it a regular stop.

Welcome to the story! Damian Jr is a young man full of joy, laughter and musical passion who happens to have multiple medical diagnoses. His story is one of hope, determination, and love as he fights for the best life possible! We hope you find inspiration, resources, and support! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Squash Lessons

Think on this…my wife and I have been growing squash on our deck. I don’t know if you have ever seen squash growing, but it is wild. It grows like ivy in that it quickly stretches wide across everything. We anxiously awaited the moment when we could harvest this crop which was talking over our deck. We would check them everyday while water them (they take a lot of water and fertilizer). We even began to talk about what we would make with them once they arrived.

Well the day was quickly approaching and we were more excited then ever. I was waiting for them to begin to turn the proper color. Well, calamity hit when I saw small holes in my squash and upon closer examination I saw that some small creature had eaten its way into every one of them. It was devastating. I put time, serious time into caring for what was supposed to be our dinner and now it’s some insects dinner.

I realized something, that is the way many Christians live. We do our best to grow and take care of our spiritual well being. We struggle to water and feed our souls. But, we forget to get rid of the small things that are looking to sabotage our progress and it ruins us. The bible says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up…” Hebrews 12:1 It’s the small things that get us off track. This week carefully consider addressing at least one thing that trips you up…Just a thought

Friday, July 23, 2010

College Impact spoken word by Sam Tulin

This is just awesome. I am honored to lead amazing students like Sam. Request your copy of College Impact where ever books are sold. ...Just a thought!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Think on this…When creating the College Impact resource I did it with the greatest of intentions with hopes that God would use it to make a difference. The truth of the matter is, that no one really knows if the work they are doing will be well received. Especially, when you are doing something for the first time. That has been my experience.

So, I finished the book and trusted God with the rest. I was anticipating quick responses from the people who had received advanced copies and those who ordered it early, but that didn’t happen. Then I thought, ‘Well I will get feedback from my family because they love me’, to no avail. Then I thought, that since the book was quickly being purchased at my local church, sure my church would read it and nothing.

All I wanted was some feedback. Why, because I wrote it and thought it was good, necessary, and vital, but as a person who was barely literate until the 7th grade you never know. So I waited, and waited and finally an adult from the church responded with, “I wished I’d had this as a student”. Then my siblings started reading it and they were complementary. That was a big boost.

More and more responses started coming in and I started to see that what I’d hoped for was happening. Students were connecting with the material and it was showing them how to make an impact on their campuses. It’s about what God wants to do through them, and they saw it. I even had one student say that he believed God wanted me to write the book for that purpose.

I am simply overwhelmed. I take it this is what all writers and musical artist experience when they put projects out their hoping that people actually embrace them. So, hearing the rave reviews on the book doesn’t change my resolve, but it is confirmation for what I trusted God to do. It’s encouraging, but now I must do all I can to continue to get the out to students and those who love them…Just a thought

Purchase your copy at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Come on In

Think on this…my wife and I enjoy having people over to the house. It’s actually a pleasure to host people and to serve them. I usually cook a lot of food and she labors for hours to get the house ready for our guest. It takes us maybe 6-9 hours of preparation for about 3-4 hours of connection time. It may seem like a waste, but for us it is an act of service that brings blessings to our home.

For the holiday we fed what seemed like the world. There were two soon to be married couples at the house and a college student. Then we had an older couple and their mother as well. There were even more people invited, but they could not make it. The conversation jumped from such trivial issues as the love or hate for thrift stores to weighty issues as breast cancer. The group was so diverse that we all learned from each other.

You see it’s enriching to our lives when we serve others. The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7 You see we feed and welcome people, because we love them. Then in response God makes sure that we are taken care of. We don’t do it to receive, but its good to know that as we give out of our desire to love on people we have watched his provision in our lives. It’s a blessing to be able to bless others…Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Think on this…I love sketch comedy and one of my all-time favorite shows is Saturday Night Live. They have a recurring segment called, Really?! It’s aimed at asking that old question that need not be answered. My life in so many ways reflects this sketch.

Leave your job, really?! Walk away from a job that has help you provide for your family for 10 years, really?! That’s like telling a lion to leave a fresh zebra kill to search for food in the desert. Really?! Right a book, really?! That’s like asking Animal from the Muppets to do story time for a high school English class, really?! Become a primary care giver, really?! That’s like asking the crazy cat lady from your neighborhood to keep a brand new puppy, really?!

Trust God with your finances, family, and future, really?! REALLY?! Actually, that is not a bad idea, really! We have a tendency to do only the things that make since to us. But, trusting God is never wrong. The Bible says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Psalm 3:5 That is the biggest lesson God has been teaching me, lately. In which areas of your life are you struggling to trust God? How can you trust Him this week? The most secure place you could ever be is right where God leads you. Really!...Just a thought.

(for your viewing pleasure )

Friday, June 25, 2010

Patience Please

Think on this…it seems like the theme of my life for the past 10+ has been patience. Patience is one of those character traits that we all wish to have, but like many things it doesn’t come easy. I think about the dreams that haven’t happened yet, patience. There are areas of my life in which I thought I would be so much farther than where I am and again, patience. How is this elusive value learned? It’s developed while hanging on to hope as you wait.

When I decided to step out onto the waters and pursue a life of full time service to God and people I thought things would move faster then they have. In my mind I was walking into the great future and everything I desired would be on the other side of my obedience. No, that did not happen. I was diligent to finish my book and to send books to key relationships that I have nurtured. Now, all I can do is wait. Wait for what, you ask? Wait for people to read the book. Wait for those who have read it to book to tell others about it. Wait for people to ask me to come and speak on the matter. Waiting.

I realize one key thing. I am one connection, one endorsement, one mention away from everything I have worked so hard to accomplish with this book to gain momentum. The thing is, I am not on some ego trip, it’s all about accomplishing what I believe God has for me. Even when doing what God has for us there is often a time of challenge and struggle. Jesus had his time in the wilderness; David had to tend his father sheep, Moses lived in exile. This is my time to develop the patience I need to fulfill God’s desired purpose within me. The Bible says,I pray to God—my life a prayer—and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord“ Psalm 130:5-6 What are you waiting on God to do in your life? It’s a hard lesson, but a good one…Just a thought

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Think on this...I just crossed a major anniversary in my life. No, I am not referencing my 10 year wedding anniversary, that has just past(that is an awesome thing). My Purpose-versary is the 1-year celebration of my leaving corporate America to walk in what I believe God has for me. This was a major transition in my life and I have learned lessons that have drawn my heart closer to Christ. It’s not an easy path that we have been on, but it is one on which we are glad to follow God on.

You see there have been some things that have required us to live differently then before. With one of our incomes being eliminated and the other person working for a church (nobody works for a church to get rich) things have been tighter then ever. We aren’t able to have the things with which we have become accustomed. Even our ten year wedding anniversary was scaled all the way back from Japan, to a Japanese restaurant.

Instead of a steady check for coming as a form of income now my income is based on speaking engagements and book sales. Neither is moving at a substantial pace, although I am grateful for the opportunities that have come. So, we are ever in a hurry up and wait situation. Self-employed people understand that struggle all to well.

Then you must consider my son’s special needs into the equation. He has nonstop therapy sessions, equipment needs, basic requirements that come with having his challenges. Those financial needs have only increased as he has grown. Life is challenging at best!...[Expanded blog ]

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Power of a Father

Think on this…with Father’s Day approaching I am thinking about the power of a father. We need not look far to see the effects of poor examples of fatherhood. I see it often as a minister. There are many people that come to me for pastoral care that are dealing with issues stemming from their dads. Some people struggle with abusive dads that have destroyed their since of self worth, and left them with little esteem. Others are left trying to teach themselves lessons that should come from a father, but due to his absence they have to figure it out on there own.

Then you have the overly permissive fathers out there that either didn’t have a backbone enough, or didn’t know how to put healthy boundaries in the home. Their children have a tendency to explore so many pursuits that they can wreck their lives. There is still the adoring fathers out there that can, with great intentions smother, their children and give them the false impression that life is about them. Then when those kids grow up they run into a world that is not centered around them.

The harsh truth is that fathers have a lot of influence over who their children become. It’s not easy being a good, well-balanced dad. It takes everything you have to figure out how to show the right amount of discipline, guidance, and affection. I don’t want my son to have to deal with issues because I was ineffective in my raising him. Especially when my son will use my relationship with him as a template for his relationship with God. That’s a lot of pressure. But, I wonder how many people’s lives would be better if more fathers would wrestle with these thoughts.

Whether or not you have had an exceptional dad in your life or not its good to be grateful for positive they have done. Sometimes we need to be grateful for the areas in which our fathers were good, even if that is hard to identify. If you had no father at all(like me) then thank God for the father figures you have been able to interact with. Why? The bible says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction." Malachi 4:6 You see, God cares about the fathers in our lives. Honor the men in your life that have taken on this vital challenge and responsibility...Just a thought

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10-Year Anniversary

I have officially been married for 10 years today. It has been one crazy journey, but I truly love that woman more today than I ever have. She is not only beautiful, but she is also extremely intelligent and so spiritual. She is such an encouragement to me, and with her I know I can accomplish all my dreams. She makes me a better man. To add to that she is an incredible mother. I truly have a hard time believing that I have done anything in my life to make me worthy of her. So, I see her as an extension of God’s love and grace towards me. And I get to sleep with her. I apologize if that offends any one but…no I am not I GET TO SLEEP WITH HER :P

To appreciate why this matters so much to me you have to understand that I didn’t grow up with a healthy view of marriage. The few men I saw around me either cheated on or treated their wives horribly. I have no context for having an amazing marriage and I am 10 years into one. That blows my mind! She didn’t have the greatest examples either yet she is a wonderful wife.So you see, why I am so happy to tell the world of my love for this woman? The thing that fires me up is that we have only touched the surface of what we believe we are supposed to accomplish together. Our future is so much brighter than our past.

Now, I want to encourage anyone who is in the rough place of relationship, it’s worth it to stick it out. It’s worth it to go the distance. It gets better if you allow it to. For those who long to be married, I will give you the lessons we learned leading up to June 10, 2000. Love God with everything you have and serve Him faithfully. That’s it! To my bride, I love you with my life. Except for Jesus, you are the love of my life! Thank you for a 10 wonderful year and here is to 50 more. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lessons from the Sitter

Think on this…my wife and I had a chance get away recently and of course we had to find a sitter for our son. Our usual go to folks were away so we had to find some new people to cover us. Due to my son’s special needs we don’t leave him over night with just anybody. We decided to go with an older couple that both love him, and us, but they had never before watched him. The night before we left, he was up all night and understandably in a funky mood when we dropped him off. I was completely prepared to go back and get him had he “showed the wrong side of himself.”

We picked him up and he was as content as can be. He was smiling and playing. We expected the worst based on how we left him (we felt a little guilty for leaving him with them while he had such a bad attitude). They told us that he didn’t misbehave in the least bit. He didn’t cry once. The husband told me, “He represented you well”. I was relieved to hear that. Then it dawned on me, all parents want their children to represent them well.

I remembered my upbringing and my mom warning us to behave over other people’s houses. She didn’t want us misrepresenting her. My mom was in no way a perfect parent, but she taught us better than we(rather I, as the problem child) often displayed. I remember the look in her eye upon hearing that I had been, in a fight, suspended, or the time the police brought me home. I made her look bad. Now, as a child that was the least of my concerns, but it was at the top of mother’s. My son in this moment had made me as a father look good.

I think that is how God views many Christians. It’s obvious that we belong to him, but sometimes we misrepresent him with our behavior. We are usually not thinking about His reputation as a parent, just our wants and needs. I do it! I think about how sorry I am at following up with people after saying I will. That makes him look bad. I wonder how his face looks when we are brought back to Him because of our horrible behavior. That thought should break our hearts. The Bible says, “As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”. Romans 2:24 Do people reject Him because of how we, His children behave? In what way can you better represent Him this week?...Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Think on this…I have been talking to some friends about the concept of peace; in light of our countries current wars it is a good conversation to have. In the late 60s John Lennon’s song was the anthem “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” The thought was that where peace is there is no conflict. I don’t know that I agree with that philosophy. One reason is that I have been in plenty of environment were there was no conflict and still no peace. The second is that peace sometimes comes at the end of the sword, sad as it might be.

Have you considered that war is a part of the human condition? I believe that is God’s plan for us to have to work through the difficult moments for the purpose of creating peace. It’s in the fighting that we see who we are, what we are capable of, and hopefully see whom the real opponent is. For that reason I think many peoples perspective on peace is a little naïve.

The Bible says, “God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 In scripture peace didn’t always mean the absence of war. In this context peace starts on the inside and was settled on the inside. That’s why we need it to guard our thoughts and emotions because there would be things that would challenge our peace. So, peace is not something that is easily attained, whether in an individual or a nation. …Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Think on this…Lately, I have been thinking about all of these new high school seniors being released into a collegiate world that many of them are not prepared for. I don’t believe that it’s the goal of parents and youth ministers to send the students’ ill prepared. Actually, I believe they are doing their level best to get these students ready. I think the challenge is that the collegiate environment has a lot more experience attacking our faith then the parents and youth ministries could imagine.

That is why I wrote College Impact. The Bible says, Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man 
whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:4-5 I love the analogy of children being arrows because it gives us God’s purpose for sending them into the world. Instead of sitting idly by as their faith is assaulted they should in turn touch lives, stand for truth, and raise a banner for Christ at their colleges.

How do we make that change? To get that answer pick up a copy of College Impact: Empowering Collegiate Christians for Campus Influence. THIS IS A GREAT GRADUATION PRESENT! You can request the book at your local bookstore or online at or

...Just a thought.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fruit from College

It has been made very clear to me that my book College Impact: Empowering Collegiate Christians for Campus Influence is not only vital, but the fruit from my college career is being produced. I recently ran into a young lady who I went to school with and she really blessed me with her story. She was an “it” girl on campus, she and her friends had the attention of all of the men on campus. She was a sweet girl with a very friendly personality, but she was not at all Christian. We (me and other men called the MOGs-men of God) had begun to make an impact on our campus and she was there to see it. At the time we would pray for her, but she was frankly one of the last people that we thought would become a Christian.

After delivering the message on this Sunday, she ran up to me asked, do you remember me? I said of course and I even remembered her whole name. She told me that not only was she a believer, but she was in a theological program and wanted to work in the ministry. My mind was blown. I usually try to hold my shock, when someone tells me they have received Christ, but I couldn’t help it. I even called my former residential director and he had the same reaction.

He and I began to reminisce over the times we would pray for and talk to her about Christ. My book outlines the importance of making a difference on the college campus, and how it has reverberations long after. She is the living example of my college influence. She literally overwhelmed me with her life transformation. This is only one of many ways the campuses are critical in God’s plan to advance his Kingdom in the earth. I pray that more students embrace the principles in the book and make a difference at their colleges. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…Ephesians 3:20

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Think on this…being naked is about stripping off the layers that we put on ourselves to present positive images to others. The reality is that we often cover our flaws and weaknesses to appear to be something that we wished we were. We see this in relationships all the time. The guys will be so considerate and attentive, but underneath he is selfish and lazy. The woman will be so delicate and sweet, then the moment you see her with the make up off so too some the facade. We walk around in interview mode hoping to fool people with a padded resume. It’s all to avoid being exposed to the truth of who we are. So we cover up.

I have a reputation at my church. I am the speaker, preacher, minister guy, but I have a tendency to tell people how screwed up I am. Why, because I don’t want to project something that I am not. There are too many “preachers” projecting perfection and people need to know that we have issues to. That gives others hope! We all need to be stripped of the stuff that keeps our true selves hidden. When we are finally naked we can deal with the good, bad, and ugly of who we really are. I am not just talking about “keeping it real” because I have discovered that you can be real and wrong at the same time. The difference between naked and real is that naked allows you to deal with the reality instead of settling for it.

Jesus hated people putting on facades. While talking to people in his day he point out those who tried to act as if they had it all together. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:24-27 I think Jesus hated it so much because he came to give people a chance to be authentic and clean to the core. That is why he died on the cross, to take all of our mess. But, if we keep all of the layers then we can’t even see how much we need him to cleanse us. Naked is the new Real…Just a thought.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Think on this…I have been thinking about what I am supposed to be doing with my life. The chances I must take, and the risk that are involved. I realized one important thing, its time to move forward! Honestly, I have not seen the full scope of what I am to accomplish and my heart longs for it. Okay, yes I have stepped into part of it in that I have left my corporate job. And yes, I have completed my first book, College Impact. Most people would say that I have arrived, based on what they see me accomplishing. One thing I have learned is that success is relative.

I do have some real needs requiring me to continue to push forward like, my family needing to eat. But, I am also feeling the weight and call of things God had spoken to me while in high school. I can’t look at where I am as a gauge for where God is taking me. This is not an attempt to think more highly of myself then I ought to, it’s an admission that I have so much more to do and I need God to do it. There are more dreams to be realized, more people to be touched by the love of God, and more leaders to be developed. There is a world that needs to be reached.

I know that this may sound weird to some, but I am not satisfied. I hope that you feel the same way about your life. God is not done with you yet. You have more to accomplish then you have thus far. How do I know that? YOUR STILL BREATHING! I can’t quit and neither can you. The Bible gives us the remedy, “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14…Let’s advance.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Think on this…I coach some amazing ladies that we lovingly call the Pinkies. It’s the Pink Team from my wife’s flag football league. We have a couple of championships and lost in last year’s championship game, so yeah, we are pretty good. This year we have had some major challenges at 3-3. We almost didn’t make it into the playoffs, so we have had some cause for concerns. We have been coming together as a team and are fired up to play the team that beat us in last year’s championship.

As a coach, it’s my job to make sure my team is ready for the challenges ahead, and at game time I guide them effectively. Why, because I can see what they can’t. I have given more of my time and energy to knowing the game. During the game I can see things that they can’t. I have to plan based on the tendencies of the other teams strategy, because I study them. I have to motivate the team to push when they feel that they can’t go on, because I have to know their limits more than they do. That’s coaching!

God coaches us in similar ways. Why, because He can see what we can’t. He has given more time and energy to knowing the His plan. In our lives He can see things that we can’t. He has already planned based on the tendencies of the enemy, because He made them also. He has to motivate us to push when we feel like we they can’t go on, because He knows our limits more than we do. The Bible says, “I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 …Just a thought.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Two Favorite Women

Think on this…I had an amazing weekend with some amazing ladies. One was my wife and she is a great mother, wife, and friend. The second was my mother who was all I had growing up and who I love with all my heart. Most people assume that when a wife and mother-in-law are in the same house things would be contentious. On the contrary, it was a wonderful time of connection. I realized in that moment that the two most important women in my life were there at the same time. It was calming for me.

My mom is a study in compassion. As long as I can remember she has had a big heart. She has some big flaws too, but she has a heart of gold, and that heart always forgives. My wife has shown me the meaning of commitment. She is a constant force in my and my son’s life. With our son’s special needs she has more than become his hero and mine also. You see how these two women are awesome? I was blessed to have them both in my presence.

The bible says, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:7 I love these women and I give them all the honor and respect due them. I would not be who I am without them and I am so grateful. These two women mean so much to me. Who are the women in their lives that have made the difference? How can you make sure they know how much they mean to you?...Just a thought.