Why I Write

Hi there!

I’m not an apologist. I’m not gonna tell you the hermeneutics and the linguistics and the rocky mountain spotted ticks behind any scripture.

I’m not a preacher. I’m not gonna tell you that Jesus will save your soul (though He will) or that Ecclesiastes is the most meaningful book in the Bible (it is).

I’m not a teacher. I’m not gonna lay out a study plan and keep up with you to make sure you get it.

I’m none of those things. I’m a guy that sells industrial equipment. And I happen to have a Bible on my nightstand. It reminds me of what I need to know to get through life.

But somewhere along the way, the connection of those Words is broken between my brain and my heart. That’s why I’m not an apologist. Just because I know the Words doesn’t mean I understand them. Just because they’re in my brain doesn’t mean they have found their way to my heart.

And I get depressed. And I need to get those promises to where they need to be. And I do that through writing.

If I can help someone out along the way, great! If not, well, I’ve grown a little in the process.

One day, I’ll be perfect. But it’s only gonna happen when I meet God face-to-face and He tells me, “if it weren’t for grace, amigo, you’d be in a much warmer climate right now.”

In the meantime, please bear with this guy that’s just stumbling around from day to day. I’m gonna say stupid stuff. I’m gonna make mistakes. I’m gonna quote the wrong preacher. All because I’m trying to get it all straight myself.

In Christ,


The Beauty of a Simple Gospel 

I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Way too much time, some would say. And I try to justify it by saying my time there advances the Gospel. But, truth be told, mostly I just make small talk.

Recently, though, I misread someone’s remark and went, as I’m prone to do, on a long rant with my thoughts on the subject. I’m not perfect, so I begged their forgiveness and we both moved on as friends.

But I still feel like what I wanted to say needs to be said. So, here it is.

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Matthew‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There are a lot of people that spout theology as if it were Gospel. Maybe they are onto something, but I just don’t get it. What is the goal?

I was a student of the sciences. I looked for a clear definition or explanation for everything that came my way. As Albert Einstein said, “if you can’t explain it clearly, you don’t understand it.”

When I came to know Christ, however, I faced mysteries that have no explanation. The Trinity. “The last shall be first.”  “To him who has much more will be given. But to him that had nothing, everything will be taken.” It hurt my head.

But I found a few nuggets of wisdom that really helped me get through it.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:18-20‬ ‭ESV

Now I know I’m foolish.  Every time I get things figured out in life, something throws a curve ball and I strike out again.  Every time I think I’m getting wiser, I learn I’m wrong.  So why should I think I’ve got God figured out?

Can you find out the deep things of God?
    Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.
If he passes through and imprisons
    and summons the court, who can turn him back?

Job 11:7-10, ESV

I have been spending a lot more time in prayer and reading His Word over the last (almost) 16 years.  At times, a lot more devoted than at others.  And I’m beginning to understand something that a lot of my peers would consider childish.

The Gospel is Simple

The Gospel is very simple.  Just like Jesus said in Matthew above, it is so simple it confuses the wise.  But the foolish can understand it.  So, what is the Gospel?  It is very simple.  Jesus died so you can live.  Accept His gift, fellowship with Him, find peace with Him in this life, and spend eternity with Him in the next life.

That’s it, pure and simple.  There’s really nothing more to it.  I don’t need to understand big words to understand God’s love.  I don’t need to research what all of the church fathers wrote.  I don’t need to figure out if I’m a Calvinist or an Arminian; Reformed or Restored.

I do need to know if I’m forgiven.  And that’s something that only I can determine through my own communion with my Lord and Savior.

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:9-12, ESV

This is where I receive my faith, my promise my hope for eternity.  It is important to me that I learn about God’s will for me.  That is not going to come from Calvin or Luther.  It is important to me that I learn about sharing this Gospel with those who are lost.  Few will respond to arguments about whether we are merely pawns in God’s massive orchestration or if our free-will impacts the world.

Most people are like me, trying to get on with measly lives – ekking out a living and hoping to sleep well at night.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow may not happen.  Lord, help me through today.  Those are the people I see every day.  Those are the people with whom I can relate.

I want to know God.  I knew about Him most of my life.  But He made Himself real to me <almost> 16 years ago.  That’s when it goes beyond studying a historical figure and building a relationship with a living person.  The goal is to know Him personally.

The last thing I want to do is argue with any of my brothers and sisters in Christ about history.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,  and their talk will spread like gangrene.

2 Timothy 2:15-17, ESV

Keep the peace!  And spread the Gospel!


Clip from Scrooged – watch this first. 

Acid Rain.

Drug Addiction.

International Terrorism.

Snipers, storms, and war.

I don’t know about you, but the last few months have been stressful. North Korea. Las Vegas. Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Trump vs. Everybody. The news alone is enough to make you want to checkout.

But then there’s life, on top of the news. Taking care of kids. Taking care of parents. Harvey. Disease. Unemployment.  

It’s times like these we really need to remember that God is with us.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

– Luke 13:1-5, ESV 

These things were “BREAKING NEWS” when Jesus walked with the disciples. And they sound like they’re right out of today’s headlines. This sort of thing has been going on since creation. The methods may be different, and the fact that we can now hear about disasters and tragedies as soon as they happen, thanks to modern technology.

But the truth of the matter is, stressful times have been with us since that day in the Garden.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?

Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?ong?

Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?

Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth.

For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.

– Habakkuk 1:2-4, ESV

The violence Habakkuk spoke about was both domestic and foreign. Israelite versus Israelite, and invaders from various countries… there was a great deal of violence. And the faithful in Israel cried out to the Lord for relief, thinking that God is not listening, not interested.

God was, however, paying attention. And He had a plan:

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded.

For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own.

They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.

Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on.

Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour.

They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand.

– Habakkuk 1:5-9, ESV

Wait… The Chaldeans? Seriously? That’s like me praying to God and He says, “Don’t worry. I’m sending North Korea to resolve your problems.”

So Habakkuk asked God, “Are you sure?”

And God proceeds to describe His master plan for saving everyone, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. This is where we all must circle back. This is where God meets us in our stress, in our loss, in our sin. And all he asks us to do – and I know it’s difficult – is to trust Him. He’s got this. Don’t worry about it and keep on moving.

Folks, I know this is hard. Believe me, I know it. And each one of us is fighting a battle of some sort. We don’t need to compare scars. We just need to hold each other up, encourage each other, and keep on moving forward.

Want to read a moving prayer? Look at Habakkuk 3. Read it closely. He praises his God even though he has lost everything. Let this be our prayer!



It’s Sunday morning and I have a few minutes to be grateful. 

  • Thank you Lord, for a local church family that truly cares for us. 
  • Thank you, Lord, for being in a place where I can truly worship you in peace. 
  • Thank you, Lord, for the encouragement given and received this week. 
  • Thank you, Lord, for letting me know that my old atheist friend has found you. 
  • Thank you, Lord, for emboldening me to speak with my agnostic friend.
  • Thank you, Lord, for people like Thom and Tony and Jeff and @RedeemedRags and @EricIsGuitarted and @patchingcracks and @DonnaGeee and @FanN2Flames and @YaelSpeaks and @ImJimR87 and @SkipSmith10 and @SusannaHawkins1 and @CelloC and @anahnemoo and @P31Grits and @RedeemedNegaduc and @dbhostage and @LynnAMcG and @BrannysawrusRex and so many more who laugh, cry, and pray with us. 

Lord, you’ve been here. You know this road ain’t easy. You know we’re going to have a hard time. That’s why you promised us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. 

These fruits of the Spirit guide us and give us strength for the treacherous journey ahead. These fruits take that rocky, twisted, and steep road, and make it smooth, straight, and flat. 

You have given us all of the tools we need, including and especially each other, so that we can make it through to meet you face to face. 

And on that day, when you will wipe away the tears of this world, and you hold us close to you, and you tell us, “Well done!”, we will finally rest our weary souls in your strength. Our battle done, our road traveled, our race finished. No longer dreading the day. No more worry about our husbands, wives, parents, and kids. We will be with you, in Paradise. 

This Sunday morning, I am grateful. Thank you, Lord.

What happened?

Wednesday morning, my wife called to tell me that our daughter’s friend attempted suicide. “…and she may have been successful.” 

My daughters are friends with both of those girls. They hang out, they sleep over, they text each other. The older girl found the younger with a dog leash wrapped around her throat. 

I’m not sure what happened. I’m not sure what led up to it. All I know for certain is that my youngest child can’t understand. And my oldest is angry. 

Do I believe suicide is unforgivable? No I do not. That call is up to our almighty Heavenly Father. And he decides who is saved, and who is not. 

So, for the person who goes, there’s no problem. Have a nice eternity!

But there are so many people left behind that were touched by your life. In positive ways, no less. And you may never know that. These people love you. You may not know that either, and I am sorry about that. 

And their lives are turned upside down. 

I can’t begin to imagine what her parents are going through. Nor her sister. 

But I see my my teenage daughters cry. And I don’t know how to comfort them. And that hurts me. 
Our society wants to focus on negative things. Our music, our movies, and our everyday talk. 

I had a bad day at work. 

My day was worse!

It’s like we compete for the worst life. And as we focus on how bad our lives are, we lose track of all the blessings. We lose track of the wins. We lose track of the love. 

And we don’t want to lose anymore. 

I know. I’ve been there. And I don’t want to go back. 

But we only want to focus on our own negativity. We don’t want to hear or talk about someone else’s problems. And that’s where we are failing each other. And that’s why so many people think nobody cares. 

And someone chooses to end it all. 

And so many more suffer.

And still, nobody wants to talk about it. 

So it never gets addressed. 

It never really gets addressed. 

I’m done being silent. This has gone on long enough. Yeah, I’m ashamed that it took hitting this close to home before speaking up. That makes it all the more important. 

Please, don’t let another innocent young person take their life. 

Knowing God

15 years ago, my life changed.  In my car, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, God made Himself known to me.  My 3-year-old daughter, slept through the whole thing in the back seat.  But my life changed forever.

It hasn’t been easy along the way. “You will have trouble,” Jesus told his disciples (John 16:33).  I’ve been laid off the times from the tumultuous energy industry. I’ve eaten more beans and cornbread than I care to remember (but my wife makes some amazing beans and cornbread!)  And my car is nothing to brag about.

But in the same breath as the quote above, Jesus also said, “take heart, I have overcome the world.” 

And that’s where knowing Him – not just knowing about Him – can change your life.

I’m here to testify. I do indeed have it all. At this point, joy and peace are some pretty valuable commodities! 

I will be writing here about how I came to know God; how He has healed me; how He has bestowed peace and joy on me. How he answers my prayers, and sometimes the answer is “no.”

Keep tuned.



The World is Exploding 

And we get to watch!

Anyone who comments without reading the whole post … Well, you’ll show your ignorance. 

Ok enough drama, right?  “Save da drama fo yo mama!”  But, seriously. There is a lot amiss.  This is not a sermon for unbelievers.

Nearly 14 years ago, I pledged my life to Christ. There were some immediate changes, but growing up in the U.S.South, with very conservative parents, I had some core beliefs:

  1. If you live in this country, you damn well better be ready to work. 
  2. If you pose any threat to my family, you must die. 
  3. The Russians are the bad guys. 
  4. So are the Liberals. 
  5. So are Atheists
  6. And the French
  7. And Muslims
  8. And Catholics
  9. And gays…
  10. And bigots…
  11. And drugs…
  12. And illegal immigrants…

Let’s face it. Archie Bunker made a whole lot of sense to me. Then, at the age of 21, I dropped out of college and joined the Navy. My charge in life: to destroy the Russian horde as The Gipper commanded. But I also learned how to drink like a sailor. 

Then a Navy Chaplain told me that Jesus didn’t want people like me. I found myself, a professing conservative “Christian”, living in the dark side. A place that I wouldn’t want my body to be found. It was an eye-opening experience. The atheists and gays aren’t that bad. I don’t want to be one, but since Jesus doesn’t want me, I can hang out with them. 

I eventually got back to college and graduated with a degree in computer science. First I moved to the Texas border area where I was the minority because I spoke English. I encountered illegal aliens every day. I learned to speak their language and I ate their food. These people aren’t so bad. They’re just trying to support their families. 

My next stop was Austin, a very liberal spot in Texas. Why, oh why do the liberals take over the most beautiful places? The West Coast, The Texas Hill Country… But they weren’t so bad. Yeah, we disagreed on a lot of points, but for the most part, they actually made sense. I came away with the conclusion that every hardcore  conservative needs a liberal or two to help them see the other side. (And the liberals out there could use a conservative or two to keep the country’s economy on track!)

But Houston was the most eye-opening experience. In Houston, I found a cross-section of the whole world. All of the remaining bad people were here. I worked with Muslims every day. I ride the vanpool with Russians who escaped the collapse of the Soviet Union as fast as they could. There are Catholics in our homeschool group. 

It was in Houston that I found I needed to have The Lord Jesus Christ in my life. 14 years ago. I asked Him to take away everything that stood between us. But there is still a lot of hate in my heart. 

And there are people who cannot work. And there are thousands of homeless. And many of my friends are out of work because of the price of oil. And I was in that situation. 

And who bailed me out? My church. They helped me – not with handouts, but with the expectation that I would get back on my own two feet soon. That one day I would be able to do for others what was done for me. 

Life hasn’t been easy. And there is a lot of hateful rhetoric on the news and in thenSocial Media feeds. I signed off Facebook 7 years ago because of the political rhetoric. (But I also changed my avatar to a Hammer and Sickle in honor of our government. See I’m not perfect!)

Then they established sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. And they legalized gay marriage. And they legalized marijuana. And they began the Sovietization of our healthcare system. And they outlawed the Confederate Battle Flag. And we went to war against a Muslim army without a country. And another one. 

And still, Jesus works on my heart. 

  • Homosexuality and drug use is a sin, just like my drunkenness which I was born with a penchant for. I needed to learn how to deal with my addictions so I could help others deal with theirs. 
  • Many of my friends were without healthcare before the Affordable Care Act.  Self-employed, but not rich, they needed an option that did not exist. 
  • To my friends with darker skin, the Confederate Battle Flag is the equivalent of a swastika – a religious symbol appropriated and ruined by a hate monger. 
  • My Muslim friends wept with me after 9/11 and the recent attacks in Paris. (Though the French refused to help us after 9/11, we will stand with them in this time of mourning.)
  • Refugees, though a few bad eggs may be in the group, still need a chance to recover from the horror they have been through. 

Am I a liberal? I don’t think so. I still think the Soviets had it wrong. I still think we need to protect our borders from potential enemy combatants sneaking in. I still think hard work is the way to peace. And I still think we need to fight to protect our families. 

But all of this needs to be filtered through the love of our Lord and Savior.  And that is what many of my Christian friends cannot see. 

An Attitude of Gratitude

I’m almost 50.  Almost.  And I’ve learned a lot in the last almost 50 years.  Today’s lesson is on true gratitude.

See, I’ve called BS on this “Attitude of Gratitude” thing for most of my life.  I mean, I tried it and it didn’t work.  I’m still a bitter middle-aged man.  Bitter because “Nothing is working out the way I want it.”  I have craved 20 acres for most of my life, but I’m stuck in a house in the suburbs.  I figured I’d be an executive by now at my job, but I’m still not even a manager.  I figured I’d be jamming with my bass guitar on the weekends, but I pawned it 20 years ago and I’m delivering pizzas on the weekends.

So what the he!! do I have to be grateful for? <There’s one!>

Diddly S—t, right? <you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?  But SQUAT has five letters, not four!>

Then, about a month ago, people started telling me, “That’s not your job.  Why are you worried about it?”  “Can you do anything about the condition of your roof/driveway/siding/plumbing?  Why are you worried about it?”  “Are you getting fatter ‘cuz you eat four good meals a day?  Why are you complaining about not having the best cuts of beef?”

My wife – my lovely, wise partner in life – told me that I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else.  Most of our friends and neighbors work two jobs.  The only difference between them and me is that they don’t complain about it!

So I adopted an “I don’t give a sh-t about it” attitude.  Honestly, that’s how it translates to those outside of the cross.  And, that’s honestly how it started for me.  But as I began to apply Matthew 6:25-34 in my life, it began to look less like “F—– it all!” and more like the Serenity Prayer.  <again, you thought I was going to say something else.  FORGET has six letters, not four!>

Reinhold Neibuhr wrote: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Twelve-step programs use this to encourage their members to keep moving forward.  I figured out that “I don’t give a d–n” has biblical roots, when properly applied.

And by properly applied, that means giving credit to whom credit is due.

Throughout the Bible, believers are instructed to “Cast their burdens/cares upon the Lord” (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7 to name a couple).  I think I’ve finally learned how to do this.  “I can’t do anything about this.  Lord, You will take care of this in your time, somehow.  It’s not my job to worry about it.”  By doing this, I’ve accepted the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

And I’m grateful.  Yesterday I considered what to do for my 50th birthday party.  I decided we would just celebrate – the four of us – at my house with zero guests.  We can’t afford to bring anyone.  I was discouraged for a while.  Then I decided to thank God for what I have.  I have a roof over my head and it [still] keeps me dry.  I have cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.  I have four squares a day.  I have two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife.

And I felt better.

I had cultivated an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

I finally figured it out.

My life isn’t suddenly better, but I’m content with where I am.  I keep striving to improve, but not because I am dissatisfied.  I keep striving to be a better man than what I was yesterday.

And somehow it’s all going to work out.  So I’m no longer bitter.

Repeat the 60s. 50 years later

and the 60s were a repeat of the early 1900s. And the early 1900s were a repeat of the mid 19th century. 

Seems like nobody is happy unless they are pissed off. And America is getting really angry right about now. Race relations are back in the toilet. Big corporations are eating up the little ones and *** dumping on their customers. Customers are not happy with the service they are provided but feel powerless to do anything about it. The President acts on his own, with Executive Orders rather than legislation (both parties, by the way). The polarization keeps increasing and the only thing left is the pop. And it won’t be pretty. 

All of the world’s major religions teach peace between brothers and outsiders. Judaism, and by extension Christianity, teaches that we are to (and I’m paraphrasing here) love God with every fiber of our being. Also love those around us and around the world. 

Black, white, Christian, Muslim, Republican. Democrat, American, not American, North, South… There is only division out there. Everyone has a message to share. And since the message is basically the same, “I have value and so do you!”, nobody wants to listen to the next guy’s message. 

So the message escalates. Now they drop the last piece of the message. “I have value!” And that’s all that matters. It’s why drivers in Houston block all traffic because they missed a turn, rather than going two blocks further and turning around. It’s why a teenager with absent parents turns to a street gang. It’s why politicians crucify each other in the media. We have lost track of the second half of the message. 

I pledge to go one step further – to turn the message around. “You have value, and so do I!”

You have value and so do I!

By putting you first, I remember the second half of the message. I’m not going to forget about me, but if the mantra puts you first, I won’t forget about you, either. 

Corporate America, politicians, managers, freeway drivers, assembly line workers, little children… Take the pledge. Turn the message around. “You have value!”  And so do I. 

I like big b***s and I cannot lie…

There we were. Seven grown ups, ten youth and me. On a plane returning from Honduras, not quite a year ago. Next to me was a great kid who reminds me a lot of me thirty years ago. As the previews repeated on the tiny screens in front of us, Die Hard kept coming up. I said, “I like big booms and I cannot lie.”

My daughter, across the aisle, looked over and said, “Daddy!”

The youth minister gave me a look that… well let’s just say I’m glad looks don’t really kill.

That day, I learned the importance of proper enunciation. It’s a lesson I will never forget. And I will continue to laugh heartily every time I think of it.