Friday, June 30, 2006

Stochastic Selections

Getting old is a state of mind. Tonight at 11:30 my wife and I made a run to Sonic and then over to our friends house. Most people our age aren't cruising the streets just before midnight. I find that fun.

A sore back is not a state of mind. It is a sore back. I have a sore back. It is primarily due to my surplusage stomach. Another possible conclusion is that I don't exercise all that much. If I had to put a number on it - I'd say 90% big boiler and 10% lack of exercise.

Top Five Sweet Teas within 20.3 miles of my home:

1. Kim's (hands down - the best ever!)
2. Chicken E
3. Rudy's (yes, now in Denton & just 20.3 miles from the crib)
4. McCalister's Deli
5. Babes

Our house has light, cream color carpet. Whoever puts cream color carpet in their house has a serious screw lose in their dome. Seriously, you've got two choices with cream carpet:
- become a carpet natzi and pay the steam cleaner guy to come out monthly or...
- have your carpet look nasty.
Those are it, folks.

When I get to heaven, the dude who invented the remote control is sadly enough in my top 50 for people who are getting a high five. I'd even get up off the couch in my heavenly mansion to do it!

Mike Cope's blog is the crack cocaine of cyberspace.

If I really had compassion, I'd send some of my 10 pair of shoes overseas to the person who has zero pairs. I'm serious.

Because our electric bill was $668.39, Kim has the house temperature set roughly on "the surface of the sun" ... I know most would call that move, responsible. I often refer to it as horrible.

Grant Boone is the next Rick Riley.

My buddy, Jay Holland (Dr. Jay) believes that the key to getting the gospel of Matthew is found in chapters 5 and 24-25. Those two bookends deal with the Pharisees missing the kingdom. After five weeks in Matthew 5 for my series on the Beatitudes, I'm starting to believe him.

If there is someone who loves Jesus more than my bride, I haven't met them yet.

I'm on iTunes now. I know, scary. Go to podcast and then search for quile.

Dallas (Mavericks) was up by 13 stinkin points with 6 minutes to play in Miami during game 3. Finish strong and the parade route goes from yellow legal pad to reality.

Speaking of yellow legal pads (you weren't ... but I was) - did you know that only 43% of legal pads are yellow.

If I could be anyone in Hollywood, it would be jerry Bruckheimer. Seriously, dude gets to be "creative on roids" and spend millions upon millions to see his dreams put on film.
Our entire family is pumped about the new Pirates flick. Possibly beyond pumped!

Some folks put the new roll of toilet paper so that the first sheet is coming over the top and others replace it so that the new roll is coming out from the bottom. I'm the former.

Many of you know that Brandon Scott really, really likes David Hasselhoff and that his career is really taking off (David's - not Brandon's) What you may not know is that I've actually sat in "Kit" You know you're way jealous BST!

I halfway believe that the Chinese will someday, take over the world. That is why I eat at Pei Wei and PF Changs as often as I can. Just in case.

Someone from Benin reads my blog daily. Now I know most of you are fairly up to snuff with your Benin facts...but just in case:

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged.

I'll stop here. Too many good things can quickly become a bad thing.

Have a good weekend. Or make one.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Waxing & Waning

I feel like a mini Mike Cope in that I'm at a church full of great teachers/preachers. (for those of you who don't know, Mike often shares about how blessed he is by the teaching and preaching of others at his church, Highland) One of my favorite is a friend by the name of Brian Miller. B-Mill is one of a handful of guys at Lake Cities that I would drive to Alaska with in a pick up with no radio. He's a great mix of brilliance and goofiness, confidence and humility, wisdom and wise cracks and one heck of a husband, father, and leader. He is the principle of Fort Worth Christian and Texas A&M alum. But getting back to the purposes of this blog, he is an incredible Bible teacher.

Last night he concluded a series called, Full Circle and came out of Hebrews 11. He made the point that often, our faith is like the moon, waxing and waning. Sometimes we are waxing - getting closer to the Lord, trusting him with more and more of our heart, following him with more passion, and loving him more. Other times in our lives are like the waning of the moon - we are skeptical, anxious, distant, and indifferent. But Brian pointed out that them important thing about our that we have faith. The degree of our faith cannot be judged well by outsiders. And it certainly cannot be measure by either victory or defeat. Some people with great faith fall often and some people with little faith seemly breeze through life. The important thing is that we live BY faith.

I was struck with the following thought as Brian was teaching:

What enables us to even see the moon at all is the sun. The moon produces no light of its own but rather reflects the light of the sun. Sometimes the moon is directly lined up with the sun and we call that a full moon. Sometimes the earth gets in the way of the sun and we can't see the moon at all and we call that an eclipse. I realized that I want to live a full moon faith and never a eclipse faith. But truth be told, I'm often waxing and waning. And according to my brother Brian and to the author of Hebrews, I guess that is normal.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Waiting Room

Last night, Kim and I left "The Mean Streets" (what Grant Boone affectionately calls our town of Trophy Club) just before 7pm and headed down the road (Hwy 45) to Houston to go be with our dear friends, Jim and Carolyn Shook. If you've ever read Kim's blog, you know how much Carolyn's friendship means to Kim (of course, both Kim and I love both of the Shooks!) and you know that Carolyn is in a brutal battle with cancer. We arrived just after 10:30pm and stayed with Kim's sister in the Woodlands. This morning we left at 4:15am and headed for MD Anderson.
We got to the hotel (which is connected and a part of MD Anderson) at 5:15, met Jim and Carolyn and headed across the sky bridge to the hospital. After an emotional, prayerful, good bye, Kim and I headed to the waiting room. Jim has since joined us.

And so here we are. Waiting. We have be talking some, but mostly just waiting. This experience reminded me of the lyrics to the song by Shane and Shane:

i will run when i cannot walk
i will sing when there is no song
i will pray when there is no prayer
i will listen when i cannot hear

sitting in the waiting room of silence
waiting for that still soft voice i know
offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
trusting that this closet's where You are

Lord i know if i change my mind
You will change my heart in time
Sovereign Lord this time's from You
so i sit in the waiting room of silence
cause its all about You

i will fight when i cannot feel
i will trust when You dont seem real
i will tell when i cannot speak
i will step when i cannot see


We are all in the waiting room.

And so we wait.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Keeping "the Church" on Tract

Found this on Dr. GKB's Blog.

Check it out:

Dr. Greg is the world's leading authority on the coming soon world changing moving, Snakes on a Plane and likes the dirty Mexican food.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I went out this morning and shot the best round of golf in my life. Nothing to brag about for most people, but for a hack who has yet to take a lesson, it was the first time I broke 100. And considering that the front nine (52) was in the rain the entire time and I three-putted 6 holes and four-putted 1, it was a really good round.

I played by myself and behind five 75+ yr old men who began their round in spring and finished in fall. Definitely a challenge. But the key to my improvement, was definitely the absence of the cell phone. I actually tried to take it, but Kim said to leave it at home.

I'm glad I did.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I've never broke 100 in golf. Never.

Tomorrow, I'm going to shoot 90.

I'm going to be way focused.
I'm going by myself.
...and the biggie ... I'm not bringing my cell phone!!!

I'll keep you posted!

When the House is on Fire

I receive about 8,734 newsletters a month. Of which, 8,731 make the circular file after a brief glance. One of the ones I read fairly thoroughly is from Missions Resource Network. My good friend Alan Phillips is the Associate Director and my buddy, Matt Waldron's dad, Bob, is the Executive Director. Earlier this week, I read an article by Bob Waldron that has impacted me significantly. I contacted Bob and asked him for permission to reprint it.

When the House is on Fire By Dr. Bob Waldron

A lot of folks today are twisting the Scriptures like a veritable pretzel to escape the fact that people are lost without Christ. Not just unfulfilled or lonely or lacking a relationship with the Lord, but lost.

Lostness is why Peter in Acts 2, stood before thousands of his countrymen and passionately pleaded, "Save yourselves!"” He did not suggest five ways to add meaning to their lives, or two principles to put in their backpacks as they began their journey with God. Instead, he boldly urged them to escape the certain fate of this perverse world by repenting and being baptized to wash away their sins.

Jim Reapsome, editor of World Pulse from 1982-1997, described the urgency and passion of a mother standing on the street corner screaming at firefighters to save her children from a house engulfed in flames. If I read Peter'’s words correctly, I sense a similar passion.

Missionaries head for the field in a steady stream, but I wonder if they have the passion of the mother who wanted her children rescued. Or do they witness the scene from a safe distance, as we might do with another episode of the nightly news? Are their professors and mentors gripped by the world'’s lostness? Are the churches that send our missionaries sacrificially giving, praying and supporting them with a fierce commitment to snatch the perishing from the fire (Jude 23)?

Reapsome asks how we can recapture Peter's spirit and put proclamation back on the front burner of the missions agenda. His answer: by walking in Peter's sandals.

- He experienced the resurrected Christ.

-• He was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit.

-• He gazed on the Pentecost multitude, seeing them not as a distant, faceless mass, but as human beings in mortal danger.

That'’s when his emotions kicked in. Leonard Gray, a dear friend and former missionary to South Africa, used to say that the problem with our churches is that there are too many dry-eyed preachers speaking to too many dry-eyed people on the pews. What we need is a restoration of New Testament emotions. Somehow Peter's passion and urgency must spill out of our churches, schools and missionaries like a raging flood that smashes everything in its path. Only then will we rescue the perishing, plant churches worldwide and bring honor to the One who was crucified on their behalf.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Birthday, My Day, and Fat Head Antoine Walker

Kim's birthday was absolutely amazing! Our entire family went to dinner at the Tower Club in downtown Dallas. It was a beautiful restaurant with a stunning view but the most breathtaking aspect of the evening was my beautiful bride! (See Picture Below)

Kim received 40 gift coupons in a handmade album. She will be getting a present each week for the rest of the year. John, Laura, Emily and I are so blessed to get to share life with Kim. She is a joy dispenser, a hurt healer, a prayer warrior and the most loving person I've run across on this planet.

The next day brought an incredible gathering at Lake Cities. Holy Spirit was thick in our midst and the family that I have grown to love so deeply in the past ten months was welcoming plenty of new friends. After the assembly, we went home to a sports lover's dream day. Lunch was a golf theme. Kim made me club sandwiches, cole slaw, chips a frozen snickers and my favorite - an Arnold Palmer to drink. This is of course, is exactly what I have when I golf. For those of you who don't Arnold Palmer is half iced tea and half lemonade. After my golfer's special lunch, it was on to presents! I made out like a bandit with John giving me a cool t-shirt (it says "Dad" in binary code), computer fan and card; Laura giving me a nice golf shirt and golf shorts; Emily giving me nice golf shorts and re-gripping my sand wedge and 5 wood, and Kim gave me an incredible picture of Billy Grahm with a quote (see below).

I spent some time lying on the couch watching the US Open and then John surprised my by asking me to the movies. We went and saw The Breakup. I actually liked it. We went to Barnes and Noble and Starbucks after. It was so special to get to hang with my son on Father's Day...even more special that it was his idea. I wrapped up the day by watching the Mavericks get robbed. Which leads me to my final topic of this blog...

Antoine Walker is a fat head. I'm serious! There aren't too many people I don't like, but Fat Head Walker is one of them.

And since when is breathing on a player a foul. That last play of game 5 was a joke deluxe. D-Wade is seriously sick and can ball his head off, but dude goes back court, pushes off twice, and then goes through the lane untouched and gets the foul.

Okay, enough for now...56 seconds left in game 6 and Mavs are down by 3. I don't mind if we lose, I just don't want Fat Head to make the game winning shot.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tomorrow is the Big Day!!!

Tomorrow my babalicious bride will turn 40. Everyone thinks she looks like 30. Course next to her I feel like 50. We've got a day of family & fun planned & I can't wait. There will be no "Over the Hill" action...Kim is way too peppy for that. Maybe when she turns 50? Course then she'll look like 40.

Grant Me This...Check This Out

If you love golf, Grant Boone or well written, witty work by Grant about golf...check this out:

I'm proud of my former roomie and forever friend.

Good job BooneDog!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dear Q

Dear Q:
I have a problem. It is a sin problem. I do "X" or I don't do "Y". Can you help?

Yes, whatever your sin problem matter the sin - here are three simple steps you can take to work through it:

1. Relational vs. Rules. You've got to get to the point that you see your sin as against a person and not a law. Think about the lost son, "I've sinned against heaven and against you..." The moment your sin is viewed as hurting your friend, big brother, Father, Groom, etc... it will change the way you live.

2. Scripture. God stacked the deck against us on this one. Holy Spirit often uses scripture to convict us of sin. For example, I was reading in John 4 this morning and my heart was arrested by verse 50, "the man took Jesus at his word." I realized that I hadn't been taking Jesus at his word lately - trying to heal the "sons" in my life on my own. And on the other side, the scriptures are full of grace and love for us when we realize we've missed the mark.

3. Share it. Confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed. Drag that sin into the light and watch what happens. Most sins are committed in dark secrecy and most sins are healed in community.

- Shalom

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Death by Ministry

Feast your eyes and heart on this amazing post from Mark Driscoll

Death by Ministry

At our recent Reform & Resurge Conference in Seattle, my good friend Pastor Darrin Patrick from The Journey in Saint Louis spoke frankly of the burden that pastoral ministry is. I have pushed myself to the edge and over the edge of burnout throughout my nearly ten years in vocational ministry. Subsequently, I have been doing a great deal of research that I am compiling in hopes of not only improving my own life but also the lives of the leaders at Mars Hill Church and the churches in our Acts 29 Network. As a leader I commonly set the pace of ministry for those under me, which can lead to wholesale burnout of others if I don’t learn this lesson and teach it to others. The following points that I pray are helpful are some brief thoughts from what God has been teaching me as of late. Lastly, the fact that at least twenty-two separate organizations exist in the U.S. solely to deal with pre- and post-pastoral burnout indicate that this is a widespread problem that has only been identified and researched since the 1950s.

Part 1 — Some Statistics
The following statistics were presented by Pastor Darrin Patrick from research he has gathered from such organizations as Barna and Focus on the Family.


  • Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
  • Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
  • Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.

Pastors' Wives

  • Eighty percent of pastors' spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
  • Eighty percent of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • The majority of pastor's wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

Part 2 — Some Signs
The following are indicators that ministry leaders are heading toward burnout, if not already there. Sadly, we too often become so focused on our tasks and responsibilities that we fail to see these warning signs until it is too late.

  • Unusual mood swings that may include weeping without just cause, anger, or depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Paranoia and suspicion
  • Weight change, including gain or loss
  • Moments of panic and feeling totally overwhelmed
  • Fantasizing about dying or running away to get away from the pressure
  • Fight-or-flight cycles where you rise up to intimidate and conquer others or run away from difficulties just to avoid them
  • Insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep, which can lead to a reliance on sleeping pills
  • Too frequent use of alcohol or tobacco
  • High blood pressure
  • Comforting yourself with unhealthy foods packed with fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates
  • General irritability
  • Reckless driving
  • Change in sexual desire of either noticeable increase or decrease
  • Notable ongoing sexual temptation
  • Health-related issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, heart trouble, chronic sickness, and stomach problems including ulcers
  • A victim mentality that sees the world as against you and everyone as an enemy to varying degrees
  • Shopping sprees and unnecessary financial spending
  • Reliance on caffeine to self-medicate
  • Children, friends, and loved ones begin to feel like yet another burden

Part 3 — Some Solutions
The following are simply some things I do in my own life that I have found helpful to prevent me from dying a death by ministry.

  1. Fill your plate — In a conversation with Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii, he gave some very sagely advice. He said that each person’s plate is a different size; each person needs to first find the size of their plate and then fill it only with those things that are of highest priority. And, before adding any additional things to our full plate, we must take something else off to leave space for the new duty. Finding the size of one’s plate takes time and attention. For example, I have personally seen that high-level leaders have an energy level that is unusually high and those working under them who seek to keep up with their pace find themselves quickly burning out.
  2. Exercise — Sadly, most pastors and Christian leaders I know are woefully out of shape. Many of them pound their pulpits against rock music and alcohol while their huge gut jiggles in mockery of their own gluttony. In the early years of our church plant, I ate poorly, slept infrequently, and lived off of the constant adrenaline of perpetual stress. As a result, I weighed 235 pounds at my highest point. Through regular diet and exercise I dropped back down to a lean 190 pounds. But in the past year I have seen my weight climb back up to 210 pounds as my diet and exercise routine has been trashed by laziness, travel, and the constant state of emergency. So, yesterday I cleaned out my garage and plugged my treadmill back in so I can resume daily running and lifting conveniently at home. I got started exercising this morning. I find that when I work out, I drop weight, feel better, sleep better, and am better able to lead out of health with energy. The experts say the best time to exercise is in the morning and those who work out early in the day are most likely to remain on an exercise regimen.
  3. Do not allow technology to be your Lord — A recent issue of Fortune magazine had an insightful article about the average day of some of the most successful CEOs in the country. These people lived lives ruled by technology, including spending whole days each week doing nothing but obsessively responding to every single email they received. The article mentioned that the average American worker is interrupted once every eleven minutes and takes twenty-five minutes to refocus on their original task. The problem is that the alarms and bells of our technology deceive us into reacting to them even when the matter they call us to is neither urgent or important. So, turning off the chime and vibrate on your phone, only checking your voicemail and email on certain days at certain times, and turning the notification off on your email will itself go a long way toward your healing. You won’t have the unpredictable fire drill caused by the bells of technology. Imagine what the world must have been like before the 1200s when the first mechanical clock was invented, or before minute and second hands were added in the 1600s, or before 1879 when Edison produced the first light bulb, thereby enabling us to stay up all night.
  4. Sabbath — This includes taking five minutes off every hour to catch your breath, go for a walk, stand up at your desk, etc. It includes taking thirty to sixty minutes off a day to nap, go for a walk, read, garden, or whatever else releases your pressure and helps you to relax. This also means taking one day off a week to Sabbath, including a date night if you are in a serious relationship or married. This also includes a day or two off a month for silence and solitude and a few weeks a year for an actual vacation that does not leave you more tired than before it began.
  5. Pick a release valve — Because ministry causes pressure, any leader without an acceptable release valve will either burn out from stress or blow up from sin. So, the key to releasing pressure is to find and use an acceptable release valve. This may include exercise, gardening, a hobby, journaling, or my favorite, dropping the top on my Jeep and heading into the mountains for a day of adventure to find new lakes to swim in.
  6. Work on your life, not just in it — Rather than just pulling more hours and trying harder, time needs to be regularly taken to pull back and look at your life so that you can work on it rather than just run in it. For me this includes printing out my schedule every few months to review how I spent my time and inform my assistant of what was a waste of time that should not happen again. This also means taking time to read books on the issue of time management and burnout and biographies of great leaders to learn from their lives, and possibly even taking time to meet with a Biblical counselor to get insight on your own life and tendencies.
  7. Leave margin — When we push our bodies, schedules, minds, and budgets to the point where there is no margin, all that it takes to destroy us is one unforeseen expense, one small emergency, or one small cold. Therefore, leaving margin is the key to not being crushed when life does not go according to plan. This means leaving extra money in the bank, leaving extra time between appointments, and preparing to arrive at places early so that if there is traffic you will still be on time and not stressed.
  8. Spend most of your time training leaders — While thousands of people came to see Jesus, only a handful really knew Him, and only three knew Him intimately. This is because Jesus spent his time training leaders to do ministry and without doing the same we will die from our work and sadly see it die with us as well.
  9. Work from conviction, not guilt — Conviction comes from God and guilt comes from people. The key to being both fruitful and healthy is to do what God wants and not always say yes to or let yourself be pushed around by people who are demanding and have perfected the art of making you feel guilty if you do not do what they demand.

This information can be found at:


I would hate to be one of my kids.

And for reasons other than the content of this blog! For reasons you could easily imagine! :)

I'm especially thinking about my girls. Ages 9 & 16.

here's why:

When I was their ages life was different. I was different. I never got bored. Never.

Because I could get into trouble.

Because there was summer school. Yeah, I know that is a shocker. My teachers liked me so much they asked me to come back during the summer and take classes over. Weird, huh?

There was baseball. From morning til evening, baseball! Sunscreen? - Nope! Parental supervision? - No way! Just seeds and scratching and split finger fastballs from sun up to sun down.

Plus we could get into trouble.

And we could have jobs. I was a Coke dealer at age 10. Yeah, my buddy and I built this box and with wheels and put ice in it and soft drinks (Cokes) and towed it on our bikes up the hill to sell at the ball fields without concession stands. Made like $375 one summer. Of course there was the paper route too.

And we could ride our bikes all over the planet. One summer I rode to New Zealand I think. I'm pretty sure it was New Zealand...

And did I mention we could get into trouble.

But my kids? As I type this they are down the hall (at our church) working in the Summer Preschool program. Laura is getting paid a bit and Emily is volunteering.

Not selling Coke, repeating Geometry, spiting seeds, riding to New Zealand...No, they are caring for kids...Volunteering.

I'd love be to my kids!