Monday, July 31, 2006

I Want. I Need.

I want to eat dinner at PF Changs.
I want to become a better leader.
I want to get my golf handicap into single digits.

I need God.

I want to put in hard wood floors in my living room.
I want to continually improve as a husband to my incredible wife.
I want my teeth whitened.

I need God.

I want my dad to stop drinking.
I want to memorize the Sermon on the Mount.
I want a Nissan Armada.

I need God.

I want to be a better teacher for my kids.
I want a Palm 700 Smart Phone.
I want to finish Practicing Greatness by Reggie McNeal.

I need God.

I want patio furniture.
I want my son to have a wife as wonderful as mine.
I want to get my doctorate.

I need God.

I want to learn to play the guitar.
I want my brother to live close to me.
I want a projection tv/surround sound system in our family room.

I need God.

I want my girls to never doubt my love for them.
I want to improve as a preacher.
I want to visit the Holy Lands.

I need God.

I want to take my family on an incredible vacation.
I want my church to know I love Jesus more than ministry.
I want to make a difference in the lives of those I love.

I need God.

I want...

I need God.

God is all I want.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Carolina, Coffee, Cope, and Mercy

Tonight our family is celebrating the Carolinas with a feast of a meal. Pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, chips, sweet tea & Big Red (I know - probably more of a Texas drink...) and strawberry shortcake for dessert. We are going to call our favorite UNC alumni, Ken & Lois Brown (dear friends in their 80's from RWC, CA) and include them on the Carolina celebration.

All that to say, I am already hungry and dinner isn't for another 8 hours.

Kim started working a few hours a day at Starbucks yesterday and she absolutely loves it! I looked through some of the training manuals and other partner (they don't call them employees) material and it looked incredible. I am well aware that not everyone is a Starbucks fan, but I am impressed. Great hours, decent pay, incredible insurance, fun people, free coffee and an opportunity to be salt and light...sounds good to me.

My buddy, Mike Cope turns 50 today! Happy B-day Bro Co!

Here is a prayer I left for him on his blog:

"“Dear Father, would you please be gracious enough to give your servant Mike another 50 years to live as salt and light? Please? I, for one, would be so grateful for the blessing of another 2500 sermons, 18,250 Blog Posts, and a million other sacred delights that you pour out through Mike. In the name of the One who makes both life and death a good option, Jesus. Amen."

As I was writing this a small bird slammed into the window in the front of our church. Our youngest, Emily was babysitting some kids when it happened and was the first on the scene. She ran into my office as if one of the kids heads had fallen off.

"Daddy, come quick, we have got to help a hurt bird!"

So I make my way outside to find a small sparrow having a seizure of sorts. I quickly determine (armchair vet) that it has a broken neck or back and unless we can secure a tiny little birdie wheelchair, there is nothing we can do. 'Nothing' was not working with Emily.

"We have to do something!" proclaimed Emily. "We can't do nothing! Call the police."

I explained that you can't call the cops for a bird that can't fly.

That didn't fly with Emily. I called the cops. Not 911, but the number I thought was the local animal services guy."

"Denton County Sheriff Dispatch" came the voice on the line, "What is your emergency?"

"I'm an idiot!" I thought to myself.

Just as I was explaining the "emergency", Emily came running in and announced, "the birdie is okay! It just flew off!"

I stumbled my way off the phone so the Denton County Sheriff Department could tend to real emergencies and made my way out to see the site of the mini miracle.

Sure enough, no bird in sight. I asked Emily what happened.

"I touched it very gentle and it calmed down. Then I picked it up and held it for a minute very softly. Then it flew out of my hands."

To be honest (and why lie on your own blog, really?) my first reaction was rather maternal: "You're going to get all kinds of diseases! If you die of bird flu, your mom is not going to be happy! Why would you touch a dying bird?" (because...) We're my first thoughts.

But I didn't say any of that. I simply told her good job baby. Now go wash your hands.

As she walked inside and down the hall to wash, two things came to mind:

1. Her sweet smile

2. Luke 10:25-37

and I could hear the strong, tender voice of Jesus speak into my heart,


Monday, July 24, 2006


Remember when you were a kid and your parents, teachers, parole officer, etc would ask you why you did something dumb and you would offer up that wisdom filled reply of, "because" as if that was going to bring the conversation to a screeching halt right there?

Oh, you don't remember that?

Okay, then it was only me...

Anyway, I used to say "because" a lot as a kid. It was my secret weapon, my ace in the hole; my ... you get the point.

Really I just said it because it sounded better than the alternative response which in my case would've no doubt included the phrase, "I'm an idiot - That's why!"

Well, even though I'm older and less of an idiot, I still find "because" a decent enough reply for some of life's agenda items.

We highly effective, purpose driven, best life now folk always feel a need to do something for a very intentional purpose, don't we. Well what if there isn't a big occasion or strategic move?

I experienced the simply beauty of the "because" this morning when I checked my email.

I received the most incredible email from my bride - and here’s the catch - for no real, intentional, effective, best purpose at all! It wasn't my birthday, or Father's Day, or Arbor Day or any other big deal day. It was sent late Sunday night and read mid Monday morning!

It made my heart leap and eyes wet and I'm sharing it with you!

"Why?” you ask.


I love you soooo much! I really appreciate who you are! I am soooo proud of you and that I get to be your wife! I love that others love you so respectfully!!! You are an honor to me with your gift of preaching, speaking, and passionately loving His people. You are an amazing dad, the way you love unconditionally, and pray for them, encourage them, and trying to keep them challenged! I am thrilled for us honey and how far we have come! I am filled with joy for who's we have accepted to be! God is awesome for breaking the cycle of destruction with us! You rock! I am in love, romantically, spiritually, and emotionally with you!!!

Thank you for loving me in and out if my iniquities!
Your wife, Kimberly