Nothing good comes when a sentence starts with “It’s one of those ……” and you can fill in the blank as to what could be said.

It’s one of those days….
It’s one of those outfits….
It’s one of those types of families…..

You get the idea. Well, a co-worker mentioned the other day about her church, which is a local Catholic Church and when she asked about the music at the church that we attend, I mentioned that they led off the previous service with Zac Brown Band’s Homegrown and she looked at me and said, oh, you attend on of those churches.

Now, you have to know my co-worker and understand their personality to accept the backhanded comment a little easier. But this one just kind of hit me wrong and it did for several reasons.

1) They knew that I attended church and at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing? Not which denomination, but the fact that we attend.
2) The boys love this church. They are literally asking each day if we are going to church. HUGE!
3) This is the first church that my wife and I have attended and have loved being a part of. We feel like we belong. We feel like we are apart of something bigger here. Something bigger than we did when we attended the United Methodist Church and my wife and I both attended a Methodist church our entire lives, so over 30 years.

So I stood quiet for a moment and gathered my thoughts, because my first response would not have been the right one. So I smiled and said yes, yes we do attend one of those churches. We attend a church that is reaching over 1,200 each Sunday. We are attending one of those churches that had missionaries in 3rd world countries but also doing amazing local outreach in our community. We attend one of those churches that meets people where they want to be met, not following the traditional worship style. We attend one of those churches that goes out among the people and make a difference.  And it is more revealing to more and more each Sunday why contemporary/non-denominational churches are growing and reaching more and more people each week and why the traditional church is losing members at a large level.

So why do I mention faith and religion and church as much as I have lately? Not sure to be honest, it is just something that I’ve been thinking more about lately. But what I know is that attending this church has done something big in the lives of my children and strengthen the relationship between my wife and myself. And I hope, at some point when my kids read this, that they will see how that we have tried to show them a greater being in faith.

So yes, we attend one of those churches, one of those churches that is changing lives, including mine.

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Sometimes in life, we find Grace when we least expect it and today was one of those days.

This morning, I was on the phone with my mom and shared a story about one of her friends that is a teacher and how her 6 year old son was just diagnosed with bone cancer. Around 8am this morning a friend of mine went in for a surgical procedure and needed prayers for healing. And I just read on Facebook that a friend of a friend just gave birth to a little boy, only to have 2 days later him die.

It is hard for me as a parent to hear of a child dying. I just can’t handle it. It is hard for me as a parent to hear that another parent has to witness their child going through chemo for cancer. It is hard for me as a friend, to watch a friend go through surgery. But as hard as it is for me to witness these things, it is 100 times harder for the person or parents going through it.

Today, for whatever reason has been a struggle. I am tired, I was up from 2:30 until with the boys. I have had a hard few weeks at work. I have felt day in and day out, that I’m just trying to get to tomorrow and I can enjoy a day off. I have been short, I have been frustrated, I have just been barely making it some days, but as I dropped the boys off at school this morning, something happened. Something that usually doesn’t happen, but it was my Grace moment.

After signing the boys in, getting their coats and shoes off and put away, they both stayed beside me waiting to hug and give me a kiss goodbye. But this time, they both hugged me at the same time and for a moment, life was ok. For a moment, nothing mattered. For a moment, I experienced grace.

As I have sat in my office this morning, door closed and just trying to push my way through a large amount of work, I have thought back to that moment. I have thought to how they both individually hugged me and then then together gave me a big hug. And before I left, they both whispered “I love you”. What more can I ask for?


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The definition of the word Faith is:

1) strong belief or trust in someone or 2) something or  belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs – according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Faith means so much to so many different people and I remember that growing up, this was a word that my father used a lot and in many different contexts.   But one of the primary ways that he would use, was when he would quote the movie Hogans Heroes and the quote went like this:

Oddball: [looking at aerial pics of the a remaining bridge] Beautiful.
Moriarty: suppose the bridge ain’t there?
Oddball: [groans] Don’t hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It’s a mother, beautiful bridge, and it’s gonna be there. Ok?
Oddball: [Later: Oddball is looking through binoculars at the bridge] Still up!
Oddball: [planes fly and bomb the bridge] … No it ain’t. See what sending out them negative waves did, Moriarty?
Moriarty: That ain’t my fault, Oddball, I’ve done nothing but have good thoughts about that damn bridge ever since we left!

For my Dad, he related faith to the bridge, that the bridge would be there because he believed it. I remembered him saying this time and time again as I grew up. I remember talking with my Dad right before my parents separated and I asked how he was doing and he semi-smiled and said “I have faith, because I know that the bridge will be there tomorrow when I wake up.”

As I have grown up, I’ve viewed Faith in many different ways, but this morning, before I even left for work, I found myself telling my wife, “you gotta believe that the bridge is going to be there.” She was so confused, but it made total sense to me and I just had to smile. You see, in the last 24 hours the following has occurred:

  1. A job that I really wanted, fell through. We were too far apart in salary requirements. And it would have required us to relocate and to a place that I really wanted to move to.
  2. A good friend found out that she has Stage 4 Cancer and has 2 – 6 months left to live.
  3. As I walked to my Jeep this morning, a neighbor informed me that she side swiped me.

Most of yesterday and last night and even into this morning, I was really bummed out about the job. I had really hoped that it was going to work out, for a lot of reasons, but it didn’t. My friend, I am just at a loss for words for that and for her family. And by the time I got outside to talk with the neighbor, I just had to laugh. I had to laugh, because crying was not an option.

As I walked away from looking at the damage on my Jeep, I went and helped put the kids in the van and was talking to the boys. Baby A asked if I was mad because my Jeep had a boo boo?  I just smiled and said “no buddy, I’m not mad, because the bridge will be there tomorrow, because I have faith.” Did he understand what I was saying? Nope. But it helped me and I hope that it showed him that I didn’t get upset, lose my cool or get mad. And I hope that as the boys grow up, they see that I live a life of faith and that it helps guide my daily life and how I conduct myself and I hope that it serves as a model for them as they grow up.


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Growing up in the church, I always remember that people would refer to the church goers that would attend Christmas and Easter as “Those People”. And it hit me this morning, of late, we’ve become “Those People”. I was reading my devotional this morning and it hit me, the biggest part of going to church, was not always the message, but the fellowship with others. With other believers that shared a common belief and faith.

A lot of my earliest memories and closest friends, come from my time running up and down the halls at church. And as I grew and faced some challenges with my family, I took a break from the church. I couldn’t understand how God would allow two people that I knew, the pastor of our church and his son, to die with in the same week. So I quit going.

Two years later, I get a phone call from my mother and my sister’s best friend’s mom just died.  My mom asked me to goto the funeral, which I did and something happened while I was there, I found that fellowship again. I found that common belief and that faith that I had been missing, in the the funeral that day.  Then I moved.

Living in Texas, it is true, a lot of things are really bigger in Texas, including the churches.  I went to one of the two Methodist churches in town and went to grab a hymnal only to realize that I was the only one in the sanctuary not reading the words off the wall from the projector. I struggled to fit in, but was on this roll and didn’t want to be one of “Those People” again. Then one day, a friend in my small group suggested that a few of us check out the other Methodist church in town, because it was smaller. So I took a chance.

4 years later, I missed only a handful services and cried the day that I moved and left that church. I was a part of a church for the first and loved every minute. Even though I traveled a lot for work, I stopped by the church to pray before every flight in our open 24 hr chapel. I was very close to our associate pastor, who I met with once a week for coffee and was one of the greatest men that I have ever gotten to know. But a job came along, so I moved again.

I really struggled finding a new church when I got to the Northeast, the Methodist churches here just didn’t seem to have caught up with what we were doing in church, so I disengaged, I was frustrated. I became one of “Those People” again.

Then, a few months later, I met my now wife.  We were talking one day about church and I told her my background and how I’ve struggled to find a church, which was perfect because she was really involved with her Methodist church and wanted me to come with her to meet her friends and family.  Because we lived 45 miles from the church, we didn’t always go, but we went at least 3 of the 4 Sundays each month. Then we were forced to face the tragic and untimely death of her mom and we became more involved than ever.  Then we had kids.

For the first year, we did ok. Then I needed to make a change and go to a different church, due to some philosophical differences that I had with the local church. We found a church much closer to home and the boys enjoyed going. Then, the boys started getting sick and we didn’t want other kids to get sick, so we stayed home. Then my wife would be on call and taking the boys to church when they are 2, was a little more than I could handle, so we stayed home. We were tired, usually because Baby A wasn’t sleeping, so we stayed home. The weather would be icy/snowy, so we stayed home. Soon, it just became an excuse and we were “Those People”.

Today, as I was looking outside, it hit me, it hit me, I miss the fellowship. I miss the connection that I would feel when going to church. I miss those memories of being around others, that shared a like belief and faith. And I felt guilty that  I haven’t been more proactive with taking the boys to church. But no more. No more excuses. No more reasons that are not legit. I can’t and will not get back into that habit again. I will not deny my boys the opportunity to start a life of faith and build their beliefs. Starting today, we are no longer “THOSE PEOPLE”.

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Every year, I set the goal to start reading The Bible again and each year, something seems to get in the way of that time. I have always put an excuse or put something else above that time to read, but not now. For the last 2 months I have set aside 10 minutes a day to sit in quiet and read The Bible. And yes, I realize that 10 minutes is not a lot, but how much free time do you usually get with twin boys?

Quiet time is hard to find and there is always something to be cleaned, something to be straightened, but I realized that I was putting aside something that not only I wanted to do, but needed to do as a father. I needed to prepare myself in a different way, look at things in a different way, prepare my children for a life of growing up with going to church. And for me, the first step was picking up The Bible. Ok, I’ll be honest, yes, I own actually 2 Bibles, I’ve been reading the The Bible on my phone using the app.  Is it cheating? Maybe? But I am reading The Bible and isn’t that what counts?

Our society is changing, let’s be honest and it is really changing in the way of the church. The traditional churches that we one knew are on the way out. Sure, I think that you’ll see some that will be in existence, but churches are now held in basketball gyms, The Compaq Center (Joel Osteen), a bar in Denver, coffee shops, on the beach, and the list goes on and on. And with that, churches need to reach people in a new way, i.e. The Bible app.

So, I’m back on my goal of actually reading The Bible and just started a year long devotional and have really enjoyed the quiet time and reflection that I have in reading it. I just hope and pray that this new journey will help me be more patient with my boys as they grow and allow me to share with them my faith, but also help them find out their own.

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Today is all to familiar reminder of Hurricane Katrina. As I watch the news about Hurricane Isaac, I am reminded of living in Houston and preparing to drive to New Orleans, not realizing that a hurricane was heading straight for the city. It was a rare week, because I had not watched the news and seen what one of the greatest cities in the US was heading for. But today, as I sit on the east coast, I am reminded of meeting people that had been evacuated and transported to where I lived in Houston and as they shared what they had seen, their possessions that they had lost, but how grateful that they were that they had made it out alive with their families.

You see, faith, it is an amazing thing. A person’s faith can define them forever. It can change the way that they view the world. And it can change the way that they view others. Those families that I met, had a lot of faith and I am sure that today, as many of them had return to the city of New Orleans, their faith is being tested by Hurricane Isaac. According to, the word faith, is used 365 times in the bible, is it any wonder?

So today, as Hurricane Isaac is heading towards the great people of New Orleans, my prayer is simple, I pray today that those that are in harms way, are safe and protected. And that those families that have damage to their homes and to their belongs, that they have faith and hope, so that they can rebuild and grow stronger.

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