At church, a boy about seven years old was baptized. As is custom before a baptism at our church, the media team shows a video of each person talking about their life, why they chose to believe, and why they want to be baptized.
In the boy’s video, he spoke sincerely, and his contagious smile was memorable because he had lost both front teeth. He said several times in the video that he wanted to be “babatized” and talked about how he wanted someone special from out-of-town to “babatize” him.
Turns out, the special person was the boy’s godfather, a young man in his late twenties who could easily pass for a military soldier. Where we go to church, immersion is the mode of baptism, which means going completely under water from head to toe, or maybe if you’re seven years old, getting dunked. Continue reading The Best Babatism Ever
In church I was probably the least prepared person there, and most likely, the one who needed to be there the most. The preacher started talking about togetherness, belonging, unity, community.
Somehow, someway, sometimes something will hit you right between the eyes and just smack across the brow. Today it smacked me. Community.
I looked around. A few rows over sat a young couple who are privately grieving a miscarriage and wondering when, if ever, will they have a child. They hurt. Only those who’ve been there know how hard it is to say goodbye before you get to say hello. Community. Continue reading Heart of Community
In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship. He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl. On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.
We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group. In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network. He became a friend.
Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime
I’m not even sure how it started, but once it did, it became a friendly free for all. It was insults, from the Bible, no less.
I got to work one morning and found a yellow sticky note stuck on my computer screen from a co-worker which had both an insult, and a Bible verse that went with it. It said – They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard… Leviticus 21:5 “You shave the sides of your beard having your little goatee AND you’re bald! You’re a double sinner!!”
I laughed. Then plotted.
The next day I left a post it note on his desk, and was quite pleased with my response — Continue reading Bible Battle
Problems knock on everyone’s door. If not today, tomorrow. Troubles come. Troubles go. Some work out. Some don’t. Some people crater in the storm, some thrive, others just survive. Eventually the valleys, tunnels, the dark roads all reach an end, and in the end, there’s relief.
Still, it may seem impossible to get through. The mountains look too high. The valleys are too dark and deep. The water is over your head and you’re quickly losing strength. Energy fades. Determination wanes. Encouragement leaves. Continue reading It’ll Be Alright
Only the singers knew the song. It was alright. With some music and songs, you don’t have to know the words because the heart already knows.
After a few words, a gentle hush fell on the church congregation. The song began to resonate in hearts:
“But right here in this moment, May our strength be renewed, As we recall, what God has done, and how He’s seen us through.” Continue reading Just Say, Amen
The Houston Astros won their first World Series game last night. First ever! That kicked up a memory. I grew up an hour south of Houston and attended countless Astros games back in the day.
I took my two oldest sons, Blake and Jared, to an Astros game in the old Astrodome when they were five and four, respectively. Halfway through the game, I decided to walk the entire circle of the Dome and show them the field from different vantage points. We meandered through the large crowds and stopped in various places to look at the field and stadium from where we were right then.
We came to a particularly busy spot and I experienced a parent’s worst nightmare. Somehow, I lost Blake. Continue reading Hot Dog Eyes
His gloved hands grasped the reins of his horse. He gave Domino a gentle nudge with the heel of his boots. He knew what to do and began the long trek home with a gentle plod. There was still more fence to mend. He’d gone out on a limb and put his entire net worth into these acres and cows.
There was so much more work to do, but no more time, not today. The sun was going down. With each plod toward home, his mental checklist for tomorrow grew bigger, with more jobs, more tasks to do. Continue reading What Will He Do?
This summer we went to Israel. During one of the days in Jerusalem, our guide took our group to some steps that were walled up at the top. He asked us to sit down and rest a minute, and since it was hot and we’d been walking a while, there were no objections.
He began explaining that we were sitting on steps built by Solomon, from the Old Testament, that led up to the outer wall of the original temple. Some of the steps had been replaced over time, but the original steps were easy to identify because the stone was smooth hewn.
We looked where we sat and it was on an original step built by Solomon! OK, it doesn’t matter who you are, that’s just cool! Really cool! Continue reading Live Long, and Prosper
The green grass fades while the blue sky darkens to shades of gray. A magnificent array of red, orange and yellow spatter the clouds with peace, contentment, hope. A single bird flies across the sky, as if it were homeless this evening, searching, seeking, wanting a place to safely land and call its own. Yet the bird flies on with something, something unknown to man, on its mind.
The wind turns to a soft breeze as the cool, gentle breath of nature begins to blow through heaven’s air conditioner vents.
The front porch rockers face the west and glide back and forth as the sun shoots off its version of fireworks in the clouds, as if to say goodbye, and goodnight, until tomorrow’s morning light. Continue reading The Sun’s Hope