Bruce Prindle teaching from stage
On My Heart

On My Heart

Writings on various topics.

Bruce Prindle, lead pastor, believes that a relationship with Jesus affects every other aspect of his life and how he sees life. Every week, Bruce looks at the news, community, and world and writes about what’s on his heart because of knowing Jesus.

Deep Roots, Steady Growth

My friend was shaking his head.  “I should have known better,” he said.  I followed his gaze to a withered tree over 18 feet tall.  It held no leaves, its bark was unhealthy, and the tree had a lean that […]


Summer Blast is our week-long ministry to kids in our community, and it is a hallmark of our kids’ ministry. This year, our team planned on growth…healthy growth. They added the student center space, they added budget, and they enlisted […]

Living Thanks

Every Memorial Day weekend, lakes, campgrounds, and airports are packed. It signals the beginning of summer. But while you’re packing and traveling, I ask you to create time for remembering and giving thanks. Every day, I look at other countries […]

My Last Mother’s Day with my Grandmother

My grandparents were farmers who survived the great depression and WWII while growing what they would eat. I’m very proud of the farming background that colored my childhood, and I was always so glad to tell my grandpa about exceeding […]

Enjoying God

I remember exactly where I was and when I first heard the idea of “enjoying” God. It was after a friend presented me with a book that reflected on an old confession of faith. It was a perspective changer for […]

Remembering What You Know

This week is another STAR week of tests for some of our area students. Kids will be required to spend time expressing what they know about science or math, reading comprehension, or writing. However, the real tests for these subjects […]

Praying for Our World

Consider all that’s happening in our world right now. Iran just attacked Israel directly last week. Israel is at war against Hamas in Gaza. Russia is intensifying its attacks on Ukraine, threatening Western Europe. China is stepping up aggressive action […]

When Scripture Comes Alive in our Hearts

For months, we have been anticipating the total eclipse. We bought glasses, made plans, invited friends, burned vacation days, and read all the hype about crowds, shortages, and emergency declarations. On Monday, all the waiting came to an end as […]

The Relief of Being Debt Free

Very few people ever reach a point of being debt-free. Good financial practices point to that, and many books and resources demonstrate how it can happen, but unfortunately, most people ignore that help. Debt is just too easy to accumulate. […]

Holy Week is called “Holy” for a Reason

I have never been liturgical or traditional. Maybe it’s the artistic side of my personality, perhaps it’s the questioning “gadfly” part of my personality, or maybe I’m just more rebellious than I want to admit. For whatever reason, I have […]

The Aroma of Christ

I was reading my Bible by the fire, setting it down occasionally on the stones of the firepit. When I finished, I put it back into the sleeve of my computer bag where I usually keep it. It’s my small […]

Why We Don’t Pray More

One of the most important aspects of following Jesus is the one we neglect the most. We will read and study the Bible, serve, participate in activism, attend worship, and even give. But praying is both the hardest and most […]

Seeing Reality

Years ago, I led a team of college students to South Padre for a ministry called “Beach Reach.” During spring break, we offered rides to students who had been drinking and took care of people who were no longer sober […]

Spiritual Disciplines and My Own Journey

Every week, we record a podcast that discusses more details from the Sunday message (you can listen to the latest episode here), and I had a chance to touch on something that needs more attention. Most readily acknowledge the reality […]

Decision-Making in Church Families

Every church is a family. So, like yours, this church family makes decisions by a prescribed process that allows for checks and balances that help us all. When it comes to pastoral staff, our entire church family touches that decision. […]

Why Do We Embrace Missions?

It’s a big world. Eight billion people, seven different continents, hundreds of nations, and thousands of languages and dialects make up our population on planet Earth. Some are literate and refined; others struggle with the most basic needs and seek […]

The Deeper Reaches of Conscience

Some people really don’t want to have a conscience.  It’s as if they have a switch in their brain or their soul and they intentionally dull their senses toward right and wrong because they just don’t want to deal with it.  […]

Stress Into Strength

I hear it in the conversations of students.I hear it in the conversations of married couples.I hear it in our retirees.I hear it at the grocery store, at the restaurant, and in my office.STRESS punctuates our culture. Wars or rumors […]

Answering Questions about “Go Now” Missions Weekend

This summer, 250 students from across Texas will leave for assignments worldwide. Their peers will help pay their way. But to determine who is ready for that responsibility and where they fit best, these students come to Midlothian for a […]

Israel and Palestine: Sorting through the Pieces

Three months ago, Hamas attacked Israeli families in their homes and neighborhoods, committing atrocities of such extremity that it left us in shock. They butchered people, mocking the suffering of those they attacked, kidnapped, and abused. In the days that […]

Attention to Details and the Help of a Friend

Most people don’t realize it, but preaching is a team sport! I rely on our team of teaching staff to help plan and lead worship services, and I often poll them for ideas and needs that they see. We brainstorm, […]


Every December, we remember a young woman who dealt with the burden of bringing the Gospel to China. Her name was Lottie Moon, and she invested her life in China, befriending, encouraging, testifying, and helping the people of China hear […]

Eagle Parenting

I visit a place from time to time with great anticipation. Bald Eagles nest there. The home that I visit is situated on a 25-acre lake, and each winter, a pair of eagles return and nest. During Thanksgiving week, I […]

Practicing the Presence of God

I sit by a window that reaches upward 18 feet. Through it, I see a neat garden and play area where children in the community can play within walled security while their parents find books or read. A full and […]

The Power of a Single Sentence

Tom Clancy wrote incredibly popular novels in the final decades of the 20th century, all focused on operations of the CIA, geopolitics, and the Cold War. In Debt of Honor, the first 100 pages were all about economics. While he […]

Blind Spots

We typically operate this way: what we don’t see, we don’t accept as real. We hear about something, but if we can’t make a connection with it through our own experience, understanding, or thinking, we operate as if it doesn’t […]

In the Crossfire

Just 11 days ago, the Middle East exploded into war after a raid fueled and planned by Hamas–a terrorist organization based in Gaza. Since then, we have watched in horror as the brutal details of the attack have come to […]

The Biggest Test

The one test everyone faces, the one test that’s unavoidable and penetrating for every human being, is this: TIME. Time reveals character, intentions, integrity, and other aspects of the human heart. When we shortcut time, we often get burned. Neil […]

Necessary Steps

I’m harvesting these days. No, it’s not a garden. It’s a set of flowers. A few years ago, our dear friends gave us a few plants that we had seen in their yard. Known as “Cock’s Comb,” they are a […]

Keeping Your Guard Up

Many years ago, someone brought topsoil to my lot as a gift. I was quite glad to get it. But as the months passed, I realized that with that topsoil, my benefactor also brought a resilient form of weeds. I […]


Even after the difficult weeks of drought, even after my lawn and flower beds have been attacked by armadillos (#45 met his fate at my house this week), I looked at my red oak trees on Saturday and saw something […]


“Remember” is a powerful word used often in the scriptures. “Don’t forget,” “Write this down,” “Protect this knowledge,” and other similar warnings are frequent instructions. I have now lived long enough to understand why. When I studied the Holocaust, I […]

Embracing Encouragement

We all live under some kind of stress. Usually, we assume that other people are not facing the stress we are facing, so we tend to minimize it in others while maximizing it in ourselves. But what if we assumed […]

The Labels People Give You

He was quite old when he taught me a profound lesson. He was part of our Explorers group–the oldest generation in our church. We meet on Wednesdays for a Bible study, for fellowship, and for planning impact on our community […]

A Warning to Every Follower

We often hear what we want to hear. Conveniently, we screen messages, and we seek to ignore or overlook those we don’t like. And the Apostle Peter gave one message that we forget all too easily. But it came back […]

Wasting Effort on the Wrong Goal

Study days are always a challenge. I’m an extrovert, so forcing myself to be alone for many hours without conversation is a challenge in itself! But this week, I had an experience that I have never had before. I’m not […]

Full Bank Account, Empty Heart

Johnny Manziel’s life documentary is being released. “Johnny Football” is now 30 years old and describes hitting rock bottom after being released by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. After winning the Heisman trophy, many considered Manziel, the poster child for […]

Resilient or Giving Up?

The Texas Rangers could not find a bigger contrast than the New York Mets. Every sportswriter who focuses on baseball is shaking their heads or celebrating. The trade deadline for Major League Baseball brought shocking results. The Mets’ two aces […]

Up the Mountain and Down the Mountain

One of the unique accounts in the Gospels is when Jesus is on the mountain with Peter, James, and John. We know that experience as the “transfiguration.” In the wake of that is a key detail that has always riveted […]

Sometimes It’s More Difficult to Receive

Sunday was overwhelming. I’ve been planning my projects for sabbatical leave, and I knew it was an anniversary, but I had no hint of what would happen on Sunday. Several of our staff have talked about the discomfort of affirmation–somehow, […]

Exercising the Blessing of Your Vote

I have visited countries that envy the freedom we have in our local context. I can remember seeing the ink-stained fingers of people who were voting. I can remember being awakened in the night by trucks of rebels who were […]

Sabbatical Summer

Every 10 years of service for our staff, our church grants a sabbatical break. Instead of our usual vacation or continuing education allotments, on the 10th year, our pastors have the opportunity to have a prolonged break for rest, retooling, [...]

Living In Light of Easter

Every spring, we build up to Easter and the resurrection celebration. We eat, worship, rest, and connect with family to celebrate what happened that day. Then Monday comes, and I find myself wondering: what was that first week like? Almost […]


Do you NEED Easter? For years I LIKED Easter, ENJOYED Easter, and CELEBRATED Easter, but I’m not sure I felt like I needed it. I had faith in Jesus and was grateful for what He faced on the cross. But […]


When you think about Easter, do you think of it as something you GET or something you HOST? If you're reading this, I'm assuming that Resurrection Sunday is a celebration of what is ALREADY true for you. But it's not [...]


I wish I could change reality. I have watched people and reflected on my own life a great deal over the last few decades and I have noticed something: we grow most when we are in difficult times (the valleys). […]

Why It’s So Hard to Accept Grace

Some people really struggle to accept gifts (REAL GIFTS). “What’s the catch?” “What’s this for?” “Why do you think I need this?” and other questions get in the way of gifts. It makes sense. Most of us have been dealt […]

A Father Reminisces

This week, I completed 31 years of fatherhood. It struck me as odd that during the week when our message series on Mistaken Identity is peaking with clarity on our identity in Christ, I was celebrating the day I became […]

The Secret to a Revival in your Soul

Every week, I’m seeing stories on the “Asbury Revival” in the news. Students gathered for chapel one day and never left, never stopped worshipping, and never let go of that moment. Other campuses are hosting prayer meetings in places that […]

When God Gives Us a New Heart

Many years ago, my wife worked on a heart transplant team, conducting psycho-social assessments of transplant candidates. (That’s a fancy way of saying she sought to determine if they could handle this kind of surgery emotionally.) So as a much […]

Dive Deeper

A few years ago, I was hiking around three lakes that were nearly 10,000 feet in elevation. Snow already covered some of the slopes, and a thin sheet of ice had formed where the water was shadowed. The high, alpine […]

To Stick or NOT to Stick

I grew up driving on ice. We were on the south side of Lake Texoma, and we usually inherited more ice, snow, and sleet than the communities just 10 miles away from the lake. The fronts would sweep across that […]

Foundations Matter

We visited Venice, Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary many years ago. It’s one of the most unique cities in the world, primarily because of how it was built. The city was constructed on a saltwater marsh as a seafaring […]

Mirror Image

Recently, I had a day on the water when I had absolutely no breeze. In place of waves or ripples, I looked out on a smooth glassy lake. As the day waned, I became fascinated by the sight. The water […]

The Fruit Tells the Story

Too often, I had assumed that a tree or a plant was a specific kind, only to be shocked when it began producing fruit. I have learned that it’s virtually impossible to believe a plant is a plum tree when […]

What Really Matters

I had already gorged on football, so the Monday night game wasn’t really a big deal to me. . .until it BECAME a big deal. Two top-contending teams were playing for playoff rankings and a hope of a trip to […]

The Missions Offering at Christmas

I’m always touched to see the generosity that pours from our church family during the Christmas season. We do things collectively as a church to care for children in need, and many of you take the initiative to care for […]

What I Want for Christmas

When I was a little kid, our family received the Sears & Roebuck “Wishbook.” I can remember seeing things that made my imagination go wild. The most memorable was a backpack with a helicopter blade. Looking back at that now, […]

The Christmas Files

Every year, I ask God to do something in my heart. I want to see something I have overlooked or taken for granted. The unfolding details revolving around Jesus’ entry into human history have become almost too familiar. So every […]

Thirsting for God

When I was younger, I discovered a Psalm that really resonated with me. It set an expectation or a comparison to which I aspire. I’m away on study leave, buried in east Texas forest with big plate glass windows surrounding […]

Trusting Glimpses

I have a naturally skeptical mind. I was taught to think critically, had enough disappointments to accentuate that thinking, and am driven to dig until I find confidence. “Trust is earned, not given,” I have said often. It’s not that […]

Helping Fight Hunger Here at Home

As inflation continues to affect our community, most people feel it immediately at the grocery store. For those who are already living on the edge, it can be daunting. Manna House is our partner here in Midlothian. We coordinate benevolence […]

Benefits and Blessings

When people think of the call of Christ, so often the first thing to pop into their minds is what they might give up or lose. I hate that. Really, I hate the pattern of thinking that is so pervasive. […]

Dreaming Out Loud

I believe that God made every one of His followers for purposes bigger than they can imagine. That’s one reason we wanted everyone to do some discovery work about their spiritual gifts, passions, personality, and experiences. I believe that some […]

Defining the Goal

We visited the little league ballpark last week for the first time in many, many months. My days of sitting behind the fence, hoping my kids would be able to make plays and have fun came rushing back to me, […]

Celebrating and Savoring God’s Creative Work

“We are God’s masterpiece/workmanship. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) We have been looking at spiritual gifts, not as an end to themselves, but […]

Fear Fakes Us Out

Fear can rule our hearts, damage our hope, and wreak havoc on our plans. But fear is often irrational, unfounded. In a sense, fear “fakes us out” of decisions we might have made, the trust we might have expended, and […]

The Real Definition of “Free”

I remember someone saying years ago, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Right now, in our culture, we are experiencing a large number of events and decisions that involve benefits that are implied as “free.” We operate in […]

Seek to Understand before Being Understood

It happens frequently. We’re in conversation with someone, and the natural inclination is to start formulating our response, our rebuttal, our own ideas. If I were “cartooning” this, I would put competing bubbles in the air that kept being advanced […]

A Second Set of Eyes

The stories just keep coming. Political leaders, community leaders, and church leaders keep showing up in the news because of immoral or unwise choices. We have had our share of the same pain through the years, and it’s devastating every […]

Praying Concretely and Consistently

It’s rare that any pastor gets to have a very deep look into the private thoughts of someone. Last week, a grieving family gave me the opportunity to look at a prayer journal that dated back to 2005. It belonged […]

The Right Tools for the Job

Inflation is the hot word right now. Every day I see news, social media posts, and prayer requests related to the financial pressures of inflation. And virtually every person commenting on the problem has little or no power to change […]

The Blank Slate

In the next few days, kids in our area get a precious gift: a new start, a blank slate, a clean grade report, and a new semester. I read a commencement speech that was delivered by Bill Gates many years [...]

Sacrifice for Others

Some of the best movie plots involve people who choose to accept dangerous assignments for the good of others. It's the story of the soldier who runs toward enemy fire in order to rescue his buddies. It's the story of [...]

Seeking with All Your Heart

A few years ago, we visited Crater Lake in central Oregon. It's touted as the deepest lake in North America, and the water is so brilliantly blue, that it doesn't look real. The lake fills a crater from a massive [...]

If It Isn’t Mine, Does it Matter?

I hold this iconic scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" in my heart. George Bailey's father is urging the infamous Mr. Potter to consider the desperation of families. He pleads, "These men have families!" and Potter responds, "They're not MY [...]

Looking for the Truth

You would think that "truth" would be easy to recognize. Often it is not. Why? We have to acknowledge the existence that we don't WANT to acknowledge. We want to believe that we're only grappling with our own flaws and [...]

That Screech May Be Deliverance in Disguise

None of us like negative circumstances. We want the smooth, easy path, the details that fall into place, the logical advancement of achievements that don't skip a beat. So when we experience a problem, we often feel cheated, targeted, or [...]

Supreme Court Flurry

Since 2015, I have been far more involved in reading case law related to Supreme Court actions. I spent one entire study retreat delving deeply into the arguments and opinions on key moral subjects that affect Christians while recognizing that [...]

Listening to Experience

Our recent vacation began with trips to see three couples who have had an enormous influence on our lives. We saw my dad and his wife, we visited one of my dearest pastoral mentors and his wife, and we saw [...]

If There’s Nothing Else

Long ago, people sent invitations to weddings, parties, dinners, and seminars just as they do today. At the bottom of the invitation was an abbreviation with French roots. RSVP (répondez s'il vous plaît). Translated it means simply, "Please respond." Etiquette [...]

When Life Does NOT Make Sense

Every parent's worst nightmare involves something happening to their child. Yesterday, parents in Uvalde had their nightmare come true. Nineteen children and two adults died in the senseless shooting spree of an 18-year-old man. These children were in their final [...]

Your Best or Enough?

I have been employed in a job since I was 14. I have worked for 21 employers through the years, doing a wide variety of jobs: teaching swimming lessons to preschoolers, driving a delivery truck, harvesting crops, security patrol, library [...]

Praying Together Across the Nation

I am typically very hesitant about anything that smells like religious grandstanding. Jesus told too many parables about the Pharisees and their loud praying and prancing before the crowds. Nothing was sincere about that kind of behavior. And for years, [...]

The Truth Beneath

This week, we have been hosting Mentors' Care luncheons for a number of area high schools. Mentors' Care matches adults one-on-one with students who are at risk of not graduating from high school. Many of the area coordinators and mentors [...]

Pulling Together

Many years ago we started talking about a “hosting” culture. We each had a choice about how we would live: we could be Guests or Hosts. This past Sunday, I was so thankful for the army of hosts who made […]

Waiting for Redemption

Most of us hate to wait. But some circumstances make it feel unbearable. When we are accused and hunger for vindication--we hate to wait. When we are sitting with a loved one whose hours on earth are near an end [...]

Owner vs User

I enjoy many things that I do not own. For example, I am an avid fisherman and love the outdoors. I have often dreamed of a 100-acre ranch where 90 acres were underwater! But my friend, Don, once described his [...]

When We ALL See

A few days ago I was watching the news and heard "Midlothian" which ratcheted up my attention. The station was doing a story on the CASA radar system of North Texas while standing in the shadow of our Midlothian radar [...]

Make Up Your Mind

Last weekend painted a vivid picture for me. My family gathered at our home to celebrate the birthday of my daughter-in-law. We spent time playing outside, finishing dinner, and enjoying each other's company in the beautiful sunshine of Sunday afternoon. [...]

We Hear What We Want to Hear

Communication is hard work. We have verbal skills, visual cues, awareness of context, and the chance to listen and understand. The hard part is training our attention on what is said and recognizing when our own thinking is warping the [...]

Resting In Him

I was on Central Expressway when it happened the first time. The last time was this past Monday. In each case, a sequence of events unfolded in a familiar pattern. I noticed an area of blur in my vision at [...]

Planning Beyond Yourself

No one wants to do this kind of planning, but it is absolutely essential! If you are an adult, you need to plan BEYOND your own life. If you're a parent, then your kids need that. I'm talking about wills, [...]

Crisis Unites

I have a confession to make: I’m an Olympics junkie! Just before the events began, I set recordings for all of my favorite sports so I could speed through them and get past those that are not my favorite (cross-country) […]

Crisis Reveals the Heart

We're all thinking about last February's winter storm today. Even though the forecasters are drawing a contrast between that storm and the one headed our way today, it's hard not to remember the frustration and danger that we experienced just [...]

Understanding How Long God Has Known Us

Last summer, I captured some beautiful pictures from my vacation at Yellowstone National Park. One is attached to a couple of significant memories. I worked in Casper, Wyoming, during the summer of 1982, serving as a youth and music pastor [...]

Seeing. . .REALLY Seeing

Something happened in me when I became interested in taking better pictures of our trips and vacations. For years I was content to simply capture the general vision of where we went, what we did, who was involved, and what […]

Tortoise or Hare

Most of us learned a fable when we were little kids. The great race between the tortoise and the hare taught us that speed is trumped by steadiness. As familiar as it is, we seem blind to its lessons on […]

Worship Pastor | Search Update

Many of you have been asking about the worship pastor search and where we stand.  This will update you on our goal, our process, and our progress to date. Goal We are searching for a capable, experienced person who understands […]

Choosing the UNnatural

I was 26 when my boss challenged me to read a book called “Taking Control of Your Time and your Life.” To be honest, I was not good at managing my time. Part of it was a simple lack of […]

Describing the Indescribable

How do you tell someone what chocolate tastes like? How can you describe the color orange to a colorblind person? How do you help describe the lifting sensation of a boat trimming on the lake? We all tend to take [...]

Being With Us

Last weekend, I spent an afternoon with my grandkids, primarily throwing a Nerf football with my oldest grandson. I had a blast! He improvised a game to play, and he kept score enthusiastically. Then, after he pulled ahead in his […]

Your “One” Needs More than a Story

We often ask about people that God has brought into our lives because they need Him, and we are their window for hearing the truth. So, for the last few months, we have been asking, "Who's your One?" Who's one [...]

When Jesus Refueled

Twice a year, I follow the example of Jesus. Before he launched his ministry with the disciples, Jesus entered into the wilderness. (In his case, it was to be tempted, but in many ways, it was ultimately preparation for what […]

Server Offline

I arrived at the office early this morning because I had documents to print for this week. I had done my homework on my study day, prepared three different experiences that would be delivered later in the week. Digital media […]

The Struggle of Our Community

I follow a daily blog by one of the big influencers in my adult life, Jim Denison. In his blog, Jim noted the intense growth of loneliness and anxiety disorders. The pandemic fueled that growth even more. Reading through Jim’s […]

The Power of a Life Touching a Life

You never know how much a person is going to affect your life. Eighteen years ago, I formed first impressions of someone from a few brief encounters. In just a few months our conversations had revealed a jovial laugh, a [...]

The Real Problem Behind Our Problems

A single event can shape your future. You often don't realize it at the time. It's just a single choice, a single opportunity, a single moment in time, but you look back later and you realize that a single choice [...]

Praying for Our Community

When I moved here, Midlothian felt like a small town. It was a sleeper community in the constellation of the Metroplex. Many of you were moving here in the last two decades, discovering a slower pace, a wholesome atmosphere, and […]

Listening Before Speaking

The New Testament writing of James tells us that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. It is some of the best advice we get in following Jesus with our lives. It’s also […]

Integrity’s Impact

I was preparing a message for the church that was my home during my teenage years and thought about what impacted me most. As I was writing I realized that it was something that the church leaders never planned, may […]

No Such Thing as Maintenance-Free

Most of you know that I’m a fisherman for pleasure. I love being on the water, love the sound of the waves, the motion of the rocking deck, the precision of casting, and the thrill of the hookset. Through the […]

The Bigger Picture

I received a call from someone that I had not seen in more than 3 decades. I was connected to that family on a daily basis for several years and if you have attended our church for long, you have [...]

Made to Make a Difference

I've been meeting with men and women to talk about their work and place in the world for over 30 years now and I hear a common question: "Does my work matter?" Does it matter to my world, to my [...]

I’m the Last One

Family roles and traditions are powerful for most of us. It’s fun to celebrate the first family member who makes it to college. It’s fun to celebrate the first grandchild in a family. I remember that I felt like the […]

Grieving with Those Who Mourn

One of the most distinct characteristics of the human soul is its ability to empathize with another person’s pain. When I walk into a hospital, a patient’s pain or fear has an effect on me and I choose to walk […]

The Subtle (and NOT so Subtle) Dismissal of Faith

Whether we realize it or not, faith in Christ is being undermined every day in our culture, and no source is more powerful than the entertainment industry in that effort. Story lines that directly attack biblical ideals, characters that think […]

When We Forget What We Are

Astronomy shifted when Copernicus argued for his discovery. Prior to his views, the world believed that the universe revolved around the earth. In fact, religious leaders bought into that theoretical framework, affirming that God had created humanity as the center […]

When You Feel Small

I returned to the Tetons in July for the first time in 39 years. I remembered my first trip when I was only 20 years old, when I hadn’t travelled anywhere, when I had no concept about mountains or oceans. […]

Conjecture in “The Chosen”

I have been watching “The Chosen” since the first episode was released. Kelly and I have actually “paid it forward” so that others can have this experience too. It’s the first and only multi-season TV series to address the life […]

Zooming In On God’s Heart

When I visited Rocky Mountain National Park, we saw a group of bighorn sheep and elk grazing on the mountainside. I had seen pictures of them, had actually seen a few in real life. Both species were muscular, agile, and […]

Fish Out of Water

I have learned many life lessons on the water with my family or friends. Some of them are so obvious that we can’t escape them, while others seem to be constantly at risk for debate. Some of those life lessons […]

The Patience and Vision of Jesus

I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed my grief over my own bone-headed decisions and actions.  When I was younger, I could always take comfort in the fact that I was still early in my walk, that […]

Always Listening, Always Ready

We have had several experiences with voice activated computer assistance, and frankly, they creep me out! One day I was having a conversation with my wife and I said, “Whether or not that works.” And from the closet came a […]

The Threat of “Never Enough”

My wife loves musicals, so a few weeks ago I watched “Greatest Showman” with her. It’s a sad yet redemptive story, but the core song of the musical is a song that says, “Never enough, never enough, never enough for […]

The Stolen Package

Virtually every week, someone near me posts about packages that have been stolen.  The Amazon trucks roam daily through our neighborhood, as do the US Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx.  They check their routes, walk a package to the door […]

Lost in the Stars

I have a hard time relating to some of the people in the Bible, but one really resonates with me because of my childhood.  On Mothers’ Day, I mentioned that I spent a great deal of time on my grandparents’ […]

Mothers Day Fail

I will be telling a story about my grandmother (Nana) on Sunday, but there was one attempt to honor her long ago that didn’t go as we expected. Thought it might be encouraging to all of you looking for that […]

A Plea for Your Family

Do you have a will?Have you considered long-term impacts from avoiding important decisions? Every couple of years, I walk through tragic circumstances with families who put off important decisions that would have far-reaching consequences.  My own extended family faced terrible […]

The Power of Blessing

I conducted my son’s wedding this weekend and it was a rite of passage for both of us. It was also full of surprises. WE don’t use the word often, but “serendipity” is the best word to describe what I […]

Finding Happiness

One of Jesus’ phrases has been rolling around in my head this week.  People are often asked what they want most, and they typically reply, “I just want to be happy.”  It’s a nebulous, immeasurable, quality that is often assumed […]

The Visit that Made Easter Powerful

Do you find comfort from visiting a cemetery where a loved one is buried?  Dear friends of mine do.  They go and replace flowers, sit by the marker, and talk about the comfort of that place.  Several people in my […]

Revisiting Critical Decisions

If you read suggestions from any investment or financial planning group, they urge you to “rebalance your investments” every year. What they are telling you is this: life changes over time. Needs, plans, dreams, circumstances, and economies are in constant […]

Bonds that Last Because of the Storm

Power outages are too familiar to us. As the different neighborhoods were affected and we connected our helping hands together, I thought back to other experiences that still shape great friendships.  What we don’t yet realize is how much we […]

Praying AGAIN

I’ve been preparing for one of the “One Another” passages that are part of our Transplant series, and a question has haunted my heart: “Bruce, how often do you revisit the things for which you have prayed?” In other words, […]

The Driver’s Seat and the Passenger Seat

My truck, Woodrow, is now 8 years old, and the driver’s seat of that truck is one of my happy places.  I enjoy driving that truck on the freeway, but I really enjoy exploring ranch land, discovering a new pond, […]

Discovering What You Never Knew You Didn’t Know

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” I read a few months ago. We operate often as if we have all the facts, know what we’re talking about, and understand everything that’s involved. We have seen the same thing multiple […]

The Key Ingredient for Following Jesus

I picked up an 85-year-old book that had been recommended to me by a very dear mentor.  This volume had been in the library of the pastor of one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the Metroplex, a gift from […]

Arms Big Enough

The call came from a friend. I had said something that made him bristle.  Frankly, friends, I have discovered that the only way to avoid making friends bristle is to be absolutely silent.  Unfortunately, that’s not my gift.  But this […]

Feeding My Heart and Mind Daily

If you tuned into our online church or attended our church in person in the last two weeks, Chris and I talked about the need for feeding our hearts & minds with the truth. I issued a challenge: make a […]

The Gift that Is Missing for Millions

Every Christmas season, we and thousands of other churches emphasize the gift of the Gospel through our Christmas Offering for International Missions. I love this offering because it goes directly to the missionaries on the field for their projects and […]

Inviting at Christmas

Every year, millions of people turn their attention to the celebration of Christmas. They may only understand it as a season of generosity or obtaining things, but they embrace music, charity, and OFTEN, they will respond to an invitation to […]

Blessings from Problems

We have been singing a song in our later services that has a bridge about how God brings good out of things that seem powerless. The lyrics say: You turn mourning to dancingYou give beauty for ashesYou turn shame into […]

Living with COVID

This has been one of the strangest stretches of time. An allergic reaction left me with an eye swelling shut and attendant effects on my sinus system–which meant I called on our deep bench and asked Ben to take my […]

Following the Jesus Who Transcends Governments

The weight of our current election, the pandemic, and the tension in our nation tug at our hearts and our fears so passionately that we begin to think that following Jesus is somehow dependent on election results or a particular […]

How Can I Pray for Our Nation?

I have received several admonitions to pray, but lately they have been regarding the election.  So I offer a different approach, because the best thing that could happen to our nation would be for our nation to see Jesus-followers living […]

Discipleship and Mentoring

When you try to describe a “disciple” to someone outside of the church, the best concept I know is mentoring. A mentor is someone who comes alongside and encourages, demonstrates, answers questions, and helps a person on the journey. When […]

Celebrating the Good Days

His smile was different that day as he sat down for lunch.  He had taken the time to drive from downtown to meet me.  So, I asked, “What are you smiling about?” “Today, I made my last payment for my […]

Simple Advice is an Ignored Secret

We often don’t want to hear the truth. We avoid it. We deny it. We look for odd ways to work around it. But often, the truth is amazingly simple. But simplicity evokes neither conformity nor success. Simple truth must […]

What We CAN Do

Every day you can find a rule that tells you what you can’t do. “Don’t walk on the grass,” or “Don’t speed.” Sometimes they are verbalized positively, but we almost always hear them as limits. They tell us what we […]

Sensory Deprivation or Life?

I shocked my wife over the weekend as I floated in a pool. I laced my fingers behind my head, leaned back with a hat over my face, and went to sleep while floating in the water. It freaked her […]


The temperatures topped 110 degrees. I was working along the Red River, building fence in the mix of clay and sugar sand. Each day my boss would drop me off around 7 a.m. with rolls of barbed wire, steel posts, […]

Storm Warnings

I see the images every few days, but I don’t think of them often. We were in the mountains of Colorado in early autumn, and it was pleasantly warm as we hiked the peak of a small mountain. As we […]

Attempted Identity Theft

We have all had that sinking feeling. You get a message from your bank about a strange charge. Your assistant asks for documentation for the purchase instruction you just authorized. A friend responds to an email that you never sent. […]

Small Steps in a Big Journey

A few years ago, I was a patient at Cooper Clinic. I’m rarely sick and this visit was what I called my “50’s Checkup” visit. I had never had such a thorough set of exams in my life. The Cooper […]

Passenger or Driver?

Discipleship Has Always Been and Still is a Team Sport

It Is What It Is

What Do You Want MOST?

I received an email from a friend, asking me to answer a focal question: “If money were no object, what would you want most?” I haven’t been able to escape that question. Would you? Houses, cars, boats, trips, vacations, and […]

Loving ALL Our Neighbors (Please Read ALL of This)

I have only walked in one man’s shoes–my own. I know my own past, my own mistakes, and see the world through the lenses of my own culture, upbringing, family system, and experiences. So, one thing I learned NOT to […]

Easter Week: Sharing the Lord’s Supper in our Homes

I have missed being with our church family more than I can say! But I’m so very thankful for the technology that supports the gatherings we have been experiencing and for the team of folks who have worked tirelessly to […]

Coronavirus Announcement

These have been strange days for all of us as we have watched our world start to feel the effects of a serious new virus affect country after country. I have not been panicked, personally, by what has been happening. […]

Invisible Presence

Okay, don’t let this creep you out! For the last decade, I have been returning to a town that was once my home. Every spring and autumn, I seek intentional seclusion and solitude so that I can think constructively about […]

Standing With Each Other

When we talk about community, we are often talking about completely different concepts. We think we understand each other, but we often don’t. Some of us think of community as the collection of businesses, grids of streets, and public services. […]

“Someone is ALWAYS Watching”

The “Oceans” franchise has churned out several hit movies through the years, but one particular movie always stands out to me. In the second movie, Julia Roberts plays the divorced wife of George Clooney. She’s built a new life with […]

Adopted by a Mentor

In the last 10 days, I have been confronted with the mortality of my dearest mentors.  Last week, I received a phone call that led to a lunch conversation with a man I have mentioned several times. He was in […]

Becoming Like Jesus

To be a disciple is to become like the one who is training you.  Jesus called the Twelve to follow Him, do the works He did, put His teachings into practice.  They showed that they “caught” this life He was […]

Friendship’s Power

This week, I received a survey that made me thoughtful and thankful. It was a survey about pastoral health, asking about rest, recreation, health, and relational habits. It asked me how much sleep I had each night, how connected I […]

What Your Bible Says About You

I have been enlisted for several funerals since the new year began, and I will often ask to borrow the Bible that belonged to the person we’re honoring.  Sometimes it has large print; sometimes it’s very small.  Some have personalized […]

Participate in Missions without Leaving Home

I was a summer missionary many years ago.  I had grown in my walk with Christ and had found outlets for my gifts, but they really culminated in a summer when I chose to forego a paid job in order […]

Starting Good Patterns

We think of lots of great goals and ideas each new year: exercise, reading, relationships, spiritual formation, personal management, financial health, and so many more.  We challenge ourselves, set big goals and expectations, and they’re usually very important and needed.  […]

A Father Who Delights in Us

A few years ago, our family enjoyed a single Christmas gift–a trip to ski in New Mexico.  Many years had passed since our last trip and we were now celebrating our first Christmas with our daughter-in-law.  We made last minute […]

Mr. Rogers’ Secret

We saw Tom Hanks’ new movie about Mr. Rogers this weekend and we spent another couple of hours just talking about it. I remember several interviews and speeches that Fred Rogers made during my adult years, and I usually marveled […]

Honor This

One scene haunts me every Veterans Day.  It’s fictional but so poignant.  Tom Hanks plays a dying Captain Miller in “Saving Private Ryan,” the movie that chronicles D-Day and the many difficult days that followed.  Miller is mortally wounded after […]

Camouflaged Danger

I returned home on Sunday afternoon to find my family in an uproar. Something had happened that no one expected. My oldest son and his family were here for the weekend and we had spent several hours outside, playing ball, […]

Hitting Curve Balls

We often think life will be straightforward, but it often throws us curve balls. That’s what we experienced Sunday night with storms that left many of our friends with painful losses. It’s miraculous that no lives were lost in the […]

Filling in the “Glitches”

We started a series two weeks ago about the effects that sin has brought to our world. We call the “glitches,” ways that our world is short-circuiting in relationships, culture, morality, and meaning.  We only have a limited number of […]

Faith that Holds

With my first glance, I saw a wall of rock.  I was ready to walk on it to reach the surf’s edge.  It looked sharp, but I had durable treads on my feet and it wasn’t really that far to […]

Gardener on the Outside, Hoarder on the Inside

Every one of us have our quirks, weaknesses, and special fixations. But some of those become real illnesses, hidden and protected behind a facade of distance or excuses or emotional isolation. Imagine a home on your street whose flowers are […]

When You Trust the Heavenly Father

Let’s face it: we have many experiences where we struggle to trust God. Painful circumstances make us question His involvement, judgment, and even His character.  Everything in our own culture pushes us to be in charge, demand an answer, weigh […]

Determined to Finish What He Started

Another rescue is in the news today.  Those rescue stories always inspire me.  This time it involved a car-carrier ship that capsized just 23 miles from the port where it had started its journey.  Those who responded to the crisis […]

Relationships Matter More

People trump stuff every time. Our stuff will decay and degrade, but people are eternal. It’s easy to forget that in a world that tells us every day, “More is better.” I knew that in my mind, but a few […]

A Different View of Our Community

I attended the West Ellis County United Way meeting this week and saw something that stunned me. We live in the midst of some of the most wonderful communities. Schools, quality of life, and opportunities for recreation, spiritual development, and […]

Fresh Starts for the Asking

Something happens in me when I smell freshly sharpened pencils! I don’t smell that much anymore now that most of us are working and studying in an electronic world, but every so often, I’ll catch that scent in a workroom […]

Come, Let Us Reason Together

In our digital world, we see very few examples of how people can disagree with each other and be respectful and courteous. Every time I watch a news program segment they call an “interview,” I’m embarrassed for our culture. “Interview” […]

Grieving Twisted Thinking

This weekend’s mass murders have left our nation reeling, even while some have been desensitized by the over 200 other mass murders in our country this year.  We have seen people kill because of religious extremism, racial prejudice, or personal […]

Anticipation of the Unknown

Every year we took a vacation during our kids’ childhood, we played a game. We counted down to the beach trip. We had a “100-Day” party at dinner when we were only 100 days from our departure. Kelly and I […]

Standing Tall TOGETHER

I spent two days of walking through Redwood National Forest last week. To say that I was awed would be an understatement. I kept thinking to myself, “Some of these trees were standing on this ridge before Columbus discovered the […]

Needing the Light

My yard has a section that I call “the back 40.” It’s an area that was once a solid thicket. I know. I spent two solid weeks fighting the burning rash from clearing away all the poison oak many years […]

The Spiritual Ecosystem

I have a confession to make. I’m a junkie. National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian TV, Blue Planet, Planet Earth–I could watch documentaries about the ocean and nature on any given day. Perhaps it’s because I always feel so at […]

Applying a Choice over Time

Time is often overlooked, assumed, taken for granted.  Flavors intensify when you reduce liquid in a recipe, but cooks won’t do it.  It takes time.  Most cuts on lumber need to be precise, but many carpenters will make an error […]

Beyond “Stock Market” Emotional Health

I’ve been investing for a long time. One of my earliest mentors talked to me about saving and investing when I was only 19. I pay attention to it and read the business news daily just to keep up with […]

Spiritual IKEA

Who knew that so many people would embrace assembly-style furniture? Massive IKEA stores have sprouted across the country, bringing a European style to younger families. It’s affordable, but you must assemble it. Commenting on their purchases, many have chimed in […]

The Church is PEOPLE

Years ago, I arrived at the door or a two-bedroom apartment and knocked.  A young woman answered and invited me into the “office” of a new fellowship that had been planted one year earlier.  They were meeting together in a […]

When No One Is Looking

I was driving through a town where I used to live and stopped to get coffee.  Things looked so familiar and yet so different.  Time has a way of changing things.  It was my mom’s birthday, and I have had […]

Beginning or End?

This time of year is full of graduations, retirements, and endings. I have several friends who have posted their retirements from the education field. Lots of the students we have loved for many years are now making the rounds in […]

The House Guest that Won’t Leave

If you have followed this blog, you know that I have had several unwelcome “guests” in my yard through the years. But with all of the recent rain, a new one has arrived. He packs his bags and acts as […]

Waking Up to Blessings

I’ve been reading the Old Testament since finishing the 90-day challenge of New Testament reading.  It’s always harder to read, partly because it’s talking about events that are many centuries farther back in history than Jesus’ era, and partly because […]

Is Your Trust Strong Enough to Produce Obedience?

Trust is a strange thing.  It must be earned and sustained.  We tend to be flippant about it, though, and we say we trust things that we don’t really trust.  I have read a variety of studies that claim that […]

Addition or Transformation?

Today the headlines are focused on the heinous bombings in Sri Lanka, timed to kill people as they gathered to celebrate Easter. As I watched the news unfold after a full day of celebrating Easter, something became crystal clear for […]

Night Before Day

Tomorrow is what some have called “Maundy Thursday.”  It’s the day that commemorates Jesus’ last supper with the disciples and His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before his arrest.  This morning, my wife brought me a book by […]

Why Easter Sunday Means So Much

Along the Great Ocean Road south of Melbourne, huge towers of rock stand in the roiling surf. The rest of the shore has given way over the centuries of the sea’s abuse, but these remain.  The waves have eroded the […]

Seizing the Day

Centuries ago, the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus penned these pivotal words: No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. I can remember exactly where I was when I understood what he meant by […]

Resources for Facing Doubt

If you joined us for part 1 of “Monsters Under the Bed,” you know that we dealt with faith and doubt and our fear of that doubt. I shared with you my own struggle and the disappointing, disillusioning response I […]

Five Weeks Until Easter

Just a few weeks ago, our staff began to pray for Easter weekend, particularly for people who are some of our nicest neighbors, folks we enjoy, and people with home we work and play–all of whom need to know Jesus […]

What’s Your “90-Day Challenge” Story?

I have been encouraged, astounded, surprised, delighted!  Two months ago, I offered a challenge to everyone who was attending our church.  It was simple, really. “Join me in reading through the entire New Testament in the next 90 days.”  And […]

Embracing “Peculiar”

For the last many centuries, our society established a culture called “Christendom.”  Christian faith came to be central to the society and the biblical boundaries and teachings were acquired as the norm for the broader culture.  In other words, our […]

Open Eyes, Cautious Minds, Courageous Confrontation

Over the weekend, The Houston Chronicle published a provocative story about abuses recorded in Southern Baptist Churches.  It was heart-wrenching, troubling, but not surprising.  It’s not surprising because people prey on vulnerabilities in clubs, schools, churches, parks, neighborhoods, and every […]

What’s Your True North?

When you look at a map or a globe that depicts the earth, it seems logical that “North” is constant, fixed, immovable.  The earth spins on its axis and that point the axis never varies.  Well. . .that’s true.  The […]

Vitamin D in a Winter World

I have a confession to make: I NEED more vitamin D. They told me at the Cooper Clinic almost 6 years ago and I have been taking vitamin D supplements ever since. Some call it the happiness vitamin because it […]

Listening is Harder than Speaking

We have biological mechanisms that vibrate when soundwaves reach them. The sensation is hearing and if the mechanisms work, they vibrate with all sound.  That means that the phrase, “I didn’t hear you” is not valid unless someone is deaf.  […]

What Saturates Your Life?

What Saturates Your Life? I’m starting a new series on the same weekend when I will celebrate birthdays with two grandsons.  It made me think about all the “identities” I wear. At the party, I’ll be the fun-loving “Buddy” (my […]

90 Day Challenge

We all attempt something new when the New Year’s day celebration wind’s down. We start diets, we start exercise programs, we start new calendars, schedules, semesters, and new projects of all kinds. (As for me, that’s my prep day for […]

The Innkeeper of Christmas

He was just doing his job.  He hadn’t asked for the flood of travelers who had begged for room.  The crowds had been building for tax day and he knew that every person at the door had made their hasty […]

When Someone Understands

Do you ever feel like you have met someone who has read your own mail? I was in a conversation a few months ago and I was listening to a person I had met casually at a couple of events. […]

What We Sing Shapes What We Believe

With all the technological advances we have experienced in western culture, music still connects our minds and hearts uniquely. We remember things when they’re attached to music. The songs we sing have an enormous capacity to shape our beliefs. We […]

Overwhelmingly Thankful

Something happened on Sunday. . . I realize that it may sound strange or melodramatic.  Frankly, I don’t care.  I was standing in one of the services and we were passing the Lord’s Supper trays back and forth down the […]

Balancing Responsibility with Adolescent Kids

Election day always reminds me that privilege and responsibility go hand in hand.  The privilege is dormant until acquired by responsible action (the privilege of voting is dormant until we cast a vote).  In the parlance of raising teenagers, the […]

When We Decide Who Does and Doesn’t Matter

Murder is shocking for any reason, but when it’s motivated by religion or race, it touches something deep inside us. The mass murder in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh has dominated headlines, both because of the loss of […]

Can We TALK?

I was in a meeting with a mix of community leaders, teachers, and students and I participated in a conversation that was noteworthy. A 14-year old is wondering why peers can’t resolve disagreements without violence. “They don’t talk to each […]

The Immediate and the Long-Term

Every time we see a natural disaster like Hurricane Michael, we feel the urgent tyranny of the immediate crisis. People are struggling to survive, and we all want to jump in. It’s appropriate, but it’s not enough. We are collecting […]


I don’t usually re-blog, but this is just too good. It’s a bit haunting, encouraging, probing. I hope it blesses you as it did me. Phoenixes by Josh Code In my mind, Jesus dies over and over. His first death is […]

Life Can Change in an Instant

Imagine that you’re going about your workday . . . mindful of all kinds of tasks that need to be completed. The errands that must be completed after work, the kids’ games that are on the calendar tomorrow afternoon, the monthly […]

Learning to Say “Well Done!”

I have had very few roots. My family moved often as I grew up and my wife and I spent several years doing the same as we pursued education, early jobs, and started our family. We have seen the proven […]

Love Justice, Love Mercy

I avoided Old Testament prophets when I was younger. They intimidated me, and I expected judgment in every page. It’s funny how you can set your expectations on something you have never really read!  I already “knew” what they contained, […]


Do you think that someone was shocked in 1958 when kids in high school didn’t remember Pearl Harbor? Do you think that someone was shocked in 1978 when kids had no memories of watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon? […]

Two Sides of a Coin

Every week someone hands me change. I see quarters and nickels most often and they remind me of a simple, but important truth.  Whether it’s “heads” or “tails,” the coin carries the same value and power to purchase goods.  A […]

Why God Gives Us Each Other

Watching my own kids launch into adulthood has brought back so many memories. I’m two decades removed from preschool years, but every time I walk down our preschool hall and visit with young families or attempt a video conversation with […]

The Father’s Reassurance

My tax accountant was a group leader for me years ago when I worked with college students. He was in my life weekly during the time when our youngest was born and I was just starting to learn about being […]

Clean Slates and Fresh Starts

My wife loves Hallmark movies, so I have seen plenty of period pieces that focus around the one-room school houses of our past.  Before pencil and paper days in school, students had slates and chalk.  When you finished something or […]

What Do You Want to Build?

I have always loved building. I loved building three homes with my wife. I loved helping two churches to make room for people who needed to see and hear the Gospel. I loved building landscape, fencing, and when I was […]

The Power of Invitation

I heard from an old friend who is moving to our town. We met when they were in college and I helped with their wedding preparation.  So when they learned that they were moving to our area, they gave me […]

The Non-Fiction You Can’t Ignore

Novels have always been entertaining for me.  You could look back over 20 years of vacations with our sons and you would see at least one picture in every year where three of us are lined up on the sand […]

Diagnosing Difficulty as Blessing

You never know what’s just over the horizon or around the corner.  I was on a tear yesterday to visit three hospitals in three different cities, so I started early.  When I arrived at hospital #2, I discovered that someone […]

A Dulled Conscience

An older friend of mine is experiencing the effects of disease in a way that left an unexpected problem. He was vacationing at the beach with his family, enjoying his kids, the beauty of the coast, and the relief of […]

Does God Protect Us?

The Psalms are full of praise for God’s protection and deliverance. They’re also full of desperate cries from David when he felt that God had forgotten him. This morning I was reading the Psalms and in just a matter of […]

How God Uses Flaws to Help Us Flourish

[cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsmasters_text] Last week a normal flight became an abnormal window into grace. The flight was going well and the flight crew had given their instructions before takeoff, followed by more instructions after they reached cruising altitude.  But one man […]

How You Treat the Powerless Defines Your Character

When I was a kid, I learned that bullying was one of life’s worst scourges. To pick on someone who was smaller, someone who was powerless was to express the worst of character.  I don’t know if my dad was […]

Moving In Without Moving OUT First

My son sent me a text about eggs in our bluebird box.  When I arrived home, I saw our familiar pair of bluebirds sitting on the fence, agitated.  I knew why.  They fledged their first set of babies weeks ago […]

A Grandfather I Never Knew

My dad was the youngest of three children, born when his siblings were already adults.  In 1938, his parents were in their late 40’s in age, trying to raise a child during the Great Depression and WW2.  My grandfather was […]

Invisible Persecution

I was shocked when I saw Monday’s cover of the Dallas Morning News:  “Churches Targeted in Attacks.”  Several churches in the second largest city in Indonesia had been bombed by a family cell and ISIS was claiming responsibility.  I was […]

When You Trust Completely

[cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_column data_width=”3/4″][cmsmasters_text] A dear friend just completed a master test with his prized yellow Labrador retriever.  “Jackson” is a sweet, 5-year-old athlete who has been at his master’s feet since he was first weaned.  My friend started investing his time […]

What’s Your Focus?

Customer-centered businesses have always caught my attention.  We love to tell stories about great service!  Every business must make a buck, but some have discovered the beauty and benefit of treating customers as if they are the central focus of […]

Being an “Aspen” Community

Have you ever noticed that you never see a single, a SINGLE, aspen tree?  I can’t recall ever seeing one by itself.  Aspens actually grow together from a single source of roots, so you don’t typically find single Aspens.  You […]

Remembering the Past, Leaning into the Future

Every May 24, Kelly and I take time to remember our past together. This year will be 32 years since we tied the knot, and we have a host of great memories that we savor and enjoy. Not once have […]

No Surgery Without Pain

I saw a friend recently who was on the recovering side of an experimental surgery. It was life-altering. He had been in pain for months and had been told that nothing could be done.  Then he discovered one doctor who […]

Two Sides of Easter

It’s a holiday; it’s a HOLY day. Which it is for you depends on what you believe.  If you see this just as a religious event, then it’s easy to focus on a Friday holiday for the kids, a time […]

Instrument, not a Monument

I have two sets of fishing equipment and they are VERY different.  One set contains fresh line, maintained reels, and specific lures for the season of the year.  That set is ready to be used on the water to catch […]

When Your Work is Worthy of Praise

I was having lunch with a friend at Chick-fil-A and the dining room population was thinning out. The drive-through was still doing a brisk business when one of the assistant managers came jogging through our side of the restaurant, heading […]

Waiting and Wanting to Speak

One of the most difficult challenges of parenting comes when your kids are old enough to make big decisions.  When our kids are young, they often ask for help and are like sponges.  When they get older, the natural progression […]

Just Like His Daddy

Kids are just too fun! One of the best aspects of my job is watching young couples start having kids. Every so often, I’m just caught off guard. I was standing in the Atrium when I saw a young dad […]

Finding Your Career Fit

I’ve been getting lots of questions about our “Re-imagining Work” series. This week they focused on finding satisfaction or meaning in work. I said, “Most people stumble into the career fit.” So, a question was, “Is there an easier or […]

Best reads for Re-imagining Work

I have been doing research for this series about work since last October when I spent a few days away for my fall study retreat.  If you have been following along on Sundays or on Facebook posts, we have talked […]

Better Safe than Sorry

This morning, Alaska experienced an earthquake that was as strong as 8.2 on the Richter scale. Immediately, officials issued tsunami warnings for the Pacific rim. I saw that news early this morning and I thought of a day when I […]

The American Myth

While I have been preparing this “Reimagining Work” series, I have had a dozen revealing conversations with people about what they think of work and how work makes them feel.  One of these conversations uncovered one of the greatest myths […]

My first 70-hour per week job

I was new in town, new at my church, and still just trying to settle in. I attended a very small church and my Sunday morning Bible class was led by a man about 30 years old. He was nice, […]

Re-Imagining Work

Most of us returned to work today. The new year means new work, new deadlines, new opportunities, new challenges. Even with the emotional hangover of two huge bowl games last night, we’re still charged with tackling the new year of […]

On A Clear, Starry Night

Winter on our family’s farm was always inviting to me. We always had plenty of work to do to help my grandparents and the work seemed to make the days last longer. When evening came, I was usually on a […]

The Little Things

Everyone has favorite ornaments for their tree.  Some people love angel ornaments while others will delight in little elves or Santa ornaments.  Our tree contains some ornaments from my own childhood, from Kelly’s childhood, and a few that my mother […]

Few Valuable Things Are Built Quickly

I’m rebuilding a fence at my house after 14 years of poison oak eradication in what I have affectionately called, “the back 40.”  It’s a multi-layered process and, despite how professional companies make it look easy, it’s not!  Planning, ordering, […]

A Savior Who Is At Home with Us

Years ago, I went to work for a pastor who became much more than a boss. He became another father figure for me.  He was a statesman when he needed to be a clear voice in the midst of confusion.  […]

The Physiology of Gratitude

Make a decision right now: you will take time this week to make a list of blessings, and choose to express your gratitude to God, to the people you love, and to those who know you best. Your life could […]

Grieving and Guarding

Sunday, November 5 is a difficult day for Sutherland Springs and for all of us across the country as we grieve the shooting at the First Baptist Church there. Authorities will continue to investigate while all of us carry the […]

My Father’s Call

I woke early this morning, earlier than usual. My mind was racing, remembering. I spoke at Beast Feast last night and described God’s intentions toward us and those words were taking me back in time. My dad was like most […]

Vocation and Your Mission

Frederick Buechner wrote this definition of vocation: “that place where the world’s great need and your heart’s great gladness meet.”  I’m not sure we actually think about it in that way.  Work was actually a gift from God for us, […]


Every healthy parent I know longs to be a help to their children.  I have felt that keenly in the process of launching my sons into adulthood.  We worked to give them choices when they were little, choices within the […]

When the Season Ramps Up Your Intensity

In football stadiums across the country, you can feel the intensity ramping up. The divisional rivalries are starting to unfold and fans and players ramp up their intensity and passion for these games. Michigan vs. Michigan State, Texas vs. OU, […]


Our nation is reeling in shock over the latest and severest mass murder. Millions are still reeling in the wakes of three devastating hurricanes. Millions more are reeling in the disaster of addictions that were enabled by a playboy whose […]

A Jesus Deal

[cmsmasters_row][cmsmasters_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsmasters_text] Sitting in a circle of men at various stages of recovery, we listened to each other as we talked about the past week, and one of the men began to describe something that really left its mark.  With […]

Identity Defines Choices

I once believed that I could compartmentalize my life. I could have a work life, a family life, a hobby life, and a spiritual life.  I imagined that I could construct flexible walls between all of these parts of who […]

Noticing Need

A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a book entitled, “The Noticer.”  It was odd, intriguing, and a bit unsettling.  Essentially, the main character had a knack for “noticing” people and their needs, fears, ambitions, and opportunities.  He […]

Tragedy Can Enable Vision

A former student of mine was flooded in Houston during Harvey’s onslaught.  She had been pursuing a successful career with a foundation of a healthy marriage, two wonderful kids, and an economic opportunity that was congruent with the hard work […]

Relief Effort that Lasts

Hurricane Harvey has made history.  Several of my friends have been rescued from their flooded homes in areas where they never expected flooding.  Many have asked how to help and I have several answers for you. Texas Baptist Men’s Disaster […]

When Humans Decide Which Lives Matter

I was reminded of an experience from years ago that I shared in a conversation yesterday.  Reflecting on it, I am compelled today to speak from my heart. I do not speak about politics, but I do speak of theology. […]

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