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Bruce Prindle teaching from stage
On My Heart

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, at the community, at the world and writes about what’s on his heart because of knowing Jesus.

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Drought-Busting

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

90-day Awakening

Just this morning I was reflecting on this 90-day journey. I am a little behind but want to allow it to saturate as I am reading…and wow…I used that word not even trying to tie it to the sermons…so that […]

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 […]

Dive Deeper

A few weeks ago, I was hiking around three lakes that were near 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 […]

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. […]

Free of Baggage

Recently have reached out for help concerning my marriage and other life problems that never seem to change. I felt like everything was wrong and I couldn’t fix it. So I went to pathways for core training. It’s a large […]

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 […]

Phoenixes

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, […]

Remembering

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 […]

Overcoming Trials

Years ago I was physically attacked by a dog while running my neighborhood with my own dog. The dog was trying to go after mine but I decided to protect it. As a result, the dog attacked me to get […]

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, […]

Untapped

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, […]

Why?

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 […]

Choosing Jesus Daily

I’ve never thought of my testimony as ‘my story’. I always thought of it as an event. Something that happened. I walked through the storm one day at a time, not really thinking of the process or the end result. […]

Presence of the Holy Spirit

I was raised by Christian parents as an only child that was loved, protected, and in church from infancy. When I was nine years old my mother said it was time for me to join the church. I was not […]

Stepping Out in Faith

My story is perhaps a little different, in that I’ll begin after I was saved as a teenager in West Texas. I really did nothing to grow my faith at first. Off to college quickly after my salvation experience I […]

Strength Found in Faith

Mike and I have a blended family. I had two boys; he had two boys; we had our daughter together. We raised our children in church, but I can honestly say I did not live out my faith. Our children […]

Becoming a Child of God

I grew up in a very dysfunctional, unloving, and abusive home. The words, “I love you” were rarely, if ever, spoken, much less shown. My mother and current stepfather slept and still sleep in separate bedrooms and generally keep to […]

God’s Healing Powers

When I was 5 years old, the school told my mom that she should have me tested because I would be walking and then stop for no reason. I would then start walking again and have no remembrance of what […]

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