Monthly Archives: December 2009

7,884,000 minutes

How do you measure 15 years?  Months.  Days.  Hours.  Seasons.  Snowfalls.  Beach trips.  Tear drops.  Lessons learned.  All right answers.

How about this?  1 wedding, 4 apartments, 3 houses,  4 cities, 2 college degrees, 3 long years in seminary, 5 children, 5 OBGYNs, 4 full-time ministries, 3 cars, 1 minivan, thousands and thousands of miles driven, 1 incredible wife, and 1 husband blessed beyond degree.  Good start.

15 years ago today.  I woke early.  Had breakfast at the hotel.  Then golf with my father and brother.  Lunch with family and friends at Ruby Tuesday seemed innocent enough until one of Sonya’s bride’s maids informed us that she was there too!  Yes, we were all traditional with the not seeing the bride before the wedding thing.  Loved it.  Loved that Sonya got shoved under a table as we walked in.  It’s so much fun.  Months before we rejected a photographer because they wanted to take all the pics before the wedding.  Nope.  This is too much fun.

Then, taking all of our stuff for an early check-in at our hotel.  O.K.  This is were I messed up.  Several out-of-town friends from my Continental Singers days had come in for our wedding, including an old girl friend.  They were all with me when I picked up Sonya’s stuff.  I don’t think it would have had the effect it did if she hadn’t been trying to take a bath on her wedding day and run out of hot water.  I remember talking to her through the bathroom door.  But hey, just little bumps on an incredible day.

Before the wedding, the men all dressed in the Music Suite.  Why does the bride get a Bride’s Room and the groom get a choir room?  Aaa, who cares?  Suddenly, I remembered that I left our rings in the suitcase.  You know, the one I’d taken to the hotel.  So, last minute hope-I-don’t-get-pulled-over-for-speeding trip to the hotel to get the rings, in my tux.  No problem.  Made it back in plenty of time.

Then, right before the wedding, they informed me that our cake had not arrived yet and not a call from the baker.  “Should we tell Sonya?” they asked.  No.  Don’t add that stress.  Turned out to be a good answer.  The cake was there for the reception no added stress on the bride.

I remember when they opened the doors.  Down the aisle was a woman so beautiful.  So stunning.  Her dress was perfect.  Wow, she was gonna marry me.  Her dad married us.  My dad was best man.  Her sister was matron of honor.  Many of our family and friends played and sang.  It was perfect.

I look at these pictures and think, “Wow, we were just kids!”

That is still the best groom’s cake I’ve ever had.  Chocolate heaven.

Right after this picture of us running to the car, someone, probably a kid, pelted Sonya in the face with an unopened bag of birdseed.  One of the bags we’d stuffed two nights earlier.  Lesson learned: pretty lace + bird seed + unsupervised child = dangerous projectile.

Off we go.  Not a clue.  But blessed beyond measure.

15 years. 1 wedding, 4 apartments, 3 houses,  4 cities, 2 college degrees, 3 long years in seminary, 5 children, 5 OBGYNs, 4 full-time ministries, 3 cars, 1 minivan, thousands and thousands of miles driven, 1 incredible wife, and 1 husband blessed beyond degree.

The best part: I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thank you, Sonya.  You are my best friend, my inspiration (insert Chicago song here), my wife, my mate, my partner in parenting, and my partner in ministry.  You are awesome.  I love you more now than ever before.  I love you with all of my heart and I can’t wait to spoil our grandchildren together, then go for ride in our red convertible Corvette.  Just the two of us old people making the young ones jealous.

Thank you God.  You are so good to me.



what were you doing 15 years ago today?

Look at those kids.  [note: I can’t get my scanner to work so these photos are photos of photos snapped with my camera so not the best quality]  We’d been dating for about 2 years, though only 1.5 officially.  You can read our story here.

She agreed to be my wife on January 8, 1994.  It was now December 29, 1994.  We’d spent with week with friends and family preparing and hanging out.  Now it was the day before.

I woke up for the last time in my “bachelor pad.”  The next day it would be home for a newly wed couple.  My best guy friend, Peter, helped me pack for my honeymoon and we ran various errands, I’m sure all wedding or honeymoon related.

After a pretty smooth rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, complete with a touching and only slightly too-naked-baby-picture-revealing video by my mother and a song by my father, Sonya and I exchanged wedding gifts and I was off to the family hotel for the night.  I shared a room with some of my best friends from high school as I anticipated the glorious events of the next day.

Don’t make fun of my hair and I won’t make fun of your old pics.  Well, maybe I will.  Note: Sonya’s hair was down to her backside when we met.  Anyway…

I remember the excitement.  I wasn’t nervous.  I even slept pretty well.  We knew that God was in it.  Again, you can read our story here.  Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their life with their best friend?

The next day was the big day.  Come back tomorrow.


need//being real

I haven’t seen this “New Post” page much lately.  It’s been busy.  I know I don’t need to tell you that.  Chances are you’ve been very busy as well.  December flies by packed with parties, musicals, shopping, family, travel, cooking, and potato guns.  O.K. not many of you were lucky enough to have the potato gun experience but there were certainly many things going on.

Oh, I could go off on how we’ve messed up the season and ask if we’ve really paused to consider the “true meaning of Christmas.”  But that’s not what consumes my mind on this Monday morning.  I been feeling dry.  Drier than I’ve felt in awhile.  Been dry for several weeks.  That’s what this season has led to me this year.  It gets so busy and loud that even “quiet times” aren’t quiet.  No one’s up at the hour I go to meet with God but they don’t have to be.  The noise is in my head.  In my heart.

But today.  Today has already been different.  The noise has settled a bit.  I can hear a little better.   As I pray for needs – physical, spiritual, emotional, familial – I sense my need.  My need to know Him more.  I ask for things and realize that I just want – no – need more of God.  I need to be filled with His Spirit.  I need His wisdom.  I need His power.  I need to hear His voice.

So what New Years resolutions are you considering?  No resolutions here.  Just commitment.  Surrender.  Getting back to the basics: learning His Word and making my knees sore from prayer.  It’s called seeking God.  I want to be His completely.  That’s my 2010 goal, complete surrender.

Been in Psalm 119.  God has really used it to help me focus.  Read it and ask God to open your heart and mind to His voice.

Sorry if I seem scattered.  I’m actually having a great morning with my Savior.  Now for some coffee…


Christmas Morning 2009

Always exciting.

Merry Christmas!


Potato Gun – Day 2//good distance and the coolest secretary on earth

The potato gun could have easily cleared this long parking lot.  At a steep angle it got about 100 yards of altitude and 150 yards of distance.

Then, my secretary, aka the coolest secretary on earth, took a turn.

Good times!  And Merry Christmas!


2012? give me a break

Remember “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in ’88?”  I do.  I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now.  And with good reason.  Look at what Jesus had to say about knowing when He would return:

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

No one knows.  And at that point, not even Jesus knew.  He’d restricted certain parts of His omniscience when He took on our flesh, including the knowledge of the date of His second coming.  The angels enjoy constant fellowship around the throne of God.  But they don’t have a clue as to the time of Christ’s return.  So why would we put our trust in Nostradamus, Mayan calendars, or some “sleeping prophet” from Selma, Alabama?  Doesn’t make much sense does it?

The date is not what’s important.  The importance is found in verses 33-36.  Be on guard.  Stay awake.  The point of discussing the subject is to keep us on guard.  We are to be doing the Lord’s work as though He could come back at any time.  Like a servant given a task to complete in his master’s absence – not knowing when He will return – we are to labor for the Lord, with what ever task He’s given us, as though He will return any minute.  Don’t get caught sleeping!

I don’t want to be caught sleeping.  I want to be found faithful.  You with me?


my first potato gun//good old fashion fun

Tonight, I won a potato gun in a game of Dirty Santa.  It is the best Dirty Santa gift ever.  Check out the firepower:

It’s a man thing.

Thanks Brandon.  You rock!