A Reason To Celebrate!

I honestly can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that my children were all anticipating their big SUMMER BREAK. We had so many activities and plans we were making together — things we wanted to do and ways we wanted to celebrate the warm summer days. And as I look back over the past few months, I think we did most of the things we wanted to do. There were movies we saw, camping activities in the back yard, evening fires and smores, as well as outings and a week of vacation to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. All in all we had a great summer.

Some of the more memorable moments for me came the past few weeks. In my home, the months of July and August are filled with BIG DAYS! It began with my wife’s surprise birthday party. This was a big one…but I’ll just say it was her “29th” (again!). This was the first time I had ever thrown her a big party — and a surprise event to boot! It was a ’70’s themed gathering complete with platform shoes, huge afros, bell-bottoms, and my green plaid polyester pants! We discoed the night away.

The next big moment was to celebrate my daughters 11th birthday…quickly followed by my middle son’s 8th birthday. And did I mention that the summer began with my oldest son’s 13th birthday. Well, at least I get a break before my youngest turns 6 in December. But then the celebrations continue right through Christmas and the New Year!

Well, here’s what I’ve come to discover. Life is worth celebrating. My family and friends are worth celebrating. Life was meant to be enjoyed with those I know and love. Jesus said his primary purpose was to come and give “life”. Life to the max. Life lived in connection with Him. Abundant, joy-filled, celebratory life! I love the way Jesus ends the story He told His followers about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. The father declares his love for his son and reveals his heart of celebration. The father said, “…We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (Lk. 15:23-24, NLT).

Isn’t that great? “So the party began!”

Oh, by the way…this Sunday my wife and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary! How awesome is that? I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Let the party BEGIN!


Finding the Words to Speak!

I have been teaching a series of messages to our church entitled: Love & Marriage! This morning I discussed the importance of never ending the pursuit of your spouse. Part of this process involves sharing those very needed words of affection (husbands to wives) and words of affirmation (wives to husbands). I thought you might enjoy video clip which gives a glimpse into process of trying to find just the right words to share!

Let me encourage you to try this week and share the BIG THREE (“I love you!”) with your spouse.

Well, check out this video. I think you will really enjoy it!

I’m Gonna Love You Forever!

I make no apologies…this post goes out to my wife, Lori!

Everyone else is welcome to listen in on this conversation to her — but this is clearly from my heart to hers!

Lori, I want to begin by saying: “I love you!” I know in our home (with 4 busy children) our lives sometimes seem to be spinning so fast and doing so much that those words can get lost in the chaos and the busyness. That being said, I never want to take for granted that you know the depth of my love. So, let me take a few moments and tell you how I feel about you.

It’s hard to believe, but it was 19 years ago that I first laid my eyes on you. Your beauty nearly took my breath away. The softness of your eyes, the beauty of your skin and the tenderness of your voice struck my heart like one of cupid’s arrows. I remember our long walks around Lake Hollingsworth, our dinner dates to the Panda Chinese restaurant, and I remember the evenings spent in the library together as you studied your books and I studied you!

You know, as wonderful as those early days were – none of them compare to the times I have with you today! I so enjoy every moment of our lives together. I still look forward to coming home every day and hearing your voice. I cherish the dinners around our table (with our 4 children) as I get to sit across from you and trade the stories from our day along with smiles that speak volumes of our love. I appreciate the way you care for our family and work to provide a safe place to call home. I am grateful for those few hours every night when our children are in bed and we get to cuddle together on the couch. Though we don’t have everything we wish for and our budget is tighter than we would like…there is nothing in this world that I would trade for my life with you today!

I love you. I love you. I love you!

Thanks for being my wife and my love!

Help for Haiti!

Haitian people reach out for help!

It’s been a little over a week since the massive series of earthquakes hit the nation of Haiti. What initially looked — got worse with each aftershock and seismic tremor. This very poor nation of people were brought to their knees in a matter of moments. I am so proud to see the United States of America and all of our resources responding to the needs of the people of Haiti. While many nations are watching – we are responding. And it’s not just our nation, but it’s also the church who is responding. Never have I been so proud to be a part of the body of Christ as I have been the last few days. Even our (small) local congregation was quick to do something about the needs of the Haitians. With just a simple request for funds, our folks gave $2000 to the relief organization CONVOY OF HOPE. Together with people from all over the world — we are making a difference!

At this time of loss, the Haitian people need us to stand in the gap for them. Rather than judge them for their past or the present mistakes and sin, we will stand with them and share the love of Christ. Rather than condemn them — we must serve them. Let’s be the love of Christ to those with great need during this great hour!

Madden 2009 – An Experience Of A Lifetime!

Alright, let me begin by saying yesterday was a day to remember. My son Jonathan and I have a deep connection through our enjoyment of all things technical. You name it, if it involves computers or wires or electricity — if it is a gadget or a game we probably have some knowledge of it. In fact, we might even have it. We just love to read and research and experience the latest movements in the world of creative technology. For years now, any time I have replaced a phone or PDA my son wanted my old one. When he was younger it was to pretend…but as he has gotten older it has been to learn and use whatever I was passing on to him. Well not to long ago we were able to obtain a Wii (the latest in gaming by Nintendo). You can read the post entitled A Boy & His Wii Little Faith to find out the great story surrounding the Wii. Anyways, lately we have been enjoying the sports games that Nintendo offers. A week ago I purchased Madden 2008 (last years NFL game) and we played it and enjoyed it and competed every free chance we found. The beauty of all of this was that the store we bought it from told me that if I would bring it back within a week, that they would put the full return value towards the new Madden 2009 NFL game. So that is what we did. Only, we returned the game yesterday and couldn’t pick the game up until today, because it officially comes out on August 12, 2008. However, there was one option…the store said they were going to open up at midnight last night to allow the “real fans” the opportunity to get the game 8 hours earlier than everyone else. I actually laughed out loud when the clerk mentioned this…because, I could think of a lot of better things to do at midnight than drive out to pick up a video game at a store! Like SLEEP! Well, Jonathan asked me to consider it…and he had a host of reasons why this would be a great idea. But I would hear of it. I told him he could get it tomorrow just like everyone else around the world.

That was my plan – and I was going to stick with it. Well, that was until I looked at the clock last night and saw the time – 11:09pm. Now my son was already in bed and fast asleep. He was toasty and dreaming (or so I assume). I was already in bed, relaxing, preparing to sleep…when it hit me. This could be a moment that my son never forgets. This could be an adventure of a lifetime. So I did what every good, fun loving dad would do…I got up, got dressed and snuck into my son’s room. He sleeps in a loft bed – so I flicked on the light and climbed up on top and began shouting, “GET UP! GET UP! IT’S TIME! GET UP!” Well, needless to say, he was startled, confused, disoriented and a bit scared! It was awesome. I drug him out of bed – helped him get dressed and then told him what was happening. He couldn’t believe it. He was in disbelief. 
So we jumped in my truck and hit the road. When we arrived the place ushered us in and took care of the paperwork and then directed us to a line outside. We waited. They gave us little bags of Combos (the snack crackers) to keep us satisfied until the game could legally be released. It was so exciting! Everyone in line was buzzing with nervous energy. And then it happened. They opened the doors and gave us our game! We were on our way back home by 12:08am. Only one last thing to do – yeah that’s right, we hit Taco Bell for the 4th meal! Grabbed us some mexi-melts and a tacos and were on our way back home. 
We played one full game and went to bed at 1:30am…which is when my son said, “Thanks Daddy! I love you so much. This was so much fun and I will never forget this.” 
And with that I close. An experience of a lifetime…for both of us! As my Daddy would put it, we were making memories!