Posted in Ministry, Missions, Quotes

Phil Robertson, Pharrell Williams, and George Muller

What do these three men have in common? They are all about “Happy”.

Phil and thousands of others are walking around every day saying “Happy, Happy, and Happy”. (I confess I have done this but have since repented J)

Thanks to the movie Despicable Me 2 that made Pharrell’s song “Happy” even more popular.

But most may not have ever heard of George Muller’s Happy (27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898)? I had heard he was a praying man, but I didn’t know about his pursuit of happy. Wikipedia describes him as,

“a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024[1] orphans in his life.[2] He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.”

A few weeks I ran across a quote from Muller about the most important thing in his life. I’ve not be able to shake it out of my mind and in many ways it gives permissions to those of us who follow Christ to be happy J. It seems for some of us (me being one of them) that to ENJOY our relationship with God is wrong. We believe that we should serve God, but it’s more out of a sense of legalistic duty, than a pursuit of Happiness in God. I hope this quote inspires you like it did me.

“The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.

The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord or how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished.

I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.”

George Muller

Enjoy God today! Be Happy in Him!

Posted in Books, Church, Ministry, Quotes

Gospel Centered Discipleship – Book Review

I’m finishing up the book “Gospel Centered Discipleship” by Jonathan K. Dodson. I purchased the booking on a whim, not knowing anything about Jonathan, but interested in others thoughts on discipleship. Jonathan introduces the book with a confession of sorts. After reading a few sentences I found his words resonating with me. I too have “made disciples” not fully understanding what that means. Too many times I’ve converted them to be “my” disciples and not those of Christ.

What follows in the book is not an exhaustive view of discipleship, but one that should call us to evaluate our heart and our motives behind our ministry. The book reaffirms what I have learned through Freedom in Christ Ministries about the finished work of Christ in overcoming our personal sin. Namely that we are not fighting to win victory over sin, but that Christ has already done that. Our battle is in the arena of faith; that we would believe the truth that Christ has in-fact already won.

Jonathan shared a quote from Tyler Durden taken from the book/movie “Fight Club”. I love this quote and it should be a rallying cry for our generation

“We are the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We have no Great War, or Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives.”

In encourage you to read this book.

Posted in Church, Family, Friends & Family, Health/Exercise, Money, Quotes

Happy 2009!

We’ll 2009 is off and running. I took a few days off from blogging, but I’m back. I have a ton of thoughts floating around inside my head so here goes.

  • I really enjoyed two weeks off from work hanging out with my family.
  • We sold the lot/land next to our house during the holidays thanks to our new real-estate agent! You can visit her site at Now all we have left is for the house to sell! But I’m confident that the LORD will move us in His time.
  • I surprised JJ and kids on Christmas day by announcing that we would be going to Disney World later in the spring! Daily TJ keeps saying, “I’m ready to go to Dizzy World.” He thinks were going to leave any minute. I know these are difficult economic times, but there are some incredibly inexpensive deals out there right now. It’s never going to be any cheaper for our family to go, so we are pumped.
  • The photo is from New Years Eve. We hung out with friends and watched the fireworks, while two of my kids stayed in the truck with ear muffs.

  • No resolutions for me this year. Resolutions always seem to place more expectations on this perfectionist and that spells stress. However I did join a Gym on December 21 and have only missed a few days since then. I even went on Christmas Eve! You may be thinking, “I thought you said you didn’t set any resolutions?” Again, I didn’t. {Shhh- I’m trying reverse psychology on myself to see how it works. Maybe as long as I say I don’t have to go; I’ll still want to go}
  • I’m very excited about all that is happening at the Turning Pointe Church. Last night Scott rallied the church behind our new “Passion Statement”, which is “Turning People to Christ”. Most churches have a mission statement, a vision statement, a doctrinal statement, a legal statement (I’m rambling here to show how silly we can get with all the statements), but most of the time statements are phrases we hang on the wall (aka website), not what is “actually” happing in the church halls. But your passion is what you do out of who you are! No matter where someone is in life; we must turn them to Christ!
  • I got impulsive one night and decided to put up a tent for the kids in the living room. I purchased the tent over 2 years ago and had never gotten it out of the bag. I forgot that it said 8-10 person on the side! Before I knew it I had to open the doors in order to put the poles in. It almost whipped me, but this old Boy Scout didn’t go down without a fight! Here is my final result.
Posted in Arc, Books, Culture, Education, Family, Homeschooling, Quotes, The Word

Story Time

Stories have always been an important part of my life. Stories, good stories, have a way of capturing and keeping my attention like nothing else. If you think about it, most of our everyday conversations are simply us telling stories to each other. Growing up my parents always told me stories, mostly funny and some sad. I have fond childhood memories of sitting on the front porch of my Grandmother’s house with all the adults as everyone rocked, drank coffee, and told one story after another. {My Dad was usually in the middle of most of them!} Most of these stories were very comical and usually started with the phrase “Remember the time…”. I pickup on this so much that in high school I can remember a guy making fun of me and point me out as, “the guy who always has a story to tell.”

Unfortunately time and adulthood has a way of killing this child like enjoyment of storytelling. However; several things converged last week in my mind that has given me a greater understand and appreciation for stories: personal stories of experience, stories of history, and faith stories found in the Bible.

One thing that I’ve notice of late is how much my girls loving hearing me tell personal stories about when I was a child. They seem to love the ones where I do something goofy at school and all the other kids laugh at me {I guess that helps them feel better?} The next thing that I’ve noticed is how much they can recall from the stories that they cover in school. The resource The Story of the World has been our history text for this first semester and the kids love it and retain so much of it because of the story format. History after is not simply about facts, it is man’s “story”. Finally, I understood more fully the importance of God Story in the Bible by listening to Daniel Taylor’s sermon entitled “The Life Shaping Power of Story: God’s Story and Ours“. I took so many notes from this message, which I’m proving some of those (below) for your benefit. May God bless you as you fulfill you role in the Greatest Story Ever Told.

  •  The Bible doesn’t just contain stories. Stories are the means God uses to reveal himself to us and how to be in right relationship with Him.
  • Stories also allow for the preservation of the messages through generations. Just like the nation of Israel we tend to fail to remember the stories of God. Knowing God’s stories of the past is the key to understanding both the present and the future.
  •  Stories remind us who we are and where we came from.
  • Stories are the best way to instruct the next generation. If we fail to tell the stories they will die.
  • Stories are the best way the brain and process/ packages and stores the data. We both understand the world and remember our experiences through the stories.
  • Sin is wanting a different story than the one God has scripted for you.
  • Stories have the power to change us. The great stories will not let us stay the same. The greatest story of the Gospel demands that we become something other than we are.
  •  Stories teach us our lines for life.
  •  Deprive Children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious stutterers in their actions as in their words. (Alister McIntyre)
Posted in Books, Leadership, Quotes

Good to Great-My Notes

I had an incredible time at the Catalyst Conference last week. The speakers, music, and total experience were all excellent! One of the speakers this year, with whom I was not familiar, was corporate leadership research guru Jim Collins. Jim’s book Good to Great has sold more than 3 million copies! If you lead people in your job or in your church there is much you can take away from his insight. You can visit his website for free tools and resources. Below is a rambling list of the notes I took while he was speaking.


  • Greatness is not a function of chance. It requires intentionality and discipline. Good is the enemy of Great.
    • It took Starbucks 13 years to go to 5 stores.
    • It took Wal-Mart 7 years to go to 2 stores.
  • The only way to be prepared for what you can’t predict is to have the right people on “the bus” (your team). You need to be asking Who not What. Get the right leaders at every stage before you decided to go bigger. The moment you feel like you need to micro-manage someone you’ve probably made a hiring mistake.
  • Greed for too much (success), too fast will crash your organization.
  • Research shows that great companies were lead by level 5 leaders. Level 5 leaders were strong personalities, who all had humility as their central character trait. They were committed to the success of their organizations not their own agendas.
  • Every generation needs to find the practices that express the unchanging values that cross all generations.
  • Personally we must build in Sabbaths (my words) into our lives -times for retreat and rest. We must create a top 3 priorities list. “If you have more than 3 you don’t have priorities” –Jim. We should also create a stop doing list. (Stop adding things to your life/organization without removing some things)
Posted in Books, Football, Quotes, Sports

Gridiron GOLD

I just finished reading Gridiron Gold which I enjoyed immensely. The book gives insight in to the history of High School football in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi has arguably produced some of the greatest football players/coaches of all time. Here is a short list of some stories/insight I enjoyed from the book.

  • How High School football played a huge role in integration
  • Stories surrounding the University of South Panola. (They currently hold the longest winning streak in the nation)
  • Walter Payton running backwards 50 yards for a touchdown.
  • Tons of great quotes for coaches. Including some from my old coach on page 81 and 91.
  • The role faith and ministry plays in the life of a team
  • Several Funny stories:
    • School that only had 2 pair of track shoes
    • Kids that fumbled because he was holding his concession stand money.
    • The kid that asked his coach, during a dramatic part of the game, if he could ride home with his dad.
    • A coach going into the opposing teams locker to give them a pep talk.

I’ll end with the pre-game prayer (p. 33) from the legendary coach from East Marion, Les Peters. I’ll never forget hearing Coach Peters pray at an FCA breakfast I attended back in 1990. When he finished I thought to myself, this man knows God personally. Besides his ability to talk with God he also has been known to say some of the most comical things about his football team that a coach can say. So here it is-

Lord, if it’s thy will, make us agile, hostile and mobile. Put that gleam in our eyes, zip in our feet and that determination in our hearts. Let’s go Eagles.

Posted in Books, Quotes, Theology

Stop Running After God

“Where are you?” are the words GOD used to query Adam and Eve after they had sinned against Him in Genesis 3:9. The funny thing is that He(GOD) knew exactly where they were. He asked them for their benefit. He wanted them to recognize what he knew, that because of their sin, they were lost and had started to die.

The fact is God knows all about us. Psalm 139 give incredible inside into God’s knowledge of us.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

Theologians use the word Omniscient to describe God and the fact that he is all knowing; which brings me to my point.

Most of us, who are in pursuit of God, eventually get to a point where we turn around to notice that He is in purist of us. We often give much effort to trying to understand Him and little time resting in the truth that he fully understands us. In Bob George’s book, Growing in Grace, he has written, “We read one Christian book after another explaining how to know Him, but we seldom read a book explaining how to walk by faith in the fact that He also knows us.”

This one idea has taken me from being a very anxious Christian, trying to figure out God, to a much less (smile) anxious Christian, resting in the truth that he has me figured out. My life is surrendering to His purposes and plans for me, not striving to have him influence something for me. “He is the vine we are the branches (John 15:5).” It is His love for us (1 John 4:10), not our love for him, that should motivate us to give our lives completely to him.

Stop running after God. Realize that even now, he is running after you. -TD