Navigating a Fog

Yesterday morning I was walking along the coastline at Surfers Point and the fog was thicker than I’ve seen in a while. I was certain the ocean was there even though I was seeing less of it than normal. The fog made the ocean look more like a moving puddle.

Fog

Can you relate to the surfer in the above picture?

Do you feel like you’re navigating through a fog in your life right now?

Do you need to make a decision but can’t seem to gain clarity?

Fog is a reality but I’ve noticed four things that cause fog to linger longer in our lives:

1) Ignoring Emotions

Several years ago my emotional fog was thicker than it had ever been. Certain truths (God loves me, God is with me, and God has a plan for me) had always been “ocean-deep” anchors in my life. That’s why I was surprised when anger, hurt, and anxiety hid these truths. Instead of ocean-deep truths, they began to feel more like moving puddles.

Emotions are great indicators but terrible leaders. Emotions reveal that something important is happening in your heart which requires your attention. If you ignore your emotions, the fog will linger.

If you’re experiencing an emotional fog, I recommend Chip Dodd’s book, The VOICE of the HEART.

2) Hiding Doubt

Our doubts can confuse us and create a fog. We may wonder, “Is God ashamed of me or mad at me for doubting?”

We know exactly how Jesus responded to one man who doubted. One man confessed his doubts by telling Jesus, “I believe but help my unbelief.” Jesus didn’t rebuke him or his doubt. Instead, He responded by answering the man’s honest prayer with a divine miracle: Jesus healed the doubter’s son.

There are two different kinds of doubt: Doubt with the desire to believe (the man who approached Jesus) and doubt with the determination to never believe.

Hiding your doubts causes the fog to linger.

If you’re experiencing a doubting fog, pickup Barnabas Piper’s new book, Help My Unbelief.

3) Unconfessed Sin

Did you know that sin blurs your vision of God? We all experience this because, well . . . we’re sinners.

In His Beatitude sermon, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will SEE God.” -Matt. 5:8

A purified heart sees God more clearly. However, allowing sin to remain encourages the fog to stay.

4) Season of Testing

“Sometimes God hides himself from us even when we continue in the life of faith. On occasion God may withdraw his gracious presence to test us or to discipline us but always with the view of making us stronger. Even the most godly Christians sometimes have to pass through a dark night of the soul where they have to believe against all sight, reason, and understanding.” -Donald Bloesch

Here’s the GOOD NEWS: Though it feels permanent, the fog will lift. It will.

Sometimes you need to heal.

Sometimes you need God’s intervention.

Sometimes you need to repent.

Sometimes you hold on and walk by faith, not by sight.

One day we will enter Heaven where the veil will be forever lifted.

A few minutes later the fog was already lifting and I took another pic

A few minutes later the fog was already lifting and I took another picture

I guess that’s why many of our Scriptures and songs throughout history focus on the need to “hold on.”

A few minutes later the fog continued to lift and the ocean was visible again

A few minutes later the fog continued to lift and the ocean was visible again

It turns out those aren’t moving puddles covered by a fog but God’s gentle reminder that the ocean is nearby.

The night my wife ran down the stairs naked

Will someone hurt my kids today? Will my friend finally make the brave choice and prioritize his marriage? Will our country elect the “right” president? Why are people so worried about a red holiday coffee cup? Will Tony Romo’s clavicle heal in time? I worry about all kinds of important and silly stuff.

Do you struggle with worry? Maybe you worry about your marriage, career, education, finances, a broken relationship, or retirement. Worry can become as much a part of our life as breathing.

worry

Now, I know I’m not in control. But I worry as if I am. Then a moment like the one I experienced last week happens and reality slaps me hard across the face.

I was sitting in our living room scanning ESPN’s mobile website to view the latest NBA rankings. Don’t judge me. It was a perfectly routine moment . . . until it suddenly wasn’t. My 10-year-old son taps me on the shoulder and he’s standing but sort of hunched over, drooling, and not able to catch his breath because a piece of popsicle he’d been eating had lodged itself in his little throat.

I jumped up and hollered for my wife who was upstairs taking a bath. Even though I’d taken CPR classes and vaguely remembered what to do, I knew my wife (who’s also a school nurse) was the person to “fix” this.

As my son continued grasping for air, my two oldest daughters were on the couch screaming for their Mom because they had quickly assessed that Dad was out of his league here. Meanwhile, I was now standing beside my son holding his shoulder and asking my wife (in a loud, somewhat desperate tone) to, “COME DOWN NOW!”

In that moment of panic I was certain of one thing, as soon as Ginger gets here everything is going to be okay.

Suddenly, my wife emerged running down the stairs naked. Somehow, she traveled a flight of stairs safely (despite being dripping wet) and assessed the situation in about 5 seconds. About the same time the problematic piece of frozen sugar water melted enough to allow my son to begin breathing again.

I was standing there having added absolutely zero assistance. While holding my son, my wife calmly looked up and said to me, “Can you make sure all of the blinds are closed?”

Umm . . . sure. That I can do.

What a strange night. I’ll never forget the feeling of my routine instantly became fear, panic, and worry.

Life is like that isn’t it?

You never know when your routine will be interrupted by fear, panic, and worry.

That’s what happened to the disciples in Mark 4 when a routine boat trip was interrupted by a life-threatening storm. The disciples were worried – heck they feared for their lives. Jesus, who had been sleeping suddenly emerges and calms the sea. Then He asks the disciples the most odd question, “Why were you afraid?” They must have been thinking, “Because we almost died!!!!”

But Jesus was asking, “Why did you spend time worrying? I was so close by. You just needed to call on me.”

When I was standing beside my choking son, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do but I knew exactly who to call. Jesus wants us to have that kind of confidence in Him during our worry.

Today, if a storm is raging around you and you don’t know what to do, cry out to Jesus. Invite others to cry out to Jesus with you. He’s got the whole world in his hands so we don’t have to worry as if we do.

After all, a loving parent is willing to do anything for their child. Even run down the stairs naked.

Desert University

How can you have unshakeable faith?

Have you ever admired someone’s unshakeable faith? No matter what life throws at them, they seem to have this deep trust in God and this big faith. It’s an attractive quality isn’t it?

But how can you have unshakeable faith?

Instead of a deep trust, maybe you find yourself asking, “God, why would you let this happen?,” “Where are you?,” “Does you really care?”

That’s where my mind goes sometimes.

Then I bump into one of those people who displays an unshakeable faith. I’m immediately drawn in while wandering, “How did they get that kind of faith?”

I have noticed the people who have unshakeable faith are always graduates of Desert University.

Desert

Did you know that God has a university? There are no campuses, dorms, or football fields. It’s not mentioned on U.S. New & World Report “top universities” list but it is a profound institution of higher learning.

Graduates of Desert University have a deep faith that others admire.

I’ve taken a few courses there. Maybe you have too.

Every time I talk with someone who has unshakeable faith, I always ask them, “How did you develop such a deep trust in God?” Almost every time they say, “Well, there was this unexpected thing that happened and God brought me through it.”

Maybe you’re going through a desert right now. Maybe you have a broken relationship, a financial hardship, the loss of a loved one, a lengthy illness, a broken marriage, a stalled career, or unfulfilled dreams.

How will you respond? If you’re like most people, here’s how we respond while we’re in the desert.

4 Ways We Respond in The Desert

Level 1: Feel despair

Desert experiences usually surprise us, disappoint us, and last longer than we want. Despair is a natural response.

Question: Do you believe that God is in control? (Fortunately, this doesn’t require you believe that your circumstances are good.)

Level 2: Surrender to what God’s doing IN me

When I view my circumstances as something that’s being done TO me, I resist and fight. But when I view my circumstances as something that’s being done IN me, I surrender and rest.

Question: Are you ready to surrender?

Level 3: Use my experience to serve others

Is it possible that all of this isn’t even about you? You are part of a bigger story God is writing.

Question: Could God use this event to encourage someone else?

Level 4: Use my experience for God’s glory

Jesus was asked why a man was blind from birth (obvious desert)? Jesus said, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (Jn 9:3)

Question: How can I use my experience to give God the glory?

God’s promise to you while you’re in the Desert

Duet. 32:10-13 “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”

If you’re enrolled in Desert University right now, embrace God’s promise even if you don’t feel His presence. You’re on your way toward unshakeable faith.

The desert is the place where God speaks. “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis

As God walks with you, someday He’ll whisper these amazing words to you: “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.” Duet. 2:3

Dream or Mirage?

What’s your dream? I know you’ve got one. After all, you were created to dream.

So, c’mon! What’s your dream? A new house? Kid’s success? Better Career? Finish a triathlon? Finish off a box of chocolates?

What are you dreaming about? One of the easiest ways to discover your dreams is to notice what you find yourself daydreaming about.

I LOVE to dream (and daydream). My favorite conversations are when people share their dreams with me. Part of our national identify is the American DREAM. It’s a beautiful thing . . . mostly.

However, I’m learning with every dream comes this unexpected danger: When God gives me a dream I am tempted to love the dream more than the Dream Giver.

After all, every human heart is tempted to worship “created things rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:25). In the same way, I’m tempted to worship my dream more than my Dream Giver.

Anything that captures my heart and imagination more than God is a mirage. A mirage is when I ask my dream to give me what only God can give me.

Slide1

You know you’re chasing a mirage when you say things like, I can’t be happy unless . . .

. . . I am dating him/her

. . . I get into that university

. . . my kids turn out a certain way

. . . my business succeeds

. . . I experience this level of financial success

I was just given the opportunity to share a 3-part message series at my church. I shared my own struggles with dreams and what Scripture says about our dreams.

So, I thought I’d share a quick overview with you today.

#1 – The Mirage of Love (listen to message: website or iTunes)

Have you ever longed to be loved? Of course!

When we longed to be love we often ask one person to give us everything we need. That’s a mirage. Sometimes we put pressure on someone only God can bear (spouse, child, etc.). This pressure can cause a marriage and/or a family to collapse.

#2 – The Mirage of Success (listen to message: website or iTunes)

Here’s a belief within me: “If I achieve more, I matter more.”

If I believe that then I will feel justified condemning people who fail (including myself).

However, Scripture tells us that all success is on loan from God for the benefit of others. Success isn’t from me or for me.

No matter how hard you’ve worked, you’re not self-made. Neither am I.

If you had been born in a yurt in Outer Mongolia, instead of where you were, it wouldn’t have mattered how hard you worked or used your talents— you would have ended up poor and powerless. -Timothy Keller

You have some success (relational, financial, experiential, etc.). However, the only success that will outlive you is what you give away.

#3 – Replace the Mirage (listen to message: website or iTunes)

My dream can remain in my life as long as I keep God promoted above it.

No matter how great my dream is, my deepest desire is to have intimacy with the Father. However, if I pursue a dream more than the Dream Giver, my deepest desire goes unmet and I am left unsatisfied.

I know this but I’m gullible enough to get pumped about a new dream and before long, I’m making it the ultimate thing! Mirage.

I often forget that there are two parts to me: 1) an OUTER LIFE (work, hobbies, image, etc.) and 2) an INNER LIFE (though no one can see it – God meets me here).

My deepest desire is to connect with God in my INNER LIFE where I experience my deepest pain and greatest joy.

But it’s tempting to trust in my OUTER LIFE because it’s more visible.

However, “If our hope is not anchored in God, we will lower God to match our circumstances.” –Pastor Daniel Hahn

How do stop chasing the mirage? We must have a fresh encounter with the living God. That begins with desperate transparency.

  • When Abraham became desperate, he argued with God.
  • When Jacob became desperate, he refused to let go of God until He blessed Him.
  • When David became desperate, he questioned God’s justice.

Intimacy with God often begins with an Rated R prayer. Instead of telling God what you think He wants to hear, tell Him what you truly feel.

We are most satisfied when He fully reigns in us. Replace the mirage and discover what’s real.

You can listen to the entire series from our website or on iTunes.

The Danger of Thanksgiving

Our kids are usually pretty grateful. Which made what Lincoln did on Monday night a little surprising and disappointing.

I was returning from work. As I walked into the house, my 8-year-old son was the first to see me so he immediately ran up to me. I smiled and intuitively began to open my arms for the on-coming hug. Instead, Lincoln stopped just in front of me, looked up, and in his little 3rd grade voice asked, “Dad can I play on your iPhone?” What? No hug? No, “Hi Dad.” Only a desire to spend time with an electronic gadget in my pocket.

Not gonna lie. That stung a little. I told him, “Not right now.” He slumped his shoulders and walked away. Still no hug. No, “Welcome home Dad.” Ouch!

Now, I love watching my kids smile when I give them something they enjoy. It makes me smile. But when they pursue the gifts I give them more than they pursue me that hurts . . . a lot.

I’m guessing God feels that way.

Ginger and I believe we have more blessings for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving than ever before.

danger

Did you know that turkey fryers are not the only danger of Thanksgiving? The more subtle danger of Thanksgiving is to measure God’s love for us by His blessings to us.

This may be a difficult Thanksgiving for you. If your measuring God’s love for you by His blessings to you, you may question God’s love.

So I want to be grateful for God’s blessings this Thanksgiving; however, I want to keep reminding myself that an all-powerful God created me, redeemed me, and is continuing to shape me all because He passionately loves me. I’m so thankful for that. It will remain true every Thanksgiving!

BTW, Lincoln is now limited to two 30-minute sessions with the iPhone each week. He helped me create that system later Monday night. But we’ve played a lot of Nerf football the last two nights. I sure enjoy my time with that little guy.

Tired of waiting on God?

Are you waiting on God? Have you noticed that He often lets us wait . . . for awhile?

If you’re waiting, you’re not alone. God has a history of leaving people waiting.

waiting

He leaves Abraham with his knife raised ready to plunge into his son.

He leaves Joseph languishing in an Egyptian prison for many years.

He allows the Israelites to suffer and wonder for 400 years.

He leaves Jesus on the cross and does not rescue Him.

And maybe He seems to be allowing you to languish right now. God’s rescues are not as timely as calling 911.

Be encouraged, He always rescues. Sometimes His rescue looks like an unexpected miracle. Sometimes His rescue is death. Ultimately, our eternity is with Him. That’s worth waiting on.

My life in 5 tweets

I see doctrinal positions and pithy philosophical witticisms on twitter constantly. The beauty of twitter is it encourages brevity.

I thought it’d be fun to compose a tweet that represented each season of my faith. Sort of a brief review of my own spiritual progression.

twitter

Tweet #1: God is good and He loves me. 

This would have been my childhood tweet. (Thankful for parents who planted those seeds.)

Tweet #2: God is good and He loves me. God wants to use me. 

My teenage years tweet.

Tweet #3: God is good and He loves me. He wants to use me despite the brokenness (mine and the worlds). 

My tweet during my 20’s and early 30’s as I discovered more brokenness.

Tweet #4: God is good and He loves me. He wants to use me but the journey won’t be easy. 

My tweet during my 30’s. My faith grew through providential (but difficult) circumstances.

Tweet #5: God is good and He loves me. He wants to use me. The journey won’t be easy so I must lean on others through regular, intentional community. 

My current “tweet”.

That was fun . . . for me.

What tweet would describe your faith right now? (For you non-tweeters remember that you’re limited to 140 characters or less.)

Failure to Remember

One of the biggest obstacles in my spiritual growth is not forgetting but failing to remember. Can you relate? I haven’t forgotten that I’m on a temporary journey that one day leads me Home. But some days (especially Mondays) I look down and fail to remember.

forget

Remember the wild party thrown by the Israelites in Exodus? They made an idol made from their earrings!

They were turning their back on the God who had just:

Handed down 10 miraculous plagues

Delivered them from Egypt by parting the red sea and drowning the Egyptian army

Personally provided a daily breakfast of manna

Provided water from a rock

Put on the ultimate fireworks show at Mt. Sinai

Yet, when their leader (Moses) disappears for 40 days at the top of mountain, they blow it all! Why? Did they forget? No. They failed to remember. There’s a difference. Failing to remember is a choice.

Whatever your circumstances, a perfect God thinks YOU are “to die for”. You already know that. Today, don’t fail to remember that.

Here are more examples of Failure to Remember thinking (FTR) vs. God’s truth (GT).

FTR: “When I think about myself, I don’t like ________.”

GT: “You’re perfectly made in My image.” (Gen. 1:27)

FTR: “I feel guilty.”

GT: “I am faithful to forgive and cleanse”. (1 Jn. 1:9)

FTR: “Does God really care for me?”

GT: “Nothing can separate you from My love.” (Rom. 8:37-39)

FTR: “My successes make me valuable.”

GT: “My Son makes you valuable.” (Rom. 5:1-2)

FTR: “My failures and brokenness make me unworthy.”

GT: “My Son makes you worthy.” (1 Cor. 6:11)

FTR: “The cost to redeem me was too high.”

GT: “You are worth it.” (Jn. 3:16)

Whatever you do today, remember God.

The best way to invest the 2nd half of 2013

Today you begin the “2nd half” of the year. How’d the “1st half” go?

Did you increase your dependence on God? If you answer “no”, there’s still time to change that in the “2nd half”.

Here are three ways you can increase your dependence on God for the rest of the year:

dependence

 1. Go public with your dependence on God

It’s easy to “check your faith” at the door when you’re at work or hanging out with certain people. Resist that temptation. Let people know that you’re dependent on God in a way that makes sense for your personality and your job.

How can you begin publicly communicating your dependence on God?

2. Leverage what you have for others 

Your blessings aren’t just for you. Jesus leveraged His perfection to save us.

What do you have that you can you begin leveraging for the sake of others?

 3. Remember where you came from, where you are, & where you’re going.

It’s tempting to over-identify with our circumstances (good & bad) isn’t it? Remember, you’re a broken person who’s best feature is a redeeming Savior who makes you beautiful before God.

What circumstances are you over-identifying with (job, relationship, finances, hurt)?

My former pastor and I reconcile #ForgivenessFriday

Reconciling is hard! If you have a broken relationship and it’s appropriate to reconcile, I hope today’s post encourages you.

Here’s an interview with my “friend again” sharing our reconciliation process. (I ask the questions and he provides the answers.)

I was not only your Associate Pastor for 12 years, but we were pretty close friends weren’t we?

Phil Webber

Phil Webber – Bible College Professor in Boston

We met in 1994 when my family first moved to San Angelo. You were in the Air Force at the time. From the first I was impressed with you. When things began taking shape for me to assume the full leadership of the church and I began to analyze who I thought would make a great teammate you were my first, and really my only choice. You agreed to come and we worked together for at least a year before the full leadership transition took place. As time went on I came to genuinely love you and respect you. While being different people with different personalities and gift sets (for instance, you are outgoing, I’m a recluse) we seemed to have the same philosophy of ministry and quickly learned to use our differences to forge a strong team. Back in those early days it was you, my wife, and me. We were the team. And I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

As time went by and the church grew and we added more staff, I think our relationship was viewed as special. We traveled quite a bit together, went to Friday night football games together (although you never stayed till the end), and though our families never really hung out together much, our ministry experience forged a friendship that went way beyond the office or ministry. As I told you in an early email in this process, I would have taken a bullet for you.

I know that ministry peers envied the relationship we had. We enjoyed being around each other. The tough times seemed to make us stronger. I still think you and I were the best ministry team I have ever known.

The last time we sat in your office it was clear that our relationship was ending. I remember we both said, “I hate that it’s ending this way”. That was devastating for both of us. For more than three years we didn’t communicate even though we lived in the same town. God moved me to Southern California and moved you to Boston. About eight months ago, we agreed to give reconciliation a try. 

I was afraid of digging back into those painful memories and afraid of creating new ones. What did you dread most about entering this process? 

When we came to an impasse and I said, “I think we’re through” and you walked out of my office, I felt like my world had suddenly stopped spinning on it axis. But it didn’t stop there. I relived our split every day for years. I couldn’t even think about it without bursting into tears. If anyone who watched it thought there was a winner, they were wrong. The fallout was horrific at the church. People left the church. I lost my leadership integrity even with people who stayed but viewed me with a suspicious eye for a long time after that. My greatest fear in life became running into you in public. I’m not going to lie, one of the happiest days of my life was the day I heard you had moved to California. That was a smattering of closure for me. At least the possibility of a chance meeting at Walmart was behind me.

Then we moved to Boston. Now we were on opposite sides of the nation. Even better yet!

And then I got your email. “I don’t even know what reconciliation would look like for us, but would you be willing to make the journey?” you wrote. I was surprised and scared, but I knew I had to try. If for no other reason, I was willing to take this journey for myself. The physical and emotional toll that unforgiveness and grudge-nursing had taken on me was horrific. So I said yes, if only for the hope of setting myself free.

The main thing I dreaded was rehashing everything. I knew that discussing those issues again would be brutal, and it was. But I felt like we labored until those feelings got lighter. It was the first time we had really talked (and listened) in several years.

You suggested limiting our interactions to email initially (which I think was wise for us). Here are the other guidelines we agreed to: 1) Establish the goal of being at peace with each other (vs. pressure of friendship), 2) Seek to understand the other person’s perspective, 3) Share our perspectives without finger pointing or accusations, and 4) Deal with one issue at a time. Initially, my heartbeat was so fast I thought it was going to explode as I nervously typed. Was it that emotionally charged for you?

My heart was pounding so fast I needed oxygen. The emotion involved in this was almost overwhelming at first. I had two fears: 1) That I wouldn’t be able to really communicate what I needed to say; 2) I dreaded reading your responses. I really figured one of us would say something that would ignite the whole thing over again. This didn’t start because a couple of immature people got their feelings hurt and had a spat for which neither was willing to say, “Sorry.” This was over real issues that we viewed very differently and then the fallout from it. For 3 years I thought, “I can’t believe he would do that to me” and through our communication I discovered that for 3 years you had been saying, “I can’t believe he would do that to me.” Emotionally charged doesn’t even begin to describe it. I was scared out of my mind.

We exchanged emails several times a week for a couple of months working through important issues. We didn’t agree on everything but I feel like we better understood each other’s perspectives and were able to clarify some important details. Would you agree?

What helped me the most was that early on there were apologies – on both sides. I think it indicated that our hearts were right in trying to heal deep wounds. I knew I had to get to the place that I could apologize, and I was willing to go there, but it helped immensely to know you were there also.

I knew early on in this process that we wouldn’t see eye to eye on everything, but I also knew that if I was going to achieve any semblance of peace I had to get to the point that I was okay with that. I knew that neither of us could just say, “oops, sorry” and sweep it all under the rug as if nothing had ever happened. We had to discuss some tough issues – the very ones that had divided us in the first place, and we had to get closure on them or this attempt would be a failure.

I thought that if we were going to take a stab at this we would need some pretty defined guidelines and boundaries. I thought we negotiated those well. It would take place via email (I couldn’t have done this via phone. I wasn’t there yet.) We also agreed that we would not allow reading anything into statements. It is impossible to read emotion or intent in an email, so if there were any uncertainties, we would stay at it until we got a clarification. Those happened several times. The other requirement had to be complete honesty.

I absolutely agree that we were able to clarify some important details. I think we both saw some statements and decisions that were made in a different light than before. I think we both came to understand several issues differently and gained insight and perspective that had been lost on us in the heat of the moment.

Reconciliation doesn’t mean that two people return to the same relationship. Here’s some insight from one of your emails to me:

I think there are things about those days that we would still disagree on and about, and I am perfectly okay with that. I have gotten some clarity and perspective through this quite extended exchange we have been having. My vote is that we move on and forward. We are both analytics and I suspect we could debate specific points till the cows come home, but my perspective is that would be pointless and potentially harmful, and I would like for our harmful days to be behind us. I would like for you and me to be able to do something that Paul and Barnabas were evidently unable to do: experience disagreement and hurt but move past it to a restored friendship. The mutual regrets expressed, apologies offered, and explanations given are enough for me to move past them, and I am ready to do so.

It would be unrealistic to expect the reconciliation process alone to immediately heal everything for us. However, it has helped me gain a bigger perspective about the past, about you, about us and softened my heart toward you. How has the reconciliation process helped you?

In the same way. Although anything we build from here on out will obviously be built on the foundation of  what we had before, I tend to see it more in the context of a new endeavor than a revival. We have common memories  (and I think more good than bad) but everything else has changed. We live in different places. Our ministries are different. Our families are at different stages. That is a lot of new material with which to rebuild, with 12 years of great memories and victories thrown in to season it and give it a familiar foundation.

At the end of it all, I had to come to the place I was no longer willing to let one disagreement define my relationship with you. As stated, I’m sure we will never see everything about that issue eye to eye, but was I willing to let one issue kill the 12 incredible years we spent together in ministry? My answer was no. During those years we were leading the fastest growing church in San Angelo. Every day was a new adventure. We both wear wreathes and scars from those days and  I wouldn’t have wanted to have experienced that with anyone else. I wish we had not lost those years.

We are still rebuilding our friendship and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have you back into my life. To help display our renewed friendship, would you publicly and fully declare yourself a Dallas Cowboys’ fan?

Nope. That is where I draw the line. That loud thud you heard was me putting my foot down.

Q: What’s the difference between the Dallas Cowboys and a dollar bill?

A: You can still get 4 quarters out of a dollar bill.


Our broken relationship caused me to become stuck in bitterness and unable to move forward. If you or someone you know is struggling to forgive, pickup your copy of STUCK When You Want to Forgive but Don’t Know How.