A repeat of a post from 2019. Janet and I have been married 45 years now.

The current series called PLAYBOOK at GF.Church would be extremely helpful too!

Janet and I will be married 42 years in July. We’ve had messy times and magnificent times together. We shared a little about this on Sunday, May 4th, during our Instafam series at Grace Fellowship. You can watch the message online at

As stated on Sunday, May 4th, I’ve listed some resources we think can help you. If you’re having serious problems please seek out a Christian Counselor! Most people our pastors counsel at Grace have been having problems for 3-7 years before they ever ask for help and by then, many of them feel like they have no hope. There is hope; get some help!

Here are some resources you may find helpful; they’ve been helpful for us!

Seriously – everyone should watch this!  Incredibly funny and poignant!

My blog on 40 Years of Marriage


His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-proof Marriage   Willard F. Harley Jr

The 5 Love Languages  Gary Chapman

Love & Respect  Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Sacred Marriage Gary Thomas

What Radical Husbands Do Regi Campbell

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19 Years In Wise County

It’s hard to fathom that 19 years ago today, Josh and I loaded up a U-haul and my truck and moved to an apartment in Bridgeport as I became the first Lead Pastor of Grace Fellowship. Janet had to stay in The Woodlands to finish her year of teaching and help with the sell of our house.

During my time alone with God our first morning in Bridgeport, my reading guide took me to 1 Kings 3 where Solomon had become King, but told God he felt like a child who didn’t know how to lead God’s people and asked God for understanding, wisdom and discernment. That prayer became my prayer on that morning as I took on my role of leadership at Grace.

I still pray for wisdom, discernment, understanding and humility and am so grateful God called me to serve Him at Grace and with the wonderful people in our communities.   I also asked God to allow us to build a foundation for the future; for a church that would be ready for the growth that we believed would come. God has allowed us to be a part of seeing that happen. God has done amazing and miraculous things and we continue to see Him change lives at Grace.

I’m filled with joy as I watch what God is doing in and through the Grace Fellowship family. I’m grateful for and proud of Pastor Chris and his leadership. I truly believe the best is yet to come!

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Bible Reading Journey 2022

One of the greatest things I’ve done and do personally each year is use a plan to read through the Bible or to read specific sections of the Bible.  It’s absolutely advanced my spiritual growth and health.

If you want to grow in your spiritual life and health, I hope you’ll join us in 2022 for our Bible Reading Journey which you can find at 

Using this journey, you can read through the whole Bible or through the New Testament in one year, or take longer if you need more time!

At the end of each reading there’s a great question to consider which will help you too!  When I’m reading, I tend to ask some general questions that help me apply and understand what I’ve read.  The question at the end of each reading is enough, but I like to ask these questions using the acrostic ENSPEC (inspect).

  • God is there an Example in this passage You want me to follow?
  • God is there a New Thought about You – You want me to understand?
  • God is there a Sin in my life I need to confess?
  • God is there a Promise in this passage I can claim?
  • God is there an Error in this passage You want me to avoid making?
  • God is there a Command in this passage You want me to obey?
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A Way To Hear From God

I’m writing this primarily to men (like me), but it applies to women, students and children.  In my time alone with God this morning I read Psalm 95 and it reminded me of a posture I can take to hear from God especially when people (you, me & others) gather as the Church for services.

This isn’t a check-list but a suggestion as to what you can do to hear from God as we gather.  It can also apply to your time alone with God if you have one.

Ps 95:1 Sing to the Lord.   Don’t just stand there like a spectator; engage when we sing as a congregation.   Use your brain, eyes, mouth, tongue, vocal chords, lips, heart and mind and participate because we’re singing about the greatness of God (even if you don’t know the song or it’s not your style).   I’m pretty sure the songs they sang in Old Testament Times and New Testament Times wouldn’t be your style either.    Ps 95:2-3 says we should sing songs of praise to Him because He is a great God.   Would you agree?  Then sing it!  God is good; express it as we sing.  In addition to preparing you to hear from God, it encourages those who might be watching your example (kids, students or other adults)!

Ps 95:2  Spend a moment in thanksgiving.   As you get ready, as you drive to gather with your church and/or as you arrive – spend a few moments thanking God for His greatness and goodness to you.  Psalm 100 says we enter His presence with singing and thanksgiving!

Ps 95:6  Bow your heart and life to Him.   Verse 6 suggests we kneel before God.   This can be physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually.   The idea is that as we gather as His Church we recognize who He is and choose to submit our lives to Him.   You might say something as simple as: “Lord, I confess You are God and I am not, so I submit my life to You today; speak to me because I’m here to listen and obey whatever You say.”

Ps 95:7-8  Don’t harden your heart.  As you prepare for any gathering of God’s people don’t harden your heart.  Come with an open and expectant heart regardless of the music or who the speaker might be!   I suggest you simply tell God you want to hear from Him and want to obey.   I often ask Him if there’s an attitude or action in my life that needs to change, or if theres something specific I need to do like mend or work on a relationship or ask someone for forgiveness.  I also try to make sure I’ve confessed my sin (1 John 1:9) and have a right heart before God.

I hope these suggestions help you in some way.   God wants to speak to you; will you listen?  

Have a blessed day.

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Wise or Foolish at School or in the Workplace

This is that time of the year when students are going back to school, headed off to college or entering the workplace.  Students, I’m praying for you because your choices matter!  Parents, I’m praying for you as you release your students to a whole new season of life.

I’m an old guy now, but remember my high school and college years being filled with a few good times and a number of regrets because I made a ton of unwise choices. Many of my poor choices were the result of wanting to be accepted. At that time in my life I had no idea about who God made me to be and how that could have a positive impact on me and all my relationships. Another reason for my unwise choices was because I chose to hang out with other unwise people.

I wish I’d known and applied this simple truth from one of the wisest men who ever lived; his name was Solomon. Wise friends make you wise,  but you hurt yourself by going around with fools.   Proverbs 13:20 CEV

None of us want to be characterized as a fool or foolish person.  Here are a few things Solomon warned us against because they characterize foolish behavior.

Be very cautious of people who don’t take sin or the consequences of sin seriously. Proverbs 10:23 says this type person is a fool.   Sin is choosing to live life my way without regard for what God desires. Been there, and sin had some devastating consequences in my life.

Foolish people may seek the advice of friends who think they’re giving sincere advice, but it’s often sincerely wrong.   When you need wisdom, ask someone who’s been there and demonstrated wisdom in overcoming or avoiding mistakes in life. Proverbs 12:15 tells us fools think they know what’s best and refuse to listen to wise advice.

One of the best things you can do to avoid foolish choices is develop convictions.  A conviction is a pre-determined answer that’s not based on emotion; rather it’s based on truth.   Convictions can help sway your decisions the right way when your emotions are lying to you.  Proverbs 14:16 says a fool is not cautious or careful. In other words, they don’t plan for difficult decisions or emotional pressure because they’ve not developed wise convictions.

Hopefully, you can talk to your parents about anything.  If not, find a godly man or woman who has demonstrated wisdom and character and seek their advice. Most foolish people refuse to do this; Proverbs 15:5 says fools disobey parents and refuse correction.  On of the wisest things I learned to do in my twenties was to begin listening to the advice and correction of mature followers of Jesus.

Learn from your mistakes quickly.  I can’t count the number of times I didn’t do this because I allowed the voice of “foolish” friends to prevail and I wanted to be accepted (by the wrong people).  I have many regrets because I didn’t learn from my mistakes fast enough.   One “foolish” choice can impact you for a lifetime.    Proverbs 26:11 is pretty graphic; it says “Dogs return to eat their vomit, just as fools repeat their foolishness.”

There are a number of verses in Proverbs about wisdom.  Simply put, Proverbs 1:7 states: “How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord.  Only fools refuse to be taught.” I was a young man before I understood this. I could have avoided a lot of pain and regret if I’d made the wise choice to trust the Lord and learn from people who were following Him much earlier in my life.

However, the most profound statement I believe anyone made about wisdom was when Jesus said:   “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.Matthew 7:24    I’ve never met a person who took the words of Jesus seriously, put them into practice and regretted it. I hope you’ll consider doing this whether in High School, College, or the Workplace. I also hope you’ll make this your practice in all your relationships!

I’m praying you have a year (and life) filled with wisdom.

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One of the most powerful things you can do is pray with and for your kids; not just when they’re in need, but throughout the day.

“Janet and I still pray consistently for our children, but we intentionally focus on our grandchildren too. When our kids were young, the best time to pray for them and with them was at bedtime. Bedtime was a great time to talk about the day, have treasured conversations and pray. Of course each of them was different; some nights they were tired and ready to go to bed (not very often!), but at least one of them usually had “just one more thing” to talk about with us. Bedtime was a great time to answer their questions and ask questions about their day to build their faith and encourage their trust in God.

When it comes to our grandchildren, we don’t have that privilege, but we do have the privilege of praying for our grandchildren and their parents. We began praying for each of them before they were born and will continue to pray for them until God takes us home. Of course, we prayed they would be healthy and their moms would be healthy as they were born. We want them to mature physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and we pray for these things.

However, the first thing we began to pray for was their salvation. You can know you’re praying within God’s will when you pray for this. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

We pray that they’ll grow in their relationship with Jesus and be full of faith, love and power. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

We pray that they’ll always walk in truth. (3 John 1:4)

We pray that they’ll seek first God and His Kingdom. (Matthew 6:33)

We pray that Jesus will always be their first love and they’ll never turn their back on Him. (Revelation 2:4)

We pray that they’ll be mighty men and a mighty woman of God who will only boast in the fact they know and understand the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

We pray for them to find a Godly spouse. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

We pray they’ll always love God’s Church; universally and locally. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Of course there are a number of other things we pray for them. As they begin a new school year we’ll pray they work to their full potential and develop their minds and skills. We also pray they’ll find great friends. (Proverbs 13:20)

Why post this? To give you some additional ideas of how you can pray for your kids or grands! God Bless!

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Readers Are Learners and Learners Are Better Leaders

I was discussing a book I’d recommended to a friend recently and realized just how much I love to read.   This wasn’t always the case with me, but I’ve developed this habit of love over the years and read a variety of books on a regular basis.   I keep a list of current books I plan to read, and like to read the classics occasionally.  If you don’t have a planned reading list, I hope you’ll consider developing one and start reading! By the way, I’ve loved being part of a ministry called Radical Mentoring (RM) for the past five years because RM has challenged me to read books I wouldn’t have chosen to read on my own. I believe readers are learners and learners are better leaders.

I primarily read non-fiction, but I enjoy taking a break to read a novel once or twice a year.   Most of the non-fiction books I read are written by Christian authors, but I also read books written by those who are not followers of Jesus.

When I read a book written by a Christian author, I always ask God to reveal to me something I need to learn or can glean from the writings to help me or challenge me personally.    I don’t always agree with everything the authors write, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get something worthwhile and great from the book.

When I read books written by non-Christian authors I ask God to help me glean understanding from the authors perspective.  I want to learn from them and gain a better perspective of our culture so I can learn more effective ways of putting the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) into practice.

When I recommend books to people, I am hoping and believing they are at a point in their life where they can glean truth God has for them in the book.  I don’t expect them to agree with everything in the book, but I’m hoping they’ll be open to learn some truth that God wants them to learn and practice as they read.

Readers are learners and learners are better leaders.

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Life Lessons From A Great Dad

My dad was one of my greatest heroes. He was one of the strongest men of character and integrity I’ve ever known. Years ago I asked him to fill out a book for me about his life. One page asked about the 5 most important life lessons he’d learned. Here’s what he wrote.

Here’s a photo of him as a young man…

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The Older You Get The Better You Get – Unless You’re A Banana

I found this and dozens more great captions from Instagram to use on an 18th BIRTHDAY! 


According to dozens of Social Media pages, turning 18 is a milestone birthday to celebrate! 

As I said – I found dozens of cool captions to use to celebrate an 18th Birthday from Instagram.  Here’s a few of my favs with a few edits for Grace Fellowship…

  • Another year older, but still looking marvelous!
  • Today, I just want to thank God for adding another year to your life.
  • I can’t wait to see what you do with the next 18 years.
  • We age not in years, but in stories.
  • Keep shining; the world needs your light!
  • You were made on purpose, for a purpose.
  • Take a deep breath, keep reflecting and dream big.
  • Your 18th Birthday!  The start of so many exciting adventures.
  • Bringing bigger dreams to 18.
  • It’s your birthday, and nobody is as excited as I am.

Today I’m excited and celebrating these things in big ways….

  • A little over 18 years ago a group of people had the courage to step out in faith and trust God to start a new and different kind of church called Grace Fellowship.
  • God chose to call me to be the first Lead Pastor of Grace. I’m humbled and grateful for the privilege of serving in that capacity for 17 years.
  • God continues to do an amazing work in and through Grace Fellowship. 1000’s of lives have been changed by Him and continue to be changed for God’s glory!
  • God called Chris Hurst as our new Lead Pastor.  I’m so proud of Chris and can’t wait to see what God going to do through Grace in the years to come under his leadership.


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Repentance isn’t a religious word…

Luke, a 1st century physician, wrote an accurate account of the life of Jesus which included His birth and early years, including information about Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist. Luke did a meticulous investigation of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection by interviewing a number of the eyewitnesses of these things, and was a regular companion of the Apostle Paul.

In Luke 3, he writes of John the Baptist: “And he came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Luke 3:3 NASB John wasn’t preaching you need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but that after genuine repentance (which is the requirement for forgiveness of sin), be baptized as a visual sign of your repentance and forgiveness.

Repentance basically means a change of mind that leads to a change of heart and lifestyle. Let’s say you believed a certain product was good and then learned truth about the negative aspects of this particular product. In essence, to repent, you would change your mind about the product and change your lifestyle when you quit using it.

However, when John talks about repentance, it’s immensely important. Repentance is not about being religious, it’s about establishing a relationship with God which is then demonstrated in the way we respond to God and people. To repent means I change my mind about my own sin (living life focused on myself with little concern about God’s desire) and change my mind about Jesus (who He was and what He did for me).

Repentance means I discover the truth about God’s grace and love and choose to turn away from sin (living life focused on myself); turning to God to live in a way that honors Him by trusting/following Jesus. Granted, none of us live a life of perfection after genuine repentance, but there should be evidence of a change in direction as we submit ourselves to Jesus and He begins to transform (change) us.

John said it this way: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God….” Luke 3:8 NLT

BTW – when Jesus began His ministry, Matthew (an eyewitness of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection) writes: “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17 EST

If you’re a Jesus follower, the most evident proof of genuine repentance is that we love God with a whole heart and this is evidenced by the way we treat others; loving them as God loves us. (see Matthew 22:36-40)

When John told the people to prove your repentance by the way you live, they asked him how? He gave them some practical examples that are the result of living out the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). In Luke 3:10-14 he told them three practical ways to demonstrate their repentance.

1) Generosity – make it your habit to share with others in need.

2) Live a life of integrity in all matters, especially those related to the handling of money and possessions.

3) Don’t use your power of position to take advantage of others, rather be content with what you have and back to point 1 – share with others.

Just a few thoughts from my time alone with God this morning.

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