Monday, July 18, 2011


So my Avery turned four today...

Julie's little girl Avery turned four today. I love that girl. I know that is how grandparents are supposed to feel, but she just lights up the room. She is fearless. She will try anything in gymnastics or in the swimming pool. So she lives life a little on the edge. She adores her Mom, Dad, big brother, and her Mimi. She is loved by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. She is loved by four -- four! -- great-grandparents.

I like it that she is loved by her church family. I like the way our "church neighborhood" messes with her. I like that she has adopted grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins all over that auditorium.

I love to watch her sing with her Mommy and her Mimi during church. I love the way she is excited to give her money during the children's offering at church. I love it that last Sunday she brought one of her friends to church. Just like she did in VBS. I love it when she quotes her memory verse.

I don't know if she will do gymnastics, swim, cheerleading, or tennis in the future. I don't know how she will look at 10, 15, or 20. And I guess I don't really care.

I just want her to keep loving her family, keep her church family, love singing, learn those memory verses, and enjoy giving. I figure if she keeps those, everything else will turn out all right. Because those things are part of God's gift in her life.

Thanks God for a precious gift I don't deserve. She makes me a better Pops. I promise I'll help show her and tell of your love. And she can spend her life telling others.

So, Avery... I hope your Mom and Dad will read this to you on today -- your fourth birthday. You have brought so much joy into so many lives. Keep loving Jesus. You make me proud.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


The devil never wins... but he keeps trying

I knew Sunday was going to be a great day. Jarrett, Vann, and Stephen worked very hard to put together a service that would call our congregation at Southern Hills to put nothing but Jesus on the throne of our heart. Satan of course hates it when God is doing great things among His people. So the devil tried to mess things up.

Air conditioning was out in part of the building. We had sound system issues in the first part of the service. We had a technological glitch during one of the readings. We had so many cars that some parked near a furniture store. They had a Sunday delivery and had to ask for our cars to move. Never happened before. Satan tried. God is bigger.

We had five brothers talk about the blessings in their lives over the past few years. slome of them were refugees, and one had escaped a genocide. We had stories of marriages and new babies. Stories of jobs, new homes, and lives of joy. The one thing these brothers had in common was that they were all new Christians. Each of them converted at Southern Hills by our members. And every one of them said the best thing that had happened in their life was Jesus. So thanks to Serge, Gauri, Deepok, Christian, and Bobby.

We had the men who are their spiritual mentors share the joy of seeing the blessings in the lives of these men, but they all identified the greatest blessing of all was seeing them find Jesus. So thanks Vann, Eddie, Todd, and Mark.

Stephen, Andy, and Sherwin helped us see opportunities to help make Jesus master of our hearts in real ways for us and our families. Jarrett and the praise team led us before God in praise. Having Todd, Mark, and Christian lead us into Communion was touching.

It was a great day that drew us closer in our commitments. We blessed Makaley in her new life in Christ. Great story of our people loving her and her family. We prayed over Bob who is resigning as an elder to work on his spiritual life. Powerful. Great example.

I enjoyed preaching, but I think the best sermons I heard came from Serge, Gauri, Deepok, and Bobby. They were powerful.

So take that Satan. We choose God. And He wins. So we do to. Forever.

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