Thanks for 20 Awesome Years

May 14th will mark 20 years that Denise and I have been married, and its hard to imagine what my life would have been without her.  I'm actually having to fight back tears right now as I write this.  I know that's hard for y'all to believe.  She has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, except for Jesus of course, but in her I see and hear Jesus!  I know how much I am loved because of her.  I would not have done anything that God has led me to do without Denise's wisdom, discernment and encouragement.  She has taught me to be a better husband, father, son, brother, papa and man over these 20 years and we have not just endured life together, we have enjoyed life together.  I can honestly say that I am more in love with her today than I was 20 plus years ago!  Thank you so much Denise for choosing me to be your husband!

Read more: Thanks for 20 Awesome Years

Bought with a Price

"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.  And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.  God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.  Through Christ you have come to trust in God.  And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.  You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.  Love each other deeply with all your heart.  For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end.  Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God."  1 Peter 1:18-23

Read more: Bought with a Price

Signs of Spring

Is anyone else getting anxious for spring?  I know that I love a good snow as much as anyone and look forward to those huge snow flakes that stick to everything except the roads.  But as February is now history and March is blowing in like a lion, spring is a welcome change that most of us look forward to.  There are signs around to help us see the coming change too.  Have you noticed the flowers starting to spring to life?  Have you seen robins in flocks filling trees and starting to build nests?  Have you noticed a bit more daylight when you get home from work?  Winter is a great season, but to be honest, I truly enjoy spring and fall much more.

Read more: Signs of Spring

Win at All Cost

This comes at a time when a once heralded and admired athlete who seemed to excel against major obstacles and false accusations has fallen into a pit that seems deeper than he can escape.  Lance Armstrong unfortunately falls into the same category as many athletes who allowed a "win at all cost" attitude to cloud their vision of what is right and what is wrong.  It also reminds us of how often we put people in such high esteem that we think they are incapable of making poor decisions and living lies.  And then how do we respond to them?

What has happened when there's no one to get enough votes for the baseball Hall of Fame because they've all done the same as Lance Armstrong?  What has compelled these highly gifted and admired people to think that they can get by with cheating, and what message is being sent to a generation of young athletes who need some honest and noble people of character to show them the way to succeed without lying and cheating?

Read more: Win at All Cost

Reflections of 2012

Can you believe that we're already ending 2012 and entering 2013?  That's, of course, dependent on whether we're still here.  I am writing this prior to December 21st so I guess if you reading this then we're still waiting.  And if we're gone, then I guess it doesn't really matter.  But since I'm pretty sure we'll still be here post December 21st unless Jesus returns, then I need to get this written prior to my deadline.

In the past year we've had a lot of major things occur.  By major I mean things that are important to a lot of people. The Olympics were a great showing of athletes giving their all, and once again we saw how amazing it can be to see people perform at the peak of their physical and mental abilities.  The stories behind the athletes are always great to see too.  Who didn't cheer for the runner from South Africa who ran even though he had no legs.  We watched as our Kentucky Wildcats placed another banner in Rupp Arena.  And then there was one of the great comebacks in Major League history as the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat St. Louis.  Sorry Cardinal fans.  And what a showing of never give up as the European team made a history tying comeback to upset the Americans in the Ryder Cup.

Read more: Reflections of 2012

A Christmas Wish

We'll soon be celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus, and I believe that most people you talk to would agree that it is one of their favorite times of the year.  The one thing they may not totally agree on though is why they like it so much.  For us who are in the family of faith, we know the truth of Advent.  We know that prophecy was fulfilled, and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  We know that Joseph was also told of this coming King and what His Name would be.  Matthew 1:18-25, "This is how Jesus the Messiah was born.  His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.  But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Joseph, her fiancĂ©, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.  As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.  'Joseph, son of David,' the angel said, 'do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.  For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'  All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet: 'Look!  The virgin will conceive a child!  She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.'  When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.  But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born.  And Joseph named him Jesus."

Read more: A Christmas Wish

Free Gift

"God saved you by his grace when you believed.  And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."  Ephesians 1:8-10

As we near the season of Advent and the celebration of our Savior and Lord coming to us, we see the season of Christmas already in the advertisements of local stores.  Halloween hasn't even come yet, and Thanksgiving is just another day on the calendar in terms of sales and what drives consumers to spend.  Although Halloween is second only to Christmas in terms of holiday retail sales, walk into any local store and you'll see trees all decorated up, new toys glistening, and all the other hot items in plain sight to get the attention of would be buyers.

Read more: Free Gift