Category Archives: Love


Today, I turn 36 years old. By this time three years earlier in his life, Jesus already had himself a team of twelve, confronted the current zealots of the day, healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, fed many from little, walked on water, endured a brutal beating, died on the cross, rose from the dead, saved the world, and ignited a 2000+ year legacy. And he did it all in 3 years.

Whew! Need a minute; feeling a little inadequate right now.

Now that I think about it, should I really be feeling inadequate? It’s easy enough for Jesus, being God’s true son and all but I’m merely an adopted son. How can one really, possibly even come close to living the WWJD mantra? I mean, hasn’t Jesus already done what it is He would do? Why are we still asking the question (WWJD) when we already have the Answer? Did He really call us to act like Him or to act for Him; to do His work or to do His will? Honestly, if we could do what Jesus did, would we even need Jesus?

Follow me here: His work was to die for all, right? Then our work is not His work because it has already been done. So then what is our work? Our work is His will. His will is to die for all to see (not visually with human eyes of course, but with the eyes of the heart; to understand; to believe). That’s where we come in. Our work (or His will) is to reflect His love so that others see it (Matthew 5:16). He’s the Message, we’re the messenger. Maybe the question isn’t completely off the mark, maybe it simply needs rephrased. Instead of “What would Jesus do?”, perhaps it should read, “What would Jesus desire?” It’s His will that He desires of us.

How does that look from a practical standpoint? Try this on for size:

You come across a beggar blind from birth, do you,
A) Do as Jesus would: spit in the dirt, rub mud on the man’s eyes thereby healing his blindness (John 9:1-11)?
B) Do Jesus’ will: get him hooked up with a local ministry, share the Gospel with him, pray with him, or even just lead him to a restaurant whereby you buy him a meal ?
C) Do your will: look the other direction?


Introductory Offer

The so-called “credit crunch” hasn’t seemed to slow the number of credit card offers that come to the house. They kind of remind me of dating. Of course, the only dating I’ve done for years is with my wife but I’m referring to the courting process, when you are dating someone new.

Both parties are in their “introductory period” trying to induce the other party to commit to longer, more binding terms. Like the introductory credit card deals, each are oftentimes offering attractive, sometimes irresistible terms to lure in the other party. That’s why your little peculiarities don’t seem like that big of a deal when you’re dating. She doesn’t seem to care that you leave the toilet seat up or that your priority every weekend is 18 holes. And he doesn’t seem to mind that you’ve just spent $300 on yet another outfit or that you’re gabbing on the phone with your BFF for hours on end everyday. Or she’s impressed by the fact that you planned a romantic dinner date and he’s impressed that you not only approve of but even encourage him to have all of his buddies over for the game each Sunday.

However, let that introductory period run out, and the teeth come out. I find it bizarre that the financial industry calls it “interest rate;” who in their right mind is interested in paying 8, 12, 20 or any percent on money borrowed? In fact, that’s about the time I start to lose interest. And that’s the same with dating. When it’s time to begin paying the the full price, when the grace period is over, the terms don’t look so impressive anymore. By that time, though, they got you. A commitment has been made, personal items have accumulated, you’re carrying some of each other’s baggage, you might have even purchased property together (like a house or car), you’ve got time invested that you just don’t know is worth giving up to start the process over again.

Most people miss or overlook the fine print, the details of the terms for when the intro period expires. This is a precarious position to be in. You failed to cash out when the gettin’ was good and now you’re stuck with the charges. Don’t over-commit. Keep at a distance until his or her real character starts to show through. Be careful not to settle for a sales pitch when you can find favorable terms that are permanent. Take it slow and cautious, don’t rush into things until you know full well what the penalties might be if your mate turns out to be a ferocious wolf (like my ex-wife) instead of the friendly puppy that you see in the beginning.

Marriage: The Double Black Diamond

Tina and I went on a “romantic” ski trip this past weekend with three other couples, experiences ranging from novice to expert in both skiing and relationships. Being a trip of dual purposes (skiing and romance) make for an easy comparison. After nearly eight years of marriage on the second time around for both Tina and I, I can say without a doubt that marriage is one of the toughest things that you will ever do in life. Not getting married, of course, that’s the easy part; staying married and keeping the union tight is the challenge. It can often seem like an uphill battle,  a losing one at that.

If you’ve got only a modest knowledge of skiing, you know that “double black diamond” is a label given to the most difficult skiing terrain. The slope is often very steep with many obstacles, mostly bumps (called moguls), and narrow passes that you must negotiate in order to keep from planting your face in the hard-packed snow, or worse yet, breaking your neck. Double black diamonds are reserved for advanced skiers only as they can make mush of the bones of a novice. Well I’m here to tell you, marriage is very much the same way. Look at the parallels below:


Are these requirements? Only for successful unions. With a greater than 50% divorce rate, even in Christian homes, the warnings signs are there. Do you ski on past the signs knowing that it’s either you or the schmuck beside you that won’t survive the mountain? If so, ski at your own risk!

In order to survive the treacherous conditions that await to assail you on the Double Black Diamond of marriage, heed the warnings, go back to the basics, start from scratch, bruise your back side some to avoid breaking the bond of marriage; become a seasoned skier first, and only then will you conquer the Double Black Diamond of marriage without ending up on the rocky cliff of divorce.

Here’s a trail map that will guide you down some of the Green Circles and onto the Double Black Diamonds:

  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs
  • The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
  • The Every Battle series by Stephen Afterburn and Shannon Ethridge
  • Moments Together by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Happy trails!

6 Minutes to Impact

It was kind of ironic––on Tuesday, the local Christian radio station here in Charlotte mentioned that the last two years had been one of the safest stretches of time for commercial airline travel in the US and then, of course, two days later, Charlotte-bound flight 1549 plunges into the Hudson River. Astoundingly, everyone survived and there were no serious injuries.

Can you imagine though?

3:24:00  You’re 1 of 155 passengers sitting in a plane on the tarmac waiting for a routine flight to take off.
3:24:54  On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for takeoff.”
3:27:01  At 3,000 feet in the air, you hear an explosion on one side of the plane and feel a jolt followed by another with the plane beginning to go down.
3:28:05  On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for impact.”
3:30:30  Your flight impacts the Hudson River.

Life can change drastically in 6 minutes. Friday, the same radio station interviewed Mark, a listener that was on that flight. He said that he had determined that “this was it” and that he was ready to die. The DJ asked him what was going through his mind. “Regrets,” was Mark’s response. Would that be your response? Sure, Mark has been given a second chance to turn those regrets into results but most of us wouldn’t be so lucky.

If you knew that you were going to die in 6 minutes, what would be your regrets?

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

What will you be doing 6 minutes from now? Loving on your spouse. . . playing with your kids. . . pursuing your dream. . . calling a friend or family member that you haven’t talked to in a while. . . living a life worthy of your calling. . . eliminating your regrets.

Don’t go back to idle, casual, regrettable living. Live a life with intensity, intentionality, and fulfillment. Live a life where your regrets are laid to rest long before you. THIS is your second chance. Start now––who knows what might become of you in 6 minutes?

Less Is More

If I had to describe my New Year’s resolutions for this year in one word, it would be “constructive.” I want the things that I do to serve a useful purpose. That’s not to say that I’ve been useless in previous years, it’s just that I haven’t been as effective as I’d like to be (welcome to the club, right?). This year, I want that to change. I desire to be more productive in the things that matter. I want to love more, give more, save more, lose more, and just plain accomplish more. Oh, and did I mention that I want to do it all with less? “More for less”––sounds like a TJ Maxx ad. Here’s what I mean:

Less impatience, more restraint

Goal: Too subjective to measure so get off my back already! (Sorry, I guess I got my work cut out for me.)

Less calories taken in, more pounds taken off

Goal: Me minus 20 lbs. (or 5 slices of pizza per week, same thing)

Less spending, more saving

Goal: Cut my specialty coffee / dining out expense in half (my belt size too)

Less debt, more freedom

Goal: A slave to lender no longer (except for mortgage)

Less TV, more time (for God, family, and my dream)

Goal: Read through entire Bible, do not neglect my family, post blog three times weekly, and write a book to have ready for publication

Less of me, more of Him

Goal: Take up my cross daily. (And two aspirin ‘cause I’m already getting overwhelmed.)

WOW! Sounds like less leisure, more exhaustion. What about you? Are your goals for 2009 big or small . . . audacious or cautious . . . lofty or puny . . . ambitious or attainable . . . more or less?

Here’ s some inspiration from Pastor Steven Furtick:

I’m sorry to say that your dreams are too small too. You serve the God of inexhaustible, all sufficient, overflowing resource. Whatever you might imagine God wants to do through your life in your most faith-filled, bold, reckless moments, multiply it by 10. Take it to the 100th power. Double it again. Now you’re starting to uncover a fraction of the blueprint God has already drawn up.

Sometimes, under the guise of getting wiser, growing deeper, or waiting on God, we let our audacity atrophy and set the stuff that made us special on the shelf. That must really insult God.  After we’ve already seen Him part seas, kill giants, and multiply fish and loaves, we should be more inclined to push our chips to the center of the table, not less!

It turns out God isn’t intimidated by my big requests. He is insulted by my puny ones.

He So Loved. . .

John 3:16––I never thought of it as a marriage or relationship scripture until last night. Tina and I were doing week 2 of the Fireproof Your Marriage study when it cited John 3:16 followed by this question: “Do you know God’s love, and are you reflecting that love to your spouse?

The way that I heard this question in my spirit was profound:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. . .” The Lord gave up His most precious belonging (His son Jesus) for the world (you). He has set the example of love and how you should love your spouse. So what are you going to give up for your spouse today?

What is it that seems to be your most precious asset? What is currently taking priority over your relationship with your spouse? What vice is coming between you and your spouse that could wreck your marriage? It can be something as harmless as spending too much time with the kids to something completely destructive to the marriage relationship like having an affair. What is it in your marriage/relationship? Is it your job. . . Coaching the kids’ team. . .  Being the kids’ proverbial soccer mom. . . ESPN. . . Oprah / The View / Soaps. . . TV in general. . . Alcohol / Drugs. . . Pornography. . . Shopping/Overspending. . . An affair. . . Golfing with your buddies. . . Gossiping with your girlfriends. . .  THE LIST GOES ON!

Here’s the challenge. For the next 30 days, put it to the test. Recite and, more importantly, act on the following:

For I so love my wife/husband that I gave [thing taking precedence over your relationship right now] up, that if I believe it I shall have a marriage that will not perish but have eternal life.

Do this and I have faith that the same power of God that redeemed the world through His sacrifice will resurrect a lost and dying marriage for you!


Women like reruns too. No, not King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, or Seinfeld. They like our attempts at repeating or even topping a previous hot date. Hint guys: you actually have to take your girl on a hot date before you can try to repeat it.

Here’s what I did on Saturday: I spent several hours of the day shining up the carriage so that I could escort my queen in style. My pastor says that “if you want her to act like a queen, you better start treating her like one, Bubba!” Not only does that advice make sense but I find it to be true. Anyway, the previous night, I made some reservations at a high class restaurant and picked out the appropriate chic flick with which to woo my bride. Then I spent some significant time on the computer putting my creativity to good use by designing a few little cards expressing my love. She got the first of the cards early Saturday, giving her a general time frame of the night’s activities. Second only to the time of departure for her is what to wear. Beyond that, I kept the specifics a surprise, even driving in the direction of one of her favorite restaurants. If you want to show her some real value, set a meaningful course of events independent of her. My wife likes steak so I took her to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Also, I find that life has a way of distracting us from what’s truly important in a relationship (each other) with such things as politics currently for me or my driving technique for my wife so we agreed to set up some ground rules. No discussing politics, this blog, or my driving all night period. Oh, and I opened her doors for her. I don’t care how “independent” your women claims to be, don’t let her fool you, she will freakin’ explode on the inside if she’s not used to you doing this. So here’s the final tally:

Expensive? You bet. Was it worth it? Yes, there’s no 8 ounce piece of steak, no matter how tasty, worth $32.00 alone but the experience and how it made my wife feel is invaluable. I know what some of you are saying but hey, you spend that much on your cell phone bill every month . . . or the NFL ticket . . . or [insert own personal luxury item].

Don’t forget to compliment her either; tell her how beautiful she is, even if she looks like a Tonka Truck. Something attracted you to her, what was it? If you cant find it, maybe your the problem–stop being so shallow.

And the movie we saw: Fireproof. Awesome date movie, especially if you are considering marriage, already married, or on the verge of being unmarried. Check out the trailer below:

I had a great time, Baby–I love you!