Monday, August 31, 2009

The day it all began

May 31st, 1974:

This is the day that I was born. I was born in St. Mary's hospital just outside the campus of Washington University - St. Louis and the apartment where I would spend my first 6 months of life sat directly across the street from the hospital ... my parents liked to plan ahead.

I remember nothing about this day .... I was given a name that would identify me within all facets of my life. I always find it a little strange that the one title that is probably the most important identifying feature that all of us have .... is given to us with absolutely no regard to our own personal decision. This is how you end up with names like "Billy Bob Sue", "Stevie Stephens", and my personal favorite "Harry Richard" ( think about that one for a minute). There are people all over this world walking around swearing their parents name under their breath as they deal with the scars of having been called to the principals office over the loud speaker in high school:

"Will Ben Dover please report to the principals office".......(seriously,his parents should be put in jail).

So back to May 31st, 1974.

When you are born there is this expectation that you are going to great things and this burden is immediately bestowed upon you by your parents. They look at you and are instantly determined to not make the same mistakes that they feel their parents made with them. Your life is instantly determined based on the actions of your grandparents ..... the very people who you will adore as you grow up are the same people who set the foundation for all of the things that will ---- you up down the line.

Life is vicious in that regard. We are constantly correcting for the mistakes of those that came before us. We feel that in order for life to get better we must shake off the rust of our previous upbringing and give our children the perfect life.

Why is that? What is it about the past that makes all of us want to try and change the future.

What do you think? What is the one thing that would make the biggest difference in your life if we could change one thing your parents taught you?

Tell me your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am back.

I have decided that life is much more interesting when you remove the false label of "minister". There is a binding force that occurs when one lines themselves behind the institution that is the church. There are things that cannot be said, opportunities that cannot be explored, topics that cannot be broached.

At age 35, I believe that I have discovered a secret that many of us should embrace:

I'm ordinary.

I am a father, a husband, a co-worker, a son, a brother, a nephew, an uncle, and a grandson. I get up each morning, put my legs into a pair of pants, grab a cup of Dunkin, and spend 45 minutes listening to sports radio while staring at the licence plates of my other ordinary counterparts.

I did not dream of this life, nor did I reach out and try to give it back. I chose this life and in between waking up and going to sleep I have determined that there isn't a whole lot that I can do to change that.

So tonight I begin a new literary journey. I am going to write about what life is like for a 35 year old father and what types of hurdles one most jump through to keep moving everything along.

We'll start tomorrow......

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Season of Possibility


I was sitting on my living room floor, the fire was gently crackling (I like to think that gas fireplaces crackle), the glow of the Christmas lights shined on the walls, and the clock on the wall stated "1am".

I was 1 hour into 2008.........nothing had really changed yet..........but I know that things will...........they always do. I know that we have absolutely no chance of predicting those things which will be different, but here is my list of ten things I would love to see happen in 2008.


10. I would like people to start looking past the surface when dealing with others. We have grown into such a "label" world that it is hard to truly get to know someone because of the immediate desire to classify by outward appearance.

9. I want to see school systems and parents to not be so quick to medicate based on poor performance or perceived lack of attention. There tends to be a lot more going on than meets the eye.....find the key to the child's mind and all will begin to flow.

8. I want politicians to look me in the eye and speak without rhetoric. I want honesty and an individual that I can get behind.......there is to much at stake to just hand the job to the person with the most money.

7. I want to begin to see an assurance that when my daughter reaches adult hood that the opportunities afforded to me will still be available. There seems to be an increasing gap between rich and poor.......the country is polarizing itself........we sometimes forget that we are basically the or no are still human.

6. I would love to have at least one person hold the door and smile at me when I have an arm full of bags and a 1 yr old hanging off my shoulders. It isn't hard......we have to remember to look around and see who is in need of a little help.

5. I worry about teenagers today. Not because of the things that they do....but because of the pressures that the adult world puts on them. I am tired of seeing stressed out youth who have forgotten that this life is supposed to be fun......give them a break every now and then.

4. I would like to see the world take a deep breath and relax for a minute. We all need to stop being reactionary and allow for all of the pieces to fall into place. We keep throwing the puzzle on the floor before we have a chance to complete it.

3. There are people who walk this earth who are inherently bad.......we need to stop the idolizing of such individuals. There are people who walk this earth who are inherently good......we need to promote those individuals.

2. There are children dying all over this world.........we should stop

1. The world has forgotten that God created all of this. We try so hard to position ourselves on the "right" side of the line.......that we forget that there is a very real possibility that God may have a bigger plan than we can even imagine. We need to stop the limiting of life and reach across the table of differences and shake the hand of our brother or sister. The answer is so simple and yet it is one of the hardest things to achieve.

Will 2008 be the beginning of change?

The answer begins with us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to tonight's feature fight between two age old foes! In this corner...standing at an even 6 ft...wearing the red and green shorts...Merry Christmas!!!!"

Applause erupts throughout the arena....

"And in this corner....standing at 6 ft...wearing the colors of the world...Happy Holidays!!!"

Applause erupts again....a couple of "Boo's" can be heard in the background...

The two foes approach the center of the ring and with the ringing of the bell they begin to fight!


This is what it has come to...we now spend our time battling over a phrase?

We sit in the month of December and are currently six days from Christmas....and this is the comment I heard on the radio the other day:

"I don't care if you like me saying 'Merry Christmas' or not! This month is about the birth of Christ and if you don't like me saying it.....well then.....Go To Hell! Especially since you are going there anyway!"


I am sure that God is giving that individual a standing ovation as we speak....because when God sent His son to earth that was what the point was....damn everybody to hell who doesn't "join up".

There seems to be a growing swell of support for the idea of "fighting back" against those who speak out against Christianity. The common perception was that Christians were too passive and not able to stand up to the outspoken religious sects of the world. That they are an easy prey because of their desire to "turn the other cheek" and their ability to respect those who they share this world with. What people were actually saying is that Christians have taken the teachings of Jesus Christ to heart and look how funny it is that they are actually attempting to implement peace and love into their lives.

That tendency has shifted though. We have many Christian leaders who are moving into the dangerous realm of placing a distinct line between "those who are" and "those who aren't". There are terms such as "Battle Cry" and "Front Lines" being thrown around which is designed to stir up the emotions of the Christian faithful. There is a drive to pronounce the Christian Faith as an "Us vs Them" scenario and questions asking "Whose side are you on?" are becoming more and more frequent.

I have to believe that God is shaking His head in utter disappointment as He sees His name associated with the dividing of His own people. This life journey we are on does not lend itself to looking across the table and dismissing a fellow human because of a different belief system. The fact remains that we are all created in God's image and that means white, black, red, islamic, jewish, christian, buddhist, heterosexual, homosexual. That is the beauty of this world that God has provided for us and all of the wonderful people that He has enabled us to come in contact with. When one uses God to separate humanity we are merely defeating the unifying force which is His love.

When God sent His son Jesus it was an act meant to bring the world together, it was meant to create peace, it was meant to enable the world to see the type of God we have. The problem lies in the human desire to "know" and "judge". We want so badly to have our belief system be the right one and we are willing to sacrifice the peaceful gift of Jesus in order to show the world we are right.

If Christians do not lose the attitude that we are better than those who follow other religions than we are doomed to fail at the very purpose of Jesus. This month is not yours and the season of Christmas is not reserved for your fact if we follow the example of Jesus it actually belongs to all of those who are on the outside looking in. The question is what do they see when peering through the windows of the Christian faith? Is it a room full of pompous know it alls or is it a room with a manger and a sign saying 'welcome'?

Happy Holidays.

Merry Christmas.

Open your eyes....this world is for the inn keepers, the shepherds, the for all who want to partake. Live your life as an example of what Jesus was sent to promote and leave the attitude at home....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Buy the Book!


Just wanted to put a post out there about a new book that I have been published in! The book is a magazine called: Haruah Breath of Heaven and they also have a series of books that they release. If you would like to purchase the book that my devotion is in please click on the following link:

The piece that they used is called: "Could You Handle It" and it revolves around the courageous life of a member of my congregation. Please check it out!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just Trying to Wake Up

“I can’t move.”

Joe had been standing in the same spot for the last 30 years and all of a sudden God was telling him it was time to walk. This had become a very comfortable place and Joe had enjoyed his stay but there was no denying this push coming from above.

“I can’t move.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to take the next step. He just didn’t know how. His life path had been predictable, easy, a walk in the park. He had seen other people forced to move but he figured that it would never happen to him. He had everything that he needed and walking just didn’t seem to be a very smart move.

“I can’t move.”

He loved God and enjoyed all of the perks that come with being spiritual. He loved private moments of prayer, the singing of songs on a peaceful morning, and an invigorating religious class. He could look into a child’s eyes and see the pure joy of life. There had been great moments of joy and deep times of spirituality. He had grown up with the umbrella of God’s love and he had grown fond of the relationship.

“I can’t move.”

He looked around the room and wished that there was someone else who would move for him. It was empty. He looked down at his feet and began to cry. He cried for the loss of innocence, the loss of comfort, and the loss of simplicity. God had chosen him for the next chapter and there was nothing he could do about it.

“I have to move.”

The dreams had been to real…the voice of God too strong. He had woken up with sweat pouring off his body and the voices from his slumber had echoed in his brain. He had stood up and found his feet locked into place on the floor.

“I have to move.”

There was going to be a gift. There was going to be child. There was going to be a king. The voice had told him all of this. He wanted to believe but that would mean he would have to walk. He heard a shuffling of feet at the door.

“Joseph….are you alright?”

He looked down at his feet and wiped the tears away. He looked up at the beautiful face of his precious Mary and took a step towards her…

“I’m fine Mary…just trying to wake up.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


There once was a man who had nothing.

There once was a man who had everything.

They both had the same name, dressed in the same manner, ate the same food, drove the same car, and loved the same woman. When they looked into the mirror.....they even looked the same.


One man had nothing and the other had everything.

How can this be?

How can one person have it all and yet feel as if they have nothing? How can one person look at their life and feel unsatisfied but in actuality have what everyone else wants? Who can eat to their hearts content but then look across the table and want more? How can one drive to work but then feel as if they have not achieved success?

How can one man have nothing and everything all at the same time?

I don't know....but I want to.

I can't figure it out.....but I desire to.

I am good.....but yet I fail.

I smile......and yet I cry.

When one looks out into the they look out content with what is within their grasp or do they let go of what they hold in an attempt to grab on to something else?

There was a child.......he grew.......he taught........he died........he rose.......

He is within your grasp and yet when you let go...........He doesn't fall.

Chase your Life but the Truth lies within you.

Look around and realize you are here. Right where you are supposed to be.

I have....I want....