Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Grown Up

One of my favorite things about holidays is getting to hang out with my brother Kyle. Anytime we get to chill, especially back in Abilene, nostalgic memories of growing up fill my mind. Images rise thick of us playing ball in the driveway, laughing with friends into the early hours of the morning, watching big games and telling "mostly" true stories the way we only can.

Last week our family spent a day at that ranch where Kyle works. Much of it was just us being kids again. We drove a dune-buggie across the rugged west Texas bluffs, shot guns at a mound of dirt, and grilled over an open mesquite fire. One of the best holidays I've had in some time.

The last few years Kyle has lived far away, and our time together has dwindled. But the reason I look forward to those days is because that's when the Lord has brought real moments of clarity to me; times when He reveals to me all He is doing in and through my brother. The independent and adventuresome one in the family never ceases to amaze me at by reminding me how unique Chris manifests himself in his people. Gifts of conversation, laughter, and intention seep from Kyle's person, infecting the lives positioned next to his in subtle but powerful ways.
And behind it all is the Creator. Moving, stirring, giving life to and through my younger brother. Growing him, growing me, humbly teaching us to live like Christ.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Love that demands a response

Check out Emily's blog link on the right, where she wrote about the wildfires in CA and how they're affecting some family and friends of ours. There's also a must-read article from the LA times.
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As I stood up in front of a room full of my high school friends Monday night, I felt a heavy anxiety lifted from my shoulders and the underlying excitement and peace fill my heart. It wasn't just another club talk, but the talk I always love to give, one that I had been chewing on since April. I had the incredible opportunity to tell my friends the amazing love story; the story of how Jesus willingly died on the cross for us.

Now to some it's a story we hear every spring on Easter; but for these kids I pray this story is so much more. I pray they'll know that:

-Jesus paid for something none of us could pay for ourself.

-Our separation from God has been bridged and a relationship with Him is a reality.

-Christ went to the cross not as a "victim, but as a volunteer."

-Jesus lived out what the Bible describes as true love--a man laying down his life for his friend.

-This love is so amazing that it demands a response.

-God knew they would hear it, and he loves them more than anyone they'll ever meet.

Have I mentioned how much I love doing Young Life? Thanks for your prayers.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

What and why

Here is a bit of what I shared at our Young Life Fundraising Banquet on Monday. Thanks to all our friends who came out in support.
...so here is WHAT being a leader looks like for me. I am not able to meet kids for lunch & even some of my nights are limited because of coaching, yet God faithfully opens up doors to go out & meet kids. Whether it’s the big football game on Friday night, or having breakfast with a group of guys at Taco Cabana on Saturday mornings, or playing pick-up basketball on the weekends, every opportunity is a chance for me to hang out with kids. To walk into their world instead of waiting for them to step into mine….

As you heard Emily talk about earlier, there are tons of reasons WHY we love being Young Life leaders. Maybe even too much. People joke with us and say, “Do you have any friends your own age?” or “Isn’t there something else to do on Friday night?” And while we truly do love sitting in the dunk tank at camp while our high school friends try as hard as they can to sink us, or riding on a bus for 24 hours to take our MHS kids skiing, the real reason why we love being a Young Life leader is this: years ago someone stepped into our world and shared the gospel with us & we want to do the same for kids in Arlington. I remember what my life was like before I knew Christ; and I see every day at school just how hard being a teenager is. I don’t want my high school friends to go through life without knowing the love & the freedom that Christ offers.

Paul said it best to his friends in Thessalonica: "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us."
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Saturday, September 13, 2008


I think it is funny to look back on where I was several years ago and remember some of the things I wanted in life or how I hoped they would turn out. And today I can't imagine life much better. Emily. Our ministry. Our church and friends. My job and kids I work with. It's not all perfect, nor is what I expected. But I know that because of the Lord and the mysterious ways he works, it is better than I ever hoped for.
Several years back a few of my close friends and I would talk occasionally about doing something extraordinary with our lives. Most of these conversations took place while we were either traveling cross country or even overseas for a road trip or to do ministry. Our minds raced with images of missions, adventure, and the unknown. And I believe we were genuine at the time, no doubt.
But tonight, as I'm sitting on my couch here in Arlington, Texas where I live, work, and spend more time with kids half my age than peers my own, I realize something. Walking with Christ through the ordinary and simple rhythms of my days is what makes life extraordinary. I don't have to be in an exotic place with a more glamorous job to live up to those dreams. This week I have learned that being faithful and soaking up the joy of life is truly what's extraorindary.
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Monday, September 01, 2008


I am really not a good Christian. I'm not that good of a husband, nor do I do well when it comes to being a brother, son, or friend. I do not excel at work or on the field. I am just not.

Fortunately though, Paul reminds me that I belong to a Father "who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." He goes on to tell some friends of his that God "chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are." What a peace knowing I don't have to be complete or fixed to actually be whole. How freeing it is to live with the notion that what I lack, He is. It is such a wonder that the Almighty Creator chooses to love and walk with those who fall short, mess up, can't hack it, and get off track. Praise Christ for this truth!
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still don't know

There is something Paul wrote to his friends in Colosse that I've been wrestling with this past year. Eight simple words that have challenged me beyond comfort, frustrated the mess out of me, and above all implored me to ponder all that I am.

"Walk in wisdom to them that are without." 4:5 KJV

The ideal isn't new. In fact, it was one of the foundational principles that Young Life founder Jim Rayburn built his life and ministry upon. Rayburn wasn't into evangelism for the sake of evangelism. He believed that one should consider prayerfully those without Christ, and instead of waiting on them to walk down some aisle we should initiate relevant steps in their direction. Seeking the "wisdom" of Christ in living your life as a missionary to those next door; a relational ministry in which the Spirit of Christ working in us reveals to our friends the One who provides real life.

So as I digest these words of Paul and watch upclose those engaged on the frontlines of ministry to lost high school students, I am left with this question. What in the world does teaching the Pythagorean Theorem to junior high students or coaching kids on the ins an outs of help-side defense have to do with Paul's command in Colossians? Well, even though I still don't know, I do have a hunch.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008


...I survived my first year of coaching and teaching. I mean I looked up one day and it was June 5th and I was locking up my classroom for the year. So crazy. The blurr of this past school year completely baffles me. Life seemed to be moving at a steady pace at the time, but it wasn't until this summer that I really slowed down enough to reflect on the year. Not just thinking about this or that, but to really chew on life and ministry and marriage and everything else.
So, I intend to process more this year. Because I think not only is doing so healthy and wise, but also reveals more depth in the simple rhythms of life. I was afforded ample time to do so this summer (our Assignment at Crooked Creek and vacation at the beach specifically), and now I feel it imperative to carve out time regularly for listening, contemplation, stillness as I begin another year of this calling. Hope that is ok.
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A few pics from our trip to Orange Beach, AL