Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mary Magdalene

I like the story of Mary Magdalene. I wonder if this too is my story of redemption? I too was called where I was in my life. I continue to grow in Christ and I am still immature spiritually. Where I would be without Christ? Who is with me on this one? Who is not listening to His call? Come as you are. Let your tears fall to the feet of Jesus the Savior. Wipe the tears from his feet with your hair. I wonder if I have not offered water to clean the dust from His feet? When I feel the Holy Spirit move through me, my eyes swell with tears. His Spirit moves me often and the feeling is inexplicable. Yet I question myself; Do I starve for others attention? Am I humble in my works? I am realizing, the more I learn, how much much more I have to learn and experience. I pray He will continue to fill my eyes with tears. Let my tears fall at the feet of Jesus. Humble me as I wash His feet with my tears.
Luke 7:36-50 (NLT)
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Monday, December 29, 2008


Ed is an outgoing and flamboyant man. He is thoughtful and outspoken. Ed has an addictive laugh and always makes you smile with his kind and respectful words. Ed is intelligent and is always willing to help someone in need. He is homeless yet humble, as I find most that are homeless are. Ed came to me on Saturday and said; "Brian, I just made some preacher man mad at me. He asked me to leave and get out of his face." he stood animated as he continued with his story; "I better not tell you, what I told him, because you too will be upset with me." I explained how I am slow to anger and encouraged him to continue with his story. Curious about what was said, I listened intently; "I told him I don't believe in God. I said I believe in Jesus Christ, just not God. Who would send their only son to die for my sins and not have the guts to send Himself? Why send your son when you could have easily sent yourself with the same message?" he continued. "God cannot exist because he would have sent himself to die, not his only son" I asked Ed what the impact on the world would have been if he sent Himself instead of His son? What would have a bigger impact.
John 3:16
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
Read more on Ed at my other blog site at

Friday, December 5, 2008


Thanksgiving was last week and this time of year always makes me realize I have a lot to be thankful for. My Thanksgiving day started out giving grace to God by feeding the poor a warm Thanksgiving meal. Scott Mangum and his family came along to help. Nate, the drummer at the Vista Community Church, and his friend Melissa were there to help us as well. It was humbling and satisfying watching my friends on the street eat and share their home cooked Thanksgiving meal. Our family enjoyed a Thanksgiving Lunch. Michelle's Mom Jeneane was there. My Daughter Brandy brought my grandsons. My Sons Chris, Stephan and AlanMichael were all there to eat this festive meal together. Wayne Harlow sent me a text, thanking me for being his friend. He went on to say he could count his friends on one hand and was thankful I was one of them. This text made me think, I too could count on one hand, my few friends. Who was #1 on the list you might ask? God of course.
Romans 5:11
"So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God."

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I was down and depressed recently. I wrestled with a bout of food poisoning after eating a bad chicken sandwich at the airport. I don't remember feeling so sick, since I had my appendix removed when I was 10. I was in South Carolina on a 3 day application installation for Sun Belt rentals. I showed up at the client site sick and disoriented. Luckily they were not prepared for the install so this game me a chance to go back to the hotel and get some rest. I slept for about 21 hours, waking only once trying to explain to my project manager why I was not at the customer site. I sounded drunk and incoherent and had not control over that, even though I remember slurring my words. The following day I arrived at the client site a little late, still feeling the ill affects of the food poisoning but much better than the previous day. While doing the install, I overheard the customer call me "incompetent". I have been called a lot of things in my life, but this was a new low for me. Depressed and feeling down, I turned to the Lord. I read Isaiah chapter 37.
Isaiah 37:3
"Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby."
How can I question my faith when the Lord delivers a message like the above verse? For the Lord my God seems to answer me ALWAYS. Praise His name.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I found myseld reading 1 John Chapter 4 on the plane ride home last week. I was reading the book "Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning and read a section with this verse in it:
1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
I opened my bible and searched for this verse. Soon after some study in 1 John Chapter 4 I landed in Austin. Flying in earlier than expected, I was able to make it to Youth Group, where I was a small group leader before I started traveling for work. Mark, the youth pastor, was teaching as usual. Toward the end of his teachings this evening, he started to cry. He explained to the students how difficult it is to understand  how God is a loving and forgiving God. God is not angry or disciplinary, he taught. God is Love, Mark said with great excitement. I met with Mark after the session and told him how I was studying 1 John chapter 4 on the plane ride home that day. I quoted verse 16 to him.
1 John 4:16
"We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them."
Mark read verses 16-21 then passed the bible back to me. Tearful yet smiling he calmly said "Oh, it's just a coincidence that you read that just today" His blatant sarcasm stirred the reply in me of "You mean Godincidence"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am flying home today. I have made a habit out of reading my bible on the plane. I recently observed that when I read the bible people avoid looking my way. There is open seating on Southwest airlines and the middle seat next to me frequently stays empty. I have heard it said to not talk about politics and religion, which is sad because it hinders spreading the Gospel message.

Today I opened my bible to Isaiah it reads:

Isaiah 61:1
"The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor"

I have been praying recently for my "Shoulder the Cross" ministry. This verse really puts things in perspective for me. I questioned my own morality this week with some gift cards. Verse 8 says

Isaiah 61:8
"For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them."

This verse speaks to immorality. When the devil places impure thoughts in my head, it is verses like this that help keep me strong minded and moral.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Answered Prayer

Sleeping soundly, I suddenly imagine myself at a Soccer game in Manchester England. Finally realizing it is my Manchester United Calypso ring tone, alerting me of a text from my wife, I opened my eyes and glanced at my phone hoping the text would not be bad news. My wife never bothers me this late, I feared the worst. The text was brief, it read "Are you awake? Can you call me?" My fears climaxed as I dialed the number to the house. "All your fish are dead" she reported. The 15 inch Oscar named Prozac was floating along with about 15 other large aggressive tropical fish. I ran through the fish names in my head, shadow, Jerry, Blue Stallion. My wife then reports that one fish survived the obvious lack of oxygen in the 125 gallon tank. I love my fish and reports they are dead really has me down. I have a hard time getting back to sleep that night. I turned to the Lord … "Our Father, who art in heaven" I prayed. Giving up on a losing battle, I turn the light on and open my bible. I turned to Psalm 120
I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
What a perfect message for this time in my life. Last Sunday I took my troubles to the Lord. I applied for a different role and I felt almost black listed. My phone calls for follow-up were ignored and emails I sent were not responded to. I felt like this was a personality problem on my part. I read on in Psalm 120 and see more and more how this fits in my life at this time:
Rescue me, O Lord, from liars and from all deceitful people. deceptive tongue, what will God do to you?
I am thankful to my Lord for His answered prays in my troubled times.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Funny you should ask.  This is worth reading and is a true story.
The alarm went off at 6AM, it was time to get AlanMichael up and let him get ready for school.  I had a scheduled appointment at 7AM with a Prayer group (Bow down) for the youth that I help lead, so I got up and made a pot of coffee and decided to start my day.  I was enjoying my coffee sitting in my recliner when I heard a loud crashing sound.  It startled me as the house was quieter than the 6AM prayer at the local Monastery.  I ran to where the sound originated, my room, and saw Michelle's sleepy and startled eyes.  "I'll check it out" I said confidently as I ran to the restroom. This is when I noticed that the shower curtain rod had fell.  Somehow the spring inside lost it's tension and no longer was able to stay up.  So much for my morning shower I thought.  I guess I would have to show up stinky to Bow down.  I comforted Michelle and reassured her I would stop by Target on my way home that morning.
Things went well at Bow down. We had the largest showing I could ever remember.  I came home, curtain rod in hand and darn proud of my accomplishments of course.  Michelle rolled her eyes at me an said "Good job babe, now I will go put it up so you can shower"  My chest was instantly deflated.
This being the first day of Stephan's new job at Pok-e-Joes BBQ, I warmly greeted him and softly welcomed him to the morning life of the working.  Stephan soon bartered with me and Michelle eventually getting his way by us allowing him to drive the GrandAm to work, rather than the previous suggested walking.  
Soon Stephan saw his way off to work and Michelle and I were once again alone in a quiet and soothing living room.  Both of us deep into our work as we so often find ourselves at this point in the morning.
Suddenly we hear an muffled explosion then a split second later the electricity turned off.  Wow I thought, that is some curtain rod!!  Michelle looked over at me and lit only by the screen of her computer she said, "What the hell was that?"  Seldom hearing Michelle use this language, I immediately sensed she was not only slightly startled but somewhat scared too.  
I thought, I can handle this one.  I felt my chest once again raise as I told Michelle, "let me go check it out"  I immediately jumped up from my leather perch, after lowering the ottoman of course.  I looked out the front windows to see if neighbors had lost electricity too.  Unable to determine this, I went into the garage.  This is when I noticed Stephan in a fiery and piles of rock on the hood of the GrandAm.  "I had no brakes" Stephan cried out, "I had it in neutral and could not stop the car!"  Seeing that he had a choice of hitting my motorcycle or the garage I immediately thought, wow … I could have gotten a new Harley out of this; instead I have a hole in my garage wall.  
I went out to assess the damage.  I could find no other words to say except "You broke my house Stephan". I walked away calmly and decided to consider my options in silence.  Like a lost puppy dog, Stephan was just steps behind me saying "There were no brakes … it was your bike or the garage, so I thought the damage would be less to the garage"  I turned to him and politely asked if I could have some alone time.  Very scared and somewhat in shock, Stephan granted my wishes and left me alone.  
Stephan made it to work that day but was soon sent home.  He was found getting sick with stress and anxiety and management felt it was better for him to clear his head and return the next day.  Too scared to come home, Stephan went to a friends house and was able to calm himself down.  
Stephan's aim was perfect.  He squarely hit the conduit pipe that holds the main electrical wire that goes to the house.  The impact was so great that the conduit buckled and actually pulled the cable from the pole at the street.  I saw that the main breaker at the street had been stripped from the poles inside the box at the street.  I opened up the meter box that sits above the damaged breaker box and disconnected the electricity at the meter.  It was then safe to work on the shutoff breaker.  I bent the leads back into place and put the breaker back in place.  I prayed as I turned the breaker back on and was delighted when the electricity was restored without incident.  
My electrician came out later on that day to inspect my handy work and signed off this was a safe, but temporary solution.  The home owners insurance agent met with me this morning.  I will be the General contractor for the reconstruction, which hopefully will save the $2600 deductible.  All in all, it had to be one of the most exciting days of the year.