Sunday, December 19, 2010

The International High School in Austin Texas

Michelle and I had some money saved for the end of the year giving campaign. We were at The Austin Stone Community Church last weekend and they had a section in the bulletin for “Giving”. The International High School was listed as needing 140 food baskets. The original goal listed 3 weeks earlier was 150. Knowing this is where there was a definite need, Michelle and I started researching the opportunity. We quickly found why only 10 food baskets were filled; it was not an easy task to get the baskets filled. There was shopping involved, you could not donate money or give a gift card, you had to actually buy all the requested items. The list included: Items to feed a family of 5 to include a Turkey, Ham or vegan substitute, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, onions, celery, chicken stock, cranberry sauce, bread, fruit and dessert. I set out to do my best to fulfill the list on Monday. The folks at the local HEB thought I was crazy. There were plenty of sales and I was able to save a lot of money. As Michelle was sleeping (She works nights) I grabbed as much as I could and headed to the check out. After getting things loaded in boxes, I remembered that I drove the convertible, not the truck. Surprisingly we were able to get everything loaded with no room to spare. The International High School was close to the HEB I was at, which is why I shopped there. I left the parking lot to make the quick 5 mile trip, just off Oak Knoll. My GPS brought me right to the International School. I walked in and asked for the school counselor, the administrative assistant said “Nobody by that name works here” I soon found out I was looking for the International High School not the International School. I checked my Droid and got the address for the real International High School. 18 miles away, luckily I had some time, so I headed that way. 40 minutes later I arrived at what looked like Clint Middle School. I assumed the International High School was close by. Google searches are never wrong, right? WRONG. At this point I am getting irritated. The AISD police officer did not know where the school was, nor did anyone at Clint Middle School. Back to the droid and modify the search. I find a new address, type it into my GPS and head out. I called the International High School for the 10th and final time and once again I got the answering machine. My phone rang when I was about 4 miles away from the destination on my GPS; it was the counselor from the International High School finally. I was greeted by 6 staff members when I arrived. They helped me unload the car and invited me in to get a quick tour of the school. I was amazed at the passion of the teachers and staff. I was told that out of 187 total students only 4 are NOT on free or reduced lunch. Most students struggle with English and some do not know how to add and subtract. All students are expected to keep the standards of the school district. Most 9th grade students take Algebra, these students can’t add, imagine being expected to keep the same standards. I can’t lie; they made me feel like a rock star. I felt guilty taking the credit. The glory belongs to God not me. It did make me think of the need for so much, right under our noses; I wonder how many people know of this need? I didn’t.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So my son approached me yesterday and asked what I thought about the recent wiki-leaks scandal that is going on. He asked if I thought that telling these secrets was good or bad. I explained that I thought the government should be able to keep secrets, it could save animosity if certain secrets were leaked. He seemed surprised and very irritated with my answer. He stormed away calling me a communist fool and promised to bring me a German swastika. I then wondered, what if wiki-leaks published something about him? An intimate secret perhaps? I remember his disambiguation when his sister invited one of his 2 girlfriends at the time, in on his secret double life he was living, courting both girls at the same time. I am sure this is one of many secrets he wished had not leaked. I then wondered, why is it not OK to share your secrets, but it is OK to hear others? In Mathew Chapter 12 it says "people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” I also found this in Hebrews Chapter 4;
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This made me wonder, what are the thoughts and intentions of his heart? What untold secrets does he hold about the way he feels about me? You tell me, is it OK to tell secrets?

Inspiration, positive and negative

I have been busy the past few weeks. I built a wood shed recently. It is not finished yet, I still need to put the shingles on it and touch up some painting but all in all it is completed. Now I can take my someone behind my woodshed to teach them who is boss. My spiritual life seems to be less active lately. Michelle and I have joined a Missional Community Group with some friends who live close by. We started going about 2 weeks ago. I think it has been great for Michelle, as well as me to get ourselves linking up with a smaller group to share His word. AlanMichael is on fire as usual. We had a sermon last week on The History of Redemption. It was an inspiring sermon as every word the pastor spoke came from the bible. AlanMichael is now determined to memorize this scriptural redemption and is doing quite well with it. He plans on memorizing it in 6 months. I was going through some books last night and have decided to start reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan again. It is an inspiring read, and I feel I need inspiration lately. Jennifer, Chris and the grandbabies came to The Austin Stone Community Church with us yesterday. I am not sure if they enjoyed it or not. I try not to ask, it usually stirs a debate. I remember asking my Dad once what he thought of a sermon. He said nothing positive about it except he was impressed someone could talk so long. Inspiration comes in so many ways, both positive and negative. I looked to the bible for inspiration and found this;

Psalm 42:5-6

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So I had an interview today for a Dedicated Support Engineer. It would be a lateral move within the company. The interview went horrible. I don't think I answered one question correctly. It was a technical interview on technical items that I really should know. I knew I was having the interview this morning. I prayed on my knees a few nights ago for this position but not this interview. I should have given this up to the Lord. Trying to do things without His help is impossible. After the interview I prayed for compassion and forgiveness. I was embarrassed that I did not seek the Lord for help. Later on in the day I received a text from a friend of mine, Jesse Mathews. The text read;
Brian, I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to share this verse with you because the words are so true! Love you bro. (Funny how it is ok to say I love you, if you cut out the "I" and add a bro, lol)
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Everything happens for a reason

Michelle and I enjoyed our wonderful 8th wedding anniversary at Panama City Beach Florida. One of the favorite things to do was to watch the sunset disappear into the Gulf waters. After sitting uncomfortably on the hard rental recliners, we buy 2 chairs from the store and use them to watch the sunset on the beach. We only used them one time and thought we could return them. The next day, we returned the chairs to the store and the customer service representative asks, "Did you use them?"
Michelle and I both say "Nope". Were we in denial? Come on now, this was a blatant, flat out lie. I had a chance to fix it but chose not to. This lie, as minor it sounds, is a sin. 1 Peter 5:8-9 came to my mind after studying it this week in bible study:
1 Peter 5:8-9
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Here is how I see this verse fit in the above scenario; after this sin, the devil tried to put his hooks in me. We went to the airport the following day, ending a perfect anniversary trip to the Gulf of Mexico.
We left thinking we had plenty of time to get there and get on the plane. On the way, I realized I forgot to fill the rental car up with gas, so we turned around, filled the car up. We get to the airport with plenty of time to spare but this is when the drama begins.
I went to the rental car desk to return the key and waited behind some lady telling the rental car employee about her cats, her dogs, where she lives, alligators and who knows what else. 10 minutes it is finally my turn. The rental agreement was wrong, so this had to be fixed; I originally had the car reserved for 2 extra days, so this needed to be removed from my bill. My bill was printed and I on my way.
I head off to the Southwest ticket counter to meet Michelle who was already in line to get our boarding passes. With us we had a case of wine, 2 suitcases and a cooler with some freshly caught Red Snapper. We soon discovered the wine and the fish were not allowed to be in our baggage. The Southwest representative brought us aside to inspect our baggage. After some haggling and bargaining, she eventually sold us some bubble wrap for the wine then actually helped us repack it allowing us to legally check it through our baggage. "I'm a wine-o myself and would hate to see you lose those 12 bottles of wine" she said then suggested we try to carry on the fish. We were issued our tickets and off to our next obstacle ... security.
The TSA rent-a-cop spent more time checking our IDs than it takes you to finish one of Brian Luck's stories. I think she marked up almost every inch of your ticket (Just another delay). Shoes off ... check, belt off ... check, keys in the bin and cooler with the fish ready to go through the x-ray. With any luck we would be out of there and off to catch the plane with time to spare. I felt a light tap on my shoulder and heard, "Sir, please step over to our secure area here, you have been randomly selected to be screened" I saw Michelle and told her to go catch the flight, I will meet you there shortly. Michelle smiled and softly said, as soon as I get done with this body search. She always gets searched when she wears those skirts of hers. "Sir is this your cooler?" I hear another man say. I tell him it is and will help him go through it after I am frisked. After a quick inspection I figured I would lose my fish for sure this time, to an even bigger Dolphin that was in the Gulf (True but different story, no time to explain right now). The TSA guard found I had violated the liquids regulation. "Liquids need to be placed on the belt sir, I will need to run everything back through the x-ray again" he said with a slight grin. Our father, who art in heaven... The fish made it through without any hassle and soon I was on my way to the gate.
Hallowed be thy name ...Michelle finishes well before me and has already boarded the plane by the time I get to the gate.
"Hurry sir, they are about to shut the doors" was the last thing I heard before feeling the relief of boarding the plane. Not too unusual in today's times, the plane was close to capacity. I saw Michelle as I boarded and she said "no available seats next to each other, sorry" I asked the steward if there was any room in the overhead bins, he checked for me. We found some room, so I hiked up the cooler and was unsuccessful in my attempts to make it fit. The steward suggested removing the contents of a bulging pocket on the outside of the cooler.
Liking the idea, I unzipped the pocket on the cooler while it rested half in and half out of the bin. Little did I know the contents of the pocket had Michelle's panties in it. I grabbed the miscellaneous clothes from the pocket and out came the bright red lacy panties, which fell on the poor soul sitting below the bin I was working on. Being the last person on the plane and the only passenger still standing, all eyes were on me when this happened. The steward stared blankly at me then said, "Wow, we know what's under her skirt don't we!" The entire plane roared in laughter. Ready to sit down immediately, I looked for an open seat, I didn't see any. I noticed a middle seat not too far in front of me and headed to sit down as quickly as I could. The large man next to me thought he had ownership of his seat and half of mine. I eventually just leaned forward and spent about 70 minutes leaning on my tray table. By the time the flight landed in Houston for our short lay-over, my back was killing me. Sometimes we wonder why bad things happen to us, this was one case where I feel like I knew exactly why these things happened to us. This was a lesson learned for me. No matter how small the lie or fib is, it is still wrong. Ever hear the saying everything happens for a reason? This sure did.

Friday, January 15, 2010


The question was posed to me this week "Humanity or Spirituality?" In talking with someone about my Shoulder the Cross ministry recently, they mentioned that a lot of people think they are doing the Lord's work and they are doing it in the name of Jesus. Some of these people are doing it to help the human spirit and are doing good for humanity. There is a fine line separating the difference. Definitely a line though. I would hope and pray that I am serving through my Shoulder the Cross ministry for all the right reasons. I believe helping solely to better humanity is not right. Living my life in and through Jesus is what I want to believe I do. I pray to God now that my help is not misinterpreted. I know I could do more and I am humbled by the little I do. James Chapter 13 brings this a little more into focus;
James 3:13
"If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


So much has happened lately, seems I have made friends upset with me and I don't even know why. I turned to the word and without surprise I found answers. I looked up the word friends in my bible's index and found Proverbs Chapter 20
Proverbs 20:6
"Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?"
I received an email from this friend who was upset with me. He told me that he was upset because he thought I was not being a loyal friend. He explained that when I mentioned I went to his daughter's high school graduation, I made him feel inadequate as a father. He was also disappointed that I had not emailed him in several months. He mentioned to me that his internet access was scarce and it would be difficult for me to contact him, knowing this I did not email him for several months. I had no idea this would hurt him so badly. We have since seemed to work through our differences now, but not without damage. My thoughts of the situation seem to center around communication, which is key in any relationship. I wonder who is truly reliable if they fail to communicate?
I also started a bible reading plan today. I truly hope this is successful. I pray to God to help me read His word, so I can learn new things. Today I learned that the rains that flooded the earth for 40 days, started on my son, AlanMichael's birthday.
Genesis 7:11
When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky.