One of the best indicators for deciding who’s the leader comes down to this word:

Lets.jpgWho says the word “let’s” most often in your relationships, in your business, in your school?

That’s the person in charge.

For example, the word let’s is a powerful word that presidents use. A quick search of presidential speeches reveals that they use the word more often than not. Take President Reagan’s Berlin Wall Speech, given June 1987, where he uses the word four times to bring about leadership through change. Or President Bush (HW)’s inaugural speech, where he emphatically says, “Let us produce,” in 1989. Or President Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, where he leads us to the future, saying “Let us reach for the world that ought to be.”

But it’s not just with presidents, is it?

Leadership in our relationships matters, so you’ve got to figure out if your the leader or not.

But even more important than just our regular relationships is our marriage relationship. God calls a man to lead his wife and to lead his family. In fractured families, the usual culprit is that a man isn’t leading well, which stems from multiple issues. It could be that you, as the husband, aren’t worth following. I’ve been there. Those phases in our lives, as a man, happen because of sin or selfishness, keeping us away from reading and studying God’s word. Less often, but also related to sin and selfishness, is a man’s inability to lead, usually through ambivalence or lassiez faire attitude of “Eh, the wife will take care of it.”

I cannot more emphatically state the following:

Men, it is up to you to lead your wife and family well.

You may say, “I’m leading. People follow.” But are they following out of freedom or out of fear? Husbands and dads lead best out of love.

Let’s think of ways to encourage our wives and children towards love and good deeds.

Let’s lead well, guys.

If you loved/hated this post, listen to Ask Pastor John for more information on loving your wife well.



Sometimes I have bad days, and sometimes I have good ones. 
Sometimes people make dumb decisions that don’t honor the Lord. 
Sometimes I make dumb decisions that don’t honor the Lord. 
And then I have a weekend like this weekend, that refreshed me continually moment after moment…

It all started Thursday, although if I’m being transparent, Thursday needed the two weeks before this one…

Two or three weeks ago, I had a whirlwind of a time, and it wasn’t good (What whirlwinds are?!?):

  • Professionally I had been belittled by colleagues in another state. 
  • Vocationally I had seen the enemy succeed in causing confusion and continued distance. 
  • Academically I had struggled with a hurdle in my apologetics class. 
  • Personally, well, all these things crumbled around, causing a rough couple of weeks (I even had to take Prilosec for crazy chest pains and grew a few more gray hairs). 

That was two weeks or so ago. 

Yet, Jesus is faithful as always, encouraging me through His word and the wisdom of others. 

So Thursday morning this happened:

Grayson and I got to go the pumpkin patch together, where I met a few dads and got to talk about life, parenting, and faith. The Lord even gave me an opportunity to share the moral argument for the existence of God with an atheist. Poor Grayson’s shoes and socks were soaked from the dew! But it was fun!

And then Friday Mary and I got to go to the wedding rehearsal of a couple that had been in our small group for over a year before moving further away. And they had some great BBQ, my love language:

After that, my friend snagged us some floor tickets and backstage passes to a date night at the Newsboys’ Big Church Night Out (its been awhile since we’ve been to a concert, just the two of us). 

Afterwards, we got to meetup with Brock and Auny, a couple who have poured into us some over the years. 

Saturday morning, we continued diving into small group life with attending a pretty cool Halloween birthday party. It was complete with dry ice and floating ping pong eyeballs!

Saturday evening we attended the wedding of that couple from Friday night, and their outdoor location was a beautiful fit for their beginning in the journey of marriage. 

When reflecting on how refreshing this weekend has been, these verses come to mind:

19 My roots will have access to water, and the dew will rest on my branches all night.

20 My whole being will be refreshed within me, and my bow will be renewed in my hand.

21 Men listened to me with expectation, waiting silently for my advice. (Job 29:19-21)

Sometimes we have bad days, and sometimes we have good ones. 

Just remember: the Lord is faithful to refresh. 

When the refreshing dew of the Lord rests on you, it will impact others, positively, leading to growth and strength.

The Proving Ground of Pain

Your response to loss reveals the depth and growth of your heart.

In the pain the follows, whether losing a cat or a kid, a job or a relationship, the pain is a proving ground for sustainable long term growth. Will you crumble now, later, or lean into the arms of a God that is good, more relatable and comforting than you could ever imagine?

Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt 11:25


VIPs in Waco

We were VIPs at Magnolia Market today, and it was amazing!

But not everyone gets that privilege. Here’s how it all went down…

Dan led us on a backstage tour of Magnolia Market

Yes, my wife ❤️s Magnolia Market. Absolutely. So last Fall, I began planning a trip to bring her to this special place. 

Unfortunately, just a couple weeks before we were set to go, we received the grave news about our son, Baby Oliver, and had to indefinitely postpone our trip. 

Back in December for her only Christmas present, I tried getting my wife a sign from them (the sign was over $100!). Sam from MM helped us out tremendously (here’s the original post). The short story is this: I ordered a sign. They went to ship it, but it didn’t ship. Sam got Joanna’s attention, and she found that hundreds of these signs had a quality control issue, so she wouldn’t sell any of them until they were fixed. This was to be after Christmas, but Sam surprised me with one as it was left on my doorstep on December 23rd! Mary got her sign in time for Christmas! Excellent customer service. Beyond excellent. 

Today, we pulled up into Magnolia Market with our friends, having finally been able to make the trip. 

James, Mary, Leslie and Paul

We looked at the Seed and Supply boutique, shopped at the Market, and ate at the food trucks. 

But I remembered something: “Hey, I should email Sam and tell him we are here and thanks for all the help.” So I did. 

And he replied back: “That’s great to hear! Go see this person. I’ve already told them you’re there, and give them this message. They are expecting you.”

I told Mary, and after the food trucks, we went back into the store, wondering if VIP meant front of the line or if it meant better discount than 10% or what. 

Dan met us, and he immediately said, “Sam told me about y’all. We were expecting you. Come this way.”

Um, ok?

“I’m going to give you a VIP tour of this place.”

We went in back stair wells to their offices, to Chip Gaines’ office (side note: Joanna doesn’t have an office there, but when she’s there, she usually meets with the visual team. Chip, on the other hand, doesn’t have a regular desk. He has a TV, couch, and a cool place to entertain), and even to the restricted roof, where Chip, Joanna, their families, and VIPs are only allowed. 

The city gave them a custom key.
Their conference room has the Gaines’ touch.
A view from above the Market reveals the bustling business in its 3000sq ft space. They will expand with the silos another 6000sq ft
The upstairs offices have excellent organization.
Chip’s office! We are still kicking ourselves for not all sitting on his couch.

Right as employees enter going up towards the break room, there hangs a prayer request station. Mrs. Stevens, Joanna’s mom, gets these requests of the employees, and personally prays over each one. She even has an office there for her to do just that, saturating that business and its workers in prayer.

All in all, this was special, and Dan didn’t really know why we were VIP (we didn’t either, really), so I shared Oliver’s story and how Magnolia figures into it while we were ending our tour atop the Market. 

Thanks again, Sam, Dan, and the Gaines, for your attention to detail, especially emotional detail. Y’all rock. 

A rare view that probably doesn’t get captured a lot.
Us from above

Take a Walk

Let’s face it: you’re busy. Really busy.  Maybe even too busy to read this (you’re in for a treat: today’s post is short and includes a 1 minute video). 

Here’s the problem: you need to slow down. Even if just long enough for a walk. 


Jesus slowed down to walk. In fact, that’s how he found Andrew and Peter (Mt. 4:18). It’s how he began his teaching about faith (Mt. 14). And Paul commands you to walk in Christ (Col. 2:6). You can’t do that running. Overworking. Busy. 

Slow down. Take a Walk.