Friday, March 20, 2015


In my years growing up on the coast of Southern California, I saw some incredible storms hit the shoreline. Of course, being a recreational surfer, impending storms were actually something my friends and I excitedly anticipated. Storms meant "Surf's up" and we often grabbed our boards and hit the beach to take advantage of the bigger waves.

In really BIG storms, there always seemed to be a point at which the storm overcame my ability to handle the biggest waves. It was then that I'd humbly pack up my board and simply watched the storm do it's thing. There were a few storms that still stand out in my memory. The sound of huge waves hitting the shore is something you simply don't forget.

The devastation the ocean can bring to the shoreline is breathtaking. I've seen things along the coast in serious storms that I definitely don't see in North Texas (unless it is the work of a tornado). Multi-million dollar homes get sucked right out into the sea in a matter of minutes. Homes that were "engineered" to withstand the forces of nature fold up like a house of cards.

Though Jesus didn't surf Southern California (though I think he was cool like that), being the creative force behind all creation, he knows a thing or two about storms and the damage they inflict on structures. He even used that reality as an example in teaching his followers. He said, "Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock." (Matthew 7:24-29)

Storms in life come and go, but the thing that allows us to stand through them is what our life is built upon. Notice Jesus said, "everyone who hears and obeys." I've heard a ton of Jesus' teaching, but I've got to be honest...I haven't always obeyed them. And I've found that obeying...really makes a storm-sized difference in how things go in my life.
When I choose to consciously not follow Jesus' teaching, it is like I'm consciously weakening my foundation. When the big storms come (and it has just started raining outside as I write this)...I have to wonder which "house" I'll be? The one washed out to sea or the one standing to see another beautiful day on the coast?

Join us at The Point, this Sunday night March 22, 5:00 in downtown Plano for healthy food, live music, loving friendship and a discussion of the best foundation to build your life on.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Slipping and Sliding

I can only imagine the rolling of eyes and snide whispers coming from my friends and relatives living in the northeastern United States on days when Dallas gets an "arctic blast." We've had a couple this winter and this morning, my family and I are "trapped" (insert laugh here) indoors behind 4" of snow and ice. Meanwhile, people I know in places like New Hampshire are STILL digging out from record FEET of snow that fell a week or two ago and their lives go on with business as usual. Relativity is definitely in play here!

Truth told, the metro Dallas/Fort Worth area (and most of north Texas for that matter) simply isn't equipped for frozen weather. Plows and blowers are as uncommon here as a canoe in a parking lot at AT&T Stadium (a.k.a. "Jerryland" -- where the Cowboys play). Places like Chicago can deal with FEET of snow and scarcely miss a beat, but only a few inches of the white stuff grind my town to a halt. It really is a bit comical when you think about it.

So this morning's coffee time was spent watching local new reports of 18-wheel big rigs trying to navigate the Mix Master and the High Five highway interchanges. It  sobers me that vehicles so impressively built for torque with hundreds of horsepower can be brought to a slipping and sliding mess by less than an inch of ice. Trucks that normally haul tons of goods clear across the country can't move a single inch in this stuff! They stand still until the conditions change (or the de-icing truck comes to the rescue). What is normally impossible...without help.

Something Jesus taught his followers often hits me like a 1/2" of ice on a Dallas road... Jesus said, "Love your enemies"...and there I go...slipping and sliding...struggling to get traction to keep moving forward in love for all people. "Love your... WHAT?" Seriously? That seems impossible when I hear it because I even have trouble loving the people I know love me! And I'm supposed to also love the people I know don't love me? C'mon...really? But, Jesus didn't leave us without help...traction is available! We just need to discover it.

This Sunday night at The Point...there will be conversation and music about this challenging teaching. Coming together in community... maybe you and I can take a step forward and get some traction in loving the way Jesus loves. See you Sunday evening at 5:00 in downtown Plano.

Friday, January 23, 2015


9 months is a long time to wait and I freely admit, men have no clue what it is like. Try as they might to project themselves into the circumstances of carrying a child INSIDE of them and then birthing that child into the just don't get it! There is simply no conceivable way (pardon the pun) a man can understand the process of childbirth. The waiting...the anticipation...the exasperation...the pain, the deliverance...the delivery...the exhaustion...the exhilaration...the
emancipation...the euphoria...the recognition when eyes meet for the first time...that first culmination of 9 months of planning, caring, loving...and then the eventual forgetfulness of pain and lifetime of love that only a mother can have. Guys, we don't get it. And yet, somehow...some way...we just might understand, if even only a little.

For 15 years, I've had a "something" growing inside of me. I have planned for it, nurtured it and loved it as my very own for a decade and a half (that's some lengthy gestation). Then, a little less than 9 months ago certain life circumstances began to force that "something" out of me. It was originally conceived sitting on the patio of a Starbucks Coffee shop in Phoenix, Arizona and it has been growing, developing and evolving deep inside me ever since. That day, it was given a name... "The Point."

"What's The Point?" you ask. That is the same question I've been asking off and on for 15 years... "What is the point?" a simple and yet quite provocative question, isn't it?

In the 15 years I've been waiting (or stalling... only God really knows for sure) others have birthed similar "somethings" into this world. I'm happy about that, too. While I'm  surely not the first to give birth to such an idea, I do believe I am part of a growing number of "parents" who are raising up some "children" with wonderful potential.

As with any birthing event, many people are involved. The mother and child, for sure. But there are doctors, OB/GYN nurses, anesthesiologists (praise God), and certain other specialists who all ensure the birth is as successful as possible. In the past few years, I have had a host of "specialists" come in and out of my life to help bring my little "something" into the world. We generally don't birth things alone. Finally...though it doesn't look exactly the way we all anticipate it eventually will (what child ever does on the day it is born)...a "birthday" for  The Point has come.

At 5:00pm on February 8, 2015, I am pleased to announce The Point will step into the world. The birthplace will be event1013 in downtown Plano, Texas. As the name suggests, event1013 is located at 1013 E. 15th Street near the heart of downtown Plano.

Please be praying for a complication-free birth and a wonderfully long and influential life. If you want to check out our "sonogram" visit and if The Point sounds like something you'd like to get to are invited to come share time with us beginning Feb. 8. Peace.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Second Hand Love

How are your New Year's Resolutions going? Only five days into 2015 and some of them may already be in the tank. If so...take heart. I know your frustration.  

Over the years I've grown weary of "New Year's Resolutions." While resolutions provide powerful motivation for some, for whatever reason rather than motivate, they frustrate me. So a few years ago, I gave them up. I resolved to no longer make New Year's Resolutions. I certainly don't criticize people who make them, I just don't make them anymore. Instead... I dream.

Dreaming, I envision what life can look like a year or more from now and I try to step daily closer to that dream. For me, it is a more creative process. At times I'm good at it, sometimes I'm not. Like in writing a song or making something with my hands. I know it may take time to get there, but I love the process of working little by little to make a dream a reality. Sometimes the end product looks different from how I first envisioned it, but that is part of the fun; part of the creative process.

Important to my creative process is realizing all the possible resources available to make a dream come true. I become aware of needed things to bring the dream to fruition. If the dream is a piece of music, I know there are certain resources I can use; particular instruments and elements of music theory. If it is a home project, I look at websites and I note the tools for the job. I may have some, or might borrow a tool, rent one or purchase one. Each tool is critical to make the dream a reality.

Dreaming, I also realize the value of people and relationships. 2015 finds me working toward a new dream called The Point. This morning I was thinking about all the people resources necessary to make this dream a reality. There are a lot of people needed; all bringing their unique gifts and talents together. Gathering all those things together isn't easy. I began thinking about the "glue" that will hold us all in place...allowing us all to move toward a common goal. And I realized the glue

I am blessed to know many people. Even if I doubt it at times, I'm confident many of those people love me and I love them. But something hit me this's what it was...none of the love we share is "original" to us. We didn't create that love, we merely pass it along; we're conduits of love.

Like light from the sun...we enjoy when it shines upon us. We live in the light of day. We've even learned to harness sunlight and store it's energy in batteries charged through solar panels, but we don't do anything to "originate" the sun's light. It always precedes us.

I think love works the same way. Love precedes us. It existed long before us and we simply tap into it and extend it to others. So...when I experience people who love me and they experience my love in return, we're really enjoying "second hand love." Not second-hand in the sense it is "gently used" or "leftover" but in the sense that we all filter and extend the most powerful force in the universe that didn't start with us. Like walking in the warmth of the sun or running off solar charged batteries...we benefit from a preexisting force... called Love.

The greatest thing about "second hand love" is that when we experience it we're experiencing Original Love (the Bible references this concept in 1 John 4:19). Genuinely offered, another person's love is an outcropping, a "secondary" extension of the true Original. Realizing this not only allows us to enjoy expressions of love more confidently (knowing they come from an even greater source than the person), but it also draws us back to the One who has been loving from before time. With that kind of resource available, how can we not dream of a brighter tomorrow? I guess that's The Point, isn't it?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Made Fresh From Scratch

I typically prefer giving gifts of perpetuity (having a long existence) especially during the holidays.  However, this Christmas my wife and I did something unusual (at least for us) and gave a gift we knew would be gone in only a matter of days (if it even lasted that long!). We gave a delicious Rum Cake. Now...I never imagined I would spend as much on "cake" as I would on a more lasting gift. But, ahh... I'd never tasted cake like this one before, either. Mercy!

Made from the absolute finest ingredients (I imagined "spun gold" to have surely been in the mix), including superlative locally distilled rum, this cake was the BEST I'd ever tasted. At the time, I wasn't even shopping for cake. I had already purchased a distillery tour as a gift for someone else and the lady assisting me in that purchase offered a sample of the rum cake. One bite is all it took. She went on to tell me of the labor of love poured into each cake, not to mention the quality of the rum and all the other ingredients "made fresh from scratch." I was duly impressed but unmoved to bite on the price.

I'd actually made it into the car without the cake when the aftertaste really kicked into high gear. I called my wife and told her how amazing this cake was and she quickly said, "Go back and get one and we'll give it to my parents for Christmas." Both of us immediately thought but didn't confess until much later that evening, "Maybe they'll share some." And as it turned out, they generously did! Mercy!

"Made from scratch" cake is so different from boxed or even prepackaged "fresh." A discerning palate definitely tastes the difference and is willing to pay for it. Even if paying more isn't something we're accustomed to doing, we'll risk doing something different for an exceptional experience. The cake was definitely worth the investment. The perpetuity of the gift was in the lasting memory of knowing we all enjoyed the "best Rum Cake ever!"

As 2014 draws to a close, there is an opportunity to invest in something being "made fresh from scratch."  A team of people are developing a new kind of urban ministry experience targeted for downtown Plano, Texas. It is called THE POINT and we are essentially building from scratch. THE POINT is a different kind of faith experience designed to build relationship with people who are looking for God and looking for meaningful community. You can discover more about THE POINT at or you can check the FaceBook page at

This type of investment might not be something you're accustomed to doing. But in any effort, whether baking, creating or developing... building from scratch takes resources. Like an exceptional cake, the end result is worth the investment. THE POINT is looking for people willing to invest in building from scratch. No investment is too big or too small. It takes community to build as this year comes to an end, please give  generously to help build an incredible experience.

The Point is a registered 501c3 organization and your donations are fully tax deductible.

Checks are made out to The Point: A Faith Community and are mailed to
P.O. Box 861635 Plano, TX 75086
Donations posted by December 31 are eligible for 2014 tax deductions.

Donations are also made through a PayPal account link on the web at
Locate the PayPal link button at the bottom of the home page.

Your partnership is meaningful and it will make a difference. Thank you and Happy New Year!!!
Another slice of cake, anyone?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Happy" Holidays and "Merry" Christmas

This is an emotional time of year. "Joy(s) to the World" and "Holly Jollies" are frequently met with "sorrows in the 'hood" and "holy molies" in the silence of night. Especially poignant to me are friends with seasonal memories leaving them fallow and grey. Like clockwork, like season's change...they are virtually inescapable. For many, receiving the greeting of "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" is a tough swallow, especially in light of what they've experienced near the holidays in years past.

The other day, friends lost a parent to death after a long illness. Knowing this passing was inevitable, I was praying they'd be spared this particular sadness until a while after the New Year, but unfortunately that was not to be the case. Now, their future holiday seasons will always be marked by this passing and I know it will take some work to get through it.

The day after the funeral, it was all the more striking to me when two 20-somethings walked by my table at Starbucks. The second of the two rather loudly proclaimed, "I couldn't be happier than I am right now. In fact, this has got to be the happiest day of my life." While I was immediately gladdened by the joy in his world, I was as simultaneously struck by how fleeting days like these can be. "What about tomorrow?" I thought to myself. "If this is the happiest day of your life buddy, apparently tomorrow is going to have to be pretty darn exceptional to top this one. And what about when you're my age? That day is going to have to be crazy amazing!" Or perhaps...that day really was going to be the happiest day of his life. Literally. Who knows?

Therein lies the rub, right? Do we expect every new day to be better than the one before it? When people say, "I love this time of year!" does that imply they always anticipate every holiday season is going to be filled with perfect joy? How do we navigate when we face the sobriety of harsh reality?

Jesus once said, "...don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." I've always used those words to face my own concerns, fears and anxieties. And...being truly honest, those words have helped me walk through some significantly hard days. But after those two guys walked out of Starbucks...I thought about an another possible angle, and I wondered if Jesus would agree. " happy for the joy of today, celebrate it (for sure) but then let it rest at day's end. There are no guarantees tomorrow will be even better."

Especially in the holiday season, we spend a lot of energy reaching back to resurrect  joyful days of old. Even some of our carols proclaim it, "Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore." We seem to revere joyful memories to such an extent, I wonder if we even begin to idolize them. We set those times up so highly in our esteem that it makes everything else pale in comparison. Parents try to recreate memories of their childhood and are often frustrated when their kids "don't get it" and don't embrace the old family tradition as expected. Rather than simply being happy with new experiences and making new memories for today, we keep reaching backwards...trying to make today even better than yesterday. Consequently...some folks just give up completely and can't wait for the season to pass.

This particular holiday season (it's kind of a tough one for me) I'm simply choosing to be happy for the joy of today, celebrate it (for sure), but then let it rest at day's end. There are no guarantees tomorrow will be any better...but following Jesus, I have learned...yesterday has passed and we "don't have to worry about tomorrow."

So..."Happy" Holidays and "Merry" Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Emergence -- the wisdom of the Butterfly


My brother-in-law lives in south Florida and he's always had a perfect green thumb. Anything he puts in the soil of that humid climate grows like crazy. And I don't mean it just "grows," it flourishes! He's really quite amazing. He's had some of the most beautiful yards and gardens I've ever seen in my life. He can take even the smallest of spaces, even using just pots and potting soil and turn them into an oasis! Lately, his interests have expanded into growing something else... butterflies!

He built a little "caterpillar condo" on his patio. Now he gets the creatures as caterpillars, then watches them cocoon and then celebrates their emergence as beautiful creatures.  I'm telling you, this guy can grow stuff! Looking at some of these delicate creatures, it dawned on me what an amazing metamorphosis occurs in their development. From "worm," to really tight living quarters, to emergence as a fascinating, peaceful and gently beautiful butterfly.

What really struck me recently was that once they have begun the transformation, there is no turning back. What they once were, will be no more. What was in the past is...well...the past! Instead of being land locked fuzzy worms...they are free to fly about the country. But they had to go through a tight, perhaps even uncomfortable season to get to air-bound glory.

I feel like I'm going through a similar metamorphosis. Yes...I've definitely proven "worm" status on many occasions, been through some hard times...but I'm looking forward to an emergence. It is coming...I can feel things happening...and I know there is a power greater than myself that is doing His work on me. But the emergence is really what I'm longing for...anticipation takes patience.

A friend of mine recently applied for the job of his dreams...and he didn't get it. Frustrated, he got in touch with me and we shared his lament. He's a really talented guy and when he told me he applied and submitted his resume, I really anticipated he'd get the job. But he didn't.

I know how badly he wanted the gig and it just didn't happen for him. So... I shared the following thought in an IM, "...keep your eyes forward.'ll be yesterday (and in the past). The past is always the past for good or for bad. In only a few hours, this will be behind you. So look forward and take that next step, even if it is a small one. It'll make sense in time."

It was wisdom from the butterfly. The past is simply the past. Today...maybe tomorrow...has the anticipation of what beautiful thing we are becoming. Hang in there friends, it is all a matter of emergence. Isn't that the point?