Monthly Archives: February 2015

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.21.2015

Working to prepare a major business presentation, I didn’t post a single P-A-D last week. Long hours, nights full of intermittent sleep, and running on adrenaline are all stresses to the body. Thankfully, my company offers a proactive wellness program that includes this cool little device, called a “Ped”, that attaches to our shoes and keeps track of motion. Our goal is 5,000 steps per day; that’s a lot! But take a 3-mile walk on a lovely February day in Texas and the goal is achieved, causing the Ped to reward its user with this cool little light show. By midday, I had taken 6,364 steps. And it felt good.

“Walking is the best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.” ~ Thomas Jefferson via BrainyQuote.com

5,000 steps by midday!

5,000 steps by midday!

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.15.2015

Lucy, our Golden Retriever, turns 3 years old today. She is a great dog, offering ample love and affection. She’s also adopted some of Shadow’s OCD traits as she almost constantly seeks attention. That’s fine; we’re happy to give it. Happy Birthday, Lucy!

“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are also human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, “Let’s go!” and lead them on a great adventure.” ~ Dean Koontz via goodreads.com

Happy Birthday Lucy

“I hate the Church” – An Open Letter

Dear Christian Friend,

My heart aches at your statement that you hate the Church and have left her fellowship. You say the Church is full of judgmental hypocrites. In a way, I can understand why you might say that. I believe you when you say you love the Lord, so as a fellow believer, I hope you’ll consider a few things.

I attend church for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a place to offer worship, honor, and praise to the One who sacrificed His perfect life on the cross to save me from the consequences of my sins. Can I praise God while listening to Christian music in my car? Yes. Can I praise Him as I admire the beauty of His creation? Of course. Are those offerings of praise pleasing to God? I believe they are. But it’s in church that I sit side-by-side with Christians from all walks of life, lifting our voices in unity together in praise to the Lord. That energizes me; it rejuvenates me. There is no replacing that. When I miss church, I miss church and I can’t wait to go back.

You say that churchgoers are judgmental. What you call judgmental is really Christian accountability at work. Once we connect with the Gospel and become saved, the desires of life begin to change; such is a sign of one who is truly saved. A healthy church will teach us what a Godly life looks like through Biblical preaching and teaching and encourage us on our Christian walk. I want my fellow Christians to help me along the path of sanctification. The Bible even encourages us to hold one another accountable (see Matthew 18 for example). We do so out of love for one another, not to win a “gotcha!” game. I get it – we don’t always get this right; there are jerks in church. There are jerks at work, on the roads, at the airport, and in the grocery store, too. Are you going to quit your job? Are you going to quit driving your car? Are you going to hole up in your house to avoid the jerks in life? Of course not.

You see, the church is full of sinners. Sinners just like me and just like you. Sinners who know the Lord, seek to live lives pleasing to Him, and make lots of mistakes in the process. Sinners who rally around the fallen and support him as he seeks to mend his ways. Sinners who lift one another in prayer in times of illness, unemployment, mourning, and other difficulties. Sinners who, though well intended, sometimes say the wrong things. Sinners who throw themselves on the mercy of the Cross, just as God intended. Your decision to leave says, in effect, that you think you are better than the rest of us. That, my friend, is the sin of pride rearing its ugly head. If you really stop to think about that, I know you will realize that you’re not. We’re all sinners. We’re all saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We all have room for improvement. We need each other. We need you and we want you to come back.

Friend, you have a lot to offer the church, just as she has a lot to offer you. The things that you say have driven you away from the church are the very things that should draw you inside. I hope you will reconsider. I hope you will come back. I’m praying for you.

Your Brother in Christ,

Jeff

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.13.2015

Texas BBQ is one of my favorite foods. Schoepf’s BBQ on Central Avenue in Belton, TX is the real deal. These pits turn out some delicious brisket, chicken, quail, and a variety of sausage options making Schoepf’s a great rest stop when traveling I-35. It’s fun to discover great local eateries when traveling.

Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. ~ John Shelton Reed via BrainyQuote.com

The BBQ pits at Schoepf's BBQ, Belton, TX

The BBQ pits at Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, TX

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.12.2015

I snapped this picture just before I escaped. I enjoy networking events, but I get the heebie-jeebies in elbow-to-elbow crowds. It’s really the only situation in which I understand the feeling of claustrophobia. It doesn’t matter how large the room is; the inability to move at will while having to yell into the person’s ear when trying to talk doesn’t work for me.

I’m a bit claustrophobic, I don’t like crowds, I live by the sea – that’s what I see when I come out of my house in Bridlington. ~ David Hockney via BrainyQuote.com

Evening networking event at NRRDA 2015, Chicago House, Austin TX

Evening networking event at NRRDA 2015, Chicago House, Austin TX

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