care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Its been 9 years!

First, Merry Christmas!!!

Nine (9) years.

That is one third of my life, exactly.

Nine years ago today, I was in bad shape. I found myself in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, AL totally dependent for life on anything and everything but myself, but my own body. And in a very real way all the medicine, doctors, family and loved ones, although an immense comfort, could not pull me back from the brink of death. All I had - all I have ever had - was Jesus. He was, is, and always will be my only hope!

You see, my body attacked and in 18 years decimated my lungs to a point of no return. Death had a tightening grip that day and night. Christmas Eve 2003 was horrific. Mostly I was passed out with a body quickly fading, having all but shut down due to overwhelming infection and a massive lack of oxygen.  But for my family ... my dad, mom, 2 brothers, grandmother, and close friends ... Dec 24th, 2003 was the worst.

Then, 2am Christmas morning came. The most significant and joy filled phone call was received, "We've got lungs!" That was the beginning of life for me. By Christmas afternoon I had been made new. I was restored, renewed, transformed in a moment from death to life. The power of God displayed like I have never witnessed before. An unmistakable entrance into time from the Timeless Lord of all life!

Do you see where this is going?

Its kind of like it parallels Advent and the promise of Christmas! Where in the pain, agony, hurt, despair, loss of hope, and a general sense of being incomplete GOD ACTED! He intervened in the worst of all situations and circumstances ... Humanity who had turned its back on God, thus responsible for their own demise. He came into our pain and sorrow. He became our pain and sorrow for us, He is the Man of Sorrows.


Let it sink in ... Jesus, the Creator, the Son of God became the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief . The merciful and gracious Creator, submitted himself to humanity and was eventually murdered by the men He created. Its incomprehensible!!!

But herein lies the promise of Advent ... for renewal, for a hope anchored in a greater reality than what we see. Its the promise of all being made new!

It is because of the very horrors of Golgotha that I sit here today. It is because of the gruesomeness of the cross that I have two amazingly healthy lungs breathing - LIVING ABUNDANTLY - in my chest!

It is with a very tangible sense of longing and desire to know Jesus, face-to-face, and to know God with the veil removed that we look back to the cross, to His life, to His ADVENT and rejoice. Rejoice because we know we live under the gracious hand of God, who does the impossible. The impossible?

Life? No, He is good at that, but that is not the impossible! I can attest, as so many other people can, as Lazarus can!

The impossible is an infinite God - in every capacity - limiting Himself with flesh, with my limitations and living thus without sin, so that He might redeem His good creation that is rebelling against Him still. That is the impossible, and He is good at that too!!!

We also have a future hope, when He will once and for all make all things new and good. You cannot forget that!


Kind of flowing out of those thoughts, are thoughts about how grateful and full my heart is now. I am married! I am married to my best friend, an amazing women who adores me and puts up with all my health "issues" by choice. She said yes to me almost a year ago, fully aware of what she was getting into. If you don't know her, well that's your loss. She is my favorite and I love living and doing life with her. I am a rich, rich man because of the Lord's grace in my life through Meredith! I have parents and brothers and a sister-in-law who all love me, whom I all love as well. I am the most blessed man among men. I cannot tell you just how full my heart is!

There is another family as well, one I've yet to meet. They are the parents and siblings of my donor. I love them. I want to tell them such, to show off to them all that God has done in my life. How they have blessed so many more lives than just my own, but oh how blessed my life is indeed. My heart hurts for you, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. My heart breaks for you. Please know, I absolutely love you so much, and wish I could tell you in person. You are angels from God! If I meet you, I will bear hug you like I've never hugged anyone!

So with that I will leave you with a Merry Christmas! I hope you will join me in celebrating the gift of lungs that Jesus provided for me nine years ago. But more than that, stop, worship and celebrate Jesus, He is far more than "worth it." He is the best! He is the greatest and I love Him so much!

May your heart be filled with hope, love, joy and peace of Jesus, the Great I AM, our Immanuel. Today, tonight, and always He is with us!

Merry Christmas!



I wrote this a few days ago as I was reading along with an Advent reading plan. These are the thoughts that flowed out of that reading.

Isaiah 11:1-10

The contrast between chapter 10:20-34 and 11:1-10 is rather stark. God is pronouncing judgment via the Assyrians, assuring Israel that there will be destruction and yet a remnant will remain. He promises that His indignation will relent. His anger will be turned toward those who oppress Israel, as it was with Egypt and other enemies of Israel. Chapter 10 comes to an end with a strong decree that God will wipe out Assyria with might and sheer strength.

Chapter 11 begins with a tree shoot springing up from the root of Jesse, King David’s father. This One will have God’s Spirit upon Him, to lead Him in wisdom and understanding, in counsel and strength, and in the knowledge and fear of God. Not only will the Spirit of God lead him in these things, but it will be His delight (v1-3a)

To those of us seeking to follow Christ ... By allowing the Spirit to lead, our hearts can be opened to the mysterious and wondrous heart of God, so that our hearts become aligned with His, our minds with His thoughts, and our ways as His are. It will be as a delight to us. We will be made into a people upon whom the Spirit of God can freely rest, thus our hearts will be transformed into delighting, enjoying, longing, and desiring after God; We'll be made to walk how He says to out of love and concern for us, to live as directed because it leads to fullness of life in Jesus.

The Branch is above superficial judgment of the eye, by what meager words He hears (v3b). But rather by the righteousness of God, He views the world and through that He judges. Yet, His concern is not initially on the “sinners” and “vile,” but it mentions He will, with righteousness, judge the poor (V4). The poor? As in materially poor, monetarily poor, or poor in spirit (Matt 5:3)? (I am going with poor in spirit) He will judge the poor because they are unpretentious, broken and weak people who know their need. These desire to be fixed and hold on to even the smallest thread of hope, that the day is coming for all things to be undone and set in perfect order! These are the ones He comes for, because they are the ones who inherit the kingdom of God. After this comes His judgment of the earth (v4-5).

After judgment come harmony, peace, newness and total restoration (v6-9)! No longer will the weak be devoured, no longer will the defenseless be destroyed, no longer will the lost be ashamed and led astray … NO LONGER will the fallenness of this world wreak its havoc into every last sphere, insisting on upheaval of peace and order, creating chaos, pain, hurt and remorse. NO LONGER will God sit by in long-suffering and patience as His beautiful creation groans under the weight of the curse, longing with anticipation and heart ache for the day when ALL IS MADE NEW! NO LONGER will God postpone His burning white-hot judgment due for Satan, all of hell’s demons, and darkness. No longer will God patiently watch as His bride is taken advantage of both from the inside and outside. No longer will death, despair, and brokenness prevail! Rather in that day, the ultimate realization of love, peace, comfort, joy and completeness will be ushered in with great to do! In that day we will all see our Savior, the wonderful and awesome Jesus whose throne will be glorious (v10)

That is the waiting and longing of Advent!

Merry Christmas!!!