Monday, January 26, 2009

New Blog

I'm in the process of creating a new blog site.
I'll let you know when it is launched.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy 28th

Today, my best friend, and the love of my life, turns 28-years-old.
I can't believe that this will be the 9th birthday I have celebrated with her; the 7th as a married couple.
Each year gets better.
I have been blessed with some amazing friends, but there is no one that I would rather spend time with than my own wife.
I can still remember the doors opening in the back of the Greenlawn Church auditorium, and in walked the prettiest thing I've ever seen. She was absolutely stunning. The dress was perfect. The flowers were beautiful. Her smile was melting my heart. And I knew that I was entering into a deep relationship with a woman that I loved, and that I liked.
I made a promise to her on that stage that I would hit my knees every day in prayer for her. I have tried my very best to honor that commitment. It is such an honor praying over her, whether it be in the morning while she is still sleeping or throughout my day. She continues to blossom as a woman of God whose passion in life is to love and honor her Lord and Savior, Jesus.
I've worn a lot of titles in my life. I've been a son, brother, grandson, great-grandson, cousin, nephew, uncle, friend, captain of the football team, Mr. PHS, Cici's Cutter, Preacher, and dad. But other than being a sold-out-disciple, the greatest honor in my life is to be Kayci's husband.

Kayci, I love you for so many reasons. To count them all would take up all the room on this blog. You, Truitt, and the little one in your belly are my 1st Church and my 1st Ministry. You make me want to be a better dad, husband, minister, and follower of Jesus.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historical Day

It was inspiring to watch millions of people gather in the frigid air to watch an historical moment in our nations history. (Yes, for a skinny white dude from Texas, 30 degrees is frigid!)

Whether you like Obama or not...whether you voted for him or not...whether you are a Republican or watch the inauguration was something that will be sketched into our memories forever.
Today, Obama was sitting a few feet away from Bush. They don't have much in common. If you were to put them in a room with ESPN, they could hang out for hours. They both loves sports. Put them in a political conversation and they aren't going to see eye-to-eye.

But today they both presented themselves in ways that showed respect to the other. For that, I applaud them.

To have Rick Warren lead our nation in prayer was a moving experience. When he ended with the Lord's Prayer chills went up my spine, and I didn't know if I wanted to drop on my knees and cry, or jump up and shout! Since I was in a room with my staff, I just clapped.

Let us persevere in prayer that God's kingdom will come.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Having Trouble Paying for a Degree?

Here is an article that suggests an alternative to acquiring student loans. This young woman has attempted to raise money for her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Natalie Dylan, 22, claims her offer of a one-night stand has persuaded 10,000 men to bid for sex with her.
Last September, when her auction came to light, she had received bids up to £162,000 ($243,000) but since then interest in her has rocketed.
The student who has a degree in Women's Studies insisted she was not demeaning herself.
Miss Dylan, from San Diego, California, USA, said she was persuaded to offer herself to the highest bidder after her sister Avia, 23, paid for her own degree after working as a prostitute for three weeks.
She said she had had a lot of attention from a wide range of men, including "weirdos", "those who get really graphically sexual about what they want to do to me" and "lots of polite requests from rich businessmen".
Miss Dylan said she did not think it was particularly significant to be willing to sell your virginity and insisted that she was happy to undergo medical tests for any doubters.
She said: "I get some men who are obviously looking for a girlfriend but I try and make it clear that this is a one-night-only offer.
"I know that a lot of people will condemn me for this because it's so taboo but I really don't have a problem with that.
"My study is completely authentic in that I truly am auctioning my virginity but I am not being sold into this. I'm not being taken advantage of in any way.
"I think me and the person I do it with will both profit greatly from the deal."
She added: "It's shocking that men will pay so much for someone's virginity, which isn't even prized so highly anymore."

This proves a couple of things:
1) Sex is no longer considered sacred. And Hollywood can't receive all the blame. We need more "sacred-sex-talk" in public arenas. We need more "sex-talk" from parents to kids.
2) So many men are hungry for cheap thrills. $3 million for a one-night-stand? Seriously!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Keep Getting Up

How's this story for inspiration?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jesus Will Mess You Up

Luke 14 is full of unrest for any disciple or church who wants to take Jesus seriously.
Check it out:
Luke 14 begins with a story about Jesus at a Pharisee's home for a meal on the Sabbath.
The four words "Jesus" "Pharisee" "meal" and "Sabbath" are never a good combination. This is a sure recipe for a theological and social explosion.
To make things worse, 14:2 tells us that a man with dropsy appears at the table. Add an "unclean" person to an-already-prescription for disaster, and now we can hear the bell ring for Round 1.
To understand chapter 14 of Luke, one must understand 14:1-6, which means we must understand "dropsy."
Contrary to belief, dropsy is not a disease of dropping things. (Preacher humor)
Dropsy is an abnormal accumulation of fluid underneath the skin. It is an anomalous swelling of fluid in the body’s tissues.
With dropsy, there is an irregular “puffing up” that noticeably takes place on one’s body.
Understand what is happening here: all of the sudden, in front of Jesus, there is a man who is abnormally “puffed up,” and the Pharisees are focused on Jesus to see if he is willing to break the Sabbath in order to “un-puff” this guy.
Get your mind around that before going on.
Jesus "unpuffs" the man, but the question that drives this story is this, "Who are really the people in the story who are puffed up?
The man with dropsy is showing physical signs of swelling, but the other people at the table:
1. The people who have outwardly cleaned their hands before eating but are carefully watching Jesus to see if he will break the Sabbath law
2. The people who have chosen to be religious with their heads only; not with their hearts
3. The people who refuse to do good on the Sabbath, but are determined to become Sabbath-judges and rule-watchers
…THESE are the people in the story who are puffed up.

Jesus heals the man who is abnormally "puffed" up, and now he is going to tell 3 stories to "unpuff" the people sitting with him at the table.
14:7-11--Jesus "unpuffs" their desire for recognition and honor.
14:12-14--Jesus "unpuffs" their desire to throw parties with strings attached. (What would it look like if a group of Christians, or even better--a church, threw a party like the one Jesus talks about here?)
14:15-24--Jesus "unpuffs" the unwillingness to RSVP to the invite to Kingdom-banquets

Jesus left the house having done serious damage.
From healing a man with dropsy, to telling stories to “un-puff” the religious leaders with egos, Jesus left the people in a place where they could not remain the same.
1. Either they would spit on Jesus words and use his stories to fuel their anger.
2. They would allow his words to transform their lives…in essence…making them followers of Jesus himself
If you want to take Jesus seriously, I'm warning you, Luke 14 will mess you up!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Big News

If you haven't heard, we are pregnant! We are about 8 weeks along and I'm dealing with daily nausea. Through it all I'm still thankful for this child, but hopefully the nausea will cease soon. Our families are incredibly supportive and we are excited about bringing a new baby into the world around August 26th. I'll keep you updated as the story develops.
We had a great Christmas in Lubbock, TX and then enjoyed time with Josh's family shortly there after. We had the pleasure of spending time with our dear friends, the Robertson family, who've just gained a newborn, Richard "Joshua" Robertson. He is precious and we are so proud of their whole family. Baby and mommy are doing great!
Here are some random pictures for your enjoyment. One of my new goals is to be better at posting pictures on this blog so that I won't get scolded by Debbie K. when I visit home. : )
Love, Kayci and Truitt
Christmas Morning - He received a talking Elmo!!
His new drum set that he LOVES
Truitt's first Mavs game. They came to town to play the Grizzlies. The mavs lost.
His new dance move. He waves his hands in the air, "like he just don't care"...
...and then freeze and point at daddy or mommy. SOOO cute!

Another Lil' Ross

I was already excited about 2009 because of some exciting things happening in life and ministry.

But now, nothing compares to the excitement of knowing that we are expecting another child in August. Kayci has been very sick with this one, so we've had many tell us that this will be a girl. Neither of us care...we just want something healthy.

The people of SVC were thrilled to hear the news yesterday. During my first sermon back in June, I told them that I expected the church to love my family. Over the past 8 months I have witnessed people pour their lives into my wife and son. I am thrilled to have another child who will be nurtured by a vibrant faith community.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

National Championship & MempHIS City

I like Tim Tebow, but being a Big XII guy, I will be pulling for OU.


The following was written by my good friend, and the director of Agape, David Jordan.

Dear Church Leaders,

Did you see the last page of the first section in the Commercial Appeal on Monday? It was rather striking and very disturbing to me. The Urban Child Institute of Memphis purchased this full page space and the first sentence for their article began with, “The rising number of children born to single mothers has helped push Memphis past the ‘tipping point.’” Attached is this article in 3 sections.

Here were some of the points noted in the attached article:

v 2008 saw 60% (or 3 out of 5) births in Shelby County to unwed mothers and fathers…an increase from previous years.

Of children born to single parents in Memphis…

Ø 2 out of 3 children will grow up in poverty.
Ø 1 out of 4 won’t graduate from high school
Ø 1 out of 10 will go to jail

As noted in this page-long article, “there has developed in Memphis an attitude of resignation about this issue and life style…” While my goal is not to be insensitive to single parents, as clearly many do unbelievable jobs in parenting, the fact and research continue to support how our city will not improve without significant focus, support and godly involvement in this area.

The “tipping point” is not just the unbelievably large number of children (9,000 of 15,000 in 2008) born to unwed parents, but possibly more so the resignation within most Christians that nothing can change this “reality” in Memphis. I just don’t believe it. I believe the Kingdom of God has a current and future reality that will not stand for this anymore, especially in Memphis!

I do not write to “demonize” these parents or their children. By no means. I write to us, the leaders of God’s people, who I believe MUST stand up and engage our city (and no longer leave it) and become Jesus incarnate in a life of someone(s) that will make the above statistics much less of a reality (if not eliminated altogether). We must view Memphis from a Kingdom perspective, not from what we typically hear and see…via newspaper, TV, friends, even our own experiences.

What if this really did become MempHIS City? What if the Kingdom of God did become a reality in Memphis (His reign in our hearts, souls and very beings)?

My fellow Church Leaders, I ask you to consider…

1. Praying about this and what it means to you and your congregation.
2. Feel free to call me and discuss and pray about it together. I do not profess to have answers, but God has clearly made this a part of my heartbeat.
3. Focus at least one of your sermons, classes, etc. (if not more) on these very matters and seek God’s heart for your congregation and flock.
4. Talk to me about our work with churches to assist them in being Jesus incarnate through transformative, personal relationships in the very community of your church…and in this city.

Blessings on each of you this New Year. I pray for the reign of God in Memphis and within our churches. I pray for MempHIS City.


Josh Hamilton has quickly become one of the greatest stories in all of sports.
If you want a good read, his book Beyond Belief is worth every page.
You can also watch his testimony at (A website that is full of testimonies of the grace, mercy, and power of God).

A few years back, Josh was drafted out of high school as the #1 pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was given a $4 million signing bonus. Not bad money for an 18-year-old. One week you are asking your parents for money to go to the prom...the next week you are buying your parents a house.

After a couple of years in the minor leagues, over 30 tattoos, and a few nagging injuries, the squeaky-clean Josh Hamilton who had never had a taste of alcohol and had never tried drugs, went out with a few guys one night...a night in which he had his first sip of beer and his first sniff of cocaine. He was hooked.

His addiction lasted 4 years and cost him over $600,000.

At one point in his book, he mentions that for all addicts, there is an 8-second-rule. Studies have shown that if you think a thought and allow the thought to stay in your mind over 8-seconds, then you are most likely going to act upon the thought.
Therefore, you have 8-seconds to allow God to "take captive every thought."

His story is one of brokenness, pain, and the power of God. Check it out!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

God Values Relationship

True or False: God values relationship more than obedience.

I have learned, and am still learning, that we can be obedient to most (if not all) of Scripture without it coming from a deep relationship with God.

To attempt obedience without a relationship is not in the will of God.

Would you agree?