I had a "Giant Cavernous Aneurysm" behind my left eye. I went to Dallas for surgery and it was killed...however post op my eye is unresponsive. It is if I am looking out of a steamy shower door. Some days it is better than others. Please pray that my sight will be restored. God has been putting words on my heart that I feel I must put on paper. The following thoughts are those I feel that the Lord is speaking to me lately. Enjoy.

November 30, 2007


Hi! I am Tom Turkey
And I am feeling very bad
Because just yesterday I lost my dad
A few days ago I lost my brother
Tomorrow I am going to lose my mother.
I am running in the forest. Zoom,
There I go. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
I think they flung some led.
I am very big and plump.
I think I am dead.

Gabe Phillips

November 21, 2007

The Snow Globe

The splendor of living in a mountain town is the snowfall.

There is nothing more beautiful that the fresh flakes from Heaven slowly drifting quietly to the Earth. Unhurriedly, one by one, each individually crafted creation softly finds its’ way into the backdrop. The more they join together the more they change the surrounding scene. This is the tender side of snow.

The competing side of that beauty comes in the days that follow. Industry, pollution and cars quickly take their toll on the white landscape. Soon the white strips of covered roadways will heat up from the friction of passing cars, and will become watery and slushy. Puddles form making easy targets for cars to splash brown mud onto the roadways and sidewalks. What was the night before a scene of tranquility, solitude and peace has quickly turned into the hustle and bustle of industry and melting muck.

The blessing of the newness and the freshness of the virgin snow can quickly be tainted and soon forgotten.

Too often my life reflects this Creation amnesia.

Like a fresh snow, I am reminded of the grace that surrounds my life. I gaze into the eyes of my beautiful Godly wife and three precious boys and stand in awe of the One who trusted me with such incredible blessings. I look at my career and my church and my friends and find myself amazed with overwhelming gratefulness. I am surrounded with newness and a fresh awareness of my God’s love for me…that He saw fit to give someone so undeserving such an avalanche of blessings.

And, in the very next heartbeat, something happens. My world heats up and my snow begins to melt. Suddenly someone drives through a puddle, violently splashing mud into my otherwise protected snow globe. The beauty of the blessing disappears in an instant. I forget how richly blessed I was only moments before, although absolutely nothing changed. My wife is still beautiful and my boys are still amazing. My God has remained constant and close as ever.

It doesn’t take much mud to taint the beauty of a white fleck of snow.

My challenge is remain constant. I want to choose to feel blessed regardless of the weather. I want to choose to embrace the beauty in my life, without allowing events surrounding me to melt my snow. I want to learn to deflect the mud that is sure to splash my way. I long for the strength to withstand the pollution that can so quickly turn my snow to slush…because there is always something lurking, looking to invade my snow globe.

I believe that we serve a great Creator…a God of second chances. When things look still and feel stale, He grabs our snow globe and gently shakes it, stirring up a fresh glitter of snow to gently fall on us and remind us of His faithfulness.

My challenge to you is to stand firm, taking up your shield of faith. Protect with passion the world that God has intended for you.

Troubles will come. Hardships are on their way…be assured of that (see Job). But in the midst of trial, don’t allow your circumstances to muddy the truth of His blessing.

I just heard the forecast…the Weatherman is predicting snow!

November 07, 2007

True Worth is in the Adjectives

I felt like David in the land of the Giants.

I’ve never seen an assemblage of men this size. One by one, they walked single file by the open casket. One by one, each paid tribute to a man who changed their lives. Most of these giants shed tears. Many passed by with look of confusion, shaking their heads, wondering if this was really true. How could he be gone? Where had he gone…somewhere other than this earth? Watching from the 2nd row, I found that the gravity of the moment was overwhelming.

The sanctuary was filled with a virtual who’s who in the world of Dallas/ Fort Worth sports. Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers filled the seats. Whether their trade was football, baseball, coaching or ownership, they all came under one roof for the same purpose…to pay their final respects to an amazing man who changed their hearts, not just the world around them.

In order to assemble this kind of talent and fame, surely this man must have had his life described as “powerful, rich, good-looking, talented, driven and successful.” After all, that’s where true worth resides….right? The more of each that you posses the better off you are…right? Surprisingly, none of the thirteen people who eulogized their father and friend used any of those adjectives to describe John Webber. No, the man that packed out the church with the rich and famous was described much differently than that.

John was described as “a wonderful father and husband, a lover of God, faithful, passionate, full of integrity, a man with purpose, compassionate, servant-hearted, humble and simple.” This is what brought these giants to their knees? These are the words used to describe a man who affected such a diverse group of successful people? Yes. The most unlikely man had the most incredible impact on their lives. John was described as “colorblind and power blind.” It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, he would listen to you, give you a bear hug, look you in the eyes and tell you that he loved you.

Life can be summed up in the adjectives.

What words could be used to best describe you, and will describe you one day, when you move on from this life? Will they be words that will leave a legacy, or are they adjectives that only matter in the living years?

Each one of John’s five children touched on one of his resonant teachings…”Do not strive to be spectacular, but faithful.” John was faithful…first and foremost to his God, then to his family and lastly to others.

I sat amazed at the impact that this man had on so many diverse lives. I wondered what I am doing now that is leaving a legacy with my family and my friends. I wondered how often I find myself striving for adjectives that could describe accomplishments on earth, but yet have little to no eternal value. Unfortunately, too often. As I exited through the maze of giants in the lobby, I wondered whose life was forever changed because of what they witnessed today. I prayed that those who sat in that audience will live differently because their lives have been touched by such a simple man with a humble spirit. I know that I left a different man…and I’ve never met him.

It’s never too late to alter your adjectives. Live differently.

November 05, 2007

Live Like You Were Dying

“Bart, are you sure that there’s enough room for Carol and I to join you Monday night?” John asked. “Of course,” I replied. “Well then, I look forward to meeting you in person.”

I was honored. The former Chaplain of the Texas Rangers and the current Chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys and I had just spent 45 minutes on the phone together, forming what was to be a great partnership in reaching professional athletes and their families.

That was the last time I spoke to John…forever. John Webber died shortly after of our conversation Thursday morning. For all I know, our conversation might have been his last.

The eagerness in his voice didn’t sound like death was near. To the contrary, he sounded full of life. John left our conversation to work out at the YMCA, and after swimming some laps at the pool, he simply collapsed into the arms of his Savior.

The day after the Monday night event, John asked me to join former Dallas Cowboys Chad Hennings, Russell Maryland and John Gesek to share their testimonies at a luncheon in Dallas. Coming too was legendary sports announcer Pat Summerall, who would be there to share how his encounter with Jesus Christ had changed his life. But earlier tonight I found out that I needed to change my appointment on Tuesday from a luncheon to a funeral. The brevity of life overwhelms me.

His life’s work here on Earth is done…but the prize of his life’s work is only beginning. With tears in my eyes I wonder who was there in Heaven to greet John. How many lives that went before him were there because he took the time to listen and care? How many more will join him someday because he worked tirelessly to help broken people heal?

Take a moment to reflect on the brevity of life.

What’s it all for? Why are you here on this tiny blue Planet? What will it all mean when you, like John, breathe your last?

Did you provide a warm house for your family? Hard work and labor are a gift from God, but not at the expense of leading your family into the richness of a deeper knowledge and appreciation of God.

Did you fill your children’s tummies with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and get them to their soccer games on time? A caring mother is a blessing. But a mother who teaches the love of Christ to her children, leaves a legacy far beyond. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” to your children…no matter how bad it may sound.

I challenge all of us to live out the commands that God gives in Deuteronomy 6:

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Take every opportunity to share with your children and to your world about the importance and the real meaning of life. It’s so much more than who you were or what you accumulated…because in the end, none of that mattered to John. It’s about your relationship with a great God, who wants to encounter you right where you are…no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. It’s about a God who wants to give you life worth living…not just on the other side of death, but here on Earth as well.

To borrow lyrics from the great poet Tim McGraw, “And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying. Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about what’d you do with it what did you do with it what did I do with it what would I do with it? Live like you were dying.”

I pray that we will embrace life for what it really is…temporary. It only took John Webber 59 years to reach his ultimate prize…looking into the eyes of his Creator to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” God only knows how many years it will take you.

Live today like it’s your last. Love today like it’s your last. Live purposefully.

November 01, 2007

They're Off to see The Wizard!

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