Bigger Houses

Back in June of 2016, my wife and I moved our family into a bigger house. We our first home that we absolutely loved for the previous 11 years. Our first home was the first major decision we made as a married couple and the first real responsibility we took on as a team. It was the house we brought our 3 babies home to.  It is the place we met some of the families that have become our closest friends.  We celebrated many firsts and had some great times there; we’ve also cried and had some rough times there. We became connected to and grew to love our growing Sendera Ranch neighborhood. Ann and I both work in that same community, our kids go to school and play ball there, and I have a small business that has grown tremendously there. All this to say it was a gut-wrenching decision for us to leave.

The bigger house posed some significant changes and brought about some major challenges. There was to be more house to maintain, more yard to keep up with, and the obvious increase of financial requirements of a bigger home on a larger piece of property. A higher mortgage tagged with increased utility bills was a bit intimidating. Beyond the measurables, we knew that new relationships would have to be formed. As a pretty severe extrovert, this was exciting to me, but a bit more daunting to my more introverted wife and our three young children. I am writing not to express all the reasons why I regret the move; I certainly do not. I write this to explain why.

We came to a decision that we wanted to grow our family. Having made the decision to foster children, and eventually adopt, we knew we needed to stretch our family to allow room for growth. Despite being quite content in our first home, with our family as it was constructed, and in the financial position we were in, we knew the sacrifice was worth it. We needed more space if we were going to have more people in our family, plain and simple. There had to be more bedroom space, more living space, more room to spread out, and some room to grow. I guess you could say we weren’t moving into a bigger home for the people that lived there, we were building it for those that weren’t there yet. We have since had 3 beautiful foster children live with us for 8 months. After they went back to their family, we were able to have my dad move in with us. Basically, the bigger house has allowed us to do exactly what we hoped and prayed that it would! We have begun to build great relationships with new neighbors, our kids have made great new friends, and we are becoming part of a new community of people. As a bonus, we haven’t had to sacrifice our old relationships, friendships, and community connections. It was a bit of a stretch for us, and we have grown tremendously as a family as a result. It was a great decision for our family.

Today, our church (Fellowship of the Parks in Haslet) is in the middle of a building project that will basically give our church family a bigger house. As a church, we made the decision to do so for the same reasons, knowing we would face the same challenges as my family did. We decided to build a bigger house because we want to grow our family. Our decision was NOT that we wanted a bigger, newer building with nicer stuff in it for the people currently part of our church family. Our decision was based solely on the desire to grow our family. In other words, we aren’t building a bigger space for the people that are currently here, we are building it for those that are not here yet. We need many of the same things I did in a house. We need space for our new family members to sit, a little more living space, and of course some room for future growth. Of course, this comes with some financial commitments and some logistical challenges. The members of our current church “family” have had to stretch and deal with the growing pains already. But here is what we know: bringing new members into our family is worth it.

My prayer for FOTP in Haslet is that the experience will mimic what God has done in our home. I want new family members to find a home in our space; I want some old family members to come back to be with us; I want new relationships to be formed and new community to be found. For whatever reason you may be searching for a new home, we would love to be the place your family finds. As a family, we stepped out in faith asking God to grow our family, having no idea exactly who He would bring to us. As a church, we are doing the same. As a family, we were open to bringing in kids of any age, gender, religion, race, ethnicity or size. As a church, we are doing the same. As a family, we have been blessed for taking some chances and making some tough decisions. As a church, I fully expect the same.

Our vision as a church is a family for everyone. So please excuse our mess as we expand a bit to provide them a little space to move into.


As info, we plan to have our project completed in August 2018. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at


Chubby Trainers

If you have seen me recently, you may not believe this, but I spent 4 years working as a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness. I carried multiple certifications, received great continuing education, had access to top-of-the-line equipment and supplements, and worked with some incredibly educated and innovative fitness experts. I trained a great number of people for a countless number of hours, some of whom experienced life-changing results. I loved what I did and was passionate about the health and fitness of myself and others. I was by no means the best personal trainer out there, but I was pretty good at what I did and consider my time there very successful. All of this makes me wonder, what in the world has happened to me?!


This may or may not be what I looked like in my training days.


With all of my knowledge and experience, how have I gotten to be chubby and out of shape? I have not forgotten everything I learned, the basic physiology of the body has not changed in the last 15 years, and workout programs and gyms are more accessible now than ever (I know this because I just cancelled my membership at 24 Hour Fitness 6 months ago because they weren’t seeing me there enough.) Here is what I have figured out: my level of obedience to the knowledge that I have and the extent to which I take advantage of available options determine my success or failure. I don’t need more knowledge about fitness, I don’t need better gyms, the fad fitness tracker,  or the new miracle supplement. I need to DO the things that I know I should do and NOT DO the things I know I should not do. It really is that simple. If you or I focused on the 3 main truths of fitness and remained steadfast in our obedience to them, we would both be in pretty good shape fairly quickly.


I am pretty confident that this approach works for just about any aspect of life. Focus on the 3-5 basic concepts, be faithfully obedient to them, and you will see healthy progress. Once you have the critical things down pat, move on

The Main Thingto the more complicated things to get even better. Once you perfect the basics, then go after the trade secrets, the gadgets, deeper knowledge of your subject, the good-to-great little details. But always remember that the main things must always be the main things. Without them, the more complicated things become useless. Cars must always have wheels, a powertrain, and a chassis. Every baseball play comes down to some combination of throwing, catching, or hitting. Parenting can be boiled down to nurturing, discipline, loving and teaching.  I would argue that everything is simpler than we make it out to be. Here is a brief look at three areas where I think over-complication leads to neglect out of frustration. Unfortunately, in each of these areas, I have experience in being near both extremes!


Mr. Earl Crawley

Click the picture to read Mr. Crawley’s story.

As a young man with no real guidance in finance, I was extremely overwhelmed. I quickly found myself in the all too typical situation of being in debt with no savings and no real plan to change my status. Over the last 6 years or so, I have learned that being financially sound is pretty simple. (Note: I didn’t say rich, I said financially sound.) Financial success, no matter your income level, pretty much comes down to budgeting, saving, and staying out of debt. You can spend hours, weeks, and even months studying financial theories and strategies, but if you spend more than you make because you don’t budget, don’t take advantage of compound interest by saving, and pay interest on debts,  you will be broke. On the other hand, you can make $20k a year and be well prepared for retirement if you are diligent in your obedience to the simple truths. Need proof, read the story of Mr. Earl Crawley.


ANW femaleNot to discredit trainers, coaches, exercise gurus or dietitians, but there is no great secret to fitness. If you want to maintain or increase muscular strength, you have to do resistance training. To improve cardiac, pulmonary and circulatory performance, you have to challenge yourself with cardiovascular training. And weight loss/gain boils down to how many calories you take in versus how many you put out. Certainly, you need to get more intense and more complicated to become a CrossFit competitor or to win American Ninja Warrior. But the real difference between those guys and me is that they have an insane level of obedience to the 3 main things and I occasionally think about them in passing. That, and they are a little slimmer.


As a pastor, I hear from people often about “growing in their faith” or “spiritually maturing”.  My concern is that we tend to focus only on wanting more knowledge, a greater depth of understanding and more ways to practice our faith. These things are great, but I believe that spiritual growth comes from increasing you level of obedience. Rather than primarily seeking a greater understanding of the Bible and ensuring we do church the “right way”, I feel like we need to spend more of our time and efforts working on our obedience to the things that we do understand, the things that are made very clear to us, and the most well known Biblical truths. Aramaic BibleRather than debating gay marriage or arguing over what type of music should be played in churches, we should be focused on our commitment to those things that are non-negotiable. When asked, Jesus told us in Matthew 22 that the main things were to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. He went on to say that everything else hinged on that. Basically, without these 2 things, anything else is missing the point. Just like increasing physical or financial health, our spiritual well-being is determined by how obedient we are to the main truths that never change.

So, in order to preserve my theory, I will sum all of this up into 3 main things:

1) Always let the main things be the main things. 2) Do the things you should do, and don’t do the things you should not do. 3) Seek to increase you level of obedience, not just your level of knowledge or understanding.

I would love to hear your opinion on WHY we tend to miss the simple things in search of the complexities. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.