Category Archives: My Family

Kennady Update Aug20, 2013



Robin and I haven’t posted since Kennady got home from the hospital during her last stay because the pace of life right now, feels similar to the pace of an avalanche at your back while skiing straight down a hill.

Kennady made it home and recovered great after her baclofen pump was implanted.

Approximately 1 month out from the surgery, she got an infection in her site which ultimately resolved on it’s own.

10 days ago (2 weeks after the last infection healed up) Kennady’s incision on her back, developed a red raised spot on it.  This grew over the week and then the redness spread to the front of her belly and incisions.

I took her in to the E.R. on Saturday knowing that we were most likely not leaving until we got some antibiotics, at a minimum.

Low and behold, she was admitted.

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Final Thoughts for Vernon Steele

I was asked to close and pray at the funeral service for my grandfather, Vernon Steele.  Here is what I said:

death there is a natural tendency to remember the good times, the endearing qualities.  We thank God for this tendency.  We think of the smiles and the lessons learned, the protection and provision of a man like Vernon Steele.  Wow, no one like that.  Strong as an ox, creative, inventor, craftsman, lover of classical music and Mercedes Benz.  Not sure I ever heard him explain anything with such love as his collection of Mercedes.

However, our mind sometimes wanders to other moments when times were tough.  We want to wrap things up and put a bow on someone’s life.  I have been doing funerals officially for ten years and it is a struggle for anyone.  Now, I have been asked to be the final speaker for Vernon Steele and then say a prayer.

I just want to say that every time Vernon showed us his humanity and brokenness. Every time we were faced with a situation where we tried to make excuses or say that is just the way he is… Jesus Christ was dying for Vernon.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

In the midst of us trying to make sense and make wrong pieces fit, the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses and make right.  Jesus makes all things well.  We rejoice in the reconciliation of all things.  We serve a Jesus that doesn’t give up on something that is broken but endures the cross so that we are FREE!

Let’s pray:

Lord, we are grateful today that we have been blessed a husband, father, grandfather, friend.  We are thankful for his life and all of the values passed down.  I pray that the Holy Ghost empowers my grandmother to seize this season of life.  That she experience peace that passes all understanding.  That she feel strength in her body, soul, and spirit. That each son, daughter, grandchild, and EVERY ‘in-law’ would bond like never before. I pray for unity and a kindred spirit to permeate every relationship.  Lord, may we BE the body of Christ on earth that you have called us to be.  We are needing you. We desire you. We call on you today to give us YOU. That is all we need. In Jesus name, and EVERYBODY say “AMEN”!

Why Do We Watch Movies?

animated_slideMy thoughts on Movies

We are currently in a sermon series where we are using animated movies as parables.  We are taking the storyline and seeing how it can be used to preach the gospel and illustrating where the storyline deviates from the authentic message of scripture.  Why?  Why not just stick to other storylines?  Well, millions of people are shaped by movies. Movies seems to be the mainstream voice of the culture today.  Instead of just ‘preaching against’ movies, I think it is very eye-opening to see ‘innocent’ movies picked apart and illustrate how the message makes a difference.  The biggest risk is that we take the message of redemption (almost all box office hits are stories of redemption) from movies and apply them to scriptures.  We often get a tainted or skewed picture of Jesus’ gospel if we use modern cultures version of redemption.

Here are some bulleted thoughts I have on watching movies:

  • Movies can cause us to sin immediately. Porn and even mainstream movies could lead to you to actual/literal sin.
  • Movies show us what we are entertained by.  You can step back from a movie and say, “that disgusted me. I don’t want to watch that type of movie.”  You can step back and say I liked to be entertained by that. Wholesome movies are encouraging.  However, it should be convicting to you if the entertainment came from activities that nailed Jesus to the cross.  In other words, if you are entertained (amused or thrilled) by sinful activities, then that reveals where your heart might be or might be headed…a bad place.
  • Movies can show us the gospel AND what is not the gospel if we go into the viewing with a firm grip on what the gospel really is.  We can be entertained and at the same time learn and distinguish what is correct and not correct about the storyline of the movie.

How do I determine what movie I will watch?

Erica and I have set up boundaries to help our movie watching decisions.  It is laborious to review movies one by one and find out if the movie will violate our conscious or cause us to sin.  It is a waste of time/money to begin watching a movie that disgusts us and we eventually turn it off or leave the theater (we go to theaters some).  A very easy way to get a quick, easy review is  This website reviews movies on 3 criteria: sexual content, violence/gore, and language.  It gives a number rating for each of these categories.  Depending on your background and culture, you should determine what movies are appropriate for you and your family. As for our house hold, our general max rating in these categories are: sexual content 3, violence/gore 7, and Language 4.  There are exceptions to these boundaries on rare occations.  For example, sometimes we watch movies for educational purposes in order to learn a sub-culture.  We have to sit through things mostly language and violence that we wouldn’t normally sit through.  An example of this would be: The Passion of the Christ.

What are your thoughts? How do you determine what you watch?

Blogging Update

Hello Peeps,

I have over 600 posts on this blog and it is a great place for me to post on my life and church stuff.  However, since February 2012, my wife and I have launched a ministry specifically dealing with our life with Kennady (our daughter born with severe special needs).  Ever since that time, I have blogged very little here on

I will always keep this site going and will post from time to time.  The most recent stuff on this blog is in the “Leader’s Resources” tab above.  I have been posting leadership and general church stuff in that area for your reference.  I intend to post more videos and resources from what we are doing at PromiseLand.  Hopefully, you will get some benefit and be able to apply some of it to your scenario.  I am very interested in helping other pastors and leaders.  If you are in need of general or specific help in your ministry or church, please comment below and we can connect.

Most of the daily or current blogging centered around my life and personal experience will now happen at  We would love for you to join the conversation over there.

My Thoughts on “Big Joe”

For the last 25 years, I have had another family.  The Ross Family.  The 90s was our strongest decade.  On any given weekend, we spent Friday and Saturday night together. Through youth groups, school events, double dates. Seven different houses from 290 West to 79 east. 3 neighborhoods, a ranch, a farm, a high-rise condo, and an apartment in the 183 ghetto where we were concerned for our life.  We took trips from Las Vegas to Santa Fe to the Caribbean.

I spent a lot of time with Big Joe, Glenda, Joe, Kimberly Jo, Kelly Jo, and Jeffrey Jo and all the pets with Joe derivatives. I feel like I should be an honorary “Joe”.

The one place that I remember the most, no matter the house or the neighborhood, was Saturday morning around the breakfast table.  Joe and Glenda cooking homemade pancakes, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, fruit, coffee, and orange juice.   Let me just say when it came to eating…The Ross family didn’t mess around.

There was so much life in that house.  Laughing, running, talking, teasing, hitting each other, praying together.  Each member of the family have such strong personalities and unique character.   Entrepreneurial spirit, the life of the party, beauty (honestly, the Ross’ are some of the best looking people I know), hard working, creative.

Each characteristic was represented at the breakfast table with it’s own agenda and potency that left alone would overpower.  However, when the atmosphere got too hectic, there was one who could say one sentence and bring peace and balance to the mix.  Big Joe would have enough of Jeff or Kelly or whoever and in his own simple way would bring a balance to the force.  He was like a conductor at a symphony.  He was so good at keeping the rhythm, that the family worked well together. Complimented one another.

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