God Relationships Stories

My Ten Year Reunion

Cody M. Turns 25 today. Jonathan D. turns 25 on May 8th.
Cody, Eddo, and Jonathan in Austin at Kirby Lane 2005

I remember the first time I met Cody. His brother Travis introduced us and I immediately saw something special in him. He was like this lump of coal that was ready to be transformed into a diamond. He was very shy and I remember when I first started hanging out with him I remembered being annoyed because he didn’t talk much. Over the years we’ve grown so close that he, without even realizing it, had become like Prozac or Wellbutrin to me. Spending time with Cody is therapeutic time. He’s married now so I’ve had to start actually taking Prozac and Wellbutrin because I don’t get to see him as much as I would like. I’m like a parent whose child has grown up and started a job and a life of their own. I’m proud of him, but I miss him and the times when we use to sing while he played the guitar. Or when I would come home from work and he’d be lying on my couch watching TV.

Jonathan was just the opposite. From the moment we met we clicked. His personality is just like mine. We like cars and good food and martial arts movies. We have similar taste in clothes and when we are together we can have a good time having a deep conversation or just laughing at joke after joke after joke. Over the years I’ve got to watch him grow and make mistakes and extremely smart decisions.

Jonathan and Eddo in Austin – Cody is taking the picture. (2005)

It was in April of 1998 that I became a Denton Bible Hangar Leader. Close to 400 High School students and around 40 of us leaders and we had something extremely special – we had each other and the one thing that united all of us – God. For six years this group of kids was my life. I was in college and I didn’t take Wednesday night classes because that would mean I would miss “Heirborne”. Heirborne was the time when all of the students would come to the Hangar for church service. There would be great music and skits. Sometimes there was volleyball or barnswinging after. Upstairs there was a Slush Puppy machine. We would go on ski trips and to concerts. Sundays were packed with 2 church services and then Bible Study. It was an insanely busy time, but it was the best time of my life.

During that time I got to meet some of the best young men and women who are still my friends today. Cody, Dumas, Nathan, Josh, and Josh are my brothers, my friends and my teachers. Over the years I have been grateful and humbled to get to be part of their lives.

Cody and Dumas and Nathan are all married now. Nathan has a little boy on the way. They’ve grown up to be these amazing young men that I am very proud of. Josh and Josh are doing great as well, not married yet, but they are both still so young they have plenty of time for that.

When I graduated from High School we all talked about a 10 year reunion, but in reality who cares about High School reunions? What did you really accomplish in High School? For me my ten year reunion would be now, 10 years after I started to do something with my life that really mattered. 10 years of pouring into some young men and watching them do well. That is something I can always be proud of.

And Cody if you are reading this… Happy Birthday. I love you.  Thanks for so many good times. I hope to have many more.



Eddo on getting up early…

Nate: I have to get up at 5 a.m. to take Houston to the airport.

Eddo: If Houston had needed a ride to the airport at 5 a.m. I would have told him to call Max… Eddo doesn’t wake up before 6 AM for anyone but Jesus and so far he hasn’t needed a ride to the airport…

Culture God Relationships


For the past year I haven’t been going to church and I have loved it. I haven’t been reading my Bible because I didn’t want to. My whole life I have read my Bible “religiously” because that is what you are supposed to be as a Christian. Growing up our pastor used to say, “Get up early, get something addictive to drink and read the Bible for an hour.” In Bible study we would tell our students to read their Bible EVERY day and for most Christians we feel a twinge of guilt if we are not serving in some capacity, not tithing 10%, and not following at least the 10 commandments.

Being a Christian can be exhausting – that is if you follow what everyone else has to say instead of following you heart.

I pulled back from Church and from the Bible, but I don’t feel that I ever pulled away from God. I still prayed. I still knew he was there, he was and is still my rock and my foundation, but I just wasn’t “feelin” the routine and the rigidity and often times the condemnation that comes with being a Christian.

The Bible says, “There is therefore, now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

I decided that God doesn’t want me to be guilted into reading his word. I don’t spend time with my best friends out of guilt, I spend time with them because I enjoy their company and because I love them. I don’t do nice things for people so that I can get something in return, so I shouldn’t serve Christ because of what I can get.

So I decided to stop going to church for a while and see what God would do in my life. I enjoyed my Sundays off where I didn’t have to get dressed up and then go through the motions of smiling and making small talk.

I stepped back and re-evaluated why I was going to church. Why?

To be spiritually fed?
For Fellowship?
To be seen?
To make friends?
To meet my mate?
Because I am supposed to?
Because it’s what I’ve always done?
To worship?
To serve?

At one time or another all of the above reasons were true and I think part of the reason I stopped going was because Church started to feel like this machine that I thought I could hop into and it would solve all my problems.

The simple reality of life is that it is always going to be hard and you are always going to have problems. The Church is not a hospital for Christians, it is more like Boy Scouts of America where you learn to survive in this wilderness.

What I would like for my church to be is a place of refuge where I can go if I am hurting and perhaps maybe even get some long-term care. I remember when I needed to see a therapist and Denton Bible had outsourced that part of their ministry to a local Christian counselor. I had to pay $65 so that a therapist could tell me, incorrectly, that I had a pride issue. That was the basis of all my problems and many Christians problems for that matter. I was then given a worksheet to take home and work through before I came back for a second session. I never went back.

So today I went to church because it is Easter Sunday. Yesterday I had decided not to go. My parents hadn’t really planned anything for us to do as a family. I didn’t have anyone to go to church with and Easter Sunday just seems like a time when you should be going to church with at least some friends. I ended up going alone and enjoying myself immensely. I was going for me and because I wanted to spend time with Christ on this most important of days.

I went to Irving Bible Church and I love IBC because there is this feeling of refuge and warmth and love. I love it’s simplicity and the pastor Andy McQuitty who I got to spend a weekend with in Florida on a Song of Solomon trip. It was great to hear the wonderful praise and worship and to be in an environment where people were coming together to make a change not only in their own lives, but in the communities around them.

They gave a brief talk on and how they are changing the lives of Africans in Sudan by providing wells. This program has raised over 450,000 dollars so far and is providing fresh clean water to villages all around. It is a simple way to show the love of Jesus and that delights me.

Lately, I’ve been missing my Bible. I’ve missed hearing the truth of God’s word and it’s purifying quality that nourishes the soul. Christ died on the cross and then rose again after 3 days, but I feel like for the past few months I’ve been dead and now I’ve been resurrected.

God Stories

Business Analyst on the Supply Chain Project Execution Team

That title is my new title. I don’t discuss work on this site much because you never know what might be miscontstrued and used against you in a court of law. Everyone is so hyper-sensitive (or maybe only I am) that you can barely say Black or Mexican without checking yourself mentally as if you just said a curse word.

I applied for this internal position 3 weeks ago and when I finally got a call from my new boss saying that I got the job I felt like Simon Cowell had just told me that I was going to Hollywood. You see, this is the first time in my entire IT career that I feel like I have had an actual job that I could be proud of. Silly? Maybe. My former bosses would have told you that my previous roles were extremely important to the function of TI and I believe that they were, they just weren’t important to me. Where you work, what you choose to do with your life is like choosing a mate. You spend 40 hours a week there, often times much more than that and so shouldn’t you care about your work? Shouldn’t you look forward to going into the office? Shouldn’t you be proud of what you do?

I look around this world and I see people who have settled for “okay” instead of working for “Great”. We take the easy way out, we don’t buck the system, we are afraid to take risks. I’m at a point in my life where I can afford to take a few risks. I’ve accomplished so much more than I ever thought I was capable of and it has given me confidence to do so much more.

I plan to bust my arse in this new role to make my new boss proud. I am excited to be doing something that will be challenging and different from anything that I’ve ever done before. I thank God everyday for the small things in my life. I am grateful, each and every day for my house and my job and even my Honda Pilot. Those are material things and some may say they don’t matter, but for me there are some things in life that are foundational and allow you to build a life that allows you the opportunity to truly make a difference in this world. Sure, I could struggle and live meagerly, but God said in John 10:10 “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full” and so I decided to take him up on that offer.

What are you doing with your life?

Culture God Relationships

On Mormonism

Thursday night I invited Roger and Jes to try out this Indian restaurant in Plano that I love – Iravat. We gorged on so many delicious dishes that I cannot even begin to try to enumerate, spell, or adequately describe here and besides, that is not the point of this post.

Next door to Iravat is a large Asian market that is relatively new. It is clean and smells only mildly fishy (most Asian markets reek to high heaven of fish and other decaying animals). As we were about to walk in the door this Asian man stops us, “Can I ask you a question, it’s important.” I paused and so did Jes. Roger told us later that he would not have stopped if we hadn’t. “Do you mind telling me if you are religious and if so what religion are you?” I immediately piped up, “We’re Christians.” Assuming this was just an evangelist trying to reach Asian people I was delighted to see someone doing the Lord’s work. He then asked several other questions and in my mind I was thinking, “Okay, we said we were Christians now leave us alone or get to the point.”

I began to notice something blue in his arm and it looked like a book of Mormon with a large Asian symbol.  Then I noticed his badge said, “Elder Woo”. Ugh. A MORMON I thought with annoyance. Time and time again I have had mormon’s pop up in my life. Once when we were little a very popular girl named Becky befriended my sister and started pulling her in to the Mormon “faith”.  Later one day we had a couple of Mormon’s show up on our doorstep and after about an hour of talking in circles the only thing that I think we accomplished was wasting an hour of our lives.

Years have gone by and I haven’t really been around many Mormons, however, I read Dooce religiously and I see the affect that the Mormon religion has had on her life. It has not been a positive one. Religion, in any form, can be very oppressive. Christianity has often times been turned into a religion and there have been times that as a Christian I have felt oppressed, but this is not the will of God and if you truly study the Bible it says, “There is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

With Christianity there are no requirements other than faith in Jesus Christ and the belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. If you don’t believe that the Bible is true then you have no foundation for your faith and if you have no foundation then what do you have?

Roger surprised me with his patience and his intellectual and theological approach to Elder Woo’s probing questions. “From what I understand your teachings don’t teach the Trinity and that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are all the same… your faith teaches you that Jesus and Satan are bothers…” Back and forth they went and I said a prayer for Roger that he would have wisdom but in my mind I couldn’t help but have doubt. Doubt that Elder Woo was going to change his mind in just one night. For Mormons their faith is a way of life and I’d be willing to bet that Elder Woo was getting ready to take his 2 year stint as a Mormon missionary. It’s both admirable and despicable at the same time.

The Bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing and I believe that Mormon’s are wolves. Elder Woo was very genuine and when he spoke of his love for Jesus Christ I felt that he was more than sincere, however, how can you love Jesus Christ, read the Bible, interpret it’s teachings and still believe in the book of Mormon? Joseph Smith was only 14 or 15 years old when he supposedly received this inspired word of God that was an additional testament of Jesus Christ. Is the Bible not complete? How can this be? Doesn’t the book of Revelation say not to add or take away from the Bible?

I’m not a theologian, but I’ve read enough and seen enough to know that Mormonism is a trap and a lie. People like Heather Armstrong, who have left the Mormon church, not only seem to abhor Mormonism and everything that it stands for, but religion in general. It is worse for a person to be duped for a long time and to be in bondage to a set of rules than for them to have had no experience with religion at all.

But Christianity is different and unfortunately, Christians haven’t always made it seem that way. The church has often misrepresented Christ and instead of dealing with sin with love, it has used the truth as a cruel and blunt instrument beating people over the head with morality to the point that they want nothing to do with Christ.

Jesus is love, he loves us no matter our race, sexual orientation, or addiction. He loves us because we are his children.

After Thursday night I had a new respect for Roger. He dealt with Elder Woo with love when I wanted to react out of emotion and anger for all the lives that Mormonism has ruined.  Roger was kind and patient and perhaps planted seeds that my one day change Andrew Woo’s life where I would have probably been insensitive and harsh and perhaps even a little condescending.

Everyone, no matter what their beliefs, deserves to be treated with respect and like a human. I forget that sometimes. I get arrogant, I’m not forgiving. I’ve been working on that this year… Be more forgiving.

An interesting excerpt from a

Recovery from Mormonism

A site for those who are

Questioning their faith in the Mormon Church

And for those who need support

As they transition their lives to

a normal life.

We are not affiliated with any religion

and we do not advocate any religion

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