Engagement Pictures

Engagement Pictures

Engagement PictureAs I scroll through my social media feed I am very encouraged  to see powerful photos of life happening!  Some of the best are the pictures of a family photo session, as they are all laughing and looking right into the eyes of their loved ones.  Love seeing a father  holding their kid high in the air as their precious kid is smiling looking into their fathers eyes.  A newly engaged couple doing an engagement photo shoot is almost always a joyful session.  As the newly engaged couples looking intently into each others

View More: http://kristenbrookephotography.pass.us/padgett-fameyes, showing the excitement about their life together.  These pictures are so captivating because it is rare to see this in our everyday life outside of social media.

The engagement pictures that are starting to really stick out to me are the ones where we are totally disengaged from life.  The ones where we walk into a restaurant and their is a family and each kid has an iPad with headphones on while the parents are on the phones at same time, and no one is talking or smiling.  When kids are trying to get the parents attention and we are on our phones and we “can’t hear them.”  When people walk all around with their heads down not engaging with anyone. them Disengaged

I am not saying I have this figured out, but it is something that I do work on and try to engage with people as much as I can.  I find this to be very fun and exciting to see the reaction of people when you start to actually talk to them.  I believe that for us to be as effective as we can for Christ, this is a way to open the door to someones heart.  Since we are called to we make a difference in this life then we need to engage others face to face.

Breakfast

People are not prepared for you to talk to them, they don’t know what to do when you are in an elevator with them and they are starring down at their phone, and you ask them how they are doing?

When your waiting in line at the coffee shop or grocery store and you have a conversation with the people in line.  You never know what will happen when we start to engage with the people God puts in our path, or even our own family.  When you look at the engagement pictures of people without devices vs the ones with devices look how much happier they look.  It truly is heartbreaking at times to see so many people missing what is around them for the device in front of them.

There is no doubt that we need human interaction.  Not only could this change someones day for the better, it could change their life for eternity.   I challenge you to leave your phone in your pocket or at your house and go out into the world and have some real engagement.

Erika = Bold = Woman of God = My wife!

Erika = Bold = Woman of God = My wife!
bold
bōld/
adjective
  1. 1.
    (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Most people know my wife as a mommy,  as “Michael’s wife,” the girl who does Crossfit, or the lady who sits in the back of the room when Michael is preaching.  All of these things are true, but what no one knows is her passion for Jesus and for others meeting Him.

I have seen her grow so much in the last 7 years of marriage, but nothing like what I have seen God do in her life this year.  She has formed a passion for our entire neighborhood – meeting, knowing and inviting all of our neighbors over to our house.  When someone moves in, she is greeting them and introducing herself to them.  She has formed amazing friendships with people from her Crossfit Gym and loved on many of them in so many ways.  She reads the Word to our kids in the morning daily.  I could go on and on about this amazing women of God.

One of the most powerful things I have every seen her do happened this past Sunday.  As I was on Instagram and I saw a dear friend of ours had posted about Erika.  Erika and I had been talking all day and she not once mentioned this moment she had in church that morning.  So, completely blown away I came out of our room and said “Uhhh Hellllo, you were not going to tell me about this?” She said “Oh yea, it was awesome.”

So many times we sit in church and go through the motions, if you read the post from Bailey, you see that Erika didn’t just sit and let things happen.  She heard, she moved, and God used her!  God is continuing to form in my wife boldness –showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. She is as real as they come and changes lives daily without telling, posting or bragging about any of it.  I am challenged by her daily, and love her so much!

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In His Presence

In His Presence
As Erika and I have been praying over sweet Copelyn the song “In His Presence” by Elevation Worship just continues to be so true for us.
We all will have days or seasons that are very difficult for us, we at times may feel very alone, scared and helpless.  At those times is when we need to be remembered that we are in His Presence
In His Presence – 
Here I lay my burdens down
Lose my worries in Your love
Casting every care on You
I have carried them enough
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
When the world becomes too much
Near the cross I will remain
Until every fear is stilled
At the mention of Your name
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
Mercy is falling, falling
Lift up your hands receive it now
Here in the presence of the Lord
Mercy is falling, falling
Lift up your hands receive it now
Here in the presence of the Lord
I know your past is broken
You can move on it’s over now
Here in the presence of the Lord
I know your past is broken
You can move on it’s over now
Here in

 

Secularizing our own children…

Secularizing our own children…

Erika and I were just talking about this the other day. We at times are giving our kids to many choices – Choices of what to wear, choices of what to eat, choices of where they want to go and so on.

This is a great clip from Matt Chandler on the dangers of giving kids to many choices, and living in a “Jesus is Lord…But” mentality.

We need to stop blaming colleges and high schools for secularizing kids and look into how we are leading in our own homes.

Back FLOP..

Back FLOP..

The student ministry team @secondstudentswest decided to shoot a music video. Zach decided to randomly attempt to do a backflip. He landed it…With his face.

This is a reminder to all – we are not as young as we think we are. Be safe and stop attempting backflips in rap videos.

Zach was not injured and neither was his face.

Erika Freaked me out

The original post right here –

http://Erikabh.com – Erika is an amazing writer – check her stuff out there.

My wife called me and this is what she said was happening.

There are a few reasons why I want to share an experience I had yesterday, so bear with me.

Around noon I arrived home with my youngest. As I was getting her out of the car, I noticed an older gentlemen standing in the middle of my street looking at me. Unfortunately, I’m very skeptical and leery of most people. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but that’s just the world we live in today. So with my eyes peeled I watched as I continued to unload the car. A few minutes passed and he was still standing in the same place. He appeared to be very cold, and his demeanor was very none threatening. Honestly, he looked like a little boy who was lost. I began to pray, “Lord, I’m about to make a decision here, help me to be wise and careful.” I never want to do anything that puts myself in danger, but more importantly, I now have a one year old in my house sleeping that I would do anything to protect. At this point I’m on very high alert. I approached him and asked him if there was anything I could help him with. Immediately, I had peace. The man was clearly ill, and couldn’t give me any information about himself. No id, he couldn’t give me any phone numbers, nothing. He said, “I’m so sorry, I’m lost and I can’t remember how I got here. Where am I?” I told him, “You’re in Katy Texas, where do you live?” “McClellan. They just dropped me off. I don’t know why I’m here.” Oh heavens, I thought! What am I supposed to do with this man? So, I loaded him up and drove him to the local police department. The entire time praying “Lord, I have absolutely no clue how to help this person, please help.” We arrived at the police station and I gave them all the information I had. His name was Armondo, and he was seventy-four years old, and he lived in McClellan Texas. That was it. We sat with the deputy for quite some time trying to pull all the information out of him that we could together. As this was happening his son called the police department looking for him! What a relief. We learned that Armondo has Dementia and is, in fact, from McClellan. He is here visiting his son only two doors down from me. I also learned that he doesn’t sleep at night. He paces and talks. His sweet wife stays up with him most nights, and when she went in to take a short nap yesterday, he got out of the house. I don’t know a lot about Dementia, but for a small part of my day yesterday, I got a front row seat. I waited with Armondo for his son and wife to come pick him up. When I got in my car to head home, I lost it. It absolutely broke my heart. Here is the reason I’m even sharing this. Not to say look how nice I am because any of you would’ve done the exact same thing, so don’t let me fool you, I’m not that nice of a person. My point is, this happened two doors from my house. A mere fifty yards from my front door. We can’t fathom the things that people are going through all around us, right in our back yards! People’s realities even just a house over could potentially be very grim day in and day out. There is potential EVERYWHERE to reach out and love on someone. This was an eye opener for me. Armando needed my help yesterday, but he helped me in a way I didn’t even realize I needed. I want to be more aware of those around me, especially in my neighborhood. Same could go for you. Be aware and intentional about getting to know those around you, and allow the Lord to use you to really bless some people by just being a smiling face or a listening ear!