Overcomer – Elizabeth Gaddis

Want to introduce an overcomer –Elizabeth Gaddis



This past year was very tough for Elizabeth and her family.  She grew up at Second Baptist Church, and as a student in Highschool she started leading worship in the student ministry. She has really grown in her leading and as a true worshipper of Christ with her life.  As a worship leader she is one of the most authentic and amazing worshippers I’ve ever been around. I want to share her story of this past year, this truly is an amazing woman of God.


In August as she was away at school in Nashville she had to sit and watch Hurricane harvey wreak havoc on Houston, and her home.  These posts from her Instagram are heartbreaking.



After Harvey she had a serious bout with Anxiety and fought this for some time. She prayed and has worked hard to overcome this with prayer and scripture.

Vocal Rest

She then was diagnosed with cysts on her vocal chords, which has placed her on vocal rest for this past year. Will have to have surgery soon to get these cysts removed, with a long recovery.


Through everything she’s been through this year – she continues to worship with her life.  She knew that she would not be on stage leading music this year at camp, so she decided to come and lead a condo of girls.  Wanting to se

rve in any capacity she can!  Her heart is amazing for Christ, she doesn’t care about the lights or the stage. She cares about bringing glory to His name no matter where or what is happening in her life.  This is a picture of her worshipping from the crowd surrounded by the teenagers that she chose to pour into all week.

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Here is a song she wrote during Harvey –


I always thought I’d show my kids this room

I always thought that Gran’s piano would be tuned someday

And I’d sit on that bench and sing of things that always stay


Like baby pictures

And grandfather clocks

Favorite dishes

And old dusty college year books


These memories now rotten

Overnight they leave but aren’t forgotten

Oh how we will grieve these losses

Our baby pictures


I always thought I’d get to say goodbye

I always had this picture in my mind

Of how I’d walk down that hall without a single thing left behind


Like baby pictures

And grandfather clocks

Our favorite dishes

And old dusty college year books


These memories now rotten

Overnight they leave but aren’t forgotten

Oh how we will grieve these losses

Our baby pictures



Just breathe


Just breathe

It’s all being made alive






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.


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.

Scariest day yet as a father –

Scariest day yet as a father –

Jan 7th 2018 –

Our 16mth old daughter Copelyn had to go to an ER Clinic that morning due to high fever of 104. They released her and said she had an ear infection and told us we can pick up her RX and let her rest.

Erika takes her home while I am at church with our two other kids. She lays her down and then starts to hear some noises coming from Copelyn’s room. She goes in and Cope is not responding at all and is very limp. She then calls our friend Sherry (ER Nurse) and Sherry tells her to call 911 immediately!

At the same time this is happening we are on our way home from church & stop to pick up the RX. We get home and Erika runs out holding Copelyn and crying hysterically and tells me she’s not responding and she’s called 911.

I quickly get out of car and take Cope from Erika and have her run across the street to our neighbor who is a police officer – with no luck.

Copelyn is still not responding – as I’m holding her and praying over her our friend (Sherry, who Erika had called earlier) all of a sudden drives up and takes Cope from my arms and starts to work on her (I had no idea how she even knew where we lived or how she knew) I was in shock, but so thankful.

She then tells us to leave and she will watch our other kids as we drive to Texas Children’s Hospital before the ambulance arrives.

Copelyn is still very non responsive the whole drive with her eyes rolled back into her head. It’s a horrible feeling seeing her this way with your wife holding her crying.

We get to the hospital and they immediately start working on her and they tell us these are “febrile seizures.” She then has another seizure at the hospital – which was again horrible, but we were glad to be at the hospital when it happened. This seizure caused the ER team to run many tests.

All the blood work came back clear and after hours of being at the hospital they discharged us and asked us to watch her very closely. They asked us to work hard to keep the fever as low as possible to avoid anymore seizures.

As we have been home she is acting more normal, although her fever has gotten to as high as 105 again. We are praying over her and seeing progress in her.

These few days have been hard on us as we’ve seen our daughter in a way that we never want to see again. It’s truly horrible – although we are so thankful for all the prayers / hospital visits / friends, family and neighbors watching our other kids while we were with Copelyn.

I want to shed light on these febrile seizures.

These are absolutely horrible, but a little more common than we first expected.

This is the best link I can find on them. Please take time to learn about these Fever/Febrile Seizures.

7 Amazing Years!!!!

7 Amazing Years!!!!

I love my sweet wife so much!! She is an amazing wife, incredible mom and super hard worker. We have had an outstanding 7 Years together and I thank God for all of it.

We have had some fun times the last 7 years. So for the next few days I will share some of those fun memories right here.

Here is one of our favorites from a vacation we took 2 years ago.

Friends – 

Friends – 

This is a repost from my wife’s Blog. She’s an amazing writer, very proud of her.  

“It’s impossible to live the right life when you have the wrong friends.” Craig Groeschel
Friendships are always evolving, wouldn’t you agree? And not only are the relationships themselves evolving, our definition of what we would consider to be a friend evolves as well.
I can recall the types of “friends” I had during my teens and into my early twenties. Good heavens, can somebody feel me? Makes me grateful for that evolution I mentioned. Isn’t that season necessary though? It’s impossible to really appreciate a good friendship if you haven’t had a few shallow, one sided, selfish friendships to grow from. I feel like the Lord has taught me a lot in this area over the last six or seven years. Here’s where I’ve landed and the guidelines I try to stick to when it comes to my friendships.
It starts with you. The day I began looking inward, I was on my way to better friendships. Instead of approaching a friendship wondering what I could get out of it, I began looking for ways that I could contribute to the relationship. I began working toward being the type of friend I wanted in another person.
There is a necessary season of cutting ties to experience growth. This was painful for me. This was also the same time that the Lord was really working in my life in lots of areas. Pruning, if you will. It hurt. It was lonely. But oh, sister. How beautiful the growth it brought into my life. Growth and relationships I still benefit from today. There hasn’t been one thing that the Lord has asked me to lay down that I have looked back on and wished I hadn’t. NOT ONE.
Not everyone gets the free pass to be your friend. This is what you didn’t hear me say. I didn’t say not everyone deserves your respect or your kindness. And I didn’t say don’t be friendly. What I’m getting at here is filtering those that have access to your most precious, private spaces. Guarding your heart and using great wisdom and discernment when it comes to the people you allow in. I wholeheartedly believe that those we surround ourselves with are essential to the story we want to tell with our lives. Friendships are such a sweet, sweet, wonderful blessing. They possess the power to make or break us. Know your worth. For this reason I say, not everyone gets a free pass.

Not all friendships are created equal. What do I mean? There are different, but necessary, levels of friendships. Be ok with that. From your acquaintances, to your play-date park moms, women at the gym, women in your church, people you see daily, to narrowing the funnel down to the closest relationships you have. Your bestie for the restie! Yeah I said it. Different levels of friendships are ok, and in my opinion, very natural and healthy. You don’t have to divulge all to everyone. This is also a great place to practice wisdom when sharing your life.
Are you the problem? Is your life a revolving door of friends? Are you constantly “on the outs” with someone? Are you always, or frequently the victim? Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go? Do you always talk about yourself, rarely pausing to consider others? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m gonna break it to you gently. There’s about a 100% chance that you’re the problem. Begin to ask yourself what you can do to contribute to others lives instead of taking from it. A life lived all about ourselves isn’t much of a life at all. It takes some effort to learn how to give instead of always take. Be intentional.
Here’s what this all boils down to. You can have a lifetime of shallow friendships that come and go with the wind, or you can get vulnerable, do some self reflection and soul searching and gain real, deep, true friendships that will alter your definition of what a friend truly is. What story are you telling from the friends you choose? Might be time to make some hard decisions. Do it. You won’t be sorry.

Simple Invitation

Simple Invitation

I am very excited to share what God has been doing in our student ministry at Second Baptist Houston West Campus this year.

We have really focused this year on creating an environment that teenagers get excited to invite their friends to.  Both on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights at LIVE.

LIVE is our “Open Door” to our student ministry that happens on Wednesday nights.  We have created a space that students can invite their friends to, and can experience God in an amazing way.  We do this through worship; with Biblical teaching and a variety of music led with a full band.

The goal of the entire night is that God is glorified through all that we do, from the lighting cues during the walk in, to the final song they hear as they walk out.  We have worked hard to be excellent in every detail of the night.  We believe that the more prayed for and prepared we are for each night the more opportunities we have to see God move.

Each and every space that we have people come into we do an invitation for people to accept Christ for the first time.  Then we meet with each student as well as follow up with them and encourage them to take their first step in obedience to the Lord through baptism.

So far this year from October 1st we have seen 222 teenagers baptized on Wednesday nights & Sunday morning.  We also have an amazing summer camp called Beach Retreat that we saw 244 students baptized.


This year total evangelism Student ministry at Second Baptist Houston – West Campus since October 1st.

Junior High – 123 BR  – 137 outside Beach Retreat Camp
High School – 121 BR  – 85 outside Beach Retreat Camp

222 – Total Outside of Beach Retreat                                                                                                  244 – At Beach Retreat Summer Camp                                                                                           466 – Total Baptisms 

This is has been an amazing year so far, and it is all through the students inviting their friends to church and God changing their life.  Then those who accepted Christ and started to invite their friends and the ripple effect continuing on.

This video shows it perfectly, these are students from our ministry who have personally seen God work in their lives, through a simple invitation.




Response to Falling Short

Response to Falling Short

Have you ever been passionately heading in one direction, only to look up and be sorely off course, in a completely different place than you had originally planned? Often times, we set out to do something and we’re 100% in, we’re super excited and confident that we’re going to make it happen.  This could be a work opportunity, a moment in our relationship with our family, or even our walk with the Lord.  In the moment we feel as though everything is going great, then somehow, someway we realize that we are in a different place than we had originally planned.

We’ve been tripped up and there we are, on the ground staring up and wondering what in the world happened.

This is normal, although this is something that no one is talking about.  This is not the most popular Instagram post. People don’t tweet about how they’ve fallen or failed to be where they thought they should be. It’s not the most liked Facebook post.  People don’t want to admit or share that they’ve failed or fallen. Some just want their life to look perfect. When in reality, life is hard and people fall and experience pain.

The question is, what is our response? Some stay in the failure and in the pain, never getting up from the spot where they were tripped up.  The best response is to stand up and start running with all you have again!

Philippians 4.13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

In Philippians, Paul commands us and teaches us through his life. He shows us that we need to forget the past, and get up and GO! We need to strain onto what is AHEAD, and forget what is behind.

This video of my son is a perfect example of this. Yes it’s funny and it’s ok to laugh. I think it’s neat to see that he didn’t stay down and cry in his pain, and he didn’t allow the laughs of the other kids to stop him.  Notice how hard he was running, he got tripped up, but got back up and continued on to destroy the goal that he originally set out to get!  Then he jumps with all he has to where the other kids were sitting.  He was pumped that he crushed the reason he first started running.  Let’s stand up and start running again, start today!





Dad’s we HAVE GOT TO GET IT TOGETHER (to-get-her)!!!

Dad’s we HAVE GOT TO GET IT TOGETHER (to-get-her)!!!

When Emersyn and Ayler say Da-Da it is so amazing!

Emy and Dad

I love it when Emersyn my soon to be 4-year-old little girl- says Daddy, Daddio, or even DaDA. I love it! There is just something about hearing her say those words that will never get old.. (It did at times, when she was 1 and that is all she could say, example – Dada meant I’m hungry, tired, board, or more Mickey)

What being her dada does to me is makes me strive to be the best DADA I can for her…  Reminds me that I need to sacrifice things for her to spend time with her.   I need to get on the floor and play with her Ponies, her Anna and Elsa, twirl her in her princess dress, watch Sophia with her, go to daddy daughter events at her school and church, tell her she looks beautiful when she gets dressed on her own and looks like an unmatched Christmas tree with all the accessories.  I need to get off my phone when I am home with her, so she can see my eyes looking at her instead of the top of my head.  I need to take her on walks, dates, and just us to go to the park or pool.

Am I a perfect DaDa? No, but I am giving it my all.  I want her to know that I will always be here for her, I will always listen to her, I will always protect her, and I will always love her!

I want to encourage dads to please stop pouring into things that wont last and start pouring into your little girls.  They have always needed us and always will need us.  Right now in our world we as Christian Dads need to step it up. We must be spending time with them. Look at your time, where is it going? Is it work? Then take time off to spend with her, don’t look back on your time as a dada and wish you would have left work a little earlier, or didn’t answer that call, or turned the game off just to spend time with her.  Before you know it they will be out of the house and searching for a man who is similar to you, being the only example that she has seen..  What are you showing her?

Lets strive to be the best Dad we can!
When I talk to girls who are already grown, this is what they are thankful for…
     – They are not thankful for the house you got them
     – They are not thankful for how much money you made
     – They are not thankful for all the long hours you put in at work
     – Instead it was
               – Thanks for loving me so so much
               – Thanks for letting me interrupt you
               – Thanks for getting on the floor with me and playing
Here are some tips to continue to be an amazing father… 
1. Touch: Just like their moms, girls need to be hugged. All the time, Daily if possible..
     – Girls don’t understand when puberty hits that dads back off when they used to wrestle and hug a ton..
     – When dad is still hugging the younger kids and not the older girl.
                              – The girl feels like he doesn’t love her any more..
     – Lets continue to hug.
2. One on One time – Breakfast, lunch, dinner!
                              – Put it on your calendar and do it, don’t book something else over it..
3. Sweet cards, flowers, short prayers
4. The most important is conversation and asking questions (Girls feel abandoned by their dad when they are not verbal with them.)

Programing Simplicity

Programing Simplicity

I have found myself to be working to hard to “One Up” creative elements in worship at times.  I have felt the need to be super creative and to continue to push the limits on what can we do different each and every time we meet.  By doing this, it has caused me at times to actually be less creative and to do nothing at all.

During our Summer camp (Beach Retreat) we had a moment where we were looking for a creative element during one of our songs.  We couldn’t think of much until we said lets just read scripture.  This “Creative Element” was the most powerful thing all week long that we did.  It was the most simple and basic element and amazingly strong.  I learned a lot from that, the Word of God is the best and most creative thing there is, and we need to use it way more than we do…

Here is that element…