Jesus is Just Another April Fools without a Resurrection

There has only been one religious leader in history that was predicted to die, predicted to rise again and then did so. Jesus Christ.

All of the others remain in their graves; Mohammed, Buddha, Gandhi, Confucius, Zoroaster, Zeus, Apollo, on and on I could go. All are dead…just bones. Lifeless and worthless.

But Jesus overcame death and lives today.

It’s funny how the world today hates Jesus and his followers. Just as He predicted they would by the way in John 15:18 when He told his disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”.

Boy do they! The spike in angst and hate towards those of us that believe in the name of Jesus is once again something that sets Jesus apart from the rest. When was the last time you heard someone rant and rave about Buddha or Gandhi or even Mohammed and his crazy followers? It just doesn’t happen. The world seems to embrace all of those but runs from even mentioning the name Jesus. A great example is the recent Disney movie “A Wrinkle In Time” staring Oprah (who in the past has claimed to be a Christian) when throughout the movie they characters referenced powerful quotes from past philosophical and religious leaders. Not one quote from Jesus, the one with the biggest following in the history of mankind. Go figure.

Why does the world embrace and celebrate the others but have gag reflex when it comes to Jesus? Because they are lifeless and dead. They aren’t a threat and because in their mind there is no accountability for their deeds, good or bad. They can live howsoever they choose.

Jesus didn’t say He was “one of the ways to get to God”. He didn’t say “I can help you get to God”. No Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” in John 14:6.

Now you know why He is hated.

They key to all of this however, is the resurrection. Without it He too is still dead and His words just become neat little phrases to share and live by. Him rising from the dead however changes everything. For everyone.

Lee Strobel, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a graduate of Yale Law School, wrote “The Case for Christ” among some other investigative writings about Jesus. Lee had formerly been an atheist and was compelled by his wife’s conversion to evangelical Christianity to refute the key Christian claims about Jesus.

What he learned changed his life forever. He too now believes.

I could spend hours breaking down facts about the resurrection…including historical witness and testimonies to the fact and scientific research that emboldens the idea. But in the end, it must be accepted by faith. Paul says in Ephesians 5:28, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

And that step is one that every person on the planet will one day face. What did you do with Jesus? Think about standing before God one day and being asked that. You might should have the right answer…

For the most part the world chooses to hate Him. Others hold Him at a distance as a “good man….part of our history”, and still others do choose to believe with many risking their lives to do so.

Without the resurrection Jesus would be just another April Fools. With it, those who don’t believe are foolish for not. It is a game changer.

Believe in Him today and let Him change your life from the inside out. He will.

Then you too will know the power of the resurrection.

And that’s no April Fools.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

(c) 2018

No Bones About It

 

 

There Was Jesus & Then There was Grandma Kat

Few lives have ever been lived like that of Kathrine Barton Speers. And few people have ever lived life like she did. We knew her as “Grandma Kat” and other than Jesus Himself, there just wasn’t another better as a person than her. 26231332_10156099620522491_4142823876318054010_n

She was the Fruits of the Spirit. All of them. She made the Ten Commandments and 1 Corinthians 13 look like a walk in the park. Talk about a constant witness for God…She was selfless, loving, caring, patient, kind and best of all very, very funny.

Born on January 23, 1923, and spending most of her life in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, she ended her earthly journey and received her eternal reward on January 12, 2018; this close to 95 years of a life few can ever imagine. She is survived by her daughters Linda and Janet and her youngest son Troy. Her family included four children, seven grandkids and nine great grandkids. Her husband of over 60 years, Jack Speers, passed away in 2004 and her oldest son, Charles Jack Speers, passed away in 2017.

There are so many stories to share when someone has walked the earth for almost 95 years. So many experiences. She has lived through and seen the Great Depression, World War II, watched the space race and then a man landing on the moon…the growth of color TV and automobiles, the invention of air conditioning, color cameras, cell phones and the Internet. She has watched Cowboys Super Bowls (remember those), the assassination of a President, the impeachment of another President, the Civil Rights Movement and the rise and fall of the USSR.

19 Presidents took office while she was alive. We have only had 43 of them! They included: Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. She was around to see the rise of rock music, Elvis, the Beatles, and even the works of Michael Jackson. Her decades included the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s 90s, 00s and 10s.

I could go on for days thinking of all the things that her eyes have witnessed. In a nutshell, she lived a long, long, long time and she never waivered in who she was.

Despite all of those, she would be the first to tell you that the best thing she experienced in all of those years was finding Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She spent her life learning who He was, learning to live as He lived and doing all she could to share His love with those around her.

She made it her mission to ensure that our family was united and close. She made sure everyone got the change to her God’s word and did all she could to keep us all in line. She understood the importance of living this life to the fullest while preparing for the life to come. She was this close to Jesus on a daily basis and few Bibles have had more pages turned.

There aren’t enough pages to write all she meant to us as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Whoever comes in second place as “Grandma’s of the Century” will be a distant 2nd. She took us fishing, played countless games of “Sorry” with us and back in the day learned how to beat us in Atari followed by Nintendo. She made the best homemade dinner rolls ever (some of you have had them) and I will never forget all those summers my sister and I got to spend with my cousins at “the farm” in Ennis, TX. Her and Papa made my childhood a dream. Even as a great grandma to my four kids, she left a mark in their lives and it won’t be the same without her there. I guess we are going to have buy and do a puzzle each year as a family in her honor…

She was truly one of a kind and the world has lost another important piece of what is still called “the greatest generation that ever lived”. She grew her own food, took care of a husband, four kids and a farm. She sewed her own clothes and up until these last few years hand made quilts by hand, something few even know how to do anymore.

My dad even caught her trying to climb up into a tree with a water hose during a drought filled summer…she was 90 when she tried doing that. She broke her arm in her late 80s and drove herself to the ER, without calling a single person because she didn’t want to “bother anyone”.

This was my grandma. Always saying yes, always smiling and always making those around her happy. Her pastor told me the day she died, “I don’t know what we are going to do without her. She meant so much to our church family.” At 94 she was still hosting class parties, serving in the church every Sunday and never missed a chance to help. She was the life of the party.

On one of those last days, I was able to grab a few minutes with her in the hospital alone. I kissed her on the forehead with tears running down my cheeks and rubbed my hands through her beautiful white hair. I said “you were the greatest Grandma a little boy could ever have”. She smiled with tears of sadness and joy in her eyes as we both realized she would soon step over to the other side. She told me she couldn’t wait to see my Grandpa and my dad again. What a reunion that must have been just a few days later!

My heart breaks thinking about how many things are now going to change without her around. It just won’t be the same. She was the cog for many wheels. A very large empty chair can be overwhelming to think about. But she has won her race and passed the torch to us to carry on and that we must. Even if we only fill one of her shoes, we will have made her happy as she watches us from above.

One of her favorite songs was “I’ll Fly Away”. Some of her grandkids sang it to her at Christmas just a few weeks before she died. It has these words…

Some bright morning when this life is over….I’ll fly away
To that home on God’s celestial shore….I’ll fly away

I’ll fly away, oh glory….I’ll fly away in the morning
When I die, Hallelujah by and by….I’ll fly away

Fitting that she died on a bright, sunny morning. I couldn’t help but think that was just a little reward from Heaven of a job well done….for a life lived like few ever have.

Love you Grandma.

 

Zane’s Day with the Judge

One of the neat procedural things done during the adoption process is meeting with the local judge to make it all “official” and “final”. This means the child can take the families last name and the journey is officially done.

For Zane that took place today as we made our way to the county courthouse and met with the judge who signed off on it all. It wasn’t a necessary step, but like with Quinn, we wanted to participate in this part of the process.

I know one day we will look back on these moments and cherish them even more than we do now. Dad was watching in spirit as this neat moment took place. Life is too short to miss it for us still here.

God is good all the time and all the time, God is good. Now we press on.

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Astros Dodgers. This time it’s for all the marbles.

I will never forget the Astros Dodgers National League series in 1986. My family and I sat and watched as our beloved team made their first run at the pennant. It was incredible and all of us cried when it was over. We got that close.

It was 2005, nearly 20 years later before we finally made it to the World Series. Only to get swept by the Whitesox in four. Julie and I were there and happy to experience it.

But this team is different. We are watching something that could be years in the making. The talent, pitching and the chemistry. It is all there. Only the hated team from LA stands in the way and man are they good.

Maybe this will be the year we win it all. For my dad.

Let’s do this!

One Year Later….All Is Good

Today marked the one year anniversary of Zane being home. Forever.

It is hard to believe how fast the year went and what an amazing ride it has been. It has been hard. Harder in some ways than we expected. But he has done amazing! He is growing every day and learning by leaps and bounds. The little guy has a mind of his own sometimes but he is adjusting and making progress day by day.

We are blessed to be his forever family and as we settle even more into this new normal, we are happy with where things are. We are a blessed family of six!

God is good!

The Legacy of My Dad

Every life that is lived is followed by a legacy that remains. It can’t be voided and it can’t be erased. It’s there forever for all to see.

In his 71 years, CJ Speers left a legacy few even realized and most won’t be able to repeat. He was born in Dallas to my grandparents, Jack and Kathrine Speers. He was the oldest of four, sisters Sudie and Janet, and brother Troy. After graduating from Grand Prairie High School, he was the first in the family to graduate from college after attending Letourneau University where he eventually ran into a beautiful young woman named Fern. They fell in love over some King’s Pizza and soon got married and she later became my mom. The groundwork of his legacy was laid…and as Paul Harvey, one of his favorites used to say, soon you will “know the rest of the story”.

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My dad probably never spent one second thinking about the word “legacy”. I know he didn’t sit down and right out annual goals or even consciously think about how he could improve on his legacy each and every day. He just wasn’t that kind of person.

Rather, he simply went out there each day and treated people with kindness, gentleness, and love with a caring, servants’ heart. He did what came naturally and tried to be like Christ to everyone he came across.

If I took the time to write out all of the amazing things my dad did for people and what he meant to them, I’d probably be writing until my own memorial service was being planned. He was just that kind of man and touched so many lives, the way Jesus said to…one at a time.

I can’t tell you how many times he left at the drop of a hat to go help someone fix something, move something, or install something. He was the handyman of all handymen. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t repair, build or do. He managed and led an engineering department, fixed cars at night and at one point nearly single handedly built a church building from the ground up. He was a true servant. Most don’t even know he played the organ for multiple churches, ran the sound system at another, mowed the grounds and did anything and everything he could to repair things and keep the buildings in order. He visited many in the hospital and didn’t hesitate to stop and pray with mom and about anyone that needed it. This was all on top of being a husband and a father giving my sister and I one of the greatest childhoods anyone has ever had.

He was dad to me. He was daddy to my sister. He was “poppy” to my kids and “poppy” to hers. He was just CJ to many and he was “Honey” to just one. But there is no doubt he will forever be a hero to us all.

There are so many things I will forever cherish about my father. The times watching the Cowboys on Sundays after church. The dozens of times he took me across Houston to watch the Astros play and driving home late listening to Milo Hamilton call the game when we left early. He wasn’t the sports fanatic I am but he did it because he loved me. The times we ate lunch together at Wyatt’s Cafeteria, Harvey’s BBQ, or Pizza Inn. The times we worked on cars together at night after work. The times we drove to work together in the summer of 1989 listening to Paul Harvey and getting me hooked forever on talk radio.

He introduced me to conservative politics and sports. He was my biggest cheerleader along with mom and countless times helped me in business when times were tough. And of course he was also just a phone call away when it came to something I needed to figure out or do around house. Lately we talked nearly every day and now I wish I could have just one more. In many ways he was still my security blanket even as I had my own family and myself closing in on 50 years old.

These last few years dad got weaker and weaker but his faith never wavered. He knew what mattered most and we talked about it a few times as it became reality that his life here would be coming to an end. He gave me incredible advice on loving my wife and charged me to take care of both my mom and my grandma. I was honored and I will. His last words to me were “Love you Brady” as I walked out of his hospital room not knowing the next morning he would be in Glory. Oh how blessed I was.

The biggest legacy my dad left us all was making sure my sister and I knew Jesus. He made it possible and was the biggest example of God’s love a kid could ever have. He wasn’t a Jesus freak either. He was just CJ…real, honest and genuine.

In his last words to my kids, he told them, as he struggled to stay awake and breathe….”the most important thing is your relationship to Jesus”.

When it is all said and done, none of the things the world tells us creates a legacy are true. In 100 years, everyone reading this will be dead and gone and none of this worldly pain, suffering, drama or violence will even matter. We will all soon find ourselves facing our own mortality and being asked this one most important question; What did you do with Jesus?

See everyone reading this has a relationship with Jesus. Everyone. You are either his adversary or you are his ally. You either believe in him or you don’t. The Bible says in Philippians 2:10-11 that every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. That means me. That means you and it has nothing to do with whether you believe or not.

Dad wanted everyone to know God. He knew that knowing and living for Jesus was the best legacy a man could ever give his family.

You might think just going to church here and there or just saying you believe in Jesus makes you a Christian and gives you assurance of being in heaven when you die. But it doesn’t and I want you to hear this loud and clear. The Bible says that you must do three simple things to be saved.

  1. You must recognize that you aren’t perfect and that you have sinned.
  2. You must recognize that you need a savior to make you holy so you can enter into heaven and
  3. Finally, you must pray with words from your mouth…to God …that you believe Jesus died for your sins, rose from the dead and ask him into your heart.

Romans 10:9 makes it clear… “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

It’s not just about believing this in your head. It is about knowing it in your heart.

It would sound something like this: “Jesus, I know that I have screwed up and I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead for me. Please come into my life and save me. I believe in you. Amen.”

It’s that simple. So do it. Now. Do it…for yourself, your family and for my dad.

If there was anything my dad would ask of each of you it would be to make sure you too can one day enter into heaven so he can see you again.

Now that’s a legacy we all can celebrate.

(Dad, it’s all I can do to stop the tears. I miss you. I always will. But thank you so much for making sure I knew Jesus. Tell Papa and the others I said hi. I will see you soon!)

Entrepreneurs Are Their Own Breed

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 25 years now. It’s not easy. It’s late nights of planning, taking risks, putting it all on the line, with no assurance of success.

Many people get stuck in the rut of working 9-5 for someone else and sometimes even I have to admit I wonder if I had just taken that road if life might have been a little less complicated. Let someone else take the risk, spend the money, deal with attorneys and mean people, and stay up at night worrying.

But I wouldn’t trade it.

I might not be rich financially, but the time I have had to spend with my loved ones and enjoy the journey of life as a business owner has made it all worth it.

If you are on your own small business journey, hand in there. It can happen and if you let go and let God take control (Proverbs 16:3) you can find success too!

Tony Romo or Dak Prescott?

In a year that has seen the Cubs win the World Series and Donald J Trump become our next President, it’s only fitting that Jerry Jones would once again strike gold with the accidental find of new rookie QB Dak Prescott.

Mid way point in the year and and  he is 7-1 and has the team in first place in the NFC as he took over at the start of the season for often injured Tony Romo.  He is confident, poised, skilled and smart. He plays better than most veteran NFL quarterbacks….as a rookie. DakAttack. TouchDak. Dak to the Future…I could go on and on. He’s grabbed everyone’s heart and support.

In a recent Facebook poll, most of my friends made it clear – Dak or Romo? Dak. No doubt about it.

Now there is no doubt I have been an avid Romo supporter his entire career and would love to see what he could do if fully healthy with THIS team. But most importantly, I have been a Cowboys team fan since I was a kid. QBs will come and go but the team will always remain and the magic taking place with this team right now simply cannot be messed with.

Combined with amazing rookie running back Zeke Elliott, veteran Jason Witten, star Dez Bryant and the rest things are looking up for my team finally.

It’s our year and maybe Dak will be the first rookie quarterback to take his team to the SuperBowl and win it all?

No need for mojo here. I’m calling it.

Go Cowboys.

Is This the Next Generation of Cowboys?

It’s been an amazing start to the year for my Dallas Cowboys. Romo got hurt in pre-season and I worried it was already over before it started.

But over the last five weeks we have gotten to taste what Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott are going to bring to the table and man does it look at taste good!

I have been a huge Romo fan forever, and still am, but sitting here at 5-1, without Romo and even without Dez Bryant, I am starting to think that the new era may have already begun. What these two are doing behind this amazing offensive line is unreal.

Jerry Jones has a huge decision to make. Romo appears ready to roll and rumor is he is looking awesome in practice. But how do you stop what’s going on now to get him back in there?

I believe Romo deserves his chance at a ring and his chance to pay with a team like this. Zeke is unreal and this offensive line finally has it figured out.

Once Dez comes back here in a few weeks, we could be seeing the beginning of the next wave of Boys to cheer on; Dak, Dez and Zeke. Dak broke Tom Brady’s no-interceptions to start a career NFL record last year and Zeke broke the NFL rookie rushing record of five games with 100+ yards last week at well.

This is gonna be fun…but is it over for Romo?

Either way, it’s an amazing problem to have that Jerry Jones accidently walked into by drafting Dak!

Zane’s Two Week Report

Everything will be a first for our family from this point forward. Family of six and Zane is a superhero. That’s how I would describe the first two weeks home in simple terms. Everything we feared, and I mean everything, was taken care of by the Lord. It has been amazing.

In his first two weeks, he has met nearly everyone and seems to be a real people person. He has played like mad outside with the local kids and even been to his group at church and school co-op. It’s like he just took over the “slot” in the family destined for him. He has had his moments of sadness to be expected, but he has been happy, talkative and downright fun! We got an email from his foster mom too which was exciting.

We have gone out to eat a bunch, been shopping, gone to his first Rangers game, met his Grandma Kat,  started taking baths and brushing his teeth, watched his first Cowboys game, been to the State Fair, and life has been pretty normal. He slept with us for a while but now he is sleeping upstairs already with his brother. He has gotten into eating some new things, learning some English and enjoying some Pororo time on YouTube too. He’s really an easy kid and listens well too. We have set some boundaries he has likely never had and it has been fantastic. He is a joy!

He turned four and we had our first birthday bash too and that was fun. We are quickly become a true family. He has even bonded well with me and the kids and starting to come around with Julie too. It’s just been amazing!