“Look!  I’m dad!  Go ‘Astros!!!  Boo the Jazz!!!”

Asher had gone all out – size 13 shoes, pants, button up shirt.  He even found an old pair of my glasses and my Astros hat.

And I wasn’t sure what to feel…

Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but when it’s someone you really care about you don’t feel flattered.  You start wondering if you are worthy of being imitated.  When you see someone literally trying to fill your shoes it’s a pretty humbling moment.

My favorite verse in the New Testament is 1 Corinthians 11:1.  The apostle Paul says to a struggling church – “Follow me, as I follow Christ”

Can I really say, “Follow me, and I will get you there”?

I know I can convince Asher to love the Astros and hate the Jazz…but will my example truly make Asher love Jesus with all his heart?

Our next series at Proximity Church was inspired, in part, by these questions.  We all have SOMEONE who is watching us.  We all have influence.  We all have people in our lives that don’t know Jesus, but they do know us.

Will our example get them CLOSER to God?

Our March series: “Hand-Me-Downs” will help us embrace that responsibility



How to Have a HAPPIER Marriage


Last Sunday at Proximity Church we shared some practical things any couple could do to have a HAPPIER marriage.  Whether you are doing great or hanging on by a thread, these tips would be beneficial…

Get in Shape!  

Take care of yourself!  Exchange the fatty foods for some veggies and get your daily cardio in.  Drink more water, get more sleep and take up an active hobby.  Not only will you feel better about yourself, but your spouse will find you more attractive…which is ALWAYS a win!  This applies to MUCH more than just the physical.  Our marriages improve when we take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally, relationally AND physically.

Speak the Love Language of your Spouse

Different people give/receive love in different ways.  Kristan, for example, will often show her love for me by picking up my clothes or doing the laundry.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t even register on my radar!  I’m a quality time guy.  Kristan knows that the best way to communicate love to me is just by hanging out and spending time with me.  I, on the other hand, have learned that flowers and candy don’t mean near as much as emptying the dishwasher.  Know your spouse!

Fake it Til You Make It

Love isn’t just a feeling.  Love is a discipline and a choice.  It’s the practice of extending patience, humility, kindness, etc to your spouse.  It’s consistently putting their needs ahead of your own needs.

Thank God it’s not just a feeling!  I love Kristan a lot, but if I’m honest I love me more.  That reality is the source of every minor conflict and disagreement we have ever had.  My insistence on getting what I want, doing what I want and being the person I want to be is the antithesis of LOVE.  The great thing is, despite feeling like life should always be about me, I can make the CHOICE to make it about her.

We have an incredible capacity for love…we just tend to show it towards ourselves!  The good news is that Jesus knew this about us and often said things like “Love others as you love yourselves”.   Instead of just challenging us to love others more, Jesus taught us to take everything we know we want give it to another.  Easy peasy!

One BIG Thing!

This is a fun one!  Think of one BIG thing to do for your spouse today.  Something out of the ordinary.  If you make the bed every day it doesn’t count…if you never make the bed it still doesn’t count b/c making the bed is an incredible waste of time!

Come up with something that will make them say WOW!  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Maybe it’s buying flowers at the grocery store.  Maybe it’s inviting your spouse on a walk around the block.  Maybe it’s offering a back rub without the expectation that it will be returned or lead to sex.  Just make sure it’s about them!

Then, try to outdo one another!  If she gets you a gift card to Starbucks….surprise her one day at work with lunch.  Make it a competition!


Seriously, we get married and have kids and completely forget HOW to go on dates!  Dates have become family meetings and strategy sessions.  Too often it becomes about kids, schedules, budgets, etc.  Remember your first date?  What did you talk about?  You wanted to get to know the other person.  Worse than awkward was to be BORING!

Go on a date with your spouse, but take some subjects off the table.  There’s a time and a place to discuss report cards and how well you are following the Financial Peace plan…but don’t pay a babysitter $50 to have that conversation.

There ya go.  On Sunday we had 10, but these are my top 5!  Hope they help.

Pencils! Pencils! Pencils!


Every Sunday, when we take up our offering, we invite people to write “NEMS” on our giving envelopes.  When we see those letters we know that $5 of whatever is inside is set apart to go towards BLESSING Northeast Guilford Middle School.

$5 may not seem like much, but it adds up and every little bit helps!

Last Sunday we were able to meet a need!

Two weeks ago we put up a sheet in the teachers lounge asking what we could provide for them to make their lives a little easier.  I learned that pencils are a pretty big deal!  I’m thinking there are some epic “Pencil Break” games going on at NEMS!  Whatever the reason, among other things, we were told that pencils would be a huge blessing.

So Erin, our incredible Children’s Director, asked me – “How much can we spend?  I want to go BIG!”.

She went big!

We are so thankful to be at Northeast Middle School.  They are a blessing to us and we hope to always be a blessing to them.

This won’t be the last time we go BIG for them!  If you would like to be a part of what we are doing for NEMS you can give here.  Just type “NEMS” in the comment section and $5 of your gift will be set apart for the school!


Nolan’s Paragraph

This kid.


This kid had to write a paragraph about someone he admired for overcoming adversity…

“The person I admire for overcoming adversity is Michael.  He works hard with his friend Erin to help people decide to know God more.  A fun fact about Erin is that she has a baby named Ruby.  The best part about Michael is that he is my dad”

Aaaand, just like that I get a big push of momentum to work a little harder.  If I can be half the man my son believes me to be I’ll be doing pretty well.  

What’s most important to me, however, is how well Nolan understands the WHY behind the WHAT.  He understands that I’m not working hard for personal gain, but that it’s all about helping others get closer to God.  This kid gets it!  

Oh – Nolan’s favorite part was how he hid the big reveal that “Michael” is his dad.  He was pretty proud of that!


Proximity Church: Celebrating 1st Month

I’m not sure when we stop aging kids by months and start using years, but it’s longer than I think it needs to be.

2 months?  Sure

13 months? Ok

22 months? Fine

Somewhere between 22 months and 25 months it starts getting weird.

“How old is your child?”

“Oh, he’s getting ready to turn 114 months.  We are having a party…his cake is big and has a lot of candles, it’s all VERY expensive”

Proximity Church is turning ONE MONTH!  I don’t know how long I’ll be counting the months, but right now I’m so thankful for this ride I’m celebrating every day.  Every now and then I swing by Cheesecakes by Alex and get a slice, put a candle in it and celebrate another day of Proximity Church!  Any excuse for cheesecake, right!

One month.  WOW!

We are celebrating a lot more than existing for four Sundays…

We are celebrating hard work 

There’s a guy on our team who ran his first marathon last year.  A year and a half ago I’m not sure he had ever run a mile in his life, but one day he made the decision to become a runner (on purpose, he wasn’t being chased or anything).  He ran when he felt like it.  He ran when he didn’t feel like it.  He ran when he was sick, tired, and on vacation.  He ran when there was 2 feet of snow on the ground.  The man had a goal, he worked hard and then ran that marathon and KILLED it!  There’s something really cool about working hard and achieving a goal.


Our team worked hard!  For over a year our incredible team prayed, gave time and gave financially (many decided to DOUBLE their monthly tithe to make Proximity happen).  This team sacrificed and poured in to see something special happen in Northeast Greensboro.  We celebrate that!

We celebrate that people show up!

Someone smarter than me told me, “We count everything.  We count cars because in every car is a person and every person has a story.  Counting cars is all about valuing the stories of people who are interacting with you”.  Man.  That really got me.

Every week that I see a guest share their Sunday with us I am so humbled and thankful.  Our prayer is that Proximity might be used by God to be a blessing and a benefit to their story.  I believe it will be.  We celebrate that!

We celebrate stories already changed.

Church is not easy for everyone.  It’s not easy for the person who hasn’t been in 20 years.  It’s not easy for the single mother wrangling her kids who are fighting her every step of the way.  It’s not easy for the person who has felt judged, rejected or ignored last time they tried a church.

We have people like that who call Proximity Church home.  We know it’s not easy.  We know that church has, in the past been hard and unappealing.  We CELEBRATE that you are finding your place at Proximity Church!

We celebrate lives changed!

Last week my youngest son decided to follow Jesus.  He’s the most recent of a number of people who have found LIFE in Jesus in the last month!  We began Proximity Church so that people could hear the Gospel and come closer to God.  It’s happening!

We celebrate that!

There’s a long way to go.  People often ask me how everything at Proximity is going right now.  It’s incredible!  Better than I could have dreamed.  It’s not always easy, but it was never supposed to be. It was just supposed to be worth it.

I hope you will join me in celebrating our FIRST MONTH!

It’s only the beginning!


Asher’s First Communion!

This kid. This kid had a BIG day!


Today (January 24, 2017) is the day that Asher decided to follow Jesus!

I’m so proud of this kid. He’s adventurous and stubborn in all the best ways. He lights up a room and has just an infectious personality.  I mean look at this picture:


What a kid.

So this Sunday at Proximity Church we are doing communion. Asher has ALWAYS wanted to take communion, but Kristan and I knew he wasn’t ready. We knew that, although he understood some of the Gospel and believed in God, it really wasn’t a faith of his own quite yet.  It was always hard, but we had him wait.

Today, however, we let him tell us about Jesus. Asher told us about creation. He told us about sin. He told us about Jesus dying so that others could go first. I like that.

We talked to him about how important it is to follow Jesus. It’s important when you are eight.  It’s just as important when you are eighty-eight. There’s no changing your mind. It’s gotta be everything.

He only had one big question: “Does the water have to be cold when I get baptized?”

I told him it does. It’s the only way we can be sure he really wants to do it!

I was already excited for Sunday, but this…this is going to be really special!



How Movies Taught Me to Get the Most out of Big Moments

Weddings are my favorite!

You don’t always see a big moment coming.  Those life-altering events often sneak up on us and seem pretty mundane at the time.

At the time I had no idea it was one of the biggest days of my life.  At the time, it was just Tuesday.  I was on my way to Western Civ and, on a whim, I decided to skip class and hang out with my roommate who was reading by the fountain on campus.  We hung out for a when a girl he knew walked up and joined us.  Eventually my roommate went to grab lunch.  Hours and two skipped classes later Kristan and I were still sitting on that same patch of grass….talking about life, laughing and each of us sharing old stories with the person we were going to be making new stories with for the rest of our lives.

At the time…it was just a Tuesday.  Who knew?


Other moments you see coming a mile away.

Weddings, for example, are the consensus BIG MOMENT.  Countless months and dozens of people all work together to make it as special as possible.

Then, in the blink of an eye it’s over and you stand there thinking, “Did I miss it?”

“It was a blur” is not the memory we want for our big moments.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


One of my favorite things to do when I perform a wedding ceremony is, right before we begin, I invite the couple to take a breath and look around the room.  It gives them a chance to enjoy the moment and not race through it.



Memento is a movie about a guy who has trouble remembering even the most important details.  It’s not enough to just enjoy the moment, but if we don’t actively work to hang onto the experience we will forget even the most special times.



Everyone knows to look for the big moments, but we let thousands of tiny little experiences pass by each day with barely a thought.  How many of our memories are those things that, at the time, seemed so small and insignificant.

Proximity Church will have it’s first service on 1-7-18!

That’s CLOSE!

Just like a wedding or the birth of a child we see it coming.  So we prepare and anticipate and even experience a little nervousness as the day approaches.

Then, on January 8th we are going to wake up and say, “Did I just miss it?”

I want us to enjoy that first Sunday as much as possible!  God is doing something great in Northeast Greensboro, but He’s also doing something great for US!  He invited US to be involved in this journey.  What a shame if we forget to enjoy it!

So…how can we make the most of our launch Sunday?

  1. Stop rushing around, press pause on the details, and look around at the experience itself and people we get to enjoy it with
  2. Intentionally work to remember everything!  The good and the bad will be cherished memories forever
  3. Don’t take anything for granted.  Setting up drape might be the thing we look back on in 20 years with the most fondness!

Yes…a big moment is coming!  We are blessed to see it coming.

Let’s make the most of it!


The “Type”

50 days!


It’s been a fun ride so far with some amazing travel companions.  God has brought (and is continuing to bring) quite the team together.  People who really want to experience something great & want others to experience it too.

People like Kenneth and Lewanne Norris.

This is a couple that didn’t expect to be starting a church at this stage in their lives.  I know!  They told me so!

“We’ve been in church a long time.  We grew up going to church, but we have NEVER done anything like this before.  It’s so exciting to be a part of what God is doing at Proximity Church!”  – Lewanne Norris

I wonder how many people miss out on the excitement of something like what God is doing at Proximity because they think it’s something that is only for a certain type of person.

In 50 days God’s going to do something special in Northeast Greensboro.  I believe He’s going to use Proximity Church for really great things.

I believe He’s going to use Kenneth and Lewanne for really great things.






Going Home

We are going home.

This Sunday, at 10:30 AM, our “Launch Team” will meet for the first time at Northeast Guilford Middle School to begin final preparations for our 1st Service on January 7, 2018.

(That’s January 7, 2017!  Click the link here to RSVP!)

Over the last year or so we have met in church basements, backyards and box seats at baseball games.  One of the most necessary qualities of a church planting team is FLEXIBILITY and the ability to go with the flow.  Our folks have it in droves!

That said, I’m ready to go home!

This Sunday everyone will get to see our space for the first time.  They will get to imagine our future and catch a glimpse of what God is going to do.

The most important thing we will do this Sunday is pray.

We thank God for Northeast Guilford Middle School and this Sunday we will spend our time praying for the Administration, teachers and students who are there every day.  We are going to pray that God would allow us to be a blessing to them as they have been a blessing to us.

And we are going to pray for our home…that it would feel like home for every guest that ever gives us the honor of visiting on a Sunday morning.




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Today is a very big day.

October 31, 2017 could very well be the day that the Houston Astros win their first ever World Series!  It’s not hyperbole to say I’ve waited my entire life for what is the most important game in franchise history.

It’s not just a game…

When Bregman hit that ball into left field yesterday I couldn’t help but jump and scream just like I did when I was seven…and seventeen…and twenty-seven.  I’m a thirty seven year old ADULT and I lose my mind watching the Astros in a way that I can’t even explain.

It’s so much more than a game.  It’s nostalgic.

Every hit, every run scored, every win brings back a memory…

Memories of the Astrodome with my grandfather.  We would walk up to the stadium and pay 6 bucks for the “cheap seats”.  He would tell me about the Colt .45’s while we watched Jose Cruz and Mike Scott from the rainbow seats.  Then, around the 5th inning, he would finally admit that the time was right to go sneak down to the lower level.

Sometimes we wouldn’t go to the game but we would sit and listen on the radio.  If the game ended with a win we would run out into the backyard and look to see if we could catch a glimpse of the fireworks shot off from outside the Dome.

My grandfather LOVED the Astros.  When we would play catch he would call out a players name to prompt me on what he was going to throw.  “Billy Hatcher” meant he was going to throw a pop fly.  “Bill Doran” meant I should prepare to dive because a hard ground ball was coming my way.  His mind was a steel trap of statistics and baseball history.  He could remember the batting averages of players from twenty years earlier as easily as he remembered my grandmothers birthday…maybe better 🙂  When his memory began to fade later in life it was like losing a library.

Then there was my dad.

I wasn’t all that close to my father, but there is nothing that says “father-son” like baseball.

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We had those moments.  I remember him buying me a glove.  I remember him tossing the ball around with me when I was younger.  I remember him getting so frustrated with the Astros that he would have to turn off the TV and walk outside.

Like father, like son I guess.

The last Astros game I saw in person was with my dad.

It’s funny, I think I’ve had more text messages and phone calls come in congratulating me today than I received when Nolan (named after Astro pitcher Nolan Ryan) was born.  Friends are telling me they are rooting for me as if it was me on the mound.

It’s nice.  I appreciate it.

But I haven’t missed Houston as much as I do right now in a long time.  It’s been 20 years and a baseball team has brought back memories in a way that is just silly.  Not baseball memories.  Over the last couple of weeks while the ‘Stros have been in the playoffs I haven’t been thinking about Bagwell’s funny batting stance or Biggio taking off his body armor after every walk.  I’m not reminiscing about Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt or the time that the Astros NO HIT the Yankees with six pitchers at Yankee stadium.

I’m thinking about my grandfather.  I’m thinking about my dad.  I’m thinking about going to hundreds of Astros games growing up with friends who are sitting around their televisions feeling the same childlike nervousness and anticipation that I’m feeling right now.

Today is a very big day.

Earn History.