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When I was a boy, my Mom drove me, my sister Theresa and my brother Rick into downtown Amarillo to see the movie "The Lovebug," by Walt Disney.

It is my earliest recollection of an indoor movie theater and I've loved the movies ever since.

I remember how 'drawn into' the story I was and how impressed I was that a car could have a personality and a life of it's it could love and desire to be loved.  If you've never seen the should rent it! 

Anyway, I was so impressed with that movie that my first car was a 1968 VW bug!  I loved that car, even though it was the second worst car I ever owned.  The worst car was a Buick Riviera that was built by the demons of hell and filled with gremlins.  I'm telling stayed in the shop more than an overworked mechanic! 

In hindsight, I've come to realize that many things in my life have been forever been touched the movies of Walt Disney.  I have such fond memories of the emotions they evoked within me then...and even now.

I remember crying my eyes out when Ol' Yellar had to be put down due to rabies or when Dumbo was crying for his mother or when Bambi's mother was shot by hunters.  I remember laughing out loud to Jungle Book, 101 Dalmations and Lady and the Tramp.

When my son Joshua was old enough to understand the theme of a movie, I bought Pinnochio on VHS and we watched it over and over.  It was such a great "Father and Son" moment.

We've watched so many Disney movies that we now play a game in the car where someone says, "I'm thinking of a Disney Character," and the rest of us try to guess who it is. Of all the places my kids desire to go for vacation...Disneyland and Disney World are always their first picks, even though they're teenagers now.

So...I just wanted to give a 'shout out' to Mr. Walt Disney for his vision, his talent and his skill of bringing such unforgettable memoires and love to pure entertainment.  Wouldn't it be great if we could all acheive something that touched so many in a good way?  Granted...he didn't cure cancer or eliminate hunger from the World...but he did bring us laughter and tears, and a remembrance that it's alright to feel.

I love you all,

1:46 pm cdt 



As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ...and as a Christian, I'm called upon by God to do something that is very everyone, including those who have the audacity to disagree with me. (tongue in cheek)

Now, I'm no different than anyone else in terms of having my own opinion on a variety of issues from politics to religion to society and culture.  However, I've learned that my opinions and views do not take priority over the issue of whether to love or not to love.  In fact, I'm called upon by Christ Himself, to "Love my enemies."  The definition of the word enemy is, "one that is antagonistic of another."  In other words...someone who disagrees.

As you probably know well, we live in a society and culture that is currently very divided.  Divided by what?  Strong opinions and beliefs.

Sadly, what seems so difficult for many people to realize is that each one of us views life through 'tunnel vision' and that fact alone, can keep us from seeing the truth...or even when we're being deceived for that matter.  There is simply no way for any one of us to know or understand the whole truth, while looking at life from our singular angle.

In other words, I've come to realize that I live my life looking through MY eyes alone and therefore find it hard at times to see another point of view that differs from my own.  That fact, in and of itself is not a sin...unless...I allow my own opinions to create enemies of those who don't share them.

As a minister, I'm often very saddened by the judgmentalism and sometimes...downright hatred, that is spewed from religious institutions toward those who do not share their world or spiritual view.  Having differences of opinion are fine...making enemies of those who don't share them is sinful.  Why?  Because it is difficult to walk in love with those you hate...even when commanded to do so.

The key then, is to give our own opinion the weight it truly deserves...which is "very little."  Only when we allow our own ego to step aside are we able to look beyond differences in peoples, thoughts and cultures, to find this single truth, "God is no respector of persons," and therefore loves us all the same.

It truly breaks my heart when I hear Christians (especially) bashing others who do not choose to live or embrace their views.  They seem to forget that Christianity is offered freely to everyone, but is not forced upon anyone.  To be angry with anyone or to hate anyone who does not believe or embrace our to completely miss the greater message of Christ, which is to love.

In many cases, it seems that Christians are terrified to accept and love someone who is different for fear that in doing so, we would somehow be embracing their views, philosophies or lifestyles.  Nothing is further from the truth and quite a sign of immaturity as a Christian rather than a badge of honor.

Now, I'm certainly not saying that this problem is unique to's not.  Hatred and divisive behaviors are evident in all aspects of society without a doubt.  But as a spokesman for Christianity, I would love to see us move toward a more gentle and loving people, rather than one that is so opinionated and even judgmental at times.

I admit, that I have many friends that hold opinions, ideas, and lifestyles that are very different from mine.  So did Jesus.  I've also learned that at the end of the day...that's ok.  I am secure enough in my own beliefs and thoughts, that I can love them without feeling threatened by them.

In truth...when all the layers of our opinions are torn away...we were all created by a loving God who values us greatly. 

My precious friends, please hear me.  I'm not trying to scold or correct anyone here.  I'm humbly and sincerely trying to remind us of this great truth: We are commanded to "Love our neighbor as ourselves," not to "defend our opinions to the death."  The world is full of enemies.  Let's be an example of how to be friends.

I love you all,


3:12 am cdt 



In one of the most famous stories about the life of Christ, He was led into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan.  For forty days and nights He was tempted mercilessly by the devil.

Having not eaten for those four-plus weeks and He was understandably very hungry.  Satan appears to Him and says, "If You are the Son of God, make these stones bread," to which Jesus replied, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

On the surface, this might not seem like a great temptation.  After all, we've all been hungry before...and without giving a thought to prayer or asking God for help, we go into the kitchen and raid the fridge or toss together a sandwich.  Simple...just man (or woman) meeting a basic need right?

In this case however, the temptation was very different.  What Satan was trying to get Jesus to do, was to rely upon His own strength, talent or power to meet a desperate need, rather than to depend solely upon God.  After Jesus rejects this temptation, the Angels came to Him and fed Him.

Believe it or not...this particular temptation is still one of the most frequently used devices of Satan against God's people.  Not 'turning stones into bread,' necessarily, but trying to get us to rely upon our own strength, intelligence, and abilities in order to achieve something we need. 

In one of the most powerful letters ever written, the Apostle Paul is expressing anger and fear that many of his fellow Christians in the Country of Galatia...had fallen hard for this temptation.  They had literally begun turning away from total faith and dependence upon God...replacing their faith with fleshly that are completely futile.

Satan's plan in all this is simple.  He knows that our human efforts are weak at best...and destined to fail.  If he can get us to move in our own power...he knows failure is certain.  He causes us to focus more on the "need" than on the "Supplier," which results in continued stress and increasing worry.  He causes us to go into 'panic-mode' where we desperately try to fix things ourselves or retreat into defeat and hopelessness.  He is a cruel enemy!

No where does Satan attack more in this area, than in finances and our salvation.

The Galatians were tempted to retreat into the Old Law in order to please the Jewish leaders of their day.  They suddenly began to fear their salvation depended more upon them...than upon Christ.  Paul warned them that doing so, would be to alienate Christ and His death on the Cross that relieved them from the Old Law.

Oftentimes, when we are faced with financial struggles and a horrible economy, we too can begin retreat into fear that if things don't change, we're gonna end up in deep trouble.  These fears are very real and can even cause us to do things we wouldn't normally do, like sell our house, move to a new place...etc.  Not that these things are always wrong...but they should never be done in panic mode.

It is during these times that we must remember that "God feeds the birds of the field," although none of them hold jobs, stocks or bonds, properties or have big retirement accounts.  In fact, Jesus spoke a great deal about God's love for us...and His ability to take care of us.  In short, Jesus was telling us, "No need to try and make bread out of stones, the Father has you covered!"

My prayer for us today, is that when Satan tempts us to turn away from the grace and power of God, toward our own strength and will...that we reject it as flatly as Jesus did.

I love you all,


12:09 am cdt 



At the end of the day on November the 4th...we...American's will have elected a new President.

Barring any unforseen tragedy or the End of the World...we will have elected Barack Obama or John McCain as our new leader for a four year term with hopes that better days are ahead.  Isn't that what every American prays for...hopes for and longs for every time we go to the polls?  That the next guy...or gal...will be able to get Congress moving to make positive steps to help us all?  It's what they promise anyway...and what we buy into everytime.  I still remain hopeful, although I tend to be a cynic where politians are concerned.

As I look back over the eight years of the Presidency of George W. Bush, there are things that I was pleased with...and things I wasn't pleased with at all.  I'm sure I would have felt the same had Al Gore been elected.  Those issues are my own personal political views and I won't bore you with them in this article. 

However, I have noticed that in the last eight years America has become a deeply divided Nation.  The debate over how best to live as American's has grown from fairly cordial shouting matches...hate-filled speech and even violence.  The political scene has really gotten ugly at times...with most people having an opinion and not afraid to voice it...nor are they afraid to hate those who disagree.  That division can ruin any Country...including ours if it continues.

Jesus made a profound observation one day saying, "A Nation divided against itself, cannot stand, but will be brought to ruin."  I agree.  We must as American's...find common ground again and save this Nation for our Children and grandchildren.  After all, division or unity are choices within our own power.

As I look back, trying to discover where America became so divided...I honestly think it was back in 2000 when the election was held up by a close tally, hanging 'chads, and the legal battles that led all the way to the Supreme Court.  American's became angry as some felt like the election had been stolen...while others felt angry that the defeated Party should accept the outcome and move on.

The fact that the outcome was determined by lawyers and Judges, instead of the voters...was bound to leave a dark cloud over any presidency...regardless of the eventual outcome.  I honestly believe that had Al Gore won, there would have been just as many "haters" as George Bush has had...merely because the way the election was decided...not simply because of the man.  Of course, that is mere speculation on my part.

My prayer for this election however is simple.  That whoever wins...wins, and that American's will accept the democratic form of government and free elections and get behind the winner...united.  If we as American's can do would force our politicians to work together to get something done for our Country.  At the end of the day...they work for us...right?  If they can't work together...and the shouting and division begins with can they expect American's to be any different?

We should be able to fire them if they don't.  Not after four years...but after one year.  Send em' big lifetime big speaking fees.  Fired! 

Maybe I'm a dreamer...but I have seen what Unity can produce.  I've also seen what division can do...and it's horrible and ugly.

Lastly, I once began a game of Monopoly with a guy who I knew had a temper.  He hated to lose.  When it became obvious that I was going to win, he literally picked up the Monopoly board and threw it across the room and stormed out.  Immaturity does that when it loses.  My precious's time American's grew up and matured enough, to cast our vote...and then support the majority it or not.  At the end of the day it's the way our government works...and it beats Communism and dictatorship, anyday.

I love you all,

5:48 am cdt 



Yesterday was the one day of the year I've come to accept as a day in which I am forced to do a personal evaluation of my life.  It was my birthday.  A very real reminder that the clock keeps ticking...and time does run out eventually.

There was a time when my birthdays were anticipated by me as a day when I would receive some very nice and kind attention...and maybe even a gift or two and some nice cards with well-wishes and a nice dinner and birthday cake.

For the last several years however, my birthday has become a time for me to reflect upon my life and ask myself some important questions.  The first being: am I contributing to others enough?  Is my life making a difference in the lives of others?  I'm so grateful the answer to that question is "yes."

I must admit, there was a time when such reflections were not based upon how I was doing with others, but rather upon what I was achieving on a personal level such as wages, titles and so forth.  Thankfully, I've outgrown that part of my life and tend to focus instead about how my life is influencing or helping others.

As I look back...I find that much of my life was wasted on personal pursuits that brought me little more than fleeting satisfaction.  I've performed music before crowds of thousands who cheered and stood at what I could accomplish musically, but that pales in comparison to the two phone calls I recieved from my brother and one from my sister...wishing me a Happy Birthday...or from two of my precious Aunts who phoned with birthday wishes.

In other Birthday today was celebrated with very few people...but people who I have invested my life in...and who return that investment with such loving reward.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this.  I've learned in my life that true success is found in the number of individual relationships that we invest our hearts into...not in the fame, wealth or personal glory that the World promotes so rampantly.  I can tell you without flinching...that I'd trade the most important title in the World or the best paying job in the World for the two hugs I got today from my two sons.

I was asked earlier this week, by my secretary, if I wanted to cancel all of my counseling appointments on my birthday so I could celebrate it without working.  I declined.  Instead, I spent my day working to help a precious young man on the verge of a painful divorce...a child who has problems with his thought processes...and a woman who is trying to find the right medications to help her long-term suffering.  All three were precious experiences for me...and in my opinion...a great way to spend one's birthday.

My evening was spent with family and friends, a nice dinner from Pizza Hut, and a store-bought cake.  I loved every second of the whole was perfect.

As anyone who is a member of our Church could tell you...I'm not a great leader.  Not in the sense that I can organize things well and generate huge numbers of people or offerings.  That's simply not my gift.  Without the help of would be a mess.

What most of those same members could also tell you is....I'm all about people.  In my heart, success as a pastor is measured in the personal investment I'm able to make into the lives of God's precious lambs...not in organizing or building a gigantic congregation through powerful leadership.  With all my heart, I wish I was terrific at both...but I'm simply not.

My heart is for love help at a the best of my ability.  Why?  Because a Carpenter's Son from Galilee did the same for me one day.  When I examine my accomplishments on my birthday...that's what I'm proud of.

Last night a dear friend, whom I known for many years...and have served with in the Church, gave me a wonderful birthday present.  She told me how her son...who's had a very difficult life, suffering with depression and drug abuse told her recently, "If it wasn't for Reydon, I'd be dead."  Those words were such a gift and reminded me what my life is really all about.

One day Jesus said, "If you lose your life for My sake, you'll find it."  He was right.  Life lived for "self" is so empty of real life.  A life dedicated to helping the true essence of life.  I learned how to give and love...through Him.  To echo my friends statement, "If it wasn't for Jesus, I'd be dead." 

I love you all,


1:33 am cdt 



"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."  Matthew 15:8-9

In this passage of scripture, Jesus has just had a long day and some of the religious people of the day were insulted at Him because His disciples sat down to eat bread, WITHOUT WASHING THEIR HANDS.  Imagine that.  A bunch of grimy fishermen, a tax-collector and the rest of the ragtag group failed to observe something religious, and now Jesus is being ridiculed for it.  According to those insulted...He broke tradition.  A big "no-no" in relgious circles then...and now.  Eek.

(Internet definition of the word: Tradition: A broad religious movement made up of religious denominations or church bodies that have a common history, customs, culture, and, to some extent, body of teachings.)

Let's face it...we all have traditions.  Sometimes this is a very good sitting together as a family and celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday with a dinner and warm conversation.  Othertimes however, tradition can become a religious demand made by man...rather than something instituted by God...and that is never good.

Growing up in a denomination, I soon became aware that if I were to fit in...I was going to have to identify and embrace as my own, the unique characteristics and 'traditions' of my denomination...or I wasn't going to fit in.  I soon learned all the "this is how WE do things around here," stuff and fell into least outwardly.

After I became and adult and began to read the Bible for myself, I found that many of the things I had been taught as biblical...were in fact, man-made traditions and not biblical at all.  At first I was angry that I had been taught such things...and especially angry when I felt like I had failed God when I wasn't able to keep one of these traditions.  Then I was my own fault. 

Reading and understanding the Bible for ourself is essential if we want to walk free of "unauthorized" traditions or rules that are man-made and meant to keep us in line with the social or cultural ideas of mankind, rather than walking in the peace and freedom of Jesus Christ.  If we just blindly accept as biblical...the teachings of mankind, it's nobody's fault but our own.  I don't mean that to sound's just true.

I remember going to a funeral a few years ago and the sacred rite of Communion was going to be given.  As the ministers prepared to serve communion an announcement was made that "if you are not a member of this congregation, we ask that you do not participate in communion."  It probably goes without saying...I was livid.

How could anyone keep the "Body and Blood" of Christ away from me...just because I haven't joined their man-made denomination?  I may not be the biggest tent in the campground, but I know a thing or two about God, and I know that the Gospel of Christ is offered freely to "whosoever will," and whether or not the world likes it...I fit into that category.

My first instinct was to say, "I don't care what they say, I'm taking communion."  Then I calmed down and realized that these men were just following orders...not from God...but from their own religious bosses.

That event made me think of the words of Jesus, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...if anyone will hear My voice and open the door I will come in..."  This denomination rewrote those words to say: "Behold I stand at the door and knock...if you can get past us might get to Him!"  I admit, they may not have written or said those words...but they might as well have.

I challenge each one of you to consider your notions and ideas about God.  Search your own beliefs to find out what things are actually of God...and which one's might be man-made traditions that you've embraced as your own.  I continually come face to face with my own and realize the end of the day...they will be 'plucked up.'

You see, Jesus told us, "What God did not plant will be plucked up...what He did plant, will remain."

My precious friends, there is a day coming when the traditions of man will be held up to the scutiny of God...and little will remain...if anything.

My prayer is that all Christians will do a little gardening of their own and get rid of anything that is not of God, or represses or keeps anyone from enjoying the freedom that comes with a relationship in Christ. 

Please don't misunderstand me...I'm not saying all religious traditions are wrong or unworthy of embracing as a personal lifestyle or philosophy.  I am saying that if they keep other people "out" or if they are taught as biblical...they are deceiving and that is wrong.

I'm always amazed when certain religious groups lay claim to the notion that their denomination is "the only way to God or to Heaven," especially in light of the fact that Jesus said, "No one can come to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME!"  Can they not see how enormously arrogant and self-absorbed that type of thinking and teaching can be?  To be's no wonder so many people are turned off to religion altogether with such overt expressions as those.

I long for the day when all Christianity returns to the simple faith that was born out of the life, death and resurrection of our Only founder...Jesus Christ.  He...without tradition...opened the doors of the Kingdom of God wide and made a broad and embracing invitation: "Come unto Me ALL who are weary and heavy laden...and I will give you rest."

I love you all,


3:48 pm cdt 

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