I've just returned from Texas.  My father has stage 4 colon cancer and is preparing to step in the arms of Jesus any moment.  I treasure the time with family during four trips there over the last year.  It really makes you stop and think about the things that are important.  Dad and Mom have modeled genuine Christianity to us all our lives.  I'm so grateful to the LORD who saw fit to bless me with parents who are the real deal.  They live what they say they believe.  They trust in God.  They love everyone the same.  They are truly quite remarkable.  It gets me thinking about priorities.  I'm determined more than ever to invest time in my teenage boys.  I don't get a second chance to live these years.  No do-overs!  I find myself lingering in prayer more, and listening to the LORD a lot.  I want to obey carefully.  A few years back I developed what I call life guiding principles to live by: pray meaningfully; read the Bible purposefully; obey carefullly.  These are my priorities.  It is remarkable the number of times that I have noticed, when I am careful to pay attention to my life guiding principles, it involves intentional acts of love and kindness toward my immediate nuclear family.

My parents, Bobbie Jean and James E. Howard
Pastors for 43 years