Monday, April 25, 2011

Music Monday

For Music Monday I typically post the song that has been in my head the most the past week.  This week is certainly no different.  This is a remix to a very familiar song by my good friends Jonathan & Michelle.  They are ridiculously creative!  I'll be surprised if the new words to this old song aren't stuck in your head!  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Love My Wife!

To help celebrate my wife Katy's birthday, here are the top 10 reasons I love my wife!

10.  I love her competitive nature.  She was the basketball player that dove for loose balls and never stopped hustling.  Just today she wanted to see if we could clean the bedroom during one commercial just to see if we could.  I love that!

9.  I love her simple nature.  Katy is the opposite of high maintenance.  She is so grateful for everything that she has and does not take anything for granted. 

8.  I love her financial discipline.  She does everything she can to save our family money and prepare for the future.  Whether its clipping coupons, buying generic brands, shopping at ROSS & TJ Max, keeping our family budget, or always splitting an entree at restaurants, she is putting her MBA to good use in our family.

7.  I love her encouragement.  Regardless of the situation, Katy always builds me up with her words.  She makes me feel more confident and know I am a better man because of her encouragement.  This isn't reserved just for me.  Katy writes encouraging notes, sends encouraging texts, makes encouraging calls, etc. to as many people as she can and it makes such a difference.

6.  I love her servant's heart.  Katy is always serving someone in some way.  She has an eye for it.  She naturally looks for ways that she can help people and does it without waiting to be asked.  I have never seen someone serve with such a positive attitude.
Courtesy of Michelle Meisner Photograpy

5.  I love her leadership.  I get the opportunity to see Katy to lead many college students at SNU.  She leads by example, always modeling the behavior she expects of her staff.  She is loving but firm, relaxed but serious, sweet but straight-forward.  I learn from her leadership.

4.  I love her followership.  Although Katy is very capable of doing everything on her own, she always follows me and supports my decisions as her husband.  We discuss everything and sometimes we agree to disagree.  Knowing that I have her support at the end of the day makes gives me so much confidence.

3.  I love her friendship.  Katy is my best friend but what I love more is the way she makes friend with others.  She knows everyone and loves meeting new people.  Spend 5 minutes with her and you have a friend for life. 

2.  I love her voice.  Katy always has a song in her heart and is constantly singing.  I love it when her voice wakes me up as she's practicing for singing on Sunday mornings.  Watching her lead worship with such passion makes me proud to be her husband.

1.  I love her relationship with Jesus.  Although I am her husband, I know that the #1 man in her life is Jesus Christ.  She is such a Godly woman that speaks life into people, serves, and loves as Jesus did.  As her husband I have the wonderful opportunity to watch Him work through her on a daily basis.  It is a marvelous thing!

There are so many other things I love about you Katy Bradley.  I'll save some for later.  I love you!

Two Hearts

The Chic Suite
To celebrate Katy's birthday, we went on a romantic getaway at the Two Hearts Inn located in Edmond, OK.  This was our first time to stay at a bed and breakfast and I must say it will not be the last.  The room was spectacular.  The breakfast was delicious.  The library of DVDs, quiet outdoor sitting area with swings, chocolate covered strawberries, jacuzzi, fireplace, complimentary tea from the Inspirations Tea Room, and the gracious hospitality of the hostess were all top notch. 

Delicious Breakfast!
The best part about this place was that it provided a quiet evening for relaxation, conversation, and restoration.  We left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.   We will definitely go back again and I recommend the Two Hearts Inn to any and everyone.

For more information, customer reviews, and photos check out their website

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Artwork

Video of Easter Artwork in Dallas

This is a great video of an artist describing his painting of Christ rising from the tomb.  Take a couple of minutes to check it out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's The Plan Stan?

I was in the gym the other day and my friend Andrew asked me what I was doing.  (Obviously I was working out but he was asking about my exercise routine.)  I briefly told him about the 4 week plan that I am currently doing from Men's Health Magazine.  Andrew said, "You're into plans aren't you?"  I quickly answered yes but I have been thinking about it ever since. 

I am into plans.  In my experience, plans work.  And even if plans don't work, you are probably better off than you would be without one.  I like workout plans because they remind me what to do everyday so that I can push myself to get better.  When the plan is over I am able to see its effectiveness based on my strength and endurance.  Without a workout plan, I would just go hang out in the gym and not get any stronger.

I like plans for other areas of my life. 

I have a plan for my finances (combo between Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki).  I have a plan for my education (read 2 books each month until I begin my PhD).  The purpose of this post is not to tell you about my plans but rather to say that I have learned that the old saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" is definitely true.  I have a plan for my marriage, career, health, life, future, and pretty much anything you can think of. 

Do my plans always work?  Absolutely not.  And when they don't, I simply check out the situation and make a new plan. 

Unfortunately, many people spend more time planning the wrong things. 
People spend more time planning their wedding than their marriage. 
People spend more time on the plans for their new house and than the plans for paying for it. 
People spend more time planning a week long vacation than they do the next 5 years of their life.  People spend more time planning a meal than they do planning their health.
People spend more time planning a toddler's birthday party that they won't remember than planning to develop their character, let alone their college fund.

Plans work.  What's your plan?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Music Monday

In honor of my wonderful sister-in-law Lauree, Ben Rector is this weeks feature on Music Monday.  She is seeing him in concert twice in one month (obsessed much?).  She left a CD in my car and I must say that I've been listening loudly ever since.  Here is a clip of his song called "The Beat". 
If you like what you hear, check him out on YouTube, iTunes, Twitter, etc...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daniel Fast

I just finished a 3 week Daniel Fast.  What is that you ask?  Fasting is going for a period of time without food.  Fasting has been around for thousands of years and is typically a religious practice.  Fasting is basically denying yourself physical nourishment in order to satisfy spiritual hunger.
Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. - Matthew 4:4
A Daniel Fast is based off of scripture that says Daniel (you know the guy in the lions' den) was mourning in the wilderness for three full weeks and ate no pleasant food, no meat, no wine, no sugar, no dairy, no potato chips, no coffee, no Dr. Pepper, etc... 
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. - Daniel 10:2, 3
This is my first experience of fasting (other than 24 hours) and it has been surprisingly wonderful.  I assumed I would pray, read my bible, serve, etc every time I was hungry.  I thought I would be starving for 3 weeks but that has not been the case.  The good thing about a Daniel fast is you can eat as much as you want so hunger hasn't been an issue.  However, there are times when I have been weak since I haven't been eating much protein.  It is in those times that I am reminded where my strength comes from.

My biggest struggle has been temptation.  There have been chocolate chip cookies, cups of coffee, Freddy's Frozen Custard, juicy hamburgers, and gigantic bowls of cereal seductively calling my name.  It is in those times I am reminded where I find true satisfaction.  

I don't have crazy explanations.  All I can say is this is the most I have felt God's presence in my life in a very long time.  My eyes have been reopened and I can see His work, His beauty, His grace, His love, in a way that I never have before.  I can sense a boldness that has been lacking and a strength that is not my own.

Do I think I feel this way because I changed my diet for 3 weeks?  No.  I believe it is due to a sacrificial pursuit of Jesus Christ.  Fasting does not make God love you more but it has made me love God more.  Fasting is not a magic formula for blessings to appear in your life but it has made me more aware of the many blessings I already have.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Matthew 5:6
Edible shoe made from fruits and vegetables.  :)

If you want to find out more about the Daniel fast check out

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's It Going To Take?

What is it going to take for you to make a change for the better?  

Are you going to wait until you get a doctor's diagnosis before you start exercising & eating healthy? 
Are you going to wait until you go bankrupt before you start living within your means? 
Are you going to wait until you get fired before you look for the job you really want? 
Are you going to wait for the divorce papers before you work on your marriage? 
Are you going to wait until the funeral before you apologize?
Are you going to wait until mandatory rehab before you face your addiction? 
Are you going to wait to get hurt again before you ask for help? 
Are you going to wait until you're good enough before you ask God to change your life? 

I mean I guess you could wait before you make the change.  Or you could save some heartache, pain, tears, and time and go ahead and make the change now. 

Why wait for good health, financial security, purpose, great marriage, freedom, safety, and Love when you can make the choices to change for the better today!