Young man sitting relaxing and enjoying the view from dock

Lately it feels as though you’re doing a tightrope dance with the devil himself. He seduces you like an angel of light in one ear and shames you for all your failures in the other.  Your life feels, even smells like a sulfurous war zone and it sure seems as though the casualties are piling up.  But in the quake and the fury, there’s one and only one thing you need to know…

God’s got this.  All you have to do is trust Him.  And say “thank you.”


Like a broken cash register, your money drawer only seems to open when it time to shell it out to somebody else.  From disaster salesmen to debt collectors, everybody’s standing with an outstretched hand.  There’s always another reason to fret over this thing called The Economy, and even a box of Girl Scout cookies feels like a sacrificial charitable donation. But in the fear and loathing-, there’s one and only one thing you need to know…

God’s got this. All you have to do is trust Him. And say “thank you.” [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Hand reaching out from the sky

Time and time again you’re the one who shows up when somebody needs you to.

Sometimes you bring your words with you, sometimes no words at all – just the enduring companionship of a faithful friend.

But who shows up for you when you’re the one who’s aching for the presence of another?

Jesus, that’s who.  And in this case, me… because He wanted me to remind you, He’s always there.


You’re the one they turn to for their own self-understanding.

Like a human mirror or road map, you help others make sense of the terrain or the terrible, the magic or the mystifying of their lives.

But who holds up the mirror or points the way for you when the way seems baffling or impossible?

Jesus, that’s who.  And in this case, me… because He wanted me to remind you, He’s always there.

Alone is just a figment of a blind imagination.
Lost is just the devil’s panic button of despair.
So when you need reminders of your hope and destination,
Hear the Spirit’s whisper that your Friend is Always There.

  [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

written on an old typewriter

Wrote a letter of recommendation the other day.  That in itself is nothing unusual – I do that often and have done it for years.  I often joke with whoever I’m writing it for that after I’m done I need a bath, or a priest or something.

“I’ve already lost the boots… I’m just trying to save the hat!”

But we both know I’m joking, and that I would never be deliberately dishonest – that would eventually catch up with them and me.

But between that and the opportunity I have to preach this weekend (here, if you are in the Mobile, Alabama area),  I’ve been thinking about relationships.

(Preaching moment:  Your life is the sum total of your relationships… with God, with others, and with yourself.  As your relationships go, so goes your life.  Okay, I’m done.)

This morning I was thinking about that reference letter, and about another one I wrote a couple of months ago.  That one didn’t have to do with a job application, and it wasn’t even requested.  I saw a friend and colleague’s LinkedIn profile, and spontaneously wrote a letter of recommendation for his professional practice.  It was honest, heartfelt, and a total surprise, really to him and me both.

It was also a wonderful relationship builder. [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Leaving Texas

“What is the secret of your life?” asked Mrs. Browning of Charles Kingsley; “Tell me, that I may make mine beautiful too?” 

He replied, “I had a friend.”  -William C. Gannet

It was 18 years ago this month that I came to this place… this place of tumbleweeds and dust and amazing sunsets and more amazing people.

It was nothing short of surrender.  I had given up on me – the “me” of my own making or imagination, that is.

My friends in Atlanta asked, “Where are you moving?”

“To hell,” I replied.  “If the world was flat, Lubbock would be on the edge of it.”

But oh what I discovered when I showed up as a shell of the man I once was.  Most importantly, I discovered that God was here all the time, waiting so patiently for me to get here. [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Love that Lasts Forever

by Andy Wood on February 14, 2014

in Life Currency, Love

Forever Love Wordle

In his famous poem Desiderata, Max Ehrmann cautioned, “…neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.”

I think he was right.

But I also think I know what makes people cynical about love.

Having stood on the solo side more than 200 times as a man and woman use the most famous words in promise-making – “’til death do us part” – then assemble plenty of substitutes for “death” as the reason love goes awry, it’s hard sometimes not to get a little jaded.

But on this day that we set aside to celebrate love, apparently in all its manifestations, I am thankful to be part of a Kingdom that still speaks of love with the language of forever.  And God didn’t blink, cough or shuffle side to side when He talked about love.

Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself.  It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire. Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it.  But if anyone tried to buy love with his wealth, contempt is all he would get (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 TEV).

See that?  God gets passion.  But He also understands that Forever Love is more than pleasure, and it’s oblivious to wealth or other distractions.  So what’s so different about this Love that Lasts Forever? [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

RickI didn’t know it would be the last time.

But then again, we both had lived long enough to know there are no guarantees when it comes to this sort of thing.

It was in Orlando, coming up on three years ago.  Rick said he’d drive me back to the airport. We had been together during the Southern Baptist Convention. (It would be less-than-honest if I said we had been there FOR the Southern Baptist Convention).  But we used the meeting there as an opportunity for a reunion of the Wolfepack. Rick was always the undisputed leader of that gang.

During a difficult time in my life, they had made sure to include me in the meeting. And it was as though we had never missed a beat. That’s the nature of the truest of friends.

Rick dropped me off at the airport to fly home. Just after walking into the terminal, I realized to my horror that I had left my phone in his car.  I found a way to call it, and of course, he turned around and brought it back to me.


He took that picture of himself on it (above), and made it the wallpaper.

That was Rick.

And I kept it as my wallpaper for about a month after my wife started asking, “How long are you going to keep that?” [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Gift of Perspective

by Andy Wood on January 28, 2013

in Insight, Leadership, Life Currency, Turning Points

Perspective 4The other night I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years – namely because he had moved away.  Doyle had always been such an encouragement and support to me in whatever endeavor I was involved in at the time.  But as a friend, Doyle offered something else – something that every leader needs.  He offered me the gift of perspective.

The first time we got to know each other was over lunch.  We had served on a couple of planning committees together and I had admired his wisdom and kindness.  Lunch on that day was no different.  I heard his story, and shared mine with him.  I talked about the fact that I was living in a parentheses period – an in-between time in my work.  (I was serving as a men’s pastor at the time, but anxious to get back to being a senior pastor.)  Doyle’s primary word (and that of everybody whenever I’ve been anxious to make a quick move) was, “Stay where you are.”  Actually he said, “I can’t think of anything more important than working with men.”

After sharing more joys and frustrations, he (lovingly!) asked me a slap-in-the-face question:

[click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

His Dearest Friend

by Andy Wood on January 11, 2013

in Following Your Passion, Life Currency, Love, LV Cycle

Dearest FriendHere’s a thought question for you.  Did Jesus have a best friend?  If so, who was it?

Aunt Ruth, who was neither my aunt nor was she named “Ruth,” used to say it was Judas.  “Only a friend can betray a friend,” she would say.  I told her she was nuts.

You could obviously make the case for Peter, James and John collectively.  He took them places the other disciples didn’t go, and let them see parts of Him the others didn’t necessarily see.  He also gave each of them nicknames – something guys like to do with their friends.

Individually, Peter and John seemed to have this ongoing competition for who was going to be the closest to Christ.  John even referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”  But Jesus said more to Peter directly than any other disciple.  Of course, Peter was also saying more to Him apparently.

I have another suggestion for who his dearest friend was…

…and it was a girl. [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning
(Psalm 30:5, NLT)

Until we experience the promise of a home where there is no more night, we all will encounter seasons that feel as though dawn is forever an hour away.  It’s not a matter of if , but when the shadows grow long and dark.  And no one, regardless of their faith or pedigree, is immune from the seasons when darkness comes.

When darkness comes, “tired” takes on a whole new meaning.  Every fiber of your being aches for rest, but rest remains taunting and elusive.  Even the simplest of routine tasks feels like labor to exhaustion when darkness comes. [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Something changed that night.  And you are the beneficiary.  But so many things changed in and around that night that this sometimes gets lost in the shuffle and scuffle.

For three-plus years, Jesus-the-Master had been leading a band of twelve full-time followers.  “Disciples,” He called them.  And they did what disciples do.  Listen.  Learn.  Serve.  Make mistakes.  Listen.  Lean some more.  Serve some more.  There were teachable moments and forgettable moments.  Fighting times and healing times.

But just before His death, Jesus was giving these loyal men (Judas had already left) a final round of teaching.  One guy calls this, “Jesus’ Cram for the Final Exam.”  I love it.

Tucked in between these massive concepts about vines and branches and the coming Holy Spirit, Jesus rewrote the contract between Him and those who follow.  Read this carefully: [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }