Friday, June 7, 2013

An Arrow From Our Quiver

This week we took Cate to Dallas Baptist University to register for college.  Soon she’ll head off and transition into life as an adult, with all the challenges and responsibilities that brings.  Our parenting with her, while not over, now consists more of “finishing touches” than major overhauls.

If a daddy can brag on his daughter for a moment…Cate is an awesome young lady! She is beautiful, fun-loving, talented, smart and industrious.  Most of all, she seeks God with both discipline and heart-felt passion.

Sarah and I can’t claim credit for much of this.  She is gifted by the Lord and personally motivated to live as she does.  There are some priorities we set in our family early on, however, that we believe helped build a solid foundation for her to build a life upon.  We’ve not been perfect in these, by any means, but here are a few things we’ve prioritized.

1.  Family – before she ever knew about God, she felt loved and protected at home.  Once we had kids, Sarah stayed home, and I stayed available.  This didn’t happen easily or without sacrifice, but it did happen purposefully.  We decided we would share meals together around our kitchen table, not around the TV.  We limited media and prioritized reading.  No video game systems.  Our motto is:  “Walkers love each other,” (which is an especially great motto to have when you’re fighting and no one likes anyone else.)  Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are a huge source of wisdom and fun.

2.  Faith – We began praying for our kids before they were here.  We prayed for protection, for blessing, and for their future spouses.  We prayed with them at bedtime and at other times.  We’ve expressed our love for and reliance on God.

We prioritized church.  If we weren’t out on a major vacation or sick with something communicable, we were there.  We did this long before I was ever on a church staff, so it wasn't required.  Cate was often one of the only one of her friends at church after a Prom or homecoming event.  ("Yes you can stay out until two for this special occasion.  Be ready for church in the morning.")  We didn’t participate in or sign up for activities that would interfere with worship or Bible study. We didn’t do this with an attitude of legalism, but with the strong belief that her faith community should be central throughout her life, and shouldn’t ever fall behind birthday parties or dates, athletics or chores on the priority list.  How awesome it was to hear her considering her church home options this week as she prepares for college!

On a related note, she went to church camp.  Every year.  Sometimes twice.  She also made the occasional volleyball camp or cheer camp, but our ultimate goal wasn’t that she become a great cheerleader, and you have to pick your priorities.  We knew from experience that, similar to cheerleading, if 80% of the team goes to camp and you miss, you fall behind.  It’s hard to make that up.  Some church camps were great, and some less so, but every one was important.

There were other important faith steps, of course, such as mission trips and discipleship groups and learning to lead worship.  Through all of these, our hope has been that she would develop a heart for Christ, not just follow a list of do’s and don’ts.

3.  Leadership – In preparing her for life beyond our home, we’ve tried to instill keys to wise living that will serve her well in life.  How to have a firm handshake and look a person in the eyes when you’re speaking with them.  To say yes ma’am and no sir and please and thank you.  To have manners at the table.  To show interest in the other person and not dominate a conversation.  To work hard, save money, and give faithfully and generously.  To do your best in whatever you undertake.  To expect and wait for a boy who demonstrates respect and who follows Christ.  To help that boy out by demonstrating modesty (but being really cute too!)

Again, these have been our ideals.  We’ve fallen short as parents, and, despite what we’d all love to believe, there are no perfect kids.  As I shared with a group of younger couples in our Life Group last night, every child is different, every family has a distinct background, and unique circumstances will arise that present new challenges to the test of parenting.  Caroline and Cole are also awesome kids on a path to becoming responsible, mature Christ-followers, but our hope for them, as it is with Cate, comes from reliance on Christ, not on our parenting skills.

Psalm 127:3-4 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
      offspring a reward from him.

  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
      are children born in one’s youth.

As we prepare to release the first “arrow from our quiver,” we pray she will find her mark in impacting the Kingdom of God, and build well upon the foundation of her faith.  Thank you to all who have worked alongside us from the nursery, through children’s ministry and student ministry to help shape and train her as a Godly young lady!

Friday, January 25, 2013

An Old Song....

I'm about to transfer my music to a new computer, and started listening back to some old songs I've written and recorded through the years.  Though it's tempting to be embarrassed by combinations of bad writing, dated sounds or poor production, these songs also remind me of learning to write, produce and orchestrate, getting in way over my head on various projects, and best of all, working with some awesome, creative individuals who remain good friends.

So despite my better judgement, I'm going to post a few of these, starting with one I wrote almost 25 years ago (ouch), and that still expresses the hope for my life pretty well.  Enjoy...or at least cut me some slack.

Small Price To Pay (Click to Listen)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Have you ever taken a look at church history?  It's an important part of being grounded in the things we believe in our faith today, no matter your background.  The Reformation, in particular, has influenced so much in our country, including the relationship of government and religion.

Rick Warren gave an excellent talk at Southwestern Seminary last year about the Anabaptists, or radical reformers.  I'd sincerely encourage anyone to listen and learn, and to follow Warren's advice to study our heritage of faith.  It's really fascinating, at least to me!

Click here to listen to "Radical Reformers and the Great Commission.

Monday, October 8, 2012


We just finished a whirlwind weekend at the Walker house!  It was homecoming weekend, and with senior and freshman daughters (last/first homecoming ever), it was double the fun and excitement.  Fancy dresses, hair appointments and special makeup.  A big game and a special dance.

Maybe my favorite part was walking with Cate onto the football field with her senior class at halftime.  In a small Christian school with just over 30 in the class, we've known these kids for many years.  We've welcomed them into our home, watched them compete, perform and grow up.  Every one of them is special to us, and we brag on them as a class of "chronic overachievers."

So as Cate and I stood on the twenty yard line, alphabetically last among the girls, and stared into the stands at friends and family, the special significance of the occasion was overwhelming.  That I was proud of my daughter is an understatement.  She's beautiful, kind, smart, talented and follows Christ with abandon.

Additionally, 6-man football on a chilly October Friday night in Texas is about as close to Mayberry as you can get.  Only one boy and girl would be awarded the title of Homecoming King and Queen by their peers, though Sarah and I would have been thrilled for any and all of them to be chosen.

The single thought running through my mind as I stood next to my daughter was, "Soak it in.  Soak it in."  These are special days.  A special day.  Only a moment.  The once chance I'll have to stand on the field with this girl I love so and her many friends.  Soak it in.

And just as quickly it's over with the announcement, "And the 2013 Homecoming Queen is...Cate Walker!"  Let the festivities begin, and may I soak in these blessings every single day.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fire at Sabine Creek Ranch

For several years we have hosted a fireworks show for the community here at Sabine Creek Ranch around the 4th of July.  We had a large crowd again this year, and it was an excellent show.  (Thanks Nick Hill and Pyro-lite!)

We've never had any kind of problems with fire at these events, and always take precautions.  A few weeks ago I was announcing the show to our church family and said, "We've never had a fire, but make sure you're here because this could be the year and you wouldn't want to miss it!"

Sure enough....

A few minutes into the show, Sarah looked at me and said, in a calm but intense tone, "Eddie.  Fire."

Embers had started not one, but two grass fires that were spreading quickly.  I'll spare you the details and let you know that both fires were put out within a few minutes and did no harm (other than giving our new goats a good scare).  Two insights I took out of this little event though:

1.  Men love a dangerous challenge to accomplish together.  The ladies in attendance could have risen and run to the fire, but it was the men, without exception.  By the time I made it to the fire, there were a dozen or more guys who had arrived before me, running through a dark field and going over, or straight through, strong fences in the process.  Before we could even get them the water hose or fire extinguishers, they had gathered around the spreading fire, shoulder to shoulder, and were stomping it out, grabbing dirt, and doing whatever they could to keep it from spreading.

Men don't typically stand that close together, unless there is an enemy or significant challenge to face.  When the fire was out, there was laughing and back pounding and stories to tell.  They all wandered back toward the fireworks show, but the real adventure of the night was a common threat, confronted together and defeated.  They'll still be talking about it next year, and the next, long after the fireworks have been forgotten.  A camaraderie unique to men that's awesome to experience.  I love it.  It doesn't happen nearly enough, but it's a great thing when it does.

2. I wondered why we had a fire issue this year when we never have before, even in the drought of 2011.  What had changed?  As I thought, I realized....


When the drought hit last year, I sold the 20+ sheep that had been living in the pens around the arena where the fireworks are launched.  They were only there to maintain an area that we seldom use or visit.  But last year they weren't there to eat down the dead grass throughout the fall and winter.  Even with fresh, new growth coming through this spring, there was an abundance of dry, dead, matted grass throughout the pens.  A tiny ember and a little breeze was all it took to ignite a potentially destructive fire.

Pardon my constant search for analogies from ranch life, but I thought there was good application in this picture.  It seems many people I come across harbor dry, dead tinder in their hearts, minds and spirit.  Even with life and growth happening, there can be stockpiled fuel from past heartaches, anger, fear, rejection, addictions, abuse....  They can reside in places we don't often visit, waiting for the opportunity to unleash destruction.  An ember of a bad day or a harsh word, and a firestorm erupts that no one foresaw or expected.

It was a good reminder for me to examine the hidden areas of my own life, and to be on the lookout for stockpiled unforgiveness, tenacious sin, flammable pride or any other area of "deadness." To mow these down, and to let fresh, new life overwhelm the dead things.  Then bring on the fireworks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Letter to Frank

Do you believe in God? Frank certainly didn't.

He sent a 30+ page treatise to his son and daughter-in-law (she a believer, him an atheist) deriding faith of any kind, and chastising them for coming to our church. He was academically brilliant, and interestingly, a former follower of Christ.

I was asked to read his emphatic (to say the least!) thoughts, and to respond. Though I don't typically find this useful, I did so at the sincere request of a distraught friend.

Since this subject isn't unique to my friends, I formatted my response as a free ebook that you can download here. I would welcome any questions or comments, and please feel free to share it with others.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


One of my ancestors was an indentured servant. Jonathan Burch Walker died, leaving his son, Jonathan B. Walker (so they couldn't afford a "baby names" book...) an orphan. The year was 1824.

Young Jonathan was indentured to a man name George Murphey, who, in exchange for the boy's service, was ordered to "cause him to be learned to read & write & arithmetic so far as the order of three inclusive," teach him to be a "waggon maker" and give him a good suit of clothes upon his release at age 21.

It's an interesting glimpse into a very different, yet not too distant, world. I've not known anyone "indentured." (Originally, two identical copies of an agreement would be handwritten on a piece of paper, one right below the other, then cut apart with a unique wavy line, the "dents". A piece was given to each party, and they could be fitted back together to prove the authenticity of the agreement).

This morning I wondered how being such a bond servant shaped young Jonathan's life, and if any of the resulting characteristics might have even been passed down to our family members through the generations. Was he a willing and hard worker? Was Mr. Murphey kind or harsh?

I too, of course, am bound to serve. Paul starts the book of Romans by calling himself a bond-servant of Christ. Then in II Corinthians 4:5 he says, "For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake." He was bound to serve those around him.

The first commitment, if seldom easy, seems at least a little more intuitive. Christ is obviously worthy to receive all glory and honor, as well as our meager service.

Serving others, however, often requires me to go back to an agreement I made. I received unmerited grace and mercy on the day Christ saved me. Certainly nothing I "earned" in that transaction. In response, however, I bound myself to Christ, and committed to follow Him, and to serve others as He did. To go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey. To visit orphans and widows in their distress. To be His hands and feet.

I wonder what that's going to look like today?

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Creative Process

A good, short documentary on one man's creation of music and art. Watch the video below, then go to this link to watch the final product.

Making Making Mirrors - a short documentary from Gotye on Vimeo.