my wife went to see…

Miranda Lambert last Thursday and has now extended her new country phase as i like to call it.  she was rocking out to Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, but now is singing “White Liar” and “Gunpowder and Lead” in the car.

i guess the Miranda Lambert song that resonates with me the most is “The House That Built Me”.  it got me to thinking about the things that have formed me over my 39 years.

of course my parents are huge influences on my life as were my grandparents.  my mother taught me her love for Christ by showing me, molding me, telling me that i could do things differently.  single most important person in my spiritual formation.  my father taught me to love music and appreciate art.  he taught me how to play the trombone and many other instruments.  he awakened in me a lifelong desire to create. 

my grandparents were formational factors as well.  my maternal grandfather taught me about spirtuality and the power of the holy spirit.  my maternal grandmother taught me about unconditional love and kindness.  my paternal grandfather taught me the value of hard work and diligence.  my paternal grandmother taught me about missional living and provided me with great learning opportunities through books and trips.

i can think of a few teachers who helped move me to where i am today.  Mrs. White in 1st grade who took me to her house and cared for me when my sister died.  Mrs. Jordan in 3rd grade who demanded my best.  Mrs. Howell in 5th grade who continually put down my writing and so i set out to prove her wrong and later won awards for journalism.  Mrs. White freshman year who encouraged me to keep being myself.  Coach Mitchell who believed that i had a champion deep down in my heart.  Coach Snodgrass who has forgotten more about chemistry than he ever taught me.  of course my father who taught me music and band all the way through JH and HS.  Mr. Macon who believed in me enough to let me write and ended up coaching me to a silver medal inFeature Writing at UIL State.

then on to college where many experiences, friends, classes and mentors formed me.  From John Faraone and Greg Davis at Sul Ross, to Bob Deahl and Bob Henry at Texas Tech. there were those professors at Tech that tried to crush my dreams and tell me that i couldn’t do it, but that just drove me to prove i could.  my good friends and roomates Brent Dragoo, Doug Garrett and Shane Wade.  my mentors Bill Davis, John Strappazon and Job Buschmann.

moving onto my first teaching job in Dublin, TX where i met people like Scott Hooper and Mike Fritscher.  where i eventually met Amy, my wife.  my other teaching jobs in places like Gail, Hico, East Bernard and Cypress, TX.  people like Lonnie Davis, Tim Presson, Brantley Smith, Buddy Ritter and Brandon Baca.  through manysuccesses and failures, i begin to see that school teaching was a season that was passing, and God provided me full time church work.

through my time in Dallas with people like Jeff Powell, Zach Neese and Warren Jacobs.  even when my dream of leading worship fell apart i learned more about myself.  it was in those dark times that i came in contact with Randy Elrod, Jim Drake and the community known as Re:create.

now as i’m continually being formed and transformed through working with people like David Runnels, Mike Tyson, Ernest Boamah and Nick Sholars in the local sense here in Lufkin.  Randy Elrod, Jim Drake, Robert Comeaux, Rich Kirkpatrick, Joe Day, John Voelz and Louis Tagliaboschi from a distance.  i can’t count the number of times that these people have been of invaluable help.

i would also be remiss if i didn’t mention the amazing impact that my wife Amy Harris has had on my life.  she has pushed and encouraged and been my biggest fan at times when i thought all was lost.  my children also have had an profound influence on the man i am today.

so i continue to grow.  continue to become more like Christ.  and as i think of what built me, it was never a place or a house.  it was circumstances and the God and people who were around me that made me what i am today, and for that, i am forever thankful and grateful.

who helped form you?



  1. My 8th grade history teacher Mr. Thomas. He taught me to fall in love with history and he also refuted and destroyed the stereotype I had been taught in the 1960’s era South about African-Americans. He was a passionate and caring teacher, a man’s man, and one of the most intelligent persons I have ever known.

  2. Of course my parents and grandparents were all a huge influence, but my mom’s brother is only 9 years older and quickly became more like my brother than hers. A solid man of Christ and amazing athlete his whole life that, since I can remember, I’ve tried to emulate in every way.

    Great post!

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