How I Met My Dream Woman

***Warning- this story contains sappy, cheesy elements mixed with loads of the dramatic. You were warned.

Christi and I have a rather unique story of how we connected. We both attended Union University. She was one grade ahead of me but I knew who she was. Who didn’t know Christi Byrd! She was friends with everyone. She was the Baptist Student Union President and she was Homecoming Queen at Union. Not only did she love Jesus, she was gorgeous. She was godly and beautiful, a perfect mix.

Christi and I were acquaintances at best. I taught a Greek lab (that’s Greek not Geek), where students practiced their Greek vocabulary words. She was in the Greek lab I taught. We also had a few classes together but never really spoke besides a quick hello. I had my own friends and dated a few girls throughout the college years but was always frustrated with the dating scene. It felt so foolish to me. I always felt like a child playing grown up. I mean I had no real clue about love and commitment and neither did they.

With the influence of my youth pastor and my own frustrations, my junior year of college I pushed dating aside. Now I am not saying girls all across campus wept in grief that I was no longer available. I mean I could get a date. The ratio was 4 girls to 1 at Union so every guy had a chance! I just didn’t want to go the dating approach anymore to find the one. I was ready for something more supernatural.

I remember clearly praying to the Lord that I was sick of the effort of dating to find the one. I was 20 years old and I was ready to be single as long as the Lord willed it. I was determined that if I were going to get married, He would need to intervene. Did I want to get married? Absolutely! I just became convinced through my own trial and error that I would probably make the wrong draft pick out of all the potential prospects. I was the Cleveland Browns of dating!

So for a little over a year I stuck to my commitment. I focused on the Lord and enjoyed the mess out of my junior year. Sure My friends worried that I was going to become a monk with my no dating plan and though she has never admitted it, I think my mom worried I had quit liking girls if you know what I mean. Come on mom! That definitely was not the case. I just couldn’t do the games anymore.

In March of 1996 I applied to work as a support staff for the summer for Centrifuge camp. I applied to be the Resident Assistant at the dorms on Union’s campus. It was an extremely competitive job to get and when the list of the thirty or so students who were chosen was published I was on it. I was pumped! I came back to my dorm room and ran into Robert Grisham. Robert and I had been friends since high school and had roomed together a couple of times. I showed him the list and he stopped on a name and said, “Christi Byrd.” I knew who she was as I mentioned above and asked what he was meaning. In a very matter of fact way Robert proceeded to tell me that he thought her and I would get together and I would marry her. It’s like my roommate told me I would be going out to buy a lottery ticket and would win the jackpot. Yeah right! I am pretty sure I told him he had lost his mind.

Summer came and our first day of work we were split up in pairs to do towel laundry. Guess who I got paired up with: Christi Byrd. Now as romantic as doing towel laundry can be, nothing really magical happened that day but we did get to talk. I didn’t think much of it besides what my crazy roommate had told me a month back! As the days went on Christi and I found ourselves in the same spaces more and more. I came up with a brilliant idea for us to study Greek together to get ready for the coming semester. When I told Nathan Joyce, my other roommate, about it he had a field day with the info. He would ask me constantly, “how is studying Christi, I mean Greek, going??”

I enjoyed our time studying together to say the least. The summer was about half way over and by this time my mind was racing. I had Christi on the brain 24/7. We were barely friends and I had no idea what she thought about me. I would have been content to just keep my growing attraction quiet until the night we played Speed.

Speed is a card game you play where you try and get as many cards as you can by having the higher number when you both flipped a card. It goes really fast and you have to pay careful attention. A lot of us were playing in the commons area (we couldn’t go to each other’s rooms because we weren’t allowed to have girls in the room) and Christi and I found ourselves matched up to play. We played and I don’t remember who won but what I do remember was the jolt of lightning that happened when our hands touched while picking up the cards. I know what you are thinking right now. “Dax that’s called static and it happens all the time!” No this was so much different. That hurts! This was like a jolt of lightning that hit us both and it felt magical. I could tell she felt it too. It was a powerful energy that hit me as I touched her soft, inviting hand. It confirmed everything for me in that moment. I knew she was the one or at least I knew I wanted her to be the one. Now how to convince her to say the same about me!

I went home that night in a daze. I had met the girl of my dreams and touching her was like holding on to electricity. I decided that night that I would ask her out. I would break my dating fast because this one could be the one! A few days later I finally saw an opportunity but what I did was nothing like I had planned.

It was a Friday night and our shifts for work at the camp were over. Christi was a lifeguard and she was walking back from the pool and I had just finished playing ping pong with some of the Fuge campers. I saw an opportunity to walk with her and decided this was the moment I would ask her out. We talked all the way back to the common area and sat down and continued to talk. I was getting up the nerve and I finally decided to reveal my feelings.

I saw a moment in the conversation and I took it. Here is how I planned it:

“Christi, it has been fun getting to know you this summer and if you wanted to we should go grab lunch sometime.”

What I actually said:

“Christi, you are going to be my wife. I love you.”

What in the world did I do! It just came out. I knew I had hoped it but I didn’t mean to say it out loud yet! Nothing i could do now. It was out there. Christi just stared at me. She didn’t say anything! I was convinced that I had completely scared her away! When she finally spoke she said: “I absolutely believe the same thing. You will be my husband. I am in love with you too.” It was a joyous moment. I didn’t do a dance but my heart lept and my dreams were being realized in that moment. We had never been out and already proposed our desire to marry each other. No games in this for sure!

Two weeks later we went to Nathan’s wedding. It was at that wedding we began to talk seriously about wedding plans. All this before our first date. When we got back we left to go home for a few weeks before fall semester started. We talked on the phone some but we didn’t see each other being three hours away from each other.

When school started back I couldn’t wait to see Christi. The second week of school Christi spoke for a BSU worship night and I was to do the closing prayer. When I went up there I asked her to come back up. I dropped to a knee, pulled out a ring, and proposed to the girl of my dreams in front of those 300 people. The question I got all that night was: “I didn’t even know you two were dating!” We weren’t! We didn’t go on our first date until after we were engaged! Five months later I married Christi and we have now been married 21 years and counting. She is still the girl of my dreams and God gave her to me! I asked him to provide and He knocked it out of the park! Thank you Lord for bringing us together.

Children Need Godly Parents More Than Gifted Pastors

 

8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,

and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

9for they are a graceful garland for your head

and pendants for your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9


The church must not replace the privilege of the Christian parent to be the primary voice of the gospel to their children. If this happens, as it so often does, it teaches the child to compartmentalize their faith, to be Chrisian at  church but something different at home or at school or in the ballgame. While this would never be a Christian parents desire, the message rings loud and clear to their child.

This is not to discount the importance of the pastor to students of all ages. He is vital to the kingdom and is set apart by God to make the gospel known to our kids. But never is it God’s intention that he would become the spiritual, surrogate parent for the children of the church. Instead of our children hearing the gospel only in church, pastors should be merely reinforcing a message already preached at home.

Here are a few things to consider in raising our children in the truth of the gospel:

1) Our children need to hear us pray.

Many of us pray with our children before a meal. This might be the only time our children here us prayer, a quick word asking God to bless the food. Often we have our kids pray at this time. We love to hear them pray. If this is the case they may never hear us pray. They must go to church to hear an adult pray. How much do our children need to hear us speak to the Father? How will they see God as someone worth knowing outside of the church walls if that is the only time they hear anyone talk to Him?

2) Let the word come alive in your home.

The Bible can’t be a book that is only opened in the church. Take it in the home. Let your kids see the word is important enough to be opened at home. Read it with them. Let them read it to you. Be creative. We used the Action Bible with our kids. They really like it and learn the stories of the Bible. If your children only hear their pastor open the word and delight in it, then it becomes a book for the church and not for their life. Teach them that the word is life. It is what guides us. It is worthy of our time and attention in the home.

3) Don’t let anything else take precedent over following God in your family

Compromise is the word of our day. Push the moral boundaries; do what feels good; holy living is for the radical. Parents put sports, school, and other activities above church. And let’s be honest here, above God. Christianity is good for our kids when it’s convenient. Is that what we want to teach them? No wonder so many are walking away from the church and God when they leave the home as a young adult. There is nothing of substance to hold on to. Parents we are preaching a message to our kids everyday. Question is what is that message? What are we telling them should be priority?

4) Take time to ask your kids what they are learning in church.

Reinforcing what their pastor is teaching them will go a long away in their Christian development. Ask them questions about the lesson. Offer insight. Encourage them. We challenge our children to answer questions in their classes. To ask the teachers questions.  We help them engage by talking of these things at home. We don’t want them to just punch a clock for their Sunday obligation. We want Sunday to be a part of their ongoing fellowship with God. It always starts at home.

5) Don’t teach your kids that living for themselves is their greatest calling.

Pastors will preach the gospel. They will teach children to deny themselves, live for others in the name of Christ. They will teach them to be like Jesus. That serving is real success. Parents please don’t teach another gospel to your kids. Don’t make it all about good grades, talent, and popularity. Don’t teach them a way contrary to what Jesus would have them know. If you do then you tell your children that church may be ok to attend but the message is not worth listening too. If you teach a false gospel of success and money and fame, then don’t be surprised when your kids follow it to their own demise.

A godly mother and father are more to a child than any gifted minister, with all resources and knowledge can ever bring. It is not too late to begin to teach your children that the most important thing in their lives is knowing Jesus. Don’t let them find Him in spite of you.

Get Your Head Out Of The Sand

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.   Revelation 3:15-16

Complacency is your dire enemy. It’s the Darth Vader, Norman Bates and Wicked Witch of enemies all wrapped up into one fighting for your soul. You probably don’t give it much thought but it is the culprit behind much that hinders you spiritually, physically, and relationally. It lulls you into a false comfort that you are doing enough when really you are drifting slowly away from the safety of the shoreline, oblivious of the danger that you are in. It’s so easy to become complacent. It happens naturally to us.

Most of the time we are unaware that complacency is an issue. Until one day you are jolted awake by some sort of crisis. At that moment you gain a moment of perspective, realizing that you have been sleepwalking through life. That all those things you thought were “can’t live withouts” were really things that don’t satisfy or last.

Godliness, on the other hand, takes intentionality and sacrifice. You need to add these two words to your daily vocabulary. What are doing today that is intentional and sacrificial? If you can answer that with something then you are a step closer towards fighting complacency in your life.

Here are a few considerations to help you fight complacency:

  1. Willpower alone will not overcome complacency.
  2. You can’t think eternally in your daily life without Jesus.
  3. You need to consistently be confronted by God’s word to keep you from putting your guard down.
  4. You need to serve others in some capacity to remind you that it is not all about you.
  5. You need to start right now or you won’t do a thing about this issue

 

Complacency is the easy route but will leave you going through life unaware of what really matters. Godliness involves risking it all for something greater than yourself. Living for ourself is much easier but brings no joy to us.  Living for Christ costs us greatly but we gain everything. Let those who have ears to hear, hear and be set free from a life of complacency and indifference.

Don’t Give Them Leverage


Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”       1 Corinthians 15:33

Leverage is a valuable thing. If I am a wrestler and I have leverage then I am probably going to win the bout. If I am looking for a raise and I have leverage, the higher ups are going to be much more motivated to consider it. Leverage is power. When someone has leverage over you they have power in your life.

Leverage is a reality and whether you recognize it or not it exists in your relationships. You have leverage in some people’s lives and others have leverage in yours. The key is being very careful who you let have leverage in yours. If you allow negative, overly critical people to have leverage in your life they will bring you down. They will distort your view of things and it will negatively effect your attitude. You may not be able to avoid these people but you should not give them leverage (power) in your life.

I choose to allow people like this to have leverage in my life:

Giver of godly advice over lover of human wisdom

Encourager over discourager

Positive over critical

Realist over drama queen or king

Non anxious presence over spastic

Honest over flatterer

Silence over gossip

Prayer warrior over try and quickly fix it
These are just a few qualities that come to mind but I am very intentional and extremely careful on who I let have leverage in my life. I strongly encourage you to do the same.

                Only You Christi


Beautiful is what I remember first about you

Both Inside and Out is how I define you


Godly is what I came to respect most about you

Using it to help Sanctify my own soul anew  

Being Mine is what I cherish most about you

Promising till last breath that will ever be true


Growing old together I long to do with you

Until the blessed day Christ calls our lives due

Simon Says…

I used to love to play “Simon says” as a kid. The leader would ask you to do something and you would do it only if he said “Simon Says” first. If you hopped on one foot because you were told too and Simon didn’t say first then you were out. I loved this game!

Unfortunately there are a lot of Christians doing what “Simon says,” Simon being the loud voice of the world. The scriptures tell us to not conform to this world… to not love this world… to not store our treasures on earth. So many professing Christians look exactly like the world in almost every way. They are spitting images of well mannered, civilized, respectable, non Christians.

When it comes to how they talk, what they watch, what they wear, what music they listen to, what jokes they tell, what they do with their money, what they teach their kids… when it comes to these things and more many, Christians can live exactly like the atheist down the street. If  a reality show of one week of each of their lives aired, you wouldn’t see much difference in their approach to life. Maybe a church service sprinkled in or possibly a prayer before a meal but when it comes to how they live life, pretty much the same.

We are told to not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Here are several practical things you could do each week to live out your faith and not look just like this world.

1) Start your Day Right– When you wake up each morning before you roll out of bed, speak to God and ask Him to keep you humble and needy today. Humble so that you don’t become hard of hearing to His voice and needy so that you recognize your need to depend on him for the day. Start your day with prayer so you remind yourself that you can’t be what you need to be as a worker, friend, spouse, parent, or whatever calling you have for the day.

2) Be Aware of What You Are– Evaluate your thoughts, speech, and actions during the day. Ask this question: Is God being glorified by what I think, say, listen to, and do? How are you being seen by others? If they found out you were Christian would they be surprised? Do they know you love Christ and want to please Him.

3) Lift Them Up– Be a source of encouragement to those you are around. Tell them what you admire about them. When they doing something worthwhile be the first to compliment them. Don’t talk about your accomplishments but be a listening ear to theirs. Let your actions put them first. This even goes for those who annoy you or anger you. Anyone can be nice to those who are nice to you. Jesus loved his enemies and calls us to do the same.

4) Stay Alert– Guard your heart against sin. Do this by hiding the word in your heart so that you might not sin against him (Psalm 119:11). Don’t just give in to any temptation you face. Put up a fight against sin. Train your mind to hate sin like God hates it. So many times Christians don’t even give a thought to their sin during the day. They just give into it so that it is as natural to them as breathing. Resist the devil and he will flee but we have to resist!

5)  Keep the right Perspective–  Fight against duty driven Christianity. Duty driven Christianity is when we do things out of guilt or this misconception that we have to do certain things or God will not be pleased. Instead we need to live as Grace Motivated Christians. His love and mercy and unmerited favor that Jesus gives to me is my inspiration; it motivates me, compels me to live for him, to be like him, to tell others about him. I long to do things that honor God because I love him not because I feel obligated or that I am bargaining with him. I’ll do good things and then maybe he will bless me.

This list is not exhaustive. You could add others but if you took these Big 5 and began to apply them to your life you would be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you will no longer be like this world. Let’s dare to be different, let’s dare to be like Christ.