From Senior Class President to MaMelissa

The Dallas Morning News ran a very nice profile of Melissa Beiriger Hill and her family for Mother’s Day. Yet they failed to mention that our esteemed Senior Class President is busy preparing for our 20th Reunion.

The journey of Melissa Hill from an upscale suburban life to a struggling area of West Dallas with a multiracial family – she is white, the Jones brothers are black – is not one that she expected. It’s also one she doesn’t regret.

“I look at different directions our lives could have gone that would have been easier,” Melissa says, sitting by Trey at their kitchen table. “We were in Lake Highlands, where I knew all the neighbors and my kids could play outside. We could have volunteered here and there a little bit.”

“Here so many things are not comfortable. And yet here I’ve found my greatest joy. You find there’s so much more to life than the little life you had in mind. … In pouring out your life, you benefit.”

Melissa and Trey are quite a story. Thanks for shining a light for Christ in West Dallas (and beyond). They can even help you repair your washing machine!

Derek Webb. Stockholm Syndrome.

Stockholm Syndrome Derek Webb

Today is September 1 and that means that Derek Webb‘s new album “Stockholm Syndrome” is finally available.

There has been a buzz about the album on the web for months now. Ever since Derek’s first cryptic email/tweet/web site update back in May. Here is just a sample of what followed from this marketing genius. Who knows, maybe Derek will team up with Chris Anderson to write a follow up to Free.

As the stems were collected and story played out. Most of the buzz/controversy surrounds one song What Matters More and a few choice words. Hear for yourself on YouTube, because you won’t hear it on Christian radio and it is not on the album. Have a problem with the explicit words? The Bible doesn’t.

Some reviews you can use:

Stockholm Syndrome

So what about my thoughts you ask. I really like Derek’s new work (just look at . It is very different from his past work. I really enjoy The Spirit Vs. The Kick Drum, What Matters More, and What You Give Up To Get It. Truth be told, there isn’t a song I don’t like.

Yes, the album is heavy on the Law (in the same vain as Jeremiah, to borrow from iMonk) and we all could stand to knocked down a bit. We are not righteous on our own. We are Crooked Deep Down. We all go astray, each and everyday.

So here is the remedy. We have a Savior who took our place and paid the price for our sins and our bondage to them. We need to repent and receive the forgiveness for sins that He alone offers. I am Thankful for the salvation I received.

Get Stockholm Syndrome today:

Happy Anniversary My Love

Married14 years ago Shannon and I were married. What a wonderful 14 years it has been and I look forward each day learning to love her as Christ loved the Church. It hasn’t always been easy, but I thank God everyday for the woman that he has blessed me with and children that are the fruit of our marriage.

Our anniversary comes just as our LifeGroup is wrapping up the Fireproof Your Marriage Study based upon the movie Fireproof. Dave Harvey's book While I have enjoyed the study, I haven’t gotten as much from it as I did from Dave Harvey’s “When Sinners Say ‘I Do’“. Harvey’s book points out that my sin is the biggest problem in our marriage. And he is right. My sins are first and foremost sins against God (Psalm 51).

God is supreme, all glory and honor belong to Him. As a result of my sin, I was dead to the things of God. While I was dead in sin, Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8). Now that I trust in Christ and his finished work upon the Cross of Calvary my sins have been forgiven and I have been declared righteous before God (Galatians 3:10-13). Despite this, I still sin. I still struggle with my flesh and I will until the days this body dies. Shannon cannot provide what I need, only Jesus Christ can. And the same is true for her. We are two sinners walking hand-in-hand being remade in the image of Christ. His Gospel saved us; His Gospel sanctifies us; and one day His Gospel will glorify us.

I know that many marriages are struggling today. Marriages are being destroyed by lies, abuse, adultery, pornography, lack of respect, and so much more. My prayer that all who read these words would come to know the Savior, Jesus Christ. He alone can cure the real problem in your life and in your marriage.

Here are a number of recommended resources:

Harmatuks love basketball

John Harmatuk playing basketball for Klein High School 1990.

The Houston Chronicle looks at the impact families are having on Houston basketball. Klein High’s Harmatuk family is mentioned:

Another of those families, the Harmatuks, also is making an impact in northwest Houston.

John Harmatuk, boys coach at Cypress Springs, is in his 11th year with the Panthers. His younger brother, Scott, is in his first year as Klein Collins boys coach.

But they are just two of five boys in their family who have been involved in basketball. John, Scott and their three brothers played basketball at Klein High School and wore No. 22. Four of them went on to play college basketball.

Their father, also named John Harmatuk, coached in the summer basketball circuit for 10 years. With their family, it’s all ball all the time.

“Pretty much all that we did as a family was centered around basketball,” said the younger John. “The only times during family gatherings when we weren’t talking or arguing about basketball was when people made us stop.”

John and Margaret should be proud of their boys!