Category: Valerie (Page 1 of 13)

Happy Birthday, Val

Our little middle turns 24 today. We celebrated her birthday last week when she and David made the trip from Tulsa for a doctor’s appointment here in Amarillo. A Monte Cristo sandwich at Cheddar’s — her favorite.  But where do you celebrate when you live in Oklahoma? Dave already took her to Texas Road House today after church. Nice move.

We love you, Val. Happy Birthday, sweetie.


Positively Negative

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Pat Verbeek…

Mainly to assure my co-workers and appease a couple of our church elders, I submitted myself to a Covid-19 test yesterday. I came out positive for burning nostrils and watery eyes and negative for the coronavirus. Everybody around me can breathe a huge sigh of relief. While wearing a large mask.

The Houston Texans should have fired Bill O’Brien at least four years ago, long before he traded away Jadeveon Clowney, DeAndre Hopkins, and all those draft picks. The Texans have the highest payroll in the NFL this year and they have started out 0-4. Reminds me of another embarrassingly futile NFL team in Texas.

When a team begins a football season at 1-3, it has a 14% chance of making the playoffs. That statistic will probably be skewed a bit this year because the NFC East is led right now by a team with one win. The Cowboys might win this division with a 7-9 record. But they already have a 100% chance of extending their streak of consecutive seasons without winning a divisional playoff game to 25 years. They should design another commemorative patch. “Silver Substandard” or something like that.

Missions Month is my favorite season at Central.

I’ve added our middle daughter Valerie’s brand new blog, “The Kitchen Sink,” to my links on the bottom right hand side of this page. Valerie is the newly-married, newly-employed Youth Minister at the Contact Church in Tulsa. She just launched the blog over the weekend and just posted her first article about our (Christians) and her (personal) relationship between our citizenship in heaven and our national politics. You can click here to read it or scroll through the links on the right. Man, I really love this girl. I admire Valerie. I wish I had the same passion for the Kingdom when I was her age. I’m really blessed to be her dad. I’m very thankful to God.



Double Knot

Our middle daughter is already on her second marriage.
Valerie has been married twice but never widowed or divorced.
It took two weddings in the middle of this global pandemic to successfully tie her knot with David. And Friday’s wedding was a spectacular event.

Carrie-Anne and I are both grateful and humbled by the numbers of long-time friends who traveled great distances to be with our family on this special night. Dan and Jennifer and Meredith made the drive up from Marble Falls and Mike brought LeeAnn (and those Virdell granddaughters!) to make those awesome cakes. David and Shanna and Delaney, John and Suzanne, and Lance from the Legacy Church. Jason and Tiersa, Chris and Liz, Kevin and Anita, and Brian and Terry from our days together in Mesquite. All the familiar faces from our Central church family. And our family and relatives from Austin and Dallas and East Texas and Oklahoma City.  All these good people who have poured themselves into our lives for so many years. What a blessing from God to be together for this special weekend.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this celebration of David and Valerie. Thank you for your love and your friendship. Thank you for all the times we’ve prayed together, eaten together, laughed and cried together, and moved boxes out of each other’s attics. Thank you for what you mean to our daughters and our family. We are so blessed by our God because of you.



Dear Valerie & David

Your wedding in the nearly-empty Central chapel Friday night was a beautiful event. It wasn’t the wedding we had been planning and paying for and praying about for the past several months, but it was sweet. And wonderful. And memorable. And I am so grateful to you both for the magnificent honor and great joy of presiding over the ceremony. Thank you for that blessing.





The way you two have handled the past three months together has been admirable. The way you’ve navigated the uncertainty together has been really beautiful. The wedding week and the ceremony itself are not what either of you had hoped for. But that’s just like marriage. Your lives together are never going to be exactly the way you plan. Things happen. Things change. Marriage is typically what happens while your plans are falling apart.





So much of this has been so up in the air. Where are you going to work? Where are you going to live? Tulsa? A third-floor apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Nobody plans that! And the wedding dates and the changes and the three different sets of invitations and you two being apart and the government changing the rules in Texas and Virginia every two hours and trying to get the marriage license from the closed down Randall County Courthouse — it’s been completely nuts! Everything’s been on-the-fly and mostly out of your personal control.





But you two have handled all of the uncertainty and chaos so well because your love for each other is so rock-solid. Your love and commitment to each other is so stable and permanent and good.





I’ve done maybe 30-35 weddings in my life and I’ve never once read from 1 Corinthians 13. I think it’s overdone, personally. And if you’re not careful, it can sound cliche and expected and it loses its punch. But you two have been living this foundational passage, you’ve embodied it together, in front of everybody who knows you.





“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”





That’s what God’s love is like for us — this committed, unshakable, sacrificial love that our Father in heaven has for all of us. And you two have demonstrated that same love. The way you’ve dealt with the past three months or so is going to serve you well in your marriage. Because life is mostly out of your control. Because your plans will sometimes fall apart and tough times are going to happen.





People get sick, people change jobs and move, people die. Cars break down, the economy tanks, kids talk back. The water heater breaks, the roof leaks, the toilet overflows — basically everything that has anything to do with water has the potential to wreck your life. And you two are going to have disagreements. It’s always something.

But when you come together on the same side to tackle a thing — that’s the way you do it. Your love for each other and the commitment to your relationship that we’ve all seen is going to serve your marriage very well.





God bless you both. And God bless you as one.

I’m looking forward to doing it again in two months.

I love you,


Goin’ to the Chapel

Wedding bells are ringing today for our daughter Valerie and her soon to be husband David. At 6:00 this evening, in the historic chapel at Central, we’re going to tie the knot in what is the first in a series of wedding ceremonies. Yes, two weddings. No one should be surprised. Valerie’s always been a little extra.

David’s parents and brother and sister and a couple of David and Valerie’s closest friends are defying the travel restrictions and breaching a few social distancing and masks protocols to be here for this important event. The “little” wedding. The official wedding tonight is the “little” wedding and the repeat wedding, the fake wedding in July, is the “big” wedding. So strange. There are going to be less than 20 total in attendance this evening, we’re saving the wedding dress and tuxedos for July,  no dance, Rosa’s for dinner, and the cake is coming from Walmart, not from Sugar Mama LeeAnn Clark in Marble Falls.






But it’s still going to be really sweet.

We practiced a little bit late yesterday afternoon. Valerie grabbed one of those over-sized flowers from the arrangements in the chapel foyer and we walked up and down the aisle a couple of times to “Wise Men Say” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” I think we worked through the awkwardness of me walking the bride down the aisle, giving her away, and then switching places with David’s dad on the stage to perform the ceremony. And I’m still a little worried about David’s friend, Anthony, not tripping and falling down.

Tonight David and Valerie are promising to give their lives to each other and to give their relationship to God. And we’re joining them in prayerful support as they share with us their love and joy and expectations. It’s going to be a special night. We’re very proud of these two, so blessed by God to have Valerie as a precious gift from heaven and to now have David as a permanent member of our family. May the love of God guide this relationship and all their relationships together. May the peace of Christ crown this marriage with great joy. And may their hearts and lives be forever united by the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.

We’ll see everybody for real at the “big” wedding July 24.



Two Weddings and a Hexagon

Our middle daughter, Valerie, is getting married this Friday and it won’t be the kind of wedding we’ve been paying for and planning for the past several months. Social distancing and travel complications mean there will be fewer than two dozen of us  in the Central chapel. It’ll be a very small affair, just our immediate family, hopefully David’s immediate family from Virginia, a couple of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and our church Covenant Group.

Our great friend Dale Cooper was commissioned by Valerie several months ago to construct the wooden hexagon-arch-thing that will frame the stage for her wedding. And, of course, he did a fantastic job. He delivered it to the church building on Friday and it’s just perfect. Valerie even helped Dale screw it together.

This is where I’ll stand when I tie the knot for Valerie and David in four days. And then on July 24 we’re going to reconstruct the hexagon and do it again, this time with a much bigger crowd in a longer ceremony with music, dinner, and a dance; and grandparents, college friends, and people from Marble Falls, Mesquite, and Legacy we haven’t seen in years. This second wedding is the one we’ve been paying for and planning. This is the one we’ve been gearing up for and anticipating. This is the one Whitney’s been counting down every day for a year. But it won’t happen until July 24.

And that makes this week’s wedding kind of strange. It’ll also be weird to do it again in July.  Both of these weddings present their own unique challenges for the principle players and the families. But both of the ceremonies are very important. This week’s wedding is the official one with the solemn vows and the marriage license.  This one sets the foundation for their marriage:  the Word of God, the promises we have in Christ, the vows to love and serve the other in the name and manner of Jesus. The second one, two months from now, will be a repeat in some ways, but it’s just as important. David and Valerie need to celebrate with the people in their lives who have loved them and shaped them into the wonderful man and woman they are. They need to thank those good people and acknowledge the role each of them has played in nurturing them and caring for them through critical times in their lives. And those faithful people need to witness this ceremony and make their own promises to love and support this new couple. David and Valerie need to feel that, the weight of their vows in front of God’s gathered people.

So, it’s two weddings.

I’ve been worried about how I’m going to hold up doing this once, but now I’m doing it twice. I think I’ll charge Valerie double. And no matter how much fun it turns out to be, I’m not doing it again in September.



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