Saddle Up!

Something deep and profound happened to me in 2001. My life changed that year. My focus, for the first time ever, began to shift from me and my dreams and my goals to my Lord and his Kingdom and my purpose in it. In February of that year, David Bazillion and I planned a Men’s Advance weekend for the Mesquite Church. Four intense sessions with Dale Bresee from Tulsa. Intentional worship out in the woods. Meaningful discussions—no fluff—honest and open talk about who we are and what we’re doing here. Five hours of paintball. Prayer. Lots of prayer. Rededication. Recommitment to my Lord and my family. Like Cortez, I burned my boats that weekend. Change. Dramatic change.

I came back from that Advance a different person.  Different. Changed. With a purpose. So did Jason. So did Dan. So did Kevin.

 We began meeting together at 6am Tuesdays for Bible study. I really didn’t have anything in common with any of these three. Kevin’s a laid-back, even-keeled, think through things, super-smart kind of guy—an architect— who wears starched shirts. His belt and shoes always match. Dan was in retail, a jewelry salesman at the mall who didn’t really like his job. Hyper. Never without a smile on his face. I’ll never forget Dan getting lit up with frozen paintballs from point blank range during Gary’s Vietnam flashback. Dan was bruised and bloodied all up and down his side. And he smiled and laughed the whole time. Everything’s positive with Dan. All the time. Jason was a Garland cop. Hard. Cynical. Tough. He rode rodeo bulls in high school and busted crooks for a living. Not a whole lot in common. But we started praying together and studying together because each of us needed to. And we grew close.

The first time we knew it was special, something bigger than just four guys, was around my breakfast table one morning when I had invited those three to visit with me about what we were going to do regarding some turmoil that was going on in the Mesquite church. A couple of hours of heavy prayer and frank discussion led us to resolve together to serve the Lord and his church and never look back. We took all seven elders of the church out to dinner one night, brought them back to the building and prayed for them. With them. At a time when they were expecting us to tell them we were leaving the congregation, we lifted them up and vowed our full support. We began making trips to downtown Dallas to feed the homeless who camp out between the library and City Hall. Kevin would fund it, Dan would pray over every sandwich as we passed them out, Jason would keep his hand on his pistol, and I’d try to organize everything. We began the Second Saturday Servants in an effort to reach out to the Mesquite community with the love of Christ. We started eating together with our families at the building every Wednesday night before Bible classes.

Six years later: Jason and I have both quit our secular careers and are both gospel preachers. Dan is working for Kevin and planting a church in Forney. Kevin owns his own architectural firm, one of the largest in the state of Texas, and does so much work for the Kingdom behind the scenes with the blessings God’s given him it’s embarrassing. Kevin financially supported both Jason and me while we went to school to prepare for our ministries.

We first started calling ourselves the Four Horsemen after that morning around the breakfast table in my kitchen in Mesquite. It was kind of natural. I think Jason started it. And it stuck. We don’t even know what it means. The Revelation imagery is one of punishment and justice. That’s not what we’re about. The Zechariah picture is of those sent by God who find peace and prosperity among God’s people and bring news of God’s renewed blessings for Israel. I do like that. And then there’s the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame football lore. Dan and I like that. But Jason and Kevin have no clue what that means.

Jason and Kevin and Dan are my three dearest closest friends. I can count on each one of them to move heaven and earth to help me. And they know I’d do the same for them. We support each other. We pray for and with each other. We dream together. We push and encourage each other. Every February we spend a weekend camping together. Just us four. And we’re amazed at what God has done with our lives over the past six years. And we have no idea where to go from here. We each feel very strongly that our Lord has specific plans for each of us individually, and something huge for us four together. Something soon. Something big.

Today begins a new Horsemen adventure. As busy as all four of us are, we’ve vowed to drive to Dallas once a month to have a long lunch together. Once a month. Every month. We’re never going to miss. And it starts today. We’re all four going to be sitting together with our wives at the same table at tomorrow’s Medina Children’s Home Auction and Dinner at the Fairmont. But today’s lunch is really going to be special.

These three men have no idea how they have inspired me and encouraged me and pushed me to be who I am and to be doing what I’m doing with my life right now. I tell them all the time. But they don’t know.

Kevin, thank you for the big dreams and the huge vision and all your encouragement. Dan, thank you for your eternal optimism and your boundless energy and your beautiful prayers and all your encouragement. Jason, thank you for your phone calls and your constant presence in my life and for showing me what it means to put our God first in our lives. And for all your encouragement.

What’s next? More than we can ask or imagine.

Saddle up!



1 Comment

  1. Jason

    There is within the core of every man the longing to be a part of that which transcends himself. The call of that which is greater. A call of purpose. Challenge. Adventure. Courage. It is the call of Christ. And only those who are so bold to answer will ever fully grasp its depths.

    Long live the Horsemen!

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