Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Keeping numero uno numero uno is a lot of work. It doesn’t come naturally to me. What comes naturally is procrastination, distraction, and stuff that interests me at the moment. God clearly says in the very first of the 10 commandments through Moses and again through Jesus in the greatest commandment – perhaps the most fundamental of all Christian responsibilities: “Love God first.” I wish that was simple. I’m sure it is. But somehow- it rarely is for me.

Here’s how it plays out in my life:

WITH MY KIDS: Last Thursday a friend asked me if I wanted to take my kid to the baseball game on Friday night. The padre stadium has this little baseball diamond behind the ball park but still actually in the stadium gates where you can play baseball all game with your kid while seeing the game on a giant screen or watching part of it live from this grassy knoll. Problem is: I am supposed to be at church on Friday nights because I need to participate in the service and I lead a service elsewhere on campus for high school students during both Sunday hours. I enjoy going Friday- but I was faced with a dilemma: “A”- worship God in the church with music, my Bible, and a pencil. OR “B”- worship God with my kid, a hot dog, ice cream, and baseball. In the end, I chose B. My son Tyler has not stopped bragging about it since. Honestly, I had no time to be there, was supposed to be at church and had- lots to do for “Sunday” and the baseball game lasted 3x longer than the “friday service”. In the end- I’m not sure “church” was the center of my worship experience that weekend. Tyler shared with me more about faith and numero uno than anything I did all weekend in his smile, hugs, and endless games of catch.

WITH PLANTS: I ended up planting our yard on Saturday instead of working on Sunday stuff- which I should have been doing because I was gone all week, went to a baseball game with Tyler, and was behind on prep work. In the end, the decision to spend the day planting flowers with my mother in law cost me hours of sleep. But the joy it brought my wife and her mom to see it done and enjoy our back yard over breakfast coffee reminded me again that sometimes- sleep is over rated and worship has many forms.

WITH SUNDAY: I ended up preparing for Sunday most of the night and morning and getting there on little to no sleep. I prayed that God would use me in spite of myself. He answered by steering the High School group in such a way that we never actually got to my message on Sunday. We ended up hearing the voice of God through the experience, regrets, and wisdom of graduating seniors. So many students liked what they saw and heard and were blessed and told me so that I had to stop and laugh at myself… Numero Uno doesn’t need me.

WITH MY FRIENDS: Yesterday I had a friend in a tough time that needed to talk. I had minus 4 hours to talk. I was so far in the hole from my weekend of baseball and planting and meetings and such and had a paper due that night in seminary that the last thing I had time to do was comfort anyone but my own mounting pile of paper work. Anyway- I ended up talking with two friends for the better part of 2 hours yesterday. Later that night I went up to my professor and started to ask how I turn in a late paper… and before I could finish my sentence- he said, “Lots of people are in your shoes. I decided to give a short extension.” I walked back to my seat believing and reminding myself- that sometimes- keeping numero uno numero uno isn’t as difficult as I make it out to be. Sometimes God does it for me.

I wish I did this more often. I want to simply love God first. In the end- when I do- the joy is worth it. Now if I could just go do that daily and get so good at it- it’s a reflex- that would be cool…. so here I go- off to worship my God with baseball, plants, and friendships- among other not so complicated acts of worship.


  1. dude, I feel you. I definitely have those moments where I feel like I’m out of step, but truth is that I’m right in time – just not my time. See you soon, dude.

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