Rand Jenkins

We Hold These Truths – Haggling over small things

“There is too much to be done to haggle over small things.”

We live in a broken world that aches for Christ. Until His return, we are to work as Jesus worked. And there is plenty to do.

People are hurting. People are lost.

Atrocities previously unimaginable seem almost commonplace.

A human life isn’t seen as important or equal to another’s.

The earth is changing climates. Disasters are harsh.

The divide between those who have and those who have not is widening at an astounding pace.

Yet, too often, individuals haggle over how to go about... [continue]

Comm Shop Tip #36: Provide an earworm trigger

An earworm is something that once you hear, you can’t get it out of your head. Think of the Nationwide commercials with Payton Manning humming the jingle. You know the words in your head. #masterful

A trigger is something you provide others with that will remind them of your point when it’s important. A trigger helps solve the problem of remembering to buy more shampoo only once you are in the shower. A trigger can be as simple as telling the congregation to remember the online giving campaign when they hear the startup music of a computer.... [continue]

Do you know the point of a steeple?

When people hear the word “church,” many, Christian or not, picture a steeple. For those of us who went through years of Vacation Bible School, we just recited, “Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the doors, see all the people” in your mind or with your hands.

Steeples have a place in our churches, cities and lives. They serve as a visual statement of a church, a landmark altering the skyline of the city and a focal point for those of us going into church.

Historically, steeples served two main purposes – to help the congregant in his/her... [continue]

The scourge of Texas

It covers miles of Texas in its bumpy, noisy, low efficiency mess.

What is it? Chipseal.

I spend a lot of time on the roads around our fair state and few things offer the full-on assault of my senses like chipseal. If you’ve driven just about anywhere, you’ve been fortunate enough to experience the joys of the stuff.

The pro of chipseal: it’s cheap. Holding to the truth that you get what you pay for, it shouldn’t surprise you that it’s the only check in the pro column.

The cons of chipseal are many and I’ve taken the liberty of biasedly discussing a few of them for your... [continue]

Mum’s the word

Mum is also the amazingly large concoction that has appeared over the hearts of many a young woman this high school homecoming season.

Born in Texas, but raised in Tennessee, the concept of a mum larger than her date is rather odd to me. So, I’ve done a little research after doting over some friends’ pictures of their daughters’ “mumification.“

The Internet told me that the chrysanthemum, back in the late 1700s became known as the “Queen of Fall Flowers.” Perhaps there is a connection between that title and the idea of homecoming queen. (I didn’t search that, but feel... [continue]

Why new ideas are as important as old ideas

I love new, creative ideas. Apparently so does society. But I’m beginning to believe society’s love of new ideas comes at the cost of established ideals.

A new idea or a person’s new identity is praised for being a bold voice. It does take courage to pioneer a movement. However, in a rapidly changing society it also takes courage to be a bold voice on one’s traditional values of God, His Love, His Son and His desire that we come to Him and follow Him.

A respect for people’s opinion is not the same as accepting one’s opinion as truth. As the... [continue]

Welcoming Winston

In a post a few months ago, I lamented about the experiences of having to put our dog, Cooper, down. In case you missed reading that literary masterpiece, you can read it here.

With a couple weeks of a quiet and still back yard, we decided to start the puppy-looking process. Since we are an active family, I requested we get a dog that can go run with us. My wife came to me after some research and suggested a breed.

The conversation went something like this:

Denise: “What do you think about getting a German Short-haired Pointer?“

Rand: “Really?“

Denise: “Yes, why?“

Rand:... [continue]


In our world of commodities, where we can actually use something up, we tend to pass that trait on to other aspects in our lives and faith where it simply doesn’t apply.

One of my favorite commodities is hummus. Yes, I know it’s not the best food option, but I do like it. A lot. I do wish they’d re-label those “family size” containers to read “personal size” – I’d feel better about myself … I can and do reach the end of my serving of hummus.

Since we have finite minds, we find it difficult to think of things in unlimited quantities. That limitation doesn’t change the fact... [continue]

Sanctity of Marriage

Over the past few months there has been an outcry over the “Sanctity of Marriage.“

I hold my marriage and that covenant between us and God in the highest regard. Apparently that’s not all that common of a belief. There were 32 million names released through the Ashley Madison hack. For the three of you who don’t know, Ashley Madison is a website dedicated to helping married couples cheat on their spouse.

As Christians, this information should outrage us as much as any other affront to our beliefs. Thing is, a lot of fellow Christ followers were among the 32 million... [continue]

This little light of mine

If you grew up in church, you probably remember the song, “This little light of mine.” As a refresher of a portion of the lyrics, it says “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” and repeats this line a lot.

Well, a friend of mine posted Bruce Springsteen’s rendition on “the Facebook” and it made me think a little differently about the song. It’s such an upbeat version that it makes me smile as I tap my feet. It’s contagious.

That’s how we should always share our light. Be radiant. Be about life. Be about love. Those attributes attract people to the light we are trying to let shine.

Pedal hard.Rand

Inattentive Driving

I’ve come to realize something. For as long as I know, people have called a car wreck an accident.

An accident is an incidental and unplanned event that could have been prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.wikipedia (The definitive source on everything).

I believe what is most often referred to as an accident isn’t. True, I don’t think someone meant to have a wreck. But, I don’t consider a car wreck an accident because I put a lot of stock on the phrase above, “could have been prevented had... [continue]


The 80/20 rule, as you may know, is a representation stating that things in the world are not evenly distributed. For instance, 80% of the wealth is distributed among 20% of the population. Or, 80% of the sales come from 20% of the customers.

One of the most popularly used examples of this is that 80% of the a company’s work is done by 20% of its employees. This is actually why I’m writing on it. I’m fortunate enough to work at a place where 90% of the work is done by 90% of the staffers. In other words, people here work hard and well together.

Another thing you may not have known... [continue]

Healthcare Ain’t Broke

It is rich. And it is broken.

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

Every time my son tries on a pair of shoes, he wants to see how fast they are. Every time. I remember doing this too at his age. Come to think of it, I’ve done it in the past few years when trying out running shoes on an in-store treadmill under the guise of how they feel with my gait.

A few weeks ago, we were in Florence, Italy, and purchased him a pair of shoes. Of course, he wanted to wear them out of the store – so he did. Then we went to an adult shoe store (Firenze has a... [continue]

The avid fans, injuries and determination of the athletic world

It’s that magical time of year. No, not that one. The one with the Tour de France and the sheer determination of the best athletes from around the world. Was it not your first thought?

You may know, I’m an avid cyclist, even a racer at times. Well, not a TdF level racer, but a local, wanna be better racer. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and I get to ride with and meet a lot of people.

Also going on right now is the CONCACAF Gold Cup that is on the heels of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was so much fun to... [continue]

What family pets can teach about life and death

About 13 years ago, my wife brought home a blue heeler that had been abandoned at a local barn. Since then, Cooper has been a part of our lives swimming with us, running with us and even herding our son when he came into the picture about nine years ago.

If you are good at math, you’ll notice our son hasn’t known life without Cooper. Until now.

After spending Friday morning with our son riding, visiting the Fort Worth Zoo and eating at his favorite pizza place, we returned home for a swim. Once we got in, so did Cooper, however not in the... [continue]

The Flag

Specifically, the Confederate Battle Flag.

To start out, let’s remember what a flag is and is for. A flag serves as a symbol of a nation, cause or belief. A flag can be used to signal who we are and what we believe. If that symbol has a connotation that you may not intend, it still speaks on your behalf.

There is a lot of discussion about this “Rebel” flag, its purpose, its history and most importantly, its meaning. Southern states are resurfacing debates on removing the flag from the Capitol, from license plates and other locales.

The reason for this renewed discussion is the... [continue]

Let love win

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal and must be recognized in all 50 states. Yeah, you probably already knew that ruling. This isn’t a news post. It’s not an ethical post. It’s not even an opinion post. So, have you stopped reading yet …?

It is about my belief of a Christian response, regardless of one’s opinion and conviction on gay marriage – or any topic for that matter.

#lovewins has been the trending hashtag all morning and it’ll probably continue for a while. I know why – people are excited about their new privilege and it’s a win of... [continue]

State hat

We Texans like claiming things. I guess all states do, but who really cares that much about the state whatever of Oklahoma?

  • Texas state flower: bluebonnet
  • Texas state bird: mockingbird
  • Texas state large animal: longhorn
  • Texas state small animal: armadillo
  • Texas state amphibian: Texas toad
  • Texas state insect: monarch butterfly
  • Texas state tree: pecan
  • Texas state dish: chili
  • Texas state cobbler: peach
  • Texas state fruit: Texas red grapefruit
  • Texas state flying mammal: Mexican free-tailed bat

If you want a much longer list of official Texas state items, click here.

A new official state item is... [continue]


The old phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” is a polite way of saying that we pre-judge people. And to be honest, I’m prejudice.

Now, before you start casting stones, you are too. You may not realize it, but you are. You pre-judge people too.

My prejudice is based on how one dresses, one’s vocabulary, body language and how one treats others. I also prejudge people on their hair, teeth, the bicycle they ride, the car they drive and a myriad of aspects of life. My prejudice is not based on ethnicity, nor does it force people into a permanent... [continue]

Saddle Up

Today (May 10), starts the first day of the 6th Bike Out Hunger – Texas event, which raises awareness of, and money for ending the cycle of hunger in Texas.

The annual event started as a “Hey, what if …” in the fall of 2009 with the first ride, a six-day 400-mile expedition, in Spring 2010. Of the original small group, four cyclists are riding with us this week and have made all six weeklong rides.

This one “what if” has grown into an organization that reaches more people and impacts more lives each year. This year, there are 8 single-day rides in Texas, one six-day ride,... [continue]

My Space

At the risk of sounding like a 3-year-old on a 14-hour road trip, “He’s touching me!“

There’s an invisible line dividing airplane seats, which exists in the middle of the shared armrest that, like property lines in Texas, extends up into space and down into the earth. If this is new information to you, perhaps you are the gentleman I sat next to on a flight back home recently.

I don’t take up much space in an airline seat. I’m 5’10” and weigh between 142-144 pending on how much cycling I’m getting in. The more cycling, the more weight (odd, but it’s an uncanny and unfortunate... [continue]

Sticks and Stones

When I was growing up – well, I still am – when I was younger, there was a popular phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I don’t ever recall saying it, but do remember hearing it yelled across the elementary playground.

The problem with this phrase is, it’s a lie.

Have you ever broken a bone? It hurts for a bit. But you get attention from people when in a cast, sling or on crutches. Then you know what, you heal quickly. Maybe you learn not to jump off the roof, but that’s a story for a different time.

Have you ever been... [continue]

Two fingers

I drive a truck. (That’ll be important later.)

Here in Texas we have a wave that’s actually known as the “Texas Wave.” It involves lifting only two fingers from the steering wheel to greet an oncoming driver.

In driving about 2000 miles the past few weeks, I’ve notice fewer returned Texas waves and far too few oncoming-driver initiated waves. Which led me to think it could have been the area of the state or the vast amount of imported drivers from, say, Oklahoma or some other less-friendly place.

But, for the sake of discussion, let’s say that simply crossing into Texas should... [continue]


Do you know people who are cheap? I don’t mean responsible with money, I mean just won’t or hates to give or spend money?

Christians are to live generously. We are to give our money and ourselves to God and to others. But what’s the opposite of generous? Miserly. God asks us to be cheerful givers. This helps place the appropriate priority on our money and time.

In my experiences, I’ve found that the more generous a person is, the happier he/she is. I’ve also found the opposite to be true. The more miserly one is, the more miserable he/she is. Did you think of someone you know... [continue]

As You Are

Every few years a song comes along that brings me to the throne of God for worship. Several years ago, it was ” I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me where they pose the question of what will I do when I meet God. The first time I heard this song I was driving home. By the time it was over, I could hardly see through the tears.

More recently, I’ve connected with Crowder’s ” Come As You Are.” This song brings me to a point of recognizing that God wants us as we are to come to Him and let Him change us. We’re not too far away to come back to Him. We shouldn’t allow our... [continue]

Bigger than the ball pit

There we were standing at the opening of the ball pit and tunnel at a local kids’ pizza and play place.

I was trying to convince my young boy that he could jump in, play and then come out the other end, but he was simply refusing out of fright. He could see other boys and girls in there having fun, but apparently wasn’t as concerned about their safety.

Not wanting to have a boy afraid of taking calculated risks, I kept encouraging him to enter and explaining how it worked, “You jump in here, play around a bit then crawl out the other side. You’ll be fine.” He was... [continue]


When are you most frustrated or angry?

Do you have children? If not, think back to when, as a child, your parents were angry or frustrated with something you were doing.

My wife and I have a great, polite and agreeable son. However, there are times when he doesn’t seem to be all, or any of, those. The most frustrated I get is when our son – who carries our name – doesn’t listen or pay attention to what I’m trying to teach him. These situations especially escalate if we are with a group of friends or in public, and he’s being inappropriate for the situation.

If we are in a nice... [continue]

Orange Up

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and we’ll see hordes of people donning green from head to toe, gone so far to dye their hair and some of their food, and drink to celebrate one of the most misunderstood holidays there is.

Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day celebrates one’s Irish heritage and one’s Catholic heritage. Wearing orange is said to celebrate one’s Irish heritage as well, but from a Protestant slant.

If you are a visual person, you just painted a picture of the Irish flag. Only missing is the white between the two colors, which represents the aspiring peace between the two... [continue]

Could’ve missed it

There is a concept I wasn’t truly introduced to until a few years into my marriage (now almost 20-years strong). To me, it highlights one of the differences between my wife and me, and perhaps a difference between women and men.

The phrase is, “You could’ve missed it.” A derivative is, “You’re almost late.” The concept is you didn’t take all aspects into consideration and were up-to-the-minute on-time. Catch that…on-time, as in, not late. I like to refer to my newly learned aspect of time management as the future-perfect-potential-tense and yes, it’s rather hard to... [continue]

Better make a dish

Beginning the day we brought our newborn son home from the hospital eight years ago, we didn’t have to cook for a month. Our small group really came through and provided a wonderful convenience. I’m glad they did and I’m glad we continue to do the same to others in similar life-altering situations. I bet if I were to go through our freezer I’d still find a few partially consumed chicken casseroles they blessed us with.

Please note, I didn’t say that our small group came through and wonderfully met a need, but a convenience. I stated it accordingly because it is... [continue]

I got a Fever

Hopefully you mentally chimed in with, “And the only prescription is more cowbell.”

Writing as a Christian and for a Christian site, it’s a bit tricky writing a blog post which centers around Saturday Night Live (SNL) and their recent 40-year celebration. A lot of it is funny. Some of it is a little off-color.

One aspect a fellow coworker made note of is that through the 40 years of SNL, only about 2-3 years per decade actually produced good, funny shows. The rest were just odd or poorly done. It’s also interesting that most shows aren’t given this much grace... [continue]

The problem with love

I love food. I love my friends. I love my bike. I love my parents. I love coffee. I love my wife. I love a good-writing pen. I love my son. I love my pets. I love the triune God.

The problem with “love” is that English has only one word for one of the most complex feelings we can have. While at times we are frustrated with the people we love, it’s because we love them that we become frustrated with them.

Obviously, my use of the word “love” above varies greatly based on the object of my affection. But, with only one word for love, how... [continue]


I want to be an Almoner.

It was a new term to me and is an official role in the Catholic faith. There is a Papal Almoner whose job is to personally distribute Vatican money to individuals in need and meet their daily needs.

This article enlightened me.

After reading the post and coming up with yet another future job idea, I began to think about it a little longer. Isn’t that exactly what Christ calls us to be, an almsgiver? Yes, we understand the tithes and offerings, not saying we do it, but we do understand it.

Our giving should start there. We are to also... [continue]

Pro Sports

I’m done with mainstream professional sports.

It’s a process that started when I was in high school when I turned my back on the NBA. Since then I haven’t accumulated more than 30 minutes of NBA action. Yes, as you can tell, my absence has really hurt the organization and the players.

Following dropping the NBA came dropping the NFL. That really happened in college and I’m not exactly sure why. I kind of picked up NFL again with the launch of the Tennessee Titans (I grew up in the Nashville area) but my interest waned and recently I hardly watch it. Now, I’m... [continue]

High-speed hand dryers

I found another thing that makes me feel older.

When drying my hands in one of those high-velocity air dryers, I watch my hands. Well, more specifically, I watch the skin on my hands.

It flaps.

It flaps in the breeze. I’m quite certain my younger hands didn’t experience this phenomenon. I can only imagine what my face would look like in that wind. Well, I guess I could experiment with that but it’d be hard to view and bad to see.

To me, this is also proof that our environment impacts us. Make sure you are in a healthy environment.

Pedal harder, Rand

Dress up your pet day

National Dress Up Your Pet Day is today. Perhaps you didn’t know that. I didn’t until this morning’s commute and enlightening qualities of drive-time radio. That reminded me of a scenario involving my wife and me about 10 years ago.

At the onset of our marriage, we would grocery shop together (a joint task long ago abandoned for the individual shopping method). One of the things I used to do is sneak random items into the grocery cart while she wasn’t looking. They ranged from a type of cereal we don’t eat to depend under garments and other “unmentionables.” I... [continue]


“You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” –Inigo Montoya

One of my pet peeves (I have a few) is incorrect usage of words or the flat out use of non-words. Regardless if people are trying to add syllables to sound smarter or if they just don’t know, it annoys me. Please see below and make the world a little less annoying for everyone – or just me.

So, here’s a list to help my fellow Texans (and whomever may be unlucky enough to stumble across this post) speak more intelligently.

  • Irregardless is not a word. Regardless means without
... [continue]

New Year. New You.

Well, the first is easy to do, just flip a calendar. Ok, that sounds a bit 1991, just turn on your iPad.

The second, a new you, a new me, is much harder. We are a culture focused on improvements. Improving athletic ability (if I were an ESPN announcer I would have used a non-word: athleticism), improving our status, or improving the number of friends and followers on social media. As a cyclist who uses Strava, I’m constantly trying to improve time up a hill or time on a sprint zone for a coveted King of the Mountain badge on an app. No, there is no real value for... [continue]


If prayers were answered the way I wanted them to be, you probably wouldn’t know me.

Why? I’d be sitting on the beach, that I’d own or in a mountain cabin, which I’d also own. Without truly confessing anything, perhaps I’ve prayed to win the lottery. Well, not in so many words, but bought a ticket thinking God was on my side for the win.

Prayer is an interesting thing, and honestly something I feel that I (and a majority of other Christians) get wrong. Sure, intercessory prayer is an aspect of prayer as our Father wants us to take our concerns to Him. However, we often come into... [continue]

Breath of Heaven

Christmas. The time we celebrate the perfect gift from God to us. “For unto us, a child is born.“ Think of that for a moment – someone sacrificing so much of himself for you. Even deeper, think of God, fully divine and infinitely superior to any human, giving part of self, through sending His Son leaving the throne and putting on a finite, injured, vulnerable flesh and succumbing to all its limitations and pain.

I know a lot of people around this state, nation and world, and love you all as much as I can. But, I cannot imagine giving you my son, especially if I know you... [continue]

Light it up

Returning home from the D.C. area after Thanksgiving, I noticed a certain glow about the DFW area and know that TXU will have another green Christmas.

The Christmas lights are up and on houses, trees, bushes, walkways, driveways, shingles and blades of grass. I’ve even found a few cars, children and animals with portable Christmas lights strung about them. This reminds me of one of my Christmas traditions – watching Christmas Vacation at least once. Along with that tradition, from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, I daily post on Facebook a random quote from that... [continue]

Alliance Education Initiative

Church: Alliance Church, Lubbock

Pastor: Jesse Rincones

Initiative: Alliance Education Initiative

What is one thing your church has had success with in the local community?

We have been working to bring awareness to and address the educational challenges facing the Hispanic community, both inside and outside the church. This “one thing” is actually several different efforts that come under an umbrella that I call the Alliance Education Initiative.

Here are a few of facets that are part of this effort:

  • May Education Emphasis – part of each Sunday in this
... [continue]

Jay Abernathy

Name: Jay Abernathy

Wife: Kelle (McHan) Abernathy of Abilene, TX

Children: Hannah (married to Trevor Brown, youth pastor at FBC Round Rock), Hayley (a Master’s of Social Work student at Baylor), Caleb (a Freshman at Baylor)

Church: First Baptist Church of Palestine, TX

Number of years: 14

Attendance: 250

Where did you grow up?

I started in Richardson, TX (FBC Richardson), but some may debate if it’s a completed process yet.

How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?

When I was 7 years old,... [continue]

Starting a Legacy

INDEPENDENCE – On Sunday morning, June 1, at the oldest continuously running Baptist church in Texas, Robert E. Dixon and Dr. Paul W. Powell were honored for the legacies they started and what they became through the Texas Baptist Legacy Award.

Bryan Finley, a member of First Baptist Church of Kerrville, led the group in Bible study and posed the question, “When does a legacy begin?” Through scripture and biblical personalities like Abraham, Moses, Joshua and others, he summed up the answer with, “Legacy begins by starting something God directed. It continues when others... [continue]

Reyes Named Director of Christian Life Commission

DALLAS – Agustin “Gus” Lucas Reyes, PhD., was named the new director of BGCT’s Christian Life Commission (CLC).

The CLC’s role within Texas Baptist life is to speak to ethical issues and how they impact our lives and legislation.

“Dr. Reyes’ work with education and immigration reform on a state and federal government level has proven his passion and ability to give a voice to those who have no voice,” Dr. David Hardage, Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas said. “After receiving applications and conducting interviews... [continue]

Hospitality House comforts during loss

People face decisions every day. Some have little affect. Others impact every aspect of life, friends and family.

Almost 20 years ago, he pled guilty to a crime that the state of Texas deems worthy of the death penalty. And it’s set for 6:00 tonight.

In the meantime, some siblings and relatives sit around a game table playing Monopoly next to a large fish tank. Just before lunch, other family members come out of their rooms. One is wearing a t-shirt with the printed image of another relative who died recently due to illness. She looks as if she’s... [continue]