Life in the Fast Lane

I Hate Brussel Sprouts!

Road Rage in the Drive-Thru

Monthly Lunch Meetings
11:30 – 1 PM


First Thursday

Sugar Land
Flying Saucer
15929 City Walk
(City Walk Center)


Second Thursday

Los Tios
9527 Westheimer
(Tanglewilde Center)


Third Wednesday

Plum Coffee
11688 Barker Cypress Ste #A2
Cypress Tx. 77433


Third Thursday

Ray’s Mexican Restaurant
870 S Mason Rd
(S Mason @ Cimarron Pkwy)


Fourth Wednesday


El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant
24551 Loop 494
(Northpark Dr. Exit)
Kingwood, TX. 77339

Currently not meeting








Have you ever had one of those days?

It’s late in the day; already half past supper. You’re on the way home. Traffic is getting worse every day, and today is a doozy. Your mind is racing with the things you need to do before you go to bed: Wash a load of clothes … finish up tomorrow’s presentation … help the kids with their homework … You have everything planned in your head and you might just get to go to bed while it is still today.

Then your heart sinks when you get the phone call. “Can you stop by H-E-B and pick up something for supper?”

“And while you’re there …”

Of course, you’re already tired … and you have another full day of work ahead of you before you go to bed … and you’re at your wits end; but you stop at the store, nonetheless. After several minutes, you find a parking spot WAY in the back of the lot. You pull in and resolve yourself to get in and out as quickly as possible. You decide that frozen pizzas are easy and quick, so you pick up a couple … and some Blue Bell Tin Roof … and a package of Oreos.

“That’s enough,” you think to yourself and make your way to pay for your groceries.

When you get there, all the self-check kiosks are full, with a 30-foot line waiting. The person in the Express (12 items or less) line didn’t understand the concept and put 40 items on the conveyer. You see a regular line just about to finish, so you get out of line to go to that one; and a lady with a basket-full beats you to it.

You decide to just suck it up and wait in this line.

After several minutes, the cashier announces the total; so, the lady pulls out her wallet. Of course, she’s paying with cash. And now what’s this? She doesn’t have enough money, so she must put some things back.

Do you help her out? Or do you mutter discouraging words in your head?

You do know what the Christian thing to do is, don’t you?

Just then, you remember the verse you heard the other day, which just happens to be our …

Focus of the Month

Joel 2: 12 – This is what the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping and mourning.”

It’s not very big.

The Book of Joel is a small one – just two chapters. It is Joel’s message of God’s judgement and salvation. In it, he recounts the devastating plague of locusts that consume everything in the land of Judah. It is a warning to the people of Jerusalem of the consequences if they continue along their sinful path, and a promise of redemption if they turn away.

You often hear this verse on or near Ash Wednesday, and for good reason. The forty days of Lent is a great time to turn away from the things in your life you know you shouldn’t be doing and re-dedicate your lives to God. Of course, if you’re like me you are probably thinking, “Why does it have to be fasting?”

I think fasting is frequently misunderstood. Many people think of it as giving up food or drink. And while that is a perfectly good way to fast, there are many other ways to observe the Lenten season.

I once heard it said that, “Lent is a good excuse to become a better person.” I really like that. While Lent is a special time of prayer, confession and self-denial for many, it can also be a time for self-improvement … A time when we eliminate something that we shouldn’t do or add something that we should. And when you think about it, if you do something for six weeks or more, it tends to be habit forming.

What if, during Lent, you decided to …

GIVE UP complaining about the things you don’t like or don’t have and replace it with giving thanks for things that you do have. My family started a tradition during Lent a few years ago. We make it a point to frequently find something that we are thankful for in our lives, write a brief note about it and place it in our “gratitude jar.” At the end of the year, we read them all and remember the many blessings in our lives.

You can (and should) turn the bad things in your life into something to be thankful for. For instance:

• Instead of mourning over the loss of a loved one, thank God that He placed that person in your life.
• Instead of being angry over the loss of a job (or client), thank God that He closed that door so that another can be opened.
• Instead of complaining because the person in front of you is holding up the line, thank God that He has blessed you with enough money to help the lady in front of you.

Here are a few ways you can become a better person this Lent.

GIVE UP a few minutes of your time each day to spend in prayer or meditation with God. Resolve to spend 15 minutes with no distractions – no phone … no TV … no radio … NO FACEBOOK! Just be in the presence of God for that time. And I know that it’s hard to find 15 minutes to do anything, but you can do it if you make it a priority.

GIVE UP one evening a week. Use that time to visit with somebody. It can be somebody that you know and haven’t talked to in a while, or it can be a stranger in a senior assisted living home. Give somebody else the best gift you have – your time.

This is a very short list. And since none of us are perfect, we can all find something to give up and replace it with something more Christ like. This Lent, let us all work on becoming a better person.

Patrick G Howard

I’m not too crazy about fruitcake, either.

By Patrick G Howard

Tis the season.

You know what I mean. The Halloween candy has all been eaten. (How did that happen so quickly?) That first little bit of cold air descends on Houston. (And it didn’t come from your air conditioner.) Pumpkin spice is in the air. (Do we have to pumpkin spice our coffee?) The person you voted for lost, and your weird brother’s guy won. You wonder how your favorite team will win enough games to become bowl eligible. All these things can mean only one thing.

It’s time for Thanksgiving!

That’s right. Thanksgiving is that day when it’s OK to stuff yourself senseless, so you can take a two-hour nap in front of the TV while the Cowboys lose. That day when you get to listen to your crazy brother tell you why the country is going to be so much better because his guy won the election. That day when you re-discover why you despise pumpkin spice anything.

Thanksgiving and its associated traditions are uniquely American. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we take so much for granted. Before we dive head first into our Thanksgiving routine, let’s take a moment to focus of the month.

1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.

We serve an amazing God. Not only has He given us the gift of eternal salvation, but he provides for all our mortal needs as well. When we say the Lord’s prayer, we ask Him to supply us with our needs (our daily bread); and He is always faithful in providing for us.

If you don’t believe me, let me ask. Did you wake up this morning? Did you sleep in a bed under a roof last night? When was the last time you went hungry? Do you have clothes in your closet? Do you have people in your life that love you?

We are truly rich with God’s blessings, but it’s never enough. Think about the answers to your questions above. (If you’re like me, your answers may be something like this.)

Did you wake up this morning?

     Yes, but it was too early.

Did you sleep in a bed under a roof last night?

     Yes, but my mattress isn’t very comfortable.

When was the last time you went hungry?

     Never, but I would like to eat at Perry’s instead of McDonalds.

Do you have clothes in your closet?

     Yes, but they don’t fit me anymore.

Do you have people in your life that love you?

     Yes, but my brother never votes for the right guy.

God has given us everything we need, and most of what we want, but it still isn’t enough. Why do we complain? Why can’t we just be thankful for the blessings that God gives us? Why can’t we accept that God has a plan for us and be thankful that He will faithfully provide for all our needs? Why do we complain that we hate brussel sprouts, when there are many who will be hungry tonight?

I have heard this said many ways, but this is my favorite: Being happy doesn’t mean you have it all; it simply means you are thankful for all you have.

Make this your mindset this month. Whenever you start to complain about something, turn it around and find a reason to be thankful for it instead.

Instead of complaining about getting up too early, be thankful that you were healthy enough to wake up.

Instead of complaining about your lumpy mattress, be thankful that you slept in your own home last night.

Instead of complaining that your brother voted for the wrong guy, be thankful that you live in a country where you are allowed to vote for the wrong guy.

Instead of complaining about eating at McDonalds, be thankful that Whataburger is just down the street.

Instead of turning your nose up at the bowl of brussel sprouts in the middle of your Thanksgiving buffet, move over and grab some mashed potatoes instead. Let those brussel sprouts be a blessing for your weird brother. Then be thankful that you have so much food available to you that you can stuff yourself senseless and take a two-hour nap in front of the TV while the Cowboys lose. There are a lot of people who can’t.

This Thanksgiving remember the words of our focus and give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

by Patrick G Howard

You won’t believe what happened the other day.

Anybody that has known me for more than a couple of weeks knows that I love Whataburger. That orange and white striped roof is like a lighthouse guiding me safely home. Well, this is where our story starts – in the drive-thru at Whataburger.

It was about lunch-thirty when I arrived at the ordering kiosk. The line was full in front of me, as well as behind. I wanted to get out of there and go inside, but I was stuck. Even though I was getting hangry, I knew that my meal would be well worth the wait. Unfortunately, some people have no patience.

As I started to tell the nice girl on the other side of that speaker what I wanted, the lady in the Prius behind me started honking her horn to get me to hurry up. I guess she was in a hurry to get somewhere, and I couldn’t help but wonder what had her feathers ruffled.

Now, I try to treat everybody right, even when they don’t deserve it. I thought that she was probably having a bad day, and I didn’t want to make it any worse. When I got to the first window to pay, I thought, “You should pay for the meal for that lady in the Prius.”

So, I did.

I must have made her day. When she found out that I paid for her meal, she started smiling, and even waved at me to show her gratitude. I was quite proud of myself, thinking that I had somehow made her day a little better.

A few minutes later, I arrived at the pickup window. When the girl handed me that bag of deliciousness, the aroma of that burger and fries hit me. I had forgotten how hungry I was, and I couldn’t wait to get home to chow down on my #3. As I was about to leave, I thought about that lady behind me again; and then I drove off.

I really wish I could have seen her face when she realized that I took her food, as well.

Our focus this month comes from Romans 12:17.

Do not repay evil for evil but consider doing what is honorable.

There are those times.

There are those times when business has been down for a while, and you don’t know how you are going to keep the lights on another week. (If you haven’t experienced that yet, you will.) Just when you think there is no way out of your predicament, a customer walks into your business. This customer knows what she wants and is ready to buy now.

What do you do?

I am reminded of the story Delisle taught me about the lady and the meat market. (I won’t be able to tell it like he does, but maybe I won’t butcher it too badly.)

Schnitzelov’s Meat Market was the place everybody in town goes to. Their meat was top quality, and you could always count on Joe to be friendly and honest.

One day, Mrs. Thompson walked into Joe’s shop. She was a kind, elderly lady with a reputation for cooking up the best fried chicken in town. Well, she had family coming over that night and needed a chicken to cook. Mrs. Thompson walked up to the counter and told Joe her predicament.

As it turns out, it was late in the day and Joe only had one chicken left. Now this was a fine looking chicken, to be sure, but it was a little on the small side. When Joe placed it on the scale, it barely moved the needle, showing a weight of only two pounds.

Mrs. Thompson looked at the chicken and said, “Oh, that won’t do at all. I have some hungry people coming over. Do you have another one, Joe?”

Joe was known for his accommodating nature and always went the extra mile for his customers. He smiled at Mrs. Thompson and said, “Of course. Let me find you a larger chicken.”

Now, Joe had a little trick up his sleeve. Joe took that chicken to the back of his shop and returned a few moments later with the same one. You see, he put the chicken in a bowl of water; and after a few minutes it had plumped up ever so slightly.

Joe returned with the plumped-up chicken and placed it on the scale, and it now weighed almost three pounds. Mrs. Thompson said, “That looks much better, Joe. I’ll take that one.”

Joe wrapped up that chicken as fast as he could, so Mrs. Thompson wouldn’t notice what he did. She turned and headed for the cash register at the front of the store.

Joe was quite happy with himself. He made Mrs. Thompson very happy, and he made a little extra profit from that sale. His glee was short-lived, though.

You see, Mrs. Thompson took a few steps, stopped and turned around. Walking back up to the counter, she said, “You know what, Joe? I think I want both chickens.”

We all have these moments.

We are often faced with choosing between our own needs or our customers’. It is these moments that define us as Christians. It would be very simple to merely misrepresent our product or service to make a sale. After all, the customer would never know.

The author C. S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching.” And as Christians, we are called to do what is right, not what is convenient. We are called to do this all day, every day, at home, at work, and in the community.

I know you’re still thinking about the lady in the Prius at Whataburger. Let me set your mind at ease. It didn’t really happen. (But you secretly wish that it did.)

The next time you are faced with this type of dilemma, don’t give it a second thought. Just do the right thing, knowing that God’s plan is perfect. Knowing that He has something better planned for you. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, remember what happened when Eve became the first person to ignore Apple’s terms of service.

As you go into the world today, remember our focus.

Do not repay evil for evil but consider doing what is honorable.

Matthew Hudgens with Paynada
LaKeysha Moore with It Takes a Village
Robert Linden II with Fitzpatrick Group
Lisa Turner at Kenneth’s Car Care
Mike McManus at Mike McManus Insurance
Tim Suarez with Suarez Cares
Travis Lamnek with Lucid Pros OCN
Terry Brennan with The Brennan Law Firm
Alecia Stringer our Social Media Expert
Frank Holder with Fitzpatrick Group
Brooke Thompson with
Michael Wingfield with Senior Health Services

Kiva McKay at Children Like Loni
Leroy Englin with Spotksed Computer Services
Nicholas Doherty with NBD Graphics
Kerry Herrington with SPJST
Bill Graff with CBNA Realty
Patrick Howard with AAG Mortgage
Hiett Ives with Hiett
Kerry Herrington Independent Agent
Tommy and Donna Domingue with Ford Industrial Service
Tommy Ganaway Independent Agent
Bill Baumeyer with Reason2Race
Mary Bird with MSB2 Marketing
Dennis Silva with TDECU
Flora Oni with Eftex Tax Services

18039 Glenledi Drive
Houston, TX 77084
(832) 232-2049

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