Sometimes You’re the Bug!

Three’s a Charm

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

Giannina’s Pizza and Italian
9740 Barker Cypress, Cypress Tx. 77433
(Barker Cypress and Tuckerton)

$10 includes pizza or pasta, salad, and drink


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








Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

I was thinking about this story the other day – the story of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, and Laban.

As you will recall, Jacob had to get as far away from Dodge as possible, because Esau wanted to kill him. After a very long journey (more than 400 miles), Jacob reached the city of Paddan Aram where his maternal uncle – Laban lived.

Upon his arrival, he spoke with the shepherds in the village and asked where he could find Laban. While he was still speaking with the locals, he saw Rachel walking toward him. She was a stunningly beautiful woman, and Jacob immediately fell head-over-heels in love with her.

Rachel announced Jacob’s arrival to her father, and Laban rushed to greet him. Immediately, Jacob went to work for his uncle. After a month of toiling, Laban asked, “Tell me what your wages should be.” Now, Jacob came to Paddan Aram to start a new life, and he needed a wife. Since Jacob already knew that he had to have Rachel as his bride, he agreed to work for seven years to pay for her dowry.

For the next seven years, Jacob worked diligently, without complaint. To him, this was well worth the hand of Rachel. Once the covenant had been fulfilled, Jacob asked for the wedding, as he was promised.

Laban agreed, and soon invited the entire community for the wedding celebration. There was great food, and the wine was flowing freely. At the end of the evening, Jacob was tired, and probably needed a designated donkey driver. Nonetheless, he would not be denied his wedding night with the love of his life.

Our focus this month is …

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Jacob was in for a rude awakening.

Can you imagine how Jacob felt the next morning? When he went to bed, he thought that he was finally receiving his reward for all the hard work he provided to Laban; but instead, by the dawn’s early light, he discovered that Laban had tricked him, and he had consummated the marriage with Rachel’s older sister – Leah.

What do you do when you were promised Rachel, and receive Leah instead?

That happens to us all the time. You go on Amazon to purchase the product you think is the great, only to find out that it is really junk. You order a burger at a fast-food restaurant (not named Whataburger, of course) and find that the finished product looks nothing like the picture on the wall. Or the guy at the dealership tells you on the phone that he still has the advertised vehicle on the lot, and after your 45-minute drive to get there, you find out it sold right before you got there; but there is an even better one for just a little more money.

It’s called Bait-and-Switch, and that is exactly what happened to Jacob.

I am reminded of a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

I love country music. These songs handle some very deep philosophical topics with a simplicity unmatched by any other genre. The song is titled “The Bug” and the hook goes like this.

Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes you’re the bug.

There is a lot of wisdom packed into that one little line. Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. It’s easy when things go your way, but what matters most is how you handle things when life gets rough.

Well, what does this have to do with Paul’s letter?

I’m glad you asked.

Our focus is saying to give thanks in all circumstances because it is God’s will. I think most people misinterpret this verse to mean we should thank God for every bad thing that comes along; but that is not what it really says.

This verse tells us that we should be thankful IN all, not FOR all circumstances.

Do you see the difference here?

We don’t need to give thanks FOR the bad things in life, but rather we should give thanks to God that his plan is perfect. We don’t have to like what we’re going through. We just need to give thanks to God, for He is good.

Realize that whatever our troubles are now, they are only temporary, whereas our reward is eternal. When you accept that notion, it is much easier to …

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Patrick G Howard

By Patrick G Howard

I don’t normally like to repeat myself, but …

Our last two foci have been centered around James 1:22 – Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. I challenged each of you to ask God what being doers of the word looks like in your business.

Did you?

Most of the time I get very positive feedback about the Focus of the Month, but the last one was a little different. The response to the focus and the roundtable discussions we had in some of the chapters was tremendous. I heard many great examples of how we can be doers of the word in our businesses. When that happens, I know that my message was what the Spirit wanted me to share. Feeling quite happy with myself, I decided it was time to move on to another verse for our focus.

It happened again!

I was at church a few Sundays ago. Now, that Sunday, I would be singing the offertory with a small ensemble in about thirty minutes, and my mind was really on my performance and not on worship.

If you recall, last time I spoke about my experience at Charlie Johnson’s memorial, and how the message in the eulogy was clearly meant for me. Well, it happened again.

Our first bible reading was from the book of James at the first chapter. I think I could spend a year studying James. This letter is like the book of Proverbs for the New Testament. Written almost two millennia ago, it is just as relevant today as it was then.

In his letter, James addresses problems and practical instructions for living in faith all day, every day, at home, at work and in the community. He addresses problems such as discrimination, lust, backbiting, worldliness, and others. He clearly makes the case that the Christian faith is more than just a principle, but rather a commitment to a way of life.

Now, normally I would listen attentively to the readings, but on this day my mind was on other things. On other things until we reached verse 22 in the reading – Be doers of the word, not hearers only. That is when my mind snapped to attention and could think of nothing else.

It got me thinking that maybe we’re not through with this verse.

Shall we play a game?

Whether you are a master of the links, a despiser of the dogleg, or somewhere in between, there is a philosophy every successful golfer carries in their mental bag of clubs; a mind-wedge if you please.

You must play the ball where it lies.

This is a very simple, and seemingly obvious concept for even the most novice among us, but it is one of the most difficult to execute in golf, or any of life’s endeavors as well. I bring this up because golf is an allegory for life.

Think about it.

Our lives are filled with struggles and disappointments, with a few successes along the course. No matter how many strokes you take during a game of golf, you are only successful of reaching your goal of putting that tiny ball into that little hole 18 times. Even the best golfers in the world only do that an average of once every four times they swing a club.

Talk to anybody who has attempted the game, and they will likely tell you that golf is one of the most frustrating activities you will ever attempt. It is as much mental as it is physical. We celebrate those very few good shots, while we dwell on the last shot that became alligator food. Only the elite golfers ever master the concept of – you must play the ball where it lies.

Where is your ball?

I imagine that in the past month, many of you have attempted to be doers of the word but have let life get in the way. And like a golfer who slices their ball to the depths of Davy Jones Locker on occasion, it is easy to become discouraged with what we perceive as life’s failures and quit trying.

Maybe it’s time for a shift in focus.

Maybe our definition of success is wrong. Maybe, instead of recognizing success as some measurable outcome, we properly focus on the effort as our par for the course. It is easy to dwell on our failures and become so discouraged that we no longer try, but if we focus on making the effort, some of our shots will go in the hole.

My challenge to you …

Play the ball where it lies.

Don’t worry about last month because you lost your ball in the deep rough. Quit looking for that ball, come out of the rough, take your drop and play the ball where it lies. Just make your next swing.

Make every day your next swing.

If today lands in the rough, just play the ball where it lies.

Go out and be doers of the word, and not hearers only.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before:  On second thought …

By Patrick G Howard


This word is derived from the Latin – inspirare, meaning to breath into. It is also where we get the word – spirit; as in Holy Spirit. I point this out, because when I write our focus each month, it is less my writing and mostly the Holy Spirit’s. There’s one thing about the Holy Spirit; He doesn’t operate on our schedule.

Unfortunately, I have deadlines to make, and I must prepare the Focus on time; regardless of whether I am inspired, or not. Sometimes when that happens, the Focus just isn’t … focused. I think that happened last month, and I would like a do-over. For that reason, our Focus verse this month will be the same as last.

James 1:22 ~ Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.

Let me explain.


A funny thing happened at the funeral.

I am reminded of the memorial service for Charlie Johnston. I have known Charlie for many years, as he is the father of my sister-in-law. I admit that I should have been there in the moment, but it was a long drive to Waxahachie, it was going to be a long drive back, I was already tired, and I needed to be at home writing the Focus.

My mind kept drifting toward what I was going to write about. I don’t know how long my mind had been wandering, but suddenly, my attention became focused on the speaker and topic of this month’s focus became crystal clear.

The eulogy was being given by the grandson of the deceased, who said something that was clearly meant for me. He reminded me of something Charlie used to say often, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” And while this quote is usually attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, I will always think of Charlie. This quote made me think, we all work in a business – either as an employee or as an owner. What better platform is there to preach the Gospel?


Did I just make you squirm in your seats?

I think it’s natural to be afraid of preaching the Gospel to your customers. There are many fears when putting yourself on the line like that. Maybe you’re afraid of being rejected. You might be afraid of ridicule, or discrimination because of your faith. You could be worried about preaching the wrong message. We frequently fear that there may be a government regulation or company policy we are violating by sharing our faith.

The most likely fear is that we will offend our customer. And while it is highly likely that some will be offended, it is equally likely that there will be even more that are drawn toward you because of your courage and conviction. Now, I’m not talking about beating your customer over the head with your bible. Rather, I’m talking about preaching the Gospel at all times through your actions.

There is a company that does just that. I would get little argument when I say that it is one of the most successful in America. Their corporate purpose statement is bold, unashamedly Christian, and on full display for all to see.

To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chck-fil-A.

They make a fine chicken sandwich, to be sure; but their success doesn’t come from the quality of their product. You can get a great chicken sandwich at a number of other places. Rather, their success comes from the customer experience, which all begins with their stated purpose. Their success comes from putting God before their business. Their success comes from being Christians all day, every day, at home, at work and in the community.

There are many who hate Chick-fil-A for their faithful stand and will stop at nothing to help them fail. Try as they may, this company continues to be one of the most successful in the country.


Have you tried to eat there lately?

It feels a little like a game of Frogger just walking between the cars in the double drive-thru lines. And when you get inside, they are packed. But no matter how crowded their restaurant is, the service is always superior. That is why Chick-fil-A does more business in the six days that they are open, than most do in seven.

They are truly an example of how successful a God based business can be.


You may wonder …

Can you build your business to be as successful as Chick-fil-A? Only God knows. Regardless of your measure of success, if you are in business to Glorify Him, you will be successful by the most important measure.

My challenge to you this month is simple. Don’t make any drastic changes in your business this month. Just pray about it. Ask God what honoring Him with your business would look like and ask Him how you can do that. Ask Him how you can preach the Gospel at all times; and to be doers of the word, and not just hearers.

And that is our focus this month.

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
Mike Price with PJs Coffee of New Orleans
Alecia Stringer our Social Media Expert
Frank Holder with Fitzpatrick Group
Brooke Thompson with
Michael Wingfield with Senior Health Services

Giovannina Cicciarella with Giannina’s Pizza and Catering
Kiva McKay at Children Like Loni
HIett Ives with Show Dynamics
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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