Chris and Val

(catching up on Daily Grats…)

Sunday: Chris and Val
We watched the Super Bowl on Sunday over at Chris and Val’s house. It was nice to get to spend some time with them. Dennise, Chris and me have now officially known each other for a few weeks more than 20 years. We each met each other, twenty years ago this January, when Chris joined my staff in Boaz-Letterman Hall as a mid-year replacement “RA.” As I’ve said before, it was a mighty good staff.

Dennise was a part of it. So was Chris. So was Rep. Rafael Anchia.

It used to be that the folks I’d known twenty years were all elementary and high school friends. Now, they’re grad school friends. Wow.

I met Val when I was in charge of Pursuits and she and Chris started dating. Was mighty honored to do their wedding. They have two of the cutest kids anywhere. And it’s been even more fun having them at Northaven, too, and getting to keep up more than we probably would have otherwise.

BTW, Chris is running for one of the Dallas County Probate Courts. I wish him the best of luck. If elected, it will make three elected officials from my staff at Boaz-Letterman.

And I will still say, no matter how untrue it is: “They learned it all from me.”

So, Sunday, I was grateful for Chris and Val.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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