About

Bert Fulks

Bert Fulks – Teacher. Speaker. Business Owner/Manager. Writer. Musician. Founder/Director/Knucklehead, Empty Stone Ministry. Humble, wild-eyed follower.

Over 25 years ago, Bert began his journey into lay ministry (youth ministry; teaching Sunday school; leading camps/retreats; praise band leader; ministry through drama and comedy; small group ministry; speaking to addiction recovery groups).  Empty Stone Ministry grew from a time of desperate brokenness, in which along with God’s healing came this particular mission.

With a degree in Comprehensive Social Sciences, Bert’s “adult” life began as an educator, teaching World History and Psychology in central Ohio.  During that time he also worked with numerous committees and workshops on education reform, curriculum development, and helped launch a peer mediation program in which young people learn to resolve interpersonal conflict by speaking their desires while developing empathy for others, and then searching for common ground.

Bert fell in love with a beauty in the 10th grade (yep, married her … yep, still married).  Along with Empty Stone Ministry, he and his wife, Laura, run a small business in West Virginia where they live with their three kids (sure, the oldest is away at college, but he still comes home and stakes a claim to whatever is in the refrigerator), two dogs, and three cats.

bertBert loves to play music, read, write, camp, fish, and enjoys the simple pleasure of a good beer in his tractor’s cup-holder on a hot summer day.  Lovingly referred to as “Dude” by friends, he is still learning to (among other things) abide.

26 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Burt, I found the ‘X-Plan’ very interesting & have posted on my FB as think could be invaluable to some of my parent friends. Sadly for me I think it might be too late for my nearly 17yr old but would welcome any help or advice if you could please email me back, thankyou.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katie,
      It’s never too late. Surrender to what is and don’t give up on who you know your child to be. Yes, the circumstances may be challenging and who else will love him like you do? May you and your family be blessed as you move through whatever you are confronting.

      Wishing you peace

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thankyou Suzanne for your reply & comforting words…. I will never give up on him but life is very tough & challenging right now, my nearly 17 year old son is on a very wrong path & making all the wrong choices, I’m scared for him, he’s breaking my heart & I’m powerless. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore 😪

        Like

      • Suzanne, your words to Katie have spoken to my heart in such a sweet way. We have a challenging teenager and “dont give up on who you know your child to be” is just so true. The internal war we face each day between not giving up and giving up is so real and hard sometimes. I’m going to read your words each day and be encouraged. Thank you again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your X-Plan is genius and so simple! I have reposted your piece and today implemented with my son who had a visible sense of relief when we discussed it. Even the kid with the best moral compass needs this, hope more parents will use. I really like in the example of the texts used, how you said ” remember who you are ,and whose you are.” important!
    Thank you. I am now reading past posts and finding a lot of good tools as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m humbled. Thank you. The “Remember who you are … and whose you are” is said to our kids every time they head off somewhere. It’s trickled down through the family (if I recall, it started with my wife’s grandparents).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello-

    I just came across your sweet ‘way out’ post via friends facebook posting.

    I want to let you know something you may not already be aware of…Young people who deal with addictions are also probably (not always, but likely) at a genetic pre-disposition – often if they are in a household which is not supportive or aware the genes can be activated – it’s a situation called ‘epigenetics’.
    As the future is ‘here’ scientifically the medical world is about 10 years behind (this is typical of all medical knowledge- it takes a decade to trickle down into practice). In the future addictions will be treated differently but the human connection is always needed to live to best of ones ablity.

    Aside from support, medically and emotionally, one thing you could do to make your ministry more effective would be to become aware of genetics and how they affect these young people so you may (along with the medical folks) help the kids to be aware of their programming and how they may ALWAYS need support to manage the way they are- Reality can’t be denied but it can be managed, one just has to be aware first!

    Bless you and the work you do-
    Sincerely EJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that, EJ. Though I function mostly in a pastoral role with these kids, I wholeheartedly agree that many areas–chemical, biological, spiritual, and social–are at play and need addressed with this devastating disease. I will certainly read up on the genetic work being done–thank you again. I’m always thrilled to expand my toolbox. Best wishes!

      Like

  4. I received your X-Plan way out article from a FB feed. I think it’s a wonderful idea and plan to use it with my grandson (age 9) who I am raising. His Mom, my daughter overdosed at age 30. We raised our children in a wonderful environment and never did I expect this drug addiction craze to touch my life. My son who is 29 is an addict also. He is currently incarcerated. It breaks my heart the negative choices they have made. Both of my children did not have problems in school, but after college. My purpose now is to give my grandson all the tools and information to hopefully make smart choices. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbie, thank you for your transparency. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss and struggle. I, too, have family members raising their grandchildren because of the cruelties of addiction–my heart aches with you and for you. Prayers for strength, hope, and joy.

      Like

    • I think you could simply amend it to say “Something has happened and we need you come home as soon as possible. We will meet you at the house in X minutes.” I suppose he will have to take home any kids he brought with him or assure they get rides. Maybe the kids who rode with him would appreciate the chance to leave, too.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Every Rockford Area Parent Needs to be Using the X-Plan

  6. Pingback: For Every Child & Every Parent – Resilience 101

  7. My child was in a situation yesterday where things were out of their control. They felt uncomfortable and and pressurised.
    I am so thankful to have read about the X-plan through a link shared on Facebook, a link I shared and discussed with my child.

    I received the text and was able to help them and bring them home safely.

    Huge thanks for writing and sharing this around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The “X-Plan” is more than an escape hatch. It’s a chance to build trust. | Thankful

    • Bumping to make sure that Bert sees this message. Imagine how the X Plan can help save the lives and mental health of children and young adults in the UK, especially after reading about the ‘grooming gangs’ preying on young girls.

      Like

  9. Pingback: The X-Plan: A Way Out of Trouble for Your Teen | The Online Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s