A Growing Family Plus an exciting new job…

22 10 2014

 

It has been way too long since I have blogged but wanted to get started back so here I am!  First of all, job changes are exciting when the timing is right and you have peace that God is in control.  I started with IBM 34 years ago and thought I would retire with them.  Obviously seminary interrupted that after 10 years and I thank God every day for the journey.  After 10 years in full-time ministry, I re-entered the market place and became bi-vocational.  In other words, a full-time secular job (ministry on the job is great) and being involved in my church (Newspring), my community (School Board and Sheriff’s Dept chaplain) and my state and beyond (Public speaking, preaching, motivational).  So, ScanSource, Agilysys (now Tolt Solutions), SYNNEX and now Motion Computing where I am the manager of the Eastern Region and Distribution.  Great company, great people and great industry.  And ministry is endless!!!

But now for the real important message – Karen and I are grandparents again.  This time its a GRANDSON!!  He was born at 9:02pm on September 29, 2014 and he and mom (Shannon) are both terrific.  His name is Levi Quinn Harper.

Levi Quinn Harper Born Sept 29, 2014

Levi Quinn Harper
Born Sept 29, 2014IMG_1659

IMG_1628FullSizeRender  Shane and Shannon are such wonderful parents and we are proud of them.  The girls, Reese and Rose will turn 4 and 2 in January and February of 2015 – growing up SO fast.  They are a blast to hang out with and play with now.

Daniel and Emily are doing great.  The two of them with Ruby Sue (their Red Boned Coon Hound) are enjoying life in Greenville, SC for the time being.  Daniels EP has been release on iTunes so I urge you to go check it out.  A simple way to get there is by going to http://www.danielharper.us and instructions are there.  IT IS FANTASTIC!

Kara is still in Hawaii and loving it.  We are planning a family gathering in Orlando in April of 2015 so we can all meet her boyfriend, Justin Villines.  We only know him from Face Time but what we know is that he treats her like an princess and loves Jesus.  All good!

Finally, Karen and I have been on a Paleo diet the past 5 months along with doing Crossfit.  I’ve lost 30 lbs and am almost back down to my playing weight.  At 194 lbs I feel like the old me again – plus Karen likes it!  I encourage everyone to eat right and exercise if you want to feel better.  The only other suggestion I would have is read your Bible and get to know Jesus more and better.  He makes everything better!

 

Cause God Joy!

Garry





Grandchildren are…

18 08 2012

Even better than what people told us about them.  We have a granddaughter, Reese Carolina (see pic below) and she is unbelievable.  The dress she is wearing was made by her Gigi (Karen).  She recently came to town with Shannon to visit us and Shannon’s parents and we had so much fun.  The zoo, a family reunion (Karen’s family), Uncle D’s and Aunt Em’s apartment and pool and to the Duncan Water Park (Shipwreck Cove).  What a blast.  Recently, Shane and Shannon announced that #2 is due February 15, 2013.  We can’t wait.  Grandchildren remind you that you are getting older but that age brings a GREATER APPRECIATION for life, living and loving.  Can’t say enough about what an incredible experience it is to be Big Papa!!

Reese Carolina Harper





Life can be a blur…

19 06 2012

Recently, our 2nd son Daniel got married to an incredible young woman, Emily Jelley (Harper) in Nashville, TN.  We are blessed to have 2 fantastic daughters-in-love now.  Mine and Karen’s 30th wedding anniversary followed with a cruise to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Martin.  See pic!

We have had a great time and then back to work.  We followed all that with Father’s Day and that is what has motivated me to write this blog.  If I was the average man/person trying to keep everything together – I would be such a failure.  I love being a father and particularly, the father of Karen’s children.  Without Karen, I don’t know where I would be today.  In fact, yesterday after work I thought about this again and decided I would surprise her with a dozen roses.  She’s not a flower person necessarily but she knows when I try to do something like that, my heart is ALL IN!!

The real point of this is that the giver of all the good in life is Jesus.  I just want to thank Him continuously for providing me with a GREAT family, a GREAT job, a GREAT wife and kids, a GREAT home, GREAT friends, GREAT opportunities and basically, a GREAT life!  These things don’t just happen.  They come with recognizing who HE is and who WE are.  HE is the Creator and we are the creation.  Blessed?  You better believe it and for that, I will live my life for no other reason than to CAUSE GOD JOY! 

Now off to Columbia, SC for a board meeting for the George Rogers Foundation which sends 42 first generation kids to college every year. 
Garry





Pneumonia…

20 02 2012

I’ve always known my wife loves me.  She doesn’t always tell me in the same way that I tell her though.  I get my verbal communication about loving my wife from my mom…yea, I get it honestly.  Karen gets her communication skills from…well, God!  She is the most incredible servant on the planet earth.  Whenever I feel like I want or need to hear it from her, SHE SHOWS ME BY SERVING ME!  I was diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday and I have been as sick as I have probably ever been in my life.  It’s been horrible.  Then I “EXPERIENCE” her love and it is almost life changing.  I’m still very weak and not all there but I am so encouraged.  I feel the love and compassion and grace that LOVE is!  And that is making me feel better than ALL the medicine the doctor has me on.

I feel so blessed and frankly, probably needed the bodily rest.  I’ve been working 50-60 hours a week and I personally think I just got run down.  I am feeling rejuvenated and hope to get my energy back soon.  Our pastor has been preaching a series called OVERWHELMED!  I love my job, my family, my wife and all the opportunities I have to serve in life.  I can’t wait to get back at it.  A couple truths stand out from all this…

1) You can’t do life alone!

2) Serving is always better than being served but when you are being served, be grateful!

3) Keep your priorities straight.  I’ve hated missing work – I LOVE MY JOB and the PEOPLE I WORK WITH!  But I’ve been forced to rest!  It’s been very good.

4) Jesus is still the answer to everything.  Yea, this has forced me to rest and focus on ALL the truths I know about.  I’m so thankful for His grace and healing power.  Medicine is good, but a right relationship with Him is essential.

5) Finally, we’ve had friends check on us (Karen is sick now – upper respiratory infection), bring us things we’ve needed (thermometer, ginger ale, soup) and pray for us.  True friends are really rare and make sure you nourish those friendships with character and integrity.

Thank you for your prayers for Karen and I and I’m certain we’ll be back to full strength soon!  Go and cause God joy!

Garry





Heart Attacks…literally!

28 01 2012

When I see Karen all dolled up, I tell her she’s going to give me a heart attack!

When my Byrnes Rebels or Carolina Gamecocks are in a close game, I say they are going to give me a heart attack!

We throw that around quite frequently when something we care about…throws us for a loop.

Today, my BEST FRIEND in the world had a very real heart attack!  He is more than a brother to me…and I WAS SCARED!!

It definitely put new meaning to the statement – ‘having a heart attack.’  The heart is an amazing organ.  It weighs 10 oz and is a blood-filled muscle.  In under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body. And over the course of a day, about 100,000 heart beats shuttle 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts.  That’s a big job for a fist-sized muscle.

When it stops or is blocked/clotted, it brings to the brink of death or if not caught quickly or appropriately, can bring us to death.  It can come on us unaware.  That is scary.

Today my friend was cleaning his garage, he was transporting an old grill to the land fill and he felt weak and was hurting.  He stopped along the side of the road and rested for a few minutes.  Called his wife (my wife’s best friend) and got her voicemail.  After a few more minutes, it didn’t get better so he called 911 and they came and picked him up and transported him to the hospital.  We got a call from his wife Karen and headed immediately to the hospital.  Karen (my Karen) and I were scared!  We thought the worst – don’t judge me – it sounded bad.  I have faith but I also know what we were told in that moment on the phone.  We prayed and yes we trusted.  Because even when we pray, we don’t always get what we want, but we always get what is best for us!

Here is a pic of Andy (he is on the far left).  Not a good looking guy on the outside (HAHAHA!) but the best of the best on the inside (that is no joke!)

Andy and Karen (left), Kayla and Kara (middle), Garry and Karen (right)

Only God knows what is BEST and we have to trust Him.  Thankfully, that little 10 oz organ of Andy’s only needed 2 stints put in and he was back to his old self (almost) tonight.  He summed it up this way…God just isn’t finished with me yet!  And I definitely believe that…

ANDY FARR is probably the best husband, father, grandfather, friend and example of a christian man that I know on the planet.  And I get to call him my best friend!  I am so thankful for Andy and Karen.  They mean so much to Karen and I as we travel this journey called life and marriage.  We need them – we need their strength and their friendship.  We are so thankful for today’s outcome and once again, it gave me a fresh and new view of life – and appreciation for it.

I’ve always said to those that will listen – as you live, work and play, whatever you do, CAUSE GOD JOY in doing it!  I think it is time I get back to doing that more faithfully than ever before!

God bless and will be back soon with more!





A Granddaughter can change your life…

4 09 2011

Reese Carolina has changed our lives for a few reasons…first she is the daughter of my firstborn son.  Shane and his incredible wife Shannon are incredible parents and are raising Reese in an incredible home environment.  Second, well, we love Reese and would do anything for her.  Her smile and personality melts our hearts.  Finally, we know she belongs to Jesus and He will guard, protect, guide and nourish her as she grows.  Having a daughter of my own, I know He is faithful and now He has another opportunity to show off with Reese.  More to come later…





Merry Christmas 2010

22 12 2010

Let me begin by saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that you have the time of your life with your family and friends during this time of celebration.  Take time to read the Christmas story and remind yourself and those around you that Jesus is alive and well and Christmas is ALL about Him.

I can’t believe it has been so long since I have blogged.  Alot has gone on in the Harper household since I last got on and blogged.  September 26, 2010 was my last day at Agilysys and on Monday, September 29th I started work at SYNNEX as the Director of Sales for their AIDC (Data Collection)/POS (Point of Sale)/Physical Security business unit.  Let me just say that I have been blessed.  I loved working at Agilysys and my family there was incredible.  But the past 3 months have been the most enjoyable I think I have ever had in business.  Its all in an attitude!!!

Karen and I are on edge…for good reasons.  We’re awaiting the birth of our first grandchild, a granddaughter.  Reese Carolina Harper is due January 7, 2011 but we are really hoping for a 2010 baby!  Shane and Shannon are doing great – they are ready to go and they are just the most precious expectant parents I’ve ever seen (I know they are ours so of course I think that).  I do believe the Lord has prepared them for this and as they begin their new family, we’re just praying for peace, love and joy for them!  Here’s our incredible daughter-in-love, Shannon with Shane and baby Reese…

Shane, Shannon and baby Reese

 Daniel has finished up his semester at Berklee in Boston and is busy writing music and like all of us, waiting for Reese to arrive.  Kara is busy working at Dolphin Quest and we’ll sure miss her at Christmas.  She will fly to Boston in February though and we can’t wait to see her again.  She’s faithful in calling a couple times a day so that eases the pain of missing her a little bit.

That’s all for now – Karen and I pray that your lives, marriages, relationships and homes will be blessed this holiday season.  Remember, most of the time it begins with you!  SO, tell someone you love them – then SHOW them that love by serving them some how this holiday season!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Garry and Karen