I’m back…let’s talk CHANGE, Football and LEADERSHIP!

11 09 2010


Ok, summer is over and school is back in.  For us, our kids are now all settled, the boys are in Boston and Kara lives in Waikoloa, HI.  Yea, its been major change for us.  But they are doing great and love what they are doing which gives Karen and I great peace!  Karen and I are loving life and taking Shag dance lessons.  We’re excited about our GRANDDAUGHTER coming around January 8, 2011.  This has been probably the most exciting time of our lives as we prepare to be grandparents.   I started a new job 2 weeks ago and am absolutely loving it.   I am now the Director of Sales for the AIDC/POS Group at a company called Synnex in Greenville, S.C.

There is always some fear and trepidation when you start a new job but after the first day, I felt right at home.  I work directly for a Sr VP who I have a lot of respect for and the team working for me is right out of the top drawer.  I work with a guy named Brandon who is my Sales Manager and he has provided me with a lot of confidence, encouragement and support in my first two weeks.  It’s really nice to have guys like him on your team that you can trust and go to battle with and for.  The only problem with Brandon is that he is a Clemson Tiger fan.  Why do I always get stuck having to work with Clemson Tigger (sorry) fans?  Oh well.  Guess it could be worse – HA!  Change is good and it can revitalize you if you let it.  The key is making changes in  your life that you trust are in God’s will and then well, YOU BETTER TRUST HIM!


The football season has started and so far all is well.  Byrnes High School won tonight 52-6 vs. Forestview out of Gastonia, NC.  They finally hit on all cylinders and the guys built up a lot of confidence.  USC looked great against Southern Miss last Thursday night but tomorrow is a big test for them as they play the University of GA in Columbia.  Karen and I are driving down to the game and hoping to see Marcus Lattimore (Byrnes HS) light up the scoreboard.  He is a special kid with a special talent.


This is something that I have been doing a lot of reading on lately with my job change.  I’ve re-read the Fred Factor and several other great books, but two have stood out more than others.  They are entitled The Servant by James Hunter and Walk the Talk by Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura.  In the latter book, here are some of the key principles on leadership I wanted to share.

1) Words to Live by are Just words unless you actually LIVE by them.

2) You are what you DO.

3) Everything you Do counts.

4) The Golden Rule is still PURE gold.

5) Character is the key!

* Commitment

* Honesty

* Accountability

* Respect

* Attitude

* Courage

* Trust

* Ethics and Integrity

* Responsibility

How are you doing with all these things?  It’s always refreshing to do a little internal investigation and study yourself.  Men, one of the best ways to do this is to have a heart to heart wtih your wife and see what she has to say.   She is the one person that I’m sure is willing to be honest with you.  It’s also good to have a friend that you can trust as well.  But a little advise on this one, make sure its a friend that you know is walking with Jesus in such a way that he has your BEST interest at heart.

Hey – its good to be back and have a great weekend as you…



Our Grandchild…

19 08 2010

Well, Shane and Shannon called us today and informed us that we are going to have a grand……………………!  Ha!  I can’t tell you until they get the news out there but wow, we are excited.  Now for some of you out there I know you probably want to kill me for leaving you hanging like that. I say, get over it!  Naw, seriously, got to respect my son and daughter-in-love.  They are special and yea, they are REAL excited as well.  Here is a picture of Shane and Shannon and Shannon’s sister, Taylor.  If you look hard enough, you will see our Grandchild…ha!

Shane, Shannon and Taylor in Boston

Isn’t it interesting how we WANT TO KNOW things.  The interesting fact is we seem to care about knowing about the temporal things in life but the eternal things we just kind of shrug off as, well, either unimportant or I’ll never understand it.  We get anxious about knowing what the child is(male or female), what he/she will be when they grow up, what tomorrow holds, etc.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 ““Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Here are just a few tidbits for you to avoid being anxious for tomorrow…

1) Trust Jesus

2) Live today to its fullest

3) Finish today well

4) Live with character and integrity

5) Practice patience (on the road while driving, with your spouse, etc)

6) Communicate with friends and talk things out

7) Did I say Trust JESUS?!!!

Simple truths but often hard to live by huh?  Yesterday I touched on walking your talk.  This is a good way to start.


Preaching this Sunday on Before Your World Comes Crashing Down…

9 07 2010

I am so looking forward to preaching this Sunday at Lake Bowen Baptist Church.  This is such a great group of folks and I love them as if it was my own home church.  Mark Williams is their Pastor and the people their love and support him and I appreciate that.  Jeff Cassidy is their Worship Leader and he does an incredible job – plus he’s a Gamecock (National Champions…did I say that yet?)!

Anyway, can’t wait!  From Judges we see a cycle that is OH so familiar with what is going on with today’s culture.   There was a time when the modern day church was healthy and thriving.  People loved and obeyed God and served Him faithfully.  It seems that we have forsook God and done evil in His sight nowadays and well, there are consequences for that.  Usually, OUR WORLD COMES CRASHING DOWN around us and we begin to CRY out to God in desperation.   We all have problems and issues to contend with but the question is, who do you turn to?

Jesus is the only answer for ANY of our life problems.  We need to turn to Him, trust Him, obey Him, follow Him during the good days and the not so good days.   If you feel like your prayers are just “bouncing” off the walls and not being heard by Jesus, believe me, if you ARE a child of His, He hears you and things will work out for YOUR BEST (Romans 8:28).  BUT, if you just think you are a child and you are just floundering in this make believe religious society called the church (the real church really exists by the way) – you may just be going through the motions and you don’t really know Him.

There are 2 things that I am passionate about and desire for those I know and come in contact with (along with everyone else in the world).  They are:

1) For them to know true salvation which comes by faith through Grace

2) And secondly, for them to Know Jesus and the Power of His resurrection

This second point is the power of living a full and abundant life.  If you don’t know either of these 2 things, your life may be crumbling around you and one day your going to hear a big crash like glass breaking…but its you.

Jesus loves you and He will protect and guide you and keep you safe through the storms of your life.  But you have to have faith and trust Him.

More on this on Sunday!  Love ya!


Have a Shay Day…and cry along with me…

7 07 2010

A friend of mine sent me this story and man, I just about broke down and cried.  OK, I DID CRY!  Knowing a number of families with special needs kids, this story really hit home.  It reveals our character and love for people.  How would you have responded?  I know how I would have wanted to if I was the pitcher…just like he did.  But would I have?  I sure hope so!  Enjoy…


At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the
plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first!

Run to first!’

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third!

Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Karen is off to Hawaii and I’m….

29 06 2010

off on a journey to get to know Jesus better.  I know I know, I ought to be doing this every day any way and I do my best.  But with Karen gone and me cooking for myself (oh my), I’ll have more time to myself to focus on Jesus.  I hope to experience a time of refreshing while Karen is gone so that when we are reunited, she’ll KNOW I’ve been with Jesus.

We’ve been reading through the gospels and Romans the past couple of months and it has validated and confirmed for us SO much of what we’ve already known in our minds and hearts, but when God’s Word melts your heart, you know you’re on to something.

That should be our passion, to know Jesus, and the power of His resurrection.  We ought to love the pursuit and desire His presence every day.  Yea, even at work or recreation!

Pray for me as I do for you (even though I don’t know the names of those who read this).  We need each other for encouragement.  We are the church folks and it is OUR responsibility as individuals to learn more about Jesus…how He lived, walked, talked and taught.   It is not the SS Class or the preachers responsibility.  He is a messenger but YOU are CALLED…too!

I’ll be in touch to check on you but in the meantime…go CAUSE GOD JOY!

Romans and John – Kicking my butt…

23 06 2010

The entire Word of God is powerful and active and sharp and penetrating and life-changing and all that…but I’ve got to tell you something….this week I’ve read through Romans and the Gospel of John and man, it is kicking my butt.  Jesus is the LIGHT – I’m not!  I’m not even worthy enough to tie Jesus’ sandals – gollee!  If Paul can say “Oh wretched man that I am,” (Romans 7:24), what does that make me?  Yea, I know, a horrible sinner.  Reading through it all as thoroughly as I could, it has increased my hope and passion.  I’ve read of God’s love, His grace and mercy, His power in me that is available if/when I die to myself and rid myself of my own selfish desires and wants.

You know, its one thing to know all this stuff the Bible says, but its another to experience living it out.  It is actually FUN!  it gives joy and peace and contentment and purpose and passion and fire and excitement and…you get my point.

Seriously, let me encourage you to take a step of faith and pursue Jesus.  I know you might say you know Him, but do you know Him like you could? or should?  Come on now, you can live 125 years and still not know Jesus like you should.  Go for it and start today, or tonight or tomorrow morning.  Whatever!  Just go for it – you’ll be glad  you did.

If you don’t know Jesus, listen I’m not going to preach to you, argue with you, debate it with you – because truth is truth and frankly,  real truth can’t be denied or tampered with.  It is what it is.  I will only say that I love you and am always more than willing to talk with you about it.

Listen – if I didn’t have the love of Jesus in me – there is NO way I could love Karen (or my kids) the way I do.  It has nothing to do with me (or them), but it has everything to do with our own human selfishness.  This morning after working out at 5:30am and running 3.4 miles, I fixed an omellette and toast and coffee and orange juice and surprised Karen with breakfast in bed.  On a WEDNESDAY…with no expectations of payback…you know what I’m talking about men!!!  I love Karen actively, unconditionally, sacrificially and its fun!  You want proof of Jesus’ existence?  There it is!

Love ya and have a great day!!


An old Violin…

22 05 2010

Recently a friend of mine sent me this story about Joshua Bell (see below)…it brought back some reality for me that was (and is) so important to remember as we travail through life.  Our journey is not one that leaves any of us unscathed.  It has its trials and burdens and struggles and confusions.  Not everything is black and white.  We make good choices and some not so good choices.  Through it all, I’ve been reminded of God’s GRACE! I’ve also been reminded of the SOVEREIGNTY of GOD!

Gods GRACE because He is…

1) Full of Grace

2) His Grace is Sufficient

3) Grace is a Gift

Gods SOVEREIGNTY because…

1) He controls the boundaries of the ocean water

2) He controls the amount of the rain water

3) He defies the gravity of nature with water (think about it, the water from the ground goes UP through a tree causing it to grow.  Without it, the tree DIES).

4) Everything is in His control.

We can never forget or neglect or take for granted God’s Grace.  It is what we ALL depend on to live and survive.  We can never forget God’s Sovereignty otherwise we become proud, boastful and selfish.

So, back to the violin…

When I was a youth minister in New Orleans, a couple who had a teenager in my youth group invited me to their home.  They wanted to thank me for investing in their sons life.   They took me to their attic where they pulled out this old violin.  They explained to me that he (the father) used to play it years ago but that he didn’t have time anymore.  He used to be very good at it.  He wanted to give it to me to remind me FINISH WELL! Even when something gets old, torn up and what is perceived to be ALL USED UP, it still has value and worth.  He wanted me to know that he appreciated the investment in his sons life and to keep on keeping on.

I have…and I will…I promise!

Now to the story of Joshua Bell.  It’s a reminder that what you perceive is not always to be trusted.  It’s a reminder to slow down and express your LOVE and APPRECIATION to those around you – those you know AND those you don’t know.

In Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made…. How many other things are we missing?