Family Reunions and Church

12 09 2010

We had a great time at Karen’s family reunion today.  Karen comes from a beautiful family and well, it was one of the things I loved about her when I met her.  Her mom and dad have both passed and they left a great legacy.  Karen’s 2 brothers are wonderful.  Keith and his family made it but Ken, who has moved to Louisville, KY couldn’t make it.   I’m proud of Karen and her family and am so blessed that they have accepted me into the family.  Here is Karen and some of her cousins…

Aunt Peggy, Cindy, Linda, Leslie, KAREN and Rita

Every time we have these reunions, which are every year, it reminds me of my family and how blessed I am to have a great family as well.  My dad passed away in November of 2002 but my mother is still living (in VA) and she is a precious lady.  My sister lives in VA as well and my brother lives in Jacksonville, FL.  Here are a few takeaways from this years reunion…

FAMILY REUNIONS

1) They can be good (and fun)

2) Seems that children keep being born (there were 13 children there)

3) Love is/was in the air

4) Karen has some incredible aunts, uncles and cousins (and so do I)

5) Families are important to NOT forget about

6) Story telling is a lost art!

Oh yea, we did go to church prior to attending the reunion.  Church attendance is important.  Not for any other reason than the Bible instructs us to NOT neglect the assembling of ourselves together.  Our preacher (Perry Noble, www.newspring.cc) preached on money today.  Money is the #1 thing that keeps us from having a full and vibrant relationship with Jesus.  So, if your money is more important to you than attending church or reading your Bible, you might want to do a heart check.  Love ya, mean it!

Go and CAUSE GOD JOY!

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

11 09 2010

CHANGE…

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!

Football…

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.

Leadership…

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…

CAUSE GOD JOY!





Shag Dancing and Baby Harper Shower….

22 08 2010

It has been a busy and FUN weekend!   Karen and I went to Charleston for the weekend and on Friday night, we went to JB Pivots where the Charleston Shag Club meets to dance.  We went and for the 1st hour, we (really just me) were intimidated by how well they all danced!  Finally a young couple (they were 76 and 74) came up and introduced themselves and said they could tell we were new to this but if I don’t get the heck (he didn’t say heck) out there, I’ll never get better.  Well for the next 2 hours, Karen and I danced the night away.  We had a blast.

Joe and Shirley - our new Shag Dancing Friends from Charleston!

Another person we met was a guy named Francis Lee.  Francis is 81 years old and he is actually in the Shag Dancing Hall of Fame.  Didn’t even know there was such a thing but it does exist.  He broke his hip last year and was still out there dancing Friday night.  He has a legendary step I guess they call the SLIDE!  It was awesome!

Karen with Francis Lee and his wife.

Needless to say, on Saturday night, we took all of our fellow school board friends to JB Pivots and danced after dinner and we had a blast!

We got home today from Charleston and went straight to our daughter-in-love’s baby shower.  Little Granddaughter Harper is going to be set by the time she arrives January 8, 2011.  We can’t wait!  Here are some pics from the shower!!

Karen and I with our INCREDIBLE Daughter-in-Love, Shannon!

Our Granddaughters new Jumper (with #10 on it)! Ha!

Karen and I walked the Market in Charleston and met these 2 ladies that did embroidery and they made this for us on Friday night and we picked it up on Saturday night.  Kind of neat to know my granddaughter will be wearing my number!  YES!!!

Ok, got some breaking news which I’ll post next week and it has to do with my place of employment.  Love my current job and the people I work with.  I’m so blessed, but…I’ll wait to post later in the week.


Keep CAUSING GOD JOY wherever you are!!





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.

CAUSING GOD JOY!





Walk the Talk…

18 08 2010

I can talk about integrity here for hours but that is not necessarily the point I want or intend to make with this title of “Walk the Talk.” Last night I was in a Board Meeting and the Director shared that she reviewed this book with all her faculty prior to the new school year beginning.  Her mantra for 2010-11 is that if we are expecting our kids in our schools to have character and integrity, then teachers and administrators ought to WALK THE TALK. I like this…ALOT!

My wife challenges me all the time since she is the one that has heard me speak a million times over the past 29 years, that if I’m going to say something publicly or in a speech that I give, I BETTER be living it.  Prime example:  People will ask me all the time, “how am I doing?” Right, they ask you that too.  Well, my pat answer often is “I’m doing everything Karen tells me to do.” HA!  Listen, I try to anticipate what I know Karen would like for me to do to not put her in a position to have to ask me to do something.  But she still asks me to do things, like any good wife should (or does!), and I FAIL miserably.  I try and I try hard but I have to keep pressing on to be the best I can be as a husband, father, friend and co-worker.  My point is that if I say I’m doing something, or going to do something, I best follow through…WALK THE TALK!

The Director gave me a copy of the book and I’m going to read it this weekend.  Should be a good read.  I’ll get some details out here soon if your interested.

In the meantime, let me encourage you to go to your local Barnes & Nobles or Amazon.com and get THE SERVANT.  It is by James Hunter and it is one of the best books on leadership and being a servant (at home and work) that I’ve ever read.  It has seriously altered my attitude and my actions.  It has challenged me to consider how I treat everyone that I come in contact with with respect and dignity.   It has challenged me to serve Karen more than ever.

Listen, life is short, make the most of it by making an investment in others…SERVE THEM! And this can be done with JOY when you realize that the life Jesus lived was that of a servant.  He was obviously the MASTER SERVANT and through all of history, his life and promises have (and never will) fail.

Have a great rest of the week and go and CAUSE GOD JOY!





Back at the Grind…

5 08 2010

That sounds kind of negative but it isn’t intended to be.  The GRIND as we call it is actually a responsibility each of us has to work hard and to do it “as unto the Lord.”   That is not a bad thing and one that we need to always keep in perspective.  I actually love the responsibilities that we have as part of the body of Christ.   Think about some of these…

1) To love the Lord (with all our heart, mind and soul)

2) To pursue a life of righteousness (and oh by the way, we have none of our own and we’ll never achieve it in this life)

3) To serve all men (oh the battle over pride and the desire for humility)

4) Men – to love our wives as Christ loved the church (and embrace what ALL He did for it!)

That is obviously just a sampling of the responsibilities in Scripture but I can honestly tell you – it is a JOY to live this thing out on a daily basis.  Yea it comes with its issues and problems and temptations and battles, but they have all been overcome and won by the cross and the empty tomb.  And oh yea, Jesus is coming back so we have something incredible to look forward to.

I’m thankful for vacations along the way too!  We had an incredible time in Hawaii with Kara.   Here are some pics…400 of them can be found on facebook.

Karen, me, Travis (Kara's boyfriend) and Kara at Dolphin Quest

We are looking forward to heading to Boston soon to visit with Shane, Shannon and Daniel.   Shane is now on the Grounds Crew at Fenway along with Daniel (in his 2nd season) and so they get to see each other more often.  They are loving it.  But we can’t wait to see Shannon with a belly!  HA!  She is SO precious and she’s the greatest daughter-in-love in the world.  She and Shane will be great parents and well, we just can’t wait to see all 3 of them.

Vacations provide us time to…

1) Rest

2) Regroup

3) Revisit

4) Rejuvenate

and we were able to do all that on our Hawaii trip.  I hope you take the opportunity to do something to get away from the grind and spend time with Jesus asking Him to FILL you and TEACH you and PREPARE you for living!

I’ve been away from blogging for awhile but hopefully I’m back!  Great being back with ya now go and…

CAUSE GOD JOY!





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!

CAUSING GOD JOY!