Friday, December 11, 2009
Not only am I old enough to have a child on that field but I am old enough too have one in college. When my father was my age, I was in my 4th year of college. My oldest child is 14 and my youngest 2 with my middle child 10. I still have a way to go raising my family but everything is happening too fast. My kids are growing up too fast. Yet, the past doesn't seem that far away.
I can still smell the fresh mowed grass on the practice field at Northside. I can feel the burn of the sweltering heat and humidity that would make me stagger like a drunk when it got near unbearable. I can remember the stench in the varsity dressing room where sweaty pads and equipment hung, I remember when the first cool weather of fall was welcomed on the field as it rejuvenated an otherwise tired and drained bunch of young men. I remember feeling like superman on a Friday night, tearing through a defensive line to clear the way for yardage to be made. I remember the animal rage that built up inside and how great it felt to unleash it upon the opponent. I remember the drums of the band roaring like thunder in cadence. Very rarely did we taste defeat and when we did it was as bitter as anything I've ever swallowed. I remember gathering on cold Saturday mornings after the game to stretch out soreness we had from the night before and evaluate any injuries sustained during the game. Those memories will always seem like just yesterday. God bless the young men who suit up tonight to rage war for the top prize. For those of you that will play in your last game, may this always seem like just yesterday for you as well, for the grass on the practice field always smells fresh cut.
Go Big Blue!
Friday, December 4, 2009
In my second year of college I was baptized. Still, I had no true direction other than I needed Jesus in my life. I continued to wander lost in a world of sin with no intentions to repent. Shortly after this my life went into a tailspin of sin as I feel I had become the pure embodiment of hell on earth. I tore others apart in my sinful rampage. Not only was I not a good Christian but I wasn't even a good person. I had pushed Jesus back into a small corner of my heart and tried to forget he was there. Still, He burned on in my heart like a pilot light flickering in an unused furnace, waiting to be turned on. There was no love in my life and certainly none in my heart. At least that is what I thought.
Eventually I finished college and lived through the carnage that had become my life. I eventually focused on career and met the lady that is the love of my life and luckily for me, became my wife. We started a family and the furnace was turned on so love could burn in my heart, warming the walls of what had been a cold void. We found a church for us to go to with our first child. I was trying to be a Christian or at least what I thought one should be. The church politics became heated and festered resentment in my heart for the church and the people in it. Church is no place for politics I thought. How dare these people taint the house of God with greed, thirst for power, and the fear of the unknown. I quit going to church and started to resent everything the "church" represented or at least what I thought it represented.
As I look back now I can easily see what went wrong. Jesus never turned his back on me. People with good intentions however, failed me three times. First when I was saved but given no direction. Second when I was Baptized but not guided. Third when I turned to the church and only saw people. Unfortunately people suck. Even in the very house of God where love should spread like wildfire, the sins of people do exist. Our imperfections as such will not change and only by the love of God do we have any salvation. Without the love of God we are hopeless. That thought is what made me realize that I was as hopeless as the politics within the church. People are going to make regretful mistakes. They are going to make them in dirty alleys and they are going to make them in the house of God. Still, He loves us. He forgives us. We too often forget that we have the ability to Love and Forgive as well.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Of all places where people should have love, compassion, and forgiveness for each other, the church should be first. An outsider looking in should be able to see the love of God at work. It should be at work within the hearts of people as imperfect as we are. For the love of God is the only perfect thing we have. What a sin to take that for granted.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Our offense played hard nosed football and ran the ball all night long, punching the highly favored Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets right in the mouth. When GT punched us back we kept on getting after them. I can't remember a Georgia offense that passed fewer times in a game, including when Herschel Walker was plowing through defenses. We had two running backs get over 100 yards rushing in what would be the most rushing yards in a game since Richt has been at the helm. They were running as if possessed. Possessed indeed by a heart bigger than we have carried all season.
The defense, although still not as physical as I have come to expect of a Georgia team, did what it took to hold off GT just enough for us to prevail. Not enough, I would say, to save Willie Martinez's job but enough to pull out our biggest win of the season, against a very good Georgia Tech.
This was also sweet vengeance for in 2008 GT beat a better Georgia team. Last year GT beat us with heart. This year our heart was bigger.
Work with heart, play with heart, love with heart, for through man's heart the Lord will do amazing things. Go Dawgs!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Normally I go "home" to Dublin, Georgia for Thanksgiving. I always look forward to eating with family and spending time with loved ones I simply don't get to see very often. I'm right in the middle of remodeling our kitchen. It's a Christmas gift my wife and I are giving each other. We want it done by Christmas and I have a lot to do. For that reason, I won't be making my yearly trek to Dublin for turkey. It saddens me on many levels but particularly because my family needs me there and in many ways I need them as well. Last Thanksgiving night 2008, my father was admitted to the hospital from which he would not return as he ended his battle with lung cancer. In some ways I feel relief that I don't have to face that but for the most part I feel guilt for not being there for my family in Dublin. My Mom, Sister, Step-father, Grandmother, Aunt, Cousins and more will be there with this heavy on their heart. It will be heavy on mine as well.
In addition to that I will miss out on the fellowship of hunting and/or fishing that I might have done while visiting. This will be the second year missing out on this because as my father was sick last year, there was certainly no opportunity for the things we loved to do together. I also don't look forward to back breaking labor to get the kitchen done. So there's the salt, bitter as it is.
Let us get on to the sweet stuff. Let me tell you of all I am thankful for:
- First off, although I won't be in Dublin for my family, I am thankful they will all be together and have each other. I am thankful that with today's technology, I can call them throughout the holiday and tell them I love them.
- I'm thankful that after years of suffering in a poorly designed kitchen that I have taken the steps to ending that misery.
- I am thankful that I don't have to drive in holiday traffic through Atlanta.........twice.
- I am thankful for our friends from church that are inviting us into their home for Thanksgiving dinner as our kitchen is in shambles. Cracker Barrel would have been fine but the family atmosphere is certainly welcomed this year.
- I am thankful that my parents are who they are so that I became who I am.
- I am thankful for the most awesome wife and kids a guy could have.
- I'm thankful that this miserable Georgia Bulldog season is almost over.
- I am thankful that my father is with my heavenly father.
- I am thankful that one day I will be too.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
We panic, we make stupid mistakes and we choke. What does it take to gain back momentum? I'll tell you that it takes spirit, heart, and focus. All of this we lack on this Georgia team I love.....We are now fighting to prevent a loss as we are behind. Bobo calls predictable plays and Joe Cox has a crappy grin on his face when things don't work out. Three turnovers and more penalties. Two minutes are left and it doesn't look good.
We need heart. We need the likeness of Pollack on the defense. We need the focus and determination of David Green. Grinding it out and trying to get better isn't working. We stink.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In Kool-Aid Part 1 I spoke of how I didn't really care for the production and fabrication of energy and excitement where it just didn't feel genuine. Be on fire for Jesus yes, but don't try to motivate or move me with something that isn't pouring out from your heart. This wasn't a problem at the second church we visited. In fact for a while there I wasn't sure if there was a pulse.
As we left the service from the second church we visited and piled into the van to depart, our pastor looked around the van as to say .....well?? What did you think?" I, as I am usually glad to give my opinion, stated that I learned a few things: " Ben Stein could probably give a sermon if that guy can." In addition, the best ideas or tips we took away from the visit was how not to make people feel welcomed, and on a positive note we learned that it is very important to get good casters (wheels) to put on the bottom of your carts, buggies and other equipment transporting devices used in a portable church set-up.
It was as if someone heard me say "turn that crap down" from the visit before and took that to mean turn everything down. This is a very successful church we visited. If they can have that kind of success with that kind of effort, then I am REAL exited about what we can do at Rockbridge Chatsworth when we launch.
So, We've sampled the porridge that's too hot. We've taken a sip from the bowl that's too cold. Now I'm ready for little bears' grub that's just right. I think little bear's going to eat in Chatsworth, Georgia and we're cooking dinner.
I never thought I would say this, but I am excited about being a portable church!
Afterthought: I should always be clear that as my BLOG is titled, these are my thoughts, and my feelings and they don't necessarily reflect the thoughts, vision and feelings of my church as a collective. In addition , although I speak negatively of these other churches, let me be clear in saying they are both doing an incredible job of sharing Jesus and saving souls. They are obviously doing a lot of things right. God Bless.
Friday, November 13, 2009
There is so much In this passage that means so much on so many levels. First and formost it says we are all equal in Gods eyes. But what does it say about slavery. I found myself asking, "Does God condone slavery?" I had to find out more about what exactly this all means and the short answer is yes, and no. I will elaborate on what I discovered.
Slavery in the time of Jesus was much different than it is today. Slavery exist still in our modern world, masked by the evil of mankind. We in the U.S.A., are fortunate enough to say it is rare if not non-existent here. However, in third world countries across the globe it still happens and it isn't pretty. Millions of people in the world are in slavery through forced labor, sex trade, minions of drug lords, etc. Most of the time in America when we talk about slavery we think about the abduction and slavery of Africans as we founded this nation. It was wrong and we still suffer for those sins through racism and cultural segregation of our own doings. When I say "our own" I'm not talking about whites, I'm talking about people. However, that's another subject in itself. Slavery today is wrong, it's immoral, and it isn't Christ like because through the years mankind has made it something it used to not be. The slavery of a race or a people is wrong now, just as it was when the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt. This isn't the slavery Paul spoke of in his letters. And it isn't slavery as seen by God's plan.
Slavery at a time was a voluntary means of living a better life. Folks starving in debt, might sell themselves willingly to slavery to pay off debt and to ensure that they are taken care of, for their labor in return. It wasn't really any different that being employed if Gods plan and intent is followed. Let me repeat the above again "Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember you both have the same master in heaven, and he has no favorites."
Men, as we always have, took slavery as it was then and meant to be, and through greed and hatred made it something bad. It's hard for me to even write this because today slavery is such an ugly word of disgust. But it wasn't God's intent. Does God condone slavery? As defined by God I would say yes. As defines by us I would say absolutely not. What do you think?
Monday, November 9, 2009
As I have mentioned in past BLOGS, I am extremely happy with my church, its philosophy, and the atmosphere we create. However we realize that to keep folks on fire for the Lord, you have to shake things up, you have to take advantages of opportunities to improve and you have to be willing to fail. The church we visited this past weekend ( I won't mention the name or location because they are doing wonderful things and I don't want to place ANY negative impression on what they are doing.) is very similar to our own church in many ways, non traditional with modern Christian music rather than hymns. The Pastor is very young, very energetic and without a doubt he is bringing people to the Lord. They have grown from nil to more than 4000 members in just over 3 years. WOW!!
Here is some of what they do well:
- Technology - Incredible electronics for visual and sound systems.
- With that technology, an incredibly talented group of musicians leading the worship.
- Volunteers.Hundreds of them make it happen EVERY Sunday. The people ARE the church.
- Production: They create a great experience for first timers with greeters everywhere. They put on a show for sure.
- The music was AWESOME, original and WAY TOO LOUD!!! I could feel the base from the drums vibrating my shirt. In case you thinking I'm just being an old fuddy duddy, I went to see KISS in concert a few weeks ago and they were not as loud as this church. My ears were hurting and I don't recall being offered ear plugs as I walked in. How could I take my 80 year old Grannie to this?
- Energy overkill - When you watch infomercials you often see the pitch men get so exited that you know any second they are going to pee themselves. The excitement and the energy is fabricated because nobody goes ape crap for a juicer. There is a HUGE difference between Jesus and a juicer and I realize Jesus is certainly something to get exited about. However, do I believe you are that excited? I kind of got that same feeling of fabricated excitement from the pastor and the guest speaker/preacher as well. They were certainly not unlike Rock-star preachers and I was almost giggled at the stench of egos. I am all for some getting fired up for Jesus. I love it. However, I have a strong sense of genuine and I simply felt more ego than love.
- There was also some methodology in which volunteers were obtained that seemed a bit militant. I won't go into any detail here but I got the feeling that if a fellow is strattlin the fence for too long that the leadership will just push them off the fence, outside the pasture and wish them well.
I like the flavor of the Kool-Aid at my Rockbridge Community Church. Less ego, fewer rock stars, more love for Jesus and each other. Thank you Jesus for placing me here. Cheers!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Let me tell you about what I love and miss and how it can fit perfectly if I let it, as well as tell you what I need in life.
I love to:
- read the Bible
Now for hunting, This one is difficult for me lately for several reasons. One is that I don't have a great place to hunt anymore other than public land. I am spoiled in growing up in middle Georgia and miss the easy access hunting there. I was on a hunting lease but as the economic downturn of the country is upon us, it is simply not affordable to go south often enough to justify the cost of a hunting lease. Fuel is simply too expensive. But I can hunt locally and it would be enjoyable. That activity would provide exercise. (walking up a mountain carrying a gun, a blind, a backpack and a chair is darn good exercise for a big boy like me.) It is also an incredible opportunity to not only relax but to talk to God in prayer and connect with nature. I don't know if there is anytime better to pray than sitting in the woods quietly. It is awesome. Once again a pretty good marriage for my wants and needs.
What about Golf?? I don't know that golf accomplished as much, other that some well needed exercise that I desperately need. Unless you play alone(which isn't likely) it doesn't offer much as far as the opportunity to pray and spend time with Jesus. Further, I'm a pretty bad golfer so there is an increased chance that unsavory words might flow freely from my lips. Then again, I haven't played golf since rededicating my life to Christ. Maybe golf is something I should do with my daughter who has shown interest. That way I spend quality time with her and Jesus. Now there is an awesome opportunity!
Let's try to summarize my true needs in exercise, prayer, relaxation and reading the Bible. I have covered them pretty well in the loves I have above in some very good activity combinations. However, these are one day a week solutions to my true needs at best. I need more of all of these in my life on a daily basis. My thoughts are that walking is my overall solution. It gives me my exercise, and opportunity to pray and the after effect would surely result in some true relaxation. The only thing keeping me from this seems to be energy and motivation. I'll start by praying for this. A regular walk with Jesus will be a life blessing in so many ways. Somehow this solution seems so simple yet so difficult. Sacrifices will have to be made but the payout is surely worth it. Last but least, I need to read the Bible. I think I have a solution to that as well. I'm going to get myself a nice compact Bible to keep in my office at work. I'm going to start eating self prepared healthier choices in my office and spend that time reading the Bible as I enjoy lunch. Can it really all be this simple? I think it may!! OK so I have a plan. Let's see how well I execute.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The article can be read here: http://www.ajc.com/business/fla-man-says-home-175481.html
I am sick and tired of government and corporate America pushing God out of our schools, workplace, our communities and our very lives. I'm tired of voting for politicians that stand for the self interest of political parties and supporters. I'm sick of Democrats. I'm sick of Republicans. I'm sick of lawyers hungry for the opportunity of a law suit that disputes Godly morality. I'm tired of this country losing Purity and becoming a filthy gutter slut of a nation.
Politically I'm waiting for candidates that want to return us to "One Nation Under God" again. Until then, there isn't much I can do about government. Corporately however, I can effect those that won't stand with God and Country. I promptly e-mailed Home Depot and notified them that I have been a loyal customer for 10 years. I have spent a great deal of money there and every time I did, I drove past a Lowes to get there. I told them I would now start saving on my fuel cost and begin to stop at Lowes. I'm paying off the little I have on my Home Depot account and I'm going to destroy my card. The very money that Home Depot so eagerly takes in daily has "In God We Trust" inscribed on it. Somehow they don't seem to have a problem with that. Then again, how much longer before God is removed from our currency. I assure you there are lawyers working on that one right now.
In a nut shell, nothing is going to change for the good by the hands of politicians and lawyers. We need to make the change. We make the change by taking a stand. Put your foot down America.........One Nation Under God! Indivisible.
Sidenote: Georgia Vs Florida this weekend. I'm not very confident in a win here but I do know that in the SEC, an upset is possible. I think it will either be a blow out with Florida eating us alive or a victory in a close one. Either way, GOOOOOOOO Dawgs!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?' 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.
I'm not saying my wife and I don't give money to the church every Sunday for we most certainly do. However, we haven't been giving the money to God and most certainly not in the amount he has clearly specified. It should be ten percent off the top. That means the first ten percent and that means gross. That is Gods part. That means if you give the ten percent you are tithing. If you do not give the ten percent you ARE NOT tithing. God has challenged us to test him in this. If you tithe as God has specified you will be blessed. My wife and I live paycheck to paycheck just like everyone else. Ten percent of our salary is a big chunk of money. To tithe is a huge leap of faith. How do we squeeze blood from a turnip?? The answer: We don't, that's Gods part in all this. It is He that makes the impossible possible and it is us that must simply have faith. I don't know any way to make this happen other than to pray and just do it. The rest is in Gods hands.
I also learned that a little more than 97 percent of Christians don't Tithe by definition. There are so many of us who's money and finances are cursed. I'm getting out from under that curse. Part of me says "boy this is gonna hurt". However, I also thought being a Christian and walking with Christ was going to be a burden and it is anything but. I have faith that the Lord will meet my every need. My family will thrive under the love of God.
I have to look at it this way. It's all Gods' anyway. I'm not giving him ten percent. He's giving me ninety percent and He gave his only son to pay for my sins. I don't want to rob from God who has given me so much any longer.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Lane Kiffen made the bold statement that he would see to it that Tennessee would never loose to Georgia as long as he was coaching. This man, who most of us thought was a fool coming into the season did at least keep his promise to the Vol nation so far. Our Coach let us down.
What's wrong in Athens? Well, it you break it down to it's simplest form the problems with losing are caused by one of two things:
- Lack of Talent
- Lack of Coaching
What about Coach Mark Richt himself? I love it when he is calm as a cucumber during the crunch to remain focused on the game. I do not at all like it when he shows no emotion when we are being made a fool of by a team that's got nothing but Eric Berry. I'm ready to see some snot bubbles and spit barking out of a hopping mad Mark Richt. His team needs snot bubbles and spit! Dawgs Slobber for goodness sake!
We only have one game left this year that I don't much worry about and that's Tennessee Tech. I don't know if we can stop anyone else left on our schedule. One of the worst offenses in the SEC hung nearly 50 points on us this past Saturday and at this time Tennessee Tech is dreaming big thinking maybe they stand a chance.
Everyone else is certainly coming in thinking they will beat us. We have to prove them wrong. I don't know if firing someone in mid season is the right thing to do. But I think a statement needs to be made. A simple win against Vandy this weekend isn't going to cut it.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I thought about the Georgia coast as well. I didn't actually live there but my father did and it is probably one of my favorite places with so much natural beauty. I love those live oaks that stretch out more than they do up. I loved being underneath the canopy of a live oak, curtained with Spanish moss as my bare feet dug into the black sand and a warm breeze blew off the salt marsh. That breeze carried a sweet stench from the marsh that I would say is an acquired taste, or smell if you will. I think about the friendly folks at Shellman's Bluff. Most of the people there were not from there at all but spent the weekends there. It was as if it were a place where people went to be friendly. Time certainly slows down there and there is a sense of peace. The local restaurant at the Bluff was ironically called "Speeds", named after the family that started it many years ago. The placemats and menus, from what I remember read, "we move slow here" as a reminder of where you are and that the food was cooked fresh to order. As I thought of all this I couldn't help but wonder if I would ever go there again. I certainly hope so.
Nevertheless, I traveled the same stretch of interstate I did as a young buck in college going back to school after a weekend at home with family. I had to look hard for the things from my youthful memories. Time had covered many of these memories as trees grew taller and the general terrain changed. That's easy enough to accept because things change in time. Some of the change however is not so easy to swallow.
There have always been quite a number of billboard advertisements along I -75. Many of these served as landmarks as I journeyed up and down this highway in my youth. Stuckey's, Disney, Silver Springs and their glass bottom boats, even adds for farmers markets and fruit stands where fresh Florida oranges were always available. Although those billboards still exist, they are rare and for the most part have been replaced by something very disturbing. The have been replaced by "Strippers", "Intimate massage", the "Love Store" and an endless array of sexually themed advertisements that I can only assume are targeting lonely truck drivers that must truly be lost. However, although the trucker may be the target, it just as often misses its mark. I grew up knowing that when I saw the "King Frog" billboard, I was almost to Valdosta, or Florida if that was where I was headed. Now it is the "Lions Den" adult novelty store. The logo features two lion's silhouette in an intimate position with a gold sun backdrop. That's the memories for the kids today. There isn't just a few of these type advertisements, the highway is littered with them and it seems the further south I went, the worse it got.
It certainly had a "life in the fast lane" feel to it as if it were a road straight to hell. It is certainly a different place and far from the likeness of Speeds Kitchen where no one is in a hurry to get anywhere, particularly hell. Nevertheless, it's a different place this state I live in. At the same time, I have to ask myself "How much of this change is because I am looking at it though different eyes?" Thank you Jesus. The last time "the devil went down to Georgia" as I remember it, old Johnny sent his butt back to hell whipped and defeated. Of course this isn't factual but does hold truth because we used to give him resistance. Now it seems he owns the largest advertisement network on I-75. Why isn't this a big deal?
Sometimes you can't go back home. Sometimes it's because it isn't another place but another time. In addition, there is certainly something to "home is where you make it". Ultimately, home is where I want to go, and although it is not of this earth, I bet it will have live oaks and black sand.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I work for a large company in a customer service habitat where we have around 600 employees in the customer service division alone and professionalism is most definately a requirement. I am fortunate because it is an incredible company that is ethical, fair, and very diverse. It takes pride and places great value in diversity and rightfully so. There is a commitment to diversity to the extent of a diversity committee that raises awareness of other cultures, religions, geographic areas, etc.
Today, there was a diversity committee awareness e-mail that went to the customer service division with information of the Jewish Holiday Yom Kippur. In this communication, wherever God was mentioned it was spelled "G_d". Shortly after this went out to the masses one individual replied TOO ALL " Since when in this company are we not allowed to spell out the name of God?" Amen to that right? Following this were several others supporters in the Christian faith to also "reply to all". All 600 or so employees in customer service.
As a manager it is my job to make sure that we are professionals. To my understanding, doing a good job for your employer is very Christian like. However I can't deny that I felt that I was witnessing someone act not unlike Daniel did when King Darius outlawed praying to God. Daniel of course did so anyway and was thrown to the lions. Who am I to douse the flames of someone on fire for the lord? Nevertheless I do my job by sending the following to my group:
As it happens, none of my folks were involved and I wanted to prevent it before anyone got in trouble. In addition, a well informed employee responded to all, informing them that in Jewish tradition the word God is spelled G_d, in order to respect God. It is believed that the paper the name of God is written on cannot be destroyed without disrespect to God himself and in this case, any e-mail deleted. This certainly stopped the outrage but was followed by several "reply to all" communications where Christians were verbally "high fiving" each other for standing up for their beliefs.
With all of this I am left with much conflict in my heart as I find it hard for professionalism and Christianity to co-exist in today's corporate world, where we all walk on egg shells so we don't "offend" anyone. This is especially hard where it is my job to uphold policy. Where are we as Christians today in corporate America. I'm in the same hole as the judge that can't post the ten commandments at the court house and the teacher who can't allow prayer in state classrooms. So I am lost with this. I'm asking for some guidance here. Am I a spineless hypocrite in the eyes of God? I will pray on this. I would love some comments from anyone with thoughts or insight.
Friday, September 25, 2009
These five principles are:
1. Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not on the person.
2. Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others.
3. Maintain constructive relationships.
4. Take initiative to make things better.
5. Lead by example.
I think anyone who is truly living for Christ does these things because they are loving interactions rather than destructive. So often you hear arguments between couples, friends, parents and kids, or maybe complete strangers, where hurtful and uncalled for things are said. Absolutely NOTHING good can come from saying things to hurt or anger another individual. On the other hand, if these five principles are used, a lot of great things can happen. These principles are not written in the bible in any literal form. However, they do represent love which is mentioned many times. Don't shame anyone into changing. Love them and pray for them to change! Incredibly, I work for a company that encourages brotherly love.
So often in the church, the very house of God, folks are tearing each other apart. These five principles if applied within a church, will make that church unite. The church becomes strong with brotherly love and mighty by the hands of God. It's as simple as deciding if you are going to let your life be filled with hate and resentment, or love and grace.
With that, what are you going to do today? Will Satan be in your heart as you destroy something dear for no good reason? Are you going to give someone a piece of your mind today? Try instead to give them a piece of your heart. Watch that grow like a seed planted in fertile soil. Maybe you can apply these five principles to your life and watch as you are blessed by the bountiful gift of brotherly love in the eyes of God.
UGA vs Arizona State Saturday. No need to apply the five principles here. Love them after the game. Until then, tear ass you hairy dawgs!
Also - Happy Birthday to my baby girl Sidney. 14 years old today.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
No doubt God outlined the plan for his children to follow in love, in marriage, and in life. For me, I realize this with everyday that passes. Just as Eve was made for Adam specifically, I have no doubt my wife was made for me and I for her. The initial attraction was undeniable and irresistible. Not necessarily in a form of temptation but a pure sense of belonging. At the same time I was nervous and a bit scared because I didn't quite understand what was happening to me. Yet the direction I was going was unmistakable. It is very similar to falling in love with Christ for the first time, being very nervous about the new life but unable to deny it or turn away. God modeled the love between a man and a woman after his own love.
I knew my wife was special from the beginning. I've known all along she was the love of my life and that I was hers. I've known all along that it doesn't get any better than this. I knew I had the perfect marriage! Boy was I wrong.
My wife and I have been married for 15 years and we have children ranging from 14 to 2 years old. I didn't know there could be more love in our lives until I actually GAVE my life to Jesus Christ. I accepted Jesus as my savior long ago before I ever met my wife. However I didn't hold onto his hand and walk beside him. When I was saved I don't think the evangelist quite finished the job by getting me in a church that I was at home with. At the same time I am grateful I was taken as far as I was. Still, my heart wasn't being nourished by the word of God. It seemed we would cross paths now and then and it was enough for me to know I was blessed and that I was loved. However, it was small compared to the love, life, and happiness I have with my Lord, my wife, and my kids today. I live for Him and understand the true blessings of doing so. It is amazing how it is never a burden as I thought it might be.
When I gave my life to Christ it was as if my wife was a flower that had just bloomed. I think she waited for me to come around for years. More so, she was waiting for Jesus to come around and lift me up. It breathed new life into her and has brought us closer. It's God's plan. Like the Four Tops Sing "Ain't no woman like the one I got", it is true without doubt, because this one was made for me.
So many of us don't follow Gods plan and many are further off than I was. Truth be known the farther you're off that path the worse your direction gets. This is especially important for young people starting off in life. Follow God's plan and bask in his glory. The rewards are incredible. Following your own plan can and likely will lead to teenage pregnancy, divorce, or poverty from missed opportunity provided by God himself. Luck isn't real and God is.
Ain't no woman like the one I got! However, He has a plan for you too.
Ephesians 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
Monday, September 14, 2009
Although I didn't watch it myself, The MTV Video Music Awards were on last night and from it rose a veil of hatred, spread relentlessly by one individual. In case you've been holed up in a cave somewhere, I'm taking about Kanye West. Taylor Swift was on stage accepting her award for Best Female Video when Kanye stormed on stage grabbed the microphone away from Taylor and went on a short rant about how Beyonce's video, which was also nominated, was one of the best videos ever. Taylor sat there drop jawed as did the rest of the nation.
Social networking exploded with posts of hate, feeding the fires of racism and resentment. Other celebrities present at the awards were "twittering"on site about the heinous act. No doubt that Kanye has his freedom of speech and can comment on what he wants, but he had NO right to take away Taylors freedom of speech by taking away her moment.
Now I obviously don't know Kanye or Taylor and I'm not a fan of either although my kids are likely fans of both. However, Kanye's actions anger me very much and I can feel hatred trying to fester in my heart. I don't like it. I despise the hatred more than I despise the action by Kanye. The seed of hate is however, what Kanye planted. He created the H1KW ( hate 1 Kanye West) virus. I'm going to fight off this virus with prayer. Nothing else will make it go away. I'm going to pray for Kanye so that he may see the fruit of his evil actions. I pray for forgiveness.
Beyonce responded later as a true class act, giving Taylor back her moment during her own acceptance time for an award Beyonce did win. It was a true selfless act during a time of self recognition.
As I write this I am still boiling with anger and resist speaking words of hatred. I have more praying to do for myself and the world, that this hatred may turn to forgiveness. Kanye you big dummy!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
My friend and I have had many adventures together and there was a time that we were certainly hell on earth. At least we thought we were. Twenty years ago I certainly didn't think we would one day be sitting on my front porch talking about Jesus. My friend's wife is of strong Christian faith and the Lord no doubt has worked through her to bring my buddy to where he is now. He goes to church regularly and certainly is involved with the church a great deal. As we sat on the porch there that night, I wondered how did my buddy get here? In addition, where exactly is he with his faith. I had to ask. He loves to be asked anything about his thoughts, beliefs or opinions, because he will certainly give them to you and he won't hold back.
As he explained "where he was" is was apparent that he has come a long way in his spirituality just for the fact that he has any. Yet as he described his beliefs he also told of the things that he struggles to believe in. Things like "how can God let horrible things happen to little kids?" This is certainly a difficult question for someone such as myself that is not fully prepared or educated to bear the armor of God as needed in this situation. However, I was able to explain that the sins of the world sometimes have horrible effects on the innocent. I explained that Gods love either shields these individuals to make the stronger or perhaps they are convicted to take a different path. Still, it's earthly sin and we all bear the scars of it's sword.
Then he went to say that there is no way that he could sacrifice the life of his son for anyone. He asked how a loving God could do such. How can a loving God allow such horrors that are present in our earthly lives? Once again the sins of the earth create the horrors we have in our life, not God. Still, he stumped me with the question of how can a loving father sacrifice his son for the salvation of others. He says he doesn't feel the love of God. I did not immediately have an answer. I was stumped. I only knew that I was concerned for my buddy and that I needed to pray for him......and HARD.
Weeks later, (today) the answer for me was clear and so simple that I wonder why I couldn't present it on the porch several weeks ago. We cannot comprehend that kind of love. We cannot think like God for we are so meager in comparison to his might, his wrath, and his love. We cannot love as hard, as strongly as God can. We are not that forgiving of ourselves or others.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. "
While we certainly can suffer and perish in our physical life here on earth, through BELIEF, we are given the gift to continue life beyond that eternally and without the wrath and scars of sin.
In addition we too are the children of God. God foresaw this deed long before Jesus walked the earth. He sacrificed a part of himself so that we might have salvation.
No doubt my buddy will read this as I'm sure his loving wife will show it to him. I certainly won't be surprised if he wants to debate this further. He probably has more questions. That's OK because the Lord has suited me up in some awesome armor and as I pray for my friend the answers will be provided. Face it, God loves you buddy! You might as well deal with it. Oh yea........I love you too.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- Joe Cox with flu like symptoms was not as good as I expected he would be. I know he is no Mathew Stafford with an incredible rocket and a long ball but I did expect some accurate finesse passing. We have incredible receivers and Joe wasn't getting the ball to them. We do miss Stafford indeed.
- >We have a great running attack! Too bad our play caller couldn't capitalize on this within his strategy. To bad we couldn't identify what works at halftime. I'm not sure Mike Bobo is the right guy to be our offensive coordinator. Most teams have someone in this position that is much more experienced.
- Defense was not too bad. They kept a powerful offense from scoring a lot of points. They were on the field a lot and didn't get overwhelmed. They were also dealt a few bad hands with turnovers in BAD field position for us. They still missed a few given opportunities for turnovers that I think would have changed the course of the game. It did for Oklahoma State when we coughed up the ball. Can Willie Martinez keep this intensity and improve a bit more on getting some turnovers? We sure have a LOT of talent.
- Stacy Searels is one of the best coaches to come through our program in a while. We need to do what it takes to keep this guy on our staff. Could he play a bigger role?
These are the things that I question about the chemistry of our Bulldogs. These are the things that I pray will get better or get resolved. I really do pray for Georgia Bulldog football.
One thing that is different for me this season as in seasons past is that I am not devastated by this loss. There is something else in my life that I am even more excited about than Georgia football. I am fired up because it is also Jesus season and it lasts all year long! I get to play for His team, I get to root for His team and I get to recruit for His team. I love Georgia football and with Jesus I can love it even more and can roll with the punches a whole lot better.
This weekend we play South Carolina. They also are lacking on offense. This could be a dud of a game to watch but I'll be watching all the same. I'll have myself a bit of prayer before kickoff and no matter the outcome I will be content. Football is back and I'm watching the game with Jesus. Feel free to join us if you like. Go Dawgs!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
This is all good but my intention here is not to teach anyone how to catch a mess of fish for dinner. The picture is a little bigger and certainly more important that that. I'm going to be the fish now. I'm swimming in a river of sin and I certainly don't want to be caught in the net of a church in which I think is full of politics, judgment, hypocrisy and void of love. Not to say I don't believe in God and Love Jesus for I most certainly do. But here I am swimming in a river of muddy water where my direction and my faith is as unclear as can be. My intention is staying away from the the lures of church which at times have become objects of despise. I've seen every bait that can be thrown my way and I'm not "bitin". Then one day, I am presented something that I've never seen before. I won't call it a bait or a lure because that is deceptive and it is anything but that. It is more of a net. I am willingly caught in this net and gently transported to a crystal clear stream where I feel love, where I want to love others, where I can be myself and still openly love Christ and share him with others without fear. It is a church without boundaries but yet a clear direction, which is the only direction. It is the direction of Jesus Christ and as soon as I willingly surrender unto his net, I am anything but caught. I am freed.
This is a church that can let go of tradition and focus on the important thing which is salvation through Jesus Christ. It is very modern and lets people be people. We drink coffee in church. I wear cargo shorts and a t-shirt to service. The music presentation is for worship and it's engaging to youth as is a rock concert. Everyone is welcomed. I see that everyone is loved. Yep, hook, line and sinker and I am forever grateful.
Why do so many other churches get it wrong in bringing someone like me to Christ? The answer is simple and we turn back to fishing for bream as I quote myself from earlier: "you're bound to have some success given that you know how to present the bait and you don't do anything stupid to scare the fish off." The reward is certainly much better than a fish fry.
Mathew 4:19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
Jesus has certainly made fishers of men at Rockbridge Community Church in Dalton, Georgia.
I now stroll up to the banks of the river. I cast out the net. But the net is no longer mine because Jesus has made me a "fisher of men".
In case you're wondering, I most certainly still love a good fish fry and will drown a cricket in a heartbeat!
Georgia vs Oklahoma State this weekend..........GO DAWGS!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Let's look at the targets. There's the fat kid, the stupid kid, the smelly kid and then there's the day that you might happen to be the targeted child for what ever reason. This certainly carries on through high school and into being an adult but at some point we develop compassion and a dislike for treating others without consideration. At least we should. However, do we ever quit making fun of the less fortunate, the freaks, the afflicted, the sinners? Is sin funny? I certainly don't want to think so and my savior absolutely hates sin. Do I as a Christian participate? The fact is our society thinks sin through the actions of a sinner is hilarious. Now some of you are thinking "what in the world is this imbecile talking about?" Let me shuck it down for you.
One of the best entertainment vehicles for humor is without a doubt the television. Looking at a classic, "The Andy Griffith Show", I ask what was funny about that show. Certainly irony and a cast of dimwitted characters, but I want to focus on one character and the reason he was funny to us. Let's consider Otis. He was funny only because he was living in sin as the town drunk. How many television shows, movies, and plays have used this formula for humor through the years? Why is this so funny to us when it should be so sad?
Now I'm going to go somewhere that may anger some folks. Let me start by saying that I respect and love all but my Savior hates sin and therefore as his child I do as well and although I am a sinner I do my best to repent. Let's get back to the next example. In television today you still have the town drunk but there are other sinners that we love to laugh at in television, movies, and various other medias. In particularly, why is homosexuality so funny. How many TV shows today, don't have the token gay guy or gal. How often is "sugar britches" the comedy relief? Yes we love to laugh at these "fruit loops". I laugh at them and I find them to be hilarious. I find humor at their expense because of the sin they live in or simply the product of the sin they live in.
As a Christian, I love them and pray for their salvation. There is really nothing funny about it. Look at who's funny in entertainment. It's still, the fat kid, the dimwit, the drunk and the "sugar britches". We laugh at them at their expense and they, as grown ups, allow themselves to be exploited. No folks, we never left the playground and we never will. We are sinners as well. Praise Jesus for washing our sins away. One day we will have something better to laugh about.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I remember sitting in the shade of a tree, hiding from the baking sun on the edge of a peanut field with my father. Opening weekend of dove season at noon and Larry Munson is on the radio talking up the Dawgs as they prepare to kick off another season of bulldog football. I sit and watch the power lines in the distance hoping a bird would be foolish enough to stop there so I could pick it off with my BB gun which later became a 410 shotgun and so on. Shotguns are popping off everywhere and I stayed pretty busy as my father figured he didn't need a bird dog as long as I can fetch birds. Snacking on boiled peanuts with an ice cold Coke was about as good as it got. Storm clouds march across the horizon like smokey giants as a welcomed cool breeze passes by in their wake. At the end of the day I would be slightly sun burned, filthy, and wore out. By the time I feasted on birds, gravy and grits I was ready for bath and bed. Good Day indeed.
Things are quite different this year. Some things have been different for a while. I now live in north Georgia and I wouldn't even know who to ask about getting in on a good dove shoot, which is harder and harder to find. Some things have just recently changed abruptly, offsetting the natural order of things. First, Larry Munson retired last year and as ridiculous as it may sound to some, it will never sound the same to me when I listen to Georgia football on the radio. This will impact the way I feel about labor day weekend. It may change the course of my direction. But it isn't the biggest loss for labor day weekend. My father passed away in December this past year. No matter if I was with him on the dove field as a kid or at home eating boiled peanuts in my own recliner, there was rarely a game day that I didn't speak with my father about what was happening at the game. We would rant about the coaches not having them prepared when we were not doing well and praise Old Glory when we were. Sometimes we would speak four or five times during the game and it was almost as if we were watching it together. I'm not sure how labor day starts this year without that. My father did solidify one thing in my life with his passing. It is the one thing that will help me to carry on. It will strengthen and guide me to provide these same memories for my own children. My father helped to solidify my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I now move forward in my life as I walk with Christ and I know my only way to God and his glorifying love is through Him. With that, Labor Day will come and so will Georgia football. I will hopefully be by the TV but in the least by a radio listening to the next generation of Georgia Bulldog Radio. Maybe my kids will want to join me. One thing is for sure, I still have the boiled peanuts. I'll praise Jesus and I'll think of Dad and you never know, maybe it will seem like we are watching it together. Go Dawgs!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Roddy White is holding out of training camp/practice because he wants a contract RE-negotiation. He wants more money. In particular he wants the Larry Fitzgerald kind of money. Larry is arguably the best receiver in the game. Roddy is NOT.
I will give Roddy credit for stellar year in 08 but prior to that he was a pass dropping disappointment. Further, one good year does not make for a mega star! Does he deserve an increase? Probably so. Does he deserve what he is asking for? Certainly not.
So you just hold out Roddy. There is already an injury to a starting receiver for Atlanta and with your hold out your TEAM is down two starting receivers so you can feed your greed. I certainly hope they let him keep holding out. I wouldn't give a dime more than they have already offered other than season tickets so he can watch the game from the bleachers. The Falcons have spent the last two years weeding out Prima Donna players who are not in the best interest of the TEAM. Looks like there is a little more work to do there. God Bless and let's play some football!
Monday, July 27, 2009
My sweet little girl has become confronting, argumentative, and disrespectful at times. Yes, she has the potential to be a pure Gremlin. In general, the fighting happens between my daughter and my wife who understandably is reluctant to take the crap that my daughter has come to believe she is privileged to dish out. It is pretty much impossible to break through the barriers of my child's mind to get her to understand her responsibility for her actions. She doesn't understand where she is wrong and doesn't want to hear it. It seems like the same fight over and over and at times I duck my head into my foxhole until the shrapnel quits flying. Often I have to step in to fan out the smoke so everyone can see clearly. Still, the point is, my daughter doesn't hear what we are saying. She doesn't want to see her part in the problem. She doesn't want to talk about what she could do differently so that we might all live in harmony.
This is where I bring in the reference "Tommy can you hear me"? This phrase is from the rock opera movie "Tommy" based on music by The Who (1975). The Movie is about a young boy who's' father in the military, returns home one night and sees his wife with another man. The man then kills Tommy's father by smashing a lamp over his head as Tommy witnesses the whole thing. Tommy is then told by the mother and the lover that he "didn't hear it, didn't see it" and "won't say nothing to no-one". As a result, Tommy becomes deaf, dumb, and blind in order to block out the tragedy and conform to the request of his mother and her lover. The movie then revolves around the mother and eventual step father breaking through the wall Tommy has built to enclose himself from the outside world.
So there is my comparison. "Tommy can you hear me, Tommy can you see me"? My extremely brilliant daughter has become the "deaf, dumb and blind kid" when it comes to the reasoning of parenting. In addition, I'm concerned that she doesn't "play a mean pinball" in order to snap out of it. ( You'll have to watch to movie if you don't follow what I'm saying there.) Nevertheless, here I am trying to play "the miracle worker" to mediate and communicate where possible. That is, when I'm not ducking into my foxhole. Some tell me this is normal. Although I'm still concerned, the only thing I can do is turn it over to God. I pray, I love and every now and then I peep out of my foxhole. As stressful as it all can be, my faith tells me God will take care of me, my wife, and most importantly my baby girl. I also know He will give me the strength to deal with the next teenage girl who for now is nine. I pray more. I would also appreciate it if you would pray for me.
Friday, July 17, 2009
What's significant about this is that it is very likely that I will catch myself at this point from saying one of several words that one might see as being non-Christian. I don't know that I'll break down into text-book Ned Flanders and say "What the darn doodely diddely?" but I might say " What the Heck?". I might even say "What the?" and leave it at that.
For a moment let's suppose I didn't catch myself and I just let it fly, "WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THAT? First off, I'm not a bonufide scholar of the Bible, but I don't recall where it says I shouldn't say that. If such is written in the Bible please let me know so I can study this further. Second, I know that I am already forgiven. How awesome is that? But chances are I am going to catch myself and not let that slip. The longer I walk with Christ, I find that am less likely to let such slip from my cake killer.
There are several expressive words that as a society, we have deemed curse words (or cuss words as we like to say here in the south). There is the famous "S" word one might shout as they realize they just locked themselves out of the house. You know, the one that means "doody". ( I am so stoked that I got to say doody in my blog). Is the "S" word a cuss word? Is that word in the Bible? Is Doody or other representative synonym in the Bible as an abomination? I will agree that there are some words that are just ugly words representing unsavory things that you just don't want to say and much of society doesn't care to hear it. But the most important thing is, if it slips, its OK. Jesus has forgiven us and he will pick us up, brush us off and continue to walk by our side. You can bet your sweet ......ummm.....rump on that!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My father taught me how to drive. He taught me how to get where I'm going while also being considerate of other drivers. Courtesy is what I believe he called it. In particular, when you're in the fast lane of a four lane highway and someone is coming up behind you moving at a greater speed than you, it is common courtesy to move into the right hand lane to allow them to pass. This prevents a cluster of cars doing the interstate tango for however many miles it takes to break through the madness. It allows for free flowing traffic without bottlenecks. Failure to do so is failure to get out of my way and thus specifically is what usually sets me off.
I live in Murray County, Georgia. It just so happens to be the "failure to get out of my way" capital of the world. I have been living here for 15 years and I have simply never seen any place quite like it. Nor have I seen so many clueless drivers populating one area of the fine state of Georgia. On my commute to work everyday I drive from my hometown of Chatsworth in Murray county to Dalton in neighboring Whitfield county. Along this 12 mile stretch of 4 lane highway there are SEVERAL signs stating: SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT. They might as well have planted a shrub there as to put up those signs.
Now there is a LARGE Hispanic community in the Northwest Georgia area and they are a great addition to our diversity and culture, not to mention the fantastic labor pool we have because of them. However, very often it is a Hispanic driver that is not getting out of my way. I calm myself by saying "they don't know any better. They probably don't read English and don't understand the concept of being a courteous driver." Then I ask myself, "If all the signs at the local Wal-Mart are in Spanish as well as English, then why don't we have highway signs in both languages?". Surely this would help would it not? The answer is no, it will make no difference at all. These Hispanics have learned to drive by the examples that are already here. For every Hispanic that fails to "keep right", there are three yokel hillbilly morons doing the same thing. Understand that nine out of ten of those yokel hillbillies have a Murray county tag or a Polk county, Tennessee tag. I'll tell you about Polk County some other day. Now let me be clear in saying that I don't think all Murray county residents are idiots. I AM saying that it has more than its' share. If you are reading this, rest assured that I'm not talking about you. The folks I'm talking about probably can't read and definitely can't navigate a web browser.
As inconsiderate as they are, they are not the big problem. The big problem is me. It's my impatience, my rage, and my potential to cause an accident because I have an issue. So I now work on forgiving those "idiots". I try to remember that I love them as Christ wants us to love each other. I work on taking a deep breath so that everyone goes home safe. The Lord knows it isn't easy.
Friday, June 26, 2009
In my life I can't remember when someone upstaged another in death. However, that is exactly what the "King of Pop" did as the news of his death broke in the early evening on this same day. In the entertainment world, it doesn't get any bigger than Michael Jackson. It was the end of a life filled with an incredible talent, yet littered with sadness, scandal and turmoil. As I write this, the cause of death is not yet known, yet there is a sense that everyone knows what happened. The media doesn't even seem to hold back on speculation. Did Mike go out much the same as Elvis? It is very likely he did.
In addition he checked out with over 200 million in debt. How does an individual do that? As my wife said earlier this morning, in this dismal economy many corporations haven't managed to accomplish that. With his income, what can you spend that much money on. How was he swindled? How much did he pay his accusers of unthinkable acts? It is so hard to comprehend. If he had lived much longer we could probably say he had his own deficit. It would be more appropriate than debt.
Nevertheless, today the world mourns the loss of the "King of Pop", God rest his troubled soul. As for me, I certainly haven't forgotten about you Farrah. With Angels indeed.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I love people and I never want to offend or hurt anyone. However, understand that I have the potential to do so. I love Jesus, my family, and the Georgia Bulldogs. I am a 42 year old kid and love to play my x-box.
If any of these things might offend you in any way, please leave now and know that I'm praying for you.