Friday, September 30, 2011

Where the Streets Have No Name

Sometimes life is hard.  Things don’t happen the way we envision them. We make mistakes and fear the repercussions.  We can’t handle the truth, or the situations that we get in.  It seems that most of the time things when things get hard they just seem to keep piling on.  No matter what we do, we are not able to get ourselves out from underneath the heavy load.  We often find ourselves asking God why this is happening to us.  Why is everything happening to me?

Often when we find ourselves there, we pray that all of our problems were solved.  We pray for bills to be paid and problems at work or home to be solved. We pray for good health and for our children.  We pray that we do well in school or at our job.  We ask God to help us with these things and take away the sins of the world.  We want everything to be good and life to be easy.
What if life was easy?  What if we were all the same without problems or debt?  What if we never had to face a bad or hard situation or figure out the answer to a problem?  What if in this world the streets of life had no name.  That’s right, no name.  Everything was the same no matter where you went.  No matter what decision you made, you would end up going down the same road?  There would be a skyscraper of happiness, next to a supermarket of fun.  A hardware store of answered built adjacent to the pharmacy of answers.  What if on this street there was a stadium of joy and an apartment building of love? 
What if no matter what street you chose they were all the same?  You would live where the streets have no name.  They would all be the same and everyone would be on the same path of life.  My street would look the same as yours and so on and so forth.  Our streets would provide us with joy and happiness and wipe away our fears and pain.  Then not only would our streets have no name, neither would we.
You should have joy, peace, love and happiness in your life.  We all should, but all of us and the roads of life we choose should have a name.  Those names are made up of the life experiences we have and hard times in life that make us who we are.  We each struggle with different things, bills, work, school, relationships.  These issues don’t make us weak or powerless.  In fact dealing with them and figuring out the solutions help to make us who we are.
God is always with you.  He is there to help and to guide you along your road.  He doesn’t cause the problems and strife that we deal with on a daily basis.  He helps us with people, places, and things that he places along our roads when we need help.  He carries us when we are weak and walks beside us when we are strong.  God wants us to succeed and as long as we keep him first in our lives.
Be proud of your street.  Be proud of your street’s name.  You don’t want to live in a world where the streets have no name and we are all the same.  Just make sure that on your street, the first building you see is a church, and first person that you good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and good night to is God.

Day 88

Day 88 was a really great day.  I really enjoyed everything I did today from my workout to dinner tonight.  Tomorrow we have the Fall Festival and then, its game time!  Hokies vs Tigers at 6pm.  I can't wait but am really nervous.  I just really want my Hokies to play well and live up to their ranking.  If not, I hope we can contend for the ACC championship if we lose this game.  We shall see tomorrow.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Original Elevator

These days when some needs to get from one floor to the other in a building, they can take the stairs, an escalator, or an elevator.  It is believe that the elevator was created by American inventor Elisha Otis, in 1853.  The elevator provides us with safe way to easily access the different floors of a building.  It is used often to move things from one floor to another or more importantly allow people with disabilities or the inability to use stairs or an escalator, access to more than one floor of the building.  It is also the center piece in skyscrapers and other large buildings where walking to the upper floors would be tiring and time consuming.  We often take the elevator for granted when it comes to transportation, but many people are thankful for its creation.  However, the original elevator was not created in 1853, in fact it was used much earlier in our history.  The original elevator was used by a group of men who wanted their crippled friend to be able to see Jesus.

 One day, Jesus was teaching and healing those in need.  A group of men brought their paralyzed man to see Jesus.  They carried him on a mat and when they came to the house, there was no way through the crowd for them to get their friend to see Jesus.  They were desperate to see Jesus so they decided to climb up onto the roof and through a hole in the roof, they lowered their paralyzed friend down in front of Jesus.  When Jesus saw all the trouble that the paralyzed man’s friends went to so that he could see Jesus, he knew that they had great faith, so he healed the man.   He told the man to get up, take the mat, and walk home.  The man got up off the floor, picked up the mat, and walked home praising God all the way home.
The first elevator was used so that a believer could see Jesus and be healed.  That is amazing.  It may not of looked like a modern day elevator, but it is based on the same principle.  Men attached rope the corners of a mat and lowered their friend down to the ground.  There wasn’t a button to push with a G on it for the ground floor.  There wasn’t a bell hop on the mat with him holding his luggage or announcing the floor:
“First floor, bread, fish, and healing.” 
There was a chance that the ropes would snap or one side would be lowered faster than the other causing the paralyzed man to fall off of this homemade elevator.   In the end, this elevator was a life changing, life altering vessel of faith.  The man on the mat elevator was healed by Jesus and from that point on became a true believer in God.  Obviously he and his friends were believers before he was healed or they would not of gone to such great lengths to seek an audience with Jesus.  Faith is a beautiful thing and through faith we can do anything, just ask the men who created the original elevator, or the man that from that moment on for the rest of his life could take the stairs.

Day 87

We are getting closer and closer to 90 days, three months.  Wow, I can't believe it.  I really enjoy writing my blog and I hope that you are enjoying reading it.

Today, our youth group got some wonderful news.  We created a video for a conference called Pilgrimage.  Pilgrimage is a gathering of all the United Methodist in North Carolina for a weekend of praying, praise, and worship.  It is a lot of fun and this year, there with be a St. Mark's  UMC video being shown!  How awesome is that!  Over 6000 youth will see this video done by our youth group.  I am really excited.

ACC Week 5 Eric's "Predictions"

Well last week the ACC was aweful.  They lost some games that honestly they should of won.  We went from having an awesome week where we really showed that we were a good football conference to one of the lowest weeks probably in the history of the ACC.  Who loses to Temple?  Answer:  Maryland.  Oh well.  I was 4 and 5 on the week.  Let's hope this week is better. 

Last week 4-5         Total   18-10

Wake Forest vs Boston College:  This is an interesting game.  Both teams have stuggled yet showed some promise.  Boston College gets their key running back back for this game.  Is it enough?  I don't think so.  I believe Wake keeps up the winning ways and beats Boston College.  My pick is Wake Forest.

Towson vs Maryland:  Maryland was aweful last week and if they played anyone else this week I would choose the other team.  Luck for them they play Towson this week who isn't a division one school. I hope they show up because losing this would be as bad as losing to James Madison.  Oh wait, the Hokies did that last year.  Well either way, my pick is Maryland.

21 Georgia Tech vs N.C. State:  Did State play last week?  I mean I know they had a game but did anyone show up to play.  Not really.  Well they are going to lose again this week.  Georgia
Tech will have over 600 yards in this game as the score is not close at all.  What happened to State?  My pick is Georgia Tech.

Virginia vs Idaho:  Well Virginia didn't show up either last week.  They got beat in a game they should of won.  They way they have been playing this year, its a shame they lost that game.  They needed that win for bowl consideration.  Anyway, I don't think they will have issues this week but we shall see.  My pick is Virginia.

Miami vs Bethune - Cook:  Wow, Miami was stopped on fourth and goal from the 1 yard line last week with 57 seconds to go in the game.  Its a shame because they played really well the week before against Ohio State.  I think they easily get back into the win column this week.  Hopefully by a lot.  My pick is Miami.

Duke vs Florida Int:  Duke is really the only ACC school, besides Clemson, that played well last week.  They looked really good and put up a lot of points.  Where was that against Richmond?  Oh well right?  I think they can continue to win this week.  Can they make a bowl game this year?  They will have to win a big game for that.  I think they win this week so my pick is Duke.

North Carolina vs ECU:  Wow, I wish Carolina could of pulled off the upset against Georgia Tech.  It was a close game and I really like UNC's running back.  This should be a good game.  I think ECU is better than people give them credit for, but I think the Tarheels are playing well.  My pick is North Carolina

11 Virginia Tech vs 13 Clemson:  This is the game of the year in the ACC.  These will be the two highest ranked teams to play each other in the ACC this year (unless Georgia Tech keeps winning).  I honestly have not been happy with the offensive output from Virginia Tech.  In the second half of every game, it has looked like they didn't want to play.  I have loved the defense.  They have been great but there are still holes in it as Arkansas State showed us.  This game can go either way with both teams having a chance to win.  If Clemson wins it, I hope they keep rolling and end up playing for the National Title.  However, I believe that in the ACC if you want to win the ACC championship, the road goes through Blacksburg, Virgina.  That being said, I think my Hokies will win and hopefully turn up the heat on offense from here on through out the season.  If they loose there is still a chance to play for the ACC Championship although Georgia Tech will be hard to beat.  My pick is my Virginia Tech Hokies!  Let's go Hokies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Don’t you feel sometimes like there is someone whispering in your ear?  Sometimes it’s a good whisper and sometimes it’s a bad whisper.  It can be a small thing like should I eat another cookie or a big thing like passing a car on the side of the road and wondering whether to stop and help.  There is a whisper, a voice that tells you what you should do.  It just sort of creeps up on you and before you know it, you are doing something you never thought you would do.
Maybe it’s helping a grandma take her bags to the car when you see her struggling in the parking lot at the supermarket.  It could be that party you really want to go to but your parents said no, so you sneak out the window and go to the party anyway.  Maybe it’s waking up on Sunday morning and choosing whether or not to go to church or stay home and lounge in front of the TV.  How about when someone tells you a secret and tells you not to say anything but when you get with your friends and you want to fit in, you tell their secret.  Maybe you are thinking about cutting or something even more dangerous but then the voice whispers and you stop what you are doing. 
There are so many times when the voice whispers and we here it and have to make a decision about what we are going to do.  It is so easy to listen to our gut reaction and just do what we feel like.  The problem is sometimes that reaction is just dead wrong, we make poor choices and end up hurting people or doing things that are not in our best interest.
God gave us this wonderful gift called free will.  The thing about this gift is that we can choose to use it anyway we want to.  We control our actions and responses to things.  People have done wonderful things with their God given free will, while others have hurt people and made poor choices.  It is up to you and you alone to choose how you are going to react and what you are going to do in any given situation.
I think the thing that people forget is that God is always with you.  He is right there waiting to help guide you through your problems and issues.  All you have to do is ask for help and talk to him.  Reach out to him and the answer will be clearer.  He will guide you and lead you to people that will help you with your decisions and choices.  He will love you unconditionally and always be available to you when you call. 
We forget that.  We forget that calling God is free with no additional charges.  We forget that he loves us and is always there for us.  When those situations happen and you hear the whisper and are trying to decide what to do, I want you to stop and listen harder to the whisper.  If you listen harder, beyond the inner whisper in your head, you will hear it.  “I love you!”  “I love you!” “I love you!”  God is whispering to you and letting you know that he is there for you and that he will help you.  And when he sends someone into your life to listen to you and be there for you and care for you that is when God is screaming “I love you.”  So just breathe, and listen…


Man, I am too excited about the Virginia Tech vs Clemson game this weekend.  I wish we could go ahead and play it.  I haven't really been happy with my team so far this year but they normally get up for big games and besides the Stanford game I haven't seen them get blown out of the water by a team in a long time.  I hope they come to play but if they lose there is still a lot to play for!  Let's Go Hokies!

Ok now that I have said that, today was a good day.  I got a lot done and am ready for basketball to start.  I have to get my stat book ready and a few other things but things are looking good!  I exercised this morning. My back is hurting a lot lately but I am still motivated.  Let's go Eric!  Ha....ha....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Scooter

When Jason was nine years old, he saw a commercial for a scooter.  The scooter was red with white wheels.  It had an adjustable handle which would compensate for his smaller than average size.  The cost of the scooter was forty nine ninety nine.  After he watched the commercial he ran to his mother and told her how much he wanted it. 

“Oh, please, please, please get me the scooter mommy,” he said.
“Now Jason, I am not going to just buy you a scooter, you have a bike and don’t need the scooter,” she replied.
“But I really want and need it mom and I will take really good care of it,” he said from his knees.
“Don’t you remember what we talked about?  Do you really need it? “She asked.
“Oh yes mommy, I need it, I have to have it.”
“You don’t need it Jason,” she said, “You just want it.  What we need is food, water, shelter, and family.  God has given you all those things, anything else is a want.  But if you really want it, you can save your allowance and do odd jobs until you have saved enough money.” 
“Ok mom, I will work really hard so I can get it,” he exclaimed.
Jason started by out by washing the family cars.  He then went door to door and asked if he could wash their cars for a small fee.  He began to wash cars around the neighborhood.
Each day he would go to school and sit with his friend Keith and tell him all about how much he had made yesterday and how great his scooter was going to be.  Keith, who was really quiet would always nod and a sheepishly smile back at Jason.  When Jason got home from school he would make his rounds and see who wanted their car washed or some yard work done.   One day while going house to house a neighbor offered him ten dollars if he would paint her fence.  Jason was so excited that for the next three days after school he could be found painting that fence until it was too dark to see. 
On the third day his neighbor came out and took at a look at the fence.  She loved the job Jason had done on the fence.  She loved it so much that she gave him fifteen dollars instead of ten.  That put Jason over the top, with the extra five dollars he had raised the fifty dollars he needed for his scooter.
The next day at school he was so excited.  At lunch he told Keith all about how he was going to get off the bus and his mom was going to take him over to the bike shop that had the scooter for sale and buy it this afternoon.  In between bites of his sandwich and his excited scooter conversation, he noticed that Keith wasn’t eating anything.
“Hey, where’s your lunch today Keith,” asked Jason.
“Oh, I’m not hungry today.  I’ve got to go Jason, talk to you soon.”
Jason watched Keith walk out of the cafeteria and could tell something was wrong but he wasn’t sure what it was.  After school, Jason jumped off the bus and ran into the house.  He pulled up the mattress on his bed and pulled out the envelope with his fifty dollars in it.  He then went and got his mom.
“Let’s Go mom,” he said excitedly.
“Ok Jason, let me get my keys.”
As they drove into downtown, his excitement continued to build.  He has never raised up enough money to buy anything and here he was going to get his brand new scooter.  He couldn’t believe it.
After parking their car at a meter on the street they started to walk toward the bike shop.  Jason wanted to run but his mom won’t let him.  As they rounded the corner they could see the shop just ahead of him.  As them got closer, Jason stopped and stared down the street. 
“What’s wrong Jason,” his mom asked.
“Mom, that’s Keith over there, a friend of mine from school.”
Jason pointed over to boy sitting on a milk crate under a plastic sheet tied between two trees.  The boy was wrapped up in a coat and was holding a sign.  Jason started to walk toward him.  He looked closer at the sign.
Homeless, will work for food was written on the sign.  Jason’s jaw was open wide in disbelief. 
“Keith, your homeless?” he asked as he walked up to Keith.
Shocked and surprised to see Jason, “Umm…Yeah… My dad lost his job a earlier this year and we couldn’t pay the mortgage.  He works odd jobs to feed us, but it has been really hard to find work.”
Dumbfounded, Jason asked “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It’s embarrassing,” said Keith, “I didn’t want people to know.”
Jason just turned and looked at his mom, he didn’t know what to say or do.  Then he remembered what his mom said. 
“You just want it.  What we need is food, water, shelter, and family.  God has given you all those things, anything else is a want.  But if you really want it, you can save your allowance and do odd jobs until you have saved enough money.” 
Without a word, Jason turned to Keith, pulled out his scooter money and gave it too Keith. 
“What are you doing Jason?  This is for your scooter” exclaimed Keith.
“God wants you to have food, water, and shelter.  This may not get all of that for you, but it’s a start,” said Jason with a tear in his eye.
Jason turned and walked away holding his mom’s hand.  She smiled down at him.
“I’m proud of you” she said.
“I’m just doing what God wants me to do.  Who needs a scooter?  Not, me, I don’t need one, but Keith needs food so I wanted to help.”
When he got home, Jason went to his neighbor’s house and asked if there was anything he could do for money.  He washed cars, raked leaves, painted fences, and washed windows.
Every day at school, Jason would take his chore money and buy Keith lunch.  He never said a word to anyone, he just spoke through his Christ like actions.


Wow, my back hurts today.  I did a lot of sit ups this morning and my workout had a lot of leg work so I think I hurt it then.  I have icy hot on it so I hope it feels better soon.  I watched the Virginia Tech press conference today.  I hope that we can play well on Saturday.  I want us to do well, but if not, we will still be ranked and still have the chance to play for the ACC championship with one loss.  I just have to keep the faith and let the game play out.  We shall see what happens.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Now I know that everyone has had Gatorade before.  It quenches your thirst when you are active in sports and playing hard, and it makes you feel better when you are sick and need something to help you get hydrated.  Gatorade comes in many different flavors.  It is used by so many professional sports as the drink of choice on the sideline.  It is a tasty product to drink.  I think Gatorade helps in a lot of ways with hydration but I think there is a drink out there that helps with your heart.

That’s right, I am talking about Katorade.  Katorade is a fun, loving, compassionate, Christ centered, witty, and beautiful drink.  Ok, you’re right, Katorade is not a drink.  Katorade is a person.  A couple of years ago on a mission trip, Katy was in my group.  That year we decided to give everyone nicknames and she needed one.  We started out with Hello Katy which was a play on Hello Kitty.  It worked for a while until I was taking a break and talking with Katy.  While we stood there I was drinking a Gatorade and without thinking about it, I called Katy, Katorade. 
It was a perfect nickname for her.  Katy is very athletic and I am sure drunk her fair share of Gatorade in her sports career.  I think the thing that made it perfect though is how much Gatorade and Katorade are alike.  Gatorade, replenishes your body with needed electrolytes so you do not get dehydrated.  Katorade lifts you up and replenishes your soul.   She is quick witted and sharp and replenishes your mind.  She is caring and loving and replenishes your smile.  Katorade is Christ centered and shows that through her actions and reactions.
Gatorade comes in many different shapes, flavors, and types.  Katorade is pure.  There is only one type of Katorade.  She is who she is and she is not afraid to share that with you.  She is accepting of everyone.  So no matter your shape, flavor, or type, Katorade accepts you for who you are.  Gatorade is used by sports teams and leagues all over the world.  It is the main source of hydration, besides water, used in the sporting world today.  Katorade is used by Christ to spread his love through her thoughts, words, and deeds. 
She always makes me smile, think, and enjoy life.  Thank you Katy for all the memories you have given me, for the time you spent as a valuable member of our youth group, and for always making it a priority when you were in town.  I miss you and am so glad to see you are having a rocking awesome time in college.  Hope they cut the grass at those soccer fields at Virginia Tech. Love you girlie!

Day 84

This weekend escaped me.  I was so tired and didn't get to write like I wanted to.  I hope to make up for it this week. I am excited yet scared about our football game this weekend.  We haven't looked great this year and now Clemson riding high comes to town.  We shall see what happens.  I hope the fall festival is great this weekend!  See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Original Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Every year we go on a mission trip to help improve homes in the Appalachia Mountain region.   We normally end up with three or four teams of seven that go on the trip.  Each team needs their own van so we have to rent vans.  For the past three years we have rented those vans from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  This is a company that allows us for the week to rent the vans from them and then return them.  These days a lot of people use rental cars for trips or when they have been in an accident and need a temporary car until their car is fixed.   It has become quite useful especially when someone is in need of transportation.  What a great modern day convenience.  However, Enterprise was not the original rental car provider.  The original rent a car was a donkey that carried the most important passenger of all, Jesus.  
When Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem he reached the Mount of Olives. From there he sent two of his disciples ahead of him and told them that in the village ahead they would find a donkey tied up that no one has ever ridden.  He tells them to bring the donkey to him and if anyone asks why they are taking the donkey tell them that the Lord needs it and will send it back shortly.  See, Jesus borrows a donkey and returns it to its rightful owner.  He doesn’t have to pay a rental fee, but after he rides it into Jerusalem, the donkey is returned. 
Jesus chose a donkey as the first rental car.  It didn’t come with cruise control or power brakes, it didn’t come with a compact disc player or a radio, it didn’t come with heat or air conditioning, although if he rode fast enough he would have had air of some sort.  It didn’t come with air bags or seats belts.  He didn’t have to worry about air pressure in the tires or gas in the tank.  The one thing about this donkey that made it better than most rental cars that you can get today is the fact that it had never been ridden.   That is a rare comity in today’s rental car market.  In fact, I have never known of anyone to drive a new rental car.
This donkey was by far the most important rental in the history of rentals.  It carried Jesus into Jerusalem and had a nice smooth ride, not because of its shocks or way it handled the road.  It was a smooth ride because people laid their cloaks and palm branches on the ground in front of it.  The people helped to provide a smooth ride for this rental donkey.  Jesus didn’t have to roll down a window or open a door to be revealed to the people.  The roomy open aired ride that the donkey provided exposed people to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. 
Yes, a donkey was the first Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  It was not a well ridden or high mileage donkey.  It was a new rental donkey that carried the most important passenger of all. 

Hey, do you think it came with that new donkey smell?

Day 81

Well yesterday and today got away from me.  I am really tired again tonight but I have a lot to do tomorrow and am excited about football!  I worked out a lot this morning and saw a really good movie. I enjoyed my day but hope to get more done tomorrow and tomorrow night.  I hope you have a good weekend and have plans.  I missed my blogging yesterday and I am not going to write two today after all.  I hope to make that one up at some time. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 80

I am really tired tonight so I am going to write two devotions tomorrow morning.  I am going to keep the State game on but allow myself to start falling asleep.  Good night all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ACC Week 4 Eric's "Predictions"

Last week I went 7-3. Boston College missed a field goal at the end of the game, Clemson came to play (way to go Clemson), and Florida State couldn't pull it out, although I think Oklahoma looked beatable. I am happy that I was wrong about the Clemson game but I wish that Florida State could of won that huge game! Oh well... Here we go with week 4.

Last week: 7-3               Total: 14-5

Thursday night ESPN Game:

NC State vs Cincinnati:  This is a tough game.  Cincinnati is putting a lot of points on the board so far this year but they haven’t played a good team yet.  N.C. State has been up and down so far this year, the loss to Wake Forest really threw me.  N.C. State is missing some key personal on defense this year but I really want the ACC to do well and I want the win for Julia.  Because I want Elijah to get a wonderful birthday present, my pick is N.C. State.

North Carolina vs 25 Georgia Tech:  This is the game I want to watch this weekend.  I think this is going to be a really great game.  Georgia Tech has been a high powered offense so far this year.  Carolina has one of the best defense in the country I think but can they stop that offense?  This could be a very close high scoring game.  Either way, I think the winner of this game will be ranked in the top 25 which will be good for the ACC.  This is a home game for Georgia Tech.  I want to go with Carolina, but I think the Georgia Tech offense will be too much in the end.  My pick is Georgia Tech.
Temple vs Maryland:  This is a tough game to choose because Temple has played well this year.  Maryland is coming off a tough loss to West Virginia and I think they will be looking for some revenge.  The Maryland offense will get rolling again and Temple’s defense will not be good enough.  My pick is Maryland.
Massachusetts vs Boston College: I have chosen Boston College two weeks in a row and they have let me down.  I think this is the week they will bounce back.  I don’t know how many games they will win this year but I am banking on this being one of them.  My pick is Boston College.
Tulane vs Duke: Duke showed me something this week.  I liked what I saw.  I think they will be able to continue their winning ways.  I like their chances.  My pick is Duke.
11 Florida State vs 21 Clemson: This is really tough game to choose.  Clemson played great at home against Auburn.  Florida State lost a close one against number 1 Oklahoma.  I hate that two ranked ACC teams play each other this week because if Clemson loses they will fall out of the top 25.  I think Florida State has a great defense and Clemson won’t be able to do what they did against Auburn.  My pick is Florida State.
Southern Mississippi vs Virginia:  Virginia has looked good so far this year.  They lost to Carolina last week but were definitely in the game till the end.  I think they get back on the right track with a win against Southern Mississippi.  My pick is Virginia. 
13 Virginia Tech vs Marshall:  Tech’s defense looked really good against Arkansas State but the offense still needs work.  This is the last game until the ACC part of the schedule.  I hope they can get the ball rolling and play awesome on offense this week.  My pick is Virginia Tech.
Kansas St. vs  Miami: Kansas St. used to be a great football program a couple of years ago but that has taken a bad turn.  I think Miami is still riding the high of the Ohio St. game and shouldn’t have a problem with Kansas St.  My pick is Miami.   

The Original Bear Grylls

If you don’t know who Bear Grylls, he is a British survivalist and adventurist.  He was in the British Special Forces and is best know for his television show Man vs. Wild. In his show he strands himself in some of the most dangerous remote places on earth and then teaches us how to survive if we were stuck in these places.    He teaches us what plants, berries, nuts, and insects you can eat to survive.  He explains how to filter water so that it is drinkable, how to build a shelter to protect you from the elements, and how to catch animals for food with homemade weapons and traps.  Bear is definitely a hardcore survivalist who has spent many years outdoors, but the original Bear Grylls, the original hardcore survivalist, was a man who spent 40 years in the desert and had to lead an entire community of people.  The original Bear Grylls was Moses.  

After leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses and the Israel nation spent forty years in the desert.  One can only imagine the harsh conditions under which they had to survive.  The scoring sun, lack of water, venomous snakes and scorpions, as well as dealing with an entire community of people and their problems and compliments.  It took a true survivalist, adventurer, and leader to lead the Israelites through the desert.   

One of Moses’ first tests of survival was when they arrived at Marah the water was too bitter to drink.   Today, Bear Grylls would have used iodine tablets or boil the water to make it drinkable.  Moses, under the guidance of God, used a piece of wood that turned the water from bitter to sweet.  This allowed the people to be able to drink. 

With some many people together in the desert water was not the only problem.  The Israelites because upset because there was a lack of food.  They started to grumble and complain about the situation.  Bear Grylls would of found a way to trap or hunt animals, he would have found eatable plants and berries which he would of used to feed the people.  Moses talked with God and God provide Manna from heaven and quail for them to eat.  There was plenty for the Israelites to eat as long as they followed the rules set forth by God.  

Still later in the forty years, water became an issue again. Without water to be found, the Israelites became angry again.  They complained to Moses that there was no water to drink and that they would surly die.  Bear Grylls would of found a cactus that has water inside it.  He would have provided that water for people to drink until they found a safe drinking supply. Could Bear of found enough water for the whole Israel nation to drink?  Moses again talked with God.  Under the instructions of God he took his staff struck the rock of Horeb and water sprang from the rock for the whole Israelite nation to drink.  

Bear Grylls uses the skills and training he has accumulated from years of outdoor survival and the British Special Forces.  He has been outside in all kinds of weather and climates and mastered specific tactics that make him an expert in the art of survival.  Moses didn’t have those skills or any training.  He started a journey into the desert to save the people of Israel based on one thing, but that one thing is what truly makes him the first survivalist, adventurist, and the original Bear Grylls.  That one thing was faith.  His faith and trust in God is what helped Moses survive and provide for the community of Israel.  Faith is the key to survival. 

Day 79

Today was a good day.  I worked out this morning and then got a lot done at the office today.  I have a lot of feed the 5k stuff to do tomorrow but I am feeling good about it.  I have a Doctor's appointment in the morning to see where my levels are and my blood pressure is.  We shall see what it looks like!  I am going to bed soon but I have to get my ACC picks done by tomorrow because the ACC has a Thursday night game!  Be good!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Woods

Every day, one summer, around four o clock in the afternoon a young boy would walk down the streets of his little town. Each day carrying two pieces of wood, he would walk down his street turn left down Main Street he would pass the men sitting in front of the filling station and the barber shop.  He would pass the grocery store, hardware store, and town hall.  At the end of the road he would take a right down a dirt path that led into the woods.  Around six o clock in the evening he would emerge out of the woods and walk the same path home. 

Day after day, carrying two pieces of wood he would walk the same route.   The town’s people would whisper about this young boy.  The men sitting on the benches in front of the barber shop would shout at him as he walked by, but he never yielded from his path or turned to acknowledge them.  They would sit around and gossip about what the boy was doing in the woods with the wood.  “He’s building a fort,” one of them said.  “Maybe he’s building a bridge,” another gentleman added. 
They would watch their watches carefully and like clockwork, the young boy would appear from the woods at six in the evening.  They were amazed.   For weeks he walked down and back, carrying his pieces of wood.  He never said a word, just walked right past the men sitting on the bench.  After a couple of weeks, even the store owners along the street and the people buying groceries would step out at four to watch him walk by.  He never disappointed them, wood in hand; he continued his journey down Main Street and into the woods.
One Sunday, about two months after he started his ritual walk down the road, he came walking down the road at his usual four pm.  On this particular day however, he did not have the two pieces of wood.  In fact he toted a little red wagon behind him as we walked in front of the men sitting on the benches.  This time however instead of passing by the hardware store, he walked into the hardware store.  Everyone turned in amazement as he diverted from his path.  They waited with bated breath to see what he walked out of the hardware store with. 
After about twenty minutes he emerged from the hardware store with his wagon.  The wagon was filled with paint cans.  He led the wagon to the middle of the street and continued down his path and into the woods.  The men got up off their bench and everyone who had gathered outside to watch the young boys daily parade down the street walked over to the hardware store.  Walking inside, they asked the shop keep what the boy bought.  “He wanted paint.  He asked me for anything that I had that was left over or not used and he bought some white paint as well.”  Grumbling started throughout the crowd as they tried to figure out what the young boy was up to.
After a few minutes, everyone went about their business until it was time to wait for him to return.  When six pm rolled around, everyone got in position to watch for the young boy to appear out of the woods.  Six came and went.  Six thirty came and went.  Seven came and went.  People began to get worried.  The gentlemen on the benchs decided that something was wrong.  The young boy was never later.  They decided even though over the past two months none of them had ever walked into the woods to see what the boy was up to, that they needed to go and see if he was okay.
They got up and walked down the street and into the woods.  The dirt path winded deep into the woods.  There was no sign of the boy or his wagon.  About twenty minutes into their adventure into the woods, they could see an opening in the distance.  They saw the boy, feverish at work.  Not wanting to startle him, they called out to him.  Hearing them, he looked up and motioned for them to come closer.  The men walked to where the boy was.  There in front of them built out of pieces of wood were  lots and lots of crosses. 
Each of them was different.  Some of them were hanging in the trees, while others were staked into the ground.  Some were big and some were small. Some of the trees were used as the horizontal part of the cross.  Some stood as tall as the men while others were as small as a pack of playing cards.  Some stood solid while others swayed in the breeze.
The young boy was painting them, one by one.  He had three in the middle that he had painted white.  The men stood in awe.  They were not sure why such a young boy had created such a beautiful, wonderful, profound, work of art. 
One of the men walked up to the boy.
“Son, why have you built all these crosses?”  The boy covered in paint, stopped painting and looked up at the man.
“Every night this summer, my mother has tucked me in and asked me a question.  She asks me if I have seen Jesus today.  The first couple of times she asked me, I didn’t know how to answer the question.  She would say, everyday find something in the world that reminds you of Jesus.  He is always with you and I want you to remember that.”
The boy wiped paint from his chin.
“So I started to think of the one thing that has always reminded me of Jesus.  The cross always reminded me of Jesus dying for my sins.  I decided that every day I would build a cross so that I could tell my mother, yes I saw Jesus today.” 
He sighed.
“I ran out of wood so I decided that I would paint each cross and then invite my mother here so that she could see Jesus.”
The men were absolutely in awe of this young boy and how mature he was.  Without saying a word, a couple of men went back and got more paint brushes and together under the guidance of the young boy, they finished painting all the crosses.
The next day, the men sat on their benches.  At four in the afternoon, the young boy walked down the road.  He didn’t have wood, he didn’t have paint.  The young boy walked hand in hand with his mother.  He looked over at the men as he walked by and with a huge grin he waved, yelled thank you, and continued down the road.  They walked pass the grocery store, the hardware store, and town hall.  At the end of the road they take a right and hand in hand, mother and son, walked down the dirt path into the woods to the place where they could see Jesus. 

Day 78

Another day of my year of me and JC has passed.  It was a long day.  I got blood work done this morning because I have a check up on Thursday.  I got some ASP work done.  Tomorrow I need to get some Feed the 5k work done so that I am ready for the weekend.  It's been a long day so I am going to bed.  See you tomorrow!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

National Holiday

I have said for the last 3 or so years that September 19th is a national holiday and everyone should take it off.  Yep it is my birthday! Since there are friends that our reading my blog from other countries, I decree that my birthday is now an international holiday!  So you shouldn’t have to work or go to school, you shouldn’t have to do housework or mow the lawn, you shouldn’t have to run errands or pay bills.  That’s right you shouldn’t have to do anything but relax and enjoy the day, and since it is an international holiday I decree the following rules: 

1.       You must give out 10 hugs to friends and family today.  This is a day of love and enjoyment.  Love your neighbor as yourself and show it on this international holiday.

2.      You must take a nap this afternoon.  That’s right, at least a 30 minute cat nap to reenergize and enjoy your afternoon.

3.      Eat whatever you want but only in moderation.   Enjoy cookies, cakes, and pies but only don’t go overboard.  We are trying to lose weight here but not without our sweet tooth being satisfied every once in a while.

4.      If you have a Hokie shirt then you should wear it because today’s colors are orange and maroon.

5.      Today is a day of self express, shoot a movie, write a song, start a blog, begin that novel, do something to express yourself.

6.      Watch your favorite TV show or movie.  May I suggest, Despicable Me?  Love that movie!

7.       Take time to express your spirituality.  Read the bible, write a prayer, come to church and talk to the pastor, or whatever you would like to do to express yourself.  It’s never too late to start!

8.      Take time for yourself today.  Do something for you.  Whatever your favorite activity is, do it.  Everyone needs time to do the things they like or you get lost in the world!

9.      Remember everyone gets the day off so don’t go to school, work, or run errands.  Enjoy your day and enjoy each other’s company.

10.  Jesus loves you.  You don’t need a special day to realize that.  He wants to be in relationship with.  We often are too busy to realize just how much he does and see the things that he puts in our lives to show us his love.  Stop moving so fast, take time to appreciate the small things.  Look around at God’s creation and you will see wonderful things that are only here on earth.  May the Lord bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and bring you peace.

Enjoy the international holiday, I know that I will.  Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes.  I hope to celebrate your international holiday in the near future!

Day 77

Today is a national Holiday!  That's right, its my birthday day!  It is about 7 am and I am just getting started with my day.  I have so much to do so I need to get on it!  I have to work out today too and on my birthday...  Yep I am going to do it because this is the year that I lose my weight and get down to a comfortable size. Love to all today.  Enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action

We have created a lot of films in my time at St. Mark’s.  It is such a wonderful great way to express our spirituality.  It is also a wonderful way to spread a message.  Today for our ministry moment, we showed a video we shot based on Indiana Jones.  We called it Indiana Jones and the Lost Can of Beans.  One Friday night a couple of weeks ago, we shoot this movie during our free time at F4J (Friday’s for Jesus).  It was so much fun.  I played Indiana and all the kids played the villains in the movie.  The basis of the movie was that Indiana finds a golden can of beans that he wants to make sure it ends up on the shelves for our Feed the 5000 program that we are running.  After he finds it and the place starts to collapse, he has to run out where he is chased by the henchmen of an evil man who wants to eat the can of beans.

They capture Indiana and after a series of events he is able to escape and fight his way to find the can of beans and he makes sure that it arrives in its rightful place on the shelves of the Feed the 5000 donation location.  It was awesome and the kids did a great job.  One youth in particular did a wonderful job with his role.  Reynolds played the evil man who wanted the can of beans all to his self.  He didn’t want to share with those in need he wanted to eat it all by himself.
I was so impressed by Reynolds acting in the movie.  He played the role to a tea and had a wonderful accent and method to his acting.  He also had a lot of great ideas that we placed in the movie allowing his creativity to shine.  Until this point, honestly Reynolds had not stepped up to take on a leadership role but he did so with this project.  It was a lot of fun to watch him and work with him.  I was very proud of him for his passion for our movie and for our feed the 5000 program.  He really helped to make this movie what it was.
Danielle, Ian, and Ben played vital roles as well.  They really weren’t in the Indiana Jones part of the movie, but they played pivotal roles in delivering the message after the movie.  Donning the Indiana Jones coat and hat, they each talked about different sections of the Feed the 5000 program and explained in great detail how the congregation can help with the project.  I was very proud of them and thankful that they gave extra time to help me finish the movie.
I really enjoy working on and editing movies.  I think that if I had not found my calling as a Director of Youth Ministries it is a path I would have liked to follow.  I am blessed that I have the equipment, programs, and skill to make these movies happen because they add so much to our programs.  I think that is why God created in me a passion to make these films so that we the Youth group of St. Mark’s could get our message out there and show our congregation, community, and world what we are capable of.  Our kids work so hard to provide for our community and church.  They truly are the life directors that go out into the world and live for Christ. Through their actions and spirituality, they are the ones that say Lights, Camera, ACTION…..

Day 76

Today was a long good day.  The ministry moment was a big hit and was awesome!  All the kids did a great job.  They went out into the neighborhoods and did an awesome job with that.  We had a great meeting with some of the youth and then I got to have wings and watch some football as a pre celebration of the national holiday tomorrow.  I also finally after a couple of weeks have been able to get back on track by losing 2 pounds last week.  It just shows that I have to work harder every week but I can and will do it! Tomorrow is a great day in history so enjoy it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Did you know that you are amazing, beautiful, talented, and compassionate?  That’s right, you heard me.  You are all those things and infinitely more.  You just don’t give yourself enough credit.  Ok so you have been picked on, or had a rumor started about you.  Maybe you didn’t make the soccer or volleyball team.  Perhaps, the guy or girl you like doesn’t like you, or everything seems to be going wrong and you can’t seem to get out of your funk.   Maybe its money troubles or an injury that is keeping you from doing something you want to do. 
Yep, you feel like the world is caving in around you, nothing is going right and you can’t believe that this is your life.  I have one thing to say to you….STOP THAT… You heard me.  I said “STOP THAT.”  Life is a long complicated road that takes us down so many different paths.  It is not about fame, fortune, popularity, or skill.  Those pieces may play a role in your life, but they do not and should not rule it.
You my dear one are so precious, you are the apple of someone’s eye.  You are important to so many people, you just need to open your eyes and look around at those that hold you as such an important part of their lives.  You make a difference and have so many things to offer this world; you just need to find the right place to use them.  You are loving, caring, honest, and motivated. 
So many times in life, we are dragged down by the people around us and the direction we are headed it.  We don’t stop to think that words are just that, their words.  Someone is spreading a rumor about you at school or work.  You know the truth, so do the following, write down the rumor that is being spread.  There, you have it in front of you and you see, they are just words on a piece of paper.  They are mean, nasty words but just that, they are words.  Why do you let them hurt you?  Why do they matter so much?  Watch this.  Take the paper and tear it up into little tiny pieces.  Oh look, the words are gone.  Just as fast as they came, they are gone.
Money is an important part of life, but sometimes we take it for granted what we have and what we need versus what we want.  There will be tough times in our lives when we don’t have all the money that we may need or want but we must trust that we can make it through.  God doesn’t give us want we want, he gives us what we need and it is up to us to figure it out.  Don’t let money or lack of it, change who you are. 
Each of us is given God given talents, sometimes we want them to be something they are not.  We want to be awesome at a sport or a hobby and no matter how hard we work at it, we are just not as good as others around us.  We try so hard it hurts, but it’s ok.  You have to realize the things that you do well.  Take an inventory of the things are you do well and you will see that you excel in places that others don’t.  Maybe it’s making movies, or sewing, maybe it’s writing or public speaking, maybe it’s one of the most overlooked and underused skills in the world the art of listening to others and being there for them.  You have to look inside yourself to find your God given talents and use them to the best of your ability.
You are a child of God.  He loves you more than anything and will never leave you.  So when you feel like the world is caving in and things just aren’t going the way you planed.  YOU need to hold your head up high, take a deep breath and remember that God loves you so much.  Remember that they are only words, and that money isn’t everything.  Remember that you have skills and talents that God has given you.  You are a child of God and he is always there and ready to help you find where you truly belong.  Keep God in your heart always so that when worries and trouble is near, you know who to call on.  YOU need to call on HIM. To him you are precious, and loved.  You are everything to him.