Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Well, I took a couple of weeks off to get over my sickness and enjoy the holidays.  I was pretty good over the holidays but it is time to start back!  Tomorrow I will kick off with my exercise program, eating program, and my daily blog updates!  Tomorrow I will start my 25 days of Christmas blog series.  Each day I will write a blog about a character involved in the Christmas story whether they are written into the story or not.  you will see what I am talking about when I write it :)  It will be fun and thought provoking all at the same time!  Thanks so much for following my blog! 

Time to get things going again!  I missed writing everyday!  Have a good night!  See you tomorrow!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Just a game

Last night was the coldest football game that I have ever been to.  It was below 20 degrees with the wind chill when the game was over.  Virginia Tech won but they definitely tried to give the game away!  It was not a pretty football game.  In fact, this is the first football game that I have ever left halfway through the 4th quarter.  Carolina scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the game close.  It was an exciting finish and a little too close for comfort. 

When we got home I watched the highlights to the game.  Carolina scored first and with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter they have the ball on our five yard line ready to score another touchdown.  If they had put that ball in the end zone, they would of put that game out of reach.  The short yardage running back came into the game and he was given the hand off.  He ran in toward the goal line and when he was hit by the defender, he fumbled the football.  Virginia Tech recovered the ball and we were able to start a drive down the field to score a touchdown to tie the game.

As I watched this again on TV something caught my eye and my heart.  After the fumble they flashed to the sideline to show the quarterback for Carolina embracing the running back after the fumble.  Another shot then showed the running back with tearing running down his face.  The minute I saw that, I was reminded that this is just a game and those are college students.  They are not payed to play the game.  They are out there working for their education.

I felt bad for him.  Carolina really was in charge of the game, they were going in for a score when he fumbled.  He probably felt like he let the whole team down.   He made up for it later in the game, but that picture of his face, with all his football gear on and his helmet in his hand is burned in my head.

I love football, I even watch other games besides Virginia Tech.  I want Tech to win so badly that it is easy to forget about the fact that there are people out there that want the same thing for their team.  I wonder sometimes if we place too much emphasis on the game and not enough on the college kids. 

You could easily take that crying football player and put him in many different situations that would make you feel more sympathetic to the fact that he is crying.  Like if he was at a funeral for a loved one, lost a family member that was a troop, starving from hunger, or searching for help to problems that he has.  It changes some because he was on a football field and crying because he lost a football, but we should just remember that he's just a kid.

We should all remember that the next time something happens in a football game that benefits our team but is detrimental to the other team.  We never know who it is going to affect and what the long term effects are of it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Game Day!

For only the second time this year i am in Blacksburg to see the Hokies play.  It has been an up and down season but I have been pleasantly surprise this year.  Although I want to win this game as always!  We will still have a chance to win the coastal division by beating Virginia if you lose to Carolina.  I am just going to try and enjoy the game and the 35 degree weather.  It could be a really exciting game.  I hope we show up.

I love game day but its the anticipation that kills me.  I can't wait for the game to start. I want to hurry the day along so that we can get to the game.  Not that the hours before the game are a waste, but I want so badly to see the game and cheer on my Hokies!  It will be exciting when game time gets here but at the same time, it will quickly be gone.  Three hours sitting in the freezing cold and watching the Hokies not play to their potential.  There will be frustrating times and exciting times.  It may be a great night or a huge disappointment.

Often in life we have these situations come up, whether it is a concert, going the amusement park, a movie you can't wait to see, sporting events, or other activities.  We want to rush through life to get to these events and we waste time.  We don't pay attention to the time that we have before the game or event.  We need to slow down sometimes and realize that the time before a game or event is just as important to us as the actual event.

Get excited for events and games, but be excited about life in general.  Don't allow it to get away from you or miss out on opportunities or hours in the day.  We only get so many of them.  Do something fun, or productive in the time you have before your big event.  I am getting ready to take Coleen and Shannon on a tour of Blacksburg, Virginia.  That should be fun and exciting as well as spending time with people I care about! 

I can't wait for the game!  Go Hokies at 8pm tonight! Until then let's go Coleen, Eric, and Shannon! 

No time to waste!

Have it Your Way

This past weekend some youth and I had lunch at Burger King.  Burger King has the tag line, "Have it your way."  The first couple of order went fine but then Sarah stepped up to the register and asked for the garden salad and a large fry.  The lady behind the counter snapped at her and said "We don't have salads!"  I was standing behind Sarah and this threw me because looking up at the menu above me there was a huge add for the Garden salad.  Sarah just got some fries and a drink.  I placed my order and then Selena stepped up behind me and placed her order.  She asked them to mix chocolate and strawberry in a shake for her.  Again, the lady snapped at her and stated "we CAN'T do that."  I just sort of stared at her and then my order came.

We talked about it at dinner.  It was interesting to listen to them discuss how disappointing it was to not get what they wanted for dinner. Our pastor recently spent some time talking about how people want it their way. He actually showed a Burger King commercial during the service.   There was also a clip called the ME church which was a fake commercial about what the church would do to get members to come. 

I think too often we get caught up in the its all about me scenario.  This seems to happen because advertisers and businesses what us to buy their products, so them make it seem like we can have it any way we want.  The reality of this is actually pretty harsh because honestly, very often we don't get it the way we want to.  Often, it is the exact opposite and we have to deal with the it.  Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it is a bad thing.  What we want may not always be the good thing for us or the people that are important to us.  We may think it is but often we are wrong.

I have said that God doesn't give us what we want, he gives us what we need and it is up to us to figure out how to make that work.  That may seem wrong but honestly, we don't need it our way.  The me factor of life often needs to take a back seat.  Of course when it comes to things like deciding where to go out to eat, or what movie to see, you are going to choose something you want to eat or something you want to watch.  Where you get your hair cut or car worked on are other good examples of the me factor.

When it comes to a decisions that effect others around us or groups in general, that is when we need to put the me factor to the side and work for the common good.  It is easy to forget what is best for the group when it comes to our own needs.  It would be easier to work about ourselves.  The selfless people in the world live much richer lives that the selfish. 

So you many want a hamburger or fries with that, but what about the person on the corner with nothing to eat?  They may just want some rice or ramen.  It's up to us to choose to selfless or selfish. 

Do you have to have it your way?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giving Thanks...

Next Thursday, families all over the United States will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.  A time of food and family that marks the beginning of the holiday season.  A time when we eat more than we should, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, NFL football, and that night Christmas movies.  We see family members maybe for the first time all year.  Yep it is a great day right?  A day full of food, fun, and that 3:00 after too much turkey nap.   

I think what gets lost in the shuffle is the giving thanks part.  Although Thanksgiving isn’t a religious holiday, there wasn’t a turkey in the stable, it is still a time when we can give thanks to God for everything we have.  Life goes by pretty fast, we go to church on Sunday, we attend bible studies, Sunday school, and other church functions, but do we actually stop to thank God for everything we have?  Do we really?  Yes, we pray every week in church but does that allow you enough time to thank God for everything you have?  I know that I get caught up in a lot of things when I pray.  I pray for healing for myself and others, to sell my house, to help me with issues and problems, to reveal himself to me, I ask for things when I pray, I ask for forgiveness and love, I ask him to watch over me, and I talk to him about life.

The thing is I don’t think that I really just spend some time in the presence of God and thank him for everything he has given me.  A time to be in deep conversation with my Lord and tell, “Thank you” for my life, that is truly what we need to do.   I want to thank him for the people he has put in my life.  For my friends who are by my side when I need them most.   My youth that provide me with daily smiles, love in my heart, and teach me something new every day.  My job that allows me to do something that I love and get paid to do it.  My co workers who support me and the youth program with loving open arms.  I want to thank him for my mother and father for their love, support, trust, and compassion.  For my brother and sister in law who I don’t get to see much but think of them often.  For all the parents that support our program and watch over each of our youth as if they were their own.

I want to thank God for the abilities he has given me, for the video making skills and the love and passion to use it.  For the awesome ability he gave me to do my job and love every minute of it.  I want to thank him for the roof over my head, the car that gets me from point A to point B.  For the food on my table even though I eat too much sometimes.  I want to thank God for the shoes on my feet and clothes on my back.  I want to thank God for the compassion heart he gave me that makes me cry at the end of movies or after reading a sad or happy story.   I want to thank God for the blank pages of my book, and the ability to fill them with anything that I want too.

There are so many things that I am thankful for, the problem is that I have never sat down and thanked God for it all.  Writing this blog entry I have been able too, but it’s not enough.  I want to encourage you to take the time and energy on Thanksgiving day to show your loving and thankful heart to God.  Take some time to pray and mention even the smallest of things that you are thankful for.  Let him know how much you love him by praising him for what he has given you.  I will eat turkey and watch football.  I will watch the parade and start to think about Christmas, but most of all, I will thank God for his never ending, all encompassing, unbreakable love that he has for me, and I encourage you to do the same because that love he has for me is the same love he has for you. 

ACC YOU pick em Challenge Week 2

Here are the games for week 2 of the ACC YOU pick em Challenge.  There are a lot more games during the week but they are all tournament games so it is hard to determine who will play who so we are leaving those out.

Your picks are due by Monday at noon to be considered for the week.  I will list the week 1 winners and overall leaders on 11/21/11.  Please feel free to play along each week even if you missed the first week. You might be winner for that week!  It's all in good fun!  So far the ACC looks good!  Keep it up!


1.  Duke vs. Tennessee
Massachusetts @ Boston College
Florida Gulf Coast @ Miami
Tennessee State @ North Carolina
5. Coastal
Carolina @ Clemson
Siena @ Georgia Tech

7. Boston College vs. St. Louis
Florida State @ Massachusetts
Wake Forest vs. Dayton

10. Miami @ Ole Miss
11. Elon @ NC State

Florida Gulf Coast @ Maryland
13. Furman @ Clemson

Green Bay @ Virginia
15. North Carolina vs. South Carolina

16. St. Bonaventure @ Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pilgrimage “Unplugged”

This past weekend, myself and 25 other youth and mentors from church attended a youth conference in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  This conference has over 5000 youth that attend and participate in the conference.  They are bands that play praise and worship music, youth that give awesome testimonies, skits, and videos as well as the key note speakers. This year’s theme was Follow the way, speak the truth, live the life. 

Our youth did an amazing awesome job this weekend.  From getting to the church on time to leave, to following directions and being where they needed to be when I needed them to be there.  They interacted with each other, talked to everyone, and engaged even the shyest youth in conversation.  They were respectful and listened to the speakers and the people pouring their hearts out through testimonies and they stood and danced and sang the praise music.  They did all this and on top of it, they were “unplugged.”

That’s right, our youth did not have their cell phones or I pods at Pilgrimage.  In fact they didn’t have their cell phones at all on the trip.  This is something we started a couple of years ago because cell phones were taking our youth’s attention away from each other and what the lessons we were trying to teach.  They went the whole weekend without being plugged in.  The best part of the scenario is the fact that they noticed the other kids around us and how disrespectful they were to the speakers.  They saw them listening to their I-pods or facebooking while the speaker was speaking.  The thing that got all of us, youth and adults alike, was all the talking that not only other youth did during the speaker’s time, but that adults did as well.  It was interesting to watch.

It is amazing that people spend so much time and money to come to such a wonderful conference and then don’t respect it.  I know that it is wonderful and great that they are there in the first place, but I want my youth to grow spiritually.  There is a time for fun and games.  I love to play and joke around, but I want my youth to learn.  I want them to grow.  I want to know that there are other youth and adults out there in the world that have the same beliefs as them and they are proud to share them with the world.   Our Youth not only paid attention all weekend but also showed their spirituality through a video they put together that was shown to all 5000 youth at the conference.  It was amazing to watch and see them up on the big screen.

I am so proud of them for everything they did this weekend.  It was a great experience and I hope that they got as much out of the conference as I got out of their maturity and actions this weekend.  I know that they get upset at me sometimes because of the cell phone thing,  but I only want what’s best for them, and that  involves them being engaged and respectful of the world around them.  You never know what you might learn, or better yet what you might teach someone else!  Thank you youth group for a fantastic weekend!  You are the best.

ACC week 12 Eric's "Predictions"

I have to do my picks early this week because I am headed up to the Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina game on Wednesday.

Last week I went 5 and 1.  My Hokies pulled out the win but NC State let me down.  I don’t know how you can beat  North Carolina but lose to Boston College.  Boston College has been a thorn in my side this year, winning when I don’t choose them and losing when I do.  Oh well let’s get to the picks!

Last week:  5-1                                              Overall:  48-23

 North Carolina vs.  Virginia Tech:  My hope is that the game on Thursday night gets the Hokies going.  Although they have only lost one game all year they have looked sloppy doing it.  Last week they came to play on both sides of the ball and it was a lot of fun to watch.  North Carolina has played well during the year.  They have lost some games I expected them to win.  I want the Hokies to play in the ACC championship.  My pick is the Virginia Tech Hokies!  I can’t wait to get to Blacksburg although I am bringing some Carolina fans with me! 

Georgia Tech vs. Duke:  Georgia Tech is a good football team.  That option game is scary and really hard to beat.  Duke has had some good games this year.  They played Virginia Tech very hard, but I think the option will be too much for them.  My pick is Georgia Tech.

Maryland vs. Wake Forest:  Maryland got stomped by Notre Dame, and Wake played a really tough game against Clemson.  I was very impressed with Wake’s effort.  Maryland has let me down so much this year.  I don’t know what happened to them.  My pick for this game is Wake Forest.

Miami vs. South Florida:  Miami comes and goes.  Sometimes they are really good and sometimes they are really bad.  South Florida hasn’t done much this year and struggled in conference play.  I think Miami will put a good game together after losing to Florida State last week.  They will not want to lose to another in state school.  My pick is Miami.

7 Clemson vs. North Carolina State:  Clemson secured the Atlantic Coast Division spot in the Championship game on Saturday.  I really want a rematch with them.  I think we will get it.  This game doesn’t mean much to Clemson so NC State could catch them sleeping but I don’t think they will.  I think Clemson gets off to a hot start and plays well against State.  My pick is Clemson.

Boston College vs. Notre Dame:  Boston College got a good win against NC State on Saturday.  Notre Dame crushed Maryland.  I think that this game could start out close because of location but I think that Notre Dame will be the stronger team.  My pick is Notre Dame. If Notre Dame wins they will be 3 and 0 against the ACC this year.  Should they join the conference?

Virginia vs. 25 Florida State: Florida State has gotten themselves ranked again after that three game losing streak.  Virginia has played really well this year.  The Virginia vs. Virginia Tech game could have meaning behind it this year.  However, I think that Florida State will beat Virginia this week.  I think they are too good of a team for Virginia.  My pick is Florida State. I think Virginia loses and Virginia Tech wins giving Virginia Tech the spot in the Championship for the Coastal division. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 128

This week has been crazy.  Finally on Monday I felt well enough to get back on the horse and start exercising again.  I didn't realize how much I missed it until I felt that boost of energy all day long.  I am back!  My plan right now is to work hard and not weigh myself again until the first of January.  That way if I slip up and down over the holidays I won't get fustrated.  I will just start fresh as far as worrying about what I weigh on the 1st of January.  Let's hope that is a good plan!  Thanks for the support, we will see what happens in the Hokie game tomorrow night.  I hope they pull it off!  Let's go Hokies!

It’s about the Youth!

Most of you know what is going on at Penn State right now.  I won’t go into details but it is truly horrible and upsetting, especially to someone who works with youth for a living.  There are a lot of people in this world that need help.  Unfortunately a lot of them don’t get it and that is why things like what is happening at Penn State happen.  I can’t imagine a youth that I know going through something like that. 

I started working with youth because I found a passion for it while at the YMCA.  I was called into ministry and have dedicated myself to the understanding, care, and loving of the youth that are involved in my program.  Each of them deserves just as much time and respect as the others.  They all have a special place in my heart, our mentors’ hearts and our church’s hearts.  They come to us from different backgrounds.  Each has their own problems, phobias, flaws, gifts, inner beauty, and personalities.  They are all unique in their own way and that is what makes working with them so fun.

I have dealt with a lot of things when it comes to my youth, some of them terrible and hard to fix while other times it was an easy fix.   Each problem or situation is equally important.  This is their lives and although they might not have all the problems and concerns of the adult world, there are still a lot of hard decisions and life changing actions going on for them.   When they are youth group age, they have to make decisions that can affect the rest of their lives.

This is way I say that it is all about the Youth.  I know that it is my job to have that mentality but I would say that anyway.  It is obvious that they need a safe place to be.  They need people that love them and care about them and will be there for them when they need someone to listen to them.  Our youth program provides that for them.  We want to teach our youth to be Christ like and in order to do that, we need to be Christ like.  Life provides to many opportunities for them as well as mentors to act in a manner that is not Christ like.

If we can teach them that, provide them with a safe place to be, have activities that help them grow spiritually but are fun at the same time, they will grow up with the love of Christ in their hearts.  I may not be perfect in what I say and do when it comes to our youth program, but I love my youth and I try really hard to be that shining light for them.  I want our youth group to be that beacon of hope for those that are drowning in the sea of life.  It’s about the youth, not one of you but all of you.  You are the future of this world we live in and we must help mold you into who you will be.  Live life, love life, center your life, and then you shall find Christ.

ACC week 11 Eric’s “Predictions”

Last week North Carolina again as every week goes, Maryland let me down again!  Well I still got four picks right as I picked LSU it win against Alabama.  This week is going to be really hard on a couple of games so let’s get to it!

Last week: 4 -2                                  Overall:                      43-22

10 Virginia Tech vs. 21 Georgia Tech: This is such a tough game to predict.  The Hokies haven’t shown up for a complete game yet this year.  The defense is hurting bad with so many guys out for the year.  The offense put up a lot of yards against Duke but only two touchdowns.  Virginia Tech always seems to be given a bad rap for barely winning football games but the funny thing is they win football games.  It is so hard to be a fan when you expect them to blow somebody out and they don’t.  Georgia Tech is coming off a huge game where their offense looks really good and is scary.  We have never fared well against the option and we have given up a lot of yards.  This is at Georgia Tech on the national stage, a Thursday night game.  It will really depend on which Hokie team shows up.  They are not getting a lot of love from the websites I go to that predict the outcome of the game.  Everyone has the Hokies losing.  I have decided to go with what seems to be the upset and I my pick for tomorrow night’s game is Virginia Tech!  Go Hokies!
Wake Forest vs. 9 Clemson:  I saw a lot out of Wake Forest last week.  They really played a complete game and had a chance to win.  Clemson is a tough team to play and I was really shocked that they got beat so badly by Georgia Tech.   I don’t think Wake has enough in the tank to beat Clemson.  They really need to work on the passing game.  We will see what happens but my pick this week is Clemson.
Duke vs. Virginia:  Man Duke has had Virginia’s number the past couple of years.  I really think that this could be a close game.  I really want Duke to win so that Virginia has another loss, but it might not matter much depending on tomorrow night’s game.  I think Virginia is playing well right now and they will get another W.  My pick is Virginia.
Miami vs. Florida State:  This should be a really great game.  I wish I could watch.  Both of these teams have played well this year.  I think Florida State is on a roll.  Miami has been up and down.  If both quarterbacks are hot and on target this game could be really high scoring.  I think that Florida State has the advantage though so my pick is Florida State.
North Carolina State vs. Boston College:  The wolfpack looked good on Saturday. At least their defense did.  I am not sure about the offense.  Boston College has its work cut out for it I think.  I wish Boston College had been better this year but I think they are going to be thrown to the wolves this week.  My pick is N.C. State!
Maryland vs. Notre Dame:  I am not spending time analyzing this game.  Maryland has let me down for weeks.  My pick is Notre Dame.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prep and Landing

A couple of years ago this new Christmas special came out called "Prep and Landing."  It is an awesome 30 minute cartoon about the elves that go to each girl and boy's house before Santa arrives to "prep" it for him.  Crazy things happen along the way and one of the elves doesn't get a promotion he wanted so he is doesn't take the job seriously.  A storm comes and because the elf is not paying attention to what he is doing, Santa is going to miss the house they are working on.

A new elf that is so excited to be on the "Prep and Landing" team helps the other elf realize just how important their job so he helps to make sure Santa gets there for Christmas.  It has some really funny parts but the main focus is on what all goes into getting ready for Christmas.

This made me start to think about what we do to "Prep" for Christmas.  After Thanksgiving, (hopefully) you put your tree up and decorate the house.  You start to buy gifts for your friends and family.  You bake cookies and sing Christmas Carols.  You listen to holiday music, wear festive sweaters, and watch Christmas Movies.  You wrap those presents and buy Candy canes.  You go to Christmas parties and make homemade ornaments with the kids.  You spend time with family and see relatives you haven't seen in a long time.  There are so many things you do to "Prep" yourself for the holidays. 

However,  I think that we spend too much time "Prepping" for the wrong way to celebrate Christmas.  Don't get me wrong, I love everything about the secular holiday of Christmas.  I love presents and movies and the spirit that it brings out in people, but too many people overlook the true meaning of Christmas.  They have a tendency to get so wrapped up in everything that they forget to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  They forget to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.  Why is that?  Why do we spend so much time on Christmas but so little time on Christ-mas? 

I think you should "Prep" differently this year.  Instead of buying so many toys for each other, buy a birthday present for Jesus.  Give to your Church.  Be Christ like in your actions and feed the hungry, give to the organizations that support the homeless, put some money in Santa Claus' bucket in front of Walmart.  Take an angel from the tree at Church and buy a gift for a child in need.  Attend the choir's Christmas concert so that you can worship by the sound of music.  Go see the Christmas play put on by the children of the church.  Attend worship on Christmas Eve and this year on Christmas Day.  Enjoy that time together as a family.  Pray over Christmas dinner and be thankful for the birth of the one who died for your sins.

It's time to "Prep" for Christmas properly.  Don't forget to do that because if you "Prep" and spend all the time on the other type of Christmas celebration then you might want to watch out for that "Landing."  I'm just saying...

ACC YOU pick em Challenge Week 1

Do you think you can pick who will win each ACC game this year?  Here is your chance to show us how good you are at picking the winners.

Below you will find the first week's ACC games (minus 2nd round and beyond tournament games because there is no way to tell who is moving on). 

Post a comment to this post with your picks for the games.  They are numbered so next to each number write the winner of the game.  Also make up a team name for yourself and put that at the top of your comment post.

To post a comment, at the bottom of the post there will be a comment space if  you click on the title of the this blog post first.  When you have finished, you have choose what you will post under.  Click the arrow and go down to anonymous.  Select that and click post.  It will then ask you to authenticate the post by rewriting the word in the box.  Once you do this it will post.  It will be important to make sure you put your team name at the top.  You will probably have to print the game schedule so that you can look at it as you write down your picks.
I will post the games one week ahead so that you have time to make your choices.  Each week after this week will start on a Monday and end on Sunday.  You will have to have your game picks in by Monday at 10:00 am in order to participate.

I will post the leader board each week and we will see who has the best week and year! We will follow it up with the ACC tournament You Pick em!  It's all for fun so lets see what ya got!

This week is a short week to make your picks, sorry about that!

Your picks are due by Friday, 11/11/11 at noon!


1. Jacksonville @ Florida State

2. Loyola @ Wake Forest
3. North Carolina (1) vs. Michigan State

4. Tennessee Tech @ Miami

5. UNC Asheville @ NC State

6.  Florida A&M @ Georgia Tech

7. Gardner-Webb @ Clemson

8. Belmont @ Duke (6)


9. ETSU @ Virginia Tech

10. Presbyterian @ Duke (6)

11. South Carolina State @ Virginia

12. North Carolina (1) @ UNC Asheville Asheville
13. Morehead State @ NC State

14. UNC Wilmington @ Maryland


15. Delaware State @ Georgia Tech

16. Monmouth @ Virginia Tech

17. New Hampshire @ Boston College

18. UCF @
Florida State

19. Duke (6) vs. Michigan State

20. Rutgers @ Miami

21.Winthrop @ Virginia


22. Georgia Southern @ Wake Forest

23. Princeton @ NC State

24. Stetson @ Florida State

25. Clemson @ The Citadel


26. Maryland vs. Alabama (19)

27. Georgia Tech vs. Saint Joseph's


28. Davidson @ Duke

29. Virginia vs. TCU  

30. Boston College @ Holy Cross


31. NC State vs. Vanderbilt (7)

32. College of Charleston @ Clemson

33. North Florida @ Miami


34. Mississippi Valley State @ North Carolina (1)

35. South Alabama @ Florida State

36. North Carolina Central @ Wake Forest

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Stranger forgave me

Last week I put a few things on ebay to sell.  One of the items was two unopened, still wrapped,  Christmas DVDs that I had duplicates of (I love my Christmas Movies!).  Someone immediately bought them.  This morning I found a box in the apartment but I couldn't find packing tape so I was going to go to Walmart and buy some tape.  I put the DVDs in the box I had, grabbed my other stuff and headed out the door.  I locked my door and started to walk down the corridor.

I took two steps and in one continuous motion, the bottom of the box I was holding, opened up and one of the DVDs not only fell to the ground but because it happened so quick and was so close to me, I stepped on the corner of the DVD breaking it and ripping the shrink wrap.  I just stood there for a minute.  In my head I kept saying "Are you serious!"  Did that really just happen.  Not only did I drop it, but I crushed the corner of the box.

Now if this was just a DVD of mine, it would be no big deal because I would just replace the box, but I had sold this to someone on Ebay.  I was worried about what they would think of me and that I lied when I posted the picture of the DVDs. The last think you want to do is get bad feedback on Ebay.  Your reputation is very important in the online auction world.  I was worried now.

I drove over to Walmart to buy the box and tape that I needed.  While there I looked through the DVDs to see if they had the same one for like $5.00.  I couldn't find it there.  Side note, Walmart was playing Christmas music today!!!! WAY to EARLY!!!  Anyway, while I was waiting to check out, it hit me.  I am selling this DVD because I have my own copy.  I can just trade out the cases.  I drove back home and spent the next twenty minutes tearing through boxes looking for other DVD.  I found every Christmas movie I owned except for this one.  I was freaking out a little.

After looking through one more box, it hit me, the DVD of this movie I have came as part of a set. It was one of those sets that have the very small, thin DVD cases.  I found the box set and there it was, a thin version of the crushed DVD.  Well that idea went out the window.  I decided that I would send an extra DVD case with the movie so that they buyer could switch it out if they wanted to.  I then emailed the buyer and told them what happened.  I apologized and offered to refund half their money for the broken cased DVD.

I then went to the post office and mailed the DVDs.  I waited the rest of the afternoon to get a response to my email.  It took a while but I finally got one later this evening.  The buyer was so kind and told me that she was just going to keep the DVDs for her family and watch them at home.  She thanked me for telling her because she has had experience on Ebay were people haven't. 

I had worried all day for nothing because this kind caring person was very nice and didn't think I was trying to rip her off or anything.  She believed me when I told her what happened.  It made me feel good because she could of easily asked for her money back.  In today's world we don't always find people that are forgiving and honest.  We need to be those people.  Everyone makes mistakes and as friends and family it is easy to forgive.  It takes a true forgiver to forgive someone you don't even know.  I hope that the next time I am in a situation like that that I can pay it forward!  Thanks for making the end of my day so great when there was such a rough beginning. 

Would I have done that?

There are a lot of things that my youth in youth group do that I wonder if I would have done them when I was their age.  Unfortunately, growing up I never really had a tie to a youth group so I missed out on a lot of fun and spiritual growth.   I think that I would have grown faster socially if I had been part of a youth group.  I still think that it would be hard for me to do some of the things are youth do.  I don’t think I would have had the motivation and drive to do them. 

Do you think, as a middle schooler, you would have walked up to a random church and engrained yourself in their youth group?  One of my youth did just that.  She didn’t have a church home and her family didn’t attend church, so she decided that she was going to find a church and a youth group to join.  One day she decided to walk up the street, she came to our church.  She came in and joined the Sunday school class.  That same day our youth were singing in church and she decided she was going to as well.  Her first time in our worship service, she went to the front and sang with the youth group.  It was amazing, but I know that would have never had the drive or the courage to put myself in that situation. 

Do you think that you would go thirty one hours without eating? Each year our youth hold a can drive where they attempt to collect over 5000 cans of food to give to our local community, they spend three months collecting cans and raising money.  One weekend in late October is when they deliver the food to the local food shelter.  They spend Friday night organizing the cans and then going to a local grocery store to purchase more canned goods with the money they raised.  The next morning they go to the shelter and deliver all the food.  It is amazing how hard they work, but the most amazing thing is that they do all of this without eating.  They go from lunch time on Friday until late Saturday evening without eating to simulate what it is like to homeless and hungry.  I don’t think that I would have been able to make that commitment as a youth.  That shows great spiritual growth and maturity.

Do you think you could get up in front of the congregation and deliver the message on a Sunday morning?  Or how about committing to a Friday night event and leading a youth led worship for your peers?  We have youth that have not only gotten up in front of the church to deliver the message, but have also given up their Friday nights to worship with their peers.  I know of some adults that wouldn’t even get up in front of the congregation or their peers to deliver a message.  It is truly amazing to watch them.  They have such confidence and poise when they are in front of the groups.  When I was their age, I don’t think you could have gotten me to do that.

Would you of been able to create movies and deliver a message through acting?  I know that when I was a youth it would have been hard to create a video project for school or youth group.  I have youth that do it all the time now and they do such a great job.  I have one youth that has a gift for it.  She has such an eye for it that I truly believe she should go to film school.   If I could have been half as creative as my youth are then I would of gotten better grades in school.

There are so many things that my youth in youth group do that I probably never would of done as a youth.  They impress me every day.  I wish everyone could see the amazing things they do and the amazing people they are.  They are our future,  I am so proud of them and can’t wait to see what the next thing around the corner is that I would have never done as a youth!  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 123

Things have been crazy.  I hate being sick.  I haven't been able to work out because of my energy level.  I hope to start back tomorrow and get going again.  I don't want to stop what I have been working so hard on.  It is just fustrating when your body shuts down.  So here is to more!  Have a great Friday night!

The Walking Dead

 There is a series on AMC called “The Walking Dead.”  The story is about a group of survivors that are trying to survive in a world that has been overtaken by zombies.  That’s right, it’s a zombie apocalypse.  The show has yet to explain exactly how the apocalypse started, but we see all kinds of zombies walking around and terrorizing the survivors.  They have to do whatever it takes to survive and live as the world around them is in complete chaos.  Although the show is a drama and not just a zombie killing action flick, the focus is still on the zombies.    

The zombies or walkers are trying to do one thing, and that one thing is feed.  There is no emotion behind the vacant eyes of these zombies.  They will do whatever it takes to eat.  Some sort of disease or chemical warfare caused this outbreak to occur.  When it did, it sucked all the life out of those that have become zombies.  If you are bitten or somehow get the blood of a zombie in an open wound, you too will eventually become a zombie.  You will become a mindless, emotionless, single goal oriented being.  You will want to do nothing but feed.

So the question is do we have walking dead in today’s world?  I believe that we do, in fact, I believe that at one point in time we have all been the walking dead.  I believe that we have all at times found ourselves in a vegetative state where nothing mattered and we were not motivated to do anything.  This may have been a lazy Saturday of watching football and sitting on the couch, or it might have been a sick day in bed, drained of all energy.  Maybe something bad happened to you like a death in the family, or a boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you.  When you are in the “walking dead” state, you just don’t care about anything and lack any kind of motivation.  I think this has happened to everyone at some point in their lives. 

There are also people in this world that sort of stay in that state during life.  Yes, they have a job, a husband or wife, money, hobbies, a team to cheer for, and a home to live in, but they just aren’t fulfilled.  No matter how many material things they have they seem to have an empty hole that no matter what they do just doesn’t seem to be filled.  I think these are the true “walking dead” out in the world today.  I think these are people that need help that need someone to talk to and need to either find Jesus for the first time, or make him the center of their world. 

These people are easily overlooked because they look like you or me.  They have what they need in life and our well off, but inside they aren’t complete.  They are missing that special something that makes life exciting and wonderful.  Unlike the zombies of the apocalypse, they need to be fed in a different way.  They need to be fed with the love of Jesus.  They need to center themselves and allow him to lead them through life.  By having Jesus as the center of their lives, everything will fall into place.  Life will be more vibrant.  They will not be stumbling through life like “the walking dead”. 

This may or may not be a constant feeling that you have inside you.  If it is I want to encourage you to go and find someone in the church to counsel you and help you to answer those questions you have about the emptiness you have inside.  If you don’t those feeling, I encourage you to be on the lookout for those that do.  Talk to people about their faith and make sure that they understand that Jesus loves them no matter what.  Invite them to your church and help them to be comfortable in their new surroundings.  We may never see AMC’s version of “The Walking Dead”, but if we aren’t careful, we could have our own earthly version of “the walking dead” and there are more zombies out there right now than you may think. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

ACC Week 10 Eric’s “Predictions”

Well I went 3 and 3 last week.  Virginia shocked Miami and Boston College actually pulled it out which means that Maryland is just that bad.  Georgia Tech also set up a matchup with Virginia Tech for the Coastal Division Title by beating Clemson.  If anyone was going t beat Clemson, it was Georgia Tech.  So let’s see how I fare this week.

Last week      3-3                   Overall                       39-20

Florida State vs. Boston College:  Boston College got its first ACC win last week over Maryland.  Florida State has been on a role.  It’s a shame E J Manual was hurt for those first two ACC games.   I don’t see Florida State losing another game this season, so my pick this week is Florida State.

Virginia vs. Maryland:  I have picked Maryland a couple of times this year and every time I do they lose.  Virginia has looked really good at times this year and are a scary team because you don’t know which team is going to show up for the game.  Virginia has a shot to win the Coastal Division if they can stay with just one ACC lost until they play Virginia Tech.  However I still think Maryland is due for a win so I am back and forth on this one.  My pick this week is Maryland.  I can dream can’t I? 

North Carolina vs. NC State:  This is a big game for both schools.  For the past 5 years I believe, NC State has beaten North Carolina.  It has been crazy.  Both are capable of winning the game.  It comes down to which North Carolina team and which NC State team is going to show up for the game.  I think it is North Carolina’s year.  My pick this week is North Carolina. 

Duke vs. Miami:  This has upset written all over it.  Miami is coming off a terrible performance and sooner or later Duke is going to get a big ACC win.  They almost had it last weekend.  I don’t think this is the week they pull it off although it wouldn’t surprise me.  My pick is Miami. 

Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest:  As I said last week I felt like Wake was getting a little too much hype.  They haven’t played that great.  Notre Dame is a good team although not the powerhouse they used to be.  Who knows you might see them in the ACC someday.  Either way, I think they are too good for Wake, so my pick is Notre Dame. 

 1 LSU vs. 2 Alabama:  This is a huge game.  I don’t do top 25 games, just ACC games but I thought I should weigh in on this one.  This game should probably be the championship game this year but there teams won’t get that opportunity because they have to play each other now.  I have seen a lot of LSU this year and I really like what I see.  Alabama is a good team, but my pick is LSU.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 121

My world has been crazy the last couple of weeks.  I have been sick which has caused my motivation to work out to go down.  I have seen results so I need to get over this cough so I can get back to business.  I am going to push it the rest of the week and try to get back on track!  I have lost 25 pounds so far so I  just need to keep it up!  Thanks for all the support!