Thursday, August 29, 2013

David vs. Goliath

Football is here!  I am so excited.  It seems like such a long wait every year as we wait for football season to come back.  I was very disappointed last year as my Hokies did not have a good season.  The season was so bad that there was turn over in the coaching staff as new offensive coaches have been added to help jump start the Virginia Tech offense.  The sad thing is that again our defense is going to be really good but we are looking at a season full of offensive struggles.  Who knows what will happen.

Our first game of the season is this Saturday night at 5:30 pm on ESPN.  We are taking on the college football powerhouse known as Alabama!  They are a team that is complete in every way.  Their running game, defense, passing game, and special teams are all solid.  They are a football juggernaut.  It is very scary to be going into the first football game of the season against such a powerful opponent.

This first game reminds me a lot of David vs. Goliath.  Now I know that this story is often used to describe matchups in sports where one team is far superior to the other but I am hoping that the outcome of this game is like the story of David vs. Goliath.  Virginia Tech is in a time of rebuilding they are looking for a new identity and have a lot of young football players that will take the field on Saturday.  Alabama is coming off a thrashing of Notre Dame and looks to be as intimidating as every.  The hope is that VT can get mentally and physically prepared for this matchup. 

David had so much confidence when he faced Goliath, he knew what would work for him and he used his strengths.  He didn't put on heavy armor and carry a sword to face this giant of a man.  He chose only a sling shot and a rock and decided to use what worked best for him and something that he probably practiced over and over again a million times.  He stepped into that field of battle and flung the rock that took down the giant.  He knew what he needed to do and used his expertise and abilities to do.

Virginia Tech needs to rely on what works for them.  They need to use the plays they have practiced and use their own game plan.  If they want a chance to beat Alabama they will need to use what works for them and not get caught up in trying to play the way that Bama plays.  With strong defense and baby steps on offense, Tech does have an excellent shot at beating Bama. 

I don't know the outcome of the game and it is no where near as important as the bible story of David and Goliath but I hope that the Hokies show up, hang with them, and maybe be able to throw that rock in the fourth quarter that wins the game!  A Hokie fan can dream can't he?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


How come no matter how many times I try to unsubscribe from email lists I still get emails?  I have tried four or five times to unsubscribe from the Michael's list as well as a couple of random youth group curriculum lists that I don't even know how I got on the lists.  They continuously send me mail even if I don't want it.  I am not particularly crafty so 25% off of knitting needles and yarn don't really appeal to me.  Some of the curriculums that are offered are really not based on theology that I would like to teach my youth.  It is very frustrating when your inbox is continuously filled with emails that you don't want or care about.

It has made me think about life in general.  There are so many things that happen in life that we can't change or alter no matter how hard we try.  Everyday things pop up that determine what our day is going to look like and no amount of planning will change the outcome.  We just have to roll with the punches or make the best of a bad situation or any other pun that comes up with how we deal with the current situation.

It's like our life inboxes are filled with the spam of everyday life.  We can't delete it, we can't unsubscribe from life when something bad happens.  We have to make the most of the situation.  We have to make sure that we are aware of bad things that happen and be joyous when good things happen.  If we don't react and reply to things that get in the way of what we had planned then we ultimate hurt ourselves.  If you were to unsubscribe from life because of the spam of everyday life then you would not be living, in fact you would find yourself hold up in your house doing nothing all day long. 

We can not unsubscribe from life, in fact, we need to subscribe to life.  We need to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly that happens everyday.  It may not always be fun, sometimes it may even be dirty but it is life.  Subscribe to life.  Accept the daily challenges and surprises with a positive and forward thinking.  Understand that everything will not go as planned but if it did why would it be called living?  Open up your life inbox and read through every life email that comes your way.  You may be surprised at what you will find.

Oh and if you want to know about a "Fall Makeover for your Porch," let me know, I will forward my Michael's email to you! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Batteries are Dead...

Today while I was using my computer my wireless mouse stopped working.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.  I shook it and tried to reconnect by pushing the button on the bottom.  I finally took it apart and replaced the batteries.  When I put it back together it worked great.  The batteries in my mouse were dead.

I was thinking about that today and I think a lot of us are running on dead or drained batteries. We work so hard and some many hours and a day.  Slowly those days become weeks and those weeks become years.  It is a never ending cycle.  With each day our bodies get warn down.  We don't take as good of care of them as we need too and so we become tired and overworked. Now I know that we all take vacations where we go somewhere with our families or friends, but how much of a break is that really?  We need to talk a day of me to recharge the batteries.

Think about it, when was the last time that you just took a day to be you?  I don't mean with the kids or your parents, or even your friends.  When did you just take a me day everything you did was all about you and what you wanted to do?  We get stuck in a cycle where we are constantly going.  When this happens our batteries start to run down.  The harder we work at school, our job, in our daily lives, the more juice our batteries lose. 

We need to just stop and take some time for ourselves. I know that it is not easy to do with everything that you have to do.  The thing is that if we don't stop to remember who we are, we will lose ourselves.  When we lose ourselves are batteries die.  That is the hardest part I think of having a family, a job, a career, friends, and life in general.  Everything molds us and changes us sometimes in ways that we don't want to be changed.  We forget what we truly stand for and we allow others to make decisions for us.

I know that we love our families and they mean the world to us but you need a day of me.  You need a day where you can remember who me is!  I think it is time for you to recharge the batteries.  Take a day of me and maybe your mouse will work better the next time you are in the office!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Thank you so much for reading my blog.  A huge shout out to all of you that do.  I was really excited today because I crossed over 6000 posts of mine read over the lifetime of the blog.  I am just thankful that there are people that like to read it!

Thanks again!

We've Got Tonight...

Here we are and I know its late... 

I know your plans don't include me...

Still here we are, both of us lonely longing for shelter from all that we've seen. 

So many troubles, out in the world today. 

It's so hard to keep it all straight.

Why should we worry? 

Nobody else cares.

Look at the stars so far away. 

We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?

Why don't you stay? 

Deep in my soul I've been so lonely, all of my hopes fading away.

I long for love and I will keep searching.

So there it is I've said it all now.

 Here we are what do you say?

We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow? 

Why don't you stay?

I know your plans don't include me.

Still here we are both of us lonely.

We've got tonight. Who needs tomorrow? 

Let's make it last, let's find a way.

Make the most of every night with your friends, family, and loved ones.  Don't worry about tomorrow.  You've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?

Don't put off something you can do today till tomorrow, tomorrow may never come!

(Song lyrics are part of the song of: We've Got Tonight sung by Philip Phillips)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Sweet Rewards!

When I decided to start trying to make a lifestyle change, I wanted to have something new that would be a constant reminder of why I am working so hard to be healthier.  I decided that I was going to buy something that would come in 1 pound containers or bags so that everyone of them I bought would represent me losing 1 pound of weight! 

Today I was walking through the grocery store trying to decide what to buy and I came across the sugar isle.  Food lion brown sugar costs $.99 which is perfect if I am going to lose a lot of weight and need to purchase something to represent each pound.  So as you can see I purchased 4 pounds of sugar because I lost 4 pounds last week!  It was very exciting!  Losing weight like that gets you excited and pumped to keep trying.  It is when you plateau that is frustrating, but we will worry about that when I get there.

I think sugar also helps to represent a lot of the reason that I am the way that I am.  Sugary foods and sweets I am sure have been the reason behind 2/3s of my weight.  I shall no longer rely food to make me feel good! 

I do plan to donate all the sugar to North Raleigh Ministries when I have reached my goal weight! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Lizard...

I had a lot of great conversations with my youth today but my conversation with Lizzy just really brought a smile to my day.  It wasn't a great conversation or really deep but it was a real conversation.  It was a conversation about life and really enjoyed listening to your talk about life.  Sometimes our youth get lost in the shuffle and we forget that they are growing up so fast.  I am really proud of her and everything she stands for and I hope that she knows that. 

Liz came to youth group about 2 years ago and jumped right in with both feet.  She is at almost everything we do and so supportive of all the programs.  I know that I can count on Liz to be there and that she really wants to be there.  I have watched her grow in so many ways and her spirituality has skyrocketed since she joined the youth group. 

She hasn't had an easy life and there have been a lot of obstacles and frustrations along the way but she still stands tall (well as tall as Liz can stand).  Today we talked about those life experiences and how one day she will be able to look back on them and help a young girl at her church cope with the same obstacles and frustrations.  She would make a great youth mentor.

I am really proud of you Liz and so glad that you found our youth group.  It wouldn't be the same without your smiling face and loving nature :)  You are the best girlie and I thank you so much for the great talk we had today!  I am so thankful for you!  Love you girlie :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stand By Me

Have you ever seen Stand By Me?  If you haven't I suggest you rent it and watch it.  I loved that movie as a kid and I always wanted to do what the boys do in that movie.  Okay maybe not what their ultimate goal is in the movie which is to see the dead body of  a boy that got hit by a train, but just to have an adventure and follow the railroad tracks. That's right I just want to follow the railroad tracks and see the sights and sounds associated with them.
It's a pretty dangerous idea to walk the railroad tracks especially if you don't know which way a train could come but at the same time it is an exciting one.  I mean what might you see as you follow the tracks?  Who might you come across?  What might you find?  Where do they lead?  These as all questions that pop up in my mind when I think about the exciting railroad track trip that I want to take.  It is right up there on my list next to hiking the Appalachian Trail. 
I think that we ask ourselves the same questions about where life is taking us as we do about my railroad track adventure.  Who are we going to come across in our lives?  What will we find around the next bend or curve in our life journey?  Where are we headed on the path of life?  What wild and crazy things are we going to see as we travel through life? 
I don't know the answer to those questions.  Frankly I don't want to know them.  I want to experience them.  I want to find the answers out for myself through walking the path of life and enjoying my life adventure.  I want to experience things instead of knowing what is up ahead.  What's the fun in knowing where I am headed or what is going to come across my path.
Today I went on a little adventure.  I walked the tracks between two streets just get a little bit of that rush which would be a full out adventure on the tracks.  I was careful and watchful as I walked down those rails.  It was so exciting to walk down those tracks not knowing what was around the corner.
I want to feel the same way about life.  Don't you?  Why don't you following the tracks of life with me and stand by me?  Together we can walk the path of life and see what our future holds!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Guess what I stepped in?

So I have been watching my brother's cat for the past couple of weeks.  She is a sweet kitty that loves to cuddle. I will lay down to read my book and she comes over and jumps on the bed and then on top of me where she starts to kneed the dough which I am perfect for with my big belly.  She then gets comfortable and lays down on top of me and paws at my kindle as I try to read.  Often her paw hits the screen and will turn the page so I have to figure out where I was and how to get back to that page.  After a while she will get down and curl up next to me until I turn off the light and she goes to sleep under the bed.

Last night I had just turned the light off when I heard a hacking sound coming from the hallway.  Yes it was the kitty throwing up something.  I was so tired that I had decided that I would wait until the morning to clean it up.  So I let it be.  Around 3:00 am I had to go to the bathroom so I threw the covers off of me and got out of bed.  I walking into the hallway and that is when I felt something squish under my foot.  Yep, I stepped in the cat throw up.  It was a very nasty feeling and I had to hop on one foot to the bath tub to wash it off.  Needless to say it woke me up enough to clean up the throw up.

Although it was cat throw up I got to thinking about it the next day.  I think it was really a life lesson.  Too often in life something bad happens, a fight with a friend, a death in the family, or maybe an unexpected bill. We have a tendency to wait to deal with it.  We don't want to take care of it in the moment and we think that it will go away, but what always happens is that we end up stepping smack dab into the problem and we are forced to deal with it.  It seems that when we allow ourselves to not deal with things right away, we have to deal with them differently than if we had taken the bull by the horns and dealt with them when they happened. 

Be careful of saying you will wait to deal with an issue or problem instead of taking the time to deal with it in the moment.  If your not careful you might end up stepping in cat throw up.  I'm just sayin!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Say what you mean to say...

I think relationships were much easier during the caveman days.  All the man had to do was find the woman he liked, bonk her over the head with his club and drag her back to his cave.  It was that simple right?  Well at least cartoons made it look that simple. 

We (meaning boys that is) start off at a young age showing our feelings toward girls in the wrong way.  When a young boy likes a girl he often throws rocks at her or hits her or calls her names because he thinks that making fun of her in front of his friends will get her to like him.  I don't know if I threw rocks when I was a kid, you would have to ask my mom, but I see it on the playground at church sometimes among the younger kids.

The thing is that it doesn't change much when they get to middle school or even high school.  The boys want to be cool in front of their friends so they don't talk to the girls when they are around. They make fun of them or snicker behind their backs.  The funny thing is that now thanks to technology they can text the girl later and say something like:

 why didn't we hang out earlier?  Or why didn't you talk to me? Or I miss you!

I have even seen the silent treatment approach as a way to get a girl's attention. Boys think they are being cute when they don't talk to a girl or ignore them when they are together or at a social function.  However the boys never understand why the girl is so upset with him after they have done this.

Are we as men completely clueless or are we just missing a part of our brains?

Here's the thing, we only get a short amount of time on this planet.  Why wouldn't you want to spend time with the people you like? Why wouldn't you talk to those girls that you think are beautiful?  Instead of spending time at home in front of the computer on facebook or twitter, go out and spend time with the real thing.

I wish that when I was a teenager I had had someone there to tell me how stupid I was being and that I needed to enjoy life instead of just living it.  I look back at the opportunities that I missed and the people I could of spent time with and I think I really missed an excellent chance to get to know some people. 

Don't waste your chance.  Who knows where it will lead.  You need to understand that life is short and if you don't stop and look around once in a while you may just miss it.  (Farris Bueller's Day Off).

Unless the world ends and we are back to prehistoric times, the verbal club that you are using on the girls of today just isn't going to cut it.  Put away the club and start talking from your heart.  At least that is real.  You may not get the response you want but guess what, you will never know until you try.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

30 signs you’re a Youth Director

      30- Your patience is tested every Sunday.
      29- Creating videos is a necessary part of what you do.
      28- You give up your air mattress because one of the kids has a hole in theirs.

      27- At the talent show every year you find yourself singing the Youth Director Blues.

26-  One week after a youth trip you still can’t tell where that smell in the backseat of your car is coming from.

25- Hearing about Middle School and High School romances are an everyday part of life.

24- You send out 30,000 emails but you still get a text at midnight asking what time and where are you meeting tomorrow.

23- Every other t-shirt you own is a youth related t-shirt.  

22- You realize a youth’s mood can change in a nanosecond. One second they love each other the next second you have no clue what just happened.

21-    Your summer vacation is Emerald Pointe and Busch Garden with the youth group.

20- While cleaning up the youth area you find a cup of soda with something growing in it.

 19-    The Urban Dictionary is on your must read list.

 18-    You know how to tweet.

 17- You understand that Oreos and Dr. Pepper are a must have.  

 16- You hear Youth Minister, Youth Minister, Youth Minister in your dreams!

 15- You know just the right thing to say when one of our youth is crying in your arms.

14- You know what COD is (Call of Duty)

 13- Your office is in the basement of the church and you can go all day without even seeing anyone else in the building.

 12- While in the dunk tank at the Fall Festival you notice that every other person in line is a youth.

11- Pizza is one of the basic food groups.
10- You hear interesting things on trips like the lady behind us in Washington DC that said to her child, “If you don’t be quiet I’m gonna punch you in the throat!”

 9- You have a Virginia Tech tutu (made by a youth mentor) that you have actually worn.

8- You have a picture of Justin Bieber on your filing cabinet because one of your youth gave it to you.

7- You know who One Direction is and actually have one of their songs on your I-pod.

 6- One weekend a year you become Erica for the Girls’ retreat.

5- Your favorite bible verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” because sometimes you have to say it over and over; before, during, and or after a youth event!

 4- Your hotel room on the trip stinks because the boys in your room won’t shower.

3- You give your youth nicknames: Odawg, Thorny, Wolverine, Margarette, Kobe, etc.

2- You keep texts from your kids when they tell you they love you.

1- You love your kids, your mentors, and your parents, and you can’t picture yourself doing any shing else! (any shing else is an ASP joke, it's not spelled wrong)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oh Deer...

I started my lifestyle changes yesterday except for a small Goodberry's treat when we decided to go to celebrate Denise and start of her new career path.  On a side note I am really going to miss her a lot. She was such a ray of sunshine everyday at church!  I love you Denise!

Ok so back to the lifestyle change.  I had a great day yesterday as far as eating as well as today.  I played basketball for two hours last night and went for a run / walk around Shelly Lake this afternoon.  When I decided to go for the run the storm clouds were building up and I thought that it was going to rain on me.  I went anyway because I knew I needed to exercise. 

I was able to run and walk the 2 mile trail stopping periodically to do squats and lunges.  It was touch because I haven't exercised in awhile but it felt good.  I used music to push myself around the lake.  At one point some music came on that really pumped me up and I started running.  As I came around the corner that is when I saw her standing there (I'm sure that last part is a song lyric).  Anyway, I had my phone in my hand so I pushed the camera button and waited for it come up.  I took a picture of the deer that was standing in front of me. It was pretty far away so I walked a little closer and snapped another one and then closer and snapped another one.  I got as close as this last picture before she started to run back into the woods.

That's when I noticed them, two little baby deer further back in the trees eating grass and protected by their mother.  I backed up to give them room and not scare them.  I watched for a few minutes that these glorious creatures that God had created.  Before I left I lifted my hand to my chin and gave the sign language sign for Thank you (Elizabeth Owens taught me that).  When I did it the deer sort of cocked her head to the side like she understood me.  It was amazing.

I finished my run but have been thinking about that deer all night.  It was amazing to witness God's glory through one of him animals.  A deer just eating and watching her young but so inspiring to be up close and personal with.  I don't know if it really meant anything but I do know that it just made me feel good. 

Oh deer is probably something I will say from now on when these workouts and things get hard.  I will remember that deer that God put in front of me to inspire me. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I will go out to eat this week in memory of you!

For the last 3 years I have been blessed and privileged to spend time with my dear friend Coleen's mother, Agnes.  In the early hours of this morning Agnes went to heaven to be with friends and family.  As Coleen put it, "Celebration is happening in Heaven of that I am sure!"  Agnes was reunited today with her loving Husband and other family and friends.

Coleen would often ask me if I would like to come spend some time with her and Agnes.  This started when Agnes lived in Capital Towers.  We would go see her and sure enough about 20 or 30 minutes into our visit, Agnes would ask us if we would like to go out to eat and she would always offer to pay.  We would always say yes unless Coleen had already planned to make dinner.  Coleen would go get the car and I would escort Agnes down to the car. 

Dinner was always fun and Agnes would be full of smiles and laughter.  She had such a quick wit that it surprised you sometimes when she would come back at you with a comment about what you were talking about.  She was always so loving and would thank me numerous times for coming to see her.  She would tell me she loved me and thought the world of me because I would spend time with an old lady.  She also was a big flirt and would often tell Coleen that she could go home and I could stay with her.

As it became apparent that Agnes could not live alone any longer, they moved her to Patti's house.  At the house Shannon, Coleen, and Patti took care of her.  It was hard to watch Agnes' health and mind deteriorate.  It was getting worse as time went on.  Over the week we were at ASP, her health took a major turn for the worse.  It didn't seem like she would be able with us too much longer.

Coleen's daughter Alexis had a baby boy about 10 days ago.  About three days later Coleen was able to get a 4 generation picture with Great Grandma, Grandma, Mom, and baby boy.  It is a really nice picture. 

That brings us to this morning.  I was awoke at the hotel at Busch Gardens with the youth as Coleen was looking for Pastor Ben's number to call him.  She calmly told me that Agnes had past.  I asked her if she was ok and she was but needed to go and take care of some things.  I couldn't go back to sleep.  I went next door to the McDonald's and get a biscuit and some orange juice.  I sat in the McDonald's by myself and just started to picture Agnes and her smiling face.  It made me smile.

I know that the loss of a loved one is really hard especially a parent but when who see someone suffer or their quality of life is going down hill and life is uncomfortable, you know it is best for them to move on.  It is easier said than done and when that moment comes you are never ready for it.  Agnes got to see her great grandson before she passed.  Maybe when she saw that new life come into the world she knew it was ok for her to go to heaven.

There is a party in heaven tonight lead by one smiling, laughing, hugging, grandma.  She probably took everyone out to eat after that party.  Although we are left to carry on and will miss her, we know she is where she wants and needs to be.  The Lord will take care of her until her family can be with her again.  May the light of the Lord shine down from heaven.  There will be sorrow, love, joy, and pain but on this day, the 11th of August 2013, may there be peace.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Story of Luke

Last night around 3:30 am I found myself unable to sleep.  I got some water and came into the den to see what was on TV.  I couldn't find anything that I was really interested in watching so I turned on my computer and surfed the internet.  While doing so I cam across this movie that looked interesting but was just something to watch until I was ready to try and go back to bed.  Instead I watched the whole movie.  I cried, I laughed, I got angry, and I was heartbroken all in the span of an hour and a half.

The story is about a 25 year old man who has autism.  He lived with his Grandmother and Grandfather all of his life until at the beginning of the movie his Grandmother passes away.  He is then forced to go live with his Uncle's family and his Grandfather is put into a home.  The story is about Luke wanting to get a job and become independent so that he can meet a girl.  Well really as you find out quickly because of some influences he wants to do more than meet a girl.  As he searches for a job you watch his family dynamics change as well as watch Luke mature as he gets experiences outside of his Grandparent's house.

Now honestly this movie is either rated PG 13 or rated R I believe for language and suggestive material and parts of it were a little over the top but overall I really enjoyed the movie.  The actor that plays Luke did an amazing job.  He had some really funny lines and some really serious lines.  I believe that one of the hardest roles to have in acting is when you have to play someone with a disability.  He made his character very believable and I wanted to help him, hug him, and shelter him from the world around him.

I as so glad that I couldn't sleep last night because if I had I would never have found this movie.  It makes me want to be a better person.  I highly recommend you give it a watch if you have the time! Just remember that there is language as well as sexual suggestive themes! 

"There are 3.2 billion females on this planet and I only need to find one..."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Yo Yo Diet...

So here I am again. Another doctor's appointment and I still weigh the same amount I did this time last year.  That's right, I am still overweight and haven't lost anything.  If you can believe it.  I even have a gym membership that I pay for every month but barely use.  I haven't been eating well and that hasn't helped anything.

I started this blog when I had decided to make a life change and work hard through diet and exercise to lose weight and feel better about myself.  Honestly it worked.  Through hard work and eating right I started to lose weight until I plateaued and was stuck at a weight for like three weeks.  It didn't stop me from trying until I got injured.  That is what put me back into my old habits.  Back into that pattern of the yo yo.  Up and down, up and down, up and down and now I am back up.

It's not comfortable being overweight, in fact I make jokes about it so that people don't see that there are actually some pains involved in being heavy.  I hate that I have to worry about things on trips with the youth, like which roller coasters I can and can not ride.  I worry about the water slides at the waterpark.  It's very stressful.

Food has always been my vice. It comforts me and makes me happy.  I have always turned to food when things bring me down.  I have never smoked  or been a big drinker, but I can always put away some food. 

It is hard to diet when you like food so much.  It really does make it difficult to pass over food when it is put in front of you!  I don't know how I was able to do it for so long.  It is a cycle that is hard for me to break. 

However, I believe that is enough is enough and I am going to take another stab at changing my life.  I am going to try and make that lifestyle change I need to make.  I am going to live healthy.  I have too.  I have to change things.

It is said that your body is a temple, well mine is a warehouse.  I want to make it into a garage.  Through diet, exercise, prayer, and Me and JC, I am going to make it happen. 

Now I am realistic and I am going to go for it, but I can't until Monday.  No matter how badly I want to start, I am going to Busch Gardens on Saturday.  I am going to eat better than I have before when I have been there, and all the walking around sure will help but I know better than to start a diet before a trip like this. 

Get ready world, I am cutting the string of my yo yo and I am moving in the right direction!  Let's do this thing!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

ALL are welcome!

I have never attended a small  church.  A church where everyone in it knows each other and can greet them by their first name.  This past weekend, we loaded up three cars and hit the road for Butner, NC.  What might you ask is in Butner, NC?  Well Community United Methodist Church is located in Butner, NC.  That is also where Philly has resided for the last 3 months.

Philly was chosen for the conference internship program called Taste and See.  He was placed at Community UMC in Butner as his internship.  The purpose of the program is give college aged youth the opportunity to see what it is like to be a pastor.  Most if not all of the youth in the program have been trying to decide if they are being called into ministry. 

Today, at least 25 of us showed up to listen to him deliver the final message of his internship.  Philly was awesome!  He did his entire message without looking at any notes.  He memorized the entire thing. It was exciting to watch.  He owned the front of the sanctuary as he walked back and forth delivering his message.

Community UMC has been working on a new mission statement.  I am not sure exactly what it is but I believe that it is something like Community UMC welcomes ALL. Philly preached about how they as a church will need to decide who the ALL are.  It was awesome to watch him as he preached about how they had welcomed him to Community UMC and about how they need to do that for anyone that comes through the doors of Community UMC.

Philly has been given a gift and a calling into ministry.  I hope that he listens and follows what God has in store for him.  He is truly blessed and I am really proud of him!  Once a youth in my youth group, now a friend and partner in ministry! 

You go Philly!

Friday, August 2, 2013

God put a spell on me! OH WAIT... Danielle put a spell on me!

Tonight I had the privilege of getting to see Danielle acting.  She was amazing as was the entire cast of Godspell.  From the minute the play started I was fixated on where Danielle was and what she was doing.  I watched her every move at the beginning of the play.  I wanted to see every action because she had worked so hard.  I mean come on, two weeks of working 9 to 5 on a play.  That is hard work. It's like acting boot camp! 

It was well worth it though as you could tell how hard she and everyone else had worked to make this play great. The director had rewritten the play so there was some really funny parts.  The were actually a couple of places where they put in modern topics and news.  The guy who played Judas was very funny.  I was really impressed because a lot of his lines were made up on the spot. 

Danielle told me that she was really impressed by the main actress who played Jesus.  I believe that her name is Ruby.  Danielle said that she wished she could be like her, sing like her, and act like her.  She said that Ruby was the total package.  I can't argue with her on that.  Rudy did an amazing job, I mean it was awesome!  She really is a great actress and singer.  Here's the thing though, I think Danielle is the total package.

Danielle can act, she can dance, and she can sing.  All the same qualities that Ruby has.  Ok Ruby may have more training and a pure love for acting which motivates her to be the very best.  Danielle has that too, but she has so many other interests as well that make her well rounded.  She has great friends that she loves to spend time with.  She has a fantastic eye for making movies, acting in them, and editing them.  She is serious when she needs to me serious, loving when she needs to be loving, and funny and loud when it is okay to be funny and loud.

I think that the biggest thing that she has going for her is her love of God.  Okay yes the name of this particular play was Godspell and it was about the life of Jesus but Danielle has always believed and made church such an important part of her life.

Danielle and I are pretty close, we have had many long talks about many different things.  A lot of those talks have involved food.  I don't why I wrote that it's just a random fact!  Anyway, I can see it in her that when she puts her mind to it, she can accomplish anything.  That all is centered around her faith, not only in God but in herself.

Danielle is going to do great things in her life.  I have really enjoyed watching her to this point and I can't wait to continue to watch her grow in everything she does.  She is working hard to prepare ye the way of the Lord...

If you have the chance I recommend going to see the play! It is fantastic.  Everyone is fantastic in it, especially Danielle.  What can I say she's one of my girls!

Love you Danielle!

Cards, cards, everywhere some cards!

When I was in middle school, my Dad and I started to collect cards.  He mostly collected baseball cards getting complete sets as well as Oriole cards from the 50s and 60s.  I on the other hand started to collect basketball cards and Starting Lineup figures.  My first set of cards that I ever got was an 1989-1990 Hoops basketball set that my Dad bought me.  You can see the picture above which is the actual set he bought me.

I recently have started to sell off some of my collection.  When my Dad moved to Blacksburg he gave me his collection as well.  None of either of our collection has retained the value of what we were paying for it back when I was in middle school and high school.  The market was flooded with cards and so the value of everything I have has taken a major dive.  I am finding this out the hard way as I try to sell the cards on Ebay.

Here's the thing though.  The value of these cards can't be measured in money. Yes there is monetary value associated with my baseball, basketball, and football cards but it is far out weighed my the sentimental value.

I can remember going to card shows with my Dad.  We would get in the car and drive to Burlington or Charlotte just to go to a card show on a Saturday morning.  I even remember driving to Concord once.  Sometimes there was an awesome show with lots of stuff available while other times there was barely anything. 

One time we drove to Charlotte.  I always remember listening to the oldies channel when we would take these trips.  That is where I fekl in love with the Temptations and Smokey Robinson.  Anyway when we got there I walked all around the show trying to decide what I was going to spend my money on.  I wanted to buy everything but I only had a small amount of allowance left.  It was getting close to time to go and I couldn't decide.  I kept coming back to this unopened box of Hoops 89-90 wax packs that had the covenanted David Robinson rookie card in them. I only had enough money to pay for half the box.

I think my Dad saw how badly I wanted the box and he offered to cover the other half.  I can't remember if it was a loan on the next lawn mowing or just a Dad buying his son some cards but it meant the world to me.  We started back home and I started to fiercely and carefully open packs of cards looking for that David Robinson card.  I found Michael Jordan cards and Larry Bird cards, I found Karl Malone cards and John Stockton cards but as I got closer and closer to the bottom of the box, I wasn't finding a David Robinson card.

On the way home we had to stop at the grocery store.  I remember that I had 5 packs left to open when we got back into the car.  After our shopping we were ready to go and I remember my Dad telling me that there was a David Robinson in those 5 packs of cards.  I opened the first pack... nothing.  I opened the second pack... NOTHING.  Then I opened the third pack and half way through the pack there he was holding up a Spurs jersey, Mr. David Robinson!  I was so excited.  I can remember high 5ing my Dad.

I reached down to the open the next pack with no expectations after finding the David Robinson card, but to my surprise there he was again looking up at me! Mr. David Robinson!  I had found two in the last five packs of cards after opening the whole box.  Dad and I were high 5ing and I was jumping up in down in my seat (as much as I could with the seat belt on!).  I opened the fourth pack and there was nothing special in it, and finally I opened the last pack.  The second to last card in the last pack of the whole box was again, number 50 for the San Antonio Spurs, Mr. David Robinson!   I found 3 of them in the bottom of the box.

The value of those cards at the time was around $40.00 a piece.  The value of those cards now is around $5.00 a piece.  Here's the thing, it doesn't matter.  I don't care about the value of the cards.  What I care about is the memory of my Dad and I going to card shows, listening to Oldies, and finding David Robinson cards.  That is something that will never go down in value.  That is something that I will have forever!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Life and Death

Today I witnessed something that I personally have never witnessed before.  A very good friend of mine, let's call her Coleen became a Grandma today at around 2 am.  She sent me a picture of her and her grandson around 5 am this morning.  This morning, I also received a text from another good friend of mine, let's call him John, whose father passed away today after a long battle with cancer.  It is an interesting feeling to be both happy and sad at the same time. To be joy filled for one friend and heartbroken for another.

Each day an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 people die but it is also estimated that around 250,000 to 300,000 people are born.  It is interested how that seems to balance out.  I am sure that there are days when one is higher than the other but it is still very interesting how those estimates are so close.  I bet that a lot of third world countries are not even considered in that number.  I think that only God truly knows how many people are born and how many die on the same day.

Coleen is a very close friend of mine.  We have done quite a few things together through our ministry.  I know a lot about her family and she knows a lot about mine.   I forgive her every time I see her with that UNC jacket on. :)  She is so excited about her grandson and the picture that I saw this morning shows the love and joy on her face for this new little life that has come into the world.  I honestly don't know if I have ever seen her so happy.  I know that she can't wait to get back to the hospital this afternoon to see him again.  This is a start of a new phase of life for Coleen and her family as they welcome this new life.

John (another UNC fan)  is a kind, gracious, wonderful man.  I see his love and devotion to his kids and wife everyday.  It is wonderful to watch.  I did not know John's father, but I have heard wonderful stories about him.  I know that he has been battling this cancer for a long time.  I may not of known him personally but I can see him through the son he raised.   The teachings of strong morals and love of family are evident through John.  I see him through the grandchildren that love each other and treat each other with respect and love.  They so loved going to cousin camp at their grandparents house.  I see him through his beautiful family that will continue to live and love while always remembering and rejoicing over a life well lived.

I do not know the order of things.  I don't know why people get sick or why some people have unhealthy babies.  I do know that we need to love those around us while we have them in our lives.  I know that we need to lift prayers up to God for those that are healthy as well as those that are sick.  I know that we can rejoice in the birth of a new member of the family as well as rejoice as we celebrate a life well lived. 

May we see the light in both birth and death.  May we accept that we will never understand why things happen but that as long as we praise our Lord and savior and raise him up on high that we will see each other again after this earthly life.  

May this be a day of honor and glory, love and sadness, but most of all may this be a day of peace.