Monday, February 27, 2012

sitting by the dock of the lake

I've been in Birmingham serving with the Tres Dias Community. It has been an amazing weekend of watching the love of God give hope to men in need of Grace. I have been able to spend four days with my parents before the retreat and was blessed by that.

Right now I'm sitting on the dock overlooking the lake. I'm having good laughter, rest, and joy of watching the peacefulness of a secluded cove. As much "peace" as I am enjoying, all I can think of is seeing my daughter and grand baby then heading home to see my wife and boys! I am so blessed with my family.

I will trade the peace of this lake for the noise of my house. Serenity and peace can't be solely based on location. I am learning to find serenity in knowing my kids are close and safe and my wife is in love with me. I am blessed!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


It is at times a difficult task to grow. Growing requires movement. An awareness that we haven't arrived, figured it all out, nor reached perfect maturity can motivate us to continue studying, learning and growing. I have heard it said that a Pastor will travel a thousand miles to speak, but rarely two miles to listen.

I want to be a learner. I want to share wisdom but also to learn wisdom. There are many ways to learn but they aren't easy to come by when our heart and attitude deceive us into a "having arrived" mental state. One our first places of movement has to be humility. In humility we find ourselves able and eager to learn.

The Apostle Paul said, "I want to know Christ and the fellowship of his suffering"... I think scripture lays out his learning experience pretty well. We see his greatness in all he did, but maybe it is really in what he learned. He moved from the arrogance of "Hebrew of Hebrews, tribe of Benjamin, zealous, legalistic righteousness" to "counting it all as garbage for the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord". That is movement!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama!

So Jennifer and I are clicking channels to find something to watch on television and we come across a show called "Sweet Home Alabama". I guess it is the southern version of the Bachelor. I don't know as I have not watched an episode of the Bachelor. As we are watching it I see my cousin Boyd Little. This show is filmed on my cousin's farm in my hometown of Fairhope Alabama.

It is really weird watching a group of guys trying to win over a female while the "world" watches. It is really weird when I see the farm and land where I grew up. It is even more weird watching Boyd grill the guy from New York about his view of the South.

I am not a fan of these types of shows. I don't watch much in the way of television, but I just might become a fan of a show that extols the finer qualities of the south. Of course it also provides hilarity at the interaction of southern boys as they interact with guys from the North all the while trying to win over a female.

I am so excited for my cousins and what they are able to do with their farm. We love being in Northern California. I will have to say though, that there is something really amazing about Sweet Home Alabama. The place, not the show!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

Jennifer and I have never been "valentines" people. I realize that statement has people gasping. It is a day that is given to marketing and purchases that make no sense. Besides, I choose to express my love for Jennifer daily in a variety of ways. Obviously I don't do all I could, but I am confident that as we live our love daily neither of us need a day of marketing or hallmark to say we are in love.

People spend hurried moments trying to pick the right card while bumping into others after the same thing. I'm not opposed to giving cards nor in bumping into others. It is just a funny sight to go by a store in the afternoon of February 14 and watch procrastinators sifting through what's left over. Roses die, and boxes of chocolate add weight, but daily working together for the same goal and sacrificing for the good of our family lasts a lifetime. So, "Happy Valentines Day"! I hope you live the card you long to give your loved one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

talent and character

Earlier today, University of Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant suspended three starters. He had earlier in the week suspended another starter. With four top players suspended, Alabama took on Louisiana State University in a conference matchup. This post isn't about basketball.

Coach Grant, in his comments about the suspension, made a great observation. Grant said, "Talent is a gift, but character is a choice". Wow! Talent is a gift. There are many types of gifts possessed by many different people. Those gifts cover a wide array of fields from athletics to music and academics to art. Each of these gifted people have to work at their gift to refine and improve its power. Talent can be squandered or improved upon and used for great good.

Character is a matter of choice. Doing right things for right reasons is a choice that has to be made over and over again. I don't want to suggest those four young men from the Alabama basketball team aren't good guys, but they have let their character suffer because of choice.

It is a parallel walk when it comes to our faith walk. We constantly have to make choices. We have to choose to choose. It is so pivotal for our witness as Kingdom people to stay the course of character (Godly) in our choices. It isn't a matter of being perfect nor sinless, but rather seeking to sin less. In some ways, the choices we make are based off of choices we have already chosen.

The Biblical character Joseph had many talents. He was a handsome and well built young man. Mrs. Potiphar liked what she saw and invited him to display his hidden talents. He had already made a choice towards Godly character long before the challenge was issued. He lived out the previous choice of honoring God. Character was a choice. He chose wisely!

Monday, February 6, 2012

one brick at a time

I love conversations with people who are constantly thinking about ways to serve, grow, and expand the influence of God's Kingdom. I have had several today with a group of people who are serious about living as Christ.

The more I/ we as a church/ get into the book of Nehemiah, the more I see the value in people and effective leaders. There are many gifts among the body of Christ and all are important. The gifts we have been entrusted with must be used to build up others.

Our desire is to build community one brick (person) at a time. How are we going to live in such a way that our gifts give life and value to others? I would love to see your ideas expressed here!