Category Archives: Faith

Mid Week Thoughts

 

 

 

Some random mid week thoughts – and a photo!


039

 

 

This is a normal view we have almost every day.  Sometimes it’s earlier in the day.  Sometimes it’s closer to sunset.  But the cool thing is, we get this view almost every day!  Our lives are blessed.  We take long walks along these shores multiple days a week. Sometimes we pick up sea shells. Sometimes we just walk. Last week we came upon two sea turtles – one dead and one alive. You never know what the gulf will give us!

We’ve spent a number of hours lately promoting a venture – All Tide Up.  If you have a second, check out our web site.  If you see something you like – go ahead and order it!  We’ll get it to you as quick as we can.

I become more convinced each week that nothing in life is a coincidence.  There are divine opportunities all around us if we will only be willing to look!  I’m pretty excited that God has provided some unique paths that have crossed and what potential there will be there.  Reminded that it’s not about me – it really is about others!

My friend Alex Rocha is raising funds to purchase a permanent location for his youth work in Cartagena, Colombia.  I’ll share more about that in a post to come – might be a divine opportunity for someone other than just me!

 

 

Advertisements

Thankful

I’m not one that really gets into traditional traditions (if that makes any sense at all).

I’m one of those guys who thinks we should tell those we love, we love them – not just on Thanksgiving, but on every other day as well.  I’m that guy who thinks we should thank God for what we have, not just talk to Him about what we want.  I’m one of those who think we spend way too much on useless things for ourselves and for family and friends – that we should spend less and give more.  Give more to those people and organizations in need, people who don’t have as much as we do, people who could really benefit from our excess.

So today, I am grateful that millions of people will pause and consider what they have and what they really can be thankful for.

And tomorrow, I pray that some will reconsider how they spend money and just maybe consider giving to others!


2012 Election, Social Media, Football and Other Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts about life over the past few weeks:

I really am amazed at the lack of civility among adults. People who, under normal circumstances would demand respect, seem to not feel others should be afforded the same courtesy.  This has never been so evident to me than in the past few months regarding the 2012 presidential elections. People seem to think social media is an open opportunity to spew their bias, hate and arrogance towards anyone who will read it – maybe that is what its for, but I doubt it.

President Obama appears to have won the popular vote and enough electoral college votes to be reelected as President of the United States.  As such, I believe we have a responsibility to pray for him and support him.

I really wanted someone to question the magic, marriage underwear during the presidential debates!

College football continues to be one of the most sacred activities in the South.  Confession:  I have season ticket to FSU football and am a graduate of Auburn University, so I am just as guilty as those I write about.  Even with one of the worst seasons in university history, tens of thousands of people fill Jordan Hare Stadium each home game – win or lose, it’s tradition!

Some of the most beautiful, unfiltered views of the Apalachicola Bay can be found driving along Highway 98. And who knew you could get a great seafood lunch of fish, crab, clams, hush puppies, cole slaw and cheese grits for under $7.00?

While I didn’t think I wanted to ever get back in the business of workforce development, I’m thankful some friends of mine gave me an opportunity to return.  Helping others with employment and training opportunities has helped me remember how blessed I am.  Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board has some dedicated staff who truly care for people!

While I’m not much for tradition, I do like the tradition of family at holidays.  Looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and the opportunity to spend time with our kids!  If you’ve read some of my ramblings before you know that we don’t spend much money on ourselves during the holidays, instead, we choose to spend it on those less fortunate than us.  It starts now with some food drives.  Skip a dinner out this week and buy some food to donate to a family in need or the very least your local food pantry!

Christmas Challenge:  Spend Less. Give More.  Check out Advent Conspiracy for ways to turn your holidays upside down!

Not a big fan of Daylight Savings Time right now.  By the time I get home from work, it’s too late to enjoy the sunsets along the coast at Mexico Beach.  Can’t wait until it’s a regular activity for us again!

 

 


September Thoughts

It has been more than a month since I have written here.  No excuse other than lack of internet during the evenings!  It’s amazing how dependent we can become on something as simple as internet access!

Random thoughts from the past month:

1.  Moving 30 years of belongings from a 3500 square foot home is daunting.  Little did we realize how many Uhaul trucks and how many days it would actually take.  But it is done!

2.  Moving back to an area you have lived before has its pros and cons.  Not sure which outweigh which yet!

3.  Living a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico is a plus.  Almost daily walks on beautiful beaches with my bride of 30 years is a huge plus.  The opportunity to take hundreds of photographs is nice.  Sunsets, birds, water, boats, moon rise, etc.

4.  Having full-time employment for the first time in almost two years is nice.  Missed the interaction.  Grateful for the opportunity and enjoy the faith my employer has in me.  Having group health insurance is awesome!  I welcome the opportunity to pay for Cyndi’s simply because it’s group and there are no pre-existing conditions!

5.  Driving through an U.S. Air Force base each day is daunting.  Having F-22 fighter jets fly over as they prepare to land can be both exciting and kinda scary.

6.  Despite what some people would have you believe, there are thousands of people who are unemployed that would like to work.  I see people every day that would rather have a paycheck than receive any type of public assistance – whether that is unemployment compensation, food stamps, social security disability, etc. – they want a job.  Problem – there are not enough jobs for them to have in today’s economy.

7.  I get the opportunity to serve beside some of the best people.  Each Sunday I’m amazed at the dedication and genuine concern for others these people display.  City Church Tallahassee.

8.  Catalyst 2012 will take place in three days and Cyndi and I won’t have the opportunity to be in Atlanta for it this year.  Catalyst 2010 was one of the most amazing experiences we’ve had and was certainly a defining point in our spiritual journey.  Not the event itself, but the opportunity we took advantage of while there.

9.  My wife is amazing!  She is my number one supporter and fan.  30 years ago I married so far out of my class!  Thankful for who she is, what she stands for and what she is willing to do to make our lives better together!

 

 


Some Random Midweek Thoughts

Although we were in Mexico Beach the past weekend, no photographs were taken!  That may be a first for this family!  Mostly rain during the day but there were some interesting lightning shows at night that would have been great to capture!

Espresso – our current morning drink because we don’t have a regular coffee maker right now.  We first drank espresso in Key West 30 years ago.  Most mornings we’d wake up and walk to the corner laundry which also included a small bodega and get some espresso and warm, buttered cuban bread – breakfast of champions!

City Church celebrates a five-year anniversary this week!  I really didn’t know how young it really was when we became friends with Dean Inserra.  Thankful that our daughter Meghan introduced us to this ministry!  Who would have known that we would devote more than a year and a half to sharing the gospel in Tallahassee with these friends?

Love that we have met some really good friends while spending time in Tallahassee.  Josh and Brandi Hignight are two of those!  Couldn’t have completed Ethan’s move into a different house over the course of eight days without them!  But more than that help, they genuinely understand us and are friends.

All Tide Up is up and running.  Still needs some additions and fine tuning but proud of my kids for making it happen!  Check out there site as you get a chance!

Proud of our friend Ryan Hachenberger also.  His writings at Florida Fowler are good.  Check out what he has to say about some life goals and life!

My wife, Cyndi, is unbelievable!  She has almost packed up our entire house in just a few weeks.  We will have been married 30 years the end of August.  We’ve lived in Inverness for almost 20 years and in this house for 15 years.  You can accumulate a lot of memories and a lot of things over 30 years.  Reducing it to moving boxes can be difficult but she has accomplished that!  Trying to determine where to move it is difficult also.  Sometimes the decisions you make can’t just be made with your heart.

While I do believe God is sovereign and He has a plan, there are times when we just don’t know what to do next!  Curious to see how the next season of our life goes and excited to see where it will be!


Divine Opportunities

For a few years, we spent every Monday afternoon with a group of compassionate people feeding and loving on some friends and neighbors who were less fortunate than we were.  We provided a hot meal, companionship and sometimes a ride to homeless and hungry people in the small town of Hernando in Citrus County.

When we began commuting each week to Tallahassee to serve at City Church on Sundays and lead a community group on Monday evenings, one of our biggest disappointments was not being able to serve those people on Monday afternoons.

Saturday, my wife Cyndi, my daughter Meghan and I stopped for a hamburger on the east side of Tallahassee.  We were hot and dirty from moving Ethan into a house for school that starts in a few weeks.  I had stuffed some cash in my pocket earlier and as we finished eating, I took it out to fold it neatly and put it back in my pocket.  As I did there was a man standing at the counter watching me.  The man was neatly dressed – old, dirty clothes but neatly dressed.  He took his 78 cent hamburger to his table, spread the wrapper out and slowly ate his dinner.

As Cyndi and I looked at each other, we knew that God once again had provided us a divine opportunity.  I walked over to the man and asked him if I could buy him a beverage for his meal.  His eyes lit up and he very graciously told me that would be fine.  I purchased the man a beverage and some more food and placed it in front of him.  He thanked me and smiled and said something to th effect of how nice we were to think of him and hoped that God would bless me.

This man didn’t know that he was my blessing.  I never believe in coincidences.  I believe God has ordained our paths each day.  Some days we refuse to open our eyes and see what He has for us that day.  Other days we are more willing to listen to what He has to say and to see what He has in store for us.

I haven’t had a full-time job in 20 months.  But I have enough to provide something for someone who has nothing.  Because of Jesus.

That interaction caused me to think a lot more about how we view our stuff.  On Sunday, Stuart Owens said in his sermon something to the effect of whether we have $10 or $10 million in our bank account and if we obsess over it, it’s still greed.

I pray that God will always allow me to give back to him and to those He places in my path.


Friday Musings

In many ways this blog is more journal than anything else.  That’s not bad, of course, just a realization on my part.

Presidential politics are annoying to me.  Regardless of whom you support, the entire process gets out of hand.  People are so intent on telling you the negative things about the opponent, you rarely hear the good things about the one you support.  I’ve had the opportunity participate in two public opinion polls in the past five days – which makes me wonder if people who don’t own land lines get to participate in the polls as well – and, in my opinion, it seems the questions are phrased in ways to  get you to answer in a certain way.  I answered truthfully.  Although I wanted to answer just to confuse the results.

I’ve got some great friends.  We experienced a glitch in selling our house this week, and upon hearing the news a friend commented to my wife something to the effect of: “I really hope something good happens for you guys, it’s been awhile.”  Charles is a good guy.  He doesn’t completely understand why we do what we do, but he’s my friend and he supports our decisions!  A few years ago Charles refused to speak to a newspaper reporter asking questions about a story on me because he knew the reporter would twist his words in a negative way.  When I left a job at FBC Inverness, Charles came to the church service that day, sat with Cyndi and me, and then took us to breakfast afterwards.  Charles is the kind of  guy you would be lucky to have as your friend.

Great conversations this week with my wife Cyndi.  Many about the sovereignty of God and believing that He knows what’s best for us and that He has a plan for us.  She has some great wisdom and insight.  I’m lucky she loves me!  One of our conversations revolved around the fact that if God was in control yesterday then He is in control today and He will be in control tomorrow.  If things were going our way and He was in control, then He is still in control if things don’t seem to go our way!  This is easy to say when things are good – can be more difficult to acknowledge when things are not as good!

Cyndi’s cousin spent last night with us as she was nearby for work.  I don’t think I have encountered someone who loves their job as much as she does in a long time!  It was refreshing to hear her retell events that have taken place, about her coworkers and her general enjoyment about how her job impacts youth.  She works in the juvenile justice system and does have an impact on the future.

Sometime I’m going to express my complete thoughts about all the discussions on health care.  Right now I’m frustrated with the application process we are going through in applying for health insurance.  We haven’t had health insurance in almost two years – because I can’t afford it!  We recently spent almost two hours with an agent completing an application for Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance.  Two weeks later we received a list of additional questions based on claims we had made almost ten years earlier with BCBS.  While I know it’s important in the underwriting process, I also know BCBS has access to all of that information.  I really dislike the process and I really dislike the interaction with health insurance when it’s time to make a claim.  I’m glad our friend Annette got to participate in the universal coverage provided by the United Kingdom when she battled cancer a few years back – at least she didn’t have to battle an insurance company as well.

Thankful for the people in our lives who continue to lift us up in prayer and encourage us!  It’s rare to have people in your lives like that.  If you have some, cultivate their friendships.  If you don’t, then be a friend to someone and encourage them!