Category Archives: Opportunities

Random Thoughts 11/30

Random thoughts that have consumed me this week:

1. Thankful for a wife who keeps me grounded!

2. Don’t know why I continue to be surprised at God’s timing.  It’s always perfect. Even when I don’t understand it.

3. Amazed that 3 years ago we dreamed of living at Mexico Beach and today it’s a reality.

4. I like listening to The Dixie Chicks. And Fine Young Cannibals.

5. We moved into our new place and still have 3 large storage units of stuff!

6. Glad there are moving companies to haul our stuff up to the third floor – no elevators.

7. When your expectations of your favorite athletic teams aren’t high, you don’t experience frustration when they lose.

8. I miss the homeless friends we fed and hung out with in Hernando. Need to find a way to plug-in here.

9. Grateful for friends willing to take a chance on me employment wise! Will be forever thankful.

10. Excited for one of our biggest opportunities at City Church Tallahassee – Christmas at the Moon!  People will come to this nightclub with their friends when they would never go to church with them.

11. Curious to see how far All Tide Up will go!

12. Encouraged by leaders I’m around every day – people who truely care about other people!

13. Life in the South is just funny sometimes!  People, things, food – all of it – but I don’t know what I would trade it for!

14. The idea of spending less and giving more. And not just giving what’s left over.

 

 

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Entrepreneurial Friends and Family

Excited for some friends and family who are/have become entrepreneurs with their online business recently!  While the economy may still be tanking and “normal” jobs hard to find, it’s amazing to be around some people who have the desire to follow some dreams!  In full disclosure and transparency, I am involved in one of them.  And in a small bit of promotion, I’m listing their sites here:

My good friend Terry Williams has had several online stores but his most recent and most successful is Tobacco Pipes.  He has some great gift items for you to check out!  Terry has his MBA and is a whiz at network administration and stuff like that.  I’m sorry we don’t work together any more – I could learn a ton from him!

Brent Kraus over at Ella Bing is another very talented friend.  Brent worked for me years ago and has since gone on to be an expert in data base languages and scripts and stuff I really know nothing about!  His entry into online businesses is with bow ties!  If you want to know about bow ties, check his site out!

Ryan Hachenberger is a friend and fellow blogger.  You’ve seen and read some of his stuff at Florida Fowler.  He has recently become a freelance writer as well and is developing a yet to be revealed new website!  Whatever it ends up being, I’m sure it will be worth your while!

As my kids began looking at the success of some of these friends and the success of others they know, they brainstormed for a few months about a new venture.  This past week they (we) launched All Tide Up, an online store for t-shirts, croakies, coastal prints, etc.  It’s still in the development stages but it’s live!


Coincidence?

I am constantly in awe of the beauty of creation.  This time of day is one of my favorites.  To view the waves, the sunset, the nature and to consider how it looks and acts the way it does can be confounding.

A friend regularly calls me and arranges a time to get together – sometimes with a group of other men and sometimes just the two of us.  Today was one of those times we got together.  It’s a time where we drink coffee, catch up with life and our families, encourage each other and generally laugh a lot!

During our conversation my friend asked me about our finances.  He knows our life story and knows the season of life we are currently experiencing.  He knows we have stepped out in faith in a manner that is beyond his imagination (and sometimes ours)!  As I shared with him some details and some of the crazy things that have happened to keep us going, I was quick to  acknowledge I don’t believe at all it is a coincidence.  I firmly believe that God has provided all we have, as we need it, when we need it and only what we need.  My friend gets it.  He understands.  While he has never questioned our faith, I know he has wondered if it was genuine and real.  I’m convinced God uses examples like this, uses our story to impact other lives.  I know it has impacted my friend.

I don’t really believe in coincidences.  Just as the sun rises and sets each day, I know God is in complete control.  I’ve got to believe Jeremiah 29:11 – 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 


Christmas Shoes

Yesterday Cyndi and I went shopping – something we rarely do. It was an interesting day watching people spend a lot of money! Part of our trip was to buy some shoes for a friend of ours – Derick. We met Derick over a year ago when we started helping a local group of people who feed the homeless and hungry at least once a week. Derick is a big man! He’s a year or so older than I am and he’s got some health problems. I’m sure some of his health problems are a result of his living conditions – which is another post. Derick has diabetes. So Derick needs good shoes. Have you ever tried to find a pair of size 15 wide shoes? Not every store carries them! We found some shoes for Derick and we’re going to give them to him for Christmas. As much as Derick needs shoes, we need to give them to him.  That’s kind of hard to explain but once you realize how much God has blessed you, any other reaction would be an insult to our loving God.

I have not worked for pay since January 9, 2011. It’s been a long year! But in many ways it has been one of our most satisfying years! Tears came to my eyes yesterday as I reflected on 2011. I know that every season in life passes and when we begin to tell others this story, it will be just what someone, maybe only one, person will need to hear because our God is like that! God has allowed us to use almost our entire savings this year to work with a young church plant, to provide some wisdom and knowledge in areas I’ve already experienced, to lead a community group of some of the most amazing people in Tallahassee, to travel to Cartagena, Colombia and tell people about the love of Jesus, to share our testimony of how God has provided for us all the time – even when it seems our world is falling around us.

We’ve got some decisions to make real soon financially – what does God want us to do next? This thing I am positive about – God wants us to buy shoes for Derick because he needs them and because I still have the money to buy them.


Perception vs. Reality

This week I watched the reaction of people to death.  Two very different lives, both died with many years left to be productive in this world.

Sunday morning a young man (19 years old) was shot to death at a party.  It appears the party was fueled by alchohol and drugs and fighting, attended by many underage kids and generally a place where you shouldn’t be.  As you community reacted to this senseless death, a picture of a different young man was emerging and being told.  Friends spoke of his gentleness and kindness and what a good man he was.

Last night Steve Jobs died.  Immediately quotes attributed to him began being retweeted and posted on Facebook and every other social media site.  People lauded his vision, his technology, his ability to create.  Certainly our world has become a better place techologically because of him.

Here’s the saddest thing about both of these men.  Both of them died without accepting Christ as their personal savior – or at least from accounts of persons who knew them.  The things we do here on earth are only temporary at best.  Our goodness, our kindness, our knowledge, our passions, our abilities to motivate others, our ability to speak or to be silent – all of it pales in the one truth that will ultimately define who we are.

As much as thousands of people will mourn the death of these two men, God is saddened as well.  For different reasons.

Don’t let today go by without telling someone you love about Jesus.


Self Discovery

I attended an event at Athens Church yesterday in Athens, Georgia with four other leaders from City Church Tallahassee.  The event was to showcase the buildout and remodel of an old box store into a functioning church campus.  Nice opportunity to see some cool space, pick up some PR ideas, talk to designers and construction guys and listen to a fund raiser and church pastor talk about money and the process of raising it.

After a few hours of listening to operational stuff, I realized something I’ve known all along but maybe was running away from.  I’m actually knowledgeable about operations and administration and strategic decisions and the ministry side of that and pretty good at it. 

This summer I spent 10 days in Cartagena, Colombia doing pure evangelism.  I got fired up about it and even considered relocating to South America to work full time with people in that area of the world.  I have a passion for helping people.  I have for awhile.

But yesterday I realized that I’m really good at some things that can help churches.  I just need to determine how to channel this knowledge into a job that is a win/win for me and for others.

But the important thing is God revealed something to me yesterday.  And for that I am thankful!

What does God want you to hear from Him?  Are you in a position to listen?  Do you want to hear from Him?  Will you act on what He says?

God can and does use circumstances in our daily lives to guide us.  Too often we wear blinders and don’t even want to see what opportunities abound.  Maybe we should all live more dangerously!