I enjoy the fall views along the Gulf Coast so much more than any other. The colors just seem more varied and personal!
Her’s a photo from last week:
And fall has brought All Tide Up some new koozies and stickers!
Go check out that website for a few sunset photos that are among our favorites!
Some random mid week thoughts – and a photo!
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!
A little beach therapy!
Not every day is like this but there are a few!
Even if the picture isn’t perfect you get the idea! Our life is blessed.
A full day at the beach! With a shameless plug for one of our favorites: All Tide Up!
Life is all a matter of perspective. I’m learning this more and more each day. While I tend to think of myself as a smart, educated man – I have quickly realized that education doesn’t mean you understand the real values in life – those things that really matter.
This week I have had some great opportunities. Wednesday night Cyndi and I participated in our church wide community group. During the summer we are meeting together as a church every other week, enjoying a meal together and then breaking into groups of eight or so to discuss the topic of the night. This week’s topic was “greed”. While that might not sound like a fun topic to talk about, we had a really good conversation with seven others about how greed can/does creep into our daily lives – sometimes knowingly, sometimes not. Focusing on Matthew 6:19-20: 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Last year we had an opportunity to travel with 14 friends to Cartagena, Colombia. There we met some wonderful people. One of those new friends is Alex Rocha. Alex has a heart for God and for people. Over the past year Alex has been planning and preparing to start a ministry to local youths. This week, City Church Tallahassee committed to helping Alex financially with his ministry – along with regular spiritual guidance, training and encouragement! Here are some photos of Alex’s new youth center:
While this may not seem like much to you or I, this is the beginning of a ministry to youths in the San Fransisco neighborhood in Cartagena!
I also had the opportunity to talk with a new friend today – Ricky Love. Ricky is the pastor of a non traditional church plant in Richmond, Virginia called Matthew’s Table. Ricky works with people that most of us would rather not be around. Ricky has found enough love in his heart for the very people that need a whole lot of love! Here’s a picture of some of the work he is doing:
Back to perspective. Sometimes when I think I’ve got it bad, that nothing is going my way, that everyone else gets all the breaks in life, that maybe I should just give up and do something else, I’m reminded of friends like these. And reminded that God really is good. All the time. To me. And as I look at sunrises like the one at the top of this post, I’m reminded that God’s mercies are new everyday to me – and I’m thankful for them!
We all benefit from hearing the stories of others. Everyone has a story and it can only benefit others when its told!
For more than 17 years I was the chief executive of a non profit organization that helped people with occupational training and employment. Every month during our board meetings, I would take the time to present a story of someone who’s life was changed because of the opportunities provided by this organization. These stories helped our directors understand the real life implications of the administrative, budget and policy decisions they made. Numbers represent people, stories represent people. People and their stories matter.
This week I had the opportunity to speak to some seniors who soon will be graduating from Florida State University. These students are leaders in a campus ministry and it was their chance to hear from someone with a little life experience!
I had the chance to tell them portions of the story that is Cyndi and my life together. While sometimes I look back at our life and don’t see it as amazing or inspirational, many of these students did! As I was able to answer questions posed from the group, it was only natural to give examples from our life story – true examples that were evidence of lives where there are no coincidences. One of the coolest things that took place that night was the telling of their own stories. While they may only be 22 years old, each of them have a story or at least the beginnings of one. And each story can help someone – but only if it’s told!
My story isn’t over yet! I’m convinced the chapters that are about to unfold will be some of the most exciting yet! While I don’t really have a clear direction for the next chapters, I’m sure they will end in ways that are worth retelling!
Lots of thoughts running through my mind today and this week that deal with life, leadership and faith!
1. We listed our house a few months ago and had an offer to purchase it about a week ago. For a variety of reasons, I think the deal fell apart today – not entirely about price, although we were still several thousand dollars apart. While I know this is a tough housing market for sellers, I don’t want to just give my house away! Life can be difficult to understand at times! Is that bad?
2. I’ve been reading a lot about high performance teams and what makes them that way. Every group of people is not a team and certainly can’t be automatically labled as a high performing one! I’m convinced that Leaders are the deciding factor in allowing teams to understand their mission and purpose and resourcing them to fulfill their roles and meet established goals. Most times leaders get in the way or simply don’t allow their teams to do what they are capable or accomplishing.
3. Cyndi and I had a good discussion this morning about our Faith. Convinced that God has used us over the past 14 months to impact lives, to be a living example for others and to encourage friends. Our circumstances don’t determine our belief in God or whether or not He is a good and gracious God! There are good examples of men of faith in the Bible but often times we don’t want to compare our life situations with them – mainly out of fear that our lives could always be worse! While I still don’t understand this faith journey we are on completely, I do continue to believe that God is in complete control and He knows what is best for us and wants us to be satisfied in Him! Our wait, while significant to us, pales in comparison to that of others!
Each of these could be blog entries on their own – disappointed that I don’t have time today to do just that. And I’ll be away from internet activity for a few days, so checking in will be sporadic!
Valentines Day is not a holiday that is exploited in our home! Cyndi and I have been married almost 30 years (August 1982) and love each other very much! Our relationship, our home, our children, our friends, our work – all revolve around our love for each other.
Today we lingered over breakfast talking about life as we see it. As we sat there listening and talking to each other, I was reminded again of how lucky I am for the wife I have – much more than I deserve!
We are going to celebrate Valentines Day by going to the beach this weekend so we can take more pictures like this one!
Pictures from one of our favorite places – Mexico Beach, Florida!
Sharing life with friends is amazing!
We have chosen to facilitate a community group with City Church Tallahassee each week. We have been doing this for 13 months now and while some of the faces have changed, there has been a core group of members that has grown over time.
Each Monday evening we begin gathering around 7:00 p.m. and spend some time catching up with each other – laughing about work and family and church and our various escapades each week. We learn about new friends and what is happening in each of our lives.
We spend a good amount of time in prayer with and for each other. With our group averaging about 15 in attendance each week this can seem to be time consuming but it is some of the best time we have with each other. I believe our prayers for and with each other are special. So often a Christ Follower’s prayer life can be consumed with selfish requests and pleas. This is a true reflection of our care and concern for each other and part of what defines our community!
We are currently exploring The Apostle’s Creed and examining what we say we believe! There are fantastic comments and discussions as we each bring our own unique perspective to our beliefs – and for that I am thankful.
Cyndi and I are blessed beyond words to be a part of this group! Our community loves us and cares for us – just as we do them. Thankful for opportunities to share life with others!