Tag Archives: Love

Beach Therapy

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.


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!


Pride, Forgiveness, Grace

We’ve been trying to spend more time at Mexico Beach lately. Even though we are almost 4 1/2 hours away, it’s worth every minute of the nine hour round trip! As you can tell from some of my recent posts, we spend quite a bit of our time there early in the morning and late in the evening. This gives us ample time to be in awe of God’s creation! Here’s another recent photo of one of our evenings:

I think one of the reasons I like being in the middle of such awesome reminders is that I need reminded of grace. Sometimes I have a hard time with forgiveness. And my difficulty with forgiveness is nothing but pride on my part. And that’s why I need to be reminded of grace, and love, and mercy. And when I’m reminded of these things, my pride is reduced and I’m humbled by the thought of His love.

Quick Thought About Our Life Today


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!

Birthdays and Other Little Things

So this week I celebrated another of my own birthdays. 52 of them have come now!

As I reflect on life so very often, I am amazed at the value we place on certain things!  Whether it’s days we commemorate, items we desire, jobs we wish we had, relationships that would be the best, apartments that have all the luxuries, cars that are just cool, people whose lives we are jealous of, etc., we seem to not be content!

Contentment is not about having everything we want in material things or in relationships.  Contentment comes through our state of mind.  Understanding where we are and knowing that our value doesn’t rest in what we own or who we hang out with.  Rather our value as a person is much more than that and as a Christ follower, I am assured of His love for me.  No matter what.

My immediate goal is to be more conscious of the fact that God loves me and to act like it!

Coffee, Friends, and Conversations

About every three weeks I try to get together with some friends for coffee – older guys who get what Cyndi and I are doing and actually are living lives as followers of Christ!  Lately, these guys have expanded the group to include some more “older” guys who have some free time and could certainly use the company – actually an outreach of sorts!  I look forward to spending time with these men, I always smile a lot and have a chance to laugh – and usually come away with some wisdom of some sort!

Today was a little different.  After our group time and as my friends were leaving the coffee shop, one of the men obviously wanted to talk to me alone.  So we did – for more than an hour.  This man lost his wife almost a year ago – cancer.  This man has been a good friend and has allowed Cyndi and I to disciple him a little while – before his wife died.  Today we talked about his wife, his loneliness, Jesus, giving financially, sharing Jesus with others, Christ followers, and more about his wife.  Before our conversation ended, he apologized to me for the way some “Christians” treated Cyndi and I while at his church – he cried a bit – we both did.

Today I had a voice message on a telephone line in Tallahassee at City Church where I volunteer a great amount of time.  (Tallahassee is 200 miles from Inverness – where I live – but that is another story!)  I returned the call and was suprised to talk to a man who had tracked me down via Facebook and Google to ask about a friend – he knew my friend and I once worked together and lived in the same town.  The conversation was a good one – I did all I could to promote my friend!  But the conversation was more than just about my friend.  We talked about grace and God’s love for us.  And how God’s love for me doesn’t increase or decrease based on my works.  We talked about people and their need for Jesus.  We talked our children and how a place called The Well impacted their lives while attending Florida State University.

God used me today to talk to others.  He used me to be compassionate to a man who needed a friend.  Someone to cry with him and tell him it was ok to miss his wife.

God used me today to talk with a man about more than a reference check.  We talked about God’s love and what that really means to us.

I think I may have needed these conversations more than the people who initiated them.

Today I thanked God for conversations.

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.

San Francisco, Cartagena, Colombia

During our recent trip to Cartagena, we experienced an unreal situation.

Following a day of rain, about 60 houses collapsed.  I mean collapsed.  They didn’t just have cracks in the walls or a hole in the roof.  Walls fell down, roofs were gone, foundations were torn apart.  When we heard of the disaster, we took the opportunity to purchase food and made plans to deliver it in the neighborhood.

I wasn’t prepared for what I saw as we walked up the hill into the affected portions of the neighborhood.  People were in a steady flow down the hill – each carrying belongings.  Some carrying roof trusses or roofing material they hoped to salvage and use in their next dwelling.  Some carried what pieces  of furniture they could save. People were orderly.  There wasn’t mass confusion.  Strangely enough, there was no crying or hysteria.  It’s because this was just another day in the lives of those living in these conditions.  The residents have come to expect this type of event happening in their lives.  Here’s some video of what happened there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQiuhfTAj-8

As we split into two separate groups, Jason Priddle led a group and I led the second.  We found spots we could stand and speak to the affected people.  As dozens if not hundreds of people gathered and listened, we talked to them about Jesus and how in spite of their current circumstances, He is a God of Love and that He cares for them.  Preaching the gospel in the middle of what was going on was humbling.  When we finished we handed out the food we brought.  There was no pushing or shoving. There was no complaining when we ran out.  There were very grateful people there that day.  When we had given the food we had, we slowly went to various groups of people and prayed individually with them. 

My heart breaks for those that live in San Francisco, Cartagena, Colombia.  I cried that day.  Several of us chose to fast for the evening and asked that our meal be given to someone who didn’t have food that day. 

I’m excited to plan to return to that neighborhood soon!