A current trend on Facebook is to tag a bunch of your friends and write a 25 things about you list. Since I KNOW somebody will get mad if I don’t tag them in mine, I decided to write it on here and send out a note on facebook, virtually tagging EVERYONE who is my friend.
So, here goes:
1. My first dream was to play basketball in the NBA. That didn’t work out too well.
2. I also aspired to move to LA and become a comedy writer with one of my best friends in high school. I DID become a writer, but for God instead of His adversary.
3. My first car was a 1977 Lime-green VW bug that had no heat, no a/c, and I would take it back IN A HEARTBEAT.
4. The best day of my life was the day I realized I need Jesus Christ.
5. The #2 day was the day I married Diana.
6. #3 is a tie: Nov 14, 1990 and May 5, 1995. Figure that one out!
7. Throughout the years, I have also LOVED coaching basketball. This is the first year in many, many years that I am NOT coaching a team.
8. One of the great things about Facebook is that it has allowed me to reconnect to some of my high school friends. I left Greenville in 1992 and have lost contact with so many of my friends.
9. Many of my friends from high school cannot believe that I am a pastor.
10. I am a UNC Tarheel fan because of a former Tarheel player named Dave Colescott. He taught me the right way to shoot a basketball at Furman Basketball Camp when I was in junior high school.
11. In high school, I got pretty good at shooting freethrows. It still blows the minds of some at Ebenezer when I can walk up to the freethrow line and go 9 for 10 in street clothes.
12. I attended THREE different colleges in SC and one in Louisiana (where ironically I earned two degrees).
13. The path God chose to lead me on to become the pastor of Ebenezer is a long and interesting one, and I never thought He could use someone like me in this role. I will always be thankful that God can use someone like me to do anything!
14. Working with my dad when I was a kid, a teenager, and in college taught me how to do HVAC work, light carpentry, plumbing, electrical, automotive, and many other oddball things that I cannot even remember to list right now.
15. I was once told that I’ve led a “fruitless ministry.” Not only to I have Facebook friends from all of the churches I have served, but each of those ministries has also put countless people into the ministry. God chuckles when people say things like that . . .
16. As a pastor, the hardest things to deal with are deaths (when it is a close friend) and marriages that reach the hopeless stage before they seek any help.
17. My undergraduate training is in computer programming. God has allowed me to use that skill throughout these years to take things to a higher level!!
18. I AM still a computer geek at heart.
19. I have two sisters that I don’t see nearly enough . . . One in Memphis and one in Tampa (I wanted to crash at her house and go to the SuperBowl, but she won’t tell me where she lives!)
20. The church that I serve, Ebenezer Baptist in Florence, SC, was founded in 1778. Its first pastor was wanted by the British during the Revolutionary War, but not captured!
21. My best friends are my family and some of the folks at my church that I work closely with.
22. I am still pretty good at video games, now attempting to master the Wii (current favorite game – Mario cart)
23. I sit on a bucket many times a week and catch for Krissy, who is a fastpitch softball pitcher and is throwing in the 60s.
24. I go to the YMCA in Florence and work out 4 – 5 times a week, as I have done since 2001.
25. I have lived in our current house longer than anywhere else since Diana and I have been married!
I sit here waiting on Drew to get out of the shower at 5:40am. Today is our day in the youth prayer breakfast rotation. Don’t get it wrong . . . Drew WANTS to go with me this early.
This morning, Mike Hill and I will cook for possibly 70 youth as they gather, eat, and pray before school. I remember the days of my youth ministry at EBC . . . We only had it once a month, and probably only had 30 or so kids. God has really blessed this church, and we should be thankful.
It makes me wonder what things will look like in another 10 years?? Well, time to make the doughnuts . . .
Let me go on the record to say I don’t agree with all of these, but some of them hit the nail on the head!
THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER HEAR A SOUTHERNER SAY:
~ Duct tape won’t fix that.
~ We don’t keep firearms in this house.
~ Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
~ You can’t feed that to the dog.
~ I thought Graceland was tacky.
~ No kids in the back of the pick-up – it’s not safe.
~ Wrasslin’s fake.
~ Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
~ We’re vegetarians.
~ Do you think my hair is too big?
~ I’ll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy.
~ Who’s Richard Petty?
~ Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
~ Deer heads detract from the decor.
~ Spitting is such a nasty habit.
~ Trim the fat off that steak.
~ The tires on that truck are too big.
~ Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
~ She’s too old to be wearing a bikini.
~ Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
~ Hey, here’s an episode of “Hee Haw” that we haven’t seen.
~ I don’t have a favorite college team.
~ Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
~ Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.
~ Elvis who?
There is a difficult fact of life . . . We will all face death. When another person dies, someone we love, that is the most difficult thing to understand and handle. BUT, other things die, too . . . Cell phones . . . Relationships . . . Plants . . . A fact of life is death.
When someone we love dies, we grieve and move through. It is part of the circle of life. What about a relationship? A friendship? It seems when these die, we don’t know how to handle them. We hold grudges. We hate. We obsess. It can be an unhealthy mess.
I wish I’d never had a friendship die, but I have . . . Being a middle-child and Meiers Briggs ISTJ, I want everyone to be happy and wish no one would be upset with me. That doesn’t mix well with being a pastor . . . Sometimes people just get mad at me because they are mad at God . . . Or mad at the church . . . Or, just mad at themselves. Other times, they ARE mad at me. I am not perfect, mind you, but I do work to not get into those messes.
But, sometimes it is just gonna happen. How about in your life?? Ever been mad at someone, dissolved a relationship, and years later had no idea why??? I see it happen all the time. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN, FOLKS. You will always regret it.
Yesterday, as my family and I settled in for lunch at Fatz Cafe, something pretty cool happened. To set the stage, we almost NEVER go to Fatz for lunch on Sunday. I guess in the hustle of this weekend, we never prepared for Sunday lunch, so we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to Fatz.
I was sitting at the table telling my family a story when I looked up and completely lost my train of thought . . . I saw a guy who walked EXACTLY like one of my best friends in high school. Under my breath, I told Diana “That looks like Chris!” I was unsure at that point, but the walk gave him away.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw Chris, but he was one of my best friends in high school. Young people will never believe this, but when life takes you away from your hometown, you lose contact. It has probably been 20 years since I’d seen or talked to him. He was sitting a few tables away, so I took a chance and yelled “Chris!” His head turned and, yes, a mini-reunion was on.
And I really enjoyed it . . . Only one or two of my good friends are on Facebook, and NONE of the guys I hung around with: Until now. I recruited Chris, and he friended me last night.
I had an interesting encounter on Facebook last night, and one that I hope is NOT a foreshadowing of days to come . . . One of my friends commented on the fact that Kid Rock singing and a group ballroom dancing didn’t quite seem to match. I agreed with him, coining one of Obama’s catchwords: CHANGE.
I seemed to start a cyberwar with that statement. I was accused, by another “Christian” of supporting torture tactics like the previous administration. I could’ve picked BOTH administrations apart over things I did not agree with, but that was not the point. Another guy got on there and actually did that, but that wasn’t what it was all about for me: The image of Kid Rock singing to ballroom dancing IS FUNNY!! And, does not really fit!! SO WHAT??
So this morning I am wondering: After all of the ways people have pounded George Bush and said the ugliest and untrue things about him, will we all now be pounded if we disagree with the current administration?? Make no mistake: President Obama is OUR PRESIDENT, and I believe we have a responsibility to pray for him and support him in every way we can. But, if we disagree with him, will we be dismantled in public??
All I did was laugh about Kid Rock . . . And I was.
Today’s funny from www.mikeysfunnies.com is very fitting, considering the inch of snow we got in Florence, SC, today that SHUT THE CITY DOWN. I love it!!!
It was snowing heavily and blowing to the point that visibility was almost zero when John (not the sharpest pencil in the batch) got off work. He made his way to his car and wondered how he was going to make it home. He sat in his car while it warmed up and thought about his situation.
He finally remembered his dad’s advice that if he got caught in a blizzard he should wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it. That way he would not get stuck in a snow drift. This made him feel much better and sure enough in a little while a snow plow went by and he started to follow it.
As he followed the snow plow, he was feeling very smug as they continued and he was not having any problem with the blizzard conditions. After an hour had passed, he was somewhat surprised when the snow plow stopped and the driver got out and came back to his car and signaled for him to roll down his window.
The snow plow driver wanted to know if he was all right as he had been following him for a long time. John said that he was fine and told him of his dad’s advice to follow a snow plow when caught in a blizzard.
The driver replied that it was okay with him and he could continue if he wanted, but he was done with the Wal-Mart parking lot and was going over to Sears next.
This week is already bringing much reflection on this topic . . . Does racism still exist?? Sadly, I say YES. I think most would agree that any racism is bad and breaks down our nation, and breaks down the Kingdom of God. And I believe it still raises its ugly head, but maybe not in the areas you might think.
My family and I lived in New Orleans from May, 1992, through May, 1995. Unlike many whites in the South, I experienced racism first hand. New Orleans Seminary is in New Orleans East, the Gentilly neighborhood to be specific. When I talk about New Orleans with a native New Orleanian and people asked where I lived, there is a great shock on their face when I say “Gentilly.” My experience in Gentilly took me into places where I was hated . . . Not because of who I was, but because of my skin color. I have been to stores like KMart, McDonalds, and other nationally known chains where no one wanted to help me, take my order, or take my money. I figured it out really quick: If they treated me that way at the cash register, they probably were adding “special sauce” to my food. I quickly learned NOT TO GO to those places. I was not welcomed. (Consequently, as I went back post-Katrina and took work crews from the church, I WAS welcomed.)
SO WHAT?? Many Americans have experienced this for many years. Some African-Americans have told me “SO WHAT? Their ancestors experienced far worse for years.” Well, two wrongs definitely don’t make something right. Remember? All racism is bad, right??
And don’t even get me started about the discrimination faced by CHRISTIANS today. That is another blog post with the same result: Discrimination DOES exist, and the only way to stop it is for EVERYONE to get on board.
I love writing my blog. I write in it at least four times a week, and it really is a reflection of what is going on in my mind and in my heart. And, then there are weeks like this and I have very little heart left with which to write . . .
Death is always difficult to deal with. Yes, there are things you learn as you deal with it more and more, like the best thing you can do is be there and listen; You really DON’T have to have all the answers. People respond to death in different ways, and many times their response IS a reflection of where their loved one stood with Jesus Christ. And, in all situations, if you trust the Holy Spirit, He really WILL help you and give you the words.
Then, there is a week like this week. The death of a 21-year-old. Many questions, and no answers. A tragedy that leaves a family far more than stunned . . . And leaves a pastor in the same state. That is where I am, even still today.
And, days like these it is hard to write. It is hard to have fun with the old blog. But I guess it really DOES help to write what I am writing now. All I know is that I LOVE Ebenezer. It is in moments like this that Ebenezer shines and the cream rises to the top. And, once again, that happened. To God be the glory for all of this, and I am thankful to be a part of this church!!!!
POLICE COMMENTS These 16 comments by police officers were taken off actual police car videos around the country. Thank goodness, in spite of the perils of the job, they still have a since of humor…
16. “You know, stop lights don’t come any redder than the one you just went through.”
15. “Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they’re new. They’ll stretch after you wear them a while.”
14. “If you take your hands off the car, I’ll make your birth certificate a worthless document.”
13. “If you run, you’ll only to to jail tired.”
12. “Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that’s the speed of the bullet that’ll be chasing you.”
11. “You don’t know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?”
10. “Yes sir, you can talk to the Shift Supervisor, but I don’t think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I’m the Shift Supervisor?”
9. “Warning! You want a warning? Okay, I’m warning you not to do that again or I’ll give you another ticket.”
8. “The answer to this last question will determine whether you are a drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?”
7. “Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey doodoo.’
6. “Yea, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven.”
5. “In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC.’
4. “How big were those ‘two beers’ you said you had?”
3. “No sir, we don’t have quotas anymore. We use to, but we’re allowed to write as many tickets as we can.”
2. “I’m glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours, so you know someone who can post your bail.”
1. “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right, we don’t. Sign here.”
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