Thursday, August 29, 2013


The lead story in the world news today is our country’s decision on whether to retaliate against Syria for their alleged use of chemical weapons against their own people.  I couldn’t help but think about what position I would take if I were President Obama.   I am not a political activist.  In fact, I would say that I am at the other end of the spectrum – very uninformed and not motivated to know more.  One of the reasons for this is that for the times that I have attempted to understand by seeking the views of others, I get confused and sometimes angry.  I do not understand how some people can take a black or white position on something that seems so hard for me to understand.  1)  I hate for innocent people to be injured or killed by a counter attack.  2) I would hate for those people responsible for the chemical weapons to unleash those weapons on people in our country, my town or my family.  This is tough for me to resolve.  Perhaps there are other means to prevent additional attacks on innocent people besides attacking them.  I hope that if these options were available and effective, we would choose to use them.    I am more interested in the opinions of those personally involved than those people on the outside looking in (like me).  The video at the link below doesn’t really address the issue of whether to retaliate against Syria or not, but it is important to me since it is a personal story of a guy who had to make tough decisions in the face of danger.  Video.  I would love to know what you think.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Music Moves

One of my first memories of loving music was when I played Winthrop in the Music Man when I was 10 years old.  Part of the story included Winthrop waiting on the Wells Fargo Wagon for his bright new cornet.  In the play, I got to play a few notes, with  “voice over” by the orchestra.  But it was then that I decided I wanted to learn to play the trumpet.  I played in school band through high school and also have some fond memories from our dance band, Cargo, in the last two years of high school.  Our best musicians were black, and we were known best for our covers of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Commodores.  As an adult, I played in a wind orchestra for several years and also led an instrumental group at our last church.  Music has always been an important part of my life.  Several years ago, Keller Williams invited Wintley Phipps to our annual meeting and I shared a link at that time.   This is one of my most vivid memories of how powerful it can be when God-inspired people combine music with a story.  It’s 8 minutes and worth every minute.  Click here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I mentioned in an earlier post that one of our good friends from church is fighting Cancer.  We just found out another close friend, Gary, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  We are so sad to know that he will be dealing with this disease.  His world will be turned upside down.  And when I say that, I am thinking of it in a bad way.  He probably won’t be able to do all the things that he is used to doing.  But Gary is one of the strongest Believers I know, and I trust that somehow his world will get turned upside down for good – maybe for his own good or maybe for the good of someone who knows him.   At a minimum, Believers will be made stronger when they see his example of faith.  And for people who don’t know God, but would like to, they will get a pretty clear picture when they look at him and see his response to this disease.  Please pray for Gary and his family and continue to pray for Cheryl and her family, too.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Break it down

Church is very different for a lot of people now than it used to be.  With the surge of mega-churches, church goers are expecting a very high level of production from the service and a message that can easily be applied to what is going on in their world.  The 9:45 Sunday School hour has all but been extinguished due in part to the logistics of figuring out how to put over a thousand people in separate rooms at one time.  Most of these large churches are offering some type of small group program to replace the Sunday School hour.  These small groups typically meet in homes during the week, and give members a chance to get to know each other at a deeper level than can be attained by sitting next to them in the worship center.  The small group is also meant to serve as a support group for members going through tough times, and in the best small groups, provides accountability.  Caroline and I just signed up for a new small group at our home church, The Vine.  If you are looking for a church around Braselton, we would love for you to join us.  If you are attending a church, but not in a small group, now is a great time to get connected.  I would love to hear about your small group experiences.