Thursday, June 26, 2014


I have addressed the topic of rest in the past, but rest is something I continue to struggle with.  I saw this article today, and it made me stop and take notice again.   I know that it is healthy to rest, and I know that I should do it, but I seem to be constantly distracted by all the world has to offer – good things.  Good things like family, work and recreation.  And some not so good things, mainly television.  I have tried in the past to establish a day off, once per week, where I have nothing scheduled and no electronics on.  No phone, no computer, no TV.  Reading, resting and exercising are all ok.   The full day off went to a half day off.  Then the half day off went to a 6am to 9am early morning off.  I don’t always even get that in.  But no matter what small effort I make, I find that my efforts are rewarded.   For me it is painful to start – and blissful to finish.  God is faithful, and he loves it when we pay attention to Him.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Party likes its 1983

June is a big month for us with my birthday, Father’s Day and our Wedding Anniversary all in the same week.  I just wanted to tell all of you how blessed I am to have been married to Caroline for 31 years.  I love this photo of her with my mom and our two grandchildren, Evan and Levi.  The grandkids would obviously not have been possible without her, and they have brought so much joy to our lives.  My mom lives next door to us, and Caroline has always treated her just like her own mom.   And if all that wasn’t enough, Caroline finds a way to take care of me, love me and make my life worth living.  Happy Anniversary Caroline!  I love you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Memorial to My Day

My Dad passed away 11 years ago.  I am sad for his death, but happy for his life.  This is what I got to say at his funeral:

One of my first memories of my dad was when he took me to try out for a stage production of the Music Man at the Springer Theatre in Columbus.  He was cast as Ali Hakim and I as Winthrop, the 10-year old with a lisp.  I had no idea at the time how that day would shape my life by initiating my love for the performing arts.  One of my favorite photographs is of me and my dad after our last performance.  I remember the pride of standing there with him after the show greeting family and friends who had seen the performance. 

My father wanted to be with me.

In the play I was supposed to play the trumpet.  I remember the anticipation of getting the instrument that would serve as my prop for the play, just as the character, Winthrop, anticipated the arrival of the Wells Fargo Wagon in River City.  It was then that I decided I would really learn to play the trumpet when I got into the sixth grade and it was in sixth grade that I made eyes at the flute player, sitting across the band room, who 10 years later became my wife.  I remember the joy I felt standing at the front of St. Paul Methodist Church, as the doors opened and Rick McKnight began playing the most triumphant version of the Wedding march that you have ever heard as Caroline walked the aisle. Dad was my best man.

My father wanted to be with me.

Shortly thereafter, very shortly thereafter, I remember the joy of seeing Dad holding our newborn Michael in his arms and three years later, Elizabeth. 

My father wanted to be with me.

Another place I remember Dad taking me when I was young was to First Presbyterian Church.  I don’t want to paint a picture of the whole family sitting together listening attentively and singing joyfully.  I’m sure Mom and Dad were, but I was in the balcony throwing paper airplanes over the rail.  I don’t remember it being a particularly spiritual experience.  However, while at First Pres., I became close to the youth pastor, Eli Whiddon, who took us every year to Camp Kolomoki in South Georgia for a week each summer.  It was on one of those trips that I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior.  I was far from being an angel, but at that moment, I was a child of God.

6 years ago, my son, Michael found a new church for our family, and Caroline and I had the opportunity to bring music back into our lives.  All of us became involved in the church orchestra and two years ago, I was responsible for a patriotic music program that required quite a bit of planning.  I remember keeping Mom and Dad posted on the plans hoping that they would make the trip down and feeling disappointed that they hadn’t committed to being there.  10 minutes before the performance began, Caroline called me to the lobby of the sanctuary as I was trying to make last minute preparations and there stood Mom and Dad.  They had worked with Caroline to surprise me. 

My father wanted to be with me.

Another memory I have of my dad was something he said every day to my Mom.  Before he would leave for work, he would say “Pat, is there anything I can do for you today?”  I never remember her having anything for him,  - and I remember being surprised that he continued to ask her the question even though she never had anything for him to do.  She had already taken care of everything.  However, his example of putting her first created a model for my marriage which I strive for, but fall short of every day.  But despite my failure, I am able to say that I know I will love Caroline forever.

Over the past six weeks, Dad and I talked about things that we had never talked about before.  We held hands for hours at a time.  The love that I felt pouring from him was most certainly a gift from God.  I can still see the look of excitement on his face as we arrived to spend time with him. 

My father wanted to be with me.

Last Tuesday, I was with a group of friends, and I shared with them the experience that I had been through with Dad.  One of the guys approached me after the meeting and told me how much he appreciated what I had said, and told me that it had encouraged him to start a conversation with a loved one that he had been putting off.  I asked if it was his Mom or his Dad, and he told me, “Its not my mom or dad, it’s my wife”.  It was then that I understood more fully the power of the holy spirit that is within each person who knows Christ as the Son of God.

My father wants to be with me, and I with him.

I hope you  all have an amazing Father’s Day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ramsey Under Fire

I have not met Dave Ramsey, but I did get to hear him speak at one of our Keller Williams conventions, and I am familiar with the work he has done with Financial Peace University.  I know multiple families who say that FPU put them on the right track to getting their financial house in order.  I think he is a “straight to the point” kind of guy, and I don’t think he puts up with a lot of foolishness from the people who work for  him.  Recently, he made the news for shutting down the twitter accounts of some disgruntled ex-employees.  I am disturbed by how much energy some people will use trying to take someone else down.  I imagine if they had put as much energy into their work, they probably wouldn’t be ex-employees.