Thursday, November 30, 2017

Leftover Thanksbiving

We are just coming out of the Thanksgiving week, and if you are like me, I ate way too much.  I also twisted my ankle last week, which give me the perfect excuse to not exercise.  So my struggle this week is what to do about all the food that I shouldn't have eaten last week.  My church reminds me regularly, that there a lot of people near us that have a much greater struggle, and that is that they do not have enough food to eat Thanksgiving week, or any other week of the year.   The Vine Church regularly supports iServe Ministries.  iServe is a ministry that makes food available to people who can't afford it through its Bags of Love and Mobile Food Bank programs.  I finished reading through the gospel of John this morning and some of Jesus' last recorded words are his instructions to his disciples, "Feed my sheep.  Feed my lambs."  Let's do that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More Thanks

In my SpotOnTheLake post this week, I mentioned how thankful I am for the real estate team that I get to work with every day.  I also want to express thanks to the team that supports me outside of work.  David Gregory leads the Georgia Wind Symphony which Caroline and I play in, and Anna Ragan works tirelessly in the background holding things together.  The pastors and leaders at my church, The Vine, do everything with a purpose and a desire for excellence.  Special thanks to to David Walters, Andrew Erwin, Jared Strong and Robbie Pancake for all you do there.  I am thankful for my close friends that help to hold me accountable to the things that are important and to my family that continues to love me through all of my faults.  Most importantly, I am thankful to God for sending his son to die for me and all of my mess.  Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Epidemic Exposed

It's hard to avoid the daily news reporting people that are acknowledging that they have been sexually abused by people they know in power, especially in the entertainment industry.  Each story is gut-wrenching, but it is hard for me not to feel numbed by the sheer volume of stories.  Sometimes it feels like every girl or woman has been assaulted at one time or another, and it is only a matter of time before each decides to announce it.  This breaks my heart.  Each story represents a life-changing event, that many may never recover from.  But this really hits home for me when I think of the women and girls in my family - my wife, my daughters and my granddaughters.  I cannot imagine the pain of finding out that they had been abused or harassed.  I have looked for help in how to best deal with the epidemic, and this article seems to do as good a job as any of helping with a Christian response.  The first thing I have to do is guard my own actions, making sure that my thought-life and interactions with others are pure.  Secondly, I need to make sure that nothing I do or say would encourage or condone another to think it was ok to treat people this way.  And third,  I need to speak up to let people know that this kind of behavior is not what God intended for us.  For people who haven't really cared what God intends for us in the past, perhaps this epidemic exposed will be a wake-up call.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Another Zac(h)

I know a lot of you are familiar with Zac Brown and his excellent work with the Zac Brown Band.  He is one of my favorite country artists.  Last month, at the Dove Awards, Zach Williams was recognized as the best new Christian artist of the year.  I love seeing people using their talents to help build God's kingdom here on earth.  Zach's song and video, Chain Breaker, paints a beautiful picture of God's power of addiction.  Take 4 minutes to be blessed.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Life Changer

In my weekly Lake Hartwell blog, I wrote about a 5k/10k run to benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and mentioned my friend, Linda, who has volunteered with that organization.  I knew nothing about CASA before Linda told me about her involvement there.  CASA volunteers are advocates for children who do not have family to take care of them or who have been abused or taken advantage of by their family.  In many cases, the CASA volunteer is the first person that a child has met that has taken a personal interest in him or her, and that interest can be life-changing.  As you might expect, most of the stories that a CASA volunteer hears are confidential to protect the child's interests, but I found Nina's story which is both heart-breaking and inspirational at the same time.  I can envision my friend Linda taking this role with the children she is protecting.  To learn more or to become involved, click here.