Thursday, September 27, 2018


Last night in our ConnectGroup, we talked about the power of multiplication - how one act of kindness can get multiplied in a family, organization or throughout a whole community when the person being encouraged passes it on to others.  I have written frequently in the past about my high school band director, David Gregory.  He inspired us to work hard to create something great that could only be produced when all members were contributing to their fullest.  I took some of him with me from high school into the rest of my life.  At a previous church we attended, he encouraged me and helped me to start an instrumental ensemble at our church.  With no formal training or experience, I led a group of about 30 people to play together as a part of our worship service.  David recently retired as conductor of the Georgia Wind Symphony, where Caroline and I still play.  The group is make up of mostly school band directors, and for most of them, it is their only chance to perform.  I know that each of them take a little bit of David into their band room every day in an attempt to inspire their students, too.  If you have 10 minutes, listen and watch what we have carried with us over the last 40 years thanks to David's influence.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Build Something

In our second week of ConnectGroup, we talked about how important "team" is.  Whether we are talking about a sports team, a team at work or a family team, going it alone can be difficult and unfulfilling.  But building a team can be difficult.  It can take hundreds of good decisions and deliberate actions to get team members to see the purpose and to get fully on board.  Encouragement is one of the essential ingredients, and this week we were each encouraged to think about people that had encouraged us in the past, and how that felt.  Then, we were encouraged to find a person in our sphere of influence that we could encourage and lift up.  I was thinking this morning about how our community is just a little closer to God this week, even if only a small number of people followed through on that.  I was also thinking of the change in me if I can make the act of encouragement into a habit.  Want to join in?Buil

Thursday, September 13, 2018


We had the first meeting of our ConnectGroup for this semester in our home last night.  For the first half of this semester, we are digging into our church's sermon series: HeroMaker.  We spent time talking about public heroes, who our personal heroes are, and about what it means to be a HeroMaker in God's eyes.  We also spent time praying.  We are all concerned for the people who will be affected by Hurricane Florence and will be praying for them over the coming days.  I found this story about Virgil Smith who made his mark during Hurricane Harvey.  Hero or HeroMaker?  What do you think?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Love of Labor

Frances Perkins watched in horror as a Manhattan building was engulfed in flames and workers began jumping from windows in an attempt to save their lives.   On that day, 146 people died, ranging in age from 14 to 43.  The building was the Asch Building in the garment district of New York, and the year was 1911.  The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire marked the worst industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the worst in the history of the country.   Frances had gained statewide attention serving as the head of the New York Consumer's League, but after serving in several state positions, she was named as the Secretary of Labor under Franklin Roosevelt in 1933.  She was the first female cabinet member to serve under a president, and maintained that position for 12 years, longer than any other Secretary of Labor.  Frances devoted her entire life to improving working conditions for everyone including workplace safety and child labor laws.  Her love of labor helped pave the way for better working conditions for all of us.  Click here for the rest of the photo.