Sunday, September 30, 2007

An Important Date

Saturday, I went on a date with my beautiful wife. We had about 7 hours together without our daughter. At first we didn’t know what to do without a little girl interrupting our conversations or vying for our attention, but we soon adjusted and enjoyed each other’s company. Earlier in the week someone had given us tickets, food passes, and a parking pass for the Georgia Southern game yesterday, so we decided that we would go to the game and enjoy some much needed time together. We had a blast! You sometimes forget how good it feels to relax and enjoy something. We had a wonderful time watching the Eagles defeat Western Carolina. Mostly we just enjoyed the company. Last night after putting my girls to bed I thanked God for my loving wife and the opportunity to spend an extended period of time together.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lost in America

Edwin McCain's most recent CD is amazing. It's been out for well over a year now, but it has a fresh sound each time I listen to it. It's characteristic of his folk/blues/rock mix on previous albums. He certainly has a unique voice, but I think I have been most drawn to his craft of songwriting on this CD. The title track is a catchy song that has a very pointed, even biting message in the lyrics.

The chorus goes like this: Yes, we're lost in America/And this land we're so proud of/We got the cars, the girls, the money, the drugs/ To get you out of your rut/Yes, we're lost in America.

I think he captures one of the ironies of being an American. We have everything that a person could possibly need or want in this world, but we are still lost in America. When you look around the rest of the world compared to the USA we have so many privileges, wealth, and commodities, but are all those things making our lives better and giving us a meaning and purpose for living. The common notion is that all the things he mentions: the cars, the girls, the money, the drugs are the things that fill our lives with purpose...Do they really? In spite of all those things that is American culture we are still lost, searching for something more, something that will truly meet us where we are and get us out of our rut.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Slightly OCD

Have you ever wondered why you do some of the things you do. Like for example when I leave the house with anything other than gym shorts on my lower extremities, I have a particular place for everything. My wallet goes in a certain pocket on a particular side every time, no exceptions. My wallet is a tri-fold, so it bugs me when someone picks it up or hands it back to my folded the wrong way. My keys and any loose change always go in my left pocket. My chap stick always goes in the right pocket. In addition to my chap stick the right pocket is home to any gum or mints that I might have with me. The cell phone is the thing that sometimes gets switched around, although usually it winds up in the same pocket with the chap stick and gum. I don't know if anyone else is like this in the entire world, but I can't think straight if things are misplaced and not in their appropriate pockets. The other funny thing is my chap stick. I have a dependence on this item perhaps more than wallet and keys. In fact, I have been known to turn around and drive back to the house if I have forgotten my chap stick, and a few times I actually stopped and bought a new one. So I confess I have a touch of OCD, but it keeps me normal, I think.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Claire and Catie playing at Catie's house

Today is Catie's birthday. Catie Wilkins was a brave little girl who was diagnosed with cancer on her 1st birthday. She battled the horrible disease for a long time, but she went to be with Jesus in January 2007. My family, specifically Catie's parents, Tre and Jenny have been on my mind all day today. Catie's brief but influential life has touched thousands of people around the world. She will always be remembered and missed. Jenny has a blog listed on the left of mine called midgets and moonpies that you can check out for more information about Catie. Happy Birthday Catie!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As she was sleeping

I got to spend some time with Claire yesterday afternoon. We had fun going to run a few errands together, except she ran into a display at one start that left a bruise on her forehead. Last night we did our nightly routine of reading 3 books and then going to sleep. As we read she got very sleepy, which was wonderful because it didn't take long for her to go sound asleep. Holding her, I thought to myself, "You are so cute and adorable!" I then found myself hoping and praying that she would grow to be an incredible woman like her mother. A woman who is full of compassion, love, and forgiveness. A woman who has a heart to help people deal with the difficulties of life. A woman who longs to serve God with body, mind, and spirit. My thoughts all ran to other people who have an influence in Claire's life grandparents, students of mine from the church, family members, babysitters, teachers, and friends who all have specific qualities and characteristics that I hope she will. I am thankful for the role that all these people have in helping to nurture my little girl, but I am most thankful for the role my wife plays in simply being a mother.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Opening Your Heart

I recently finished reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. There was a scene at the beginning of the novel that captured my attention. "I returned the miniature, wondering what in the world had made him open his heart to me. That was something I never did; it was dangerous. First it was dangerous if you felt like that about anything, because then you'd never get it or something or someone would take it away from you; then it was dangerous because nobody would understand you and they'd only laugh and think you were crazy" (p. 43). There's a lot of truth to the statement that if and when we open our heart to someone it is very dangerous. It's dangerous because we make ourselves vulnerable to someone else. We essentially say to them, "Here is my heart, take it and stomp on it if you want to." Of course our hope is that they will be warm and accepting, but we aren't guaranteed that. I always tell people to guard their hearts from everyone but the lover of our souls and hearts. The only problem is that to have relationships with people we have to open our hearts enough to let them in. This dilemma leaves us susceptible to being hurt, but it seems like the only way to truly be human.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hearing God's Voice in the Rain

I woke up this morning with a list of several things to do around the house and in the yard...unfortunately the rain started coming down and has continued on and off today. Perhaps that was God's way of telling me to slow down a little bit today and enjoy time with my family and time to catch my breath. I am thankful for those periods of rest, yet I struggle to really enjoy them. Instead my mind keeps reminding me of the long list of tasks that I need to accomplish. The irony is that my list of tasks will never be fully completed because I keep adding things to it. It's kinda like when you own a house, there is always something to fix, do, repair, redo, or otherwise tend to. The discipline, dare I say the spiritual discipline, is learning to rest and enjoy the simple things in life like a hot cup of coffee or a warm conversation when the opportunity arises rather than being so focused on the tasks of life, even though those things are important. So grab a cup, pull up chair, and enjoy...God, life, and others.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Lately I have found that the pace of life we set for ourselves can be so hectic. It's important to pull aside and have moments when we can actually take a deep breath. It's easy for all of us to rush and rush and go and go until we reach exhaustion. My experience has taught me that I am more of a grouch( just ask Cyd) and less productive in life if I'm not finding sources to tap into to refresh my heart, soul, body, and mind. One of the greatest sources for me is music. Music has the power to heal, calm, rejuvenate, and generally cope with life. Let me encourage you to set aside some time to listen to that favorite CD, iTune download, or dare I say cassette and allow God to speak some truth into your life through that. We can find the truth and beauty of God in some of the strangest places if we will slow down long enough to look and listen for it. Then we are better equipped to keep up with the pace of life around us. Happy listening!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Sermon on Love

This is a title of a poem I wrote for Cyd a few years ago. I'm not sure where I first encountered the idea that her love was a means of grace for me. I'm honestly not sure that is good Baptist theology, perhaps it draws to heavily on my ancestral Catholicism or my inability to pigeon-hole myself in any one theological camp. It took me a while to realize that my theology is as much bound up in how I love my wife and how she loves me as anything else I read or hear. I think that sometimes as Evangelicals we forget that the marriage covenant one of the most powerful metaphors for our relationship with God. I have often found that the touch of Cyd's hand on my arm or the look in her eyes is as much a testament to God's grace in my life as anything else. I don't mean in some generic God's grace permeates everything, but that through her love for the Father and her love for me I am able to grasp more clearly the love God has poured out for me in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

I want to leave you with the first stanza from the poem:
Your touch means more than anything else in the world
I've heard a thousand sermons throughout my short life
None ever offer me as much hope as your dancing eyes
Raise high your banner of love o'er me till it's completely unfurled.


Thankful for Great Help

I wanted to say thank you to Kate Foil, our intern at FBC Statesboro. She does over and above what I ask her to do, at least most of the time. In the last month, I have been away on vacation one week and a conference another week. She has stepped up and proven that she has some great leadership qualities, but more importantly she has a big heart for our students. Kate pours herself into so many of our students in ways that aren't visible to anyone other than God. I also wanted to express gratitude to our praise band for dealing with some adversity this week and still turning that into a positive experience for Wednesday night. Again Kate helped them out in a big way this week. I have heard several great comments about The Gathering this week, and I know that God did some incredible things through Kate, the band, Matt K. and others. Thanks guys for all your hard work and more importantly your heart for God. Kate makes my job and responsibilities easier in so many ways, and she never stops looking for ways to impact the lives of our students. If you see her this week be sure and tell her how much you appreciate her presence at FBC.


I just got back to the Boro from a Youth Ministry conference in Panama City Beach. The conference was ho-hum, but the worship was led by Charlie Hall. He was incredible. I have heard him live one other time a couple of years ago, but it was nice to just be present in worship and not having to worry about a thousand other things going on during the service or during Sunday school. Charlie Hall has done a lot of stuff with Passion over the years, so if you are familiar with that movement then you may have heard of him, but if not check out,, and his latest CD Flying into Daybreak.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Songs, Songs, Everywhere is Songs

It's been nearly two weeks since I posted anything, which really is a long time. There are about a thousand things running through my head to comment on and/or share with you about, but it's getting late and I will try to keep it brief. I am in the middle of a series using popular songs to see what sort of truth can be gleamed from them for believers. It has been amazing to me in talking to some people in preparation for this how powerful music can be in our world and our lives. I would be remiss if I didn't specifically thank Jessie, Kate, and my beautiful wife, Cyd for their thoughts and comments about some of the songs.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Claire's 2nd Birthday

Today is Claire's 2nd birthday! We started the morning early at 7 with our normal Saturday routine of playing while we all wake up. Since it's a special day we baked cupcakes for breakfast. Claire thoroughly enjoyed licking the icing off the cupcakes (all 6 that she put candles in), so that meant that I didn't get my share of icing on my cupcakes. We had a blast celebrating birthday number 2 together as a family. It's moments like these that make you want to have 10 kids, then reality sets in. Happy Birthday Doodlebug!