Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Life has curve balls that push us away from home plate. Unexpected, unnerving, untimely. They just happen.

In pastoring I have stood by families at one end of the hospital and listen as they tell loved ones goodbye, and then walk to the other end of the hospital to celebrate a new born with a happy mother and father. That is life.

One moment joy bubbles over.

Another moment grief crashes in.

Sunshine and rain blow by in the sky. They both happen over and over again.

So how do we prepare for life's curve balls? It isn't easy. They happen to all.

What do you do when your car engine blows up and you don't have money to repair it. Or you have a vehicle accident and are severely injured and people are counting on you to make a living? Or you get a bad doctor's report? Or you get laid off at work? Or friends forsake you? Or someone tells lies about you?

The list goes on and on. What do you do?

Here is the beginning point. Trust. You trust. Wait. And rise in new strength.

His mercies are new every morning for great is His faithfulness.

So trust Him today if a curve ball has come your way. He will not fail.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Today is my dad's 86 birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Thanks, Dad, for all you mean to me. I am grateful.

Just think. In just 14 more years you will be 100. That's a good round number to shoot forl

You are the greatest dad in the world. Thanks for all you have done for me.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 25, 2011


There are times in life when all you know to do is trust. You tie a knot and hold on. This week I have talked with numbers of people with issues of life where there are no easy, immediate solutions. For some, they were struggling with health issues and working with doctors playing guessing games. For others, they were facing hard business and financial decisions. For others, there was a clear need of wisdom beyond their ability.

I don't believe that just because we are people of faith that we can expect to speak our spiritual words and all of a sudden have quick immediate answers. For sure, it is wonderful when answers come quickly. But the truth is we should desire His all knowing wisdom to prevail.

But, what about issues with delayed answers? Or maybe no answer? Or even more difficult, an answer that we didn't want?

To me, I have found the only thing to do is trust. To wait and trust Him.

More than once, I have looked upward toward my Lord and shared my heart. I have frankly and sincerely expressed my trust even though I struggled to understand.

There are times when all you can do is to say, "Lord, I choose to trust. I will wait on you."

He has not failed even when I don't understand. I just choose to trust.

Someone wrote:

In happy moments, praise God.

In difficult moments, seek God.

In quiet moments, worship God.

In painful moments, trust God.

In every moment, thank God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Good habits bless. They add to life. They add consistent pleasure. Some things must be done over and over because that is the nature of life. Life can be made better by adding good habits all along.

Here are some habits that I have.

I read 6 or more chapters from the Bible daily.
I spend time in daily personal devotions and also with Wanda.
I pray for my immediate family and extended family daily.
I try to thank people for their kindnesses to me.
I open doors for ladies.
I open the car door and all other doors for Wanda.
I put my own clothes up.
I clean the sink throughly after shaving and put everything back in its place.
I pay my tithes and give offerings and help in missions offerings.
I try to be generous with tips.
I try to smile at others.
I try to begin each day with thanks to the Lord.

There are many other habits that I have "set" in my life for years, but I am trying to add a few more good ones.

They are personal and some are very much needed to make life more enjoyable. Bad habits are hard to break, and new habits take extra effort.

One bad habit is talking on the cell phone while driving. I don't text, but I am determined to stay off the phone and pay more attention while driving. I need to break the habit of eating too fast. I need to break the habit of late night snacks. I don't eat twinkies anymore. Ha!

Help me Lord add to my life to glorify you.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Saturday night offered a super moon at Jacksonville Beach. It was the largest full moon for many, many years. Some say that it was the largest moon in almost 20 years.

Wanda drug me out to the beach to share the romantic moment. Actually she didn't drag me, I wanted to go. There was a seafood festival going on, and we ate some shrimp, and headed out to the beach for the show.

It was spectacular!


On this special astronomical night, the full moon was at lunar perigee, the nearest approach in its orbit around Earth, but in this case, it will be at its closest proximity to us in 18 years. The moon is 221,567 miles away. The tides had fuller pull, but other than that and brighter night there wasn't much to worry about.

Wanda and I took a couple of chairs, cameras, and jackets and enjoyed the moment. Full moons add to the beauty of romance. It just gives an extra buzz. The small picture was taken by our small camera. It doesn't have a very good lens for long distance, night pictures. The larger picture is one I took by standing on our chair getting a little closer. Just kidding. It is a copy I borrowed from the Internet.


You don't need a supermoon to have a super marriage, but it doesn't hurt. Holding hands, walking the beach, sharing the moment. It's all good.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The has been one beautiful week. The weather has been gorgeous. It is motorcycle weather. Not too hot. Not too cool. No rain in sight. Perfect.

For Wanda it is gardening weather. She says that soil is good for the soul. There is something about getting outdoors and digging in the dirt that makes you feel better.

So, do we motorcycle or do we dig in the dirt?

I guess both can be done and the dirt digging probably needs to happen first.

Our back yard and front yard both need some attention. There is grass that needs cutting and some grass that needs replacing. There are shrubs that need trimming. New plants need planting. Old beds need to be cleaned. All that needs to happen in cool, nice weather. Summer is coming, and it will be HOT!

But when it is hot, it is not as much fun to ride "Big Red". So I guess we work real hard and real fast to as to leave a little time for cruising up and down the road.

So much to do. So little time. But the weather is just beautiful.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This past weekend we enjoyed having Mark and Tara and Julie and two of our grands visit with us. Mark and Tara came for Mark to do the Gate River Run with me and they brought friends with them. It was a blast.

On Sunday morning, Wanda and I left early for church and took Cole and Paige with us. We had just gotten into the car when little Cole spoke up and said, "You have to be handsome and pretty to go to Papa and Nana's church. Papa is handsome, and Nana is pretty, and Paige is pretty, and I am handsome."

It was a moment.

I chuckled and we all laughed. What a special encouragement from a four year old.

Later before they left, Wanda overheard him say, "I am going to play this game all by myself so I can win."

Cute and what a hoot!.

These are special moments to remember. Kid's say the most amazing things.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I finished the race, ran the course, and
obtained the prize.

Yes, I actually got a medal. Well everyone got a medal that finished the 15k Gate River Run this past Saturday. The weather was perfect. The sun was bright. The crowd of runners, over 17,00, was pumped.

Mark, Wanda's son, and Kaleb his friend, and I rode down to EverBank Field at 7 AM and got in line with the thousands. Wanda, Julie, Mark's family, and Haley, Kaleb's fiancee went with us. We had eaten a light breakfast, done some stretching, and warmed up.

It is quite a thrill to line up and push yourself for a 9.3 mile run. The crowd was ready and the announcer started the race. The cannon misfired so we took off by the announcer simply saying, "Go!"

Well, when there are 17,000 runners waiting to start, nobody moves. It was a few minutes before I started running and crossed the starting line. I ran with the thousands slowly for a mile or so and then it began to thin just slightly.

After running about 42 minutes, a guy on the side of the road yelled, "The race is over!" Just forty minutes, and the race was won. I had an hour of running left to do. So I kept running.

Every mile they had bands playing and the streets were lined with people cheering you on. Water was offered every mile or so by volunteers and people who were just trying to be kind. You have to hydrate going into the race, and you need some water throughout the race too.

I ate Gu Chomps, a pure performance energy chew, every 30 minutes and then just before trying to climb the Hart Bridge. They work.

The Hart Bridge is the last mile of the race. Wow! That is tough to do. You run 8 miles, and then have to climb this steep, long bridge. But I did it! I made it. I did quit, throw up, and I finished ahead of over 8,000 other runners. That put me into the first half of runners.

So, why would a 61 year old man do this? I wanted to get back into better physical shape. I wanted to prove I could do it. I wanted to run with the young bucks again. I hope to do it all over next year and beat my time for this year.

How long did it take? By my watch I ran from the starting line to the finish line in 1 hour and 42 minutes or so. I was hoping to have a faster run, but the crowd of slower runners in front of me made it hard to weave through. I just settled in an ran the pace that was comfortable without having to crash through. That's my story.

That's me with my hands raised preparing to cross the finish line. Praise the Lord!

Friday, March 11, 2011


My training for the 15k (9.3m) Gate River Run is done. I'm resting, eating carbs, and picking up my race packet Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I will eat a light breakfast and arrive at EverBank Stadium, the Jaguar's Football Stadium, a little before 8 AM. The big race starts at 8:30.

So, what are my goals for the run?

I have three.

1. Finish the run without stopping or walking.
2. Not throwing up.
3. Beat 1/2 of the runners. (Somewhere around 13,000)

We are having a few friends over this evening for a carb pre-race dinner. That will be fun. Then good night to all, and then hello racing fans!

I claim this verse:

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Let the race begin!

Now pray!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Our modem is dead. We can't gone online at home. First is sputtered and worked erratically. Then it died. Gone. Done. That makes online work at home impossible. Now, I have to do all my work at the church. Wanda can't get online either.

What have we come too?

Computers rule far more than I desire to admit. IPhones and laptops and Macs and Dells fill our house. They are in our pockets and on our desks and breakfast room table. They are never out of reach and are in constant motion.

How did we get this way?

What does the future hold. They seem to control our minds and our lives.

Look around. Every person you pass on the highway has a cell phone. SUV's are filled with video screens. Hand held games dominate our kids. Computer screens fill our horizons.

So, maybe I need to take a second look at this dead modem. Maybe I need to bury it? Maybe my life needs a tech scrubbing?

The new modem arrives in the mail tomorrow. That isn't enough time to be free of the addiction. Oh well.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I am almost ready for the 15k Gate River Run which takes place this coming Saturday. I have trained diligently for 3 months with four or five runs each week. I have also done sit-ups and push-ups and a few other exercises to get my body in the best shape I can.

Sunday evening I ran a 8 mile run and did good. I felt strong and could have gone on another mile or so.

On this past Friday, Wanda and I were looking in a store that specializes on running and racing. They have clothing gear and shoes and other stuff for runners. She noticed a power booster to eat as you run which gives a power burst. I tried it during my eight mile run and wow! It works! Every three miles or so you eat a serving and bam! There you go again. I wish I had found this stuff long ago.

So, my time improved and I felt strong.

I wonder if it works in preaching? Maybe about 15 minutes into my sermon I could take a power break, and then bam! Then I would take off again. Maybe I should allow the Holy Spirit to give me the boost. That would be better.

This week I plan on running the Acosta and Main Street bridges a couple of times. That will be my last runs, and then it is on to the River Run on Saturday. I have some personal goals I hope to make. I'll tell you about them this week.

I can do it!

Yes, I can!

Friday, March 4, 2011


A checkup with my doctor revealed a great report. I've lost 10 pounds since my last visit. My blood pressure was 120/80 and my heart rate was 58. I have a goal to lose another 15 pounds and keep it off. How much do I weigh? When I get back down to 185, I will tell you. That will take some discipline to keep up the exercise and push away from the table.

Checkups are good. It is good to check engine oil, tire pressure, air conditioning filters, and the list goes on.

What is the old saying, "Pay me now or pay me later"? It is cheaper and easier to do proper maintenance and checkups.

How many people have learned the health lessons too late? Too many pounds carried too many years and then pow! It hits them hard.

I have carried this extra weight just these last three years. Most of my life I have been real close to my "ideal" weight, but now I am headed back the right way.

Checkups are good. They show you right where you are. My doctor was real pleased. I am pleased too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Positive thinking works!

No, it doesn't guarantee that everything will be perfect, but it sure beats being blue and negative. Everyone has setbacks, bad days, and tough times. It isn't what happens to us that is the controlling factor, but rather it is how we react to life. Also, our positive choices point us in the right direction.

Monday when I arrive at church I found that someone had broken a huge glass window in our office. This is a glass wall approximately 8 ft by 10 or so. Someone had gotten into a fight as they walked by our church office and angrily punched their fist into the glass and knocked a hole in it. It didn't totally shader, but it was a mess.

Another passerby saw him do it and called the police and they caught the guy. He had to be taken to the hospital to get stitches and now is in jail. Was that dumb or what?

Well, when I was a young teenager, I actually knocked a hole in a wall because I was upset, but I learned. That isn't a smart thing to do. I had to learn. I pray that this guy learns too.

Positive thinking points us to a higher destiny. Yes, my day didn't begin so hot on Monday, but the glass will be repaired. Life goes on. A new day has dawned.