Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Even heroes die

After the NBA Finals concluded this past June there was an editorial piece that appeared in Sports Illustrated titled "The Death of Cool". Well, this past Friday cool took another hit when the coolest actor of all time passed away. Paul Newman had the look that the ladies liked, and the men wished they had. When he was on the screen he commanded the attention of everyone watching.

I haven't seen all of Newman's films, in fact there are some of his classics that I have yet to see, but of the ones I have seen here are my favorites:

- Cool Hand Luke: This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies of all time. There's a ton of religious symbolism, but Newman's portrayal of a guy who would rather die than conform to the system is what makes it a classic. This was also proclaimed as the sweatiest movie of all time once on an episode of "Cheers".

- The Hustler: You don't even have to like or understand pool sharks to appreciate this film. The final scene where Newman's character finally beats Minnesota Fats is really cool.

- The Sting: I never get tired of watching this one even though I know about the surprise ending. I like Newman's work with Robert Redford in this picture even more than in Butch Cassidy.

One last thing, I am heading to an 80's charity event this weekend and am looking to borrow some clothing items.
- a pair of black Chuck Taylor high tops (size 9 or 9 1/2)
- a mullet wig
- any cheesy 80's t-shirt or collared shirt
- a thin silk tie (like they used to sell at Record Bar)

Let me know if you can hook me up with any of these vintage items. Thanks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday morning quarterback

Here's the high points of the weekend that was:

- Friday morning I came to the office and got an unwelcome surprise. When I arrived at the office I opened the door to discover water everywhere. Sometime during the night before, the water heater had begun leaking. That's why I didn't post the scripture for Sunday's message here on Friday. During the time I would normally do that we were moving furniture and arranging to have everything fixed.

- Sherry and I had a great date on Friday. We ate at the best little Mexican place in town, El Mariachi, then we headed to the Peace Center to hear Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The music blew us away, and it was obvious that all of the performers were having a ball. We ran into Mark and Tricia and their boys in the lobby before the show so I knew it would be good, because Mark doesn't waste time listening to bad music. The food and music were great, but the best part of the evening was just being able to relax after a crazy week with the person I can be most relaxed with.

- Saturday had a little of everything. I spent time cutting down a tree, riding on the lawnmower, watching football, playing Guitar Hero, and playing Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with Grace. I don't claim to be the smartest dude in the world, but the average 5th grader can not answer those questions. I don't care what Jeff Foxworthy says.

- Every week I see new folks at worship. Yesterday was another one of those Sunday's where I spotted several folks that I had never seen at worship with us before. I'm thrilled that God keeps sending new people our way!

- Silly observation of the weekend: On the way back to the office from worship yesterday I passed by the Comfort Inn in Greer and the marquis read like this, "Welcome Albino Skunks". I'm not making that up. I have no idea what that means, but it almost caused me to have a wreck.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Grace!

Today is my baby girl's eighth birthday. It is hard to believe that it has been that long since she came into the world with a head full of black hair and some of the chubbiest cheeks I had ever seen on a baby. We always tell Grace that we waited a long time for her to arrive. When Emily turned two we thought it would be a good time to have another child, well four long years later God blessed us with Grace, and she was certainly worth the wait!

There's not a week that goes by that she doesn't make us all laugh at the dinner table with her nutty personality, and she always brightens my mornings by waking up with a smile on her face. These last eight years have been a blast with her in our lives, and I'm looking forward to the next eight as well.

Happy Birthday Rascal! You bring us so much joy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New website up and running

As Donny announced on Sunday the new Freedom website is on line. This will be the main place for you to get all the info you need on what's happening when, and what's coming up next. Just go to www.freedomfellowshipsc.com to get there.

You can also download sermons from the website or from itunes. If you go on itunes just search for Freedom Fellowship, and you should see our logo. Currently there is only one message up, but we hope to have more by the end of the week. Check out the new website and let us know what you think. If there's something you'd like to see added, let us know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sunday scripture and podcast update

Today has been interesting so far, I ended up having to spend more money on a car repair than I expected. A little more than twice as much as I expected in fact. It's as if God wants to see if I really believe what I taught about this past Sunday. You remember, how our trust should be in Him and not in our money. I have been reminded of that this morning.

Here's the good news: Thanks to Blake the message from the first Sunday of September is now on itunes! Here's the catch: If you go on itunes and search for Freedom Fellowship you won't find it. The folks at itunes are telling Blake it will take a couple of days yet. I'll keep you updated on the progress. Once we get things going we hope to have the previous Sunday's message available to download by Thursday of each week.

This Sunday we will be talking about the second tool we need to do the job God has given our church. Before you come read 2 Samuel 23:8-22 and try to guess what the tool is.

One of the things I want you to do week in an week out is invite your friends to come worship with you at Freedom. I especially want you to do that during the month of October. During that month we will be focusing on the true identity of Jesus. If you know someone who needs to have a better understanding of who God is, begin now inviting them to Freedom for October.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If you need a chuckle...

I don't know what's funnier in this video, the way kid yells or how the woman laughs at the poor kid the whole time. Maybe this will bring a smile to your face.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

14 years ago today

On September 16, 1994 I experienced the most life changing event since Sherry and I were married. When the nurse in the delivery room placed Emily in my arms, I knew things would never be the same. When they handed her to me there were three things that struck me immediately.

First was how tiny she was. I hadn't had a lot of experience holding newborn babies. Come to think of it I probably didn't have any experience holding newborn babies, but even compared to most newborns Emily was small. Because she came into the world several weeks early she only weighed 3 lbs. 9 oz. I had never seen such a tiny face.

Second was the fact that she had blond hair. There wasn't much there, really it was just fuzz, but what was there was blond without a doubt. Not once when I would imagine what my first child would look like did I ever picture a blond haired blue eyed baby. I just assumed that any child that I was the father of would have dark hair and dark eyes like me.

The last thing that struck me so hard that it was almost too much to handle was how much love I felt, and how protective of her I became the moment I held her and looked into that miniature face. I didn't have to wait to get to know her or see how she would turn out. The sudden filling of my heart with all of that love was one of the most unexplainable things that I had ever experienced.

Today my first baby girl turns 14. She's a young lady now. There's not much little girl left in her anymore. Being her Dad each step along the way has been an honor, and I can't wait to walk through her teenage years with her as well.

Happy Birthday Em! You are wonderful!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Afternoon Quarterback

Random thoughts to start the week:

I still love the beach - On Friday afternoon while we were at Hilton Head I got to spend about an hour and a half on the beach. The water temp was perfect so I was able to body surf and just generally relax and enjoy the ocean. Nothing energizes me like time spent on the shore.

God won't give you a job that your character can't handle. - Richard Blackaby said that this weekend at the conference we were at. He used the example of Peter's denial of Jesus. Peter told Jesus he would follow Him all the way to his death. Jesus warned Peter that his character had not reached the level it needed to be at in order to follow Him that far. Jesus was going to a place Peter was not yet prepared by God to go. Peter went anyway, and we know how the story ends. Blackaby challenged us all weekend to go to deeper levels with God than we are experiencing now. He also reminded us that the only person who can keep you from experiencing God at a deeper level is you.

Here's the headline on today's Greenville News: Gas Pain to Linger - I didn't know if that was referring to fuel prices after hurricane Ike or a story about the effects of eating at the Beacon Drive In.

I haven't received any hate mail after yesterday's message on money - Of course part of that may be due to the fact that my e-mail has been down all day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday scripture and leaving for the weekend

Sherry and I are heading out to Hilton Head this morning for a Pastor's conference. It should be a great time for us to relax and learn together. We'll be back Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning we will discuss the first tool we need to do the job God has given our church. Here's some of the scripture we'll be teaching from this week. 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Since I haven't written much this week, I'll share with you a rare video I discovered on Youtube. This is some footage of our praise band in the early days. Hope you enjoy it. ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scattered thoughts

Here's some thoughts from Sunday as well as other random things in my brain.

- The response to Sunday's message was very positive. I always have a little apprehension before I share one of those in your face, get with the program type of messages. I had several people say things on Sunday like, "that's what I needed to be reminded of", and "I like it when you're blunt."

- There have been other worship songs that I used to really love that I eventually got kind of tired of, but I think it will take a long time before I'm tired of "God of This City".

- As much as I didn't enjoy watching football this past Thursday night, I really enjoyed watching NFL games Sunday afternoon and last night. The Panthers win with two seconds left was pretty amazing, and I was glad to see Brett Favre win his first game in NY. Aaron Rodgers did a great job last night of helping the folks in Green Bay accept the fact that life must go on without Brett.

- Blake is using a website called wordle that creates pictures out of the words in a document. He has typed in this blog address to see what words I use a lot. The more a word is used the bigger it appears on the picture, so in an attempt to give Blake something to laugh at I will write the following (feel free to ignore this and move on to the next point): Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake, jell-o jell-o jell-o jell-o jell-o jell-o jell-o

- Sherry and I are heading to Hilton Head this Thursday for a conference. I can't wait to spend a weekend with just the two of us, eat some good seafood, and walk on the beach. Oh yeah, we'll get to hear some speakers too.

- Donny just let me know that Freedom's new website will be going live in a couple of weeks. We've needed to pay more attention to our site for some time now, and Donny has done a ton of work to get this new one going. As soon as it's up and running I'll let you know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not much to read here

Today has been busier than a typical Monday due to the fact that I'll only be in the office three days this week. Also, we begin a new Life Group this Wednesday so that adds a few more items to the already full to do list! All that to say, this all I have time to write today. I'll try to get more on here tomorrow about Sunday. It was another great day of worship at Freedom!

Friday, September 5, 2008


I never cease to be amazed at how important attitude is. If you live life with a negative attitude you drain yourself and everyone around you of energy and excitement. If you generally have a positive outlook you give energy and excitement to the people you come in contact with. We all have people in our lives that we would identify as energy drainers and energy givers.

I had the chance to spend some time this morning with someone who is an energy giver. Gary O'Sullivan spends more time than he would like traveling around the country helping businesses and business owners be more effective, and when he is home for a couple of days in a row I always try to get a little bit of his time. Every time I sit down with Gary to eat breakfast I learn something, and I walk away with two or three new ideas to think about. Gary is an energizer. I want to be an energizer. Who are the energizers in your life? Are you an energizer for those around you?

Sunday morning update: I'm looking forward to speaking again this week. Donny did a great job these past two Sunday's helping emphasize Life Groups. This week we will be focusing on the job Jesus has assigned Freedom Fellowship and all of His churches to do. If you want to read ahead to be extra prepared for the message, here's the scripture you should check out: Colossians 1:15-20, 2 Peter 3:9, and Revelation 2:4-5.

One last thing, so many of you are doing a great job at inviting your friends to join us in worship. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Sherry

Today is Sherry's birthday. We will be eating at our favorite place tonight to celebrate, El Mariachi. We don't make big deals about adult birthday's in our house but, I wanted to be sure and let everyone who reads this blog know that I am blessed to be married to such an amazing woman. Everyday I see new ways where God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought Sherry and I together.

Happy Birthday sweetheart! You are the best, and I thank God for you each and everyday! Emily, Grace, and I would be a mess without you.

Son, that boy could play!

Jerry Reed who died at age 71 today was more than a bad actor in "Smokey and the Bandit". He was also a really good guitar picker. Check out the video of him and Chet Atkins, and you'll see for yourself.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My weekend: Gustav and an ascot

Here's what is happening in my mind today:

- I'm thankful Gustav wasn't another Katrina. I watched a lot more CNN yesterday than I normally do, and as each report came in about the storm weakening I was thrilled. Since Katrina hit I have gone to New Orleans with a group of men from our church three times to re-build houses, and although lots of progress has been made the city has along way to go still. Another flood would devastate the area in ways we can't really understand.

- I went with the girls to the mall yesterday, and we saw a dude wearing an ascot. I had to look twice to be sure I was seeing straight, and then I had to ask Sherry what it was called.(the ascot not the guy) Here's what I think is even funnier than this guy being way overdressed at the mall: He worked in one of the kiosks. It would be one thing if he worked in a fancy schamncy men's clothing store that sold ascots, but this guy was wearing his ascot and sport coat while he tried to sell sunglasses to people. In order to carry this new trend forward I'm thinking of preaching this Sunday in a velvet smoking jacket.

- Depending on who you pull for the first weekend of college football was either exciting or horrendous. Either way you'll enjoy this story about a pretty big mix-up that happened on Saturday. Thanks Trey for telling me about it.

- Today feels like Monday, but I realize it's Tuesday and now I'm worrying that I'm running behind. That's not a good way to begin the week. That's all for now. I need to get busy catching up!