Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008...hello 2009

More from 2008....

I am truly blessed to have such a great family.   I have a great wife, who we have been through a bunch this year with dealing overcoming my brothers death and helping the family heal. We also had two months of joy when she was pregnant and having to grieve after the miscarriage.  We have had many adventures and driving all over the country this year.  I have a great set of parents.  It has been really hard to see them hurt this past year, but it has been awesome to see how they have reached to God and each other to help them get through the pain of losing their youngest son.  I am also lucky to have a great sister, who we have gotten close again during this past year.  It is hard to believe that my little sister is getting married this weekend!!!! I feel so old!

I have also been blessed this year by my close friends.  I could go on for days and days for how great they have been.   Hawkins, Frost, Andrew, Matthew, Chip, Scot, Christine, Storm, Chandler, Nate, Will, Grove, Ashby, Adam, Sansbury, and so many more....
I have also made two great friends that I would have never expected.  My brother's old room mate Walt.   I never thought that such a great friendship could happen out of such a tragedy.  I know that he has needed me as much as I have needed him as we have grown to be great friends being there for each other this year.  And Adam Maultsby and I have become great friends and workout partners.  Its great to finally have someone here in Charlotte my age with the same interests.

Now onto 2009....the Resolutions


  1. Read more.  During 2008, due to school, but also I used it to help me get through things.  I have about 10 books that I bought this year at Catalyst and Youth Specialties that I want to read.

  2. Take more time for me...I am always busy with school and Church work...I need to take more days to play golf, relax.....

  3. Continue to work on our debt...in 2008, Jessica and I paid off several credit cards...we still have a couple more to go, but life is easier!

  4. Travel More with my wife...we now own timeshare...and we need to use it!

  5. Go to a Braves game!  Since moving to NC I have not attended one Braves game!!!!  Before I moved from Atlanta in 2006 I attended 22 home games that year!

  6. Call friends that I have not talked to in a while.  I have avoided several friends during the past year due to the memories we shared with my brother...I just had trouble calling them...it was tough...but its time to

  7. Finish the tasks around the house...Finish the closet downstairs, shelve the storage room, organize the garage, have a yard sale, fix up the flower beds, hang the tv in the bedroom, wire outside lighting

  8. Lose more weight!  I gained a bunch of weight this year, and lost some, but I would like to lose about 30 lbs. in 2009

  9. Change my ministry.  Its time for some changes...some things that I have done since 1997 need to go, while other things need to come back.

  10. Actually do all the above this year!



Goodbye 2008...hello 2009

More from 2008....

I am truly blessed to have such a great family.   I have a great wife, who we have been through a bunch this year with dealing overcoming my brothers death and helping the family heal. We also had two months of joy when she was pregnant and having to grieve after the miscarriage.  We have had many adventures and driving all over the country this year.  I have a great set of parents.  It has been really hard to see them hurt this past year, but it has been awesome to see how they have reached to God and each other to help them get through the pain of losing their youngest son.  I am also lucky to have a great sister, who we have gotten close again during this past year.  It is hard to believe that my little sister is getting married this weekend!!!! I feel so old!

I have also been blessed this year by my close friends.  I could go on for days and days for how great they have been.   Hawkins, Frost, Andrew, Matthew, Chip, Scot, Christine, Storm, Chandler, Nate, Will, Grove, Ashby, Adam, Sansbury, and so many more....
I have also made two great friends that I would have never expected.  My brother's old room mate Walt.   I never thought that such a great friendship could happen out of such a tragedy.  I know that he has needed me as much as I have needed him as we have grown to be great friends being there for each other this year.  And Adam Maultsby and I have become great friends and workout partners.  Its great to finally have someone here in Charlotte my age with the same interests.

Now onto 2009....the Resolutions


  1. Read more.  During 2008, due to school, but also I used it to help me get through things.  I have about 10 books that I bought this year at Catalyst and Youth Specialties that I want to read.

  2. Take more time for me...I am always busy with school and Church work...I need to take more days to play golf, relax.....

  3. Continue to work on our debt...in 2008, Jessica and I paid off several credit cards...we still have a couple more to go, but life is easier!

  4. Travel More with my wife...we now own timeshare...and we need to use it!

  5. Go to a Braves game!  Since moving to NC I have not attended one Braves game!!!!  Before I moved from Atlanta in 2006 I attended 22 home games that year!

  6. Call friends that I have not talked to in a while.  I have avoided several friends during the past year due to the memories we shared with my brother...I just had trouble calling them...it was tough...but its time to

  7. Finish the tasks around the house...Finish the closet downstairs, shelve the storage room, organize the garage, have a yard sale, fix up the flower beds, hang the tv in the bedroom, wire outside lighting

  8. Lose more weight!  I gained a bunch of weight this year, and lost some, but I would like to lose about 30 lbs. in 2009

  9. Change my ministry.  Its time for some changes...some things that I have done since 1997 need to go, while other things need to come back.

  10. Actually do all the above this year!



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A year in review...2008

Another year has gone by....

In 2008...

January:


  • I started working on my Masters of Christian Education at Pfieffer University/Wesley Seminary

  • I traded in my 99 Jeep Cherokee for a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500

  • We found out that Jessica was pregnant



February


  • Our Retreat Ministry: Ignition Ministry had its first Ski Retreat in Asheville, NC

  • Ignition Retreats first Middle School retreat was held at Longridge Camp



March


  • Jessica had a miscarriage

  • I celebrated my 29th birthday at a Third Day Concert in Augusta, with Jessica, Josh, and Amy

  • We had a successful Chocolate-Peanut butter egg fund raiser


April


  • Went and saw Kenny Chesney at Williams Brice Stadium

  • Went to Atlanta for Saddleback's Church Small Group Conference



May


  • Went to Orlando with Jessica for our One year Anniversary...went to all the Disney Parks and Univeral

  • My parents accepted Michael's Diploma from the University of Georgia

  • Steve, Larry, Chip, and I finished 6th in the BRUMC Golf Tourney...and I won another great doorprize!

  • Finished my first semester of Grad School with a 3.8



June


  • Jessica's Dad and Step Mom visited for Father's Day

  • I preached all 3 services here at BRUMC for Father's Day

  • Went to Delware for my Cousin Ashley's wedding...also went to Philly for the day

  • Led worship at River of Life Lincolnton

  • Led a roofing team at River of Life



July


  • Missed out on ASP mission trip, due to a stomach virus that put me in the ER

  • Celebrated Jessica's Birthday



August


  • Ignition Summer Camp

  • Was a groomsman in Matthew Long's Wedding

  • USC beat NCst in a Thursday night Opener


September


  • Great opening day of Dove Hunting

  • Class started Back

  • USC loss to Vandy

  • USC loss to UGA

  • Jessica and I went to Myrtle Beach for mini vacation



October


  • Pumpkin Patch year 2 was successful

  • Great Fall Retreat at Snowbird

  • Went to Catalyst in Atlanta

  • Started Drinking Coffee

  • Great 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat



November


  • Went to my grandparent in FL with my dad and watched UF destroy USC

  • Went to Nashville for Youth Specialties

  • Went to Augusta for Thanksgiving



December


  • The one year anniversary of my brother passing away

  • Finished the fall Semester with all A's and an overall Grad School GPA of 3.8

  • Met with the Charlotte UMC district board and became an offical canidtate in the United Methodist Church

  • Spent 6 days in Alabama and had an early Christmas with Jessica's family

  • Jessica worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Night

  • I spent 25-27 in Augusta with Mom and Dad and Amy getting ready for Amy's wedding



A year in review...2008

Another year has gone by....

In 2008...

January:


  • I started working on my Masters of Christian Education at Pfieffer University/Wesley Seminary

  • I traded in my 99 Jeep Cherokee for a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500

  • We found out that Jessica was pregnant



February


  • Our Retreat Ministry: Ignition Ministry had its first Ski Retreat in Asheville, NC

  • Ignition Retreats first Middle School retreat was held at Longridge Camp



March


  • Jessica had a miscarriage

  • I celebrated my 29th birthday at a Third Day Concert in Augusta, with Jessica, Josh, and Amy

  • We had a successful Chocolate-Peanut butter egg fund raiser


April


  • Went and saw Kenny Chesney at Williams Brice Stadium

  • Went to Atlanta for Saddleback's Church Small Group Conference



May


  • Went to Orlando with Jessica for our One year Anniversary...went to all the Disney Parks and Univeral

  • My parents accepted Michael's Diploma from the University of Georgia

  • Steve, Larry, Chip, and I finished 6th in the BRUMC Golf Tourney...and I won another great doorprize!

  • Finished my first semester of Grad School with a 3.8



June


  • Jessica's Dad and Step Mom visited for Father's Day

  • I preached all 3 services here at BRUMC for Father's Day

  • Went to Delware for my Cousin Ashley's wedding...also went to Philly for the day

  • Led worship at River of Life Lincolnton

  • Led a roofing team at River of Life



July


  • Missed out on ASP mission trip, due to a stomach virus that put me in the ER

  • Celebrated Jessica's Birthday



August


  • Ignition Summer Camp

  • Was a groomsman in Matthew Long's Wedding

  • USC beat NCst in a Thursday night Opener


September


  • Great opening day of Dove Hunting

  • Class started Back

  • USC loss to Vandy

  • USC loss to UGA

  • Jessica and I went to Myrtle Beach for mini vacation



October


  • Pumpkin Patch year 2 was successful

  • Great Fall Retreat at Snowbird

  • Went to Catalyst in Atlanta

  • Started Drinking Coffee

  • Great 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat



November


  • Went to my grandparent in FL with my dad and watched UF destroy USC

  • Went to Nashville for Youth Specialties

  • Went to Augusta for Thanksgiving



December


  • The one year anniversary of my brother passing away

  • Finished the fall Semester with all A's and an overall Grad School GPA of 3.8

  • Met with the Charlotte UMC district board and became an offical canidtate in the United Methodist Church

  • Spent 6 days in Alabama and had an early Christmas with Jessica's family

  • Jessica worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Night

  • I spent 25-27 in Augusta with Mom and Dad and Amy getting ready for Amy's wedding



Monday, December 1, 2008

A year ago today...life changed

Its still so hard to believe that a year ago today at 4:30 in the morning, my dad called to tell me that my brother had died.  It is a memory that I know that I will never forget.  The night before we called Michael and left him a message about what he wanted for Christmas...little did we know that he only had a few hours left and that his last call was checking our message.   We got home late from Christmas shopping and put on the second Pirates movie and watched in on our brand new HDTV.  Jessica and I decided that we wanted to just turn our cell phones volumes off and leave the house phone in the other room so we could sleep in.  Little did we know 2 hours after we went to bed my dad tried to call us.   After several attempts, I woke up and saw my phone glowing...then I heard my dad crying and screaming...while Jessica ran to the den to pick up my sisters phone call...It felt like a dream...just as it does today a year later.
I would like to say that this year has been easy...but it hasn't.  I miss my brother every day.  I miss having one of my closest friends to call and talk about football, hunting, or whatever.   I miss having someone to help me pick on our sister. 
I know that I have had trouble in the past year connecting with friends and family.  It has just been really hard....really really hard.
I know that things will get easier in time.  They say the first year is the toughest...and it sure has been.  If it weren't for me having such a great and wonderful wife and family and great friends and the hope, trust, and faith in my GOD...this year would have been much worse.  I know that my brother is in heaven and one day we will meet again.






A year ago today...life changed

Its still so hard to believe that a year ago today at 4:30 in the morning, my dad called to tell me that my brother had died.  It is a memory that I know that I will never forget.  The night before we called Michael and left him a message about what he wanted for Christmas...little did we know that he only had a few hours left and that his last call was checking our message.   We got home late from Christmas shopping and put on the second Pirates movie and watched in on our brand new HDTV.  Jessica and I decided that we wanted to just turn our cell phones volumes off and leave the house phone in the other room so we could sleep in.  Little did we know 2 hours after we went to bed my dad tried to call us.   After several attempts, I woke up and saw my phone glowing...then I heard my dad crying and screaming...while Jessica ran to the den to pick up my sisters phone call...It felt like a dream...just as it does today a year later.
I would like to say that this year has been easy...but it hasn't.  I miss my brother every day.  I miss having one of my closest friends to call and talk about football, hunting, or whatever.   I miss having someone to help me pick on our sister. 
I know that I have had trouble in the past year connecting with friends and family.  It has just been really hard....really really hard.
I know that things will get easier in time.  They say the first year is the toughest...and it sure has been.  If it weren't for me having such a great and wonderful wife and family and great friends and the hope, trust, and faith in my GOD...this year would have been much worse.  I know that my brother is in heaven and one day we will meet again.






Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A video from NYWC


National Youth Workers Convention (Nashville 2008) from Shawn Michael Shoup on Vimeo.

Check out this incredible video from Shawn of the Youth Specialties National Youth Worker Convention.

A video from NYWC


National Youth Workers Convention (Nashville 2008) from Shawn Michael Shoup on Vimeo.

Check out this incredible video from Shawn of the Youth Specialties National Youth Worker Convention.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

#NYWC: National Youth Workers Convention (cliff notes ed.)

Let me just say that was a great convention!

It was my first time attending NYWC and I've wanted go for years but always made excuses (either time or Church budget).  As with Catalyst, I attended NYWC for class credit for my MCE degree and got a student rate.   I also crashed at my good buddy Jason's place for the weekend.  It really helped that he had been a couple times before.  It was great to hang out with him and hear his side, while also learning the ropes. 

I decided not to go to any of the seminars and take the time to reflect on the general sessions, relax, and get 4 bags full of goodies in the exhibit hall!!!

Let me just say that it was all worth it!  Worship, the talks, the skits, the concerts, free time, the exhibits....I really do not know how I have not been before.  And from now one no matter what I plan on putting at least one conference into my budget every year.  It is a not a question.  It is a MUST!

So...here is my cliff notes version of the weekend...

I'm now an official member of the slow club...even though they ran out of the tshirts in 5 minutes...and we are still trying to track down where to get one at!!!

ITS TIME TO SLOW DOWN and ENJOY IT...again!

I need to take more time like this to refuel.

Its time to let tears of the soul happen....because their is joy after the tears

Its time to regroup, give care and to teach adults volunteer and parents in new ways.

Its time to have FUN again...and not worry so much about the busyness of the church.

ITS TIME TO LOVE YOUTH MINISTRY AGAIN!!!!





#NYWC: National Youth Workers Convention (cliff notes ed.)

Let me just say that was a great convention!

It was my first time attending NYWC and I've wanted go for years but always made excuses (either time or Church budget).  As with Catalyst, I attended NYWC for class credit for my MCE degree and got a student rate.   I also crashed at my good buddy Jason's place for the weekend.  It really helped that he had been a couple times before.  It was great to hang out with him and hear his side, while also learning the ropes. 

I decided not to go to any of the seminars and take the time to reflect on the general sessions, relax, and get 4 bags full of goodies in the exhibit hall!!!

Let me just say that it was all worth it!  Worship, the talks, the skits, the concerts, free time, the exhibits....I really do not know how I have not been before.  And from now one no matter what I plan on putting at least one conference into my budget every year.  It is a not a question.  It is a MUST!

So...here is my cliff notes version of the weekend...

I'm now an official member of the slow club...even though they ran out of the tshirts in 5 minutes...and we are still trying to track down where to get one at!!!

ITS TIME TO SLOW DOWN and ENJOY IT...again!

I need to take more time like this to refuel.

Its time to let tears of the soul happen....because their is joy after the tears

Its time to regroup, give care and to teach adults volunteer and parents in new ways.

Its time to have FUN again...and not worry so much about the busyness of the church.

ITS TIME TO LOVE YOUTH MINISTRY AGAIN!!!!





Friday, October 17, 2008

another week

Wow...this week has just flown by....

Monday I pretty much crashed all day, slept till 11, checked email, had lunch, crashed on the couch, got up made dinner and then crashed till Tuesday morning.  I was just beat.  I had a great week in Atlanta and then Fall Retreat...which equaled being physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.
Tuesday I had staff meeting and then just catching up on emails and church stuff
Wednesday, had a great day and a great Wednesday night program...then stayed up at the church till almost 10 working on small group stuff.
Thursday, worked all day on Fall Retreat video and updating the website
Today, led music for CYC at Queens Grant and then worked for a couple hours on everything for Sunday Night...

And then off to Columbia tomorrow for the USC/LSU game....

another week

Wow...this week has just flown by....

Monday I pretty much crashed all day, slept till 11, checked email, had lunch, crashed on the couch, got up made dinner and then crashed till Tuesday morning.  I was just beat.  I had a great week in Atlanta and then Fall Retreat...which equaled being physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.
Tuesday I had staff meeting and then just catching up on emails and church stuff
Wednesday, had a great day and a great Wednesday night program...then stayed up at the church till almost 10 working on small group stuff.
Thursday, worked all day on Fall Retreat video and updating the website
Today, led music for CYC at Queens Grant and then worked for a couple hours on everything for Sunday Night...

And then off to Columbia tomorrow for the USC/LSU game....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sights from Catalyst 2008

Here are some Youtube videos from Catalyst last week in Atlanta.  I will post my notes later this week...these are videos that others have posted...



















Sights from Catalyst 2008

Here are some Youtube videos from Catalyst last week in Atlanta.  I will post my notes later this week...these are videos that others have posted...



















Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sorry...its been almost 3 weeks!

Hard to believe that I got so busy that I have not had a chance to BLOG!

So recap of the past 3 weeks...Went to 2 football games...watched the other away game...and USC is 1-2...We should have never lost to Vandy or UGA...but thats what careless mistakes and turnovers get you...TWO losses...but oh well time to move on...
Last week we had two amazing bands come play a concert here at Blair Road.  If you missed it...I'm really sorry...it WAS AWESOME!  I'll try to find some time in the next day or two to tell you more about it.  But the Steels and After Edmund rocked the house!  We even got the Mint Hill Police called on us 4 times due to the rockin'.

Me and Jessica just got back from a short vacation.  We went to Augusta last Thurs-Sat.  We were there to celebrate my brother's 24th birthday.  We had about 25 people at Wild Wings.  It was a great time for us to be together, and I know that it meant a lot to me and my family for all of Michael's friends to be there.  It made the first birthday without him a little easier on us. 

Then on Saturday we headed to Columbia for the UGA/USC football game.  Walt (Michael's old roommate) rode with us.  We stopped by the cemetary on the way out of town.  It was a very emotional day.  It was hard to be at the game without my brother for the first time.  There were several moments that made me tear up and think of old football memories.  Even though its almost been a year now...there are still a lot of moments that just get me.  Missing my brother on Saturday was more than a win or loss in football...it was about thinking about how over the years how college football connected us, even if we were miles apart, we had that in the falls that brought us together in stadiums or through txt messages or  phone calls finding out updates on scores at other games.

I'll continue the rest of the trip in my next post...

Sorry...its been almost 3 weeks!

Hard to believe that I got so busy that I have not had a chance to BLOG!

So recap of the past 3 weeks...Went to 2 football games...watched the other away game...and USC is 1-2...We should have never lost to Vandy or UGA...but thats what careless mistakes and turnovers get you...TWO losses...but oh well time to move on...
Last week we had two amazing bands come play a concert here at Blair Road.  If you missed it...I'm really sorry...it WAS AWESOME!  I'll try to find some time in the next day or two to tell you more about it.  But the Steels and After Edmund rocked the house!  We even got the Mint Hill Police called on us 4 times due to the rockin'.

Me and Jessica just got back from a short vacation.  We went to Augusta last Thurs-Sat.  We were there to celebrate my brother's 24th birthday.  We had about 25 people at Wild Wings.  It was a great time for us to be together, and I know that it meant a lot to me and my family for all of Michael's friends to be there.  It made the first birthday without him a little easier on us. 

Then on Saturday we headed to Columbia for the UGA/USC football game.  Walt (Michael's old roommate) rode with us.  We stopped by the cemetary on the way out of town.  It was a very emotional day.  It was hard to be at the game without my brother for the first time.  There were several moments that made me tear up and think of old football memories.  Even though its almost been a year now...there are still a lot of moments that just get me.  Missing my brother on Saturday was more than a win or loss in football...it was about thinking about how over the years how college football connected us, even if we were miles apart, we had that in the falls that brought us together in stadiums or through txt messages or  phone calls finding out updates on scores at other games.

I'll continue the rest of the trip in my next post...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to my little brother...

Still miss him....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF3d2nE8BQs






Happy Birthday to my little brother...

Still miss him....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF3d2nE8BQs






Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some old clips finally posted on Youtube...

Almost 4 years ago, a couple youth pastors and I made a spoof on Orange County Choppers for a middle school retreat.  I have recently found them and have posted them on youtube.  Here are the first 3 of 5.























Some old clips finally posted on Youtube...

Almost 4 years ago, a couple youth pastors and I made a spoof on Orange County Choppers for a middle school retreat.  I have recently found them and have posted them on youtube.  Here are the first 3 of 5.























Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do you know what day it is????

ITS GAMEDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


For 12 years now....that is how I've began my day of football for South Carolina.
In 1997, as a freshman on the Drumline at South Carolina, I went to the morning gameday practice at the football practice field.  As we all got whistled to attention...I first heard the words..."Carolina Band...do you know what day it is?" and then entire Band yelled,"ITS GAMEDAY!!!WOOOOOOO!!!!"  And since then that is how I start each gameday...I call some of my best friends and scream at the time of my lungs.
And as i got ready to post this, I broke down, because this is the first gameday that i will hear back when I call my brother to ask what day it is.


In less than 20 hours I will be part of the greatest enterance in College Football...2001










and here is a little video to get you fired up for 2008 Carolina Football!






ShareYourVids.com

Do you know what day it is????

ITS GAMEDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


For 12 years now....that is how I've began my day of football for South Carolina.
In 1997, as a freshman on the Drumline at South Carolina, I went to the morning gameday practice at the football practice field.  As we all got whistled to attention...I first heard the words..."Carolina Band...do you know what day it is?" and then entire Band yelled,"ITS GAMEDAY!!!WOOOOOOO!!!!"  And since then that is how I start each gameday...I call some of my best friends and scream at the time of my lungs.
And as i got ready to post this, I broke down, because this is the first gameday that i will hear back when I call my brother to ask what day it is.


In less than 20 hours I will be part of the greatest enterance in College Football...2001










and here is a little video to get you fired up for 2008 Carolina Football!






ShareYourVids.com

Countdown to Gamecock Football part 6

Banner

Fellowship of Christian Athletes was a HUGE part of my last two years at South Carolina.  In the fall of 2000, I started going back to FCA after skipping it for for 2 years.  On a Thursday night that Andrian Depres the chaplain for the USC football team spoke, I started my journey back into a life with Christ after running for year.  On that night Adrian gave this sermon called the Four Chairs.  Talk a couple minutes and enjoy!



adrian despres four chairs

Countdown to Gamecock Football part 6

Banner

Fellowship of Christian Athletes was a HUGE part of my last two years at South Carolina.  In the fall of 2000, I started going back to FCA after skipping it for for 2 years.  On a Thursday night that Andrian Depres the chaplain for the USC football team spoke, I started my journey back into a life with Christ after running for year.  On that night Adrian gave this sermon called the Four Chairs.  Talk a couple minutes and enjoy!



adrian despres four chairs

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Countdown to Gamecock Football Pt. 2

My first semester at USC, I was a member of the Mighty Sound of the Southeast.  I was a member of the USC Drumline aka the WAD Squad.  This past year I had the chance to march in the alumni band 10 years later...but here is a clip from one of the best drumlines in the nation.






Countdown to Gamecock Football Pt. 2

My first semester at USC, I was a member of the Mighty Sound of the Southeast.  I was a member of the USC Drumline aka the WAD Squad.  This past year I had the chance to march in the alumni band 10 years later...but here is a clip from one of the best drumlines in the nation.






Saturday, August 23, 2008

Countdown to 2008 Gamecock Football

During the next couple days as we get ready for the 2008 College Football Season, I will be sharing some of my favorite youtube clips that reminds me of my days at South Carolina as a student and also in recent years as fan...
So Day One brings you a little Hootie and the Blowfish 
This was a clip that I took at the 2007 Spring Game.





Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that enjoyed widespread popularity in the second half of the 1990s. It was originally formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan. The band has recorded seven studio albums to date, and has charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View, was one of the best selling albums of the 1990s, going platinum sixteen times.









Countdown to 2008 Gamecock Football

During the next couple days as we get ready for the 2008 College Football Season, I will be sharing some of my favorite youtube clips that reminds me of my days at South Carolina as a student and also in recent years as fan...
So Day One brings you a little Hootie and the Blowfish 
This was a clip that I took at the 2007 Spring Game.





Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that enjoyed widespread popularity in the second half of the 1990s. It was originally formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan. The band has recorded seven studio albums to date, and has charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View, was one of the best selling albums of the 1990s, going platinum sixteen times.









Thursday, August 21, 2008

Responding to emails

After almost 10 months, today I started to respond to several of the hundreds of emails that I received after Michael passed away.  It is still very tough to grasp that he is not here, but amazing to see the outpour of love, support, and prayers we received back in December.  It is amazing to see how small we are and how BIG our GOD is!  Even through this tragedy, I have seen so many lives touched and changed by the testimony of my brothers life. 
N4929284_30362247_7103

Responding to emails

After almost 10 months, today I started to respond to several of the hundreds of emails that I received after Michael passed away.  It is still very tough to grasp that he is not here, but amazing to see the outpour of love, support, and prayers we received back in December.  It is amazing to see how small we are and how BIG our GOD is!  Even through this tragedy, I have seen so many lives touched and changed by the testimony of my brothers life. 
N4929284_30362247_7103

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Humble TIP

Today I had the chance to attend the YCI Youth Workers appreciation Lunch and had a great time.  I had the chance to see a new Christian Rapper, Humble TIP.  I got the chance afterwards to sit down and talk with him and we are working to bring him to one of our upcoming Ignition Retreats.  He is an awesome man of God.  A great Christian Rapper.  Check out his videos and look him up on myspace.  His new cd will be on Itunes later this month.

Humble TIP

Today I had the chance to attend the YCI Youth Workers appreciation Lunch and had a great time.  I had the chance to see a new Christian Rapper, Humble TIP.  I got the chance afterwards to sit down and talk with him and we are working to bring him to one of our upcoming Ignition Retreats.  He is an awesome man of God.  A great Christian Rapper.  Check out his videos and look him up on myspace.  His new cd will be on Itunes later this month.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting ready for Matthew's and Sharley's Wedding

Last night I worked until 3am trying to finish the slideshow for Matthew and Sharley.  I had a problem with the encoding on the audio for the slideshow and could never get it to work.  Luckily I came up to the church this morning and it worked fine on the church computer. 
Right now I'm waiting for the 3 DVD's to burn for it.  A minute ago I took a look at the .wmv version of it.  It was  tough video to get through. 



Matthew is like another brother to me.  Even though I really first met the boy when I was 18 and he was in my 5th-6th grade VBS class when I interned at Lithia Springs UMC.  While I was at LSUMC, the Long family was like my second family.  I had many of lunches and dinners over at their house and out to eat.  Mama Carmen always took care of me and called me one of her boys.  Thomas helped me get the job at LSUMC.  I started as youth pastor Matthew's Junior Summer and then watched him through football, baseball, and wrestling his Senior year.  He then became a counselor for me and we were always hanging out.  Matthew has been there for many through many things.  He drove up on the Saturday my brother passed away from Georgia Southern and it meant more than the man will ever know. 



Getting ready for this wedding is really like going to my brother Matthews wedding, not my friend Matthew's wedding.  I have never seen Matthew so happy in my life.  I will never forget the truck ride to the ski retreat when he told me he was going to ask Sharley to marry him.  I am so happy for them both.  And I am very honored to be a part of the wedding party.

Getting ready for Matthew's and Sharley's Wedding

Last night I worked until 3am trying to finish the slideshow for Matthew and Sharley.  I had a problem with the encoding on the audio for the slideshow and could never get it to work.  Luckily I came up to the church this morning and it worked fine on the church computer. 
Right now I'm waiting for the 3 DVD's to burn for it.  A minute ago I took a look at the .wmv version of it.  It was  tough video to get through. 



Matthew is like another brother to me.  Even though I really first met the boy when I was 18 and he was in my 5th-6th grade VBS class when I interned at Lithia Springs UMC.  While I was at LSUMC, the Long family was like my second family.  I had many of lunches and dinners over at their house and out to eat.  Mama Carmen always took care of me and called me one of her boys.  Thomas helped me get the job at LSUMC.  I started as youth pastor Matthew's Junior Summer and then watched him through football, baseball, and wrestling his Senior year.  He then became a counselor for me and we were always hanging out.  Matthew has been there for many through many things.  He drove up on the Saturday my brother passed away from Georgia Southern and it meant more than the man will ever know. 



Getting ready for this wedding is really like going to my brother Matthews wedding, not my friend Matthew's wedding.  I have never seen Matthew so happy in my life.  I will never forget the truck ride to the ski retreat when he told me he was going to ask Sharley to marry him.  I am so happy for them both.  And I am very honored to be a part of the wedding party.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

After Edmund by request...

Since we are working on bring After Edmund to Ignite Orlando in February, I have been playing a lot of their music in the vans, on Sundays, and on retreats.  I have known these guys for about 5 years now.  They are an awesome group of musicians out of LaGrange, GA.  Check out this video I found of them performing one of my favorites...


After Edmund by request...

Since we are working on bring After Edmund to Ignite Orlando in February, I have been playing a lot of their music in the vans, on Sundays, and on retreats.  I have known these guys for about 5 years now.  They are an awesome group of musicians out of LaGrange, GA.  Check out this video I found of them performing one of my favorites...


Thursday, July 31, 2008

First Day of Beach Retreat

Its 12:45AM and I'm typing this in the rental van...
You ask why?
Well....we are short on beds.  We arrive here at 5 to find out that we have 40something beds for 57 youth and adults and a band....
They are way overbooked...we are sharing worship times with another large group.  Some people from another church are staying on the floor of the worship center. And there are three youth pastors sleeping in a van!  There are also youth sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor.  I'm so thankful that some of them brought sleeping bags.   And the coolest part about it is that none of the youth are complaining!
But worship was great tonight, even though we didn't have a sound check.  I spoke tonight and things went well.
We then had dinner at 9PM at McDonald's and then just hung out. 
Satan is trying really hard to stop this weekend, but there are many lives to be changed. 
We just ask that you pray for our groups and for this weekend.

First Day of Beach Retreat

Its 12:45AM and I'm typing this in the rental van...
You ask why?
Well....we are short on beds.  We arrive here at 5 to find out that we have 40something beds for 57 youth and adults and a band....
They are way overbooked...we are sharing worship times with another large group.  Some people from another church are staying on the floor of the worship center. And there are three youth pastors sleeping in a van!  There are also youth sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor.  I'm so thankful that some of them brought sleeping bags.   And the coolest part about it is that none of the youth are complaining!
But worship was great tonight, even though we didn't have a sound check.  I spoke tonight and things went well.
We then had dinner at 9PM at McDonald's and then just hung out. 
Satan is trying really hard to stop this weekend, but there are many lives to be changed. 
We just ask that you pray for our groups and for this weekend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Third Day new CD and on Leno

Today Third Day's new CD Revelation came out and tonight they were on Late Night With Jay Leno.



First the CD is amazing....my new favorite CD!  So many songs that just really get you...but at the same time ROCK out and worship.  I will have a more in depth blog about it sometime in the next week.



But just wanted to point out their apperance on Leno.   They had  a real act to follow.  Seth Rogan was the main guest and was just trash...and then the Joan Allen came on and the conversation was just out there to say the least...And then Third Day came out and ROCKED "Call my Name". 
Mark Lee(Lead guitarist for Third Day)  put up on his facebook and twitter "the other guests on the show tonight really drive home the idea of us being salt and light, don't they :)"
It was an amazing witness to everyone who tuned in Leno tonight....you had two guest talk about pot, making fun of a DUI crash, masterbation, and much more....and then Third Day comes out and sings about about Calling out for God's Name in times of trouble.  HOW AMAZING!  Just another time I'm reminded how we need to witness to the sick and sinners.   There will be many critics, i've already seen some Third Day fans second guess them being on Leno...But that is exactly what God wants us to do.  He wants us to be the Salt and Light to this Sin-filled world.   I pray that those who do not know God...saw Third Day tonight and saw a new face of Christ or maybe even Christ for the first time.  I pray that tonight's performance will reach the lost.
AMEN!

Third Day new CD and on Leno

Today Third Day's new CD Revelation came out and tonight they were on Late Night With Jay Leno.



First the CD is amazing....my new favorite CD!  So many songs that just really get you...but at the same time ROCK out and worship.  I will have a more in depth blog about it sometime in the next week.



But just wanted to point out their apperance on Leno.   They had  a real act to follow.  Seth Rogan was the main guest and was just trash...and then the Joan Allen came on and the conversation was just out there to say the least...And then Third Day came out and ROCKED "Call my Name". 
Mark Lee(Lead guitarist for Third Day)  put up on his facebook and twitter "the other guests on the show tonight really drive home the idea of us being salt and light, don't they :)"
It was an amazing witness to everyone who tuned in Leno tonight....you had two guest talk about pot, making fun of a DUI crash, masterbation, and much more....and then Third Day comes out and sings about about Calling out for God's Name in times of trouble.  HOW AMAZING!  Just another time I'm reminded how we need to witness to the sick and sinners.   There will be many critics, i've already seen some Third Day fans second guess them being on Leno...But that is exactly what God wants us to do.  He wants us to be the Salt and Light to this Sin-filled world.   I pray that those who do not know God...saw Third Day tonight and saw a new face of Christ or maybe even Christ for the first time.  I pray that tonight's performance will reach the lost.
AMEN!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Four Days Late Video

Today I had the chance to talk with Joel of Four Days Late.  We are looking on bringing them back to Charlotte sometime real soon.  It was great to catch up with them and hear all the awesome things that is going on in their lives and what God is doing.







New Four Days Late Video

Today I had the chance to talk with Joel of Four Days Late.  We are looking on bringing them back to Charlotte sometime real soon.  It was great to catch up with them and hear all the awesome things that is going on in their lives and what God is doing.







Thursday, July 24, 2008

What have you seen lately?

...But he said to them, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."  John 20:25



Just like Thomas, we all feel at times we need more
evidence of who Christ is and what He did for us. Many of us go through life, asking God to give us this big sign
that says, “HEY I’M GOD, AND I’M HERE, BELIEVE IN ME!” But the majority of the time God doesn’t
have that big sign for us. He has
little road signs that say, “I love you unconditionally.” We are too lazy to stop, or we are too busy
looking for that big billboard on the side of the road. If you have a doubt, like Thomas, pull up
your Bible and read on of the gospels, or go see the depiction of the
crucifixion in the movie the Passion of Christ, so you can see it first
hand. God is all around, and has a
constant and endless love for us. Have you seen it lately? Have you shown it lately?

What have you seen lately?

...But he said to them, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."  John 20:25



Just like Thomas, we all feel at times we need more
evidence of who Christ is and what He did for us. Many of us go through life, asking God to give us this big sign
that says, “HEY I’M GOD, AND I’M HERE, BELIEVE IN ME!” But the majority of the time God doesn’t
have that big sign for us. He has
little road signs that say, “I love you unconditionally.” We are too lazy to stop, or we are too busy
looking for that big billboard on the side of the road. If you have a doubt, like Thomas, pull up
your Bible and read on of the gospels, or go see the depiction of the
crucifixion in the movie the Passion of Christ, so you can see it first
hand. God is all around, and has a
constant and endless love for us. Have you seen it lately? Have you shown it lately?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NCAA 2009

As most of you know I'm a BIG college football fan.  And each year I purchase NCAA Football for whatever gaming system I own.  Right now that would be XBOX 360.  I am currently playing in an online dynasty with 11 of my Gamecock friends.  I drew Alabama and now 4-3.  Here is a recent highlight:  http://www.easportsworld.com/en_US/video/54906



And if you get really bored and you can see how big we are into it...we have our league page!
http://ctsecdynasty.blogspot.com/

NCAA 2009

As most of you know I'm a BIG college football fan.  And each year I purchase NCAA Football for whatever gaming system I own.  Right now that would be XBOX 360.  I am currently playing in an online dynasty with 11 of my Gamecock friends.  I drew Alabama and now 4-3.  Here is a recent highlight:  http://www.easportsworld.com/en_US/video/54906



And if you get really bored and you can see how big we are into it...we have our league page!
http://ctsecdynasty.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sorry for the scare

I know some people freaked out yesterday when they saw my dad's facebook message that I was in the ER.  Believe me it scared me too.   



I didn't feel 100% when I woke up yesterday, my stomach felt a little bad, but I continued the day.  I went to the gym and started my workout.  It was a light workout since it was my typical Wednesday easy cardio day.  Then about 20 minutes into the workout i felt sick and by the time i got home i had a 101 fever and was very sick to my stomach.  Jess then took me to the ER and we were there all afternoon and all evening.
They got me re-hydrated with some IV fluid and did several tests.   All they can figure out is that I had some type of stomach virus.



Sorry for all that called and that were worried.   Jessica did the best she could with so many calls coming in and only having my cell phone.  She was as worried as the rest of you, but had the priority of talking to our family first and one contact at the church.  Thanks for all the prayers.
As of right now I will not be attending our High School mission trip on ASP due to doctor's orders.  I will try to be there Sunday morning to see everyone off and will try to come if the doctor clears me half way through the week.

Sorry for the scare

I know some people freaked out yesterday when they saw my dad's facebook message that I was in the ER.  Believe me it scared me too.   



I didn't feel 100% when I woke up yesterday, my stomach felt a little bad, but I continued the day.  I went to the gym and started my workout.  It was a light workout since it was my typical Wednesday easy cardio day.  Then about 20 minutes into the workout i felt sick and by the time i got home i had a 101 fever and was very sick to my stomach.  Jess then took me to the ER and we were there all afternoon and all evening.
They got me re-hydrated with some IV fluid and did several tests.   All they can figure out is that I had some type of stomach virus.



Sorry for all that called and that were worried.   Jessica did the best she could with so many calls coming in and only having my cell phone.  She was as worried as the rest of you, but had the priority of talking to our family first and one contact at the church.  Thanks for all the prayers.
As of right now I will not be attending our High School mission trip on ASP due to doctor's orders.  I will try to be there Sunday morning to see everyone off and will try to come if the doctor clears me half way through the week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"It's a Lousy Night to be an Atheist"

Got this in an  email this morning...from Third coast Sports Inc.

"It's a Lousy Night to be an
Atheist"


 


Last night Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton lived out an actual dream,
a scene that undoubtedly earned a standing applause in Heaven and simultaneously shook the gates of hell.


 


In
the winter of 2006 Josh had a dream – the kind Joseph of the Bible
had. Keep in mind at the time of his dream Josh was still banned from
Major League Baseball because of drug abuse and had no knowledge of
which team
would be hosting the 2008 All-Star festivities and Home Run Derby.


 


Josh dreamed that he was taking part in a Home Run Derby, in Yankee
Stadium.


 


"I
was at the plate, I saw all the guys sitting around and
then I was at the plate walking toward them and actually a lady came up
and interviewed me," Josh said. "I was able to show everybody how I was
there,
why I was there and that was because of God's grace."


 


All of that happened last night – and a lot more.


 


“It’s a lousy night to be an atheist,” said famous
sports journalist Rick Reilly during the broadcast of the Home Run Derby on ESPN.


 


Josh
Hamilton indeed participated in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium
– the last one that will ever be held there as the Yankees will move
into a new stadium next year. He hit 28 home runs in the first round
– 28! He hit home runs on 13 consecutive, 16-of-17, 20-of-22 and
22-of-25 swings. The next closest competitor hit eight in the first
round.
Josh’s home runs weren’t cheap either. They were the upper-deck,
500-foot monster variety that traveled a combined two-and-a-half miles.


 


At the conclusion of the Home Run Derby, Erin Andrews, a
female reporter for ESPN, pulled Josh aside for an interview.


 


"It's amazing in the past few years what God has done in my
life and how quickly he has done it," Josh told Andrews. “
“I just really want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for
all of this. I just want to glorify him.”


 


“In
my dream I didn’t know how many home runs I hit or if I
won or anything like that and you know why, it’s because God don’t care
about all that stuff,” said Josh as he spoke with former
Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Harold Reynolds. “All he cares
about is me being here. In my dream I got to share Christ with people
and tonight that’s exactly what I did.”


 


Josh’s story is a blockbuster movie waiting to happen. If
you’ve seen The Natural, Josh is a real life Roy Hobbs.
Drafted #1 overall in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Rays, Josh got a $4
million signing bonus and was labeled a can’t-miss prospect. He started
hanging around a tattoo parlor in Bradenton, Florida and everything
went downhill from there. His life centered on alcohol and cocaine. In
2004 he was banished from baseball. Here’s a couple of links that do a
pretty good job of telling his story:


 


Sports Illustrated Cover
Story from June 2008


ESPN.com - Hope is Never Lost

"It's a Lousy Night to be an Atheist"

Got this in an  email this morning...from Third coast Sports Inc.

"It's a Lousy Night to be an
Atheist"


 


Last night Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton lived out an actual dream,
a scene that undoubtedly earned a standing applause in Heaven and simultaneously shook the gates of hell.


 


In
the winter of 2006 Josh had a dream – the kind Joseph of the Bible
had. Keep in mind at the time of his dream Josh was still banned from
Major League Baseball because of drug abuse and had no knowledge of
which team
would be hosting the 2008 All-Star festivities and Home Run Derby.


 


Josh dreamed that he was taking part in a Home Run Derby, in Yankee
Stadium.


 


"I
was at the plate, I saw all the guys sitting around and
then I was at the plate walking toward them and actually a lady came up
and interviewed me," Josh said. "I was able to show everybody how I was
there,
why I was there and that was because of God's grace."


 


All of that happened last night – and a lot more.


 


“It’s a lousy night to be an atheist,” said famous
sports journalist Rick Reilly during the broadcast of the Home Run Derby on ESPN.


 


Josh
Hamilton indeed participated in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium
– the last one that will ever be held there as the Yankees will move
into a new stadium next year. He hit 28 home runs in the first round
– 28! He hit home runs on 13 consecutive, 16-of-17, 20-of-22 and
22-of-25 swings. The next closest competitor hit eight in the first
round.
Josh’s home runs weren’t cheap either. They were the upper-deck,
500-foot monster variety that traveled a combined two-and-a-half miles.


 


At the conclusion of the Home Run Derby, Erin Andrews, a
female reporter for ESPN, pulled Josh aside for an interview.


 


"It's amazing in the past few years what God has done in my
life and how quickly he has done it," Josh told Andrews. “
“I just really want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for
all of this. I just want to glorify him.”


 


“In
my dream I didn’t know how many home runs I hit or if I
won or anything like that and you know why, it’s because God don’t care
about all that stuff,” said Josh as he spoke with former
Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Harold Reynolds. “All he cares
about is me being here. In my dream I got to share Christ with people
and tonight that’s exactly what I did.”


 


Josh’s story is a blockbuster movie waiting to happen. If
you’ve seen The Natural, Josh is a real life Roy Hobbs.
Drafted #1 overall in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Rays, Josh got a $4
million signing bonus and was labeled a can’t-miss prospect. He started
hanging around a tattoo parlor in Bradenton, Florida and everything
went downhill from there. His life centered on alcohol and cocaine. In
2004 he was banished from baseball. Here’s a couple of links that do a
pretty good job of telling his story:


 


Sports Illustrated Cover
Story from June 2008


ESPN.com - Hope is Never Lost

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How do you treat your friends?

Thought for the day...
Why do sometimes go out of our way to open doors for strangers in public, yet don't call and check on our friends?
Why do we spend so much time catching up on our favorite TV shows, yet don't take the time to see how our friends are doing with their walk with God?
Why do we go to church every week, yet we don't invite our friends?
Why do we act different around our church friends and our non-church friends.
Why do we treat our church friends worse than our non-church friends.
When will we realize how valuable our friends are?
Are we a good friend?



John Chapter 15, verse 13:



"No greater love hath a man, than to lay down his life for a friend".

How do you treat your friends?

Thought for the day...
Why do sometimes go out of our way to open doors for strangers in public, yet don't call and check on our friends?
Why do we spend so much time catching up on our favorite TV shows, yet don't take the time to see how our friends are doing with their walk with God?
Why do we go to church every week, yet we don't invite our friends?
Why do we act different around our church friends and our non-church friends.
Why do we treat our church friends worse than our non-church friends.
When will we realize how valuable our friends are?
Are we a good friend?



John Chapter 15, verse 13:



"No greater love hath a man, than to lay down his life for a friend".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another blog about my brother

I know that ever since I have started writing my blog, that i have written numerous things about my brother Michael who passed away on December 1st of last year.  I guess that this is part of my way of dealing with things.  Its just still very hard each day to wake up and not see his facebook status, get a txt message from him or even a phone call.  There are many days that I just burst in to tears cause I miss him so much.  He looked up to me for so many years and I also looked up to him.  He taught me how to treat people better, by not holding grudges.   He was there for me during some of the toughest parts of my life.  I was also there for him to listen and talk to during his tough times in college.  We led similar lives.  We both loved baseball, and both gave it up after our freshmen year in high school, yet for different reasons.  We both loved college football, because that was a bond we had with our father.  We grew up watching the Gators on Saturdays....yet we both didn't attend UF, but still always cheered for them except for when they played our team.  I still remember him calling me and me calling him during the Gators 2006 football championship and the 2006 and 2007 basketball championship.  I remember us screaming with joy and saying how we wished we were there together with Dad watching the game.  We both loved golf and grew up going to the Masters together...oh the stories we could tell....We both grew up as Christians, yet strayed away in college and then found our way back our senior year.  We both had a passion for missions, and helping others.  We both had a passion for youth ministry.   For me it is my profession, for him it was a volunteer calling, that he wanted to turn into something bigger by building a camp.
A couple weeks ago when I spoke at River of Life, that was a place where we both found a calling from God.  It was tough to speak, yet alone talk about him and show a side of me that really only my wife, mom, and Walt see or hear.
Being a Youth Pastor and being in the public eye has been really tough since December.  It's so hard when I miss my brother so much to really open up.
It's hard when you lose a brother, let alone one of your best friends.



Another blog about my brother

I know that ever since I have started writing my blog, that i have written numerous things about my brother Michael who passed away on December 1st of last year.  I guess that this is part of my way of dealing with things.  Its just still very hard each day to wake up and not see his facebook status, get a txt message from him or even a phone call.  There are many days that I just burst in to tears cause I miss him so much.  He looked up to me for so many years and I also looked up to him.  He taught me how to treat people better, by not holding grudges.   He was there for me during some of the toughest parts of my life.  I was also there for him to listen and talk to during his tough times in college.  We led similar lives.  We both loved baseball, and both gave it up after our freshmen year in high school, yet for different reasons.  We both loved college football, because that was a bond we had with our father.  We grew up watching the Gators on Saturdays....yet we both didn't attend UF, but still always cheered for them except for when they played our team.  I still remember him calling me and me calling him during the Gators 2006 football championship and the 2006 and 2007 basketball championship.  I remember us screaming with joy and saying how we wished we were there together with Dad watching the game.  We both loved golf and grew up going to the Masters together...oh the stories we could tell....We both grew up as Christians, yet strayed away in college and then found our way back our senior year.  We both had a passion for missions, and helping others.  We both had a passion for youth ministry.   For me it is my profession, for him it was a volunteer calling, that he wanted to turn into something bigger by building a camp.
A couple weeks ago when I spoke at River of Life, that was a place where we both found a calling from God.  It was tough to speak, yet alone talk about him and show a side of me that really only my wife, mom, and Walt see or hear.
Being a Youth Pastor and being in the public eye has been really tough since December.  It's so hard when I miss my brother so much to really open up.
It's hard when you lose a brother, let alone one of your best friends.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reading the Bible in one year

Two weeks ago, a friend challenged me to read the Bible in a year...
I've tried several times before, but vacations and other things have distracted me.
I searched on Google to find several online read the bible in a year programs.
And then I found on Facebook, an application to help keep me on tract.  So since I'm so addicted to Facebook like most people between the ages of 14-30, I added it to my page.



During the past week I've spent my daily quiet time reading the Bible.  It consist of 2 Old Testament and 1-2 New Testament Chapters a night.   And if you are really lazy, you can even click on your daily assigned reading and it will pull up your scriptures in a new window. 



Reading the Bible reading from both the OT and NT in one sitting, has been an awesome new experience.  I want to challenge you as well to Read the Bible in One Year.  Come and See New things that God has waiting for you!

Reading the Bible in one year

Two weeks ago, a friend challenged me to read the Bible in a year...
I've tried several times before, but vacations and other things have distracted me.
I searched on Google to find several online read the bible in a year programs.
And then I found on Facebook, an application to help keep me on tract.  So since I'm so addicted to Facebook like most people between the ages of 14-30, I added it to my page.



During the past week I've spent my daily quiet time reading the Bible.  It consist of 2 Old Testament and 1-2 New Testament Chapters a night.   And if you are really lazy, you can even click on your daily assigned reading and it will pull up your scriptures in a new window. 



Reading the Bible reading from both the OT and NT in one sitting, has been an awesome new experience.  I want to challenge you as well to Read the Bible in One Year.  Come and See New things that God has waiting for you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A small drive to Lincoln County, Georgia

Its hard to believe that another River of Life has come and gone....



It was amazing again to see youth from all over to come together and be the hands and feet of Christ.
It was so cool to see students and adults to let go and worship.  I'm still amazed the amount of work that was accomplished in 3 short days.  I did not expect our project to be finished in 3 days...let alone 3 weeks.
But once again, that is my thinking and not seeing how BIG God is.
Like I said in my message on Saturday night...how could I not expect that.
God does the impossible everyday.  We just need to let go and put ourselves to the side.
The week was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally amazing.
I'm still trying to digest everything that I was a part of with 140+ of my closest friends at River of Life 2008 Lincoln County.

A small drive to Lincoln County, Georgia

Its hard to believe that another River of Life has come and gone....



It was amazing again to see youth from all over to come together and be the hands and feet of Christ.
It was so cool to see students and adults to let go and worship.  I'm still amazed the amount of work that was accomplished in 3 short days.  I did not expect our project to be finished in 3 days...let alone 3 weeks.
But once again, that is my thinking and not seeing how BIG God is.
Like I said in my message on Saturday night...how could I not expect that.
God does the impossible everyday.  We just need to let go and put ourselves to the side.
The week was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally amazing.
I'm still trying to digest everything that I was a part of with 140+ of my closest friends at River of Life 2008 Lincoln County.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

River of Life set up

I'm sitting in the Cullers Inn right now....and found a wireless signal.
Just finished setting up the sound and doing a sound check at the church.



The trip here was amazing...
After stopping by in Evans to meet my parents and sister for Mexican food and heading to Home Depot and Walmart for some last minute things, I drove out here to Lincolnton.   The sunset was amazing.  I wish I could have taken a picture but all of that was in the trailer.  As I entered into Lincoln County "Who'd you be today" came on my ipod.  It is the song that remind me of my brother.  I lost it.  But it was a good cry.  This was the first time I've been back here in two years.  The last time I was here I came to speak and also help my brother's team finish their roof. Then as I pulled into town "You'll be there" by George Strait played.  It was the song that Chuck Beggs sang at Michael's funeral.  Sounds crazy that is how the random play on my ipod ended up. 
this week is going to be an amazing time of worship, fellowship and serving.  God has some amazing things in store this week.  I'm really excited.  I'm here and ready to serve.....

River of Life set up

I'm sitting in the Cullers Inn right now....and found a wireless signal.
Just finished setting up the sound and doing a sound check at the church.



The trip here was amazing...
After stopping by in Evans to meet my parents and sister for Mexican food and heading to Home Depot and Walmart for some last minute things, I drove out here to Lincolnton.   The sunset was amazing.  I wish I could have taken a picture but all of that was in the trailer.  As I entered into Lincoln County "Who'd you be today" came on my ipod.  It is the song that remind me of my brother.  I lost it.  But it was a good cry.  This was the first time I've been back here in two years.  The last time I was here I came to speak and also help my brother's team finish their roof. Then as I pulled into town "You'll be there" by George Strait played.  It was the song that Chuck Beggs sang at Michael's funeral.  Sounds crazy that is how the random play on my ipod ended up. 
this week is going to be an amazing time of worship, fellowship and serving.  God has some amazing things in store this week.  I'm really excited.  I'm here and ready to serve.....

Monday, June 23, 2008

One Empty Chair

This past weekend, Jessica and I made a nine hour drive up to Wilmington, Delaware for my cousin Ashley's wedding.  We got their late on Thursday night and woke up early Friday to visit Philly.  We went with my sister Amy and her future husband Josh.  We toured the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and all the other historical parts of Philly.  It was great to see all the American History and where our country really started off.  And we also made the historic run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art...the same stairs from the movie Rocky.  We also had Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches for lunch. 



We then came back to the hotel and got ready for the Rehearsal Dinner.  We went, had some great food and good times with our family.  And the one thing that really struck me, was that there was one empty seat at our table.  A seat that should be filled by my brother.  It was just another small reminder that he isn't with us any more.  And throughout the weekend, it was strange to see how we always had one empty spot or one empty chair.  Even though its six months...almost seven months later, it's still hard to realize he's not here.
We had a great time at the wedding. I'm so happy for Ashley and Nate.  It was great to see all of our family.  But its still hard having one empty chair.

One Empty Chair

This past weekend, Jessica and I made a nine hour drive up to Wilmington, Delaware for my cousin Ashley's wedding.  We got their late on Thursday night and woke up early Friday to visit Philly.  We went with my sister Amy and her future husband Josh.  We toured the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and all the other historical parts of Philly.  It was great to see all the American History and where our country really started off.  And we also made the historic run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art...the same stairs from the movie Rocky.  We also had Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches for lunch. 



We then came back to the hotel and got ready for the Rehearsal Dinner.  We went, had some great food and good times with our family.  And the one thing that really struck me, was that there was one empty seat at our table.  A seat that should be filled by my brother.  It was just another small reminder that he isn't with us any more.  And throughout the weekend, it was strange to see how we always had one empty spot or one empty chair.  Even though its six months...almost seven months later, it's still hard to realize he's not here.
We had a great time at the wedding. I'm so happy for Ashley and Nate.  It was great to see all of our family.  But its still hard having one empty chair.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anything goes

" I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to
lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all
humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of
your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who
is above all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:1-6) NRSV



We live in a world where anything goes. Things we
counted on suddenly change. People break their promises. What we thought was
true turns out to be false. At times it
seems that there's little to hold on to any more. But life doesn't have to be
that way. We have one great choice. The
choice is Jesus. He doesn't change. Jesus never breaks his promises. His words
always prove to be true. You can hold
on to him. You can also hold on to the cross. Jesus died on the cross for one
reason - He loves you. After Jesus died and came back to life, he made a
commitment to you. He promised never to
leave you or forsake you. Jesus has kept his promise and always will. You can bet your life on it. Jesus only asks
for one thing: for you to make the same kind of promise to him. 

Committing yourself to Jesus doesn't mean
you won't have any tough times. But it does mean you'll have some help when you
do. But you can't do it halfway. You've
got to give it your all. And don’t
forget you have a large family here to support you and help you in your walk
with Christ, through Sunday school, Sunday Worship, Youth, small groups,
retreats, and mission trips.