Some brief statistics for this area.

The current year (2010) population in this selected geography is 96,869. The 2000 Census revealed a population of 94,973, and in 1990 it was 87,216 representing a 8.9% change. It is estimated that the population in this area will be 98,633 in 2014, representing a change of 1.8% from 2009. The current population is 48.8% male and 51.2% female. In 2009, the median age of the population in this area was 39.0, compared to the US median age which was 37.1. The population density in your area is 308.3 people per square mile.

There are currently 40,085 households in this selected geography. The Census revealed household counts of 36,100 in 2000, up from 32,704 in 1990, representing a change of 10.4%.  It is estimated that the number of households in this area will be 44,023 in 2014, representing a change of 9.8% from the current year. For the current year, the average household size in this area is 2.42 persons.

In 2009, the median number of years in residence in this geography’s population is 3.21. The average household size in this geography was 2.35 people and the average family size was 2.98 people. The average number of vehicles per household in this geography was 1.8.

In 2009, the median household income in this selected geography was $45,348, compared to the US median which was $53,679. The Census revealed median household incomes of $35,644 in 2000 and $25,803 in 1990 representing a change of 38.1%. It is estimated that the median household income in this area will be $49,581 in 2014, which would represent a change of 9.3% from the current year.

In 2009, the per capita income in this area was $24,344, compared to the $US per capita, which was $26,477. The 2009 average household income for this area was $57,410, compared to the US average which was $69,330.

In 2009, the racial makeup of this selected area was as follows:  52.1% White; 43.9% Black; 0.5% Native American; 1.0% Asian/Pacific Islander;  and 1.2% Other. Compare these to the US racial makeup which was: 73.9% White, 12.4% Black, 0.8% Native American, 4.4% Asian/Pacific Islander and 5.4% Other.

People of Hispanic ethnicity are counted independently of race. People of Hispanic origin make up 2.7% of the current year population in this selected area. Compare this to the US makeup of 15.6%. Changes in the population within each race and ethnicity category from the 1990 Census to the 2000 Census are as follows:  47.9% American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut Population;  110.5% Asian, Pacific Islander;  19.9% Black;  262.4% Hispanic Ethnicity;  546.4% Other;   White  -2.1%.

The median housing value in this area was $60,580 in 1990, compare this to the US median of $78,360 for the same year. The 2000 Census median housing value was $91,589, which is a 51.2% change from 1990. In 1990, there were 19,981 owner occupied housing units in this area vs. 23,057 in 2000. Also in 1990, there were 12,724 renter occupied housing units in this area vs. 13,044 in 2000. The average rent in 1990 was $227 vs. $348 in 2000.

In 2009, there were 46,529 people over the age of 16 in the labor force in your geography. Of these 88.2% were employed, 11.6% were unemployed, 38.4% were not in the labor force and 0.2% were in the Armed Forces. In 1990, unemployment in this area was 4.9% and in 2000 it was 7.4%.

In 2009, there were 46,833 employees in this selected area (daytime population) and there were 3,759 establishments.

For this area in 1990, 51.0% of employees were employed in white-collar occupations and 49.0% were employed in blue-collar occupations. In 2000, white collar workers made up 55.7% of the population, and those employed in blue collar occupations made up 44.4%.  In 1990, the average time traveled to work was 10 minutes and in 2000 it was 18 minutes.


Here’s To A Good Start

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-32 (ESV)

Today marks the 19th anniversary of my marriage. Honestly…it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to be married that long. I got married when I was 21 so that means I have been married for nearly half of my life. I started dating my wife in 1989 so that means I have been with her for 21 years. That IS over half of my life. I have heard people make jokes about marriage and if the truth be told…I am sure have made my fair share of them as well. But here’s the deal…I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because I have been with the same woman for half of my life. I wish I could honestly say that she is the only one that I have been with. That isn’t the punchline to a joke…it’s something to be admired. It’s something to be held up and celebrated.
I look at the core group of friends that my wife and I hung out with when we got married. Out of those five couples…only two are still together. My wife’s parents have both divorced and remarried multiple times since we got married. My parents got divorced and my Mom got remarried. It seems like staying with someone is the exception these days…instead of the norm. 19 years have gone by way too quickly. I feel like my wife and I have just started to figure this whole thing out. Sometimes I feel like we’re newlyweds and that we have a whole lifetime ahead of us. I truly hope that we live to be 80 or 90 and can look back on 60 + years of being together. I can honestly say that I am married to my best friend. We’ve gotten off to a pretty good start and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

A New Start

I have been wanting to do something a little more serious and I figured that this was the best place to do it. I have two other “blogs” that have been around for a while and I just didn’t feel like revamping them now. I haven’t used this one very much over the past four years and most of the posts here were copied from one of the other two. It makes more sense to relaunch this one so that is what I intend to do.

My eventual goal in life is to successfully plant a church that reaches those who are not interested in church. There are several dynamic churches in this area and some of them have really modern (cool) services…but they are still church. They still aren’t reaching out to those people who have either been burned by the church or who think the church has nothing to say to them. I don’t know how to go about starting this thing up. I have already been involved in one church plant and I learned quite a bit about the process. I saw what to do…and I saw what not to do. I did some things that were good…and I did some things that were…well…not so good. That church is now moving forward under the leadership of someone else now so I guess I didn’t totally screw it up. For that…I’m glad.

The most important thing I learned during my church planting adventure was to let God build the church that I am best suited to lead. That didn’t happen during my first attempt. I tried to turn myself into someone that I wasn’t and then attempted to launch a church that I wasn’t the right person for. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I failed miserably. So…as I contemplate my next move I want to be true to who God created me to be. I am a musician and I want to reach people through that God-given gift. I believe that is how I am best suited to reach people.

So…I have recently formed a band with a good friend of mine. He’s also my boss…but that’s all cool. We both work for the Rocky Mount Area Habitat for Humanity. We have known each other for a little over twenty years and we both have the same vision. We want to reach out to those people who hang in the bars and the clubs. The people our bands used to play for. The people we both used to be. We hope that this little group of ours will be the first step in creating something here for those people.

I want to use this blog as an extension of that ministry. I hope to share the message of the group and the message on my heart. Jesus loves us all. It doesn’t matter how screwed up we are. He wants us to come to Him. We don’t have to try and fix all of our problems before we fall at His feet. In fact…it’s probably better that we don’t. He does a much better job when we show up just as we are. We are all in this thing together and He is the only hope that any of us have.

I found a really cool graphic online a few years ago. I honestly don’t remember where I found it or who came up with it. I think it sums up exactly the kind of ministry I want to be involved in. I want to close this first post by sharing it with you guys.