Happy Tuesday

Robin and I had a good afternoon yesterday. We ate at Red Robin (first time eating there) and then got frozen custard from Sweet Frogs. We thought about going to a movie but there really wasn’t much playing.

Today is my cousin Keith’s anniversary. He and his wife (Wendy) got married the day after we did. It made for a really busy weekend 24 years ago. Robin and I drove to South Carolina the night we got married and then drove back for their wedding the next morning. We then drove to Virginia after theirs.

I watched some really good documentaries on Netflix today. I watched one about the 1969 New York Nicks. I watched one about Isiah Thomas and the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons. I finished it up with a two-parter about the University of Miami football program. Good stuff.

Now I’m just hanging here with Robin,  posting these on my iPhone. It’s pouring outside but at least it’s cool.

I have an idea for tomorrow’s post but I’m going to sleep on it and see how I feel about it in the morning.

The Best Part Of My Life

Looking at a photo from a long lost autumn day
when you first put your hand in mine
It’s been a lifetime but it seems like yesterday
the flame still burns and our love shines

I know that time’s unkind and years just slip away
And all our days fade into night
I’ll never let you go this promise I have made
You are the best part of my life

Looking in the mirror and a stranger’s looking back
I’m not the man I used to be
We’ve lived a lifetime just to get to where we’re at
I’m glad you’re standing here with me

I know that time’s unkind and years just slip away
And all our days fade into night
I’ll never let you go this promise I have made
You are the best part of my life

Sunday Evening Thoughts

We had a baby shower for Geo and Becca today. Nearly every lady from the church showed up. The love and support that Granville Church of Christ shows my family continues to overwhelm me. These people are truly the salt of the earth and I cannot imagine serving any other congregation. I am truly blessed to be a part of this group.

Our Sunday School lessons have been in Amos for the past few weeks. We used the Standard Publishing uniform lesson in our adult class. I know these are written well in advance but these studies through the prophets could not have come at a more appropriate time. It is amazing how many of the issues that we deal with today have been a problem for thousands of years. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Robin and I will celebrate our 24th anniversary tomorrow. It is hard to believe it has been that long. Some days it feels just like yesterday. I have a little surprise for her tomorrow. I’ll be posting it here and then letting her see it. Consider that your teaser.

I’m going to go have a glass of chocolate milk and then hang out with the love of my life. Have a good night.

Take You Home (words and music by Lee Modlin)

All creation sings Your glory
stars look down and oceans roll
As the nations rage around us
the light is dim and hearts are cold
Still Your gentle voice is calling
Turn to Me and seek My face
flee this world and all it offers
run into My arms of grace

I’ll take you home, where you belong
In this world you feel alone
broken dreams and heartaches will be gone
I’ll dry your eyes
Sin and death no longer reign
take my hand and I will give you life

When it seems the night has fallen
the sun no longer gives its light
storm clouds billow and you falter
thinking you have lost the fight
Darkness cannot overtake you
in My arms you’ll run and hide
In this valley, I won’t leave you
I am always by your side

I’ll take you home, where you belong
In this world you feel alone
broken dreams and heartaches will be gone
I’ll dry your eyes
Sin and death no longer reign
take my hand and I will give you life

And So The Story Goes….

I have already mentioned Bible college a few times and this seems like a good place to stop and discuss that particular topic. Going to school to become a preacher wasn’t always in my plans. I do believe the seed was planted at an early age when various singing groups would do recruitment trips for the schools, Roanoke Bible College in particular. Several of these teams came to the church in Rocky Mount when I was a kid and some of the guys actually stayed at our house while they were in town.

These teams sang songs, performed skits, and preached on Sunday mornings. It was a welcome change from the church services I had grown accustomed to. I didn’t realize it at the time but these groups were introducing me to some of the founding fathers (and mothers) of CCM. They were singing songs that were a little more upbeat than the hymns and gospel songs we normally sang. I didn’t know that I was hearing Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green, and others for the very first time. All I knew was that I liked these “new” songs a lot. I liked the hip young men and the cute young ladies that visited. Those groups let me know that you could be young and exciting and still be a Christian.

Some of those guys made an indelible impression on me. Gene Cordon, Frankie DeWald, Fred Pollard, Greg Sexton, and Jay Banks are just a few of the ones who stand out. There were others, but these guys stayed at our house on more than one occasion and I get to see young men be Christians and still have fun. It was years before the seed sprouted and I decided to follow in their footsteps, but I truly believe that I am a preacher today because of those guys.

Beginning in junior high school I thought I was going to be an English teacher. I had started writing poems and storied and I figured that I would grow up and do that while I taught for a living. Even up until the time I graduated, when it was apparent that I wasn’t going off to a four year college, I still believed that I would eventually be a high school teacher and write on the side. Up until 1994, when I went off to Roanoke Bible College for the first time, I assumed that I would finish college somewhere and become a teacher. It was my only plan.

I have already described the state of my life in 1994 in a previous chapter so I’ll briefly summarize here. I had lost my job at the pharmaceutical plant and was back working at Pizza Inn. I had quit my first band and was giving it another shot with some guys from East Carolina University. It wasn’t long before Robin and I had to move back in with my parents. My drinking was at an all time high and I had started to dabble with marijuana again. All the while, the Holy Spirit started to mess with me. I only jokingly say that, but that’s what it felt like at the time.

The band was pretty good. I really do believe we could have had some regional success (they did well after I left) but I was feeling something pull me away. I don’t know how much of it was Robin or my parents, but it was strong enough that I couldn’t ignore it. I really do feel like it was God reaching out to me. I hadn’t lost my faith (what little there was of it) and I was still actively going to church. I actually had the gall to teach Sunday School while I was out drinking and carrying on the rest of the week. I was the cliché hypocrite that everyone talks about. I’m not proud of it and it’s a little embarrassing to mention it now, but that is who I was.

I don’t recall the exact date that I quit the band but I know it was bad. We had a show and I just bailed on them. I didn’t call and tell them and I gave them no warning. In my defense, things in my personal life were so out of order that I really had no option. I wish I had done it differently, but I am glad that I did it. It wasn’t anyone in the band’s fault but that atmosphere was toxic to my soul and I desperately need to get away from it.

Not coincidentally, Robin and I had met some Christian folks our age and had started spending time with them. One couple hosted a Christian rock show on Saturday mornings at the now defunct N.C. Wesleyan radio station. We met another couple at a Christian book store and spent quite a bit of time hanging out with them. I realized that I could still have fun without going out and getting wasted. I also realized that there were others out there like me. It gave me hope. It made me want to go find even more people who thought like I did.

I remembered the teams from Roanoke and how cool they had seemed to me when I was kid. I started to believe that I could combine all the things that I had wanted to do and turn it into some kind of ministry. Teaching and preaching were pretty much the same thing with different. Writing and playing music could obviously be used to talk about God. Bible college seemed to be the answer to all of my problems. Not only would it give me something to shoot for, it would get my out of my folks’ house and away from all of the negative things that had clouded my life.

It didn’t take long for reality to come crashing down and crush my dream. All things considered, I was a fairly conservative guy at that point. My hair was a little shaggy and I did have an earring but I was as clean cut as the next guy. As strange as it may sound, I never did any of the things I did out of rebellion. Most of the time I was going along with what everyone around me was doing. I was trying to be different, I was trying to fit it. It wasn’t until I had rules and regulations shoved into my face that I decided it was time to buck the system. Even though I knew about the rules of conduct before I got there, I really was surprised by the fervor in which they were enforced.

In the beginning I obeyed every single one of them without question. It was only after I noticed what appeared to be favoritism towards certain students that I started to see how much I could get away with. It should be noted that I was exempt from some of them simply because I was a married student not living in the dorm. I didn’t have to follow curfew for one. I worked while I was there (Hardees and Walmart) so I was often working all night.

Looking back on it, I understand the logic behind a lot of those rules, but I still believe that many of them bordered on the legalistic side. After one semester I felt like I had enrolled at Pharisee Bible College. I can remember the exact event that made me realize that I didn’t belong there. I got called into the office on a Monday morning. All students were required to be in church on Sunday and then fill out a slip saying that they were. That wasn’t a problem for me. I had been going to church my entire life.

The problem was that the school required students to go to one of “our” churches. I later had a faculty member say that wasn’t the case but I know several students who were approached and advised that they needed to go to a different church than the ones they had been attending. That, however, wasn’t the reason for my little visit. I had been spotted in one of “our” churches (out of town, mind you) wearing an earring. I made it a habit to not wear it on campus because I knew it was against the rules (as were visible tattoos and long hair). Robin would even remind me to take it out if I had been wearing it at work or at the beach. That morning, I simply forgot. I was visiting my grandmother an hour away and went to church with her. I wasn’t even thinking about school. But another student saw me and felt compelled to report me.

To say that I was furious would be an understatement. I tried to reason with the faculty member (who I will not name because I love this person with all my heart) but all I got was the rule getting shoved back in my face. I was told that no church would ever want to hire me or have me work with their kids with “that thing” in my ear. I was devastated. All of my life I had been told that Jesus wanted people to come as they were and be used. I honestly thought I was answering that call and I found myself being told that I wasn’t good enough.

That was the beginning of the end for me. The only reason I didn’t give up at that very moment was because we had become part of a group meeting in a neighboring couples’ home. We got together (usually on Wednesdays), shared meals, worshiped, and studied the Bible. It was the first time that I experienced church as I saw it in the Bible. It wasn’t about rules and appearances, it was about loving one another and telling people about Jesus. I decided that I could deal with the school stuff if I could be a part of that.

Our group started to grow and before we knew it, more students began to attend. Many (I dare say most) of them were disillusioned with the churches we were expected to attend. The logical decision was to expand out meetings to Sunday mornings and have our own house church. We had been reading the book of Acts and had come across books like The Open Church by James Rutz and How To Meet Under The Headship Of Jesus Christ by Gene Edwards. It made sense to me. After all, we had already been taught (in class) that the early church met in homes and was an organic expression of the community. We believed that we were following the Bible’s example. We met on Sundays and turned in our little slips on Mondays saying that we had been with the body of Christ meeting in whichever home we met in that week.

What happened next still bothers me to this day. I did eventually get over it and I made peace with the school. I actually went back ten years later and finished. However, it was the attitude behind what was said and done that irritated me. The reason it still gets under my skin is because there are still congregations and institutions that think this way. The students who met in that group were told that we hadn’t been in a “real” church and we needed to find one. At first, that is the only response we could get.

Eventually most of the students disappeared because the school told them they had to go somewhere else. Those of us who stuck it out decided to take the school on. It became our own little crusade. We presented evidence that we were a church and they countered with their reasons why we weren’t. The final response was that we didn’t have appointed elders so we weren’t considered a legitimate church. So, we appointed the two men who had helped organize the group as elders. The school relented somewhat but told me personally that I should not recruit other students. They would allow us to be a part of it but we were not to being others into it.

That wasn’t the final straw but it was the proverbial writing on the wall. A personal tragedy in Robin’s family ended up being the kicker. Robin’s sixteen year old cousin was killed in an automobile accident and we missed about a week of classes so she could go home and be with her family. When we returned we were told that the absence was unexcused and that we would not be able to make up the work we missed. The school said that a cousin didn’t count as “close family” and that two days was all they would allow us. They were pretty rigid with their decision until I pointed out that another student had been allowed nearly two weeks away when her aunt had passed away. I was told that the circumstances were different but I persisted. They eventually backed off and let us make the work up but in my mind, I was done.

I eventually quit going to classes and flunked out half-way through the second semester. At the time I was working the night receiving crew at Walmart and doing weekend youth ministry out near the beach. Mentally, I had checked out. I had some godly people who tried to work with me through some of my issues but I didn’t listen. I started smoking at work because nearly everyone else did. It wasn’t long before I started drinking again. I was put on academic probation and told that I would have to petition the school to return the next fall. I told some of the faculty members that it would be a cold day in hell before I ever asked to come back. I was done and I wanted nothing more to do with the school or their stupid churches.

I kept working at Walmart and even found some really cool Christian guys who were rough around the edges like me. We tried to start a band but it never did get off the ground. We all had personal issues and as much as we wanted to be good little Christian boys, none of us felt like we could do. It wasn’t long before we went our separate ways. That is also when Robin discovered that she was pregnant. I called up Pizza Inn in Rocky Mount, got my old job back, and we ran from Elizabeth City and Roanoke Bible College as fast as we could. I did eventually return to Roanoke Bible College and graduate. That, however, is another chapter.

The Continuing Saga Of…

This is probably a good time to discuss girl number three. I deliberately left names out up to this point because I have not had contact with any of my ex-girlfriends in years and I didn’t think it would be fair to put their names out there without asking their permission or, at the very least, warning them that I was doing so. It was difficult to maintain the narrative during the last chapter (or what passed for it) without using actual names but I was able to make it to the end. Unlike girls number one and two, girl number three knows that I am writing this and doesn’t mind me using her name. I guess it doesn’t hurt that she is my wife. Perhaps that will make the previous chapter make more sense.

I said that I held on to the hope that we would one day end up together, even when I claimed to have given up on her. Looking back on it now, after nearly twenty-seven years, I am not completely sure what it was at the time that made me feel as if she was the one. Like I said, I seriously considered going back to my high school girlfriend at one point. I had a girlfriend at the time, even though our relationship was weird and fluctuated from day to day, but there was just something about girl number three, who you all know as my wife Robin, that captivated me.

I know that a lot of people believe in the idea of one unique soul mate who has been personally chosen for them by God. It is a romantic notion and helped create some of the best power ballads in history, but I’m not sure I necessarily believe it. That doesn’t mean I don’t consider Robin to be soul mate. I do, with all of my heart. I also believe that God made it possible for us to be together and that He helped us stay committed to one another when things got rocky. I don’t believe that it’s like a fairy tale or romantic comedy though. We are still together because we made a conscious decision to stay together. I do believe that God has been a huge part of it. He has helped us learn to love one another, even when we weren’t being especially lovable. I know that it would have been easy for Robin to just quit on several occasions, but she didn’t. Our relationship, especially now, is defined by grace.

It’s funny, I am sitting here trying to think back and remember the first time I met Robin. I honestly cannot recall the exact moment. I know that we were both working for the same pizza joint (Pizza Inn of Rocky Mount, NC, if you must know). I worked at the main store and she worked at the delivery unit up the road. At some point, I can’t remember when, they moved delivery to our location and most of the employees, including Robin, came along. A lot of the details are lost to time and I don’t guess they really matter in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is that by September of 1988, Robin and I were friends.

I was fresh out of high school and she was just beginning her last year. We had a lot of mutual friends through Pizza Inn and many of us hung out together. Robin was in marching band so she spent a lot of time doing that. Me and my buddy Keith would to go to football games on Friday nights so I could see her. I didn’t get to spend much time with her there, but she did see that I was interested in her. There were a couple of other girls at work that I liked but it soon became clear that we were never going to be more than friends. With Robin, I felt like I had a chance.

I started a new job in November of 1988 and left Pizza Inn. I would go back several times over the next decade but at that moment, I was starting a different phase of my life. There really isn’t much more to say about that particular time. I’ve already described my life then. I worked a lot and I drank a lot. All of the romantic confusion I discussed last chapter took place during that first year working there. Robin was busy in school and I was busy doing other things but she never left my mind. I continued to call and write letters, even when it felt like my chances were slipping away. I know that she went out with a couple of different guys during that time too. I didn’t like it at the time, but I can understand it.

As much as I believed differently, I really wasn’t ready for a serious relationship at the point either. I was still dealing with things that went back to my high school girlfriend. There were two or three other girls who I briefly flirted with and then there was the girl I was dating when Robin and I finally decided to pursue our relationship. I am not proud of some of the things I did then. As I mentioned earlier, I drank a lot back then. I don’t blame the alcohol for my mistakes but it sure didn’t help things. I do regret getting involved with two of the “other” girls, even though those relationships never got intimate.

I met one of them through a mutual friend. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was living with her boyfriend. We went out a few times but it ended rather dramatically the night he showed up while I was sitting in their living room. He tried to fight me but I left and never looked back. She called me up the next day to assure me that he was gone, but I was too. Looking back on it now, I was fortunate that he wasn’t armed. He could have easily killed me. After all, I was in his house. That’s one I would definitely take back.

I hesitate to mention the other one, but for the sake of honesty, I will. Out of all the hiccups in our relationship, this is probably the one Robin had the hardest time dealing with. I know she still harbors some bad feelings when it comes to this topic so I will be as brief as possible. During one of the stretches when Robin was seeing other guys, I grew real close to one of my friend’s younger sister. I admit that she was too young for me to even be talking to, but I did. I stress this next fact. Our relationship was never sexual. Even then, with all that was going on, I understood that crossing certain lines wasn’t right. I didn’t cross them.

I did try to remain friends with her after Robin and I started dating and that was an absolute nightmare. In retrospect, I should have ended any and all communication with her. I wasn’t thinking clearly and I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong at the time. I now know that I nearly destroyed my marriage before it ever began. If there is anything in my life that I would change, that is it. I regret having a sexual relationship with my girlfriend in high school and I wish I could take that back too, but this one was worse. This is the one thing I truly wish had never happened and that is all I am going to say about it.

All detours aside, Robin and I did end up together. In fact, we officially started dating on September 3, 1989, which was her eighteenth birthday. We had gone out on one date earlier but I still had to end things with my girlfriend. That wasn’t the most pleasant experience but I managed to get through it. She ended up marrying one of the guys Robin dated. How is that for irony? I lost track of them years ago so I don’t know if they’re still together. I’d like to think that they are though. It makes an interesting side note to our story.

I proposed to Robin in March of 1990. I picked her up from work (she was working at the mall) and we drove out to Battle Park for lunch. She had been having a bad day and didn’t know what I was planning. We had been talking about getting married and she knew I had been looking at rings but I really do think I surprised her. You would have to ask her though. We were engaged for a little over a year before we got married on June 29, 1991. I consider that the most important day of my life. It marked the beginning of journey that we are still on and every year I stop and think about all of the things that we have experienced together.

I confess, it hasn’t all been good. The first two years of our marriage were chaotic. There were many factors contributing to the madness. Even though we all get along now, there was a lot of animosity between in-law at the time. Some of it was unjustified but I would guess that some of it was understandable. There were also a too many friends in the mix. I was playing in a band and we were the only married couple in our little group. Most nights there were people hanging out and crashing at our place. When you consider all of the alcohol that was being consumed, it’s no wonder that things were rough.

We also took in people who had no place to go. It may have been a noble gesture, but it wasn’t healthy for two newlyweds who were trying to learn how to live together. It sounds crazy now, but we were married for nearly three years before we truly lived by ourselves. We actually had to move back in with my parents for a while. That was the low point for me. I was drinking to the point where it negatively affected my life. I lost my job. I lost my apartment. I started to wonder if I even wanted to be married at all. I am not proud of that. It is only by the grace of God that Robin stayed with me and that I eventually came out of the haze I was living in.

We moved to Elizabeth City and enrolled in Bible college in the fall of 1994. At the time, I thought we were doing the right thing. We had both been raised in the church and we felt like God was leading us there. Truthfully, I think I was running away from all my problems at home. I saw the move as a fresh start and a way for us to be alone. I wasn’t ready. That became clear almost immediately. The folks I graduated with in 2008 would not have recognized the school in 1994, even though it was the same place and had most of the same professors. That is different chapter though, so let me finish this one first.

We were in Elizabeth City for one year. We moved back home after we discovered that Robin was pregnant. I went back to work at Pizza Inn and we moved into a little house in Nashville, NC. For the first time since we got married, it was just us. Things were still a little shaky but that was to be expected. I had huge issues with God and the church (I’ll get to it) and my only concern was to get ready for the baby that was on the way.

We did reconnect with some of our old friends but for the most part, we stayed to ourselves. I worked a lot and I drank a lot. It didn’t take long for me to go back to that particular habit. It was one of the few things that I excelled at. We spent a lot of time trying to sort through things. It took a long time for Robin to be able to truly trust me and that was entirely my fault. I still believe that God was the one there, holding us together. In spite of all my anger and doubts, I still believed in Him. I still believed that certain things were true. Robin and I had promised to stay together, no matter what. I was determined to do that and so was she.

I have had people ask me what I was thinking about on the day I got married. I almost always tell them the same thing. As I was standing there at the front of the church, in front of God and all those people, I looked at her and told myself, “You better make sure she’s the one but you are stuck with her for the rest of your life.” A lot of people groan and tell me that is the most unromantic thing they’ve ever heard. While that may be true, I believe that the manufactured romance you see in movies and hear in pop songs is fake. It’s not real. The movies and songs don’t show you real life. People still shake their heads and tell me I’m wrong, but I quickly remind them that I am still married to her.

The truth is, I am a romantic. I was in the beginning of our relationship, just ask Robin. I may have lost it there for a few years but I feel like I’ve come full circle. I don’t know why it is, but when I look at her now, I feel just like that eighteen year old staring at her across the parking lot of Pizza Inn. I still make her “lovey dovey” mix CDs for our anniversary. I still look at her as if she’s the same girl I met all those years ago because in my eyes, she is.

I love her more and more with each passing day and as we watch our kids grow up and start their own lives, I look forward to the rest of our years. I still have plans. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. Lord willing, we’re going to make many more memories that we’ll look back on and cherish for the rest of our lives.

In The Blink Of An Eye

It is hard to believe that my baby turns ten years old today. It was strange when both of the boys hit thirteen (and passed it). It was really weird when Geo graduated from high school, then got married, and is now about to become a father himself. Considering all of that, you would think that Jamie turning ten would not be that big of a deal, but it is.

She’s the baby. She’s the last one who still looks like a child, although that is changing with every day. And, at the risk of sounding sexist, she’s Daddy’s little girl. She isn’t supposed to grow up so darn fast. I have a lot of friends who are much younger than I am. That’s one of the advantages/disadvantages of going back to college when you are thirty-five. Many of my former classmates have gotten married and started families in the last five years or so. I see them (mostly on Facebook) sharing photos of their babies and documenting every new experience and I think, “Man, I remember that.”

I have told many of them that they should cherish these moments while they are happening. Time is a funny thing. That little baby soon learns to walk. Once that happens, well, the years will start to vanish quicker than they can imagine. Trust me, I have seen it with my own eyes. As I look at Jamie sleeping this morning, it really is hard to believe that the little lady in front of me (and that’s exactly what she is) is the same little fuzzy haired baby I used to throw up on my shoulder.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to be able to watch all three of my children grow up. I have friends (several of them actually) who lost children and will never get to see them go through these different phases. My heart breaks for them because now matter how sad I get when I realize my babies are no longer babies, I still have them with me. I do my best to not take that for granted.

So, even though there is a slight sense of sadness this morning, I am thrilled to watch my little girl grow up. Ten is just the beginning. Lord willing, there are many more things that she is going to experience in her life. I know that I will feel a little sad when they come, but I thank God every day that He put Jamie Lee in my life and let me be her Dad.

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It Never Ceases To Amaze Me

Marcus 6.23.15

I realize that it can be difficult to actually see the baby in many of these ultrasound photos. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this one so I was able to watch as little Marcus (pictured above) squirmed and kicked and pretty much hid every time we got a good view. Having seen this type of thing before (with all three of my children) I wasn’t overly excited about going this morning. I was glad to, but honestly, I was thinking, “Hey, I’ve been there and done that. No big deal.” I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed…but I was.

Maybe it’s because it has been so long since I got to watch the ultrasound as my daughter (she turns ten tomorrow) squiggled around. I sat there and just watched silently, looking for the familiar landmarks in the black and gray landscape on the screen. There, look: his heart (which was beating at a healthy 148 bpm), his kidneys, his nose, his eyes, and finally, his little fingers curling into a fist and then opening back up again. I know the word miracle gets tossed around a lot. I know that theologians like to debate what it takes to truly qualify something as a miracle. I know that my little grandson, regardless of the proper definition, is a miracle.

He still has a month before he is due but I can already see things in his personality. Things like the way he put his arm  up across his face every time the sensor was pressed a little too tightly. It was almost as if he was saying, “Hey lady, cut that out.” Every time a new angle was tried, he immediately turned his back or threw up that arm again. I could just hear his saying, “You want a picture? Take one of this.” I think the thing that got me the most was when they were checking out his heart. I could see it up there on the screen, beating away, as his squirmed and wiggled.

I could watch a thousand more ultrasounds and can honestly say that it will never cease to amaze me, this thing God gave us called life.

I Will Find You

When you’re lost and eyes are blind, too
I will find you, I will find you
Soon the stars will start to shine through
I will find you, I will find you
There ain’t no stoppin’ me now
It’s just a matter of how
My voice calls, my hands stretch out
And well, let me remind you: one day I will find you

Jimmy Needham

I am so glad that God has promised to be faithful, even when I am not. God says that He will never leave us and that nothing can tear us from His hand. There have been so many times when I walked away from Him on my own and He watched me go. There were times when I thought I could do it on my own and I didn’t need God. He watched as made a mess of things. He let me do through all the darkness because I chose to. What I finally realized was that He was still there. He was only an arm’s length away. All I had to do was take one step and let Him take me out of it.

When I was lost and blind, He was there. Like the one sheep that had wandered off, I was content to live on my own, unaware that death was all around me. But, like the song says, He was calling out for me. He was reaching out, waiting for me to take His hand. Even now, when I am trying to walk with Him, I still get lost from time to time. He’s still there. He’s still with me. No matter where I wander off to or how lost I am, He will find me.

Happy Father’s Day

Today’s post is short. I just want to say, “Happy Father’s Day” to all of you men out there who have invested in the lives of your children. It really should be called “Dad’s Day” because any man can make a baby. A man only has to invest a few minutes to become a father. He has to invest a LIFETIME to be a Dad. To all you Dads, keep up the good work.

Me and my kids posing in the pool yesterday.

Fathers Day Eve 15

My Dad, me, my brother, and my sister.

Dad and us