Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Customer Service

Poor customer service:
employee parked in the space right in front of the store, one employee cleaning while the other has to handle a rush by himself, no eye contact point of sale, second employee then starts helping people that are way back in line. #jambajuicefail

Great customer service:
he always calls me by name, grabs my clothes when he sees me pull up, remembers what we talked about the last time I was here. #EliteDryCleanersWin

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Could this be the catalyst?

Android now has a blogger app.  Could this be the catalyst to get me back to blogging? I think it might. Being able to crank out a post right when I have an idea could be just the thing to get me going again. Stay tuned to see if it works out.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Update on Nick

First of all, sorry we have not been able to return all the calls, text messages, facebook comments, and tweets. The support has been overwhelming and encouraging. Here is the sequence of events for today:

Nick came downstairs this morning while I was reading and seemed disoriented. Bailey and Melissa have been sick, so after we got him to wake up, we assumed he was getting the same thing. He went back to bed in room with Melissa so she could keep an eye on him while Bailey and I went to church. Turns out he probably had a seizure before he woke up.

Bailey called Melissa at 11am to ask a question about kids ministry and when she woke up to answer the phone, Nick was having a grand mal seizure. She called me at church and I rushed home while she called 911. When I got there, he was incoherent but came around about the time the paramedics got there.

They stabilized him and transported him to Memorial West. The Doctor there ran many tests and after consulting with the neurologist, decided to move him to Joe Dimaggio at Memorial Regional. They put him on anti-seizure meds and transported him via ambulance to Joe D (our favorite hospital where nick spent 51 days in 2005 with pancreatitus).

By the time we got there, he was feeling better. They performed an MRI of his brain tonight and are going to run EEG's, both awake and asleep, tomorrow to try to determine the source of the seizures. They said we are probably in the hospital until at least Tuesday.

For updates, I encourage you to facebook friend us ( or or follow us on twitter ( or as we are pretty good about keeping those up to date.

Many have visited and lifted Nick's spirits. Thanks to all of you who have stopped by. Thanks a ton for all the prayers, calls, texts, comments, tweets, etc. Your concern is felt and appreciated. We will keep you updated as things develop.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back from Guatemala

Sorry I have neglected to post since we were in GU. We all arrived back in South Florida safely (after a minor flight delay). It was great to see family again and be in a place where you don't have to constantly be thinking about whether or not you can use the water. I still hesitate every time I turn on a faucet. I miss what I experienced in GU but would not trade my life for anything. I like my routine and the challenges that are unique to my calling.

Many of you may be considering sponsoring a compassion child after following us through Guatemala and the good news is that it is never too late. If you are interested in sponsoring a compassion child, just go to and click on "sponsor a child".

Realize that if you do, it is not just about sending money - that is the easy part. It is about building a relationship with your child through letters and pictures and maybe even going to visit them someday.

I am already beginning to think about the next time I will get to visit with Ericka - hopefully Melissa, Nick, and Bailey will get to meet her too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6/19/9 Update

Another great day in GU. It was our last full day on this trip. We left this morning to visit our third project of the week. Robey and I had the opportunity to visit with the pastor for the church that partners with the project. In this city, they are fighting gangs, spiritual warfare, witchcraft, child abuse, and so many other things. It was great to talk to the pastor and I would ask that you add him to your prayer list.

We then went on a home visit. The home was very spartan, but the family had joy on their faces. We asked them to show us some letters from their sponsors (2 kids were sponsored in this house). The mother said they keep them in a very special place. They pulled some out and as we looked at them we realized that some of the letters were from April, 2000 and some of the pics were from April, 1999. They had kept these letters and photos for 10 years! If you ever wonder how important it is to write to your sponsored child, that should clear it up for you.

We left there and had lunch at Pizza Hut - I requested a moment of silence for pizza before we ate. I have missed my simple American diet. It was great and there was great conversation.

After that, we went to a local market and got some amazing deals on some gifts to bring home. The day ended with dinner and a wonderful debrief where we took time to honor the compassion staff that has done an amazing job on this trip. Thank you Brenda, Claudia, Laura, Sandra x 2, and Pablo. You guys were awesome. Some of the folks are leaving at 3:30am, but we are leaving for the airport at 9am. Looking forward to getting home to families.

Over the next few days I will try to break down some of the experieinces in more detail. Thanks for following us this week.

Below are some pics from the day:

Robey and I with the pastor and our translator - Brenda

The view from the project

Our crew behaving

Our crew misbehaving

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6/18/9 Update

Today we got to spend the day in a local amusement park with the children we have sponsored. In our group from West Pines there were 3 children sponsored. My family had the privilege of being one of those sponsors, so I got to spend the day with our compassion daughter, Ericka and her mom, Leticia.

It was am amazing day. Seeing the park through the eyes of a little girl who has never been to a place like this before was truly amazing. I was really nervous about the day, because, as most of you know, this is usually Melissa's area of expertise. I had already asked Letty, Robey, and Rebekah to spend the day with us to help me make it a great day for Ericka and hopefully, deal with some of the awkwardness. Little did I know that Ericka would be the one who made it easy and anything but awkward. Having met me on Monday, she knew who I was when we got off the bus and ran over to me and gave me a big hug. She was so excited to go to the park and spend the day with her "padrino" which means Godfather in Spanish. Her father left them 5 years ago after her younger brother, Miguel Enrique, was born. She grabbed my hand and held on all day while we walked around the park, rode rides, and played games. It was an amazing day made even better by getting to share it with friends.

Here are some pics from the day:
Me, Ericka and Leticia (mom)

Ericka and I

Ericka teaching Rebekah a song on the swing

Ericka opening the gifts we brought for her

Ericka showing off her new sunglasses

At the end of the day, we taught her to play UNO. It was tough to say goodbye. She wanted to know when Melissa, Nick, and Bailey were coming to visit. All of the child visits went extremely well. It was a great day. More home visits tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6/17/9 Update

First, A Few Pics from the last few daysThe Family we visited in their home

Their Kitchen

Their Stove

A little Boy at the first compassion project

Little Girls waiting to throw confetti on us

Today started out with a little relaxation time at the hotel while we waited to checkout and head back to Guatemala City. Some folks walked around the city, some slept in, and some did other things. After that, we all loaded the bus and headed to Guatemala City. After a short stop at a mall, we stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Then we headed to the Compassion country office in GU city to tour and meet the folks that make Compassion happen in Guatemala. We got to see all the behind the scenes stuff that helps support the children and keep the communication up between the children and the sponsors. These folks churn out a lot of work with a small staff, but do a great job from what we saw.

That was followed by a presentation about the Leadership Development Program, which is a program for Compassion Children that have graduated and would like to go to college. We have spent most of the week with Magda, who is an LDP graduate and is now responsible for 12 projects in Guatemala. She had already impressed us with the program because of her amazing presence and leadership. We heard from 3 current LDP students and then got to have dinner with them and ask questions. We also met 2 other LDP graduates who serve on the Country Office Team.

Tomorrow, we get to take the kids that our group has sponsored to an amusement park in Guatemala City. Everybody is very excited about that. Should be fun.

6/16/9 Update

Sorry for the late update, but last night was a little rough. Guatemalan food not liking my stomach.

We had a great day yesterday. First, we traveled to another Compassion Project and from there we split into groups and visited homes of people whose children attend the project. The poverty was shocking. They were so happy to have us. They were so excited that we came to visit them. Our host even cooked tamales for us. It was humbling to see their environment but encouraging to hear all that compassion is doing for them.

Next, we had lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to the project for a special presentation from the kids. They sang for us and were very excited that we came. They also did a short play and some special music.

After the presentation, we got to tour the administrative offices and see the way compassion has built accountability into their program. As an administrator, I was very impressed. They have an amazing system for holding the projects accountable so that the funds you send go where they are intended. We then got to observe the kids in the classroom. They have a great teaching staff.

While everybody else was touring the facility, Robey and I got to meet with Pastor Alfredo, who is the pastor of the church that is associated with the project. He is the only pastor of a 80 year old church of 1500 people that he is trying to transition to a more contemporary style so they can attract more of the local community. Please pray for him as he has a difficult battle ahead of him. We were able to encourage him and pray with him. It was an awesome experience.

After that, we headed back to Antigua for some dinner and rest. I will try to post some more pics tonight, as we have wireless internet at the hotel in Guatemala City that we are headed to today - cool.

Keep those comments and prayers coming.

BTW - Rebekah got her bag last night - thanks for the prayers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A few pics from 6/15

The countryside as we drove to the Compassion Project

The kids welcoming us to the project - humbling experience.

Monday, June 15, 2009

6/15/9 Update

First of all, I apologize. We have not had internet access, but I just found some. Cell phones also not working like we expected. We are in Antigua. Everything worked fine in Guatemala City when we landed but as soon as we got to Antigua, everything got spotty. We will be back in Guatemala city Wednesday afternoon.

I am going to give you the highlights, because only a book would fill you in completely. This morning we left for one of the Compassion projects in Guatemala. When we got there, the kids welcomed us like royalty. They sang and danced and threw confetti on us. After that they did a short presentation of some of the things they have been working on for our visit. Then we broke up into groups to do different things. Robey, Danny, and I were in charge of recreation (go figure) and got to play basketball with the best 10 year old basketball players in the world. They schooled us, but it was an amazing time. By the way, they were also girls - quite humbling. It is so easy to bond over games like that. We ran around, laughed, got rained on, and kept playing. During this time, the other groups were doing a craft project with the other kids and just palying games and hanging with them.

During our game, I got word that our family's compassion daughter was there to meet with me. So, sweaty, wet, and dirty, I got to meet her and her mom. What an amazing thing. I showed her a picture album that Melissa put together and told her about my family. When I told her she could keep the album, her eyes lit up. She gave me several hugs and thanked me many times. After that, I asked how we could help them. Her mom began to explain that she has a problem with alcohol and then just broke down and asked if our family would pray for her so that she can overcome this problem and be a good mom for Erika and her 5 year old brother. We prayed with her and then Erika showed me around the school, holding my hand the whole way. We were leaving for lunch and she asked the translator a question and the translator said yes and she came over a gave me a big hug.

We had a great lunch at a local restaurant then headed back to the project. Erika was still there and I got a chance to meet her little brother and give her a stuffed animal we had gotten for her. We said our goodbyes, but only for a few days as she will be coming to meet me at the amusement park on Thursday when the other sponsors get to meet their children.

After that, most of our group began the service project - to paint some of the school. While they were doing that Robey and I got to meet with the pastor of the church that compassion works through to sponsor this project. He introduced us to some of his deacons and elders and shared his vision for reaching this community and also for a church they are planting in a neighboring community. We had an amazing time talking with him (thru a translator) and hearing him talk about some of the same struggles that we face doing ministry back home. We got to visit his church and his home. We got to have coffee with his family and spend a lot of time just understanding what he faces doing ministry in Guatemala. We asked how we could help him and his first request was that we continue to help the compassion project because that is where the kids are hearing the gospel. His second request was that we pray for his church daily. It is amazing to think that neither of his requests were about us giving money to his church, which is what we would assume would make everything better. It is funny how your priorities get challenged by those who have less.

After that, we met up with the rest of the group and headed back to the hotel for dinner and debrief. Still have not gotten Rebekah's bag, so please pray for that. I offered her some clothes, but I don't think she is that desperate yet. Please pray that the rest of the trip will go as well as today. It was an amazing day. I will try to post some pics tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Headed to Antigua

We are on a bus headed to antigua to check into our hotel for the evening. Flight was warm with some turbulence, but ok. Lost one bag (rebekah's) but everything else made it. More to follow......

Headed to Antigua

We are on a bus headed to antigua to check into our hotel for the evening. Flight was warm with some turbulence, but ok. Lost one bag (rebekah's) but everything else made it. More to follow......

Off we go

Here is our crew. We will keep you posted.
Robey was really disappointed with the brevity of this post so I changed it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Firing the blog back up

Well it has been a while since my last post. A lot has happened. I am back in full time ministry (where I should be) at a wonderful place called West Pines Community Church. Melissa is also on staff there. I feel like we are back in our sweet spots again. The kids are having a good year - getting really big. That kinds of catches you up.

Now for the real reason that I am starting back up. Tomorrow I am heading to Guatemala on a mission trip with Compassion International. We are taking a team of 10 people from our church and I can't wait to get there. I am committing to keep everybody updated on our trip through my blog (assuming I can get on internet), so stay tuned. We have some cool things planned for our trip that I will be sharing along the way. I look forward to making you a part of it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Big Waves

On our last day at Hutchinson Island, there were some huge waves at the beach. Checkout these pics of the boys tubing and boogie boarding - hilarious.

Nick in the wave

That's Bailey's foot sticking up - if you look close you can see Nick totally engulfed in the wave on the left

Nick's head sticking out

That's Nick's foot sticking out of waves

and Bailey tubing.

I think it was the most fun they had the whole trip.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cassette Tapes

Did a little cleaning about a week ago and ran across a box of my old cassette tapes. After a full house search, I discovered that I did not even have a cassette player. While away on our vacation, I picked one up. I just busted out the tapes and am listening to a little Mylon Lefevre. I'll bet nobody knows who that is.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Our Last Day

I thought I would share a pic and a video from our last day at Hutchinson Island:

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Our Trip

This week Mel and I took a little trip to rest, plan, and dream about 2009. The kids joined us on day 4 after they went to Kentucky with the in-laws. The best way for me to describe our trip is with pics.

The view from our resort

Our little reading spot on the beach

Nick catching a wave

A little thinking time - look at that view

Some props for thinking and planning

The view from our balcony

I can't wait to see if our dreams come true in 2009

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Our Way to Alabama

We are more than halfway to our destination in Alabama. I am taking a break from driving and getting a little work done while Melissa takes the wheel. What does the week look like:

Thanksgiving food and football at my grandmother's house - a family tradition
Hang out with all my brother and sister and their families
The Iron Bowl - Auburn vs. Alabama - the biggest game of the year
A little cold weather
A little re-focusing

Hopefully I will keep you updated on all the happenings. Right now we are nearing Auburn where we are going to pay a quick visit to the campus (the kids have never been) before we head into my mom and dads.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


At the same time that I was reading "It" by Craig Groeschel, I was also reading "Chazown" by Craig. I actually started "Chazown" first and then someone recommended "It" so I read them at the same time. I was just as impressed with "Chazown" as I was with "It". I would say that "Chazown" is about finding your personal "It" and "It" is about finding your ministry or vocational "Chazown". They both have some awesome exercises to work through to help you figure it all out. I highly recommend both books. Obviously I now have to read Craig's other book - "Confessions of a Pastor"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I'm Reading

I just updated my Amazon Widget (on the right side of the page) with all the books I am currently reading. For those of you who don't know me, I read a lot of books at the same time. I find that it appeals to my short attention span and also allows me to absorb and apply what I read better. The books I read at the same time are all from different categories of my life and personal goals.

The first 4 are ones that I read as part of my quiet time. The next 6 are my morning reading. The next 6 are the books I read at night (usually only 3 or 4 nights per week). There are two others that I read occasionally. I typically red 5-10 minutes per book depending on how much time I have.

I have been reading this way for years and I find that I get a lot read and keep my interest up. I probably read 50-60 books per year this way. Mixing the topics is a key part of the plan.

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