Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So It's Been A Year!

It has officially been a year since I last blogged. It is a combination of me being a slacker and just being busy with work, school and family. A lot has changed in the past year, and even though things are not as great as many would like, I know that I have much to be thankful for. I graduated from the University of Florida last week and my wife and I are expecting another member of the family in December. I still have a decent job and now have a little time to spend with my family and friends, so I am truly blessed.

I am also able to spend time with Bryleigh on my day off, which is just a wonderful experience. It is amazing to see how much she learns and grows each day. Yesterday was a particularly good day because she did something she has never done before. I was lying down and she came over and started crawling on me and pretending I was a horse. Then she got right in my face and kissed my on the cheek and said “I Love Daddy”. That is the very first time she has done that to either of us. My wife is quite jealous, but she will get over it.

So even though the near future does not look great in economic terms, I am very excited for what it holds for my family and me. We all have much to be thankful for and we should not let circumstances dictate how we feel. So let’s choose to be content with our circumstances and make this a great year, despite what the media or others may tell us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Failure Is Not An Option

So as I expected, vacation week was busy, although relaxing as well. This Sunday was my wife’s first Mother’s Day which was really great, and it was also baby dedication day for Bryleigh at church. It was a special day for us and our family as we affirmed our dedication of Bryleigh to God, but it was also great to have most of our family together in church, which has not happened since our wedding. We feel that some of them may not yet know Christ as their personal savior, so this was a great opportunity to get them in a place where they would hear the word of God. We have no idea if anything was stirred in their hearts, but hopefully at least a seed may have been planted.

The sermon this week was a continuation of the phobia series we are going through, and this week focused on the fear of failure. It usually takes a day or two for me to process what I have heard, and this week was no exception. My takeaway this week was that even though we all have the fear of failure at some point or another, we often sell ourselves short, and even more often sell the power of God short on what he can accomplish through us. As a young kid I grew up in a Pentecostal church where you felt like you had to be perfect and you were constantly re-dedicating your life so you would be sinless if Christ returned. When we moved to Florida we attended a Southern Baptist church, where we learned that grace covered our past and future sins because we could never be perfect. These are two totally different sides of the issue, and as an adult I have tended to agree with the latter because anything less than grace alone diminishes the sacrifice that Christ paid for our sins. But one statement stood out in the sermon this week, and that was that we cannot be perfect, but we can do better than we think. I feel that as Christians we sometimes stop trying because we feel that we cannot be good enough, so we just count on God’s grace alone. It is true that we are saved by grace alone and not by works, but God also desires for us to do great things for him and not just sit back and coast on his grace. I have been guilty of that myself so many times in life, but I really want to be the person who just puts it all out there and goes for it when I know it is the right thing to do. What is the worst that could happen? I could embarras myself or fail miserably? Can you name one great person who does not have failures in their life that they built on to become who or what they eventually became? Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, the Apostle Paul, and many others, all had many failures before they became the great men we read about today.

But on a personal level, whether it is a fear of failure, lack of self confidence, or just laziness, there are times when I take myself out of the game or never get in the game to begin with. My goal is going to be to just give what I can and let God do the rest. I think it is a lot about your own perception of what success or failure is. Many famous people who most would consider successful have taken their lives probably feeling a sense of worthlessness and failure, while others who have been told that they would never amount to anything have gone on to be very successful in life. As long as you have faith in yourself and follow in God’s will for your life, then failure is not an option no matter who says anything to the contrary.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

So today starts my first vacation in at least two years. Not that I am going away or doing anything special, but it is a week with no work and no school that I can spend just being with my family and getting a few things done around the house. I guess I might even have more time to blog, but I probably will not be any more consistent because I have a full week planned.

Besides being Cinco de Mayo, today is also the birthday of my niece Taylor. I want to wish her a very happy birthday and to congratulate Stacy’s sister Tara and her husband Eric on making it through the first year. I know they have done a great job and should be very proud. Taylor is six weeks older than Bryleigh, but lives in Louisiana so they do not get to see much of each other. Even being in Louisiana though, I am sure that Taylor is a Gator fan at heart.

We spent our Cinco de Mayo hanging out with friends at Barnies cappy hour, (aka frozen coffee freezers), and then watching Dancing with the Stars on the big screen. Even though we do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo the traditional way, we have much more to celebrate because we have been blessed to have such great friends.

Hope everyone has a great week. I know I will.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Legitimate Debate

So I forgot to mention Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. Now I have not watched many debates this political season, especially Democratic debates. They are generally moderated by very biased moderators who have an agenda and never get to the deeper issues of character and integrity. But as I flipped by the debate this Wednesday night, I noticed that Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were asking some tough but fair questions about the character of each candidate. I have heard that ABC is getting a lot of complaints about the debate from people who frankly do not want to hear the truth. Some people just want to believe that their candidate of choice will make everything better, and that what the candidates do in their personal lives or the kind of person they really are is not important. There were complaints from the candidates and others that it took 45 minutes to get to the important issues, but I beg to differ. The candidates were uncomfortable because they were being asked questions about the important issues that they could not answer with their talking points, and they were confronted with personal issues that they could not blame on the current president or someone else. We all know about the economy, gas prices, healthcare, etc. We have also heard the candidates plans over and over this political season on all of these issues and we know where they stand. What we do not know is what kind of people they truly are and where their loyalties lie. We know they will say anything to get elected, but we need to know about the character and moral fiber of the person who would be president. Some people will say that it does not matter, but I say that it matters a lot, and in fact is the paramount issue of the campaign. Every truly great leader is known not only for what they have done, but for their character, perseverance, and integrity. So when you think of great presidents such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronal Reagan, you think not only of their great accomplishments, but of their character as well. The fact is that they could not have accomplished what they did without having such character and integrity as the foundation of who they were. So before you go out and cast you vote for someone who is promising you change, consider what that change may be because it may not be the change that you hope for. If we really want change then we should get involved and work at doing what we can to make a difference instead of waiting for the white knight to come in and save us. The reality is that many, if not most politicians are out for themselves and not necessarily the best interest of their constituents. The main thing is that we should vote on our convictions and not on our pocketbooks, and know that God will take care of us.

Speaking of the Democrats and pocketbooks, I will leave you with this quote to ponder.

“A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet”.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On A Roll.

Can you believe it? Two blogs in a month. I thought I would work my way back in to it with at least one blog a week.

I really loved this last bit of cool weather this week, even though I did not really get out to enjoy it. Two more weeks of school and then I get a short break.

I did have some short-lived excitement when I heard that the Broncos were playing all three Florida teams this year. However, I saw the official schedule today, and they are playing every one of them in Denver. So unless I want to go to Atlanta, or I come across some free tickets to Denver, I probably will not be seeing a game live this year. Not much else happening this week so I will make this one short and sweet.

Have a great week

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Still Here!

I thought I would drop a few lines so I don’t have to hear about how inconsistent I am about blogging. It really stems from being way too busy, and consequently having nothing going on in my life because I am too busy. It is a vicious cycle. The spring semester ends this month and I get a whole week off before it stars all over again.

Although things are crazy, Stacy and I have felt that God is challenging us to move out of our comfort zone and focus more on his will for our lives. Often when you get comfortable in life, your spiritual life can become stagnant. Fortunately God does not judge us by our performance, and he has blessed us over and over this past year even though we have done nothing worthy of his blessing. He continually shows us what unconditional love and grace are all about. We just want to follow his will for our lives and be willing to do whatever he asks of us.

Having a child also is a great motivator to try to be the best person and parent that you can be. Being the person that models the behavior that can shape a child’s character is an enormous responsibility. Not something I want to attempt without God’s direction and guidance. I will devote another post to my daughter and what an awesome blessing she has been in our lives. Hopefully it won’t be another month, but I have to make sure I have the time to share all the great things about my wonderful daughter Bryleigh.

Thanks for reading and have a Great day!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It has been too long!

I know it has been ages since I have blogged. Not that I do not have anything to say, it is just that I have so much going on that I never even think about it. Whenever I sit in front of the computer, my mind is flooded with all of the homework and lectures that I am behind on. However, I wanted to drop a quick line and let anyone who is interested in what I have to say catch up.

My dad is still recovering from the accident last year. They say he may be out of his neck brace in about six weeks. He also has not regained full vision in one of his eyes and they do not have a prognosis for that as of yet, and he has not regained full equilibrium either, so he is still in need of prayer.

My daughter Bryleigh was in the hospital this Tuesday for a virus that was causing her to throw up everything she ate or drank. They were worried about her getting dehydrated so they put her on an IV until she could hold something down. She was released on Wednesday morning and started feeling better by Thursday night. She is now back to her cheerful self and even has energy to spare. Unfortunately, her mother and I do not.

We appreciate all the prayers for Bryleigh, my dad, and our family. It is great to have friends who truly care about us. In that area, we are truly blessed.

Well it is back to the grind for me. I am never really caught up, I just measure my success by how far behind I am. Only nine months left at UF if all goes as planned and I maintain my sanity.