Friday, May 30, 2008

Da Bulls!

This afternoon our family is headed to Durham to see the Durham Bulls play the Pawtucket Red Sox. The Bulls are the Triple A team of the Tampa Bay Rays. In other words, the Bulls are in the league just below the major leagues.

Amy and I went to see the Bulls play a lot while we were in college in Chapel Hill. Later when our boys came along, we went quite often.

We will be meeting my sister and her family, my mom and dad, as well as my uncle at the game. The last time we saw a game with my parents and my sister's family was 10 years ago when we went to Atlanta to see the Braves. We had a blast! It wore out Amy and my sister since they were both pregnant. They should fare better this time.

I am also anticipating some great food! Nothing beats food at the ball park. Yes, it cost a little much, but man is it good.

I almost forgot, we get the fireworks show after the game. That should be great! One time my dad, uncle and I went to Atlanta to see the Braves over July 4. They had a fireworks show after the game, but our seats were so high that we couldn't see the display due to being beneath the overhang of the stadium. As my uncle said, "All we saw was the ashes." We've joked my dad for years about those Bob "I must be on the front row" Uecker seats.

On Saturday I hope to stop by and check on the progress of newhope church in Durham. This church is really doing great things and is building a tremendous facility just down the road from Southpoint in Durham. If you are ever in Durham, check this church out!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not Your Ordinary Book!

Last week I went to The Whiteboard Sessions in Reston, VA. One of the speakers was Vince Antonucci from Virginia Beach, VA. I was able to talk with him and his wife, and they are quite a couple. Their church is Forefront Church, and they meet in three locations. The most intertesting to me is the one that meets in a bar in Pembroke Mall on Tueday nights. The next Tuesday evening I have free, I plan to go see Vince.

After hearing Vince speak, I decided to pick up his book, I Became a Christian and All I Got was this Lousy T-Shirt. I started reading it last night and before I knew it, I was halfway through the book. It is great! This guy makes you laugh out loud, but also gets in your face about living a mundane Christian life. You need to get this book.

Also, let me know if you want to make a road trip one Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Great Day!

Monday was a top 10 day! The weather was great and our family was off from work and out of school. I started the day bright and early with my oldest (Kendall) and youngest (Katherine) on a fishing excursion in our boat on the Perquimans River. It has been a while since I've been on the water that early. We had a great time! The person who caught the most fish is pictured to the left!

We came home in time for hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch. Kaleb turned 14 on Sunday and had some friends over for lunch. We all went to the 1:30 showing of Indiana Jones. I've always enjoyed the Indiana movies, and I liked this one as well. It was a fun time together.

Since it was so nice outside, we decided to head out in the boat after the movie. Kaleb and I skied for the first time this year. Katherine knee-boarded. The water was definitely cold! Amy wanted to ski, but chickened out when she saw Kaleb and I turn blue.

What a great day to be with the fam!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Off to DC

OK, it's not exactly DC, but Pastor Todd and I are headed to Reston, VA, just south of DC for a conference called The Whiteboard Sessions. The conference is all day on Thursday. I'm excited because there will be 8 speakers who will have 30 minutes each to present the most innovative or important aspect to the ministry of which they are involved. I'm sure that this will stretch my thinking and hopefully help me see some new avenues for ministry. It'll be good for PT and me to get away and dream a little. Pray for us!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Memory Lane

This past weekend my boys spent the weekend camping and fishing with their Uncle Chad. I was a little jealous that I didn't get to go, but I know that they had a blast. I know part of the fun is doing cool stuff with others in your life. Chad had gone fishing with his grandpa as a kid, and relived some of that this past weekend with my boys. I fished with my grandpa growing up and have to say that those memories are some of my best.

Sometimes as parents we get caught up in getting things for our kids, but we forget that one of the most important things that we can give our kids is memories. Perhaps a few things outside of the ordinary. Nothing spectacular, just thoughtful.

Thanks, Chad. The weekend you've given my boys will last a lifetime. How do I know? Let me tell you about the time my friend, Paul, and I went fishing with my grandpa when we were 11 . . .

What are you doing intentionally that will take folks down memory lane (with positive thoughts)?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Spring Fest Reflections

This past Sunday had our annual spring community outreach event called Spring Fest. It was really neat to see God's fingerprints all over this event, and how He blessed us. The weather forecast didn't look too good for last Sunday. Last Friday evening, the forecast called for 60% chance of rain.

You see, rain is a big deal because this was an outside event. We had 5 inflatable rides from Ragland Productions coming from Clayton, NC. They can't get wet, and they cost $$. We prayed. I even emailed the weather forecasters at two TV stations and both said they "wouldn't have it."

Well, Sunday was sunny and warm here in downtown Bagley Swamp. The weather was great. In fact, several got a little red from the sun. We also had a great turnout. A lot of folks brought their friends, we had over 300 folks enjoying themselves. A lot of laughter, a lot of fun!

Our purpose was to have a fun event where we could invite families that don't have a church home to come and have a good time. As I looked around on Sunday, there were a bunch of people here that I didn't know. So, it worked!

Our people were great! A lot of coordination happened to have hotdogs/hamburgers, drinks popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy for everyone. It was terrific. We had plenty for folks to do: from horse rides, petting zoo, volley ball, rock climbing wall, 2 bounce houses, bungee run, giant slide and basketball among other games. Thanks to all who made it happen.
BTW, that's my oldest son and I on the bungee run. I think he beat me. I do have a big strawberry on my elbow from my experience.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Late Night Thoughts

A couple of thoughts running through my mind this evening:
  • Amy and I dropped off our oldest son (15) at NC State today for a math, science and technology camp. That felt weird.
  • I gave my son the names of two of my high school classmates who are professors at State in case he came across them. That felt weird, and old.
  • On the way home, Amy and I noticed that we looked younger than most of the other parents dropping off their 10th graders. That felt good.
  • Until she reminded me that we'd probably look kinda old when our 9 year old gets to that age. I guess it doesn't matter since I don't have much choice about it.
  • I am now being introduced as "the husband of . . . " which is kind of a new twist for us. Being a pastor, most people we meet around here will have heard of our church or me. So, I would then say "this is my wife, Amy." Well, that changed somewhat last night when Amy was elected to our county school board. So it is now . . . "and this is my husband, James." That's cool. I think I like that.
  • Time to go to bed . . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gas Prices

It seems that gas prices keep getting higher, and it seems no end is in sight. I read a great post on a friend's blog that puts it all in perspective. Be sure to check out the Little Man Syndrome and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I noticed yesterday that we received our "Rebate" from the government directly deposited into our checking account. Cool! What should we spend all of that money on? Maybe a cool new plasma TV? Or . . . maybe a gadget that Apple makes? Or . . .?

Na! We've decided that we are going to get out of debt and owe no one! So . . . as quick as the money went into our checking account - it left. We sent it onward to pay off some debt. It is what Dave Ramsey calls the debt snowball. We've been learning about how to handle our money in a responsible way through a class at our church called Financial Peace University.

It's basically a common sense approach to money (and it's biblical). Stuff that we heard our grandparents say. "Save up and pay cash for it." "Live on less that you make." "Live on a budget." We've decided that we are going to get out of debt and not get back in unless we buy a house.

So, thanks Uncle Sam for the help with the debt snowball. We're getting closer to the day where we will scream "We're Debt FREE!"