ICE, ICE, Baby

ICE, ICE, Baby

This past week has taken me to Tampa, Miami, Valdosta, and back home to Dothan. In all, I drove over 1400 miles and spent over 20 hours behind the wheel. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sleeping in tomorrow.

Yet when I think about this trip and how unnecessarily inefficient it was, I feel blessed in knowing this trip was also about me being with my people.

When you look on my phone and the individuals listed on my ICE list (in case of emergency), these are the people I got to see and share time with on this trip. These are the people that make up my inner circle. These are the people that matter to me most.

It was the person who called me and allowed me to pray and cry with him when he was diagnosed with cancer. It was his wife who inspired my faith by making her daughter’s relationship with Christ a priority. It was the friend with whom I jumped out of an airplane. It was her husband who continually challenges me to find ways to serve others. It was my ex-wife who taught me about forgiveness. It was the daughter she and I share that taught me about what’s truly important. It was my brother who continues to model what family is all about.

And I got to come home to my wife, the person who is my best friend and partner in everything I do.

I like to think I’ve done well in my life. Not perfect by any stretch, but very blessed to have had a well-paying career, provided for my children, taken steps in my faith life, and hopefully making a positive impact along the way.

But when it comes to considering myself successful, I will defer to Mark Batterson‘s definition.

It’s Been A Day

New beginnings are supposed to be exciting, but today has been exhausting.

After experiencing my last day at work with Wiregrass Church, I hopped in my car and drove six hours to Tampa. Just a pit stop as I head to Miami to take care of family-related matters. Matters complicated by the uncertainty of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Eta.

So as I crash on my friend’s couch and watch Sunday Night Football, the expression on Dax’s face says it all.

Night night.

Getting My Tetris On

Getting My Tetris On

We drove up to our friends’ house in Hahira this evening. The goal of this trip is two-fold. First, Lindsey is hosting a women’s retreat at her house, and there are seven other women including Lee coming from Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida to take part in the retreat.

Secondly, we’re moving all of our home office furniture to Jeff and Lindsey’s. To do this, we rented a minivan and I spent the day taking apart the office and loading it into a Dodge Caravan.


Back in college, I would play Tetris incessantly. I spent hours upon hours of moving and flipping geometrical shapes in order to make them fit where I needed them to. This is perhaps the most useful skill set I obtained in college because I’ve developed a reputation among family and friends as being ‘the one who packs’. When it comes to loading a vehicle to the gills, everyone knows to simply get out of the way and leave me and my OCD alone.

We also brought a stand-up freezer with us. Given it was the largest item, I loaded it in the van first with the intention of packing everything else around it. I actually said a deliberate and intentional prayer before I started packing because I knew I would not be able to figure it all out on my own.

Upon getting the freezer in the minivan, it was apparent the furniture would not fit. I took the freezer out, called Jeff to let him know I was not able to bring the freezer, and proceeded to load the office furniture which was the priority. After patting myself on the back for a job well done with the office furniture, I was staring into the van, mentally measuring the remaining space. I took out my tape measure and confirmed what I had been thinking. After moving a couple of pieces around, I was able to make the freezer fit in the van.


I think the lesson here is that God is faithful when we ask for His help. However, because of our flawed human condition, we default to looking at things – problems – from a human/logical perspective. In my case, I loaded the freezer first because it made sense to do it that way. It wasn’t until I had abandoned my plans for the freezer and completed the priority plan for the furniture that God revealed to me how to load the freezer in the van.

I firmly believe that is a microcosm of how God answers our prayers and works with us. Instead of giving us what is easy or simple, God delays His blessing until we put in the work and learn to trust in Him. Prayer without action is simply a wish, but once we put in our part and work in the confidence that God will provide, He comes through with the answer to our prayer.

So if you’re frustrated that all the pieces in your life don’t fit nice and neat, keep praying but also keep working. To quote Mark Batterson, “we need to pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on us.”


Words for the Road

Words for the Road

Back in November when I found out I’d been laid off by Verizon, I posted this on my Facebook page:

I love music and what it means to me. My life has been dramatically changed because of the wonderful friends I’ve met as a result of music. Outside of God, I find most of my strength to persevere through the tough times in music.

As I drove home from Miami tonight listening to my playlists on Spotify, Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE came on, and the song got me thinking about how I was unable to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish while in Miami. Sometimes love – a hard love – gets in the way, and we’re better off counting our losses in retreat than pressing forward and making matters worse.

Life is ups and downs. Sometimes love comes easy, and sometimes loving people is hard. The key is to learn from each of these experiences.

127/365 Somewhere More Familiar

The music family weekend continued as Lee and I trekked from Sarasota to West Palm Beach for SunFest. Well, not so much for SunFest as it was for NEEDTOBREATHE. Even though we’d seen them just last week at Rock by the Sea, we jumped at the opportunity to see them live again. Every show is amazing, and every show is a spiritual experience because of their music.

Besides, it also gave us an opportunity to once again take in a magical experience with our super-awesome friends.

116/365 Room With A View

Today we drove from Tampa to Panama City Beach for the charity music festival Rock by the Sea. It’s an event Lee and I have had on our calendar since last Fall.

The day began with loading the truck up with everything we’ll need for the next five days.

Following a long drive – a lot longer than I had calculated in my head – we were rewarded with a fantastic view as we checked into our rental condo on the beach.

Yeah …. it doesn’t suck.