Worst Blogger Ever

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I admit it.  I’m quite possibly the worst blogger ever.  Since the beginning of time.

Some possible excuses:

  • I’m not that interesting, but hey, don’t judge.  You’re not that interesting either.
  • I don’t have anything interesting to say.
  • It takes a couple of years for me to build up enough material to make a post.
  • Nobody reads these anyways.
  • Anyone who knows me probably gets information about me and my family from Facebook where there are more recent postings.  By my wife.
  • My wife doesn’t have my Blogger account information in order to post on my behalf.
  • Now that I think of it, that’s probably the reason why I never have tweets either.
  • Or other social media posts.

So if you’re interested in more posts being made here, just let me know so I can get my wife logged into my account and she’ll get right on it.

Lessons from W

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I had the opportunity to hear President George W. Bush speak at our annual company luncheon today.  This was actually the second time for me to hear him in person.  The first was when Miriam graduated from LSU and he gave the commencement speech. 

It wasn’t until about halfway through his speech that it suddenly occurred to me that I should be capturing some of his thoughts.  I’m disappointed I didn’t take notes during his whole speech because he had a lot of good things to say.  I would thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to sit down with him and just glean as much wisdom as I possibly could from him.

Here are some of the nuggets:

  • Good leaders aren’t afraid to seek help and surround themselves with a team.
  • Good leaders stand on principle.  They are not worried about their popularity.
  • I loved his demeanor and how he doesn’t take himself too seriously, that he can poke fun at himself and how many perceive him.
  • He talked about prayer and its importance.  He talked about how earlier in his life he was skeptical of the power of prayer and its legitimacy, but during his presidency, prayers from total strangers were felt.
  • I liked the fact that he made a conscious decision not to critize current and future presidents, that it’s important to him for presidents not to have to worry about critiques from former presidents because they have enough to worry about.
  • “You realize you’re not it, that you’re a part of something much more important than an individual.”

Being Exceptional with Exceptions

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Here’s one of the things about the life and legacy of David that has become more real to me:  he was exceptional with an exception.  He lived a life that was pleasing to God and he accomplished his purpose in his generation.  I think if I can say I’ve done that as I take my last breath, my life was a success.  But David messed up by pursuing Bathsheba and having her husband Uriah killed.  His exception.  His sin.

But there are times when I inventory my life and think, “How can I be exceptional?”.  I’m flawed beyond being able to accurately put into writing just how flawed.  I could be exceptional.  But.  But I’m not.  Or at least I don’t feel like I am.  How can I be like all of these incredible people and heroes of the faith in the Bible?

So how was David exceptional?  Well, for the sake of brevity in this post, he killed a giant in battle as a teenager with a slingshot and a smooth rock.  I’ve heard this story for years and somehow the thought that the rock was guided by God to kill Goliath to position David to be king overshadowed other parts of the story.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know God fulfilled his part of the equation.  I just don’t think that the day on the battle field was the genesis of David’s path to significance.  What about the times when David was out tending to sheep and perfecting throwing a rock with a slingshot?  When there was no lofty goal of pursuing becoming king, only being pleasing to the King of kings?  Those are the times that David’s heart was formed and made to long after God. And that is what I believe is what made David exceptional:  his heart after God. 

So what about the exceptions?  Yes, David messed up.  Badly.  He grieved the heart of God with his sin.  But he didn’t allow his mistake to define him.  I can mess up but I don’t have to let my mistake define me.  It is imperative as we walk through the obstacles of this life that we are quick to repent and quick to move on while remembering the price that was paid to forgive us of our sins.  Living in the freedom that God gives is only obtainable if we allow ourselves to be free of the guilt and shame.  Yes, we are all flawed.  Yes, we have all made mistakes.  Yes, many of us have made horrible mistakes, but God is bigger than all of those things.  There is a Redeemer who has paid the price for us to be exceptional.  Our sins and exceptions can become only slight footnotes of the story of our life to bring glory to God.

Let’s not let the exceptions of our lives define us.  Rather, let us purify our hearts, pursue God, and let him lead us into the dreams He has given us to accomplish exceptional things.

Cutting the Cord

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Somewhere along the way, I became convinced that I was paying too much for cable..  The countless articles I’ve read about other and cheaper ways to receive content at home finally influenced me to give it a go.  Now let it be said that cable providers in my experience have been gouging customers for a while.  At least that’s my opinion.

So after about a month of being cable-less and cutting the cord, here are my oberservations:

  •  There have been times that I’ve searched for some background noise to interrupt my peace and quiet around the home.  Problem solved:  3 year olds are very gifted at this.
  • I’ve never considered myself much of a reader.  Not having so much TV has actually helped me to discover that I enjoy reading more than I previously gave myself credit for.  Several books down.  The bookshelf is not so foreign anymore.
  • Overall, I don’t miss TV and cable as much as I thought I would.
  • My biggest challenge:  ESPN withdrawals.  I’ve never been hooked on crack but I would imagine that withdrawals have to be something similar to my nights without SportsCenter.
  • Netflix is the bomb-diggity.  Great value.  Lots of content.  Lots of programming for kids.  The kids haven’t missed a beat.  If anything, it’s helped because we have more control over what we put on for them.
  • I admit that the ESPN streaming app or channel or whatever it is called on XBox Live is impressive.  It’s a shame that it isn’t available on other platforms.  Since Apple and ABC/Disney seem to be tightly knit together, wouldn’t it only make sense for ESPN to become the Netflix of the streaming sports content (and not be restricted to Live)?  Do you hear me in Bristol?  Puh-leeze make this happen.  Offer me an option for the full ESPN content as a streaming service.  Make it happen.  Yesterday.  And for $8/month or less.
  • I just picked up a digital antenna to pickup local stations.  I should know soon whether this will provide me with quality, local programming.  The feedback I’ve gotten from others for this seem to make it sound worthwhile.

So there you have it.  Until cable decides to be more reasonable in pricing plans for customers, I’m content with other options.  That is, unless the ESPN crack demon takes over and forces me to re-up with cable.

And A New Adventure Begins

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

For those of you who don’t already know, I want to get you in the loop on some recent changes in our lives.  And the reason I’m sharing this is not soley for informational purposes.  My reason for sharing this is because I’m asking you to keep us in your prayers.

Just get to the point already, right?  OK, here goes:  Miriam and I have committed to serve as the children’s pastors at our church.  There are only a couple roles or areas in ministry that we have not done together before and one of those just so happens to be children’s ministry.  I guess it is only fitting that we fill out our resume with a new adventure.

I’m not at all intimidated by this challenge.  Quite the opposite.  I’m confident that God has led us to where we are and that He is equipping us to do what He wants us to do.  Besides, loving kids and loving people are easy!

As God brings us to your remembrance, pray that God anoints us and blesses us to reach the children in our community and surrounding areas.  We know that when a child’s heart is captured with the love of Jesus, families are impacted as a result.  When families are impacted, a community is impacted.  When communities are changed, cites and then states and then countries are changed.  Let the change begin!

“The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.”

 –Mark 10:13-16 (Message)

Spontaneity (or the lack thereof)

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

I often get wrapped up in the daily grind, the routine of life. As I’ve settled into my career and family life, I’ve found that the spontaneity that I once had is now mostly gone. At least in the current season of my life. Marriage, kids, a job, volunteering at the church, and occasionally visiting family tends to do that.

Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • Finding joy in the normal. Spontaneity can be overrated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with slowing down and taking in the everyday joys of life.
  • Focus on the things you value. Slowing down helps to prioritize the things that are important to you. When you have to work around a schedule, you find out what things are worth investing your time.
  • Take it all in. You have more time to process what is going on around you to avoid making poor decisions.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have my moments of wanting to be spontaneous and just go have some fun. There’s a time and a place for that too. I’m by no means advocating anyone to become a slave to the calendar and to not be open to an opportunity that presents itself in a moment.

Just don’t resent the season you’re in. Enjoy it.

Never

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

As this new year begins and as so many of us make resolutions, I am reminded of a resolution of sorts that I made a number of years ago back in 2005. You know, the statements that you feel so strongly about that you attach the dreaded never to.

Statements like “I will never move back to Louisiana” after moving to North Carolina just before Hurricane Katrina hit. I will never do that again. My kids will never do that or act like that. I’m sure there are countless other silly statements just like that one.

So I try not to make never declarations any more. I won’t even go as far as to say I will never do it again.

It seems as though the times I make up my mind to never do something that God responds, “Really? Watch this.” And in the never moving back to Louisiana situation, God brought me to my knees and practically made me beg for it to happen.

What are the things you’ll never do? Be careful, you just might be glad you will have to do the never things.

Leadership Lessons with Heather Zempel

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m a little humbled to have had a good friend, Heather Zempel, share some of my thoughts about leadership on her blog. I’m thankful for her and Ryan’s friendship and the impact they are making in DC.

Heather has written a book, Sacred Roads, about discipleship and has spoken at churches across the country about discipleship, community, and small groups. She serves as the discipleship pastor at National Community Church. (For all of you in North Carolina that went through the In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day book with us, this is the same church that Mark Batterson pastors.)
You can check out her post and the video on her Wineskins for Discipleship blog. I pray each of you can have friends like Heather in your life.

Rename

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I think it’s time to axe the “jambalaya for the soul” tag from my blog name. After living in the Cajun Capitol of the World for the past year and a half, it’s official: I am not Cajun. Not even close.

But I’m learning and enjoying the culture.

So as this year is winding to a close and a new year is quickly approaching, I am thinking about refreshing my blog design and starting fresh in the new year.

Perhaps I will find my voice and have lots of interesting and thought provoking things to say.

Jordan’s Legacy

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Miriam has a much better way of words than I do. Here’s a great memory in her words (as shared on Jordan’s Legacy):

“The summer after Chris and I moved to North Carolina, we spent some vacation time there in the beautiful Smokey Mountains with Paula, Glenn, Ashlyn. Jordan, and his friend Chad. We were doing some hiking near the App Trail when the guys heard about this place called ‘The Quarry” where they could jump 50+ feet off the side of this cliff into the water below. Jordan and Chad begged us to drive them out so they could make this insane jump. It was like these two were on a MISSION. Eventually, we get to the place and it is scary deep in the backwoods (think dueling banjo music). Regardless, the quarry is there and looking over the side of the cliff even I start to feel dizzy! The quarry is dug out of the ground and the water filling the bottom is this surreal shade of teal…really beautiful if it wasn’t a complete death trap. Jordan was so excited he was sort of hopping around and rubbing his hands together. He would walk up to the side and look over, then put his hands on his head and look at us for a second. All I could do was shake my head ‘no’. Jordan was so resolved though he just went for it. It makes me smile to think of how this jump was so important to him (bragging rights with his friends for sure)…He made the jump twice that day and it is one of my favorite memories of him.”

Miriam Douglas, Jordan’s Legacy entry

All Rights Reserved. EQ Studio.