23 December 2012

See You Around, Mrs. Stewart


Reconnecting with one of your elementary school teachers may not have ever crossed your mind. Maybe it did but you didn't know where to start. Or perhaps you began the process but weren't successful. Three years ago, one former teacher kept coming to mind and I delayed seeking her out until the need to do so became rather urgent.

An early morning in February 2009, I acted upon seeking out my 6th grade reading teacher. Sadly, I deleted my initial emails of outreach to Lovett Elementary School in Clinton, Mississippi.

07 October 2012

Dealing With Discouragement

At some point today, you'll likely stumble upon discouragement. It's normal and should be expected. You may read, hear, or see something troubling. You'll become discouraged. What you do with that discouragement offers some insights into you.

Will you try to learn from the discouragement by reflecting on your own expectations and perspectives? Or will you use the discouragement to justify your bad mood and why you're acting like a spoiled child? For example, I've been a member of Lifetime Fitness since March. When I had a health assessment in May, my weight was 250. Only last month, had I reached 240. In perspective, that's 30 pounds less in total from my healthier beginnings. That stat's an achievement. Yet, 10 pounds in 3 months isn't something to write home about. Plus, I'm back to 250.

07 September 2012

Bill Nye The Atheist Guy?

I used to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy. He was quirky and made learning about science fun. Today, it seems Bill's another example of one who is scientifically-minded promoting evolution as the only plausible worldview. And if you don't believe in evolution, he thinks you're stupid but free to believe what you want. Just don't teach your children to think like you.


03 September 2012

Mercy Project

Today many in our country will take a day off from our jobs to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. No matter if we’re celebrating at home or at the beach, we’re entering into a tradition that has largely been shaped by Labor Unions - organizations that are dedicated to protecting workers’ interests and improving their wages, hours, and working conditions. Today as we lounge around or hang out with friends and family, we’re not only celebrating hard work, we’re honoring fair, ethical working practices and the laws that prevent discrimination, abuse, and child labor in our country. Without these laws in place (and enforced), the most vulnerable members of society suffer. Who are the most vulnerable? Children.

07 August 2012

I Broke My Child

Saturday, August 4, was an average weekend day. It began with Kim and G getting breakfast from Chick-fil-A while I slept longer. Such a treat. Next, a mid-day birthday party for a child of one of Kim's coworkers gave G some nice fun. Then, a couple stops for shoes & clothes shopping for G (the girl keeps growing!) followed by a light dinner at home. The night was to end with the family enjoying the Columbia walking trail: Kim and I walking with G riding her bike. The first mile and a half were great. The return trip resulted in a visit to the ER.

01 August 2012

Embracing Sin With Hearts Wide Shut

Lately, there's been a lot of buzz about homosexuality, gay marriage, and equal rights. Having a conversation about this topic continues to be difficult especially within faith-based circles. Why? Because we're unwilling or unable to identify sin. Or worse, that which we know as sin we're embracing with hearts wide shut.

"I didn't say anything different from what any Bible-believing Christian would say if you want to be true to the Scriptures." Kirk Cameron recently made this statement in reaction to the backlash he received during an interview with Pierce Morgan. The interview was supposed to be focused on Cameron's latest film, Monumental, but instead Morgan pressed him on topics such as homosexuality and gay marriage. Cameron explained that he opposes gay marriage in part because he considers homosexual behavior "unnatural" and believes that it's "detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."


05 July 2012

Whistling In Glory

Many of us were saddened by the sudden news of Andy Griffith's passing. I have fond memories of watching the show growing up. It was a perfect show for family viewing. Entertaining. Fun. Good lessons which still resonate today. Perhaps we love this window to a simpler time in America. Perhaps we enjoy how the widower sheriff juggled life and work and always made time for Opie. When so many dads today are uninvolved or absent, Andy was the father figure that many wished they had.

He died on Roanoke Island, NC. It's only 2 hours from where I'm vacationing on Ocracroke Island. But his proximity isn't what made his passing more poignant to me. The first thing I read about his death made me smile.


07 June 2012

No Homeless In The Country

Recently, I attended work meetings in New York City. I never grow tired of the complexities of NYC. There's a lot there. Every block can be sensory overload. Local shops, artwork, construction, architecture, and frequently homeless people.

Amongst all the hustle and bustle, the refined and wealthy, and the multiple complexities are people of simple living. Barely living. You might wish to not think about the homeless, however, they're impossible to ignore even in the busyness of the city. Yet, what is most perplexing to me is the sheer number we see and the infinite number we don't see, and all of these citizens are within yards of shelter and food. It's as if our advancement as a society creates in its wake people who cannot conform or benefit from that advancement. Thus, they haven't the means to sustain a home or their families and become invisible on the cityscape.

18 April 2012

May The Crunch Be With You!

Bacon + Popcorn = Winning!
Hello, my name is Rick, and I'm a popcornaholic. Popcorn and I go way back. Way, way back. While I don't recall when I first tried some, I do remember it being my afternoon snack all through elementary & middle school. Maybe even into high school. Most weekday afternoons, I enjoyed relaxing with some popcorn and afternoon cartoons before doing my homework.

13 April 2012

Tales From An Unexpected Gym Rat

On February 29, I started going to Lifetime Fitness. Me? A gym? And after the last couple of posts I wrote about getting into the neighborhood and out of gyms? Does this make me a hypocrite? Wish-washy?

No, I'm optimistic that it makes me healthier.

A year ago, I began walking in our neighborhood. Hard to believe it's been a year. Back then, I came to the conclusion that was absolutely no reason - no excuse - for not being walking since I worked from home. The routine grew gradually from one mile to four miles with the fourth mile consisting of walking the dog.


23 February 2012

I Don't Get Lent

At the risk of offending or disappointing some people...I just don't get Ash Wednesday or Lent. Every year, nearly a week before Ash Wednesday, the posts start coming in about what people are considering giving up for Lent. The list is rather diverse. From coffee, sodas, and candy to social media, TV, and video games. I often wonder if people are just trying to outdo their friends.

"Hey, look at what I'm giving up for 40 days! Bet you couldn't do that! But I can cuz I'm doing it for..." And that's when I my mind ponders...why are these people giving up stuff for 40 days? Is it for themselves? For God? For their church? All the above?


27 January 2012

Thrilled For Tebow

Anyone who knows me well enough knows I'm not much of a sports fan. I never played high school or college ball. I couldn't explain a single play or strategy in any sport. Never shot hoops after school or played football in the yard with friends. Golf's the only game I tried to play - emphasis on tried. Rarely is a game on the TV in our house. No team would I really consider "my team." I've never worn or owned a jersey. The only sports logo in my closet is that of Southern Miss on a nice gold polo shirt given to me by a friend.

I'm pretty much as unathletic a guy as they come. So, for me to have a sports opinion is rare. But in the case of Tim Tebow, there's much to say.


19 January 2012

Leaving The Church Is Not The Answer

In 2011, did you stop attending church? Or was it just another year that you didn't darken such doors? Over the years, both Believers and non-Believers have shared with me their absence was due to hypocrites being in the church. So, what they're revealing is that something another person said or did became a great excuse for them to not go to church. Fact is, we're all hypocrites. We all say one thing and do another. At least occasionally. And some of us are bonified experts.

We're all human. We're all flawed.

However, are people being flawed the reason others are absent from churches? Hypocritical people is such an easy and lame excuse. I'm thinking there's more to it, and spending a few moments researching online yielded dozens of accounts to how people view church attendance.