End of Watch: Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Almost 10 years ago, Misty and I made the decision to pack up and move to Nicholasville with a 2-year-old and new born twins. The decision was not easy and we were wondering if we would ever be able to make the move. But it finally came to be and in March of 2005 we moved. Left our friends and church in Richmond to move closer to some family to help with the kids. Twins can a hand full so you look for all of the help you can get.
I wish I could say the move was easy. I wish I could say we never regretted moving. But that wouldn’t be the truth. The first couple of years was very hard. We didn’t know anyone. Wasn’t involved in anything. I worked in Lexington and Misty didn’t work for a while after moving. We had some friends at church but it still wasn’t home. In fact once I took a job back in Richmond, we looked at moving back. In fact, we were happy to think about moving back. We even went house shopping. But we were kind of locked in to our house we just bought and then the housing crash took any value of moving away from us.
It was disappointing. It was hard. But we stuck it out. Finally when Colby hit first grade something happened. Something changed.
Colby started scouts. We started making new friends. We changed churches. We made friends. We changed churches again. We made more friends. Misty started working for the schools after working at Southland Christian. We made even more friends. Nicholasville was starting to finally feel like home. It finally started to feel right.
But things happen when you make friends. You get to know them. And as you get to know them, you start considering them family. And the more people you know, the greater possibility of tragedy happens.
We saw that this morning. A former scout leader from our pack and husband of a coworker of Misty, was involved in a car wreck this morning. He didn’t make it.
Burke leaves behind a wife and three kids. Kids who I have went camping with and been involved in other scouting activities with. The youngest son is the same age as our twins so our scout dens did stuff together.
When you see your wife or your husband or your kids again. Give them a big hug. Tell them you love them. Always tell them.
It’s been hard. It’s not been an easy day. Misty has told me the same thing. Everyone at her work has been in a daze all day. You just don’t know what to think. You think that stuff like this only happens to other people. You never know how long you have on this earth. You never know what tomorrow will hold.
I have had to experience this way too often this year. The death of a 13-year-old daughter of a good friend of mine. My dad’s first cousin. And now a friend of ours from Nicholasville. Our home.


Long distance dedication


Growing up, most of my Saturday’s consisted of a couple of things. Usually going to work for my parents and on the trip to work at at work, you can be sure that the radio was tuned to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. That show was a staple in my family. The family business sold records and tapes, you younger folks will need to look those terms up, so we needed to know what songs were where on the list. Was there a new song that we needed to order that week? How much moving of the records we had did we need to move around. A lot of that information came from Billboard magazine, but we always listened to Casey.

Of course as a kid the show also helped in other ways. Mixtapes. :) Again, the younger audience will need to look that up. I was like every other kid my age. Every so often I would get a new blank cassette tape, pop it in my boom box and be ready to press record. Music plays a big role in the life of teenagers.

But the biggest memory I have of Casey Kasem is really an extension of America Top 40. It was the Top 100 songs of the year. Every year around New Year’s Eve, Casey would be playing the top 100 songs of the year. And just like every other New Year’s Eve, we normally would be in Cincinnati to ring in the new year. As we were driving from house to house to visit family in the area, we would have the radio tuned to Casey to hear the Top 100 songs. Who was number 1? Where did my favorite song of the year land?

Music has a way of doing that. Bringing back memories. From mix tapes to event in our lives. One thing I have been asked at church is to put together a worship tweet. Basically take a song we sing at church and tweet what makes it special to me. We will take the tweets and … well we haven’t got that far wit it yet. More on that later. :)

For me it was easy. Down to the River and Pray was my choice. Even though to the best of my knowledge we have only done it once at church, it was the song that started our baptism service the Sunday Gabe accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was baptized. You can read more about that story here.

I can’t hear that song now without thinking of that morning. I have added it to my current walking playlist. You young folks who are to lazy to look up mixtapes, think of a mixtape as a mp3 player with your playlist on it but an older format. :) Anyway, that was the song I used. Like I said, I can’t hear that song without thinking of that morning. Music just has that affect on people. You hear a song and instantly you remember something associated with that song.

Maybe that is why Casey always had a long distance dedication in his shows. A listener would want to dedicate a song to someone special, so they would mail Casey the name of the song and the person they wanted to dedicate a song to. Casey would then read the letter on the show and then play the song.

What, you don’t know what mail is? Gee, how young are you? Anyway, that would be where you write something on paper, stick in an envelope, lick a stamp and stick it on the envelope and drop it in a mailbox. Again that last part was for you younger folks who only know email and/or Facebook.

Anyway, just how powerful was music and the American Top 40? If you listened to it, comment below on how Casey would end his show. I will bet you anything that if you listened to it, you know. :)

RIP Casey. You are among those stars now.


Dealing with Critical People


So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV

My job requires me to interact through email or phone with customers all over the country and in certain instances, the world. We get customer feedback through surveys that they fill out after we close a ticket out. Sometimes, the surveys are good and sometimes, well, not so much. It can be hard at times to not let those bad ones get to you. When I first started I really let those get to me. It’s hard to not get so upset when those come in.

We are pretty busy right now and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I am about to finish up a Bible plan on Youversion based on Perry Noble’s book Overwhelmed. He mentions several things to help with dealing with criticism. I have them listed below. I am going to get the book pretty soon and read it. So anyway, I thought I would share them with you.

  1. How Well Does This Person Know Me?
  2. What Attitude Does The Person Criticizing Have?
  3. Does What The Person Is Saying Pass Through The Filter Of Scripture?
  4. Is This Criticism Personal Or Shared By Others?
  5. Is This Worth My Time?

So, now I just have to remember them and put them in practice.


Changing Troops



Sometimes you just have to back up and punt.

Just about a year ago, Colby crossed over into Boy Scouts. After some troop visits, we selected a troop in Wilmore. A troop very active in the community and in the church they were registered with. The one issue was that only one of his den mates went with him. But only for a short time as he soon transferred to another troop, the same troop where the rest of his den ended up at. Colby of course rolled with the punches and has done very good at the troop. But it just wasn’t the same. I felt it and I think down deep he did to. No den mates. No core four. Four of the boys in his den have been together in scouts since first grade up to that point and we’ve called them the core four as they were the core members of the den. Now Colby made new friends real quick and got along with the boys just fine.

After some discussions, we decided that it was in the best interest of Colby and soon the twins to transfer over to the other troop. The core four back together. The den back together. In fact, the den leader who is now an assistant scoutmaster with the troop looked at me and said “Yes! My den is back together.” There is just something special with this group of boys. They have become best of friends. They’ve had each other over for parties. Now with them being in middle school, they all go to school together. Before the core four were in three different schools.

There is nothing wrong with the troop he first joined. In fact they just were awarded a statewide award for “Volunteer of the Year”, presented by the Kentucky Main Street Program in Frankfort. But it probably just wasn’t the best choice for him. And I have to take some blame in that. I may have swayed him a bit. But like a good father, I saw the mistake and we worked together to correct it. We had a couple of discussions about it. One good and one probably not so good. But we talked it through. I told him what I thought and I asked him what he thought. I presented him some ideas and thoughts and he let me know what he liked and didn’t like about the idea. In the end, it was his decision. It really was this time. :)

Anyway, he has some work to do. His den mates are a couple of ranks ahead of him, but he will catch up in no time.

The core four at Cross Over



Christmas Traditions


The turkey has been consumed and the shopping has started. Yes you may start listening to Christmas music now. With the Christmas season here, our minds start looking spending time with family and friends, opening gifts and experiencing the annual family traditions. Christmas time when I was growing up meant spending a lot of time in the store. My parents owned a electronic retail business and Black Friday meant as much then as it does now to businesses. You just didn’t have the mad rush when the doors opened and people fighting over gifts. But I do remember the year then the Atari 2600 was crazy popular and us getting a shipment of refurbished models in. We were expecting them in at any time and people were asking us all the time when.

But when the shopping season was over on Christmas Eve, I knew what that meant also. It was time to go to my grandparents’ house for gift exchange and spending time with dad’s family. You could always count on a couple of things. One was my grandfather getting some kind of nut cracker and maybe even some walnuts to go with it and two, him opening every gift ever so gently with a pocket knife. He would just cut the tape holding the gift wrap together. For small kids, that would just drive us crazy. All of us yelling, papaw, just rip it open. I think he did that just to drive us all crazy.

Now as a husband and a parent, we have our own traditions that we have started. Every year at some point during the Christmas season means a trip to Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park. Every year we drive through the lights and see what’s been added and to see if anything has been removed. They make changes every now and then. One section of lights is an old bank building with the name of a bank that used to be in Lexington. Once the bank was sold, they took out the name for a while. At least I think they did. But I think they have since put it back.

The boys love going. They love seeing the lights and listening to the Christmas music they play over the radio. Once we are done with the lights, then we go inside and see all of the crafts they have setup along with the model trains. The local model train group sets up every year in one building or another and the boys love watching them. But the highlight of the night has to be Santa Clause and funnel cake. The night is not over until we accomplish those two items. The wait for Santa there is nothing like the mall by the way. The funnel cake is the last item on our list. Once the cake has been inhaled, and I do mean inhaled, it’s time to leave.

It’s these things that make Christmas special. Not what you get for whomever or what they got for you. The boys always remember going to see the lights. I don’t know if I could remember half the gifts I ever got for Christmas growing up. But I can remember what my grandfather got. Why? Because it was the time together as a family.

We have somewhat started a new tradition for Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago, we decided to go to Cumberland Falls for dinner instead of having my mom fix a big meal. I know for my boys, this is the thing to do. Last year we added a hike but I think this year the weather will keep us from that. The boys love going to the lodge and hanging out waiting to go eat.

So, what is your favorite Christmas tradition? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Lots to be thankful for



His name was Matt.


Back to him later.


November is one of my favorite months. I guess because fall is my favorite season and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. One of the more popular things on Facebook in November is where people post what they are thankful for. I thought one of these years I will do that. I just need to sit down ahead of time and map out the 30 things I am thankful for.


Hold that thought.


Had a great day today. We volunteered with Lighthouse Ministries to serve Thanksgiving meals to the poor and homeless in Lexington. It was a busy day but it was good. The boys were really good at helping and serving. Getting drinks, cleaning up and just doing what ever needed to be done. As I was thinking about the day and watching football at the house tonight, I looked down at my phone, probably to check Facebook. The number in the top left corner caught my eye.




24 degrees.


Back to Facebook. Scrolling down the page to see what people are saying. Are they posting what they are thankful for? What are they complaining about? More first world problems?


What’s that? Weather map. Talking about the wind chill tonight. Could hit single digits by the morning.


His name was Matt. A guy at a table asked me to bless this guy standing beside me. I looked at him and asked him do you need it? He said it couldn’t hurt. So I prayed for him there. Asking God to be with him and to always remind Matt that He is with him no matter what he is going through.


But back to serving today. We will come back to Matt again here in a bit.


As they were giving us some last minute instructions something caught my attention. They were telling us about if anyone with a wheelchair or walker came in that they would be seated up front. Easier for them to get in and out. Makes sense. It was the next phrase.


If anyone comes in with kids, we will sit them at these tables.


Kids? There will be kids here? Sure enough, the doors open and as the people come in, you see some children come in with them. We had a 15 month old sitting at our table.


24. Still 24 degrees out there.


Are these kids out in the 24 degree weather? Are they keeping warm tonight? Yes I have my bed and right before I sat down at my desk to put together the sermon notes for Sunday, I turned my electric blanket on. Is Matt out in this cold? Does he have a place to sleep tonight that he can lay down and not worry about getting frost bite, hypothermia or even worry about not making it through the night?


I have a lot to be thankful for. Great family. I have a job that keeps the heat on, a roof over our head and food on the table. I just don’t know if I could handle putting my list together after today.




Just checked again. It’s now 22 degrees out there. Wind Chill is about 11.


His name was Matt.

Gabe’s Baptism

 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:17
Nothing pleases me more with my boys than to see them accept Jesus as their Savior. The twins took a class on baptism and what it means last month. The class was leading into our church’s baptism service this past weekend. After the class, Misty and I talked to the boys to see if they were ready. Zach said no, that he was not ready. Gabe on the other hand was ready to go. At least that is what he said. We took his word for it and put him on the list.


Fast forward after the class to last Monday, we wanted to check with Zach one more time and still he said no. Well we wanted to talk to Gabe one more time. After asking him a few more questions, we didn’t know if he was ready or not. We asked him if he had asked Jesus into his heart and he said no. He thought that everyone who was being baptized would do it together. We told him no, that he needed to do that before Sunday. I then asked him if he wanted to do it now.
“No, I will do it Wednesday.”


What? No. Huh? What’s Wednesday have to do with it? He just didn’t want to do it then. So Misty and I talked about it some more and decided that he wasn’t ready and Misty let the church know on Tuesday to pull his name out.


Sunday comes and the church had one big service and had removed most of the chairs and asked that if you could, to sit on the floor and leave the empty chairs for those who couldn’t sit in the floor. It created a great environment as we all come together for the celebration. The service starts opens with “Let’s go down to the River to Pray” and then after a small teaching moment from Dave, our pastor, the baptisms start. The water flows off of the first person baptized and from Gabe’s eyes. He started crying with the first and didn’t stop.


As the service continues, it becomes more obvious that Gabe was really ready. The last baptism ends and Dave is ready to start communion. Misty looks at me and asked me what I think. I take Gabe to the bath room and talk to him. He says he is ready. So I get the attention of Dave and ask if we have time for one more. They had built time into the service for anyone who wasn’t on the list to get baptized so he holds communion up so they could have one more baptism.


I think took Gabe aside and sit down with him and lead him in the sinner’s prayer in our Green Room off stage and then brought him out.


Dave had brought some extra t-shirts since he felt like someone who was prepared to be baptized would be so we needed to get Gabe changed. As we were walking out, Misty told Gabe to take his shoes off. So he kicked them off right in the middle of the door way. Nothing was stopping him. I really think he would have baptized himself if we would have let him. So he walked up on stage, still in his socks. Dave handed us the t-shirt, meaning he could change in to it after, but Misty stood in front of him and changed his shirt right there on stage.


Gabe then walks up to our baptistery, which by the way is a horse trough. Hey it’s a church plant that just turned 5-years old. You do what you have to do. As he walks up, he tries to step in, but Dave stops him. He wants to talk to him first and then leads him in the confession. Again, Gabe is ready to jump in. I told you, he would have done it himself if we let him. After I talk for a little bit, Gabe is ready to get in and I get to baptize my son.


It was great. It was so awesome to really see the Holy Spirit work. The service was great, but it was so obvious how God was working with Gabe and us. He was so ready. He was a bit upset because my parents were not there to see it. If we had known, then we would have asked them up but again, we were thinking he wasn’t. But we are in a great church family. We have had photos and videos coming to us from several friends. Everyone was jumping up and getting photos and videos.


Afterwards, I could see it in Zach’s eyes that maybe he wished he had gone through with baptism. I talked to him some and so did Misty. He said he felt left out. This is the first big event in their lives where they both didn’t go though it together. I told Zach that there will be more and his time will come. Until then, we just have to pray and continue to lead them the way God wants us to lead them.


Has it been 25 years?


Over the last couple of months I’ve been working with some friends from high school in planning our 25th reunion. Hard to believe it’s been that long. It was a lot of work in planning but in the end it was worth it. I got to see a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in years, some even since graduation. Yea I get to see what they’ve been up to through Facebook. But there is still as lot that you don’t get to see and know until you get to sit down with them and really talk to them.

One thing I got to experience was getting to know friends that I barely knew while in high school. You always see different cliques when in school. You see this group and that group and they don’t really mix. It was good to get to know people that I didn’t really know in school. I realized that I missed out on getting to know good friends before now.

It wasn’t easy planning the reunion. Well I ever do it again? I doubt it but I never going to rule it out. I’ll for sure help someone that wants to plan the next one.