Thursday, January 29, 2015

Home is a state of mind

Roscoe is a great furry brother
Here’s to the New Year!

I would be understating if I were to say that the end of last year was a blur. Here’s a list of events that happened between September 26, 2014 and January 3, 2015.
  • September 26: Last day of my old job in Memphis, TN
  • September 29: First day of my new job in Birmingham, AL
  • September 29: I moved in with friends in Birmingham, Sarah moved to her parents’ in North Alabama, Roscoe moved to my parents’ in South Alabama
  • October 17: Turned in two papers for doctoral classes taken in September
  • October 17-19: Took our annual Fall beach trip with the family
  • October 28-31: Attended an Online Learning Conference in Orlando, FL
  • October 31: My birthday!
  • November 3: Sarah moved into our friend’s house with me
  • November 18: After looking at 35+ houses, we made an offer
  • November 19: Offer accepted!
  • November 20-22: Moved our belongings from Memphis to storage
  • November 24: Closed on the sale of our old house in Memphis
  • November 26: Sarah went on maternity leave
  • November 27: Thanksgiving!
  • December 18: The birth of our first child!
  • December 19: Sarah’s job officially ended
  • December 20: Went home from the hospital
  • December 23: Closed on our new house in Birmingham!
  • December 24: Traveled for the holidays
  • December 25: Christmas
  • December 27: Paid off our credit cards.
  • December 29: Returned to Birmingham from holiday travel
  • Dec. 30-Jan. 1: Started renovations on the house (…and Happy New Year!)
  • January 2: Moved belongings into new house from storage
  • January 3: Reunited with Roscoe and spent the first night in our new house and ate Papa Johns as our first meal together.

After going through all of this, here are my observations from the other side.
  1. God is still good and he cares for his children even to the smallest detail.
  2. I'm glad I could only see the next step rather than the whole picture.
  3. There is no time for laziness when there’s work to be done.
  4. My wife is the strongest person I know.
  5. I have the best friends in the world.
  6. Sarah and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive family.
  7. “Home” is a state of mind.
  8. Family is not limited to just blood and marriage.
  9. Love for your wife and love for your child is so different but equally as strong.
  10. I would be terrible as God; there’s no way I could give up my precious son for sinners. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Radio Restoration Project Update

       I finally bought an amp for my old radio. Just to remind you, I bought a 1935 A-87 General Electric console radio a few years ago in hopes of restoring it. It was beat up pretty badly and the guts were roached out too. In stead of trying to restore the old tube radio amp to its original condition, I decided to completely update the guts so that I could have new speakers and run my iPhone through it via bluetooth. Now, I know that there are a lot of purists out there who think that I'm ruining a great piece of history. However, I completely respect the old style of radio that was in this beauty, however, I'm just not smart enough to do that type of restoration. I did save ALL the old parts to the tube radio and have no plans of throwing them away. Moving on.
       I purchased a pair of Kenwood 6 1/2 inch car speakers for less than $60.00 at Best Buy about a year ago. They are 4ohm and can handle 75w max RMS. The new amp puts out 70w max RMS per channel at 4ohm. The amp includes two inputs and one output connections. I connected my Belkin bluetooth receiver to one of the inputs and will use my iPhone as the audio source.
       Here is where I am right now. I've still got a little ways to go but I'm happy with my progress.

I bought this amp off of Amazon and saved a bunch with Amazon Prime.

 Here is the setup. It's pretty simple actually. Speakers connect to the speaker connections and the bluetooth connects to the audio input.

In order for the speakers to fit in the space and not hit the wooden grill guard, I had to rear mount them on a thin piece of plywood. I will paint the wood black and put the original grill cloth back on it. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the bluetooth receiver to keep it discrete and yet functional. 

I will post more photos when I make more progress. Today is March 31, 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being a Minister/Sports Fan on Social Media

       I'm a minister. I'm also a HUGE college football fan. I graduated from Auburn University and I absolutely love my Tigers...or as my Bama fan friends would say, my War Eagles. Although my allegiance is with Auburn, I work at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. There are students from all over the country who attend this institution. I have had students who attended Ole Miss, University of Tennessee, University of Arkansas, University of Alabama, University of Florida, and University of Georgia. Those schools are rivals of Auburn. If I spend all my time and energy pumping Auburn, it's going to be a turn off to those students. If every illustration I use when preaching is about Bo Jackson or Cam Newton, or how great it is to be an Auburn Tiger, I'm not going to connect with those who disagree. And besides, no one really cares what team you pull for when you're preaching God's Word.
       It's a complete turn off to me when fellow ministers tweet about their favorite team. I've actually unfollowed ministers on Twitter and Facebook because of their excessive comments about their team. It's not that I'm against people pulling for their team, I just think it's a divisive topic. There are better ways to do it when you are a minister who has a congregation or ministry comprised of different opinions. Here are some things to remember when you're a minister and a fan on social media.

  1. Nobody cares as much as you do about your team, your team's record, your team's schedule, or the new recruit your team signed.
  2. Keep your comments neutral. (No trash talking. You're a minister...just...don't.)
  3. Don't be afraid to tweet or post positive stories about your rival. (Believe it or not, there are Christians on other teams.)
  4. Don't post hurtful things about other teams. There may be people in your ministry who will feel that it is an attack on them and their beloved team. (I've learned this the hard way.)
  5. Use the "Favorite" or "Like" option more than you use the "Retweet" or "Share" option. Favoriting or Liking a post is more for your sake and it doesn't clog up other people's feeds.
  6. If you live in a town with a college team, or a state with a Pro team, support those teams loud and proud! It's the whole concept of living where you live. I don't care if you know nothing about the teams in your city/state, if it's good news about those teams, make it public! Your people will appreciate it.
  7. That leads me to the next point. It's TOTALLY okay to post about your favorite team if you minister in the city where your team is located. For instance: Vol fans in Knoxville, Grizzly or Tiger fans in Memphis, Auburn fans in Auburn, Tide fans in Tuscaloosa, Gator fans in Gainsville, etc.
  8. Always be gracious when your team loses. It's better to congratulate your team's opponent than to congratulate your own team...or worse, beat up your own team publicly.
  9. If you want to talk to a fellow fan of your own team, either message them privately or, if you're on Twitter, send the tweet to them specifically like this: [ @Biggest_Fan_Ever did you see that quarterback we just signed?] If you don't put anything before the @, then the message will not show up on other people's feed unless of course they are the person connected to the @ or are mutual friends with you and the person to whom you are tweeting.
  10. Lastly, don't live-tweet sporting events. (Some people DVR games, so don't spoil it.) But if you do, please, pretty please use a hashtag (#) to let the world know what you are talking about. For instance: [Are you kidding me, that's ridiculous?!?!] means something different than [Are you kidding me, that's ridiculous?!?! #IronBowl13]. For all we know, you could've been talking about something you read in the Bible. So, don't live tweet, but if you do, use hastags and don't get accused of blasphemy.
Just as a reminder, this is a list meant for ministers. If you're not a minister, you are totally free and expected to tweet and post the junk out of your favorite team! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

50 Things Every Son Needs to Hear from His Dad

       I heard a lot of things growing up from a lot of people: my mom, sister, teachers, ministers, friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, coaches, teammates, and opponents. Each one would tell me different things in their own way. My mom would lovingly tell me not to do something and when I wouldn't listen, the switches came out. (Then I listened.) My teachers would threaten me with detention or sitting out in the hall...I was scared to death of detention. My coaches would yell and growl...somewhere between the tobacco spit and sweat, I learned how to play. My ministers would speak the truth of God's word...either from the pulpit or one on one. My sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins would praise me for whatever...since I was one of the only boys in the family. Teammates gave me "attaboys" and opponents made threats. Much of what they told me went in one ear and out the other.
       However, there was one person who's voice I desired most to hear. My dad. My dad was very important to me growing up...and he still is. I'm going to visit mom and dad in a few weeks to go turkey hunting. I can't wait! Growing up, dad wasn't one to waste words. The things he said, he meant. And if it required action, he expected it to be completed by the time he got home from work. I heard a lot of things from my dad that are important. There are some boys who don't hear things from their dad for various reasons. Either the son never knew his "dad," the "dad" was not intentional with his words, or the father has passed away. I put the word "dad," in quotations because not every father is a dad. I heard one gruff football coach preaching one time say, "There are too many sperm donors out there and not enough dads." He made the distinction a little more vividly than I could. Even if your dad was not there, either physically or emotionally, you can use this list to help your son.
       Here is a list compiled from some men I know as well as from my life of what every boy needs to hear from his dad. This is in no particular order.
  1. I love you.
  2. I'm proud of you.
  3. I believe in you.
  4. Don't quit.
  5. Be kind.
  6. Trust in the Lord.
  7. Say your prayers.
  8. Read your Bible.
  9. Eat your veggies.
  10. Look both ways.
  11. Hold my hand.
  12. Follow me.
  13. I love your mother.
  14. I expect you to do your best.
  15. Respect others.
  16. I understand, I'm not perfect and neither are you.
  17. Learn from your mistakes.
  18. Walk it off.
  19. Guard your thoughts.
  20. Keep your composure
  21. Choose your words carefully.
  22. We care for those who can't care for themselves.
  23. Don't be lazy.
  24. Hustle.
  25. You are strong.
  26. You is kind.
  27. You is smart.
  28. You is important. (Sorry, I had to. It was just too easy.)
  29. Do what I say, when I say to do it.
  30. Stay focused.
  31. Be particular.
  32. Plan ahead.
  33. Love your sister.
  34. Obey your mother.
  35. You're the man of the house when I'm gone.
  36. It's ok, I still love you.
  37. Keep your head up.
  38. There is a time and place for everything.
  39. Respect yourself.
  40. Believe in yourself.
  41. What you did was wrong, I still love you, but there are consequences.
  42. I trust you.
  43. Take responsibility for your actions.
  44. Tell me about your day.
  45. Just because your friends are doing it, doesn't make it right.
  46. You represent this family, don't do anything disgrace its name.
  47. If you're ever in jail, call me and I will bail you out.
  48. If you've ever had too much to drink, call me and I'll pick you up.
  49. Respect the girls you date and don't scar them for the next guy.
  50. Be a godly man who loves Jesus.
       This list is in no way comprehensive. Perhaps there are some I left out. Feel free to comment and tell me what you heard or needed to hear from your dad.