Growing in the Same Direction

Last month, Jorjanne and I went to the Catalyst Conference. Attending this event with our closest friends has become an annual tradition. If you aren’t familiar with the Catalyst Conference, check out their content and the people who speak. They are extremely genuine, wise, and inspiring.
Getting away a couple of times per year is a strategic part of our marriage. And, getting away together is a strategic focus of my closest friendships. I’ve learned that getting away together with Jorjanne and my closest friends regularly for a conference or special event provides at least 5 benefits:
  1. Taking a regular trip provides cherished memories that last a lifetime.
  2. These trips also allow us to grow in the same direction through the content we each experience at a conference. This common growth also provides new conversations and vocabulary that we use to continually benefit each other within our group.
  3. We can later share this information with our other friends, family, and team members to help them also grow in this same direction.
  4. By leaving home for the getaway, we are able view our everyday lives with a new perspective that we wouldn’t have recognized by staying home.
  5. Our friends, spouse, and other family can help us solve problems we may not have been able to solve while in the forest of daily life at home.
So, the next time you are invited to a conference GO! Or, if you’ve passed up the opportunity to attend a conference, take the lead next time and invite a few close friends to join you.
Your future healthier family will be glad you did.
Question…What conference has had the greatest impact on your personal, relational, or professional growth?


Tuesday, August 11, 2015 was one of the scariest days of my life. Jorjanne was involved in an horrific car wreck. Thankfully, she had no internal injuries, and she is healing very well. Since the accident, she and I have experienced many emotions. Fortunately, neither of us have been involved in a major accident before. And, the only time either of us has been in the hospital was when Jorjanne gave birth to our children. So, needless to say, I was scared when I arrived on the scene. I was also very nervous about the next steps of her care. I was praying for God’s healing of her body and His wisdom and peace as I helped her. But, when we arrived at the hospital, I was looking one person… my brother.

Eric is an Emergency Physician. Eric is extremely compassionate, fiercely loyal…and (not to brag, but…) the best doctor around.  I joke with others, though, that I don’t ever want to see him at work! One of his concerns as an ER doctor is that one of us is injured. His biggest fear is that he is at work when we arrive. But, as my brother, his presence was the reassurance I needed in knowing that Jorjanne was receiving the best care and that everything was going to be okay.

Within minutes of arriving in the Emergency Room, our other brothers and sisters also showed up meeting every other need like taking care of our boys, praying, and bringing us food.

Fortunately, Jorjanne is recovering remarkably well. After five days in the hospital, she is home now. And, I couldn’t be any more proud to see her healing and to have her home!

Over the past couple of years, I have become a fan of the musical group NeedToBreathe. Their most recent release, Brother, is now my favorite song…ever! You should watch the music video now…and read the lyrics. This song captures my gratitude and love for my biological brother and sisters along with so many more of you brothers and sisters who have prayed, called, texted, visited, and brought us food and flowers. I told a close friend yesterday that we have experienced the love of Jesus through prayers and boiled peanuts this past week! To all of you brothers and sisters…you have been the hands and feet of Jesus, the Body of Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, Thank You!

Who Is In Control

Here in south Georgia we have beautiful weather. We average almost 50 inches of rainfall each year. Winter only lasts for a couple of weeks. Summer lasts for several months. And, the spring and fall seasons are the most pleasant times of year with lows in the 50s and highs in the 80s. But, the past two weeks’ weather patterns have reminded me that despite all of my family’s efforts to harness the benefits of the weather and grow muscadines, we are not in control of everything.

Two weeks ago, an EF1 tornado passed within a few miles of our farm. I was in Ocilla (15 miles away from my office) when my cell phone alerted me of the tornado warning. Jorjanne and I were together and our boys were in school, so everyone was accounted for and in safe locations. I immediately called my office to make sure everyone there knew what was coming and where to go for safety. I realized during those 30 minutes of watching the weather radar that I couldn’t do anything to redirect the tornado. My business’s and family’s safety were helpless!

Earlier this week another weather system moved through and brought near freezing temperatures. This would be normal in January. But, in April all of the muscadine vines are budding out leaves. If temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period of time, our entire annual crop could be destroyed. I realized on the morning of April 16th I couldn’t do anything to raise the outside temperature. Again, my business and family’s livelihood were helpless!

After waking up to a breezy frostless morning, I remembered a very important truth – I am not in control. I can and should make plans. I enjoy setting goals. But, at the end of the day, God is in control.

So, what in the world am I to do?

I start each morning by praying the Lord’s prayer. I heard a message on this prayer one time that revoluntionized the way I pray and approach each day. Here’s the way I pray now:

  1. I declare God’s greatness. I will not put my hope in riches but in the One who richly provides.
  2. I surrender my will to God’s will.
  3. I acknowledge my dependence on God for provision, pardon from my sins, and protection from evil.

Hopefully, extreme weather will not return. Regardless, though, I will continue making plans and setting goals. And, I will remember who is in control. Life is much more peaceful this way.

Question: What methods do you practice to gain perspective and prepare for each day? I look forward to hearing from you!