- Marilyn and I had a great dinner with Wayne & Janet Cook in Plant City on Thursday night. They were a part of our youth ministry family of volunteers at FUMC-Kissimmee back in the late 90s and dear friends ever since. Wayne is an ordained UMC pastor these days, and when the new appointments begin in July he will be BACK at FUMC-K serving as Senior Pastor! We are so excited for them, for the church and for ourselves as they come back from Tallahassee to Central Florida. Our prayers are with them as they prepare for a big move and a fresh start in a familiar place.
- We were so happy to connect with Jennifer Simmons Morrell (Springfield Friends Meeting) on Facebook recently! We have lots of great memories of Jennifer, and the picture she posted from YouthQuake '91 in Vermont this week was a hoot. Looking forward to catching up, Jen!
- It was great to hear from a few of my old New Garden Friends Meeting youth this week after I posted about the retirement of David Bills. I served NGFM as youth leader from 1978-1983, starting when I was 19 years old. But even with that knowledge it was somewhat of a shock this week to realize that some of my former YOUTH are now turning 50. Which makes me feel like one seriously old dude...
- Two of my very favorite people from my days at Wesley Memorial UMC here in Tampa - Nina Mock & Zach Wehr- have birthdays coming up on May 16. Early happy birthday, my friends! I hope you both get to celebrate in style!
- A couple of births this week in the wider youth ministry family, both on Thursday! David & Emily Mercadante (Springfield Friends Meeting) welcomed daughter Hope Elizabeth to the world, and Sara Thacker Reiter (FUMC-K) and hubby Mark were blessed with a son, Caleb Stephen. Congratulations and best wishes for many blessings to you all!
- A little over a week ago I got to travel over to Disney to hang out with my Twitter sister Jenn Ganley and her hubby Alan for lunch. We had a great time and lots of laughs, and I was impressed so much by Jenn's great heart for serving God in ministry and mission. The experience made me excited to connect with so many of the other Twitter friends with whom I have been so impressed, and certainly the rest of the #StraightJacketMafia!
- I am literally chomping at the bit to hit the road and go see all my NC friends! The list is nearly endless, but this week I have had so many of my Springfield Friends Meeting buddies on my mind- several of whom have also been invading my dreams on a regular basis lately! I just know there are many hugs to be given, much pizza to be eaten and and many laughs to be shared, and that it has been far too long since any of that happened. I may see some of you sooner, but be looking for info on an August reunion of the old SFM youth gang. And several other NC -based "reunions" may be coming in August as well. If I can wait that long...
- I loved this quote on Twitter this past week as shared by Kevin Weatherby- Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble. - G.K. Chesterton If you know me at all you know how much that speaks to my life! :)
- To all of you who live in the Orlando/Kissimmee area- let's do lunch!!! Call me (813-919-3755) text me, tweet me, leave a comment, use a telegraph- just let me know when and I'm on my way!!!
- I was a little stunned at the joy expressed by so may in my Twitter feed on Thursday night as Johnny Manziel fell lower and lower into the first round of the draft. I felt great pity for the way he was being treated by fans and media alike, so I made a bold proclamation. I announced that I would become a fan of the team that picked Johnny Football. So Cleveland Browns, you are stuck with me. Alan Brown (Quaker Lake Camp), it took a lot of years, but I am now on your side! And if Johnny wins Rookie of the Year next season I have a whole lot of friends who are going to need to eat an WHOLE lot of crow!!!
- I still need guest post writers for the #DangerDays series. I am not above begging or bribing. Just let me know which will work best for you!
- Speaking of writers, my old buddy Brent Bill (Quaker Lake Camp & beyond!) has a birthday tomorrow. For his birthday you should give yourself a gift and get his classic book, Sacred Compass. It's a wonderful book about finding your way- spiritually- in this crazy world. I wish we could all read it together and discuss, like a book club. It's that good. Happy birthday, Brent!
- You ask what's on my mind today? Calabash seafood. A milk shake from Cookout. Seeing the Betsy B and walking on North Myrtle Beach. Biting into a Ghassan's steak & chesse or a Bojangles chicken biscuit, then washing it down with a Cheerwine. A barbeque (the noun not the verb!) sandwich from Stamey's. Pizza Inn with my buds. As you can tell, both my heart and my stomach are sooooo ready for some time in the Carolinas!!!
- And finally...if you were ever in one of my youth groups, I have a poll question for ya. Which trip did you go on as a youth that you would be most excited about taking again as an ADULT? Myrtle Beach? New York? Spanish Wells? Atlanta? Sam Levering's Orchards? Disney World? Or some other mission trip site or weekend destination? It's your choice! Inquiring minds want to know! Just leave me a comment with your vote- and your name!
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Saturday Shout Outs!
If today seems like a good day to cut loose with a whoop, a holler and a WOOHOO, then it must be a great day for a new edition of the Saturday Shout Outs! The first shout of the day goes out to all of my readers who are moms! Tomorrow is Mother's Day, the day set aside to recognize you for all the amazing things you do for your families 24/7, 365. My prayer is that it will be a special day for each and every one of you, and that even if for some reason you cannot be with your families that you will feel loved and remembered. We are heading up to Leesburg to see my mom tomorrow and looking forward to a great day. Moms- you are the greatest! Now on with the shouting!!!
Because of Jesus,