Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Overview

Today is the last day of 2007.

For me, this is an exciting day because tomorrow I will no longer be a rookie Real Estate guy anymore! It's hard to believe, but this time last year I had just taken and passed the Real Estate exam on the first try. And I was ready to head off into a new career, not having any idea if I would make it or not or what might lay ahead.

January through February was spent recovering from an ice storm (remember that one???) and taking my post license classes. I also spent time in the office getting to know the other agents, sitting at my desk waiting on the phone to ring (which didn't happen very often at first!), doing floor time (which means being on duty in case a customer comes in), holding open houses in the icy cold winter months for other agents and getting my first listing, which happened to be a trailor at Grand Lake.

As Spring came on, so did changes. I got other listings, sold my first house in Broken Arrow and got real busy, real fast. One thing you sacrifice in the world of Real Estate is time. If you aren't willing to drop everything to go show a house or meet a client, don't go into this business. It can be very demanding.

Now, at the end of the year I can look back and be pretty satisfied with 2007. I had set a goal of selling $1 million this year, which is pretty aggressive for a new agent. I ended up selling $3 million, which, in my opinion, is attributable only to God's hand of blessing in my life. Along the way, I began working part time with a little church in Collinsville. This is a wonderful group of people who love us and support us. Our goal there is to help them to grow to the point where they can hire a full-time guy. As God blesses and gives wisdom there, I know the growth will come (the church already has begun to stabilize and grow!).

Some things that I have learned and/or changes that have happened in my life and family this year include:

>Diane and I pray together each morning prior to leaving to face the day. I'm sorry to say it took me so long to grow to where I could do this with her, but when you have to rely on God because you no longer receive a paycheck every week, you maybe get more willing to knock on heaven's door. At least that is what happened for me. This one thing has drawn us closer together.

>I have struggled with staying in God's Word as much as I used to. No one to blame here other than myself. Either I choose to open the Bible and read something or I don't. However, I think I understand and relate to real people in the real world much better because of this struggle. When I was full time in ministry I had the luxury of sitting in my office day after day and studying the Bible in depth. In the real world pressures, ringing phones, needy clients and other interruptions crowd in.

>I have seen our kids grow and develop throughout this year. Heather is dating a young man who is getting ready to head off to basic training in the Marines. He's a great guy. I like him. She is still working and getting ready to start classes at TCC in January. Chris is a Senior this year and is excited to be wrapping up high school. He's considering going to college once he graduates. Sheldon is a Junior and is still dating Eva. He works at McDonalds and is a student manager now. Each of them have followed us to the little church in Collinsville even though we told them they could attend wherever they wished. It's fun to get to see them involved there.

>Diane is still at the bank. She's just been promoted and will be working at the main branch. She's excited about the opportunity to advance. She continues to blow me away with how she crack the outer hard shell of people. She'll introduce me to people at Wal-Mart who are her clients and I will think to myself, "Wow, I don't think that person and I would ever talk if it was just us in the store." But with her, they are just kind and humble and gentle. This is a real gift that she has. I have to work on that one more.

For us there will be no resolutions for 2008. As I shared with the folks in Collinsville yesterday, resolutions are something that go in one year and out the next. They don't work. So for us we will just continue to trust that God will take care of us and bless us and lead us through another year.

See you around town.

And remember, when you're ready to buy or sell your next house, call the best. Call Bob!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tulsa Ice Storm December 07

You may have heard about the winter storm encompassing the plains right now. In the last 48 hours, we've had a lot of ice, most of which tends to cling and accumulate on trees. If you'll look closely at the pic on the left, you'll notice that the pine needles are buried deeply within the ice coating. The ice is at least 1/4 inch thick around the needles. This branch fell from my once beautiful pine trees in the front yard.

The picture on the right is a broader shot of the pine trees. After I took this picture the branches up high fell off of the tree. Man, you should hear what that sounds like!

This is what ice can do to an oak tree.

Watch out baby Jesus! The sky is falling!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I saw this pic on a Google news story about obesity. Is the guy big or is the girl little? I'll let you decide.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Well

I heard this saying at Diane's Christmas party this weekend.

"Those who drink the water should remember those who dug the well."

I like that...sort of. Let me explain.

I think it is correct in its pure meaning. If we benefit from the work of those in the past, then we should remember those people who went ahead of us. That's good.

On the other hand, the statement has the potential for causing deep ruts.

Having been in church work for many years, I have seen too many congregations get stuck in ruts due to being hung up on tradition and the past. Is there anything wrong with tradition? No. Is there anything wrong with remembering the past? No. But we must be very careful to correctly remember those who dug the wells in our lives in such a way so as not to be kept from moving forward.

I'm not saying we should walk away from those who dug the wells. And I'm not saying we should walk away from what they stood for either. Not at all. What we should do though is to be propelled forwards to build on what they did in ways that are relevant but always based on the same values, morals and principles. Why? Because truth never changes. If you are a spiritual person, you will understand what I am talking about here.

I'm going to use this little saying and these rambling thoughts in a series I'll be presenting at our church in January. Here is the logo for the series.

Application: Are you digging wells that someone else will enjoy someday?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I'm Thankful For

It's Thanksgiving season which means it is time to be thankful.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order

My salvation
My family
My dogs Teddy and Carmel
My jeep
A great house I live in
Money in the bank (that's always nice!)
Health in our family (for the most part)
Great parents
My sister
Good friends
Two guys named Larry and Earl
The internet (makes my job rock!)
The wonderful people who bought/sold houses with me so far this year (it's been a good year!)
Unconditional love
C.S. Lewis
Rich Mullins
That I was born when I was and not in the current generation (bet my parents said that too!)
My neighbor (who went into a sales job at the same time I did and understands)
That heaven is real, God is good and His love endures forever

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summer 07

Someone mentioned to me the other day that it had been a long time since I had blogged.

They were right.

This summer has been a time in my life unlike any other. I have been so busy with Real Estate and the new church that there have been days when it literally has felt like I was riding a super fast spinning merry go round.

I haven't ever had to live life at such a hectic pace before. Church work tends to keep you busy, but not THAT busy!

A couple of observations about the world of Real Estate (from a relatively new agent).

1)You meet lots of really nice people in this business. And you meet lots of very interesting people in this business. The funniest people are the ones who come to open houses and they don't want to talk to you or to let you know their "inner" secrets about their real motivations. You learn to read people like this. And what is so funny is that they're really only hurting themselves. In being all secretative around me (the Real Estate Agent) they're shutting out good converstation, a potential friendship and relationship and my ability to help them accomplish their goals. Lest you think this is a commercial, it isn't. I'm a person first and a Real Estate Agent by job choice. At the end of the day doing business is, of course, the end goal. But getting to know people - even if I can't ultimately help them is the best part of the job. People who hide motives close out that part of being a human being.

2)In this business you also meet some of the goofiest people on the planet. Some of them are buyers and sellers and some of them are other agents. Suffice it to say that the world is just full of...interesting people. I include myself in that!

3)I think the state of our economy has hit everyone. Interestingly enough, what it has done is to cause lots of people to look for easy to cut corners. Folks might be getting rid of their SUV's, but not everyone is. You still see people out eating all the time too. In the world of Real Estate people have decided (at least a lot of people) that they can sell their house themselves and save the real estate commission. In a free market economy I'm okay with that. In fact, I've done it myself (before going into the business). The part that gets to you as an agent is the attitude that goes along with it. People tend to think that we agents are money grubbing, wealthy snobs. Maybe that is an image we have presented. I don't know. What I do know is that I work hard to make a living for my family. I pull a lot of hours and bend over backwards to serve my clients. When I get paid, I believe I have earned my income.

4)My real estate company is a great place to work. I love their vision, leadership and support.

5)Being self employed (outside of the higher taxes you pay) rocks! I love not having to be at an office, under a boss at a certain time every day.

6)Selling houses is fun because you get to see the inside of so many homes. We are such a creative society that you never know what kind of decor you're going to walk into. And then, once my buyer has moved in and made the house their home, it is really fun to see the changes.

So that's my observations from the world of Real Estate so far. It's an interesting career. Not one for everybody, but so far it's good for me!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Catching Up

Blogging is one of those things for me that comes in waves.

Sometimes it's like I'm driven and I blog and blog and blog. At other times, it is more like I have to drag myself to say something...sometimes to say anything.

There have been many changes in my life over this year. Through this process I have experienced many emotional swings. I knew God was in these changes, but it has been a pretty wild ride. Of course, with God it usually least when it comes to faith and trusting Him.

Let me summarize the year for you.

Moved out of a large church ministry in November 06 somewhat surprisedly. I know now (as I really new then) that it was God but it was still a big change and not one that I had planned in advance necessarily. Details aren't important here as much as is the fact that God had a plan.

Decided to go into Real Estate to make a living so the kids could finish high school in Owasso. Got my license in 3 weeks and began January 2nd. Remember what happened right after that? Major ice storm! God was good though. He brought me business right off the bat and now I've had 8 closings. Pretty good for a first year agent!

Diane and I agreed that, along with Real Estate, I'd help small churches by filling in for them at times. So we went off and began visiting some significant sized churches in and around Tulsa. That was fun. Seeing believers of different faiths worship the same God was really cool. Then about six weeks ago a small church in Collinsville called me up and asked me to fill in for them. I knew at the time (or should I say "sensed") that God was probably going to plop us down with this congregation. And He did.

Now I'm the preacher there. It's a part time gig, but it's been fun to be the guy who sets the vision and leads the service, etc. I meet with the elders (of which I am one - that's a weird change!) each Monday for lunch at the church. We are discussing the vision for the church and are already making plans for how the church is going to grow. I've not always been in a situation where I had an opinion that mattered and now I am. It's nice.

I firmly believe God has a plan for this little church to reach people with His love. And for some reason or other He must think I'm the guy (at least for now) to lead them towards fulfilling His plan. The more I think about that the more I realize the seriousness and gravity of it. It makes me tremble. It also makes me stand back in amazement. God would actually use a common guy to help fulfill His purpose here on the earth? Wow. How cool is that?

So my life right now varies between thinking about selling houses and working with customers and what I'm going to preach on Sunday. Finding illustrations for what I'm speaking about - well that's the easy part!

So watch for a little church in Collinsville to be making some big waves pretty soon.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Diane and I loaded up the kids and went to the graveyard on Memorial Day this year. We don't usually make them go, but my mom and dad were in town this year and I wanted my kids to hear some history of some of the family who've gone on ahead - and I wanted them to hear it from their grandparents.

Part of my reasoning behind this is because I know a day is coming when my kids will visit that graveyard to visit the graves of their grandparents and probably my own and their mother. I wanted to create a memory for them for when that day comes.

Another reason I wanted to take the kids along was because of this particular gravestone. Notice it says that buried below it is the limb of this lady. My mom and dad remember the lady, but could not remember if the limb was an arm or a leg. I thought that was funny.

Notice in the next picture that the lady died just five years later. While standing over her gravestone we discussed whether or not she ever visited the gravesite of her missing limb. Someone pointed out that they might have buried the limb because of the idea that to be resurrected one had to have all their parts available. Interesting thought, especially in light of cremation and the practice of spreading ashes today.

One other interesting thing about this graveyard visit is that all of the people who are buried there are buried facing east (head to the west/feet to the east) so that when resurrection happens they'll rise facing the Lord.

This last pic is of me, the boys and my dad standing by my grandparent's grave. It's my desire to buried close to my grandparents. That's weird to think about. It's even stranger to stand by the place where you intend to be buried and to think to yourself, "I'm going to buried here someday." Then you kind of get into the dying part and that's even weirder so you don't think about that much. At least I don't. It does make me consider the reality of heaven and hell and God and angels and all that I believe though. For me if all that stuff (and resurrection) isn't real then life is pretty hopeless. I think a guy named Paul said something like that once.

Anyway, it was a good visit and a good experience. I hope my kids will remember this day as a good day in their lives.

I know it was in mine.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Why Can't I Forgive (from Gary Smalley)

This popped in my email this week. Thought it was good...

Why can't I forgive?

We all know that forgiveness is important and critical to any healing in a relationship. Still the question remains: "Why is it so hard to forgive?"

Here are three main roadblocks to forgiveness.

First, there's the inability to see our own mistakes and imperfections. If we're unable to see our own faults and mistakes, how can we possibly move toward forgiveness in our relationships? We must first be able to admit that we're not perfect and that we're capable of hurting people we love. This gives us compassion.

Second, there's unresolved anger. Unresolved anger is a major hindrance to the healing power of forgiveness. If we refuse to let go of bitterness, rage or hatred, we're holding on to very destructive forces. These forces are in direct contrast to the power of forgiveness, and they cannot exist together.

Finally, there's a misunderstanding of what forgiveness is. Many people have great misconceptions about what forgiveness is, and therefore they struggle with it. I like what author Paul Thigpen says. "Two New Testament words we translate 'to forgive' mean literally 'to let go' and 'to cancel a debt'. I found that at times the phrase 'I forgive you' seemed empty, so I said, 'I release you. I let you go. I let go of this offence. I cancel your debt. You owe me nothing now. I renounce my desire to get even with you.' That way, the imagery of this biblical language filled the word 'forgiveness' with a more specific and concrete meaning."

Forgiveness may lead to reconciliation or it may not, but they are not the same. Paul recognizes this when, in writing about our attitude to those who wrong us, he says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).

Is there someone you need to forgive today?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Catching Up

You'll notice that I haven't posted for a while.

I've been busy, but that's no real excuse.

Fact is, I've been working through some decisions that need to be made and it's been difficult.

Diane and I have been praying earnestly for God to speak and guide, but the answer has been total and complete silence.

Never before in my entire life have I not known what to do or direction to go.

So if you know us please pray for God's direction in our lives over the next several days. A decision must be made...and soon.

On a side note: The world of Real Estate keeps hopping. That's good!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Advice to Live By

*Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
* Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
* You cannot unsay a cruel word.
* Every path has a few puddles.
* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
* The best sermons are lived, not preached.
* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
* Don't judge folks by their relatives.
* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
* Always drink upstream from the herd.
* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Things God Hates

Most people like to think of God as a God of love. And He is. But God isn't just a gooey, hippie kind of "dude" who loves all things regardless of their nature. For example, it would be ridiculous to believe that God loves ungodly behavior towards others. And it would be ridiculous to believe that God loves things that entrap and hurt us such as drugs and other addictions. While God loves us we know better than to believe He loves it when we abuse our integrity by gambling on the computer while at work. And surely God grieves rather than smiles when we guys get caught up in internet porn which is idolatry (see Ephesians 6).

There are seven specific things that the Bible teaches that God "hates"

16There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to Him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes
feet that are quick to rush into evil
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers

Proverbs 6:16-19

I think sometimes that we believers do not consider the seriousness of this teaching from scripture. I grew up in church. I used to think that churches just split up sometimes and that was how it was. And maybe that is true. But as I've grown older I see all too often that churches tend to be plagued by people within who are in clear violation of these principles - especially the last one - someone who stirs up dissension among brothers.

I've decided in my life to not violate these principles if at all possible. Will I always succeed? No, I'm human. I fail all too often and I'm very aware of that. But I will not do something intentionally to make God hate what I've done (Note: I didn't say hate me, but rather hate the action...).

I wonder why we don't care too much what God thinks about how we live? If we did, this teaching and others from scripture would be much more relevant and observable in the Christian community.

Think about it.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Sunday

Went to church today.

It was really good.

Happy Easter!


Friday, April 6, 2007

11 Commandments for an Effective Team

Found this in a Real Estate website I visit quite often and thought it was good.


•1. Help each other be right-rather than wrong.
•2. Look for ways to make new ideas work-rather than for reasons they won't.
•3. If in doubt, check it out-rather than making negative assumptions.
•4. Help each other win and take pride in each other's victories.
•5. Speak positively about each other and about your organization at every opportunity.
•6. Maintain a positive emotional attitude-no matter what the circumstances.
•7. Act with initiative and courage as if it all depends on you.
•8. Do everything with enthusiasm-it's contagious.
•9. Believe in what you are doing-always persist.
10. Whatever you want-give it away!
11. Have FUN!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

What Happens in Vegas...

You've heard the saying about what happens in Vegas, right?

Well the fact of the matter is that it just isn't true. Memories and experiences stay with us. You cannot walk away from them.

This postcard (found this week on PostSecret) is a reminder that we are designed with a conscience. While it is popular these days to say, "Live as you wish," and "Don't tell me how to live," the fact remains that each and everyone of us has morals that are written on our hearts. When we do wrong, we feel bad. God made us that way.

I don't know what this person did, but it is obviously eating them up.

How, here's the good news about God. He can relieve burdens such as this through confession and repentance. We can never clear our conscience by ourselves, but through being open with those we love and by trusting in God we can clean the slate.

Churches are sometimes good about preaching and practicing this and sometimes not so good. They forget that there are some real hurting people in the world who are afraid or scared to darken the doors of a church. And even if hurting people do visit church, they typically aren't going to march down to the front in view of everybody to confess their sins. That's often asking way too much out of someone who is struggling already. This is where a small group of people can be a lifesaver. In small community you can often talk openly about the hurts of life. Sometimes it boils down to a single trusted friend or married couple.

For a good example of this go to and watch the first of their series on SexEd. There's a good example there.

In the meantime the thing to remember is that you don't have to carry burdens alone in life. God cares. And further, He isn't going to laugh at you or turn you away. There isn't anything you or I have done that He hasn't heard before. He's pretty cool that way.

For believers I think we must be reminded to care about others. Sometimes we simply forget that life is tough and people need to see that faith makes a difference. How we live our lives determines if we really are people who live what we say we believe or not. When are people who live our faith it impacts people in an amazing way.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I've Been Busy

You'll notice I haven't blogged in a while. It's no excuse, but I've been pretty busy! I've secured four contracts within the last six weeks and had my first closing. I think that's pretty good for a rookie agent.

In our family there are adjustments happening. We have a minor surgery coming up for Diane soon, so we're dealing with insurance and all that pre op stuff. It seems like the cars in our family have all chosen to rebel and break down at the same town. We have two down right now and just got one back from the shop. Ouch! Cars can be pricey!

On the church front, we know we're on a journey with God to somewhere. It feels weird and exciting and terrifying to be in this place. It's kind of like we don't "belong" right now to any church body we visit, thus making us feel like outsiders. And yet we know clearly that God is with us, guiding us and caring for us. Never before have I had to completely trust Him so much. It has been tough at times and amazing all the time. On the ministry front, I cannot believe the opportunities God is placing in front of me to minister to people. Seeing faith at a ground level of everyday life is so cool. God is good!

Some friends in my life have proved to be true blue through this change in our lives. Others have disappointed. New ones have emerged. It has been what you should expect I think.

In the world of Real Estate I have found lots of people who don't know God and who are living for the here and now - which is easy to do in Real Estate. And I've found believers who do not yet really get living their faith daily. And I've found those who do live their faith. But you know what else I've found that has been surprising? The support base has been incredible. Everybody in the field has been supportive and encouraging. I can ask "dumb" rookie questions of anybody in our office and find a friend giving good answers and advice. I am really enjoying have such support - it's something I have not had to this degree before. It truly makes being successful here (along with God's part) "doable."

So that's life for now. Talk to you soon.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

The New Face of Real Estate in Owasso Has Arrived!

I inked another deal yesterday.

So what, right?

Well the fact that it's my third deal within a couple of weeks is pretty big - especially when you're new in real estate.
When I went into this industry, I did so with the determination that not only could I make a living doing this, but I could make a difference. And that's what I'm doing. The real estate industry is full of people - some who are stars and some who are duds - just like other industries. But in this industry, it's all up to you - unless you are a believer...
Anyway, showing up is half the battle. The other half is caring about people and simply doing what you say you are going to do. And this is what I do. Unfortunately, too many other agents...don't.
So, be careful when you pick a real estate agent. Sure they may be beautiful, but is this person really quality? What are his/her morals, values and standards? Are they the popular choice just because they are the popular choice or because they've been around forever or because they deliver real world results? Further, are you doing YOUR part when it comes to selling your house?
And how about that discount group? Did you know when you go the discount route you'll still end up paying the buyer's agent out of your profit and proceeds? So, is it really a discount when you're going to pay both sides anyway? Think about it.
I'm still somewhat new, but I'm here. I'm making a difference. I'm helping people know and see that somebody still cares, still serves and still works hard to make a living.
Are you ready for the best in the real estate industry? There's a new face in town and his name is Bob Haywood! Contact me to buy or sell your next house and see how sweet it is to work with someone who cares about you!
(How's that for self promotion?)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Saw a story on Good Morning America this morning about a new movement called the "Godmen." Their basic premise is that the church is too soft for men and has gone "girly"

Don't know much about this group yet, but here's a link to their website.

Question: Do you think the church is too "sissy" for real men? Does it sing PROM songs to Jesus (as the group claims?)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Jesus Painting

Pretty cool video. Take a few minutes to watch and I think you'll be surprised.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Our Visit to the Church in Tulsa

Had family in town over the weekend due to my son being in the Tulsa World Satellite Battle of the Band contest at the Cain's Ballroom. His band didn't win, but they had a good time performing and it was a good experience.

So Sunday we went to church with my sister. We know lots of folks who attend this particular church and had been intending to go there to visit on a Sunday. With my folks here it was as good a time as any to go.

Got there before the service began. This church didn't have door greeters, but did have bulletin folks. You'll find as you visit churches that some put people at the doors, some have ushers, some don't, some use men and women and some use just men. It's always fun (to me) to see which set up we'll encounter.

Even though we know lots of people at this church, we didn't find it overly friendly from those we didn't know. Sometimes churches are like that. I don't think they mean to not be friendly as much as they forget to intentionally think of the visitors. You know how it is, you get to visiting with your friends, you think someone else will speak to that person you don't know - maybe even you mean to say something to them and you just don't get out of your conversation soon enough. I'd be curious to hear of your experience as you've visited churches. Friendly? Not friendly?

The service began without fanfare. When done right it's a pretty cool deal. You're sitting there, the crowd is visiting, the lights come up and off you go. I liked it.

The worship in this church was well paced, but mostly geared for a younger crowd. However, even with the "younger" approach to the music (which I'm not complaining about, but rather just observing) it was still done very well - adult style. Everybody on stage was dressed to match with business casual. The worship leader came across very comfortably on stage. They had a keyboard player, electric guitars, bass, drums and the leader on acoustic. I liked the hymn they began with even though it was altered. My parents did not (they're from the Builder Generation). there a good way to handle the diverse crowds you get in church worship? How do you minister to the young folks without alienating the older crowd? And how do you minister to the older crowd without alienating the young crowd? Can this be done? If it can be done, why is it usually not done? Interesting and challenging questions for the church.

This church takes communion every Sunday which is a tradition in our fellowship. I enjoy being in a place that observes communion weekly. That was nice.

Prior to the sermon a young lady sang a special. It was nerve racking because you didn't know if she was going to make it through it. She kept getting a bit off key and off tempo. You'd think, "Oh man, she's off...she's going to run off stage crying. It's gonna be bad!" Then she'd catch back up and keep going. To her credit, she didn't quit. She made it through the song, but it was a rough ride!

The sermon was good with practical application. The message was based on Peter's denial of Christ. I liked how well the preacher tied in our lives today to the situation. I noticed in the bulletin that this preacher has a personal website blog. I thought that was cool. Our preacher has one and I love that you can keep up with him on a personal level through it. Good idea.

Here's something interesting from the message...As an illustration the preacher quoted a newspaper article about two guys who were imitating stupid stunts from a movie. One of the guys got badly burned. The preacher quoted the name of the movie - Jackass and said that the one guy was burned on his genitals. I was a bit taken aback. I don't believe I've ever heard those two particular words spoken from the pulpit...I'm not saying this was bad - just...surprising. What do you think? Appropriate or not?

All in all it was a good service. My only complaint would be that we stood up too long in worship but that is a personal preference and some worship leaders say it's okay to sit down if you don't want to stand up that long.

Question: What's your opinion about standing/sitting in worship?

It was good to see good friends and to catch up with people. Found out a friend and his wife had just returned from India. Some of the "kids" from my old youth group are graduating college and some people I know know another person I know, so that will be fun to discuss that with the person from my own fellowship.

On a personal note I was told that our preacher has had a physical setback and for that I am so very sorry. I know him well and I know how frustrating this will be for him. Please say a prayer for him. He's a great guy with a deep love for the church and the Lord.


Monday, March 5, 2007

From Sunday's Secret

(You can click on the pic to see it larger)

Lots of folks out there wander about this.

Do you?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Our Visit to the Downtown Church

Got up early this morning and headed downtown to attend a big baptist church located there. This is a church we had been intending to visit, but just hadn't made it yet. My secretary enjoys listening to the pastor from this church and asked if we would go with her today. She's Catholic so I figured she might like to have a friend go with her, so off we went.

Got there late and found our seats, but with no usher assistance. This would be the ONLY negative I would have to say about this church. They did have the doors well manned by volunteers, so that was good. But still there were no ushers. Maybe they don't use that system?

Anyway, the sanctuary is absolutely beautiful. It's an old style room that has been nicely updated so that it is contemporary with a connection to history and tradition. The seats are individual with arm rests and the balcony is cool. It has awesome staircases that swoop down onto the stage. Speaking of the stage - very clean look. Open, warm and inviting. It has beautiful wooden arches that are awesome. In between two of them on each side they have the screens, except that there are no screens. The projector shows the picture on the wall in between the arches and it looks cool. I really liked it. Well done. Well placed. Well thought out.

The early service is contemporary with a worship team on the side and the worship guy in the middle, leading. The band consisted of electric and acoustic guitarists, a keyboard, electronic drums, a brass section and a piano player. The worship service was a home run. You could hear the lead guy over the worship team. You could hear the music which was blended just right. When there was a guitar solo or a brass solo, it came in at the right time and sounded sweet. And check this out. NO technical errors. NONE. Notta! First church we've visited that actually has their act together with technology and people. I loved that!

The worship line up was contemporary with a touch of traditional. And it was what I call "adult" worship. You didn't have to stand up too long. The songs were arranged in a good, easy to sing manner and the hymns were sung like hymns - they weren't rocked up or changed in tempo but they sounded really good.

The sermon was excellent. It had a good intro that tied the message to scripture. It had humor. And it had practical application. The pastor tied it in with ministry in the church which was a piece of the service from earlier in the morning. I loved that. Too many pastors tend to ignore what is happening in the rest of the service instead of tying everything together in a unifying service. That drives me crazy.

The congregation was comprised of young professionals, singles, some children and some older folks. It was a great mix of people.

And check this out too. The pastor mentioned to fill out the attendance card well before offering time. We've been in churches where it was never mentioned so we didn't. He told us that if we would fill it out they would have a package material from the church at our house today and that he would contact us also. So we filled it out and put it in. Sure enough...when I got home from doing my open houses today there was a package here with materials from the church and a nice coffee cup. I suspect we'll hear from the pastor too.

All in all, this service was an out of the ballpark home run. It was great and it was nice to be there. If it weren't for the driving thing, we would probably be inclined to attend the church weekly. However, even with the drive, it is a place that we'll visit regularly. It's a place that gets it right and that is too good to pass up!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Update

Went to the home church Sunday. It's interesting to walk in there after having served on the staff for almost ten years. It's still like people are so happy to see us when we are there. I know they don't yet understand that we're around to stay and may attend the church as a member. But the people are nice and their love for us is nice.

On another note this place still has a pink wall on stage. It drives me crazy because it is so ridiculous looking. Probably just a matter of taste.

Today was a really good day. I got a contract on my BA house. It was only on the market for 12 days! How cool is that! ('s an awesome house, so the sale had nothing really to do with me - but it's still way cool to sell a house).

In our personal lives Diane is still dealing with the fibroid tumor. It has become a rather pesky situation as it has been "bleeding" or seeping for about three weeks. She's getting weak and is probably anemic (my opinion).

So that's life around our house these days. There are other things going on too - good things, some challenging things but definitely God is at work in our lives.

And that's the coolest thing of all.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blues Slide Guitar Cam strikes again

Since I play and teach guitar I really like this video. See what you think!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Parent's Influence - from Sunday's Secrets

Okay folks, here's one that caught my attention.
What kind of example is the father setting for his child?
Second Question...
What impression is the parent leaving on the kid?
Very sad isn't it?
The child in this situation understands morals more than the parent. I'll bet at the dad's funeral that this child will be thinking about this incident and will be disappointed...again.
Think about the example you're setting.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Church at the Nursing Home

Diane's father is married to a lady who is elderly. Due to failing health she was recently moved into a nursing home. Charlie (Diane's dad) did his best to care for her at home for as long as he could, but eventually he just had to have more help. So now he splits his time between taking care of the house and visiting her in the nursing home.

Today we went to the church service in the nursing home because Diane wanted to go to be with her dad. So off we went.

When we arrived, there was a service already in progress. A "large" man was doing his best to sing along with a tape while the wheelchair bound sat around listening. If you've ever seen one of these services it is quite amusing because you're never sure who exactly is paying attention and who isn't. Some will sing along while others seem to be off in their own world. I always get suspicious that some of the poor people were "parked" there by the staff so they (meaning the staff) could sneak in a freebie break. Anyway, the guy was singing along and saying encouraging things. We didn't see Charlie or the Mrs. in the crowd so we went down to her room. Nope not there either. Bed all messed up. The rapture? No. Too many people around and Diane is still here - so that's not possible. So off to the nurses desk where we were then directed to the other end of the hall.

Once we got there we found a small chapel with a dozen or so people sitting around in chairs singing a hymn accapella style. The young man leading looked like he would rather be anywhere else but there. We found Charlie and the Mrs. there, so we took our seats beside them, were handed hymnals and joined in the singing. The small group sang really well. I was impressed at first...then I figured it out. This group was comprised of people all from the church that Charlie and his Mrs. attended. Most of them had known her for more years than I've been alive. They were there having a service for her. I thought that was pretty cool - pretty dedicated friends. And the good singing? They're all from the C of C, so that explains that!

So the singing went on with the uninterested worship leader for a bit, then an older fellow walked in and took over. I found out later he had served as an leader or a preacher or something in church work. He led lots of hymns. We sang some I hadn't sang in years and I liked that. I didn't like that we ALWAYS did the 1st, 2nd and last verse of every song - talk about a trip back to your childhood!

The service consisted of a prayer, bunches of hymns and communion for Charlie and the Mrs. Once we were done - and I don't know who decided that. It just kind of happened like some secret signal was given or something - anyway, once we were done we were welcomed by everyone and then they all rushed off to go to "real" church.

All in all it was a nice service and I'm glad we went. I wouldn't want to go every week, but I'm glad Diane was there with her dad and the Mrs. I know it made them happy.

We were done by 10 a.m. which was nice. As we're visiting churches we're both finding we tend to like the getting done earlier option as opposed to the "late" service. When we go to the earlier services they seem to stay more on schedule than later ones do. I don't know why that is, but it is a trend we've noticed.

Today as we were getting in the car after eating lunch with friends I looked at the clock and noted that we would have still been in church had we gone to the late service at the home place. It was nice to be done with lunch and heading off to tackle the day at that point rather than to be doing so an hour later...or more.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Our Visit to Church #???

Haven't talked in a while about our church visits, so I'll catch you up...

Went to a large church in town this past Sunday to check out their 11 a.m. service. We had visited the 9:45 service which meets in the gym and really liked it, so we thought we would try the later service to check that out.

When we got there we were greeted by the official greeters, but no one else spoke to us...outside of a guy whom we already knew. When we went into the service there were no ushers to help us find a seat, so we stood around awkwardly for a while until a couple moved over making room for us. The worship on this particular Sunday was...embarrassingly bad. It was so bad we almost got up and left. I don't know who the worship guy was, but he just botched the whole service. He had to start one song over three times and then he still didn't get it right. I have to think he was filling in maybe. I felt sorry for him if he was filling in because it was so painfully bad.

On another note, this guy was leading worship in jeans and a untucked no colored shirt. Okay. I get it - I understand the look and feel you're going for...except that in this case there was this full choir and piano player behind him - and even a worship team - all of whom were dressed in Business Casual. The worship guy looked like a total slob - completely out of place.

There were a lot of technical errors throughout the service, which just drives me crazy. The PowerPoint went down during the middle of a song the congregation did not know, so no one ended up singing. The worship guy finally noticed the missing slides and pointed it out and gave us the words and then...ta da! up comes the PowerPoint. During the sermon the person running the PowerPoint either didn't know where the preacher was in the message or didn't know how to run PowerPoint very well. The slides were ALWAYS behind where they should be. AAARRRGGH.

One other irritant was that these two guys sitting behind us kept talking to each other out loud. I mean the full volume kind of talking. It was very rude, but no one seemed to notice or care.

The highlight of this service was the message. Well prepared, well presented, good humor when needed. The message saved the day, but if I was grading, this service would still have received an F for so much failure. It was very disappointing.

I mentioned that we had attended a 9:45 service on another date at this church. It went much smoother, but was plagued by technical errors also, so it may be that this church has not yet figured out how to properly train their tech people. Or it may be that this is not a high value to them.

For those of you who work in churches consider this. The night before, my wife and I took a gentleman out to dinner who is new to our town. He's here working for a company and is professional in every way. He is well off in life, but alone as he lost his wife to cancer this past year. I cannot tell you how embarrassed we would have been had we invited him to that service with us. If you're in church work, pay attention to the details. It matters.

Want proof?

We won't be going back to the 11 service there.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

An Update

Those who know me know that two months ago I had a major career change in my life. It was unexpected, but the big stuff in life usually is, right?

The decision to stay put or move was fairly easy because for us, moving is not an option while our kids are in school. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that it's in the best interest of our family to finish high school where we are.

So I picked a career I thought I could do well in (real estate) and one which isn't too expensive to get into, did the school pretty fast, took the test and jumped in with both feet. Now, two months later I'm finishing up my post-license schooling and getting things up and going.

For me this has been an amazing ride so far. It has had the highest highs and the lowest lows. There have been some amazingly great days and some real bummer ones. The company I am working with provides great support. It's an old company - been around a long time. We have over 500 real estate associates and 9 offices in and around the Tulsa area.

The people I have met in this industry are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. They are people who are driven and who love what they do. Most of them truly enjoy helping people find the right home, but there are some who give our industry a bad name too. I've bumped into some of those folks and have been disappointed. Not surprised, but disappointed.

I got to have lunch one day with an older gentleman who invests in commercial real estate. He isn't a religious guy and when he found out I had been in church work immediately told me not to try to convert him. Duh. I wasn't there to convert him. I think his immediate reaction tells us a lot about what people think about those who are religious. Anyway, we had a great conversation and I learned a lot from him. I consider him my friend and we'll do lunch again. And we'll talk about stuff...including religion when it comes up.

This is a person I never would have had the opportunity to meet in my past career.

I met another gentleman who is new to our area. He was hired out of Texas and brought in by one of the builders in our area. He is the definition of a classy gentleman. He lost his wife this past year and you can tell he had an amazing love for her. Diane and I are taking him out to eat this weekend to get to know him a bit better and to show him some good ol' Oklahoma hospitality.

Today was an exceptional day. I got five listings of some properties in a new development North and West of Tulsa. This is a partnership between us and this builder and the fact that I got to get in on the deal is remarkable. Looking for a great new house? I've got FIVE! I also will be listing a property in the Broken Arrow area and another one here in Owasso. So things are moving well in that area.

Today I spent lots of time on my cell phone. A fellow agent in my office remarked today that this can get into your blood. I understand what she was saying because for me, it has. I love when the phone rings. I love helping people figure things out and connecting them with others who help them make their dreams come true. I have already developed a network of some of the finest specialists in their respective areas. Again - people I would not have met before.

For me the biggest question I knew I would have to answer is can I live the faith that it was easy to have sitting behind a church desk. The answer has come much easier than I thought it might. And the answer is yes. Yes I can. Yes I will. Why wouldn't I? I believe in God. I accept that Jesus Christ is His Son who died to take away the sins of the world. So each day I begin in the Word, pray with my wife and head out to face the day. I seek to inspire others and to bring comfort, hope and joy into every person's life that I meet each day. (That can be hard!). And the coolest thing for me is that I get to correct so many false perceptions about "religious" people. Folks, if you're a religious person, I'm here to tell you, we've flat blown our witness to the world! People think religious folks are cooks for the most part who are unable to deal with the real world. Well, in my life, people are seeing that faith can be a part of your daily life and that it doesn't make you weird - in fact, it makes you better. It makes you keep your promises and live with integrity. People are seeing that faith causes you treat people better than they deserve. And people are seeing that faith is something you work out daily too.

On the church front, we've been dividing our time between the home place and other congregations around town. We think we've found where we will settle -at least for Diane and me for most of the time. We'll probably split time between this place and the home place so we can stay in touch there and close to our kids (who will also stay there). We have good friends there whom we love deeply and we don't wish to sever those relationships, but we also have to figure out the whole church scene and how we fit into it. And that's all I have to say about that.

For those of you who know us and who are our friends, thanks for staying close to us on this crazy journey called life. We love you!

So that's it for now. I'll give you another update down the road. Until then, enjoy the video's I find and my occasional comments!


Monday, February 5, 2007

What you can do with video editing

This guy plays a song via video editing. Note. He doesn't actually play the song - it is all edited together.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sunday's Secret - February 4, 2007

I'm including two this time because they're related...

The first one

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

The second one

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

The world can be a pretty tough place.
What are you doing to make it better?


Saturday, February 3, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Question of the day

I'm in the Real Estate industry so I'm interested in the buying interests of people. Here in Oklahoma, and in Owasso in particular, the housing industry is very strong. So here's the question for today.

If you found a great home that you fell in love with - either an existing property or new - would you buy it if you weren't intentionally looking for another home?

Second part of the question: What is the deciding factor that compels you to move, buy or sell a house?


Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Blind Date

This commercial aired during one of the Superbowls. It's hilarious. The moral of this story? We'll, I think you'll figure it out!

Friday, January 26, 2007

What Have You Done so Far in Life?

Got these facts from an article by Ellen Goodman in today's Tulsa World.

I'm a Boomer in my mid 40's...

When Mozart was my age he'd been dead 10 years.
Albert Einstein published the theory of relativity at age 36.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at 33.
Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest president of the US at age 42.

So the question for each of us today is what have we done in life that will make a difference?

Doesn't matter what your age is, anyone can do something to make the world a better place.

Why not begin today?


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Blonde at the Library

No offense to blonds intended. It's just a really funny commercial!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Parable of the Hair

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.

"H-M-M," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today?" So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that
she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a great day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YEA!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything.

Be kinder than necessary...
everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly and leave the rest to God


Friday, January 19, 2007

Ice scraper

This is a European commercial for coffee or something like that. I'm posting it up for everyone dealing with the ice storm. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wanna Go to the Superbowl?

Hey, the Superbowl is right around the corner! Here's a tidbit of info about the big game you might find interesting.

Ever wondered who all those people are in the stands at the Superbowl?

Answer: The lucky, the connected, and the wealthy few. Dolphin Stadium has a stated capacity of 70,000 fans for this game. The National Football League controls the tickets and metes them out accordingly: 17.5 percent of the tickets go to each of the two teams playing in the game; 5 percent go to the Dolphins; 34.8 percent are distributed to the other 29 NFL teams; and the league keeps 25 percent to distribute as it sees fit to its friends and partners (usually the same). The NFL holds a random drawing each year for the right to buy an unspecified number of tickets to the following year’s game. The drawing is just about the only chance the Average Joe has to buy a ticket at face value (about $700). Three months before this year’s kickoff, the scalpers at were getting anywhere from $2,600 for a nosebleed end zone seat to $6,000 for a spot between the 20 yard lines down near the field.

BONUS FACT That $2,600 for a lousy seat is about half as much as the NFL drops on each of the 150 champions’ rings the NFL gives the games’ winning teams, and a mere 3 percent of the shares it pays to the champs.

This info was taken from the Southwest Airlines in flight magazine. For the full story and other stuff you never knew about the Superbowl, click here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday's Secret

This postcard hits home.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Stranded in Illinois!


I'm stuck in Illinois due to the ice storm in Oklahoma right now. I missed my flight out due to being late, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because I would have been stuck in Memphis.

I'm booked on Southwest to fly out we'll see what happens. I could end up stuck in Kansas City next.

So why am I in Illinois? I came up here to speak to a group of 4-5th graders at a Mid-Winter retreat. I spoke also with the leaders of the church where the event was being held.

While I've had fun, I'm not enjoying the getting home part!

I'll see where I end up tomorrow.


Monday, January 8, 2007

Here's an Interesting Blog

I came across this blog while randomly searching for new blogs to read.

You wanna do a free background check on someone?

Just go to this blog:


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Sunday's Secret

This one cracks me up. It's for all the ladies out there who've been done wrong by their guy. Enjoy!


PS - Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can read what she wrote.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Random Interesting Things...

The Rose Bowl was played in Durham, North Carolina, in 1942 because organizers feared California could be the next target following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was the only time the game has ever been played outside of Pasadena, California!

Living on earth is expensive, but you get an annual free trip around the sun.

It it's good, reasonably priced and necessary, they're sure to stop making it.

For your health: Chewing sugarless gum can give you diarrhea.

And the question of the day? What is the world's flattest continent? Take a guess and I'll give you the answer...soon!


Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Sunday's Secret

I think this postcard reflects what too many people feel.

It's sad what we've become, isn't it?


PS - Click on the postcard to enlarge it

Monday, January 1, 2007

Our Visit to Church Number Three

Visit Date: Sunday, December 31, 2006

Church number three was a medium sized Baptist church here in Owasso. It was one of the many Baptist churches we have here (along with the other 40+ churches in the community). We visited this church with some friends who know the Pastor personally as a friend.

We arrived just as the service was about to begin and found some seats, ironically right in front of some folks we know well, so that was pretty cool. The service was of a traditional flavor with a piano and organ being the predominate instruments although they had a small orchestra on stage too. I never did actually hear the orchestra, but they were there. The theme of the service was about closing out the old year and looking ahead to the new year. The songs were hymns with two 1970's-1980's choruses. I like hymns, but I also like more modern worship too, so the fact that there were no songs beyond the choruses left me feeling a bit removed from what I prefer. I realize this is a personal preference and lots of people have lots of opinions about worship, so keep that in mind. Also, they announced that their new worship guy will be moving to town soon, so the guy who was leading worship wasn't their worship minister. For a fill in guy, I thought he did a good job.

What I didn't Like:
The service was lots of stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. I was wore out.

Didn't do communion.

There were a lot of people who went on and off the stage during the service for no apparent reason. Too much movement. It was distracting. One guy came into the sanctuary, visited with someone in the audience, walked up the stairs onto the stage in the middle of everything and then sat down in one of the wing backed chairs and listened intently to the sermon. Towards the end of the sermon he left to help with what appeared to be invitation time, but then he never did anything like praying with people.

They had all the members stand up and all the visitors stay seated. Then the members came to greet us. Yuck. Hated that big time.

The invitation was at least 10 minutes long. This particular church uses the come and kneel at the altar kind of invitation. I was surprised at how many people did that. Whole families, a mom and her kids, a grandmother and a granddaughter and others. They go up front and kneel down and pray alone or with a man or woman who is up front to pray with them. They pray as long as they want so that determines how long the invitation goes on. I was wondering why the invitation time kept going on and on then some people whom I could not see got up from praying and went back and sat down. There was a clear invitation to respond and come down front, but it made me feel like I would not do so unless I was a person in crisis or someone who had talked to the preacher at length before knowing I would go down front. Isn't that funny? When I worked on a church staff, it was nothing to me to think it perfectly normal and natural for people to just come down front at invitation time. I now see how much bigger of a deal it is to many people.

What I Liked:
The church was friendly. They had people at the doors who were kind, but not pushy. The congregation was friendly as well, although nobody talked to us after church except for the people we knew.

The sermon was really good. Very Bible based and focused. The preacher spoke to all ages. He preached the announcements (which means talking about an upcoming event and tying it into what you're preaching about). He challenged the congregation, gave some good take home points, used humor and didn't go too long.

They had the kids in the service which I found out later was a holiday scheduling thing. I wondered at first if they were always in the service or not. The preacher acknowledged the children and teens speaking to them directly several times. I thought that showed good pastoral wisdom and congregational care.

The auditorium. Flat floor. Comfy, easy to move chairs. Stage wasn't too high. I could see easily. It was nicely decorated for Christmas. About 3/4 of the way up the wall you look at when seated I counted 10 electrical outlets. It always impresses me when churches or individuals think ahead and put small details like electrical outlets in places where they will be used that are out of the ordinary. I don't understand why more people don't do this. Think about it. Had they not put those outlets up there, there would have been TEN extension cords running up the wall from the lighted garland they had running across the front. Smart thinking! I also liked their open, exposed rafters. They give you a barn kind of a feel without making you feel like it's a barn. This is hard to explain, so suffice it to say the open ceiling was designed nicely. The negative to this is that their foyer is small and underwhelming.

All in all it was a nice church to visit. The preacher comes across as a pastor to his people and I appreciated that.

The OOPSIE of the day? I'm convinced there are technology demons that plague every church. Towards the end of the service the projector went into "turn me off?" mode showing the message on the screen.

Oh one more thing. This particular church has a big screen TV mounted up high on the back wall of the auditorium (the wall the singers look at). I kid you not. It's one of those older model large, bulky big screen TVs. It's like 10-15 feet off the floor on a ledge. They use it as a monitor for the singers. When I saw it I thought, "Oh my gosh, you are kidding!" The thing looks like a bright idea gone bad. It gives the appearance of not being safe at all. When you look back there and see that thing you think to yourself, "I believe that's a big screen TV up there on that wall." It's the funniest looking thing I've seen in a church in a long time.

So that was church number three. Next week we'll go back to our church to hear the state of the church address. It's always an interesting message. After that we're off to at least three more churches we plan to visit.

Happy New Year!