Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Heavenly Marriage - My Fourth Book Release is Live!

Hello Everyone!  I must say I am terribly excited to announce that my fourth book, Heavenly Marriage, has been released and is now for sale over on Amazon.com. 

The book is a genuinely heartfelt look at how to make your marriage all it can be. The Lord has been good to Julie and I and I have been writing this book in my head since the girls were born. Now, it is all down on paper and ready for your consumption!  All kidding aside, I would so appreciate my sweet readers digging in and reading this important book. I am sure it will bless and enrich you and hopefully you will spread the word to others. 

Love and hugs from the Southern Family!

Don't forget to get your copies of my other favorites too! They can be found in the column to your right!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

I'm Just a Crow Feasting On The Roadkill of Life

Before any of you ask...no, I am not losing my mind. The title of this post is a reflection of something that happened to me today and I found it quite interesting. I was riding home from dropping off Julie at work this morning and saw something that sent me off on a tangent....you do that too right? You see something odd and then suddenly you are off in never never land thinking about it?


As I am riding down the road, I notice up ahead that a crow is in the middle of the road eating some roadkill. I am coming up on this crow rather quickly and the crow is not moving.

I think to myself, "Am I gonna hit this crow or is it gonna move? I think it is gonna sit there and let me run over it with my car."

The dang crow would not move for anything. It wanted to have it's roadkill and by God...it was gonna have it's roadkill. Eventually, the bird did move and go up in the air above my car....right at the last minute. Then, in my rear view mirror I saw it float right back down to it's yucky meal and start pecking away all over again.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that we all are kind of like that crow.

We go through life fighting for what we need, we see trouble coming and then, sometimes at the very last minute...me move out of the way.

Life can really be weird sometimes, huh?

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Does Your Wife Need Pepper Spray?

When you try to protect your family, you often make a fool of yourself. I know with me, I find myself doing silly things to protect my wife and kids. My wife goes to work early in the morning and I get up to go with her simply because I don't want her to be alone. She thinks it is silly. While I doubt I will ever change this habit, I would like her to have some personal protection. That said, I thought about buying her some police grade pepper spray for her keychain.  This stuff can be found right on Amazon and it is much cheaper than you would buy in the stores locally. If you have a loved one that you would like to have protected, head on over and grab this awesome deal....for under $20.00 you can't beat it. Just click the pic below and it will take you right to the page on Amazon.

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

10 Ways to Avoid Being Labeled a Rookie at Your Fantasy Football Draft

When you sit down to draft your fantasy football team for 2011, you will either be a rookie, veteran, or a rookie trying to look like a veteran. Nobody wants to be the rookie on draft day, even if they are one. Unfortunately, uninformed rookies are destined to make the same mistakes over and over and might as well place a blinking light over their heads to identify themselves. That is, unless they do some research and prepare for the fantasy football draft. If they take the time to learn some basics, they might be able to fake their way through.

Whether you are a rookie fantasy football player wanting to look like a pro, or a pro wanting to figure out how to recognize the rookie for easy pickings, this top 10 list will show you exactly how to recognize a green player on draft day.

10. Rookies show up to the draft wearing their favorite teams gear.

When the draft is in person, the last thing you want to do is sport your team's gear. Worse still is wearing a team's gear that you do not like as a diversion. It does not work and shows that you have loyalties that can be manipulated.

9. Rookies always chase kickers and defenses way too early.

Kickers are a dime a dozen and having even the best one will only have a marginal effect on your fantasy football record. The same goes for defenses. Do not even think about drafting these positions until all viable position players are covered. Let the rookies do that.

8. Green players love to talk about their strategy ... before the draft.

If a player is letting you in on his draft strategy before the draft begins, he is almost certainly a new player with no idea about drafting.

7. Fantasy football rookies will chase the draft no matter where it goes.

A veteran fantasy player will stick to his or her draft strategy regardless of how fast all the tight ends are coming off the board. A new player will follow the draft instead.

6. Rookies love to draft by position rather than by talent.

In most fantasy football drafts, you are faced with making a decision between drafting a player you do not need on the depth chart or someone that is not as talented. Rookies always take the less talented player because they need to fill a position. Bottom line, they do not think ahead about trades, etc.

5. Rookies almost always overspend for their favorite players.

No matter how good Adrian Peterson might be, rookie players have to learn that even he has a price ceiling. Some guys will literally spend their entire auction money on a single player. Everybody has a price.

4. Rookies never think more than one pick ahead, and do not consider bye weeks.

When it comes to draft day, you have to be capable of thinking two or three picks ahead at minimum. Knowing when and why players are coming off the board is vital to your fantasy football success. Bye weeks should never dictate a player being picked or not, but it should be considered as a tie breaker when two players are similar.

3. Fantasy football draft day rookies completely ignore the injury report.

If you want to really look like a rookie, draft a guy that just blew out his ACL. It can happen to the best of us, but can be avoided by updating your lists before the draft.

2. Fantasy football rookies will surely have no clue about the scoring system.

If you are going to draft a team, you simply have to understand the scoring system for your league. If not, you will lose and look bad doing so.

1. Rookies always draft the big name veteran over the fantasy football value.
Generally speaking, fantasy football rookies have no understanding of the fact that name recognition gets you nada in fantasy football. No matter how long Brett Favre has played, I would not draft him if he decided to come back in 2011 again. Rookies would be chasing him and be totally confused about why nobody else was.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five Ways to Ease Restless Leg Symptoms Without Medicine

Restless leg syndrome, also known as RLS, is one of the most maddening afflictions on the planet. The sensations that accompany this syndrome cause the sufferer to miss sleep and stay up all hours of the night trying to find solutions to make them go away. This lack of sleep causes stress and a lower quality of life if it is not treated and dealt with. Therefore, many people with RLS take medicines that help to control the symptoms. For those that do not want to take medicine, easing RLS naturally is the way to go. Here are five great ways to cope with restless leg symptoms without medicine:

Get on a schedule at bedtime

When you regulate your system and body to go to bed and wake up at the correct time every single day, you are much less likely to experience restless leg symptoms. The regimented schedule will be too tough to do at first, but will become easier as time goes on. Even if you are unable to fall asleep right away, hit the pillow at the same time every day and get up at the same time as well.

Cut out the caffeine...completely

Caffeine is a proven stimulant that will increase restless leg symptoms in the vast majority of people with the problem. This means it is an easy and logical target to eliminate. Many people "cut down" on caffeine thinking that this will help the symptoms but that is not effective. Caffeine hangs around in the body for many hours after consumption. Eliminate it from your life completely for maximum effectiveness.

Look into iron supplements

Vitamins are a great way treat the problem for those that are short on iron. Talk with your doctor to see if a lack of iron is causing some of your symptoms. As we age it becomes a common problem. If you are low, see about getting on supplements.

Get rid of the distractions

Television, computers and other stimulants can be a great diversion if you are trying to get sleepy, but they are horrible when they are in the bedroom. It seems that putting them in the bedroom has an opposite effect. The bedroom needs to be a sleep haven of sorts with no distractions. Get it the right temperature and keep the electronics in the living room or den.

Regularly take hot baths or cold showers before bed

Some folks prefer one over the other and both seem to be equally effective. If you want to fight through an episode of symptoms, few things work better than a quick bout of mild exercise coupled with a hot bath afterwards. This is a great way to ease things quickly when you simply must get rest.

Restless leg syndrome is not a problem that has to rule your life forever. There are plenty of ways to battle it without having to take yet another pill. Give these great solutions a shot and you might just be surprised at how well they work when done correctly and regularly.

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Shark Attack Story: Mako Shark Madness

The recent increase in mako shark attacks got me thinking about something that happened to me as a child. I witnessed a mako shark attack up close and personal. I was only six years old when my Grandpa took me out for my first charter boat fishing trip. We were to be fishing for sharks. I had been fascinated by sharks because of a book that I had gotten for my birthday. I had no idea of the true power of sharks, but that would soon change. Before the day was over, I would learn first hand what happens when a mako shark attacks.

Once we reached our destination, we watched as the crew of the boat started to chum the water with blood and fish guts. This was sure to draw in the sharks they assured us. True to their word, we began to see shark fins slicing the water occasionally around the boat. The sharks were small, and seemed more graceful than dangerous to my innocent eyes.

Sitting on the edge of the boat looking down at these sharks, I remember being completely fascinated by the incredible speed of these modern day dinosaurs. One minute you would see them, and the next they were gone. It was an incredible sight.

There were only a handful of people on the trip. No more than seven people counting myself were fishing, and the other three or four people were crewman. We had plenty of room to spread out and fish. Nobody was actually catching any real sharks, however. We would see the other folks occasionally pull in a small shark, but never any really large sharks.

Eventually, I gave up fishing and just watched the occasional shark fin appear over the edge of the boat instead. The day dragged on uneventful, and it was soon time to bring all the rods back aboard and head back.

Just as we were pulling our poles out of the water, the man next to me let out a yell. I looked over at him, and his pole was literally doubled over. This guy had a serious shark on the line. The entire boat gathered around to give the man advice and cheer him on. It was so exciting!

After what seemed like hours, the man finally got the shark up beside the boat. Looking down over the side of the boat, I saw the biggest shark I had ever seen in my life.

It was very mean looking with jagged teeth that seemed like they were attached on the outside of its mouth. It had a really tall dorsal fin, and a very powerful looking body. It looked to be the size of a great white through my six year old eyes, but in reality was probably around six-seven feet long.

I remember one of the crewmen saying that it was a mako shark. He said that the mako was one of the fastest, meanest sharks in the ocean and that he should release it. The man insisted on keeping it, and made a big stink about it and the crewman agreed to help him bring the mako shark in.

The crewman reached over with a hook of some kind and stabbed it into the mako shark. He had instructed all of us to stay on the other side of the boat while they landed the mako shark. I was able to have a clear view of the shark as they pulled it on board as I had positioned myself at the rear of the boat.

Just as the mako shark was pulled on board, it began thrashing about. It twisted back over itself and as it did this, its mouth was positioned right against the fisherman's leg. In a moment the shark bit down and took a chunk of flesh out of his bare calf. The sight was one that I will never forget as long as I live. The mako shark attack was so fast that the man never knew what hit him.

The man survived but had to be rushed to the hospital for blood loss by the time we reached shore. The mako shark was killed almost immediately after the bite as the crew beat it senseless. I remember watching the mako shark bounce around on the deck of the ship helplessly and feeling sorry for it. Even then, I recognized that the mako shark attack was not the shark being evil. It was pulled from the ocean and fighting for it's life.

I imagine the fisherman would have cut the mako shark loose if he had known that it would take off part of his leg. In the end, the shark died and the man lost part of a major appendage. I have learned to have a very healthy respect for sharks now. I will always remember the power and quickness of that mako shark attack.

The most horrifying part is that the mako shark was a baby. I can not even imagine a full grown mako shark attacking you in the wide open ocean. The baby mako literally took out the guys calf in a single bite! It still sends shivers down my spine to think about the day I saw a mako shark attack.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five Sharks You Might Encounter at North Carolina Beaches

From the secluded coast of Topsail Island to the shimmering waters of Sunset Beach, North Carolina is known for having some of the best beaches in the world. Thanks to some exciting news coverage and a few isolated attacks, they also have an inaccurate reputation for being dangerous where shark bites are concerned. According to The International Shark Attack File, North Carolina has had only 29 attacks since 2001. Only one of those were fatal. To give you some perspective, Florida had 271 attacks in the same time period. Still, North Carolina beaches do have some dangerous sharks to consider. Here are five sharks that commonly cruise North Carolina waters:

Sand Sharks
These sharks are by far the most common sharks you might see along the shoreline in North Carolina and generally speaking they are very docile. They look rather fierce with rows of protruding teeth and they can grow to around ten feet long. As a rule, the sand shark will not bother swimmers unless provoked into doing so.
Tiger Sharks
Tiger sharks are among the most dangerous predators in the sea and North Carolina is listed among the cruising lanes that they frequent. The tiger shark is second only to the great white in ferocity and attacks on humans, so they certainly should be given a very wide berth.
Black Tip Sharks
These are primary targets for fishermen along North Carolina piers and coasts. They put up a great fight on your line and they also strike fairly easily if you know what you are doing. Black tips are also very common in our North Carolina waters. They generally are not going to attack humans, but they certainly are capable.
Bull Sharks
Bull sharks are some cranky customers and they are very commonly the guilty party when a bite occurs in North Carolina. Part of that is because they are so common. The other part is because they are not very shy about humans. Bull sharks get very large and they have been implicated in a large number of North Carolina bites.
Oceanic White Tip
Found mostly out to sea, you see less of these than you do the others on this list. White tips are caught on occasion and they are capable biters if you provoke them. They are strong sharks with a nasty temperament when they are reeled in. Caution should certainly be taken when they are spotted in the water.
Although these and other sharks are found in North Carolina, the chances of you being bitten is virtually nil. Taking some basic precautions will keep you safe and drop those chances even lower. Stay out of the water at night, dusk and dawn. That alone will drop your chances of being attacked more than anything as this is when they feed.
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Friday, June 7, 2013

A Father's Day Tribute From a Father

Thank Goodness I Was Given Good Roads to Choose From
Father's Day is fast approaching and it never fails to put a wonderful feeling in my heart. I am a father myself and my beautiful wife and kids always manage to make me feel like a million dollars. I also am fortunate enough to have had a pair of pretty good dads myself.

My biological dad, Ronnie, has passed away and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. He and I had our issues over the years, but we worked our way through them. Now, all these years later after he left us, I have a much better understanding of his side of those problems. Being a father myself has shown me that it is not an easy job in the best of circumstances.

I do have some wonderful memories of him now that are no longer clouded by childish frustrations.

  • I remember playing pool with him in his basement and him teaching me the right way to play.
  • I remember going to Leon's gas station as a child and him showing me off to anyone that would listen.
  • I remember him buying me that B.B. Gun even when mom threatened his life against it.
  • I remember him giving his coat to a stranger at the gas station once and showing me how to be the solution in life.
  • I remember him taking me to my first wrestling match and cheering like crazy despite my being the real fan.
  • I remember listening to the real oldies together like Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and the Temptations. He would dance and I could literally feel him sliding back into “the good old days” of being a kid. He allowed me to see the fifties like nobody else ever could.
  • I remember watching Muhammed Ali box such greats as Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sonny Liston and many more. I used to love to see what he would do to Howard Cosell after the fights.
  • I remember riding in his great big truck to Atlanta, Georgia and staying with him overnight on a delivery. We had a great time.
  • I remember how everywhere we went, somebody knew and loved my Dad.
  • After years of being estranged in many ways, I remember sitting by his bedside and seeing forgiveness cover his soul and mine. Looking into his eyes and watching that happen without words was one of the highlights of my lifetime. No words were needed.

My biological dad and I were not close during my teen and adult years. Most of my great memories of him were when I was a child. He was going through a pretty tough time with his divorce from my mom and I kind of got lost in the mix. I don't regret that, however.

My mother remarried to a man named Pat Weatherspoon. He has been my real father from that first day that he stepped into my life and that remains to this day. All the things that I had to have during those years were provided in spades by this man, and he remains my best friend even though my mother passed away over a decade ago. There has never been any “step” in his fathering. He is the real deal.

With Father's Day being so close, I tried to think of some special moment that exemplified what Pop has done for me. Some little anecdote or cute little story just seemed to not be enough, however.

I think the best thing I could say about my Dad is that I have always been able to count on him. Good or bad, for better or worse, he has always been there and stood like an oak during the stormiest moments of my life. At the end of the day, he has always looked after me and loved me at my worst. Not many relationships are that strong but mine and his has stood the test of time.

Some men live their lives looking for a way out....not Pop.

When my mother married him, he instantly took me in as part of the family and never treated me like I was anything less than his son. Despite the opportunity to keep me at arm's length, he instead ran towards me and showed me what being a real man was all about.

Pop has always ran towards his responsibilities. He worked however long it took every day to make certain we had what we needed. He always made time for us kids no matter how tired he was after work. He never shirked his responsibility, and always did what was right to the best of his ability.

Pop has always been the man that made things okay for me. If I was sick, he made me feel safe. If I was hurting, he would make me laugh. If I needed a pat on the back, he was there to do it. Pop did the leg work of being a father in my life. He was the one that stepped up to the plate and took the lumps.

In all the years I have known my stepdad, I have never felt as though I was anything less than his son. Even when my Mom passed away back in 2004, he continued to love me just the same. In some ways I think he loves me even more now. We are forever blood like that.

On this Father's Day I want to thank Pop for his years of putting up with me once again. I want to thank him for being an example that I strive to until this day and likely will till the day I die. I never have to do anything more than think about what he might do in a tough situation. I am a better dad myself for his wonderful template.

I also want to thank my biological dad up in Heaven and let him know that I completely and totally remember now. I remember all the good and the bad is but a misty memory.

Happy Father's Day to you both and please know that I will love you both forever....

Your son,

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Ways To Boost Your Happiness Every Single Day

 Pretty much all of us wake up every single day and push through most of the time. The days can quickly become a grind and start to blend together. I am constantly looking for ways to make each day stand out on its own merits and to value each one as it should be. God blesses us with a wonderful day each morning we open our eyes, so the least we can do is make the most of it. Trying to find more happiness in life is one way to make each day unique. Happiness is the key....

So, how do we find that elusive happiness?

I am no magic man, but I do have a pretty decent method that seems to work for me. There are three things that I do consistently that bring me great happiness each day of my life. I thought I might share them here and maybe they will help one of you as well.

Every day, seek out someone that needs you... and deliver.

This one is the biggest key out there. Usually you are presented with many opportunities such as this each day. It might be opening a door, feeding them a meal, giving them a hand with a chore, or simply being a listening ear. The more of this that you do, them more your life begins to fill up with happiness and joy. Don't worry about other people's motivations as long as your own motivations are pure. This one is the key to life in my opinion but that is a whole other post.

Give yourself at least one hour to be a kid again.

If you have kids, this one becomes super easy...  Just get down in the floor and have at it! Play a video game or spend an hour simply rolling down a hill with your kids. Get out and have some fun! You are not over the hill yet and even when you are, you can still be a kid.

Spend time with Jesus in prayer.

The days that I pray are days that I find myself more in touch with life. I can tell when I have not been in touch and it is something that I am working on daily. A day filled up with the Lord is a day well spent and it will boost your happiness level through the moon. Get on those knees and get to smiling!

Until tomorrow,

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Monday, April 22, 2013

How to truly overcome your fear of death once and for all

One of the toughest things about growing older is the realization that the clock is
ticking. We all go through it eventually, though admittedly it is not always at the same age. For me, that clock began ticking loudly at around forty and now I find myself wholly aware that I am fully mortal. No God complex to worry about here folks. My God has me looking towards His final plans for me. I guess in that way I can feel eternal or immortal....

God has a spot for me in Heaven and that is the ultimate comfort for a wayward thinker like me. I have a hard time not fearing things like this. My flesh reminds me that I am going to die someday and my mind simply runs with that. At one time in my life, it was all I could think about. I suffered horribly from anxiety disorder and it was largely driven by that fear of death. God healed me of that by showing me my eternal destiny. Despite that, I am human.

I do still worry sometimes about such things and I dare say you probably do too. (Unless, of course, you are Chuck Norris)

With that said, I wanted to share with you guys something that God sent to me in prayer.

I inevitably turn toward the Lord when I am suffering in spirit and looking for answers. During one of those trying times when I was praying about my fear of death, He revealed to me a simple one word solution...

In a gentle whisper of the spirit, He said...


I instantly knew what He meant by some miracle of understanding. God was telling me that today alone was enough to overcome my fear of death. Today was full of miracles and excitement. It mattered not what day today was. It did not matter if it was a good day or a bad day. Today was mine and I could decide what to do with it.

Today I can kiss my wife and linger there for a moment longer than usual. I can love my kids and give them that extra hug. I can find as many ways to spread God's message as possible and feel the rush of excitement when I make someone smile. I can do a million things or nothing at all on a lazy Saturday when it happens to show up every few years.

How big of a gift is that? How huge is it that God allowed you to breathe in and out today? How perfect is His love to bestow such a gift on us?

When you feel afraid or down, simply start to thank God for all the things about today that you are glad to have. The flow of thought and gentle messages will ease your fears and help you to focus on what really matters day by day. Today is all we need folks.

Today is everlasting if you are thankful for it and believe that Christ is responsible for giving it to you.

What could you possibly be afraid of?

Until tomorrow,

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Why You Should Try Out Daily Fantasy Baseball - Money and Fun Rolled Into One!

Daily fantasy sports is the hottest thing going right now. Playing fantasy baseball is something that I have enjoyed since I was about sixteen years old. The game allows me to stay on top of the sport that I love and use strategy to try to outwit and outplay other like-minded individuals. That competitive spirit has been in me since I was a kid and playing fantasy baseball and fantasy sports was a natural progression once I stopped playing sports for real. I can't exactly get out there and throw on the pads anymore, but I can certainly pick a football lineup that I think will dominate on Sunday, right?

Anyway, I recently came across a new way to play fantasy sports that I wanted to share.

Daily fantasy sports are just like regular fantasy sports, but with a twist. Every single day you can compete against one, two, three or thousands of other players in a mini-game that ends that same day. You pick a lineup that you think will do well and pit your lineup against as many folks as you wish. You can play for free, or if you would like to enter contests that pay out money you can as well. It is a game of skill so it is not gambling by any means. Additionally, you can play all sports including baseball, college basketball and football, NHL hockey, NBA basketball and NFL football. All of these are available during their respective seasons.

If you are interested in joining up and playing, head over to the site and sign up by clicking my link below. I do get credit for bringing in new players, so please take the time to go under my link if you are so inclined. It is a ton of fun to play guys and you will be so glad you looked it up.

Sign up to play here!

Be sure and let me know if you sign up with my link. I would love to look you guys up.

Finally, if you do sign up come and find me on the site. I play many of the daily fantasy baseball games when I have the time. If you decide to play, you can do so with Paypal. They pay out on request and the site has been around for years. They are very well known and considered the premiere site.

Finally, if you decide to play and need some resources to help you get started, let me know. I have accumulated some pretty good ones to use each day in building your lineups.

Until tomorrow,


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Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Day With The Pentecostals - Not What I Expected

Happy Easter everyone. For those that know me well, you know that I grew up a Baptist fella. I believe in the classic Baptist church beliefs for the most part though it is not something that I have actively participated in like I should have over the past several years. My wife and I live Christian lives, but we do not have a home church that we go to with regularity...only several that we visit from time to time.

One of those visiting churches is The Pentecostals of Greensboro. This church is the one that my wife grew up in and my in-laws attend. We have visited many times over the years and I always enjoy my time there for the most part.

Why do I say "For the most part?"

Well, I have some major frustrations with some of their beliefs where doctrine is concerned. Without turning this posting into a doctrinal bore, the basic beliefs that are hard for me to overcome include:

- They believe that speaking in tongues is required for salvation. I see it as one of many gifts the Holy Spirit offers. Not everyone gets the same gifts. (that is the way I was taught)

- They believe that Jesus and God were the same person. I believe that Jesus was God's son in a literal sense and will be sitting at the right hand of God as stated in the Bible.

- They have several things that stand as requirements for salvation. Speaking in tongues, baptism in Jesus name specifically, water baptism, etc....I was always taught that salvation is a gift that is not based around works, but rather around faith in Jesus Christ saving us from our sins.

Aside of these things, they have very strict rules about dress, hair, jewelry and what can and can't be done outside of the church. I have no real issue with standards as every church has a right to them, but I don't agree with all of them by any means. This is no deal breaker because any good church should reach for a higher standard I would think.

With all of this said, The Pentecostals is by no means intolerant of those that don't do these things. All are welcomed to their services and are warmly brought in regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. There is no lack of love of God and brethren in this Holy place.

This brings me to my revelation today.

I entered this place with hope. Hope that my sister would benefit and find her way to Christ and a love of her Bible to help her through a horrible recent tragedy--hope for my own fire to be lit -- Hope that my kids would be further enriched in the Word and held up just a bit closer to God's Shining Spirit. -- Hope that my wife would be encouraged and further helped in forgiveness of past transgressions against her.

All of these struggles were front of mind when I came through the doors. I also was excited to see that glimmer my mother in law gets in her eyes when we show up to her Church. I see the pride beam from her very soul and it makes me feel very complete inside. Some things are simply wonderful without explanation and that is certainly in that category.

Ultimately, the explanation is that God wants it that way.

My day with the Pentecostals was loaded with moments that I will remember and cherish. Pastor Eliseo delivered a message that talked about Jesus being finished. Jesus did what was needed to bind Satan into submission for all time. Satan might be actively lying, but that is all he can do. It won't be long before Satan will be unable to even do that.

Afterwards, Brother Eliseo and countless others embraced me and remembered me from previous visits. Everyone there made me feel as though I had been a member for years. More importantly, I left with hunger of spirit.

Hunger of spirit is the one thing that I prayed most fervently for with my sister. It is the one thing that can save someone in turmoil most quickly. When you get hungry for the Word and start chasing Jesus, you are as close to the Holy as you can be on this Earth. When my mother passed away back in 2004, my hunger for Christ was the reason I made it through. It helped me to find out where she was going and where I was headed. Most importantly, it reminded me of what it felt like to get touched by God.

Today was a reminder of those days for me. The Pentecostals of Greensboro took me back there and narrowed my prayer focus for what I want for my sister. It reminded me what it felt like to touch God.

Thank you for that Brother Eliseo, and all the wonderful folks at The Pentecostals of Greensboro. Isn't it a wonderful type of blessing when you find out about the ones you did not even know you had inspired?

God bless everyone and Happy Easter. He is Risen!

Until tomorrow,

Rodney Southern

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Allen Jay Sports Memories Remembered

From my seventh grade year until my eighth grade year, I played football, basketball and baseball and ran track for Allen Jay Middle School. These seasons each took on a feel of their own and specific memories flood my mind when I think back on them. They all were special and they all were powerful in building my sense of fair play and competition. In fact, I feel those seasons and the wonderful coaches that I had played  a huge part in my life. Gary Meredith, Barry Zachary and many others took the time to show us how to be good athletes and even better men. Here are some specific memories I have that stand out:

I remember my seventh grade year I was trying to find my niche with the basketball team. We were loaded with talent that season with Brad Teague and several other awesome athletes. Whatever the case, my particular ability was defense. I became especially adept at taking charges. In fact, Coach Meredith always told me that I had that school record by a mile even though they did not keep such statistics. I once took six charges in a single game. I could not do much else my seventh grade year in basketball, but I could certainly play some defense.

Track was something that we did kind of on the side and the season paralleled other seasons. We would often have to finish up with one thing and rush to the track to get in on the action there. I remember being shocked at how tough track was, and how mentally tough you had to be. We had an excellent relay team both years and I participated in the long jump and high jump as well. The long jump was my best event.

Football memories literally flood my mind when I think back. I will never forget the feeling of running out of that old field house sitting on top of the hill and coming down those steps. We always had great community support and tons of fans up in the stands. The feeling was unlike anything you can describe. I am so thankful for the memories and the teammates through the years. We had a ton of fun on the gridiron at AJ.

Baseball was my best sport during those years with football running a close second. I had the awesome benefit of Coach Zachary out there helping me learn and Coach Williams teaching me how to catch behind the plate. I was able to win the MVP award in baseball. I also learned how to lead on those teams and that helped me a great deal in life.

All of these memories were made because there were men and women that were willing to step out and give those opportunities for us kids. From the coaches to the cheerleaders to the teachers at Allen Jay Middle School, we truly had something special back then. I will always treasure those days and look back fondly.......

Until tomorrow,


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have You Ever Really Thought About Heaven?

Occasionally I like to write about where my prayer life is taking me and lately I have been really thinking about Heaven. One day I will get to stand before God and ask all the questions that I have. I will get to praise Him in person and maybe even gain a singing voice. There are a million reasons to love thinking about Heaven. I have so many relatives and friends already there waiting on me that I think it is only natural to think about things like that.

I have always been fascinated by "life after death" type things and have watched and read a ton of information on the subject. The evidence is compelling to put it mildly and the scene is often very similar overall. This, coupled with the fact that the Bible is fairly clear about what to expect, gives me a solid viewpoint about Heaven and why we all should be pretty darn excited if we have received the Lord.

Heaven is going to be pretty fantastic guys....Here are some things the Bible says about Heaven:

  • Death will be gone forever. The Lord will swallow it up. (Isaiah 25)
  • The Lord will wipe away all tears. (Isaiah 25)
  • You will be present with the Lord and He will have a place ready for you...(John 14)
  • Hunger and thirst will be a thing of the past. (Revelation 7)
  • Crying and pain are no longer going to be part of our lives (Revelation 21)
  • There will be no darkness (Revelation 22)
  • We will be like angels in Heaven (Matthew 22)

All of these things sound so awesome and I pray that each and every one of my loved ones and friends are there to celebrate together. It will be a party that can not be replicated here on earth.

Until tomorrow,


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Chevy Chase and the Family Tape Review

About six months ago, my Dad passed along some old family videos on 8mm tape for Julie and I to keep safe and sound and I must say I was excited. Unfortunately, I was quickly reminded that 8mm is no longer a common format for video cassette recorders and quickly went on the hunt for the cheapest way to transfer the videos onto DVD. The problems were varied, including cost, but I managed to find an awesome solution over time. I kept an eye out on Ebay for an old recorder knowing that if I could pick one up cheap (an 8mm camcorder) then I would grab it. Late one night I grabbed one that was closing in the middle of the night and snagged it for only 40 bucks.  A few short days waiting for it to ship and I had a "VCR" of sorts to get it up on my screen and make it recordable. This weekend my wife and I sat and watched the videos one by one and it was quite the experience. This was the first time I had seen my mom's face or heard her wonderful voice since she died way back in 2004. I had forgotten how wonderful those sights and sounds were. My wife and I sat there like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when he gets locked in the attic.  
  Seeing all those wonderful memories of such a wonderful woman and family truly reminded me and my wife of just how special life is. We also was fortunate enough to find video of our wonderful babies in the NICU when they were still in the incubator. They were so tiny and fragile. Now they have grown to be big, beautiful pre-teens. I want to thank my Dad not only for being a primary provider of a great many of these memories, but for being kind enough to share these incredible tapes with me. I will guard them with my life and I presume that is why he trusted them to my care.  Until tomorrow, Rodney
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