Monday, December 11, 2017

Details Part Two

Last week I shared about Philip Simmons creating over five hundred wrought iron pieces in Charleston, South Carolina.

Philip Simmons was born on June 9. 1912 and became an apprentice blacksmith at the age of twelve. He learned the trade from a man who was the grandson of slaves and had himself learned the skill from his family. He spent seventy-eight years working as a blacksmith. He died in 2009 at the age of ninety-seven. He knew the meaning of hard work, and Charleston is better for his work ethic.

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..."

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's In the Details

Are you a detail person? Do you want everything in your home to look perfect? Cute knickknacks? Are they season appropriate? Do you have decorations for every holiday? You might be a detail person.

On a recent trip to Charleston, SC, I noticed so many extra touches homeowners made to their houses that made them pop. Ironwork doors and gates caught my attention. I did a little research on the wrought iron pieces on display throughout Charleston and discovered a man by the name of Philip Simmons is responsible for over five hundred of these amazing pieces.

Today I'd like to share a few with you. I spotted these while walking around Charleston. They are not all by Philip Simmons, but I thought they were pretty.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Today is the beginning of the Christmas season. It is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Isiah 11:1-10 says:

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

I'd like to challenge us all to not forget what Christmas is all about. Let's keep our focus on Jesus.

What special things do you do during Advent to focus on Christ's birth?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Life Without God is Senseless

In Psalm 127, King Solomon warns us that life without God is senseless.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

As I dove deeper into Psalm 127, it occurred to me everything we do is senseless without God. Big and small. Homes, families, careers and places we choose to live. None of it makes sense if God's is not part of our plans. Our work is in vain if God is not our foundation.

God sent Jesus at Christmas to save us from our sins. It seems like a good season to consider if God is our true foundation. I'd love to hear how you keep your focus on Jesus in the days leading up to Christmas.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Time to be Thankful

I always love November. The air is crisper and I'm sure many of you have enjoyed the leaves changing colors. (I feel like I've seen more orange shells on the beach, but it could be my imagination.) Sometimes I think November is a time to pause, catch my breath and be thankful.

1 Chronicles 16:34 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

I'm going to take a few weeks off from writing my blog. I'm thankful for you my loyal readers. I hope you all have a great month of being thankful.

Psalm 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name."

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your friends and family.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Six Days of Disney World

We just returned from a week at Disney World. It was fun, hot and exhausting and fun. We laughed a lot and screamed on some of the rides. We had a great time, but the best part was spending time with Bill, Amanda, Brooke and Allie.

I decided to share a few tips to help survive Disney so you don't miss a minute of fun.

Take ponchos.

I had been in Kentucky and drove down with the kids through the night. After fourteen hours on the road, we hit Animal Kingdom running. That night we had a sit-down dinner and came out to torrential rain. Thank goodness we hand our ponchos.

Take plenty of shoes. We walked forty-eight miles in six days. I alternated shoes each day. I'm not sure if that's necessary or not, but I did it anyway.

We attended the Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. Brooke had asked us to dress up and the family theme was villains. We went to our rooms during the afternoon to change clothes for the party. I laughed so hard as Tim transformed into a pirate, and then we saw Bill as Kronk and really laughed. No matter what villains Amanda, Brooke and Allie dress as, they are always beautiful. We left our room and Amanda and I laughed at all the people staring at Bill and Tim. The park was less crowded for the party, and there were stations handing out candy to everybody. Kids and adults. We had a lot of fun that night.

During the week, we visited each park and Magic Kingdom twice. We took one day to go to Sea World which was a little slower paced and just as enjoyable.

Another tip is to stay hydrated. It was October, but the heat index approached 100 each day. We stayed at the All Star Sports Resort which enabled us to ride Disney Transportation. The drivers were friendly and it was nice not to fight traffic.

We had a great week at Disney and look forward to our next trip. What about you? Do you have any tips to make Disney World more fun?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Writing in Waco

After attending ACFW conference in Dallas, I caught a ride to Waco to visit Scott and Kelli. It was a time to visit with them, but I knew they were both working. So, I spent my time writing and working on proposals.

Waco is a fun town to visit with many unique coffee shops and stores.

One coffee shop I spent time in was the Pinewood Coffee Bar. It was a simple place, but beautiful in it's simplicity. There were not hundreds of choices, but the coffee was hot and delicious.

They played music from vinyl records. One record at a time. It was a nice atmosphere to write and spend a few hours.