Take A Knee

For some time now, there has been much news about NFL players taking a knee to protest the (American) National Anthem. What started out as one man attempting to call attention to what He perceived as unfair treatment of a segment of the population. Whether people agreed with him or not, many take exception to his form of protesting as other NFL players joined him - some for the same reasons, some for their own.

Protesting IS as American as it comes and in spite of the way he did it, I would say they have a constitutional right to protest as they see fit. It harmed no one. It didn't interrupt any ceremony or service. Understand, I didn't like it but I can look past it. Ignore it. I firmly believe it would have gone away on its own if we all had.

What bothers me most is that many like me who are Christ followers have gotten wrapped up in the flag and forgotten who we are. We have traded in the one true Gospel, for something I call the God and Country Gospel.

Never heard of it? I bet you have but just didn't know it.

We've all heard about the prosperity gospel. The one that says God loves you too much for you to be anything other than healthy and wealthy and wise. It tells you things like just trust God and he will make everything o.k. for you, because he loves you and no loving God would ever let harm come to you. The key is you must 'have enough faith' in God and then God will take care of you. It's more than just off base, it's wrong. Yes, wrong. No matter who says it or in what venue.

This god and country gospel is one that worships America, it's one that worships freedom, worships “rights.” It’s a gospel based on the idea that Christians should have an easy existence. It - like the prosperity gospel - promises security through something other than Christ.

The preachers of 'this' gospel passionately shout generic references to God, call for fervent prayer and public pleas for “morality.” But their supposed top devotion is EQUAL to a devotion to the Stars and Stripes - as if the two were one in the same.

What is so dangerous about it is that it claims that God is in control, but in reality, it looks to those in power - government or 'man' - as the one(s) who are really in charge. Not God. Not our sovereign Lord.

The god and country gospel also says that living out and sharing your faith is dependent on having the freedom to do so. That one’s greatest source of identity and value can be found in one’s nationality. It bemoans the loss of prayer in schools, rather than the lack of prayer at home. This gospel says it’s better to silence opponents than minister to them. It asks for a pledge of obedience rather than a change of heart. It asks for you to take a stand but sits on the larger issues.
America, or at least your idea of it, has become an idol. Need proof? Look at last election cycle we just went through. You had 'religious' leaders on both sides calling for disastrous results if a certain candidate was elected. In other words, if someone was elected that didn't hold our values then we couldn't hold on to them ourselves.

What I believe is based in and on God's Word - THE BIBLE - and is not changed by who is in the White House, who controls the House or Senate or if someone chooses to sit, kneel or ignore the National Anthem.

Our faith must be stronger than that and more properly rooted than that.

I do love my country, but my love for the country comes AFTER my love for God.

I desire for a strong, faith-filled, faith-based America but as it turns away I am reminded of the words of Joshua, "as for me and MY house, we will serve the Lord".




I have a weakness...

I have a weakness. It's M&M's. I can be coaxed into doing favors for a handful. For a jar full I am yours as longs as it lasts. As a reward or thank you, nothing is more appreciated.

When I was working in sales for Sunny 92.3, I had a suite mates  - Joyce & Donna  - who became good friends with them both. The imparted sales advice as I got started, I gave them tech advice. One day, I came into work and found this on my desk as a token of their appreciation. I was a happy camper.

So by now, you may be wondering why I like M&M's so much. It's a simple yet profound reason.

It's the most simple, authentic and honest of all candies.

On the outside of every M&M is a different colored candy shell...red, black, blue, green, brown and yellow.  Inside is a soft chocolate center. I love each piece even though they are created with different colors.

That's just how God - our creator- made us, different on the outside, same on the inside and He loves each and every one. 

He knows that the outside is not what matters. What matters is only on the inside.

Matthew 23:27 shares the story of Jesus talking to the 'good looking' people of that time and he said, "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people".

These days - by the words and deeds (the fruit) of some - we are seeing the insides of people. Personally, I am disgusted and discouraged by what is revealed.

But here is the hope. God still changes things. He can win and wash their insides (heart). He will.


It happened again...


It happened again! Someone called my employer and lodged a complaint against me!

This time the complainer did it 'anonymously' but they didn't stay that way. People forget that when you call anywhere these days, you should expect caller ID. It only took me 10 minutes to learn who she was, where she worked and what kind of reputation she had.


Now, conventional wisdom says, if a person makes a complaint and they don't leave their name - just toss it. For the most part, I believe it. There is; however, a case to be made that there is a response required - though not to the anonymous person who made the complaint.

The response that is required is similar to the one that should be with every complaint.

1) Don't respond - or defend right away. Don't display or allow yourself to have a knee-jerk reaction. Give yourself 24 hours to allow your emotions to settle.

2) Go back a read or listen to the complaint again, and then...

3) Go back and think about the event that caused the complaint. Is there a chance this person could be right. Do they have a legitimate beef? Is there something I can learn?

4) If there is something you can learn or improve upon, don't waste the input, make the change.

5) Forget about it. The person didn't care enough to leave their name, so you shouldn't be troubled any longer after learning what you can.

For me, what was learned is two things:

1) Some people don't really read posts or hear what you wrote or said, they hear or read into it based on what they think you say. 

Aha! Can't really do anything about that.

2) Some people don't understand sarcasm.

Too bad. Their loss.

What a year...

The year 2017 is now over, and 2018 is underway. To get a grip on the new year, I think it's important to look back as see what happened last year and see if there is anything I can learn from it.

Clemson wins is ALL!


The Clemson Tigers are the National Champions! It took 35 years since we could say that and it took 35 points to knock off Alabama. That was a sweet victory. As a long time Tiger (since 1979) it was beautiful to see. I hoped we'd be there again but never thought it would be the very next year! We're back at it and once again facing Alabama. As of this post, the game is tonight - win or lose - I'll always be #allin.

Lessons learned...
As Nick Saban as learned, never doubt Dabo.  Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has built a fantastic program built on integrity and solid fundamentals.

Also, I place WAY too much emphasis on football. That has to change.

25 Years in the making.


My wife and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary. Still can't believe that she chose me.

Lessons learned...
Ain't true love grand!

I really love being on stage.

Seize The Laughter with 'Stella' in January.
The Sanders Family in June.
Me & Dan in a stage selfie during 'Lend Me A Tenor' in July.

Lessons learned...

I am at my best when faced with a challenge.

Also, friendship means EVERYTHING. During a performance of Smoke on the Mountain, Kay Williams, a friend I had not seen in almost 30 years, drove from Memphis (along with her husband) to catch a show. I was and still am blown away. Thank you Kaybo.


My wife will take on most any challenge.

The year she has run her first half marathon and gone caving... both things she said she'd didn't want to do, but when Nikki was presented the challenge, she accepted the crushed it! 

Lessons learned... 
Don't tell my wife she can't do anything. Love you, babe.

All good things must end.


I got the news that it was coming to an end on October 13, 2017 - yes a Friday - and I knew when I heard of the decision that it was the right one. The last edition of CCM Sunday was on October 29, 2017, on Sunny 92.3. After 24 years, it was gone. CCM Sunday was more than just a show on the radio. It was a huge part of my life.  
Lessons learned...
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:10, 'Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you're going..' What that verse says to me is that whatever you do in this life, make it count. Do it with everything you have in you and make a difference!

The 333 Challenge

In January I quietly accepted this challenge to reduce my clothing wardrobe down to 33 items for 3 months - not counting underwear, socks and specific clothes for running. This meant going through my closet, dresser, and drawers and packing up anything that was over the count of 33. Now, after doing this for a year, I won't go back.  I have made adjustments for the seasons, but I haven't missed anything, and when these clothes wear out I have a supply of 'new' clothes waiting for me in the attic. 

Lessons learned...
I can live much less than I thought. We all could.

So there you have it, my 2017 and all the lessons learned. Life is a journey, and it's best enjoyed when you live it rather than just survive it. God bless and Happy 2018!