Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is good stuff!

Last night we had Ralph and Lisa come over to celebrate Ralph's birthday and their anniversary.
We only had one stipulation...
They had to bring the kids!
We had a great night together but this was my favorite part...
I don't care who you are; "This is good stuff"!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Moments like this are a gift from God

I had an awesome gift on this past Thursday.

I had the opportunity to baptize my friend Jose's dad.

I have known Jose for over 20 years. We moved into our current neighborhood directly across the street from each other without knowing we were doing it.
Over the years we have become very close friends.
I have had the opportunity to baptize Jose, his wife Mary, and their daughter Nicole.

Jose and his family drove all the way to South Carolina when my dad passed away just to be there for us.

We both love "The U" and have had season tickets together for many years.
We try to go to at least one away game with a few of our other close friends each year.

We have accumulated many great memories over the past years together.

This past Thursday was one of the greatest that we have shared together.
One of the things that Jose and I have always had in common is respect for our fathers.
This is something we have talked about often over the years.

I have seen this to be true in Jose's life over the past 4 years especially. His dad has had colon cancer and is now in his last days. He was in the hospital this past week where the doctors told Jose that it would be just a short time before his days are gone.

Jose and his dad have talked about baptism several times and this week decided that it was something that needed to be done before he passes.
They came directly from the hospital to the church when he was discharged and we baptized him.
A bunch of our staff came out to celebrate this moment with them.

I believe that this was one of my greatest moments in ministry.

I lost my dad just a few months ago and I am still working through the grieving process.
I know that moments like this are a gift from God. 
This is true not just for me but for all of us that were there.
After we were done I spent some time alone for a while just working through my own loss but also celebrating the gift that God gave us. 
This weekend we are starting a new series at FRC and we will be highlighting Jose and his dad.
Don't miss it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eatza Girl

Many years ago my wife and I had the privilege to take guardianship of a young man named Ralph Hernandez.
He was in middle school at the time and lived alone with his mother. She only spoke Spanish and they lived in a tough neighborhood in the Miami area. We took him in as one of our on and oversaw his schooling and things like that. He became a big brother to my daughters and a son to Kelli and I. Ralph was involved in everything we did.
He got a college degree, married a wonderful young lady named Lisa, worked in a couple a churches as a youth pastor, and is now a Lieutenant for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue.Ralph and Lisa have a little boy named Joey. Joey is 2 and 1/2 and full of energy.
Last night we went up to West Palm for a special occasion and got a great gift from God for all of us...


Lisa gave birth to their second child and she is gorgeous!
Her name is Annalise Mercedes Hernandez!You can tell how small she is when I hold her.
She has a head full of hair and can cry out with the best of them.
Last night was a special night for all of us and we are pretty pumped about our new little girl.
There is nothing like the birth of a new child.
We brought dinner in after she was born and took a moment to thank God for our new blessing.
Kelli and I are so blessed to have our beautiful daughters Noel and Danielle.
We are also blessed to have Ralph, Lisa, Joey and now Annalise in our lives.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't forget your bat!

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
~ Dr. Seuss ~

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Good Year made for a bad morning

I went to get my tires changed out this morning. I was told that it would take 1 hour, maybe an hour and a half. I agreed for them to go ahead and do the work.

The tires I wanted put on my trunk were in the back of my truck already on rims. All they had to do was take the the ones on my truck off and put the ones in the back on.
I watch them do this in NASCAR races in about 12 to 14 seconds each weekend.
I understand that I had to wait my turn and they had to pull the truck in and the other three or four things that were necessary to pull this off.
When an hour and twenty minutes had passed by I noticed that my truck was in the same spot that I left it in so I asked if it would be much longer. I was told it would be 30 to 45 more minutes and they would be done.
After 30 more minutes were up I looked at my truck and it was still in the same spot untouched.
It was now 11;00 AM and I have a lunch appointment at 12:00. I needed to go home and get ready.
I approached the desk and informed them that I need to leave and they said okay. They got my keys, shrugged they shoulders and said, "sorry".

I didn't mind that they were busy.
What frustrated me was they weren't honest with me about the amount of time it would take to complete the job.
I watched two or three other people come in after me and leave before me.
Maybe they had an appointment. Maybe they had a friend that worked there. Maybe the people that worked there liked them better than me.
I know I enjoy those privileges when they happen to me.

I didn't get mad, I just left.
I felt like I lost my morning due to the neglect of others.
I left with the thought that I will never go back there again.

I always feel there are lessons to be learned in everything that we do or experience.

All of these things may have been out of their control but no one communicated that with me.
A little communication would have gone a long way.
A "you will be first next time pass" would have brought me back.
A smile and sincere "sorry" would have helped.

Instead I left feeling that "Good Year" made for a bad morning.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Proud of my daughter!!!

I have two daughters.

They are both awesome.
My youngest daughter is Danielle.
She lives in West Palm Beach where she attends Palm Beach Atlantic University.
She will be a senior this year. 
A couple of nights ago her and her friend and roommate Patty were driving on I-95 when they saw an 18 wheeler (big honkin' truck) hit a car.
The truck continued on without stopping. The car that was hit went into the median and flipped. Danielle pulled over immediately to help. Patty called 911 and Danielle headed for the car. When she got out and approached the car a dog ran up to her. She put the dog in her car and ran over to the flipped car.
When she approached the car the lady was upside down screaming frantically. Danielle told her to try and calm down so she could help her.
The lady started trying to crawl out and kept screaming the name "Lucy".
My daughter was trying to get the lady to tell her who Lucy was. She started looking in the car for a child seat or someone else. Finally the lady told her it was her dog and Danielle told her the dog was safe in her car. She was still trying to calm her down and ask her if she could pray with her. The lady responded, "I don't believe in Jesus, I am Jewish". Danielle told her that was fine.
They got her out of the car as others began to stop and help.
The lady then shared with my daughter that her dad had recently passed away and she also just lost her fiance'. She told her that if she lost her dog she didn't think she would want to live any more.
The lady wanted her phone and they couldn't find it. Patty called her number and they found her phone.
All the first responders showed up and the girls left after a while.
Later that night Patty's phone rang and it was the lady calling her and Danielle. She had Patty's number because Patty had called the ladies phone to find it at the accident.
She told them thanks and asked them if she could go to church with them.
They are going to pick her up this weekend and take her to church.
Patty and Danielle are excited about their new friend and hope they can be a help to her.
I am excited about who my daughter and Patty are.
They both love and care about people.

Peoples hurts always give us opportunities to make a difference.
I am proud of my Daughter.
I am proud of Patty too.