Category Archives: Family

The Hits Just Keep On Coming!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have been praying for me. The Lord has been working through my circumstances in so many ways, time will not permit me to describe them at this juncture.

Additionally, I was attempting to have a date night with my wife last Friday night when I tripped over a curb in an unlit portion of a mall parking lot. I fell, managing to dislocate my left shoulder and damage the rotator cuff in the process. My orthopedist outlined a plan of action today that we both hope will allow me to avoid surgery. Pleas pray that this plan will be successful.

In the meantime, life goes on. I am becoming a little more proficient at typing with one hand, God has been blessing our church in a wonderful way and I am closer to my wife than I have ever been.

Also, my latest article is up at Baptist Press Sports. I invite you to check it out and let me know what you think.

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Georgia Baptist Convention

For the last three days, my family and I have been in attendance at the Georgia Baptist Convention. This year it was held at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.

I wish to commend those who planned this year’s meeting. The spirit was absolutely phenomenal, much more so than one would normally expect at a business meeting. While much important business was dealt with, the emphasis seemed to be on refocusing on Christ. The music was the best it has ever been and the preaching was outstanding.

I also would like to congratulate my dad on being elected as one of our vice-presidents. This is a well-deserved honor and I know he will serve our convention well in this new opportunity that God has opened.

Family Reunion

   Yesterday, I had the chance to attend a family reunion from my mom’s side of the family. We all went back to Franklin Baptist Church which has been in existence for well over a hundred years in the little farming community that is named after my family.

   We had a delicious meal after which we honored the oldest man in the family, Ausmus Betts. Several stood and told stories and said nice things about him. He is a very down-to-earth type of fellow, and was really touched by it.

   After a while, as usually happens, some of the “old-timers” start telling tales about the early history of the family. One in particular came to light that I thought I would share with you.

   During the Civil War or, as some of the older ones called it, “The War of Northern Aggression”, our family was living in the low country of South Carolina. Sherman had just finished razing Georgia in his infamous “March to the Sea” and decided to turn his attention to South Carolina. It was his intention to severely punish the state who had been the first to secede from the Union.

   Aunt Pet, one of my ancestors, and her family lived in the area between Savannah and Charleston. Being poor farmers, they had very little, but Aunt Pet had a pet pig of which she was very fond. When they received word that Yankee foragers were approaching she told the children to go tie the pig to a tree in the swamp behind their house.

   After a while, a platoon of Union soldiers came up to the house. Upon the sergeant’s orders, a couple of men went into the house to search for food. After a moment, the men came back and told their sergeants, “Sarge, there’s nothing here, these people are just as poor as we are. Let’s just leave them alone.”

   Just as they were preparing to leave, something agitated the pig and he let out a loud squeal. The soldiers went into the swamp, found Aunt Pet’s pig, killed it and ate it.

   During the family business meeting, we voted unanimously to continue the family grudge against the Yankees for another year.

In the Boondocks

   Last week was the week of fall break for schools in our area. Although we home-school our sons, we try to follow the local calendar and so we took time off as well. Wanting to get out and enjoy the mild fall weather and get away from home for a little while, we decided on a camping trip to one of our wonderful Georgia state parks.

   After calling around to a few parks to the north and west of us, I found that their campgrounds were all filled for the weekend. Turning my attention to the east, I found the Stephen C. Foster State Park in Okefenokee Swamp. When I called I was greeted by a very friendly lady who assured me that there were plenty of campsites available. She warned me, though, that if we were coming I should bring everything I needed with me because there was absolutely nothing around where she was. I reserved a spot and we began to load up our Jeep for the trip.

   We found the park to be located seventeen miles in the heart of Okefenokee Swamp. It was literally at the end of the road, but it was an absolutely gorgeous place to camp. Wildlife was abundant and we saw a large number of deer, along with squirrels, raccoons (who overran our campsite during the night), a fox, a possum, an otter, a variety of birds and of course, alligators (sorry, Beverly, Pogo didn’t show up 😉 ).

   Friday night was very relaxing as we sat by the fire under the moonlight. The only sounds that could be heard were the crickets chirping and an occasional owl hooting.

   On Saturday, we rented a boat and traveled about 4 or 5 miles up various creeks and waterways through the swamp. Gigantic cypress trees towered overhead and reflected in the still black water. Water lilies were blooming as were black-eyed Susans and other wildflowers. At times the waterways became so narrow that there was only a few inches of clearance on either side of the boat as we passed between trees.

   It was an amazingly refreshing time that we hated to see end. We all left reluctantly, counting the days until we can go back.

Going Camping

Our boys are on fall break this week. We have decided to get out of the house tonight, so we are going to go camping in Okeefenokee Swamp. If the gators, bears and skeeters don’t eat me, I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Have a blessed weekend.

Movie Review: Fireproof

   This last weekend, my family and I had the opportunity to view the newly-released movie, “Fireproof“. I had read several reviews by those who had screened the film prior to its release and was looking forward to the chance to see it for myself.

   I’ll have to say, I certainly was not disappointed. Produced by the members of Sherwood Baptist Church, in Albany, GA, (the makers of “Facing the Giants”) it illustrates the story of a captain of a fire department who is seeing his marriage crumble.

   Caleb, played by Kirk Cameron, is a self-absorbed public hero who eventually turns to his father (Harris Malcolm) for guidance. At his father’s request he embarks on a journey that teaches him to demonstrate a love to his wife that reflects the love of God for us.

   The movie, shot on location in Albany, moves along very well. The quality of the acting is very good for a low-budget film, greatly improved over that of “Facing the Giants”. The dramatic moments are genuinely suspenseful and the comedic relief provided by the interaction of the firefighters, while a bit contrived was funny nonetheless. The film quality was by far the best I have ever seen in a Christian production (we have come a long way since “Thief in the Night”).

   While the focus of the movie is the strengthening of marriages, the message of the Gospel is central to the plot making this worth seeing for the family. The film is rated PG due to the intensity of a couple of events the fire department faces as well as the “religious” content, but there was absolutely nothing objectionable that I found in it.

   I would encourage each family to go see this movie. It is well worth the time and the price of the ticket.

A Blessed Week

Last week was one that was full of blessings. I suppose we could really say that about every week, but this one was especially so.

Our church held Vacation Bible School beginning on Sunday evening. We had an incredible week that was the highest attended we have ever had. The kids were enthusiastic and the adults really worked together as a team. Several good contacts with unchurched families were made. Most importantly, two children placed their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

On Tuesday, we got the news that my oldest son, Clay, had received a good report on an unusual mole that had been removed from his back a couple of weeks ago. The doctor said that it was not malignant. Thanks a bunch to all of you who offered prayers on his behalf.

After such a full week, we were ready for a little getaway, so my family and I travelled to the Julian Bruce State Park at St. George Island, Florida. We had a wonderful day at the beach and experienced some beautiful sights. Some sea turtles had recently hatched and you could see the trails through the sand where they had made their way to the water. We saw a number of different birds, but to cap everything off, we had all four swam out to the sand bar that was about forty or fifty yards offshore. While we were there, playing in about three feet of crystal-clear water, four dolphins came swimming by within just a few yards of us. They were unhurried, one even stuck his head out of the water to get a better look at us. It was an amazing moment.

On the way back home, we swung by our old haunt, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and drove down to the lighthouse at sunset. On our way in we had a close encounter with a raccoon. Coming out we got a good look at a great horned owl and a pair of ospreys. We even got to see a whip-poor-will. As often as I have heard these birds sing at night, this was the first one I had actually seen.

Praise the Lord for His everlasting goodness.