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Put It Away

Once you tidy, you have to put it away. So many of you participated in the church’s Clean Out Challenge in mid-October. It was really awesome to see the 315 cars come filled with items to donate, electronics to recycle and documents to shred. Personally, my wife, Robin, and I had already made most of our clothing and material donations when we did our decluttering and tidying, but we did bring four full boxes of documents to shred. I was very thankful that the church provided this opportunity for us ... Read More »

Picture Day

It was picture day at my kids’ school this week. We spent the beginning of the week making sure we had everything ready for the big day. Much to their dismay, the boys got haircuts. After almost picking out the exact same shirts as last year’s picture day outfits, we finally settled on shirts that were nice enough yet still comfortable enough to be worn the entire day. I eased up this year and allowed the boys to wear whatever they wanted for shorts since that part of their outfit ... Read More »

Everything Goes in the Giveaway Pile

In August, we sent our youngest off to college. Her departure marked a new and exciting beginning for her. She had prepared for this day all her life, as far as she was concerned, but practically speaking, certainly all summer. She had busied herself making lists and purchases; sorting outfits; and packing boxes, bins and bags so she would have what she would need when she moved into her freshman dormitory. What was remarkable in this process was her diligence in discarding what she didn’t need. Things she had held ... Read More »

Tidying Up

So I have a pretty bad relationship with my stuff. I keep clothes that no longer fit, in hopes that one day I can wear them again. I keep letters and cards from people, even ones that have no personal message. I love seeking to be simple, but I just as equally love buying really nice stuff. It’s amazing how often I think about my stuff—about the stuff I don’t have, about the stuff I do have, how much I love my stuff, how much I hate my stuff and ... Read More »

Scenes From Ash Wednesday

I’ve been attending Floris UMC for a little over a year. One of my favorite things about my new church home is the commitment our church has to caring for ‘the least of these.’ One of my favorite memories from this past year was the opportunity to spend Ash Wednesday serving at the Floris Guest House. Fairfax Area Christian Emergency Transitional Service (FACETS), a local county agency, works with local area churches during the cold winter months to provide shelter for our neighbors who have no home of their own. ... Read More »

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Remember Fred Rogers? He was the very gentle host of a children’s television show called, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Many kids were completely enthralled with Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Mr. Rogers had none of the quick-moving story elements of “Sesame Street” or the color and energy of a Saturday morning cartoon. What Mr. Rogers offered was simple friendliness. Fred Rogers taught children how to be a good neighbor. Fred knew everyone in his neighborhood: King Friday, Daniel Tiger and Mr. McFeely. He was interested in their lives; he ... Read More »

Coming Home

There is nothing quite like going to a Virginia Tech football game. Of course I’m biased but returning to Blacksburg for a game, even after graduation or as a guest, feels like coming home. Before the game starts, you walk up to this magnificent stadium, surrounded by thousands of excited fans all in maroon or orange and all screaming: “Let’s Go!” “Hokies!” You’re swept into the stadium and find your seat just in time for the players to enter the field (the best part). Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” starts to play, ... Read More »

Just Jordan

Last Sunday, a girl named Jordan captured me after church. She told me she hoped I would come by her bake sale from 1-3:30 p.m. on Labor Day where she would be raising money for children in Sierra Leone. Who can resist a 7-year-old with a sincere smile, a passionate plea and a great cause? Just as I was thinking, “Hey! I could share this on my Facebook page,” Rev. Tom Berlin swept by and, in a stage whisper, told her, “You should give your paper to her. She’ll post it on her ... Read More »

Looking for Answers

Sometimes, life as a young adult can be overwhelming. Sure, I don’t have children to take care of or a mortgage to pay. I barely even have bills to pay (thanks to my wonderful parents). And the day-to-day things that I deal with really aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes life sneaks up on you and reminds you of all those questions that you’ve been asked over the past few years: “What are your career goals? How do you plan to achieve them?” “Where ... Read More »

A Father’s Legacy

There are many things my Dad taught me that are practical—how to ride a bike, how to change a tire, how to play lacrosse, but it’s the character-building lessons that shaped me and made me who I am. There were many of those lessons: be a good steward, be generous, love your neighbor, take care of family, honor those who serve our country, be grateful for every day and be true to your word, but I think the most important lesson my Dad ever taught me was that God loves ... Read More »

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