As I sit here on Christmas day, I start taking stock in the organizations that I choose to do life with on a frequent basis. Let me tell you a little about three of them that are special to me.
Ebenezer Baptist Church – My church. The place where I have the opportunity to worship my savior Jesus Christ in this free country. Here, I have a family that fills in the gaps for my blood-relatives. This group of people mean more to me than they will ever know. The place, in it’s entirety, keeps me grounded. Between working with the children, my Sunday School class, seeing the youth and their leaders teach my children, and doing life with the adults, it makes a life complete. Thank you EBC for allowing me to participate in life with you! If you don’t have a church home and would like to feel welcomed to an extended family, let me know.
House of Hope of the Pee Dee – This organization has been struggling financially for a while but has consistently served the homeless of this area for years. They are never discouraged long They keep plugging away. For the last 2 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the business side of this organization. On any given night of the year, 50+ homeless women, children, and men, are located safely inside the men and women’s home. This year, the opportunity to expand has presented itself. By the end of winter 2016, the group could be serving 100+ men, women, and children each night. If you’re looking for an opportunity to serve the less fortunate, choose this organization. They are focused on long term change in the folks that choose to participate in their programs. I’m thankful to be a part of this growth!
ACS Technologies – The place that chose to give a 22 year old fresh out of college kid a chance. 22 years later, with one 14 month hiatus in there, I’m glad they took that chance. ACST has been good to me and I’ve worked hard to return that favor! I enjoy working with faith-based organizations across the country. How cool is that? I couldn’t say enough about this organization. I can’t imagine not going there daily to do my part. If you’re a hard working, innovative, individual that wants to make a difference, check the open job opportunities now.
I won’t even try to cover my wife and children here. There are no words.
Thank you God. I’m blessed beyond measure. Here’s to wrapping up 2015 and looking forward to 2016.
Last Saturday, when I sat preparing my Sunday School lesson, I heard about the rain. In fact, it was raining. I heard about imminent flooding but didn’t understand. Sunday Morning it was raining again and I was seeing the effects of the rain in West Florence neighborhoods. Nothing however, could prepare my mind for the sights that would be seen in the coming week. It all seems surreal and yet my life goes only barely touched by this massive disaster. I have friends that have lost their belongings. I have friends that have lost their family estates, property and possessions. It’s a terrible thing to witness. But I know of no one personally that has lost a life. For that I am thankful. I know lives have been lost and I hope those families can find peace even during tragedy.
The reality sat in for me when 75 miles of I-95 was closed. When I left Monday morning to fly to the west coast, there were officers blocking the I-95 Southbound ramp at I-20. When I returned Friday night at 8pm, there were still officers blocking that ramp. For an entire week, this disaster has redirected the lives of tons of people. I won’t bother to try and quantify the economic impact. This is a big deal and the truth is I’ll never personally see the worst of it. (go to flickr.com and search for “SC Flood” for a glimpse)
Here’s the message to everyone out there.
- The individual in me says: Keep your chin up, this too shall pass.
- The State Motto is: While I breathe, I hope.
- The Bible says: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Stay safe friends.
PS: a big shout out to those working around the clock to keep us all safe and informed. You know who you are.
(image taken from http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article37897083.html)