Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Year Ago Today...

Everything looks different from 13,500 feet

The horizon was breathtaking. Everything was just crystal clear. You could see for miles upon miles away. Everything was peaceful and serene. Life seemed to just float by so effortlessly. Life at 13,500 feet, looks amazing.

Until they open the airplane doors and your next in line to jump! That when everything changes...

The horizon is gone. All you see is the ground. A terrifying reminder of what awaits to catch you if things go wrong. Crystal clear becomes a blur of wind and sounds. It's cold. Like the hand of death slowing running it's finger up your spine. You trade peaceful and serene for tempestuous and angry. Life at 13,500 feet, is scary.

Yet with all this, the one thing I remember most of my entire jump was the 2 seconds before we dove from the plane. For two seconds I was between safety and dicey. In those two seconds, I think I learned more about God than in any other two seconds of my life. I remember specifically praying this one prayer. I said, "Lord, if this is the end of my line, I pray I wake up to find you holding me. If this isn't the end of my line, I pray I can look back on this day and see your hand in it. Lord, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

I never got that last line out. We jumped.

Looking back though, I did see God's hand in all of it. I learned that sometimes our life can be a lot like skydiving. God leads us to places in our life where we either stay in the safety of where He has brought us. Something that is comfortable and routine or we take that next step or leap of faith, into the unknown. If God brings you to it, He'll see you through it. (Many thanks to Brother Ron for that line) It's in those leaps of faith where God really begins to stretch us, to mold us, into the person He has created us to be.

Looking back, the jump was the hardest part. But once I took my leap from the plane, that was when the fun really began! When you jump with Jesus, you can't go wrong.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where is God?

Right By Your Side.

It can be easy to wonder, "God where are you! I'm drowning here and you're not around!" Sometimes the world does get the better of us and we're left feeling alone and confused. I can think of times when I've felt like everything in my life came crashing down on top of me all at once and everything just stopped. There was nothing. I was alone, afraid, confused, empty, feeling like I was in a big black abyss with no where to turn. Thankfully we serve a mighty, powerful and faithful God who is so good!

God came to earth to rescue us. "For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."

God knows the pain and suffering we encounter in this world. Jesus left the safety and security of His home, and entered the hard environment we live in. Jesus got tired, knew hunger and thirst, battled accusations from others and was ostracized by family and friends. But Jesus experienced far more than daily hardships. Let's face it, this life ain't easy and He knows it.

Someone might shoot us. Or we might be hit by a car. Or we might have to jump from a building attacked by terrorists. Or any number of things that might happen to us in this harsh environment called Earth, the place where God's will is not always followed.

Yet, God is not at the mercy of people, but the other way around. We are at His mercy, fortunately. This is God who created the universe with its uncountable stars, simply by speaking the words, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky." This is God who says He "reigns over the nations." He is unlimited in power and wisdom. Though problems seem insurmountable to us, we have an incredibly capable God who reminds us, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for Me?" Somehow He is able to maintain the freedom of sinful humans, yet still bring about His will. God clearly says, "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose." And we can draw comfort from that if our lives are submitted to Him. "For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

God has got you. Remember that. No matter the situation. No matter the magnitude. No matter what! God has got you in his righteous right hand and will keep you safe. He is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in times of trouble.

God Loves You! Stay Strong.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

100 - 0

What Happened?

In case you missed it: The coach of a Texas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was fired Sunday, the same day he sent an e-mail to a newspaper saying he will not apologize "for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."

On its Web site last week, the Covenant School of Dallas, a private Christian school, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 shutout win over Dallas Academy. "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition," said the statement, signed by Kyle Queal, head of school, and board chair Todd Doshier.

This is tough because I feel for both sides. The coach preaches to his players hard work, hard play, hustle, integrity of the game. On the other side you have to have compassion and mercy for the kids on the other team. A parent who attended the game said Covenant continued to make 3-pointers — even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

If that is true, cheering wildly for 100 points on a team that can't make a shot! That's wrong. But according to others at the games the coach did sub in bench players and told his team to hold the ball to not score so quickly as a way to run the clock faster and end the game.

My questions is what else could he have done? You can't tell you team to miss every shot from here on out and you can't make the other team make theirs. You bench players don't get to play that often and when they finally get their opportunity you tell them to play soft and not try. That's not fair either. Just because their on a better team, they get punished in play.

Like I said, there is no right or wrong, there just is. I feel for the team that lost 100 - 0, but I praise them for finishing the game. If I were that school I would look to play in a different league or conference with schools who match them in size. Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is win less over the last four seasons. Covenant on the other hand is a much larger school.


Monday, January 26, 2009

My Love


I just love it. There is nothing quite like it. And it's sad to admit this; but my love affair with coffee began over a girl. True story.

Way back in the day I was dating a sweet young girl named April. From here on out we'll refer to her as "The Coffee Drinker". I was not into coffee at all. I thought it smelled funny and tasted like hot cough syrup mixed with milk.

Coffee Drinker and I decide to go out on a date. I'm going to date myself here but we went to the old Tampa Bay Mall. It's not even there anymore. The Bucs practice facility is on the spot where the old Tampa Bay Mall used to be. So Coffee Drinker and I are on said date and she wants what? A coffee. Being the sweet girl that she was she asked me first, "Do you drink coffee?" Being the guy that I was I say, "Of course, love it. Can't get enough of it." She orders me some crazy cappuccino concoction that I swear tasted like a tire iron dipped in death, yet smelled like sweet cinnamon and cream. Odd....

I stiff upper lip it and drink this liquid kick in the no-no's as a way to impress Coffee Drinker and since that day I just kept on with the habit. Partly because Coffee Drinker and I were dating, so the coffee kept coming. Eventually, I fell on the outs with Coffee Drinker and in love with Coffee. Crazy, but true. If not for a Coffee Drinker named April, I may never have fallen for the bean named Coffee.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

The "B" Word

Budget, I've been put on one!

Last night at church (and by the way, I must say I love Saturday night church) Pastor Craig talked about finances. He covered questions like, do we control where our money goes or does it control how we feel? Even landed on the "B" word. Budget. Something I started as part of my New Years things to do list.

Since January, I put myself on a very strict budget. No frivolous spending, watch what and where I eat, I even cut back on some of the fun stuff I go and do. My goal is to really begin to save money and be a better steward of what God has given me. Basically, start to control my money and dictate what it does, not the other way around where money controls me and dictates what I can tithe, or where I can go eat, or what I can do. Think about it.

Lets say your living above your means, you're making X but spending Y and Y is of a higher amount than X. Eventually, your life will become dictated by money. You'll never have enough, you'll always need more, you may begin borrowing from Peter to pay the bank. My pastor said it best when he said, "There are 3 types of people when it comes to money now a days. The Have's, The Have Not's and the Have Not Paid For What They Have!" It's so true.

Back to my budget. The month isn't even over yet and I can already see the benefit of having a budget. I dropped the amount of spending on going out to eat (restaurants, drive-thrus, coffee shops) by over 60%! That's money that can now go directly into the savings account. And trust me, I still had a good time with my friends going out for dinner. I just cut out the fluff, the times when I could make something at the house instead of ordering Chili's take out or the quick stop at Panera.

If I can do it, I know you can too. Budget! And become a better steward of what God has given you. Because lets be honest here. It's His anyways. God given. So put it to good use. Be Blessed!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Miss You

Ron McClelland

It was a sad day Monday for us all here at Spirit FM, as we broke the news of the passing of a dear friend. Ron McClelland of Storyside:B passed away from an apparent heart attack while on a cruise ship playing basketball. Over the last few days it has been truly amazing to see the complete body of Christ come together to support Ron’s family and friends during such a difficult time.

There will be two memorial services for Ron one in Jacksonville, FL and the other in Detroit, MI. Ron and Rebeca did not have life insurance. If you would like to help with funeral and expenses, go to any Bank Of America and ask for the: Account for Ron and Rebeca McClelland ending in #8678 or you can mail checks made out to Ron and Rebeca McClelland Fund P.O. Box 551379 Jacksonville, FL 32255.

It's never easy dealing with death, however we can rejoice in the fact that he is home. Ayeisha Woods had this to say about the passing of Ron and I think she said it best.

Our dear friend Ron McClelland with Story Side:B has gone on to be with Jesus. Please be in prayer for his family and the rest of the band. Ron will be deeply missed and never forgotten. His warm spirit and love for Jesus was truly evident and I’m encouraged to know that I’ll see him again after a while! I take comfort in the following:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


Thanks guys!~Ayiesha

Keep the McClellands in your prayers and the guys from Storyside:B.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes I Just Don't Get It

I'm still learning. That's what I keep telling myself. I'm still learning. God help me. I'm still learning.

Some days life hands you lemons and the best you can do is make a mess. That's how I feel every now and then and today is one of those "now's". Radio being the funny thing that it is has so many different personalities, so many different view points, so many different people and only one Abby and one me. Two to meet the thousands.

Some people who listen can appreciate sarcasm, thank the Lord for those people. Abby and I have to fight the use of sarcasm since we can both be very sarcastic from time to time. Some people want me to say something deep and meaningful every time I crack the mic. I apologize to those people. If I were that guy I'd write books and try to make millions with some form of pseudo self-help jargon. Some people want to hear me talk about God every time I talk about anything. Maybe not a 100% of the time, but I do it most of the time without having to say His name. The basic underlying principles of how he wants us to act or react or live and love it at the heart of what I say on air. I want people to see me and how I choose to live and see a reflection of the one I serve. Jesus.

What I'm learning is that I don't know anything. And that's ok. Because God does. For whatever reason he's got me here at Spirit FM, for whatever reason I get the task of being on the morning show. I may not always say what you want me to say or say the "right thing" but when I talk about a situation on the air, I speak from my heart. And God knows, I want to be a good representation of who he is in my life. The center, the core, the essence of who I am, the reason I breathe and the reason I get up at 4am to come to a little radio station and try to make someones morning/day/week. I may not be for everyone. I may not be your cup of tea. But I am for Jesus. 100%.