"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Gentleman's Pace: 10,000 Steps & Ekklesia

Tempo: characteristic rate, rhythm, or pattern of work or activity: the tempo of city life.


 Muirfield Village: Hole 12

With each new day, week and/or month comes more than a few topics one could write about. As I review a weeks worth of events my thoughts race with the limitless directions I could venture. There was/is the pride and joy of a father for his son accepting a scholarship (full ride) to play Division 1 football. There was the conversation with good friends that took place this past weekend or the weekly "Family Movie Nite" that takes place every Sunday in our home. 

This week's movie was "Dolphin Tale."

On a more sobering note, I could share my thoughts concerning the fatal car accident of a Dublin teenager that just graduated from High School or discuss the poor conversation surrounding the topic of "race" that is currently being sadly peddled in our country. All of these items have the ability to produce encouragement and to create deep thought; that includes the movie "Dolphin Tale" and the topic of race, but what I want to talk about today is "10,000 steps" and the Greek term "Ekklesia."

First, 10,000 steps.

This past Friday I had the distinct honor and the tremendous pleasure to play golf at the Muirfield Village Golf Club (44 / 51 - 95) with one of my closets friends, his brother and a member of the club that I went to college with. To say the experience was memorable and unbelievable is an understatement. From the moment I drove onto the grounds I knew I was somewhere very special. Within the sport of golf I was on hallowed ground. I used a locker in the locker room that has seen the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. I hit balls on the golf range with the caddy behind me taking wonderful care of each one of my clubs and going to great lengths to make me feel no different than Fred Couples, Ernie Els, and Rory McIlroy when my game would deserve otherwise. And then there was the practice putting on the practice greens where Davis Love III, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson have perfected their work with the flat stick many times before going to the first tee at The Memorial.

I could go on forever but I think you get the point.

 Me, Matt, Steve & Dan

It was a special time for me and the best golf experience I've ever had. And though all was great this past Friday what will be most memorable to me was the walking of the course with a caddy. As we walked off the first tee at a easy pace I soon realized this would be a round like no other. It is widely accepted, and has been studied, that a golfer walks, on average, 10,000 steps per round of golf. It's actually 11,984 steps (+\- 1,781) but that's close enough, plus who's counting. The beauty of that 10,000 steps wasn't the good walk spoiled theory, but rather the ability to relax your mind and enjoy the company of others while playing the game of golf, a gentleman's game, all the while moving at a gentleman's pace, in an environment that wouldn't accept anything less than being a gentleman or gentle-lady.


Ekklesia (ek-klay-see'-ah) is the Greek term that is most identified with the institution or word "church." It's specific translation means "called out ones; called together for specific purpose or assembly. The first time the word church is used in the Bible is Matthew 16: 18 when Peter makes his declaration about Jesus, and in turn Jesus states that He will build His church "upon this rock."

But what exactly is the "church?"

St. Peters Basilica and Square in the Vatican City.
See, the church is referred in a Biblical text as Ekklesia because their are no walls, ceilings or doors involved. The church isn't a building, it's the body of Christ, and we as believers are the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). So in the end, the "church" can take place anywhere because it isn't limited by a physical address but it involves a movement of the spirit within a group of people called together for a specific purpose.

The purpose for all believers is to acknowledge God in everything and share the "good news"; share the gospel with all.

The church has always been about the movement of people who have been impacted by the grace of Jesus in such a way that it compels them to live Christ centered lives; so others may be touched by Christ as well. Our legacy will always be centered around this question: "did I make a difference in my life and the lives of others?" To truly make a difference you must involve yourself in something bigger than yourself. Something eternal. Ekklesia.

St. Peter's Basilica

So what does 10,000 steps and Ekklesia have to do with each other?

Absolutely nothing and absolutely everything.

The obvious differences is one has to do with religion and the other is spiritual. I will let you decide which one is which. One takes place in heaven, the other in a cathedral. Again, I will let you decide which one applies to which one. Another difference is that one entertains the playing of music while the other puts a high price tag on silence.

{But}, it's the similarities between the two that are meaningful and deep.

Both involve a book of instructions; the Bible if you will. In one instance the yardage book is the bible, in the other it is God's word. They both involve a journey; one is more than 10,000 steps, the other is a lifetime of walking with God. Lastly, both the game of golf and in the Christian life have a caddy that is involved.

In the game of golf the caddy carries your golf bag and instructs the golfer on the best way to be successful, in the game of life God carries "you" and gives instruction how to live your best life.

The life He intended for you.

And in both the game of golf and in the pursuit of being the church a gentleman's pace is needed, along with an unwavering tempo and temperament . There is no reason to run and get ahead of yourself or to drag your feet on the course or in life. What is needed is a spirit of gratitude and acknowledgment of the wondrous beauty around you and a desire to be the "church" with everyone you come in contact with. Finally, I don't always see the simple beauty of things; I don't see God's wondrous hand in everything.

That is a shame.

{And}, I certainly don't always display myself in the manner that is represented in being the church. This too is a shame. With each day I would like to change both of those truths.

{But}, what I did see last Friday was God's intervening hand in the beauty of His land and in the fellowship with others. I was also reminder that my Christian walk is just that, a walk, with my caddy, Jesus Christ, caring me with each step and instructing me with the best advice to be successful. All I had to do, and what will always be required of me to do, is just listen and walk with Him at a "Gentleman's Pace." In the end, God is more than my caddy, He is my Savior and He is my Savior for 10,000 steps; for a lifetime. All He wants of me is to be the "church"; Ekklesia.

That is how I can make a difference in my life and in another.

An eternal difference.

sbb 24.8.13

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Decision: the act of or need for making up one's mind: This is a difficult decision.

 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me"
-John 14:1

Are you happy?

There are times I drive in some of my favorite neighborhoods and admire homes that I dream about living in some day. Many of them might have been a reality if it wasn't for multiple divorces and steep child support responsibilities over the past twenty years. {But} as I imagine myself living in a certain home in a desirable zip code I often ask myself: would I be happy?

There are other times I see certain cars and SUV's that grab my attention and I think to myself; "that would be sweet to own that car." {Or} maybe it's a watch I notice in an ad or another man's wrist that would be wonderful to have as a part of my watch collection… vintage watches are my absolute favorite. {But}, again, would I be any happier if those possessions were mine?

What if it was something less material like taking a family vacation every year to where the sand is soft and the sun is hot? Rent a house, cook meals together, and enjoy family time together as we build a lifetime of memories. I really do believe that would be wonderful, and that is truly a goal for my wife and I to accomplish, but again I must ask myself; "would I be happy?"

The reason I'm asking this question is because last week I was reminded of a question Addison ask me about four years ago when he was three years old.

As we were driving down a street in our neighborhood I noticed acquaintance standing in her driveway, with her Steelers sweatshirt on no less. Upon recognizing her I slammed on the brakes, put the car in reverse, and yelled out the window: "Steelers going to have any players NOT in jail next year?" See, the Steelers were having a lot of off the field issues at that time and to say I despise the Pittsburgh Steelers is a drastic understatement.

There is no more obnoxious fan on this earth than a Steeler fan. (Sidenote: I love their coach Mike Tomlin)

Anyway, her reply was straight Hannibal Lecter. No emotion, no expression, just a steely glare and these four words: "we will be fine."

Seriously, I was waiting for her to call me "Clarice".

"We" she says. The last time I checked there weren't any 5'4" blonds on the team rooster. The only thing that drives me more insane than a fan using the term "we" is the 40 year old "guy" that wears his favorite teams jersey with some players name on the back.

Grow up.

Wow, yesterday I offended soccer nation by telling Ryan if he continues to cry while we were playing basketball that he should just go play "soccer", and today it's Steeler fan and 40 year old jersey wearing guy.

Where was I, oh yea, as I drove off "pretty happy" for just interacting with a Steeler fan (Steeler fan usually puts me in a bad mood) Addison ask me; "Daddy, why are you so happy"? I thought for a moment and replied; "It's more fun to be happy."

Not very profound, but very much the truth.

Abraham Lincoln once stated; "most people are about as happy as they make up there minds to be". I agree. Every day the choice is ours. We always don't get to choose our circumstances, but our attitude is 100% our choice. Again, not very profound, but very much the truth.

No matter where I live, what car I drive or what watch I wear my happiness still depends on me and my perspective. A little heads up: none of those things I mentioned can ever make you truly happy. They can bring some happiness, but not the kind of happiness that resides deep in your soul and is sustaining. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can provide that kind of happiness; that kind of joy.

Anyway, It's my choice to be happy. Thanks Addison for reminding me that the choice to be happy is mine and that people really do pay attention to our attitude...especially little people.

What choice are you going to make?

sbb 3.8.13