Pop Pop Epistle #5 – About M&Ms

PP5Dear Grandkids,

If you have ever been in my office at church then you already know that I almost always have a big jar of peanut M&Ms sitting on my desk. They are there for anyone who walks into my office to enjoy. Truth be told, I actually don’t eat that many of them myself. But I do love me some peanut M&Ms. And I suspect that you do as well since my blood runs through your veins. Next time that you grab some out of my jar or open a bag at your house think about some of the things that M&Ms can remind us about regarding our faith in the Lord.

1) M&Ms come in lots of different colors yet they are all the same – You are going to grow up in a world full of people who are very diverse – that is they will be different colors with different backgrounds and different personalities. And yet they are all the same in that they are uniquely created by God to enjoy Him and fulfill His purposes. Don’t ever let somebody’s color keep you from discovering how unique they are in the sight of God.

2) M&Ms are filled with wonderfulness (chocolate) – Let this be a reminder that the wonderful and wondrous love of God fills you full to overflowing. The way that Ephesians 3:18-19 puts it is like this…

I pray that.. you may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.

Let His love fuel you for all the things that He has in store for you.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.04.25 PM

3) M&Ms are marked – If you take a good look you will see that every M&M is marked with the letter “M”. Similarly, once you have put your faith in the Lord Jesus and become a child of God you are marked with a seal that designates you as belonging to Him. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit who resides in and presides over you. It is God’s Spirit that will enable you to  live the life that God has called you to live.

4) M&Ms are meant to be shared – Likewise, as believers, what the Lord has freely given to us is meant to be shared with others. In fact, it makes what we have that much better when we pass it on to others. So be generous with M&Ms and share them freely with your friends and be just as generous with the good news that God has rescued you from death and given you a life that is truly worth living for His sake.

The next time I see you it would give me great joy to share some of my M&Ms with you.

And never ever forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

Pop Pop Epistle #4 – Reyners Are Not Whiners

PP5Dear Grandkids,

“Reyners are not whiners!”

My guess is that by the time you are old enough to read that this is a mantra you are familiar with. And I am sure it is something that you have heard me say. I am not a fan of whining. No parent is. No grandparent is. Nobody likes a whiner. One day you will hate whining as much as I do. The problem is that it seems we are all hardwired to whine when we don’t get what we want. Whining comes naturally. We don’t have to be taught how to whine. But we do have to be taught not to whine. I have been around adults who have never been taught how not to whine and I promise you me that they are no fun to be around. No one likes to be around a whiner.

Which is why you hear me say this to you when you default to a whining mode. Grayson, I am very proud of you for picking up the mantra as a 4 year old and beginning to teach Bowen not to whine. And Bowen I am very proud of you for using your musical skills to put the mantra into a song to pass on to the next generation.

 

(Bowen singing his new hit song “Reyners Are Not Whiners”)

There is a story in Exodus 16 that demonstrates how easy it is to fall into a whining mode. The Israelites had just experienced one of the great miracles of all time and yet they were whining big time because… 1) they were tired, 2) they didn’t like the food, 3) they didn’t like Moses telling them what to do, 4) they were bored. They had quickly forgotten how blessed they were and all that God had done for them. Here are a  few things you might stop and do before you start to whine…

#1 – Remember – Take some time to remember just how blessed you really are. My guess is that this will not be hard if you stop and think about it.
#2 – Express thanks – I can promise you this: Gratitude will get you a whole lot more than whining ever will.
#3 – Learn patience – Waiting can be hard. Waiting can be very hard. But waiting patiently is so much nobler than whining incessantly.

Never forget that nobody wants to be around a whiner. Never forget that Reyners are not whiners!

And never ever forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

Pop Pop Epistle #3 – About a Rooster

PP5Dear Grandkids,

We recently had a rooster move in to the house behind us. Now as you know, we do not live out in the country but in a neighborhood. Yesterday Mr. Rooster and some of his chicky lady friends wandered into our yard – I’m guessing they escaped their pen or perhaps don’t even have a pen to live in. I have noticed that Mr. Rooster does his cock-a-doodle-do thing around 6:30 AM every morning. Now this does not bother me too much because I am usually up before then. But I suspect some of our other neighbors are none too pleased by the early morning wake up call.

Anyway, seeing Mr. Rooster yesterday got me to thinking about what I might can learn from him and his kin. Two things that I wanted to pass on to you…

1) Every morning, very consistently, Mr. Rooster wakes up and does the same thing. He has established a routine that helps him to get his day started. It will be a good thing for you also to establish morning routines early in your life to get your day off to the right start. Listening to and talking with God is a great routine to establish. This will mean taking time to read God’s Word and then talking with Him about what you have read. If you will do this consistently throughout your life you will be amazed at how God uses a simple routine to create an intimate, dynamic, energizing relationship with Him.

2) In Mark 14:72 the Lord used a rooster to bring about conviction of sin in the life of Peter –  one of the great leaders in the early church. The Scripture says that after hearing a rooster crow “Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him….” My takeaway from this is to let Mr. Rooster’s cock-a-doodle-do each morning be a reminder to me to confess any sin that I am aware of and to start the day with a freshness in my walk with the Lord.

Perhaps the next time you hear a rooster crow you will be reminded of these things and remember that your Pop Pop let a noisy old rooster teach him a thing or two.

And never ever forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 11.30.36 AM

Mr. Rooster and his lady friends in our back yard

Pop Pop Epistle #2 – About 911

Dear Grandkids,

16 years ago today our world changed. You will read about it one day on your history e-tablets. It  is one of those days that most people know where they were when they heard the news about the attacks on the United States. I certainly do (Elmo’s restaurant in Durham with a friend). I remember asking the question, “What in the world is going on?” as we heard the news about the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon, and Flight 93.

There are lots of ways that the world changed that day but there are many things that stayed the same. For instance…

1) People seem to be at their best when life is at it’s worst – There are so many heroic stories that came out of 911. Nobody wants to see tragedies happen but they have a way of awakening within us the imago dei in such a way that people act the way that they were created to act. It is one of the ways that God brings good out of what was meant for evil. You have been created in the image of God and wants to use you also in a heroic fashion – just be on the lookout for the opportunities that will often be disguised as adversity.

2) Tragedies have a way of compelling people to ask theological questions – Such as “Where was God?”, “Why didn’t God answer my prayers?”,  and “If God is good and loving why do bad things happen?” – As you grow up you are going to have lots of opportunities to help answer these questions for people you know who are dealing with crisis. People are searching for good answers, not glib answers, because most people want to know that life is NOT just a matter of crazy, chaotic randomness. There are good answers to these kinds of questions. There is great hope when life seems hopeless. Prepare yourself to “give an answer to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)

3) America is a great country – You have been born into the greatest country in the world. You had absolutely nothing to do with where you were born but, trust me, your life would be completely different if you had been born just about anywhere else. I tell you this to help you understand that you are indeed greatly blessed – and you have been greatly blessed in order to be a great blessing. Whenever you get around to reading this take a minute and pray and 1) thank God for giving you such a great country to grow up in, and 2) ask God who you can be a blessing to today.

And never ever forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop

Pop Pop Epistle #1 – About a Kidney Stone

Dear Grandkids,

This is the first of what I hope will be many letters that I write you in the days to come. I hope to share some things with you that I am learning along the way and that will be helpful to you in the days to come.

So… last night I had a kidney stone attack. It was very different from the 3 other attacks that I have had. They all landed me in the hospital. This one did not. I had about 5 hours of fairly intense pain and then was able to pass it. You can ask your parents about what that actually means.

A Scripture passage that always comes to mind when I deal with kidney stones is 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 which says…

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I am pretty convinced that the Apostle Paul also dealt with kidney stones. Certainly his experience here parallels mine: 1) he was given a thorn in the flesh, 2) he felt harassed by the enemy of our souls, 3) he pleaded with God for it to leave him.

But I was reminded again last night of the promise that is embedded in these verses – that God’s grace is sufficient for me. This is a promise that you will want to cling to in the years to come. I promise that you will face difficult days as you grow up. Sometimes life can be very harsh and hard. Sometimes you will feel lonely and isolated. Sometimes you will experience intense physical and emotional and relational pain.

During these times it will be tempting to feel like God has abandoned you. But He has not. This much I can tell you from experience. And His grace is ALWAYS sufficient. His power is ALWAYS perfected in my weaknesses. His strength is ALWAYS enough to get me through. His peace is ALWAYS abundant and plenteous enough to fuel me in the midst of a crazy and chaotic world. Cling to Him – the only One who makes life bearable when it feels unbearable.

And never ever forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop

Poland/Baltic Adventures

This past Wednesday, Linda and I returned from oversees having been out of the country for two and half weeks. Our trip was divided into 2 different adventures both of which were excellent.

Adventure #1 – For the 4th time in 5 years our church staffed a retreat for the missionaries (M’s) that are in the Germanic and Catholic clusters of Europe. This includes M’s from Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland. We gathered in Jelenia Gora, Poland with about 55 M families  who came together for meetings, fellowship, worship in their heart language, and soul refreshment. Our job was to provide ministry to the M kids and students, lead worship, and create some fun surprises for the adults.

Linda and I, along with 7 others were in charge of the Student Ministry. Essentially we hosted a 4 day retreat experience for middle and high school students. It took me back to the 25 years that I spent in Youth Ministry and reminded me why I stayed so long and how much I enjoyed working with students. I did a series of messages entitled “Not Your Average Joe” and looked at 4 “Joes” in Scripture and what it was that made them not your average Joe: Josiah, Jonah, Joseph (OT), and Barnabas – yeah, Barnabas. See if you can figure out why he is not an average JOE. Here are a couple of pictures of the awesome students we had the privilege of hanging out with for the week…

IMG_0399

This is after one of my famous “Shay hikes”. The next one is the group sporting our “Not Your Average Joe” tee shirts.

IMG_0405

Adventure #2 – Our Poland retreat finished up on Saturday, August 5. We had flown into Prague but we were flying out of Berlin. We arrived in Berlin around lunchtime and since our flight home was not until Sunday morning we took a 4 hour tour of Berlin in the afternoon. Hit all the main tourist spots like Checkpoint Charlie, The Berlin Wall, TheBrandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Monument, and a few government places.

IMG_1230

The rest of the team took off early Sunday morning but Linda and I stayed behind and took a train up to the northern coast of Germany where we boarded a ship and began a 9 day cruise with Norwegian around the Baltic Sea. It was AWESOME. We had great sailing weather – never really knew we were even on a ship. Incredible dining experiences. Perfect weather everywhere we went – sunny and 70-75 degrees. We enjoyed all the ports as well as the 2 days we were at sea. Norwegian did an excellent job of spoiling us and refreshing us. Here are a few pictures that will not do justice to our experience but will at least give you some kind of idea to what our trip was like…

IMG_1232

Warnemunde, Germany – Day 1

IMG_0561

Tallinn, Estonia – Day 3

IMG_1236

St Petersburg, Russia – Day 4

IMG_1233

St Petersburg, Russia – Day 5

IMG_0768

Helsinki, Finland – Day 6

IMG_1238

Stockholm, Sweden – Day 7

IMG_1234

Copenhagen, Denmark – Day 9

 

And a few random pictures…

IMG_1237

IMG_1235

A few comments about the trip…

1) We enjoyed all the ports but Copenhagen was our favorite.
2) We loved walking around the Old Towns of Tallinn and Stockholm.
3) The Peterhof Palace and Gardens  outside of St Petersburg was incredibly beautiful.
4) We were unplugged for most of the trip which was kind of nice.
5) We got in over 23,000 Fitbit steps in Copenhagen.
6) The Danish danish in Copenhagen would be worth flying back for (see picture above).
7) I am now quite the selfie stick master.
8) Never underestimate the value of your favorite pillow.
9) It was great to be away together by ourselves for an extended period of time.
10) We loved the trip but we were glad to get back home.

And we would definitely recommend a Baltic cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines to anyone who is so inclined – and I was not paid to write that.

 

A Prayer For Asher

Asher Elizabeth Reyner

June 9, 2017
8 pounds 4 ounces
21.5 inches long
Wilmington, NC
Parents: Tucker and Danielle Reyner
Grandparents: Shay and Linda Reyner (aka Nona and Pop Pop)

Father, I thank you for this blessing – this little girl who is so dependent upon others for everything but who already has been a source of great joy to many.

And this is my prayer as she grows up…

I pray that she would always find her dependence on You. And even when sin tries to take root in her heart and turn her away from You, that your Spirit would draw her back and enable her to find joy in clinging to You as she asserts a bold streak of dependence not independence.

I ask that her heart would be tender towards You and others from an early age. That she would yearn to know You and have a strong appetite for Your Word. That she would demonstrate genuine compassion towards others because she genuinely knows that You have shown great compassion towards her.

I pray that she will learn to abide in your magnificent, magnanimous love. That she will know the width and breadth and length and depth of the love of Christ, this love that surpasses knowledge that she might be filled to all the fulness of Christ.

I pray that You will use her parents to disciple her and to model for her a marriage that prioritizes You and Your Word. I pray that during her teenage years you will surround her with friends who seek after You and with with godly adult mentors who will exemplify Christ and spur her to want to know You better.

I pray that You will protect her from the evil one. Guard her. Shield her. Cover her. And while I know that she will not be immune to trouble and difficulty I ask that You would equip her with strength and wisdom to know that You are sovereignly in control, that she can rest in Your nearness and that Your joy will be her strength no matter what this world brings her way.

And finally I ask that just as she is a blessing, that you would use her to be a blessing in significant and eternal ways. That her life would be used to encourage others and to challenge others, and to serve others and to help others find their joy in You. Use her to lead others out of darkness and into your marvelous light and to know the only One who gives lasting satisfaction to our hungering hearts.

A Prayer for Miller

Miller William Ferrell
April 27, 2017
6:57 am
7 pounds, 2 ounces
21 inches long

“…May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His great might….” (Ephesians 1:17-19)

Father, I want to echo this prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesians on behalf of my grandson Miller. As he grows up and as he develops a knowledge of who You are I would ask that You would do these three things…

Would You open the eyes of his heart so that he would be enabled to see You as the glorious God that you are. I know that the enemy of his soul will do everything that he can to blind Miller to what is truth. I ask You to protect him from the evil one in this regard. And just as Elisha also asked that his servant’s eyes would be opened, I too ask that Miller would be able to see the vast army of heavenly forces that are ready to fight on his behalf. Give him eyes to see what most people cannot see – the greatness of Your glory and the bounty of Your grace towards him.

Would You also fill him with the hope of Your salvation. He has been born into a world that tends to drain people of hope and causes them to despair rather than to find joy in You. Would You so work in his life that he always senses Your presence and protection so that even when life is hard  he still is emboldened with hope and fueled with courage to live a life that makes a difference for the Kingdom. Use him to be an ambassador of hope  to a world that more and more feels hopeless.

And too, would You give him great contentment in this world as he looks forward to the next world. Help him to recognize how rich he is even when he might be poor according to the standards of this life. Help him to anticipate with great eagerness the glorious inheritance that is already his and not to get caught up in the quest to fill his life with stuff. Would You create within him a great love for eternal things – specifically a love for people and a love for Your Word.

And Father, would you use his family to strengthen him for the journey. Thank you for the mom and dad and brothers he has been blessed with. May their family be used mightily in the generations to come to influence the nations for the gospel.

Top Ten Memories of Aiken (the Town I Grew Up In)

aiken-sc-logoI grew up in the town of Aiken SC. It was a great town to grow up in. The population was between 25-30k when I lived there. I moved to Aiken from Columbia SC when I was 6 after my folks split up. My mom moved my brother and I to Aiken because she got a job teaching at Aiken High School. It became what I will always consider my hometown even though I really only lived there for 12 years. But it was a great 12 years. Here are my top ten memories of those days from 1964-1976.

The Family I Had – It was just me, my Mom, and my brother. Columbia and my dad and grandma were 60 miles away. My dad and my mom got along very well – much better than when they were married. But being an hour away meant that seeing him was not all that easy. My mom did a great job as a single parent of taking care of us. My brother Scott was only 11 months younger than I was and we always got along but we were very different in terms of the things we liked to do. Despite my folks divorce I was very blessed with my family.

The Places I Lived – I lived in two different houses while in Aiken. 1) 633 Aldrich Street: A small one story 3 bedroom house in Crosland Park. It was a great little neighborhood that had a tree fort behind my house, minimally trafficked roads to ride bikes on, and friends within walking distance.  2) 848 Oleander Drive: A two story 4 bedroom off Whiskey Rd near the Polo Grounds. Good friends all around where I honed my basketball, baseball, and football skills because we were always hanging out and playing something.

The Schools I Attended – I attended North Aiken Elementary for 1-4 grades. For some reason I still remember all my teachers from there. 1st – Wessinger, 2nd – Sanders, 3rd – Fripp, 4th – Herndon. It was after 4th grade that we moved across town. I spent 5th and 6th grades at Aiken Elementary. 7-8th grades at Kennedy Junior High. 9-10th grades at Schofield and 11-12th grades at Aiken High School. This was right after school integration took place which is why my high school days were split between two schools. Schofield had been the black high school and Aiken the white high school prior to integration.

The Sports I Played – I played little league baseball all the way through Pony League and then played for my high school. Baseball was always my favorite sport and shortstop was my favorite position. Though in high school I was an outfielder my junior year and second baseman my senior year. The other sport I played a lot of was tennis – primarily because my mom loved to play ( and incidentally still loves to play at 80 years old). I played for my high school as a freshman and sophomore. I got into playing soccer rather late – played my senior year in high school because of the influence of some good friends.I also learned to play golf in Aiken and still remember getting my very first eagle on #3 at Highland Park Country Club.

The Friends I Enjoyed – I won’t be naming names here because I’m sure I would leave someone out but… I was very blessed to have  incredible friends around me through all my years in Aiken. In fact, I can count on two fingers the # of people I have stayed connected with from college but there are too many to count from my Aiken days. If you are reading this and you are from Aiken, thank you for helping to make my years there an unforgettable time in my life.

The City I Loved – I have not been back to Aiken in many years but I know that it has grown a lot since I left. But when I lived there it was small town living at its best. It was safe for kids to play outside by themselves or ride their bikes to school or stay out after dark or talk to strangers. And I always thought Aiken was a beautiful town with the big old oak trees on South Boundary and all the horse stuff and polo grounds scattered around. It had a quaint downtown and was close enough to the “big” city of Augusta if there was something Aiken did not have.

The Deaths I Endured –  1) I was 13 years old and I remember my mom coming into my room and telling me that my dad had died of a heart attack. He was 42. I was in the 8th grade. His early death became much more significant to me when I became a dad. I didn’t want to die that early and leave my kids fatherless at a young age. So I have tried to exercise regularly and get annual checkups and keep my cholesterol and blood pressure under control. 2) I was 16 years old and I remember my mom coming into my room in the middle of the night and telling me that my uncle (my dad’s brother) and his wife and son were killed in a single engine plane crash. My Uncle Alan had tried to look out for me after my dad’s death – often inviting me to Columbia to see the Gamecocks play basketball.

The History I Lived Through – A lot of significant things happened in our country between 1964 and 1976. The Civil Rights Movement. Assassinations of RFK and MLK. Vietnam. Watergate. The Beatles. Elvis. Munich Olympics tragedy. Secretariat. The Energy Crisis. Hank Aaron hitting #715. Jaws. Charlie’s Angels. Disco. Roe v. Wade. Apollo 11. Apollo 13. And my personal favorite: The New York Mets winning the 1969 World Series – going from last to first.

The Experiences I Gained – I experienced a lot of “firsts” while I was in Aiken: first driver’s license, first broken bone, first date, first girlfriend, first kiss, first heartbreak, first best friend, first time on stage (Who’s On First routine by Abbot and Costello for HS variety show), first speeding ticket, first wrecked car, first time on a motorcycle, first time to go The Masters. I have blogged about my love of The Masters several times.
Top Ten Masters Memories
Memories of the Masters
Easter and the Masters
Amen Corner – A Metaphor for My Life

The Faith I Developed – I was born into a Jewish family in Columbia. When we moved to Aiken, religious involvement was not a priority for my mom so I essentially grew up knowing nothing about God. It was not until around 9th grade that I began attending First Presbyterian Church at the invitation of my next door neighbor and best friend Charles England. I went to youth group with him and began to get introduced to God and Christianity. The pastor was Jerry Robinson and his son Tim was also one of my good friends and I would hang out at his house a lot. Over the next few years I began to understand more and more: That God was holy and righteous. That I was sinful and separated from God and rightly deserving of His wrath. That Jesus was indeed the Messiah and lived a perfect life and was therefore able to atone for my sin and reconcile me to God. That His resurrection validated everything He said and did and that the only reasonable response on my part was to repent and turn away from sin and to place my faith in Him as the only one who make things right with God and give me eternal life. As a junior in high school I did this – though it took several years for me really grasp all that faith in Christ meant. But that decision completely changed the trajectory of my life.

After I left Aiken I lived in New Orleans for 4 years. The Boston area for 2 years. Raleigh for 11 years. And now Durham, NC for the last 24 years – a city that I love. But Aiken will always be my hometown.

 

Top Ten Memories From My College Years

I graduated from Aiken High School in 1976. I applied to 4 colleges: Duke, Cornell, Clemson and Tulane.  I got put on a wait list at Duke. I did not get into Cornell. And I got accepted to both Clemson and Tulane. I chose to go to Tulane for several reasons: 1) At the time I wanted to go to a school different from where all my friends were going (I’m not sure that I would make that same decision today), 2) It had a very good Engineering department, 3) my granddad went to Tulane, and 4) New Orleans – it seemed like a fun place to do college.

I was at Tulane from August of 1976 through May of 1980. Here are ten of my memories from those years… in no particular order.

tulane_logo

  1. I majored in Biomedical Engineering – Biomedical Engineering was still a relatively new field in those days. I had always had an interest in medicine and I had always been pretty good at math and science so it seemed like a good fit. I had no problem with the book side of the major – finished with a B average, but I was not very good at the application part – which is pretty much what engineering is all about. So while I enjoyed the major, it was clear to me by my junior year that I would not make a living as an engineer.
  2. Sigma Alpha Epsilon – Many of you reading this will be surprised that I was a frat guy. Me too. Here’s how it happened. I knew exactly zero people when I arrived at Tulane. My roommate became my first friend. He had been impressed with the guys he met during pledge week at SAE and encouraged me to go by the house and check it out. Which I did. They extended me an invitation to join and I accepted along with my roommate. I was pretty active for my first 3 years but then was inactive my senior year. I never lived at the frat house but enjoyed getting to know a lot of the guys over the years.
  3. Intramurals – The fraternity gave me an opportunity to be involved in sports while at Tulane. Back in the day I was a really fast runner. I still remember several fly patterns I ran for touchdowns during football season. I also played softball and soccer – having played baseball and soccer in high school. Good times. Fun memories.
  4. Running – It was while I was in college that I began running. One of the nice things about New Orleans is that it is flat. And one of the nice things about Tulane is that it was right across from Audobon Park – a great place to run that took you down by the Mississippi River. I set a goal for 1979 to run 700 miles – which is only about 2 miles per day but it meant that I had to be disciplined to get it done. Which i am proud to say that I did. I ended up running until I was about 45 and then realized that I had never really enjoyed it like some people do – so I became a walker instead. Which I still do.
  5. Andre, Pete, Jason – I finished up my high school days with a lot of good friends, many of who I am still connected to today – thanks to Facebook. I had three guys that I would consider good friends while I was at Tulane. Pete – my roommate freshman year, Jason – my roommate sophomore year. And Andre – my suite-mate sophomore year and fraternity brother. Both Pete and Jason transferred away from Tulane and I have lost touch with them – haven’t been able to find them on FB. Andre, a Louisiana cajun, moved to South Carolina not long after college. We still stay in touch and occasionally see each other.
  6. New Orleans – New Orleans was an interesting place to do college. But it is not a city I would want to live in. Way to hot and humid for me. Still, lots of fun memories: The French Quarter, jazz music, great food, Cafe Du Monde and beignets, Mardi Gras, streetcars, Audobon Park, the Mississippi River, the Garden District, and sporting events…
  7. Sporting Events – I was able to attend two once in a lifetime sporting events while I was in college: 1) I went to Super Bowl XII in January of 1978 between Dallas and Denver. I got to see Roger Staubach lead the Cowboys to a 27-10 victory over the Broncos. Andre and I were able to scalp tickets outside the Superdome – face value was only $35 back then. I got my ticket for $50. 2) I was also able to see Muhammed Ali win the heavyweight title for the 3rd time in September of 1978 in a unanimous decision over Leon Spinks. History and a sporting icon at the same time.
  8. Cru – My first full day in my dorm freshman year there was a knock on my door – A Campus Crusade for Christ staff guy introduced himself and so began my involvement. I was a very young, immature Christian when I went to Tulane and the Lord used this ministry to disciple me and help prepare me for my future. I was able to be involved in leadership in several ways over the years. Josh McDowell came to our campus when I was a sophomore and I had a chance to give him a ride from school to his hotel. But the transforming highlight of my involvement was participation in CCC Beach project following my junior year.
  9. Hearing God’s Voice – I have detailed this experience HERE. But suffice to say that it was while I was at Tulane that God spoke to me loud and clear in ways that changed the trajectory of my life. I am very grateful that He  intervened in my life in supernatural ways rather than letting me follow my own path. I suspect that my life would have turned out far differently if God had not stepped in. I have been incredibly blessed over the years and take great joy in knowing that the Lord is guiding my way.
  10. A Song and a Kiss – Linda and I met in Galveston, Texas and began dating while we were both on the CCC Beach Project. At the end of the project she traveled with me back to New Orleans before flying home to NC. We had a magical night together that featured supper in the French Quarter at The Chart House, yummy stuff from Cafe Du Monde, our first kiss in Jackson Square, and me telling her I loved her for the first time – as we hung out on one of the quads at Tulane and I sang and played on my guitar Jim Croce’s song “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song.

Good times! Good memories!

 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: