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Archive for June, 2007

Did ya ever?

100_1422Did ya ever stay up for 44 hours straight? By straight, I mean 2 things, 44 hours in a row and 44 hours because you were not intoxicated in any way? (give me a break, I haven’t always been a Christ follower!) I did. As a matter of fact, I can truly say that I made it 44 hours last Sunday and Monday. This picture was Keyna and I approximately hour 37!

Did ya ever decide that you would do things you would not normally do, try things you wouldn’t normally try and experience things that you may never experience? I did. (by the way, this does not refer to things that would compromise my witness nor my testimony – just wanted to clear that up because you know how people are.)

Our trip to the Carribean really was "all that" – you heard me saying how much I was looking forward to it, well, it certainly lived up to my expectations.

Did ya ever fly with some friends and it was their first flight? You’ve been telling them for months how great and easy flying is, "it really isn’t as bad as you think it’s gonna be" only to find yourself on the bumpiest flights you’ve ever personally been on? I did. (Sorry ya’ll – still, we got there quik!)

Did ya ever had to literally hitch a ride on a "liquor boat" to avoid being left by your ocean liner? Unfortunately, I did. (More on this one Thursday)

100_1526 Ever Eat snails? Ray Britt and myself did! (he said they taste like chicken – personally reminded me of mushrooms). How about be a part of a "conga line" that was 203 people long? Did and Done.

Ever seen OW Ivey dance? It is hilarious and I’m telling you – everytime i turned around he was dancing! I wish you could’ve seen it! Gail, Gloria Jean and myself didn’t know what we were gonna do with him…

Below I have some pictures and you can link to see all of them.

I know that i’m a little short – just trying to get back in the swing – you know how it is to return from vacation. Tomorrow, I’m gonna divert from vacaction talk to talk about hyde park – on Thursday, I’m gonna tell my favorite stories from the trip.

Here are some more pictures from the trip.

hydeparkorama's photos More of hydeparkorama’s photos

Man, I Missed Doing this…

…but not enough to actually do it while I was gone. I purposely didn’t take my laptop because I didn’t need the temptation – I did not:

  • check email the whole time I was gone
  • read anyone’s blog (i got a lot of catching up to do there!)
  • know that we have a new message board
  • have a desire to blog while i was vacationing

Last week was totally about winding down, being with my wife and friends and preparing for new vision that i’m sure is around the corner. And, although I’m still a little tired, I did just that – wind down. I chilled so much, that on Friday, Ed Yost asked me if I was ok, "you seem kind of quiet, not talking much." I responded that I felt at ease, that I didn’t feel the need to "be on" like I normally am when I’m with people – because so much of my life is wrapped around leadership I normally have to be so in the middle of everything. Last week, Mike was "just mike" and to be honest, it felt good for a change; hanging out in the background, taking it all in. I felt no need to talk – I was honestly fine to just sit around and watch.

100_1520This week I’m just gonna share some about the things we did, saw and actually got into (I know that some of you have heard some of the stories but remember, there are hundreds of others who have not – so be patient :)). I’m also gonna share some great pictures we took while away. (If you’re wondering, this is a picture I snapped in the conga line *yeah, that’s right, WE DID the conga!* if you click on the picture you’ll see Buddy Stephens ahead of me going "through the conga bridge – oh, and that thing? It’s like the Carnival Mascot; his head resembles the smoke stack of the ship, their trademark.)

I’m so ready to get started but staff meeting awaits (and I know a busy week) so I guess we’ll get started tomorrow.

It’s Over and I’m Off!

Is it over all ready? How did it happen so fast? Was it worth the work?

Yes – It’s always that way! and definitely yes. GuyFest, in my opinion, was a great success! And, to be honest i’m spent – i really have nothing else to give and so now I’ll retreat…

5 weeks ago I was on the brink of burn-out, literally. On that Monday morning, as i tried really hard to pray i found myself confessing to the Lord (kinda like i do you right now) that i felt like i had nothing else to give. "Lord", i said, "the next 5 weeks are very important in the life of hyde park and somehow i need the ability to pull ‘just a little’ more from somewhere; God, i really need You now…"

i was SO burnt and tired – and then, something really cool happened…

i looked at my calendar and the VERY NEXT DAY i was scheduled to go to a prayer retreat. My first thought was, "i really need to be there!" and then my second thought was, "there is NO WaY that i can take tomorrow off with everything that is pressing." Then came the thought; not any thought, but THE thought, the one that said, "Do you trust Him? Do you really think that you need HIM? Because if you do, HE will redeem the time that you offer to Him, even tomorrow, in prayer."  And so I went – I met with God – God renewed my strength, vision and stamina and that is what i have literally run on for the last 5 weeks.

And now it’s done.

GuyFest was great, all around; thanks so much to those of you who did so much to make it happen – the ladies who cooked the outstanding breakfast, the musicians who gave their talents, the ladies who made the main auditorium run smoothly, the production team in the ROC, the guys who showed up Saturday night to set up tables – YOU ALL WERE THE HEROES OF GUYFEST.

Now i will take a WholeHearted break. I’m gonna love my wife and those around me, I’m gonna love my God and hopefully return renewed and in awe of the wondrous blessings JESUS has shown to me. My love to all of you. 5,000. (means we out)

5 Questions with Larry Grays

Larrygrays22Larry Grays, from Atlanta, is one of the featured speakers at GuyFest this Sunday. He was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to talk about his passion, life and GuyFest.

Tell us a little about Larry Grays:

"I have been married to my wife Kathy for 5 years.  We have two kids Lauren Kate 2 ½ and Gibson 15 months.  I grew up in Orange Park, FL.  Have never found any barbeque that I did not like.  I enjoy playing racquetball and I am a Florida State Seminole football fan."

Describe the passion behind your ministry:

"I love great preaching.  I love to see people saved.  I have a burden to see the church on Sunday mornings look a little more like heaven."

Most unbelievable ministry experience:

"Preaching the gospel in a Russian village that had never had a public proclamation of the gospel and seeing over 140 trust Christ.  We then joined hands and made a giant circle and claimed a piece of ground for a church building.  Today there is a church building on that land."

What’s in your iPod?

"Kirk Franklin, Charles Billingsley, Israel and New Breed, Norah Jones, Passion, Donny McClurkin, Clint Brown"

What do you pray happens at GuyFest?

"I pray that men accept the challenge to be spiritual leaders in their homes and I pray that men who are lost get saved."

Definitely Friday

It’s Friday – and yes, it’s kickin’. Here’s where i’m at this morning…

  • this is my first friday off with my family actually being around – a little different vibe. GOOD, but different.
  • we’re getting ready to head to Raliegh to pick up our friend, Paige Strackman, who will be leading worship in the Main Auditorium Sunday. For those of you who have not yet heard Paige let me just say that I am honored that someone like her would even consider flying to lumberton to be with us. (and by the way – she LOVES hyde park!)
  • i am SO sore, thanks to Brandon…
  • i can’t believe that GuyFest is the day after tomorrow – WOW!
  • i am so ready for keyna and i to get away to (what i hope is) a very relaxing place. Hope i’m not a "sea-sick" kinda person :)
  • i FINALLY got a new phone yesterday. Those of you who converse with me on my mobile have definitely been "dropped" at sometime (my phone was terrible!). The local US Cellular store didn’t wanna work with me (what’s the deal with that?). Keyna called the National company and "Whallah" – a new phone, just like that!! That’s my woman! :)
  • No coffee today – can you imagine what i’d be like today with a couple of cups of Starbucks?
  • This morning as I worked out I was JAMMIN’; Rock and Roll Band – Boston; Bring me to Life – Evanescence; What a Fool Believes – the Doobies; I Still Havent Found What I’m Looking For – U2; among other stuff (i like to listen to a variety as i work out / gets my mind OFF the pain! i listen to a lot of preachers when i work out too)
  • i hope that everyone realizes how great "SHIPWRECKED" is gonna be – I WILL BE THE HOST FOR "SHIPWRECKED" NEXT WEEKEND! Your kidz are gonna love it!

Well, that’s it for now – no WholeHearted Next Week (blog Sabbatical) – please hold down the fort for me, my friends. I love you all!