A Meaningful Memorial Day

Most days I ride my bicycle with a group of friends and there's chatter and joking and all around good fellowship. But some days, I enjoy a solitary ride on roads I seldom ride. This Memorial Day weekend I've been with my family in Boone celebrating my mom's 80th birthday. There's been a lot of laughter, food and this spring for some reason, copious amounts of rain. Its been a green, muddy spring in Western NC. So when the forecast in Watauga County says sun, I try to take advantage of that.

Yesterday that was the case and I headed up the mountain near our family home here in Boone. Riding solo, there is a lot of time to think and I had a lot of names running through my head. Names like Alan, Ben, Steven, Mike, Ben, Marty, Joseph, Aaron, Dusty, LaDavid, Bryan, Jeremiah and Dale. Lots more are there taking up space in my head.

As I rode and looked at the scenery around me I thought of those names, the circumstances of the loss, the funerals and the families who continu…

Thanks Dale Beatty: A life well lived

I've been asked by several folks to post the sermon I gave for my friend Dale Beatty at his funeral. It was an honor to speak on his behalf and to speak words of hope from a living Savior. Please understand that words delivered in 15 minutes are inadequate to sum up a life well lived.

I walked through the hallways of Walter Reed almost exactly a year ago o in my Army uniform on a mission to see my one of my soldiers who was being treated for terminal cancer. On my way to his room I saw a nurse pushing a wheel chair with a young man missing two legs and oddly enough on that day wearing a Purple Heart Homes hat. I looked down at him and said “Hey son what do you know about Purple Heart Homes?”. And with that crooked grin Dale Beatty looked up at me and shared with me the 30 second elevator story of Purple Heart Homes. I said I know who you are Dale and he again smiled and “Hey Brad, how are you, so good to see you” I spent a little time with Dale and Belinda that day and hearing their…

Faithful friends and a big fake check

If you read this blog you might recall from my last post a cycling accident that put my friend Pressly and I in the hospital for some injuries. We are both on the mend now, although my finger will probably never work like it used to and Pressly's shoulder looks like as he calls it "Quasimodo" we are getting better.

Scars are little reminders of life's
journey I suppose and at my age I have a few of them.

My recovery however this week was spurred on by a remarkable and unsuspected show of great love and friendship.

I took my broken bike to First Flight Bikes this week where our buddy Wes Davidson is the local genius. Please check them out for your next bike, upgrade or repair at

The forks were sheared off, my front wheel is toast and some other minor injuries. Not a total loss, but bikes can be a little pricey to repair. Wes diagnosed the damage and informed me of the price which came as no surprise.

As you might imagine, a 45 minute trip to the …

Close Calls

On Friday as I normally do 4 to 5 times a week I gathered with 8 or 9 good friends to ride bikes through our county to get some exercise and experience some fellowship. Somewhere along the way I got tangled up with my long time riding buddy Pressly and we went down. I don't remember any of the events that happened leading up to our wreck or the 12 hours after that. My friend Owen says I have now time traveled, perhaps so. What I do know is that I woke up in a level 1 trauma center at Baptist Hospital holding my wife's hand. I had no idea where I was, or how I had gotten there. As the events of the day were told to me a great wave of fear swept over me. It was a completely new experience for me. The detachment with reality was very unnerving. What I did find out is that I had gone over the handlebars on my bike and my face took the brunt of the fall. My friend Pressly had a separated shoulder and was transported to another hospital more locally. I had lost a lot of blood and th…

We are settlers

You may have seen the Direct TV commercials with the family known as the "settlers". They are a hyperbolic 19th century family stuck in a cul-de-sac neighborhood of the 21st century. With Amish overtones, the term settlers refers to their commitment to stay mired in the backward world of cable television in lieu of the progressive and better world of satellite TV. The commercials are hilarious and creative for sure. And I like them a lot.

But lately I've been reading about people ditching their smartphones and going back to rotary landlines. I have friends that text me when they date their wives saying "I'm going dark", referring to their shutting down the smartphone. It seems as if there's a rumbling of rebellion to the incredible technological advances we have seen and embraced over the last decade. Maybe its all the talk of AI and robots taking over the world, just read the Drudge report for a few days, you'll see it.

I grew up with little to …

I am only 50- Assign me the Hill Country

Joshua 14:10So now, look, the Lordhas preservedmy life, justas he promised,thesepast forty-fiveyearssincethe LordspokethesewordstoMoses, during whichIsrael traveledthrough the wilderness. Nowlook, I amtodayeighty-fiveyears