Showing posts from 2008

Coal For Christmas!

Its been threatened many times but rarely delivered on. It is the DEFCON 5 for all parents at Christmas. Its the thing that is held over every kid who has ever been bad in the weeks and days leading up to Santa's arrival. You know exactly what I'm talking about, its the dreaded, "If you don't straighten up you'll get a lump of coal for Christmas". Now from all the stuff I've read it seems to be an old tradition from Italy where parents would tell their kids that an evil witch would bring coal to naughty children on Epiphany or around new years. That's pretty harsh when you think about it, on Epiphany of all times! I suppose that the tradition migrated to America and has now become the threat of choice for several generations for frustrated parents. My brother and sister in law have three kids and two are twins. They are 4 and are great kids but as anyone can attest 4 year olds can be a handful. Yesterday was evidently the straw that broke the coal bar…

December Update

Its been about a month since I've blogged, my apologies for my lack of updates. I realize that most of you were not sitting at home freaking out because my blogs weren't coming through on a regular basis. So here are some highlights. Just before Thanksgiving I was invited by Dr David Jeremiah to Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego to share my testimony with his congregation. Tammy and I flew out there for a busy weekend of services and meetings. It was amazing to say the least. I have no idea how many the church building holds but it was a very large crowd for three services. Tammy and I got to sit back stage with Dr Jeremiah and enjoy some private time with him. It was something I'll never forget. Here I was sitting face to face with the man that 15 years ago had preached the sermon that showed me the way to Jesus! I tried to glean as much wisdom from him as I could in our short time together. He truly is the real deal, just as humble and sincere as you would wa…

The fringe benefits of a morning in the woods

Late November, nothing more needs to be said if you are an outdoorsman. thanksgiving week is traditionally in NC the best time of year for hunting Whitetail deer. It is one of my most favorite seasons. I love getting up at 0430 when its bone cold and making my way into the dark woods and settle into my stand to wait on that monster buck that is sure to appear. Now anyone who has ever done much deer hunting knows that the monster buck is indeed a rare sight. Most mornings are cold and alot of waiting and watching. Today I got up earlier than usual to let my new dog out to do her business. My son was supposed to go with me. I stirred him from REM sleep and dreams of fighting orcs about 0500. He informed me that he was tired and didn't want to go, so I blessed him with the sleep a 10 year old needs. So I took off for our farm to hunt alone. It was an awesome morning, cold but not bitter, no wind. It was perfect, but no deer. I don't get frustrated with these days though. I'm…

Thanksgiving Podcast

Its the Heart of a Sportsman Thanksgiving Edition Podcast. Have a great time in the woods and around the table!

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The History of the Army Chaplain Corps

It's the post Redneck Olympics Podcast!

Its the wrap up edition podcast of the 2nd Annual Redneck Olympics!

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The Pre-Redneck Olympics Podcast

Discussions about the Red Neck Olympics, opening day of deer season, idol worship and building relationships!

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New Podcast: Kirks Moose Hunt

After a hiatus the boys are back with Kirk Fessler talking about a moose hunt in Newfoundland, shout outs galore, and swan hunting...whoever heard of that!

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I'm not sure how to really write this but I'll give it my best shot. My life changed 14 years ago on a bright spring day riding in a 1992 Saturn sedan on NC HWY 18 in Western NC. That was the day that I met Jesus Christ. Many of you know my story and for the sake of blog brevity I'll be brief, because its about a 28 year tale. Long story short, my life had been in a tailspin for many years from the age of 16 on filled with wrong turns, bad decisions, poor judgment and faulty ideas. Enough said! On that March 22nd 1994 I was driving alone on that curvy rural highway, deeply engrossed in of all things a sermon on the radio. the gentleman speaking was a guy named David Jeremiah out of San Diego, CA (

He was teaching through the book of Revelation of all places and I was basically an atheist listening to a guy teach on the return of Christ. For some unexplainable reason it all made sense that day. I came to the very real conclusion that there was a God, Hi…

1 minute to make a difference

I ran into a LTC (LT Colonel) today at my unit and we really hit it off. She's a nurse and looking for a home at our unit. After speaking with her a few minutes it became gloriously obvious that she was a follower of the "Way" as many Christians were called in the early days of the church. She had a right side patch (meaning combat deployed) so instantly she carried with her credibility. She shared with me how some of her family members were missionaries to France of all places. Upon finishing our day at Battle Assembly, taking care of soldiers, going to meetings, checking the block I saw her again in the hallway near the bookshelf that SGT Robinson (my chaplain assistant) has put together. She began to tell me of a ministry that is devoted entirely to prayer for the city of Baghdad. This ministry began right around the surge back in 2007. The word prayer is used 139 times in the Bible. The word "pray" is used another 195 times. I suspect a word that is used mo…

September 17th Podcast

After a two week absence the guys are back and live from Cleveland with special guest Brent Sears and issues like noodling, community, and shimmying up pine trees.

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Stained Glass, Wood Pews, and Deep Roots

When you walk in the building a real sense of "You probably should be quiet in here" comes over you. I remember as a kid hating that, little kids never want to be quiet, they never want to sit still, they certainly don't think reading from a prayer book is nearly as cool as playing with a G.I. Joe. I'm speaking of the church building of my childhood, Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesville, N.C.

This past weekend I attended the 150 year anniversary of that church. My former priests came back to visit, Clay Turner and Joel Keys were both men that modeled much of what i wanted to be in life. Clay and Joel both birthed in me a love for fly fishing. I took it up late in life but remember well seeing them heading off to the mountains with their rods and wicker creels hoping someday that would be me.

I remember as those men administered communion, "The body of Christ, The Cup of Salvation". I remember looking up from those deep, rich brown pews high to the cathedra…

September 3rd Podcast

Shout outs galore! Opening of deer season, geese, the wilderness and other musings by Brad and Jeremy.

Lodge Creek Calls

Featuring Joe Finney, Scott Isley and Lodge Creek Calls.

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Another marker along the way, Splitting firewood!

My dad and my grandfather both were big believers in hard work, sometimes really hard. My grandaddy grew up on a farm plowing fields with mules and working in a saw mill. My dad was a Navy man and self employed for 40 years after that working hard. One of the chores we had to do as kids was to cut, split and stack firewood. We all partially heated our homes with firewood and my grandaddy would burn a fire when it was 70 outside. So that meant lots of cutting and splitting. Splitting wood became something that I had a love hate relationship with. I love the smell of fresh cut wood, the crack of the maul slamming into a new piece. I hated the stacking and moving. It just never seemed to get done. But splitting wood did alot of things for me. It made me physically strong. I can still swing a maul or hammer for a while before I get worn out. It really made me feel like a man to be able to bust up a large chunk of wood into something that would provide for my family. There's nothing qu…

Its good to be free to sing

Back In Cleveland

We are back home, jet-lag, Dog ear rubber bands, Pastor Mack and Cookin Keith Sell, the wildlife wild man!

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school days!

Well...its back to school today for Tori, Jack, Tammy and me! Yep, I'm going back to school as well. I start teaching middle and high school today. I'll be teaching history and New Testament every day till lunch. I'm only doing it till Christmas because I have to prepare for the upcoming deployment. I've never really taught school before but teaching something I've been doing for the last 20 years in one way or another. I'm going to utlize the internet as I have put together blogs for each class for my students to post some of their school work there. I'll let you all know how that goes. So its off to school now transforming minds full of mush into real thinkers, I hope. Take care everybody!

Live from Salt Lake City

Our last Alaska Podcast, short but sweet with our new snowboarding friend, Greg Bombeck. We met him on the plane from Anchorage to Salt Lake City. We spent an hour with this bright young man who is pursuing the Living God and just had to interview him. Now we'll start once a week podcasts so your inbox won't be so full, thanks for listening!

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The Wayne Myers Interview

The last official podcast from Alaska with our most hilarious guest yet, cattle rancher, knife maker, and all around good guy, Wayne Myers!

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The Ron and Robbie Interview

Walking with Jesus, Cod Catching, Halibut off shore and sportsmen Ron Ridenhour and Robbie Fero in this podcast recorded live in Kenai, Alaska.

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Podcast Delayed

If you're wondering where the latest podcast is from the guys, well, it's been delayed a bit. However, don't worry! The last two podcasts should be up tomorrow night. Thank you for all the support you've shown the guys on their trip, and keep an eye out for their last installment!

Campfire Podcast

The campfire addition of the Heart of a Sportsman Podcast recorded live from the banks of the Russian River, special guests, outdoorsmen Shane Brock, Trent Smith and Scott Isely along with Pastor Mack who has a new nickname!

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Fridays Podcast

Interviews with Spring, Abby and Brenda, missionaries in Alaksa, and a bonus....the top ten list of things not to do when your man goes on a man trip.

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Bear Day

Jeremy and Brad talk about the day of seeing bears and building relationships.

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Live From The Shack

The heart of a sportsman podcast recorded at 3500 ft at the base of a glacier lake in the Shack!

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Tuesday in Alaska

Special guests today outdoorsman Mark Ridenhour and Charlie Parnell, guitar maker. Both guys following Jesus in Alaska.

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Live From Alaska: Aubrey Interview

Fishing with a mission in Alaska. Its the first full day of fishing a building relationships, seeing bears, catching salmon and a great time with guest Aubrey Junker. More to follow!


Live in Alaska: Day 1

Another podcast from the Heart of a Sportsman guys!

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Heart of a Sportsman: Live From Alaska - The Arrival

Sarah here!
Letting you all know that The Heart of a Sportsman group has put up their first at-destination podcast!

Give it a listen!
Heart of a Sportsman - Live From Alaska - The Arrival

Podcast #2...Off to Alaska!

On Sunday a group of 15 men from Cleveland NC will get on an Airplane and leave for Soldotna, Alaska! Its a trip of a lifetime. We are going there to fish....for salmon and for the hearts of men and women! As you can see in this picture there will be a couple of folks there. I'm just going to try to avoid getting a hook in the ear!

You can keep up with us by going to itunes and subscribing to The Heart of a Sportsman podcast. Our 2nd installment is linked here as well. Or you can just get the feed from this blog.

I appologize for the audio, we had some pretty "hot" mics! And there's also the fact that we really have no idea what we are doing. So if you listened with the 6 other people on the web, we appreciate it.
We'll be broadcasting a podcast almost every day while we are there.

So tune in and hang on!

The Heart of a Sportsman: Oh my goodness, those hicks can Podcast!

The other blog I'm involved with is through the sportsman's ministry at my local fellowship. Here is our first podcast leading up to our big trip to Alaska...enjoy!

The Heart of a Sportsman: Oh my goodness, those hicks can Podcast!

How to worship with your face!

Croossroads Summer Camp is now in its 13th year of existence. What began as a music festival started by my buddy Clayton King has now turned into a year round ministry. What began with a couple hundred high school kids and some college students that had no idea what they were doing has now grown into a ministry that is literally reaching the world, caring for orphans, discipling young people, building community and blessing the church. I've been back at Crossroads teaching workshops this summer and have just been amazed at what God is doing. And that is important. If you read in Acts 2 that was one of the characteristics of the early church, amazement at God or a deep sense of awe at God's work in this world. There is nothing more motivating in life than wonder. It is wonder and awe that produces scientists and explorers, musicians and artists, and disciples and worshipers!

Last week Clayton and I were back stage praying and watching the music portion of our worship service. Ou…
The video shown here was shot as we rested after a vicious climb. We first met up with 3 guys that were coming down from the highlands gathering the medicinal worms (see previous post for explanation). As God would have it they were all believers and the guy in the bandanna Phurpu had baptized more than 10 years ago! Then as we had fellowship together more and more people showed up. All of a sudden we had about 15 believers standing around praying and encouraging one another. As you watch the video you'll hear words like "danye bhat" which means "thank you" and "Zai Mashe" which means something like "Jesus is powerful" or "Jesus is Lord". I first of all want to state that as we travel and bring the Gospel to the world we are in no way trying to rob people of their culture. We just want people to have the opportunity to know the Savior. These guys all continue to be Tibetan. They just follow Christ now. We don't want to change p…

Don't complain about your job!

I've seen alot of crazy stuff in my 42 years, but this one was a top ten. In the Himalayas there are no roads, so every item that is made down the mountain has to be carried up either by donkey or by man. In this video this man or more appropriately "superman" is carrying an office desk and the chairs that go with it. He is heading up a trail that will gain over 4000' in elevation. I'm not sure where he was going, but I do know he gets paid by the kilogram, a little over a dollar per. Wearing shorts and shower flops this guys was moving this massive desk up this mountain. I was amazed and hope you can appreciate the labor that some people in this world perfom.

Day 2 and 3: Movin' on up

With my puking behind me and a lot of miles ahead days 2 and 3 were days where we made up some time, moving from altitudes about 5000 ft up to 10K. The trails were steep and long. The weather was amazing though. The beginning of June in Nepal is the rainy season, that's why many tourists don't go there. It can be extremely dangerous during the monsoons. Flooding and landslides are common during this time. Many of the trails hug the river and make travel easy when its dry but when the river comes up you have to go over the higher trails which are longer and more treacherous. In these two days we made it from a village called Tal and got all the way to place called Dhukaru Pohkari. Prior to that we stayed in a place called Timang Besi. It was there that we all got hot showers. Oh my goodness what a blessing. It was there too that I ate for the first time in 48 hours. My meal consisted of boiled potatoes and salt. It was one of the best meals I'd ever had. Phurpu and James th…

DAY 1.5: The church no one knew was there!

While puking my brains out and getting a heavy dose of humility handed to me, the rest of our team was fully engaged in Kingdom work around us. We stopped in one village for lunch and as our guides were probing the locals, we find out that in that village they had a church with a pastor. It was quite a surprise since none of us thought that an established presence of believers had made up that far. I was forced by my illness to take refuge prone at someones kitchen table while the rest of the team went to see the local meeting hall with members of the church. It turns out they had a full blown sound system and a place big enough for many families to meet. In fact they told us there were about 150 believing families in the area. And we had no idea. Its really a comfort to me that God's Kingdom is so much bigger than me and my plans. It is never all resting on my shoulders, and thank God it isn't. What a glorious surprise to find that the seeds of the Kingdom were taking root on…

Nepal Day 1:Broken!

When you are broken everything else ceases to matter. My vision of our first day in Nepal was shattered by a rude awakening at twilight. I arose to get sip of water from under the hard wooden bed in the trailside guest house we were sating in. The trail is the Annapurna Circuit in central Western Nepal in the heart of the Himalayas. Flanked by some of the world's tallest mountains, this area is truly a work of art. Our mission consisted of 8 men, Tony Lellie my friend and fellow football coach at Statesville High, Dave and Caleb Moss and Brent and Jared Bowman (the father and son duos), our Tibetan guides James and Phurpu. Our mission was to trek about 50 miles into the heart of the Annapurna range and distribute materials to unreached villages along the way and then hike the 50 miles back in about 9 days.

Day 1 began with leg cramps at 4:00 am. So I began to hydrate with water. When day broke I grabbed the water bottle and noticed that it looked strange. The water in the bottle lo…

1st pics from Nepal

Here is the first picture out of Nepal. I took this about 0500 one morning. Even with a cruddy camera its hard to mess that one up. The peaks you are looking at are Annapurna 2 and 4, both over 7100 meters. More to follow!


My bed, my shower, my family, my dog, my goodness it is good to be home!
I got home about 11:15 last night after 40 continuous hours of travel from the Himalayas to rural NC.

I'm suffering the effects today, jet lag and some sort of gastrointestinal disorder that I wouldn't wish on anyone. But, I'm home, not in some airport or stuck in a hot airplane waiting on clearance to land.

I'll get started chronicling the trip to Nepal tomorrow after I download some pictures and videos. This all depends on how I'm feeling. But, hopefully tomorrow there will be some pictures up and some commentary on our trip. It was a blessing.

In the meantime check out one of my guide's website. His name is Phurpu (poor poo). It means Thursday in Tibetan. That is what day of the week he was born on. He was raised in a small village near MT Everest and came to faith in Jesus through a German mountain climber. Its a pretty cool story.

Our other guide was named James. James is a g…


Greetings from Kathmandu!
I won't have any pictures till next week but it was an adventure. When I get back to my computer at home I'll update each day with pictures so you can follow along with our trip.

Here are the nuts and bolts of it all. We hiked about 100 miles in 8 days going from altitudes just under 4000 ft to almost 13,000. In one case some of our team went as high as 15,500.

We averaged over 12 miles a day and this morning I really feel like it. Shin splints, back spasms, and general exhaustion are the rule.

We had many incredible opportunities to share the good news and I will update you on these as the days come.

We met two amazing men of God who have a heart for the Himalayas and treated us with unreal servant hearts.

An incredible journey no doubt.

But I long to hear these words, "Welcome to America son!'

I'll be home in a few days.

Here we go

Tomorrow is the big day. Here is what the next 48 hours look like.
We leave NC for NYC (2 hrs)
After a short layover in NYC we board a plane bound for Belgium (8hrs)
We layover in Belgium just long enough to fuel the plane then take off for New Delhi (9 hrs)We arrive sometime in Delhi and stay there for about 20hrsWe leave Delhi for Kathmandu, Nepal (2 hrs)We arrive Kathmandu, jump on a couple of vans and drive 8hrs west for Pokhara, NepalWe then rest a day, get our gear fitted up and move out for the Annapurna circuit.
From that point we will walk for 10 straight days averaging about 10 miles a day.
When I get back I'll go straight to the physical therapist!

Be in prayer for our bodies and our spirits!

Will post again in a few weeks.

What a slacker!

I am so sorry, I have been away for so long and I apologize. Its been over a months since I posted last and so many things have happened in the last 5 weeks. I'll just run down a list of them for you.

I've taken a long awaited mountain vacation with my family and our friends the Fero's. We hiked, fished, ate too much, laughed outloud, slept late, got up early, prayed, built a dam in the creek, planted some flowers and all in all had a blessed timeI've raised all my money for NepalI've put in a hardwood floor for a friendMy friend Hank is going into full time ministry and I'm proud of him for it
I've preached to soldiers and boyscoutsI introduced a young soldier to my best friend JesusI got a new pack and boots for Nepal from REI (what a cool store)I have eaten some ice cream with TammyI've lost a friend and I'm sad about thatI've been turkey hunting 8 times with no luck but still ran through the woods like Last of the MohicansI've had my frien…

Nepal 2008

It all began with a conversation with my brother Steve about 8 or 9 years ago. He asked a very thoughtful question about the fairness of God. We were on a long road trip from Texas to NC in a rented U-Haul truck towing a VW van, being brothers and discussing life. The question of Jesus came up. We talked about the Bible and the history and hipocracy of the church, intelligent design, ethics, the resurrection, historical reliability of the Bible and the fairness of God. Steve asked the question, "If Jesus is the only way to heaven, then what about the guy whose never heard living on a mountain in Nepal?" Now in seminary I learned all kinds of theological and philosophical answers to this. But sometimes those answers, though based in truth and sound reason, just don't meet us at our human level. I thought about his question for while and decided that I wouldn't give him the seminary answer. I decided I'd give him the answer that I beleive Jesus wanted me to give. I…

Update on Hunter

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for Hunter. I just got an email from his mom and he is home from the hospital and has no fever today. Keep lifting him up and I will update as the situation changes. Thanks again and praise God who answers prayer!

Prayer for a warrior

In my last post I introduced you to Hunter Monk, my new friend from Roanoke. I told you all about Hunter's battle with cancer and how he is a little warrior, fighting this thing. Over the weekend he was all smiles and feeling good, but I have gotten word today that he is not doing very well. The text below is from a lady that met there las weekend. If you have a moment please read this.

Hey Brad, I am Jane Assaid from Southside. I was with Ty when you signed his bible Sunday after church. I wanted to up date you on Hunter. I am one of Hunter's teachers from school so we just found out this information. He went in yesterday for his chemo and spiked a temp. of 105 last night. They have moved him to ICU and they are giving him antibiotics. His fever is down a little today but not much. He is sick from the chemo and of course throwing up. He is a little fighter and I know he is trying to fight this. I just wanted you to pray for him and Jodie and the family. Her husband is in Te…

My new hero!

This handsome little guy is Hunter Monk. He lives near Roanoke, Virginia and I had the privilege of meeting him this weekend. Hunter and I have the same hairdo, mine is from age, his is from radiation treatments. Hunter has leukemia. But, Hunter is also a 7 year old boy and even though his body is filled with a disease that can kill him, his life is in tact. He runs and plays with his brother. His name betrays one of his great loves in life, hunting of course. He told me about a coon that he had taken. He skinned it but the flies got to hide at and ate it up. What a blessing just to be around him and his family. I met Hunter while speaking at a wild game dinner this weekend put on by some great people at Southside Baptist Church and my new friend Steve Jones.

I've met some courageous people in the military. I've met men who have faced danger, fear, gunfire and IED's. But I have a new hero and its Hunter. A few months ago his kidneys failed and he almost died. But if you loo…

CAT 31

Its graduation week for the Civil Affairs Qual course! Pictured left are my team-mates from CAT-31. The civilian dude is Dale from the McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery, he happened to get in our picture. From left to right are Joe "I've never been fishing" Sotile, Csaba Lukasc "The Enforcer", Brandon "Yes I do have an appointment!" Kreitz, The Chaplain, Dean "Hillbilly" McCoy, Ty "Ranger Joe or Catfish" Short, Beau "Mastiff" Dobbs, Casey "West Point" Baldwin and Ed "no nickname" Vela.

I could not have asked for a better team to work with. Everyone worked so hard and pulled together and made our team efficient, but it also made it fun to train with them. We grew close and I now have friends for life. I thank God for allowing me to be a part of this class with these fine people. Brandon and Dean are leaving soon for downrange missions and Joe follows on later in the year, keep them in your prayers. The rest o…


This is Isaam. He's a new freind of mine. We met in an unsual way at FT Bragg of all places. He's a role player in some of scenarios that we are put through in our training and Isaam played the part of the religous leader in the village we were training in. I noticed something in his eyes as I spoke through a translator. There was a kindess in them as you can see. We played roles all week long and finally at the end of training we got to meet as men, not actors. The first thing he said to me was, "He is the Savior!" and then I knew as I had suspected through those penetrating eyes, that Isaam was and is a believer. We hugged and got to spend a few very special moments together. I work in world where faith in Jesus is not something people talk openly about if at all. Only Chaplains wear it literally on their uniforms. To be able to just talk about the goodness of Jesus with this special man was worth the 20 mile road march and choking down all the MRE's of a 7 da…

The power of imagery

My friend, Frank, who is the best 1sg in the whole Army sent me this video. Now usually he sends stuff that would make me laugh till I puked. But even though he is a combat veteran with more scare badges than you can count, he has a spiritual side that is very tender and honest. He'll kill me when he finds out I wrote this, but I really don't care. When I watched this video I was mesmerized and found myself saying thank you Jesus. I hope you will too. Thanks to Frank!

New Bumper Sticker?


January update

Wow, its been a long time since logging a post here. I am truly sorry for my neglect. I've been busy in a school at FT Bragg, learning some new skills outside of the Chaplain world to make me better at being a Chaplain. Hope you all had a great Christmas. At our house we had a very relaxing time, I had 2 weeks off from training and it was awesome to be able to be home that long. I'm back at work now having my mind turned to mush by hour after hour of power point. In the Army its called "death by power point" and believe me it truly is, especially for someone who despises sitting all day. We'll finish this course with a field exercise which will be a welcome relief. I'll be back home in mid February.

Between now and then I'll be speaking at Crossroads Winter Conference in Gatlinburg ( ), then at Bethel Baptist Church in Troutman NC and in March I'll be at a Sportsman's Banquet in Roanoke VA. Its going to be a busy couple …