Showing posts from 2011

New Blog Post: CH (LTC) Dave Spears

Hi folks and happy New Year
Yesterday Tammy and I went Sanford NC for the funeral of my friend CH (LTC) Dave Spears. I worked with Dave at FT Bragg on my last assignment. He entered heaven on Christmas Day after a yearlong fight with brain cancer.
At the funeral there was a host of friends, colleagues and even a general or two paying tribute to a life well lived but more importantly to a God who saves. 
Dave loved to hunt, fish and make knives. He was not a touchy feely type at all! Probably why he made a great chaplain to the hardened men of Special Forces. 
Dave surrendered his life to Jesus in the late 70's and not long after that gave his life to the ministry, bible college and seminary.
He worked his way through both undergrad and his master’s degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a chaplain in the Army. He did so 16 years ago at the age of 36.
Dave led countless soldiers to Christ, deployed 3 times both to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Special Forces Chaplain. Dave was a…

New Blog Post: From Grinch to Santa in 4 hours, all it takes is a little light in your life!

So today at 4:00 I was the Grinch.

Seriously. Sometimes during this time of the year I get frustrated. I get frustrated with obligatory visits, the pressure to buy gifts, the disruption to life's normal rhythm and to be quite honest I'm not sure what any of this stuff at Christmas has to do with Christ. Don't you? Then I start thinking about it and I get mad, really mad. Your probably thinking, "Brad that never happens to me", well God bless are freed from having to endure this post. But for the rest of you, hang on it gets better.

My mom wanted me and the kids to roll down to Belmont to visit with our cousins Betsy and Lisa. Betsy lives in my Uncle Bill's old house on the same farm where my Granddaddy grew up and became the man we all knew and loved. I love going there. It conjures up so many sweet memories for me about being helped along in life by a great man.

But today, I didn't want to go. It was just one of those days. I did want to honor …

New Blog Post: Work is a privilege!

I have been reluctant to commentate on all the "occupy" movements going on across America. I have done this for two reasons. The first is that I don't know the folks out in the streets protesting and its hard to get a handle on what it their collective protest is about. But the main reason I haven't commentated on it is, I just don't have time....because I have work to do. I am blessed with a great job and have had steady employment for the last 25 years of my life. But even if I didn't have a job there would still be work to do.

There is always work to do. My dad and grandfather were big believers in work. I rarely got to sleep in as a young fellow. There was always something to do, mowing a yard, splitting or cutting wood, cleaning up a job site, work on our farm and this time of year the onslaught of the maples, red and white oaks and the poplars....leaves, millions and millions of leaves. And as a kid I grew to hate the thought of hours of raking, blowing…

Pics from Arizona


New Blog Post: In the company of men....suffering together

Have you noticed the new TV shows about being a man this year, “Man Up” and “Last Man Standing”. Then there are the beer commercials that make fun of guys who don’t act manly…hilarious. But if art imitates life what are these media portrayals of men really saying. I think its saying that the attempt to make men what they are not has failed and failed miserably. The emasculated metro sexual male inspires no one, leads nowhere and leaves men and women crying out “Where are the men?” Not the steroid freak, domineering man cartoon character, but a real live man who inspires and leads and says “I will stand here and hold my ground”.
So this past weekend was huge, I mean huge. I have, along with a few friends, been planning a trip on the Appalachian Trail for the last 6 months. The biggest part for me was the fact that my son Jack was going to join us in his first “real man” adventure. The route was from Stacoah Gap, NC to Fontana Dam. It’s nearly 17 miles over some of the most picturesque …

New Blog Post: Serendipitous Football

So, 13 years ago at 4:30 pm on October 8th I was teaching through the book of Romans with a 17 year old high school dude name Will Long. Will had come to faith in Christ in the weeks prior to that through the ministry of Young Life where I volunteered as a leader.

My wife simultaneously was 9 months pregnant and the 8th happened to be her due date. Our first, Tori had arrived 3 years earlier exactly on her due date!

That day Will and I were on our back porch, my back to the sliding glass door, Will sitting across from me on an awesome fall afternoon. Will, I noticed, kept looking over my shoulder into our den. I said, "Hey dude, this is God's word its worthy of our full attention!"

Will replied, "Man, I think your wife is needing you"

I turned, and saw Tammy sitting on the couch about to rip the stuffing out of the cushions and she hollered, "Its time!"

Of course, I freaked! No warning? Just like that? Yep!

I turned to Will and asked if he could stay …

My new office

Farm work is good for the body and soul! Longhorn cows arriving soon to Elmwood NC!

New Blog Post: Be THOR3

When I first arrived at FT Bragg over a year ago one of the first people I met was Ray Bear. I caught Ray in the halls at our headquarters carrying a giant, I mean like Aircraft Carrier big rope around. I said to him, "Hey man that looks like a rope for undulations!" I thought I was being smart and cool that I knew the term undulation.  Ray said, "Thats exactly what that is for, you should come to my gym and try it out" I said, "You are on brother!" That was the beginning of a great friendship with our new strength and conditioning coach. Ray is a veteran and spent most of his career training professional baseball and hockey players, helping them get over injury, get stronger and faster. 
Now Ray does the same for soldiers!
Ray is also a believer in Jesus. I found that out in our very first conversation. You'll find that out by the way he cares for folks and by the way he pushes you to be your best. 
He added some other amazing trainers, Greg, Jason,…

New Blog Post: Southern Pines Crossfit, more than just a gym!

I moved to the Pinehurst-Southern Pines area about a year ago to begin work at FT Bragg. I chose this area to live because its quiet and has a real small town atmosphere. I was looking for a place to workout and discovered a little place called Southern Pines Crossfit. I started doing Crossfit while in Iraq and if you are unfamiliar with this type of training, well its not your average system. There are no machines, just bumper plates, kettle bells, pull up bars, plyo boxes, big tires and lots of sweat. There's no whining, no compromise and no one left behind.
While Crossft is a great training system what has really drawn me to this gym is the people. I've been away from my family for a long time and it gets old spending time by yourself. At the gym each day I worked out with folks who became good friends. I looked forward to the end of my day, so that I could swing by the little garage gym and suffer with my buds. 
Today I did my last WOD or workout of the day. It was a crus…

New Blog Post- Tribute to an old dog

The picture above is of our dog Levi in his normal fashion keeping watch on the yard from his guard post. We got Levi from an adoption program 13.5 years ago just after our other dog Austin got killed by a car. Levi, part beagle and something else turned out to be an amazing little dog. He was friends with everyone. Always minded, never ran off and was just a great dog. He loved us and our kids. He barked at people in the yard, but the minute he know we liked them he did too. Just hard to put a value on that.

A week ago Levi started showing signs that something was wrong and sure enough after a trip to the vet, we found he had a bad infection. A couple days later he quit eating. He looked so sad. It was brutal. I took him back to the hospital on Friday and the doc said they'd do what they could with him...13.5 years old is getting up there for a dog.

On Saturday we found out that Levi had an infection that was causing his white blood cells to attack his red cells. He was in need o…

New Blog Post- A most wonderful time of the year

It is a glorious time of the year. I know you are probably sweltering in mid summer heat index that just feels wrong. At FT Bragg I think they actually have a mechanism to actually increase the heat and humidity here just to make training soldiers more miserable. But while it is heating up in our environment something else is heating up too. With September just a mere month and half away, young boys, middle schoolers and high schoolers all across our land are sweating through this unbearable heat with the hope of a 100 yard field, cleats on their feet and shoulder pads and helmets strapped and its time to go to war. Football is almost here!

Football, a purely American game in itself, is also a game for warriors and warriors in training. I cannot tell you how many of my soldiers in the very special community I work in tell tales of Friday night lights and epic games that they played in as young men. This tradition has been reliving itself out every fall for generations, I did it some 3…

New Blog Post-Crossroads Summer Camp and Jack's life decision!

In 1996 my friend Clayton King started a camp for teenagers at Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs NC. What started as small one week event for a couple hundred kids has now stood the test of time, trends and culture. I began taking groups of kids from the church that I worked at in 1997, those kids are all grown up now, in ministry, have jobs, families and kids. Over the years I've observed hundreds of young people see, hear and receive the Gospel in their lives. To be forgiven of their sin, set free to really live. I've also seen hundreds stand before their peers and proclaim that Jesus is worthy of everything that they can give back and commit their lives to missions. It truly has been an honor and a blessing to be both on the board and an occasional speaker with some dear friends in this ministry.

This week though was especially good as my kids, both camp age, joined their friends from our church for another week at Crossroads. My daughter in her 4th year and my son…

New Blog Post - A visit to Walter Reed

Last week I accompanied four other soldiers from here at Bragg, up to Walter Reed Hospital in DC, to visit with a Chaplain friend under going treatment for cancer. My friend is doing well and you may pray for him, his name is Dave. He's tired from his treatment, but he's a testimony to strength for sure!

While visiting with Dave, we also went to see some of the other soldiers that our unit has there.

This young man was severely injured by an IED (improvised explosive device) back in the fall. I remember when it happened as I was with his family as the news came in. At that time we didn't even know if he was going to live. I just remember praying alot back then.

The excericise room for soldiers with prosthetics is in a separate part of Walter Reed. You have to pass through the prosthetic lab to get there and the moment I turned the corner I saw, one then two then three, then literally dozens of guys with missing limbs. There were too many to count!

Guys who had lost one leg…

A new blog post-The power of a baseball

It was a beautiful day here in the foothills of NC, warm in the 60's much nicer than it had been the past 3 months. The warm weather had folks outside, sweeping up, riding bikes and generally basking in a rare warm February day. I rode up the street to fill the Ford with some gas and noticed a guy who has lived in my neighborhood for many years. He lives close enough for me to recognize him around town, but not close enough that we have daily interaction. But the one thing that stands out in my mind over the years of seeing this guy is a baseball. Every year that I can remember I would see him and his son throwing a ball back and forth in their front yard. I remember when his son was so small he could barely chuck it 10 feet. I've seen that kid grow up over the years and seen this man's hair gray. But as I rode by I wondered who that man was throwing the ball with my neighbor. Well, it was his son all grown up, tall and lanky, with facial hair! Now the kids is hurling the …

Skeet Shooting New Years Eve 2010 blasting into 2011

Our New Years eve activities!