About the Author...
I’m a Georgian, through and through. Born here, raised here, lived here all my life. And I really can’t imagine calling any place else home.
I was born in Atlanta-only because Fayette County, my home community, didn’t have a hospital-and I lived in the same home from birth until a couple of months before my marriage to Regina. It won’t take long reading my thoughts to learn that my boyhood was spent in a rural community that centered around church, home, and school.
After high school, I attended and graduated (barely) from the University of Georgia and then received my seminary education at Candler School of Theology. I also have a Masters in Christian Psychological Studies from Richmont Graduate University.
Regina is my green-eyed beauty from Warner Robins, and we have two adult sons, Miles and Cole. Cole and his wife, Alecia, have now made us the proud grandparents of Hazel.
I’m a United Methodist pastor and have been all of my adult life. For a time, I served two churches part-time while attending school and then while working as a cashier at a barbecue restaurant and as a middle school custodian.
Today, I’m blessed to serve at Providence in Fayetteville, Georgia. Outside of my calling as a pastor, I love reading, writing, the outdoors, and spending time with family.
About No Matter Where...
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
No Matter Where . . . Maybe you’re wondering where I came up with a name like that for a blog?
As a Youth Minister, it fell to me to do Children’s Sermon on Sunday mornings at Cannon United Methodist Church. So, I shared a quick story or thought each week and wrapped it up with a prayer. Pretty simple, particularly if you’re smart enough to not ask questions. That leads to children answering out loud and that is a prescription for disaster.
Dr. Fred Craddock taught preaching at my seminary and he encouraged us to make sure that we weren’t repeating too many overused words and phrases on Sunday mornings in worship. A quick review of my Children’s Sermon revealed that I was indeed guilty of saying one thing over and over and over, every single Sunday.
It came at the end of my prayer with the children. I realized I always wrapped it up with these words, “And remind us, O God, that no matter where we go and no matter what we do, that You’ll always be with us and that You’ll always love us.” I’m not sure if it was original to me or if I heard it somewhere, but that was my closing, right before “In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
One Sunday morning during that time, I happened to hear a voice while I was praying with the children. No, not that voice-the voice of God-but the voice of a child. Now, I know we’re not supposed to open our eyes when we’re praying (says who?), but I had to sneak a quick peek. It was one of the children, along with several others, I discovered.
Guess what they were saying? Yep, they were repeating it right along with me, “No matter where we go, and no matter what we do . . .”
Well, I decided if they didn’t get anything else from me, then that was enough. And I’ve kept on saying it ever since. So, I want this to be a devotional blog, offer Christian inspiration for our journey, and to be about the journey that we followers of Jesus have with each other and with God. It’s a journey from here to heaven and I’m convinced that if we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, then we can confidently say, “No matter where . . .”
About the cover photo...
The cover photo was taken by our oldest son Miles, not by a professional photographer. After completing veterinary school, he rode a bicycle 4300 miles across the country from Virginia to Oregon.
When everything you are carrying has to fit in four small bags attached to the bicycle, you save space any way you can. And when you've got to pedal up the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as the Rockies, you save weight as well. Thus, he carried no camera, just his iPhone.
This picture was taken in Kansas, I believe, and it catches perfectly my idea for No Matter Where. Life's road is long and leads to a distant horizon, one where heaven meets earth. It may be rocky, or dirty, or forlorn, or something of immense beauty and wonder. It may be tough, or joyous. Victorious, or sad.
Wherever our feet take us, if we are believers in Christ, then we are not alone. Not for one single step. No Matter Where . . .