Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: The Principle of the Path - Andy Stanley

A lot of times in life, we wonder why despite our good intentions and our efforts at working hard, we end up in situations with relationships, jobs, and finances that we never wanted. Nobody sits around and says, "when I grow up I want to have a failed marriage and have a debt load so high that I have to work three jobs to keep from losing my house." So, how is it that if we have positive goals and dreams that we end up so far away from what we wanted if we had really good intentions?

If we could step back a few years in our lives, wouldn't we make a couple decisions a little different now that we know how they panned out? I know I certainly would.

In his book, The Principle of the Path, Andy Stanley suggests that our destinations are a result of the path we are travelling on, not our good intentions. and despite how hard we might be praying, if we are headed in the wrong direction, nothing but a change of direction is going to right the situation.
He relates a story of taking off on an unopened road that was under construction and speeding away into the night. Fortunately, someone saw him zoom by and run him down and stopped him before he launched into a swamp where the road construction had not completed a bridge. Without someone who had been down the road that knew it abruptly ended, he would have ended in a swamp.

He goes on to suggest that it might be in our best interest to seek out someone that has been through life a little ahead of us and seek their advice on life impacting decisions. If we want to have a good marriage, maybe we should seek out an older couple that seem to have the kind of relationship we would like to have and pick their brains. If we want financial or career success, maybe we should seek out an older person that has achieved what we would like to achieve and obtain their advice.

Why don't we do that naturally? Pride? Too much self-confidence to admit what we don't know?

This is a very thought provoking book. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to make wiser decisions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

House Dedication - Sara Wilson Family

One of the most rewarding experiences of working on a Habitat for Humanity home build is returning for the dedication when the homeowner receives the keys to their completed home. We have been fortunate to participate in several over the last years, and it always brings us great joy to celebrate with the homeowner and their family.

Today was another of those opportunities. Sara Wilson, a domestic violence survivor, and single mother of two received the keys to her new home this morning - the end of a very long journey for Sara and her two precious little girls.

Sara has toiled along side of all of the construction volunteers since the first day of the build as well as working on the construction of other Habitat homes over the last several months. Today was a celebration of the culmination of all of that hard work.

If the impact of being able to provide a decent place to live does not ring true to you when you are attending one of these dedications, all you have to do is look at the children playing on the playground equipment in the yard (donated by Habitat supporters) and it begins to make sense.

As a new homeowner, Sara now has a zero interest mortgage and a well built, dependable home.

Sara works as a Victim Advocate at Family Haven, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The very shelter where several years ago, she sought assistance and support.

We feel blessed to have been able to be apart of the construction of Sara's home and what it means to the future of her family.

Habitat For Humanity article on Sara Wilson

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

In a Texas State of Mind

For Labor Day, we decided to see the sites of Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capitol of the World.

When we checked into the hotel, we quickly realized that Cabela's was just across the parking lot. So, we spent several hours wandering around inside checking out all of the clothing, camping equipment, fishing gear, and guns as well as the enormous collection of stuffed animals and the impressive aquarium.

Of course, eating was on our itinerary, and we found plenty of good places for it. Including the Salt Lick for BBQ.

And if we are gonna eat Texas BBQ, I gotta have some brisket.

Of course, Tex-Mex was also on our menu and Chuy's was awesome.

We ventured North to Round Rock and took a look at Dell's impressive sprawling campus.

And of course, we loaded up on University of Texas Longhorn gear!

Sunday, we visited Northpoint Church in Cedar Park, TX which is a strategic partner of our church here in Atlanta.

All good things must come to an end, Monday rolled around and it was time to hit the airport and head back to Atlanta. At one of the airport coffee shops, I was reminded this was really Texas, as the coffee shop was selling Shiner Boch and Lonestar.