Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thanks to AACWP

...for your trust

Recently, the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners held their annual vendor appreciation banquet. It was a humbling moment to be given the 2016 "Favorite Minister" award. I am so grateful to the many planners who have entrusted their clients to me and my colleagues at LoveNotes. 

While I appreciate the vote of confidence, I know that I must earn that trust each time I walk into an event. 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy Heaven Day


Eighteen years ago today, March 11, Mom stepped out of this life and into eternity. I miss her every day of the world. Today, I visited the cemetery and took her drink of choice--2 fingers of J&B Scotch, rocks, no water.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Sydney Grace

...lives in Heaven

It's been eight years since I got that phone call telling me that our granddaughter, Sydney Grace, would be born still. The years since have let me bear the pain, but haven't lessened the intensity. If it's that intense for me, I can't imagine how it is for Ian and Alyssa.

On November 30, I will celebrate Sydney's "heaven day". Listen to this song about her and celebrate with me. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog

Copper D. Byrd

 First of all, it's a big responsibility, especially in a big city
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
When you're walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love
Ain't no one going to mess with you because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
But you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
And swat love on the nose, not so much to cause pain,
Just to let love know, ‘Don't you ever do that again!’
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once, or winds around and around you
Until you're all wound up and can't move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

(this piece written by Taylor Mali)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sealing the Deal

...for Carole and Chris 

Some weddings, some couples stand out more than others in my memory. A particularly memorable one in 2014 was the Colleyville ceremony of Carole and Chris. The groom and four of the groomsmen are decorated Navy Seals. Don’t think I've ever seen five guys that fit and clear eyed—pretty much exactly what you’d want protecting our country. At the end of the ceremony, the four groomsmen drew their sabers and formed the traditional arch for the couple to exit. However, the thing that really made this one stand out for me is the way that Chris looked at his bride—so tenderly, totally in the moment. Granted, she's a beautiful woman but I think he was looking much deeper than that. Look closely at the picture above. 

They met in 2012 within a few days of each arriving at the US Embassy in Nigeria. She’s in the ambassador corps, and Chris was assigned there with the Navy. Here’s how you know how tough this couple is: she voluntarily goes to embassy assignments in countries that would scare most people. And Chris? Well, he traveled all the way back to Texas, alone, to ask Carole’s parents for her hand in marriage. That’s a tough guy!

Being married and in the military is not just a one person issue, however. It takes two. In this case, Chris is serving his country, being deployed for months at a time, while Carole is back home awaiting his return, giving him the reason to keep on keeping on, looking forward to the day he can come home to his love. It definitely takes two and I appreciate their service. We are the land of the free because of the brave like Carole and Chris.

 Oh, one more thing. Not sure if was intentional, but the ceremony start time was such that no diehard Longhorn fans would miss the football game. Carole and I share the love for our Texas Longhorns! 



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Miss Stella

...the help in many ways

When we moved to Wills Point in 2013, we bought a property on the north end of town, still residential (sort of) but close to the county line. Across the road from us is the home of Glynn Ellis, a long time resident, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. Our one acre property is modest compared to his 400+ acres. Mr. Ellis and Mama June are in their 80’s and no longer in good health; he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and their children have arranged 24/7 care.

The constant is Miss Stella. She has been the housekeeper/cook for the Ellis family for more than 35 years. Think “The Help”, but without the bad stuff. We’ve passed a few words with Stella over the last 18 months. She’s a nice lady and as we sit on our back deck, whether morning or evening, we see her coming and going and she always waves to us. Somehow it’s just comforting to know that she’s over there.

Having just lost my father back in October, I’ve been thinking of the temporal nature of life and that we shouldn’t leave things un-said. Whatever you need to say or do, get it said or done sooner rather than later. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. The last couple of days, I’ve thought about taking a little gift of some kind over to Miss Stella to express our feelings. Most days she leaves promptly at 6pm but today I saw her headed to her car around 5:45pm so I took my little token over and waved her down. She rolled down the window, said hello, but she was obviously upset with tears rolling down her cheeks. I asked her if she was okay.

Through her tears, she told me that her 27 year old nephew had committed suicide two days ago and that she had arrived with the police and found the young man. She was not able to “un-see” the horror she had witnessed. I took her hand and prayed with her. She went on her way and I walked back across the road.

My point? Go read the above. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. If there’s something you need to deal with, something that needs to get said or done, do it now. You may not have the opportunity again. I’m so grateful that God prodded me to walk across the road, join hands with a kind woman of a different skin color, and ask Him to give comfort to the family.

God brought us to this little corner of Van Zandt County for many reasons. This was just one of them. 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Birthday


Mom is 87 years old today and lives in heaven. Her spirit remains forever in my heart. She was without question, one of the most fun people on the planet. I miss that. 

This pic was taken on their wedding day, March 29, 1946.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad

Ninety Years!!

Dad almost made it to his 90th birthday. We had been planning a big birthday bash (at his request) for over a year. We're thinking that sometime this winter we're going to have a celebration of his life with a bunch of friends and relatives and relate our favorite stories about him.

Here's my favorite story in recent times: About four years or so back, Dad decided he wanted a new car and asked me to take him to the Dallas Auto Show. He's a traditional kind of guy, but there just aren't many cars left like his favorite Lincolns and rear-drive Buicks. So I steered him to one of the last remaining front engine/rear drive cars, a Mercury Grand Marquis Ultimate Edition. He liked the car a lot but expressed some concerns. When I questioned him about it, he replied, "well, the Mercury brand has been discontinued and I'm worried about resale value".

I said, "Dad, you're 85 years old. Why would you care about resale value". He bought the car.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas Music Handsome & Gretyl

If you're looking for something new in Christmas music, this young couple from Seattle has released an EP (5 songs) entitled "Wonder". Brett and Gretyl Baird introduce a couple of new songs, plus put their spin on some classics. I ordered several copies as stocking stuffers. Give a listen.