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Individually Created

Years ago, I participated in a forensic class and was amazed to discover how unique each person truly is. I knew that each of our fingers has a unique print, but I was surprised to discover that no two people have the same fingerprints including identical twins. When you consider that each cell in our body contains over 20,000 genes, it is not diff...
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  24 Hits
24 Hits

Emotional Reactions

Our family has a miniature dachshund named Bella, and she is as sweet as they come. If there is such thing as a lap dog, she definitely qualifies. When people enter our home, she quickly greets them and barks until they acknowledge her presence. Recently, my son was getting up from his chair and accidentally stepped on Bella, causing her to yelp be...
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  40 Hits
40 Hits

The Importance of Moderation

Recently, I attended a convention on the coast. I was excited by the opportunity to stay at a newer resort and meet individuals who shared many of my same beliefs. I arrived on Wednesday evening and grabbed an early dinner with a couple of colleagues before heading back to my room. The next day, I encountered some of my friends at breakfast, and th...
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  58 Hits
58 Hits

Maintenance Is Key

Now that summer is in full swing, and the temperatures are soaring, it is time to ensure our sprinkler systems are working correctly. Actually, if I'm honest, I should have done this back in late spring when it was cooler, but I forgot about it until the grass started to turn brown in spots. So, last Saturday, I proceeded to fire up the sprinklers ...
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  100 Hits
100 Hits

What’s in a Name?

As a young boy, I would occasionally have the opportunity to leave the farm and spend time with my best friend at his home in town. We would generally shoot hoops, and then he would break out the Swan's Ice Cream and the A&W Root Beer. In my opinion, there is no better root beer float than one made from these two ingredients. While many things ...
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  194 Hits
194 Hits

Who Am I?

As a young boy growing up in a very difficult environment, I often wondered, "Who am I?" I had a stepfather who was ill equipped to fulfill the responsibilities as the head of the house and serve as male role model to those in his care. Alcoholism and other demons controlled his life, leaving little time to cultivate a relationship and invest in others, though I desperately longed for a dad to be my hero.

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  206 Hits
206 Hits

Perspective and Perseverance

It's hard to believe that the first quarter of 2021 is already in the books, and it has been as unpredictable as last year. The stock market is acting like a child's yo-yo, experiencing all-time highs followed by record one-day lows. In late February, an unprecedented ice storm hit Texas, causing more than 4 million customers to lose electricity and more than 90 people to lose their lives.

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  234 Hits
234 Hits

Hannah's Garden - Sunflowers in the Valley

Back when my daughter, Faith, was nine years old, she was a strong-willed child, but she was mostly compliant, which sometimes made it hard for me to say "no" to her. For some time, she begged my wife and me for a dog. "If only I had a puppy to love, play with, and care for…" became a common utterance. After much discussion, we surprised Faith with a miniature dachshund, Bella, that Christmas.

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  285 Hits
285 Hits

Life’s Many Seasons

Many years ago, several friends described the beauty of Seattle, Washington, and encouraged me to visit. That February, I was invited to participate in a weeklong conference held in that area. I was excited to see the Space Needle, the incredible architectural buildings, and Mount St. Helens. As a kid, I remember when Mount St. Helens spewed ash all over the Pacific Northwest, clear into my home state of Montana.

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  291 Hits
291 Hits

The Importance of a Firm Foundation

My contractor friend and I recently traveled to my beach home in Florida to assess some of the damage from the 2020 storm season, which was brutal. There was a record-breaking 30 named storms and 13 hurricanes, and the state's Forgotten Coast was not immune to the effects. The house had a few leaks, a couple of wall cracks from being shaken, and a deck that required some cosmetic attention, but nothing beyond surface damage occurred.

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  299 Hits
299 Hits

“Hey Dad, Do You Have a Minute?”

It has been said that communication is the foundation of healthy relationships. If you love being a dad as much as I do, learning to communicate with your children is a work in progress. Just when you think you have arrived, you discover the destination has been moved. When your children are little, you learn that not every cry or whimper means the same thing. As they mature, it only becomes more complicated — or does it?

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  310 Hits
310 Hits

Reflect Upon Your Blessings

Life in 2020 dramatically changed the business landscape, especially for restaurant and dining establishments. When restrictions were originally implemented, those who were able to adapt found survival was within their grasp, but those unwilling or unable faced an uncertain future.

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  371 Hits
371 Hits

Value Through Another's Eyes

Each day, we are faced with making decisions and choices that impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Sometimes, these choices are mundane and innocuous, but other times, they are quite challenging and can easily be destructive. Often, the poor choices we make cause us to question our value to society or our ability to be a contributor, but God's word provides us with an abundance of examples of redemption from the worst of mistakes.

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  328 Hits
328 Hits

Maintain Your Lane

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you wonder what gives? Recently, I was traveling back from the Capitol after attending Gov. Kemp’s signing of a bill I wrote, and the weather was miserable. It was raining very hard, so I decided to pull into a Starbucks to offer my passengers a nice treat. Being a creature of habit, I ordered an extra hot venti caramel macchiato. Usually, I pour the coffee into my Yeti cup to keep it hot and to keep from spilling it, but it was not in my truck, so I just drank from the one that was provided.

As we traveled up the interstate, the lid came off my coffee, and the scorching liquid landed in my lap. One of my passengers pointed out that my pants were “smoking.” While I was certainly distracted, I knew it was important that I avoid an accident by maintaining my lane under these unpleasant conditions.  

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  319 Hits
319 Hits

Be Strong and Courageous

Back in 2017, a dear friend of mine and I pooled our resources to attend Super Bowl LI, featuring the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Once our early morning flight landed in Houston, we grabbed an Uber and rushed to the hotel. The day was chaotic and a little stressful, as we attempted to take in all the festivities of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Once we were in our seats, reality set in about how rare this opportunity was. Let’s be honest; seeing the Falcons in the Super Bowl is unfamiliar territory, and we were pretty sure our wives were not going to sign off on another road trip like this one, so my friend and I absorbed the moment.

As you can imagine, the first half of the game was pure enjoyment, as we watched the dirty birds move the ball down the field and score three times, ending the first two quarters up 21-3. When the third quarter began, the Falcons got another touchdown, running the score up to 28-3. The excitement that Atlanta may, at last, bring home the trophy started to set in!

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  331 Hits
331 Hits

In Times Like These...

So far, this year has been a trying time for our nation. COVID-19 continues to illicit fear in many because of all the conflicting medical information. If you don’t like the opinion you just heard about whether masks help or not, just change your television to another channel for a different opinion. Can the coronavirus live two hours, two days, or two weeks on surfaces? Will there be another wave this fall, or have we been able to minimize its effects and contain it?

Also, in past months, many of us were horrified to see video of the brutal killing of two men – Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota – and wondered how this could happen in 2020. Throughout the country, we watched peaceful protests get hijacked and quickly become harmful and destructive riots, which deviated from the original cause and led to more police clashes.

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  370 Hits
370 Hits

Grateful for Summer

It is hard to believe we are nearly halfway through the year, and 2020 has already been quite the year. During recent time with my family, I asked if everyone felt like things had returned to normal, and to my surprise, I quickly received a unified response that “there is nothing normal about 2020!” OK then!

I decided to do a little social experiment by asking each family member what they learned during the monthlong shelter in place back in April.

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  337 Hits
337 Hits

In These Changing Times, Who Is in Control?

Many of us start our days by exercising at home or by heading off to the gym. Of course, the number of “us” is very high in early January and gradually diminishes after a few months, but the intention is still the same. People either want to get in shape or stay in shape, so they can live a healthy life.

Nearly 2 million Georgians are 55+ and approaching retirement in the next 10 years. Most of them lack confidence that Social Security will be around, so they have been self-funding retirement accounts, investing in real estate, and saving cash.

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  406 Hits
406 Hits

Sharing the Road in Life

The metro Atlanta area is notorious for heavy traffic. Cherokee County added over 8,000 new residents in 2019, and that trend is not expected to end in the near future, so traffic stresses are not likely to decrease any time soon.

Although there is talk that autonomous vehicles will one day dominate the highways, providing constant speeds, maintained lanes, and strategic spacing, that day may have been delayed with the recent Tesla crashes. In the meantime, most everyone can improve upon driving etiquette as well as follow traffic laws.

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  397 Hits
397 Hits

The Value of Life

Losing a close friend or loved one is one of the most painful things many of us will have to go through. Those who believe in a higher power understand that we are not the giver of life, and our part in choosing the end is also limited. But that certainly doesn’t diminish the deep sadness we feel when we lose someone very special.

Sometimes, the loss comes after a family member has struggled with an illness for a long time. Brenda K., my childhood classmate, fought cancer like a champion boxer until it knocked her down for the final time at the young age of 13.

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  444 Hits
444 Hits