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Daddy’s Girl

The song "Butterfly Kisses," written by Bob Carlisle and Randy Thomas, never really resonated with me until after I became a daddy in 2000. I love both of my children dearly, but there is something special about the bond between a father and his daughter. I'm not sure how the magic is made, but my daughter, Faith, and I have it. She may have been f...
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  38 Hits
38 Hits

Be Alert

I live on Highway 20 between Canton and Cartersville. Occasionally, a stray dog may wander into a lane hoping to find its way back home, or a deer may dash across the road. Although the Georgia deer are much smaller than where I grew up, they can still cause significant damage if you hit one. When you are raised in mountain country, as I was, it wa...
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  57 Hits
57 Hits

God Is My Guide

A few years ago, when my family attended First Baptist in Cartersville, a sweet family in the church sent out an urgent message to pray for their teenage son who was involved in a serious car accident. Garrett Geros was headed home from his friend's house when he dozed off and crashed his truck into a tree. The accident didn't take his life, but it...
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  75 Hits
75 Hits

Are You Inviting Stress in Your Life?

 Years ago, before it became popular to shop on Amazon and other retail websites, many of us attempted to finish Christmas shopping early to avoid the stress of crowds and limited inventory. I say "attempt" because, while we may have secured a gift or two by early November, we would inevitably find ourselves lured into shopping on Black Friday...
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  103 Hits
103 Hits

Trust Issues

 The handshake has been a symbolic gesture of mutual admiration, commitment, and a universal sign of trust for hundreds of years. Its origination can be traced to a 5th century sculpture depicting two soldiers shaking hands after a battle. Another theory is the handshake originated in the 9th century after Assyrian King Shalmaneser III shook h...
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  188 Hits
188 Hits

Unraveled Plans

With an 8:30am flight to Montana, I knew I needed to be on the road no later than 5:00am in case of traffic delays or parking challenges. The Georgia weather at this time of year can also be unpredictable. But, I felt confident that setting my alarm for 4:00am would give me ample time. The night before, I used the digital notification to check in f...
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  130 Hits
130 Hits

Escape Room

It is not uncommon to hear people reference stress as illegitimate or something that is self-imposed. Others flippantly say that stress is real, but you just need to learn to deal with it, as if it was simply a papercut or the common cold. The medical field has long argued the legitimacy of stress and its devastating effects if left unaddressed. St...
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  141 Hits
141 Hits

Thorn in My Hand

I absolutely love the fall and winter seasons in Georgia. In late October, people rush to north Georgia to pick apples in Ellijay, "The Apple Capital of Georgia," while others continue even further north to look at the beautiful leaf colors nestled throughout the mountains. As quickly as the beautiful colors appear, winter sweeps in and turns the l...
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  161 Hits
161 Hits

Together Is Better

 With nearly 60,000 square miles of terrain and almost 280,000 miles of paved roads, Georgia is a big state. I've traveled many of these roads over the past six months, including countless two-lane highways of asphalt running through wheat fields and pine forests, connecting one rural community to another. While meeting with folks in towns all...
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  172 Hits
172 Hits

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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  194 Hits
194 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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  204 Hits
204 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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  237 Hits
237 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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  283 Hits
283 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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  395 Hits
395 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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  394 Hits
394 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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  429 Hits
429 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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  517 Hits
517 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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  479 Hits
479 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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  493 Hits
493 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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  506 Hits
506 Hits