I’m Proud to Be Your Dad

Seven years ago several Olive staff members approached me about asking my son Bennett to join our team as part of the recreation ministry. My response was skeptical but I told them to keep me in the loop and find the best person for the role. I did my best to keep myself out of his business and treat Bennett as another member of the team.Bennett leaves our staff on Thursday and heads off to Liberty University School of Law this weekend. He has talked about this off and on for years. I ask you to pray for him and Read more →

Proud to Be An American

Today I attended the naturalization ceremony in Judge Casey Rogers court. It was a moving experience as 182 people from 56 countries took the oath to become US citizens. There were two people from our Olive family in this group. Congratulations to Filipe Valencia and Susie Kepner! I know their spouses and families must be so proud of them.Judge Rogers always asks one of the group to tell their story. The lady who shared was outstanding. And at the end she said the first words she heard when she came to America we GO GO GO. She was in line Read more →

We’ve Been Here Before And the Answer is The Same

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1It appears to me that a mean spiritedness prevails in a large portion of our world.Without doubt social media adds to this, but it is not at the root.As I look at American culture, 2016 reminds me of 1968. I was thirteen years old. Vietnam was raging. Dr.  King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. It was an election year that would give us President Richard Nixon. Racial tension was high. Protests filled the streets and college campuses.What has changed?Not much.But there was a gentle breeze blowing Read more →

The Bridge Between Complacency and Conflict

I spoke last Sunday at Olive on the topic A Nation on Edge. In that message I encouraged people to download and read Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”.The pastor and civil rights leader spoke to several issues in the letter. He said he saw himself standing between two opposing forces in his own community. On one hand he found complacency. These were the people who had suffered long years of oppression and were so drained they just settled into the situation of segregation.On the other side Dr. King saw the forces of bitterness and hatred that Read more →

What Do You Write in Your Bible?

Thursday I will officiate the funerals of two church members. No two services are the same but I have one consistent practice as I speak with the families.I ask to see their loved one’s Bible.And while not everyone chooses to write in their Bibles, many do. I learn much about that person’s life.Norma Harrod, whose family will bury her today, had quite a marked up Bible. I know her loved ones will cherish it. As I read through some of her notes, I found this encouraging list:Qualities a Leader Must Possess1. Complete submission to God’s will for your life2. Read more →