Best Buddies

I recently switched careers and have begun substitute teaching. During my time in the schools I have learned about the Best Buddies program. This is where a “normal” – and I use the word “normal” loosely- is paired with a special needs student.

They can work together on reading, going to gym class, lunch etc. What amazes me is not only the kindness shown to these special children, but the reaction they have to their buddies.

They are so happy to be spending time just feeling normal for a few minutes a day, not isolated away with other special kids. It has really changed my heart. I was the kid in high school who if you stumbled reading or if you couldn’t play sports would call you a retard. God forbid you really did have something wrong with you, I was merciless.

Fast forward from that 34 years to today. I am proctoring AP exams in the high school in the test center: a room located in the library. I look out the window from the room and see Claire – a special student eating lunch by herself. Tons of normal kids sitting 6-7 a table while Claire sat alone. It made me sad.

I would like to challenge all of my readers, all 23 of you, to find a Best Buddy.  Look for someone who just needs a little bit of the love we all have inside. You will definitely make their days brighter. But I think you will be shocked at what it does for you.

God Bless you all, and remember, we are all a little special.

That’s a Good Girl

We just got a new puppy weighing in at 1.5 pounds she”s so cute. Everything she does we praise her. Peyton didn’t eat her own crap, good girl. Peyton almost peed on her pad. Good girl.It just made me think what if we treated our kids like a puppy?

You got a C in gym class? Good girl. You drove dads car thru the garage wall ? Good girl. I know I’m being ridiculous. Maybe our kids are trying , but they need a little more encouragement.That is the art of parenting, trying to have realistically high standards and building our kids up at the same time. Keep in mind, I threw my son’s baseball equipment after a lackadaisical performance when he was 10.

We just went to visit my mother in law and father in law for Christmas and to say we don’t agree on everything is an understatement. I do admire how positive my mother in law is. She always told her girls how beautiful they all were growing up. She told my wife she could be an actress if she wanted to be and during mommy daddy time I agree with my mother in law. My wife is a great actress. I just quit my job after 30 years because I want to try and teach and coach with very limited experience. My mother in law said I will be great and it meant a lot to me! God bless you Faye even if its undeserved positive goes a long way.

Maybe our kid  will be the next President who knows? Maybe they will be a happy, successful substitute teacher. Who cares? Just encourage them to be their best every day.If they turn out to be happy nice adults who love people we have done an amazing job. That’s a Good parent.



This slogan was made famous by Jim Valvano the basketball coach at NC State who died far too early from cancer. Every year ESPN does a fundraiser for the Jimmy V foundation. They replay his speech from the ESPYs and every year I cry like a baby.  His speech is just amazing in its motivation and simplicity. He talks about never giving up!!! Jimmy was talking about his fight with cancer, but #nevergiveup is so much more.

My buddy called me the other night and said thank you for never giving up on me! He also said he loves me which in bro speak is unheard of. Thank you? Was he joking? Who am I to ever give up on anyone?  Everyone is capable of bouncing back. No not you Hilary. Please go away: Jk but seriously go! Michael Jordan was cut from his basketball team. He made it back ok. Albert  Einstein was not accepted in to college. Abraham Lincoln lost his first political race, Thank God he didn’t give up. My daughter, queen of fundraising did not get a fundraising position in her sorority so she interviewed for a higher fundraising position and will help raise millions of dollars for Make a Wish during her lifetime. Give up? You must be out of your mind. We can all bounce back.

Reach out to 1 person today who feels they may be too far gone and love on them!!! Joel don’t call me that’s not funny. Speak encouragement in to their life and watch them inflate and light up right before your eyes. We all need someone to love us and believe in us.

If you can’t find anyone to call and encourage and no one calls you, reach out to the Great Encourager ,God. He will love you through anything. He forgives everything we ask him to forgive instantly and lets us start clear tomorrow. He created all of us in His image so how bad can we be? If today is a struggle pray pray pray and then get out of His way. #nevergiveup

Slow Down

The one thing that seems to move faster every day is time. I have a water globe on my desk of my kids playing in the snow. They are building a snowman and it puts the A in adorable. They were 8 and 3 in the picture and they are now 25 and 20. That moment in time seems like 2 weeks ago.

Fast forward to today. I am 51 and unemployed. My confidence has definitely been higher than it is right now. My wife was looking at herself in the mirror last night, while getting ready for bed. She yells into me and asks me if I notice I am aging. I say, “please shut up,” I hate these conversations but she keeps talking. “My eyelashes are thinning, I have this, I have that.” OK pick yourself apart in the mirror if you want to. That’s not enough though, she wants to help me go to bed a little more depressed by pointing out my aging. Thanks honey. We laughed about it, but time takes no prisoners.

If you are in your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties or sixties, enjoy every precious second. Don’t do things to rack up debt, but if you can afford that trip you want, take it. Love your family and friends. Let them know how special they are. And if you are blessed enough to have a special partner, make them feel amazing every day. They are a gift to you directly from God. Cherish them even when their hair recedes, their face gets wrinkled, and they keep you awake talking about nothing. Time will not slow down- I promise!

It’s Not OKKK

First, let me start by saying I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton or any other politician at all. I would love for Mr. Trump to do an amazing job, but he is a public servant and must be treated as such. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.

When our President elect appoints someone to his Cabinet and it is praised by the Nazi party and the KKK, that is not making American great again. It is destroying everything we are built on. Abraham Lincoln is rolling over in his grave.

We had over 1,000,000 Americans die in the Civil War fighting to end slavery and racism. We are still fighting that battle today. It is so scary. Let your voice be heard and make a difference. What if Lincoln had said to himself, “forget it, one person cannot make a difference…” What if Noah or Moses or Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.? Your voice needs to be heard: Generation X, Y or whatever label some idiot has placed on our future.

Pray for Donald Trump and all of our leaders. It is an insanely difficult job, but one they choose to do. Pray for strength inside you to be the one person who makes a difference. May God continue to bless American in spite of ourselves.

Life as a Hypocrite

Do you go to church  with someone who seems like they are too good to be true ? Like Gandhi and Mother Theresa had a baby. I am that guy at church!! I will pray with you, tell you all kinds of deep spiritual thoughts by Scott Handy. Sorry thats an old SNL joke. I will be the holiest of holy inside church.

Then Mr Hyde gets in the car for the ride home. I will fight with my wife, swear at idiot drivers all while listening to K-love. When I get home I call Nick Saban the devil and say his Crimson Tide players can’t read Green Eggs and Ham just because I hate Alabama. I will rip Jay Cutler for not vaccinating his kids because he sucks at football! Seriously though vaccinate your kids or buy an island. I watch things I should not and am not always the most supportive husband, dad or brother. And because of all this I am going to tell you how great God is!!!

Life is so dang hard. It kicks the crap out of the best of us and leaves us lying by the side of the road, But without God it is impossible. Ask Him in to your heart today  and pray to find a church full of hypocrites who love your slimy,scummy self just the way you are. Oh,and your pastor and his family will not be perfect either! This is just the way God wants !

Clutter Free

It is amazing how much junk we fill our lives with. A pastor friend of ours said there are thousands of storage facilities just to put clutter that won’t fit in our house with our other clutter in. The same is true of our minds. We fill them with so much unnecessary clutter. Grudges, anger, hate, unforgiveness. Clear it out. Its no good for you.

I think its great to have hobbies, anything that helps reduce stress. I am addicted to Pokemon Go #gottachatchemall. Do what makes you happy, but not cluttered. You want your mind to be full of positive thoughts, life is hard enough.

If you woke up today and you’re just not happy, invite in the mental hoarders clean up team. He is called God and he can change your mind and clean up your thoughts. It takes work, time and prayer.

Give Him a chance today! What do you have to lose, but some junk you haven’t used in over a year anyway.


This weeks blog is more of a Public Service Announcement! My wife and I just got back from visiting my son’s best friend in the hospital. He went out drinking after his softball game, had some beers and a few shots. On the way home he wrapped his car around a tree. He was knocked unconscious when his air bag engaged. Somehow God woke him up as he felt and heard flames just starting up. He crawled out of the car and managed to drag himself far enough away from the car to not be killed when it exploded.

Driving drunk is not only stupid it is selfish. He was lucky he did not kill himself or someone else. His mom looks 10 years older than the last time we saw her a month ago. I guess a week of no sleep will do that to you! Think about your mom, dad, brother,wife or any one who loves you the next time you go out drinking. How would their life be without you?

I have only used Uber 1 time but it is really cool. If you can”t afford Uber use Uber ride share. If you can”t afford that email my blog and I will send you $5.I don”t care who you are your life is worth more than $5.

I wonder sometimes if the person in our lifetime who was destined to cure Cancer was  killed by a drunk driver, Uber#WTH!!!!

The Notebook comes to life

This weekend we were able to see all stages of love. It started with my son bringing his new girlfriend Emy to our nephew Ryan’s and niece Claire’s wedding shower. The weekend ended at my dads nursing home with a wife who could barely speak mumbling to her husband; Are you glad you married me? Now this woman is beat up. She is every bit 90 and not a well preserved 90. Her husband looked her in the eye, kissed her on the cheek and said yes I am very glad I married you!!! I wish you could have seen it.

The greatest gift we will ever receive is a partner to go through this roller coast of life with. ” Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails!

Wow! It does not say love sometimes fails or you get sick of the other persons face. Love does not say I remember when my wife was hot like that 25 year old. It says love never fails. Never. So grab the hand of the person you love the most in the world and read 1 Corinthians verses 4-8 and see if the words come to life. There is someone who may not say it , but is wondering are you glad you married me? Wouldn’t it be great to look them in the eyes, kiss them on the cheek and say yes I am glad I married you.


America The Beautiful

I love America , the greatest country in the world because God has blessed us!” O beautiful for spacious skies.” Spacious means lots of room for all. ” Amber waves of grain. For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.” Plenty of food so no one has to go to bed at night hungry.

” America, America God shed His grace on thee.” God made America great based on His grace not man, God. God is the only leader we are waiting to lead our country! ” And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.” Love your neighbor like yourself.

“O beautiful for pilgrim front , whose stern impression stressed. A thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness, America America God mend thine every flaw.” Once again who will fix our flaws ? God!

” Confirm thy soul in self control thy liberty in law. O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife.” Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.” Our men who served our country love America more than themselves,amazing! Thank you all! What separates us though is mercy, loved mercy more than life. Wow

“America, America may God thy gold refine.Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine. O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years. Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears. America, America Good shed his grace on thee.And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

God is mentioned over and over in this song. He loves America and wants us back! He made America great and blessed us so we could bless the rest of the world. Our country is great because of all the people we have let in, not the ones we have kept out!!!! Happy 4th!