October 20, 2017

“The Roth Chronicles” – Quote the Raven Nevermore (Excellent Conclusion)

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The Roth Chronicles

“You are the worst writer I know,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
From an antique approach lonely and depressed.
Your words mean nothing in the guise of the suppressed.

“You are insane,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
The crazy contributed to the best poetic works of our times,
Even in the criticism of projects failed with your negligent crimes.

“I do not work under deadlines,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Your professionalism soars to higher heights
As you claim you serve the best at Roth writes.

“I am not willing to listen to learn,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
With clients you have much still to process.
In your own venture and word, you make no progress.

“I need several months to edit a few poems,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
You portray a commitment of a flake’s notice.
You nauseate my conscious with your slowness and lack of focus.

“I always keep my word,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Even with services paid in full upfront with no return,
You failed to follow through with writers you burn.

“I was recommended by another writer,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
In good due time, what comes around goes around.
You continue to play the role of a dramatic diva crowned.

“I do not know how to use PayPal,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Technology and digital media breaks a reputation
For those who live in constant negation.

“I am worth your investment. I will deliver,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
For the oldies but goodies, I suggest you now retire
Because you cannot break those you disappoint to inspire.

“I know everything there is to know in the subject of poetry,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
The educated provide lessons to teach to the ignorant
For those who fail to appreciate individuals clearly brilliant.

JLC iii, 5/28/14

San Antonio Skies Still Streaming – a poem about a new presence (by James Cartee)

date3_editedIt has been a good while and long time since I met anyone who sparked any interest to date and know more on a deeper level. Who knows? – perhaps this changed at this moment described below.

I currently write a new book of thirty-five poems to release in the fall. While not in that publication, this new piece comes from deep down in my own heart. The good emotions in life are certainly to be celebrated in the moments they occur.

San Antonio Skies Still Streaming

Astonishing to the veins pumping of my usual existence,
You appear in the San Antonio midst of museum masterpieces.
I smile without what to know, think, or do.
You breathe hard as your cool body suddenly raptures with heat.
As the tall figure of beauty steps forward, one inch above my height,
I awe in the rush of lustful thoughts at the kiss near our goodbyes.

Nobody lands perfectly upon the earth at our day of creation;
However glamour in well-curved shape brings unexpected grins.
We think constantly of each other after our greeting at the river walk.
I persist in temptation to ask that my sweet sin be purged again.
Everything will change the minute you decide that nothing stays the same
With a new direction in determination that you seek to stay with me.

I catch the glimpse of moonlight that captures your legs
Embraced in the race to my own intimate relationship.
When you cling into one with the blood of orange and blue,
You honor the decision to trust that change brings betterment
For something more close than you imagined before now.
We two-step into a new life to understand that hope floats.

The heart of Texas beats to a new story fairy tale song
With the start of a professor and nurse in ministry joined together
To change the world in the face of dark times without fear.
A sleek thin model with dark but still naughty eyes
And short hair with an image compared to the girl with dragon tattoos
Stares into the bottom of my own brokenness to discover more.

She takes my gentle hand to start a new step, with one concern at a time,
In the second before our magical moment of a first kiss.
We entwine longer than creative minds depict in artwork.
Rainbows light the morning sky. Sunsets dawn the shadow of lips sealed.
I prepare my heart for yours in the daylight of any disaster
Because I have been waiting decades of endless minutes for your arrival.

JLC iii, 3/28/14

Dabo Swinney – The Miracle Worker, A Visit to Grandma’s House.

On Monday, my Grandmother was told that someone was coming to visit her. My uncle Ray kept teasing her, telling her that Elvis was that special visitor. Though Elvis was a “no show,” the person who DID make an appearance was Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s head football coach. Actually, he made more than an appearance. He made an impression. He made a memory. He gave my family encouragement and laughter. He gave his time, his story, his faith, and his affection. He was interactive, and he listened as much as he talked.

Now as an Alabama native, I seriously wonder if coaches within our state would do the same. I really am not sure what to think of Gene Chiziz anymore, fired head coach this past year of the Auburn University Tigers. Nick Saban seems consumed with his dynasty for yet another national championship year after year without notice of what transpires outside of a football stadium. And with Gus Malzaln, the new head football coach of Auburn, there have been no apparent gestures of this kind. You cannot help but like Dabo, even if you hate Clemson University (do remember to Love Thy Rival). He is just someone you want to pull for, an underdog living the dream to better influence lives like my Grandmother. After Dabo beat LSU in this year’s Atlanta Peach Bowl, fan or not, with his adverse background, you could not help but like the guy and be happy for him.     

My Dad wrote the following message regarding Dabo’s visit:

Every now and again someone acts in a way that helps restore my faith in humanity. If you have been on this earth long enough, you know what I am talking about. Additionally, you hear much about what’s “bad” in college athletics, and seldom do you hear about the “good.” Well, yesterday, I witnessed a wonderful meeting between a woman struggling to beat cancer (my mom) and a NCAA Division I head football coach (Dabo Swinney). Dabo took time out of his very busy schedule two days before national signing day to meet, encourage, and pray over Mom.

Mother has had to resume chemotherapy (after a two month reprieve) because of the renewed growth of the cancer. And while chemo is hard on her, she seems to be singularly focused on seeing her granddaughter (my sister’s daughter) get married in May. And while this is a worthy goal for her, we all felt that she needed a “boost.”

My brother, Ray, had seen on one of the Clemson University websites that head football coach, Dabo Swinney, had done some visitations to Clemson fans who were undergoing hospice. Ray thought that it would be a worthy endeavor to write Dabo about our Mom, what she was going through, and ask if he would be willing to pay her a visit.

**(Footnote: It’s important to note that Mom, like many in our family, is an avid Clemson University fan and loves football. Also, Mom and Dad make their home in Easley, SC, which is about 15 miles from Clemson, SC.

About 1-2 weeks after sending the letter, Ray received a call from Don Munson, Director of Creative Media Services, Clemson University. Don indicated that Dabo wanted to visit Mom, a date was set based on Dabo’s schedule, and the visit occurred yesterday at Mom & Dad’s home.

Ray, Susan (my sister), and I were in attendance when Dabo and Don arrived at my parents’ house. Mom knew someone was coming, but she had no idea of the mystery visitor’s identity. One hint that she was given was the fact that he was a Clemson fan. And lest any of you think that this was about a media event or publicity, nothing could be further from the truth. The only ones taking pictures were Susan and me. This WAS a very intimate meeting between Dabo and my mom. And while the rest of us did interact with Dabo, the focus was Mom, which was exactly what we wanted. Dabo loved on Mom, encouraged Mom, and prayed over Mom. His words and actions were both encouraging and inspiring. He was patient. Dabo wanted to know all about Mom’s illness, so he would know “how to pray.” He was personable, telling us stories about his wife and sister’s struggle with cancer. He told us about his mother and her struggles with scoliosis. His 30 minute visit turned into an hour and twenty minutes, and he didn’t seem to want to leave. He was gracious in every way, even with the signing of Clemson souvenirs for all of our family members.

I could go on for quite awhile about Dabo’s visit but will simply say, it was a wonderful memory that my family will cherish always. We will never be able to thank Dabo (& Don) enough for what we believed was a very timely visit with my Mom.

I ask that you continue to lift Mom up in prayer.

God Bless!
JimBo

The James Cartee Teaching and Learning Philosophy – Today we bring out the best in you…

This video will fire you up if anything does – great words of encouragement from many different movies!

Today we bring out the best in you…

I believe education is the one value and resource no one can take away from you. When you earn your degree, the accomplishment remains something that will endure for the rest of your life. I advocate for any achievement that better enhances your life in a creative learning process. Often our lives do not exist for our own ambitions but rather those who depend on us for basic necessities (often in a family unit). A degree in today’s world leads as the first step to a successful working career. I teach for those who reach for that first stepping stone for a dream to become more for those we seek to serve in our everyday lives at work, home, and any environment with relational interactions.

You can never stop growing to learn, and as you learn, to teach others. We are all professors in our own right, and we can all learn from each other. Anyone you encounter in any environment has the ability and capacity to teach you something, even if just from their own life experiences. As equal individuals, I am your teacher, and in many ways, you are a teacher to others as well.

I seek to also constantly learn leadership and promote good leadership through the classroom. While experts claim to understand leadership more not than ever before in human history, I believe our society and corporate world lack leaders who walk a genuine understanding for open communication and passionate productive conflict….who welcome and encourage mistakes….and who challenge courageous innovation for new ideas and out-of-the box thinking. Leaders limit their followers when they struggle to promote growth in these passion areas.

Entitlement seems prevalent and relevant to some authorities. Job titles do not entitle anyone. Those who solely lead with the badge of authority fail to comprehend that examples with great encouragement inspire and speak to individuals. With my influence as an instructor, I seek to touch the inner leader in my students who hope to change lives in the everyday career they pursue, perhaps one day in a management leadership position to impact those under them.

George Petrie (1945) states in the Auburn University Creed the following: “I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.” An education is not given to any one of us freely. We pay for it with our own opportunity costs of time and a financial investment. It is something you earn through hard work, sometimes stretching beyond what we consider ourselves capable of. We discover our innermost potential through a good education. We discover how to work harder than perhaps we ever have. I know personally that graduate school was a challenge unlike any I ever faced, and teaching Deaf children at The Alabama School for the Deaf brought new insight to different paradigms never before experienced by me. Education changes the way we view the world.

In addition to George Petrie, Tim Tebow (NFL quarterback for the New York Jets, 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner, and Florida Gators 2006 and 2008 National College Champions) says in his autobiography, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Talent cannot go a long way solely by itself, but refined talent with hard work will go much farther. While those naturally gifted will more than likely succeed, eventually those who work hard with less talent will push the barrier to break the threshold ahead. I firmly believe that when we push to do our very best, we far outreach those who “get by.” No one remembers the person who “gets by.” Many remember the legacy of those who believe in hard work and pursue it in any and every endeavor in life.

Make today the best day of your life by giving this classroom and your degree the very best you have. With the investment of your education, your career will attain higher heights. It is where dreams and leaders are born for those who take this opportunity seriously. I am here to teach, mentor, and bring that higher expectation for life out of you. It is the fourth quarter, and whether you win this game is up solely to you. Make today the best day of your life with a philosophy similar to my own…that will in turn bring out the very best in you and those who follow you with your new found talents.

I am here to drive your talents to work hard so that together we make the most of what is yet to come, your future and mine. Preparation in the present brings success in the future. The will to succeed means nothing without the will to practice and the will to prepare.

-James L. Cartee, III

While I am not a big advocate for some of the language in this video, I certainly condone the message of why we teach. I also find this slam poetry performance is worth the attention to smile with, for, and at the work of Taylor Mali.

Doer, Dreamer, or In-Betweener? Which are you in the New Year? A Life Resolution?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)

In the last thirty turbulent days of the year through the holidays, a mixture of emotions stir in my heart and in my mind, often with a blank stare at my mirror in the morning. I wonder about my life direction as this year ends and begins with 2013. I am especially fond of the number thirteen because I love Taylor Swift, and she loves me! My number one New Year’s resolution is to marry Taylor as soon as writes another song about us. She was wrong when she wrote those “we will never ever, ever, ever get back together” lyrics.

With this ridiculous fantasy aside, I believe that people fall into three categories daily, monthly, and then of course yearly: 1.) The Doers 2.) The Dreamers 3.) And The In-Betweeners. And as I ask myself who I want to be, I ask you the same.

What do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered with your legacy? Do you want to Do? Do you want to Dream? Or do you just want to chill In-Between the two realities as you feel like it?

Do you seek to raise your arms in the Glorified Presence of God? Do you want to watch television and sleep all day as a modern day Homer Simpson?

I am active as most know me in personality, but this year I especially want to work hard, real hard. An earth-shattering moment awakened my senses at the beginning of December that I really have only begun to dig into the potential God has in store for my future. I have only touched the surface of amazing blessings. If you are anything like me, I tire of living in complacency when I believe God means so much more for me in the realization of what we can do with Christ in us!

If we truly realize and pray for the power of Christ, our level-reaching potential overflows with a supernatural confidence to touch thousands and possibly millions of lives. That is the mindset of a Doer! A Doer does not limit himself or herself! A Dreamer stagnantly thinks about what to do next, never really taking that step forward! We all know those types – “I think I want to be this.” “I think I want to do that.” “I think God is calling me to do this.”

The only problem with thinking too much is you often get stuck with all the In-Betweeners who never walk forward with their life. An In-Betweener is close to the break of a Doer but remains stuck in place for many reasons, probably but not limited to the ideas of fear and what others think. Those two observations have been the largest hindrances in my relationship with God as a Doer, instead of just a Dreamer.

Seriously, as a believer in Christ, can you imagine the power of God alive in you with the Holy Spirit, rising through the magnification of your personal gifts? Superhero movies are not all fictional. We are capable of becoming the movement makers of this country when we realize Christ in a Joshua-Sun-Stand-Still moment!

This liberation is simply what I want (and of course hope and pray) for the church in 2013! I want Christians to rise with higher heights as Doers, not Dreamers, and certainly not stuck in the middle with the In-Betweeners.

To further grasp this concept, another visual imagery involves the subject interest area known as politics. Yes, I said that ugly word. I believe that most politicians fearfully remain in the middle of my diagram above In-Between to win votes and serve their own interests to keep office. Many loquaciously speak with big words as dreamers, but never live up to the level of a doer. I think fear inhibits leaders from often doing the right thing because they fear unchartered waters and new hard decisions that need to be made. I believe if a Christian politician truly understood the nature of Christ-filled-doing relationship with Jesus, then fear of simply occupying office for another day would no longer be their focus. Serving the people of this country would, one nation under God!

I certainly do not want to be thought of as the cliché negative term that comes with the word politician. I want to be a Doer for Jesus that chases with action my dreams with everything I have. I no longer want to live in the in-between moment. I want to bring the Kingdom to this earth, and most times that requires us to act with deliberation, without the pause of best wishes or a “that’s not my problem” attitude. This world need more Doers, and that is what is what I plan to be in 2013. That is my number one life resolution, not a New Year’s resolution, a life resolution! Rise up with Christ in 2013!

We Are Human, and Fear God Only – Holy reminders from a friend.

My friend, Andrew Mannheimer, who I did a special blog series previous this year with his Hip Hop music videos always brings to light the revelation of truth as it pertains to his relationship with God, much like the mirror of his own music expression.

I once asked him about a famous New York Times best-selling author by the name of Donald Miller (author of Blue like Jazz), “How did he write all these books and publish them nationwide?” Andrew’s response remained simple, “He’s just a man, James…human. Whatever he is capable of, you are clearly capable of as well.”

I think we forget, I included, that famous and accomplished people are in fact just human. Some people are famous when they might not even have talent of any sort, maybe because they are pretty, if that is even considered a talent.

A couple of years ago I further spoke with Andrew about my fear of the unknown….perhaps something about the real world after graduate school at Auburn University. Again he stated, “There is nothing to fear but God. When you fear earthly matters, you block God from the light of His glory. I lean into a resource that never reaches depletion: God.”

Andrew is in his mid-twenties, but the truths he expresses are so simple yet amazing. I think Andrew demonstrates that relationships (since he is indeed a great friend), specifically with God, become the most important element in life that matters. We will take our Christian brothers and sisters to heaven, not our stuff.

This past year has been a really weird one. I still remain perplexed at how the end of 2012 fell apart in some ways. God sometimes disguises blessings we do not understand now but later do.

Perhaps 2013 is Our year! It is the year of relationship with God and Cartee! I am not trying to fall into the trap of resolution goals most never follow through, like losing weight for instance. Some go hard for one week and then move on to life as it was before. Sometimes a focus on God is all we need. I feel that Andrew would say something simple like that, a simple truth.

John Piper further reminds the fear of God is the only real fear for the life of a Christian! This is a very short clip…so watch….

101st Entry “So You Want To Be a Leader?” Lessons from A Real Manager, by Tim Webb.

SCROLL AND READ THE WHOLE ENTRY – THIS IS GOOD STUFF, RIGHT HERE!

Tim and His Wife, Kathy
This marks my 101st blog entry on this new site (www.jamescartee.com). I would like to give special thanks to both Nate Johnson (Owner and Creative Director of Level 2 Design) who implemented the new look and Tim Webb (friend, mentor, and greatest encourager to follow my dreams), who graciously wrote this entry with intentional living in mind on the subject of leadership.
If you started today as a young person and tried to read all the books that have been written on Leadership, just the best of those books, you’d run out of lifetime before you finished.
For 34 years I worked for one of the largest companies in the world during which time I served under many leaders and served as a leader. Some of those leaders weren’t very good; in fact, I wouldn’t call them leaders, just managers. But I have often said you can learn as much from a bad example as from a good one; you can learn what not to do!
During the first half of my career I served under strong leadership. I learned many of the lessons illustrated below. Later in my career, as our company experienced rapid growth, it also experienced a lack of leadership. Those being promoted to leadership positions were young with great track records in performance but no experience leading people. Because of their youth they had not been exposed to strong leadership. Others were tenured, but they exhibited poor leader qualities. More on this will come to competency later in this missive.
Of the many books on leadership and management I have read, one stands out. I would highly recommend, Good to Great, by Jim Collins. He talks of how small companies become great and then start to grow and created layer upon layer of bureaucracy and forget what got them there. His example in the book could have been my former company.
I eventually retired early. I had earned my full retirement. That is not why I retired. You see, I had been around long enough to know what “good” looked like and what I saw was far from good. Those who were charged with leading had self promotion and gain as their goal rather than what was best for the company, the good of the team.
Whether you lead a large company or a small group at your church, whether you’re trying to learn to lead your family or a Boy Scout troop, let me simplify leadership for you in a few short lessons I learned while being led and while leading myself.
1. Be a Promise Keeper
Always, always do what you say you will do. Too often today so called leaders make empty promises that they know they cannot keep.
Have resolve. Don’t let anything sway you from your promise.
Be careful what you promise so you can be sure you can deliver on it.
Now, having said that, there will be times, for reasons beyond your control, that you can’t keep a promise. These times should be few and far between. When this happens,
2. Get the Bad News out Quickly
Be decisive about delivering bad news. Don’t sugar coat it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t delay it.
People will accept bad news and respect the deliverer if that person takes responsibility and is honest.
How refreshing it is to hear someone take responsibility when they screw up instead of blaming someone else, whether it is an athlete, a politician, or a business owner.
3. Address inequity where you find it
Do the right thing. Too many people today let how something may look to others govern their decision instead of just doing the right thing.
Do something. Don’t be passive. Don’t attack the person, attack the problem.
Offer a solution. When you see and address inequity, always come with a solution.
4. Act with Integrity Always
If you knowingly or intentionally break the rules, I won’t trust you, and neither will anyone else. Your people are watching, walk the walk. Remember, “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying”.
5. Build a Culture of Trust
Low trust results in closed communication, little problem solving, and poor cooperation and teamwork.
You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behaved your way into.
Trustworthiness is more than integrity. It connotes competence. In other words, you may be an honest doctor, but before I trust you, I want to know that you are competent.
Stephen Covey said it best in his book, Principled Centered Leadership, “We sometimes focus too much on integrity and not enough on personal competence and professional performance. Honest people who are incompetent in their area of professional expertise are not trustworthy”. Think about that for a minute.
6. Lastly you must value your people.
If you don’t, they won’t value you.
• Be a Promise Keeper
• Get the Bad News out Quickly
• Address Inequity Where you Find it
• Act with Integrity Always
Learn these simple lessons and you will be well on your way to being a leader, something society is well too short on today.

The Fourth Quarter Win – Poetry by James Cartee

This photograph is just one of many taken in Argentina and other areas of South America by creator of this blog, James Cartee. His work is available for view and purchase at the following website: www.jamescartee.smugmug.com

The Fourth Quarter Win – Poetry by James Cartee

Disappointed at times with my own risks taken,
I stare into the mirror with regrets and doubts
As I refresh my face with splashed water.
God called me here to improve my spirituality,
Yet stagnant I am not able to jump heads in.
I press to all-in extremes with other talents in life.
When home imagery stands still in my mind,
I grow weary, lonely, and slow inside.
Promises in patience strain my tired brain cells.
You mold me into a leader to strive and achieve,
To never settle for less,
And to praise you, praise you, praise you.
I live in the fourth quarter to win the game.
Inch by inch, yard by yard, play by play,
This running back never stops coming forward.
First down after first down,
Jesus serves as my quarterback on this eternal team.
We triumph in this fourth quarter battle every time.
Bring it! Let’s go! Come on!
You cannot bring us down
In any town, on any field, and any moment.
With my Christ strengthened body, mind, and spirit,
I rise and resurrect with the best of character.
I cannot fail. I cannot stumble to the ground.
I leap with sprints towards storms.
I live in the circle of fire.
Solo and alone in Christ within the darkness,
I embrace my purpose in the shadowed clouds
And will not give in no matter the resistance,
The adversity, the barriers, and lack of human energy.
I score the winning touchdown
With my last minute momentum.
Tick tock, I am stopped by no clock,
No field goal block,
Pressure in the second pulls me in
Because with Christ I am unstoppable.
In every play I always win.

JLC iii, 11/1/12

Do Not Have Expectations: No Disappointment Results but Only Joy

 

Our expectations often fall short of our hopes, leading to disappointment, but at the same time, we must give life a chance and people as well. Unfulfilled decisions are not the end of the journey. Our perseverance in patience often brings the best of results and blessings when our expectations go to God. A better process exists that might work for you: do not have any preconceived expectations. In other words, just go with the flow, conscious that God controls what we cannot often grasp. Wisdom comes with realization of this truth. If balance exists between hope and reality and when to experience joy, one must learn to not overstretch expectations no matter the circumstances, even when mental pictures suggest otherwise. Disappointment will more likely not occur. Better yet, joy arises because you never expected something too grandeur to occur. God brings large blessings upon our life when we do not expect him to act in human ways. We sometimes think we know how to play holy. Truth exposed, we have no clue. We should realistically let God play God while we play the role of an acknowledged sinner. Express your wishes to God. Speak your prayer requests into existence. When God answers your prayers, “let Jesus take the wheel” of your car and your life (Carrie Underwood Song).

In recent moments of my own indulgence, I encourage you not to learn this lesson the hard way by frankly doing something stupid and unproductive in your own better judgment. Again do not expect specific things. Sometimes in faith we take the risk of a plunge, hoping for the best, and following where God will have us. Never forget the personal vision for your life even when situations impede your momentum and progress. In silent confidence, press forward to do what we do with God in mind. I truly miss Bob Haggerty, someone who understood that these laid back principles in our lives should not be taken too seriously. That includes not taking ourselves too seriously.

Today our legacies depend on keeping our word. It is very important that you communicate clearly expectations for an individual so all parties know how to move forward alongside each other as a team. Friction is often the result of misunderstanding when painted pictures never come to creation, or taking things too seriously with expectations leads to unnecessary frustration. Sometimes patience brings the best of outcomes. If you can learn to enjoy the moment in the patience process of learning, in that very same moment you will learn to be content no matter what happens, perhaps without unrealistic expectations.

My Friend Jedd Medefind from The Christian Alliance for Orphans – Orphan Sunday Series, Part 3

Why is the CALL FOR THE ORPHAN great? Watch the following video to statistically understand the meaning of Orphan Sunday and Jedd Medefind’s work.

Orphan Sunday, occurring on November 4, 2012, is a national movement joined by churches all over the world though an organization known as The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). These three blog entries introduce three dear friends I met through this Alliance with brief information about their respective organizations. My last entry highlighted Dave Wood from Lifeline Children’s Services.

Connected through Greg Buzek, one day I received an email from Jedd Medefind, the previous Special Assistant to the President and Acting Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, author of three books, and now active President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). I thought to myself, “Who is this guy that wants an Auburn Master’s degree graduate to do another free internship?” After our brief interview, I thought this guy must be crazy. When I prayed and meditated about the internship program, my role, and Jedd’s possible friendship, I realized this might be the opportunity for a lifetime moment to remember. And so my journey with the Christian Alliance for Orphans began! ….with a volunteer internship and a guy named Jedd.

I experienced dark times when I began the internship, possibly another reason why I accepted the chance to become a part of something special. I wanted to feel hope again in my relationship with God. While Jedd often remained busy with the approaching Summit 2011 conference in Louieville, Kentucky (an international celebration and reunion of fatherless advocates from around globe), he constantly made time to occasionally speak with me over the phone and write inspirational emails of encouragement. Even Elizabeth Wiebe, Director of Outreach for CAFO, continually mentioned that “we will make this work,” when I felt overwhelmed with both a full time job and this fully engaged internship, especially when tornadoes ripped my Alabama home state apart. Both Jedd and Elizabeth turned my valley into a mountaintop experience that continues to this very day as the Orphan Sunday State Coordinator for both Georgia and Alabama. They rejoice with me when I live with successful forward movement and empathize with me when down and discouraged, usually with a kind word to lend.

Jedd continues to serve as a powerful presence in my life with prayer, his leadership and communicative styles, and even his example as a devoted author, father, and husband. Like Dave Wood and Larry Bergeron, Jedd is just someone you want to be like, not because of his success but rather because of his humility in Christ. I truly believe God brought the Alliance together under the leadership of this man to eradicate the epidemic of the fatherless so that every child in this world will have an eventual healthy Christian-focused home. It is with Medefind-size faith that I believe and know in my heart this truth.

I have always had a soft spot for children, hence why I currently still work with youth in ministry. While I did not see it when my internship originally began, God brought us together for BIG FULFILLMENTS in Kingdom-building missions, promises, and mentalities. Mentioned as before in other blog entries, some believe ministry is a usual eight to five o’clock job, but in reality, the call to ministry is a twenty-four hour, fourth quarter drill to an eternal finish line. The salvation of others and saving orphans lies in each second of the day. I would say that sometimes Jedd more than likely exhausts himself in traveling, speaking, writing, and making appointments with individuals to serve an awesome God, but he just gets it: the simple truth that a relationship with God brings the greatest blessings and rewards anyone could ever experience in life. Humility plus good works equals explosion of God’s Love for us as believers.

Celebrate with Jedd, myself, and others from around world the cause of the fatherless on this Orphan Sunday, November 4th. We can and will make an eternal difference if we put aside differences and unite for orphaned children! Jedd understands that is about the fatherless and that this thing called life was never meant to be about just us and our personal selves. It is about Him!

Zambia’s Gift to the World from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.
(This text was quoted directly from the Christian Alliance for Orphans website.)

In 33 unforgettable minutes, Zambia’s Gift to the World weaves the unlikely story of how Orphan Sunday began in a humble, hard-pressed church in Lusaka, Zambia…and today is impacting lives around the globe.

You’ll encounter vibrant African Christians and the children they’ve embraced…favorites like Steven Curtis Chapman and Francis Chan…as well as remarkable believers from around the world—all sharing of the beauty that rises when Christians reflect God’s heart for the fatherless.

Enjoy the film…and join us in praying that God will use it greatly to stir Christians across America and far beyond!

Zambia’s Gift to the World from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.