Monthly Archives: August 2016

At the End of Your Rope?

NOTE: I asked Robin Dolbow, the Director of Children’s Ministry at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, if she would be interested in reviewing the book, With All Due Respect-40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with your Teens and Tweens by Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock. As the mother of two preteens, I thought she might find it helpful. Here are her thoughts.


With all due respectBook Review: With All Due Respect-40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with your Teens and Tweens by Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock

When my children were small I felt that I had the whole mom-thing under control. While I wouldn’t say it was easy, I definitely found life with littles very manageable.  Then before I knew it we were celebrating our oldest child’s 9th birthday and we had entered the “tween” years.  Things quickly went from manageable to “someone please stop the ride”.   Conversations became harder, moods became moodier, and we needed answers.

I found some of those answers in the book With All Due Respect.   In this book Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare, and Debbie Hitchcock help mothers navigate some of the more difficult situations that may arise during the tween and teen years.  The book is set up like a devotional meant to be read over 40 days.  Each day includes a scripture verse, a story that covers an aspect of parenting tweens/teens, reflection questions, and a prayer.

Roesner and Hitchcock cover a wide range of topics including helping your child find their identity in Christ, guiding them through dating, and countering our culture. I found the topics they covered to be very helpful.  It was an encouragement to me to know that I am not alone in my struggles with raising my tween.

While reading through the book I kept thinking that all the problems in the scenarios given were resolved rather easily so while I would recommend this book to other moms in similar stages of life, I would remind them to take to heart the author’s words: “We don’t promise a lack of conflict, by any means; all relationships will have conflict.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 30, 2016 in Books, Parenting


Vacation Eats

What’s a vacation without eating favorite comfort foods and trying new treats? On our recent vacation in North Carolina, we did our share of both.

Old Favorites

  • Schlotzsky’s – Sandwich shop known for their round sourdough buns. The chain was started in Austin, TX, and we got hooked on them when we lived in Dalls.
  • Bob Evans – A mid-western family restaurant. Great place for breakfast.
  • P F Changs – Probably our favorite Chinese restaurant.
  • TCBY – (The Country’s Best Yogurt). I don’t think we’ve seen TCBY since we left Dallas. They still have White Chocolate Mousse. Good stuff.
  • Fuddruckers – Great place for burgers.

New Favorites

  • Black Mountain Bistro in Black Mountain, NC (outside Asheville). Service was very slow but the food was good and atmosphere was great sitting on the patio in the evening.
  • Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que in Gatlinburg, TN. We enjoyed some very good pulled brisket sandwiches.
  • 12 Bones in Asheville, NC. A hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a light industrial section. Well worth the drive for very good barbecue. We were there at lunch and the lines were long and the place was packed.
  • Waffle House – A southern institution. The food is decent, the price is reasonable, but you go for the atmosphere of a small diner.
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Food, North Carolina


Life Lessons from Billy Graham

During our time in North Carolina, my wife, Carol, and I visited the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville as well as the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. Viewing the various exhibits and listening to the presentations, we were left with several impressions about the principles implemented by Billy Graham during his years of ministry.

He Embraced Change. Billy Graham started his ministry with a crusade under a tent in Los Angeles in 1949. As technology was introduced and developed, he used any and every media available—radio, TV, motion pictures, telephone counseling, internet, DVDs. He used various music styles to reach different audiences—hymns, contemporary Christian music, Country & Western. He scheduled events and tailored the music and message to reach a younger audience.

He was willing to Share the Message of the Gospel with Everyone. He went on television talk shows, did interviews on radio and TV. He wrote a weekly newspaper column. He wrote books. He met with celebrities, politicians, presidents, world leaders, as well as average people. He made no distinction between gender, race, creed, or background. If one was interested, he was willing to share the message.

Billy Graham Adapted his ministry to Meet Needs. For years, the BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) was known for holding stadium crusades. Two years ago, our church participated in My Hope with Billy Graham, a small group DVD program. We were impressed to learn they developed the Rapid Response Teams for crisis events. Their teams show up to counsel after floods, shootings, and disasters.

In addition to preaching the gospel, the BGEA has focused on Equipping Others for Evangelism. They gathered evangelists from around the world for conferences in Amsterdam. Their team has always embraced younger associates and team members. During the crusade, they trained people how to counsel and follow up with new believers.

Billy Graham recruited and developed a Team of Loyal People. I was impressed that he finished with the same people he started with—Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, Tedd Smith, TW Wilson, Leighton Ford, and other key people who served as board members or team members.

With all the changes and adaptations that he implemented over the years, Billy Graham had an Uncompromising Message that never changed. He preached a simple gospel message that stated that all have sinned and Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins. His message was based on, “The Bible says …”

Great lessons to learn. Great lessons to put into practice.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2016 in Evangelism, Ministry, Passion, Personal growth


Charlotte – NFL game

We closed out our day in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium where we watched the New England Patriots play the Carolina Panthers. How’s that for a balanced day–evangelical history at the Billy Graham Library, NASCAR history at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and NFL present at a game. Long, but fun day.


Charlotte – NASCAR Hall of Fame

Carol and I spent the day in Charlotte, NC. After visiting the Billy Graham Library, we headed downtown to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (What can I say, we are balanced people.) 🙂


Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2016 in NASCAR, North Carolina, Photos


Charlotte – Billy Graham Library

Carol and I spent the day in Charlotte, NC. Our first stop was the Billy Graham Library. It was a very inspiring and motivating place, one which reminded us of the call on our lives and the ministry God has called us to.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Evangelism, North Carolina, Photos


You know you are in the south

After spending a few days in North Carolina, we started the following list.

You know you are in the south when …

  • You hear, “Y’all” a lot—How y’all doin? Have a nice day, y’all.
  • Men wear overalls everywhere.
  • People ride in the back of pickup trucks—road crews, teenagers, adults, children.
  • Billboards advertise for guns and ammo—the 2nd Amendment is alive and well.
  • A hardware store at an outlet mall says it provides “daycare for men.”
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Culture, Fun


The Cove

This morning, we toured the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, just outside Asheville, NC. They have a beautiful visitors center which gives a glimpse into Billy Graham’s ministry over the years. The chapel and prayer room are beautiful, quiet places for reflection, as well as Ruth’s prayer garden outside.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Evangelism, North Carolina, Photos


Great Smoky Mountains

Today was a long, extended road trip. We started in Asheville, NC, and drove 80 miles west on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We drove through the park, stopping at various places. I walked to the top of Clingman’s Dome and up the tower. We also drove through Cade’s Cove and viewed one of the historical settlements in the park. We saw some wildlife–elk, deer, and wild turkeys. We came out the other end of the park in Gatlinburg, TN, where we enjoyed barbecue sandwiches at Bennetts Pit Bar-B-Que. It was another good day, albeit a long one.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2016 in National Parks, Photos


Blue Ridge Parkway

After a lunch at Schlotzsky’s (one of our favorite sandwich restaurants from Texas), we took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway stretches from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which borders North Carolina and Tennessee, almost 500 miles. We started in Asheville and drove about 70 miles east. Stopping for all the lookout points and visiting Mt. Michell, the journey only took three hours. Beautiful drive on “America’s Favorite Drive.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 23, 2016 in National Parks, North Carolina, Photos