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Showing posts from November, 2014

Ohioan Heritage

Riding to Ohio for Thanksgiving. I have lots of family in the cities of Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati. 
The 7 hour drive to reach Cincinnati, crossing the Mason-Dixon Line, transcending from south to north makes me wonder: how did we get here?
My father's mother was Ida Marie Hassler-Thomas. She had a brother (Samuel Franklin Hassler Jr.) move to Columbus and a sister (Mary Hassler-Reynolds) move to Dayton in the 1940's and 1950's.
Chasing the promise of better opportunity for African-Americans, they left their Murray County, GA roots.
Uncle Sam and Aunt Mary married and had children who had children and today, the family is still growing. 
Going to see my extended family brings us here. We are a big, close-knit family.
As we ride on I-71 in the pitch black skies, I wonder what my ancestors' northern migration must have been like.
It was probably unpleasant, uncomfortable, and bittersweet. But they persevered. They trusted God all the way. 
Through the generations, they pas…

I Will Trust

Thrilled to have Fred Hammond's latest album, I Will Trust. It is classic Fred: encouraging, uplifting, inspirational, melodic, and full of praise.

Fred Hammond is consistent. Since his days with Commissioned back in the 1980's, he has produced excellent material. I Will Trust does not deviate.

These are songs that are possessive and/or minister straight to the heart of the Father. Songs like "All the Way,"  "His Perfect Love," and "I Will Trust" vary from upbeat to slow and intimate.

Do not debate purchasing this album. Get it!


A huge congratulations to Mr. Antoine Simmons and Mrs. Karen Nelson. Yesterday, they were elected as President and 1st Vice President of the Whitfield County, GA Chapter of the NAACP, respectively. Both of them also go to my church. It is an honor to serve and worship with them. Even before they were elected, they were and have always been a blessing to the church and my hometown community in Dalton and north…

Climate Change

President Obama's renewed focus on climate change should have interesting implications on economic development, urban planning, and conservation.

Tougher pollution standards are popular across the globe. 
However, coal-related industries carry immense economic benefit. 
The issue then becomes more about sustainable economic development.
Here is the dilemma: one on end you want job creation; you understand coal-related businesses employ thousands of people; you also understand the emission of fossil fuels (such as coal) are a large contributor to the drastic climate changes happening now. What do you do?
As an economic developer and city planner with a hint of environmentalist, the forthcoming discussions and debates about climate change will be very interesting to watch.

A balanced solution has not emerged, yet.

Take This Bible Verse with You

Everything you need for the day is included in this one, short, powerful verse.

2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
We are assured that...
Fear does not come from God, therefore we can rightfully reject it. Even the tiniest hint of fear can and should be rejected. Do not entertain fear. Fear is a dream killer. Fear has kept millions from fulfilling their potential.
God has given us power. Power, authority, strength, force, and fight. Our power is supernatural, but only when we depend on God. Man's own power is limited and finite. God's power has no limits.
God has given us love. The ability to love the hard-headed and the unlovable. We are called to love everyone. In the workplace, at school, family, in the community- we are to show the love of Christ to everyone.
God has given us a sound mind. That is competency and intelligence. That is the ability to solve problems, to focus, to be disciplined, …

For His Glory Part 2

Well, today I led praise and worship, then we had our 2nd annual Thanksgiving Musical at church.


Both instances were wonderful. I give the Lord thanks for using an unholy man as myself to glorify His Holy name. I gave it everything, and yes, I am still beyond tired. Fortunately, it's a little past nine. I am about to be KO'd.

But, just wanted to share two critical lessons learned while it is still today.

1. Praise and worship is personal. It is not about others. It is not about whose watching you at church. It is not about what wrong we've done.
2. Praise and worship is sacrificial. Sometimes it is hard to obey the God or open our mouths in thanks, but that gives our offerings to the Lord all the more value. Sacrifices yield true heartfelt meaning.

Good night.

For His Glory

"Tired" does not even begin to describe how I feel right now.
Sleepy, drained, concerned, and barely able to hash out this post.
But, tomorrow is our big Thanksgiving Musical at the church. It is becoming a hallmark annual program at the church and in the community.
Additionally, I have to lead praise and worship in the morning. Not complaints though.
God's joy is my strength. Plus, what's a sacrifice if you're not giving it your all?
Christ gave it all for me. I give it all for Him.
Here's to tomorrow! 
Soli Deo Gloria

No Shame in My Frugality

Of course, when I do advocate spending money and dining out, and whenever doing so, I encourage you to buy local.

But, to be economical, dining in saves money.

This was my grocery list at Kroger yesterday: 3 packs of assorted frozen vegetables, frozen chicken, strawberries, bananas, milk (2% and lactose-free), chewy granola bars, and paper towels. My grand total: $32.32.

Even with my Kroger card, but compared to dining out, I saved lots of money. A meal for one at Applebee's, O'Charleys, Chili's, or wait for it... Red Lobster, cost somewhere north of $32.32.

I can make multiple meals with the items I bought yesterday. In fact I am eating one of those meals right now. Since yesterday, I have already eaten three times from the items I bought.

The lesson here is simple: Dining in, eating your groceries, cooking (or microwaving) your own food saves you lots of, lots of, lots of money.


Receive the Good News

Genesis 45:27 (NKJV)- "But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived."

Genesis 45:28 (NKJV)- "Then Israel said, 'It is enough, Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.'"

God changed Jacob's name to Israel (Gen. 32:28). Jacob = Israel.

In Genesis 45:27, Jacob's spirit was revived.

This was the same Jacob who wrestled with God face-to-face. Now we see him in a state of doubt and hopelessness. He'd grown old and his land was famished.

Then he finds out his beloved son, Joseph, is alive and well. Joseph's other brothers sold him away to slavery and Jacob hadn't been seen for many years.

When he first hears the news, Jacob doubts (Gen. 45:26), but after seeing all the donkeys, grain, bread, and food from Egypt, Jacob believes them (Gen. 45:23).

Upon hearing the good news, Jacob is revived.

The s…

No Sewer, No Development

I learned this the hard way.

Two days ago I was recruiting a business to town and led them to a visible, fairly large tract of land that met their site needs. Only to find that the property has no sewer.

Fortunately, I talked to our City Engineer who informed me that plans were underway to extend sewer to the property.

The lesson here is simple: no sewer, no development.

Fortunately, too, the prospective business is still very interested in bringing their business to town even though matters may briefly be on hold until easements are acquired and the City approves the sewer extension plans.

To find out if sewer exists on undeveloped or underdeveloped property, call the City or County Engineering or Land Use Department. Typically, they can provide that information.

It is just like "Call Before You Dig." Except, in these instances, "Make Sure There is Sewer Before You Invest."

Job Creation for All

It's election night in America.

Having watched debates in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, every senate and governor candidate shares a common goal: Create Jobs.

Their respective plans to create those jobs varies, but the end goal is the same.

As an economic developer and city planner, I certainly applaud any candidate desiring to create jobs and aiming to make their jurisdictions better places for entrepreneurship, employment, and investment.

Although the popular media thrives on division and negative campaigning; in truth, we are more alike than different.

Surf the campaign websites of the numerous candidates across the nation. Look specifically at their plans for the economy. At the foundation there is not much difference. Every candidate wants more jobs.

Once the elections are over, I hope we reconcile our differences and work together to improve our economy. For everyone.

After all, job creation is a team sport. As I have to constantly remind myself, "economic devel…