My Boys

Teens Greenville Trip 14May
Remember this reunion?

I miss my boys.

No, I don’t mean my sons. I mean the guys I was blessed to coach in Allendale. And I especially mean a handful of them who became particularly dear to my family.

Any coach or teacher knows that you ought not to have “favorites.” But it’s hard to avoid this.

We’ve had a dozen or more guys over to dinner. (Not at the same time. Good Lord. It was all we could do to prepare enough food for 3 or 4 at a time.) Some of them helped us with summer camps and spring break camps. I did a book study with four.

They played with my own kids — chess, Lego, Wii, soccer, baseball, whatever. (Hint: You ever want to win a parent’s heart? Love on his kids.)

And despite us looking nothing alike and having little in common, I treated them like my own kids. I was demanding (often) and sensitive (occasionally). I gave them practical advice, which sometimes sunk through their stubborn teenage skulls.

We laughed with each other, and we yelled at each other. I let them borrow my car, even after one of them wrecked his sister’s car.

I guess I’m thinking about “my boys” because a couple of guys (whom we were very close to) just graduated high school. A few them finished their freshman year in college. And a few are still in high school, and are getting ramped up for summer workouts.

For only having known them a few years, I’m amazed how much I think about them. I’m sure I’ll lose contact with most of them over the years.

That’s OK. They’ll always be “my boys.”

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Friends Are Friends Forever . . .

“Do you miss Allendale?”

We are asked this question all the time. Sometimes people ask with a smirk, knowing that we are enjoying life back in Greenville. But mostly they are genuinely wondering about our feelings.

The truth is that there is a lot that we do not miss about Allendale. We don’t miss . . .

  • people who don’t want things to change;
  • the politicking;
  • living in The Middle of Nowhere;
  • public signs with typos and out-of-date information (like 9 months old, or more).

But I would trade all this for the one thing we miss dearly — our friends who are still living in Allendale.

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11 Blessings on Our Trip Back to Allendale

AF Football 14Sept

We had been planning and anticipating our first trip back to Allendale for weeks. We hadn’t been back since we moved to Greenville at the end of July. We had time for a 2-day, 1-night visit, and had it all planned out — who we would see, what we would do, and where we would eat.

And we almost didn’t go.

Last week, we watched the weekend weather report all week. We saw that storms were heading through the state. And on Thursday, I wondered if the expected Friday night thunderstorms would cause the football game to be cancelled (one of the big reasons we had for going back).

But Friday morning, we decided to chance it. And we are so glad we did. If we didn’t go, we would have missed out on these blessings:

Don’t miss out on this list! Click here…

Ministry Update: Your FAQs and SAQs

Augusta Circle Elementary

Now that we’ve been back in Greenville for about six weeks, I wanted to update you on what’s been going on. So, let’s have a conversation. Since you’re not in the room with me right now, (. . . hold on, let me check . . . no, you’re not here . . .) this will be a compilation of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from our friends, plus some questions you should be asking (SAQs).

If you and I were having a face-to-face question, here’s how it may go:

How’s it going?

Great. Thanks for asking.

Can you explain what “Mill Community Ministries” is?

Yes, I can try.

So, it’s going to be like that. OK, will you explain it?

We are working on a big picture communication plan, so I’d like to hold off for now. (However, if you actually were in the room with me right now, I’d be happy to have this conversation. Or if you bought me lunch or coffee. Hint, hint.)

What will you be doing under Mill Community Ministries?

My wife, Joanna, and I will do a lot of what we did in Allendale, SC. We will be a part of the local community, and work with youth and children. We will focus on the Greater Sullivan Neighborhood in downtown Greenville, and other under-resourced communities.

Do you have a name for your ministry yet?

Click here to learn more…