Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wrestling with Faith, Love, and Gators by Chad Young

From the start, faith was a part of my career renovating these houses we call Pig's Ears.  When I bought The Fire House, I was showered with words of doubt.  People weren't being malicious, but they were openly sharing their opinions while I listened politely.  I had a whole lot more visitors who were skeptical than folks who were excitedly enthusiastic.  It was something of a mixed blessing that people were so negative.  Some said I wasn't going to be able to complete all the work in twelve months since I had a demanding full time job.  Others were convinced I'd never be rid of the smoke smell inside.  The weeping mortar on the exterior seemed like an insurmountable obstacle to quite a few and the negative predictions didn't stop there. 

This pessimism served me well though.  It kept me working late into the night and it got me up early on the weekends when I was worn out.  However, something more optimistic was at the heart of my drive and that was faith.  Throughout this project I gained encouragement from the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20;  '...if you have faith of a mustard seed... nothing shall be impossible.'  A daunting timeframe, smoke damage, or the ugly exterior fa├žade.  It didn't matter to me because I was confident that my challenges had solutions.

Faith is a part of this blog, which is why I want to tell you all about our friend Chad Young's newest book, Wrestling with Faith, Love, and Gators.  Chad is not a professional alligator wrestler, he's a one-time amateur, and that is just one of many entertaining stories that is amazing and inspirational at the same time.  I had the opportunity to preview the book last fall and I was honored that my written endorsement was included as follows:

Wrestling with Faith, Love, & Gators is a medley of scriptural anchors, modern day perplexities, inspirational testimonies, and Chad's self-deprecating anecdotes that all work together to serve as powerful, point-driving guidance. Each chapter put together help make this book both refreshing and eye-opening whether one is new to the faith or a long-time believer in need of renewal.

I'd like to encourage you to click on this link to check out what others are saying about Chad's book plus you can review the Table of Contents and even read a few pages, including the remarkable gator wrestling story.

Chad's first book, Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World, is equally inspirational.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Ryan Dumville Photo

Happy Birthday, Frosty!

Frosty is 14.  That's 98 in dog years!  She's been with me as I've renovated all of my Pig's Ears.  She was born next door to the Fire House so I've known her for her entire life.  Except for a few trips over the years that have taken me away from home on a plane, my days have ended by bringing Frosty inside for the night and started each morning by taking her out.  Fourteen years is a long time... almost a third of my life.

Frosty is the best, sweetest dog I've ever been around.  I'm lucky to have her and she's been a wonderful family pet since I got married and we all became a family.  She's always been warm and friendly to everyone, especially children.  If anyone ever pets or irritates her, she licks them relentlessly until they stop whatever they're doing that's bothering her.  Sure she barks at strangers who've stopped by, but she never growls at anyone and has never shown the slightest sign of aggression.  Her occasional barking is just her letting people know they're on her property, she's watching, and she's in charge.        

I love Frosty, but I've taken her for granted, even more so since our family has grown.  I haven't walked her as much as I've liked or taught her enough tricks.  She's very smart and I could've done a better job to help everyone see her brilliance.  I haven't taken her running with me as much as she'd like and I should have spent more time just petting her.  I love her and am proud of her.  I'm glad she's been my sweet, beautiful dog for all these years.  She was by my side, in my bed, and on the floor nearby when I was full of doubt or worry and alone.  She's been my friend through it all; both good and bumpy times.

Happy Birthday, Girl!  XO