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Quiet Time….

This morning while spending some quiet time alone, I really felt impressed to share this…

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The only words that will NOT return void, and the only words the will NEVER go out of style, God’s words. So, here it goes…

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD,” – Psalm 37:23

“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.”Psalm 71:14-16

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“I am leaving you with a giftpeace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27

and last but not least;

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

As we continue to do what God’s word says; “… when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32 

HE will do what HE says HE will do!!! Let’s KEEP lifting HIS name up, and HE will continue to supply ALL that we need…

MY POINT: If you are in the middle of a tough situation or if you are discouraged right now, read this… I know the words will encourage you and will allow you to DO what God has called YOU to do!!

MORE HIM, less me

brent


Valentine’s day deaths…

Picture22Today, there are people all around the world celebrating “World Love Day” also known as Valentine’s Day, buying cards, chocolate, flowers, jewelry, etc… I began to search for the history of this weird day…I wanted to better understand why people are buying all this stuff… So, without further suspense here is an interesting take: 

“Somewhere along the line the church began to celebrate a feast in February commemorating the death of Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr. However, one of the difficulties with pinpointing the patron saint of the holiday is that there were legends of three men named Valentine being executed in the first few centuries of Christianity. Legend has it that Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on February 14 in the third century A.D.

One story says that Valentine was a priest who continued to perform marriages even when the emperor had issued an edict against marriage in order to make sure that his soldiers had no family ties.  / Another legend says that Valentine was a Christian who had been put in jail because of his faith. After healing the jailer’s daughter of blindness, he reportedly sent the young girl a goodbye message the day before his execution, February 14—the letter was supposedly signed “From your Valentine.”  / Still another story says that Valentine’s Day gets its name from the Christian martyr Valentine of Terni, who was the bishop of Interamna in A.D. 197. Legend says that Valentine of Terni was martyred shortly after he became bishop on February 14th under the reign of Aurelian.”

There you have it!!!

My Point:

As i sit here and think about my HOT wife, (as I do everyday) I am reminded of how blessed I am… I don’t need a “certain day” set aside to honor my wife, If I’m not doing that EVERYDAY, I’m an IDIOT!! God has blessed me with an amazing wife, I need to thank her on days when she NOT expecting it… I wish people would just look at the example my wife has set and love there spouse “IN SPITE OF”… I’m a jerk sometimes, don’t always take out the trash as soon as I’m asked to, put my dirty clothes in the hamper, or wash of my plate before I stick it in the dishwasher, but she loves me anyways, EVERYDAY!!! for almost 24 yrs. she has loved me, and I have loved her!! Show som love today, and EVERYDAY!!! (My rant is over, now I have to go buy a card and some chocolates…)

MORE HIM, less me

brent


Friends, both new and old…

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I had an opportunity to visit with some great friends and meet some new friends over the last several days… We had several chances to meet in different settings and venues… Several different topics came up and I had the chance to learn some new things… We were at a conference/retreat attended by Pastors & there families… I’m going to list several Quotes that we’re heard, and one conversation I had..(the names and circumstances have been changed to protect the guilty…)

“What your going to do is your Goal, how you’re gonna do it, is your Vision
This was said by one of the speakers… It really made it easy to explain the difference between the two…

Here is a statement that was made while sitting at lunch discussing growth within our organizations:

– choice allows me to start growing
– change allows me to keep growing
– climate allows me to enjoy growing

This alone could be a blog in and of itself… What a POWERFUL group of words… (More on this in another blog post)

“Growth is natural but not automatic.”

“Don’t let learning lead to knowledge, let it lead to action.” (Jim Rohn)

My Point: Take the chance to connect with an old friend this week, but don’t forget to meet someone new, you never know what you could learn from someone.. Choose to focus on self-development, not self-fulfillment…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Influence…

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I just got done watching the Superbowl… During various times, Pre-game, during the game & post game, I heard numerous people discuss there “Religious” views… Now, I’m all about sharing your faith and using your influence to “give all glory to God”… It’s not the first time we’ve heard that… Every celebrity awards season, sports awards, etc., etc…

If we have a platform to share our beliefs, lets do that, but your influence is not as big as your platform, your influence is biggest on the smallest platform… When you invest in someone’s life!!!

My Point don’t wait to get a big platform to share your influence, use it now!!! Luke 16:10

MORE HIM, less me
brent


The Notebook…

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Over the last several weeks, my wife and I have been communicating in a different way… On top of still talking and spending time together, we have decided to write to each other everyday… Not just mushy little love notes, but real letters to each other… It has been a VERY amazing process… We decorated a cheap notebook from the dollar store with some of my wife’s scrap booking stuff and then used “modge podge” on it. (whatever that is…it looked like runny Elmer’s glue to me) every day we write out thoughts, ask questions of each other, define stuff for each other, and ALWAYS tell each other what we are feeling that day… It’s really cool to share each others thoughts, but everyday? It’s been AMAZING!!

My Point:When is the last time you REALLY communicated with the ones you love? Take some time to do that today…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Social Media Strategy…

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When I saw this “cartoon”, I laughed like crazy… I actually put people, businesses, churches, celebrities, etc. names in each one of those 5 categories, and you are probably doing the same thing RIGHT NOW!! I didn’t think about it until after I moved onto another article, what about Us? What about our Church? Where do we fit in? We are taking a serious look at our OVERALL communications…

My Point: Do you have a strategy for social media? What message(s) are you sending? I used to tell my kids something, “Say what you mean & mean what you say” …maybe I should take my own advice…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Facebook Friends?!?!?!?!

facebook_logoI have 1,311 friends on Facebook.  I don’t say this to brag, but to point out that there is no way I actually have a relationship with all of those people.

In reality, I have a couple good friends.
On facebook I have connections with acquaintances, people from my past, friends of friends, people who care about the same things I care about, people I used to know well, etc.

The key point, though, is that I often catch myself thinking that I really do know most of those people.

I see their status updates.
I see their interactions with others.
I remember what they were like when I knew them more closely.
And I regard our relationship as continuing, current, and vibrant…
when really, it isn’t.

Some of them have new jobs,  a spouse, children.
They’re the same people, of course, that I knew in jr. high (for example), but I shouldn’t  assume that they haven’t changed at all since then.
No matter how much I’ve seen on their Timeline we’d still have a lot to catch up on if we sat down in person to chat.

Sometimes I think, maybe, my relationship with God is like my relationship with my Facebook “friends”.

I sometimes catch myself thinking I’m in a vibrant, current, continuing relationship with God just because we’re connected in some esoteric way.

I see what he’s up to in the world.
I see what and who he’s interacting with.
I know some people who know him pretty well.
I remember what he was like the last time I talked to Him.
But maybe it’s been a while since then.

If I truly believe that God is alive and active, if I believe that my heavenly father is real, is a divine person, then knowing him relationally has to be an ongoing continuous process.

And maybe I need to catch up with him in person if I’m going to keep thinking of myself as a “friend” of his.

My Point:

What about you?

He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… but what is he to you?
A friend of some friends of yours?  Or your God?
Do you walk and talk with Him in the garden? Or are you content to hear stories about some other people that did that once?
Is that time you felt really close to Him getting further and further in the past?
Have sat at his feet lately? Or are you busying yourself around the house?

Do you need to catch up with him in person?

MORE HIM, less me

brent


Extreme Makeover, Stage edition…

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This past year, we at Capital City Church have decided that we will no longer be satisfied with the way things are, we made a commitment to “Do things Different.” Over the last month, a team of people from our church decided that we were going to do something small, but with a BIG impact… We were going to change the way our stage & lobby looked.

January 1st, 2013 at 1:00pm, we began the transformation, the team decided that we were going to “Get in Done” by the next Sunday… WHAT? We had 1 week to complete the job?!?!? 5 days and 12-14hrs. a day, we worked, sweated, painted, stapled, and on, and on… The next Sunday, we unveiled a 95% complete transformation…

My Point: you can accomplish more as a team, than you can alone… If you’re not part of a team, join one… If you can’t find a team, let me know, I’ll connect you with a team… Jesus didn’t design us to do this life alone…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Cutting Vegetables…

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My wife and I were busy all day long, she was at the “Beautiful” Conference, watching 400 young ladies praising God and learning… I’ve been busy with “Stuff” all day… When she came home, we had to go run some errands & pick up some groceries for a baby shower for some great friends…

Now, you have to understand, we have a VERY small kitchen, but I REALLY wanted to spend time with my wife, so I decided I was going to help her cut the vegi’s for the Vegetable Tray…

So, we did what we had to do, we tripped over each other, got in each others way, had to wait on each other to finish what they were doing before the other one could do stuff, we pushed each other out of the way (in fun)…

My Point: Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to spend time with those whom you want to be with… I LOVE spending time with my family, I’ll give up whatever comfort I need to, to spend time with them!! How about you?

MORE HIM, less me
brent


I LOVE trash…

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I woke up this morning to the smell of my wife making a delicious breakfast… We sat at the dining room table together and enjoyed our food and time together.. After breakfast, I grabbed my iPad to catch up on the latest news and sift through emails… As I began deleting all the junk emails, I came across an email from the guy that does our church website, here is the actual email:

All of 2012 sermons are archived!

If you look in the backend of WordPress – where you add the sermons, there are now 46 sermons in the “trash” – DO NOT DELETE THESE! I am utilizing the “trash” as an archive, that way it removes these sermons from the main page, but we can still link to all the images, notes, and more detailed pages that you have made – less work for all! So don’t delete those, just add more to the Published side and they will show up on the sermons page as normal – and these will remain on our archived pages.

The more I read, the more I understood what he was doing, He was taking something meant for junk, you know stuff you no longer need, the stuff that doesn’t mean anything to you, the trash, and he was using it as a storage device for our archived sermons!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!

My Point:God takes the container of trash (our lives, the way we used to only care about ourselves, the way we were before Jesus, and uses THAT trash can to affect the lives of family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and so many more, FOR ETERNITY!! That’s pretty amazing!! Don’t empty the trash, use it for something great!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Does He EVER hear me?…

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Over the last week, we have been participating in a “scheduled” time of prayer at our church… Monday – Friday 6-7am & 6-7pm… We’ve had the doors open for anyone who would like to come and just have a time of prayer… It’s been an amazing, setting aside time to praying for whatever you want to pray for… We’ve given people specifics to pray for like, “God’s will for your life”, “God’s will for your family”, “God’s will for CaCity”, “Impossible situations”, “The church Mortgage” (we want to pay it off in three years), “Salvations”, & “Ministries of CapCity”…

God says: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2 NIV)

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20 NIV)

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (2 Chronicles 6:40 NIV)

But it ALSO says; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. (Psalm 66:19 NIV)

My Point:
YES, He hears your prayers!!! He’s waiting to give you answers!!!

MORE HIM, less me
Brent


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


I love this little kid…

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I have had the cool opportunity to spend the last few days and the next few days with my grandson Domenic… We are having so much fun… It’s pretty amazing, when I am playing with him, reading to him or playing in the snow with him, NOTHING ELSE matters!!!

I thought when Starla and I began having kids, we couldn’t love anyone more than our kids.. We “ran out” of love for anyone else… Then our kids began having kids… and something AMAZING happened, God built an apartment on my heart… I now had room for more love… I am such a blessed man… An amazing wife, 3 great sons, 1 wonderful daughter, a son-in-law who proudly serves in the military, a beautiful daughter-in-law who is carrying our 3rd grandchild & 1 other handsome grandson…

My Point:Family is important! Love them, forgive them,spend as much time as you can with them!!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Amazed as I watch…

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Spending time with in-laws, out-laws, or friends and family during this holiday time has been AMAZING… We have spent a lot of time together laughing, playing games, eating, bowling, (which I haven’t done in a while) and so much more!!! I hope you are enjoying time with people you love!!

Yesterday we had the opportunity to go see my son-in-law, daughter & two grandsons… We had lunch together and allowed the grand kids to “break-the-ice” again… We only get to see them about every other month. (They live about 4hrs away) my son-in-law & daughter allowed us to bring our oldest grandson home with us for about a week…

As I sit here writing this blog I am also watching him interact with different things, books, doors, cups, toys & stuff we have around our house… You see, we don’t “baby-proof” our home, we just teach our grandson what he can and can’t do…

Since the last time we saw him, just over a month, he is now actually making sense.. He’s putting words together, doing things that he couldn’t do before!! As i sit here and watch him, I am AMAZED!!!

It got me thinking, when I haven’t seen people in a while, do they notice me growing up? Do they see me doing things I didn’t do before? Do they see me learning more than before?

My Point:
I hope, like my grandson, I am growing and changing daily!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Tis the season…

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As we continue in this holiday season, we look forward to enjoying time with family and friends, eating lots of goodies, opening a few gifts, buying/making something special for someone special, and celebrating the closing of one year and the beginning of another… PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to STOP during this crazy, busy time and remember that God sent His son to bring Peace, Hope, Love, & Joy…

My family, friends and I are going to have A LOT of fun, eat LOTS of food, and enjoy each others company, but we WILL stop Christmas Day and enjoy a time of Communion together…Why? Because I NEVER want to forget…

My Point:
During this time, don’t forget, in everything you do and say, lift up the name of Jesus… When we do, He (Jesus) says, HE will drawn all people to Himself!!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Choices…

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As I sit here deciding whether or not to leave my “Thursday Morning Office (Starbucks)” I looked outside only to see a DOWNPOUR… It’s raining like crazy!!! On December 20th… Who would’ve guessed that… One after another, people are coming into my “office” complaining about the weather, complaining about getting there leather coats wet, not having the right shoes on, hating this weather, talking about the pending storm that’s coming, etc… The longer I sat there the more I began to agree with them. YEAH, it is bad out there, I AM going to get my leather coat wet, I DON’T have the right shoes on, I have to TRAVEL tomorrow in this stuff!!! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!!

Hold on just a minute, what am I acting this way? I have more blessings that I can count and I’m going to allow WEATHER to make me forget about ALL of those blessings?

My Point:
Really? God has blessed us with SOOOO many things, quit hanging around people that complain, YOU HAVE A CHOICE!!!

p.s. I’m gonna go out a play in the rain!!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Chris-myth Busters

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I had the privilege of watching our kids ministry put on a presentation today called “Chris-myth Busters”it’s a story about a Michael, he’s a pretty big kid…adopted…and a bit of an annoying trivia buff. When Michael starts busting some myths about Christmas to Ethan’s friends, it causes quite a stir. Ethan, Lily and Abby begin to wonder:

they posed several thought provoking comments: Were there more or less than three Wise Men? Was Jesus really born on December 25th? And what about the angels…did they sing or not? What…no innkeeper?

It was neat to see the adults’ reactions to those questions the kids were asking…you could see eye brows raised, “question mark” type looks…

You see, Christmas has been infused with what “WE” think it was like, we have added our own thoughts and ideas about it… three wise men because there were three gifts, etc…

The truth is, we can very easily get caught up in the “festivity” of this season… The truth about why Jesus came is everywhere in Scripture.

My Point: let’s just read the story as it’s written, not adding anything, or taking anything away… We don’t have to understand everything, lets just take it to mean what it means… God loves us enough to send his Son to this earth to give us HOPE!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Everybody believes in Santa, Right?

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I just got back from an event we do every year, it’s called “Breakfast with Santa”. We had about 160 people show up from our community… 80-90% were non-attenders of our church. Mrs. Claus greeted them as they entered the building as Santa was sitting in a chair taking pictures with the kids… As I stood there watching kids go sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they want for Christmas, the look in the eyes of the kids was amazing!!! The REALLY believed that that was Santa, and that he was going to bring them what they had asked him for!!!! Think about that, they believed IN someone, AND believed that he was going to DO what he said he would do!!!

Are YOU someone that is worthy of believing in? I hope so…
Do you believe what God says?
Do you believe that He will do what He says he will do?

My Point: If we could believe like those kids, have faith like those kids, wouldn’t life look a little different?

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Friends & Family… or is it just family?

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We live in a RIDICULOUSLY busy world… People don’t seem to TAKE the time to enjoy each others company… Don’t tell me you don’t have time cause you’re busy… EVERYONE is busy.. We MAKE time for what’s important in life…

If your employer called and said you have to work Christmas eve. in order to get a certain “project” completed, or you have to work on your kids birthday, or you name it… would you do that? What if your child was diagnosed with an illness, would you do everything in your power to be there for him/her? Of course you would, that’s important!!! why do we wait for life altering events to take place for us to spend time with friends and family?

When is the last time you got together with friends or family? Maybe you don’t have family in the area you live, do you have friends?

My Point:We have had people in our lives over the years that are not related by blood, but we consider them family… People that are important to us, people that, if they called us in the middle of the night and needed us, we would be there!! People that can come to our home and make themselves at home…

If you don’t have people in your life like that, I’m Sorry… We would love to be your friend…


One Baby, Five Words…

blue_eyes_cute_baby-photoIt’s funny how the smallest things can make the largest impact… We are in the time of year that we give thanks for things and celebrate time with family & friends… We’re going to give gifts that are bought, handmade or maybe you received before and didn’t like/couldn’t use… Some of those gifts, whether big or small, expensive or inexpensive, mean the world to us… Everyone has different gifts that they have treasured since they were kids, or since they’ve been married, graduated college, or some other major life event…

There is one gift that we all have been given that has redefined five words: hope, peace, love, joy & messiah… Those five words have been forever redefined since the birth of Jesus… You know, that seemingly insignificant born in a barn birth… That “born to a virgin” birth, that born in the middle of nowhere birth…

 

My Point:

This Christmas, I have the privilege of spending time with some great people… I will both give and receive gifts, but I will NEVER receive a gift that compares with the one that happened a VERY long time ago… Jesus!!! He’s a free gift available to all, but not all will accept this gift… will you?

 

MORE HIM, less me

brent


Opera, Seriously?…

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Wile in Uruguay, we went into a store on our “day off”, you know, a store that sells a lot of trinkets to tourists… The labeled “handmade” nativity set that has the “made in China” sticker on the bottom… Anyways, the Missionary we were with knew the owner of the store. You see, the missionary and his wife have developed a relationship with the store owner, who is NOT a follower of Christ, and takes all the American teams to this store… While we were looking around, he asked the store owner if he could take us downstairs… The store owner obliged.. As we made our way down the stairs to what we thought was the basement, we saw more stuff we could buy, not that much different that the stuff on the main floor… As we were beginning to look around, the missionary told us to follow him, he said, “we’re not downstairs yet”… As he moved a clothing rack full of touristy t-shirts, he opened a rather small door and told us to be carful as we entered… As I ducked and walked through the narrow door, the steps were slippery… Very carefully I took one step after another noticing the steps were made of marble…WHAT? YES, Marble!!! as we got to the bottom of the stairs, the room opened up and we were able to see what we found out to be an 18th Century Opera House… We were standing in the balcony area over looking the main stage and the lower seating area… I had to bellow out ” Oh Solo Meowe”… It echoed throughout the hall.. VERY GOOD acoustics… What a gem we had found!!!

My Point: If we never look beyond the first floor, we may be missing the real gems that may be just under the surface… It’s hard in our busy society to take time to look, but I need to quit judging a book or store, by its cover!!!

MORE HIM, less me
brent


Steps…

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As I was reading this morning in Luke 1 about the birth of Jesus… There was a statement in vs. 38 – “May it be to me as you have said.”

As I read that statement, it got me thinking about what God has said about me… God says:
I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:22)
I am a new creation (2Co 5:17)
I am a friend of Jesus (Jn. 15:15)
God supplies all my needs (Phil. 4:19)
God loves me and has chosen me (1 Thess. 1:4)
His plans for me are good (Jer. 29:11)
My steps are directed (Prov. 20:24)
Etc…

There are SO many things God says about me… My prayer is, “May it be to me as you have said.”

My Point: I want it to be as God says it is for my life, my families life, my churches life, and my friends life…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


10,000 ft. view…

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As I was flying last week over Uruguay. I looked out the window and saw this view… I began to think about the 3ft. view… What do I mean you ask? Well, as we flew over the capital city of Montevideo, I looked and saw a beautiful city, you could see the layout of the city, the way the roads were laid out, the old center of the city, the way the only golf course was laid out… You could see the vision that the builder and the city planners had for the capital… As we were flying over, I began to think about the 3ft. view… The people we would encounter, the relationships we would build, the lives that we were going to have a part in their lives never being the same… We met several young men from Uruguay, we worked side by side with them all week, from morning to night, we spent time sweating together… Those relationships will last forever…

My Point: Vision is important, but nothing can replace the 3ft. view, the relationships, the face to face time we spend with each other…

MORE HIM, less me
brent


You don’t always see what you see…

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I took this picture while in Uruguay over the past 10 days… If you look at this picture, you see what appears to be a shack… You may be asking, “why would you take a picture of a shack”, well, I wasn’t… I took a picture of native Ostriches in Uruguay…who knew they had native Ostriches… As I was looking through the pictures we took, I wondered why I took this picture, until I looked closer…

Many times in life we just “glance” at our surroundings, we don’t take time to really find the beauty in our surroundings… That includes the people we’re around… There are people all around us that have a lot more than meets the eye… They have beauty, talents, abilities, etc.. That we miss sometimes because we don’t take the time to really SEE what’s around us…

My Point:
Take the time this holiday season to see the beauty around you, who knows you may find a new friend, or see things you would’ve never known where there…

MORE HIM, less me
brent