Friday, September 28, 2007

Rite of Passage

Isaac is almost 10 years old so I decided to go ahead and have a little talk with him and tell him about things that I figure a young man of his age should know about. I sat him down and told him about the birds............ at the Jockey Lot. I told him that the birds at the Jockey Lot are for sale, but no we won't be getting any when we go there Saturday. He has never been to the Jockey Lot before and so I decided to go ahead and tell him what he would experience(If you're not from Anderson, basically the Jockey Lot is the flea market and just happens to be the most famous thing in Anderson.).

In preparations for what he would experience I decided to let him in on some things. I told him that I wasn't in a mood to fight anyone so it would be best if he not point at anyone there. I told him that if someone said the price was $8 it really meant that they wanted $5. I told him that no matter how popular the mullet looks at the Jockey Lot, he is not getting one. I told him that most families are not related before they are married and no mommy isn't my cousin. I told him that cotton candy isn't usually brown.

Yes, Isaac is taking a very special rite of passage as he visits the Jockey Lot Saturday for the very first time. I'm sure we will have some interesting stories when we get back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Tonight we combined our four core groups for a time of fellowship and preparation in advance of next Sunday's launch of Stone Bridge Church. This past week might have been the most hectic and busy I have experienced in a long time but tonight made it all worth it. We ended up adding another group of people to our core which stands at 68 for the launch. We had over 40 something volunteers that were able to take part tonight. Just seeing the whole group of people united for one reason made it awesome. Thanks to everyone that made it tonight and everyone who made the food possible.

Next week will be a series of contacts with our core people and then we will be set for our first Sunday. There is still a lot to get in order but everything is starting to fall into place. 10.07.07 @ 10:07a.m. Go ahead and begin inviting everyone you know. Next Sunday promises to be exciting as we look forward to what God is going to do. Awesome things are on the way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Official

It's official, I hate shopping. This morning my schedule consisted of working on a message and then I was off shopping for all the stuff for the church. I left the house at 11:30 a.m. and finished up at 9:00 p.m. tonight.

I bought everything from the children's area stuff to our hospitality area to sound. First stop was a local Children's Store then off to Toys R Us, Home Depot, BJ's Wholesale, Target, and then Sam's. I was doing pretty good until I headed down the last row at Sam's and the temptation almost got to me. Yep, the lady that has the free sampling of cracker delights almost lured me in and right at supper time wouldn't you know it. I avoided the cracker temptation delights and made a stop at the house to drop off one load and eat some supper and then I was off again. I made a stop at Lowe's for $300 worth of extension cords and then my final stop of the evening, Walmart.

I unloaded the car again and sorted through the stuff and then I sat in my recliner and crashed. 9 hours of shopping was about 8 1/2 too much for me. I think I'm off to bed.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Two Weeks To Go

It's coming down to the last two weeks before the launch of Stone Bridge Church. This week promises to be the busiest yet. I just got through looking at my schedule and it is pretty much booked up the whole week with meetings and preparation.

We are trying to stay three to four weeks ahead on our services so I will be finishing up the second message of our series "Life in HD" by the middle of this week.

Things are exciting and I am looking forward to what will happen next week. The buzz is out there about the church start and we are geared up to moving forward. The weeks of work will culminate with a cookout with all of the volunteers and we will be doing our training that night as well.

Just a reminder, this Wednesday Night we will be having the cookout at 7:00 p.m. at 243 St. Paul Road Easley,SC 29642. The evening will last a couple of hours. I look forward to seeing everyone there. I will give another update tomorrow.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a Week

This has been some kind of week. It started this past Sunday with my grandfather's funeral. My cousins and I conducted his funeral service which was touching having several of the grandsons involved in his service. He was larger than life and his laugh will be missed.

The rest of the week has been all work. I have been trying to work my schedule as if we already have office hours. The only difference is that after I take my shower at about 7:30 a.m., it is a short walk into the extra bedroom which serves as my office right now. It saves on gas.

Most days have been filled with meetings and I have spent most nights either meeting with people or working on messages or church stuff.

We met with our key leaders Wednesday night and meet with all of our volunteers this Wednesday. Last night I went to hear Chasen in concert. The guys did a great job and are going to be leading worship for our first service on 10.07.07 @10:07 in the Auditorium at Wren High School.

So with the busy past week, I took it easy today. I watched Clemson run all over NC State and then I went out in the garage and worked on go karts. And speaking of go karts, I have recently sold all of the yard carts that I had and have bought a couple of racing karts with the money I made on the others. And let me say, these carts are bad fast.

Tomorrow I am going to visit another new church start and see what I can learn.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stone Bridge Church

We're just a couple of weeks away and things are moving full speed ahead. Last night we had a meeting with nine of our key leaders in different areas of the church and we did a complete walk through of what a Sunday Morning service will look like. We took an in depth look at everything from parking to ushing to children. It was a great meeting and we can start to see what things will look like on 10.07.07 @ 10:07 a.m. in the Wren High Auditorium.

Just a reminder to all volunteers, we will be having a cookout/volunteer training next Wednesday Night at 243 Saint Paul Road, Easley,SC 29642. We will eat at 7:00 p.m. and then break out into different areas for training and talking through your individual areas. This is going to be an awesome time together and I hope each of you can make it.

In other news, we hope to have our youth area secured within the next couple of weeks. We have been working on this for some time now and it is starting to all come together.

We have received all of our tax information back and have already received our 501 3c non profit status which means we can go ahead and start accepting donations. This is awesome because one of my goals going into this would be that we could be debt free right at the start. It looks as though it will end up costing us $17,000-$20,000 to get started and so far we have received around $7000 in offerings. This cost was for sound system, projectors, screens, computers, children's area items, first month's rental, advertising, web site and more. It has been cool to see God open doors and opportunities.

I will be posting more over the next few weeks. Go ahead and begin inviting friends, neighbors and relatives for what promises to be an exciting time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Asked Once Again

From time to time I still try to answer some of the more common questions that I receive from this blog. So once again you asked.

David G. writes......

Dear Sammy, I wanted to get your opinion on something that my wife and I have been discussing as of late. We are getting ready to head on vacation and this year we are going to Disney World. I have always been afraid to losing my wallet and keys while riding It's A Small World or sitting in the Michael Jackson 3D movie adventure. So last week I went out and purchased not one but three Male Fanny Packs. I bought one for each outfit that I will be wearing on our 3 day Disney Hopper Pass. My wife says that they look ridiculous. I was wondering your opinion and I wll go with what you advise.

As Always Your Biggest Fan,
David Garrett

P.S. A good friend that I work for was wondering your thoughts on a Male Bikini as well.

Ok here goes....

David, the aforementioned item is not really referred to as a Male Fanny Pack but it is widely known throughout Western Europe as a Manny Pack. It traces it origins back to the former Soviet Bloc of Eastern European Countries. While it is not completely known the exact birthplace of the Manny Pack. It is widely considered to have come from the Northwest Slovakian town of Plaque.

As to your question, you need to ask yourself two things: 1. Are you a Marsupial? 2. Is your son's name Joey or referred to in any way as Joey?

First off Fanny Packs belong on no one. Male or female alike. The only ones who should have fanny packs or manny packs are marsupials of which there are 200 native species in Australia and only one still in existance in the U.S. in the form of the Virginia Opossum. I'm guessing that you are not a marsupial because I know for a fact that you are from Berea and that is a long way from being a Virginia Opossum.

2. I also doubt that you named your son after a character of from Friends.

As for the male bikini your friend inquired about, it too is of European Descent and is commonly referred to as the Mankini. Since it is primarily a form European Swim Wear, I personally believe that it should stay as that, in Europe. If your friend travels abroad then more power to him and his speedo wearing self.

I hope this helps,Sammy

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some Funny Stuff From The Beach

As you are aware, we were at the beach last week. This was Isaac's first vacation in a couple of years and we had a blast. I noticed a couple of things this past week I thought I would share. 1. Why does everyone at the beach feel like suddenly when they arrive at the beach that they have to buy an Indiana Jones hat and some type of shirt with an egregious amount of flowers on it. Seriously, the number of Indiana Jones hats per capita at the beach is way out of whack with the force of all things common and decent. And every time I got in a crowd I felt like I was in a florist with all the flowery shirts walking around. I think there should be a 1 Indiana Jones Hat per 10,000 tourists maximum and maybe a 1 flowery shirt per 5000 tourists max.

While at the beach one afternoon, we ate at a nice restaurant. It was practically empty so we took Isaac to eat there. Isaac has never really gotten to eat at nice restaurants because of his immune system so this was a learning experience for him. At the restaurant, there was a man dressed as a pirate who came up to the table and offered Isaac a balloon. I tipped the balloon pirate and he was on his way. As soon as he walked off Isaac looked at us and said, "What is he raising money for?"

Later on we made a stop by the restroom. The restaurant had a restroom attendant standing at the sink. He had a full array of stuff across the counter: hair gel, toothpaste, mints, hair spray, cologne and more. As we made our way out of the restaurant, Isaac looked at me and said,"Why did that homeless man have all of his stuff spread out across the counter?".

What can I say? We don't get out much.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Today we had my grandpa's funeral. I learned a lot about my grandpa this week that I had never known before. He was born during the First World War. He spent his teenage years living through the great depression of the late 1920'2 and early 1930's. He and my grandmother were married in 1936. Of all the things I learned about him this past weekend, this is still the most amazing. They were faithful to each other for over 71 years. Some people hope to only live that long but they spent that many years side by side.

The service went well. There is some sadness but we have comfort knowing that he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'll blog some more tommorrow and maybe share some highlights from our vacation this past week.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Funeral Arrangements

The funeral arrangements for my grandpa are as follows:

Receiving of friends 12:30-1:30 on Sunday at Thomas McAffee on White Horse Road.

The funeral service will begin at 1:30 p.m. followed by a graveside service at Robinson's in Easley.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Coming Home

Our vacation is ending up tommorrow morning. We had planned on staying until Sunday but we have just received some sad news. My grandfather on my mom's side passed away this afternoon. I stopped and took a moment to thank God for my grandpa and all he meant to our family. I saw him only a few days before we left for vacation. He was in his 90's. He taught us a lot with the way he lived his life. I also thanked God for my three remaining grandparents. I am fortunate that I have had all four of my grandparents up to this point. I will post more as I know more.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Vacation has been incredible so far. Friday, was a trip out to Broadway at the Beach. I'm not big into all the shopping. We ate at Key West Grille and enjoyed the evening there. Saturday we were up and off to Isaac's old favorite place(more on his new favorite place in a moment), Pawley's Island. We all like the large beaches at Pawley's Point and it is a great place for shelling. Saturday Night we went to play putt putt. I was was 1 under par through nine and then blew it to finish 1 over par. It would have been my first under par putt putt round ever but the frog and lilly pad hole got me.

Yesterday was our favorite day in years. We started out going to take a little day trip up to Wilmington,NC to see the battleship up there. Actually, with the tropical depression off the coast I just wanted to get some pictures of that. Anyway, we stopped at the NC Welcome Center. I asked the lady about any interesting stops and she pointed in the direction of Southport which is just below Wilmington. What caught my eye on the map though was Bald Head Island.

I asked about it and she said we couldn't drive but would have to take the ferry and we coldn't take our car. We like adventures and so off we went. We arrived at Indigo Plantation and parked our car and caught the next ferry going out. The ferry leaves every hour and we just made it. The ferry ride was pretty cool. You start out in the bay and then enter the Cape Fear river and then out into the Atlantic Ocean. The island is located a few miles offshore. It is roughly a 20 minute ferry ride over to the Island. Coming into the Island you immediately recognize two homes that were featured on the Travel Channel show Amazing Vacation Homes. You also see the Bald Head Island Lighthouse which is NC's oldest.

Once you debark the ferry you are met with all these guys driving little golf cart tram thingys. (There aren't any cars or trucks allowed on the Island except for public service vehicles). We made our way over to the golf cart rental place and rented a cart for the day. We were going to do the bicycles but thought better since the Island is 14 miles around. We got our golf cart and headed out to the tip of Cape Fear on the pan shoal side.

This was awesome. At the tip of the Island on the Northern side, the surf there is unbelievable. You can't go swimming there because it has a place where the current going south collides with the current going north and what you get is waves crashing into each other. Pretty cool sight as you can see in the picture. We went shelling and picked up tons large conch shells and I found a realy nice pair of Polarized Bolle sunglasses.

We were the only people on the beach for about 500 yards. The people told us that the last three weeks of September that the Island is practically empty. We felt like it was as we drove around on the golf cart. We ran the golf cart until gave out of juice about 8:00 p.m. We had a beautiful red fox run out in front of us as it was getting dark.

We had dinner at Eb and Flo's Steam Bar on the marina and it was very reasonable as far as pricing went. We are already making plans to stay there for vacation next year. The sunset picture was taken by Melissa as the sun was going down on the West side of the Island. I shot a relly cool time lapse with my videon camera of the same sunset.

We headed off the Island around 9:30 p.m.. This was quite adventrous as the waves from the tropical depression had begun to kick up. I'll share that story on 10.07.07 @10:07 at our first service. It fits nicely with my message. Well, Isaac and I just got back from playing putt putt again and I'm off to take a shower.

The Weather is Here Wish You Were Beautiful

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Off to the Beach

We are heading to the beach Friday morning. Isaac's teacher will be here early and he has to take 4 tests and then we are off for vacation.

I probably won't have Internet service and I doubt that I'll post for the next week or so but I should be back in a week or so with some fantastic tales to tell. Maybe I'll catch a gargantuan shark one morning while fishing from the pier. Or, I could possibly find millions in lost coins that surreptitiously washed up on shore from a sunken Spanish Galleon called the "Conquistador". Whatever the case, I will be happy to share my exploits when I return.

Just a quick note to everyone who is going to be volunteering at Stone Bridge. We will be having our volunteer training/cookout on Wednesday September 26th at 7:00 pm. Drop me an email and let me know how many from your family will be attending. This is a night you won't want to miss. This will be a fun night as we will be uniting all four of the Core Groups in one place as we move forward with the new church launch. I will send you directions when I get your email indicating how many will be coming with your family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

2 More Days

Two more days until we go on vacation and we can't wait. We haven't been on a vacation in more than two years because of everything that Isaac has been through. We are extremely thankful that he is healthy enough to make the trip. We used to take things like vacations and family time for granted, but not anymore. The one thing that his transplants have taught us is that we have to enjoy and appreciate everything and savor every moment. This time last year, he was still in a wheel chair and unable to walk because of his muscle loss from the transplant.

He is getting stronger and gradually getting better. His blood counts are coming up slowly. Of some concern right now is the excess iron on his liver. We ask that everyone would keep that in your prayers. He can be outside but still can't be indoors with large crowds. He is almost able to run which is something he has been wanting to do so bad. He still continues to amaze us.

In other news, is up and running. Be sure to stop by and check out our church website. Things are still progressing with the church. Be sure to go ahead and begin inviting your friends and family to our first service on 10.07.07 at 10:07 am @ Wren High School.

To everyone who attended our Core Group Meetings, be sure and turn in your volunteer forms as soon as possible. We will be having volunteer training in a couple of weeks. I will post the date and send letters to everyone that I have addresses for.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Tonight was an awesome environment for a game. The Tigers pulled out a victory. I got a chance to catch up with some old and new friends. Rumor has it that even Gamecock fans showed up tonight wearing Clemson colors. According to one Evan Silver, it appears that even Mr. Jamie Crumpton(a supposed die hard Carolina fan) showed up at the game with a Clemson shirt on. Could it be because his future in laws are good Christian Clemson fans? Anyway, enjoy the pics.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Today I headed on over to visit all the folks at Marathon North. I have been to four different churches over the course of the last 4 weeks. I have been trying to visit different places to get ideas of what we need to focus on with the new church start.

I had heard of the mythical Reggieisms. These fore lorn tales of olden days gone by. Well, today I got to experience the aforementioned Reggieisms. These are actual quotes from Reggie in today's message taken completely out of context. I jotted down a few and thought I would share them along with my commentary in parentheses.

1. "If you're here today" (as opposed to being not here and therefore not hearing the preceding statement)

2. "Lies coming from the evil one" (at this point I almost wanted to run put on an old lady dress ala the church lady from Saturday Night Live and proceed to say "could it be.... oh I don't know Saa tan")

3. "Now if you study pornography" (not even gonna touch this one)

4. "How does the evil one do it?" (again with the evil one)

5. "A four year old knows more about a computer than I do" (And he knows that when we reach the age of three we stop referring to Satan as the evil one)

6. "The evil one has a grip" (for those of you keeping track at home that is number 3 for the evil one)

7. "If that don't light ya wood .....................................................somebody help me out. How does that saying go?" (I think it goes, if the evil one don't light your fire)

8. "The evil one is throwing it to you right now" (What does evil one spell backwards? Eno Live. Take out the n and put in an l and an m and what do you have?
True demonic activity, Elmo Live )

No pastors were harmed in the making of this post and Reggie took it all in good nature.