Thursday, January 22, 2015

They

I'm struggling with something this morning, so, of course, I am going to turn to my blog and then post it on Facebook as this is the source of all wisdom. I'm struggling with how I feel about the people at the top of the off ramp at Medical Center. It seems like there are 4-5 different ones that rotate. It's not just them though, its everyone standing on a ramp, corner, whatever, holding a sign asking for money.

Part of me says "get a job!!" Part of me says, "Giving them a dollar will in no way cause me any troubles, go ahead and give."

Part of me is quite prejudiced. I "prejudge" what they will do with the money. "Probably just go buy alcohol or drugs," I say to myself. "Tough love to not give them money." Another part of me says, "that is stupid. They are stuck in such a dark place that they can only survive by soliciting money on an interstate ramp."

Still another part of me is just uncomfortable. "Those people" remind me just how privileged I am. Yes, I worked hard to get where I am. Yes, I earned a lot and yes I made good decisions that got me here. BUT, I was also blessed with great parents, a great wife, a fantastic up-bringing, amazing teachers, abilities and gifts from our creator and much more. I have been blessed by family members that were frugal and smart and left legacies. I acknowledge that everything I have did NOT just come from me. "They" remind me that not everyone has it as good as I do. "They" remind me that I could have been in their shoes with just a few decisions going the other way. "They" bring up guilt, compassion, introspection. "They" make me uncomfortable in my nice car, headed to my nice office, having left my nice home in my nice clothes.



So I ignore them. 99.9% of the time I ignore them. I consciously look straight ahead or make sure I am a lane of traffic away from them at the red light. Maybe if I don't look, they will just go away. I secretly breath a sigh of relief when I pull up and "they" aren't there. "Whew, I can get through the red light without feeling bad."

I know this is not what God wants. Matthew 25:31-46. I am ignoring God. Giving to "these people" is an act of love. It is giving of myself to someone in a worst position. It doesn't matter how they got there. It doesn't even matter what they do with the love I give them. How often do I not do the right thing with the love God gives me. I need to share with "them." I need to minister to "them." When I say "minister," I don't mean preach, I mean help. They don't need church. They don't need programs. They need help. They need the Jesus that was in John 8:1-11.

So how do I do it? Do I hand each of "them" a buck? Do I put them in my car and buy them a burger? I don't know yet. I don't know what the "best" answer is. I think I can start by NOT ignoring them.

What do you think?
What do you do?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Great Homes Available in Smyrna!

Hey Everyone!

Look at these two great homes available in Smyrna!

6021 Inglewood Dr
$295,000
MLS 1518187
3,175 sqft 
3 bed/3 bath



















110 Bonifay Dr
$299,999
MLS 1565059
3,030 sqft
4 bed/3.5 bath



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Adventure

From time to time I get to help people that are making a big move. Sometimes it is their job relocating them to another state. Sometimes it is family. Sometimes it is just a need for change or some other attraction to another location. Whatever it is, I always have a slight tinge of jealousy.

I like trying new places. We moved to Atlanta for one year and I loved the challenge of learning a new place,  making new friends, exploring, etc. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE where I live and, especially now with family, don't intend on moving somewhere else. Even so, I would love to try some different places, if only for a short-long term (like 6 months or something). I would love to live in a big city like New York or Chicago. I would love to live somewhere "paradisey" like in the Caribbean. I would love to live somewhere super historic like Rome or London. I would love to live somewhere totally laid back too like Northern California. I would also love to try somewhere totally remote--Montana or in the desert in New Mexico or Arizona. I know it will likely not ever happen that I get to actually live in all these places but it is nice to dream.

What about you? You may love where you live (I know I do) but where else, if given the opportunity, would you want to live or at least "try out" on a semi-long term basis?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Under 200K in Smyrna

Hello Everyone! I have been searching for homes in Smyrna under $200,000 and though they are going quickly I found a couple of great ones left! Take a look at what I found!

106 Springfield Dr
$194,900
2,156 sq ft
3 bed, 2.5 bath

$189,000
1,939 sq ft
3 bed, 2 bath


$199,900
2,381 sq ft
3 bed, 2.5 bath

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Encouragement

Got a little note from someone at church today that saw something good I was doing that I did not expect anyone to see. The note basically said, "thanks for all you do, you are valuable and I noticed." Nothing terribly flowery or overly poetic. Nothing too mushy. Nothing long winded. It was short and to the point and the point was, I saw you doing something great and wanted to thank you for it. It was one of the nicest notes I've received in a long time.

Now don't misunderstand, I am not fishing for a compliment or wanting people to see how great I am or anything like that. I am commenting more on the person that A) noticed someone doing something great behind the scenes and then B) took the time to tell them about it. It's rare. I want to be that person. I want to notice people when they don't necessarily want to be noticed and I want to be the person that takes the time to tell them. But, of course, like so many of us, I have excuses. I am too busy, I am too tired. I don't know that person. Blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, I am too selfish. If I want to do that, it is a noble cause--one worth undertaking. I should do it. You should too.

It doesn't have to be something as complicated as a note. Try noticing the checkout person at Kroger. Try noticing the bank teller. Try noticing the person at Hardee's. Tell them thank you and mean it. They can tell. Try noticing your kids. Try noticing the neighbor kids or the church kids. When they are well behaved, tell them so. If they say something intelligent, tell them you are impressed. Take the time to be an encourager. You never know when people will truly need it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Disconnecting

Last week Cindy and the kids and I went to Canada with another family from church and 6 college kids. We went up to a lovely place called Vineland, Ontario to help some other friends of ours with their church's VBS (they call it Bible Day Camp). It was a fantastic trip. I was able to unplug from work a bit (I only worked about 10 hours last week instead of my normal 70-80).

One thing that happened though, that I did not expect, was the difficulty I had staying connected. I knew that my cell carrier would charge extra for service but I did not expect to have a tough time getting to a WiFi hotspot that was reliable. The dorm we stayed in did not have it. The church we spent a lot of time at had WiFi but it was SLOW. There was one cafe that had a reliable connection but we could only get there super early in the morning or later at night. I am used to being connected constantly. When I first realized the situation, I was pretty freaked out--"What am I going to do? The world is going to melt down!! All my clients are going to fire me!!"


Then I took a deep breath and realized Taylore is competent and will be able to handle most things. Not to mention that a lot of the "emergencies" in my life can wait a few hours. I started to calm down. Then I started to have fun. It was so relieving to unplug and disconnect for a while.

After getting back home, I realized just how important it is to do that from time to time. Part of the problem is ego, I had to realize that I am not important enough that people would miss me during a 24 hour stint. Another part is that I started telling people about it a few weeks before so the expectation was set that I may not be overly reachable. Finally, I had someone to back me up (thanks Taylore). It was a healthy reminder for me and was very good for me to exercise letting go for a week. I really need to do it more often. If you are in a high stress, high demand job, I highly encourage you to unplug, disconnect from time to time. It's good for the soul.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It Takes A Team

Real estate is an interesting gig. Most Realtors go get their license, they hang it at the first office they find and they expect to start selling houses. They forget about lots of the other parts. The prospecting, the continual learning, the let downs, the fact that almost everyone already knows at least one Realtor. They also forget to build a team around them.

Now I'm not talking about the "team" concept that some Realtors use where there is one "superstar" Realtor and a bunch of other Realtors under that person all using his or her name. I mean a team of professionals that support the transaction in a variety of roles. A good real estate team should consist, at a MINIMUM, of a great lender or 3, a great title company or 2, an excellent home inspector, a small army of contractors in multiple fields--including at least 3 or 4 reliable "handy men" and an insurance expert.

Realtors have to have their "go to" people in all these areas. They need to be able to trust the service providers to ALWAYS deliver to at least the same standard as they would themselves. When the Realtor refers that service provider, the provider is, essentially, an extension of the Realtor. If that provider messes up, it absolutely looks bad on the Realtor.

Does your Realtor have a team? Can your Realtor get anything done? Does your Realtor get stuff done? Is your Realtor the person to call when you need a great referral for some type of service? If the answer to any of these questions is "no", then you should reconsider sticking with your Realtor.