Top to Bottom, Big to Small

I have heard it said that if you want to know the health of an organization’s top leadership, you don’t have to look any further than the “lowest” level of the organization. If you want to know how a CEO runs her company, simply ask the janitor how he feels about his job. You might think this is extreme, and many would agree with you. But all culture in an organization has to come from somewhere (or someone), and eventually there’s only one person responsible. As John Maxwell so adequately puts it, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

It’s funny how small, seemingly insignificant things are often indicators of the core beliefs and esteemed virtues of even the largest corporations. Culture is contagious, and culture comes directly from the leaders in an organization.

The interesting thing about this principle is that it’s also true in the context of relationships: the small, “insignificant” things are indicators of bigger, more important things. If you want to know the health of a relationship, simply look at the “small stuff” and you’re likely to see evidence of what’s at the core. Continue reading “Top to Bottom, Big to Small”

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Lasting Love

Today is my parents’ 32nd wedding anniversary. Over the years, through thick and thin, my mom and dad have loved each other with an admirable and unflinching love.

Both of my parents come from godly homes where they learned the value of true love and commitment. Throughout my life I have memories of their affection for each other (at times embarrassing) and their fight to stay closely connected. Never once did I doubt that they loved each other, loved God, or that they loved me. I’m so thankful for their example of what it means to build a love that lasts, that isn’t dependent on circumstances or superficial feelings.

I still have thirty years before I’ll be where they are today. Thanks mom and dad for loving God, loving me, and loving each other. It has made all the difference to me!

Two years into my life

Two years ago today on a hot summer Sunday in Athens, GA, I got dressed up in a chocolate colored tuxedo and stood in front of a couple hundred of my closest friends and said “I do” to my wonderful wife Aubrey.

Looking back on that day it was quite a blur. I was trying so hard to take it all in and remember every detail, but it just flew by and was over before I knew it. I remember the ceremony, I remember the pictures (and the humidity) and I remember a few conversations at the reception. But I remember this above all, that it was wonderful. If I said it was beautiful, magical, breathtaking, emotional, and exciting, I’d be telling the truth; but then again everyone must say that about their wedding so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

It’s hard to believe that was two years ago. Truthfully, it feels like it’s been much longer than that. Not in an exhausted way, but I’m surprised that it hasn’t been longer. It seems like Aubrey and I have known each other our whole lives, and it’s hard to think about life without her. In a way, my life didn’t really start until that day two years ago.

Marriage is like going to college. It’s full of excitement, changes, challenges, and lots of growing up. It is hard work that is very rewarding and worth the effort. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. But there is always more to learn, and (unfortunately) you never get your diploma and become an expert!

What amazes me still is the level of unconditional love and safety that marriage brings. Regardless of my faults and shortcomings, I’m loved by my wife completely. Our commitment to each other allows us to be honest even when it hurts. It is the true meaning of love, something that I never really understood until two years ago. I have no doubt that God designed marriage to teach us about Himself and to grow us up to maturity in Christ.

I am so thankful for you, Aubrey, and I love you more today than that day two years ago when it all began. Thanks for being my closest friend, my biggest fan, and my encouraging companion on this journey of life. I’m ecstatic about many more years with you, and all that God has for us!