Category Archives: atl

Ragamuffinsoul is more than just a blog!

This is my buddy Carlos from here.  If you’re not really into blogging…read his first and you’ll quickly think blogging is really cool.  I never really blogged until reading Ragamuffinsoul and deciding that I could actually have a voice in this arena.  Carlos is a great guy and just as authentic in person as he is on his blog.  This is a picture of me playing “fan boy” ….”hey. can I get a picture”.  I alos briefly met Heather & the kids in the lobby at Buckhead and said a quick hi….but then backed off in effort to not Freak her out.  She was totally cool…I think she is used to strangers yelling out her name then saying…hey, I’m one of Carlos’s blogging friends.

Yesterday Brenda & I went to the 9AM at Buckhead.  Great opener.  Carlos did the welcome – Christina Fincher did worship and Andy brought it.  A couple things I can recall from the message.  “Have you ever spent the night dreading what was to come the next day”?  Andy was relating how Jesus not only spent the night dreading the next day….his best friends who he poured his life into fell asleep, ran off, & denied him.  Andy did a great job helping the audience connect with this point.  As well, he made the point about if something is serious to our kids….it becomes serious to us not because it’s a big deal to us but because it’s a big deal to our kids.  Again, well presented.

Finished the morning at Buckhead with Brenda & Tiffany chatting it up for a while.  Then, off to our Sunday adventure….more to come….

What were some of the cool points from the message you heard or delivered yesterday?

Great Steak in Duluth, GA

Great steak dinner at Stoney River in Duluth….just north of Atlanta.  We had a great evening with our friends Tim & Jean Fitzgerald and Rodney & Denise Banks.  We’re blessed.

Where do you go for great steak (if you’re a vegetarian…remove the word steak and insert Tofu)?

Madison, GA

One of the places that we absolutely must visit when in the Atlanta area is Madison, GA. 

Madison is a beautiful little town about 1 hr East of Atlanta.  It has a bunch of rich history that I would never be able to do justice…so, click here and here for information about Madison and click here to see why Brenda likes to go to Madison.



Here is a snipit pulled from the wealth of wisdom “wikipedia” about a unique fact about Madison, GA,

It is known as “The town Sherman refused to burn”, as it was spared during General Sherman‘s march to the sea during the Civil War. While many believe that he spared the town because it was too beautiful to burn, the actual fact is that Madison was home to pro-Union Senator Joshua Hill. Hill had ties with General Sherman’s brother at West Point, so his sparing the town was more political than appreciation of its beauty.

Pretty cool distinction about Madison from the Civil War.  This is just one of the reasons why we love the south.

What is something unique about your area that you really love?

Back yard party with great friends…

Last night right after we arrived in Atlanta, we made a quick stop at the mall for Brenda to shop and me to drink coffee (yes..I know I have a problem) then off to River Mist to eat Mexican food in the back yard with great friends.  We lived in Atlanta for just under 3 years and managed to develop some lifelong friends.  It was heartwarming to see them all come out to hang out with Brenda & I.

My friend Mr. Barry Phillips Esq.  First friend ever from New York!




 Brenda & Friends

Me & my smokin’ hot wife Brenda.

Are you developing lifelong relationships that will party with you when you visit?

Big man in Little seat

So, yesterday at 6AM (PST) Brenda & I proceed to find our seats on the Delta 757 for our flight to Atlanta.  As I move into the window seat, I’m quickly reminded what it’s like to be a “big man in a little seat”.  Now, I’m not complaing but the leg room seems to be shrinking?  I don’t know how the 6 ft plus people do it?  I’m only 5’10” and my knees were touching the seat in front of me.  This is with my butt shoved to the very back of my seat (you know what I mean).  Then, right after we take off the guy in front of me rests his head on my lap (practically) by simply reclining his seat.  As this happens…the captain announces….”our flight today will be 4 hours and 38 minutes.  If I really thought about it…I’d freak out from closterphobia….but I just don’t think.

On another note…I’m in ATL for the Drive Conference.  Very much looking forward to 3 days of leadership, creativity, new ideas, strategy, & groups stuff.  I’ll be posting every chance I get before, during, and after the conference.  Highlight I’m looking forward to the most is connecting with Carlos from here on Monday night.  We’ll likely connect tomorrow at Buckhead….but it’s the conference outside the conference…right?

When was the last time you shoved yourself in a sardeen can for 4 hours & 38 minutes to attend a really cool conference?  Come on…everyone….start commenting…..

Chase Coleman

Meet the Colemans.  This is Ken & Stacy Coleman with their new baby boy Chase.  In the middle is Chase’s biological mother who selflessly assisted in completing Ken & Stacy’s family by allowing them to adopt Chase.  Chase is a beautiful baby.  Ken & Stacy are blessed.  They are great parents to their oldest son (Ty) and will be great parents to Chase.

Let me reflect on the lovely young lady in the middle.  As an adoptee (40 years ago) my mom was likely the same age as the girl in yellow.  She graciously gave me to a family that would be able to provide better care for me than she was going to be able to.  I have to believe that this is whats going through the mind of the girl in yellow.  I so appreciate her love, care, & sacrifice.  It makes me wonder if my biological mother had the same look on her face when she gave me away?  Was she happy that I was going to a better home?  Did she miss me?  Does she miss me today.

I do know that I was raised in a better environment than I might have had she not made that choice.  Adoption is a good thing.  More pregnant ladies should seriously consider this option.  God bless the Colemans.  God bless baby Chase.  God bless the girl in yellow.

 Who are you thankful for today?

Chocolate Gold! recently posted about White Gold.  This made me think of a picture I saw the other day?  I think there is some talk of starting a new genre in collecting the experience called “Chocolate Gold”

Are you ready for the first release?

Welcome to our world Cari…

This is my friend Andy and his baby girl Cari.  Andy was the co-leader of the boys 6th grade small group we led in Atlanta.  He and his wife Kate just had their first baby and she’s beautiful.  Look at her eyes!  When you look at the way a new father holds his child can you ever question how our heavenly father must feel about us?  Andy & Kate will make great parents.  Cari is in for a great life.  Congrats guys…

Who are the people on the other side of the country that you celebrate life with?

The last 2 miles took 2 hours

Original Post on December 2, 2005 

The last 2 miles took 2 hours

Wrapping up our road trip across the nation….we had a great time in vegas and are ready to start driving north.  We get up early on Sunday morning with the intent of beating all traffic.  Because, everyone in Vegas must be sleeping…right?  I mean, they were all up all night.  So, right outside the city….we’re moving at a decent pace when all of a sudden the traffic comes to a screeching halt.  Yes, there were a bunch of other people who had the same idea we had.  Lots of people on the road coupled with road construction and lane changes made “leaving las vegas” harder than we expected.  Finally moving in traffic and reaching barstow….Well know but for what?  who knows?…we take the 2 lane highway to Bakersfield trying again to miss holiday exodus.  Only to get stopped by traffic once again.  2 hours later (and only 7 miles further) we realized that we were converging on the one stop light within a 100 mile radius along with about 10,000 other cars.  Pathetic.  We stopped at one of the 4 gas stations at the stop light, got gas, fixed the undercarrige on the car (it came loose when I went Luke Duke across a median) with duc tape, then lunch at subway (I don’t like subway)….we’re on our way again.  Traffic open uped after this and was pretty good the rest of the way.  here’s the problem.  What should have taken 3 1/2 hours to drive from Vegas to Bakersfield, took us 8 hours.  Yea, bummer.  So, instead of meeting my buddy Harper & his family, we changed our hotel from Redding to Sacramento, scheduled coffee the next AM with Harper, & had coffee that evening with Gerry & Mindy.  Gerry & Mindy are good friends from about 4 years ago when we were in ministry at Renton Assembly.  They were Children’s pastors at our church.  About 3 years ago they moved to Modesto, CA to work at a church there.  Since we were driving through…we thought….let’s get coffee with the Galbreaths.  So we did!  Great to see them.  Off to The hampton in, SAC.  Great Hampton!

Late to bed…Early to rise….Monday Morning!

Coffee with Harper at Starbucks in Safeway…(don’t trust all of the Starbucks in Safeway….be careful…very careful…they don’t all know what their doing).  Good to see Harper…off to Seattle.  We drive north with some hessitation because there has been bad weather up north.  As we pulled into the Shasta lake/mountain area…it was truly breathtaking.  Very beautiful.  No road problems at all!  The kids got out at the summit and threw snowballs….I was a mess…couldnt relax for nothing (I know it’s lame…I just was nervous about the unknown).  Once we passed over the final summit and into Oregon was when we had bad weather.  The rest of the way north we experienced ice/cold/& snow.  Lunch in Oregon (Mcdonalds…..I now remember why I don’t like McDonalds).  Brenda is driving now so I need to shut my mouth and find my happy place!  Don’t get me wrong…she’s a great driver…I’m just a nervous ninny!

Rolling into Vancouver,WA around dinner, we call good friends Mark & Stacy Newell and meet for dinner.  Great to see them…cute girls.  Off for our final treck to the “Great White North”…..Yea…I did say that!  Some roads Icy…but no problem for the most part…then through Olympia, Tacoma, Federal way….no problem.  Right at 272nd (just 2 miles from our destination) the traffic stoppes and we’re in the middle of the biggest Ice/snow/traffic issue here in the Puget Sound area in years.  It literally took is 2 hours to go the final 2 miles.

At 11:30 PM on Monday 11/27…..we finally arrived at my parents house in SeaTac, WA.  The snow storm paralized the area for the next couple days.

It’s good to be here…now it’s time to get to work.

House in Atlanta still needs to sell.

House in Seattle is closing this month.

Went to the Neptune to see Kevin’s movie on Thursday.

Helped my buddy Lee move into his house on Friday (His wife paid his $40 for the bad sports tip)

Went to the Tacoma Little Theater tonight to see my brother (Gary) play “Father Christmas” in the play “The Lion, Witch, & the Wardrobe”.  he did a great job.

Viva Las Vegas Baby

Original Post on November 25, 2005 

Viva Las Vegas Baby

Yesterday…Black Friday….Warning….don’t go shopping anywhere

So, where do I find myself on the busyest shopping day ever…after a battle at the lube place & a grande Americano….I brave the crowds and step into Circut City.  Bad idea.  It literally looked like downtown Falushia, Iraq.  Trash outside from the “all nighters” and empty bins with tons of crap all over the place.  I walked around then quickly exited the establishment.  connected with the family and had the best lunch ever at heidi’s brooklyn deli.  Right by the mariners training facility.

Then, not enough shopping pain yet….we went to Costco.  People were rabid for the HDTV!

Went to Glendale to watch lights turn on.  Neat, but just OK!

Had a great visit with the family…

Woke up early and off to Vegas.

85 MPH through the Cacti and through Hoover Dam.  Very cool wonder of the world.  Hoover Dam!  30 minutes later and we’re on the Vegas Strip.  Staying at the Alladin.  OK room, nice view of the fountains…but the hotel is under renovation (turning into the Planet Hollywood Hotel/Casino).  Will be cool in a couple years.

My buddy Lee convinces me to put $40 on Arizona for him at the sports book.  Since I trust his judgement…I not only put $40 for him…but I put $40 for me as well.  From the opening kick….Arizona sucked.  We tanked and helped pay for all the new construction at the Alladin.  After $20 into a one arm bandit….my gamblin days are over….that’s enough for me.

Walked through the Paris/Bally’s/Cesars/Bellagio & back to Alladin.  Dinner and off to bed.

We had a great time.

Early wake up and off to Redding, CA.  Stopping to visit Harper in Sac.