Sunday, November 27, 2011

Making memories for life....

We went off yesterday to get our Christmas tree and truly had a great time. Looking for the perfect tree, getting sap all over your hands and trying to set it up in the house without having half the needles fall off when bringing it through the door. Look forward to setting it up with all the family and telling the story about each homemade ornament. The children are growing up fast!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Thrill of Football

My oldest son is growing up faster than I realize and I know he will be gone before I am ready for him to journey on.  He has been wanting to play organized football and this past weekend we went through the process of getting him equipped.  He went from the little guy that wobbled when he started to walk to a boy who is ready to learn a new sport.  Tonight he had his first practice and he called to tell me he loved it and is exhausted all in the same breath.  I can't wait to watch and see how he matures and grows with this sport.

Side note-When we were driving to get his helmet, he was listening to me talk on the cell phone to several different people.  When I hung up with the last person, he looked at me and said, "Dad, you should write a book on leadership".  I asked him why and he said you just should.  I was instantly reminded that my life with him and everyone is a chance to serve and lead people even when I don't realize people are watching.  Being intentional with people isn't by accident!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International Family Conference 2011

I have the privilege of being the conference speaker for this group and truly loving this opportunity. It has been a joy making new friends around the country.

My theme for this week is "Intentionally Living" and I pray that every one of us will live each day desiring to leave a legacy that will impact the souls of people to His glory.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


When you think of the word determination what or who do you think of? We might think of our parents, military leaders, George Washington, graduating from school, athletes/sport teams, teachers, running a race, past accomplishments, and the list could go on and on. From this point forward I will always think of a man named Clay Dyer.

I had the privilege of being invited to attend a Wild Game Dinner hosted by the Bay Community Church (thank you Bryan). As I have said before, I always like including my children whenever possible to invest in their life. This was a perfect opportunity because my oldest son, Slade Mitchell, and I love hunting and anything to do with the outdoors. Slade Mitchell invited a good buddy of his, Jimbo, and we were ready to see some great deer mounts, eat lots of wild game, make some new friends, and most of all hear the guest speaker Clay Dyer (professional bass fisherman). Some of you might start rolling your eyes and saying, "here comes another testosterone story about the biggest buck killed or a story about a bass caught that grew 5 more pounds after re-telling the story to all their buddies at work".

This story will definitely not fall into that camp and hopefully leave you thinking about determination in a new light. I first heard of Clay Dyer when I saw a documentary about him and his career as a professional bass fisherman. What is amazing about him? It's not his accomplishments of fishing with the best in the world, the thousands of bass he has caught, being a professional in a sport, traveling all over our great country, but that he has done all this while not having any legs, no left arm, and only half a right arm with no fingers or a hand.

Clay was born this way at birth and from the moment you talk to him you would think he is just like anyone else who has what he is missing. His attitude is contagious and after listening to him I walked away saying to myself, "this is one man determined to make the most of life with a CAN DO attitude!".

I love meeting peole who strive to live life with the desire that I can accomplish anything the Lord will allow me to do. Clay shared some great stories about his journey and he also let us know how powerful/foundational the word DREAM is in his life. He spelled it out for us letter by letter and I think we can all learn from it personally and share it with others.

D ~ Determination-never give up
R ~ Resources-use what you have to the fullest
E ~ Effort-give it your all
A ~ Attitude-paramount to have a positive one
M ~ Motivation-to be the best you can be

He also encouraged me with his faith and trust in Jesus Christ and how he lives his life to bring Him honor and glory. He didn't have a woe am I or mad at the world attitude because of his condition. Slade Mitchell, Jimbo and myself also talked about the one word Clay hates more than anything else and that is the word CAN'T. It was powerful and I truly believe that night listening to Clay will burn into their heart and memory for life. If you would like to learn more about Clay check out his website at

Life can/will throw us some pretty fast hard balls and we will be knocked right off our saddle. My encouragement to myself and you is to remember what a man named Paul said hundreds of years ago that has passed the litmus test of time, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Let's live each day we are here on earth with determination and a zeal for life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Beautiful Bride

I remember one day when an older mentoring friend came up to my side and put his arm around my shoulder as our wives were in front of us talking. He said, "Slade you sure do remind me of myself." I said, "How is that Mr. Crosby?" He said, "Because we both married way above ourselves."

I think about that night and conversation often and know without a shadow of a doubt how true Mr. Crosby's comment was and is in my life. I remember the first time I saw Wendy that I knew I wanted to get to know her. That was 18 years ago and I am so thankful that the Lord knew that this was exactly the helpmate I needed.

I have so many great memories of doing fun things together but what I really love is just being with her. We have laughed and we have cried together and I know that she loves and cares for me just how I am. There are plenty of times in my life where I just look in the mirror and ask myself why in the world did I make a mountain out of that molehill.

When I read what Paul says in the bible, "Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church" I just shake my head in defeat at times and ask myself, "Why can't you realize how great you have it Slade?" Then the Lord reminds me of His grace through Christ and the grace I can have with Wendy. As we continue to grow older together I pray that the Lord will help me to be more intentional with Wendy and to be way more grace giving and a heart to die more to myself and to serve her more in the little things as well as the big things.

I want to encourage us all to hold that special person in our life more. To purposely stop the other person and look them in the eyes and tell them how thankful you are for them and how much you love having them in your life. To hold their hand tight for no special reason. To write a special card and hide it where they find it. Go out on a date, plan the whole thing and do something that would be fun and romantic for them. The list could go on and on.

One might say, well they don't deserve any of this from me until they earn it. It is amazing how a soft touch or words spoken gently can touch a heart.

Thank you my dear Wendy for your love and kindness to me and may I continue to learn how to love my beautiful bride like Christ loved the church.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Today I am sitting next to my oldest son Slade Mitchell in a shooting house deer hunting. This has become a hobby that the two of us love doing together. As we were driving up to the camp we had a blast talking about hunting stories and in my mind, I kept thinking how fast the time is going with him as a child. I am truly thankful to the Lord for these times together and being able to build a foundation for a friendship for life. Today we were riding a four wheeler and I was sitting behind him just hugging him and thinking one day he might be doing this with one of his children.

We also have a tradition that when I come home from work that we go at it in the living room wrestling. He loves trying to take me down and show me how strong he is getting. I better enjoy it while I can because one day he will be faster and stronger than me.

I am loving this season in our life together hunting and truly thankful for one of my dear friends Clark Alday. I met Clark back in the early 1990's through his brother-n-law Seth (who I had the privilege of discipling when he was a student at Troy State). The Lord blessed me with letting me know these men. Seth is far away now in Maryland but Clark lives here in South Alabama and we have been hunting together for years but our friendship goes much deeper than being in the woods. We have had some great times together but we have also cried on each others shoulders over the years. I know Clark loves me and my family and I am truly thankful for his friendship. At the beginning of hunting season, Clark sat with Slade Mitchell wanting to make sure he felt comfortable shooting his rifle. He was truly loving and patient and that made a big impact on Slade Mitchell. Several weeks later Slade Jr. was telling me while we were hunting don't forget to breathe correctly like Mr. Clark said to do.

There are so many great friends I have been blessed to have over the years who have loved me and my family. I pray that I would not let life pass me by and not thank those who have impacted me over the years. I also pray that I would be more intentional with my friends and their kids. It makes a difference.

I love how Christ reminds us to live in Matthew 22:37-40, "You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."  This is my prayer for us all as we touch people's lives and build friendships.

Slade McLendon, Slade Mitchell McLendon, and Clark Alday

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

Can you believe it is already 2011? Where does the time go? Did you achieve what you wanted to this past year? Do you know what you want to achieve this year? What books do you want to read? Who do you want to try and meet this year? Is there someone you need to reconnect with this year? Are you going to do something this year that you have dreamed about? Do you need to tell someone special in your life how important they are to you?

The list could go on and on. Be intentional this year and live life to the fullest.