Buffet Life

November 19, 2018 at 11:25 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

One of my friends and colleagues in Colorado once said, “Some people have a full plate, Marcus has a buffet.” It was one of the truest statements ever. As the cliche goes, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person.’ The reality is that I love the many things that I get to do and be a part of. As I think about my buffet, I could not wish for much of a better life. When people ask how I am doing, I often say, ‘other than wanting a skinnier waist line and a fatter bank account, I could not complain.’ While my life is not perfect, conflict free or without mistake, I truly am deeply blessed to get to live the life I get to live. As I think about my ‘buffet’ and the hats I get to wear, the following list comes to mind:

  • Follower of Jesus
  • Father
  • Husband
  • Pastor
  • Professor
  • Speaker
  • Social Scientist
  • Author
  • Consultant
  • Theologian
  • Community Volunteer

The titles would never matter to me and I never want to be defined by my work. That said, I am so blessed to be able to serve the greater good in so many ways. I wouldn’t trade my buffet for the world.

Updated Bucket List

August 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

7/27/18

Updated Bucket List

I first published by bucket list in January of 2014 and as I continue to work on this list, I find it encouraging to review where I am from time to time. I also occasionally add some items to the list and have yet to give up on anything and remove it.

To Complete:

  • Take Micah & Abby to El Salvador to meet our Compassion Kids
  • See Syracuse play in NCAA Final Four
  • Take Micah to a Super Bowl

Partially Complete:

  • Visit all 50 states after graduating high school (AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY Complete-11 more to go)
  • Visit at least 40 of 195 Countries (25 Complete)
  • Go to NCAA Final Four (National Championship game complete)
  • Visit at least 5 of the 7 continents (North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia/Oceana Complete)
  • Do mission work on at least 4 continents (North America, Asia and Africa Complete)
  • See a NFL game in every teams stadium (Broncos, Colts, Jets, Giants, Detroit Complete)
  • Visit every other Disney resort besides CA & FL (Aulani-HI, Vero Beach-FL, Hilton Head, SC)
  • Meet Peyton Manning (met him at his retirement event in Indy and he signed a jersey, but actually want to meet him)

Completed:

  • Take my family to Disney World
  • Take my family to Disneyland
  • See Peyton Manning Play Live
  • Go to the Super Bowl
  • Get doctorate
  • Visit Israel
  • Take extended family to Disney World
  • Go to Germany
  • Go to Africa
  • Go to Australia
  • Go on an African Safari

Updated Airline Ranking

July 27, 2018 at 1:53 am • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I decided to update my airline ranking from last year given that I have been doing a lot of traveling the last year. I have had the privilege to travel to almost 40 states, 24 countries and 5 continents since graduating high school. In that time I have flown with many airlines. Some are still operating, others are not. Some were major airlines, others were not. Some were U.S. based airlines and others were not. Below are my rankings for airlines I have flown with that are still operating from best to worst.

1. Qatar
2. Southwest
3. Delta
4. Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon
5. American
6. Lufthansa
7. Turkish airlines
8. LATAM Air
9. Qantas
10. Virigin Australia
11. United
12. Kenya Air
13. KLM
14. US-Bangla Airlines
15. Frontier
16. Air Buddha
17. Allegiant
18. Jet Star
19. Biman Bangladesh Airline
20. El Al
665. China Eastern
666. Air Canada

Updated Bucket List

May 5, 2018 at 10:36 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I first published by bucket list in January of 2014 and as I continue to work on this list, I find it encouraging to review where I am from time to time. I also occasionally add some items to the list and have yet to give up on anything and remove it. This summer I will get to mark some more things off the list which I am excited for.`

To Complete:

  • Go to Africa
  • Take Micah & Abby to El Salvador to meet our Compassion Kids
  • Go on an African Safari
  • Go to Australia
  • See Syracuse play in NCAA Final Four
  • Take Micah to a Super Bowl

Partially Complete:

  • Visit all 50 states after graduating high school (AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY Complete-11 more to go)
  • Visit at least 40 of 195 Countries (18 Complete)
  • Go to NCAA Final Four (National Championship game complete)
  • Visit at least 5 of the 7 continents (North America, Asia, Europe Complete)
  • Do mission work on at least 4 continents (North America & Asia Complete)
  • See a NFL game in every teams stadium (Broncos, Colts, Jets, Giants, Detroit Complete)
  • Visit every other Disney resort besides CA & FL (Aulani-HI, Vero Beach-FL, Hilton Head, SC)
  • Meet Peyton Manning (met him at his retirement event in Indy and he signed a jersey, but actually want to meet him)

Completed:

  • Take my family to Disney World
  • Take my family to Disneyland
  • See Peyton Manning Play Live
  • Go to the Super Bowl
  • Get doctorate
  • Visit Israel
  • Take extended family to Disney World
  • Go to Germany

Blessed and Excited

April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

Life is never perfect, nor easy, but the truth is that I am richly blessed. Most days, my only real complaints, which are common and may never go away, are that I could use a skinnier waist and a fatter bank account, neither of which actually matter. I love my family, home and work. I get to make a difference in the lives of others and the community. I have great kids, great Border Collies and mentors and friends that I could never deserve. I am living the dream, a life abundant. I get to continue to learn, travel, stay home and find challenge, support and encouragement at every turn. Perspective is certainly powerful, but so is truth. I am thankful that I can say that I am blessed both by choice of perspective and by the reality and truth of the life I get to live.

The Focus

February 26, 2018 at 7:27 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I had three knee procedures between February 2017 and December 2017, spending 12 weeks in a wheel chair. In 2017 I visited 6 countries as well. It was a whirlwind of a year and not without its challenges, especially when we added in a new truck engine! That said, it was a wonderful year and I am thankful to have the support and the resources I do. Now, as I recover from all of that and move into a new year, I am working on living into a new routine. The focus is better and more consistent self care and even more management of time for greater effectiveness and continued time with my family. We will see how it goes, it will be the end of April before I am fully able to implement it. I am thankful that I can continue to grow and challenge myself as I take my priorities seriously.

Updated Bucket List

October 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I first published by bucket list in January of 2014 and as I continue to work on this list, I find it encouraging to review where I am from time to time.

To Complete:

  • Meet Peyton Manning
  • Go to Africa
  • Take Micah & Abby to El Salvador to meet our Compassion Kids
  • Go on an African Safari
  • Go to Australia
  • See Syracuse play in NCAA Final Four
  • Take Micah to a Super Bowl
  • Visit every other Disney resort besides CA & FL

Partially Complete:

  • Visit all 50 states after graduating high school (AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY Complete)
  • Go to NCAA Final Four (National Championship game complete)
  • Visit at least 5 of the 7 continents (North America, Asia, Europe Complete)
  • Do mission work on at least 4 continents (North America & Asia Complete)
  • See a NFL game in every teams stadium (Broncos, Colts, Jets, Giants, Detroit Complete)

Completed:

  • Take my family to Disney World
  • Take my family to Disneyland
  • See Peyton Manning Play Live
  • Go to the Super Bowl
  • Get doctorate
  • Visit Israel
  • Take extended family to Disney World
  • Go to Germany

Recovering

August 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

The recovery from knee surgery #2 continues. I am walking without a cane and on no pain meds other than ibuprofen. It gets a bit tired and then is either swollen or tight which can make it feel sore. Stairs greater than 6 steps are still very hard, but the therapist says I am way ahead of the game. I meet with the surgeon again the day after Labor Day for a final check and to schedule the third and final surgery. My hope is to do that right after Christmas and healing should be done before spring break so I can enjoy that. I hope to be back to a full new and improved normal by May of next year. Its been along journey but I do believe the right one and that it will be worth it.

Handicap Life

July 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I am learning a lot about handicap accessibility and getting a meaningful, humbling glimpse into the life that so many lead not just for a season but for years or a lifetime. I am restricted to not putting weight on my right leg for 6 weeks. It means I am not supposed to drive and am limited to walkers, crutches and wheelchairs. Everywhere I go, I learn about how accessible a place is in terms of wheelchairs and handicap needs including homes, churches, malls and businesses. Its amazing to see what is the most challenging. For example, at the church, the challenge is that all of the key doors (bathrooms, elevators etc.) are very heavy which makes it harder to navigate. I still cannot fully imagine what someone goes through living in a wheel chair, but I am thankful for this experience as I have gained so much understanding.

Airline Ranking

June 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

I have had the privilege to travel to almost 40 states, 16 countries and 3 continents since graduating high school. In that time I have flown with many airlines. Some are still operating, others are not. Some were major airlines, others were not. Some were U.S. based airlines and others were not. On a recent return trip, I got to thinking about how I would rate and rank the airlines I have flowing with. Below are my rankings for airlines I have flown with that are still operating from best to worst.

1. Qatar

2. Southwest

3. Delta

4. American

5. Lufthansa

6. Turkish airlines

7. United

8. KLM

9. US-Bangla Airlines

10. Frontier

11. Air Buddha

12. Allegiant

13. Biman Bangladesh Airline

14. El Al

666. Air Canada