Tag Archives: friends

ATL on God’s Dime!

Since I did such a horrible job of keeping up with my blog over the last six months (here’s the 411 about all that) I decided to go back and post about some things to took place or that I learned and would have wanted to share had I not been so LAME!

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the ATL on God’s dime?? Continue reading

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Easter in the ATL & a whole lotta other stuff….

That’s right people – today at about 11 AM I will be heading over to PHF – Newport News airport and Lord willing, climbing on an Airtran flight bound for the ATL.  I’m finally getting the opportunity to stroll back down south to see all my wonderful friends & family with LifeBridge Church, where I worked for over 2.5 years.  I will be spending the Easter weekend and joining them for an awesome Easter Sunday experience!

Then on Monday Continue reading

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Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

That’s right compadres – this time next week I will have boarded a plane and be in the air headed OUT WEST.

7 days till California:

Fly into LAX and meet up with my old College buddy and roomie who works with a church out in Simi-Valley
Then catch a train down to Continue reading

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Filed under My So Called Life, Project JC in EC

{THANKS}Giving Week Special!

Hey People – got a lil THANKSgiving week surprise for ya!

My friend CAROLINE over at “From Africa With Love” is taking us all on a pretty sweet journey of Thanks!

She has invited anyone & everyone to join her.  She and her family have traveled back across MANY MILES from South Africa to the Grand Ole South of the US of A to spend time for Thanksgiving & Christmas.  So she decided to invite some Continue reading

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2010 – Welcome My Friend!

Hey Hey Hey everyone – okay so I have been MIA since about Christmas Day – but there are some pretty good reasons for this. Continue reading

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33 Things @ 33

33 A

Today I bring to you a gift – that’s right a gift for each one of you on this day – May 29th, 2009 – My Birthday – but for each of you a gift.  This gift is a list of 33 random things about me @ 33 years of age.  (Obviously this isn’t original to me – I have some other friends that have done this sort of thing and I thought it was cool).  So bear with me on the length of this post – but if you dig through it all I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you will find some things you might have never known about me.  And just a heads up – I didn’t even throw in the most obvious fact about my “Shakyhands Syndrome” of which I have no answer for!

So here they are – in no real particular order – well except for the first few, which are about the most important things to me!

1) I believe that Jesus IS the Christ (Messiah, Annointed One) and He IS the Son of the living God and I have taken Him as my Lord (leader & guide of my life) and Savior (the only one that can forgive my sins and save me to spend FOREVER with Him in Heaven)!!!

I don’t always do a good job of living as though He is Lord in my life, and definitely am more willing to accept the Savior part – but I’m gonna keep striving to do better in the first area.

2) I LOVE my parents(Phil Alligood & Ora Jane Alligood) and I know that I don’t do a very good job of showing/telling them that as I probably should.  I am very grateful for their influence and guidance in my life and being tremendous examples of godly people, parents, and ministers to others.  They are by no means perfect, but are true role models of truth & love as well as diligence in work and being sacrificial servants and great stewards of God’s resources.  I could never thank them enough for all they have blessed my life and upbringing with – first above and beyond all others in showing me the Love of Christ and introducing me into that saving relationship with Jesus.

3) I love my sister and her family and feel very fortunate to spend this season of my life with them ministering alongside of them in this area outside of Atlanta.  We were not always that close growing up (not that we didn’t get along – typical brother – sister stuff), but we do get closer I think as the years go on.

4) My cousin Tara and I probably have a closer relationship than most siblings.  We have always been “joined at the hip” since we were little and will probably always share a special connection.  Many people believe we are the male/female version of one another.  I would and will always be willing to do anything for her.

5) I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up with the rest of the “RBC STAFF KIDS” – now known as Mid Atlantic Christian University Staff Kids I guess!  Neal, Lisa, Tara, Eric, Kevin, Travis, Stephanie, Chris, Michael, Marcus, and Megan were quite the CREW!   Tara, Eric, Kevin, and Travis will forever be like extra brothers & sister to me.

33 B6) I am not married, but contrary to popular belief, I can say that I desire at some point (now more than any other time up till now) to be married – the jury is still out on whether or not to have a family, but if I am being TOTALLY honest, I think I would make a great dad (not perfect – but ready to do a really good job)  — Maybe I can start an online video version of the Bachelor starring “yours truly” – I bet that would get CRAZY RATINGS!

7) I have been an usher or groomsman in 13 weddings (I’m actually gunning for the opportunity to star in my own movie called “27 Tuxedos” ha ha ha) and I have performed 7 weddings – even actually done pre-marital counseling for some couples – how crazy is that right??

8] Kim Moulden is one of my all-time GREATEST friends – she has always been someone I enjoy hanging out with and taking “road trips” with – she is a real encourager to me and I know we will always be friends no matter how much time/distance separates us.  Oh for the memories of the NC State Fair!

9) Connie Gibbs and I will FOREVER be “in a relationship” (HA HA HA HA HA – all my CCF facebook friends may know what that is about!) and yes I do LOVE her!!!

10) I will always have a special place in my heart for Campus Ministry – no matter what ministry doors God opens for me in other arenas – and I will always cherish those 7 years I spent in Raleigh!  Working with Campus Christian Fellowship @ NCSU was a tremendous experience and blessing in my life!

11) I will always have a special place in my heart for Mid-Atlantic Christian University – (Formerly known as Roanoke Bible College) – it was a VITAL part of shaping who I have become and am becoming.  I look forward to the exciting days ahead and a partnership for future years.

12) I have worked in Summer Church camps since I was just a teenager – for a few summers I worked 3 different High School weeks in 3 different camps.  I have done everything from camp nurse, to mail call guy, to evening worship speaker, to dorm dad, to team leader, to activities director, to dean, to rec director, to campfire speaker, to kitchen staff, to missions speaker – I think about the only 2 things I have NOT done is lifeguard and done Worship band leading (we are ALL thankful for that)

13) I really love to travel – I have been able to travel to a good number of places all over the United States and some international travel as well to Haiti, Venezuela (4 times), and India – and do expect that list to continue to grow.

14) I LOVE sports in general but my favorite to watch would be basketball, more specifically college basketball – my favorite to play would be volleyball – indoor or outdoor, but indoor is my preference.

15) I LOVE the North Carolina Tar Heels – most especially men’s basketball, but pretty much all things Tar Heels!  I have a goal to one year spend my Thanksgiving out in Hawaii watching my beloved UNC Tar Heels play in the Maui Classic.

16) I have another sports goal; to go out west at some point and spend a week in California visiting every Major League Baseball stadium and watching as many games in one week as possible!

17) I LOVE to preach/speak at events – and feel like it is a Gift that God has given me to use to bring him Honor & Glory and to challenge people.  It is something I get really passionate about and feel like I do a pretty good job of doing well when I get the opportunity.

18) It is one of my goals this year to enroll in a “Stand Up Comedy” class and learn some finer details of comedy, and hopefully open some doors – this is something I’ve always had an interest in attempting.

19) I was on and episode of “The Price Is Right” back in 1999 and actually got called down to “Contestants Row” to bid on an item – I didn’t win.

20) A few years ago I randomly signed up for the show “Survivor” just sort of goofing around with a  friend – then ended up getting called back and making it to the final 800 people.  The next round would have been for 48 to be chosen to try out in CALIFORNIA – man that would have been awesome, but I didn’t make it.

21) In middle school I played basketball for a small private Christian school – on a high school team – the first 3 pointer I ever hit was at the buzzer against our arch rivals to send the game into overtime – we ended up losing in triple overtime, but was still a pretty cool moment.

22) I coached a basketball team for the small Christian College that I graduated from (Mid Atlantic Christian University) and during my first year we played in a tournament in Philadelphia, PA against some “way out of our league” competition – we lost the first game by 75 points and the game the next day by 97 points – not one of my more enjoyable weekends.

23) I blew out my knee back in 1999 playing pick-up basketball and finished tearing it up playing volleyball a couple months later.  Never had surgery but the doctor feels pretty certain at some point I will need to do that – ending my streak of never having any sort of surgery to this point in my life.

24) The friends of mine back in Raleigh – will always remain very near and dear to me as the first group of people I really got to know as I branched out in life and moved away from where I had been for 25 years – it was my first venture into being totally “on my own” and I will always be thankful for God placing them in my life!

25) I really do miss my Orange Xterra (not so much the car payment or lower gas mileage) and would one day like to be back in some sort of an SUV.  I really like the color Orange, but will probably tell you my favorite color is Blue

26) In my freshman year of college on Fall Break I ended up in the hospital with a  Kidney Stone – the only bout I’ve ever had with them (and hopefully the only one I EVER have)

27) I definitely would much prefer living at the beach than living in the mountains – would prefer living in the big city as opposed to living in the country – am pretty certain I will always be content at wherever God leads me to live, but these would definitely be my preferences.  I enjoy warmer weather way more than colder weather.

28) Growing up I had a best friend named J.J. – I always thought it was cool to have “Initials” for a name and wanted to have that too.  Guess I sort of got my wish when working at RBC/MACU and President Griffin referred to me as NOA (pronounced Noah) – J.J.’s birthday was on May 27th so it was cool that we were born 2 days apart and celebrated some birthdays together.

29) For someone that has not had any type of Math class since High School – have a great mind for math and numbers – I can do lots of math in my head and figure numbers quickly (not like Rain Man counting toothpicks on the floor type stuff – but some pretty goofy stuff)  I enjoy numbers and statistic type stuff.

30) I have NEVER taken any course whatsoever in any sort of foreign language (had a study hall during a French class in High School but that doesn’t count) but have always thought I should probably learn a foreign language – maybe I should give those “Rosetta Stone” videos a shot??

31) I would say I have “Loved and Lost” and am not so certain that it really is better than “to have never loved at all” – well I guess it is, but sometimes I’m not so sure, but it’s a catchy saying so I’ll stick with it!

32) #34 was one of my favorite numbers for sports – it is the # I wore in college for basketball – I loved Nolan Ryan and he wore #34, George Lynch @ UNC wore #34 and was one of my all-time favorites.

33) Larry Bird is one of the most famous Athletes to ever wear the # 33 – but I hated Larry Bird – I do admit he was a TREMENDOUS player, but was one of those I loved to hate, no real explanation but that’s the great thing about sports – there doesn’t have to be a legit reason!

33 C

And that’s it people – hope you enjoyed your lovely gift – now it’s OVER & OUT from the DIRTY SOUTH!

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Does anyone else have stuff like this happen…

Well I know the answer to that would actually be yes – cause the episode I am talking about happened over at my friend’s house – so I know they can say yeah.  I just think it is interesting when I have strange lil events like this to take place.  At first they make me go “what the heck was that all about” and then usually just shrug and move on – but I am trying to be more reflective (yeah yeah big shocker) and figure out if God may have some reason behind it or a lesson to teach me. (sort of like the thoughts shared by my friend Wayne a few days ago on his blog – check it)

So here’s the deal – I am at the Martin’s house (Craig, Erin, Avery, & Connelly – who thinks I am the greatest ha ha) back in Raleigh this past weekend.  I was just hanging out before flying back to Atlanta on Tuesday after visiting family and friends for Christmas and New Year’s – it was definitely GOOD TIMES!

It’s about 5:30 or so on Monday evening and there is a ring of the doorbell and someone at the front door.  It was a nice middle-age to older gentleman.  Craig wasn’t home from work yet and Erin went to answer the door.  The guy was kind and friendly but was definitely there with an agenda.  He asked a lil about who she was and if I was her husband (ha ha SHE COULD ONLY HOPE ha ha) – after some introductions – during which I thought he said his name wast “Mr. Willie Pete” or something like that – I know it began with “Mr. Willie — something”.  Anyway he was there from some company who was going to be in the area the next day doing quotes on home improvements.  They were going door to door to see if anyone wanted to sign up to have them stop by.

Normally this is the kind of thing that people would begin closing the door as quickly as possible, but on this occasion Erin kindly stood and listened to the pitch.  Of course there was NO OBLIGATION and NOTHING TO BUY – and actually one of the items was a quote on a sunroom, which Craig & Erin have often talked about adding to the back of the house.   This prospect intrigued Erin and so they began a discussion.  She felt like it was cool if the people came back the next evening, this time when Craig could be home, and then check out the space, take some measurements and give a quote.  Sounds like a pretty harmless deal right?

Well about that time Craig pulled up as he got home from work, he came up to the front and met “Mr. Willie – so-and-so” and was brought up to speed.  Again let me say that this guy who was representing the company was a great guy and really nice and you really didn’t mind standing there talking with him.  So Craig agreed that it wouldn’t be a problem and they worked out the details.  Here is where it gets a lil interesting.

Somehow in the course of the discussion the salesman asked who I was and the connection we all had.  Erin replied that we used to attend the same church, and that set the man off like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July.  He was SO EXCITED to hear we were fellow believers.  He started sharing about who he was and that he was a pastor at a church there in Raleigh.  He then found out that I was a “pastor” or minister or whatever you want to call me (and I know some would call me something much different ha ha) and wanted me to come over to the door and talk as well.

At this point my man broke into all sorts of a dissertation on the fact that since we were fellow believers and ultimately brothers and sisters in Christ, that we all shared the same spirit – or Spirit you might say.  This we all agreed upon.  And he continued about how since this was the case, in some aspects even though we were just now meeting for the first time, we actually knew one another on a deeper level, since we are all part of the same family.  He also made some remarks about how even though our skin tone was different, it didn’t matter we were still the same.  Again more things that we all definitely agreed about.  He talked about how even though we just met and may never meet again that we would spend all eternity together.  Once again – something I am in FULL AGREEMENT and can TOTALLY get behind.  He was excited he was going into – as he called it – “preacher mode” ha ha ha.  He was a truly funny individual, but was genuine and authentic, he definitely loved the Lord.  He talked about being unashamed and sharing who he really was in Jesus, it was pretty cool.

He kept saying “well let me go – I need to go on and let ya’ll get back to what you were doing” but then he would break into another round of insights.  He just kept harping on the fact that our connection – our being “coheirs or brothers and sisters” in Christ was such a neat thing, and even though we didn’t really know one another we actually did deeply know one another.  This whole line of thought, although not new to me – was a good reminder.  

He then said something that I really wish we could all follow more closely.  He said something to the affect that if we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, part of the same family or body, and we all share in the same spirit – why in the WORLD can we not do a better job of getting along down here on earth.  How in the world do we ever plan to get along and spend eternity TOGETHER when we are not doing so here on earth.  And I must say I truly agree.  

Just stop sometime and listen to the things we say about one another (and I mean people in the family of Christ – not those outside the church or faith or body, however you want to describe it).  No wonder so many want to have NOTHING to do with us, or more sadly than that Our Father, Our Creator, Our Maker, Our Savior, Our LORD!  What a call and reminder to be more careful how we treat one another, and how we think about those we haven’t met but are fellow believers, that might not be EXACTLY like us or even very close, but as my new friend so stated we are still in the same Spirit and even though we might not KNOW one another we still KNOW one another.

Well then Mr. Willie whatever said something about the church he pastors with being in Raleigh but soon moving to a new location in Holly Springs (the area where Craig and Erin live) and how they could really use our prayers.  So he grabbed my hand and the 4 of us joined hands and he asked me to pray for he and his congregation and for Craig and Erin and the lives they lead there in their community and for the work I was doing in the Atlanta area.  Before I began to pray I asked him, what did you say your name was again so that I can pray specifically – he started to go to the “Mr. Willie whatever” route and caught himself and then said “Brother Neal” and I was confused (thinking to myself well of course I know my own name) and I paused and said – “yeah but what is your name?” – he replied “Brother Neal – N – E – A – L” – again I was still confused and said “but I thought you said something about Mr. Willie” – he laughed and said “yeah my friends call me Mr. Willie-Pete as sort of a nickname, but my name is Neal” – I told him “NO WAY – that is my name and even the EXACT spelling” (since so many people think I spell it N – E – I – L  sometimes it is a shock to hear it spelled the way I normally do).  So once we had finished what seemed to be a scene from Abbott & Costello’s “Whose on First” routine, we begin to have prayer together.  It was very strange, rather intriguing, and pretty cool.  Then Mr. Willie-Pete/Brother Neal was off the porch and down the steps and on his way.

Who knows if we will ever see him again, probably not, but if we are truly of the same bloodlines and share in the same spirit – then I will no DOUBT see him again, we may not recognize one another, being in new bodies in a new Kingdom and we may not remember that day on the front steps there in Holly Springs, NC – but we will KNOW one another in the knowledge of Jesus Christ!

Oh by the way – the people came the next day – the “quote session” for a sunroom only took ALMOST 3 HOURS of the Martin’s evening and in case you are wondering about adding a sunroom to your house – it was just a measly $62,000!  Needless to say – the Martin’s are extremely fine with the back porch that they currently have – sunroom anyone – NO THANKS – or at least not from that company!

Oh well – just another day in the life, wonder what might be up next!

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