Thursday, November 24, 2016


On this Thanksgiving Day, 2016, We, Michelle and I,  wish to say that we are honored to have you in our life.  Thanks for loving and caring for us. Thank you for touching our lives in ways you may never know. Our riches do not lie in material wealth, but in having  a friend like you. Your friendship is a precious gift from God.

Blessings to all that have overcome illness this year.  A special thank you to all that have participated in my healing process this year. Each healing touch and act of kindness will always be remembered fondly.

Blessings to all who have had babies (or like us, grandbabies) this year.  They truly are a miracle and blessing from God. RiRi and Mimi sure feel blessed this year. (did you hear about the new addition this week? - Happy first thanksgiving to Charley Rae Justiss, daughter to Steele Justiss.  And it is also Nicolas’ first Thanksgiving, Adam and Jei’s son.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all, may our blessings and God’s watchful eye over us continue, and may we always give thanks for His love for us.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Dream Team Statement of Values

I have been on a journey to identify the core values that drive The Dream Team - a set of values that speak to who we are and that define what is important to us.  The following is The Dream Team Statement of Values.

We attract, develop and recognize exceptional people. You were selected because of your excellence in character.  Being on our roster is a testament to the kind of person you are, one defined by a good name, high principles and the best of intentions. 

We think independently, play our own game, take measured risk and play to win. We draw upon the competitive spirit at our core to inspire us and define what's possible.

We take ownership, act with integrity, and follow through on promises. Even when it's hard, we do the right thing. 

We learn the league rules and play by them, we call fouls on ourselves and don't cheat our opponent or try to take advantage.  If we win, we win fair and square. 

When we join the team we agree to show up and be on time.  If life gets in the way and we can't make it (as it will from  time to time), we make sure our teammates know that we will be out and have to miss.  This is the way we show our respect to our team, our teammates and friends.  With relationship comes responsibility.

We invest in our players for the long term.  We generously give of our time and talent to help our teammates learn the game and be supportive of their desire to be a better pool player.   We celebrate each rise in skill level.

We build enduring relationships be earning trust and respect.  We lean on each other.  We are a team, and we win together or fall together.  "We can survive the most difficult of circumstances if we are not forced to stand alone."

This is and exciting time for The Dream Team.  Ours is a team of a long standing 12 year tradition and together we can continue our ways to maintain and un-disputable reputation for excellence, achievement, integrity, value and respect. Thank you for your part in making this a reality.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What Would Dad Do?

 Now I love my mom and for countless reasons, including her ceaseless positive energy.  She has had plenty of health issues lately but you sure wouldn’t know it to talk to her.  No matter what is going on with her she radiates with a happy positive disposition and I love that about her.  She has unconditional love for, not just me, but her family, all of us.  She has such a contagious laugh and smile.  If the reasons I love her aren’t testament enough to how wonderful she is, I know I have the best mom because all my friends get excited when they learn they are going to get to visit with her or see her soon.  Or when others are always asking me how she is doing.  My mom, MamaG, is the kind of woman who makes people feel so loved and accepted.  She includes everyone and can turn life into a party.  Her glass is always half full, her home is always open. She is a legend in her hometown.  You would be blessed to meet her. I love my momma.  I hope I grow up to be as generous with my life and spirit as she is with hers.

I mention this because I can’t talk about my dad without talking about her.  They go together.  Like salt and pepper.  You can’t even think of one without thinking of the other. 
And likewise, you can’t talk about Gaylon and Ginger without mentioning us 3 kids, Ricky (yours truly), Gina and Andy.
Our family is what we are due to my dad.  He set the atmosphere. He set the tone.  He provided the guidance.  He was the teacher.  He molded us.  All of us can say we are what we are because of him.

In the scriptures we read of a character that was described as “a man after God’s own heart.”  That is my dad.  He loves everyone.  He forgives everyone, always.  He is kind.  He is generous.  He cares, about you and your life. He loves God and knows God’s word. He always has the wise prescription for the situation.

I know he is not perfect.  If I dug deep enough I might find a flaw.  No one is perfect.  But when I was younger I would see these signs and tshirts, “What would Jesus do?”   But I always had a great example to follow right there in my immediate family.  All I had to do was ask, “What Would Dad Do?”

If I was mad at someone, I was taught to not hold a grudge.  When I was busy, I learned to put others first. When things would get hectic, I learned to stay calm. I learned how to take care of things.  I learned to take care of my car, to mow the grass, and keep a tidy house. But from these simple things I learned the bigger things, like taking care of my family.  He always did. He kept a pulse on everyone and what was going on with them.  Every-time, without fail, when something “big” happened with me, he was there, either to celebrate, console, advise or whatever the occasion called for.

But it wasn’t just his family he took care of.  He is the most respected man I know.  I said my mom was a legend in her hometown.  So is he.  He has helped more people than anyone.  If you were in the hospital, he visited you.  If you were down he was there to lift you up.  If you had a big win of some sort in life, no one was happier for you. He came into your life, not heavy handed, but in a gentle calming manner that would put you at ease.  That is the kind of person I have hoped to be.  Whenever I had a decision to make all I ever had to ask myself was, “What Would Dad Do?”  Everyday I live, I thank God for him and my mom. I know my brother and sister will give a big Amen to that.  And the in-laws. And the grandchildren.  And everyone who has known them and been loved by them. Happy Father’s Day dad. You have all of our respect, the old fashioned way, you have earned it.

 You may have heard me comment before about my blessed life.  I recognize it.  I constantly give thanks for it.  God watches over me like I am his prized possession.  He protects me. He provides for me. Many times it has been so amazing I can only drop to my knees in humble gratitude and praise when God moves people and situations such that I become the beneficiary.  The greatest example of this, and there are so many I could write a book, is this man I have been speaking of.  My biological dad died early in life.  He died the same year I was born. He died in April and I was born in August.  My dad, Papa G to many, Gaylon to most, dad to me, came along 2 years later and married my mom.  In the beginning it was just me and mom, against the world. It wasn’t easy (that is another story) but she somehow managed. She could have married anyone. Or no one.  But I see God’s hand all over this. He had the man for the job.  Hand picked by God, to be my dad. He married my mom. He raised me.  He loved me unconditionally.  And still does. He taught me his profession, and he was and still is the very best preacher alive.  People often comment about my gift with words, but it is all because of him.  He taught me public speaking, writing, all of it.  I am nothing without him.  God knew the kind of man he was.  And God wanted me to be raised by that man. God wanted me to do something, or be something for someone and he wanted to prepare me by having me raised by “a man after his own heart.”  I have listened.  I have learned all that I could. I am ready for whatever life throws at me.  And whatever is still to come, I know I will only have to ask one question, “What Would Dad Do?”

Thankfully he is still here and all I have to do today is pick up the phone or make a short drive into East Texas. God has blessed him with a long life.  No one is the beneficiary of that more than me.  Unless it is  maybe my mom, my brother and my sister. And the in-laws and grandchildren. We all have been blessed.  Truly blessed. I know he has touched the lives of so many, but none more than me.  Again, Happy Father’s Day to best dad ever.  I love you dad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Day Nicolas was Born

It is March 22, Tuesday, and I woke up to learn the mom (daughter in law) was in labor, as of 4 a.m.  We are expecting a warm 75 degree spring day.  Brussels Belgium was the mark of the terrorists today as bombs were set off around that town early this morning, capturing the attention of the news anchors on TV.  The President is visiting Cuba, the first for a President in our lifetime, as Cuba has long been a place we did not have any dealings with. But all of these things will be long forgotten and this day will soon only be remembered as the day Mimi’s 3rd grandchild was born, born to Adam  and Jei, named Nicolas.  He was born at 11:20 a.m., 7 lbs 9 ozs and 21 in’s long.  He will be great.  No doubt.  At least in our eyes.

No drug can match the euphoric rush of pleasure and relief at knowing both mother and baby are well; the intense wave of love that sweeps over you for the newborn baby boy.  The first time you hold that grand baby  in your arms and call yourself grand mother or grand father, Mimi or RiRi, an awareness floods over you that life will never be the same again. Another human being is now dependent upon you. More than anything else, you want to be the best grandparent possible. You want to be healthy, live long, and enjoy watching him grow up. All of these sort of things come to mind.

The best kept secret in the world is the joy of having a baby.  I like to call it “the best day ever.”  It is only surpassed by the joy of having a grand baby. The love and laughter the child brings into your life is immeasurable. Your life seems to have renewed purpose and meaning. One of the great moments of your life is when you see the baby’s face for the first time. It is just the greatest feeling.

May God Bless Nicolas Julian Wise with untold blessings and may God be pleased with the man be becomes.  Happy Birthday Nicolas.