My Trophy from Alaska
In January I had the privilege of speaking to about 250 pastors and their wives in Alaska. Terri and I made our first trip to the state and were blown away by the cold, the beauty and the people. It was a trip we will always cherish. If you would like to read more about the trip and what God said to my heart, click here.
While we were there, I wanted to get a wolf hide. I’m fascinated by wolves. They are magnificent looking creatures. It’s a long story on how we got the wolf, but let’s just say I’m not a hunter, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express and I do carry an American Express card. When I saw the hide of this wolf, I knew I had to have it. After a little wheeling and dealing, it was mine. We put the hide in a black bag, stuffed it in a suitcase and brought it home to Albany.
Here I am, less than a month later, and that wolf now sits above my desk in a majestic pose. When the taxidermist and I put him in the office, I must have sounded like a five-year-old at Christmas. He made that hide into a magnificent trophy. He wouldn’t be up there today if not for a dear friend who made it possible for me to get this done. As I look at that wolf, I thank God for my friend who caught my heart on this. As I look into the eyes of that wolf, I see they are intense, focused and confident. There is a look of boldness on his face. It sure beats a t-shirt for remembering my trip to Alaska.
I haven’t named my wolf yet, but I’ll give him a good name. I may be the only pastor in America with a wolf in his office. I know a few who have a few members and deacons who are wolves seeking to devour, but this, this is not that kind of wolf. Because of my friend Ken Jenkins (www.kenjenkins.com), I’ve grown to appreciate the uniqueness of every creature God has created. I’m not there yet on skunks, possums, gnats and mosquitoes! God’s glory is revealed in creation, in His Son and should be in us. We are trophies of His grace. He displays us to the world so that through us and in us the world might see Christ. He sets us up so that all can see the majesty of his grace.
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.