Farewell Sister Brisco

23 years, that’s how long Sister Brisco has been a part of my life. She’s known me since diapers. Literally. And I can honestly say, she’s had a HUGE part in molding me into the person I am today.

Saundra Brisco (Sis. B) has been in children’s ministry for 50 years. She stared in ministry when she was just 16 years old. This past Sunday, we celebrated her 23 years of ministry at my home church, Montgomery First. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I didn’t think this day would ever come— Sis. Brisco is retiring. Of course, you can’t leave us until we throw you one over the top Farewell reception complete with over a thousand balloons, bagel bites and a slit walking clown.

As a child I remember Saturday morning Easter egg hunts, parents night out, spring break trips to Butts Mills Farm and even Kids Camp. I remember the first solo she gave me in a baseball themed program. I thought I was hot stuff in my white and red baseball tee. I even remember the time she had me dress up like a toy soldier and glued fake side burns on my cheeks for Christmas. Ouch! We’ve made lots of memories through out the years, Too many to count. But through those memories have come a lot of teachable moments.

If there is one thing that I would have to classify as ‘The Biggest Thing Sister Brisco Has Taught Me” it would be: How to Love People. I’ve had the privilege of serving under her ministry, working side by side with her week after week. We’ve even traveled the world together and I can honestly say she’s the same person in Montgomery, Alabama as she was in South Africa, Ecuador and Guatemala. Her heart for kids is something special. I can vividly remember standing outside a elementary school in South Africa in 2009, dusty dirt roads, kids running around who haven’t eaten in days, showered in probably weeks, but it didn’t matter. She saw someone who needed love, and that’s what she gave them. Wether it was a hug, prayer or even a smile– She could’ve cared less about what their background was, the color of their skin or how well dressed they where or what they smelled like. She once  said to me “Evan, Happiness comes when we learn to love others.” Talk about ah-ha moment, in the middle of Africa at that. I’ll never forget it. Today I find myself loving on those who are in need, who may be different from others and it’s credited to her and the values she spoke into me at an early age.

Speaking of traveling together, boy have we done our fair share together. From Kids Crusades, field trips and overseas adventure we’ve been side by side. I LOVE telling people about the time Sis. B decided to wear white pants on our 16 hour flight back to the states from South Africa and spilled diet coke on them 45 minutes in our flight—she had a bing brown stain for hours. Or the time we were in the Canary Islands and she didn’t like the tuna casserole the sweet church ladies offered her, so she pretended to eat it and threw it in the bushes. They saw her plate was empty so, they brought her more. You know what she did next, she threw it in the bushes again, and they brought her, yet another round. We laughed for hours. I could go on and on with stories, life lessons and memories we’ve shared but I’ll save those for my trip to visit you at the beach.

Sunday night I overhead people saying “It’s bitter sweet. We hate to see her go.”, but I say it’s all sweet and no bitter. We’ve laughed together, cried together even hooted and hollered. We’ve done life together but For now, I suppose two inadequate words will have to do: Thank you. Thank you for accepting me, loving me, teaching me, laughing with me, and most importantly praying for me. Thank You for being an inspiration not only to me, but those in our church, our city, our state and even the world. I won’t say “Goodbye”, I’ll just say “Until we meet again.”. I Love You Sister Brisco.

Evan & Company Fall Mantle Decor

Hey Y’all! Happy Wednesday. Can you believe it’s starting to actually feel like fall outside. I have to admit, I’m a horrible person when it comes to decorating for the holidays. I guess I’m always busy helping clients I tend to neglect my home and office. So this year, I decided I was going to jazz up our office mantle for the fall. It’s the focal point of our consultation space, so it need to POP.

I used a collection of pumpkins, pinecones, greenery and taper candles. Most of these things I had around the office, minus the pumpkins of course. I’m still trying to figure out what I used the gold candles for.  Maybe it will hit me soon. I know I collected the brass candle holders from different thrift stores around the area.

The pumpkins came home with me from my visit to Niceville, FL. If you’re in the area, stop by– the students at Crosspoint United Methodist host a pumpkin patch as a yearly  fundraiser. Of course if you can’t make it there, you can also check your local farmers market.

It’s a pretty simple set up. I promise anyone can do it.  Since it was going to be a focal point in our office, I wanted to keep with our brand colors; Grey and White. Luckily I had first dibs on those pretty grey pumpkins. They’re PERFECT. I used seeded eucalyptus and Italian Ruscus to soften the harsh lines of the pumpkins. I added some pinecones for texture and contrast. I also found some faux dusty miller laying around the office that I pick up from our local craft store and those it was another great touch of grey.

If you haven’t already pulled your fall decor out of the attic, hop to it. I had a blast being creative for a minutes yesterday morning. I Can’t wait to see what you come up with– If posting on social media use the hashtag #EGCfallmantle, I’d LOVE to see what you create.

Pizza, Instagram, Comparison and what I’ve learned

This past weekend I packed my bags and went to hang out with my long time friend Brandon and his family—  They live Niceville, Fl.  The change of scenery was just what I needed.  Who knew there was such a place.  Ok, Ok! I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too… “Are the people of Niceville really nice?” I mean, they not mean. LOL

During my 4-day adventure, we spent a lot of time eating— Pizza, Hibachi, seafood, and even Chick Fil A. I’m stuffed thinking about it. By the way, If you’re in the area, you have to try the buffalo chicken pizza from Domonics. SO YUMMY! We even threw in some Alabama football too (he’s a HUGE fan). Y’all know I could care less, but I watched with a smile. You’re welcome, Brandon. But I think what I loved most about my time there was our conversations. It’s always fun to catch up and reminisce on old times, but it’s also fun to meet new people.

Greyson, Brandon and Amy

While in Niceville, almost as soon as I arrived, I met this sweet gal that attends their church. The following day we met again and it was as if we had been friends for years. Ok, not years, but months. Haha. She introduced me to her group of friends, but it was the way she introduced me that made me stop and think. “This is Evan. He has 5,000 followers on Instagram and a Youtube Channel.”  At first I laughed, thought it was comical and cute, but the more I thought about it, I couldn’t help but think, “is this what our world has come too?” Living in what people call the “Millennial Generation (myself included), we too often define our lives by the number of followers we have or the amount of likes we get.

Social Media has created this idea that “it’s okay to pretend to be okay.” We post only the pretty stuff.  The stuff that makes us look good. The stuff that makes people think we’re living a perfect life, but the reality of it is, we aren’t. We’re humans. We struggle. We hurt and most days we don’t have it all together.

As most of you know, over the last few years, I have been through some pretty rough patches in life. I never in a million years thought I would see the day my parents called it quits on their marriage. It hurt and it hurt deep. I’m known as the funny guy, the guy who makes people laugh, the life of the party if you will. It was during the darkest hours of my life, I lied to people. I pretended to happy, but deep inside I was hurting. I needed someone to talk to, but instead, I turned to the internet where I pretended to be ok.

During that time period of my life, one of the most important things I learned was that “Comparison is the Enemy of Self-Worth”. I realized that I was too worried about what others thought of me. I used social media (“Likes” and “Followers”) to validate who I was. I was more focused on my image being tarnished.  I learned the hard way that comparing myself to others and their accomplishments made me feel inferior. I let the disease comparison burry itself in me.  It destroyed who I was— my self-worth and my confidence.

Comparison will eat you alive if you let it, yet so many of us do. We compare our success, talents, job titles, relationships, looks and even our cars and house.  Genesis 1:27 says, “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  No one can take this away from us. We were created in the image of God and that alone is something to be proud of. Be who God created you to be.

 

Halloween Party Decor

Halloween is just a few days away– I know everyone is running around like crazy people trying to pull all the last minute decor together. Have no dear, we’re here to save the day. We’ve come up with some pretty cute, easy and affordable party decor ideas. Wether you are throwing a party for your kiddos class at school or one for your adult friends, these ideas can be executed for either.  2016-10-24_0004

2016-10-24_0006 How cute is this little spider pillow we picked up from the “Dollar Spot” at Target?! Certainly kid friendly. 2016-10-25_0002 No party is complete without cake, right? We are DYING over these spooky creations from Simply Sugared. They’re the perfect addition to any party. 2016-10-25_0010 If budget doesn’t allow for a cake, there are some pretty snazzy cupcakes out there too. In a hurry we picked these cute yellow cake cupcakes up from Winn-Dixie. Shhhhh, don’t tell my bakery friends.  2016-10-25_0003 2016-10-24_0007 2016-10-24_0005 If you’re looking for some of the most perfect paper goods, we’ve got covered. From plates, straws and even cups. The links are all below.

2016-10-25_0007 Shop This: Pumpin Plates | Eat, Drink + be Scary Plates | Bat Cups | Orange Flatware | Black and White Striped Napkins 2016-10-25_0006 Shop This: Skull Plates | Spider Web Plates | Black Paper Cups | Straws | Cat Napkins | Black Flat Ware  2016-10-25_0005 Shop This: Skull Plates | Happy Halloween Napkins | Plastic Spider Rings | Black Flat Ware  2016-10-24_0002 Shop This: Orange Plates | Spider Web Plates | Ghost Napkins | Wooden Spoons | White Paper Cups | Straws halloween_fb_cover