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I’m Listening, Boss

August 21, 2012

I’m of a generation that respects authority. Not to shirk my reputation for being a maverick, you understand. As a former Master of the Universe I’ve made and paid for  many bold expressions of independence from the Rules.  God has had to get tough to make me listen and understand that he is the source of every good thing in my life.

My story over the past ten years is not unlike Job’s.  (Not Jobs, as in Steve, but the Job of Scripture. The one with less press.)  Job had it all, then lost it all for no reason clear to him.  He wondered, “Why me, Lord?”  God basically said, “Because I am the boss and I said so.”

God pointed out the stars, the sun, the wonders of nature and the universe and said to Job, “You didn’t build that.”

It took me a lot longer than it did Job, but I now understand that letting God  be in charge is the secret to a good and happy life. (And I might add, for a happy life have a happy wife .)

Now, after ten years of being pummeled by the IRS, after ten years of  losing every quixotic battle for my  brilliant but misunderstood viewpoint of tax law, I can still open my soul every  morning and ask, “What would you have me do today, my Father?”

So when the Boss says it’s time to make a change, I’ve learned to listen, trust, and obey.

Aside: Because this is a Memphis blog, and because some of you will enjoy it, and because my wife/editor insists (see “happy wife” reference above), here is an audio clip of an unreleased Elvis gospel recording, “Known Only to Him,” that pretty much describes the way Eve and I feel much of the time.

Click here for Elvis

Just over a year ago Eve and I were living on Monteagle mountain, happily living the rural life.

Then God said, “It’s time to move back to Memphis.” We both knew instantly that it was God’s plan for us (though admittedly we were not thrilled with the idea).  We accepted, and trusted, and obeyed.

Only God knew the adventures and delights in store for us.  The  generous and extraordinary people he would put in our paths.

Todd Payne was one of the first.  I met Todd, the GM of local Bott Radio Network 640 AM, at a civic meeting last October.  I had previously met Don Tredway of Tredway Financial Group, an AM 640 sponsor, at Faith Anglican Church. In December 2011, with Don’s generous support, Todd granted me the opportunity to experiment with a radio show to discuss Memphis public policy from a Christian perspective.

What a great ride it’s been the past seven months!  We were able to engage listeners throughout Greater Memphis to learn and think about the importance of improving public education, one of the keys to making Memphis great again. We got to know and interview Mayor Mark Luttrell, SCS Board Chairman Billy Orgel, and 13 school board candidates. And I was allowed to pursue my passion of analyzing public policy. For that opportunity, and for the wonderful entree to Memphis civic life, Eve and I will be eternally grateful to Todd Payne and Don Tredway, two exceptional men of Memphis.

This blog, Back in River City, began as a way to extend such conversations past the 30 minutes a month of air time available to us. Over time, Eve and I have begun to see more clearly God’s reprised Memphis chapter in our lives. Back in River City has become the platform for our work as advocates for Memphis. Here we can bring you facts and insights hard – sometimes impossible – to find elsewhere. Here we can engage all neighbors of good will in productive conversation about the issues that matter most in our common lives. Back in River City provides us unlimited freedom to explore new forms of media and communication.

Recently, Todd informed us that AM 640 wants to redirect Friday Viewpoint. We share their excitement in moving where God leads.  It won’t be the end of our relationship  with the folks at AM 640 who have brought so much to our lives in 2012, just a shift, a new path.  And for our followers here and on AM 640, welcome to Back in River City 2.0. We have a number of surprises and New Thangs in the wings, so stay tuned.

Our mission is to facilitate conversation that leads to the creation of  abundant life for all citizens of Greater Memphis. We plan to do that through multiple means. One on one relationships with the powerful and the powerless. Podcasting. Research into root causes of poverty and pernicious provincialism.  Public advocacy. Essays and ebooks that provide new insights and solutions.

We can’t do this alone. If you love Memphis but hate the problems, please join us in this divine adventure. And ask your friends and associates to join in, too.

What are the top 2-3 issues you believe all citizens must tackle together to make Memphis a vibrant, livable city for all people?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bill Hicks permalink
    August 21, 2012 8:34 pm

    Hi, Eddie and Eve……….what a great ministry God has directed you guys to start. Memphis really needs that type of love. Mary Ann and I are also on an exciting journey in The Villages, Florida. We retired and moved close to our three kids (and new grandson) who live in the Tampa/St. Pete area. We looked for a long time for a church where we could serve and finish life well. Instead of guiding us to a church, God prompted us to start a new church. We left a great fellowship in Green Bay that was an Evangelical Free Church, so we worked through our GB church and last February began Live Oaks Community Church here in The Villages. If you are not aware of The Villages, it is a 55+community of 90,000 that is growing in the next three years to 120,000. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. Less than six months into existence, we had 13 people go to the inner city of New Orleans and help build a playground. We hope to provide several opportunities each year for people to do short term missions domestically and in the Carribean (and beyond as God allows.) Our credo is “Play Hard, Pray Hard, Finish Well.” We have worked over the last 10 months developing our Mission, Vision, and Core Values (I attached a copy of the current work if you have an interest). We also are on Facebook under Live Oaks Community Church (The Villages, Florida) if you would like to “Like” us. We just signed a year lease to begin weekly worship in October in a strategic location only God could provide. If you guys would like an inexpensive Florida get away sometime, drop us a note. We have plenty of room and are less than an hour from Disney, Universal, and Seaworld. We’d love to have you come down for a vacation sometime. Pressing On and Praising HIM………..Bill & Mary Ann Bill has a file to share with you on SkyDrive. To view it, click the link below.Missionvisionvalues Word.docDate: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 17:14:35 +0000 To:

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