December 28, 2015

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This being the week of Christmas, things took a bit of a pause with the town hall generally closed the latter half of the week. I was able to start the week off by attending the Wake County Mayors’ Association Holiday Dinner on Monday night in downtown Raleigh. It was a nice time to meet mayors, town managers and council members from around the county. It was a treat for Cheryl and I to enjoy the spirit of Christmas with others that share our passion for our Wake County towns.

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Interim Town Manager, Drew Havens, and I with our Better Halves.

I continued the week with another pair of one-on-one meetings with town department heads. Establishing a good working relationship is an important part of my role as mayor. I’m very encouraged by each meeting. We talked about topics such as existing buildings, maintenance of vehicles, and water, sewer and electricity as utilities. The town employees support many services that we rarely see, but experience through our quality of life.

I had a few other minor phone calls about logistics for committees, the new logo for the website and water tower, and plans for our next town council meeting. I’m looking forward to having “normal-sized” agendas in 2016!

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Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Apex Baptist Church

Cheryl and I attended Christmas Eve Service at Apex Baptist Church with family members. We love the Christmas carol singing and the lighting the candles in a dark room. It’s a renewal of spirit for us both and it’s a small part of what makes Apex a special place for me.

Early Christmas morning brought a beautiful rainbow to Apex! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and got to be outside while the weather was amazing.

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Early Christmas Morning Rainbow in Apex

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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Magical Misery Tour

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There is something magical about sitting in a cozy setting listening to musicians that you’ve listened to for 30 years. Even though the songs are new, the feeling is familiar and harkens to a simpler time in my college days.

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Mike Roe, Derri Daugherty and Chris Taylor performed tonight at Rock’n’Roll High School in Apex, NC. It was an intimate affair, which is to say, there were a dozen or so of us there.

But the songs, oh, the songs! This event was full of masterful performances that only this small gathering will enjoy tonight.

Mike (77s), Derri (The Choir) and Chris are starting a tour called Misery Loves Company and Apex is “the second rehearsal,” as Michael quipped.

The older, more seasoned musicians, made Chris feel at home as the new younger guy, inviting him to join in the ad lib banter. And he’s growing into the role well. His talent and style fit right in.

If this tour comes anywhere near you, catch them while you can. It’s the sound of magic.

Easter’s 4 Important Dates

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Jesus Punctuated Passover as the Lamb of God, Arisen

Jesus Punctuated Passover as the Lamb of God, Arisen

The run up to Easter has 4 important dates. You’ve probably heard of them, but do you know what they are underneath the name?

Palm Sunday: April 13, 2014
Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the back of a lowly colt. This normally mundane event took on a supernatural significance as Jesus had developed such a following that the people lined the streets, tossing palm fronds on the ground ahead of him (Matthew 21: 7-8, Mark 11:7-8, Luke 19:35-36, John 12:12-13). He had taught with such authority, healed with such power and acted with such humility that his journey into this major city was both anticipated and welcomed. The traditional Jewish leaders, as well as the Romans, were beside themselves with frustration at this supposed “King of Kings.” This event occurred one week before His Resurrection.

Maundy Thursday: April 17, 2014
The night before his crucifixion, Jesus shared supper with his disciples and washed their dirty feet in an act of humble service. As he did this, he instructed them, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-15). He left them with a mandate to serve others. The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word for “mandate” (mandatum). With His incarnate time running out, he made service to others one of his most important lessons of all. He was later betrayed by Judas and captured by Romans while in the garden praying to His Heavenly Father. These events occurred the night before his crucifixion.

Good Friday: April 18, 2014
The Jewish Sabbath is traditionally the seventh day of the week, or Saturday. Except this week, which has a Passover “high Sabbath.” This particularly week, on the day before the Sabbath (John 19:31), Jesus was accused of being a troublemaker to the Romans and a religious heretic to the Jews. He was tried by Pilate, beaten by the soldiers, flogged by the torturers and crucified high on a cross for all to see. This was the day that a sinless man, doing the will of the Heavenly Father, gave of Himself freely so that  humanity could refer all future sacrifices to that one event. Traditionally, Jews sacrificed a spotless lamb as atonement for recent sins. Jesus became that “lamb” for everyone forevermore, which is why Christians refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God, slain for us. Late in that same day, they took his dead body down and placed it in Joseph of Aramathea’s tomb so the body would not still be there on the Sabbath. These events occurred on the day before the Passover “high Sabbath”, so technically we observe these events a day late.

Easter Sunday: April 20, 2014
Early Sunday morning (literally, “the first day of the week”, John 20:1) Mary Magdelene went to the tomb where Jesus was laid and He was gone. When she reported it to the disciples, they remembered that He said he would be put in the ground for three days and rise again. While this Resurrection event was not a mandated observance, Christians recognize it as the pivotal event of their faith, and the most critical foundation thereof. Without the Resurrection, there is merely death without victory —  sin without salvation. For Christians, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah, who was “broken for our sins” and by whose “wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). While we call it Easter today, named for the dawn (sun rises in the east) and similar to the Anglo-Saxon pagan sunrise goddess Eostre, Paul wrote to the Corinthians and referred to Christ and the Resurrection with the term “pascha”, from the Hebrew word “pesach” meaning Passover. Passover was the event in Exodus where the blood of the first-born lamb was put above and to the sides of the door in order to denote obedience to God.

Perhaps the lamb is a more appropriate symbol of Easter than a bunny or an egg.

 

Ron Shirley: In This World, But Not Of It

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Ron Shirley: In The World, But Not Of It

Ron Shirley: In The World, But Not Of It

What does it mean to Lick Life?  For starters, it’s Ron Shirley’s philosophy.  Ron and his wife, Amy, are stars in truTV’s reality show Lizard Lick Towing.  They have put the Wendell area’s crossroads on the national map with their brand of repossessing vehicles while dealing with typically unhappy vehicle owners.

Ronnie and Bobby, his number one helper, at one time a repo “victim” himself, take repo papers from the banks and go find, snatch and lock up cars that are a few payments short of being legitimately owned.  Naturally, people are loathe to give up their cars and usually fight back, at least in this world of TV reality.  Both guys have had their share of cuts, bruises and hospital visits as a result.  Even Amy has stepped out of the office a few times to do the dirty work, and as a former power lifter, she is not afraid to throw a punch in order to get her job done.

Ron has found that same country charm that Andy Griffith tapped into during the 1960s, each putting NC towns like Mayberry (presumed to be Mt. Airy), Mt. Pilot (Pilot Mountain), Siler City, Raleigh, and Wendell on the national stage.  His frequent use of comparatives (“tighter than a frog’s butt”, “on it like a duck on a june bug” and “more confused than Mike Tyson at a spelling bee”) conjure up vivid mental images that are natural to most southerners and quaint to others that have never heard them, but understand them.

In their latest Special Hometown Tour episode, which aired March 3, 2014, they finally take their fans behind the scenes for some reality behind the reality.  You can expect the following in that episode:

  • Ron gets his Bo-Hawk haircut at Earcell’s Barber Shop in Wendell, NC.
  • Bobby makes his own eggs at McLean’s country restaurant.
  • Amy visits the home place where she and her sisters grew up.
  • Krazy Dave shows off his musical studio bus.
  • Bobby and his friends blow up stuff by the pond.
  • Ron gets his “Lick Life” tattoo enhanced.
  • Ron gives props to Jesus Christ.
  • Ron inspires young people with a motivational speech.

As an ordained minister, Ron walks in this world with a mission.  He is often seen wearing sports jerseys with Biblical references on them, placing the book where the player name goes, and the chapter number where the player’s number would be.  In this episode, he talks explicitly about his spiritual beliefs and philosophies.

If I can give hope or inspiration to any one child, it’s worth everything that I do… It’s all about my beliefs and what I think… and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christians should take note of how Ron Shirley operates in his world, among the good and the bad, the believers and the skeptics.  He does not separate himself from them and, thus, miss an opportunity to minister.  In the episode, the tattoo artist shared that Ron asked him to read 77 pages of the Bible before giving Ron his tattoo.  Ron is not “of the world” (John 15:9, 17:14) and so he can act as a light in the world (John 1:5).

Kudos to truTV for letting the Shirleys stand up, without censorship, for what they believe.  They didn’t edit God out as many have done.  truTV let it ride and trusted that many times reality is truly more interesting than fiction.

Although Ron Shirley gets into more than his share of scrapes with very unpleasant folks, he is more than just a country boy with a tow truck, a bo-hawk and a TV show.  He’s a committed Christian and family man that has earned my respect for his boldness in speaking about Jesus Christ, and for his inspirational message to “Lick Life”.

In writing this, I had about as much fun as a NASCAR driver working part-time as a valet at the Detroit Auto Show.  How about you?

Copyright 2014 Lance Olive, All Rights Reserved.