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So…who am I?  I’m a Jesus Follower.  I’m a husband.  I’m a father.  I’m a son.  I’m a brother.  I’m an uncle.  I’m a friend and to all of these I’m committed.

I grew up in Petersburg, Virginia.  Growing up my peers were mostly children of parents with military backgrounds.  Fort Lee was responsible for bringing many of them into the area.  This meant that they had lived in various places around the world.  I attribute those friendships to making me see the world.  Through their eyes and actions I gained an understanding and respect for other cultures of the world.  It made me who I am and I thank God for it and those friendships that are still strong today.

Here at ‘Living Like You Mean It’ it is my hope and prayer that the postings shared here are an inspiration to those who stumble into this space.  My goal is to be positive and give you a reason to smile, to think, to reflect, to connect, to pray and most importantly help you ‘live your life like you mean it’.

‘Living Like You Mean It’ is not a new concept and I must give credit and thanks for the title to my good friend and brother, Derek Maul.  I highly recommend you make a visit to his blog, ‘The Life-Charged Life’ at  www.derekmaul.wordpress.com

Here you will find a range of postings on what it means to be a Jesus Follower, family life, men’s ministry, personal interviews, video links, audio podcast, music, history, sports, reviews, Native American culture and sometimes some politics.  After what seemed a lifetime in dead end retail jobs I went back to finish my college degree at 31.  A 1996 BA graduate in Political Science major and minoring in International Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, I had a couple of brief gigs in the Virginia General Assembly and worked on a couple of statewide election campaigns, one that won and one that lost.  That was enough to learn that working in politics wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.   So whatever the topic I write about I will always strive to be positive and uplifting in my posts.  Again, it’s about sharing what ‘living like you mean it’ is all about.  This exercise in writing helps me work towards that goal and answer a call to share with you in hopes of making a difference in the world.

I value and invite your comments and perspectives.  The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone unless otherwise noted.  I will always try and respond to your comment(s).    Do I have a comment policy?  Yes.  Above all be nice and be positive.  I invite varied opinions that are respectfully written as long as they do not become negative, mean spirited or disrespectful.  I am an advocate for the promotion of civil discourse.

I have a day job that pays the bills, but my ‘real‘ job since 2008 is Director of Men’s Ministry for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Virginia.  I organize and lead an annual men’s retreat weekend event and promote men’s ministry.  I am available to speak or lead your men’s ministry retreat event or activity so please don’t hesitate to contact me at dinetah.ray@gmail.com to discuss the possibilities.

I also promote the work I, my wife and so many others through the years have done for the Dine people of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico through something called the Navajo Work Camp Program.  Kim and I have led several groups and shepherded others who have trekked to the southwest.  If you are interested in a cultural experience where you can do a weeks worth of community service and give back then contact me for more details.

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None of what you read here would be possible w/o a beautiful loving family, my two sons, Gabe and Liam and especially my wife, Kim.

Peace,

Ray

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NOTE: if you like what you read here check out my original ‘Tuesday Afternoon…’ blog at www.tuesdayafternoonwithraygryder.blogspot.com

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