Spending Time with Sheriff Grady Judd

(In previous years, I frequently wrote articles about my family, interesting trips, and other things that would keep this website from getting too serious. Yet, especially during this past year, I have unintentionally limited my posts to my time in God’s Word. While that is so important, I want to keep my website personal. So, I will try to periodically write some extra things that I think [hope] the readers of this website will find interesting.)

Long before I moved back to Florida, I heard of Sheriff Grady Judd. Videos of him doing a press conference would periodically appear on the news. Videos of him were all over YouTube. I always enjoyed watching them.

What makes Sheriff Judd someone people enjoy watching? It’s his style. People in high office often carefully guard their speech. They realize that anything they say can and will be used against them by their foes so they play it safe.

Not Sheriff Judd. He appears to say whatever comes to mind but he has the presence of mind to say only what is appropriate … even though it is on the edge of what is permissible. Yet, even as he speaks, I suspect that many Americans are saying to themselves, “It’s so good to hear someone speak common sense with authority these days!”

For instance, watch this following video of Sheriff Judd at a press conference with Florida’s Governor DeSantis behind him.

Well, a few weeks ago I heard that he was going to be the speaker at a local Pastor’s Appreciation Luncheon. I texted Drew, a friend who pastors a local church, and asked if he wanted to go with me. A week later, we made our way to Auburndale Community Church.

I showed up and told Drew that I didn’t know how or when but that I was going to get a picture with Sheriff Judd. I had developed respect for him over the years and wanted proof that I met him at least once.

As the service began and a prayer was prayed, we were encouraged to make our way to the fellowship hall where we were to enjoy a meal. Drew and I got our food and sat down. Moments later, I looked over my left shoulder and saw Sheriff Judd heading in our direction. He stopped at our table and asked if he could join us.

For the next 30 or so minutes, we had a great conversation. The sheriff with the bravado, the sense of humor, and who knew how to tell entertaining stories of how criminals were caught, was now sitting across the table from Drew and me.

It was great getting to know him. I had heard that he was serious about his desire to follow Jesus and, as the conversation progressed, that became abundantly clear. It was also obvious that God had orchestrated this meeting because Drew had some specific things of interest that Sheriff Judd was glad to hear and respond to.

God is so good. I’ve met plenty of amazing people in my life, people who have risen above the rest and done some incredible things with the life God gave them. I’ve also discovered that if I just dig a little in conversation with others, every person I meet generally has a pretty cool story, or at least some pretty cool things they’ve done, places they’ve been, or people they’ve met.

As you go into this day, choose to see each person you meet as a person of incredible value. Even if that value isn’t immediately visible, you would most certainly discover it if you had time to really get to know them. So, treat each person as a person of value. If you do, almost certainly many of them will return the favor and treat you as a person of value as well.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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