Just in case you were wondering…

From time to time I get asked about the name of this blog. 

The quick answer? When I started this website in 2008, there were four generations of Adams boys alive, with an average of 27 years between them. 

Thus, 27gen – energized by the steady, deliberate journey in generational learning.

Our “history” spans the first transatlantic telephone call (from NYC to London) the year my father was born to smartphones now that connect the world in an instant.

In other words, there is a lot of history in play: things that have happened, things that are happening, and things that will happen.

And it is all connected.

Here’s a better explanation:

This is my son Jonathan, at two years of age, obviously having a good time at my parent’s house.

He’s now 41.

This is my grandson Jack (Jonathan’s son) at two years of age, obviously having a good time playing at his house.

He’s now 14.

Some things never change…

Some things are always changing…

I want to make sure I understand the difference.


Attic Memories

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Prov 21:9 KJV

I’m nearing the end of a week of traveling that has taken me through 6 airports on 4 airlines in order to: observe and document the weekend worship experiences of one of the pioneer multisite churches in the US; participate in a 3 day conference; launch Auxano’s Vision Room; and take part in a training initiative. The last event ended up in Nashville, where I joined the rest of the Auxano team for a daylong Navigator learning opportunity.

I was able to take advantage of my schedule and spend the night at my mother’s house, working on a few projects around the house before heading back to Charlotte later today.

One of those projects required me to go up into the attic of our house to bring something down. Once I climbed the folding stairs, a rush of memories flooded me. This wasn’t your normal attic – this was my teenage bedroom.

A little more about information is necessary. In the late 60’s, as my older brother was beginning high school and I was beginning to start junior high, my father thought it would be a good idea if my brother and I had separate rooms – we had been sharing a room since I was born. My dad asked if I would work with him and convert our attic into a bedroom for me.

What an adventure! Over the course of several months, we spent time putting in floors and walls, carpet, an air conditioner, and shelving. It worked great! During the remaining years of junior high then into high school I enjoyed using the initial bedroom plus an expansion that more than doubled the size of the original room.

Walking into that space this morning, my eyes fell on this:

It was my dad’s business checkbook, with the last check written to close out the account when he retired in 1994 after 44 years of operating a Gulf gas station.

That visual took me back in an instant to the years I spent in, around, and all over the gas station. Over the next few minutes, as I finished my work in the attic-turned-bedroom-turned into a storage room, I was transported back in time.

I won’t bore you with those stories (at least not now), but my point is this:

Images convey stories that touch the heart

How are you using images in your church?

Living the Dash

Hollis Donald “Doc” Adams

08/09/27 – 02/25/12

The dates above are important – they are the bookends of my father’s life. They mark a beginning and an end of his physical existence.

But it’s the dash that really tells the stories of his life.

Today and tomorrow will be filled with dozens of these stories. Family and friends are gathering from near and far to celebrate his life. 

Stories like… 

  • Born in rural Middle Tennessee on the eve of the Great Depression – becoming a part of the Greatest Generation
  • Raised on the grounds of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home outside of Nashville, where his father kept the livestock – and learning to love and care for animals early on
  • Educated in Mt. Juliet, TN – where I later attended the same schools (and had one of the same teachers)
  • Entered the Army Air Corps in the last months of WW II – and began a life-long love of military history, which he passed on to me, and I passed on to my son, who is carrying it to a new level – Airman First Class Jason Adams
  • After his Army service, he started a business with his brother – a Gulf gasoline station, which for the next 44 years was the major part of his life of service to others
  • Enjoyed a vacation in Florida in 1953, impressing a certain young school teacher from Missouri by saying he “dabbled in oil”
  • After marrying that young teacher and bringing her back to TN, they began a family of two boys
  • Educating those boys in some of his background – hunting, fishing, working with animals, helping others; but also encouraging and challenging them to find their own paths
  • Along with his wife, raising those two boys with a love for God and His Church
  • Launching those boys “out of the nest” to begin lives and families of their own

And that’s just a hint of the dash my father lived.

My father never regretted any of the dash he lived – and I hope I will be able to say the same one day.


Leaving Home

As a father of four kids, it is inevitable that they will leave home. With children ages 31, 27, 23, and 19, I should be used to it.


The first “leaving” is when your young adult graduates from high school and heads off to college.

The second “leaving” is when your college graduate heads off for his first “real” job.

The third “leaving” is when your son commits his love and life to a beautiful young woman, and they begin their own home.

Most of the time, that’s it. Yeah, there’s the moving around, job changes, etc.

Today my son Jason, along with his wife Jaime and daughter Lucy, left home for his first duty station in the Air Force. I’ve never been more proud of Jason, but this “leaving” hits deepest of all.


Back Online

A thief stole my laptop hard drive, Kindle, a few books, and multiple project files from the floor of the WFX trade show in Dallas late Thursday afternoon, putting me in a whirl.

I returned home Friday morning, trying to figure out what I was going to do.

It was a very liberating weekend, being offline from Thursday night till today.

Now, with a replacement laptop, it’s time to start over.


There’s nothing like a blank page…

Appreciating Our Military

As a student of history (especially US military history), I have had a long-time respect for the men and women who serve in our armed forces. In my own family history, my father served in the Army Air Corps during the final days of WWII through 1947, my father-in-law served in the Merchant Marine throughout WWII, and various uncles and cousins have served in the armed forces over the last 50 years.

Now it’s personal.

Airman First Class Jason Adams

My son Jason just completed his Basic Training at Lackland AFB outside of San Antonio, TX. My wife and I were privileged to attend the graduation ceremonies last week, along with his wife Jaime, daughter Lucy, and Jaime’s parents and grandfather.
Jaime’s dad is a retired Air Force Colonel, a pilot now serving as the New Mexico Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Her grandfather is a retired Lt. Colonel who flew in the Air Force from the 50s through the 70s.
As we went through two days of ceremony and I listened to the stories, experienced the traditions, and observed the young men and women who serve, I have a whole new appreciation for our military.
Jason shipped out early Monday morning for the first of several Tech Schools, as he prepares to become a sensor operator for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. He passed along a personal memento, which I will carry with me while he is on active duty.
Remember those who serve our country – all will give some, and some will give all.