Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Wifey

I want to give a shout out to my wifey.
She is amazing! She works like a beast and never complains.
I appreciate her so much.


Looking for some great worship. Check out "Canons" by Phil Wickham. in fact, if you will go to you can download a free live album. It's just Phil, his guitar, and 3,000 folks singing their brains out for Jesus. "Canons" is on the album, as well as songs from his first and second albums.

It's blowing my socks off right now and thought I would share.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You want how much?

I would love to go to the BCS Championship game in Miami next month to see my Sooners take on Gators. Presently tickets are going for about $600 a piece. Since it takes me month to earn $600, I think I will pass. I have prayed that the Lord would provide me tickets, I will let you know what happens.

Monday, December 8, 2008

His Name is Samuel

I was moving the groceries from the cart into my car when I teenage dude came running up. His name is Samuel, he hails out of Michigan, he is 18 years old, and he is in the middle of a year long mission trip. He has given the next year of his life to travel with a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) organization. His groups travels around doing ministry in various towns across the USA.

We talked in the Wal-Mart parking lot for twenty minutes just sharing what God is doing in our lives. He is unsure of his next step after this year is over, so I told him I would be praying for him. I thought I would pass it along to you guys. Pray for Samuel whenever God brings him to your mind.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The Sooners finished off another Big 12 Championship. Winning never gets old.
Way to go OU!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm working on a paper for my systematic Theology class and I am looking at the titles of Christ. I have been reading today about Jesus as Redeemer. What a mind-blowing idea that Jesus would leave Heaven and die so that I can have the choice to become a son of God. God wants to redeem you and I. He desires to perfect us in Him. How crazy is that?!?

It doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to. It's truth and sometimes it's best to just let truth ride. Praise the Redeemer!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Almost Perfect

I play pigskin Pick 'em on Espn every week. (Just so you know, it's free to play and you don't win any money. It's not gambling.) I set a personal high mark this past week. Other than forgetting to pick the Thursday night game, I went perfect, absolutely no losses.
I'm just saying.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boo Hoo Joe PA

It is fun to see upsets, but it was kind of sad to see Penn State go down in defeat. It's good because it helps OU, but I would have loved to see the fightin' JoePa's play for a title. Much props to Iowa. Especially Stansi, their QB, the last drive was a beauty.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Take a Good Look

I've got another book I want to tell you about. It's called "Me, myself &I am." Written by Matthew Peters and Elisa Stanford, this book is a mirror that reflects who you are. The entire book is questions and lists; a sort of workbook that works itself into the corners of your existence. The reader answers the questions and in the process reveals truths about themselves.

This book serves as a great spark for self discovery and awareness. The cool thing about this book, is that before you know it, you are no longer learning about yourself, but you begin to see God's interaction in your life. You are prompted to think about the areas of your life that necessitate God's movement and leadership.

"Me, Myself, & I Amserves as a breath of fresh air. It encourages those who are walking with the great "I Am." But even better, it calls for those who sometimes forget about God to invite him back into the detailed portions of their lives.

You can get this book at any book store. Below is a link to Amazon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rockin' the Vote Florida Style

I cast my ballot this afternoon.
It took me nine minutes from the moment I got out of my car until I stepped back in.
I'm so glad it's election day. I am ready for the campaigning to be over.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Longest Day

It's Monday again. That means it' s school time!
I'm on my way to Orlando for another marathon day of classes. Marathon is code for eleven hours.

I'll see you on the other side. Have a good one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A good Run Ended

The Rays were eliminated from the World Series last Wednesday night and I never gave them and ink. They had an incredible year and it was a blast to cheer them on. Thanks for the memories and great season!

Rain Down

It rained for a large part of the afternoon, and I must say that I enjoyed it. It's fun to thrown the screen door open and listen to rain collide with the ground.

I went for a walk with God earlier this evening. It was much needed and very refreshing. I struggle mightily to find silence in my life. A good walk always helps me focus in on the Lord.

I would like to take this moment to go on the record and thank God for being patient and hopeful with me. He is a good!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's been too long

I'm sorry!
It's been forever since I have been on here. Obviously I am too busy for my own good.
I commit to be better!
Starting today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rain...Rain..Stay Away

The rain delay for game three was 1:39, but it is underway now! With a 10:07 first pitch, it will be a late night, but I am up for the challenge. I may sleep through church, but I am up for the challenge!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hooray or Booray

Last night Ray's loss was a tough one. Fortunately for me, I had already fallen asleep and learned of the meltdown this morning. I give mad props to the BoSox for not giving up. Although I was officially on the record (with my wife) stating that Boston would win Game 5.

So now the series comes back to the Trop. It will be interesting to see how the Rays respond. Hopefully they will be able to focus on the things they have done to be up 3-2.

Game 6-Staurday night. Go Rays!

The smell of a new book..."The Shape of Mercy"

We just recently got a new book that I wanted to give you a heads up on. Mandie read it first, so I asked her to tell you about it.

" I just recently got done reading a book called "The Shape of Mercy". It is about this girl who takes on this project to transcribe a really old journal from the Salem Witch trials. Mercy, is a girl from this time period who is accused of being a witch and the journal is her account of that experience.
Now if you are into history even slightly(and even if you aren't) you will love this book. This book tells two different stories in one book. You not only walk through the main character of the book but you also read through the journal of Mercy as she goes through the Salem witch trials. This author is so refreshing as she engages you in both stories. The best part of this book is that it tackles the concept of passing judgement without knowledge both in the 1600's and today. And you see that the effects while slightly different, still have the same consequences. The author also weaves the powerful theme of love through this book and how its healing powers can overcome this judgement. This book is a must read. I read it in about two days and loved every second."

So there you have it. Mandie couldn't put it down and I bet you will not be able to either. It released last month and you should be able to get it almost anywhere.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You haven't earned anything!

You ever get to the point where you think you are owed something? Like you've earned the right to behave a certain way?

Whether you realize it or not, it happens all the time. I am finding this to be so true in my everyday life. I feel like I have the right to yell at the guy who pulled out in front of me. I feel like things haven't been going my way, so I deserve to chance to make myself feel better. The list can go on and on.

It is these things where most of our struggles with the flesh take place. God calls us to deny ourselves, our selfish nature and do what pleases Him instead of what pleases me.

It is humbling to notice how little you see this in our culture. Just today, a guy at my work, lost his cool and completely went off on a co-worker. If you asked him, he probably has a laundry list of reasons that justified his action. Position, power, provocation are not acceptable answers when we have to explain to God why we behaved a particular way. After all, Jesus said he came to serve instead of be served. What a challenge for us to do the same.

I challenge you the next time you feel like you have the right to behave incorrectly...serve that person. It may not instantly gratify your desire for revenge, but in the end you please God and become more like Him...And that's totally worth it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Playoff Payoff

I was at game two of the Tampa Bay Rays ALDS series with the Chicago White Sox Friday night. It was off the chain! The entire night was incred.

We were actually able to get through Tampa and St. Pete with enough time to see some batting practice. My year long theme of tough batting practice luck continued. A ball headed straight for me got stuck in the catwalk. I guess that's what I get for supporting a team that plays in a parking garage. Then, a lady who was walking up the stairs, not facing the field, got a batting practice ball. I was sick!

Our seats were pretty good. We were in the upper deck in left field. There was an awesome family behind us and a couple of Sox fan in front of us. It was fun to be within earshot of the opposition.

My voice was gone by the third inning, but I gave it all I had. I left it all in the stadium. Fortunately, we won the game, and I was able to go home happy.

The best part of the night was on the way out of Tropicana Field. As we made the winding trek from the third deck back to ground level. I noticed an old lady waving her hands in the air. in each hand, she held pictures of White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, wearing a baby bonnet and pacifier in mouth. JD and I had already been booing Pierzynski all night, so I motioned for him to take a gander at the lady. We started cheering for her, which sent her into a raucous dance. She was so proud of her handiwork and I was proud to know that Little old ladies like to heckle.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sing Their Rayses

The Rays won their first ever playoff game! I didn't get to watch it but I heard it from my desk while my boss watched it.

Tomorrow is game two and I am going to be there. I am so pumped! It will be my first playoff game. Hopefully, they will keep it rolling. WE ARE ONE TEAM!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Look me in the eye

I have been watching bits and pieces of the Presidential debate. The communication major in me is wondering why neither candidate will look each other in the eye.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Worky Von Work-Work

God is so good to me!
Work has been a struggle lately and I was kind of down about the whole situation. I spent some time this past weekend expressing my deal to God. Part of my cry was to be released from that place, but the other part was to help my attitude if He chooses to leave me there. This week has been one of the best weeks that I have had at work since I began.

Isn't it amazing how God helps us out when we ask. Not only did God say "you have not because you ask not." But most times, prayer causes you to focus. I can't pray about my situation and attitude at work unless I think about it. Upon praying, the subject remains fresh on your mind and quickly jumps to the front of your mind. But ven more than that, prayer makes you focus on God and His ability to be holy in your life.

For example, this week, after praying about my attitude, the Holy Spirit has pointed out the specific times when I could get aggravated or my feelings hurt. The subject matter was already a current event for me, the Holy Spirit highlighted the exact moments when I get to choose my attitude. I've given up control and allowed God to be God in my workplace.

All that to say, my week has been really great and it's all God's fault. I appreciate Him so much!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sometimes You Just Know

You ever have those times when you just know something? You can't explain why, you just have a feeling. Well, I am having one of those "feelings" right now. If I decide to share what my feeling is, you'll be the first to know.

One Down

I just finished my first seminary class! A one credit hour course on the Cooperative Program. The due date for all of my work is not until December 1st, but I have officially completed my requirements, this night, September 23rd. It may be the only time in my seminary career that I finish something early. Holler!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Booing is Good?

The Ryder Cup is alive and well. Team and USA is actually in this thing and it is good to see. I love watching Boo Weekly play golf. Everyone boo's him after a good shot. He definitely has the quote of the week. When asked about the Americans playing with so many rookies, Weekly responded,
"It's like deer huntin' with a new pack of hounds. You don't know what kinda dawgs you got 'til you run them dawgs."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tee it up

I am playing in a golf tournament today. Mandie's company, Saddlecreek is having a tournament, and I am playing on her bosses team. I played with him last year and we finished fourth. We are hoping to duplicate our performance. Nothing quite satisfies the competitive spirit like just finishing out of the medals. Yeah right! We are going for the gold. I' taking my pencil with an eraser on it (just in case).

I'll let you know how we did, before and after the eraser!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sounds good

I got the new Chris Tomlin CD the other day and I can't get it out of my player.It's called "Hello Love" and it is really good. Not that this idea is a foreign one, especially since his entire last album made it's way into churches around the world, but I had high expectations and they have all been met.

Be sure to get yourself a copy. Heck, ask the lord to give you a name a buy them a copy also. I guess that means I need to do it too! Let's bless somebody!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kick it off already

The NFL begins in 1 hour and 42 minutes and I am excited! I am going to read for the next hour and then grab a burrito from Moe's. I should be back into to hear John Madden's first "eh, ah I...Boom!"

Tonight also kicks off my second Fantasy Football Season. This year I am the commissioner for two leagues in my Sunday School class.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Greenside Bunker

Today was a great labor day! Mostly because I didn't labor. Instead I hit the links with three buddies from church. We played the prestigious Bridgewater Golf Course here in lakeland. Normally $60 bucks per round, we played for $20, thanks to

The entire day was great. The sun decided to come out and play. The course wasn't crowded at all. I played very well, even though I had not played in a while. I shot a straight up 77. Honest! You can ask my buddies.

The course was in fantastic shape. It's a links style course, similar to what you would find in Europe. One characteristic that was true of the links style was the bunkering. There were pot bunkers everywhere. I mean deep, dark bunkers. I had to play a shot out backwards, away from the hole. It was intense.

The only downer of the day was the lack of pictures on the course. The score card did not have any pictures and there were no helps at the tee boxes. We were forced to play the course blindly and unfortunately, this came into play a few times. It was your best guess on where to position your ball and a couple of times we hit what we thought were quality shots, only to discover they had run through a dog leg into the rough. It was hard to imagine that a course that charges $60 per round, can't supply some pictures.

Other than the lack of tutorials, we had a great experience. Thank you Lord for beautiful golf courses!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Water Stain

Have you ever seen a perfectly nice coffee table that has one giant water stain? More than likely, you have owned a stained table. Frustrating isn't it? No matter how you attack the stain, it doesn't going anywhere.

Many times, I feel like I have sin stains that scar the coffee table of my life. But you and I have good news. God can take his rag, covers it with stain remover and wipe it clean, no matter the stain. But Father God has taken it a step further, He provides a stain protector. He has made a way out from underneath all temptation.

I know you have at least area in your life that is a constant struggle. This is the suspected area where failure can be found. I have mine and I hate falling down. It drives me crazy! Why do I continually fail in the same places?

The only thing you and I can do is give it to God. Trust that his word is true. That his grace is sufficient to help you overcome. Ultimately, sin is a choice. God has provided a way for you to decide correctly. He gives you the stain protector so you don't have to use the stain remover.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seminarily Speaking

Seminary has officially started and I am already running hard. I am nose deep in weekly readings and I have not even started on the various papers I am responsible to write this semester. But, despite all that, I am thrilled to be doing it because that is where God has me. He will guide me through.

It's Football Time!

Tonight is the kick-off of the college season and I am excited! There is nothing better than some good o'l college football. Even though it is Spurrier's Gamecock's, I will still watch. Although, I will probably read while I watch. Boo homework.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A good start

I have Olympic fever! The events last week were awesome. Watching Michael Phelps chase down history was extremely fun to watch.

One thing I heard over and over again while watching the swimming coverage, was about the importance of a good start. It didn't matter whether it was an individual race or a relay, the fact remained the same. A good start would separate those who would win, from those who would not.

This same truth can also be applied to books. A book that begins strong is interesting and intoxicating. Mark Batterson's new book, "Wild Goose Chase" is one of those books. By the time I turned page one, I was hooked and extremely curious of what was to come.

Batterson's style is extremely easy to read and understand. It's not work to spend time reading his book. He does a fantastic job of combining theological ideas with daily application. This book serves as a place where the theological rubber meets the road of life.

The premise of the book is a challenge to live a life led by the Holy Spirit. To desire the spirit so much that you adventurously pursue it everyday. Wherever it leads, you follow. Batterson also details six traps, or cages that we find ourselves in that keep us from chasing the Holy Spirit.

"Wild Goose Chase" starts off running. It was the first chapter that not only caught my attention, but it helped me realize that I am in need of some Holy Spirit chasing myself. A couple of ideas that stuck out to me and prodded at my spirit were:
  • "Intellectual analysis usually leads to spiritual paralysis."
  • "Circumstantial uncertainty goes by another name: Adventure"
  • "Jesus dies to make you dangerous."

"Wild Goose Chase" hits stores today. It is a great read and I recommend it to you. Below I will list several links where you can get your hands on a copy.

Much like swimming, your spiritual life is greatly influenced by the start. But there is a glaring difference between the two. If you blow the start at the Olympics, you may never get another chance. If you blow the start in your spiritual walk, you may lose that time, but you can start again. Father God will help your start anew when you ask for forgiveness. Don't waste another day. Start strong today!

Oh Fay

My first official Florida storm is headed my direction. We have been hearing about Fay for 8 days and now she is just south of Lakeland. Unlike tornadoes that pop up quicker than the need to pee, tropical storms/hurricanes slowly trudge along, their course being the only uncertainty.

As I look through the sliding glass (patio) door, I can see the trees, ever so slightly shifting back and forth. Earlier, I opened the door to listen. A faint whisper is passing through the trees and bushes, as if Fay is whispering her entrance. "I'm on my way" she is quietly announces before she shows up in all her glory, clothed in gusty winds and buckets of rain.

Be sure to keep the state of Florida in your prayers. That everyone will remain safe and that damage will be minimal. Besides that, keep you eye on the Weather Channel and watch Fay

Saturday, August 16, 2008


He did it! Michael Phelps grabbed his eighth gold medal of the 29th Olympiad (I love calling it that). It is so fun to be a sports fan right now. It feels like there are once of a life-time athletes all around us. Be sure you take it all in, because folks like Phelps don't hang around forever.

Way to go Phelps!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Did you hear about the tragedy of day one at the Olympics? The father in law of the current USA Men's Volleyball team was stabbed and killed today.

Be sure to remember his family in your prayer times. His wife, who was also attacked is in serious condition.

It's a shame that horrible things happen during an event that pushes such ideals and brotherhood. But isn't that the way it works. When you are doing good things, making positive strides, opposition will be evident. Opposition signifies that you and what you are doing is a threat to the dark/evil side.

This idea carries over to the spiritual side of life. When you are where God wants to be, doing what he has called you to do, you will experience opposition. Embrace the opposition. Allow God to help you through it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Nana is the best

I want to give a shout out to my Nana. Every month for the past seven or eight years, she has sent me a check. Faithfully I have received a financial token of her love. These checks have paid for so many things that I would not have been able to afford. (i.e gas, clothes, engagement ring). She does this selflessly and I appreciate her generosity so much!

Saved by the bell

Seminary starts Monday! Life is getting hectic!

I ran and I ran and I ran

I have decided to get serious again about running. I always say that people set the goals of writing a book and running a marathon way too lightly. I have made both and intend to keep both commitments. I worked on the book some this week for the first time in a while, so I figured it was time to get back to running.

It is so much easier to get back into the flow of writing than running! I had a great run tonight, but it was painful. And I will admit it, I even had to stop and walk for a short while. If I didn't my supper would have been all over the road. Mandie worked too hard on it for me to waste it on the ground.

So anyway, I'm going to do my best to be a regular runner, blogger and writer. Talk about your triple threats.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What a great day

You ever have those days where you just get a bunch of a stuff done? You come to the end of your day and you're able to look back and feel good? Today was one of those days.

This was my last official "off day." I begin school next Monday, so this was my last chance to just have a day and get done whatever I put on the top of my priority list. Most times, I squander the majority of my morning by sleeping in or simply doing nothing constructive. Not today. I was up and going by 8, and I held serve all day.

Then, to top it all off. I was reading this evening and I came across a quote that will become a major goal of mine. It sums up exactly where I want to be.

Here's the quote:
"Seek to do less and to accomplish more.
Doing is action. Achievement is successful action." -Two Listeners, Authors of God Calling Journal

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hit Parade

My fantasy team needs a boost. I am losing every offensive category this week. Fortunately, my pitching staff is keeping me in it. I have two days to hit my way back into it this week.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

the place where a kid can be a kid

Mandie's birthday was yesterday. I did the only thing you can do when celebrating the birthday of your 23 year old wife. I took her to Chucky Cheese. We ate pizza at the house, opened gifts, and then headed to see the mouse(not Mickey, the other mouse).

We had a blast hanging out together, playing games. Our favorites are ski ball and racing games. For the record, I must say that Chucky Cheese is not all it used to be. Back when it was called Showbiz Pizza, the place was incredible. The ski ball game used wooden balls and the big gorilla was the lead player in the robot game. Oh how I miss those days.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I judge books by their cover!

I bought all my books for seminary. All nine books that it.

I admit that a major factor in the books I purchase is the cover. If it passes the cover inspection, there is a good chance I will buy the book. I was excited because I liked the cover on at least five of the books. 5 out of 9 for school books is not a bad percentage.

Mandie said I really have to go to class now that we spent a hundred bucks on books.

What once was lost...has now been found.

Mandie found her cell phone!!! I repeat, the cell phone has come home. Taking a page from the father in the story of the prodigal son, I saw the phone appear over the hill in the distance and I went running. We threw a big o'l party to celebrate the homecoming of the little black phone.

It turns out that our long lost friend was hanging out t TGI Fridays. Apparently, the little fella slipped out of Mandie's pocket, failing to holler loud enough to get Mandie's attention before she left. In his defense, he was probably on silent. He didn't stand a chance.

Thank you for your prayers. You can check that one off your prayer calender.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Can you hear me now?

Mandie has lost her cell phone. She can't remember where she had it last. Luckily, it's on silent, so when you call it, it will remain quiet and hidden. It is small and black as night, hiding in the shadows. If you happen to see it, grab it and call me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fantasy gone wrong

It's about time for a fantasy baseball update. I am still leading my league but I lost this past week, which make twice in the last seven weeks. I am going to blame the All-Star break for my latest defeat. My pitching innings got all messed up because of the short week.

Hopefully, this week is the beginning of a new winning streak.

Back side of 20

I am officially on the downward side of my twenty's. Last Monday, I celebrated my 26th Birthday. I want to go on the record and officially state that I am all about being 26. I don't feel like I am getting old or anything like that. I am loving it! Mandie believes that I am not bothered by 26 because people look at me and think I am 22. As I ponder this notion, I admit that is partly true.

My Birthday was a blast! Mandie cooked dinner and we had a couple of friends over to celebrate. After finishing mexican chicken and green jello stuff, we watched the Home Run derby for the remainder of the evening.

The 3rd season of the Cosby's, an Alicia Keys CD and a talking Chewbacca card were some of the highlights gift wise. The odd gift award goes to the Fagan's, who gave me a card that looked like a pickle.

The fun thing about my birthday this year is that it was also my one year anniversary. It is incredible to think that I have been married for one entire year. What a blast this year has been with my wifey.

So there you have it, I am old and happily married!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My apologies!

I have beena pathetic blogger the past few weeks! And for that, I submit my sincerest apolgies. With the beginning of my new job, I have been keeping new hours. I now go to bed by ten o'clock. If you scroll through the times of the majority of my posts, you will realize that I am a late-night blogger.

So, how about a quick update of the last few weeks.

  • I started my new job at the Sheriffs Office. It is going very well. I am still trying to learn a huge amount of information, but the people are nice and it's in the air conditioning! How bad could it really be?
  • I have not written on the book in over a month. I need to get my rear in gear. School starts in a month and I know I won't write once school begins. Pray for diligence!
  • We have gained some new friends from church. Holla Holla for the Adkins!
  • I went to my second Rays game of the year Saturday night. I even bough a hat last week. I officially have Rays fever.
  • 4th of July weekend was amazing. We were busy Thursday night through Saturday. We saw fireworks, ate steak, had a ton of watermelon.
  • I am still leading my Fantasy Baseball League!

God continues to show his faithfulness. Even in the midst of my unfaithfulness. I really do appreciate Him!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

It has been great day!
I rested all morning.
Took a tremendous nap this afternoon.
Went to a friend's house and grilled out.
Drank my body weight in Mountain Dew.
An inning and a half of free baseball at the Flying tigers game.
Mountain Dew to end the night!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Play Day

Mandie is taking off of work tomorrow and we are having a play day. It is my last official day of my jobless life. We thought it would be a great chance to hang out for the day, not on the weekend. I will let you know what we do.

Family Ties

I start my new job, bright and early, Friday morning. It will be good to get up early and be productive. I also get to wear a tie. I love ties! I probably should go buy a few more. You can never have to many ties, right?

A little bit short

The Cubs game last night was off the chain. We were sitting upper deck, even with the third base. I must say that the best attribute of the warehouse that is Tropicana Field, there isn't a bad seat in the place. Our view was great, we were surrounded by hundreds of Cubbie fans. We had really good Nachos and a Mountain Dew the size of my head. The only downer was that the Cubs lost, 3-2. Overall, the night was a roaring success.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Passed with flying colors

I took my first drug test yesterday. It is required for my new job. At the advice of my Dad, I studied hard and passed with no problem. Well actually, the fact that I don't do drugs is probably why I passed, but I sound smarter when I say that I studied.

Remember kids, "Say no to drugs." They are bad for you and you won't ever get a job!

Let's, woo, Go, woo, Cubs, woo

The Cubs are in town to play three with the rays. Mandie and I are going tonight. I am pumped. Hopefully Dempster will throw a gem. My fantasy team needs a pick me up.

Eye of the Tiger

Well done Tiger Woods...Well Done! Tiger won his third U.S. Open yesterday, that makes 14 majors.And I love it. He could win every tournament and I would still cheer for him to win. I'm not sure why that is, maybe it's because I know that he will be the greatest golfer I will ever see and I want to see him break the all-time records. This is probably why people don't mind that he destroys the other players of today. It's almost understood that he is playing against the records set by Nicklaus and other greats, not against the current PGA tour players.

This win was even greater because of his recovering knee. Only two months from a knee surgery and he wins after playing 91 holes. What a stud. Some have suggested that he was faking a bit to create better theatre. To that, I say, "no way." He grimaced and winced after good shots also. Thursday afternoon, on the 18th hole, he first grimaced in a major way and limped off the tee box. The drive was 300+ in the fairway. Continually through the week, he hit good shots and limped off the tee. The announcers even said that you couldn't tell where his shot was going solely on his facial expressions. What a gutsy performance.

That said, I was a little sad for Rocco Mediate. What a great run! His attitude and guts to stand toe to toe with the greatest deserves high praise. I would have been completely fine with him winning.

The 18 hole hole playoff was sensational. That is not always the case with full round playoffs. I was glued to my seat. Good job Tiger and Rocco!

Oh, how I love the U.S. Open!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Some kind of record

I have been getting ready to celebrate my one year anniversary since I last had a paying job. Mentally, I have been creating a guest list and thinking through the activities/games I will want to play. Then low and behold, out of nowhere, God drops a job in my lap. I call about it on Monday morning and interview for it that afternoon. After five minutes in the interview, I get the job. I am the new assistant to the IT director at the Sheriffs Department.

The next day I receive a call to inform me that I would not be receiving the job due to circumstances out of the control of my boss for a day. Instead, they had an opportunity to work on a project for the next two months. I gratefully accepted, again, and will begin next Friday.

Lets recap:
I got a job. Lost that job. And got a new job, before I have began my first job.
You can't make this stuff up. I am just thankful to have a job at all!

Monday, June 9, 2008


I actually went golfing this past weekend, and it felt really good. It was only the second round of the year and that is not ok. Me and my buddy J.D. went and played Sand Piper Golf Course. The course is nothing too special, but we had a greens fee deal, so it only cost us $9 to play. I ended up with an 81. I'll take it and head to the practice tee.

My brother has been playing a lot of golf. I need to get with it before he starts beating me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yankee Stadium was off the chain.
We got there before the gates opened, so we had time to look at the new stadium as well as walk around the house that Ruth built.
Once inside, we were able to watch batting practice. Caleb actually got two BP balls. I must however, clarify that he didn't catch either ball. The curse lives on!
Caleb has an ongoing battle with himself to catch a home run ball with his bare hands. He has had numerous opportunities over the past few years and has yet to come up with a catch. His batting practice trophies were a little bittersweet because he had to pick them both up off of the ground.
That's OK Caleb. Maybe next year!

Central Park

Central Park was one of my favorite parts of New York City. We walked around the park for an hour or so, on Wednesday afternoon and I could have easily spent a day or two. There were so many different things to look at throughout the park. The vast amounts of green grass was absolutely beautiful to walk through and look at.
I was surprised by how hilly it is. You get a healthy workout by simply walking through the place. We saw the checker/chess house. At the top of a bunch of steps, they have a bunch of cement picnic tables. Chess and checker boards have been painted on top of the tables. It looked just like you imagine it would in the movies.
While at the park we also sat around the pond where people drive remote control boats. It was funny watching people trying to keep the boats upright.

Pizza! Yum!

Here is a couple of pictures from our basbeall trip. Thie first pic is My pops, Caleb and me in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, which will be celebrating its 125th birthday this year.
The second pic is my little brother trying to fall into the river. He almost made it too!
The first thing we did once we got to manhattan was to head to the Brooklyn bridge. After taking some pics there, we rode the subway over to Brooklyn for lunch at a pizza joint called "Grimaldi's."
Literally stationed underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi's was a great place to eat. You go to Grmaldi's for great pizza and the experience. The place is sky high with nostalgia. It's Grimaldi's way or the highway! You sit exactly where they tell you to sit and you're happy about it. I was seated between the wall and he table, I scooted the table away from the wall no more than two inches, within thirty seconds of my move, a waiter saw that the table had moved and push the table back to its original locale.
Caleb was nervous about going to New York, because he was afraid New Yorkers would sense his "southerness" and not like him. This is why he literally rubber banded his wallet closed once we arrived in New York.
After ordering our pizza, we are sitting around enjoying the oldies music playing. Low and behold, "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynard Skynard begins to play. Caleb perks up and remarks "maybe they like Southerners after all." Fifteen seconds later, the channel was changed and Caleb's feeling crushed. He swore up and down that they tuned it off because of him. The next two days were filled with Caleb's paranoia of Northerners.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm not in a car!

I am back from my famed baseball trip. I will use my next several posts to detail fun stpries are aspects of the trip. But I will give a whirlwind descrition of some of our trip.

  • We rented a car. It was supposed to be a Ford Taurus, but we were upgraded (for free) to a Chrysler 300 C. We put over 3600 miles on it in six days.
  • We drove 24 hours straight and made it to Staten Island by 10:30 Tuesday morning.
  • Wednesday morning, we parked our car under the Broooklyn/Queens Expressway and it was there when we returned 14 hours later.
  • We experienced the "Bleacher Creatures" that live in right field, section 39 at Yankee Stadium.
  • The Boston Red Sox fans cussed enough to teach my Dad (the Pastor) a few new phrases.
  • We saw both of Donald Trumps' kids at separate times on the same day.
  • Caleb got two batting practice balls at Yankee Stadium.
  • We never got on the wrong Subway (although we tried).
  • Cooperstown is a cool town for more than just being the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Grimaldi's pizzeria, located under the Brooklyn bridge is off the chain!
  • Combining air and ground travel, I covered more than 6,000 miles last week!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Off again

The time has finally arrived for the annual Howard Men baseball trip. I am leaving for OKlahoma in a couple of hours. I am meeting up with Daddio, Caleb and Jason (Bro in law) and then we are driving, yes driving to New York City. Wednesday we are going to a Yankees game. Thursday we drive on to Boston and are going to a Red Sox game. Friday we will spend the day at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

I am totally stoked to finally go on this trip. I have been looking forward to it for so long. This will be my first time to head up north.

I will be sure to post some pics when I get back.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Snakes on an Apt. Complex

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a snake meandering throughout our apt complex. I followed him to make sure he would not interfere with anyone, but him sneaking off into the woods was the last I saw of him. Until today that is. My little friend was run over by a FEDEX truck today around noon. For those of you who are snake lovers, I send my condolences. But I want to give a shout out to the truck driver who swerved to run over his head.

I salute you, mr. I drive a truck for fed ex and run over random snakes in apt. complexes who could potentially be harmful.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Yesterday was a really good day. My buddy JD, AKA, the "Hoagiemiester" took me to the Players championship in Jacksonville. Known as the "fifth major" this tournament sports a great course and a stacked field of players. It was so much fun walking around on the famed TPC course. I have watched for years on TV and my unexpected visit was incredible.

We saw a good of the many big boys:
Ernie Els
Stewart Cink
Adam Scott -He is so hot! He definitely had the most females in his gallery
Freddie Couples
Phil Mickelson
Vijay Singh
And the list goes on and on.

We sat at the famed 17th hole and watched people try to land there ball on the island green. It is amazing how short the hole actually is (125-140 yards), and yet fifty balls have disappeared into the water so far this year. We were present for one guy's kerplunk.

One of my favorite moments happened from the rough at the 7th hole. J.B Holmes drove his ball well right, into the rough. JD and I were the first to the ball. We set up shot six or seven feet behind the ball. We had front row seats as we watch J.B. try to work his shot through the trees, over the bunker, over the water and stop it on the lightening fast green. He tried to punch a 5 iron that ran through to the back of the green. After seeing his ball disappear off the back, J.B. took his 5 iron with both hands and drove the head of that sucker into completely into the ground. It was awesome!

For those of you who are thinking that I only enjoyed the bad shots, we saw quite a few great iron shots. Phil stuck one about a foot away on number 7. JD was thrilled by this. Apparently, he would love to be adopted by the Mickelson's.
I can't poke too much fun, JD is solely responsible forgetting me into the tournament.

Dang it was fun!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nifty and Thifty

Caleb and I have been on a throw back golf shirt kick lately. We have made it our mission to get our hands on as many Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer shirts as we can. Fortunately, for me, I live in a Snow bird Haven.

I went today and struck out mightily. I did find some awesome pants, but they are never my size. I found one pair that was 42 in the waist and 30 in the length. Think about that mental picture for a moment.

The last few days

It has been a few days since I last posted anything. I have been recovering from a quick trip to Georgia. My family was in Hinesville for homecoming weekend at Elim Baptist Church (My Nana's church). My Dad was asked to preach at the service. Since my fam was 5 hours away, I figured I couldn't miss out on seeing them. So early Saturday I drove up and stayed until lunch time Monday.

The trip was even better than expected. Saturday evening, we drove over to Brooklet, a small town we lived in for 7 years. A big group of families got together and fellowshipped for several hours over some really good, home-made pork BBQ. I saw many people who I have not seen in years. I even got to see my buddy Marshall. We haven't seen each other since we have both got married. It was fun to sit around and compare notes on marriage experiences.

It is always good to go to Nana's house. This time was no disappointment.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm so addicted

It's official, I am addicted to Fantasy baseball. I knew I would be bad, but I am really bad. I check it all the time. Even if games aren't taking place, I check to see who is dropping who and what players are being picked up. It is too bad that am not getting paid to do it. I would be making overtime, easy!

If it makes it any better, I am second in my league!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What a trip!

It's Wednesday, and I am still reveling in our trip to Oklahoma. I has so much fun! Every second of every day was lived to the fullest.

  • Lunch with Jay. My old boss and mentor.
  • Marked the softball fields with my Dad and bro for the state softball tournament on Sat.
  • Dinner with the entire family. Papaw, and Papaw's lady friend included.

  • 7 o'clock am tee time at Earlywine Golf course. We were the third group off, but we were in cart number ONE! By the way, I shot an 81 with Papaw's sticks.
  • Lunch at Freddy's frozen custard. The double cheeseburger was off the hook.
  • Thrift store shopping with Caleb. I found another Jack Nicklaus Golf shirt, much to the chagrin of little brother. He picked the wrong aisle!
  • Two church league softball games. I went 5 for seven and pitched the second game of the twin bill. We won both games.

  • Dad, Courtney and I were at the fields by 7:45 to complete construction of the fence for the tournament. The tournament went off with very few hitches. Props to the Howard house for basically running the whole thing. Courtney's team won state and she received All State honors.
  • J-Lanes wedding in Tulsa. The evening was spent with Blake Slatten, who has the most chiseled body I know!

  • Attended Faith Crossing (My Dad's church)
  • Got to sing with the praise band.
  • We were in bed by 11:15 Sunday night.

The entire trip was a huge blessing and encouragement for me. Thank you Lord for providing us with such a great trip!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I can't hear!!!

I am back in Oklahoma and it feels really good. It's always nice to be around family. The flights yesterday evening weren't too bad.

On the flight from Tampa to Kansas City, there was a boy, probably four years old sitting across the row from us. When the plane began to descend, his hears began to pop and he flipped out. He was crying, so his Dad calmly asked why he was crying. "I can't hear" was his emphatic answer.

We cracked up as over and over again, his Dad would try to call him down and his response to his Dad's talking was that his hears were hurting, he could not hear.

Finally, he followed his Dad's instruction, (although I'm unsure how he was able to understand what his Dad's instructions were) drank some water and his ears popped. From then on, every few minutes he was chugging his water.

Some people drink water to stay healthy, others drink it because it restores hearing. Just another reason to drink water.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This evening we Mandie and I) fly out to Oklahoma for a long weekend. I am so excited to see the fam and a bunch of friends. My brother and I have challenged ourselves to see how much stuff we can cram into three days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Red Moon Rising

I finished "Red Moon Rising" this morning. Written by Pete Creig and Dave Roberts, it is Pete's account of how God called him to begin a 24/7 prayer room in Small town England. What began as a one time/place deal, God turned into a prayer movement that has reached the corners of the globe.

It was fun to read as account after account was given of God preparing the way for Pete to meet the proper people at the perfect time. He even refers to it as God hiring people behind his back. It was a tremendous reminder to me of how much the Lord loves prayer, conversation with me.

This was a timely read for me, because we just opened a prayer room called "FUSE". It is opened every day for at least four hours a day. The goal is to one day go 24/7.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I spent the majority of my day writing. I am trying to finish my first draft of the book by the time on get on the plane Wednesday evening. Sometimes, I have a tough time being diligent when baseball is taking place, but today, I was able to fight through and be productive. It feels really good!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday School

We are so blessed to be a part of a great Sunday School class at church. It is a highlight of my week. The teaching is good, but the fellowship and community is great! I don't laugh any harder than when I laugh in class. It has been incredible to join a group of folks who are so passionate about living life in a way that glorifies God, while having such a blast at the same time.

It's incredible!

3 Days

It's officially inside of 3 days until Mandie and I head to Oklahoma! I can't wait!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hey...You asleep?

Once again, it's after midnight, and I find myself wide awake. I slept too long the other morning, and now I have started a horrible trend. I stay up too late because i got up too late. Then I have trouble getting up at a descent hour, because i stayed up so late!.

I am going to try the o'l reading trick. Maybe I can read myself to sleep. If I can't sleeo, I may talk to you later!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How creative!

God's level of creativity continues to blow my mind! Not just in things He has created, like earth, sunsets, and clouds. But his creativity when it comes to working things out in my life. The path He leads me on to get me from where I am right now, to where I need to be next.

At first sound of this idea, I think we would all agree that we enjoy creativity. But when it comes to God's creativity with our lives, how much do we really enjoy it? For me, most times, He could provide in the same way He has in the past and I would be just fine. But, if God only moved in ways that He has in the past, think of what we miss out on. We forfeit the opportunity to watch God paint masterpieces. The lights go would dark in God's art galleries (our lives).

We hear it all the time, "don't put God in a box." I tire of hearing this saying so often, but it is no less true today than when it was first spoken. Throughout scripture, God continually answers prayers, solves problems in ways that humans would never have drawn up. And I love that about Him! He knows best! Isn't it great to know we serve a God who knows best? Who can see around the corner and down the street?

You may not be there right now, but, inevitably, you will find yourself with an invitation to trust God with your next move. Cling to His direction. Patiently wait for his voice, and then move obediently. What a great opportunity to feel His brushstrokes in your life.

Go ahead and prepare yourself for the possibility that his direction will be creative. A painting you've never seen before.

Monday, April 14, 2008

9 Days

There are nine days until my deadline for my first draft arrives. It appears as though I should make it without a problem. The past few weeks I have been writing quite a bit, and it has amazed me how tired I get from writing. Being creative takes it out of me way faster than physical labor.

Anyway, just a thought.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Open your God's mouth

I remember attending a Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) meeting at Oklahoma City Community College (O-trip) during my first senior year of college. The meetings consisted of free pizza, cokes and a thirty minute bible study.

I only attended three meetings, but I have always remembered one particular meeting. I have no idea what the topic was that day, but I do remember the physical shape of the speaker's Bible. It was a black cover that was quite faded. Sitting there, listening, I locked in on his Bible, and I thought, you would have to handle your bible a lot to wear it out like that.

The picture of the faded bible got me thinking about my bible. The relization that I have never handled mine enough to fade it out hit me hard. Truthfully, I should be wearing them out. I need to be so dependent upon the word of God, that I use it so much that I wear it out.

I was just talking with a guy the other night about how God speaks through his word. A lot of times we complain because we feel like God doesn't answer our prayer, and yet we never open our God's mouth, searching for the answer.

My exhortation to you and myself is to wear out our bibles!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April 23rd

I have done it this time! Mandie and I are heading to Oklahoma for a few days at the end of this month. Tired of dilly-dallying on my book. I have officially committed to bring my completed first draft with me to Oklahoma on the 23rd of this month. The good news is that I now have motivation. The bad news is that my deadline is now 15 days away. I have never felt more like a writer than I do right now trying to beat a deadline.

Rock Chalk

The men's basketball championship was amazing! What a great and entertaining game. I feel bad for Memphis. They were ten seconds away from winning and it was ripped from their hands. On the other hand, I am glad for Kansas. I didn't realize that is only their third title. I figured a school whose first coach created basketball, would have had more titles. I guess you learn something everyday.

Congrats Jayhawks!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I kow what I said

I said I wasn't going to play Fantasy Baseball, but here we are in the second week of the season and I received my team today. I am going to try my best to not let it run my life like during the football season. Hopefully I can finish like I did in football with the championship.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


My NCAA bracket held strong until last night. I had UCLA vs. UNC in the finals, with UNC winning it all. Both lost and I have no more opportunities to earn points in the three pools I am in. So, will I watch? Absolutely! I will be watching until they play "one shining moment" at the end.

Even though my bracket is done...Go March Madness!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Loud Noises

The MRI went off without a hitch. It was my first experience in the small capsule. It was louder than I thought it would be, but overall not too bad. The hardest part was keeping perfectly still.

I will be sure to let you know what i find out!


I am going to get an MRI on my ankle today. I have a bump below my left ankle bone that has been growing slowly but surely for the past two or three years. I now have pretty good insurance, so we are getting it looked at and we are now at the MRI stage. The Doc wants to make sure there are no tears in the tendon because it rubs on the bump.

I know what your thinking. Can Jonathan sit still in that small space long enough to get an MRI? That is a valid question. I am wondering the same thing.I will be sure to let you know how it goes.


The ONETHING conference has come and gone...and it was great. We had almost 2,000 people attend from all over the United States. It was a tremendous time of sitting int he presence of God. He totally rejuvenated within me a craving to spend time with Him, to reach the nations, and to make love an action.

I bought the "relentless" cd by Misty Edwards and I can't stop listening to it. I can't decide if I like the studio cd or the unplugged disc better. If you need a good cd to soundtrack your reading or painting, this is a good one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The International House Pf Prayer's ONETHING conference is this weekend. We are feverishly getting ready for their arrival on Thursday. We are hoping to have 3,ooo college students show up. The theme of the conference is "Intimacy with Christ." My prayer is that our sacrifice of praise pleases the Lord. Hopefully, He will move amongst us and rock our faces!

Middle of the road

Two rounds have passed in March Madness and I am doing ok with my picks. I believe their have been 48 games and I only have 32 correct picks. The good news is this: I have only three double losses, my Final Four picks are still in place, I have the second highest possible point total in my bracket pools. Even though I am in the middle of the pack in my bracket pools, I am still within striking distance. If all goes well, I will be sitting in a much prettier spot come Sunday evening.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Marvelous Madness

The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament tipped off this afternoon. I must say that this is one of my favorite times of the year.

For the record, I have UNC, Wisconsin, UCLA, and Texas in the Final Four!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And I think to myself...what a wonderful wife!

My wife blesses me in so many ways! One major way that she continually expresses her love for me is through gifts. Mandie always gets me things that I love. This year for Valentine's day it was Orlando Magic tickets. As if a NBA game wasn't enough, they were playing the Cavs. So last night, we went to see The Lebrons take on the new look Magic.

The Magic won by ten, and Lebron went for a quiet 30. It was a who's who list at the game. Chris Tucker, C.C. Sabathia, and Tiger Woods was in the house. Although, I must confess, that I didn't see Tiger. I found out he was at the game when I saw the highlights on sportscenter.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that Mandie got me something I love and better seats than I would have bought for myself. She is soooo good!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hello world

I confess, I confess. My Mom came into town for a few days last week and my blogging fell to pieces. What can I say?

We crammed weeks of fun into three days.

Tuesday: After she landed at noon, we hit the beach. We went to a Braves game at Disney Tuesday night and I loved it. We sat on the hill (Cheap seats) and it was great. The hill begins just past third base. We were sitting so close to Chipper Jones. I could have got him with a water gun. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Wednesday we hit Seaworld. Mom had never been, so I introduced her to Shamu. The weather was perfect and it wasn't too crowded.

Thursday was another baseball day. The Braves were in Lakeland, taking on the Tigers. We had General Admission tickets, but God gave us seats right behind the Braves Dugout. It was off the chain! Game ended in a 6-6 tie. So much for playing to win!

Friday: We looked around Lakeland until it was time to head for the airport.

The trip was great. I needed some good time with my Mom!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Buried with Him in Baptism...

I love my wife. You want to know why? Because, when she hears from the Lord, she immediately obeys His voice. The evangelist last week touched on the importance of being baptized in the correct biblical order.When they alter call music began, Mandie was up front, explaining her desire to be baptized. Sure enough, this morning, She was baptized!

Her desire to please the Father is touching. It makes me proud to know her and strive to be more like her.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Rivaled by none!

The North Carolina-Duke game just ended. Once again, everyone was entertained for the whole forty minutes. It blows my mind that this game is always a good one, that neither team lays an egg. I must Say I am glad to see UNC get a bit of revenge. I want to see these two clash in the Final Four!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Take me out to the ball game...

I was able to go see the Braves play the Tigers today. It still blows my ind that the Detroit Tigers spring training home is five minutes from my house. I can see the light poles from my patio.

I am happy to report that the Braves won 5-4. Yunel Escobar had a bases-loaded double in the fifth that blew things open. Tom Glavine started the game. It was good to see o'l Tommy back in a Braves uniform.

On a side note. I met a guy today that works in the baseball operation office for the Tigers. He said he can get me tickets to any game I want. My blog very well may become a spring training blog. Maybe I can get hired to report for ESPN! And it looks like I just found a new best friend!

Marvelous Grace

I love Grace! I confess to you that I definitely don't understand grace completely, but I believe it completely. I love reading and talking about it. God has taught me so much about Himself through grace over the past few years.

I realized yesterday that for the amount that I love it, I sure am bad about giving it. I am so thankful that God surrounds me in oceans of his grace and mercy, but I turn around and hold people up for justice. I want to see people pay the price for wrong doing. I remember every offense against me; keeping score of how I have been wronged for future use. It is a constant battle to remember that my job is not to bring judgement against all who deserve it. Instead, my job title consists of loving and serving everyone just like Jesus did, especially the ones that don't deserve it.

Whether you realize it or not, you have already experienced God's grace today. Return the action and give grace freely.

Wide Open Spaces

It is 9:15 and I have already completed the grocery shopping! I am such a good little housewife!! I needed to go early to get it done so I can go to the Braves game later. When I got there, much to my suprise, I found hardly any people and no lines. Apparently, not everyone shows up at 7:30 AM to do their shopping. I think I will start going early in the morning all the time! Besides, is there any better way to start you day than with a little bit of Wal-Mart in the morning?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Free Byrd

We had Paul Byrd speak at Converge last week. Now for those of you who don't know who he is, Paul Byrd is journeyman big league pitcher. Currently pitching for the Cleveland Indians, he has been in the big leagues for 13 years. Last year he had a great season, going 15-8.

When Durbin (college Pastor) told me Paul would be coming to speak. I immediately remebered a Braves game I went to 9 years ago. The Phillies were in Atlanta and Paul Byrd was pitching for the Phillies. The game is memorable for me because Paul Byrd and eddie Perez (then Braves catcher) got into a fight. It was the first live baseball fight I had ever seen. The entire week leading up to Paul coming to speak, I was making this memory into a big deal. I was joking that I had 9 years of aggression and anger built up against Paul Byrd.

Thursday night rolled around and Paul spoke. He did great by the way. I have never heard a speaker of any kind who is more real and genuine. It is his ability to share exactly where he is as a believer, husband and father that draws you to him. He is genuine!

Afterwards, I got to talk with him for a couple of minutes. Much to Mandies chagrin, I mentioned the fight bewteen him and Eddie. We were laughing about it, he was telling me what led up to it, all of the insider details.

Upon bringing up a time where he got in a fight, I then asked him for his autograph. Like a true champ he said he would. He asked me how I wanted him to sign it. I said he could just put his name. He was insistent on putting something more than just his name. It was in that moment that I was racking my brain for something clever. Something witty beyond belief. All I could think of was "no hard feelings," But he was done by the time I submitted my idea. He gave me the ball and I stuck it in my pocket. We said our goodbyes and I walked on.

A little later, Mandie asked to see the ball. I pulled it out and we looked at the inscription. It was at this moment that Paul Byrd forever cemented his name in the Jonathan Howard Hall of Fame. He signed my baseball...

To Jonathan:
Sorry about taking Eddie down!
Paul Byrd

That baseball is now one of my most prized possesion. Paul Byrd is a stud. Keep an eye out for him this year. Be sure to root him on!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Behind the ash tray...duh!!!

The malfunction light came on in Mandie's car and I have been attempting to get it scanned while not paying an arm and a leg. I had a mechanic buddy look at it. He works on Diesel trucks and was unable to locate the scanner hookup, since it was a car. He suggested I take it to Discount Auto parts and they would scan it for free. I took it by there this morning and they are not allowed to scan it for me. So I took the scanner out and looked for the hookup all by my lonesome. After three minutes I gave up and returned the scanner.

I then went to Midas and made a diagnostic appointment for tomorrow. It's gonna cost me $65 bones. On the way home I was asking the Lord for help. I really don't want to pay for this! I glanced down at the ash tray and thought..What if the hookup is hidden in a secret compartment behind the ashtray? I grab for the ashtray and pull. It pops out like it's suppose to or something. Sure enough, the scanner hook-up is sitting right there, just waiting to be scanned. God is so good. He led me right the hook-up that not even my mechanic friend could find it! I feel so manly right now!!!

I need to to cancel my Midas appointment.

Monday, March 3, 2008


My adventure in spring training baseball officially began today! I traversed the two hour drive to Vero Beach, the spring training home of the Las Angeles Dodgers. I wanted to be sure to get to Dodgertown this year, because it is the sixtieth and last as the spring home of the Dodgers. Next year they will make Arizona their home.

This past summer I developed a likingfor the Brooklyn Dodgers. Since it was the Brooklyn team that originally called Vero Beach their home, the history buff in me just had to go check it out. The once Air Force base, now spring training complex was awesome. Each of the roads and walkways are named after former players/legends.

The quaint stadium now holds around 7,000 people. My seat was behind the plate, on the 14th row. The Orioles were in town for the afternoon game. Their was a very festive atmosphere for a spring game with an almost capacity crowd.

The day was a huge success. It felt good to be a part of the history that has been and will be (until the end of March) DodgerTown.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grape fruit baseball

Spring training has begun. I cannot express to you how excited I am about spring training baseball. The Detroit Tigers play five minutes from my apartment. There are over ten teams that play less than 1.5 hours from Lakeland.

Mandie has had to put a budget on me. I would go everyday if I had the ok. Unfortunately it costs money to go, so I am picking my spots. So far, I am doing well. The games began last Thursday, and I have yet to attend. I drove by the stadium Thursday, but I didn't go in.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nice Flick

Today I had a man date with a group of guys from church. We tried to go to the driving range, but it was monsooning. Instead we went to my cousin Lucas Howard's (not really my cousin...we just share the same surname) for some grilling and movie watching. The movie of choice was "Shooter" featuring Marky Mark Wahlberg. It was a bit violent, thus the name "Shooter." But it was action packed and very suspenseful. The afternoon was full of good food, fellowship, movie, and mountain dew. I give the day a solid 9.1.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the story continues

I already told you about the gun fight that took place last night in our church's neighborhood. While at work today, Mandie (the wife) found out that one of her employees lives in that exact spot where it went down. Not only that, while walking in his yard, one of the gunmen, held him at gunpoint with a M-14. The man wasn't hurt, but was a bit unnerved by the whole thing.

I will keep you posted if I find out anything else.

A what fight?

On our way to Converge (Church) last night. We pass an 8 block stretch that has a cop car, with their lights on at every intersection. We're thinking...they're looking for somebody!!! We get to church and move into the theatre. After worship, Brett makes an announcement that the exits from the building have been dead bolted due to the gun fight that is going on in the neighborhood. So if you need to leave, let the on site policeman know and he will escort you out to your car.

I have to say that this was a first for me. I can't say that I have ever had to be warned of the gunfight taking place around me. Needless to say, this is a great reminder to pray for Lakeland. We have a lot going on here. And a lot of it is not good.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

John B. Handy

My Bible study group met downtown at Palace Pizza last night. We were sitting in the outdoor seating, enjoying the cool temps. Halfway through out time, we had an unexpected visitor. His name is John B. Handy and his occupation is being homeless. Absolutely filthy and stinking with an overwhelming stench of alcohol, we invited John to join us.

He grabbed his bible and took the open seat next to me. For the next twenty minutes he told us how we were wrong, had little faith and how he couldn't believe that God loved him no matter what he did, because he did so many horrible things.

Meanwhile, the table next to us seated a woman who professed to be a christian, with her boyfriend, who is an ordained agnostic minister. When the girlfriend said he wasn't a minister. He said, "Yes I am. I received the certification in Chicago that lets me marry people." She rolled her eyes and tried to buy John some pizza. As if that would appease him and would leave us alone.

I found myself being uncomfortable in the midst of the scene. A strange homeless guy to my right. A God rejecting minister to my left. I felt very stuck, unsure of what to say or do. Both sides wanted to argue and all I could think of was love. I was sitting there trying trying to figure out how to love both these people.

By the time we left Palace Pizza. We had prayed over John and explained why we study the Bible to the Minister, who didn't want to argue our stance. He was just curious.

God is faithful! We didn't preach at either one. We didn't cast judgment on either one. We listened and loved on both of them. I learned that I am way too comfortable. The moment I found myself between the homelss and Agnostic, I was ready to pack up and leave. But that is excatly where I need to be. Jesus came for the Sick and hurting. Not to be served, but to serve.

I challenge you to find places you know you will be uncomfortable. I can almost promise you it will be outside of your church pew.


It's true. I shot a 92 Tuesday. We played at the fabulous USF golf course. I will make no excuses. I had too many loose shots. We did, however, accomplish a huge goal of mine. We saw two gators out of the water at the course. I have been trying to spot a gator landside since August.

The entire day hanging with my uncle and cousin was a blast. I give all the credit to Uncle Stephen who shot an 88.

Monday, February 18, 2008

God comes near!

It seams like a few people I know are really going through some stuff lately. Throughout the past couple of weeks, I have listened to them explain tough and trying circumstanes they are trying to navigate through. Everything from surgery to death, both approaching and concluded. My heart yearns to give them the fix all formula. I know what I would prescribe if I were God, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

But I did read James 4:8a today. It say's "Come near to God and He will come near to you."

That is all I have for you. That is all I can say. It is all I need to say. Fortunately God is all sufficiant and all powerful. Whatever it is you're lacking in your time of strife, God has an abundance. Draw near to Him. Allow Him to rain down His provision upon you.


I am excited to announce that i will golfing tomorrow. My Uncle is in town, so me and Uncle Stevo will be hitting the links. We are playing the Claw at University of South Florida. I hope I have not bitten off more than I can chew by playing a University course. I have hit since Thanksgiving and Stephen played today. I have only lost to him once. Should be interesting. Maybe I should wear Tiger's Sunday red just for good measure.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Slamma Jamma

This weekend is the NBA All-Star weekend. Be sure to tune in for the DUNK contest tonight!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Love

Happy Valentine's Day! Not only is today V-Day, but it is the seven month anny of Mandie and I being married. It is hard to believe that we have been married and in Florida for seven months already. God is so good to me. I don't deserve any of it! My wife is way too hot for me!

I hope your Thursday is incredible! Remember to tell your Mom you love her.

Friday, February 8, 2008


What a blessing it is to have friends! I have been so fortunate to meet so many amazing people in my short life. And some of these I actually keep in touch with an a pretty consistent basis.

I love how the Lord uses friends to encourage one another. I have a couple of folks that I converse with every three or four months. It never fails that when one of us call, that it is perfect timing for the other person. We both get off the phone having had a word from the Lord confirmed or were given a brand new truth. God is so good to orchestrate all the people in our lives. To help us hear what he has for us at the right time. He is so gracious to me!!!

My encouragement to you is to tell God thanks for friends and call someone who you haven't spoken to in a while.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


My wife is extremely brilliant and I love her for her brains! Sometimes she say's things that are too good to be true. Sunday afternoon was one of those times. She and I were discussing the Super Bowl and who would win.
I said that I was picking the Patriots. She respond with "Oh yeah, they won't lose. You can't go 18-0 by losing games.

There you have it Ladies and Gentlemen. Are you seeking sage, timeless wisdom. Talk to my wife long enough and you will strike gold.

Truth be known, this ability is one of the things I really like about her. I wish I had said it!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Free Rice!!

I want to let you know about a great website called It is website dedicated to helping feed the world while helping you with your vocabulary at the same time. Free to play, this word association game wants you to match a word with the correct meaning or definition. Each time you get an answer correct, 20 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations world food program. I know what you're thinking. 20 grains of rice is not much. But it adds up quickly! Since it's inception on October 7, 2007, over 17 billion grains of rice have been donated.

This website is great for people of all ages. The level of difficulty rises and falls based on how many/often you give correct answers. Teachers are utilizing this website as a tool for teaching vocab to their students. I encourage you to get on this website every now and then. It will be good for you to work on your vocab, but even better for you to help the hungry.

Matthew 25:35 Jesus say's "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Who's that?....The GGGGGG Men!!!

Congrats to the New York football Giants. I wanted the Pats for selfish reasons, but I am ecstatic for Eli Manning and Strahan. The game was incredibly entertaining. My wings were good. Mountain Dew was sweet.

Super Bowl Sunday was great! I guess I will have to get the cotton balls out when Mercury Morris starts talking.


It is 5 hours til kickoff in the Super Bowl. I want to go on record and say that I am predicting and rooting for a Patriots win. I have two reasons for my cheering for New England. First, I want to see history with a perfect season.

Second, I want to see Mercury Morris (Dolphins rb in 1972) have to move over and shut his mouth. I am tired of o'l Mercury relentlessly bragging about their season 36 years ago.

Go Pats!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Are you ever frustrated that you never feel completely satisfied with life?

Well, I have news for you, you aren't supposed to. As a Christian, I am a stranger to this world, merely passing through. God has designed it so that I will always long for more than this world can give me. I won't be completely satisfied until I am in Heaven.

Know that it is a good thing to long for more. It is yet to come.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A bit of encouragement

John 16:33 say's" I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Over and over again I hear people say that they do not watch the news because it is so depressing. I understand that, it's not always enjoyable to see what is going on, but it is also important to know what is taking place. It is important to identify the negative, and the evil. Knowing what is happening in the world allows you to pray more specifically and educate yourself on social issues.

The key to remember is that you need to identify the negative, but do not dwell on it. Trouble abounds but Jesus has overcome it all. You overcome it all when you choose Jesus. So as you travel through tough times and adversity, live in victory!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

God knows you

A couple of summer ago, I went on a mission trip to India for a month. While we were there, I missed Mandie (My girlfriend at the time, now my wife) more than I could ever had imagined. In tribute to her and how badly I missed her, I started writing an "M" on the back side of left palm. The ritual quickly became a tradition and I now almost always have a sharpie written "M" on my hand. Although the mark isn't very big, people notice it all the time and ask me about it. I get a chance to explain why it is there and when I began dCheck Spellingoing it. Needless to say, because of the "M," Mandie is constantly on my mind.

As I was studying today, I received a cool reminder from the Lord. God has done the same thing with all who believe in Him. Isaiah 49:16 say's "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." God has written my name on His hand. Throughout his day, He see's it and is reminded of me. I am constantly on his mind. The only thing different is that he doesn't have to touch it up every couple of days. He has written my name in blood and that is permanent!

So take heart. In the times that you think that God has forgotten about you. Definitely not, he has written your name on his hands. He carries you around with him all the time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I love Jesus

I just want to thank Jesus for being Jesus. For being more than I deserve. For knowing what is best for me. For being faithful, even when I am anything but. As I seek the Lord for my next step, I am at total ease because I know that God is my Heavenly Father and he wants what is best and right for me.

I want to praise Him in advance for what he has planned for me.
Oh Praise Him!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Friends

I am so blessed! Not only are every single one of my physical needs provided for, but I have been blessed with really great relationships. I spent an hour on the phone with my old boss this morning. It was really good to catch up on what is gong on in our lives.

When it was all said and done. I sat on the couch and contemplated how blessed I am. I have had the privilege to meet so many cool and Godly people. Thank you Lord for continually putting me around people who make me better!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Have you ever?

Have you ever found yourself wondering what God is doing? You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are where you are suppose to be, but you have barely a clue on what is going on. That is me. We just found out last week that we will be staying in Lakeland, Fla for the next two years. I am thrilled to be where God wants us to be, but I find it a little difficult sometimes because I don't know what is here for me in Lakeland. I don't know what it is God wants me to do. Where He wants me to work. Where He wants me to invest.

The amazing thing about all of this is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is sovereign! He knows what I need and how I need to do things and what He wants me to do. I want to be faithful to Him because He has been so faithful to me. As my brother told me last night, "this seems like a big deal, but it's not!" (He also said to feel free to use that quote.)

I want to extend encouragement to those of you who are uncertain about what is going on in your life. For the ones who don't have much that makes sense in your life at the moment. Jesus loves you and wants what is best for you in light of eternity! That makes total sense.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another great day!

Today has been great. I opened up the o'l laptop and picked up my novel. It has been months since I have worked on it. I want to get back to it and try and finish while I have some free time.

It felt good to sit down and write for a while.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What you prospectin'?

The gold rush of 1849 sent thousands of people west looking to strike it rich. People packed up everything they had, said goodbye to all that they knew and moved west. When and if they made it, they invested what they had left into their new profession. Their newfound career required for them to purchase a claim (land), tools and supplies.

At this point, the 49ers (miners) traveled out to their claim and began prospecting. Some folks were fortunate enough to hit the jackpot and gained great riches. Some found a small portion of gold, but nothing to write home about. Others found what appeared to be the big time and turned out to be fools gold.

What made the difference in success for the 49er? Thousands of people traveled out west for the sole purpose of looking (prospecting) for gold. They paid they price of family, money, time and effort. In the end, their results came down to location. Many people were doing everything right and were simply in the wrong place.

Today, in regards to joy, we're exactly the same way. Everyone wants to have a life of fulfillment and purpose. One of the ways we measure this is by the amount of joy we experience and give to others. If we are living in joy, we feel successful and purposeful. Therefore, whether we acknowledge it or not, we daily pursue activities and accomplishments that will provide us with joy. In many ways, we mirror the sacrifices and efforts of the 49ers. They were looking for gold, we are looking for purpose and joy.

The good news is that people can and do find joy. The sad thing is that many people find happiness, which is the fools gold of fulfillment. Happiness is a great thing to have, but it is a cheap counterfeit of joy. It looks good, but isn't worth a whole lot. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances. When things are good, we are happy. When circumstances turn dark. Happiness is tough to find. The great thing about joy is that it can be experienced at any moment, in any situation, because joy comes from the Lord. And He is willing to give it out.

So why do we so often find fools gold (happiness), when we are seeking pure Gold (joy)? Location, location, location!!! Just like the miners back in the day. You can do all the proper preparations, make all the sacrifices, and if you are looking in the wrong place, it is hopeless. The gold mine of Joy is God. Proverbs 10:28 say's "The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing." Fortunately for us, God has laid out how to be righteous in the Bible. When we live righteously, God supplies us with Joy. Consequently, we are able to live in any circumstance with joy.

Today, we live in a joy rush. Everyone desires to live a life of purpose and meaning. To be satisfied with their lives, no matter the situation. In what location have you staked your claim? Where are you prospectin' for joy?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

All the louder!!!

At the end of Matthew 21, we read about a pair of blind guys, who are sitting roadside, when Jesus passes by. Alerted of his presence, they shout out, asking Him for mercy. The surrounding crowd rebukes their shouting and tells them to pipe down.The two men hear the open rebuking from their peers and immediately shout louder. Jesus hears them and gives them their eyesight. Now being able to see, they get up and begin following Jesus. (Matt. 21:29-34).

This story leaves me very impressed by the two formerly blind guys. They are already held in low esteem. Some people believe they are blind because of sin in their lives or because of their parents. They hold little value to the world around them. I don't imagine that they feel too great about themselves. They get up the courage to holler at Jesus. They want to stop Him and ask Himfor help They gather the courage, yell out to the Lord and immediately the people boo. Overwhelming, the crowd rebukes them. The two blind guys get heckled! I can hear it now, "what are you doing?" "Don't you know who that is?" "He doesn't have time for you!" "You acan't talk to Him!"

In the face of public rebuke and embarrassment, the two guys yell louder. They were not going to be denied!

Why?Why didn't they stop. Why did they continue to yell, to call out to the Lord.

They didn't care. Plain and simple, they could have cared less about what others thought or said. These two dudes were completely driven by DESPERATION. Jesus was their only hope of gaining sight. Jesus was more important than anything in their life. They had a need and they knew the answer to the equation.

So many times I find myself in need of God. I begin to yell out. To call for Him to meet me. Then, rebuke presents itself in one form or another. Often times, it is what others will think. It's the people in the crowd who immediately respond to my calling out to the Lord in a negative manner. But unlike the blind guys, I stop yelling. I allow the people around me to slow me down. To choke out my seeking of the Father's face.

Why do I do this? Why do I stop after the first yelling spell?
Often, it is because I lack true desperation. I get caught up looking at things with the wrong perspective. I live life and begin to feel that I am making it. That I am earning a living. That I am doing well. That I am making a difference.

I must be just as desperate as the blind men. Without God, I am a wretch! I deserved Hell today and did not get it, solely because of God's grace and mercy. For this reason alone, I must desperately seek to stay close to my God, The one who saved me. So that is what I am going to do. I want to daily stand by the roadside and call out to Jesus. Daily confess that I am nothing without Him. And live in victory through Him, when He meets with me. Because you know what? That is what He does. He hears our call and He delights to meet with us! To shape and mold us to be more like Him.

These two guys needed their vision, what area of your life do you need worked on?