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.