Monday, November 7, 2011


    First things first.  I cannot believe I have not posted anything since March of this year.  Holy crap how time flies.  At this point I am no longer in law school, no longer in the state of Oklahoma, and finally holding down  real job.  Throughout the entire process, i.e. moving to Oklahoma, law school, getting an incredible job, and buying a house, I cannot help but laugh at how incredibly blessed Carie and I have been.  And while it's funny to look at my life now and see how far I have come in a few short months, I have one underlying feeling through it all.....(un)worthy.
   Now I am not saying this with a feeling of complete dumbfoundedness (word?) as to how I got to where I am.  I definitely worked hard for all that I have.  Instead, my since of unworthiness stems from my faith.  I cannot help but realize how (un)worthy and undeserving I am.  I, like everyone, am a sinner.  Maybe more than some, but hopefully less than some.  But the thing is, that doesn't matter.  I am a sinner and therefore I am not worthy.  Not worthy of the Kingdom and not worthy of everything I have been blessed with on Earth.  But what is even more astounding, God thinks I am.
   No matter how bad I screw something up, or how far I fall short of perfection, God continues to bless me beyond my wildest dreams.  I am truly (un)worthy, but I have found that if you trust God, look to Him for guidance in your life, and pursue a relationship with Him everyday (which, again, I am most assuredly guilty of failing to do from time to time), God tends to remove the (un).  Only through Him are any of us worthy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How the West was Won (Part 2)

   I know, I know, I am a day late. Well, better late than never. So here is the second half of our journey.
   So I left off with us packing up the truck and heading west. But what I neglected to mention was that Carie did not even have a job, a job prospect, not even an interview the morning before we left. We knew we were supposed to be moving to Oklahoma and that this is where God was leading us but we were going to need some Manna from heaven or something in order to make it. You see, I wasn't going to work my first year because they do not encourage it, so our entire income would be from Carie, who did not have a job yet. Well that God works in mysterious ways.
   As we are pulling into our apartment in Nashville after picking up the moving truck, I see Carie on the phone in her car. After a few minutes she gets out and I ask her who that was. It was a company in OKC and they wanted to have her interview for a position! Well now at least we had a job prospect. So we pack up and move. Just a day or two after arriving in OKC Carie goes to her interview. She tells me she thought it went well, but we would have to wait and see. Well that evening they called her back and offered her the job! Within a week Carie already had a job. The next thing on our list was to find a church.
   We had researched churches in the OKC metro area before moving and found We figured we would try it and a few others before making a decision. We never made it to those other churches. Lifechurch was exactly were God wanted us at this point in our lives. I have never listened to a more effective pastor than Craig Groeschel. This church was a Godsend for Carie and I at this step in our lives; newly married, and not as close in our faith as we should be. Carie and I have never been closer to our Father than we are right now and it has been great building our marriage around our faith. But it keeps getting better.
   On our second try we found the lifegroup we currently attend. This is our second family. I do not think we would have made it in Oklahoma without this group of couples. God lead us to our OKC family. Additionally, this group also provided Carie with her second job opportunity.
   The first job was not working out so well with the monkey and all. (Yes, a monkey in the office. An actual real, live, monkey.) It just so happened that a couple in our lifegroup work for Lifechurch and knew of a job opening. Carie applied and the rest is history. She has been working for Lifechurch for nearly two and a half years now.
   Now, I do not want you to get the impression everything has been pees and carrots here in OKC. It has definitely had its moments. But once again God knew what he was doing. He has always provided for us. The hardest part was being away from our family. But this too was a blessing. This allowed Carie and I to build our marriage on or own. No outside influences. We could only lean on each other. But there was also another reason I think God moved us from our family.
   Before moving Carie and I would see my mom and dad every weekend, sometimes more. We were very close. Well in May of 2009 my mother passed away unexpectedly. And while nothing could dull the pain immediately, there was a purpose to us being so fair away. I think God moved us here to help deal with the separation from my mom. Once we moved here I was only able to see mom a handful of times, so I had gotten used to her not being around very much. Imagine if we stayed at home and we were still seeing each other every weekend. The loss would have been unbearable. While I still miss mom, it has been easier for me to adjust to her absence.
   Okay, now to end on a high note. Last spring, I began looking for an internship for the summer. I had some business cards made and gave some to family just in case they knew someone. Well, I was having no luck when my brother-in-law shot me a text. There was an attorney speaking to his class. My brother-in-law just happened to have one of my business cards and he asked if I wanted him to give it to the attorney. Without giving it much thought I said sure, not really expecting anything. Well three weeks later Carie and I were leaving church and I still had no prospects for an internship. We were toying with the idea that maybe we were supposed to stay in OKC and not move home. That afternoon that attorney called me. I told him I was looking for an internship that could possibly lead to a job, and he asked me to drive in for an interview. I drove in on spring break did the interview and interned last summer. This August I will start as an associate attorney at that firm, in my hometown of Murfreesboro, TN.
   Well that's our story out here. There was a purpose for this mid-western detour, even if we couldn't see it at the beginning. All this was to say, we have to have faith. God won't lead us astray. He may ask you do do something you may absolutely dread, but there is a reason. Carie and I would never have gotten to where we are in life without taking that leap of faith. The unknown is scary, but often much more worthwhile  than playing it safe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How the West was Won (Part 1)

   So, over the past week or so I have been reading a 12 day plan on youversion about faith. I do not consider myself a person who struggles with believing in the unseen, and, as I have posted before, it's easier for me to believe their is someone other than me guiding my life. My reading last night was Hebrews 11. I encourage everyone to go an read this chapter right now, or after finishing this post. In that chapter, the author runs through a who's who of people who had faith in the Bible. Moses, Abraham, and Able just to name a few. While I have posted on faith before, this chapter got me thinking about the past three years and my, well our (Carie too), leap of faith. I am not sure if I have told everyone the story so I thought I would share.
   So my junior year of college I decided to go to law school. I had never wanted to be an attorney before, so it came as a surprise to me and many others in my family as well. After taking the LSAT, which is an entrance exam, Carie and I began to look at law schools in cities we wouldn't mind living for three years. While we wanted Nashville, I just felt it wasn't a smart choice to limit myself job wise. Nashville School of Law is not fully accredited by the ABA so I would ONLY be able to practice in Tennessee. During this process I pitched the idea of Oklahoma to Carie. I had only driven through as a kid, while she had family from western Oklahoma. The answer was an emphatic no on both our sides. There was no way we wanted to live in Oklahoma, but the application to Oklahoma City University School of Law was free so I applied as a safety school.
   After months we narrowed our decision to Georgia State School of Law in Atlanta. Our Hearts were set on Atlanta. We had made plans of were we wanted to try and live, and how often we would come home, but we didn't count on one not getting in. Unfortunately I didn't get in. OCU seemed to be the next best option, but all we could do was pray. An answers abound we would get.
   We visited in June to find a place to live. It started off with me arriving early in the morning, and Carie arriving, after a terrible storm, alone and tired early the next morning. Carie had an interview scheduled that day and I was taking a tour of the school. During the middle of my tour Carie called. Her interview had been cancelled and no one called!!! To make things worse, we were driving around in a bad part of town at the time and the scenery left something to be desired. Well we found a place to live and decided to go to the OKC bombing memorial on our last day in town. In the parking lot Carie burst into tears. She did not want to move and we were not sure if we were even supposed to come to Oklahoma, so right there in the parking lot we prayed. Prayed for guidance, for comfort, for God to lead us like a blind dog to where we were supposed to go. After a few minutes to settle down, we got out of the care and walked over to the memorial. As we walked down the stairs to the pond area, our collective breath was sucked out of our lungs. Right in front of us was our pastor from Tennessee!!!! I still get goose bumps!! We prayed for a sign and what better than our "Shepherd" in Oklahoma. I took it as a sign. We were meant to move. So three months after our wedding, Carie and I packed up the truck and headed west to begin our life and career, and what a wild ride it has been.
(check back tomorrow for Part 2)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


   Is the glass half empty or half full? Pessimist or Optimist? Positive or Negative? All of these sayings are used to describe a person's attitude toward life. But are these really accurate depictions of a person's outlook? I would argue that they are not. To me, all of these sayings could be boiled down and poured into one question that would more accurately describe a someone's perception of life. Faith-filled or faith-less?
   People lacking faith are the ones me might describe as negative. Those without faith, or those low in the faith department, seem to find it hard look at the world in a positive light. This is all they have. No promise of a life after this. All of the doom and gloom in this world. And for those without faith, this is as good as it gets. No wonder they can be negative. How awful to think that this is the best it will ever get. Even our greatest day on Earth will pale in comparison to an eternity in Heaven. Plus, it's hard to live without faith. To think that there is no one higher than us who has your back, who has a plan for our life, and a reason for all of the terrible things that we have to endure. The faithless must depend on themselves and themselves alone. If they do not have the answers then who does. That is why I choose to live with faith.
   Faith makes life so much easier to live, for some more than others of course since we all have our own set of trials and tribulations we have to weather. But with faith we become those optimists, glass half full types of people. We do not need the answers to everything and that is a relief. We do not have to fret because one day all of those answers will be revealed. It's so much easier to go through life knowing that there is a plan for you, laid out, and all you have to do is have faith and keep an open eye in order to follow it. Our faith leads us. How wonderful life is when you no longer feel the need to worry about things out of your control. Or no longer need all of the answers to questions like how will we make it this month, why did they have to die, or why am I even here. Faith answers all of those questions, whether we see it at the time or not. Faith does the heavy lifting so we are free to enjoy the world around us. So call me an optimist or a glass half full kind of guy, describe me any way you wish, but it all is the result of one

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ain't it Funny?

   So, when I was in high school I was obsessed with football. Wait... let me rephrase that. So, I am obsessed with football. (Much better) After my senior year of football I attracted some attention from some small schools to come and play football. I had it narrowed down to two: Rhodes College in Memphis, TN or Sewanee University located a ways south of Manchester, TN. I did not really care about an education I just wanted to play football. Rhodes turned out to be too expensive even with scholarship money so it was down to Sewanee. Much to my chagrin, so was Sewanee. So I ended up spending my first year at Middle Tennessee State University. This all worked out, even though I could not see it at the time. The next year I transferred to Cumberland University, in Lebanon, TN, to play football. I later graduated and decided to go to law school and will graduate in May.
   The thing is, without the initial disappointment of missing out on my two favorite schools I wouldn't be where I am today. Have you ever heard the expression, you can't see the forest because of the trees? That was essentially my problem. And I would say that many others have the same problem.  We are so focused on what we want to do, and our goals for our lives (the trees) that we fail to see God's plan for our life (the forest). God has a specific plan for each and every one of us, and that plan is reached by a path pre-ordained by our Father. We have no idea where that path is going, and most of the time we cannot even see it, but God knows exactly where it is going and where it will eventually end. Our job is to let go and not focus on the pain of not getting what we think we need, and let God direct our lives to our true purpose. And you know what, it's funny how it all works out.  
   "And we all know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

Thursday, February 10, 2011


   So I turned 26 the other day. I am now officially four years from being 30. And I am okay with that. Age is nothing. As cliche as it sounds, age really is just a number.
   Think about everything we have learned as we have gotten older. And, as the saying goes, we learn something new everyday. Just think about how much knowledge we will gain as we get older. I like the fact that we will never have all of the answers, even if we live to be 106, we will continue to learn.
   I joke with my wife Carie that my goal is to live until I am 120. And while this is probably a little unrealistic, how cool would that be? Think about everything that people over 90 have seen: two world wars, a depression, Pearl Harbor, the assassination of a president, our first African-American president, the first man on the moon, and all of the advances in technology. I want that to be me one day.
   Why is there any reason to be upset about getting older? So we may not be able to do some of the things we used to be able to do, but we gain so much in exchange. Many of us are or will get married. We will grow old with the love of our life (little shout out to mine!). Most will eventually have kids and watch them grow into amazing people. And when we are old, and hopefully haven't screwed our kids up too much, we will be surrounded by the family that we love and hold so dear. We have no reason to fear or dread getting older. Some of the coolest people I know are over 40. Besides, isn't 40 the new 20?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


   Teddy Roosevelt was once quoted as saying, "A just war is in the long run far better for a man's soul than the most prosperous peace." While I do not completely agree with this sentiment, I do feel war is sometimes necessary, and that America, as the most powerful nation on the planet, has a duty to help those who, sometimes, cannot help themselves. For better and for worse, I have recently come to the conclusion that an American presence in Iraq is a good thing. While I will spare everyone the political argument of why I feel this way, I would like to talk about the forgotten. The American soldier.
   It is easy to forget there is a war going on as we set comfortably in our heated homes; watching television, as I am now; and sleep comfortably in our plush beds. There are still men and women in uniform fighting for the freedom we so graciously take advantage of, and the freedom of those less fortunate. War is a bitch. And unfortunately men and women are killed. Daily. Over the past day I have watched three documentaries about our men and women in war. And while I take these films with a grain of salt, as with any media, it is undoubtedly clear the toll that war takes on the human spirit. These men and women will never be the same. They will not return to their "normal selves" and how could they after witnessing such atrocities? And to the average American, we act like these soldiers are just run of the mill citizens. Well, they aren't.
   I can sense a generational gap in the way we treat soldiers. If you notice, many of the elderly will go out of their way to tell a soldier thank you for their service. They treat soldiers with dignity and an almost reverent respect. Those of us in Gen X, however, usually do not think twice when we see men and women in uniform. I vow today to change this, and I pray all who read this will to. Agree with the war or not, these are our brothers and sisters fighting and dying for us, people they have never met. We as a society are forever indebted to their service and they deserve our utmost respect. So thank you to those who have served and are currently serving. And to those whom I personally know, whom I have never thanked: Bryan Curran, Johnathon Byers, Justin Parrott, Trey Mosby, Patrick Linam, Jason Carter, Matthew Parker, Eric Stanley, Michael Barber, Patrick Barber, and to the many I have forgotten, THANK YOU.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

God Bless America!

   While setting here on a gorgeous 72 degree Saturday afternoon reading about the turmoil in Egypt, I cannot help but beam with pride. The USA, while facing its own struggles, is by far the best political system in the world. Could you imagine a President ruling the United States for over thirty years? The thought is ludicrous, yet in Egypt that is the situation. Their leader has been in power for thirty years. Thirty years of the same political agenda. Thirty years of the same police brutality. Thirty years of ignoring the cry of Egypt's citizens. Thank God I live in the USA.
   We are truly blessed to live in a nation where we have the right to petition our government, speak our mind free from fear of retribution, vote for our leaders every four years, and vote based on our moral, political, and religious views. We haven't had a president serve longer than eight years since the New Deal era, and think about how we sometimes complain; "Jeez, another four years with this guy?!" At least we know when it will end. Unfortunately our brothers and sisters in Egypt are not so lucky. And even worse, countries around the world are in the same boat. Cuba and North Korea are victims of the same type of tyranny.
   How lucky we are as Americans, yet we forget that. We remember one day a year, the 4th of July. And then we focus more on the grill, beer, and fireworks than we do on our freedom. So thank you to those who have gone before us and fought for the freedoms we now enjoy daily. And God Bless America.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's okay, I'm and athlete.

   While watching the State of the Union address the other night, I was surprised to find myself agreeing with a few points the President made. One in particular stuck out in my mind. Towards the end of the address, President Obama made the remark that we, as Americans, should put more emphasis on education than on sports. I totally agree.
   Today we, as a society, put too much emphasis on sports and the athletes that participate. The NCAA only delivers a slap on the wrist for student violations, and the participants are more athlete-students than student-athletes. We do not even require that student-athletes complete the education that they start. Those playing basketball can enter the NBA draft after one year of college, and before this change, they could enter out of high school. Football players are able to declare after their sophomore year. And while baseball has the strictest requirement, baseball players are still allowed to declare for the MLB draft after their third year of college. That is if they decide to go to college, because baseball players may declare for the MLB draft after high school. The problem is schools do not prepare these athletes for life after their sport. While some will go on an make millions upon millions, the majority will make a little money playing their sport and then have to try and find a job after they either retire or cannot cut it anymore.
   I heard a statistic that over the next few years something like 60% of the jobs available will require some sort of education past high school.  The NCAA needs to prepare these young men and women for life after competition. As a former athlete, I can testify to the lack of forward thinking on the part of athletes. There is only the next practice, the next game, or the upcoming off season. There is little to no thought to their future. I propose that the NCAA make it mandatory that all student athletes obtain a degree in order to go into professional sports. While some argue against this rule saying that the athletes need to go on an make their money while they can, nothing is guaranteed. At least they would have an education to fall back on. Being a professional athlete is a privilege, not a right, and somewhere along the way we have forgotten that.
   Education is important, but unfortunately children these days are not getting that message. We tell them that if they play sports, maybe you can go on and make millions. "Who cares about a terrible GPA or even failing classes, you;re a sports star, you won't need a degree!" That seems to be the message we are sending. We need to push education. We need higher standards and quit giving student athletes a free pass just because they entertain us. Then maybe Americans will be able to compete in the international job market, instead of continuing to decline in the rankings concerning math, English, and overall proportion of citizens with a college degree.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


   At nearly 26 years old I have unfortunately been around my fair share of death. I have lost friends, acquaintances, and even family. Nothing hit as close to home as the loss of my mom. The only thing comparable, in my mind, would be the loss of a spouse or child. After losing my mom, numerous people would ask "How are you holding up?" or "Is there anything I can do?" While those people meant well, when you think about it, those questions are quite ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing that can fill the void of losing someone so close. I have also been asked, "How do you handle it so well?" The truth is I don't really know. I just remember sitting there as the pastor delivered the eulogy and an overwhelming sense of calm came over me. To me it was the hand of God.
   The entire time at the hospital I prayed continuously for a recovery that never came, and while some people would blame God, for me it is easier to believe this is all for a reason. It has strengthened my relationship with my dad, whom I would rarely call back then and instead would go through my mom to see how he was. And it has brought people into my life I otherwise would have never met. It made me lean on God, friends, and family. To all of whom I am now closer.
   The biggest thing to remember is life goes on. And we will never know why it happened the way it did until we rejoin our loved ones. But through it all we have to remember that we should never ask "Why did God let this happen?" Because, in my opinion, He didn't. When Adam and Eve first bit into the forbidden fruit we were separated from God and sin was born. We, as humans, became sinful in nature and evil and death was the result. Death was created by us as a result of our sin, and as sinful creatures we are left to exercise our own free will. So God does not allow bad things to happen, He simply has to let us, as his children, learn from or mistakes like any good parent would. But of all the bad that can happen in the world, death is the best thing that could happen. Our loved one will no longer suffer, will no longer have to listen to all of the bad things happening in the world, will no longer hunger, will no longer thirst. We who are left behind should envy the loved ones who have gone before us, for they are truly the blessed.
   And lastly, if it weren't for loss how would we know what someone really meant to us. I don't think you can truly experience the full spectrum of love without loss. Loss is unfortunately, a necessary evil we as sinners must face. All we can do is wake up in the morning and continue to trust the God knows best and wants only the best for us all.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Will (not) work for food

   Nearly no other topic in politics is more taboo than that of welfare reform. But as the country continues to go trillions of dollars in debt, nearly no other topic is as crucial. First, let me start by saying that I am definitely for helping someone in need. But I draw the line at people who abuse the system. Evidence of abuse is rampant at this point in our nation's history. Since the economic downturn the number of people in need of government assistance has risen, but the number of abusers has also. By placing restrictions on the assistance given to those in need, we could drastically reduce the number of people abusing the system and help reign in government spending.
   Let's start with unemployment. What is terribly wrong with the idea of having people prove they are looking for a job. Currently, if someone is laid off from a place of business that has paid into unemployment, they can receive something like 99 weeks of unemployment checks. And all they have to do is sign up. Nothing more. As long as they do not work they get paid. So what motivation do they have to look for a job. Why not create a system whereby people receiving unemployment must prove that they are looking for a Job. For instance, create a system where people must mark on an application if they are receiving unemployment and the employer must submit the application. Additionally, require the person to fill out a minimum of four applications a month in order to continue receiving assistance.
   Or how about, food stamps. With food stamps there are very little restrictions on what can be bought. What I mean by this is a person on food stamps can go buy a cart full of T-Bone steaks at $12 a pop while those who are actually trying (working and budgeting) must eat beans and rice. I am not against food stamps, but they should limit the amount of junk food and things like that people can buy. It's no wonder that low income families disproportionately represent obese or severely overweight Americans. Don't believe me, go grocery shopping on the first of the month and look at some of the baskets loaded down with Little Debbie's, ribs, and cokes. It is ridiculous.
   People argue that it is their right and they deserve these government handouts, but if you are using tax dollars to purchase everything, the government should have a say in how it is spent. I should have a say in how my tax dollars are spent. Ironically, it pays not to do anything. You can get medical coverage, your house paid for, your food paid for, and possibly a little spending money for 99 weeks. Something has to be done, and it starts with the politicians growing a pair and tackling the controversial issues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Law School Pregnancy

   First things first, I am a man, and no I am not literally pregnant (although my looks may say otherwise). Neither is my wife. The title of this post came to me last night while I was in bed and trying to think of a topic for my first ever blog. It refers to the similarities between a pregnancy and law school, which I will explain below. It may not make sense to everyone, but to me it makes perfect sense.
   Law school is three years, while a pregnancy lasts three trimesters. The fears, struggles, and pain felt during pregnancy, while not knowing first hand, also apply equally with your years in law school as well. Your first year in law school is a lot like the first trimester of pregnancy. Your excited to tell everyone, but in secret you suffer from morning sickness and some slight indigestion. The exams you take at the end of each semester are like contractions, which probably do not happen in the first trimester, but in a law school pregnancy they happen throughout the entire pregnancy. During your second year (trimester) you pretty much have this thing down, but there is a lot more work. Like in real life you prepare for the upcoming bundle of joy, in school you prepare for your "birth" by taking the MPRE which is a pre-requisite to taking the BAR in any state. Plus, those damned contractions! The third year (trimester) you can see the end in sight. You frequently have to use the bathroom, the contractions are more frequent now, and you are just ready to be done with the whole thing. The novelty of of the has worn off (and your boobs hurt like crazy!). And then finally comes the birth (the BAR in my case).
   While I do not know, first hand, what to expect, like any new "mother" I am sure there will be some vomiting, lots of blood, and excruciating pain. But in law school there is no anesthesia. You have to give birth naturally. But when you see your name among the list of those passing the BAR, it's like seeing your child for the first time. You can't stop smiling, the unknown is scary and overwhelming, and you hope you just don't screw up. But ultimately you have a sense of indescribable pride and joy because you did that and no one can take it from you. You created a world of possibilities for yourself, and they are endless.