Saturday, December 9, 2006

Andy to Yankees, Vince comes back to play Texans

Take care, Andy. We'll miss you. God bless you, brother, and best wishes for you, your family and the Yankees.

It seems quite fitting that today we're talking about Houston sports legend Andy Pettitte's departure from the Astros. Why, tomorrow, another Houston sports legend comes to town that we let get away. Playing for a football team that we let get away.

Since draft day last year, there has been one particular football game highlighted in my mind. This next one at Reliant is the one I'm referring to. No, the Texans-Titans game probably won't have much of a impact outside the two towns represented, and in the scheme of things it doesn't really matter more than any other regular season game. But I bet Vince Young has been thinking about this one. I saw a Vince Young special on BET a couple weeks ago and he was playing softball (presumably in Tennessee) wearing an Oilers cap. Oh yeah, he's thinking about it. And many of the Texans fans have been thinking about it, too.

Not to mention, all the former Oilers fans.

Vince Young gets to come home and show us all he should have been added to the Texans roster. On the other hand, the Texans get to show everyone that they can handle things fine without him.

Does Vince have something to prove to his hometown fans? Probably not. Most football fans here already know what he's capable of doing. Question is: Will he do it big this weekend at Reliant Stadium, as a member of the former Houston Oilers...after we passed him up in the draft? I certainly don't want to encourage him against the Texans, but it's not going to be pretty around here if he goes crazy and does something like passing for two or three touchdowns and rushing for another one -- and the Titans come out on top.

Am I going out on a limb to say this would be a very, very nice win for the Texans? This game is going to be fun to watch.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Princessy

I was in a grocery store this morning in Deer Park, Texas wearing an Astros T-shirt. As I waited in line behind several people to check out, the sacker called out to me, "Do you think (Andy) Pettitte is going to New York?"

For those of you who don't know, Deer Park is Andy's hometown. He's a graduate of Deer Park High School and a local hero. Sports Illustrated's Web site reported today that he might be considering an offer from the Yankees for next season.

Not knowing all the details of the situation (and really not feeling qualified to speculate on the comings and goings of Andy Pettitte), I said, "I don't know what he's going to do, but if someone offered me $26 million to throw a baseball in New York City for a couple years I'd be on the first plane out."

My comment was greeted with smiles and nods, but I think everyone hopes Andy plays another season of baseball and plays it with the Astros. I would think the Astros need him (and Clemens as well) if they are hoping for big things next year.

I understand after checking Chron.com tonight that Andy says he will play again next year, somewhere. Keep your fingers crossed, Astros fans.

I heard the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)announce this week that it will air One Night With The King on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Make sure to catch this one if you haven't seen it already. It's awesome.

There is a new term I coined while watching this movie that may appear from time to time on this blog, and I wanted to share a definition in case you ever encounter it here:

princessy [prin-cess-ee] adj. 1. term describing those qualities often attributed to the princess, including amiable, warm and gracious, kind-hearted, often exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. 2. Lovely in form and features.

I'll tell you what, I loved it when those feet were pounding on the wet ground and she burst into the room to face the king. I was sitting close to some strangers so I made sure to keep my composure. :)

I reread the Book of Esther in the days before checking out this film. It's a wonderful story that is rich in meaning on many different levels.

Our Jewish friends celebrate this story every year, but as Christians, I think it also has amazing significance to our walk with Jesus. Since most of what we see in the Old Testament is a "shadow" of what came in the New Testament, we can clearly see the story of the cross in what happened in Esther's life.

After all, isn't Esther's overnight rise to royalty what in essence happens to everyone who meets our savior?

The beauty is, this film has something for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. I love what film critic Michael Medved had to say about the movie from a Jewish perspective (click here to see his interview).

It's also a story of destiny. An amazing yarn illustrating what courage and the touch of God can do in someone's life.

You know me, I had "Princess thoughts" pretty much from start to finish during this one. It is, after all, about a princess. In fact, Esther went to princess school.

While I watched this film, I remembered a year or so ago when I was looking at the first couple chapters of Esther with a small group of believers. A female in the group took issue with some of the king's actions, including how Esther was selected. She was convinced that just because this king chose his wife a certain way (basically a beauty pageant), it didn't necessarily mean God approved.

Obviously we're dealing with kings and queens and all the protocol involved with that type of life, so whether God approved of selecting wives and queens that way, who knows?

But how can you argue with what Esther pulled off once selected?

If you put this story in a modern timeframe, it wouldn't work. Can you imagine your husband having too much to drink one night and ordering you to march around in front of his friends and underlings just to show off how hot you are? (Esther 1:10-15).

How about if he decided to break it off with you because you didn't feel like doing it, sent letters to your entire city telling of your "disrespect," and then spent one year giving beauty treatments to other females to select your replacement? (Esther 1:19-22 and 2:2-4)

If a world leader did that today, Dateline NBC would be on the phone to the press department before Queen Vashti could gather her stuff.

I guess that is just how things were done those days in that part of the world. No matter, we get to meet Queen Esther! And we find out that King Xerxes is truly a good person who definitely cares for his princess. It turns out he doesn't even really like the process of picking his queen.

And along comes Esther reading a love story to him.

That's definately princessy.

This is a beautiful, well-made film. Set your TiVo or check it out on TBN at 7 p.m. PST on New Year's Eve or 7 p.m. PST on New Year's Day. Don't miss it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ovulation predictor kit

I’m not completely sure what this means (see photo below), but from what I gather, it basically indicates the stars are aligned for someone wanting to get pregnant.

Welcome to my world recently, as I’ve been immersed in ovulation predictor kits and fertility message boards. My sister wants a second child. I spent a few days over at her place with her, her husband, and my niece.

My sister is really hoping to get pregnant again. She has a darling 18-month-old daughter, and she’d love to have a little brother or sister for her.

The photo above is an ovulation predictor kit, which requires urinating in a cup and then applying several drops on this piece of plastic to see if the time is right. I’m sure it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s my level of understanding.

However, her doctor tells her that she has premature ovarian failure which renders her ability to have children “highly unlikely.”

We had a good time discussing what led up to her becoming pregnant the first time. There’s no better way to stir up your faith than to remember what God did for you in the past. David wrote: "I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds" (Psalm 77:11,12).

This is a cool story.

Roughly two and a half years ago, my sister and brother-in-law had recently accepted Christ and were attending church with me. They were also trying to get pregnant, and had been trying for several months to no avail. I kept encouraging my sister that God would bring this dream to pass if she just maintained her faith and stood on His word. However, I could tell from time to time she was really struggling with the idea that she had waited a little longer in life to get married and feared she wouldn’t be able to get pregnant.

I can remember us congregating in restaurant parking lots after having lunch and praying God would give her a baby. She mentioned it almost every time I saw her. I saw her crying about it on at least one occasion. Then, one Sunday I attended another church to see someone get baptized. My sister gave me a call on my cell phone after she left Lakewood.

She told that a stranger had walked up to her and her husband, out of the blue before the service, and said, “God says he’s going to give you a blessed child.”

They were both new Christians, and not familiar with the gifts of the Spirit. I later had them point this person out to me in a service, and we had no idea who this man was at the time. He had just stepped out in faith and spoke into their lives. Praise God for people like that! He had absolutely no way of knowing that was their area of struggle at that time. We’re talking about a complete stranger walking up to two people in a room with about 7,000 other seats and hitting the nail right on the head. Wow.

Several months later, however, she still wasn’t pregnant. One Saturday night service, Ms. Dodie asked everyone present who was trying to get pregnant to stand up for prayer. Dodie prayed the prayer of faith and within days my sister called me, exclaiming that she had a positive pregnancy test. I was floored, but not half as much as my sister was.

Coincidence? I’ll let you make the call. I choose to bless the Lord for stuff like that!

So here she is today, believing for a second baby. You know, if He did it for you once…

On another note, I’m looking for a new job, as many of you are aware. I’ve sort of left the door open as to where I’ll go (geographically). I’m simply believing that God will open the right door in the right place, and I look forward to walking through that open door when it opens.

Is this Texas boy destined to leave Texas? I’ll keep you all posted as to these developments.

Oh, and I got a letter in the mail to report for jury duty. I’m excited. Some people groan about jury duty. I love it.

I’ve only had the honor of getting seated on a jury once, and it was something else. The other jurors selected me as the foreman for some reason.

It was a competency trial to see if this man was able to go on to face another trial for a crime we weren’t told about (we were instructed not to worry about what he had or hadn’t done, that was for another jury to determine if we found him competent to stand trial).

It turned out that this guy claimed he was being told by the spirit of a dead rabbit, Mr. Cadbury, to do bad things. I’m not making this up. This dead rabbit even hopped around in the courtroom at one point during the trial (or so it seemed, the defendant appeared to be following something around the floor of the room with his eyes that I couldn’t see).

Anyway, after an examining psychiatrist claimed under oath that the defendant, in his opinion, could determine right from wrong, we had to find him competent and send him and Mr. Cadbury on to another trial for their crime.

Chances are that this stint of jury duty won’t be as exciting but I’ll sure report back if I’m wrong.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

On this blog, I want to sound smart.

On this blog, I want to sound smart.

Therefore, I will use four words in this post included in the new book, 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart, compiled by the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries.

These words will appear in bold below.

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd say "hello" by writing one of my perfunctory blog entries.

Baseball season for the Astros has ended. Yes, we are EXTREMELY proud of them, and watching what happened the last ten games or so was nothing less than amazing. I started to think after the Pirates' series that they would actually pull this off at the end. No matter, they made a run that displayed the epitome of tenacity for the fans and the city of Houston.

No question about it: Astros baseball is fun.

By the way, I'm now a gospel songwriter. Listen to this chorus I jotted down sitting on my couch watching a game:

The Astros are my favorite team,
The Brewers are my second favorite team,
All this excitement make me wanna scream,
And I love Jesus, too
And I love Jesus, too


A little different, yes, but powerfully anointed. I practically got chill bumps singing it in the kitchen the other day. It's not quite "How Great is Our God," but it is catchy.

A well-written ditty is a panacea for the hardships caused by a baseball game that is not going your way.

What else? Hmmm. I did go see Unidentified. I enjoyed it. "Aliens" abduct mechanics and then apparently steal all the rear license plates from the cars at the shop where they work.

All kidding aside, I enjoyed the film, and it appeared the people in the theater with me did as well. Go see it if it's showing in your town.

The story does a pretty good job of explaining the UFO phenomenon from a spiritual point of view. There is a sequence toward the end in which a practical joke is played on someone (I won't be more specific in case you see it). This scene was done well.

I kept wanting to see an alien or two. I mean, Close Encounters wouldn't have been everything it was if those creatures hadn't come out of the spaceship at the end and played around with Richard Dreyfus (click here...remember this moment?).

As an aside: When my niece was a newborn, I joked that her head was shaped like "the head of one of the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind." My sister, the baby's mom, took offense but my niece's head seems to have returned to a normal shape in recent months. Praise God. She's just adorable.

O.K., back to what I was talking about...

My only disappointment was that Unidentified seemed -- and maybe I'm just being hypersensitive -- to portray a vast number of Texans in a strange way.

Was it just me, or did several of the characters in Texas leave you feeling like passing a third-grade entrance exam might have been a monumental achievement for them, or they were just a little off?

Waitress: "I went to Houston once. It was BIG!"

Abducted guy: "I saw somethin' out there and it wasn't no weather balloon."

I kept waiting for someone to pull out in a Cadillac with horns on the hood (with no license plate).

I'm just playing. It was good film. I enjoyed it.

Rebecca St. James was the only actor I recognized in this one. She plays the wife of a backslidden reporter. I thought she did a great job, although the part was small. She needs a bigger role.

Speaking of films, the LA Times ran a nice article a couple weeks ago that talked about Fox Faith and its decision to release about 15 films annually. Now that's what I'm talking about!

I'd like to read for a part in something, by the way. Maybe I can finagle my way into an audition with clever speech and a crafty blog entry?

CityFest Houston is next weekend. What I gather is this is a huge city outreach that resembles a rock show/extreme sports deal near downtown with Luis Palau. Stephen Baldwin is going to be there. I understand Chris Tomlin, BarlowGirl and Wynonna are playing Sunday night so that should be cool to say the least.

Go Texans! A nice win. A needed win. David played well. Mario had a great game and then he came out all happy and talkative at the press conference in his sharp purple pinstriped suit. Warrior!

How about some more Q&A's?

What is your favorite food?

I was born and raised in Houston, a very big city, and we eat LOTS of Mexican food around here. In fact, I've often wondered if I'm not part Hispanic I love Mexican food so much.

Favs are the original Ninfas on Navigation in Houston and The Original Mexican Cafe in Galveston O' Galveston.

I'm not sure if that's what you were asking. Did you mean my favorite type of food or my favorite food?

My favorite meal is probably a steak. A big ol' think, medium rare piece of beef with a baked potato with everything but the sour cream. You know what I'm talking about!

I love seafood, too. Check out the Kemah Boardwalk if you ever come to Houston.

What kind of movies do you like?

I like a good story, period. In general, I'm unlike a lot of males on this, I think. I often like what are termed "chick flicks." Basically, if two people are in love or married by the end, I'm often quite happy with it. Frequently I find myself agreeing with my friends' wives on a movie we should rent or go see, more often than my friends.

I really like to laugh at the movies. I like to feel inspired at the movies.

Aliens are O.K., too.

What are the last two CD's you got?

Chris Tomlin -- See the Morning
Casting Crowns -- Lifesong

Last book you read?

Why? Because You Are Anointed, by Bishop T.D. Jakes (WOW!! READ IT!!!)

I see you were in the military. Why did you join? Did you enjoy it?

I joined for love.

I was 19 or 20. She was 18. I was dating a young lady (my recollection is that wedding shower invitations had been mailed out) and her mother said we were too young and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. She was right.

Her mom also said the only way she would support the marriage idea was if I joined the military because we would have base housing, and medical care, and great benefits. She told us that was how her and husband had got married at a young age.

I didn't really have a career at the time. I was recently out of high school and had a semester or two of college, I think.

Joining the military was the last thing on planet Earth I wanted to do. I reluctantly enlisted in the United States Marines because my girl wanted me to. Then, on the eve of the longest "hump" or forced march in boot camp, I received the "Dear John" letter. It was well-written, just brimming with all the details of her wonderful new boyfriend.

So, there I was, head shaved, dressed in camouflage and combat boots sleeping on the ground in a pup tent at Camp Pendleton -- completely heartbroken. I barely slept that night. I was in the middle of boot camp and about to embark on four years of military service that I would have never committed to if it hadn't been for her.

Love is a many-splendored thing, my friends.

However, let me tell you in hindsight that joining the Marine Corps was probably the best decision (outside of my decision to follow Christ) I've ever made in my life.

It is such an incredible organization. I came out a different person than I went in, and I can honestly say some of best memories of my life were during those four years. I don't know if I've ever been more proud of myself than graduation day at MCRD San Diego.

And of course, my first stop when I arrived back in Houston on leave after graduation was my ex-girlfriend's house...in full dress blues to show her what a mistake she had made by dumping me. :)

In truth, she hadn't made a mistake. This is a classic example of God using hardship or disappointment to steer someone. I needed the Corps, and I didn't need to be married at that time.

So, I guess that was a long explanation of how I ended up in the military, but I could talk for hours about my time in the Marines. Great, great time. I miss being around Marines, too.

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs!

More questions? Send them to me! johntyler4@excite.com

Sleepy. Goodnight everyone. Blessings.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Astros game

Chronicle sports writer, Brian McTaggart, posed a question in the lead paragraph of this morning's article on last night's Astros' game.

"Was this another step toward what would be the Astros' most improbable late-season playoff push yet, or just a meaningless win that does nothing more than postpone the inevitable?"

Do we only have those two choices? By elimination, it must be the first of the two choices. I say that because any game in which our team comes from behind to beat the division-leading Cardinals (for the second day in a row) on national TV and gives the fans what was probably the most exciting Astros' experience of this season to date, certainly couldn't qualify as "meaningless."

That game felt like a playoff game! And frankly, every game from here on out is technically a playoff game for the Astros. They have to be played with that intensity.

This victory, in my opinion, was the biggest of the season for the Astros. It's not just that we won the game, it's how we won it and how important this game was. We came from behind, and Biggio is the guy who ends up with the game-winning hit.

Too cool. The only thing that would top the whole thing off would be fireworks!!

Roy O on the mound tonight and The Rocket on Sunday night in his second "last" appearance at Minute Maid Park -- nationally televised on ESPN. You have to like our chances for the rest of the series.

No pressure, we're just having fun, right?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Some reader's questions

OK, here are my thoughts from the last couple days, and answers to a few of your questions.

First, I was very, very excited to read in yesterday's paper that both Mr. McLane and Mr. Purpura (Astros owner and general manager, respectively) are committed to keeping Craig Biggio in an Astros uniform for next season, a season he says will be his last.

Click here: http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb/4185682.html

I can't imagine him playing for anyone else, and it sure would be difficult to see him reach that 3,000th hit as a player for another team. It's going to be tough enough to see him retire.

Now, enough about next season...how about a run toward the post season this year? Are we still believing for that?

Of course we are.

I'm going to Minute Maid Park tonight with some folks. The Rocket is on the mound. Should be fun.

And surprise of all surprises! Lonelygirl is an actress! Turns out, there were several filmmakers behind this in California who most likely pulled off the most successful mystery in the history of the World Wide Web.

I cannot put a stamp of approval on the story line from this point on because I don't know where it's heading, but as far as the concept and creativity is concerned, they get an A+ from me.

The LA Times ran a couple articles early in the week, followed by this piece in the New York Times that explained the entire story behind this thing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/technology/13lonely.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

The actress is Jessica Rose from New Zealand, now living in Los Angeles...who just happened to do the CBS Early Show this morning.

A little digging on YouTube yesterday and I found she actually has a short film credit prior to this whole Lonelygirl15 project.

What did she play in this film? Please click here to see:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=EugNIIr7QLw

Ah, yes. A bride.

As you can see, we always try to come full circle on this blog.

There will be no silly rumors circulating that I announced or insinuated on my blog that Jessica Rose is the Princess! I know how you folks like to talk. That's not what I'm saying here. But follow me on this line of thinking...

The Lord uses these things to keep me encouraged! The Princess is a promise I hold dear -- she's out there.

Aren't you, sweetie? It's just a matter of time.

Here's something else He uses to keep me encouraged and focused...His word!

"If you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).

This "bride" discovery may not seem strangely "coincidental" unless you go back for a few minutes and revisit my blog entry from March 18:

"Sitting on the counter in the guest bathroom of my condominium is a copy of Modern Bride Magazine. I didn't put it there. My younger sister did when she stayed with me briefly right after she graduated from college. However, I've never removed it. That magazine has sat there for almost 18 months. Trista is on the cover and she is just GLOWING with joy!!

When I'm at a grocery store and pick up a magazine, I often start with a bridal magazine. It's been that way with me for years. I love the image of a woman in a wedding dress. I like to flip through and look at all the beautiful pictures.

On January 18 of this year the Houston Chronicle ran a photograph on the cover of a bride having her wedding pictures taken. I ripped it out of the newspaper and it is taped to my computer at the office, along with a printout of Proverbs 18:22 which states: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord."

That same scripture is on an index card, taped to my computer monitor here at home."

These are what I call, for lack of a better term, "Princess thoughts."

This might be a perfect time to answer some of you recently provided:

"JOHN IS WAITING FOR HIS PRINCESS... Is that what the Prince is supposed to do? If you read fairytales you see that the Prince fought for his Princess. He rescued her. She was waiting on him. I get the feeling that because of various reasons you are scared to approach a serious relationship. Just something that you might want to consider."

There are actually several questions here, but let me start with the last one first. I am in no way afraid of a serious relationship (I wish you would have sent me examples of reasons why you get that impression).

I absolutely look forward to meeting the Princess. My marriage is the biggest dream I've ever had, and I've had several really big ones.

If she needs rescuing, when the time comes, I'll rescue. I look forward to the incredible life we'll have together.

And yes, every man of God should be "waiting" for His Princess.


Question #2

What qualities do you look for in a female?

I really don't have a long list of things I'm looking for. She must love God with all her heart, and be purposeful in her walk. She has to be committed to partnering with me in handling our relationship God's way.

Sweet.

Crazy sense of humor.

Visionary.

Pretty feet are a plus.


Question #3

What's the most important thing God has taught you about yourself through blogging?

That it's OK to be me.


Question #4

Where were you born? Where have you lived? Would you ever consider leaving Texas?

I am a native Houstonian, and I love this city. I was born at Memorial Hermann Hospital (then called Hermann Hospital) in the Texas Medical Center just a few minutes from downtown.

I have lived outside this city on several occasions, and would do it again in the future if that's where God leads.

As for the past, I lived in Dallas for a short period of time while very young. I've lived in California on three occasions; Huntington Beach, San Diego and Barstow. I loved California.

I lived in Okinawa, Japan for a year as a U.S. Marine. That was fun.

Houston is home and always will be, no matter where the road might lead in the future. In the past, all roads have led back here. We'll have to see what He has in store.

The question in this season of my life really has become, "Where is the next opportunity?"

Question #5

Do you like dogs and cats?

I love dogs.


Question #6

What is your favorite Bible character and why?

Other than Jesus, I'll have to say it's David. David is fascinating. God said David was a man after His own heart, but look at what he went through and how he handled it. What a role model of faith.

I've been studying the Psalms a lot recently. I read some of it and think, Man, how in the world did he not throw in the towel.

Amazing tenacity and strength in God. He had an ability, in the face of unimaginable pain and adversity, to keep the praises of God coming out of his mouth. He saw purpose when everything was falling down, because he knew by faith he'd see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

I was reading a great article yesterday in this month's Charisma magazine named "Take Back Your Territory" by evangelist Joyce Rodgers.

She writes well about how David saw God's goodness, even during the worst of situations:

"David knew swords and shields get heavy and that warriors get weary in battle and sometimes have to retreat to regroup. He was sensitive to the fact that if everything had been left up to him he would have buckled and collapsed under the pressures that been heaped upon him, and consequently he rightfully attributed the veracity of his confidence to the benevolence and goodness of God.

If we are honest, we must admit we share this testimony of David and are cognizant of the fact that the victories and successes we enjoy in our walk of faith are unquestionably due to God's faithfulness. We rest in the security of the knowledge that no matter what the devil says or does, our Lord will move in our lives and will answer our prayers--our faith will be honored and not rejected. Yes, weeping may last for a night, but by faith we believe joy is coming in the morning."

Enough said!


Question #7

Where would you like to travel?

I have still never been to New York City. Can you believe that?

London and Sydney are the cities I'd like to see most overseas.

I'd like to go back to Japan someday. Lord willing, travel is in the plan!


More Q&A's later. Chat with you all later, I have some places to go prior to the ballpark. JT

Friday, September 8, 2006

Almost struck by lightning once

I'm listening to Liz on the radio, and I noticed the announcement that the KSBJ broadcast tower was hit by lightning recently.

I was almost struck by lightning once.

I sat by myself inside the Taco Bell on Center Street in Deer Park, Texas. You know the one -- right across the street from the old Gerlands. I think the year was 1997, and I was a full-time college student at the time. Class was to start soon, and I thought I'd grab something to eat before I headed to campus.

I was arguing with God while eating a couple of those tacos.

Not really arguing, but certainly struggling with Him. He had given me direction on something, and I was conveniently putting it off at the time.

Oh, be fair, we've all done that at some time during our walk. He was just lovingly trying to steer me. As you will soon see in my story, that turned to tough love very quickly.

There was a horrible storm outside. The rain was practically falling sideways, and water had collected in the parking lot. No question about it...I was going to have to run through that mess to get to my car, and I didn't have an umbrella.

I prepared for the sprint. I threw open the door to the fast food joint, and began splashing step by step to the car. By the time I finally reached the automobile, I was already soaked.

As soon as I started to unlock the car, I experienced something I will never forget.

For a split second, I was surrounded by a bright, brilliant white light that washed out everything.

Then, the sound...the loudest crash I had ever heard. This sound was so loud I felt it in my chest. It sounded like something had exploded right next to me.

As quickly as the light appeared, it disappeared. Several small pieces of wood fell on the car. I looked up, and realized that a lightning bolt had just struck the wooden telephone pole I was parked next to. I was standing about five feet from it.

I stood there, soaking wet, and then slowly got into the car. I looked in the window of the restaurant. People were pointing and appeared to be laughing hysterically.

I'm glad somebody thought it was funny. It freaked me out. The Chris Tomlin song says that God has told every lightning bolt where it should go. This one was a little close for comfort, frankly.

I was interning at the time in the communications office of a Houston-area school district. I came into the office the next day with the story I just told you. One of the assistants in the office was the sweetest Christian lady. As I told the story to others in the office, she never looked up from her computer.

"Sounds like the Lord is trying to get someone's attention," she said, a slight grin forming on her face.

The Lord certainly got all of our attention last weekend, as Houston's First Baptist Church hosted "Worship Houston 2006." Worship is exactly what we did. It was a great time in God's presence.

Paul Baloche, Desperation and Reuben Morgan from Hillsong Australia led worship.

It was awesome. I had been meditating on this passage out of Psalm 67 prior to that show:

"Let the people praise thee, O God: let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him" (Psalm 67: 5-7).

It's wonderful that yet again here in scripture God gives his prescribed order for overcoming in our lives: praise precedes the victory. First we praise, and then we see increase, and God blesses us.

I guess in a sense it's a maturity test for us. Are we able to look past what our circumstances may be dictating to us, and exalt him for the simple reason that He is worthy, no matter what?

I know that night I had to turn my mind off, and like David, I had to choose to worship. It was the right choice. God graced us with His presence and it was an incredible night.

Christian movies are coming out!

I really feel the church should make it a point to support Christian films and filmmakers. We need to go out and see them when they are available.

Why? Because part of being salt and light in this culture is using our resources to support artists who are putting good stuff out there. Movies are likely the most consumed form of paid entertainment in our culture. It's a virtually untapped area for us to reach into and impact.

Films are a business, and as believers we vote on what we want more of by what we spend our money to see.

If you haven't looked lately, there are a lot of us believers around...in fact, there are more and more of us every day, praise God! Christians have shown before that when we pool our resources, we can raise eyebrows.

That's why I have personal rule whenever a faith-based film comes out. Whether it's a good movie or a bad movie, I go see it. This is because the more money we invest in those films, the better they are going to get and the more we are going to see.

For starters, you know we need more of Lucy and the talking animals.

Luckily, we have a couple films to go see that look great in the next month or so.

It seems like it's taken forever for One Night With King to be released, doesn't it? I saw Tommy Tenney speak last year and he talked about it -- I'm so glad it is finally coming out (Oct. 13 nationwide). I love the story of Esther and the trailer for this one makes it look fantastic (click here to see the trailer).

Also out already is The Unidentified, which opens here in Houston on Sept. 15. This one features the lovely and gifted Ms. Rebecca St. James in a supporting role.

Two journalists are sent to Texas to cover "the oil crisis down in Houston." (See trailer by clicking here). It appears they really end up chasing a UFO story.

I'll go see both these movies and report back on them.

Have you been checking out YouTube? It's fun, but you have to be careful because there is no rating system. Some of these people have potty mouths, but some of it is incredibly entertaining.

I'm watching LucyinLA right now. She's a young woman from somewhere in Texas who moved out to Los Angeles to try to become an actor. She shares some of the interesting things she's experienced, and you really find yourself pulling for her.

So, I've been getting some questions sent to me through this blog, and I intend on answering many of them soon.

Please send any additional questions to my email address johntyler4@excite.com

That will make for an interesting blog entry. To whet your appetite, here's an example of something I will address -- I got this response to a post last week:

"JOHN IS WAITING FOR HIS PRINCESS... Is that what the Prince is supposed to do? If you read fairytales you see that the Prince fought for his Princess. He rescued her. She was waiting on him. I get the feeling that because of various reasons you are scared to approach a serious relationship. Just something that you might want to consider."

I've had to think on this one for a while before I addressed it, but I will. :)

It's bedtime. God bless and stay tuned... JT

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Astros had the day off yesterday

Howdy!

The Astros had the day off yesterday...and they have what it takes. I hope they realize that as they come back to Minute Maid Park. There is no doubt in my mind that they can beat anyone when the bats are on like they have been this past week.

We've won four out of the last five, and those were four solid wins.

OK, OK, I know, three of them were against the Pirates. Keep in mind, though, the Pirates swept the Cardinals just a couple weeks ago, didn't they? Don't we have at least a couple series with the Cardinals during this race? Aren't those some of the most important games in regards to catching up?

Sounds simple to me. Let's play the Brewers, Cardinals and everyone else just like we played the Pirates, and we're good.

Taveras and Scott are warriors. Berkman keeps hitting them out. And, is there anyone else that wants to tell Brad Lidge we're proud of him recently? Someone should.

The Rocket is On. Oswalt is on. Pettite is pitching incredibly well of late.

If any team can do it, this one can.

If I was a player on the Astros, I would think of it this way: you know you can beat anyone when you play like you did the past few games.

Every team the Astros face from here on out is not only beatable, those teams also want to take this away the feeling of a World Series appearance from them.

That can't be acceptable to them! How bad do they want it? I understand Matt over at Channel 11 has upgraded our condition from "dead" to "on life support." We'll see.

On the Texans game...

You might ask, why has it taken me so long to blog about that game?

I'm taking my time getting started, just like our offense did.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding! I felt pretty good overall about what we saw. Defensively we are on track. Not sure what was going on offensively there at the beginning, but I'm confident a little work and we're going to have a good season.

David just needed to relax. Maybe he's so used to ending up on his back at the end of a play he doesn't know what to do with himself now that he's getting some protection. This is also a new system he is learning.

Can I state the obvious? We need to convert some of those drives into touchdowns. If we do that, we're going to win some football games.

Zoey visits and other thoughts

I just spent about two weeks watching my sister's miniature schnauzer here at my place while she was on vacation, and I didn't realize how much fun they can be to have around.

I let Zoey do all the things here my sister won't let her do at her house. She especially seemed to enjoy people food.

Zoey is the daughter of my mom's miniature schnauzer, Fritzi. My grandparents had a miniature schnauzer as well. My sister said Zoey can hang out at my place every once in a while but I don't know if that is often enough. It might be about time to get a dog of my own.

I was talking to someone about the photo of myself and my sister on my last post. I must be around nine or ten years old there (I was trying to remember when those "We Still Luv You Blue" shirts came out). I was a huge Oilers fan back in the day.

As a youngster, I remember watching Earl, Dan Pastorini, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and the others sitting on my grandfather's lap in Deer Park, Texas. My mother told me that after one Oilers playoff loss -- I believe it was the AFC championship game with the Steelers where Mike Renfro was robbed of the touchdown in the endzone -- I actually stayed home from school the following Monday because I was so heartbroken they lost that game. Silly? Probably.

Well, the Astros are struggling, are they not? Matt over at Channel 11 declared the team "dead in the water" this week on his video blog, but the last time I heard a news organization declare them "dead" they went to the World Series. Granted, they have a long road ahead but they’re not dead until they are mathematically eliminated. I enjoy catching Matt's vblog every morning.

Claudia Feldman did a nice interview that ran this past weekend in the Houston Chronicle with Lance Berkman on his walk with God and its tie to his life in baseball.

I like what he said about keeping an "eternal perspective" in regards to what he does. At the end of the day, it’s all about the Kingdom. Realizing that notoriety of any type, whether a believer is an athlete, a business person, musician, etc., is ultimately given for the purpose of directing people toward Him. As people see God’s life-changing power in us, and as believers strive to lift Him up and give the glory to the One worthy of it, He will "draw all men unto himself."

It was cool to hear about how many of the guys on the team are believers.

The Texans apparently loaded up on a bus this week and went to see the movie "Invincible" as a group. The game Saturday was very impressive again as a whole and I know the fans are excited about this season.

Have you been following this new trend of video blogging? I think we all should start doing it.

I find the whole topic quite interesting. I’ve read several articles recently on this new wave of Internet communications, allowing anyone the ability to broadcast extensively online with only a computer and a camcorder or webcam.

One of the most fascinating phenomenons on the Web right now is this site, Youtube.com, which allows people to upload videos. They now boast tens of millions of video downloads a day. Musicians are posting music videos. Companies seek ways to market products and services. Politicians are even getting in on it.

The New York Times had a piece on its website the other day that discussed the popularity of a couple high-school-aged kids that are getting hundreds of thousands of views on this simple wecam soap opera they are broadcasting to the world on YouTube.

These kids are apparently getting press outside the United States now as well. Yesterday, I heard about coverage in the U.K. However, there are some who feel this is not a "real life" drama, but actually a cleverly developed marketing scheme. No matter, you have to appreciate the creativity of either the kids who thought this up, or whoever is behind it. These kids are smart...like Einstein smart, or Newton smart.

I'm not sure the idea for the new Survivor season is too smart. We'll have to wait and see. Have you heard about this? The competition will divide contestants along racial lines. Yikes!

Haven't we worked hard enough to make people feel they don't need to compete with those of other races, creeds, colors, etc. in this country? Could this great idea possibly stir up dissension?

Maybe me and the Princess should prayerfully consider applying for The Amazing Race together someday. Fun!

Oh, yeah, no Princess yet.

So, I went back the other day and read over all my blog entries, starting with the very first in early-December. It’s good to revisit the genesis of something every once in a while to refocus on why you started it in the first place.

This blog is entitled, "John is Waiting for His Princess," and John will keep waiting until I have my Princess. Rereading the entry about the Rockets game was encouraging. My desire to fall in love and marry a woman of God is a God-given desire, and I will never give up on it.

Like the prophet Habakkuk said, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation speaks of an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Thought it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay." (Habakkuk 2:3).

I know this blog was a creative idea given to me by Him. It would be foolish of me not to stay focused and to not continue chronicling the journey. In fact, I probably need to find ways to expand this concept in the future. Possibly get on YouTube and vblog occasionally?

The scripture for today:

"And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you." (Phillipians 1:6)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Astros and Texans thoughts...

Kudos to the marketing/special events department over at the San Diego Padres for a great idea. Here's something I found interesting: a major league ballgame and a P.O.D. show at the same location. Sounds like a exceptional way to spend an afternoon to me.

It happens over at PETCO Park in a few days. San Diego Warriors should check this one out for sure.

Meanwhile, here in Houston, the Astros dropped a couple but all we have to do is to win two or three against the Cubs to stay on course. The team did, after all, sweep the Pirates so all is still well.

Friday night at the ballpark was a great time.

And the Texans looked quite impressive Saturday night. I initially questioned passing up Reggie and Vince, but it appears from the team's new enthusiasm and what we saw Saturday night that the decision makers knew what they were doing when they opted to select Mario.

Carr played well. No one got sacked! The defense played well.

Kubiak was definately the right man for the job. It's amazing to see a team that was playing so bad last season people actually accused them of losing on purpose, now with a whole new optimism and winning mentality.

There's no question in my mind that they won Saturday night on purpose.

Let me say what it is too early for the the coaches and sports writers to say: let's shoot for a playoff spot. I'm a fan so I can have what others might call "unrealistic expectations" at this point. I believe anything is possible.

Welcome to Houston, Mario. We love you and are excited you are here. Please tell David you'd like to come to church with him sometime when you guys are off. We'd love to see you. See, David, all he needed was an invitation. :)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Lord longs to be gracious to you

Last night at church Lisa shared a scripture that really stuck with me -- I can't ever remember hearing it before. I marked it in my Bible determined to take a closer look at it. So, during my quiet time this morning I really spent time meditating on it.

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait on him" (Isaiah 30:18).

I grabbed a copy of the paper and read about last night's party at Minute Maid. All those "long" balls "rising" and falling into the Crawford Boxes.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb/4107007.html

They've often said baseball is a metaphor for life. I'm not sure if God is involved in baseball. I can't find scripture or verse to support it.

But it sure is fun to think about!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

KSBJ's 24th anniversary concert

"It's real, it's free, it's fun..." (Newsboys, Take Me To Your Leader)

I am not ashamed to say I had fun at KSBJ's 24th anniversary concert!

Isn't it awesome that Jesus died that we might have life more abundantly, so we can have fun at concerts? We can just take a break from the hustle and bustle of our respective lives, concentrate on Jesus and enjoy some good music.

My sister and I sat under a perfect Texas sky tonight and watched an amazing concert. We got there a little late so I unfortunately didn't catch Josh Bates or Ana Laura, but it was one act after another lifting up the name of Jesus.

I sat on the lawn, which in my opinion is the best place to catch a show at that particular venue when the weather is nice. Anyway, somewhere near the halfway point of the Newsboys set, my sister looked over and said, "This may be be the coolest concert ever."

"Ever?" I asked.

"Ever," she quickly responded.

"You mean, in the history of live music, we are viewing the best concert ever performed?" I asked.

"I think that might be possible."

I really was having a good time, but the best show ever?

As you can see, I wasn't the only person having fun. I kept wishing the Princess was there with me!

And, how about the Gatorade guy? The folks on the lawn know what I'm talking about. There was a guy walking from one side of the lawn to his spot on the grass on the other side of the lawn, balancing a Gatorade bottle on his head.

Then he came walking back the other way, Gatorade bottle balanced on his head again. It was weird, but somewhat entertaining. Like the guy who transformed a large popcorn container into a hat and was wearing a cape.

Yeah, the lawn was different for this one. But what an incredible time in the Lord...great praise and worship, too.

The only thing that could top it off would be finding out our beloved Astros had done well. I got home, turned on the computer machine, and surprise!! Turns out, they had fun too!

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4049768.html

It's definately bedtime...church in the morning. We usually have fun in church. John

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Psalm 78

Pastor Joel's message this morning may have affected me more than any other during the time I've attended Lakewood. It just encouraged me. The right message at the right time of this season of my life.

He shared a couple scriptures out of Psalm 78 and discussed how we serve a limitless God that we can actually limit by not keeping our thinking in line with His word.

That chapter discusses the movement of God's people in the desert, and specifically how God became displeased with His people for not believing He could deliver them during that period.

"They spoke against God, saying, 'Can God spread a table in the desert? When he struck a rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?'

"When the Lord heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance" (Psalm 78: 19-22).

It's interesting. If you look at Jesus and what made Him most frustrated with the disciples, it was usually a lack of faith. Same picture here. We serve a God that obviously finds a lack of faith offensive. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

"They did not remember his power...the day he performed miraculous signs in Egypt..." (Psalm 78: 42, 43).

Friends, I think we'd do best by just trusting God no matter what we face! He is faithful!

We are surrounded by His favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:12).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How great is our God?

How great is our God?

I went by Chris Tomlin's web site recently and he has a link in which you can download an iTunes exclusive of How Great is Our God/How Great Thou Art, performed live at the Dove Awards earlier this year. Goodness, what an incredible time that was...

I listen to that a cappella section at the end and remember God's sweet presence in that buidling -- the beauty of worshipping our God. We sang the same "medley" at church this past weekend. It was amazing.

How Great is Our God? He sent us Jesus, didn't He? He promises to give us the desires of our heart if we delight ourselves in Him. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

He's awesome!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hey Gorgeous, WEDDINGS ARE FUN!!

I thought I'd spend a moment telling you that my sister sure was one magnificent bride last Saturday! I'm so happy for her and my new brother-in-law.

The wedding ceremony was very nice. During the ceremony, they had me read Ephesians 5:25-31. Not a bad gig. There's that picture again, in God's Word, of marriage being this wonderful reflection of Christ's union with us (see March 18 post).

I asked my sis during rehearsal why she chose me to read those scriptures, and her response was simple, "Who else was I going to have read it? You're Brother John."

Well, when explained like that, I guess it makes perfect sense.

The minister finished by reading from Eph. 3, including the ever wonderful 20th verse! I really like that verse.

Friday night we had rehearsal at the wedding chapel at Second, and then off to the rehearsal dinner. It was a good time. A group of my sister's friends from high school and college came down from out of state and we headed over to the Empire Cafe after dinner. We ended up closing the place down drinking coffee and chating. All this wedding talk was giving me Princess thoughts...no the Princess wasn't there, but I was thinking about her.

Sweetie, I was thinking during last weekend (and during the service, really) about how emotional I get at weddings. I imagined that moment I get to see you coming down the isle. Wow. I'm going to be a wreck on our day...

But our day is going to be amazing!

Speaking of the Princess, I received a message via this blog recently that stated: "I am the princess you are looking for. Please look no further." My response to that remark is that if you're that confident about it, you certainly won't have a problem with me knowing a little about you. Ha! Let's start with your first name. I may get picky later and require proof of age, gender, etc. I can be tough like that. :)

I read something the other night that the Lord really used to rattle my cage a little bit. Doug Van Pelt, editor of HM Magazine (a publication I like to read occasionally), made a blog entry on 5/12/06 regarding intercessory prayer. He's reading a book by Norman Grubb, entitled "Rees Howells: Intercessor." I will pick up a copy of this one.

Well, this was one of those moments when I read something that just jumped off the page (or screen, I should say) and bore witness with my spirit in a big, big way.

I am going to insert a portion of Doug's 5/12 blog entry below in italics, but his blog can be found in its entirety at http://www.hmmagazine.com/category/blog/

This talk in Rees Howells, Intercessor about intercession is intense. It says (in chapter 12): "Mr. Howells would often speak of 'the gained position of intercession,' and the truth of it is obvious on many occasions in his life. It is a fact of experience. The price is paid, the obedience is fulfilled, the inner wrestlings and groanings take their full course, and the 'the Word of the Lord comes.' The weak channel is clothed with authority by the Holy Ghost and can speak the word of deliverance. 'Greater works' are done. Not only this, but a new position in grace is gained and maintained, although even then that grace can only be appropriated and applied in each instance under the guidance of the Spirit.

"Mr. Howells used to speak of it, in Mr. Muller's phrases, as entering 'the grace of faith,' in contrast to receiving 'the gifts of faith.' What he meant was that, when we pray in a normal way, we may hope that God of His goodness will give us the thing. If He does, we rejoice; it is His gift to us; but we have no power or authority to say that we can always get that same answer at any time. Such are the gifts of faith. But when an intercessor has gained the place of intercession in a certain realm, then he has entered into 'the grace of faith,' along that special line the measureless sea of God's grace is open to him. That is the gained place of intercession."

Wow. Does this mean that we can get an extra measure of God's approval or a better standing in Heaven by praying more? I don't think so. I think what is being implied here is the working of power down here. If we want to walk in miracles and be used by God to do greater things, then there is a price to pay in prayer. Jesus taught many times about laboring in prayer, about being persistent in prayer. If we take these lessons and explanations of the kingdom to heart, then we too might spend lengthy amounts of time in prayer. Rees Howells was "abiding" in God, with extended amounts of prayer on a daily basis for several months at a time -- as long as it took for the answer to shake loose (when God would tell him that such and such was done). To belittle or doubt these things without experiencing them is a bit shaky. Maybe there's something to this...

Grubb's writing and Van Pelt's commentary really beg the question, "Are we willing to pay the price for the move of God each of us is believing for in our own lives? In our churches? In our homes and families?"

Where is the price paid? With a heart and mind unmoved by our circumstances and unwavering in our faith? Maybe.

In hard work, perseverance and determination? Possibly.

Ultimately, the real price is paid in those quiet times alone with Him. Abiding in Him. Praying without ceasing, as Paul wrote. Praying in the Spirit walking the isles at Wal-Mart or driving in the car. Being keenly aware of His presence throughout our day, and honoring that presence.

Yes, "believing" is a big part of it, but so is approaching Him again and again, just like the persistent widow approached that judge.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Church, clay pigeons and Taco Milagro...

I know, that doesn't make much sense, but that is basically what happened today.

It started at the 11 a.m. service at church, and then I was invited to my soon-to-be brother-in-law's "bachelor party"...on a skeet range in west Houston.

I guess that is what Christian men do for their bachelor parties. Shoot skeet. I shot a seven, which I understand is borderline pathetic, especially for a former Jarhead. I probably didn't discover a new hobby today, but I had some fun.

Then, we met a bunch of people, including my sister and her finance, up at Taco Milagro. It was a beautiful night (has God been blessing us in the weather department lately or what?). We sat out on the patio, ate some Mexican food, and I met some Houston Jesus people. Good fellowship time.

Now, I'm home and worn out. I need to talk to Jesus for a little while (I'm praying for you, Princess!) and get to sleep. I have a 7 a.m. meeting at the hospital.

Until next time... JT

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Watermark show, Astros win!

Hello all and hello Gorgeous!

The Watermark show was excellent last night. What a great time. Great music -- great worship. I can't wait to get the DVD, which I heard they were shooting throughout the evening. Awesome night. Please don't stop making music altogether! What a blessing you have been -- God bless you both as you enter this new season.

Meanwhile, across town I understand there was more of this... Astros win!

I'm going to go run some errands, grab some lunch, and go get fitted for the tux, Erin.

Chat with you later.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm listening to Liz on the computer machine

This from 5/16/06. Too late to post.

Absolutely gorgeous night in the Space City! Absolutely gorgeous, just like you my Princess, wherever you are!

I'm listening to Liz on the computer machine.

"This is Your Life" on the radio.

Just got back from visiting my mom and thought I'd type on the computer for a while. Barry Bonds has not hit home run 714 tonight yet but the Giants sure are putting on a clinic for the beloved Astros.

Russ Springer apparently just got ejected for hitting Barry Bonds with a pitch.

It's 12-3 S.F in the 6th inning.

Went to the Astros game on Friday night. Wow. They blew out the Rockies and then there was this incredible fireworks display (this takes a minute or two to load) after the game. I had thought about blogging from my seat in the ball park, and I was disappointed I hadn't brought in my laptop once the game got rolling.

It was a big Astros win (12-2) in what I term "San Diego weather" (perfect night for baseball), marriage proposal on the big screen, fireworks...Oh well, next game I'll bring the computer. Fun!

"Shine" by the Newsboys on the radio.

Newsboys are coming to town this summer for the KSBJ anniversary show. Lots of cool bands coming for that one. If the weather is nice, maybe I'll get a lawn seat and blog right there during the show (if I'm in town).

"I am not skilled to understand..." on the radio. Amen and Amen.

Speaking of shows, I unfortunately had to miss the P.O.D. show here in town last week. I had been looking forward to that one SO MUCH. I respect those guys and I believe in what they are doing. Keep letting your light shine in dark places and making your mark!! The CD is out of this world.

Here's a great interview with Sonny from P.O.D., featuring his testimony:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8104339127101883621

"I Need You to Love Me"...the Barlows.

I got a brand new study Bible in the mail from Daystar Saturday! Don't you just love it when you get a new Bible? My former Bible had so many miles on it that half of Genesis fell out, and recently everything from John 15 to the end of Revelation was removable in sections of 10 to 20 pages. Yep, it was time for a new Bible.

My scripture for today? Psalm 25: 12-14.

"Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them."

I like the the word "will" over and over in those verses. What an awesome feeling to know that no matter what is going on around us, and what steps we have before us, we have an undoubtable, unnegotiable promise from the living God, the creator of everything. Seek Him, fear Him, and he promises to unfold it all before us. All we have to do is trust Him. No striving, no forcing the door open, no sprinting while God is walking. Just rest.

Watermark on the radio...I'm looking forward to Friday night!

By the way, soon I will begin advertising this blog on some sites that reach outside the United States. This should be where the real FUN starts!

Be blessed! Chat with you all later.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Psalm 22:3

Between the Good Friday communion and praise service at my home church and the combined Easter service at Minute Maid Park this morning with Second Baptist and Windsor Village United Methodist Church, you could say this was a very powerful weekend in God's presence here in Houston, Texas!

Celebrating why we have new life as Christians -- the death and resurrection of Jesus -- was awesome!!

The scripture that sums up the services I've been in this weekend is the one that tells us God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). Jesus has not only risen and gone back to the Father, He has sent us the Comforter. And He's showing up everywhere God's people put on the garment of praise!

I have several family members (two sisters, their husband and soon-to-be husband, dad and step mother) who attend Second, and I've seen firsthand the impact of that ministry. The wonderful Pastor Joel Osteen led several members of my family to the cross, but the ministry of Second Baptist is doing an incredible job of discipling them and I'm so thankful for what I see God doing in their lives.

When they told me about this service and gave me an invitation recently, I was intrigued. What a Spirit-led idea! To bring together two churches with the same mission -- reaching Houston and beyond with the Good News -- but somewhat different racial or cultural backgrounds. Wow. And getting to see Pastors Young and Caldwell minister in the same venue...

Thank you, Jesus, for what you are doing in this city. It's amazing. I'm not sure how many were in attendance or how many accepted Christ at the end, but both of those final tallies will be impressive.

In other news, I received a wedding invitation this weekend from my sister, who will get married at Second this summer. I am so excited for you, sis. God has blessed you with a wonderful man of God.

Oh, I'm quite certain God has a beautiful, wonderful, anointed, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, visionary woman out there somewhere for me. I'm just going to keep on waiting for her, knowing He knows what's best for me. His ways and timing are perfect...and I'm so looking forward to it (if you've been reading this blog for any length of time that's probably no surprise to you)!

We'll chat again soon. God bless you! John

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter everyone!

Happy Easter everyone! Thank you for the cross, Jesus!

I'll be back on late tonight or tomorrow evening after church and hanging out with the family. Talk with you soon. John

Saturday, April 8, 2006

My unexpected trip to The Dove Award

Hello all and hello to you, Gorgeous! :)

I had a great week, highlighted by going to the Dove Awards on Wednesday. It's was absolutely an incredible time.

I left my place at around 7:15 on Wednesday morning, planning to work and then go straight to church afterwards. Normal Wednesday stuff.

Somewhere during the ride to work, listening to coverage on KSBJ from Nashville, I decided, "You know, I think I'm going to the Dove Awards tonight."

I’m not kidding. Sometime within the one-hour drive to work, I decided this was a show I couldn’t miss.

Problem is, I had nothing packed.

I arrived at the office. I checked my calendar to make sure I could make it work. I was clear Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, but I had a media visit slated for one of the physicians early in the afternoon on Thursday, so I’d have to fly back either late, late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

I can do this.

I called and got a plane ticket, a car reservation, and a hotel reservation.

Major challenge: I didn't have a ticket to the event, and the GMA wasn’t selling them anymore on its web site.

I called the GMA. They assured me that "a few" balcony seats were still available, and that I would be able to purchase them at the Grand Ole Opry House ticket office starting at 3 p.m.

No sweat. My plane lands around 3:35. I can rush and get my rental car and off to the ticket office. Yahoo Maps said it was only a fourteen minute drive. That would get me to the arena around 4 p.m. maybe? Once I had my ticket, I could go find my hotel and get ready for the evening.

During the rush to get everything pinned down, a fellow employee smiled and said to me, "Maybe your Princess will be there!"

Maybe so!! I was consumed by the most wonderful thoughts...Princess thoughts!

I had to hurry!

I ran into Kroger on the way to the airport (no time to drive back to Clear Lake) to pick up a few necessities. Rhonda in the office gave me an Astros/Methodist Hospital backpack from the storeroom, so I'd have a way to carry some things on the plane.

I didn't realize until I was on the plane, which had been delayed taking off for about 30 minutes, that I neglected to ask th GMA representative how many tickets "a few" actually is.

Is "a few" three tickets? Those would certainly be gone by the time I arrived. I spent much of the flight asking God to please hold one of those tickets for me.

I know the Word tells us to "be anxious about nothing." But, can I speak frankly here? I was a bit concerned about going through all this just to have dinner in Tennessee and fly back to Houston in the morning because I didn't have a ticket!

Jesus proved faithful, as always!

It was truly a surreal day.

I landed and rushed to get my rental car. Then, to the event.

By the time I bought my seat, they were just about gone, and somehow I got one right on the edge of the balcony -- which I thought was a pretty good seat considering I was so late getting mine.

Anyway, no time to go find the hotel because it's already about 5:30, and the pre-show starts at 5:30.

I hung out in the lobby most of the pre-show, but I did go in a couple times to peek at what was going on. I saw Israel win a Dove. That was very cool. I stuck my head in at one point and I could have sworn the president of the United States was on the stage.

The portion of the show that was taped for broadcast began at 8 p.m. The show was amazing. Ms. Rebecca and Kirk were amazing. The music was excellent.

There were lots of performances. Third Day (you guys are wonderful), Natalie Grant, Ms. Rebecca St. James and BarlowGirl, Kutless, Kirk Franklin, and more. A great tribute to Stephen Curtis Chapman. If you’re a fan of Christian music, it was out of this world.

I don't want to take anything away from any performance that night -- but for me the highlight of the show was Chris Tomlin leading that place in worship at the end. What a powerful time it was in the Lord! God’s presence showed up in a big way.

Props to the GMA and everyone who performed or presented. It was a lot of fun and well worth the trip.

Somewhere between midnight and 1 a.m., I finally found my hotel.

I kept wishing it was Friday night so I could have spent more time in what seemed like a wonderful town. I'd never been to Nashville before, and all I had time to see was the stretch of highway from the airport to the Grand Ole Opry House. It'd be great to go again sometime and hang out, go see the sights, eat the food, have more fun!

The next morning, I was back in the Nashville airport at 6:30 a.m. and on a plane bound for home, enjoying the newspaper and a big cup of hot coffee...

Got to cut out for now...God bless!!! GO ASTROS!!

Friday, April 7, 2006

Change of plans on Wednesday morning

This past Wednesday, I left my place and started to drive into Houston like every other morning that I go to work.

If you told me when I walked out the door that morning I would be in another state by the end of the workday, I wouldn't have believed you!

Let me put on a pot of coffee...

Full story on my fun-filled journey to the Dove Awards coming very soon!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Proverbs 21:30

Hello and good morning!

Here's something for someone out here: "There is no wisdom, no insight and no plan that can succeed against the Lord" (Proverbs 21:30).

Meditate on that one. He is in control and nothing can thwart His plans for your life!

God is on your side. Chat with you later.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Vince Young to the Oilers?

I wonder if our friends at the Texans are secretly thinking, "So if we pass on Vince, he most likely goes to the Oilers in Nashville and we have to play against him twice a year? That's once a year in front of our own fans?"

If they're not thinking that, they should be! Nothing like a little added pressure to make things fun...draft day should be very interesting this year.

Good morning gorgeous. One day closer. I'm thinking about you!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A strange e-mail, Modern Bride Magazine and Samson

A strange e-mail arrived in my inbox. The subject line read, "I'm looking at your future Wife."

This is obviously the type of email that gets my attention, so I opened it up. It's from an old friend (we'll call him Steve) who attends a church here in town. I haven't spoken with him in months.

From his Blackberry, he sent a very brief e-mail telling of a church function he was at and a female that was there. I laughed and thought, Now that's a pretty clever church recruitment tactic. Can you see that on a billboard?

"Visit Bill and Fred's Church of Fun. Your wife is here!"

I'm just kidding. Steve is a great Christian man from an excellent Bible-based church. His motives are pure. He's just playing around, keeping it real...

Let's get the obvious out of the way first -- Steve most likely has not identified my future wife.

However, this guy is pretty good at deciphering those things. Six years ago or so he took a woman he just met into a corner at a church singles event, and after a very brief discussion, he asked her if she was looking into the eyes of her husband. Her response?

"I think I am."

Today they have two beautiful children and are very happily married. I have no doubt in my mind now (although I had serious questions at the time) that it was God who brought them together.

Steve and his wife got lucky, right? That's not the way God works. It's supposed to be a process. How can someone look at someone else and make a determination like that?

Silly Samson. There's no question that he was a mighty man of God. But goodness, he was shallow...or was he?

Let's look at the first four verses of Judges 14.

1 Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl. 2 He came back and told his father and mother, "I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife."

3 His parents said to him, "Isn't there a woman among the girls in the neighborhood of our people? Do you have to go get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the one I want--she's the right one."

4 (His father and mother had no idea that GOD was behind this...)

You've got to love Samson. He didn't even waste time saying "please." It was like, "I saw her, I like her, go get her."

Verse seven makes it clear that all this happened before he had even spoken to the girl. It's hard to believe God would actually be behind something that "irresponsible." The fact is that God placed the desire within him.

Maybe His ways are above our ways, after all.

Are there any other hopeless romantics out there? Anyone else believing God for something unusual? Out of the ordinary? Hoping God will arrange something spectacular! Do an Ephesians 3:20!!!!????

I've been trusting Him for it for years.

Sitting on the counter in the guest bathroom of my condominium is a copy of Modern Bride Magazine. I didn't put it there. My younger sister did when she stayed with me briefly right after she graduated from college. However, I've never removed it. That magazine has sat there for almost 18 months. Trista is on the cover and she is just GLOWING with joy!!

When I'm at a grocery store and pick up a magazine, I often start with a bridal magazine. It's been that way with me for years. I love the image of a woman in a wedding dress. I like to flip through and look at all the beautiful pictures.

On January 18 of this year the Houston Chronicle ran a photograph on the cover of a bride having her wedding pictures taken.

I ripped it out of the newspaper and it is taped to my computer at the office, along with a printout of Proverbs 18:22 which states: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord." That same scripture is on an index card, taped to my computer monitor here at home.

On the mirror in my bedroom are three things: the garder belt that I caught at my sister's wedding two years ago, the ticket stub to the Rockets-Grizzlies game I spoke about earlier in this blog (see Dec. 4), and an index card on which I have written, "You want it, she wants it." People have asked what that means. I explain it is a simple reminder every day to practice the spiritual disciplines today that will make me a better husband tomorrow. She will need me to be everything God has called me to be, and I want that more than I can tell you.

To me, my future wife is serious business. It's not a game. It's the cry of my heart.

It's interesting, because the Lord has used this desire in the past to communicate the passion and intensity of his love for me. The Bible often uses the "marriage" between a man and woman to typify the relationship Christ has with us, his church. I remember several years ago walking out on the jetties off of Seawall Boulevard in Galveston. I was extremely lonely, tired, disillusioned...I remember talking outloud to the Lord there as the waves smashed against the rocks. I said, "Lord, please bring her soon. I want to be with her soooo bad." He very lovingly spoke back inside of me, "Now you know how I feel."

I was taken aback. He was telling me that this longing, this incredible desire I had, was shared by Him. How He longs for that intimacy with us. We are loved passionately by God! If you have any question about the passion or excitement of God's love for us, take the time to read the Song of Solomon again. Many feel that is another reflection, or picture, of Christ's love for His bride.

One of the beautiful things about serving God is that He always uses our times of discomfort to teach us something. In this case, I have always equated that incredible desire to see my wife come down the isle on our wedding day with how he longs to stand face to face with me -- and you -- on that day. And, how he longs for intimacy with us even here on planet Earth. If I had married at 22 (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that), I wouldn't have experienced this in the same way.

Now when I'm incredibly lonely and wishing I could spend time with her, I try to turn it around and see how bad He desires to spend time with me. And you.

I have played the moment I meet her over and over in my mind. When I meet my wife, I will have done it already countless times in my imagination. I tell her on this blog how nuts I am about her, even though I have no real guarantee the one God has for my future is reading it. I try to live my life in the realm of faith, which means I believe all of God's promises are already there, I just haven't walked into them all yet.

Back in the day, that type of faith was commended (read Hebrews 11). Today, like then, it could get you laughed at.

But you know what? I'd rather believe with everything in me, step out of the boat and miss it a little bit (or a lot), than to take a chance of not experiencing everything God has because I'm too scared to believe for something amazing.

My hope and prayer is that each of you reading this believes the same way.

So, having said all this...To my gorgeous Princess, wherever you are, know this: I have a lot of love bottled up inside of me for you, and I will do everything I can to love you like He loves the church. That's not only His command, it is something I'm excited about and looking forward to doing.

Angel, God has put a very powerful, very real desire for you deep within me.

And we're one day closer to His perfect time...

I'll post in the morning

It is the middle of the night in H-Town. I should definately be sleeping -- and I am confident that will happen momentarily.

What a wacky week.

I have constructed a long post that I will probably place here tomorrow, after I have a chance to read it over again. Are you like that? Sometimes you want to have a good night's rest and another read-over before you publish it. Me too. Especially this time of the morning. Who knows what I wrote this time.

I think it was about a strange e-mail I received and Modern Bride Magazine and Samson. Wow. If that is really what it's about I may change my mind about posting it. Let me re-read tomorrow.

Please stay tuned for more fun.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

OK, who threw the crackers on my patio?

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." (John 4:34)

Good morning, warriors!

OK, who threw the crackers on my patio? Cute! I can't eat them. Bugs got to them before I could. I had to throw them out. Please make any future food deliveries to my front door. I go out that door more frequently and will find it sooner.

Today should be fun. After a full day at The Methodist Hospital, I am going to dinner with my siser, Jennifer, my brother-in-law, and their baby girl (my niece) Hailey (remind me to tell the cool story about Hailey here sometime) this evening after work. Jennifer, I'll leave work and head straight over there.

My intention was to start posting again more frequently last night after church, but I got home late and was worn out. Pastor Marcos preached...it was excellent. He is doing a series with Lisa and Dr. Paul on Wednesday night on the miracles of Jesus.

Is it my imagination or is the Wednesday night crowd growing?? Praise God!

Liz, cheeseburger song please for top 10. I guess I have to email to vote. I like that one. The one about the hairbrush isn't quite as good.

Talk to you all later.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I can't wait to look into those gorgeous eyes

I can't wait to look into those gorgeous eyes...

More posts are coming soon, friends, neighbors and beautiful princess!

It's late or I'd type more now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Listening to Liz on the radio

Just sitting here listening to Liz play songs on the radio so I thought I type on my computer machine. The weather in Houston is absolutely incredible tonight. Sitting here looking out at the lake...pretty night here in Texas. I guess this time of year is why we endure the summers?

Spent first half of the day over at the hospital (I don't office at the hospital, I office near the Astrodome). Said "good morning, Jesus" to the statue as I went up the escalator. Felt it was the least I could do, He's been very good. Ate lunch at Chipolte there in the medical center. Burrito bowl. Not bad at all!

Liz, please play the Veggie Tales song about the cheeseburger. I know, you don't do requests...OK, it's my vote for the top 10 at 10.

I went to see the new Michael W. Smith movie the other night. Have you all seen it? Highly recommended. Other than the character cussing from the pulpit this was probably the best "Christian movie" I've seen -- not including the one about Lucy and the talking animals, of course. I teared up at the end of The Second Chance, and I haven't cried in a movie since E.T. died. Good job Steve and company. Really had me asking some serious questions of myself and my priorities. I guess that was the goal.

"Jesus Take the Wheel" on the radio. Not a bad concept.

I've been working on writing a new song myself, entitled, "It's Just a Coincidence A Bird Flew into My Office and Used The Bathroom on the Wall." I'll post it here soon.

Can you believe it? It's a true story. A sweet bird had apparently got into the building somehow, and I discovered him in the storeroom. Silly me, I walked up to him (I guess I shouldn't assume he was male) and put out my finger like he was a parakeet or something. He flew out of the storeroom, into my office, and voided on the wall. Incredible...security got involved but we determined there is no standard operational procedure for removing a bird, so we just chased him out of El Rio. He is free and happy tonight, I believe.

"My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by..." on the radio.

Survivor didn't call, and I think that's probably a good thing. Can you guys see me sitting on Exile Island every chance they got a chance to send me? The commercials have been fun.

Liz just promised Robby Seay Band...Better Days in a better place I know...please play that one twice Liz. I'm sure that one will be at the top of the top 10 again.

I'm ready for baseball season. So much drama on the Astros right now. Bagwell's sholder. Clemens plans for this season. I can't wait for opening day at Minute Maid!

RSJ show ad on the radio...So, it's RSJ/Barlow/Jadon Lavik show Friday. Looking forward to that one. How about that Chronicle article last weekend on the Barlows? Have you ever read something and not been sure how you were supposed to take it? That was a prime example. Someone was giggling in the newsroom when that one went to bed...someone was giggling in this very chair! The Barlows are incredible women of God and I look forward to seeing them rock and roll and minister.

You, too, Ms. Rebecca St. James, of course.

I love live music. I was going to drive out to Sugar Land tonight to see the brown bag show but it was in Sugar Land. Those of you in Houston know what I mean...I'm in Clear Lake. They do them at Baybrook occasionally so I'll wait for the next. I was tired after work today. I just wanted to come home and eat something and type.

"Never Alone" by Barlows on the radio...

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work. The grocery store is usually an escape, even when I'm only buying a few things. I think once I have a family and I'm really doing some shopping I'll really dig it. I don't do much serious shopping at the grocery store. I buy what I need right now and that's about it. The other day I opened my refrigerator and I had two slices of cheese and two can of diet 7up in there. I know what you're thinking...on second thought, I really don't know what you're thinking. I eat out a lot. I guess I just explained why I went to the grocery store tonight.

Liz....cheeseburger song with the Veggie Tales!!!! That's two votes.

He is so good...Keep looking to Jesus.

Talk with you again soon. Night angel. John

Thank you, Lord!!

John 15:16

"You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another."

Friday, February 24, 2006

We've got a lot of voices around us, don't we?

To my Beautiful, Gold Medal winning Princess:

We've got a lot of voices around us, don't we? Voices telling us the way to go, what we should or shouldn't feel, what is logical and what isn't, the right and wrong way to do things...

Has God placed something on your heart, sweetie? If you believe so, don't let go of it.

God is not man, one given to lies,

and not a son of man changing his mind.

Does he speak and not do what he says?

Does he promise and not come through? (Numbers 23:19 MSG)


You need to know that I'm flexible. And I don't mean that I can put my leg behind my neck. I mean I'm very open to His leading. Interpret that however you like.

Put a smile on that pretty face. Put your sholders back. Do what you do with confidence and His anointing. Be anxious about nothing!

Yes, we are surrounded by a multitude of voices. Everyone has an opinion. Please, on matters concerning me, only listen to one voice.

His.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Going on a journey

Going on a journey!! Going to take some time off from work, take a little drive, find a place to get alone with God for a few days. Maybe find some state park somewhere, pitch a tent, and get quiet. I NEED IT!! Outside of Houston. Maybe way outside of Houston.

I might even miss the Super Bowl -- gasp!! Someone will Tivo it, I'm sure.

Oh, maybe I'll make it back in time for the Super Bowl.

Hey princess -- I know that I'm supposed to not talk to my princess because some think it's getting ahead of God, but I WANT TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THAT I'M THINKING ABOUT YOU!!!!

When we have met and I have the means to communicate with you, and only you, I'll share all the sweet thoughts. And there's plenty of them.

Especially tonight, for some reason...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Gorgeous, I am yet again one day closer to you

Gorgeous, I am yet again one day closer to you!! I trust and pray all is well with you tonight. Be blessed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Just saying "hi"

Good morning! I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Just on checking email. About to head out to the medical center soon. Chat with you later! Angel, you're on my heart and mind...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Double Whataburger with cheese

Man, I've really done it this time. I blew it and I have to face the consequences.

I just had a double Whataburger with cheese.

I know...I know...what am I supposed to do, beat myself up about it? They're tasty, and quick, and I know I'm not supposed to eat them. You see, the doctor said my triglycerides are "highly elevated." But every once in a while, you have to have a hamburger. Today, for some reason, felt like having a hamburger.

Well, Jesus remains faithful, even when I don't eat the right thing for dinner. I just love him! I'm not sure what it is tonight, but I'm feeling the joy of the Lord here in Houston, Texas. He is good, and His mercy endures forever! Can I hear a better "amen"?

By the way, congratulations to all my fellow employees at The Methodist Hospital System in Houston. Methodist was named by Fortune Magazine as one of it's "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2006.

To the Princess: I am excited about the prospect of looking into those gorgeous eyes soon -- but as my fellow employees seem to want to hammer home lately -- "It's what's on the inside that counts."

I am so thankful to God that He would never turn a deaf ear to the prayers I have sent to Him, year after year, as I've waited for you to come into my life, my love.

I know you are full of the Holy Ghost and the fire of God, and that is more beautiful than anything on planet Earth. I would trade that for NOTHING and accept nothing less!! I thank God all the time that your physical beauty will only be surpassed by a hunger for Him, purity, holiness and wisdom.

That is some beautiful stuff!

You're right, it's what's on the inside that counts. His name is Jesus, He is the Way, the Truth and The Life.

I love you all. John

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Predicament in H-Town

So, it sounds like we have a predicament here in H-Town. Who is it going to be? Very, very tough choice for the Texans.

How in the world do you pass on either of these guys (Vince or Reggie)? I'm still interested in hearing why some have changed their minds on Reggie, although Vince's comments at the press conference certainly show he wants to come here and his feelings about our city are right on...he sounds like a person of faith...I have to admit, I really like this guy.

Be back on a little later.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Reggie Bush or Vince Young

Hello all! Happy Friday.

It seems if Reggie Bush was the right choice for the Texans on Wednesday afternoon, he would still be the right choice on Thursday morning. Haven't all the NFL people and sports writers been watching Vince Young all season? We didn't just find out about him, right?

Young appears to be a great guy and an incredible football player, but if Carr and Bush together were best for the Texans before the Rose Bowl, why wouldn't they be the best for the Texans after? One game really changed everything? All those well thought out, articulate arguments I've heard or read on how we needed Bush, supported by stats and facts and loaded with passion, go out the window because of another player's performance in one game?

That game may have slightly changed our feelings about the gifts and talents of one Vince Young, but it certainly didn't change what our football team needs most. Did it?

I'll hang up and listen...

Thursday, January 5, 2006

What I'm listening to right now

By the way, that Texans-49ers football game broadcast the other day was weird... (in the very best way!!)

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Other than KSBJ, what have I been listening to driving up and down I-45, to and from the Texas Medical Center? I pulled the CDs out of my CD changer in the car and will now share what I've been listening to.

1) Ms. Rebecca St. James -- If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something

http://www.rsjames.com

I have been a fan for years, and friends, this is her best yet! Frankly, I've nearly worn this CD out since Thanksgiving, if that's possible. I love it. This anointed album connects...

Listen carefully for a possible hidden message at the end of "Thank you," worked into the harmony in the chorus. I thought I heard something...listen carefully.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you" ???

Apparently, I bought the wrong version. Come to find out, there's a special edition with extra songs, DVD footage. I guess I'll be picking up another copy.

Good stuff, Rebecca!

2) Israel and New Breed -- Alive in South Africa

http://www.newbreedmusic.com

Goodness, this is a PRAISE CD!! I haven't even really broken out the second disc yet, since I love the first one so much. Has God placed a big dream in your heart? Is the devil trying to convince you it will never come to pass? Close your eyes, focus on Him, and listen to tracks 10, 11 and 12 on the first disc, loud! You won't be able to hold on to any doubt and unbelief, that's for sure! That part with Tutor Bismarck is out of this world. If you love to worship (and I certainly hope you do) you'll LOVE this one.

You know that whole "pressed down, shaken together, running over" bit from the song Favor of the Lord? The Lakewood folks know what I'm talking about...it's a cute little hand deal the congregation does when singing that one that simulates each part of the chorus? I've taught it to several people at the office. Michelle jokes that we should do it at departmental meetings at work. That sure will be fun, if she pulls it off. ;) Kidding, of course.

3) Jeremy Camp -- Restored

http://www.jeremycamp.com

I like this one a lot, although I'm not sure I like it as much as Stay. I wanted to see him when he came through town recently, but they booked him on the same night Stryper was in town. How do you miss a Stryper show?

4) Dr. Paul Osteen – Trusting God With Our Dreams: The Importance of Timing

This message, delivered on Wednesday night, 6/8/05, at the old Lakewood sanctuary, has been in my car CD changer longer than any other disc. Great message on the importance of timing when waiting on God's promises in our life. When my flesh tries to tell me He's not at work, I push play on this one...

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Church tonight: Lisa spoke on prayer. It was excellent. She brought her family up on the stage and told the story of how God brought all her children to her during one of the darkest periods of her life. A call to action: pray without ceasing and never, ever give up!

Very, very sleepy now. It's the middle of the night.

Be blessed -- good morning, Beautiful -- wherever you are!