Marriage Of The Soul

I know we often toss around the idea of finding our “soul mate” and making it sound magical and romantic.  

Well, if you find the right person it is.  

I spent over 20 years in my “previous life” (that’s what I call it) married to the wrong person.  While I tried to force it to be what I wanted it to be, it never was.  It was a life of frustration.  

Today, my life is different.  After six years with the right person, I know what it means to have your soul mate.  There is no scientific formula for this, it’s one of those things that you just know.  It clicks inside of you without having to be forced or questioned.  It isn’t something that has to be work or difficult.   I am very fortunate to have found it.    Not many people get the chance I have had.  I always say that I have a second chance to be a better husband and I won’t squander the chance I have been given.  

If I have some advice to give people it would be:

Don’t base your decision on your fears of disappointing others.  

This one had me for most of my life.   You are the only person you know how to be.  You have to make decisions about love for your own happiness, not based on the happiness of others.  I lived with the expectation of others and the church and worried more about disappointing them than my own happiness.  Let me tell you a secret that I wish someone had told me:  you will always disappoint people regardless what you do.  You have to live with you.  Make decisions of love on that, not for the approval of others. 

Don’t settle because of low self esteem. 

I used to have a very low self-esteem which is a terrible trap when you are in a relationship.  This will deceive you into thinking that this is all you will ever have or you will be alone.  You have to love yourself more than that.  Not to the extreme of being full of yourself but living where you don’t have to settle for something that isn’t right for you.  

Follow your heart but take your brain with you.  

Be careful that you don’t just fall in love with love.  You have to have love but you need to make sure you like the person too.  You have to genuinely like being with the person. You can’t fake this or it will only wear you down after the honeymoon period is over.  Obviously we all have our differences but you have to decide if you can live with those differences and not just ignore them.  

Although I have been divorced, I am not an advocate of it.  Divorce should never be an option in your mind.  Yes, I went down that road but it is a choice I made.  You should never go into a marriage thinking that as your way out.  You should always do what you can to fix your marriage.  Unfortunately you can’t always do it.  Again you have to find your own way and not seek the approval of others.  

The soul knows and when you find them you will know it.  This is why I never wanted the “till death do us part” in our vows because when the soul has found the one it loves, that is a love that lasts.  

Yeah, we all mess up and make the wrong decisions in love.  Yes, people scoff at true love, soul mates and happily ever afters but it does happen and there is hope for the soul.   

Does It Matter How Many People On Facebook Pray?

praying-button-MMMany times I see folks on Facebook asking for prayer. I have to admit that many times I have mixed feelings about these requests.  For some it seems they only post when they need prayer or some need for attention, while others do it when they are desperate.  Having a background in the church I have a cynical side to all of this so I have to be cautious not to question motives.  Honestly, when you get in a desperate situation you will do whatever you need to do for help even going on social media to request others to pray.

So does the number of people praying make a difference?  Is there a magic number that will touch God and convince Him to answer the prayer?  Does God kept track of our Facebook prayers?

Unfortunately some prayers on social media are hypocritical and some do post without the thought of praying but to show how righteous they are.  Well, that’s not something simply limited to a Facebook post.  It has happened for years in churches.  We should all stop with the religious phrases that only serve to bolster our own spiritual reputation.

It’s easy to be judgmental about this but when I really look at this I have to say that requesting prayer and having people join you in praying for your request certainly doesn’t hurt.  Does that mean that the more people we have praying for our request will force God to do what we want to be done?   No, certainly not.  We can’t force God to do anything but what it does absolutely guarantee is that God will be with us.  Matthew 18:20 tells us that whenever two or three people are together in prayer that He is with them.  So, it appears from this that the magic number here is two or three.  That means God will be with us to help us through it even if our request isn’t met.  Yeah, I know that’s hard to understand but we are also reminded that God’s peace is beyond our understanding.  So don’t expect me to explain it because I can’t.  I can’t explain God or why He does it doesn’t do what we ask.  I can’t explain why if we pray that a situation gets worse.    I can’t explain why God would let a child die.  I couldn’t begin to have any theology as to why an innocent person dies at the hands of a drunk driver.  Those things are hard.

When we know others are praying, it gives us strength because our own prayers need help.  Honestly there are times when we get weak and tired.  We often pray all that we know to pray and it seems repetitive.  We grow tired of hearing our own voice.  I have often been in places where all I could pray is “help”.  Other times all I could do is cry.  Believe me when I tell you that God understands tears more than any words we can use in prayer.  I came from a Pentecostal background so I can tell you that I have known people that could pray some loud prayers and string words together (or speak in tongues) without taking a breath as if God was deaf.  I honestly don’t know about all of that but I do know that everyone has their way of praying.  I can tell you God isn’t moved by the method of prayer but rather the attitude of the heart.   People have written many books (and I have read most of them) on how to pray but there is no method to pray other than just simply praying.  The only way to be good at prayer is to pray.   I have heard the most eloquently worded prayers and prayers from folks with only a sixth grade education and I can tell you that the delivery doesn’t matter.  It is the heart that reaches God.  The true motives of the person praying.  Believe me, I have tried all of these methods of prayers and, for me, it has come to simply talking to God.

So as I see people commenting with “praying” and posting praying hand emoticons, it doesn’t mean that the number of comments will force God to do anything but it will guarantee that He will be there.   Reaching a certain amount of “likes” won’t be the thing that causes God to answer a prayer, it will be God’s choice.  I have tried to understand God and it’s just not possible.  You can’t figure Him out.  We can know His nature but we certainly don’t have the insight He has into every situation.

It doesn’t matter how many people comment they are praying on Facebook but God absolutely hears prayers posted on social media just the same as He does in other way His creation communicates them!

Friday Flashback: Kansas City Monarchs’ First World Series Win

Kansas City Monarchs Win First Negro League World Series

As baseball season approaches the 2017 World Series, today we take a look at the Kansas City Monarchs and their history in baseball’s first Negro Leagues World Series.

On this date in 1924, the Kansas City Monarchs won the first Negro League World Series when they defeated Hilldale 5-0 to win the series.  The game was a best-0f-nine series between the Monarchs who were champions of the Negro National League and Hilldale which claimed the Eastern Colored League crown.  Hilldale was known as the Hilldale Athletic Club and were based out of Darby, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.

The Negro Leagues were established during the period in the United States when organized baseball was segregated.

Kansas City entered the series with a record of 55-22.   Hilldale had a record of 47-22.

The Monarchs were led by Bullet Rogan and Jose Mendez in the series.

Jose Mendez

Kansas City opened the series on October 3rd with a 6-2 win over Hilldale.  Rogan pitched an 8-hitter and held Hilldale scoreless until two outs in the ninth inning.  The Monarchs broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning.  Hilldale rebounded with an 11-0 blowout of the Monarchs to tie the series at 1-1.  The teams played to a 6-6 tie in the third game when the game was called because of darkness after 13 innings.  Hilldale won the next two games in the series to take a 3-1 lead.  Kansas City jumped out to score four runs in the first inning over game six then held on for a 6-5 win.  Newt Joseph stole home in the fourth inning of game seven and Rogan drove in the winning run in the 12th inning for the Monarchs to tie up the series at 3-3.  In one of the Negro League’s storied games, the Monarchs rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to edge Hilldale to take a 4-3 lead in the series.  Hilldale responded with a 5-3 win in game nine to set up the series deciding game on October 20, 1924.  Although still weak from surgery before the series and advised by a doctor not to exert himself, Méndez had already pitched 10 innings of relief in the first nine games.  He matched Hilldale starter Scrip Lee for seven innings until Lee tired in the bottom of the eighth and the Monarchs scored five runs off of him, including one by Méndez himself.  Hilldale was unable to score in the ninth inning.


Game 10 Box Score


The Monarchs would not win another Negro World Series title until 1942.


Driving 101: Just Drive!

Businessman using mobile phoneI will soon be on the commute home.  It’s always an adventure.  You never know what’s going through the minds of the drivers in Nashville, Tennessee.  People tend to do whatever they feel like doing.  Forget about traffic lights, turn signals and lanes on the road.  If they can do it, they will.  Never assume anything out there.

Recently we encountered a driver that was driving erratic as we were on the ramp to enter I-40.  My wife looked over (since I was driving) and noticed the driver was all into texting.  The driver was looking down at their phone and texting.  It must have been important.

It seems too many drivers are focused on other things than driving.  If you are behind the wheel, you’re ONLY job is to drive.  Nothing else.  Drive the vehicle.

Distracted driving is a huge problem today.  Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in other activities which take the driver’s attention away from the act of driving.  Although distracted driving has been a problem before, the problem became more of a problem with the invention of smartphones (which makes drivers dumb).  According to the United States Department of Transportation, text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted.

Our daughter was rear ended on the exit ramp when another driver admitted that she was looking at her child showing her a YouTube video.  When she looked up, it was too late to avoid impact.  Fortunately, our daughter wasn’t seriously injured but it has been a very difficult time dealing with something that wasn’t her fault.

Distracted driving includes activities such as:

  • Eating
  • Looking after children
  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Watching videos
  • Rubbernecking
  • Reading

While on the subject of drivers talking on the phone – who are these people talking to?  Why is it necessary to have to talk to people on the phone?

Think about it…we enter a vehicle made of steel, plastic and rubber and accelerate up to 70 miles per hour.  Shouldn’t we be more concerned about doing that act safely rather than eating a cheeseburger or texting a poop emoji to someone?

When I road the bus in Tampa, one day I looked over and saw a driver with the newspaper completely opened and reading it while he was driving.  Wow.  How stupid have we become?

My wife commented this morning that she saw someone with headphones on while driving.  So, now we have a driver who will be deaf to anything happening on the road but will make sure he can hear his Blake Shelton song.

I found this poll very interesting.  According to a HealthDay poll of adults who admitted to being distracted:

  • 86% were eating or drinking while driving
  • 41% were adjusting their GPS device
  • 37% were texting
  • 36% were using a map (yeah, that surprised me too)
  • 24% were browsing the Internet
  • 20% were combing or styling their hair
  • 14% were applying makeup  (I think that number has to be higher on the morning commute)

Folks, can we just simply drive the car?  That’s not asking too much.

Georgia High School Football Weekly (10/18/17)

Archer Stuns #1 Ranked Grayson

Here are this week’s look at Georgia High School football:

Top Teams In Each Classification:

7A:  Archer (7-0) – defeated #1 Grayson 6-3 to end Grayson’s 20-game winning streak.  The Tigers had two field goals from Michael Johnson and two interceptions from Andrew Booth.  Archer will host Rockdale County (1-6) this week.  Archer defeated Rockdale County, 35-0, last season.

6A:  Lee County (8-0) – edged Northside-Warner Robins, 16-13 in overtime.  QB Jase Orndorff completed a 15-yard pass to Josh Asbury in overtime to win the game.  Lee County will play at Valdosta (2-5) this week.  Lee County has never beaten Valdosta.  They are 0-7 in the series.  The Trojans lost last year’s meeting 27-7.

5A: Rome (7-0) – had little trouble with Cass, 49-0.  QB Knox Kadum was a perfect 11-of-11 for 196 yards and a touchdown for the Wolves.  Rome will travel to Villa Rica (4-4) this week.  Rome is 3-2 against Villa Rica and has won the last two meetings.

4A: Cartersville (8-0) – ran past Sandy Creek, 63-0.  Cartersville had 409 yards of offense in the game.  QB Trevor Lawrence was 15-of-19 for 284 yards and four touchdowns.  Cartersville will host Chapel Hill (5-2) this week.  Cartersville is 3-0 all-time against Chapel Hill.

3A:  Cedar Grove (7-0) – beat Pace Academy, 28-7.  Darrell Neal ran for 175 yards and a touchdown.  The defense held Pace Academy to 102 yards of offense.   Cedar Grove will host Stone Mountain (1-6) this week.  Cedar Grove leads the all-time series 12-5.  They have won the last two games.  

2A:  Benedictine (7-0) – topped Toombs County in a region showdown, 28-14.  RB Travis Blackshear had three touchdown runs of over 30 yards each.  The Cadets jumped out to a 21-0 lead.  Benedictine will host Bacon County (4-3) this week.  The Cadets are 5-0 in the series.

1A (public): Manchester (8-0) – beat Brookstone, 24-16.  Manchester was a beast on offense again this week with over 500 yards and held off Brookstone.  Manchester is off this week.

1A (private): Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (7-0) – was off.  The Chargers will host Strong Rock Christian (4-3) this week.  They are 7-0 and won last year’s game 56-7.

Blowout of the week:

  • Clarkston 66, Cross Keys 0.  Cross Keys is having a tough season as they have yet to score.  They are playing a non-region schedule.
  • Parkview 66, Berkmar 0.  Unfortunately this is a tough season for Berkmar as they have not scored more than eight points in a game this season.

Personal Watch List:

  • Warner Robins 34, Harris County 8 – If not for two handfuls of pre-snap penalties against the Demons, this game would have been a lot worse for Harris County.  Jarius Burnett had a solid game for Warner Robins with 176 yards and two touchdowns rushing in the game.  Warner Robins is off this week.
  • Clinch County 35, Turner County 7 –  Another solid game by the Panthers as they won their third straight game.  The Panthers travel to Lanier County (1-6) this week.  The Panthers are 19-0 against Lanier County.
  • Kell 38, Villa Rica 18 – This one dealt a huge blow to Villa Rica’s hopes for the playoffs.  Villa Rica jumped out to an 11-0 lead but allowed the next three touchdowns to Kell to virtually put the game away by halftime.   It doesn’t get any easier this week as Villa Rica will host #1-ranked Rome (7-0).  Villa Rica’s last win was 28-26 in 2014.

Player of the week:

Jalen Perry of Dacula accounted for 241 yards (177 rushing, 58 receiving and six punt return), made four tackles and forced a fumble in a 28-0 win over Gainesville.

News and Notes From This Week:

Westminster will play its sixth Top 10 team this season when they play Lovett this week.  The Wildcats are currently 3-4….Hiram upset Carrollton in a huge way, 41-14.  Carrollton had been ranked #6 in the state…Temple beat Spencer 17-13 and seeking their first playoff appearance since 2011…Jenkins is 7-0 for the first time since 1969…Cartersville Head Coach Joey King won his 50th game to become the fastest coach in Georgia history to reach 50 wins surpassing Robert Davis who did it for Warner Robins in 1977…Cartersville QB Trevor Lawrence needs 105 yards passing and six touchdowns to become the top QB in Georgia history.  Deshaun Watson is currently in that position.  Watson played at Gainesville before going to Clemson and now with the Houston Texans.

Team Spotlight:

archerWith Archer’s big win over Grayson, I was curious about the history of the Tigers so they are this week’s spotlight.

Archer started playing football in 2009.  Their overall record is 58-34.  They have qualified for the postseason five of their nine seasons.  Their best season was in 2014 when they advanced to the state championship game where they lost to Colquitt County.  Andy Dyer has coached the Tigers from the beginning and they are currently 7-0 this season.  The Tigers’ most notable player is Dylan Singleton who is a defensive back at Duke.  Their first win was 28-21 over Hughes on November 6, 2009.

Obscure Sports News

Portland Thorns defeat North Carolina Courage for NWSL Title


Portland Thorns Win National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)

The Thorns won their second NWSL Championship title Saturday night, beating the North Carolina Courage 1-0 in the NWSL Championship in front of 8,124 fans. It was Portland’s first championship since beating the Western New York Flash to win the league’s inaugural title in 2013.  Lindsey Horan broke the tie for the Thorns in the 50th minute when she finished a free kick from Emily Sonnett.  The free kick deflected off Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper’s head. Horan put the ball in the net to give Portland the critical 1-0 lead.

Miami FC Clinches Top Seed In Postseason After Week 12 Results

Miami FC and the San Francisco Deltas already clinched berths for the 2017 North American Soccer League (NASL) postseason, but now seeding is starting to take shape. Miami, after a big win on the road over Indy Eleven on Saturday afternoon, will have the top seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament, and will have home-field advantage throughout November.

United Soccer League Season Ends

The regular season is over, which make this the final edition of the Power Rankings of the season. Now, it’s all about who advances over the next four weeks to claim the USL Cup on November 13 on ESPNU.

Here are the top 10 teams in the USL Power Rankings:

  1. Real Monarchs SLC (50 points)
  2. Louisville City FC (40 points)
  3. San Antonio FC (38 points)
  4. Phoenix Rising FC (37 points)
  5. Tampa Bay Rowdies (25 points)
  6. Reno 1868 FC (24 points)
  7. Charleston Battery (16 points)
  8. Swope Park Rangers (16 points)
  9. OKC Energy FC (14 points)
  10. Rochester Rhinos (10 points)

Matt O’Grady and Dick Allen Earn Return Trips to Professional Bowler’s Association (PBA) Regional Challenge In Reno

Matt O’Grady of Matawan, N.J., representing the PBA East Region, and Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., representing the South Region, have earned return trips to the PBA Regional Challenge in Reno where O’Grady is the defending champion and Allen was runner-up in 2016.

The PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge events will kick off the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, at the National Bowling Stadium, on Tuesday, Nov. 7. WSOB IX kicks off the Go Bowling! PBA Tour series for 2017-18.

Victorian Roller Derby Is The Top-Ranked Team in Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby

Here are the current top ten teams in Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA):

  1. Victorian Roller Derby League
  2. Rose City Rollers
  3. Gotham Girls Roller Derby
  4. Angel City Derby
  5. Denver Roller Derby
  6. Texas Rollergirls
  7. Arch Rival Roller Derby
  8. London Rollergirls
  9. Montreal Roller Derby
  10. Jacksonville Rollergirls

Finer Than Frog Hair (and other strange sayings)

frogRecently these words came out of my mouth when my wife asked how I was doing.  While searching for a clever comeback, somehow my brain pulled this rather strange phrase out.

Finer than frog hair?

Why is that a saying?   As we both stood there for a moment, I couldn’t help but wonder why that came out.  I assumed it was a saying that originated from my South Georgia roots.  Who would even think of such a thing?  And is frog hair really fine?

This got me to wondering about other odd sayings that are out there and how they originated:

“Finer than frog hair”

  • What does it mean?  It means a person is in good spirits or excellent mood.
  • Origin:  The allusion to the hairs on a frog clearly points us to the ‘slender, narrow’, meaning of the phrase. Just as clearly, (most) frogs don’t have hair, and the ironic reference to it is intended to highlight the effect.

“I’ll keep my eyes peeled”

  • What does it mean?  Although it sounds like a painful thing to do to our eyeballs, it actually means we are going to watch something very closely.
  • Origin:  From about the 17th century on, pill was commonly spelt peel and took on the sense of “to remove or strip” in the weakened sense of removing an outer covering, such as a fruit. The figurative sense of keeping alert, by removing any covering of the eye that might impede vision, seems to have appeared in the US about 1850.

I beg to differ”

  • What does it mean?  It is usually a way to disagree with someone in a nice way.  You may not actually resort to begging but disagreeing kindly.
  • Origin:  Most sources indicate this saying originated from England as a proper British phrase.

“Let’s hightail it out of here”

  • What does it mean?  While the image of such a phrase is rather humorous, it usually means to get away very quickly.
  • Origin:  From comparisons of animals that raise their tails when fleeing.  Could also be from the days when horses were our primary modes of transportation.

“You’re a sight for sore eyes”

  • What does it mean?  A way to say you have missed someone or that you are happy to see them.
  • Origin:  This phrase was first recorded by Jonathan Swift, in A complete collection of genteel and ingenious conversation, 1738.

“Sleep tight”

  • What does it mean?  We are wishing someone to have a good night’s sleep.   Of course I have already heard it with “…and don’t let the bed bugs bite”.   Yes, that’s a real comforting thought.
  • Origin:  This 19th century expression isn’t, as is often wrongly claimed, a reference to the tightness of the strings used to support mattresses.

“Blood is thicker than water”

  • What does it mean?  Family is more important than anything else.  Yeah, you would think right?
  • Origin:  In ancient Middle Eastern culture, blood rituals between men symbolized bonds that were far greater than those of family. The saying also has to do with “blood brothers,” because warriors who symbolically shared the blood they shed in battle together were said to have stronger bonds than biological brothers.

“I quit cold turkey”

  • What does it mean?  To quit something quickly.
  • Origin:  People believed that during withdrawal, the skin of drug addicts became translucent, hard to the touch, and covered with goose bumps – like the skin of a plucked turkey.

“Waking up on the wrong side of the bed”

  • Meaning:  Waking up in a bad mood.   If you’ve known people like this you might want to consider the origin.
  • Origin:  The left side of the body or anything having to do with the left was often associated considered sinister. To ward off evil, innkeepers made sure the left side of the bed was pushed against a wall, so guests had no other option but to get up on the right side of the bed.

“Getting the cart before the horse”

  • What does it mean?  Getting things out of order
  • Origin:  The meaning of the phrase is based on the common knowledge that a horse usually pulls a cart, despite rare examples of vehicles pushed by horses in 19th-century Germany and early 20th-century France.

There are many more interesting phrases we use and, if your are from the South, the list is even longer.  Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has educated a lot of people on some of those.  We have some very interesting sayings.  Hopefully, I won’t be a frequent user of “fine as frog hair” in my vocabulary.  It’s even more confusing to use it around Halloween.  Some folks might get the idea that you are a witch and using frog hair for some kind of spell.

Okay, let me hightail it out of here before I say anything else…