Monday, September 10, 2007

Talk about wrong place wrong time.

Reminds me of the last tournament when a concerned parent couldn't find her child and we calmly told her that a martial arts tournament was the worst place to try to kidnap a kid.

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A karate academy was not the best target for a robbery, a Colombian thief found when his attempt got the chop from practicing students, police said on Friday.

The robber was recovering in a hospital in Santander province north of Bogota after the martial artists used their combat skills and took away his gun.

"An individual entered a martial arts school with a firearm but they managed to react, put their knowledge to use and disarmed him," Santander police commander Col. Julio Cesar Santoyo told local Caracol radio.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Life lessons

I learned a very important life lesson today. When wearing a taekwondo uniform in a parade, the sun can get in the opening at the chest. So now there is a nice triangle shaped sunburn on my chest. Great.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

2nd Degree

Today I officially tested for my 2nd Degree Black Belt. It was an interesting time, but in the end, I passed! After not really worrying about my board breaks, I started to set up too far away from the step jump reverse side kick and didn't hit the board well enough. It took all three tries but I finally got it. So, on Tuesday, I will get the rank I've been working toward all year.

Friday, August 31, 2007

An eventful summer

It's been a long time since I took the time to update my personal blog. I guess I've spent so much time with my jobs as youth pastor and taekwondo instructor, doing the school web page, our family blog, and other things to really get a grip on this one. Time for that to stop.

I see that I left off at the Songahm World Championships, so let me start by saying that I went there and had a good time. I went there with the intention to do my best and that is what I did. I finished 9th in the world in my division for weapons. Also, my point total gave me the title of State Champion for Texas.

The funny thing was, I found out later that it was amazing that I competed in the championship at all. I had taken the Ground Fighting class with Sr. Master Arcemont (a great teacher) and had an amazing time learning some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. The second day of the class, my partner landed on top of me pretty hard. It hurt, but I didn't think anything of it because I was so sore already.

The day before the weapons competition, I noticed that it hurt to breathe deeply and to turn my body to my left. I wondered about it but it seemed fine, so I kept going, even competing with Bahng Mahng Ee in the weapons Top Ten competition.

Then while at youth camp (which I'll post on later) I realized that all my soreness had gone away, but the pain in my side was not. So when I got home, I went to the doctor and realized that I had a cracked upper rib. After a bit of healing time, I was back to training.

So after a year plus of waiting, training, waiting, and more training, I will testing for second degree black belt tomorrow night. So far everything has been going great. My form looks the best it has ever looked. I have had no problems with the board breaking in class. This means that I have to keep myself under control and just go out there to do what I have already done in the school. As one instructor told me once, it's time to go out there and claim my belt!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Top Ten!

Men's 17-29 1st Degree Black Belt Weapons Standings

It's official! When the final standings were release, I have made the top ten in weapons for my division. That means that my World's week is now officially busy. I will be competing in the top ten ring on Thursday.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Meet my son!

Hello everyone. Meet my son, Nathan.

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

Top Ten

When the final standings were posted, I am still on the list. I have been able to hold on to tie for 9th and therefore will go and compete at the Songahm World Championships in Little Rock, AR on June 21st. When I started doing taekwondo three years ago, I never would have thought that I would ever get a top ten bar of any kind. Now we'll see if I can move up a few places when we actually compete for the title.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Worlds Here I Come

I think.... the standings were updated last Friday night and it looks like I'm in. I don't think there are anymore tournaments left to score, so I should be heading to Little Rock to go compete in the Top Ten Finals for 1st Degree Weapons!

This is going to be a very interesting Worlds for me. First I plan on taking the Ground Fighting seminar on Tuesday-Wednesday. Then I go compete for the championship on Thursday. As soon as that's over, I get in my car and come back home, repack, and head off to youth camp with my new church!

The church is awesome and has a lot of wonderful people in it. I think that this is going to work out for all of us. I've had the chance to meet with most of the kids now. This is going to be a fun group to work with. I can't wait!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's Official!

After the votes were counted, I am back into youth ministry again with County Line Baptist Church of Miller Grove! It's feeling very good to be back in the church again. I start this Wednesday so I hit the ground running.

Spider Disappointment

Spider Man 3 ...... Just one word.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Back in the Saddle again

Well, since I'm heading back to the wonderful world of youth ministry, I had better start doing a better job of keeping this thing updated. Since everything that has happened over the last two months, God has just been completely pouring out his blessings on Melissa and I. Now He has hooked us up with some wonderfully supportive people, and Lord willing, this Sunday I will become the new Student Minister for County Line Baptist Church of Miller Grove. It's a nice church with some great people. I'm looking forward to getting to know all the youth and see where God leads us together.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is it enough?

1st Degree 17-29 Weapons World Standings

I have no idea if it will be enough points, but right now I am sitting tied for 7th place with three other men for Top Ten weapons competition. This is the final weekend for tournaments so now it's just a waiting game to see if I have collected enough points to stay in the top ten. If so, then I get to go to Little Rock and compete for World Champion. Here's hoping that the people in 2nd-5th who are separated by four total points all go to tournaments this weekend to try to improve their standings. If they collect all the final points, then people below me can't catch up.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday

Since it was Easter Sunday, I thought it would be a good idea to post the sermon I preached in front as a guest speaker for Enloe Baptist Church today.

This has been an extraordinary time in my life. Just a year ago, I was single, living on my own in East Texas, and getting ready for my wedding. Now, I am a married man, expecting my first child in October, and filling the pulpit for you nice people today. I want to say that it is truly an honor to stand before you today on this extraordinary day.

Of course, yesterday was an extraordinary day as well. Growing up in the north, there was one thing that I experienced so much more than I ever wanted to. It was so much a common occurrence that I didn’t even bat an eye unless it turned out to be a major event.

So imagine my surprise when I’m down in 150 miles south of here, I look out the window, and I see it. Snow… Those fluffy white flakes falling down, not just little ones, but full-fledged snowfall. Not to mention, there was a lot of it. Snow, in Southeast Texas… in April!

I make such a big deal out of it, because it’s not supposed to happen. Snow in April in Texas is an extraordinary event. Especially when it was 85 earlier in the week. I guess the expression “Expect the unexpected” has come true again.

Today, we celebrate the most extraordinary of all days on the calendar. A day that dwarfs a little weather event. Today, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 NKJV

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ whom He did not raise up-if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not fires, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men the most pitiable.

But now, Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

When I read stories in the Bible, especially those that I’ve heard over and over again, I like to try to put myself in the position of the people in the story. The bible is not a collection of tales, but a living, breathing account of real people with real emotions at real times. So just imagine what it must have been like.

You’ve been following the Jesus fellow for some time now. You’ve seen the miracles first hand. You know what people say about him. He’s healed sick people. He made lame people walk again. He’s given sight to the blind. But the Pharisees hated him. They got Pilate to sign the death warrant. He’s dead.

Death is the end right? This man dies and the movement ends. It’s time to go back to your regular life. Then Mary Magdalene comes running in screaming, “He’s alive! He’s alive!” I think the disciples were trying to find some nice way to convince her she was hallucinating. Something like, “Of course, Mary, we all think he’s alive. Don’t we guys?”


1. The resurrection of Christ was an extraordinary event

People just don’t get up out of the casket. Burial stones don’t just roll away. These things just don’t happen. Right? The very idea of the resurrection was so mind blowing. But it really shouldn’t have been. The disciples had seen it before. Jesus went to Lazarus’s grave. Martha met him there.

Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. - John 11:23-25

Christ rising from the grave showed his power over death. Jesus died on the cross, was dead for three days, and then came back to life just as he had been telling people he would do, amen? Jesus Christ displayed his power over death and now offers that power to those who believe in him. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. When Christ arose, he proved he had the power to make that statement true!

In Storytelling: Imagination and Faith, William J. Bausch shares: "In the Greek Orthodox tradition, the day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes. . . .They felt they were imitating the cosmic joke that God pulled on Satan in the Resurrection. Satan thought he had won, and was smug in his victory, smiling to himself, having the last word. So he thought. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words."

2. The resurrection of Christ makes our faith complete

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

The remote control…How I like to flip channels… Tell about the features of the remote, then finally remove the batteries.

“You see, without the batteries, this remote is a worthless piece of junk. It can’t get rid of the commercials. It can’t see what else is on. Paul tells us that without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is worthless. We must believe this if we believe in Christ, or else we are lying. The resurrection of Christ makes our faith complete.

  1. The resurrection of Christ gives us hope.

For if the dead do not fires, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men the most pitiable.

When Christ conquered death, he conquered it for us all. He offers that power to all who believe in him. This gives us the greatest hope- that when we die, we can have eternal life in Heaven with him. Jesus Christ died so that we can live!

Hebrews 2:9 says But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

“Strangely enough, we find it hard to trust Him, while all the time He has been trying to lead us out of the dark dungeons we have created for ourselves and let us run free in the light of day…Jesus was crucified as a criminal, but what His accusers didn’t know was that He was planning and fulfilling history’s most extraordinary prison break. – Erwin McManus from the book “Chasing Daylight.”

  1. The resurrection of Christ gives us extraordinary life.
But now, Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

The firstfruits were the best part of a person’s harvest, and was to be set apart as a sacrifice to the Lord. It was the best, and best was what God required. Paul tells us that when Christ rose from the grave, he became the first-fruits for us. In other words, he became the best. He came to not only give us eternal life, but the best life possible.

Since we believe in this wonderful event, shouldn’t it make us want to live our lives in such an extraordinary way so that people notice a difference in us? We are alive! We have hope! We will never die! Shouldn’t we want to share that with everyone we can? Shouldn’t it make us live our lives with pure joy?

As we celebrate this resurrection week and enter into the time of celebration leading toward his day of Ascension, who will God place on our hearts to tell the wonderful news to? Is there someone you have been talking to? Is there someone in your life who needs to know what the resurrection can do for them? I encourage you to ask God to place someone on your heart who you can share this extraordinary life with this next month. Perhaps you can invite them to a service here. Perhaps it’s as simple as meeting a need in their life. Perhaps it’s even as simple as a smile and an encouraging word. How can you share this extraordinary life?

5. The resurrection of Christ gives us eternal life.

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Warren Webster tells of a Muslim who became a Christian in Africa. "Some of his friends asked him, 'Why have you become a Christian?' He answered, 'Well, its like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions, and you didn't know which way to go, and there at the fork in the road were two men, one dead and one alive--which one would you ask which way to go?'"

Warren Webster, April, 1980, HIS, p. 13.

Conclusion -

There is no other religion in the world today where the leader has died and returned from the grave. I can get on a plane and see the tomb of Mohammed. I can go to China and see Buddha’s grave. I can’t go see the tomb of Jesus; no matter what some TV shows try to say. The grave is empty! Jesus is alive.

He offers that life to you today. I ask you, which way do you go? If you are a believer here today, I ask you who can you share the extraordinary life of a resurrected Christ with this month? If you have never accepted this life today, Jesus offers the chance to do that right now. Everyone is at the fork in the road. Which way will you go?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Back on the Preaching Circuit

Well, it's been a few weeks since I last stood in front of a church, but this Easter Sunday, I get the chance to do it again. I will be filling the pulpit for Enloe Baptist Church. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to focus the message, but being Easter Sunday, it should be pretty easy to get some ideas. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thing you can't teach...

Coach Bob Knight once said that "there are some things you just can't teach, and tall is one of them." Let me add another one to that, super-unnaturally-crazily stretchy. Just watching this makes me hurt.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Front Page (Porch) News

Melissa and I have been doing community theater, and these past two weeks have been our performances. The press came last night, and this morning, a local internet newspaper put up a bunch of pictures. We were doing selections from different Broadway shows. I had one of the lead parts, and my wife got to do a bunch of dance numbers.

The reviews all week were absolutely positive! People were just amazed that there are so many people in our town that can pull off a production like this. I'm just sad that it's over and there will be no more standing ovations. I'm hoping to do this again real soon.

The local news website Front Porch News has a story up with a bunch of pictures at this link.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Level 1 Certified

According to my profile online, my application for Certified Trainee has been approved. Looks like it's time to order a new collar for my uniform.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Talk to a Real Person

I'm so glad that prayer isn't like this...

Thank you for calling heaven.

For English press 1
For Spanish press 2
For all other languages, press 3

Please select one of the following options:

Press 1 for request
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints
Press 4 for all others

I am sorry, all our Angels and Saints are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and we will answer it in the order it was received. Please stay on the line.

If you would like to speak to:
God, press 1
Jesus, press 2
Holy spirit, press 3

To find a loved one that has been assigned to heaven press 5, then enter his social security # followed by the pound sign. If you receive a negative response, please hang up and dial area code 666.

For reservations to heaven, please enter JOHN followed by the numbers, 3:16.

For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, life and other planets, please wait until you arrive in heaven for the specifics.

Our computers show that you have already been prayed for today, please hang up and call again tomorrow.

The office is now closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday.

If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor.
Thank you and have a heavenly day.

It's a ????

I don't know, but I know that I love the little speck on the picture! It's true! My wife is now 10 weeks pregnant with our first child due in October!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am thrilled beyond words! To think that God has entrusted us with a life is overwhelming to say the least.

Today, the ticker says that our baby is only about an inch long. It amazes me to think that this tiny speck will grow and become my son or daughter by October!

Anyway, to celebrate and to keep everyone (especially my family) informed, I have created a new blog at so everyone can see how we are doing. I'll have a lot more later, but right now, it's past three.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

XM Sirius Together?

I've had satellite radio in my car and in my home since I was at Happy Hill. I've had both services starting with Sirius and then moving to XM two years ago. Now today, it looks like they are going to merge into one company. What that means for me, I don't know, but it sure looks like The Torch won't be coming back any time soon.

Monday, February 19, 2007

First Place

Picked up another three points toward a weapons championship this weekend. Right now I'm sitting so close to that final top ten spot. I hope that I can do well this next weekend so I won't have to stress about points the final two months of the season. It's now almost official that I have Texas State Championship locked up.

Went down to Houston this past weekend for Mr. Henderson's Tournament. I had a good time getting back with the guys in the ring, but a lot of the regulars weren't there. I've got a pretty good mark on my arm from blocking a kick that came after a judge called break. Life lesson... keep fighting until the center judge calls break.

In the Xtreme Weapons competition, well.... let's just say that the concept of personal victory is in full force. I walked in a 1st degree going up against two 5th degrees, one of which is going for World Championship in this. Just making it through the form was the goal and mission accomplished. Next time, we'll work on getting the music to work right the first time.

So all in all, I ended up with three medals from this one.

1st Traditional Weapons Form
3rd ATA-Xtreme Weapons Form
3rd Sparring

Meli picked up a silver medal in Traditional Forms with her new 4th and 5th degree ring.

Wednesday, we fly to Las Vegas for the Spring National Tournament where she will be testing for 4th degree black belt!

Back to Blogging

Well, I think I've said it before, but wow, being married sure does take the blogging time down about a hundred notches. Anyway, I'm going to try and get this thing back up and running.