Tuesday, July 28, 2009

M. Vick and What It All Means

This post was very impromptu and my thoughts were very scattered. But this is how I really feel about the Michael Vick situation.

Michael Vick - a talented, maybe the MOST talented individual to play football in the NFL. He brought crowds to ATL (myself being one of them), sold tickets, jerseys and was a marketing machine for many companies. He was a threat in the air almost as much as on the ground, and defenses had no answer for him as he was progressing thru his career. I was truly a huge fan of Vick (minus him flippin' off the fans on occasion and the ALL TOO OFTEN SEEN attitude throughout the ENTIRE NFL). M. Vick was on top of the NFL world. And he knew it.

But Michael Vick made a mistake. Michael Vick got involved with the wrong crowd. Michael Vick had people around him who weren't looking out for his best interests and were simply "mooching" off him due to his available funds and stardom. And Michael Vick was a grown man who made grown man decisions and paid grown man consequences.

As earlier posts have read, I'm a huge dog-lover. Mr. Vick's involvement in dog-fighting and animal cruelty repulses me. It makes me sick. To think someone could be so cruel to helpless animals to the point of using them for profit AND for entertainment is sickening. But Michael Vick was caught. And Michael Vick paid the price that the judge imposed on him.

But there's something interesting about this story that can be used in my spiritual life.

Daniel Smith is Michael Vick. Daniel Smith at one point in his life was on top of the world, living what he thought was a dream. Like Vick, I too hung out with people who weren't looking out for my best interests, but were using me as a tool for peer pressure and fitting in with the crowd. I was a young man, making boyish decisions.

My sin involved in those decisions was repulsive to God, as Michael Vick's "sin" was repulsive to me as well as millions of others. God couldn't look at my sin. It disgusted Him. But He forgave me. Just like He can/has/will forgive(n) Michael Vick. No matter what he has done, men still sin, and God is still God with a just, yet forgiving heart.

God is still the God of justice and wrath. But He is also the God of forgiveness, second-chances, and love. And they all come in due time. What's to say this won't change Michael Vick's life forever and he goes on to be a great story of redemption. Josh Hamilton did it.

So, instead of worrying about how soon Michael Vick (the football player) will return to the NFL, let's make sure Michael Vick (the man) is ready for eternity. Isn't that what matters?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby Bambi Episode

So, it was a typical day @ home. No work, no "real" to-do list (however, there are always things to do), and kind of just boring day.. until I went to check the mail.

After walking down the somewhat long driveway to get nothing more than bills and credit card offers, I return to the porch to spend a little time with my furry friends bc they hadn't seen me all weekend. I'm playing with Samson and Sophie while Hank is snooping around under t
he porch behind me.. nothing new; until I saw a little brown furry creature under the porch which was catching Hank's eye. It was Baby Bambi. Oh my gosh. Ok, we live in the country, we see things most city-folk aren't used to. Mice, spiders, wasps, among other things God has divinely created (although we are not commanded to like all of them, but simply understand their role in the food chain.. however, if they get too close, their role quickly becomes a target for the sole of my shoe or newspaper, whichever is closer.)

Back to my story.. I run and grab the camera, hoping it won't startle it and come back out. As soon as I turn it on - you know what it said.. "Battery Exhausted". Pleh! So I run and grab my phone to take some pics. Meanwhile, my dogs are having a hay day bc they are so curious, sniffing, licking, practically frightening this d
eer to death! They were really irritating me by this point.

Long story short, as of right now, I placed Baby Bambi just past the wood line at our house, and placed the dogs in the pen to give Mama time to find her baby. Just another wonderful day in the life of the Smith's. Living in the country, experiencing God's wonderful planet in our own backyard. It was really a magical thing to sit and hold and pet that little deer. And here are a couple of pics.

Baby Bambi awaiting her Mother!

My Dogs. Mad at their Daddy in the Pen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Achieving Your Goals and Being Successful!

Tonight, with my Dad, I had the honor of hearing ex-Indianapolis Colts coach and Super Bowl Champion Tony Dungy give a motivating speech about reaching your potential, achieving your goals, and overcoming adversity. There aren't many people in our society that I feel honored being in the same room with but Coach Dungy is, even before now, in my Top 10.

He gave four crucial points in how he achieved his personal goals and I feel they are fitting to pass on to you and apply to my own life as well:

1. Set a WORTHY Goal
-Coach Dungy told a story about how he and his wife went on a date in Tampa and it fell during Spring Break. The date consisted of dinner and a trip to the theater and traffic was bumper-to-bumper for miles. "Let's just skip the movie and go to dinner instead, traffic is horrible," he told his wife. Her reply was: "Well, when you were in Miami on the way to the Super Bowl traffic was twice as bad, but you sat through it." He compared how sitting through traffic to get to a movie and Super Bowl were two totally different "goals".
Make sure your goal is something worthy of your time and energy. I may never sit through traffic to coach a Super Bowl Championship team, but grocery shopping on Saturday morning with my wife in buggy-to-buggy traffic better mean just as much to me.

2. Expect Adversity
-No personal goal is reached without challenges unless you set goals for yourself like: take out the trash, lose 10 pounds, or pick up after yourself around the house. Reach for things like: changing your attitude towards those with bad attitudes, or sign up for a triathlon within the next year and prepare for it. (And believe me, those being two of my personal goals have proven to be challenges within themselves.) The results only go one of two ways when you face adversity: success or failure.
-Part B to this would be: Don't dwell on adversity. A losing team never wins again until they have dealt with the failure and moved on. Deal with and Be Done!

3. Don't Let Adveristy Make You Want to Quit
-Quitting on yourself means you admit that you are a failure. And if you do quit, make sure it's because you couldn't do it and not because you didn't WANT to do it. Be honest with yourself here.

4. Rely on Something or Someone Other Than Yourself
-Yourself is the easiest person to quit on in the world. If you vowed to go to the gym three times a week, and you only went once, what's the typical response... probably something like, "well, I didn't make it this week, maybe next week I'll do better." Instead, try committing to going with a friend; having someone else depend on you should inspire you to fulfill that commitment. That's the problem I have with New Year's Resolutions. They're all about Me. Instead of resolving "I'm going to read more books this year".. get with a friend, buy the books you want to read. Or if you're Clark Howard, rent them from your local library... And each week, find time to get your friends together and talk about what you've read about in the books. (I'm trying to avoid the two words "Book Club"). In this case, if you haven't read you'll be left out of the loop and the guilt trip will be on you. :)

Achieving Your Goals is not easy, but it's not supposed to be either. Challenging yourself only makes you stronger when other life struggles come your way. Don't take my word for it.. but take it from the Super Bowl Champ.. Coach Dungy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

If April Showers Bring May Flowers...

Then what do April MONSOONS bring?! I'm not kidding, yesterday was the worst weather of the year to date. Cold, rainy, hail storms, the wind even capsized our trampoline.. and to make it all worse, it was also the day my dad and I had to move my dogs' house to our house.

Ok, let's start with yesterday. 11am I leave to go to my parents' house in Summerville for the sole purpose of moving the dog house with a few other of my belongings as well. Well, we had to borrow a truck and tractor from two of the church members to make the move of the dog house possible.. it's a seriously built dog condominium.

The weather is great pretty much all morning. Slightly warmer, warm wind blowing occasionally, and the sun was perfect... until we finally get it loaded and headed to my house. After loading up my 3 dogs: Hank, Sophie, and Samson into my two-door coupe more commonly known as the Bullet, I'm driving to the house when it begins to rain..

Better still, when I get to my house my dad informs me that he has gotten stuck and we soon find ourselves trapped trying to unhook the trailer, find a place to hook a chain to the frame of our borrowed truck and use my truck to pull it out of the mud. By this time, we are soaked, muddy, not a dry stitch of clothing on us.

Recap of yesterday: My dogs were moved with their house to my house, dad and I got soaked and muddy from head to toe, and now we not only have one, but two vehicles stuck in the mud in the side yard of my house.

The best place to be in a hail storm, or storm of ANY kind is inside. I would say my dad and I took on Mother Nature last night (mainly because we had to).. and she definitely had no trouble curing us from playing in the rain anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Uncle DanDan

Yesterday was filled with great anticipation, anxiety, joy, laughter, and relief. I became an uncle to the cutest little girl, now named Elliot "Ellie" Gwen Smith. She was all of 4lbs, 2oz. , and 16.5 inches long. Apparently she knew we couldn't wait any longer and decided to make her glorious appearance to us at 5:15pm.

I won't give the play-by-play, but there were some complications with Stephy yesterday morning and they went to the doctor and after several hours of tests and just waiting the doctors thought it would be best that a cesarean section be done and now I am an uncle!! I can't wait to spoil her and just plain love her and watch her grow. It's funny when someone in your family has a baby and everyone begins to stake their claim! The inspiring miracle of childbirth itself is amazing to say the least.

And I can't finish this post without publishing a picture of this beautiful baby who is an absolute miracle!!

Elliot "Ellie" Gwen Smith!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Mistakes on Valentine's Day

Mistake #1: My wife and I have been dieting almost perfectly for the last 6 weeks. Here in the past week we've fallen below the yellow line (if you're a Biggest Loser Fan) and splurged more than once while dining out thanks to Mom's Birthday and a Valentine's Day dinner date with the in-laws. That being said, the LAST thing I needed was a medium-sized bag of Lindt Lindor Peanut Butter Truffles. My wife loves me and knows what I love. You guessed it. Needless to say, the bag is almost gone after two days.

(disclaimer to Mistake #1: Sweets are my downfall. It's almost my biggest obstacle in life and I'm the under-sized linebacker.. I can't make the tackle.)

Mistake #2: My wife and I agreed not to buy any "gifts" for Valentine's Day, and unlike most women, she really meant it. So I bought her a 1/2 dozen Circus Roses. Score one for the home team.. BUT, I failed to buy her a card. She claims the one that came with the flowers counts, but not me. I consider myself romantic; a Pepe le Pew of sorts (or is that creepy? yeah, I think so.) Maybe my love tactics need to be re-charged.

(disclaimer to Mistake #2: I suck. but we did have a great Valentine's Day dinner.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Funny Site of the Week

My wife and I were watching a prank TV show tonight and were introduced to probably one of the funnier movements going on in NYC that may not be well known here in the South: a group called ImprovEverywhere! We saw the "No Shirts" prank and found it funny enough to explore into the site and found even more hilarity in their tactics. It's almost priceless!

Also, just something extra: check out Ciril Yakayama. This very well could be one of the greatest street "magicians" I've ever seen. Check the Head Trick.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Interesting Wal-Mart Experience Has Me Thinking..

Today was my first day on the Thrive! diet. Yay. If you follow me on Twitter you would know how enthusiastic I am about this. Actually, it's something my wife and I have committed to and, even though it's Day 1, I already feel better. Maybe not physically, but mentally; the physical payoff will come in the next couple of weeks.

I digress. I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things to get us started and happened to pass through the cat food aisle. There was a generally older lady buying canned cat food so I proceeded to pass her on the right of the aisle (details are not as important as what happened next). As soon as I approached her buggy to proceed by her, she immediately sped up ahead of me like a speeding teenager eager to prove her buggy was better than mine.

This triggered my thought process a little I must say. I am a dog lover. If you know me, you know that. But cat lovers on the other hand are, for the most part, set apart from us; somewhat reclusive and moody. Think about it. Most dog lovers I know are, in turn, lovable people. Yet, cat people have this peculiarity about them that is undeniable.

Just some canned food for thought.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Read, Love, Pray

I'm not one to make resolutions or set silly goals such as love more, eat less, and enjoy life; however, all three of which would be great start to a new year. I have recently thought about the things I try to do the most and continue to fail or fall short of the deeper meaning of said things, and I want to share them with you.

resolve (verb) - to transform or convert by any process

I thought this definition was interesting because the other definitions actually lead to either disintegration or breaking down of something. Yet, most people often "resolve" to make themselves better. So, in turn, I guess to make ourselves better we must break down all the things around us that are either meaningless or unfruitful. (I could write an entire blog of this definition but I choose not.)

1. Read. More.

I want to expand my mind thru books, especially the Bible and books about men of the Bible or great scholars of it. My mind often is too perplexed to simply be able to read scripture and comprehend it even the third and fourth time of repeating it. And, how elementary it may sound, repition is the number one tool in memorization of anything and the chances of my recalling key scriptures in trials and hardships are greater.

2. Love. Fully.

This day in age, love is such a fleeting term and we as humans destroy our emotions by saying we "love" things or how much we really "love" this or that. I want to really evaluate how I treat people such as my family, co-workers, even strangers. And it all starts with my love for Jesus. The more I feel connected to Him through His word or His speaking to me through His spirit, the better I feel I can serve Him and love Him. And the closer I feel to Him, the more His love can shine in my actions and especially my attitude.

3. Pray. Heartily.

Prayer is the number one thing I feel like I need more in my life. My prayer life is my number one indicator of how close to God I am, and how close I am letting Him be to me. Your relationships with those around you is only as close and as great as you allow it to be.
And like my brother, Jon, oft times I feel my mind wandering while I am pleading my case for mercy and understanding to my Creator and Savior.

Happy New Year!

also, I need a great way of getting my blog to more readers. I feel like the more readers I have, the more dedicated and committed I will be to my blog in the following months. any ideas?