Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

I pray that joy will fill your home, your family and your friends during this Christmas season! Remember the reason for this season is Jesus!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

He weeps for you!

As many of you know the past 2-3 years have really had it's toll on me. Sometimes it seems like the only emotion I feel is anxiety. I truly believe that when we suffer Christ weeps for us. The reason for his tears is two fold. 1) He is concerned because he loves you and 2) He is saddened because when we worry, we fail to trust that He is in control. I often have to stop, take a deep breath and cry out to Jesus. It never fails that I am comforted by talking to him. Jesus should be your best friend. He knows everything about you including your prayer before you say it.

So why does Christ allow us to suffer in the first place? Why doesn't he shield us from anything that would hurt us? If we are honest many of the things that cause stress in our lives are things we have done. When we stray from the Lord we settle into a void or darkness. We feel lonely and heavy burdened. Then there are situations that rip out our heart because other people have failed us. These are tough but they may be opportunities for us to show the love of Christ.

We live in a sinful world and we are sinful by nature. Because of sin the world has another master (satan). Now I'm not saying God always punishes us when we sin. Actually we punish ourselves. It's the failures of Adam to our own rejection of Christ that cause this world to be cursed. If you read the Old Testament you will find that when kings followed God their land would be blessed but when they turned their back on God their land would be attacked.

As long as we are living in this world people will suffer, people will die and evil will be present. But there is hope in Christ. Now if we turn our eyes on Jesus he will comfort us and give us peace. The more we trust Him, the more peace we will have.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

33 years...

Friday, December 4 I will be married to my lovely wife 33 years. She is a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. I was truly blessed by God when she became a part of my life. I love her so much!

At First Sight

Memories take me back,

To the night that I met you.

Back when we were young,

We found a love so true.

My heart skipped a beat,

As you walked across the floor,

Little did I know,

It was you I would adore.

It happened at first sight,

When you glanced at me,

I found love that night,

My true destiny.

Our love grew even stronger,

And we've raised a family.

After all the joys and sorrow,

You're still standing next to me.

So after all these years,

And all the time together,

You're still the only one,

That I'll love forever...

(Sharon Cutshall)

I love you Carla, thank you for all you do! You are the best. You have always be there for me and I know... "God blessed the day I found you!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We Give Thanks Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.
--Harry Jewell

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My son the Marine, the Sergeant, the Soldier...

My son has just completed his 9 year tour in the military. As a parent although I am very proud of him, I am also relieved that he will be here with us; safe and sound. He served his country very well. He displayed mixed emotions about leaving. I know it's hard to let go of something he has devoted such a large part of his life to. He served and did more than most when it comes to protection of our great county. He served with honor, pride and good moral character.

Thank you my son! You are my hero!!!

30th anniversary as a emergency responder...

October 15 marks my 30th anniversary working in some form of emergency services. I have worked as a firefighter, paramedic, EMT, Fire Station Officer, safety director, deputy sheriff, emergency management director and a homeland security director. It's been a long 30 years and I have seen much trauma, delivered babies, searched for lost people, rappelled out of high rise buildings, fought fires (several very large), dealt with major disasters, been spit on, fought with drunks, had saves, saw too much death, dealt with violent crime, involved with crisis debriefings, lost fellow brothers, attended line of duty deaths, seen joy and cried in desperation after the lost of a child...the list goes on! This is a common story that is so real to all those who also serve the public. We will never get rich; we just do what we do to help those who need it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taking a break...

I will be taking a break from blogging for a while. Thanks for reading this blog; I pray that God will bless you and help you through the storms of life... (he will if you ask and believe)

Jack Donovan

Friday, July 3, 2009

Declaration of FREEDOM...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
These memorable words were written by Thomas Jefferson, age 33 at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. This document, co-authored by Jefferson declared the United States independence from England. Many fought and died to secure and maintain that independence (or freedom). Not everyone accepted this freedom spoke of in the declaration.

Jesus of Nazareth, age 33 died for independence or freedom. Because of his death we are now free; free from sin. Because of his death our name can be written on a document called the Book of Life. This document is a declaration stating that we have accepted the reason for Jesus Christ death. We will live eternally with the Lord if our name is found in it. Not everyone will accept this freedom given because of the Lord's death.

Both documents are very important but only one will matter in the end. We should honor those who fought and those who died for our great country. We should also honor our Lord who left his place in heaven to come to a world to die for all mankind.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

Happy Father's Day to my dad, my son, my son-in-law and every dad that reads these words. Being a father is a great responsibility. Do your very best to be a good dad and leave the rest to the greatest Father ever... our Lord!

Have wonderful day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lord, please show me your will for my life...

In the past I have prayed and prayed for the Lord to show me his will. Let me simply say He (the Lord) has already done this through His Word (the bible). Our main mission on this earth is to tell others about Christ. In the book of Matthew it says: "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 16-20

In our life the only thing that really matters is what we accomplish for Christ. I'm not saying that education and your career are not important. But, if you are a Christian, then what are you doing with those things in which the Lord has blessed you. In your circle of friends, your family and your co-workers are you responding to the doors of opportunity the Lord opens for you (to share the good news of the Lord)? Believe me it is not by chance that people become a part of your life. Share the Word with those you are in contact with.

Now do you just start every conversation with "Jesus loves you"? Although this may be the right thing to do for some, not every personal encounter is the open door I was speaking of. If you only spoke of Jesus at work and you did not do what you were hired to do then more than likely you would be fired. Often you can speak to the hearts of man by your actions, not your words. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. He will show you when the timing is right.

Remember you can not save anyone. Only the Lord can do this. It is a great feeling when you help lead someone to the Lord but sometimes you only plant a seed. The seed will be watered by another person and the Holy Spirit will speak to their heart. The decision is then up to the individual whether or not they ask the Lord to forgive them of their sin. You have done what you have been commanded to do. May God bless you as you serve Him.

"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor." 1 Corinthians 3:5-8

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lord, teach us to pray...

"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye (you) pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil..." Luke 11:1-4

This scripture is commonly referred to as the "Lord's Prayer." To read the entire prayer look up Matthew 6:9-13. The Lord is teaching his disciples how to pray. The prayer covers honoring God; our physical needs; debts and debtors; temptation and sin. If you sincerely pray this prayer from your heart, reaching out to the almighty God, our Father will hear and answer you. This is how God wants us to pray each day. This is what God wants you to ask of him.

Do you have to always ask these specific words? Of course not but God does want you to talk to him and tell him what's concerns you. If you feel close to God and don't really need anything from Him then praise him. Thank Him and tell Him you Love him. He desires us to express our love just as we desire this from our family and close friends.

Also, pray for others. If you feel overwhelmed with your problems, give them to God and start praying for other people. This act will relieve your stress and God will bless your unselfishness.

We need to pray more. The Lord has taught us how... now we need to pray. Pray or simply talk to God as if he is right beside you because... He is!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I need a vacation...

In a little over 1 week I'll be heading back to my one time home; Sarasota, Florida. This has been a rough year and it's just mid-May. I'm really looking forward to getting away. I will get to see some old friends and enjoy this beautiful city with it's sunshine, beaches and the best fire department I've seen (I worked there; can you tell? Anyway it's true!).

So, I'll return to blogging when I return to Kentucky.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to the millions of readers of this blog! (OK maybe that is a slight exaggeration) I do miss my mother who died when I was 5 years old. Growing up without a mom is tough; I am a different person because of it. I struggle with depression, migraines and an obsessive compulsive personality. Now I can not say that I would not have these health issues if my mother had lived, but I'm sure that the lack of her influence on my life has had a negative impact.

If your mother is still alive, please take some time to tell her "I love you!" If your mother is still alive you are blessed. So to all the mothers out there that love their children and follow the leading of the Lord I say; "have a wonderful Mother's Day--- You deserve it!!"

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels... Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. He husband also praises her: Many women are capable, but you surpass them all! Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. ~Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A friend in need... PLEASE PRAY NOW

I can not go into detail here but I will say I have a friend who is in urgent need of prayer. Please take a moment and pray now. Again this is an urgent request. Thank you for praying...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 8:28-31

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

John 10:10

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu...

Swine flu is spreading and the worst is yet to come! Is this a doomsday post? No... Let's talk a moment about this virus. "This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.

There is no vaccine available right now to protect against this new H1N1 virus. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

Other important actions that you can take are—

  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures." (CDC)
If you want more information about the H1N1 virus go to:

I am concerned about this virus but I believe panic is not an option! For some this virus is causing tremendous anxiety. Lets put this into perspective; there are 36,000 flu deaths every year in the USA. If you compare the H1N1 virus deaths to the flu that occurs every year we should be less concerned about H1N1. Don't let this new virus be a "Storm in your life"!
Take care of yourself, wash your hands and cover your nose when you sneeze. STAY HOME if you are sick.

Now let's change gears... I believe people should show more concern about other things in their life such as... are you right with the Lord, are you a good husband or wife, are you a good parent?
Take each day as it happens. Don't worry about things out of your control. Trust the Lord in all things... including the swine flu!

Monday, April 27, 2009

God's Love, Mercy and Grace...

Grace is defined as: "freely given, unmerited favor and love of God". God shows His mercy by forgiving us of our sins but it is by His grace that this is accomplished. God who is perfect paid the ultimate sacrifice (Christ's death) making a way (the only way) for us to have eternal life with Him. He did this freely, with His unmerited (we do not deserve it) favor showing His love for us. His love for us is unconditional. We can do nothing that can make us deserving of His love, mercy and grace. He loves us in spite of the mess we have made of our lives. Let's look at love, mercy and grace a little further.

1. Love: God loved/loves us so much He was willing to die for us. He proved His love through His painful, slow torture and eventual death taking our place on the cross. We crucify Christ over and over by our rebellion and rejection of this great love.

2. Mercy: God shows his mercy by being willing to forgive us (when we ask) regardless of what we have done. Not only does He forgive us, He also forgets the transgression (sin) and throws it into the sea to never be remembered again. If we ask God to forgive us in the morning and then ask Him (again) to forgive us in the evening... for the same sin... He says: forgive what sin? God took care of it (the sin) the first time we asked.

3. Grace: this is something we do not deserve and can not earn. It's freely given when we ask for it. God's grace may protect us from the outcome (or result) of our sin or wrongdoing. Also, God can heal the guilt feelings we have because of our sin and then speak to the heart of those we've sinned against giving them the strength to forgive us (when we ask). If your sin remains hidden from the world, it is because of God's grace. Sin can and often does destroy lives. God's grace prevents this from happening. Grace is a gift from God to us but we must ask for it. If we do ask He will give it freely.
NOTE: This is just one example of God's grace. Also, it is important to understand that not all sin goes unnoticed by the world around us. If you sin against society you will have to answer for your sin. But, even if you are convicted of a crime, God's grace will still be there. The most important thing about grace is in it's relationship to eternity; total forgiveness of your sin by God almighty! If God forgives and then forgets the sin, nothing else really matters!

Take a moment and thank the Lord for His wonderful love, mercy and grace.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4,5

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Friday, April 17, 2009

Losing weight, gaining frustration...

I have been trying to lose some weight for a few months now. After changing my eating habits I lost 23 lbs. Great right? No... I plateaued at 23 lbs and then quickly gained 10 lb back (grrrrrr). Now I've lost 5 of those 10 lbs. and the remaining 5 has been a struggle to lose again. My problem is, I hate to exercise! So I've tried to pick up my activity around the house to help burn some of those hated calories. I eat cereal 2 meals a day and a regular meal either lunch or dinner. Starving myself helps me to lose weight but it's no fun because I LOVE food.

Oh well, you can see I'm frustrated.
Below are the 10 rules of weight loss from Military.com (I am going to try this). If you have any ideas for me, I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below... Thanks!

The 10 Rules of Weight Loss

by Runner's World

Nancy Clark

Nutritionist Nancy Clark shares 10 tips all runners should know if they want to drop some pounds.

1. To lose 10 pounds of body fat a year, you need to eat 100 calories less per day. Cutting too many calories from your daily intake will sap your energy level and increase your hunger, making you more susceptible to splurging on high-calorie foods.

2. Don't skip breakfast. Eat within two hours of waking.

3. In fact, eat more breakfast than you think you should. Trade in some of your dinner calories for more calories at breakfast.

4. Don't allow yourself to get hungry. Eat at least every four hours, and split a meal in half to make sure you properly fuel up pre- and postrun. For example, eat part of your breakfast before your morning run (a banana) and the rest of your breakfast afterward (a bagel with peanut butter).

5. Eat at least three kinds of food each meal from these four categories: breads, cereals, and grains; fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy and soy; and lean meats, fish, and nuts. Breads, cereals, and grains should be the foundation of each meal, with protein as an accompaniment.

6. Shoot for a gradual loss of body fat. You're more likely to put the weight back on (and more) if you drop weight too quickly.

7. Liquid calories add up fast and can lead to weight gain. Minimize the amount of sodas, juices, store-bought smoothies, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol you consume.

8. Eat closer to the earth, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize the amount of processed foods you eat; they tend to offer less fiber and are less satiating.

9. If you can't resist fast food, ask for nutritional information before you make your choices (or check in advance via restaurant Web sites). Avoid any menu items with the words "fried," "crispy," and "special sauce," which are guaranteed to be high calorie.

10. Remember that the calories in the energy bars, sports drinks, and gels you consume during a run add up, even though you're running. Consume them only as needed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Don't blame Eve...

If Eve had not eaten the forbidden fruit we would live in perfect harmony and in a perfect place... right? I don't think so! If eve had not given into temptation I believe that eventually Adam or one of her children or grandchildren would have. Why do we think that Eve failed so bad when we fail (sin) everyday? Why are we so quick to judge others when we ourselves are just as guilty? Our "forbidden fruit" may taste different or it may be a different color but you know what? It's still forbidden!

But what about Adam? If he had stayed single and not acted so lonely, maybe God would have NOT created that greedy fruit loving gal named Eve. Well, I think Mr. Adam would have sinned all by himself. It was just a matter of time. Satan would have tempted him another way. Besides he gave into Eve's request to eat the fruit way too easy.
Don't blame Eve, Fred or Steve; obey God and be accountable for your own mistakes, failures and sins.

Now... if you see someone else make a mistake, avoid falling into the hole they have dug. Pray for them and use this example of their failure as an opportunity to change negative areas in your own life. Always be honest with yourself and admit you are a sinner. Christ will forgive you and will help you fight any temptation.

The Bible says:
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Friday, April 3, 2009


What if you could do anything you wanted to do? I have often thought about his. It's not just the money that keeps me from doing certain things, it is often the fear... the fear of failing or the fear of a negative outcome. Fear prevents many good and bad things from happening. We may choose not to do something because we are afraid and then later find out that our hesitation has saved our life. Fear of reprisal can sometimes keep us from making bad decisions. So fear is not always a bad thing as it is often a compass that governs or directs our actions.

Now, what if God has told you to do something? You must trust him and then move forward. He will replace the fear with his peace.

Friday, March 27, 2009


As I get older I find myself getting frustrated much more easily. I do not like this new trait of mine and wonder if soon I will be chasing children out of my yard and calling everyone under the age of 30 a whippersnapper. I know part of my frustration is caused by my 15 year struggle with migraines. I have a hard time relaxing when I'm in pain so much.

With this post I am reaching out for help. Please pray for me that God will heal me and also please share ways you have learned to take things in stride. I deal with a lot of stressful situations and have been doing so for the almost 30 years of my public safety career. In doing my job I have learned to cope with difficult situations. Those situations are not a problem for me, it's the day to day pressures that are a part of living in an imperfect world that tend to get me irritated.

Thank you...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What did you do with my Mother?

We were at church and my Mother started feeling bad. I was 5 years old and I remember this day as if it were yesterday. My dad took my mom to the hospital. My brother (7 years old), my sister (9 years old) and I went with my aunt. Later we arrived the hospital and were greeted by our pastor. He said she is gone. I thought about what he said. We drove away and saw my dad crying on the hospital steps. My next recollection is in the funeral home. My dad and I went into the viewing room. There was a casket. We approached it and inside was a female with blonde hair (my mom had dark, almost black hair). I asked why did they dye her hair? Later... where did they take my mom? She was gone...

Life is short. My Mother was there one moment and then gone the next. She was 27 years old. I use to think I would die before I turned 27. I thought it would happen, but it didn't. Even though God is not finished with me yet, there is no guarantee for tomorrow.
We should live our lives as if today is our last. If we knew that we would die tomorrow, what would we do differently today? I bet we would at the very least make sure we are right with the Lord and we would spend the last hours with our family. Money would not be important to us, nor would be our "stuff".

I think we need to re-evaluate what is important to us. God and our family should be number 1.
As a wise person once said... "there are many tomorrows but only one today". But, what if there was no tomorrow... did you waste today?

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm sorry I failed you...

It was a typical day at the fire station. The claxton sounded and I boarded the fire engine and off we went, lights flashing and sirens blasting. On arrival we found a two story apartment building with smoke bellowing from it. My mission was, go to the second floor and complete a search for people. With a charged (filled with water) hose line my fire company started up the stairs. I was either in front or second as we approached the second floor. A baby crib was at the top of the stairs. Then it happened, something that firefighters never want to happen, the hose went limp. We lost our supply of water. The smoke was thick but I could see the crib on the stair landing, I grabbed it and told my men to go back down the stairs (later realized the crib was empty). You never want to go into a burning structure without your lifeline (a charged hose). As my head cleared the level of the second floor and I was half-way down the stairs the roof collapsed and blocked the second floor landing. When we got back outside, the fire engine pump operator was noticeably upset and started apologizing to me for losing water. I said, hey don't apologize, if you had not lost water causing our fire hose to go limp we would have not backed out and would have more than likely been killed when the roof collapsed.

He felt like he had failed us but God used him to save us.

Remember God is in control. We will never know how many times he has saved us from harmsway. Trust him, he has not and will not ever fail you!