Love Blessed Me Today

It is not often that I am speechless, but today was one of those days.

My family has been through a very difficult death in the family. Those who know my family understand the situation, for others just know it has been a very difficult death that we have been dealing with.

I teach the young adult Sunday School class at my church. I love investing into these young adults who have energy but have not experienced enough life yet to be full of wisdom. I thrive off their energy and enthusiasm – they put up with my corny jokes.

Our lesson this past week came from 1 Peter 4:8-10 where Peter is telling Christians to love each other deeply. I said for us we can take that in one of two ways – love the same people more deeply, or love more people deeply. We agreed that Peter meant that to be an AND statement – love more deeply the people you are to love and love more people deeply.

I likened this to our favorite dessert. My favorite dessert is blackberry cobbler. I asked would you like more helpings of your favorite dessert, or have more access to your favorite dessert. Of course the answer was YES! We want more and more often! The same way it is with love – we need to love more and more often.

So today I get a call from one of the group members and he asks if I am going to be home. I say sure and he says he is stopping by with a little something for me. I don’t think much of it because I was busy at work and other things I had going on.

Then around 4:30 this guy calls and says he is in my driveway, so I come downstairs to meet him. We exchange a quick hug and he gives me a silver container and says here – my family made this for you.

I was almost driven to tears when I opened it and saw it was a blackberry cobbler – MY FAVORITE!

I was just blown away that this guy remembered what I said (I really didn’t mean for anyone to bring me a cobbler), and actually followed through with it!

The action of showing me love just overwhelmed me to be honest. I was blown away by the generosity to love on me when those who know me know our family has been hurting. This just brought such a joy to my heart because I know it was an action of Godly love being displayed to me! AND it was blackberry which wins every time!!!

blackberry cobbler

I write today to say thank you to that young man and his family for loving on me and my family in such a unique way that really brough joy to my heart. This was such a great demonstration of loving others more deeply that has challenged me to do the same, and now I challenge you.

Love others more deeply as Peter told us “Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others”.

Blackberry Wisdom Bible Study Guide

Blackberry Wisdom Bible Study Guide

I am so excited to share that my new book – Blackberry Wisdom Bible Study Guide is now available on and through Ingram books!

If you are a Christian then I believe this book can help you develop a deeper relationship with Jesus!

Blackberry Wisdom Bible Study Guide

A daily quiet time with Jesus is essential for growing our relationship with Jesus. This book is a guide to help you develop that quality time with the Lord that turns into a life-giving habit. This Bible study guide is for the Christian who wants to make changes in their life, so they look more like Jesus.

I would be honored if you would purchase your copy today!

You can search on Amazon for Blackberry Wisdom Bible Study Guide or use the link BWBSG.

Member of a local church

In this episode of the Humble Disciple podcast we cover how to express our love to God by being a member of a local church. I believe it is important to be a part of a healthy Bible following church, and we discuss what that looks like.

The episode covers the following:

The church is the Bride of Christ

Ephesians 5:22-30

If you love Jesus you will love His church. 

We are a member to Contribute

We should not look to get something from church, but to contribute to the church. True- blessings will follow when you give to God!

Time | Talents | Money | Resources (missions)

We are a member to be in community

Care for other believers, and for yourself when needed.

Share burdens, pray for each other

At the end we discuss the possibility of being hurt by church. I know people like that, and want them to hear this message: people hurt other people – most of the time not on purpose. We are all humans who have the ability to hurt another.

Student of Jesus

I am still working on the logistics on how to post the podcast on my social media outlets. It should be automated soon, but until then I wanted to share that episode 2 of the Humble Disciple podcast has been released.

If you could subscribe to the podcast through the podcast player that you use I would greatly appreciate it!

In episode 2 we talk about what it means to be a Student of Jesus.

I have been a student at Corryton, Gibbs, UT, Pellissippi and Tusculum. I have been a student learning computers, electronics and business. Now I am a student of Jesus – learning not just about Him, but trying to be more like Him.

We focused on three topics when it comes to being a student of Jesus:

Student for life

Embracing a Learning Mindset

The Role of Disciplines in Discipleship

Taiwan Toastmasters Podcast

In August of 2022 I attended the Toastmasters International Convention in Nashville, TN. While there I met a fascinating lady from Taiwan. Her English name is Ines Wen.

Ines has been very involved with Toastmasters activities in Taiwan for some time! She is part of a team that produces a podcast for Toastmasters called Lets Toast.

She interviewed me for their podcast while we were at the convention. Below is that podcast interview.

District 67 podcast – Let’s Toast

Ines and John

Blackberry Wisdom on Friends

I started a Live Series sharing content from my book Blackberry Wisdom. Each series will include 3 sessions. The first was on friends.

I wanted to share a few thoughts on friends. One aspect I always find interesting and a good conversation starter is on the five types of friends I believe we need in our life.






I believe we become the sum of our 5 closest friends, so having a well rounded group of friends makes your life more robust.

Watch each of the sessions here:

Session 1 – Friends: 5 types of friends

Session 2 – Being the friend you want to have

Session 3 – choosing and becoming the best spouse

good BBQ plate

Good BBQ with Blackberry Wisdom

You know may or may not know that BBQ in the South is just a way of life. Everybody usually knows how to cook good BBQ, or they know the place to find it. Sometimes both!

I have been barbecuing with my dad since 2008. Over the years I have learned a lot from Uncle Butch on how to prepare really good BBQ. On the competition BBQ circuit I was fortunate enough to pick up tips and tricks from some of the finest cooks in the USA.

So when we smoke a brisket there is a lot of history that goes into a cook. We surely don’t claim to be the best, but just really good in my book – most of the time! Our goal is to create good food and fun fellowship. THAT is a good BBQ in my book!

Good food + Fun fellowship = good BBQ – would you agree??

We had an opportunity to cook for a small business here in town, and I thought I would share some of the details that go into a good smoked brisket.

See the video on YouTube:

Let the picture above serve as your tease to watch – and make your mouth water! Let us know what you think…..

Blackberry Wisdom eBook Promotion

For those who haven’t had a chance to get my book Blackberry Wisdom – here is an incentive for you. For the next 2 weeks the kindle version will be $0.99!

I am trying to share the message of the book and request ratings on Amazon. If you already have a copy of my book could I ask you to leave a rating at Amazon?

To rate:

  1. Go to the product detail page Blackberry Wisdom. If you’ve placed an order for the item, you can also go to Your Orders.
  2. Click Write a customer review in the Customer Reviews section.
  3. Select a Star Rating. …
  4. (Optional) Add text, photos, or videos and click Submit.

To order my book you can search for Blackberry Wisdom on Amazon or follow this LINK!

Let me also say THANK YOU to those who have bought my book and provided a rating on Amazon! I am truly thankful and appreciate you!


This past Sunday I had the honor of preaching for the first time since being ordained. I knew if I was only given one chance to preach, then I knew exactly what I would preach about – DISCIPLESHIP.

I thought I would share a link to our Sunday service at Mouth of Richland Baptist if you wanted to watch.

Discipleship is VERY important to me, and as a follower of Jesus it should be to us all.

The core of the message was explaining the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus:

A student of Jesus who:
increasingly loves God,
increasing loves others,
helps others do the same.