Love & Learn

As mentioned in the previous post, Jennifer & I have been together for over 20 years. Exactly one month after that first date in 1994, we had our first big argument. We were on our way to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in New Orleans. The Newboys opened the concert with their newly released “SHINE” show and SCC had just released “Heaven in the Real World.” It was a fantastic concert. And though we’d already began working through our disagreement, SCC put the finishing touches on the night with a song he’d just written for his wife, “Love and Learn.”

“Love and Learn” is not the typical mushy romantic song. It’s a song that gets to the nuts and bolts of sticking with your special someone through thick and thin:  learning from the mistakes we make together; trusting in God in every circumstance; and growing old together.

Marriage is hard work. But anything of value is worth working for. We’ve been through a lot together. Our home in Meridian is now the fourth home we’ve shared. We’re blessed with two fabulous children. God called us to the places we work. There’s nothing in this world I’d trade for the wonderful life Jennifer and I share together. Here’s the lyrics from “Love and Learn” that still fit so well in our life together:

Echoes of careless words and slamming doors
Are still ringing in the night.
I’ve taken my side and you’ve taken yours.
We’re both wrong and we’re both right.
Once again misunderstanding has turned us into enemies.
I will forgive you, will you forgive me?
CHORUS
Love and learn, that’s what we will do.
Love and learn through the flood and through the flame.
This world will turn and the seasons will change.
But there’s nothing we can’t get through
As long as we both hold on to the hand of God and each other
And take a lifetime to love and learn.
We start out believing we know love so well.
But through the years we find
True love is a story only time can tell.IMG_1953
And God has made this lifetime yours and mine.
BRIDGE
So until that day when one of us
Has to lay the other in the arms of Jesus
I will be with you and you will be with me…to love and learn.

We’ve had plenty of ups and downs over the years. But through it all, we’ve depended on God to carry us. So, here we are, 20 years after that first argument and approaching 17 years of marriage. We look forward to continuing to love and learn in the future.

Happy Valentine’s Day Jennifer!!!

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The Better Half of My Life

20 years ago today, Jennifer (my wife of 16 years) and I went on our first date. God has blessed me in so many ways, but the greatest blessing has been sharing everything with the love of my life! Here’s just a little story (from my point of view) of how the Good Lord arranged for Jennifer and I to fall in love…

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Providence would have it, that both Jennifer Donohoo (of Eupora) and Danny Davis (of Pascagoula) would end up pursuing the next level of education after High School at William Carey College. Jennifer, as a pianist and musician, knew early on that God had gifted her to be a music teacher. She sought out that journey at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Delta State, etc. But Dr. Milfred Valentine at William Carey was the one who allowed Jennifer to focus on Music Education with a concentration in both voice and piano in order to prepare to become a High School Choir director. The other schools saw Jennifer’s piano skills and pushed that agenda without being open to listening to what she knew she was called to do. Thanks Dr. V!!! Without your openness, Jennifer and I would’ve never met. I, on the other hand, was still trying to balance a call to ministry with continuing to sow a few wild oats. I had applied and been offered to enroll in engineering programs at Mississippi State, Florida State, and LSU. But God has a way of “messing” up our plans. Dr. V (with the help of Harvey McClure) was also very instrumental in recruiting me to William Carey. So, somewhat blind destiny put me in Hattiesburg as well. After being a music minister in High School, I decided to enter Carey as a Church Music Major.

During our freshman year at WCC, we were worlds apart. The only things we had in common was a relationship w/ Jesus and both being music majors. Jennifer was caught up in the BSU crowd. I didn’t fit in there (at the time). I hung with the music and theology majors. I was the guy w/ a natural singing talent that didn’t have to work as hard and sat in the back of the class. Jennifer was the studious hard worker that sat on the front row. We didn’t notice one another very much that freshman year until the last week of school in May. Jennifer was practicing piano one night on the grand piano in the auditorium and having a conversation w/ one of my partners in crime, Kevin Earnest. I have no clue why I was in the Music Building at that time of night, but saw Kevin and went in to say hello. That hello turned into the 3 of us exchanging phone numbers for the summer. I don’t know what I or Jennifer did w/ the phone numbers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if both hit file 13 by the end of the night. Little did we know what would happen the first day of our sophomore year in the Fall of 1994.

tBUnjgciP9dUCKkEbUd0XXLp_oOtxNVp2DedNXU04jUWilliam Carey began school with a special chapel service and convocation to begin each Trimester. Dr. Valentine asked me to lead the music and sing a solo for the service. Newly hired BSU director, Tim Glaze, asked Jennifer to give a testimony of her summer experience working at Camp of the Rising Son in French Camp. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I sang an arrangement of “He Leadeth Me.” Jennifer was wearing a flaming hot red dress!!! The moment our eyes met that day, was life changing. We connected following the service backstage and everything just began to click for us. The next thing I knew, Jennifer was sitting beside me in Music Theory. I was actually showing up for all my classes and doing my work. We were meeting in the Chain Garden and Library to study together. All the offers to go hang out with the guys turned into, “Naw, I’m busy.” It wasn’t just Jennifer and I doing things just the two of us yet either. We were having fun with lots of our friends.

Then a night of study brought a gang of us to IHOP for a big test the next day. If I remember correctly, Jennifer after having ordered some food, realized she didn’t have any money with her. I offered to pay. That kinda led to the next evening when good friend, Ryan Hays, invited a bunch of people in the music building to go to Taco Bell. Only Jennifer and I obliged. Honestly, we were at that stage where we would take any excuse to spend time together, but not ready to do it alone yet. So, that night at Taco Bell, I was the one who didn’t have any money. Jennifer offered to pay for my food and I responded with, “I’ll let you pay, if you let me take out tomorrow night?” She simply said, “OK”…later realizing I had smoothly asked her out on a date.

zGgwGAFgbtmZjzFsyAltI3TM-VhZTOiR7Iu9PSDgva0So, October 20, 1994, Jennifer and I went on our first official date. I picked Jennifer up in my black Nissan Sentra. She was wearing a blouse and a green dress with ducks on it. I was wearing my trusty plaid shirt. That night we had dinner at McAlister’s (doesn’t seem like much now, but it was a very hot spot in Hattiesburg in 1994). I think we both ordered the Club Sandwich and Sweet Tea. After dinner we went to the newly opened Turtle Creek Mall. It was pretty intimidating for Jennifer. We bumped into a lot of people that had known me and my family. But she wasn’t scared or ashamed to be with me. I knew there was something special that night but not ready to express that to anyone.

For the next two weeks, I think we did something together every night, including attending a marriage conference (by mistake, oops), sitting in the cold night air in the park by the zoo, and having a little picnic at newly opened Timberton Golf Course where we had our first kiss. After those two weeks, I remember calling my mom and telling her, “Mom, I think I’ve found her.”

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We dated from October 20, 1994 to Cinco de Mayo of 1997, the day we were engaged. Then we married March 7, 1998. It’s been a wonderful life spending it with Jennifer. More than half of our lives has now been together. I can’t wait to live the next 20 years with her. There’s so many family and friends that I’ve left out of this post. And they’re spread from that first home of ours in Petal to Pascagoula, Eupora, Laurel, Hattiesburg, Fort Worth, TX, to Meridian and beyond. I’m thankful that we’ve always had support from all of you. May God bless you and yours the way He’s blessed me and mine!

I love you, Honey!!!

Surprise, Surprise & 3Ss

Ricky Ray is the new MSU basketball coach

Scott Stricklin has been quiet as a mouse concerning the search for a new basketball head coach. Then all of a sudden today, we find out that Ricky Ray (a name that hasn’t been mentioned at all in the search) has been hired. Only time will tell if Scott made the right decision. I trust our AD and will get behind Ricky Ray. Here’s a link to an article on the hire: Ricky Ray.

Sit back and enjoy a song written by David Gilmour, The Blue.

3Ss

Heavens to murgatroid! I really need to take a deep breath, listen to some good music, and laugh a little. Here’s a couple of videos to help you chill and grin.

My wife and I began dating October 20, 1994. We were engaged on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), 1997. And we got married March 7, 1998. I know this may be hard to believe. But during the entire time of our courting and engagement, we only watched 3 movies together. We actually enjoyed talking so much that movies were a distraction from one another back in those days. The 3 movies we saw were Stargate, The Saint, and Evita. The Saint is our movie. And the video below has scenes and the theme Love Song from The Saint by Graeme Revell.

Recently, I’ve been introduce to the Trailer Park world of Tavin Dillard. He’s a Christian and does a lot of stand up gigs in churches now, and I’m totally addicted to this man. I can’t get enough. Most of us probably have a Tavin in our town. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have to start a weekly post based on Tavin Dillard. Here’s the first from Sweat Tea Films on a great topic…Unlocking the Whitetrash Mind.

3 S’s

“On an Island” is the second song and title track from David Gilmours third solo album, On an Island. It segues from the previous track, Castellorizon, and is very placid in nature. It was released as a preview of the album some weeks prior to the album’s official release. The song is both based on a night Gilmour spent on the Greek island ofKastelorizo, as well as being about remembering and honouring those who have died. It, like the entirety of the album of the same name, was performed live during Gilmour’s 2006 tour and appears on the official tour DVD Remember That Night.

The song features the backing vocals of David Crosby and Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame.

3 S’s: Simmer, Sooth, and Serenity

Igor plays a Bob Marley song, “No Woman, No Cry”:

This became Marley’s first hit when it was released as a single from his album, Live!, which was recorded at the Lyceum in London in 1975. It was a hot July night, and they gave a rousing performance. This tour was a breakthrough for Marley and The Wailers. Their previous tour went horribly, as audiences outside of Jamaica did not appreciate his pure Reggae. He polished and tightened his sound for this tour in order to compete with the slick arena acts that were popular at the time, and got a great response. Glowing reviews led to sold out shows in the US, and by the time the tour hit London, they were a huge success. Marley developed a powerful stage presence on this tour, and added musicians like Family Man Barrett and Al Anderson to sweeten the sound. The audiences on the tour where the live version was recorded were evenly mixed between black and white people. Marley was one of the few artists to have mass appeal that transcended race. The song became a highlight of Marley’s concerts as the crowd always joined in. It is very easy to sing along to. The original line of the song is “No, Woman, Nuh cry.” Nuh is Jamacian for “don’t,” so what is meant by the lyric is No, Woman, Don’t cry… He’s leaving and reassuring her that the slum they live in won’t get her down, that everything will be alright and “don’t shed no tear.”