“Home is where your shirts are” (this blog dedicated to Bruce Pearl)

God used Bruce Pearl in my life today.

Tonight I put on my orangest UT hoodie, hopped behind the wheel of my tiny truck (it has a big heart though), and headed downtown to do some volunteering. I was wearing a Vols sweatshirt. I am a UT student. I was volunteering. I was a really big Vol tonight.

Last time I volunteered I handed out shirts, which was cool. This time however, when Laine (my friend and fellow Vol)  and I went to man our post at the t-shirt stand, it seemed as if there were already too many men manning stuff, so we began to stand awkwardly around waiting for someone to need a size 40 pants… because that was the only station open for us.

Earlier I had caught wind that Bruce Pearl was down there as well volunteering. Which is significant for many reasons, the main one being that we can always say we were a part of Bruce Pearls last acts as a Volunteer………..

So it did not take long for me to suggest to Laine that we leave the over sized pants and try to find Bruce. We began to wonder around. We did not find Bruce (apparently he had already left (maybe forever… aw…)), but we did find a man named Sam. Sam was standing behind some Bibles. Looking important behind all those Bibles we asked Sam what we could do to help. Sam sent us out with a pen and paper and told us to write down prayer requests and then bring them back to be typed up and sent out in a mass email. Okay we said, then set out.

We met. We greeted. We talked. It was great. My soul was rejuvenated.

We met Leroy. Leroy had the warmest smile this side of the Mason Dixon Line. A smile that would make your mom want to bake him a thousand casseroles. Leroy liked fishing and had been to the Jacksonville pier (that I speak of in the post previous to this one). What are the odds? IT is also to note, that while in Jacksonville doing some hot tubbin’ one night we met a friendly dude, who I named Leroy, because we never exchanged names. Crazy, I know.

We also met Darryl, who in very descriptive language painted a very vivid picture in our minds of Satan waiting around every corner with an Uzi looking to kill us. He talked a lot about Uzis, and once referenced a shotgun. Uzis should be brought up more in the pulpit. However intense and scary the  illustration was, he made some good points.

Darryl also had a daughter who lived with his girlfriend at the Salvation Army. She shook are hands upon meeting her. She is one and half. It was sweet. I love her. Her name is Dora.

Without Bruce Pearl I would probably still be standing around awkwardly waiting for men who wear big pants to approach me. So thank you Bruce. Not just for tonight, but for all of your time here as a Vol. You are a good dude. Ain’t nobody denying that. I wish you the best of luck out there.


Ross Hoss


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You put the “Spring” in Break.

It is Monday. I am in class. I am reflecting.

My parents got a new puppy. We named her Annie Oakley after THE Annie Oakley who was the star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild Wild West Show. Annie (the puppy) is a real sharp shooter herself, completely living up to her name. She already knows how to sit on command.

Last Sunday Midnight Mike and I loaded down Ricky Ranger (the name of my truck) with fishing poles, sunflower seeds, sunscreen, and smiles and headed for Jacksonville, FL, which is where we would spend our Spring Break. Nobody told me Jacksonville was 10 hours away. I would say from hours 7 to 8 when we realized that we still had 2 to 3 hours left is when our smiles that we brought with us began to fly out the window.

However our smiles would return once we arrived, unpacked, and put in Wedding Crashers.

The next day we would set out to “catch the big one.” This phrase, “catch the big one,” may take on a completely different meaning for some of you spring breakers out there, but for us, it meant that we wanted to catch a big fish, particularly a hammerhead shark.

Now I will relay to you some of the most exciting fishing stories you have ever heard:

On Monday, Midnight Mike and I piled our over-sized bodies into my undersized truck and headed for the pier. The pier would surely make all our dreams come true (our dreams consisting of mostly us catching a 300 lbs Hammerhead Shark). We get about 3 minutes from the pier and Midnight Mike casually mentions he left all of his fishing stuff at the apartment. I instantly forgive him, realizing he was probably overwhelmed by all the sunlight, and turn the truck around. We then wait for Gregory to get home from class. We read books by the pool. No Hammerhead Sharks in sight, yet.

Gregory wants to fish on the beach. The water is cold. We reluctantly agree. My original plan was to get my ankles a little damp but no more. I take one step into that vast blue wonder and instantly feel impelled to take another step. Before I know it, I am standing out in the ocean, waste deep, yelling as loud as I can, feeling the freezing water splash against my belly, and loving every second of it. Something about the ocean makes me rowdy. I destroy waves like I am destroying the Taliban.

Mike caught a sea trout. It wasn’t hardly a hammerhead shark but boy were we excited. We snapped pictures, packed up, and headed home. The hammerheads live to see another day.

The Jacksonville pier can make all of your dreams come true. I used to say this about Flag World and that still stands, but the pier can make completely different dreams come true. As we marched up to the pier, gear in tow, one thing becomes abundantly clear, fishing in Jacksonville is primarily an African American Sport. Which is of course, cool with us, and only further encourages us to get out there and make some friends. Probably the most notable friend we made on the pier was a man who walked up to Midnight Mike and made the bold statement that his fishing pole was so large “he could bring in Shamu with that thing.” He then told us how he liked to do his fishing trips. Basically he told us his trips involved these key elements.

1. Fish- They did not bring food, only ate what they caught.

2. Beer- Of course

3. Poker- Gotta do something when you ain’t fishing.

4. Girls- Mainly for the nightly strip teases. He told us this part after nervously checking to make sure his wife was not within earshot.

We loved this man. He was from Buffalo, NY.

There was also a large man wearing a green tank claiming that he was a leprechaun. I still believe he was. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

I asked Mike what he would do if he felt a tug on his line, reeled it up, and there was a leprechaun on his hook.

Around hour two of Day two I say my pole begin to twitch, a sure sign there was a hammerhead shark on the line. I run over, begin reeling, and the massive creature takes off under the pier almost taking me with it. Miraculously my line did not break and so I let the mysterious creature hang out for a while so I could rest. Two hours later I came back and was ready for battle number two. Sometime during this battle a little Asian lady took notice and began hollering in broken English tips on how I should reel in this massive creature. This drew a crowd, a crowd of more than two.

Stingrays are the nuisance of Jacksonville pier. They are heavy, and they are annoying. You can’t eat them, and they can kill you (I think). Catching a stingray is like that really annoying dude showing up at your house uninvited and instantly taking over your pleasant conversation with all your other friends.

I had a crowd. I had a stingray. Which to us was awesome, to everyone else it was a huge disappointment. My line broke before I could get it all the way up to the pier. I would say it was about the size of a pillow, except a lot heavier.

Midnight Mike out caught the rest of us big time. He left us embarrassed and broken in his fish catching wake.

We still did not have the hammerhead shark we were all so longing for.

On the last night, Midnight Mike and I headed down to the pier for some night fishing. We were excited and nervous at what might be lurking around the dark murky ocean waters. I hooked up some stinky shrimp and tossed my line into the water, let the line out until I felt it settle nicely on the ocean bottom. I then waited. Mike did the exact same thing in the exact same order.

The bell attached to the top of my pole (to signify a catch) began to ring. Could this be it?! The one we had been waiting for. The bell was ringing loudly. My heart was thumping loudly. In my head hammerhead sharks danced around to the tune of Ludacris’ “Roll Out.” I run over, grab the pole, and begin reeling. I definitely had something. I began sweating, yelling, praying. The line spinning around my reel rapidly, the mysterious creature on the end inching its way to my grasp. Reeling, reeling, hoping, praying, yelling, reeling! At last the fish was brought to the surface. Midnight Mike and I looked at the creature laying at my feet, then looked at each other. Mouths partly open, unable to really speak. We just made noises. Oooohs and aaaahs. What I had, laying at my feet, was the one and the only hammerhead shark. The one we had been longing for basically all our lives on that vacation. We had finally done it! Here is the picture of me proudly holding this wonderful creature.

-Ross Hoss

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Born Free

Interesting thought for the day…. Or until I blog again.

The idea that I heard today was this: Love and fear are complete opposites. I have heard a lot of ideas, but I have never quite heard this one. Before I could ask the speaker to elaborate, he had moved on to some other mumbo jumbo about the Nixon administration. But! Lucky for you we wont talk about Nixon.

Love and fear are opposites. Let’s analyze!

On one side you have love. Love is an emotion. It is something we feel. Similarly, fear is an emotion, something we feel. Love is what causes people to want to help others. It is what causes kiddos from youth groups to head out to scary Mexico to feed the orphans (or that hot girl who along with love,  is also very persuasive).  It is what causes us to be in relationships with each other. It is love man! Love. It is what God has for us unconditionally, as you might have heard (if not, then email me (rossmoffitt37@gmail.com), and we can talk about it). Love is the driving force behind a whole bunch of our actions. I eat burritos for lunch instead of pasta, because I love burritos. You get the idea.

Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear is why we do not go to scary Mexico on that mission trip, or why we deny the hot girl who invited us a relationship. Fear is the driving force behind why we don’t do a lot of things. So wait, love is the driving force that causes us to do stuff, and fear is the driving force that prevents us from doing stuff. I believe we have found opposites.

Love does not overcome hate. Love overcomes the fear to love in those who hate. Why do people hate? Because they are scared to love? Because they are scared to take that leap?

If we view love as being the opposite of fear, I think life becomes a lot more manageable. It creates a pathway in which we can bridge hate and love. It creates a starting point in which we can deal with the hate we may have, or the hate that someone else has.

Ole John Boy over there is getting a lot of credit because he is doing awesome things. You however, are getting no credit for your awesome acts. Jealousy and even hate begins to grow inside of you for this person receiving this admiration crap. Are you scared because you think you may never get recognized for your acts? Like this person may go on overshadowing your awesomeness forever? Fear nothing. You will get your credit. Email me and I will give you credit if nothing else. Or you can look to God. Or you can look to your pastor or parents.

“But the one who examines me is the Lord… But wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness, and disclose the motives of mens hearts: and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” -Paul, formerly known as Saul.

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Ween Hallow.

As Sunday approaches I am overwhelmed with awesome Halloween memories. Trunk or treating at my Church, scaring the little neighborhood kids, eating candy til I puked, and so on and so forth. Ok but for real, Halloween is a joke. Sunday marks the 14th anniversary of when I hung up my Spiderman mask and called it quits on Halloween.

Sunday is as everyone knows a Church night. In the year 1996 I had not missed a single Sunday night Church service since my birth in 1989. I was in that pew and nobody could stop me. I sang my hymns and listened to my sermons with incredible dedication. But wait, this year (1996) Halloween was on a Sunday night. I would be in prime singing of the hymns mode about the same time that the world would be in prime trick or treating mode. What was I to do? I of course reasoned it out in my over sized head for my body and came to the conclusion that I would not miss Church to celebrate the Devil’s holiday. Plus, I was already packing a few extra lbs around the waist, so there was another reason to sit this one out. Earlier I said Spiderman mask but really I had planned on being an Army man.

When I took off my helmet on that spooky Halloween night in the year 1996, I never looked back. I stopped trick or treating. I stopped trying to scare my friends by hiding in their lockers at school. I stopped trying to eat my weight in nerds. I gave up. I could not win. I could not go to Church and trick or treat in my neighborhood at the same time.

Looking back here are some alternatives I should have explored….

1. Attend the early Sunday night service at Madison.

2. Dress up as Jesus and go trick or treating, bringing Church to the neighborhood since I couldn’t bring the neighborhood to the Church.

3. Put Bibles in my home candy bowl and hand those out instead of Snickers. So Gideon of me, but I would have been fulfilled Spiritually I think.

4. Run around the neighborhood slaying all of the evil eight year olds dressed like mummies and zombies with a sword. The Sword of the Holy Spirit that is.

5.  Really have worshiped hard at the Morning service accounting for two services in one.

6. Called up all my friends and told them to tell me it was okay to just go trick or treating.

7. Go out earlier in the day, beating all the other trick or treaters. Which would have gotten me some awesome candy I think.

8. Eat so many Nerds that night when I got home from Church that I would pass out and not even remember what happened the night before.

9. Stuff my pockets with Nerds and take them to Church with me. Okay, this one would not have solved anything, but it would’ve been cool. I think I’ll do that this Sunday as a matter of fact.

10. Worked out a deal with God that I would give a tenth of all the candy I got that night to Him if He would just let me skip Church this one time.

What are your favorite Halloween memories?

-Ross the Army Man Hoss.

Here is a picture of my niece and her friends at school in their costumes. Madelyn loves Nerds too. She is a monkey.


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Dum Dum Dilly Dum Dum

I once had a Dum Dum Sucker. Remember how much it enhanced the sucker experience if you pulled the end off with your teeth? Well , as I was waiting on my mom to pick up some barbecue one day, I was trying to enhance my sucker experience just like any fifth grader who wanted an awesome experience would do. I positioned the sucker in the corner of my mouth and then began to pull in hopes that the end would pop of and I cold throw that stick in the floorboard somewhere. BAM! The end came off, but not all of the end. The small remnants left from the dum dum sucker tore across my face at speeds upwards to a million mph. What was left was a cut starting at my lip going almost all the way to my eyeball. I still have the scar. This experience with a dum dum sucker is why I am tough.

Fashion trends.

Ever wondered where fashion trends originated from? I will tell you.

1. The one paint leg pull up fad. Remember when rappers and really anybody who was cool, would roll up one of their pant legs? Surely you remember. Well do you know the origin of this fad? It started on a college campus. A famous rapper, you know him as LL Cool J, was set to play a show at The University of Tn Chattanooga. When he arrived on campus he noticed a lot of bikers. He also noticed that in order so that their jeans wold not get caught up in the bike chain, the bikers would roll up one pant leg. LL thought this was pretty cool. And seeing as how the ladies only love cool James, he had to roll his pant leg up too. The fad grew and grew and swept the entire cool people population.

2. Bell-Bottoms- Notre Dame was set to play Rival Michigan. The Notre Dame students were pre-gaming with their alcohols before the game. One student was filling his flask when he turned to another student and said, “I’d like to take this inside the stadium with me, so I can drink during the game!” That student went on to create a special kind of pants that flared out at the bottom, so that he could hide a flask in the top of his tube sock without making an obvious indention in his pant leg. He then would later disco dance with excitement when his plan was executed successfully.

There will be more to come. This is all true by the way. Do not doubt it for a second.

My friend Cara from land Nashville is starting a blog. She claims it will be all things dramatic and fabulous. Hmmmm

Link: erinandcara.blogspot.com

Sorry WordPress for linking a blogspot blog. Forgive and forget.

I saw a double rainbow today. What did you do cool today?


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I heard this thought the other day, and I found it pretty interesting. Things may get serious here for a minute so brace yourself.

We are born with two innate desires within us. The first is to take care of ourselves and to put ourselves first. The second being to exist within a community, to have relationships, to love, and to put others ahead of ourselves. After all “the first will be last and the last will be first.”

Clearly these two desires directly contradict one another. How can we put ourselves first but yet put others first?

There is no denying the fact that both of these desires exist within us. In my conquest to be more like Jesus I could ignore the first desire. I could refuse the fact that it is not within me to want to better myself, and to put myself first. I will do this so that I am “only living for others.” This is an impossible feat. I believe that if one is to ignore the first desire then they are being unfair to themselves and to others. What happens is that the first desire will sneak out when one least expects it, and due to the lack of acknowledgment of this first desire one will have no control over it. It will happen and one will come off as “fake” or hypocritical.

It is clear what happens when the second desire is ignored so moving on….

What needs to happen is a conscience effort needs to be made to acknowledge both desires. We need to take a pro-active approach to finding a way in which these two desires can co-exist. There is no denying one desire or the other, because they both exist. Once one realizes that this, than not only will he find ways in which to take care of their own self, but this will aid one in being better at putting others first. Unless we take care of ourselves we can’t take care of others. And likewise, unless we take care of others we can’t take care of ourselves.

Contradicting ideas that must reach a compromise. You have to find the compromise.


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Ha Ha.

I like to take special mental notes about how my generation varies in accordance with all other generations. I will rarely take the time to put the mental notes in real note form, but I am making an exception for this one, because I think its neat.

My generation is a funny generation. We love to be funny, and we love others who are funny. We would rather lose a limb than miss the latest episode of Tosh.0. We would also lose a limb in order to put the video of us losing the limb on youtube in hopes that it generates a few laughs and a few thousand views. Speaking of youtube, are websites such as youtube why, dare I say it, we are the funniest generation in the history of the world? Here is my line of thinking…

Billy has found himself in a situation. He is at IHop eating his favorite steak omelet with a side of Nutella Crepes. The people in the booth behind him are laughing and carrying on like Will Farrel himself is boothed up with them sharing in the conversation and in the omelet eating. Now Billy can either tune them out and concentrate on the conversation he is having with his girlfriend about how many calories her crepes contain, or Billy can listen to these crazy people’s conversation and maybe become a better person depending on what he hears.

Is Billy’s motivation for listening to these people’s convo one of self betterment? Or is it rather a prime opportunity for some solid Tweeting? I am choosing the ladder. Ever since social media sites and home video sites swept the universe, we are constantly looking for the next opportunity to post a funny tweet, funny video, or funny Facebook status? What does this mean you ask? It means we are hilarious. It means we are opening our minds and our funny bones to situations that before may have sparked absolutely no interest whatsoever.

Here is another situation. Jeffrey is at his apartment wondering what to do with his spare time. He is wondering if he should maybe catch up on some homework, watch more tv, do some sit-ups, or blog. Only one of these options truly has the potential to allow Jeffrey to feel loved and appreciated. If Jeffrey writes a blog, a few dozen people will read it, and later his Mom will awkwardly comment on his Facebook wall about how cute and funny she had found his thoughts. Although it may just be his mom who appreciates the blog, he knows that doing a little homework or watching tv would not provoke any sort of response from anyone.

We want responses! We thrive off entertaining others via the World Wide Web. What does this mean for us? It means are hearts are open and our life loads lightened. It means that we are happier than perhaps the people who have gone on before us and will only continue to get happier. It is a beautiful thing really. So, next time you are Tweeting, Facebooking, or Youtubing, take pride in the fact that you are playing your role in creating the funniest generation of all time. Here’s to you! All of you.

Ross “Jeffrey” Hoss



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