Good evening folks I hope everyone is doing well. We have had some wet weather as of late in the Barren River Lake area. It truly makes my heart go out to the folks in Texas. Also the folks in Florida as another hurricane bares down on our great country. I was in class this week and my professor has ask us to write a speech about ourselves. It made me think. Many of you do not know anything about me other than I love to fish and help people catch more fish.
I guess the best place is to start at the begining. I am from Monticello KY. Monticello is a beautiful place. It is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains. With cold streams with trout to beautful lakes teeming with small mouth and other great fish. It is closer to Lake Cumberland but is within a rocks throw of Dale Hollow. Not to mention numerous farm ponds.
My Father taught Diesel mechanics at KY Tech. My Mother ran a beauty shop out 0of our home. Together the our family had a large farm producing soy beans, corn, beef, pork, tobacco, and Tennessee Walking Horses. As a child i spent a lot of time in the woods and on the water, outdoors was always a huge part of family life. We fished all the time my Uncle Ralph Thornton took us at least once a week when we were not in school. My memories of early childhood are full of the great times we had on and near the water. I had many other folks who took me fishing my parents grandparents and cousins we were simply a fishing family.
Sometime around third grade, my parents lost their farm, and consequently their marriage failed. I along with my Mother moved to Los Angeles California. That my friends was an absolute culture shock. I was not a very happy camper at this time, however it is when my Faith began to really develop. I put my Faith in God that he had a plan and that all this upheaval was for a reason. Church was always a part of our family and all were Christians. This strong base in Christ pulled me through this difficult time.
We moved back to KY after a brief stint in CA. Once we moved back things for young Josh didn’t get much easier. I eventually moved in with my Great Uncle Ralph Thornton who we affectionately called “Monk”. Monk, was a very devout Christian and would only miss church for a fishing trip. He said “Jesus loves fishermen” and he reckoned God would understand. We worked the garden, mowed the yard he had a few acres with some cows and chickens to help with food. I eventually saved a bought myself a horse, I was around 12 at this time.
Monk fed my love of the outdoors. Having a guardian who grew up during the depression in rural KY it was simply his way of life. He hunted and fished to provide food and recreation for the family. He also helped grow my strength as a Christian. He never forced us to go to church but made it available. He trusted prayer and example to lead us to the light. His trust was founded and he was the most Christ-like person I have ever known. The foundation of who I am has a lot to do with the prayer, example, and work he put in.
Fast forward a few years. I am a young man trying to find my path in life. Thinking as most young men do, that I had everything figured out. I moved to Glasgow with my mother and enrolled at WKU. I always wanted to fish and hunt. However everyone said you can’t make a living doing that. I believed them, unfortunately. However I do believe that my path had to go the way it did to get me ready for the next step. As I said God had a plan. So I flunked out of WKU my freshman year met a girl and decided it was time to get married.
We wed and went to work. The daily struggles of life working minimum wage and maximum hours to scrape by. It was a grind. Hard work prayer and perseverance pay off. We eventually got better jobs and a house. I always kept going back to I am supposed to fish. I did fish for fun quite a bit. I never had the opportunity to tournament fish. I thought about it but was really scared to try. I know now it just wasn’t the right time. God was building something in me.
Fast forward a few more years. I now have a son who is such a fine young man, one of my greatest blessings. I also now have a pretty good boat. Through church God put a man named Ross Anglin in my life. God knew what he was doing. Ross moved here from TX to become the youth minister at Crossland Community Church in Glasgow KY. Ross loved to fish and we became fast friends and pretty soon fished my first tournament. We got second or third that night, and I was addicted to tournament fishing. My focus became bass, I ate breathed and lived it. I was obsessed. God reviewed to me yes you can do this you can make money in the outdoor industry.
I answered Gods call. I prayed and fished and He gave me the tools I needed to be successful. I am very Blessed to have great sponsors it is absolutely a God thing. As I have said He had a plan. I started seeing this plan coming together. I prayed for sponsors to help offset the costs of fishing. I was very impatient, and worked and prayed very hard. My question to God was when? Well when, when got here it scared me to death. My thoughts were brought on by Satan saying you can’t do it. So I prayed. I said God now what do I do? I have to produce? What if I fail? God said, do you not trust me? You ask for this I gave it to you now hold up your end. You are ready.
As my professional life grew, my personal life was not in good shape. My wife at the time and I split up and divorced. This turned out to be one of the best things for personal growth that has happened to me. God and I are closer, and I am a better person. The mirror one is forced to look into in a time of change like this is a blessing. While never an easy undertaking it is what had to happen for the next steps God had for me. I never saw it coming. I was never dating seriously again, but if I did I had pre requisites. Well October of last year God says ol’ boy she does exist, and here she is. She wanted nothing to do with me, and I don’t blame her but over next few months of phone conversations, and me sure she would not date me we went out. The draw was undeniable. She was Christian, driven, educated, funny, had a good career, and beautiful. We are getting Married in October and I am ecstatic. My life is better than it has ever been and it is overwhelming to look at all the things that have unfolded to get me here. God makes all things work together for our good my friends.
I have been blessed by so many things in my life. An amazing son, good health, a good career, I am marring a woman I did not think was in existence. I have been on mountain tops and in valleys low. I have learned to trust God and Listen to God in both and in between. One of my best blessings however is you all. The folks who read what I write, and Gods will to use me for the growth of His Kingdom. I also get to help you all catch fish, and I love that. So thank you for reading, thank you for your prayers and support. I welcome any questions you may have as this is merely the tip of the iceberg. If I can help you in anyway please let me know.
Good Luck and God Bless