Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help Us Make One Less Orphan

More details as we get them nailed down, but go ahead and circle Saturday, October 23 on your calendar with a bright yellow highlighter or something and plan to join me at the UGA Wesley Foundation to help my good friends John & Tara Dunn afford to adopt a child from Ethiopia.

And for the first time in about a billion years, I'll be doing a full band set with a heroic group of musos affectionately referred to as "the Justice League" backing me up.

And remember: Admission is free but adoption isn't, so bring some cash to help the world have one less orphan.

[We need a headcount for food, so RSVP to me and let me know who's coming.]


To recap:

What: J.Harwell & the Justice League benefitting John & Tara Dunn's adoption efforts

When: Saturday, October 23, 2010. 6 pm.

Where: UGA Wesley Foundation, 1196 S. Lumpkin St., Athens, GA 30605

Who: You and all your friends. RSVP to me so we can get a head count for food.


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"God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us."

"If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter."

(excerpted from My Utmost For His Highest)

Some days I am not a very good grape.


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This morning I came across the blog of someone I know, but only really in passing. He spoke of the days back when he was a "fundamentalist" Christian and how now the only really important thing is to love and empathize with others.

Reading it made me sad. Mostly because "Christian" and "love and empathy" are far too often on opposite ends of the spectrum.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wyatt Mitchell is a giant among men. And he's fighting cancer.

Support for Wyatt & Abby

20 Sep

Dear Friends,

We pray these words find you well. This is not Wyatt or Abby writing to you today. On behalf of some of Wyatt’s friends from college, we have asked for the opportunity to contact you for your help in a vital role during this difficult battle against synovial-cell sarcoma.

First, thank you for your prayers, phone calls, text messages, letters of support, gifts and many other ways you have loved the Mitchells. They have been blown away by the support and love that friends, family and perfect strangers have shown them. Christ has been made tangible through you.

Besides the above, we have all been asking, “What else can we do to best support our dear friends?” Please continue to pray above all. Additionally, there is a new opportunity that has come up to support Abby and Wyatt. Through an organization called Helping Hands, Abby and Wyatt will be able to accept financial contributions tax free.  This organization is an IRS approved 501-C(3) non-profit that acts as a receiver and distributer of charitable gifts to people in need. It was founded by Terry Parker, who started the National Christian Foundation, in order to facilitate Christian charity through the gifting of tax-exempt donations to those in need.

Through Helping Hands we have created the Wyatt Mitchell Medical Project. This allows you to give a gift, which will go directly toward Wyatt’s continued medical treatment costs, is tax-deductible to you and does not create a tax liability for Wyatt and Abby. Additionally, Abby and Wyatt can use this towards other treatment costs (i.e. travel and medical services not covered by insurance). What a blessing and amazing way to serve our friends!

Please visit Helping Hands website (Helping Hands) if you would like more information about the organization.  If you would like and felt lead to support Wyatt and Abby in this way, you can give in the following ways:

1.       On-line:

  • Visit
  • Select “Donate to a Helping Hands Approved Project”
  • Select “Medical”
  • Scroll to “Mitchell, Wyatt”

2.       By check:

  • Make all checks payable to Helping Hands Ministries, Inc.
  • In the Memo section of your check, please write The Wyatt Mitchell Medical Project.
  • Please mail all checks to:
    Helping Hands Ministries, Inc.
    135 Main Street
    PO Box 337
    Tallulah Falls, GA 30573

Your donation information will be confidential. Helping Hands will handle all financial matters and receipt you directly. For other gifts; stock, etc, please contact Dawn Llanas (

We anticipate that God might even bring more than we can ask or imagine for Wyatt’s treatment. If God in His mercy does that, then Helping Hands can hold these funds for future additional medical needs for him.

As we continue to pray for Wyatt’s healing, let us continue to remember that God has the power to do more than we can ask or imagine, so ask and act big. Thanks be to the Lord!

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Thank you, and may God heal Wyatt,

Kyle Belcher
Al Daniel
John and Mia Mattioli

You may not know Wyatt; that's cool. But a lot of us do, and I couldn't help but pass along this to any of you who may want to help out. - jason

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One item off my bucket list.


This past weekend, my friend Craig gave me a priceless gift: he flew me out to see one of the most influential bands in my life, Toad the Wet Sprocket. Craig really deserves his own post (which I hope to get to soon) for being an incredible friend to me for the last decade or so, but I'll do something out of the ordinary here and keep things brief.

I took this photo with my fancy phone; I was probably six feet from the stage. Now, if you were born in 1989, you probably have no idea who Toad the Wet Sprocket is, and that's kind of a shame. Completely understandable, but a shame, really. If you're into measuring success by unit sales, they had two platinum albums (Fear and Dulcinea) and a #1 hit on modern rock radio ("Fall Down" from Dulcinea). So there's that. But as I sat on the plane out (alternating between listening to Toad albums and the South Carolina announcer's feed from the UGA - South Carolina game), I was reminded why this band mattered so much to me, and it had nothing to do with how many albums they sold or how cool they were. Toad became a part of my autobiography because they actually wrote about things I cared about. Not surfacey stuff about girls or getting your heart broken (though relationships and heartache are in those songs) but about the deeper longings and bigger questions that we all have. The kinds of things that need more than 140 characters or a "Like" button.

Those records hold up, even twenty years later. When my friend David and I started a band in college, I basically made every attempt I could to write like Glen Phillips. I failed, of course, but those Toad the Wet Sprocket albums set a very high bar for me in terms of songwriting that I'm still trying to hit.

I don't know why Toad didn't last longer or have greater success. Maybe it was because they weren't from Seattle or they didn't sound like Korn. Who can say? But I can tell you that back when I was 17 and drove a blue Chevy Cavalier and made mix tapes to jam in my cassette player, you could always find some Toad the Wet Sprocket on both sides of the tape.

Seeing them do one of their annual reunion shows could never be like seeing them on top of the world in 1994, but it doesn't matter to me as long as those songs stay alive.

Craig, thanks so much, man.




These are my favorite Toad songs - I would seriously encourage you to take a listen for yourself sometime or buy them here:

1. Windmills (from Dulcinea)

2. Whatever I Fear (Coil)

3. Dam Would Break (from Coil)

4. Crowing (Dulcinea)

5. Nightingale Song (In Light Syrup)

6. Rings (Coil)

7. Something's Always Wrong (Dulcinea)

8. Are We Afraid (In Light Syrup)

9. All I Want (Fear)

10. Fall Down (Dulcinea)

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It's got to go somewhere, right?

I've been trying really hard in this election season to remember the things the internet has taught us: 1. Don't read the comments...