Friday, November 11, 2011

Starting Over

It's been over two years since my last post. A lot has happened in that time: my dad, grandma and my wife's grandma died. We've been dealing with her mom's health also. It has been a difficult year to say the least. With all the problems and added responsibilities we have stopped going to church. I know this strains our walk with God, our relationships, and our attitudes in everyday life. Sometimes it's hard getting out of bed. I'm not going into my whole life because people are involved. Let's just say living this life is not easy.
When life is difficult or hard to understand, I step back and reflect on: what is happening, why it is happening, how much is my fault, and what do I have to do or change to make this better? Most of the time I have to adjust my attitude or do what I don't want to do.(If not both) Well recently I was going in the wrong direction. I was looking at my life and wondering if I made any real difference at all, ever. If I died today would anybody come to my funeral? Would anybody have anything good to say about me? Would God say I wasted my life away and He never even knew me? As you see, I was spiraling down. I was willing to detach from every friend, stop praying (on purpose), and just exist. I have felt useless before. During that time I contemplated suicide. I guess that was the next step here. I mean knowing what I know and not being useful hurts too much. I was created to make a difference. I am living to make life better in some way for others.
You know what happened? A friend wrote me. It had been two weeks at least. I was feeling sorry for myself and she was asking for prayer and 'an encouraging word' to help in her difficult time. It was Sunday and I saw it Monday. I didn't respond until today. In those 5 days I had a couple blocks of time I could have used to write back. I chose not to until after whatever I was doing at the time. Every time I started something came up and I had to wait until later. I did think about what I was going to write. I wanted to say I'm the wrong person to ask for advice or prayer right now. My life is in shambles and I am no where near where I should be in the Lord. It would give her nothing. It would leave her with one less option. She specifically said, "I need an encouraging word." knowing I'm an encourager. She was reminding me WHO I AM. I make my difference by encouraging. So not really knowing this I started writing her. I started 3 times because it kept deleting what I wrote. Each time I started by saying how bad of a friend I was and how bad my life is now. None of that survived. I just wrote what I heard from her and how to change it. In the process of doing this I slipped back into character and started referencing the Bible and telling her how to respond. In the middle of all this I realized how hypocritical it was and I wanted to stop and delete. However I continued almost speaking to myself because our lives are very similar. I reread it to make sure I could say it to her with the same impact it was giving me. Many times I said how I was speaking to me when I wrote it. She emailed back saying it was exactly what she needed and quoted back something specifically I wrote about me needing as her own need, like it was for her instead. We have the same Spirit in us:
I John 4:4 My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. (The Message)
This is how I can go from committing suicide to encourager in one minute. I believe if God didn't interrupt that email all those times I would be contemplating suicide or on my way there right now.
I have intended to start over again and again. Sometimes good intentions last a whole week. (just read the last post) I have a plan. It's a good plan but I need to follow through. So right now "Starting Over" means following my own advice. Since most of what I told my friend was for me :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009


Well the year is half over and I've had some time to reflect and get the dumb smacked out of me. It's been since February since my last post so...surprise! My wife recently spoke to me on my lack of contribution in our house and relationship. I grew into a very lazy person with all the time off from work and did just enough to get by. Oh there was a major house cleaning/ rearrangement that happened but after that I was a couch potato. I just did what I wanted to do. It was nice but waaaay overdone! God was hinting I needed to do something about it all along. My intentions stayed intentions and no action was taken.
In the midst of the dumb smacking I had the notion to read my blog and specifically the 'Word' God gave me for this year. I forgot. I had an idea what it was but I was way off. My word was 'excel'. Ouch! Excel? I was so far away from that word it wasn't funny. So far my word is decel instead of excel! I guess that is why we reflect. So God can show us what's broke. The only area I've excelled at this year has been paying our debts off. We are within a couple thousand of doing it and it's been with a limited income due to all the time off from work. It has been a goal for the past 3-4 years to get our debt under control. Our wants and needs seemed to take over and we never gained any ground. This year God opened my eyes that having this debt and being so close to not having a job is unwise.
However, this is about my whole life and not just money. I have let myself go. I let the world do whatever it wanted and joined in when only dragged to do something. My wife has patience and grace but they do run out and her tank is almost dry. So she opened my eyes to how bad it was and I actually listened. I know her love language is acts of service. I have that much going for me. I know how to fix this with God. I just need to be unselfish in everything instead of selfish. Also, spending time with Him needs to become a habit.
Well that's all for now. Don't want to over do my comeback :-) Keep me honest and keep me in prayer. Too many people depend on my gift of encouragement, whether they know it or not. If I just have my words and not His the encouragement doesn't last or isn't as effective. I need the confidence that only He can give.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Senator donates hair

I saw this on the news yesterday and thought more of you should see it too. It's not often a politician does something self-LESS!

Here's what Fox News Detroit wrote on their website the day prior to the event: : "One of Michigan's state Senators is going to great lengths to help kids battling serious illness.

State Senator Hansen Clarke has been growing his hair for almost two years so he can donate it to the group Children with Hair Loss.

The Michigan-based charity provides free hairpieces to kids who've lost their hair because of cancer, burns or other diseases.

Senator Clarke will donate his hair, along with an original painting, to the organization at their charity ball fund-raiser Saturday night in Livonia."

February 7th the hair piece was complete for 7-year-old Addison Copeland of East Liverpool, in eastern Ohio, just across from West Virginia's northwestern panhandle. At 9 months old, Addison was accidentally burned with grease that scarred parts of her head and prevented her hair from growing out. It took a little over 4 months to complete the wig.

Portions of these facts were found at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Billy Graham Quote

Billy Graham once said “If God doesn’t judge America He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” I read this quote today and thought it worthy to share. If nothing else it makes you think!