The Proposal

         
I was going to write something long and detailed. I’m sure I will at some point. There were 70 candles after all…that takes a while to light…And because it’s me-there is definitely a story in there worth telling. 

But – There are no words for this.

I’m on the moon…

She’s the love of my life 

My best friend

My biggest fan

And she said yes.

Something new

I’m going to try something NEW
Starting tomorrow
I’m going to start taking
Post it notes
Or maybe something else ??
Anyway
I’m going to make
the smallest
Lines, Thoughts
That I can fashion
I might even quote something to get started
But I REALLY want to try it
I’ve always wanted to do a typewriter series
Of sorts
But seeing that I – do not – HAVE – said typewriter
I thought this might work better in the long run
To form and fashion
a simple yet meaningful word
It’s worth a shot

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Sleep

I keep dreaming about you
It’s keeping me awake at night
It’s the closest thing to a heart attack I know
The waking up

I wish I could talk to you about it
Make it stop

I see you die over and over again

And then I’m there
That night
The freezing rain
Everyone is frozen
Except me

But you’re gone

I wish I had said more
I wish I had said less
I wish you could have prepared us for this

The months after
The dreams at night
The missing you

But that’s a phone call you can’t answer
I wake up and you’re not there
I can’t run like a kid to your arms
Or ask for advice
No matter how bad it is
I miss you
And I don’t know what to do

I wish I knew what to do
I wish I could sleep

Living with Crohn’s

I have Crohn’s disease … I don’t know that I have ever mentioned it before . But I do . I know this, because when I was 18, I fell over at work with stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital. 7 days and a 22 inch resection of my small intestine,later. I was sent home . I very nearly died.

Earlier this year, I woke up with similar pain.
I knew exactly what to do , go to the hospital and prepare to die . I was totally prepared too… my gut was killing me , swollen , like a rock. The nurse gave me morphine … Which did nothing. 15 minutes later, I was ready to kill myself and then them . When asked how I was feeling , between 1 to 10. I said “pain ? It’s about a solid 13. ” well,that’s odd , I thought we just gave you morphine ”
“Oh funny thing. I was on a morphine drip once so , you know , it’s not working . ”
They came back with something they called ” just the thing ” and it lit up the back of my brain like the 4th of July burning my nose …. I was chill , man . Chill . But totally prepared to die .

My doctor was obviously more of an optimist than myself .. He chose to keep me for a few days and keep giving me what I now called ” the good stuff ” for pain , along with some other stuff .
I had an obstruction and inflammation … It was serious .. My stomach had shut completely down . All systems , NO .

Had I had surgery, I could have died, or live a life forever altered – in ways I don’t like to think about .
But Dr optimist and his plan worked ..over time, All systems No. Changed to, All systems GO . And I was ready to live again . I was told,however, if I didn’t change my habits and see a dr regularly my life expectancy would be 29 to 30 .

Crohn’s is hard to explain …
It’s inflammation , all through your body . Affecting all your major organs – even the ones you don’t think about . Ongoing inflammation , untreated, turns to cancer in about 10 years .
So you have a few flare ups every few years , a couple surgeries . Boom cancer then you die . At least that’s how I heard it. At the time .

I’m 24 … This shouldn’t be a problem but it is . I don’t know why .

However , I changed my diet , I eat living food . Salads , fish , I even drink wine … An occasional vodka to keep my anxiety down . And I take my meds .
But the biggest thing is, sleep.

your body rebuilds itself through sleep so much so , that after so many years … 7 or 11 ? all your cells have been replaced or should be . Sleep , but only deep sleep . without sleep – you die. Another equally important thing is – working out . Work- your – core . Even if you feel like shit . Work your core . Drink water , lots of water . Oceans Of it.All seven seas . you can never have too much water .

Working out fights depression , helps your heart , and your core , it fights inflammation and keeps you feeling better – period . But I still take my meds. Now an interesting side note -sex does the same things … It does … Fights stress , heart disease , depression .. Cancer . I just found that interesting .

Back to the subject . My dad and everybody else in my bloodline was diabetic . So I was always praying ” god don’t let me get that … Or anything else related to it ”
Never saw this coming .
But it is what it is
So there you go .
I have Crohn’s disease …
I’m one in a number
Take care of your body
If you don’t , who will ? .
You only get one .

The food we eat matters
The decisions we make
Touches everyone close to us
Not just us
Food builds cells , which builds us .
It will either make you or break you .

Life is such an adventure
It’s made for people like us
The romantics
The journalist
The foodies
The storytellers

It would be a shame to waste it
Inside a hospital

I’ve been to the edge , I know what it is to be unhealthy .
I’d really like to know the other side
My goal is to see just how healthy a man can be
How long can I live ?
There’s too many things for me to do
So much of the world I haven’t seen
I’m just getting started .

How Autism changed my life

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This is Reagan .

Autism is not a disease, it is a spectrum disorder. Meaning, Reagan  is somewhere on a spectrum scale. His brain is wired completely different than any other child but it’s not broken. He sees things at face value. Black and white. If I say it’s raining cats and dogs, he expects it to be raining cats and dogs. His memory is phenomenal, if he meets you once, he remembers your name and where he met you for life.  If I put a problem in front of him, he doesn’t see a problem, he finds out how it works and then  see’s a solution. He may struggle with empathizing with others. Not because he doesn’t care,  he just communicates, see’s things differently. With him everyone is a friend. There’s no strangers. Just potential friends.

You can’t pretend to listen to him. He knows if he has your attention or not- but then, most kids are like that.

in essence..  knowing someone with Autism is… learning to see the world from a different  perspective.

Most importantly, how to  communicate differently so you are understood. My brother, is a genius who cares about people and can’t fathom a person hurting another  intentionally .  His creativity is off the charts, like many Autistic children .

Reagan is sensitive to loud sounds and music …so is my sister Angela…but they both love music and love to dance

So I dance with them . They like my stories but hate to read …so I  read to them  …adding my own twist to the stories…maybe they won’t notice when they start reading themselves .

I remember when my sister was born ….she stopped breathing …and it caused brain damage  resulting with epilepsy . and an inability to speak . There is no words to describe what it is to see a child suffer with  Seizures  …..none ….I remember  a few years ago when her medicine stopped working .She wouldn’t stop seizing . We took  her to the children’s hospital in Huntsville or maybe Birmingham? ..it’s all just signs and rain in my mind now.  Dad didn’t come to the hospital that night, I remember him calling mom though and asking what he was supposed to do about supper. I knew  in that moment the state of things at home. Thinking about Angela,  that phone call and watching the weather outside – it was Tornadic ( very common to Alabama )  I felt something touch my leg …. Angela’s foot. She couldn’t calm down and she couldn’t get medication until she calmed down. I laid down  beside her and held her until she fell asleep ….. what did the future hold for our family?? Dad should have been there but  somehow, with it all, I was just glad I was .

I’ve seen people my age …not the age I feel  …but my age, complain and say things because kids today  have so many things they didn’t. They wish all the kids in the world had what they had.

well , I just don’t understand that at all . If you had so little , why would you not provide for a child .

we had very little growing up. I started buying things for the family when  I was 16 .

These are the children in my life .

My father passed away .

Whatever he was , whatever  he did  is done .

Like that night in the hospital , I’m just glad I’m here .

And they make me better for it .

I can’t tell this story like my mom …or like a Dr. Only a brother.

But I’m glad it’s mine .

The Merlot

So last night I went to Walmart to purchase some wine . I really don’t LIKE wine, more of the look of wine and what goes into it. A good suit a good wine . But I wanted to buy a bottle of wine and like it . So I spend an hour looking. Trying not to buy a strong wine I got a Merlot – some cheese and crackers because if you’re gonna do something do it right and a 3lb bag of pretzels because …..it’s a 3lb bag of pretzels . Its like the size of a pillow , crazy . I did not know merlot is in fact a strong wine . Like sit you down punch you in the face repeatedly strong. And I did not think to wait until Monday when I’m off to go 10 15 maybe 29 miles from my home where they have local awesomely authentic wine …at an actual Vineyard . Now THAT would have been doing it right . 


02/20/2013

02/20/2013 (JOURNAL )

 

I just finished The Time Traveler’s Wife,it’s a good book, you should read it .But now i can’t sleep…I hate this …for someone who can sleep anywhere …I sure  make a habit of not sleeping at night .

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about chapters …and how we change . I close my eyes and I see my life like this….moments„,memories….glances;

Growing up working with dad, preaching with dad

Hyper active wasting 99.9% of all my words 

Terrified

Always the nightmares and lack of sleep

Dad, his eyes, his face …

his voice echoing 

pinning me to the wall

Suddenly I’m here again back home…on that night….I’m standing in the freezing rain…with my mom and sister..i can see my breath. Numb. Dad died in his sleep .

I think about all that has changed and all that is

I was young and very opinionated , i thought i would be a self made man

I was terrified of living 

i spent my life traveling with dad on the road trying to be perfect

to learn business and how to be the best i could be

my image of god was a blurred image of dad , his voice and shadow looming over my life constantly seeking his approval , his favor …his attention .

Now he is gone and all that has ended….at some point in time I left home and started living , Good men invested in my life and taught me about finances and business  I’m getting to know God . I’m getting to know people . Not deceive them . But I’m sick ..I’m scared ..I don’t want someone taking care of me..so I will probably always be alone I saw my grand-dad use my mom and my dad use my mom …I don’t want to even think  of someone taking care of me  …the thought of sometime in my uncertain future..my needing someone more than they need me? Jeez.. My stomach hurts just thinking about it . and yet  I can’t help thinking…when I was young I was scared of living so much so I often wanted to die..now  that I’m older I’m scared of dying …scared of existing …spinning time..but never touching eternity ..never finding my purpose and what it’s all about  . 

Seasons change

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You breathe life  into a world so weary

Speak to the heart and lift the eyes

You bring light into a world of shadows

All nations bound by such affliction

Here is  hope for our condition crucified

What love is this?

What grace  is this my eyes cannot perceive

Broken and bruised

Bearing the weight of all darkness and shame

All heaven and earth are  changed

The scars  remain…Jesus

You cleanse our hearts

Jesus, you lift our souls

We are free from these chains

Is this serenity or something else?

Sometimes I wonder what leadership is

Sometimes I wonder what holiness is

Sometimes I wonder….

Is it enough to pull at all the loose ends?

is getting myself together all that salvation demands?

a managed  life in the end?

Does God forgive, no matter what, because that’s just what he does?

– wait a minute ? isn’t that legalism –  salvation by works? as in ” God loves you because you have pulled yourself together and are trying to live a good and disciplined life”

when we see things that make us uncomfortable but see no need to sacrifice our safety  to stand up to them…..I wonder just what our narcotic is.

Or is is it just Formalism?

Sometimes I wonder about ethics , character , courage ,  leadership, compassion, conviction and passion ….

I just wonder…what  America was like and what we were  intended to BE .

America was intended to BE a shining city on a hill . Unlike anything before .

What a calling and opportunity for us to step up for the hour ….but this isn’t the case..so I wonder .

“The complexity of our times hinders the rise of leadership.

Perhaps we have become too analytical to take decisive action . 
We are being pulled in so many different directions that it’s almost impossible to unite behind a leader .” 

– John Maxwell

cheap grace ” – a non – costly love from a non-holy God who just loves and accepts us as we are . That will never change anyone’s life . 

-Timothy J. Keller

is there another way to go?

One where we fight for right and speak out against evil

one where salvation comes in like spring fresh and new , and men are changed

one where we live in the light  with courage and  a boldness which is not our own…

“We are saved by faith alone – but not a faith which is alone” 

– Luther

” Silence in the face of evil is itself  evil ; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak . Not to act is to act. ” 

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.”

Psalm 27

The psalmist says ” In spite of this I shall be confident ”

and I believe

I believe that we all don’t see things the way a “majority elite ” would have us to

I believe that even when voices tell us to let policies and procedure go unquestioned

That detail and information is none of our concern

I believe that when these voices tell us to be afraid of these things

We will question …without fear

Because these voices don’t speak for the rest of us

I believe

We will pray with conviction

We will hear the call and meet the hour – with a standard

as long as there is a sunrise over America …I believe as  Jonathan in the Bible when  he took the philistine camp  …

“perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

– 1 Samuel 14:6

I still believe in us , you and I .

in the words of  President Reagan in his first inaugural address ;

I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom. The crisis we are facing today requires  our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you .

The Fervent Prayer

It’s the fervent prayer

not just  words

not just  thoughts

good intentions

but a very soul surrendering

leaving the throne of self

cast down before God

It’s the prayer breathed not just in the midnight hour but every hour

It’s the ever pressing thought

a greater work a greater kingdom

It’s the fervent prayer

that makes all the difference

Bargaining is done

There is no one at the end of rope

the rope is gone

burned at both ends

There is only  hope

for a life to glorify God

an eternal life with God

It’s the fervent prayer

that makes all the difference

 

James 5:16 The  fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.