A Love Song

Yesterday I saw/heard a commercial, not a new one by any means, but one that caught me off guard and threw me into heartache and tears, after which, it was very hard for me to recover from for the day. 

The commercial was for the final movie for Breaking Dawn.   I know, you’re thinking, what the heck?  Well, this is the part where I tell you a little story. 

I was not crying because I was once again faced with the fact that Breaking Dawn is now over, I was crying because of the memories of the day when I went to see it.  My step-daughter and I had made a special date to go see the movie back on December 15th, we’ve made it a point to see all the movies together, kind of our thing, and maybe I’m the only one that thinks so between the two of us.  We sat and watched almost two hours of a movie that revolved around immortality, and of course, immortality won out in the end.  I had gotten phone calls during the movie but, it’s a movie, can’t use my cell, so I didn’t answer them.  At the end of the movie, with tears in our eyes, my step daughter and I looked at each other with a sigh and I said, “well, it’s the end of an era.”  I didn’t know how true that statement was when I said that, and I didn’t know that the tears I had been crying for a movie were only a precursor to a real ending.

 That particular day was also my brothers’ birthday, whom I saw had called me during the movie.  I felt bad for him having to call me for a “happy birthday,” but I called him back and he was very distant and short.  Hmm.  I called my mother-in-law back and she said they were at my house and to come home before going to dinner.  I also knew that my step-daughters birthday was coming up soon and we thought maybe something was going on with that.  We weathered the pouring down rain on the way home, talking about the movie, wondering what exciting plans the family had brewing for when we arrived. 

I walked in the door and the entire side of my wife’s family was here, as my wife was in Texas with my mom taking care of her following a surgery she had.  As I walked in the door, my cousin handed the phone to me and it was my wife, who was tasked with delivering me the news that my mom had died. 

Chaos and death was surrounding my family while I was in a movie and I didn’t even know it.  I was the last to know. 

So that’s the story of the commercial and why it hurt me so much to see it, even just to hear the music that went along with it.  The music, more specifically, is what got me, with the words saying, “I’ve loved you for a thousand years, and I’ll love you for a thousand more.”  Now, yes, this is a love song.  But all I could hear in this song at that moment was how much my mom loved me and how much I loved her.  And as the day progressed, and the tears remained steady, I almost had to detach myself from my heart just to not cry.  In fact, as I write this, feel it all over again, I cry. 

Yet, the more I detached my heart, the more my heart and mind reminded me that I a person with feeling and a person that is loved, no matter from life or death.  My mom may not be alive anymore, but she loves me from Heaven, and I love her from here into Heaven.  And I am a person that is loved here on Earth from my wife, family, and friends every day and in any way they can express it, and hopefully I accomplish the same. 

And in the grand scheme of it all, God loves me, and I love Him.  And the more I was reminded of the song yesterday, as it wouldn’t stop running through my head, it eventually started leaning more toward how much God has put forth his love for me, not only to give me life, but to have given me to my mom, and to all those around me, and given me the heart to love not only them, but Him, all with such depth and joy, and for them to love me back just as much.

This one is for God, and for my mom.

Stand

(I haven’t written here in a long time, but today is the day, and this goes out to my mom, I miss you)

It seems one of our first major accomplishments in life is to be able to stand.  Parents devote countless hours in helping us be able to do so, as well as placing them on standby with their cameras on the ready to capture the moment when we finally let go of their hands, or whatever we’re holding onto, and stand.  I wish I could tell you about the first time I stood on my own, but I can’t, I don’t remember the details when my mom told me and I can’t ask her. 

Yes, after this stage, there are countless first accomplishments we have left, but “standing,” it seems, is the most important act in our lives that we will have ever had to learn.  Yes, walking is important too, but we can’t do that, unless we first learn to stand. 

First, we weren’t only created to stand upright, as in a vertical position, but we were also created to stand as upright, moral beings.  From the moment we’re brought into this world, we’re taught morals and values, through parents, family, teachers, and some of society what it takes to be upright people in the eyes of God and others. 

As we grow up, we become aware of adversity in the world, and what people are capable of doing and saying to others, and to us, that can hurt us.  We are taught, in these cases, how to stand up for ourselves.  We are also tested with learning how to stand up for other people as well.

We learn throughout our life and our experiences what is important to us, and we learn that at times these things get threatened, such as our comforts, our jobs, our decisions, our families, our lives, our country, our God.  In times like this, we learn how to stand our ground, and we also learn how to stand beside each other to achieve our goals.

There are also many times we come across stumbling blocks in our journey, we fail, and we fall.  Sometimes we take so many hits it seems impossible to get back up again.  It is in these times, when it seems when we are most alone, that we must learn how to stand alone. 

At the moment, I feel like I’m back at the beginning stages again.  I think I’ve missed some stages along the way, and while I learned to walk, I haven’t learned to “stand” all the way along the way.  So while I have all this time to sit and ponder, the result of a broken ankle, divine intervention, if you ask me, I believe I should learn to stand. 

I’ve been hobbling around on a walker like a baby, and being rolled around in a stroller the same way for the past few weeks.  In a few weeks, I’m going to have to learn to stand on my own two feet, and while that’s spoken literally, the fact of the matter is, since I lost my mom in December, I’ve been having to stand on my own two feet. 

I’ve never had to before and I haven’t been doing a very good job.  Now I have no choice but to learn.  At the end of this physical and emotional journey of healing and mourning, I believe I will stand taller.  If nothing else, be able to stand again. 

Ephesians 6:13

“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, after you have done everything, to stand.”

All The Way To Heaven

While it’s only been a little over a year since I started this blog, it seems like just as long since I’ve contributed to it.  My journey, full of spirit and joy, took one too many of a tumble and, for reasons that I both care not to, and can’t even explain, I couldn’t even think about standing up and moving forward, especially when it seemed my journey had led me backward.

Somehow, however, between there and here, I’ve managed to muster up enough energy to start to stand up, and at the very least, start dusting myself off, glancing at this mountainous journey ahead of me still, and still willing to entertain it.  Something still awaits me and if I know nothing else about myself at this point, I at least know that I’m curious and hopeful enough to check into it.  I may not have the best tools for the job, and I may not use the right tool for the job, but my heart is in the right place, and hopefully it will all be enough for God to love me.

So much happened on the way down the last time that I don’t even want to bother talking about all  of it.  I just know that there were probably plenty of opportunities for me to grab onto something as I slid, but I failed to notice.  Of course I failed to notice, I never noticed on the way up either.  On beautiful days I kept my eyes to the sky and just let my feet land where they may, not noticing my left or my right, and on dreary or stormy days I kept my eyes toward the ground, unable to see anything but where I was able to plant my feet.  I cheated myself out of half of the journey by not looking around and taking in the sights or moments.  All I was doing was moving.

I’m trying to do better now.  Some days are sunny, some are stormy, but there are still things to the left and the right that I can check out.  I can glance away from the heavens for a moment, I can try to turn off the other noises, and I can look at you, or us, or all of us.  I can tilt my head up from the ground and find the same.

Along most trails, there are marked areas for things to do, or best scenery, or something like that.  I’m trying to not keep passing them by just to get through the trail.  I don’t want to miss the point of everything, the beauty of it all, the reason behind it all, and the memories of it all.

I’ll get to where I’m going eventually, I may get lost, I may get to where I hope I wouldn’t be, either way, I will have gone knowing I made the best journey of it that I could, and that I blazed the trail with the best intentions.

~Dear Lord, what I ask of you today is for wisdom, to know when I’m taking my life and family for granted, and to know how to be the best me I can be, for the sake of myself, my family, and for all your people.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~

“Hell no I’m not in trouble…I’m right!”

I’m back!  It’s been a while, I know…

It’s been a tough last month or so and, honestly, while not having lost much Faith, I did lose all motivation in writing my own blog, which I claimed to be so committed to.  I’ll spare you the tiny details, perhaps referencing a few things, and I’ll do my best to not be to long winded.  After all, you’re not here to read my auto-biography, you’re reading this to see what’s going on with my relationship with The Lord.  But if you read no further, then you should at least press play on this video, which was specifically chosen over the original video to the song “Perfect” by Pink.  Not only because of the original videos content and my discomfort with it with regards to this blog, but because…well…it just fits.

So, in the last thirty days I’ve had a few obstacles come up and try to knock me on my rear end.  From my daughter testing my sense of trust and enthusiasm in her life, to being told I’m not allowed to be baptized, to a vacation that I really, unfortunately, would have rather not have taken.  Sorry for how that must feel to the folks involved on the other end of that vacation, but it’s not like it would have been unexpected.

Due to all of the above, and because of the trust and/or closeness that already existed within the relationships of those who were part of those obstacles, my faith in humanity, in the learned man, and in family was severely shaken.  And while my anger overtook me and my desire for vengeance was forefront on my mind for a while, eventually, the light found it’s way back into the darkness.

After the waves finally stopped pounding me and I was able to crawl to a place of safety, cough up the blood and sand, breathe long enough to think of something more than the circumstances surrounding me…I was able to focus more on the power within me, The Holy Spirit, which I grasped onto even tighter and begged to guide me.

I was led to my Pastor…to discuss all the shenanigans that took place surrounding the “baptism scandal,” as I will call it.  The long and short of that one, and I feel I owe you the details on this one, is that the Associate Pastor called me in to discuss my baptism that I had signed up for on Palm Sunday.  I had spoken to this specific pastor a few times before about getting baptized and was given his card and told to get in touch with him so we could talk about it.  No, I never got around to calling, but I lost his card the first time, got extremely busy after the second time I retrieved his card, and then the Palm Sunday baptism was going to be a mass baptism.  Anyway, I go in for the meeting, another member of the church is involved in the meeting, I’m asked for “my story,” and then am told that, while I’m still loved, I can’t be baptized because I’m a lesbian.  Did any of you know that?  If not, I’m sorry that you have been misled, because I did not intend that at all.  I’m just writing about my life and my Faith here, as I see it through my eyes and heart, and this is how it comes out, first person.

So, naturally, my feelings are hurt and my Faith is tumbling down the mountain, after having been told that the only way I’d be able to be baptized, essentially be worthy enough, is to leave my wife, my family, go straight and lie about who I am, or it may take my wife dying before I will see the light.  This was soooooo not what I was expecting from this meeting, nor from my church.  I understand the sin, but the pastor’s approach and representation of the sin was undeniably wrong and lacking compassion.  By the end of the meeting, I still proudly proclaimed my Faith that my God is a loving, compassionate, and a just God, who knows our minds and our hearts and who will judge us accordingly.

Skip over a daughter who pulls out a typical teenager move that tests the sense of trust and me not talking to her for a few days, skip over my mother-in-law being gone back East, tending to her dying sister, then having to attend not one, but two funerals during that visit, meanwhile we’re worried about the stress on her.  Skip past our family vacation where the good things that came out of it are the fact that the opposition from the other parts of the family brought our core unit closer together, time with my nieces and nephews, some time with my mom, seeing my bro from the D, my dad’s pride in me for having stood up so well for myself against the rest of my family, and finding out why I stand up so strong and so proud…when on the first day of our vacation, my wife, daughter, parents and I were all sitting together outside, during which time my dad was telling a story about work where he was supposedly getting in trouble for something, yet he proudly declared, with a slap on his knee even, “hell no I’m not in trouble…I’m right!”

Well, there it is.  I’m right.  We’re all right…and we’re going to proudly stand our ground until we’re blue in proclaiming it, especially in something that we are passionate about, be it our dignity, our children, and most especially, our Faith.  But, for we, who truly seek righteousness, we will always be right, because the truth, and the Truth, is written on our hearts that way.  The Bible, the world, and all the circumstances within it, including its people, are all up for interpretation…by man.  Trust your hearts, my brothers and sisters, for it’s often the most truthful with you.  When you’re reading the Bible, you’re reading it how God has intended you, as the person you are, to understand it.  The next man may offer guidance and another view, but trust your heart, for God made it and blessed it for you.  The same goes with your view of the world and its people.

We’re all God’s people, He loves us, cares for us, wants the best for us, and wants us to do the best for Him.  I get that, and I try, we all try, and as my lead Pastor said the other day, we all blow it from time to time.  The best we can do is try again, all for the glory of God!

So after having had a special meeting with our lead Pastor about the baptism scandal and about how the associate Pastor handled the situation, I decided that I would go back to church yesterday.  I’m glad I did.  Not only were my wife and daughter not going because of me, but my mother-in-law and our friend weren’t going either.  But we walked back in and saw our church family again, we were received well, and received first by our Pastor, who had said at the meeting that something good would come of it.  Something surely did, it was an amazing sermon, quite inspired, seemingly, of our meeting.  Not about how homosexuality, but of the church being hypocritical and how he didn’t want his church to being counted among the number of Christians that were thought of as being such.  Fairly interesting, I thought.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough.  I honestly didn’t know where to go with this today.  I’m still struggling with my motivation, and I don’t know why.  Something I have to pray about, I guess.  God bless you all…and love it forward!

****THE LINK TO THIS VIDEO IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  SORRY TO SAY I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT SONG IT EVEN WAS AND HAVE NO REFERENCE TO IT****

Love In Limbo

John 20

The Empty Tomb

    1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

   3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

So John was the one that’s being referred to as the one that Jesus loved most in that passage, his bud, his best friend.  He got so worked up over the news that someone may have jacked with his best friend’s grave site, whom he just lost and was freshly mourning over, that he outran the other guy and beat him to the tomb.  However,  he maintained discipline when he got there, to respect Jewish tradition about not entering a place of death or something.  It was only after Peter got there and busted past him to see what the heck was going on with that shroud, that he finally went in to witness the mystery that he knew for a fact that Christ had died, but all of a sudden Christ is not there. 

The Truth, which, considering John and Jesus’ history and friendship together, John finally truly believed at that moment, as he stand there looking at empty cloths, was that Christ had risen.  Now, John was a faithful disciple to Jesus, a true bud, in fact, just before he died, Jesus passed those most important in his Earthly life over to John’s capable heart and and hands, his mother and other disciples…not to mention, every soul in the world, from then until the end of time.

Fast forward through time, a little bit along the way, as the disciples tell and retell stories of Jesus, and other witnesses testify, and there’s major movements, and breakups between what it actually means to believe in Jesus and what Jesus actually wants from us.  The “operator” game continues on and before long there’s even question about Jesus’ existence at all, scandals and deceit hide within holy walls, and the world is no stranger to holy wars…all because they claim to know the truth about whatever their “truth” is, and there is no other way…as I sit here proclaiming Jesus is the way.  But that’s my job, I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ, so to wear my armor means to proclaim my Love for him and announce the Truth that IS Him.

But in the meantime, between the days of John and Peter and me and you, all my brothers and sisters, what I’m saying is that things have gotten slack.  Some of our faiths have become one of convenience and not one we put too much effort into.  We may walk a good life, not be too sinful, but we can’t just walk through life playing it safe and call ourselves a good Christian either.  I mean, what does that do for the person standing next to you who doesn’t know or doesn’t quite believe in Jesus?

Time is short, spread the Word, spread the Love, for we didn’t know love until we were first loved by Jesus.  Jesus loved John, they were best buds…so much so that when Jesus was not in that tomb when they rolled back that rock, he knew the Truth instantly.

The Truth is that Christ will come again.  Don’t you want to know Jesus that well that He knows you, no questions asked?  Wouldn’t it be nice to know that He’d already know exactly how you feel about Him?  What you would do for Him?  How much you Love Him and talk him up to people?  It’d be a relationship you’d regret missing out on…just don’t wait until it’s too late to believe…or tell…

Now Playing!!

Have ya’ll seen the new page on my blog yet??  It’s called “Now Playing” and it’s just songs/videos that happen to come up during my day.  No long stories to read, nothing to debate, sometimes it’s some pretty dang good music too!  Check it out!! I started it back in February, so just start scrollin’ to get to the current date or to check out the songs!

Hungry

I’ve been sick for the past month, which has played hard on my motivation to post my blogs, when I’m not feeling well in most aspects of my life, physically, emotionally, mentally, and even sometimes spiritually.

But that doesn’t matter at this particular moment.  Because at this particular moment, I’m hungry and I’m in a weird rage.  I’m on prednisone which is jacking up everything about my emotions and thoughts, and I quit smoking five days ago, although two of them were spent in the hospital.  I want to get better…in so many ways.  I know the way to get better in so many ways.  I’m hungry for that betterness…the betterness the Lord offers us.

I’ve been wanting to make a video for a long time to the song Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran.  I love wolves, without sounding like a hypocrite against my Christian beliefs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the wolf was somehow my animal kindred soul spirit or whatever.  So I made the video, and while it’s not one of my most spectacular, it’s one I’d like to share.  I only hope that it works, because of all the blocks that YouTube puts up on me.

Anyway…be hungry, brothers and sisters!  Be hungry for that salvation and that peace and joy that the Lord has offered us and has waiting for us in exchange for our faithful discipleship.  It’ll be worth the journey…

****I MADE A VIDEO TO THIS SONG?  :: BLINK BLINK:: WELL HERE’S THE ORIGINAL ANYWAY****

~Dear Lord, please give us the strength to go on, even in our worst days of hunger, for all of our needs, for all that you offer us, Lord.  I trust and believe in you that you will provide, as you always do, and will continue to share the word and testify of the glorious blessings you bring.  Please continue to watch over our health, happiness, and all of our needs, as you know what they are, Lord.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~