My “God Story”

man-prayingThe latest sermon series at our church has resulted in the pastor asking us to share our testimony with people or, in his own words, our “God Story”.

Considering the fact that my wife and I discussed it both among ourselves and with our small group last week and I’m currently sitting at a Nissan dealership getting a warranty repair done on my wife’s car, I suppose now is as good a time as any to “formalize” it.

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Closing The Gap Between Knowing And Doing

thinkingMarcus Aurelius, in his book Meditations, has a line that states “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” While I agree that there is entirely too much pontificating on what truly makes a man a MAN, I think there is some value in spending time thinking on how to become a better one. If you have read any of my prior stuff, you should be prepared for a “stream of consciousness” type feel. Sometimes I edit, sometimes I don’t. There, you’ve been warned. I have discovered that sometimes writing takes on a mind of its own and the words flow freely so at the risk of making this a “Jerry Maguire” moment”, here we go.

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Recently, I came across a piece of writing that I hadn’t touched in almost fifteen years. While out to sea back in 1999, in order to kill some time and keep myself “engaged”, I started writing about my life up to that point. The following is an excerpt from a nearly 15,000 word piece of writing, regarding my youngest sister who passed away in 1991 at age 8 (the age my own son is now). I’d like to think that my writing has improved since then. I know my language has (I made a concerted effort to stop swearing a year or so back). I’m still picking and choosing passages that I’ll make public. There are a few sections on the writing that are still private and I’m unsure if I’ll ever make them public. On a sidenote; the younger of the two girls in the picture that accompanies this passage is Leah. *****************************************************************************************************************
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The Beast – Part 2

male_depressionThis is Part 2 of my thoughts on depression. To see the introductory post, check out The Beast – Part 1.

If you’ve come here and you think nobody is listening, click here to skip to the end.

During my Navy time, I spent four years on a missile cruiser. I got to know some of the best guys I ever could know and a lot of that has to do with the fact that when you suffer together and put your lives in each other’s hands, there are bonds made. Being out to sea for months on end with other men, you talk about things. When you’re NOT talking about things with others, there’s plenty of  time alone as well. It’s amazing to see God’s creations out there (dolphins jumping, the sunset on the ocean, the sun RISE on the ocean), but as a single man away from friends and family, it can get a bit lonely as well. Although I may have gotten inside my head only slightly in high school, I took long sojourns into my head while out to sea. The time spent floating in the middle of the ocean lends itself to plenty of self-exploration time.

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True Companion

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Coming up on a decade of marriage today and just the other day I heard a song I hadn’t even thought about in ages by Marc Cohn called “True Companion”.

I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard Marc Cohn before. His most popular radio hit was “Walking In Memphis” from years ago.

As a preamble to posting the lyrics to “True Companion”, be advised that I have in no way been involved in this song. I’m only a fan of Mr Cohn and want to share the words he wrote with you. They are as follows;
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We Need To Talk About Kevin

KevinWow. I’m not even sure how I should react to this book. I don’t know how exactly one would label this and into which genre it might fit, considering it delves into horror AND drama. Make no mistake; the subject matter lends itself to drama but this is an excellent telling of a horrific child.

I will have to be honest; it’s a tough one to get into until it really picks up. When I say it “picks up”, I don’t necessarily mean it becomes an action packed pedal-to-the-medal tale. It truly is a slow burn. Once you become invested in these characters and begin to piece together the events in the narrator’s life, it’s an absolutely engrossing read. Although it’s taken since December to get through, it wasn’t for lack of desire. The biggest perk of e-books, at least for me, is the ability to read them anytime and anywhere. Although I started this one on my Nook (and initially held a strong dislike for the narrator, almost to the point of putting it down), I copied it to my phone’s e-reader as well so I could read it wherever I may be. (On a side note, Mantano Reader is AWESOME if you’ve got an Android phone or tablet.)

Told by way of correspondence between a wife and her husband, this is a story about their son Kevin and his upbringing. We begin the book already aware of a horrible tragedy but the letters from Eva to Franklin take us through Kevin’s life.

As a parent of a boy myself, this book is pretty easy to relate to. Although not really a horror novel, inasmuch as there’s really no supernatural angle or monsters, it could very easily fit into that genre. As Eva’s letters can attest to, there is something very wrong about Kevin.

It’s difficult to talk much about this book without delving into “spoilers” and passing along too much of the story so I’ll just have to say that no novel in recent memory has left such an indelible impression on this particular reader.

There was a movie based on this novel made a year or two ago as well. Needless to say, I’ll be renting it and even though I know how it ends, I doubt the emotional wallop will be any less mitigated. A four hundred page book, beginning as a slow burn, this definitely makes good use of the last ten to fifteen pages.

To FB Or Not To FB

junkieSo as I come back to the world of Facebook after a month away (with the exception of only a couple times on and then immediately back off), I’d like to wrap up how my month away went.

I’m pretty sure we all know how much of a time-suck Facebook can be. Only in the last few years has the internet become so accessible EVERYWHERE. Refrigerators connected to the internet? Sweet bacon grease, this is a different world from even when I was growing up. There are positives to being in a perpetual state of connection, but there’s also a darker side.

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