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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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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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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There’s A Caterpillar On My Face

I would venture a guess that anyone reading this post has had one of those conversations you wish you hadn’t. I’ve had several in my life but as a backstory to the growth on my face, I’d like to explain a bit about that conversation and why I have grown a Mo every November since 2010.
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Dear Son Of Mine…

Inspired in part by http://makeitmad.com/2011/09/13/a-letter-to-my-future-son/ and the fact that it was pitch black and I was in the middle of nowhere…

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I’m sitting here in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, thinking of you. There is no possible way these words can convey how much you mean to me. I suppose that while I still have my faculties all together, I should put down some thoughts and advice for you.
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My Old Man

This particular post was written the other day (before the whole surgery deal) and I wanted to share it with you. It’s been “untouched” since then, I just hadn’t published it yet.

I was drifting off to sleep on Monday night and had the most random memory pop into my head while heading to la-la land.

The winter before I got out of the Navy (would have been Holidays of 2000), I was hanging out with my Father for the day. We were trying to come up with something cool to do that would let us “bond”. We decided upon hunting because we had never done it together before. We were really sad hunters. The only animal around the area was rabbits and the only weapons we had were a pellet gun and a 22 caliber rifle. We loaded up and headed out to the acreage that my father was living at at the time. (For the PETA members out there, we never found any rabbits anyway. Mostly just hung out and walked around with guns).

The snow on that cold Nebraska day was a bleached white and covered the ground as we trudged through, catching up on how things were going in each others’ life. Every so often, we would spy something that we thought was a rabbit (or some random creature on the hillside) and raise the guns. Neither of us had any hunter’s blood in us, as I recall, and we never ended up hitting anything and never even really gave it much effort. Just seemed like a “guy” thing to do, go hunting together father-and-son.

That is a really fond memory of my father, one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. What used to be a rough, tough exterior has given way to a gentler man who has aged well (he has girls around MY age that get all googly-eyed around him). A man who has his shortcomings like all people, some of which I’ve inherited (money management is not a strong point although I’m doing better, and since I’ve been married my memory of little things here and there seems to have gone the way of the dodo as well), his good heart and the ability (sorry to break out the clichés here) to give you the shirt off his back have made him my number one hero.

Originally posted Thu, 01-06-05