Why I’m Writing – 2017

2 years ago when I started this blog, I had an idea of what I wanted to say. Now I realize that as I change as a person, so does my voice.

The last 2 years has seen a lot go on in my life.  Some things most of my readers will be able to relate to and others are always going to remain a very intimate achievement.

First off, May of 2017 I will celebrate 3 years of marriage to my blessing of a wife.  There is no way that I can talk the same about marriage or my wife after 3 years.  My perspective has changed.  My description of both comes from trials by fire.  Even though we have a lifetime to go, I’m starting to see clearly.

The second is that May of 2017 I will have the privilege of having worked with my churches youth group as their coordinator for 2 years.  This opportunity that I was given has impacted me the most as it relates to my relationship with The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  It was something that I was given, I didn’t earn it at any capacity. God loves the young lives of this world because the society they live in is all a muck.  I get to be his aid, if you will, along with my Pastor in advising, directing, and participating in their lives.  We are not talking about bowling nights and picnics. We are talking about the real struggles; the lemons that the world gives and finding a way to help make lemonade.  Life and death.  Spiritually and physically. 

Third, my daughter was born last week!  I am no longer “just Jerry”, I am “Dad” and that for me has hit me like a ton of bricks from the time that we found out we were expecting.  What are the manuerisms of a Father?  What does he talk like?  What does he think?  How does he move?  What are his decisions like?  And where is all of this born?  Where is the map?  

Good questions, in my opinion.  They keep me up at night and drive me through the day.  

So there is the substance that, even if I tried to shy away from it, I couldn’t.  That is who I am.  Or rather, this is who I am trying to be.  Along the way I will throw in a speck to do with my hobbies like films, woodworking, nature, and sports.  That’s just to name a few.  But I figure there will be a time for all of that later in life.  Right now, I have to get my mind and heart wrapped around a few of my priorities…

1- Someone that needs what only God can give. A Sinner in need of Forgiveness.

2- A Husband

3- A Father

4- A Spiritual Leader

I strongly believe that if I get those down, the favor of God will be over me.  Everything else will be a piece of German Chocolate Cake.

Advertisements

A Word Can Wound or Kill

“Like a sword, a word can wound or kill, but as long as one does not touch the blade, the sword is no more than a smooth piece of metal.  Someone who knows the qualities of a sword does not play with it, and someone who knows the nature of words does not play with them.”

My Favorite Stories and Their Feel – The Last Samurai (2003) a film by Edward Zwick 

The Film, The Last Samurai, starts off like any film.  We are presented with problems in the world.  Better yet, we are presented with a cosmic problem and a microscopic problem.  The cosmic, or larger, problem is that there are internal struggles that are taking place both in the US and in Japan.  In the US, westward expansion meant removing the Native Americans from the lands they had loved and protected for centuries.  In Japan, the wholeness of a culture was being torn apart by a rebellion.  The micro dilemma lies in an American Soldier sick with guilt and condemnation and dying an angry alcoholic.  

An opportunity comes around for our Soldier, Nathan Algren, when his former Colonel contracts him to train the Japanese military using Western Strategy.  You see, a rebellion has risen against Westernization in Japan.  The traditional Samaurai have opposed the changes to culture and are ready to die for it.  The Japan Army has rifles while the Samurai still use bow and arrow.  For Algren, the task seemed like eaten cake.  Only the army consisted of farmers and laborers while the Samurai were life-long trained warriors.  This became more than reality on Algren’s first encounter with the Samurai.  The army fell apart with the first wave and Algren was captured by the rebellion.  

Algren spends several months in captivity but is allowed to participate and learn of Samurai culture and customs.  His relationship with the rebellion leader,  Katsumoto, becomes that of student and mentor.  Algren is transformed from the inside out.  

Algrens internal struggles stem from his shame.  The shame he sees in the mirror of who he used to be in the military.  Things he had to do and things he had to see.  We can relate to this even in the alternate.  Maybe there is a disappointment that we feel of things we weren’t able to do and things we may not ever have the chance to see.

What resonates most is the drastic change of scenery that Algren needed to find the cure.  We can see our surrounding and we know that this is life.  It’s a repetition of places and faces; of stresses and turmoils.  Can a change in that scenery bring perspective?  For Algren, that change came physically.  After all he was kidnapped by a Rebel force in Japan.  But for all of us, we must not forget that our number one landscape is our mind.  Our perspective and our take on the world we live in.  A change in landscape doesn’t always happen because we are clingy as humans.  But what if it did?  

Algren found a healthy body and a sound mind when he was snatched from his reality.  The new place gave him new principles and allowed him to find peace and forgiveness.  

As you watch the film, the slow but steady glimmer of light for Algren keeps you wanting more.  You are hopeful for him, even if when you were disgusted by him at the beginning.  This hope is one you fall in love with because you want it for yourself.  You wish it on Algren because you hope someone wishes it for you.  This is not to say that everyone’s life is miserable and everyone is an alcoholic.  No, not by a long shot.  But the sure thing is that everyone is longing for improvement.  A change is needed in every circumstance to achieve that.

Stop, Squat, and Run

I looked at Tenant A with my jaw about touching the floor and she said, “…and it’s still lying out front because I wanted you to see it.

Where I work, the term “Juicy” is most often used to describe gossip.  The kind of gossip that will ruffle feathers and has the potential to start a war.

On one such occasion, I received a phone call from a tenant that usually keeps to herself and tries to avoid problems.  She let me know that for the past week, the person that lived across the road from her was spreading rumors implicating a lot of the community of conspiring against her.  She called to let me know that if that person came to me talking about everyone else that I shouldn’t believe everything that she says.  We will call the person calling Tenant A, and the person causing problems Tenant B.

At this point, I was not fully sure of what was going on but I knew that as time went by I would hear the whole story.

Just then, the phone rang again for me.  It was Tenant B calling to speak with me.  I answered the phone and sure enough, she called to let me in on the “Juicy” events that were taking place around the community.

Tenant B let me know that Tenant A, along with Tenant C and Tenant D, were talking about her while they drank tea and coffee every morning on Tenant A’s front porch.  She let me know that she could hear them whisper about her.  She also let me know that she had spoken to a few other tenants and they verified that those 3 were saying that she was abusing prescriptions and that she was not healthy.  This infuriated her and she wanted me to step in.

I scratched my head and let her know that these were unsubstantiated rumors.  I let her know that she should just ignore them, ignore the supposed comments, and move on with her life.

She didn’t like my response very much.  She told me that it was on my head what happened next because she was not going to put up with it.  She hung up and I heard nothing else from her.

A few days past and Tenant A called to speak with me.  She told me that ever since the commotion in the community started a few weeks ago she decided to install a camera facing her front porch.  She spoke with the local law enforcement and they assured her that just so long as no other front doors were being video taped it was legal.  She asked me to come by her home today and watch some footage.  She warned me – before I entered her yard to watch my step.

I showed up and we began to watch the footage from the night before.  It was about 3:30 am on the video and into the frame walks a figure to the yard of Tenant A.  The footage shows this person or individual pulling down their pants, squatting down, and doing their business on the front lawn.  They swiftly pull up their trousers and run away.  In what direction?  Straight across the street.  Its hard to tell the face or any descriptive details from the dark video but the deed that they did do was unmistakable.  I looked at Tenant A with my jaw about touching the floor and she said, “…and it’s still lying out front because I wanted you to see it.  I told you this was a juicy one.”

Source: Juicy

It Has Happened…

As of today, I have been a father for 7 days.  

My daughter was born on February 9, 2017. I find myself stuck. Stuck in between trying to shake off this feeling of awe and finding the courage everyday to be what I need to be for my family. As always, I have somewhat come to a conclusion that I choose to share here.

First off, I don’t want to shake this feeling of awe off. No way will I let this go. Every time I look at her I’m consumed ever more by brilliance and a glow that only she can produce. I feel like a child on Christmas morning every time she looks at me. Can’t help but smile.

Secondly, where else am I going to find courage if not in these trying times? I thought to myself, “I wish I could have built the courage and wisdom that I needed for this stage of my life before hand. I wish I could feel capable.” But then someone wise reminded me – no one is ever ready. No amount of preparation or study can give you what you need. My faith lies in that everything I need to guide her correctly is in a book sitting by my bedside right now. A book known to be the “Best Selling Book of all time.”

These new sentiments are really doing a number on me. I have taken the days off of work to be with my wife and New Born and have cherished them so deeply. Aside from the sleep-deprived nights and not knowing what to do half the time, I’m proud of where I am. I do believe that I have a long way to go. But so far that journey is a great one. 

So now I ask for your help!

If you can spare the time, any tips and tricks on Colic, stomach cramps, and sleepless babies will be most appreciated!! Leave a comment as I am willing to try anything in order to understand and help her the best I can.

Cheers gang

Humble

What makes us humble?

Is a humble spirit born when a higher power presses you down under their thumb?Is it when a stranger goes out of their way to help you or serve you?

These are humbling moments, no doubt. But a humble spirit is a divine and celestial fruit. It’s eternal and is not sporadic. The biggest flaw of the human race is its inability to be consistent. If we were consistent then justice would be black and white. Instead it’s mired and skewed depending on nationality, country borders, or which group lobbies better at any given moment.

If you were consistently pleasant, your effect on those around you would be compounded. If you were consistently positive, then your point of view would always be a blessing; a light in the darkness. But we are not consistent; we are far from it. Your tail destroys what your hands build. This is how we know that we still live without discipline and subject to our emotions.

A humble spirit is born when we recognize that we are in need of someone to justify us. We walk around in almost a self-righteous and self-satisfied fashion. The only issue is that you can not declare yourself righteous or correct. This is because your standards will undoubtedly always be influenced by your agenda. What you believe is good and well is subject to your interpretation of desire and satisfaction. This, in turn, yields your self-righteousness as inadequate in the eyes of the real beholder.  

We need justification. Not by our standards or understanding, but by a greater good that has a higher vision than we do. We are so bound by today, yet afraid of tomorrow. This produces ideas of carpe diem or yolo. But if you carelessly make decisions that will satisfy you today, your ignoring tomorrow. At the same rate, if you fail to make decisions for your future because your not sure of what you want, you sink in the sand; you don’t get anywhere today.

This is where humble begins; in the idea that you don’t have what it takes today and don’t know anything about tomorrow. In the idea that yesterday could have been better if you would have seen the bigger picture and that you need help to fix mistakes.