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.

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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.  
 

Snow Down Me Trousers..!!

We finally got a snow day!  At first, we thought of opening the office but just allowing folks to get there later in the day.  Then the Mayor’s Office called to tell us they were closing all day due to inclement weather and road conditions.  Perfect.  


It’s the first snow of the winter here in Arkansas.  Just when we thought winter was going to sneak by us without snow – we got 2 to 3 inches overnight.  It’s my favorite because staying home is great but more so when the Mayor’s Office “obligates” you to do so.  Since I’ve always been the obedient type… well I feel compelled to do so when it’s cold and snowing.  
My wife is 8 months pregnant, cold, and craves strange things at all hours of the day.  I’m sittting here in the car.  I’m waiting for her office to close early due to the weather and whisk her home.  The rest of the day will consist of working on Baby’s room and having dinner at home for once.  

Happy Friday everyone.  And It’s good to be back at it….

The Ghosts and Ghouls of La Raza

There are a lot of spiritualists and occultists in Mexico.

On this week’s post for the FALL COLLABORATION, we wanted to share ghost and horror stories with our readers.  We are just days aways from Halloween and it only seems appropriate.

There are a lot of spiritualists and occultists in Mexico.  There are certain parts of the country that are known to host gatherings of witches and wizards.  There are even rumors of drug cartels stealing people and selling them to these occultists for human sacrifice.  Needless to say, there is a whole box full of horror stories and urban legends that run wild in the culture.  I’ll share just a few of them with you.

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La Llorona, or The Weeping Woman, is one of the most popular and memorable of ghosts and ghouls.  It is a legend that is iconic amongst the youth of Latin America.  The story of the Llorona is so famous because parents use it to keep children quiet at night and to keep them from going out late at night.  The story says that a women drowned her children in a river in Mexico as revenge.  Her husband had left her for another women and so in her rage she killed her own children.  After doing so, she came back to her senses and could not live with herself after what she had done.  She decides to drown herself so that she does not have to feel that immense pain of loss that is only found on Earth.  The problem is at heaven’s gate where they tell her that she can not enter until after she finds her missing children.  She is then forced to roam the Earth where she seeks children that resemble her own so that she can enter heaven.  She does so only at night and will prey on those that are alone or in small groups.  Since she feels the pain of loss on Earth, those that have had encounters with her say that she cries and yells, “Mis hijos.  Ay,  mis hijos.”  This translates to, “My children.  Oh, my children.”  If you hear her cry then you are marked for life and she will visit you wanting to take you.  The few that have seen her face are never the same.

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El Chupacabra is a blood-sucking beast that preys on livestock and humans alike.  This monster story was born after many animals in Latin America were attacked and left with bite marks on their necks.  They were also without one ounce of blood in your bodies.  After the initial attacks, farmers started to take up arms and keep watch.  This is when the first sightings happened.  They are described in many different fashions but all accounts give a few agreeable traits.  They have large red eyes, resemble a dog in many ways but that can walk upright, and they have fangs.  Of course, no one has ever caught one but nonetheless the legend prevails and there are still occasional attacks here and there.  It is said that if you live in rural parts of Latin America you could be attacked by one and your blood sucked right out of your body.  This is a big part of why children will not go into a barn alone anymore.  They are afraid they will walk in on El Chupacabra having a meal then become the next one.  How’s that for a monster tale?

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El Cucuy is Latin America’s Boogeyman.  He lives under your bed or in your closet is waiting for the lights to go out and for your parents to go to bed.  Usually he will get you only if you are not well behaved in the night hours but that has long been extended being attacked no matter what!  So watch yo self!  This is another one of the ghost stories that parents tell their kids so that they can get them to go to bed on time.  They have depicted him and called him in different ways across Latin America but in Mexico he is a man that is dressed in black with a monstrous face.  He devours children, and adults, that look at him when he approaches.  All the horror movie scenes where a child pulls up the covers while something breathes on the other side – El Cucuy cabron!!!  Chale, no mames that crap is scary.  If you let the covers down in your curiosity to find out what it is te va de madre.  So beware because he is everywhere.

Make sure to check out my fellow COLLABERS and their ghost stories!!  Thanks for the read and watch out for those that go bump in the night.

 Jacqueliine Joy- Warning! Warning!  She will make you laugh. She joins me in the “Bloggers that have Kiddo’s” group of the COLLAB.  Check her out.  Jacqueliine’s Blog Site

Varsha- originally from Aruba, she delivers great cooking, fine dining, a rich diverse culture, and different accents!  Totally different timezone, Totally awesome blog! Don’t miss it!! Varsha’s Blog Site

Lee- “The Originator” of the FALL COLLABORATION, she puts together great material on Lifestyle, Beauty, and Health with the purpose of helping everyone out – one at a time!!!  Lee’s Blog Site

Jenna- She promotes self-love and respect!  Check out her blog straight from the Lone-Star State!  Absolutely great material!!  Jenna’s Blog Site

Morgan- She blogs about life,  fitness,  college life and beauty!  She is a Girl vs. World and everything else and boy does she put up a fight.  Check out the great perspective and experiences!! Morgan’s Blog Site

 

 

 

Food For Thought – Arrogance

The greatest arrogance of the world is to think that everyone thinks like you.  

~Anonymous 

What Are You Supposed To Be??

This is something that I have heard quite often over the years, “…So what are you supposed to be?” Mainly I credit my appreciation for the non-traditional costumes at Halloween time. Monsters always get you looking, but a smart and witty design will keep them looking and draw them in to ask that great question!

This is something that I have heard quite often over the years, “…So what are you supposed to be?”  Mainly I credit my appreciation for the non-traditional costumes at Halloween time. Monsters always get you looking, but a smart and witty design will keep them looking and draw them in to ask that great question!

This week on the FALL COLLABORATION we will be delving into why we choose the outfit we choose and how we put it together!

Option 1 – Deadpool

My traditional selection would be the infamous and pretentious comic/hero/potty-mouth savior in red.  This movie, while it missed the mark for me cinematically, is funny, action-packed, and introduces us to a super-hero that we can all relate to a little more than Thor or Iron Man (because none of us have either a British accent or a trillion bucks).  This gives you the freedom to actually live a little in the costume!  You can dance around instead of walk like a mummy and you can crack jokes as opposed to silently wearing the Jason mask you have donned every year since high school.  The character behind the costume is just as important as how it looks.  Deadpool is a great selection because the outfit is something that you can find most anywhere online.  This does mean that you will have stiff competition but that is part of the fun.  You get to have fake weapons at your side – even though here in the south you can’t be sure they are fake or if they are ACTUAL Desert Eagles.  All around this uniform or costume is just great!!  It looks great, helps you to pick up a great personality that you can have fun with, and I can see it leading to a great night no matter where you’re going.  This costume will be a simple design – just put it on and zip it up.  You can be creative with the weapons and all but your face will be covered so you can skip the make-up art with this selection.

deadpool

Option 2 – The BFG

By BFG we mean the main monster from the film The Big Friendly Giant.  A lot of people would not dare put this on to go to a Halloween party or get-together!!  I’m not sure why but I think it’s genius.  It looks funny, gives you permission to rock high-water trousers, gives you a trumpet as a prop, and styles your hair in a priceless bald/bowl cut my dad wears because that’s all he’s got.  This would be my pick for a non-traditional costume that will make people have to guess what you are dressed as.  This in turns stirs a conversation and boom!  You are in the door as far as making friends and meeting new people.  Isn’t making new friends, and vampires sucking human blood, what Halloween is all about anyway?  The image I selected definitely qualifies as goofy in all its definition but nonetheless I am convinced that this costume will keep them guessing, laughing, make you the star of the party and will be different than most you will see out on the town.  You can purchase from a large selection of different takes on this outfit or make your own.  One thing is key here – all the clothes should be too small for your except your shoes.  You will need a wig and maybe a trumpet to complete this look but the rest you can find at Savers for really cheap.

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Option 3 – Leatherface

The last selection for this year is a well-known and respected monster.  Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a great outfit because of the blood and gore and the chainsaw that you get to wear.  I chose this character because there is a new film that will be released this year by the name Leatherface.  It allows you to run around yelling and screaming and scaring everyone around you.  You are going to concentrate the most on this outfit because there is not one way to get this done.  The most important aspects are going to be the long-sleeve cut-up and bloody shirt, old and tattered trousers (probably some old church slacks that are too large for you with suspenders), and boots!  The boots should be rubber boots because that is what he originally wore in the 1974 version.  As far as the face, well you can purchase a mask or make your own!!  Mwuahahahahah.  Just kidding.  Don’t take anyone out and wear their face – thanks bud.  Buy a mask and a wig and make sure they are covered in what looks like blood!  The chainsaw needs to be fake.  This is for safety concerns of course.  If you can’t find one but insist on a chainsaw, use a broken one that doesn’t work anymore but be super careful.  I advise if children are going to be near, avoid this.

leatherface

No matter what you choose for this Halloween, give it your own twist!!  Have fun and be creative with what you wear.  Remember to also make it comfortable because you want to walk a lot or dance you need mobility!  Check out my fellow COLLABERS on what they are wearing this season.

 

 Jacqueliine Joy- Warning! Warning!  She will make you laugh. She joins me in the “Bloggers that have Kiddo’s” group of the COLLAB.  Check her out.  Jacqueliine’s Blog Site

Varsha- originally from Aruba, she delivers great cooking, fine dining, a rich diverse culture, and different accents!  Totally different timezone, Totally awesome blog! Don’t miss it!! Varsha’s Blog Site

Lee- “The Originator” of the FALL COLLABORATION, she puts together great material on Lifestyle, Beauty, and Health with the purpose of helping everyone out – one at a time!!!  Lee’s Blog Site

Jenna- She promotes self-love and respect!  Check out her blog straight from the Lone-Star State!  Absolutely great material!!  Jenna’s Blog Site

Morgan- She blogs about life,  fitness,  college life and beauty!  She is a Girl vs. World and everything else and boy does she put up a fight.  Check out the great perspective and experiences!! Morgan’s Blog Site