Change

There USED to be a time when I rejected change. I didn’t like what I was made to do. I don’t like adjusting. I don’t like being out of MY comfort zone. Now, that was a LOONG time ago. Before I graduated from high school. Being an adult……..with children…….and married, you find that you have to adjust on the fly and OFTEN. Daily even. No, I still don’t like it much, but I have to do it, and now it doesn’t so much bother me….

…but there’s some change that IS good, such as the change I’m now experiencing. I can’t quite put it into words, but I gotta say that it’s not bad. I’m finding myself in God’s word a LOT more, in prayer a LOT more. That part is good. Yes, I still have the same issues that I had when I last posted, but now, they don’t tend to bother me as LONG as they used to. They haven’t gone away, and I reckon they won’t ever go away, but there’s a LOT more PEACE now, and that’s what I need more of. That’s what we ALL need more of. And I get it by taking my focus off the crap and keeping it where it needs to be. The ups and downs of being an adult is enough to make you sick, but that balance is available to you – to us ALL.

What do you do?

Minister……..musician…….husband…….father.

Brother, uncle, cousin – and depressed.

All these things describe me, but none of it matters. Absolutely none of it, because nobody else cares. Well, they do, as long as it serves their purpose. For example, I haven’t heard from my sister in over 3 months. Last communication we had was shortly before Christmas. Up until recently, I didn’t know she was dealing with some “stuff”. Sure enough, she calls because she needs “financial assistance” which I didn’t have unfortunately. That made me feel some kinda way. You called me because you NEEDED something. Great…….

Everything I used to describe myself before is what SOME people care about – except being depressed. NOBODY cares about that. Absolutely nobody. And there’s nowhere to go with it. I can’t get my frustrations out, and subsequently I’m suppressing everything. I  can’t say what I need to say to who I need to say it to because it won’t be received. It will get turned around and thrown back in my face. I’ll be accused of being soft, less than a man, as I’ve been called already today. No, I don’t know how to handle conflict even at the ripe young age of forty-two. And I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out. And somehow, I almost don’t care.

The stress that I’ve been under is wreaking havoc on my body & I’m constantly fatigued. Clearly a by-product of being a type-II diabetic. The only thing I can see ahead of me is death. Constantly being threatened with separation with the possibility of not seeing my children drives me batty. But somehow (because I’ve been through this TWICE now) I feel like I’ve brought all of this on myself. Can’t imagine  I’d be going through the exact same issues in a different marriage with a different woman, and now affecting more than just one child life.

Have you ever wanted to go to sleep and not EVER again wake up? I’ve prayed for that several times and was actually upset that I woke up the next morning, wondering why God would allow me to continue to suffer through what I have no idea how to escape. But I’ve been judged for feeling THAT way also. Can’t win for losing.

So now what? Who freakin’ knows. I sure don’t. This cloud hanging over me is so dark and heavy, it’s almost as if I don’t give a crap what happens now. I really don’t. Maybe people will start paying attention AFTER I’m gone.

Stress….

It sometimes sneaks up on me; like a bad accident. Before I know it, I’m experiencing pain that shoots from the base of my neck all the way down to my calves and every point in between. The kicker is being stressed out messes with my blood sugar levels. And my attitude….

…when I’m stressed out, I don’t care – about ANYTHING. Sometimes I wish I were dead. I used to be ashamed to say that publicly – that I’ve considered suicide several times even in this present time. I’ve never been able to deal with conflict. That’s why I work so hard to avoid it. At my age (42), I’m not sure if I’ll ever learn to deal with it. I do my absolute best to stay out of people’s cross hairs, but somehow, I keep getting caught in them. Apparently, I have an uncanny way of doing that no matter what attempts I make to keep peace. The job is stressful. Home life is EXTREMELY stressful. I used to have outlets, but those are no longer available to me.

So here it is – I have all of these issues just floating around in me and there’s nowhere to put them, nowhere to release them. So they get pressed down and more & more gets added to it, until it gets to a point where I have nowhere to go with it. Now if I explode, which would be the natural course of action for someone with these kinda issues, that’ll make matters MUCH worse. You see, when you’re stressed out, no one really understands what’s going on in your head. YOUR issues become THEIR issues and this is no longer a cry for help – it becomes a transference of energy. Now I’ve got MORE drama.

So what happens next? Your guess is as good as mine…………….

The “Rebirth” of wb3

Yeah, it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve posted a blog. That’s a horrible sign of my laziness, my inability to focus on 1 given task – blame it on the kids right? That would be easy to do, but I won’t. I’m a grown man and I can own up to this shortcoming. I’ll be back to posting regularly, mixing occasional humor with some seriousness. Looking at the events happening around me (being a lifelong resident of the murder capital of the country, St. Louis, MO), I feel a need to be more direct with my readers, though they may be few. Our time on this earth is winding up swiftly, and we have to move quickly as Kingdom Builders – the Kingdom of God, that is. In an attempt to reconnect myself with the Almighty God, I will share with you, as I’m led, what is revealed to me through my prayer and study time with the Lord. It’s up to you to read and accept OR reject – the choice is yours. But I’m sharing it because of my love for Christ AND YOU! So…………………………….strap back up! This ride will be interesting.

Seasons

For those that know me – that really KNOW me, they know that I absolutely live for autumn and winter. I absolutely despise spring and summer. Why spring you ask? Because it is summer’s precursor. It’s the season that most folk start to shed clothing, it gets way too warm (and if you live in Saint Louis like me, the humidity is enough to make you want to walk around in an ice bath all day). It doesn’t warrant “jolly-ness”…yes, I just made that word up. It’s doesn’t activate feelings of kindheartedness, peace and goodwill towards men. As a matter of fact, heat makes people irritable. You can’t keep people in excessively places too long or they’ll lose it. Ever think about why people flock to air conditioned facilities when it’s too warm? Subconsciously, people pine for winter. Cool dictates comfort-ability. No one will admit that though.

Our weather seems to be breaking now in Saint Louis. We’re staring down the barrel of fall weather for about the next ten days or so, and I vow to take advantage of that. I have a fire pit that I plan to utilize, make a warm drink and just relax. Maybe with the change in seasons it will change my outlook on life. If you’ve been keeping up, life hasn’t been all that great right now, but I said that I wouldn’t quit; that I wouldn’t give up. And I meant that. Yeah, things are rough right now, and I’m squinting, looking towards the end of the tunnel, and that little light keeps getting further and further away, almost to the point where I don’t see it. But I know it’s there. I’m sure there are people that are going through much, MUCH worse that what I’m dealing with, and my prayer is that God will have mercy on them, hear their prayers and meet them in their time of despair. But if I can be transparent – I’m one of those people right now. The season I’m in, that my family is in right now seems more than we can actually deal with right now, but we are not without hope. We are not without the hope that as long as God is there, He will sustain us until we pass through this storm, this season, because once we’re out of THIS one, we’re on to another season, and we need to be prepared for that one. I want to be able to tell of God’s mercy in the midst of insurmountable odds; I want to be able to tell everybody I meet that when I didn’t see how, God did it. I want to tell them to be prepared for the change of seasons. I want to tell them that the unbearable heat is only temporary, and that the cool of autumn and winter are on it’s way. In essence, I’m encouraging MYSELF so that when I encourage YOU, you’ll be able to witness first hand the deliverance of which I speak; that it’s not something that I’ve only heard of, but experienced it personally.

Still a little warm around these parts, but I feel a change in the season coming. I’d better go grab a jacket.

Boomerang

What you throw out doesn’t always come back, ironically. After experiencing a somewhat euphoric victory yesterday, it all came crashing down. Story of my life right? I wasn’t told that life gets HARDER the longer you live. Even though everything in life has a purpose and nothing happens for the hell of it, man, I gotta tell ya I think I’m still just floating around with no specific purpose. You read sooooo many emotional “Red Bull” messages in the morning about “making the day great”, “carpe diem”, “go out and make an impact”.

WHAT???? How the hell do you do THAT??? EVERYDAY????

Sometimes, all I have in me is to get up, go to work, finish work, come home and reset for the next day, and it’s even a struggle sometimes to do that. Sometimes, my mindset is to just “get through the day man”. If I can do that, I’m winning somewhat. What happened to that feeling I had, that feeling of invincibility, that I can do all things through Christ that I spewed yesterday??? I’ll tell you what happened to it. It died, that’s what.

I’m learning that whatever you declare in life, you have to be ready to defend that declaration. If you say “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ”, then be prepared to do ALL THINGS in the midst of adversity. Be ready for “the struggle”. Nothing is ever going to be easy, and I think I’ve gotten old enough to know this by now. I guess I just don’t want to believe it, considering I’ve struggled almost ALL of my adult life. No matter how positive I can me, it doesn’t always come back, and that’s the honest truth. That boomerang that I throw out doesn’t always have the same stuff on it when it comes back home. I get that now. So what do I do when the contents of the boomerang have changed?

Keep going, I guess. Hell, I don’t really have a choice, do I? I don’t liken myself to a quitter, but I admittedly lose motivation when it gets dark. So now I have to talk (or type) my way outta some stuff. It sucks when you experience that “transference of energy” (circa “Two Can Play That Game”) and have to fight your way out of a funk that someone ELSE put you in (yeah, that happens a lot too). Encourage yourself, the songwriter said. Speak over yourself. It is easier said than done, but it can be done, and it WILL be done. And no matter what I declare in the atmosphere, I know a challenge is coming. A challenge to see what I’m truly made of, if I have the resolve to actually BE what I declared to be. Some days, I’ll win. Some I’ll lose. I guess to have those days is a blessing in itself, but some days, you just wanna look up and say “Lord, no mas”….but “have mercy” keeps coming out.

The struggle. It’s realer than you think.

Distractions

I posted a picture on Instagram this morning. It was a picture of a study Bible that my wife bought for me some years ago. It was the best gift I’ve gotten in a while. At the time, she recognized my desire to know God in the best way I could. Reading every day, challenging what I was told, researching the scriptures. She got it for me a little but after I preached my initial sermon. I used to use it all the time. Key words there are USED TO.

I don’t use it much nowadays. With the advancement of technology, you don’t really have to carry your Bible around anymore. You can download any version of the Bible you want onto your phone or tablet, and you can just pull either out when it’s time to use it. Don’t believe me? Try this – the next time you go to church, and the preacher provides the text of his sermon, see how many people around you pull out their phones or whip an iPad or GalaxyTab out on ya. Hey – it’s NOT what I’ve OBSERVED. It’s what I KNOW. I’VE done it. Still doing it…..but Houston, we have a problem.

I admittedly haven’t read my Bible in a long, long time, and I’m totally ashamed of what I’ve become in the process. My last blog depicted me as a powerless individual; one who was in dire straits, had come to the end of his rope, DESPERATE with no place or no ONE to turn to; hopeless, lost; towel in hand, ready to throw it in. This morning, I decided to do something different. What have I got to lose at this point, right? So I grabbed my Bible from the side of my recliner and just opened it up. DIdn’t pray first, didn’t look in my email to see what daily reading BibleGateway.com had sent. I just opened it up and started reading. No particular passage stood out. I just read what I saw. And I understood what I read. So after a few minutes, I continued to prepare for work, checking on my ten year old (who just celebrated a birthday Monday), and went about business as usual. On the way home from work, however, I heard this:

YOU’RE DISTRACTED!

Now, I know I typed that in all caps, but it wasn’t loud. It was subtle, almost quiet. I didn’t have the radio on. Just the window down driving along, thinking about all the crap that’s going on in my life and trying to “figure things out” –

YOU’RE DISTRACTED!

Distracted by what? The fact that you’re worrying about money, your home, the new baby, health insurance, money, money, bills, money – YOU’RE DISTRACTED. I’ve let EVERYTHING around me consume me to the point where IT took precedence over what was and is MOST IMPORTANT. Not only that, my faith waned. I’m not gonna lie – I’ve gotten weak man. REAL weak. Always one to focus on the tiny light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel, I was now the one focused on the darkness. I became DISTRACTED. And no, I’m not blaming the devil. We give him too much credit. Wasn’t his fault. As a matter of fact, it may have been more of ME than it was HIM. He didn’t have to do much, I’ll say that. When I heard “YOU’RE DISTRACTED”, I knew it. I knew what I’d been doing wrong. Everything is all outta whack.

Everything in our life has it’s place. OUR job is to PRIORITIZE. OUR job is to make sure that we keep the main thing the main thing………………………………………………………………………………………….yeah, when I first heard it I laughed too, but you won’t really know how true that is until you’re faced with the same issue. Go ahead, marinate on that & come back later to finish, lol. If God ain’t first, it’s time to reshuffle the deck, and every time you re-deal, make sure that GOD card is first. If not, reshuffle and re-deal. I had a reshuffle moment this morning, and I know this isn’t an overnight fix. We ALL fall off. We’re ALL human. The paramount issue here is to move swiftly into reconciliation. We don’t have the time we THINK we have. Look around you – war, civil unrest, random violence. When we leave our homes, there is NO guarantee that we’ll make it back, It’s only by God’s grace that I’m even writing this blog, and that same grace is allowing you to read it. And I don’t want to live out the rest of my life, however long it is, worrying all the time about the stuff I have NO control over. And when God has already declared that He can fix whatever we’re in, then WHAT in the WORLD am I trippin’ off of? But I’ll say this much – He’s not obligated to do anything FOR me if I’m not doing anything for HIM, and distractions will keep us from doing what we need to do. Spending time with God is what He desires and what he commands. It’s time to stop playing around.

So even in typing this, there’s no TV on, and the house is quiet. Perfect time for me to give God what He loves – ME!

NO DISTRACTIONS!!!