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.

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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.

CHANGE!

Yeah, that word “change” has been thrown around a lot lately. It was our NOW POTUS Barack Obama’s calling card during his 1st campaign. It worked too. There was SO much wrong with our country during the previous president’s administration. Our country needed change and we got it, even though many won’t admit it. This is not a political blog though. I won’t usually address politics here. Too messy. The point I’m trying to address, however, is CHANGE.

This past weekend was a very rough weekend for me. It was a rough 2 days or so. I guess every bad financial decision I’ve ever made came home to roost. It was SO overwhelming, in fact, that I cried. I really did. I cried for a good 5-10 minutes. It was rough. Everything came crashing down at the same time. I couldn’t handle it. I was defeated and wanted to straight give up. At the time of the breakdown, my wife was on the phone with me. God bless her heart. She tried her best to not let me wallow in my own self pity and I appreciate her and her effort to encourage me. As much as she tried though, my thoughts still consumed me, the weight of my issues was still settling on my shoulders. After a while, I stopped crying, wiped my face and tried to continue on with my day. The rest of the weekend wasn’t all that great. I had to work and missed my son’s birthday party. Made some bad decisions regarding my choir’s song selections and had to make adjustments on the fly. And I suffered a HUMILIATING loss in my NFL Fantasy League. Yeah, when it rains, it pours, right? At that point, I decided I needed to make a change.

And I mean SERIOUS WHOLESALE changes. I’m not really happy with ANYTHING that’s going on with me right now. My life is totally off kilter. My health is suffering. My mental is outta whack. Everything is a complete fog. I’ve even fell off with my daily Bible study (which may be the actual root of the problem). So everything has to change. I’m sick of feeling the way I do. I need to change way I eat, the way I work. I need to consult the Lord about EVERYTHING I do, and I need to make sure that when I come TO Him, that I’M right within. I can’t very well go to God requesting things and I haven’t been keeping up MY end of the bargain. How hypocritical would that be of me. It’s a slap in God’s face. Let’s just walk through this for a sec:

Seek ye 1st – FIRST – the Kingdom of AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things (desires of your heart) will be added unto you

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

I’m so outta whack, I can barely supply my family with what they NEED, let alone what they WANT. Bottom line is this: I’m getting older, and I can’t keep treading water like I have time on this Earth to do whatever the hell I want with no repercussions. I have children that need to be taken care of, a wife that needs to be taken care of, and future grandchildren to leave a legacy for. I’m tired of life the way it is. I’m tired of always seeing negative. I’m sick of crying, I’m sick of worrying, Change comes with me – I can’t rely on other people to change FOR me, or to change ME for that matter. It’s gotta happen sooner than later.

Not all change is good, they say. I beg to differ. I can’t go any lower than my current state. All I have left is UP! A change is gonna come.

Talking when you have nothing to say

Ever have one of those days when you have such a positive outlook on your day and your life that you just want to attack it head on? You have the attitude that you can take on the world. Then, the bottom drops out. You get slapped with a dose of reality so strong that you can’t breath. Yeah, that happened to me today. It’s my own fault though. Not to say that I SHOULDN’T have a positive outlook on life ALL the time. It’s just today, I falsely gave myself a over saturated sense of invincibility, if that makes sense. I had everything all planned out. Problem is my life didn’t match up with the plans. I almost lost it. I almost when on a tantrum. I almost cried. I almost gave up. Then it happened. I talked when I didn’t have anything to say.

I’m beginning to see why people say you should talk things out you start to feel like there’s no hope. Because I do feel better when I don’t hold all these ill feelings in.

…and on a separate note, it’s very hard to feel like crap when you listen to gospel music, lol.

Swing And A Miss!!

It’s been a real struggle trying to get this entry going. 

There’s a lot going on in our world, but I never imagined it would be so close to home. How naive of me. It’s been about two, almost three weeks since young Mike Brown was gunned down by Ferguson P.O. Darren Wilson. He was finally laid to rest by his family yesterday afternoon. I’m glad the family was finally able to do THAT much, and to do it PEACEFULLY. I still pray for them, that God would continue to comfort them. I have four sons. They’re still alive. Two teens, a nine year old and a one year old. I can’t imagine, as a father, what it’s like to lose a son, let alone lose a son in the manner that Mike Brown, Sr. lost his. Rev. Al Sharpton was right – this is out of order. A parent burying their YOUNG child. It’s out of order. But that’s not ALL that’s out of order. 

WE’RE OUT OF ORDER too. And no, I’m not just talking about black……I’m sorry, African-Americans. We, HUMANITY, are out of order. Grotesquely out of order.

If you drive up and down about a four-block area of West Florissant Ave., you’ll see the remnants of what could be considered a decent neighborhood. Yes, it’s seen better days. I used to live in Dellwood in the mid-90’s up until about 2003, right off the intersection of Chambers & W. Florissant. I can tell you that area has seen better days. Now, it looks more like a war zone. Ferguson, Missouri turned into Watts, California. Why? Well, if you ask MOST PEOPLE, it’s because Brown’s life was taken without cause, his body laid in the middle of the street for HOURS in the heat like an animal that had been run over by a car. Residents in the area were up in arms; questions went unanswered. In the hours and days that followed, that same confusion morphed into anger, and that anger begat RAGE. The kind of rage that made Zisser Tire, QuikTrip and most other stores a casualty of war. Looting, protesting, posturing. Local coverage turned national, and I’m sure global. This is what the world saw – black people tearing up their own community out of anger (even though I’m convinced that most of the destruction done was perpetrated by NON-Ferguson residents). All the while, the family of the slain had to stop grieving and ask for the violence to stop. It shouldn’t have taken that. 

In the meantime, there are protesters supporting Officer Wilson, with the “anything you can do I can do better” mentality, fundraising to help him and his family. OK. I get it. Peaceful (somewhat) protests, social media posts. Nothing at ALL violent. I can respect that. I also see where my people are coming from. They’re angry. Cops – SOME cops – just aren’t right. AT ALL. They abuse the power they possess and treat the law like a license to treat people with no respect, yet they demand it. Believe it or not, however, ALL of this is besides the point. 

Agree or not – this is NOT JUST ABOUT RACE. This is a HUMANITY issue. 

Since when did we stop caring about life? Since when did we start raising our children to not care about each other? Yes, I know the struggle as a black man. I’ve seen racism, I’ve experienced racism. I didn’t just read about it. But I’ll tell you this: racism is not innate. It’s taught. We, not as a race, but as a PEOPLE, are guilty of teaching each and ever generation we raise to DISCRIMINATE. White people walk around calling blacks “niggas” around their children. Black people walk around constantly screaming “white people keep us down” around our children. These impressionable minds are doing nothing but taking this all in, and we think that’s OK. THIS is where hate crimes begin. We have no regard for our fellow MAN, so it’s easy to walk the streets spewing the first hateful thing that comes to mind, and I guarantee that our twisted upbringing just came shining through in the midst of what we call the “Ferguson Riots”. So, as a completely different generation of people living in THIS America now, how do we fix this? Well, we can start with laying off each other. What do I mean?

White people: Your ancestors BROUGHT OUR ANCESTORS here!!!! ON A CROWDED BOAT! Read the history. And after all this time, white people tell blacks to “go back to Africa”, or “go back to where you came from”. I didn’t come from Africa, and neither does anyone I know. My ancestors blood was mixed with your blood, which doesn’t make me pure African anymore. It doesn’t matter if you want us here or not to be honest. We’re here. Deal with it!

Black people: GROW UP! Yes, our history is painful, but YOU DIDN’T LIVE IT! We have soooo many more opportunities that those before us didn’t. And if those before us could see what we’re doin’ now, I promise you they’d throw up. Stop blaming EVERYTHING on white people. They aren’t the only one’s trying to keep you down. Black people try to keep black people down. And while we’re at it, stop getting so upset about white people killing blacks and be more upset about BLACKS killing BLACKS. Why are you OK with this? This is not a fight between whites and everybody else. This is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN, an issue of GOOD vs. EVIL!

Yes, I went there. It’s time that we start looking at things through the eyes of God, and not our own eyes. WE see what we WANT to see, and in that, we react to things that we WANTED to see. Everything that happens to you ISN’T BAD. Mike Brown told loved ones before his death that the WORLD would know who he was, and yes, the world knows who Mike Brown. Yes, the circumstances, in OUR eyes, was horrible, but it was all in how God DESIGNED it. Nothing is EVER the way we THINK we see it. It’s not all just black and white. God is trying to get our attention. We don’t have much time down here. Sharpton begged the question “What does God require of YOU?”. Life isn’t just about what you can get. It’s about what you can DO – for OTHERS! Everyone that ransacked those Ferguson businesses missed the mark. You weren’t more angry than the parents of that young man. Yes, there should be anger, but IN our anger, there should be NO sin. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God…” God requires for us to believe. Know that He IS, CAN, and WILL make everything right. Why can’t we look at one another, blacks, whites, Latin, whatever, through God’s eyes, who doesn’t see skin hue. God examine’s a man’s HEART. Our skin color doesn’t define us. We could be a stronger country, a stronger state, a stronger community, if we stop looking at the SURFACE of a man and examine the HEART of a man. 

A nation that claims to be under God is the furthest thing from it. But we can get back to it…2 Chronicles 7:14