Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Los Vegas. Once again in a tin can 10,000 feet in the air. We had a great time, but miss our kids deeply.
Sin City does live up to it's name. We spent a night on the stip and decided it isn't for us. So much porn peddling and public drunkenness. This one guy on his birthday was being carried through the strip unconscious. That will be the worst day after birthday ever. We spent most of the time eating and seeing the things we have always wanted to see.
We went on a day trip to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. On the way we ate at Rosie's, a roadside cowpoke diner that sold Indian artifacts and served grey steak.
I needed to go. Getting out of Michigan for a while was very necessary, and in doing so I was reminded how important to me those around me are. Andy, my brother, who put us up and taxied us around. He will never know how much he means to me. My wife, who had real fun for the first time in a while. My kids who I can't wait to see. My family and friends at home that have been buried in the trenches with me, especially for the last three months.
God is good. Beauty is on the horizon. More stories to come.,

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Above Sea Level

A mile above sea level. The planes tears through the clouds at what seems from this vantage point at about 3 or 4 MPH. We are coasting throuh layers of clouds, a blanket above us and a blanket below. It is serene. To be this far above the busy world be exempt from it's hatred and malice. Not much to be angry about here. I am usually afraid to fly, but thanks to a Xanax, I am calm. People are sleeping all around me and the noise cancelling headphones Laura got me on my birthday last year assure my departure from the world around me.
It just feels good to be going get out of the atmosphere that has become so terribly tragic. To be going anywhere feels nice. I usually sit under this sky at home and watch the planes dart across the sky leaving their marks as they scratch the sky. I always wonder where they are going. I always wish I could be going someplace to. Anywhere but here, just for a while.
So here I am. Eating a tiny bag of preztels, trying to hold my desire to use the bathroom because I have already gone once and people have to get up to let me out. No turbulence. This is what most people dream of: To live their lives without turbulence, and without struggle. It would be nice, but then what would set us apart from each other? Our lives are best defined by the way we stand or fall during times of personal and universal crisis. We need them to build character. There is this little neighborhood in Livonia, where all the houses are different and trees line it's streets in random fashion. The houses aren't huge, but they look like home, and smell like home. The differences give them meaning. Our differences give us meaning.
My first time on a plane. I freaked out with every shake of that plane. I would lool around and no one was even looking up from their magazines. They had experienced enough turbulence to know it was no big deal. Take a person who has never had adversity in their lives and give them crisis and they may lose it while thos around them that have been there know there is another side of peace to the storm. We are the ones that God uses to calm those in crisis.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Friday, March 26, 2010


I wish I had a sufficient answer to why people we love die. I just went to a viewing of a dear friend's mother. She was way too young.

I think this is why I hate doing funerals. Officiating weddings, I can handle, but funerals are the worst. There really is nothing I can say to a person who has lost a person that breast fed them. That took the time and love to discipline them. That worked their fingers raw to support them. To most people in this world, these people are incidental occurrences, but they mean the world to others. They dominate our memories. I didn't know her well, but I know her family well. So I grieve too. I grieve because I don't know any reason that a person should die. I know that sin has caused death to everything in the garden, but I don't understand why with my heart, only my head.

This life can get pretty crummy.

My friend Melissa sent me this song that reminded her of me. I have been listening all day and it brings me some comfort. It is called "Before The Morning" by Josh Wilson. The first verse says: "Do you wonder why you have to feel the things that hurt you, if there's a God who loves you. Where is He now? Well maybe, there are things you can't see and all those things are happening, to bring a better ending."

I hope that God shines His light into your lives. Lifts you up to His place of Glory, and gives you understanding. You are very special people, raised by really special people.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still Walking

The last time I walked this path, it was in a snow storm. I walked backwards so no one could follow my tracks...I didn't want to be found. I wanted to be alone with God. I am sitting beside a ten foot statue of Mary praying to her own Son. Even Mary needed redemption.

This has been one of the hardest weeks for me since Will has been gone. I just can't get him out of my head, even my dreams. I can't see an end at all. You don't lose someone this important and get to live normally. My wife was right...I will never be the same person and maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I value life too much. Maybe I love my life and am in danger of losing it. Maybe I should long for Heaven more and more every day. Isn't it better to be with God?

I hate the emptiness I feel sometimes. It feels like I lost everything when I have everything. I pray to God for better days, but they have yet to come. So here I am sitting on a bench, praying for the mercy of God Himself, wishing I had a second chance at life to change my actions. I won't get that chance. No one does and it really sucks.

I feel alone, but I am not. I am alive. I sit here and breathe and that is a miracle because I have never felt such pain. God is at work. God has humbled me to dust. I am nothing, but His work in me is something.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Evidence Of Life

I know it's getting annoying for most of my readers...This constant diet of sadness from me. It annoys me, so I can only imagine how frustrated you must feel. But this is life. Real life. We are not living in a sitcom where all of the tragedy is eaten by the comedy and all is better after a couple of episodes. Real life is ugly, rarely played with finesse. Some things effect a person forever. That person is changed. I can't help but be changed. What a contrast between the man who was just hit by an SUV and saved to now. I have no excuse. I have nothing to say in my defense.

I always told my wife that I had this hunch that God was preparing me to go through something terrible. Maybe this is it. I certainly hope there is not even worse to come, because I don't believe I could take it. God is good. All the time. Life though can be bad sometimes. This is the reality of true life. We are not in the movies. We all don't get a happy ending while we are here in these bones, buried beneath this skin. Some of us never get what American media would suggest a happy ending. A few of my friends are finding this out right now. I have never expected it.

Little memories keep dominating my thoughts. 20 seconds of every minute of the day is devoted to Will. Today I was listening to my ipod and What A Day by Greg Laswell came on. This was the song that was playing as I watched the men in suits wheel a gurney with my brother wrapped in a white sheet on it into a big van. The line that was playing was, "What a way to say goodbye." I remember the irony of that moment: The way Gumby and I looked at each other and then back at him and knew things would never be the same for us. Christmas was ruined forever. Every time we would get together, we would be missing part of who we are. Everything we used to do, we could never do again. It would hurt too much. Will was never meant to fit into the back of a van. I can't believe they fit him into it. It was raining on Christmas in Michigan. Literally. All day long and it never stopped raining.

I have been trying so hard to say goodbye. I can't. I have no idea how to. How do you say goodbye to your own heart hanging from the garage rafters? I visit his niche, where his ashes are placed. I think about him. I look at his things that I have. I spend as much time as I can with his kids. I pray and pray that God would tell him things. I call his mother and spend time with his/my family. I sit in front of a statue at a church and weep. Nothing gives me goodbye. So I write things that bum people out. Because it is my only method of goodbye that I have that helps at all. Tomorrow I will regret writing this like today I regretted writing last night. Because it is embarrassing. It is my heart. Nights are miserable sometimes and cruel. Everything I love reminds me of him. Every memory of him reminds me of his sadness. Every memory of his sadness reminds me of the awful state of this world.

Another line in the Greg Laswell song says, "Bring on the evidence of my life." The words give me hope. He may have went to God quietly in the night by himself, but he left us with so much. His life impacted me for the entirety of my life. When you feel like you have nothing all your life, the things you have mean everything to you. Even the little things. A true friend is hard to find. A true friend would lose his life for you. Will was it. There was a time when I would not have made it without him. The evidence of his life is everywhere. The way his brother suffers now for something better. The way his mother pushes forward and worries so much for everyone else when you would expect her to fall apart. The way his father appreciates every little thing about Will: He wears just his shoe lace around his neck. He isn't hard to please. The way my son cries at least once a week because he can't understand why he can't see his uncle Will. The way his sister dedicates her life to his kids even though she knows it could end in heartache. These are the things Will would have done. This is the evidence of his life. This is who he has always been. Tell me of his selfishness and I will tell you of his selflessness. He was my friend: Right or wrong, I would defend him and vice versa.

So here it is 3 AM again and I sit alone at my computer, listening to music that makes it worse, with no idea how to press on, but I will, by the grace of God, I will.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Miss You

I would call you now...if you were anywhere near here.

But your not. You are happy in Heaven and to be honest, sometimes that makes me mad at you. You are there and I am here. I did nothing but love you and you left by yourself and get to be happy while I am so sad. Can't get it out of my head today. It is a disease that festers and grows. I have no defense. I am Ok most days for most hours, but for now I am not Ok. Today has been a battle between me and guilt and anger.

I deserve a lot in this world, even death, but I just can't seem to see what I did to deserve this. Not that God hands out heartache on a merit basis, but because I am tired of things going badly for me and not knowing why. I try so hard. I pray so much. I analyze myself and point out my own faults and try to fix them. I make an honest life. So why do I have to suffer this?

I bet Job asked the same question. I am not Job. So I guess I get the same answer. I still don't like it.

I will try tonight and sit and think of something good, so I can get by, but I sure don't want to. I want to fall apart tonight. Although I hope to see him again as an old man walking through those gates to him like a long lost loved one through an airport tunnel, I want to see him now. Right now!

I wish I could think of the positives instead of the negatives, because there are so many good things God has given me.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Slow To Speak

Whatever leads me to Your heart, that's where I want to be. It may be rain, and it may be cold. My tears may fall like glass to the ground, and my soul may long for better days, but you are all I have, so lead me through whatever you will to bring me close to You.

I feel like my life is a mosaic made by my Creator. I look at these random and isolated incidents and can't believe I never saw what was really happening. I could see only right in front of my like some idiot race horse following a hot dog tied to his head. I am sure I ran right by at least a million hot dogs trying to chase that one. All the while, God was creating something in me. I like to think He has grinned more than a few times at my frustration, knowing where I was going to end up. Happy. The in between events don't mean much to me now. They are the wasting of my time on foolishness. It is the hurricanes that fascinate me; that floor me and leave me speechless. Those times when The glory of God is all around me and I don't even know it until I get past it. I can't see God, but I can see where He has been.

These are better days, days I never thought I would see at 19 years old. I saw only hopelessness and disappointment. I walked away from the good things because I never believed they were really good or would be what they were supposed to be. There was always something that made them too good to be true and I admit that most things still are too good to be true. There is a light that shines brighter than the brightest star shining into my once dark heart. He asks me not to forget to light up for Him. So people can find me and find God in me. God's art put on display through a cracked and tattered canvas.

Today makes me think of Will. Everyday does, but today I can think of him and smile. We used to cut school and lay on top of my car in the park all day, just talking about what it means to be 18 and here in this world. I miss him so much. I could never replace him. But God is good and faithful to heal, to take something so crushing and use it as an opportunity to expose His heart to me. He pushes me to expose mine to you. I am not perfect. Will was not perfect. You are not perfect. But God is. God offers it to us. It is strange how when a loved one dies, even their faults are precious to you. You can only see the great things that made them great, they become Superman to you more than ever. Why can't we see people that way now? Why can't even our faults draw us closer to each other? None of us are perfect, so why don't we celebrate the redemption Christ offers us and look past all faults and see the work of art God has done in our lives? I read some of the comments people post on others blogs. Some of the bloggers are spilling out their guts to the world and here comes a "Christian" onto a voluntary blog of another's thoughts and spew venom at them. Some people just want to be mean and argue. They say things they would never say in person to another human who still feels heartbreak even if it is over binary flashing lights. People are hateful. How about we be slow to speak and quick to listen?


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How Amazing

Every day the world forgets God's hands can heal. Suffering is life. There is no getting around it. It doesn't matter if you are a dedicated Christian or a pagan nature worshipper. Life is full of disaster and it isn't just because you are being punished. It is because sin killed the world. The world and everything in it, perfect and beautiful, was raped.

God came here to give us hope and healing. Healing in every way...physically, spiritually, and mentally. It is His joy to make us better, to shape us from the clay we have formed into hell. You don't have to look around too long to find out how miserable this world can be. But you also don't have to look too long to see how much of God's Creation still bleeds beauty before us. Most of us have a special place of beauty we retreat to sometimes. This place is usually, at least for me, a place that man cannot ruin or tarnish. It is a place made by God and can't be touched.

We can forget that God is next to us offering healing or we can fall into His arms, it is sometimes our choice. I have learned in my life that I have nothing. I am helpless. I am what Roman's calls an open pit. People can follow me right into it. But God reigns and is faithful...and I am not. Living in grace is difficult because we have a hard time understanding it, knowing ourselves. But it is still true. It is still grace. Whatever you have done...there is healing. If your eyes drop tears that break like glass, you have a reason not to weep over what has been broken. Our brokenness serves to keep us humble and to keep us honest. It serves to show us just how amazing grace really is.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Wife

I feel bad for people who don't have a wife like mine.

I caught her staring at me at a wedding of a mutual friend in 1999. I have a sixth sense about people staring at me. When you have so many twitches and quirks, you learn to feel it on your neck. Every time I looked over at her (Obviously I was staring too) she was looking and did the precious look away really fast like he didn't notice thing. I grabbed a camera from the table at the reception hall and turned and took a quick picture of her looking at me. The bride later gave us that picture, but I have no idea where it is. Later, my friend Wes called me over to show me this baby Laura was holding. I reached down and picked it up and apparently, I grazed her she says. She later came over and asked me if I was going to ask her to dance or what. I guess it is customary to at least dance with the girl you inadvertently felt up at a wedding. We danced all night long, but at the end of the night, I asked her for her number and she hesitated to give it to me. Really. All night we dance and you aren't going to give me your number? She gave it to me and like Jon Favreau from Swingers I called her the next day at like 10 AM. I usually waited a week or so before I would call, but she was different. We went on our first date and we are still dancing now.

There have been so many hard times with me. I realize I come with a lot of baggage and here she is still standing by my side. She lives her vows to me every day and I look up to her so much. She is my wife.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life is...

Unpredictable. But full of predictiable things. That's why we are so easily confused by it. When we have figured something out, we get more questions and things shift like an unnoticed quake beneath our feet. Life seems to let us in on some of it's secrets, and even let's us teach those little things to others...but once pride sets in, we are shaken from beneath and all of the sudden we are upside down. 

Everything in your life and understanding of it can lead us to the most logical answers and directions. We think it must be God. But when did God ever choose the most logical route to anything. He puts the wise to shame with His Son in the form of the common man. He used more unextraordinary men to build His Church.

Sometimes up is down and right is left. He told us not to lean on our own understanding and to follow Him like a child. Faith.

Life is faith.


-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waving White Flags

Sometimes things don't go as planned. Sometimes when they aren't quite right, we push on with our eyes closed trusting God that the path is clear ahead of us. Sometimes we stall out for a while. Sit and wait for that moment when it all kind of makes sense or at least until we don't have the energy to stay put. 

It's my birthday today. Year 31 was not kind to me. It was a frozen, blistering siege I have been fighting my way out of. Joseph Arthur said "It ain't easier, waking up at dawn to find I've lost my crown. If I found you there with flowers in your hair, I'd hold you in my arms, until you came back down. A smile that explodes, I could never understand." these are my thoughts he wrote down in song. I still wake up with the feeling of loss.

But the question remains: Do we push forward with our eyes closed or stall out. I tried the stalling out. It is only good for a minute. I will push through. 32 doesn't have to be the echo of 31. It can be the time to clean up the wreckage.


-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I will kick over an elderly man to avoid waiting one person longer in a line.

That is exaggerated, so please don't send angry comments.

Point is, I hate lines. I just hate them. I hate standing in them. I hate sitting in them. They are THE worst waste of time. You can get nothing productive done waiting in a line for your tags or your sandwich.

I see it this way: Every moment you wait in a line, is a moment cut off of the end of your life. Imagine all of the things that you can do in the golden years of your life if you were given all of your waiting time back. I think of a line as keeping me from saying goodbye to my grandson who lives in Turtle Beach New Hampshire, or keeping me from finishing a really good book you will never finish once you are dead.

I will step from my car and scope out the parking lot looking for any potential racers. I make eye contact with a family of 5 who have just exited their car and are heading for the door, slightly ahead of me. I race in front of them to the door, pretending like I am trying to be really polite and open it for them. I open the door and let the children in, but let go just before the parents so I can make my final dash to the counter.

That's how much I hate lines.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I remember a time when my family went to Cedar Point with some of my mom's friends. I think I must have been 6 or 7 at the time. I remember the smell of corn dogs my mom loved so much. She always said Cedar Point had the best corn dogs you could get, then A&W. It was the 80's so we were drowning in a sea of mullets and fanny packs. Hot pink painters hats reflected the sun from their eyes and into yours as you made your way through the lines at 90 degrees.

We used to run ahead to get on the rides. I could not and still cannot stand to be even one person from the front of any line.

The people were eating their hot dogs and sweating as I slipped away from my mother's sight. It doesn't take much to get lost in 10 thousand people. I looked around and saw nothing by mullets and corn dogs. I was lost for the first time in my life. I was scared. I asked a worker in a blue cloak for help and they took me to the office where my mother was paged and I was returned to her.

It reminds me of when Jesus was hanging on that cross and was lost for the first time. He said. "My God, my God, why have you left me?" I can't even imagine what that felt like, but I can try. To be separated from your Father for the first time and to be alone must have been the worst part. After all of the beatings and blood, the horror and fear. The mocking. The insults. This is His only complaint. Where is His Father? His source of comfort. He needs his dad and He is lost.

Imagine the sorrow of the Father as He watched His only Son suffer like that and call out for daddy out of loneliness. I can only picture my own son. If he cried out for help, I would tear off my flesh to help him. To be held back would be torture worse than disembowelment.

We all feel lost from time to time. God has promised, because of His Son that He would never leave us or forsake us. I feel lost so much I don't often know where I even am. I try so hard and learn so much, but these things only have led to more questions. So I stop and take a breather. Look to my mentors and take comfort that they don't know everything either and remember that in this boat, we are all sitting in the storm. But here is Jesus still walking on water. Still offering healing. Still asking you to step out of that boat and walk.

Life really sucks sometimes. It hurts so bad that you can barely breathe. But other times, our God fills us up beyond what we could ever measure. Sometimes, our Father lifts us up to the sun for a little light. We are not always in darkness. We are not always cursed. Sometimes we are the very heart of God shown for all to see, despite every broken and lost part of us.

Let your love be art and your heart be one with Him.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I was teaching on Sunday morning at my church when I told a story about my relationship with police officers. My pastor asked me to write about it. So I will today because I am thinking positively today. I have learned to not write about groups of people while I am thinking negatively because it winds up sounding negative, not rocket science I know, but it takes me longer to learn I think.

Cops and I bring balance to each other.
1. I get to keep humble by never becoming rich due to all of the fines.
2. They get to get out of their cars in the rain, keeping them honest.

We sense each others presence. If one is behind me, I feel creepiness at my back and we turn and always make eye contact. Once eye contact is made, it is too late like when you look into the eyes of a vampire. I am hit and going down. Even if I am not driving. Here are my positive and negative experiences with police. Well, I could not ever write all of them because there isn't enough server space on blogger.

I was driving 70 in a 25 mph zone. I was late for my own graduation commencement. The cop came to my door with this look on his face and asked what in the HECK I was driving so fast for. I told him and he gave me a police escort to my graduation at 80 mph.

I was once let off of a ticket because I took out my wallet and put it with my hands on top of the steering wheel for him to easily see. This is a trick my father in law taught me that really does work.

Well, that's about it for the positives. Sorry.

I have been beaten up twice by police officers. Neither of them gave me a ticket, because I was pulled over for no reason except to see what a young kid was doing out late.

I was struck by an suv and the officer refused to make a police report after showing up 45 minutes later.

Because I want to have balance between positive and negative, I will not post any more. But you get my point.

I love cops and understand that there are so many good ones out there that really care and have not been corrupted by the machine yet. I understand the need for order and protection and love that there are police in our society.

However, some of these guys should have never been given guns. Power hungry people should never be given power because that is a recipe for oppression.

Give me your positive and negative police stories.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.


We were in a little cafe covered in brick walls and cheap local paintings. The place was filled with conversation and coffee. Smoke billowed from the lips of most of the customers who called this little place their home away from home for years. Woolen sweaters, Feivel hats, and Doc Martins were required at the door.

I miss Java Joe's.

Will, Joe, and I used to go there and hang out. Then we would go to the Total gas station a mile from their home and talk to Jeff, the gas station attendant. I am not sure a truthful word rolled off of our tongues. We lied about everything. It was nice to be someone else without others knowing. We claimed to be in this band that was on the verge of getting signed and had toured with The Spin Doctors. He was star struck I think, or just fascinated at how dumb we were. We would come walking in there every night with these huge winter hats with the flaps that I still wear to this day. We would sit in there and drink that miserable coffee that comes out of the machine and lie all night long. Then we would hop in Joe's big van and drive off kind of wishing we really were the kids were were lying about. The story is always better than the reality, like our memories are always better than the way they really happened.

I am glad I could never grow a mustache. I would look like a pervert in one. I don't quite get how some people would look weird without one and others would look sick with one.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What Remains

I was laying on top of a dryer, basking like an Iguana in the heat of it's surface. I was 10 or 11 and I was crying. I remember singing Yesterday from the Beatles to myself and wondering how I was going to make it out alive, or if I could at all.

Life for a pre-tweener can be a lonely place and a dreadful existence. It was for me, but then again, it was also miserable for my tweener, teen, and young adult years, so maybe I have been conditioned.

I was always looking for heat sources. I would sleep on the heater beneath the table, or the dryer. This is still the case today. I do have no idea why I do this. It might be some complex comforting mechanism or something, or maybe I just like heat. I used to get made fun of because when I worked at a factory, I would spend my breaks in the winter outside standing by the huge vent that exhausted the machine heat into the cold sky.

I prayed on that dryer for mercy. God answered and I knew I wasn't alone for a moment. This was a different dryer 10 years later. I was remembering the time I had spent as a kid laying on those heat sources and God allowed me to see that He was there with me. That I was always going to be ok and that I was safe in His arms my entire life. I think He has been trying to tell me that lately too.

God is good. We really suffer some hard times in this life. Some of us seem to go through hell and back again.

Phil. 1:12   Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

Our suffering is not forever and God is our protector. I am covered in scars, but filled with God's love and grace. I am drenched in blood and torn to pieces, but I have been touched with the finger of God. I have been sifted and strained then poured out in front of everyone, but God uses what remains to His glory always.

I am blessed in the midst of tragedy and triumph and I will remain.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.