Saturday, November 27, 2010


Thanksgiving. One of the few admirable holidays left. Somehow over the years it has not been tainted by commercial media. It is about thanks and this year's Thanksgiving was spent on the verge of tears. It has been a rough year. I have survived something I never believed I could survived. I told my wife in late December last year that I would find a way to be OK. At the time, I did not believe it. I was lying. But here I sit, very much alive. Changed in many ways. There are people to thank...people that kept me alive. Here is a short list, even though God sent a lot of people to help me through.

God. You brought me things that are unthinkable. You gave me family that never belonged to me and they were there to pick me off of the ground. You are the very strength that picks me off of my face.

My wife- you suffered as much as I did. You are the strong one. You kept it together while I fell into piles. You are my guardian. You are my angel.

My kids- You reminded me that there is innocence left and that God values those that have faith like a child.

Mom- I know how much you pray for me. You always have. We are very much alike and you see where I hurt.

Jason my brother- You cried with me, not for me. That meant a lot to me. It meant a lot that you knew how much Will meant to me.

JoAnn- You help me to think clearly. You remind me that Will is not missing from me. He is here in my heart. You say it in almost every conversation we have. It helps to hear from a person who loved him more than words could express.

Joe- We are what is left. Things won't be the same little brother. We will always be missing someone, but the Dead End Kids will prevail. We will fight keep fighting.

Audrey- You have a strength and heart that people don't often see. I see it. You are golden. Don't stop caring so much, no matter what this world does to you. I know what Will meant to you. He was special. I am sorry.

Jim- You have always been there for a kid that didn't have much. Never knew a dad and had no idea how to be a man. Thank you. I needed a hug standing in front of my brother who laid in a box never made for him. You gave me love.

Andy- You have hell in front of you and still had time to comfort your big brother. You were never hard to find and were always listening. You cried with me on my shoulder. I will never forget who you are to me.

Every single person who gave me comfort- I read the things you said. I took them to heart and believe them. I praise God for you because you were strength in a time I had none.

This is Thanksgiving. I really understand for the first time ever what it means to be thankful on this day. My God is great and thank Him for everything.


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Speaking Truth

What do you really mean? When you say things that have been jumping around in your head for so long, when they come out in many different ways, they are hard to understand. It takes a real guru to interpret what others are trying to say when they are saying them in their own language.

We don't all speak the same language. If I have offended you, tell me in the most direct language you can so I can understand what you are saying. If you tell me you are appalled at my candor, I interpret that as ....What?!? My bravado? My loud voice? My brash tendency to say things? My lack of tact? I don't know what you want and neither do others.

Say what you mean? Say it clearly.

The problem is that no one likes a confrontation because we don't like others not liking us. Valid point. People do dislike people that speak the truth. But if you don't speak the truth in an understandable manner, that truth will never be known to the audience you wish to reach.

I would rather a person tell me that I need to work on my delivery when speaking to others than a person that tells me I am ignorant without any real insight or direction.

The moral of the story is...Tell me what is on your mind completely and don't leave anything out. Even if the truth hurts, it is still truth. God uses the truth.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010


It is easy to fall off. Life doesn't meet you anywhere. Most of us have to work for everything and it gets tiring. If you don't have to work for it, it doesn't mean much to us.

The same can be said of our faith. Christ did the work of redemption. It is final. Christ and Christ alone paid for sins, however, a life lived without working in your faith isn't really faith at all. It is just a hunch. A hunch isn't going to do anyone any good. A hunch isn't what Jesus had in mind when He said to take up your cross and follow me. He was speaking of a life-long and every fiber of who you are kind of commitment. That cross was the instrument of His death and our redemption. Taking up that cross means dying to ourselves. This is where people fall off. People like me. It isn't easy to die to leave our plans behind if He asks us to. It isn't easy to watch the things you have dreamed of since you were a kid slip right through your fingers like water through cupped hands. We can't always see something better in our future, we can only mourn our losses.

I think this is where I often get caught up. I feel like a failure because I am not accomplishing the things I had hoped to accomplish by now and in the process I forget that God still has plans for me. What waits behind the door is wonderful and perfect, even if I try to ruin it.

Ray LaMontague sings this song that says, "All my heroes have gone to Heaven." That is a real shame. I pray I have not stopped looking for heroes here and now. If I have, I am beaten. God always sends us people. The right people. The ones that will tell you point blank to your face that you are messing up and say it with love and gentleness, or even without gentleness. People who are willing to call you out are heroes. Because we need a reality check sometimes to get our heads screwed back on forwards.


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Still Remains

Last night, I had this dream. It was a weird continuation of an already weird dream. I think we all have this. It is a strange phenomenon, like deja vu. I was dreaming of this time I wrote about several months ago, that Will was still alive...somehow resurrected from his own ashes.

I was so mad at myself for lying to you. For writing about all of the sadness and grief, when he was still alive by some unheard and unheralded miracle of modern medicine. I was fighting with myself to tell you that he was alive and I was some kind of fraud for beckoning for you to weep with me. I was mad at myself, but happy that he was still with me. All the memories, all the feelings came rushing back. I was so excited to tell you the great news.

Then my eyes slowly opened. I looked up at the ceiling as the blurring twisted into focus. Reality. It still was one of my worst fears. Reality.

Then I realized that reality is what God has given us. What still remains. What still remains is amazing. 


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still Singing

There is a difference between a broken heart and a broken spirit. A broken heart is spraining an ankle during a race you have trained your entire life for. A broken spirit is choosing not to finish anyway. I may have had my heart vaporized for the enemy to breathe in and get high off of, but my spirit remains. I will still fight. Something inside me has given me the will to battle.

This is what makes God so special to me. Because the fight is waged with Him. Without Him, I tried to end my own life. With Him, while in the midst of the worst pain I ave ever felt, I feel a quickening to move forward crippled and staggering, and I will drag myself with the help of my God to a place where it isn't so bad anymore. I can't see the destination, but I know it is there, it has to be. God has made a secret promise to my heart that it is up there and I am going to get there.

These past two days have been crushing and I feel every bit shattered under the weight. I have the need to grizzly hibernate until New Years. But I don't have it in me to give up.

You can tell me God isn't real. You can tell me that I have been imagining all that He has done. You can tell me that faith is a coping mechanism. You can tell me you think I am naive. But you can never see through my eyes. You can never feel the power that God sent through me when I finally decided to surrender. You can't taste the tears that soaked through my hair as my heart broke and I let go. I threw up my arms to the sky and opened my once shaking fists to God and asked for help. Help arrived 2000 years ago, and He came back for me. This is the Spirit that reigns inside of me. This is the very thing that pulls me from the belly of the fish with my head wrapped in seaweed to breathe in real air. An air that is inspired, not polluted. The breath of God that enters your nostrils and sustains a life lived in the truth.

I was wounded while singing and searching for other whales. I was bloodied and poached. I will keep swimming and I will keep singing.


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Monday, November 8, 2010


I was watching Storm Chasers last night. It is a show on Discovery chronicling these tornado chasers as they try to get into the middle of a twister, the finger of God. On the show, there is this really nice guy working with a brash and unreasonable guy who is trying to get the perfect shot for his Imax film. On last night's episode, they dedicated it to the nice guy. His name was Matt Hughes, and after getting the shot for the Imax guy, and spending time inside a tornado for the very first time, he hung himself. He had a wife and two kids.

Bummed me out because he reminds me of Will. Super nice, but easy to take advantage of and quiet about what rages within. This is a tough time for me. When I was 12, I had a friend hang himself around this time. Christmas is coming and that is bringing a little bit of dread as well. I love Christmas and I don't think that is going to change, however, it may become bittersweet. It can bring both reflection on Christ and sadness. I can't believe it has already almost been a year. I still dream about him. I still see his face in others. I still feel the ghosts when I drive by the places we frequently set our feet down. I know he isn't there. I would never want him to be. I would never want him to still have to linger here, watching his family drone by at times.

I know where you are Will. I hate how you got there, but I know where you are and that gives me a smile through the tears. I will never forget a single moment spent with you. I miss our huge, moronic hats. I miss knowing you were around if I needed you, my big brother. I miss making Dorito sandwiches and baking pot roast in the night. I miss the way you played bass, simple, yet effective. I miss it all; everything. May God tell you how much I love you and may He never tell you how much I miss you.


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Saturday, November 6, 2010


I think life can be one big lesson in structural integrity.  We build and collapse, rebuild. I think the point of the lesson is to learn how to prevent total collapse. It is easy to give up on everything when we are exposed for being weak in some areas. A building is only as strong as it's weakest part. A person can appear to have everything they need to weather any storm that might arise. The appearance of fortitude. Until God allows us to be exposed. The Bible says that things kept in secret will be dragged into the light. This is done for very good reason. It teaches us how to work on, particularly pray for help in the things that leave us vulnerable for collapse. Maybe down the road, we get hit hard, but do not collapse. Our structural damages and the cracks that cannot be filled in can serve as a blessing and an avenue to glorify God.

But there still is the learning. The learning sucks for people like me. I don't learn easy. Too much pride and stubbornness in my ways and thoughts. I for some reason actually believe I have it figured out sometimes. Dumb. I don't know anything except the existence of a loving and active God. I can't prove it, but my hope is that others at least see God's effect on my life.

I promise. You would not have liked me before God picked me up out of the mud. I wouldn't have liked you either. Not because you would have been a bad person, but because I was committed not to like anyone but my brothers Joe and Will. Looking where I have come from is an aid to reminding me how much work is left to do.  I fear often that my relationship with God has peaked and He is finished with His mission and goals for my life. I know this isn't true. But I feel it all the same, I think in part to me being so tired of walking. So tired of everything it seems.

But it is during weakness and collapse that God is best glorified. When we have lost all will to try and keep fighting. When everyone is a witness to your shame and pity you. When all we can do is hope and rely on God to sustain us. This is when God really shines in us. This is the good stuff of life and faith. When faith is necessary comes beauty. For faith to become necessary, we must lose every inclination to take control.


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dumb School

Ahhhh! I have been so busy. I hate it. It drains all creativity from me and makes me want to just sleep when I get a spare moment. I don't want to read anything because I have been reading a really boring textbook forever and my idiot eyes hurt. Cannot wait until August when I graduate and can play music again and write with my heart again. Sometimes I am really inspired and others I feel like I am writing just to keep something on this blog.

I have script ideas and ideations to write them. I have a band waiting for me to finish so we can create again. Mostly I have a family that misses me being around, both physically and mentally.


Regardless of my plight... I will still...

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