Sunday, October 31, 2010


Just recently I decided to join all my existing blogs into one hybrid. As I was sitting in front of the computer I noticed the title "discontinued" I typed it earlier that day and was just too tired to muster up any creativity to provide a decent title, therefor the word "discontinued" came to mind. Later this morning I sat in front of the computer thinking of that very word. It struck a chord, it spoke to me! I wasn't sure exactly what, but it did. As I began to write this post it became clear as to why. When my stroke had initially occurred my wife and I felt truly numb from all the pain and shock. We were desperately seeking for friends to comfort us and let us know that things would be alright. Much to my surprise, people became distant and the harder we cried out for comfort the quicker people turned away. Kindness is a true gift and it is something that is longed for when it is seldom seen. I remember a story from a movie, one that reaches into the depths of my heart and it correlates to this very situation. The Man In The Iron Mask was a unique story in many ways, the premise is laid out as this  "The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king" The king feared being replaced by his twin only because he was such a cruel king. 
     When I survived my stroke I felt I was imprisoned by a mask, a mask for which I did not desire or wish to carry by any means. I felt imprisoned by this unflattering beast that held my face under lock and key. No matter what I did or how I begged for mercy from friends and church people I was left in a prison of misunderstanding and shame. No one had the key but the king and I was alive and in need of compassion. I was a prisoner of circumstance not of choice! So here I am under a mask of pain, trying to let others who are imprisoned know that they can have hope and know they are only as free as what their minds will allow. No king or countrymen can captivate the mind with bars or metal masks of injustice. I am here and I accept who I am and what I am and Gods love goes beyond the metal masks and the bars of life. I am free because I choose hope and the grace of God will carry me onward! People hide in bubbles, whether it be in religion, class, social acceptance, peer pressure etc. Pain has a funny way of stripping all that away and for that I am thankful. I am seeing for the first time what true friendship is about and what real love does.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Tears In The Rain

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where Pigs Lay

There I was standing outside under the dark clouds of winters smile. I could see that this was going to be tough, well more than tough. I grabbed my water jug belt and my flashlight head band and with a arm reflector I was on my way. I never felt so insecure, the winds didn't look favourable and the weather had this slight grin, almost like a bully meeting you in a playground. Inevitably there was going to be a confrontation but I didn't care. I was determined and my heart was filled to the top with excitement. Today I was going to beat the elements of weather and most of all beat the mental battle that laid ahead. All morning I had struggled with my mental aquity, my body was just not getting the big picture so I needed to draw it out all over again. I needed to get out of the self pity mud pile and accomplish something worth being proud of, so I put on my jogging clothes and headed for the door. As I began my run I felt the stroke symptoms start to melt like wax, slowly bending into the rhythm of each stride taken. Not long after I accomplished my first few miles, my right leg decided it was time to discuss the crazy notion of long distance running. The pain shot through my entire body for some period of time. I decided it was time to rest for a moment and collect my thoughts, my prayers, my goal. I looked up into the dark sky above and then gently rubbed my leg, it was time to commit or just back down. Well I decided at that point to try even harder, I don't really know why I am so stubborn when it comes to giving in. Maybe it was the way my mom raised me or the way that I knew that God was bigger than my present trial. Since the obstacles before me looked ominous I felt the need to pursue it even more, with passion! The road twisted and turned and the noisy cars fell behind me in silence. I took the time to pray in my head and dream of all the things that God could do in me and in others. I was dreaming a beautiful dream, it was like smelling lavender. It was so precious, so wonderful! After an hour of running the clouds decided to join and the rain began to dance across my lips, all around my face with little reminders of the season that stood before me. The darkness slowly invaded my journey and I was left to a tiny light and the sound of my feet pounding the concrete. This was one of those moments that you never forget, like your mothers warm gentle hugs or a lovers kiss. Except this moment was covered in loneliness, tainted with a silent fear. Everything was dark and I was on my own, I needed to accomplish this run. It was more about the darkness than anything else, the subtle feeling of what a stroke feels like. Out on your own, in the middle of nowhere trying to find reality. I was looking for my way back home. There was a deep feeling of concern so I stopped and prayed for some courage and to realize that God is with me no matter what. Suddenly the run became a mental battle over silence, over fear of abandonment. As I approached my destination I receive a phone call from my wife and the words were so comforting. The encouragement was profound, though I could not speak properly she understood that I was coming home. With my speech in my pocket and hope in my heart I made it home. I slumped at the door whispering these words "I made it, I made it, I did it"
I wiped away the tears and felt a gentle hug from my wife. It warmed my body with a sense of joy and triumph!
I was not going to let my circumstances define me, hold me captive..

Now if I lay in the mud of my own self pity
the only thing I will gain
is a company of pigs
but if I rise above
and soar among the clouds
filled with heavens glory
I will sing among angels
I will taste victory
I will breathe the peace
that passes all understanding
and there will I know
that God is the lifter of my soul
my countenance
the power that can roll any stone
make any darkness fade
He is the resurrection of my hope


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The Beauty And The Beast

Sudden pulsing and twitching throbbed through my entire body, everything was in complete hysteria. It was as though someone had entered my body and began playing with my mind, there was no control only sudden fear. I watched myself begin to shake as everything became blurry, my head was shaking so hard that the world abruptly changed from sharp crisp images into a haze of uncertainty. I had just experienced my first seizure, my legs were throbbing from the pain and my arms were bruised from the piercing jolts of sudden movements. I slowly rolled over onto my stomach only to feel nauseous from the intense battle for normality, for peace. As I stood up I felt as though I had just been in a fight with someone I could not see or feel. I felt helpless and afraid but I knew right there and then that this was the stroke. The damage to my brain was beginning to surface in ways that I did not imagine. I was starting a whole new journey, a journey with another barrier begging me for defeat. I got on my knees and just asked God one thing " Can you hold me?" Hold my body in the midst of a trembling soul. I needed to just hear the heartbeat of Gods love and grace, His dedicated love. I know that when things become suddenly cloudy we often panic, we fear the unknown. It is in our very nature to want clarity! I just rested in silence wanting to hear my heart calm down, to hear my breathe speak softly. As I contemplated my future I remembered my past and all the wonderful memories I had of my healthy body. I could run where ever I choose, there was no worries just freedom. I felt there was a beast that laid within, a monster who wanted to break out of this fragile body but to no avail. Surprisingly as I walked through my hallway I noticed a picture that was worth more than a thousand words, more than tears mixed with pain. It was a picture of the movie "Beauty And The Beast", we had purchased the photo in remembrance of our love for one another. Little did I know that it would literally describe our circumstances, our world of suffering. I was the beast and my wife was belle the beautiful maiden of uncompromisable faith and love. She could see into my heart, beyond the monster that stood before her. The photo was a remarkable epiphany! I came to a conclusion that would leave such a profound mark, a thought that gave me comfort and discourse all rolled into one picture. That moment gave me understanding that Gods love is much deeper than our limitations, our lives. I needed to understand that my wifes love was good enough for me and who I was and who I wasn't. I am loved just as I am, are you?! Do you feel that what you are and what you are not is sufficient for devotion? That you are loved no matter what you wish you could be or what you wish was not there. It is hard to imagine but love crosses boundaries way past the beast within. Remember you are precious and beyond your comprehension there is love, there is devotion
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Sunday, October 17, 2010


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Did you know smiles are free
some people look like they had to pay a big price for it
and others look like they found a treasure worth believing in


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just Because

I want my dreams to rise above imaginations 
and mere warm feelings of hopefulness
 I want to ride the impossible and become what I was meant to be
 what I believe is my hearts desire
 to overcome
 Being alive is more than breathing or working
 it is pursuing dreams and making them a reality!!

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