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Showing posts from 2013

Bookends of Loss and Letting Go: My 2013 Perspective

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The New Year represents new beginnings, new possibilities, and second chances. For the first ten days of 2013, this was the case for me. On January 11, all of that changed with the news that my dear friend of 30 years, Rick Stilwell, passed away very suddenly. Out of the ashes of this terrible loss arose a #LiveLikeRick movement, encouraging people to love their families, work hard, work your passion, and "Crush It." The loss of my friend was devastating, but it has inspired me to live better, love deeper, laugh harder, learn diligently, and leave the world better than I found it.

Some other major highlights of 2013 included the graduation of my twin daughters from high school, and their matriculation to out of town Universities. My return to full time ministry and teaching were also high points. Reconciliation and reconnecting with precious friends, a move, and growing deeper in love with my wife every day were also some great moments of 2013.

As the holiday season approach…

Milestone

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I knew on July 26, 1995 that someday this day would come. This was the day my beautiful daughters were born. First came Jenna. She hardly made a sound. She weighed 5 lbs and had more hair than my Dad. Then came Katie. She weighed in at 2 lbs, 12 oz. She was gray and not breathing when she was born. The staff were all trying to be positive, but I could see their faces and concern. After two of the longest minutes of my life, Katie let out a scream that I believe was heard all the way to God's throne! She announced to the world that she was alive! She has not slowed down since. Jenna was laid back, just taking it all in. They were premature, so they spent some time in the NICU. Jenna stayed two weeks; Katie stayed for a whole month. Their first year was filled with doctor visits, home heart monitors, and very little sleep.

As they grew, I fell more in love with my daughters each day. Watching them play, listening to them laugh, and cuddling with them were the high points of my life …

Movie Review: The Three Stooges Movie (2012)

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My review of the Three Stooges reboot can be summed up by a play on Curly's famous line, "Yuck, yuck, yuck!" I debated for months whether I would even watch the film. I honestly think it should never have been made. I have been a fan of the Stooges since childhood. My Dad introduced me when I was five. I introduced my own son to the original Stooges. The Three Stooges didn't need a reboot. The classic Stooges have stood the test of time, five US wars, and fifteen US Presidents. The new movie, just as I feared it would, cheapened the legacy of the original Stooges.

Will Sasso stood out for me as giving proper tribute to the original Curly. I was pleasantly surprised to see Sean Hayes as Larry. That is, until the movie started. Hayes' portrayal of Larry Fine was more like a stoner with clown hair. The original Larry was the heart of the Three Stooges. He was the connective balance of the act. When they needed someone to play violin, Larry was the guy. When they ne…

Monday Meanderings For Your...Uh, Monday

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I have never been very good at titles. As a writer, it is hard to publicly confess such a flaw. Even my sermon titles could use a little more zing. Sometimes it comes, sometimes I have to dig deeper and deeper until the "zing," ummmm...zings (see what I mean?)?

I used to crave more "zing" in my life. As a child, I was never satisfied. As a young boy, I strived to be the best at everything. As a young man, I made good money, and despite some mistakes along the way, turned out successful by the world's standards. After a few more mistakes, I lost it all. I am beginning to understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12)." When he says, "I have learned the secret," the literal rendering in the Greek is, "I have…

The Annual Sappy, Sentimental Father's Day Post

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I am a blessed man. I am blessed because I am a Dad. I am blessed because I have a Dad. The unfortunate part of all of this sentiment is that I didn't realize what a wonderful Dad I had until I became one. I always get a bit melancholy when Father's Day rolls around. Okay, sappy.

My biological father abandoned us when I was about 12 years old. We didn't see or hear from him for many years. To this day, I really don't know why. He never told me. I never asked. It was what it was. The last time I saw him was in January 1992. We had a nice visit and took lots of pictures. 35 days later, he was killed in a freak car accident. Whatever explanation I would get from him went to the grave. I fell into a deep depression.

All my life, I defined myself by the failure of my father to be what he was supposed to be. On August 17, 1993, all of that changed. My son was born. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. I was a Dad. Now I had the chance to be to my son wh…

At Times It Was Really Funny

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My heart is simply shattered as I write this piece. I buried one of my very best friends on earth yesterday, Rick Stilwell (aka. Rickwell, aka. @RickCaffeinated). His sudden death on January 11, 2013 has not yet fully registered with me. It has been an incredibly surreal weekend. I cannot adequately describe the void that Rick has left on this earth. Nor can I adequately describe how much of an influence he was on my life. My heart goes out to his wife and college sweetheart, Vicki, and their two wonderful children, who now have to grow up without him. My heart simply aches for them. Yet I cannot ignore the reality that my heart aches for me, too. He was my friend, brother, and my rock in so many ways. For thirty years, I was privileged to know and love this man. It all began in 1983 in Coach Payne’s P.E. class at Airport High School. I and my lifelong pal, Jay, were hanging out together as always, trying to be cool (I was trying...he was succeeding). The next thing I knew, this skinny…