Suicide Is Preventable

Great Article:

Link: http://cfs.cbcs.usf.edu/news-events/detail.cfm?id=1136

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Invest Five Minutes To Save a Life

A MESSAGE FROM STEPHEN ROGGENBAUM, USF FACULTY MEMBER AND FLORIDA SUICIDE PREVENTION COALITION VICE CHAIR

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. This targeted awareness, combined with two celebrity deaths by suicide this past summer and reports that suicide rates are increasing in Florida and nationwide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018) should be a call to action for all citizens.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention has organized mental health and suicide prevention communities to spread the word about World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th and the Take 5 to Save Lives campaign.

Take5toSaveLives is an internationally recognized campaign that engages us, the public, by providing five easy action-oriented steps surrounding suicide prevention on or before World Suicide Prevention Day.  The campaign asks supporters to take 5 simple action steps:

  1. Learn the signs 👈click for link
  2. Do your part 👈click for link
  3. Practice Self-care 👈click for link
  4. Reach out 👈click for link, and
  5. Spread the word. 👈click for link

Through these five action steps we can increase public understanding of three very important messages:  

  1. Suicide is preventable
  2. Preventing suicide is a collective responsibility, and
  3. Help is available for anyone experiencing an emotional crisis.  

The Take5 campaign aligns with the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s leadership of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and the theme of “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

This year, join the growing national movement that is changing and saving lives. Invest five minutes and visit www.take5tosavelives.org to enhance your capacity to reach out (Step 4) when you see a friend, coworker, neighbor, or relative in distress. Asking someone about suicide does not plant the idea in his/her mind. Asking someone directly if he or she is thinking about suicide in a caring manner can help a person realize it’s okay to struggle, talk about it, and seek help.

Help is available. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, in crisis, or having thoughts of suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Stephen Roggenbaum
USF Faculty Member
Child & Family Studies
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, Governor appointee
Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition Vice Chair


Dancing on the Head of The Serpent

There is a classic Christian rock band called “Jerusalem”. They ROCK & pack the punch of a solid message with song titles like “What if Jesus is Right?”, “Man Of This World” and “Constantly Changing”.

Another song of their’s I love is called “Dancing on the head of the serpent”.

Lyrics (audio at bottom)

There’s a fallen angel on a throne in every capitalcity
Ruling with “wisdom” that manipulates the children of this century
Pulling the kings like puppets on strings bowing their knees to him

Dancing on the head of the serpent
Dancing on the head of the serpent

His name is lust, his name is pride his name is deceptive knowledge
But still he has a nail in his eye he can’t buy the saints in the city
He tries and he tries but they won’t compromise they show him no mercy no pity
And that’s alright, that’s alright

Dancing on the head of the serpent

He sits on a throne with an arrogant smile thinking he’s gonna stay there forever
But the King of the Saints is mounting His steps there is a judgement to settle
And in a short moment his face turns surprised before he is thrown to the ground
That’s alright, that’s alright

Dancing on the head of the serpent
Dancing on the head of the serpent

Audio: 

This goes well with the post I wrote yesterday and God’s continual reminder that He’ll crush the head of satan the serpent with His heal.

Dragon Be Gone

I keep handwritten journals, as well as this blog, & there sometimes I capture things I can not get across in my blog. 

There is just something about holding an actual pen & paper and a hard cover book in your hands.

Although photographs capture a lot nothing can compare to seeing things with the naked eye in real life.

A page from my personal journal

Recently Psalm 34 caught my mind & imagination.

 The above (& below) pic. went along so well with what that Psalm reminded me.


This is a grand reminder of the promises we are given by God. We have His word: The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:19‭-‬22 NIV

The dragon may devour the evil, EVIL SLAY THE WICKED but he is defeated by ALL CHRIST DID, IS DOING & GOING TO DO!
 PSALM 34 –I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.  I will glory in the Lord ; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.  I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  Fear the Lord , you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord .  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;  

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:1‭-‬22 NIV

You know John 3:16 & share it. Don’t forget John 3:17 & on –

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:16‭-‬18 NIV

http://bible.com/111/jhn.3.16-18.NIV

“A Sense of Divine Purpose”

Most people at one point or another mature to a point of longing to do some soul searching and have a sense of divine purpose. We come to a point where we ask, “Is this as good as it gets?” What is my purpose?” “What have I been put on this earth to do?”

Perhaps you can identify with this mysterious longing.

The Bible says,

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]–yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
ECCLESIASTES 3:11 AMP
Taken from the “about” section of my blog and from God’s word, which i’m all about, i share this: The Pleasure of Proclaiming-

1 Co 9:16-23

16 If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t!

17 If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid?

18 So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses!

19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people:

20 religious, nonreligious,

21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists,

22 the defeated, the demoralized – whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ – but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servantthere is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.

23 I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it

SO, being “in on it” for “The Pleasure of proclaiming”- to reach out to the

  •  religious, 
  • nonreligious, 
  • meticulous 
  • moralists,
  •  loose-living immoralists,
  •  the defeated, 
  • the demoralized
  •  – whoever.

I am one of The Messiah’s Misfits.

If we are honest we all have that longing to understand our creator better. God planted that in us, a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]; however The Bible says,

yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

That is where ‘faith’ comes in. 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1‭-‬3 NIV

Although we don’t see we still believe. We may not be able to explain it all but that is because we are not divine, we are only human.

God’s Word says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . 

 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8‭-‬11 NIV

Let God achieve the purpose. 

Just ask & be willing.

Go with God,

Tom “Beetle” Bailey

Song by John Elefante, “Hello My Good Friend” –

Memorizing to avoid Paralyzing 

Our minds are filled with so many different, natural chemicals.

 We are all probably most familiar with adrenaline, that burst of energy we get when it is fight or flight time. 

Whether it’s seeing some strange bug or getting into a confrontation with another person, we have built into our systems chemicals that cause us to react certain ways for a reason.

 Only as we mature do we learn that those chemicals can be put into balance and we can still be in control to a certain degree.

For me, one of the chemicals that I seem to have an extra dose of is serotonin.

 To my understanding the neurotransmitters in my brain shoot out neurons that are then suppose to dock and send the message to the rest of my body, 

“Everything is going to be ok.”

 What happens when they don’t dock correctly and that message doesn’t get thru?!

 You guessed it I’m sure. I get the sensation that things are not and will not be okay!

So, I do my part, take prescribed medication, meditate, work through situations by journaling and all that helps but I also have to tell myself, reassure myself, that God’s got this.

My God is bigger than it all. He created me, everything in me and everything around me.

Memorizing a few words of His and repeating them over & over helps me get through the fog that side blinds me & causes me to have such great anxiety in what ever circumstances I find myself in or anticipating.

Here is one portion of Scripture I hold onto for reassurance: 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:7‭-‬11 NIV

Out of all that just that 1st verse I repeat iver & over, 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

I flood my mind with God’s living water so I don’t drown in despair.

He is sovereign!

Here is a Short video regarding fighting this civil war of the mind, this paralyzing thinking:

 https://youtu.be/VlXd440sxko

For a li’l more go to 👉Where did this fog come from (suicide fog blog)👈

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:6 NIV

http://bible.com/111/1pe.5.6.NIV

Go with God, beetle

Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened (believers)

Mark 6:47‭-‬52 NIV

 Late that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Mark 6:47‭-‬52 NIV

http://bible.com/111/mrk.6.47-52.NIV

The disciples were truly “followers of Jesus” no doubt right? But their hearts, their hearts, were hardened (verse 52 above).

If that is true & possible for the disciples who walked in faith & were eyewitnesses to the miracles & to Jesus in the flesh; how much more could it be true of believers today?

Don’t let your heart be hardened.

Petra song: 

“50 years in the making” Intro. To Autobiography (r.d.)

INTRODUCTION/PREFACE

Have Drum Will Travel

This is a rough draft & just the intro to my autobiography (50 years in the making)

For an Index of Stories I published go to: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/stories-poems-and-art/

It’s always been interesting to me how a story starts and how it ends. 

Biographies & auto-biographies alway held my attention because I was fascinated to know that what I was reading really happen. I realize some of the facts may have been altered when being retold. Perhaps a good writer uses creative license at the cost of not automatically capturing the exactly accurate account of their lives or the bio of others; however it is no fairy tail.

My oldest daughter, Kyri, always seemed to prefer the world of  make believe with it’s dragons and elves, magic & marvel. My younger daughters, Abbey, Madi & Olivia, request that I tell them stories off the top of my head, which are often whimsical and lack any true facts at all. My son Alexx could weave words with such deep, colorful emotion that you could chew on it for days and still be digesting what was said years later.

Although I like to  pretend and elaborate or embellish the truth I’m still inclined to at least offer a metephorical reason or rational to what ever story I am reading or writing.

I’ve thought a great deal about writing this autobiography & I came across this Psalm, this prayer, to encouraged me to get it done –

Psalms 71:15‭-‬18 NLT this is also my prayer,

“I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord . I will tell everyone that you alone are just. O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” Psalms 71:15‭-‬18 NLT

So, how do I begin, not even when or where but HOW?

When I was 8 years old I recall a teacher encouraging all of us to write a journal. She inspired us to write anything and when we didn’t know what to write to simply write down what was around us, taking place at that very moment, our perspective of what we were experiencing, looking forward to or about things that took place in our past experiences. 

That is where my story begins, in the past, as far back as I can remember.

Side note I have a book shelf filled with my personal journaling from that very first one (when I was 8) up to the present.

Even while writing this I am inclined to question myself and hear statements of discouraging voices only I can hear in my head. They say, “Noone wants to read that! You don’t know how to write well. You don’t even read well. If you write it it won’t come out correctly, a waste of time.” To myself I say the oposite. I flip evey discouraging thought & statement around, “Someone wants to read that! You know how to write well enough. You read fine. If you write it it will come out correctly,  it is not a waste of time.”

The reality is,

writing is a very good way for me to document, process & share my life.

It doesn’t really matter who reads it or enjoys it. What matters is the end result, not how it started, not what happen in the beginning or middle but how it all ends and my faith is that it will never truly end.

            There is a movement dedicated to the prevention of suicide. It is called Project Semicolon. The idea is that a writer uses a semicolon when he has more to say. The semicolon is used to continue the thoughts expresses in any particular statement; as opposed to a period ending that statement. Just when you think a statement is over that li’l semicolon allows the author to write more and the reader to read beyond what was stated. That punctuation marking, the semicolon, implies that,

The statement continues and my story is not over yet.

I felt like since I turned a half of a century old it’s a good time to write an autobiography.

This is my story, beginning, middle and the assurance that no matter how the written version ends it will carry on.

Life is hard and it might not get easier; however, just when you think it is at the end it has really only just begun because I believe in God and He has a plan that goes beyond this biological world, beyong biology all together; and thus, beyond my biography.

So I travel this road I am on, continue to write and attempt to look back to where I’ve come from, where I am and where I am going.

I was born February 3rd 1968. The day after groundhogs day. Little did I know the jokes my dad told about that would be picked up by me when my daughter Olivia Avery was born actually on ground hogs day 36 years later. “If she saw her shadow and went back into the womb does that mean we’ll have a longer winter or an early spring?”

I’ve noted that our earliest memories fade as we age and yet eventually our childhood becomes more clear to us than what happen yesterday or what we ate for breakfast.

 I know what my parents remember about my birth and what my two older sisters (Pauline and Collene) tell me. I know they wanted to name me “Casper” (The Friendly Ghost). He was popular in 1968 and the hooded clothing I was swaddled in added that familiar whisp to the top of my head. My dad (Ed) says that my mom (Aileen Faye) recommended we have my name rhyme with Aileen, Collene & Pauline. With that in mind he says they considered naming me Eugene. Apparently he doesn’t particularly like that name and the joke only works when not telling someone who cherishes that name. As I grew older I learned of the great drummer, Gene Krupa, and if they were to name me Eugene I would have shortened it to Gene, just as I shortened Thomas to just Tom.  My mother’s dad, who died before I was born, was named Thomas so they officially named me Thomas. My dad’s dad was Frank.  The name Frank was already taken by one of my 1st cousins. Robert was already taken by my dad’s brother and his brother’s son.

 So, they gave me my dad’s 1st name as my middle name. 26 years later I gave my 1st and only son the same middle name. 

My mother was concerned with my birth. She had experienced the death of so many people in her life, including witnessing the tragic death of her 2 year old sister who tragically fell from a twostory window. 

Apparently I had no complications and they, shortly after my birth, took me to see my grand mother on my mom’s side. My mom proudly layed me on her mother’s chest. Shortly after that she (my grandmother on my mom’s side) died. I obviously don’t recall that but it is a meaningful recollection my parents share with me.

I ask myself,

What do I recall? How did my life go at the start? What was it like? How much can be written about my life just after I was born? Do the things that happen as soon as I took my first breath of air on earth have anything to do with my autobiography?

The point is I took that first breath & was blessed to continue to breathe. What can I write about this life that has been 50 years in the making? I believe God’s vastness of all creation is beyond what we can take in & put into words. He knew us before we were born & if we trust Him He will preserve us after we die. Can we capture in words a documentary about His work? Well, I think we should try.

Again, writing an autobiography is no small task. How do I capture & describe who I was & who I want to be remembered as? 

The rhetorical question is, “How can I write anything about life, the breaths, the steps, the experience I have on this planet without giving Glory to God, my creator?” I cannot leave Him out.

My dad insists that I remember people I met when I was two or three but I only know what they tell me. We lived in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

We were packed into a rowhouse with busy streets. This was back when a street car with rails below it and an electric wire above it traveled down the center of the main roads. Automobiles from the 50’s & 60’s had to manuvour around those bulky prehistorical obsolete creatures. As I write this autobiography I recognize and acknowledge the changes over the past 5 decades, how I survived all those changes, progressions, ramifications and historical victories.

My parents recall that I somehow wandered off one day and walk by myself to a corner store to get some ice cream. It was a time period in history when you could walk to the corner store located on a busy urban street without the fear of cross fire bullets. Back then, as the ’60’s were ending and the ’70’s were beginning we still had trustworthy neighbors. It was one of those friendly neighbors in that city that didn’t just bare the name “the city of brotherly love” but lived it out who found me & brought me back home. That is not something I relate from my own memory. 

This raises the questions,

“How far back can we remember?” 

“What was it really like back then?”

“Is my perspective accurate?”

For me I don’t think my memory perceptors started really working until we moved to Jacksonville Florida, when I was 2 or 3. Our view of the past is only relative to how each of our minds process things. I believe our past experiences can play a major role in building our charater, a backstory if you will. As I write I’m gaining a better picture of how I developed into who I am today and why I live as I do.

Pictures help me recall PA & my grandparents home, sitting on my “Pop pop’s” lap. Frequent visits back there allowed him to be in my life, for me to know him before he died. We received the news of his death while in Florida and I was too young to comprehend it. I do remember my mom explaining, “You know your daddy? Well, his daddy died.” I still couldn’t comprehend.  I didn’t know what death was. I didn’t even know where life came from, let alone that people died. I recently had to ask my mom for dates on when certain things took place. We moved to Jacksonville in 1970. She remembers that I use to throw my bottle out of my crib when I was done & on the drive down to FL from PA I threw my bottle out the (manually rolled down) open car window & that is how they broke me away from the bottle. They just said, “It’s gone!”

My pop pop Bailey died in 1972. I was only 4.  That is my earliest memory. 

That gives me a starting point.

I do remember things around that age, I’m not sure if those things happen before or after my grandfather’s death but there is no question that his death & my family’s reaction to it stands out. We gathered around a piece of furniture called, a “vanity.” It was a small stool-like chair that sat infront of a mirror with connecting draws & side tables. That vanity became a humble alter of prayer as my dad fell to his knees and cried in prayer as he grieved the death of his dad. We all surrounded him in support. My mom told me her sister died around that same time and I don’t recall that at all. I’m not sure why. I know we took a train up to Philly for my grandfather’s funeral but my mother traveled alone to her sister funeral. My beginnings were a milestone for generations before me. As they received a tomb stone I was just achieving milesstones; but who was truly better off, those gaining new life in their eternal home or those of us enduring the temprary strife we face every day here in our temporary dwelling place? I say what we see as the end and our loss is heaven’s gain and we can’t compare this life with what in store for us after our bodies die. Being human and thriving with newborn life, as splendid as it can be, has nothing on the journey & victory over sin & death that Christ made possible. May we always remember the price He paid and live as part of His kingdom come here & now. May His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. 

He has gotten me this far and most recently I acknowledge in faith that He is completely in control of all life, all living things; through Him we can truly live & develope a biography that is sure to end with rejoicing & shouts of praise. We witness as one person dies others are born but my faith is challenged to accept Him at His Word that althought some die, in Him they are made alive & welcomed into a new place where desth, dieing, tears, sorrow and loss have no place. Again, there is no end to our story; just a new beginning.

So, I think age 4 is my earliest recollection. For me that is where I can really start with writing my autobiography.

Living in Jacksonville was great.

My parents were buying a house and I think we planned on living out the rest of our lives as a family there. Little did any of us know what would come in the future years. We lived in the now, as we all should. We all strived toward the future but we weren’t so distracted with that to the point of not enjoying the journey we were presently on. We focused on the present progression knowing we can’t predict the future. 

Having said that, my dad was always driving toward a better future and pushed himself & the family to take the steps necessary so we’d develop skills, education and connections that would pay off later in life.

As our lives unfolded we were faced with various opportunities & oppositions; however, we lived life together as a family unit. I had, and still have, an amazing support system because our family binds & commitmens are so strong. My parents had a book called, “When 2 or 3 Are Gathered In My Name Some One Spills The Milk.” It was a book devoted to small portions of Scripture designed to let God’s Word speak to the whole family. We never did read it on a regular basis as a family once a day as designed but we did always share meals together, attend Church together & we were taught Biblical morals & standards. I think that helped develope our moral compass and gave us a good solid foundation that would help us as we all grew and matured.

I was the youngest of 3. Each of us were about 5 years apart. I got along with Collene, who was the oldest, better than I got along with Pauline, the middle child in our family.

Let me first talk about my parents before I get too carried away and jump around from subject to subject, after all, there would be no me without them.

As I write this off the top of my head I think one way of me trying to keep my thoughts organized and on course would be to title a section, a chapter, & stay on that particular subject for that section of my autobiography.

Writing it all out is allowing me to discover more and more about myself, those around me, and how the environment, culture and time periods I’ve lived in have effected my progression, my personal journey.

1968 has now, 50 years later, been pin pointed as one of the most tragic and yet positively pivotal times in history. That is year that I was born and here I will share the past 50 decades from my perspective.

Now that I’ve gone back as far as I can remember to give an introduction I invite you to travel along with me… (I’ll be placing links to the other chapters here as I finish writing them).

_____________

 Soon you’ll be able to go to:

CHAPTER 1 

“Mom, Dad & Elementary My Dear Tommy”

Link to “About section” (https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/about/)

Link to Pod Cast Interview (https://youtu.be/gRbMeYdIWdU)

Art and “David Zinn”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNrYImEX-jUEdkOrvEoScOw

 This Artist, David Zinn, takes an urban environment & expresses himself through art. 

As much as I like to write sometimes written words can’t fully convey what one is trying to say. Spoken words, actually hearing something, can be even more impactful and for me I believe that a picture can be worth a thousand words.

So, here is a video that pretty much says it all regarding art and the artist David Zinn.

“Getting on base & making it to home plate”

This post is inspired from another writer. Their blog is called “Those Who Sin Differently

https://thosewhosindifferently.com/

And their post:

RUNNING TO FIRST

(https://wp.me/p84Ya7-76t)

I’m highlighting and literally cuting & pasteing things he wrote here because it was so good for my soul.

He used an analogy of baseball & wrote, “In an uncertain, fallen world, it sometimes seems like we are not going to make it.  Problems that weigh down on the follower of Jesus Christ sometimes make it feel like we are not going to make it home.  We see the opposition (forces of evil that fight against us – see Ephesians 6:12 – and who try to rally others to their side), and we fear that we will be tagged out long before we can finish rounding the bases.”

He uses God’s word to give encouragement to believers on what to do when,

when our human nature wants to run the other way, or our hearts feel like giving up because we’ve hit a slow grounder right to first base.”

He gave several suggestions:

“The first thing we can do is to listen to our coach.  In life, the leader of the winning team is Jesus Christ:

If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 NASB

Unlike a human coach, though, Jesus sees throughout time and space, right into the hearts of everyone, and doesn’t just guide us towards what will probably work.  Instead, He knows exactly what we must do in order to achieve the best outcome.  Our role isn’t to try and figure everything out; it is to listen to Him and to do it, while He figures out the gameplan.”

“Sometimes our life feels like a marathon, whether we’re just getting up to speed, or hitting the wall as the miles march on, or even if the finish line is in sight.  Other times, a few days or weeks feel like a 90-foot dash in a baseball game, where we strain to reach a target before the window of opportunity closes.”

“In all these things, the purpose we have in life is not to out-perform other people, nor to somehow carry the team on our own.  Instead, it is to keep running – to keep doing exactly what we are called to do.  Whether we have a glamorous role (like a pitcher or home-run hitter), or an less-dramatic one (like a center-fielder or a batter asked to make a sacrifice bunt), we just keep running and doing exactly what the coach asks of us.  We don’t look back, or freeze on the baseline in fear – we just keep going.  And, by doing our part, we help out the entire team.”

Many times I get frustrated with card carrying members of “The Church” and I even question, “Are in the same team?” 

In reading this fellow writer’s blog post I felt so encouraged & inspired because he always backs up what he writes with what God has inspired others to write, a sure thing we can use to help us through this game called, “life.” As I read on I highlighted more,

our focus is on Jesus, not on hanging on to things that will slow us down.  We don’t watch the other “team” as they try to stop us; we just focus on Jesus and His instructions.”

“So, whether you feel like you are excelling at the peak of your career, or struggling to outrun the throw at every turn: trust your coach, keep your eyes on Him (not the distractions around you), and focus on the goal.  When you’re on the winning team, you have the ultimate victory celebration to look forward to!”

Full credit to: Those Who Sin Differently

(https://thosewhosindifferently.com/)

For all Bible verses and the entire post on this particular subject go to:

RUNNING TO FIRST.    (https://wp.me/p84Ya7-76t)

I’ll conclude with a song by Geoff Moore & the Distance, “Homerun”: 

https://youtu.be/a7CS7BoFU-A


A Rich Man’s True Treasure (Steve Job’s)

I got the following email foward from my mom. Who knows how many people have seen it. Who knows how many will take it to heart but it’s just too good to not share.

I’m not changing much (small edit is in italic) but I will highlight parts that really rang a bell with me.

Steve Jobs’ last words

He died a billionaire at 56yrs of Pancreatic Cancer and here are his last words on the sick bed:
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and
wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.
You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.
When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends…



Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300 or $30 watch – they

  both tell the same time…



Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag – the amount of money inside is the same;
Whether we drive a $150,000 car or a $30,000 car, the road and distance is the same, and we get to the same destination.
Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $10 wine – the hangover is the same;

Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq ft – loneliness is the same.
You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – you go down with it…

Therefore
.. I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, …. That is true happiness!!
Five Undeniable Facts of Life :

  1.  Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price.
  2.  Best awarded words in London … “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.” 
  3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up He will find one reason to hold on. (Minor change to text here)
  4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human.

Only a few really understand it.

And finally
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, You have to manage!
NOTE: 

If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!

Six Best Doctors in the World
1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence and
6. Friends
Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy a healthy life.

Ultimately in the words of Jesus Christ, “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His (God’s) kingdom and His (God’s) righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

MATTHEW 6:33 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/mat.6.33.AMP

Go with God. He won’t let you down.