Friday, June 8, 2012

...OK....Here's a novel for you.... :)

Well, let me first start out by saying HI!!!  :)   that sounds kind of weird, I know. I say that because if you're reading this, you probably know a little about what's been going on over the past 5 years. Let's recap...shall we?  :)
2007- The year started pretty crazy..I was engaged, working as afternoon drive host for 105.3 The Fish in Milwaukee. On weekends (and occasional week nights) I was doing on air shifts for 101.9 The Mix in Chicago....OK...This is when things get interesting In the winter of 2007 My sister Angela gives me the news that will INSTANTLY change my life forever...She has cancer..A very aggressive form of breast cancer..oh, and by the way, as she found this info out, she was 6 months pregnant with my now 5 year old nephew Luke..Everything changed...Chemo treatments, taking care of Ang when Steve (my brother in law) couldn't leave work..Picking the kids up, spending time with the kids because Ang didn't have the energy...Yeah..It was a rough winter/spring. Summer of 2007, I was the emcee every friday night for the 105.3 Fish Family Stage in Waukesha. The original plan was to have bands play every friday..Well, towards the beginning of the season (these happened every friday night all summer) one of the bands cancelled at the last minute. The producer tells me that he knows of this christian solo artist named Chad James who would be really excited to fill in. I said sure....The night came when chad would play. I didn't know him at all, but after I introduced him and listened to his set. I knew there was something special about his ministry. That was the night Chad and I became friends..So, the entire summer, chad was busy going back and fourth to nashville working on his debut CD "Strong". We kept in touch all summer, and then it just so happened the last band scheduled for the last night of Friday Night Live couldn't play, so we just thought it would be fun to just play a bunch of his music as well as some well known christian songs. After that show, I remember saying "Hey, let's find a keyboardist and a bassist and start playing worship concerts at local churches in milwaukee.." Honestly, that was the original plan...As 2007 came to a close, Angela was in remission, I got married (when I look back on my wedding...I always remember dancing with Ang, and having the conversation that we had). Things seemed to be really looking up.....And then 2008 began.... In 2008, 105.3 The FISH went away, I got a job at KLOVE, Angelas cancer came back and it was in her breast liver and lungs, and while all of THAT was going on, here's what happened to me...I was driving in my wife's car going from Angela and Steve's back to our apartment on washington street when I had a massive heart attack. I was slouched over in my car, and some kid saw me in my car and dialed 911. when the paramedics got there, I was unresponsive. After they intibated me they had trouble getting a heart beat. I was unresponsive for several miutes, but after several tries, they got a heart beat but my heart kept crashing. When they got me to the OR they finally got a rythm, but put me in a medically induced coma because if I even did survive this, they needed to get oxygen to my brain. They were pretty convinced that either I was not going to be able to get off life support, or if I did, and was brought out of the coma, I would probably be brain dead. Well, I guess God had other plans because I woke up the next day, and my brain was fine. My heart took a massive hit. I was down to like 3% functionality, and I survived..That started the long road back to recovery. Angela passed in 2009. I still can't believe she's gone, you know?  I really really miss her... OK! on to bring some smiles to this story, AND to wrap it up.. OK.. Through a long long road, I now am back to having a normal functioning heart. Lots of excercise, lots of rest, lots of faith.. Last month actually, I got the official test done that showed my heart back up in the normal functioning zone for someone my age. Steve Married Amy. they now have 5 kids and 2 adults in that house...lots of excitiment..lots of laughter..lots of amazing potential....I know Ang would be proud of Ryan Lauren and Luke. Everytime I'm with them I see her..  And it makes me smile..A tear might find itself in there as well, but that's ok. I just wish I could still walk into their kitchen, see her at the sink and hear "hey dude!!"  or "My Brother!!!"
Ok...As for work, I have been at Moody Radio in Chicago for 3 years now. I also do weekends for 101.9 The Mix in Chicago as well.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love what I get to do everyday, and work with the people that I get to work with everyday.
Cari's fine.. Married life is fine. I really love my family...I really look forward to spending time with them.
Now as for Chad James, yes I am still playing with Chad. Earlier in this blog, I told you about our first gig together. Well, between then and now, the lord has taken us on this journey that has allowed us to open up for many many contemporary artists, play churches and retreats and by doing so really get to learn about people's stories, and what God is doing through Chad's music. We have had the priviledge of playing events for Minnesota Teen Challenge a couple of years in a row, which was just awesome. Speaking of awesome, we will be opening for Chris Tomlin this August at the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee. Tickets are on sale now. To learn more, you can go to Hopefully you can make it! The cool thing is this year, when you buy a ticket to the concert, that same ticket also gains you admission to the fair as well.Here's the thing..Through everything you just read...It is proof to me that God has a plan for you, me, everybody. I know it's hard to believe sometimes, but it's true. I think a lot of times we go through these significant moments in our lives when we really don't know how important they are until we see them behind us. It's like that song that goes  "It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash, it happens in the time it takes to look back I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time, tell me what is it I've done with my life? On a parting note...Think about this....Maybe you thought by this stage in your life you would have traveled more...Gotten Married...had more kids....had any kids...had that house....had that car....had that thriving business...had that degree...gotten that promotion... If any of these apply to you, you're not alone...Hey, SMILE. God has a specific plan for you, and he's carrying out that plan as you read this. He created everything, and nothing suprises him. He knows what's going to happen, and he walks with you every step of the way. God has you where you are for a purpose, so enjoy where you are. Be happy with who you are. Treasure the moments that you get to spend with family, friends, and co workers. Oh, and by the way....Have a great weekend!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nothing can break you if you're already broken...

...So, maybe you're wondering "what do you mean by that?" well, let's start at the beginning. There is a band that I was blessed enough to get to know and spend some time with when I worked at a radio station previous to the place I work now. I always have liked their music a lot. One of their songs has a line that goes "You can never break me, I'm already broken."  Another line goes "You can never break this, because it's already broken"... Think about what the Bible says about being broken before God. There are so many things that can break us... It could be a failed relationship, it could be a health situation, it could be the loss of a very close and dear loved one, it could be just a personal battle you maybe facing... Or, it could be all of these combined. By being broken before Christ, it may be a hurtful time in our lives, but when we reach that point in which we are so broken that we kind of hit rock bottom, that when we see Jesus take what's broken and make something beautiful out of our lives. I still say that he's working on that with me... However...I feel like I have such a long way to go, you know? Well, going back to the original idea of being broken, we need to go before God with a broken heart so he can rebuild us the way he wants..You see, when we let this happen (yes, that means actually GIVING CONTROL OVER TO JESUS) that's when things change. When we're broken, the things of this life can't break us... The cancer can't break us...The heartbreak can't break us... The agonizing worry about the future CANNOT BREAK US... The career can't break us, because we're already broken before the lord, surrenderring everything to him, letting him take our lives and turn them into something that we've never seen before. I think it's all part of this journey that we take with Jesus.
That's the thing...My journey has been kind of a mixture of happy and sad over the past few weeks. At work, I have received new responsibilities which I am very happy about. One of those responsibilities is now, I am one of the people who travel to our other Owned and Operated Radio Stations to produce that market's SHARE Event. We just got done with all of our SHARE 2011 events, and beside working in Chicago, Lee, Julie, Phil, Roy, Bruce and I had the privilidge of working in the Quad Cities for the SHARE 2011 event at WDLM. Basically, Lee and I traded of shifts all week as we produced the 4 day program. It was an amazing experience to watch how god works. The week I was there it was so great to fellowship with the existing airstaff there, as well as a couple people from our florida stations who came up to help. It really was like a family get together. As the week went on, I just got a little sad because Angela was on my heart. Sometimes she's on my heart more than others, and this was one of those situations in where I was thinking about her, and I really miss her. Anyway, I was driving the Moody SUV back to Chicago when the week was over, and as I was driving, I felt sad, but very encouraged. I felt encouraged, because I just came off a week of being around amazing and talented christians who are doing big things for the lord. I felt sad because I was missing angela. However, The missing of Angela couldn't break me, because I see little ways all of the time how the lord is slowly taking something broken like me, and turning it into something beautiful. If you let yourself be broken before the lord, the storms of this life can't break you, because you're already broken.. Hope that made sense.. :)
Wow... A lot has happened since I last talked to you. I think I've bored you long enough so I'll save all that for next time. On a random note, I'm thinking about teaching drum lessons again so if you, or anyone you know are interested, send me an email. Outside of that, WMBI is great! Praise and Worship Channel is Great!! Ministry of the Month is Great!!! On a side note, I have been producing some pre-recorded interviews for the Morning Ride with Mark. As I've been working on these in the studio, I realized how talented the morning team is. If you haven't recently, give the Morning Ride a listen. They're on from 5-9. During that time, you also just might hear ministry of the month... :-) not that I'm trying to promote that piece..  Ha!
Oh yeah...I am going to start drumming again. It might be with Chad, it might be something else...All I know is that I really miss playing out. :)  I'll keep you posted. OK... I'm tired, and I've bored you long enough... Keep in touch, okay?

"...I waited patiently for the lord, he inclined and heard my cry...He lifted me out of the pit, out of the miry clay and I will sing a new song..."

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's all how you look at things....

Usually, I don't write to you during the day. However, I just had this really cool "thought", and if I'd probably forget about it if I waited until tonight to write it down...Yeah, I know...I think my niece Hannah has a better attention span that I do...  Ha!  Anyway, this weekend has really made me think about a lot of things.. Where do I start??  Well, let's start with today...It's weird... I call today the "anniversary", but it really happened in February. However, for some reason over the past couple of years I think about it more today than usual. I think it's because today is a holiday, and this happened on a monday that I had off in february Now, let's go back in time to roughly 4 years ago...I'll paint a picture for you...Life was actually normal....Wow... As I'm typing this to you, I just had to stop and think about that...4 years seems like a lifetime ago..Things were pretty normal..Well, normal in my world at least. At that time, I was engaged, I was doing afternoon drive in Milwaukee at a Christian Radio Station that was 105.3 The Fish (in february of 2008, the station was sold to KLOVE).. I was also doing radio for 101.9 The Mix in Chicago on the weekends.. Things were just rolling along...You see, I have always been very close to my family..I would see Ryan and Lauren on a regular basis, and at the time, Angela (my sister) was 6 months pregnant. So, life was just rolling along...Just like any other life would...However, I believe that at that time my walk with the lord, and my faith in christ was also just rolling along...Do you know what I'm saying?? It's not that I put God on a shelf during the week, but I think that one of the reason why I didn't have him on a shelf was my job was kind of my accountability partner. However, I could have had a much deeper relationship with the lord at that time, but in some ways, I was just kind of going through the motions...Even though I was praying regularly, and having a relationship with Christ...It was just "ordinary.." As far as place of employment goes, I really believe that the lord had me up in Milwaukee for a reason. You see, when I decided to accept the job as Afternoon Drive host in Milwaukee, I was doing radio out in Crystal Lake which was very profitable, and very "safe"... I made good money, the staff liked me, the clients liked me, ratings were good, blah blah blah.....If you notice, not once in that description did I mention my walk with God...There's a reason for that...So, when I decided to leave and go to Milwaukee, it was in some ways a leap of faith.So, about this time 4 years ago, it was a Monday, and it was a work holiday. I remember that because usually I was at the radio station from about 10-6 during the week, but on this day, I was told that I could just show up at around 2:30 (usually, I was live from 3-6, and then I was recorded from 6-8) So, Angela calls me and says that she wants me to come by before I drive up to work. She says she wanted to talk to me about something..That wasn't anything out of the ordinary.. I was assuming she wanted to talk about a family thing, like "Stop giving the kids so much candy"..Or "Steve and I are thinking about going away before I have the baby...Is there a weekend that you can watch the kids?"  Unfortunately, that's not the way it happened..I remember driving over there around noon, walking into their house, and standing just to the left of the stairway in the hall that leads to the kitchen and family room...Have you ever been in one of those mindframes when you talk to someone you're "listening", but talking to them is just so routine (not boring and not annoying, just so often that it is just a part of your life) that you hear what they're saying, but you don't really "hear" what they're saying?? This was one of those times..I think I said something to the extent of "Hey! so, what's up? How are you feeling?" Keep in mind she was 6 months pregnant, so this kind of question was not out of the ordinary... She looked me in the eyes and said.. "There's something I need to tell you....Now, don't get upset when I tell you this....I..............Have......................Cancer....

Now, she didn't say the words that slowly, but that's what it felt like...Actually, I can't even tell you what it really felt like...It did feel like something just smacked me really really hard....And after that one second...Nothing was normal anymore...Nothing was routine anymore....Everything changed...This is one of the very first things how I saw the lord working..I realized one of the reasons why he led me to that Radio Station in Milwaukee. Even though after Angela told me the news I was devastated, I still had to go up to work. It was really too late in the day to get someone to fill in..I will never forget the drive that day from Gurnee to Milwaukee... I felt so overwhelmed..So helpless...So angry...Little did I know I was going to experience so many miracles starting that afternoon. Like I said, it was a work holiday, so I was planning on arriving at an empty radio station, being alone, doing my shift, and driving home...Well, the lord had different plans..As I was driving to milwaukee, I called Cari, as well as a couple of co-workers who have really become close friends of mine.. So, I pull into the corporate plaza our station was located, parked my car, walked in, took the elevator, walked down the hallway, walked into the station, through the reception area, and into the side of the station where the sales staff was located..Well, it turns out that half of the staff was there. For some reason, several of the sales/management staff decided to come in that day anyway. i will always remember who I saw that day, and what happened.. I remember walking in, having Steve Kolb walk up to me and be like "Hemmer, what's wrong???"  I walked into Lil's office, sat down and said "Angela has Cancer"...You know, there are times in your life when you are made aware of those "certain people" in your life...people that truly show you who they are, and/or what they mean to you. This was one of those moments..I remember Steve Kolb, Lil Rohanna, Sherry Brisch, Bob Emery, and Peter Horn being there with me.. The next day, I remember our morning show team being there. I remember I was in the hallway that contained our on air and production studios...  I remember telling Margo what was going on, and just then my Boss (who was also the morning host) Danny Clayton from down the end of the hall say one word.... "Jon......"   I turn around, and there he was, tears in his eyes, arms open and walking towards me. There is a song that says "they will know we are christians by our love"...In my opinion, this was exactly what that song is talking about. Sometimes, showing Christ's love is not about how much money you give, or how many times you attend church, or what you say...Sometimes, it's just about being there...Now, we'll talk more about what has happened over the past 4 years at a later time...I'll tell you how the lord used this in so many ways; in my life, and in so many other's people's lives as well.However, this is the point I wanted to make to you in this many times in our lives do we really try to see things differently? How many times instead of saying the glass is half full, we say it's half empty? Now, if you have experienced loss, or if you are going through something right now, I am not trying to make light of your pain...Pain is very real, isn't it? However, there is a saying that pain and grief can be like quicksand....You will start to sink if you're not moving forward....Anyway, I went to Angela's grave this afternoon. You know, I really loved her. Have you ever heard that saying that goes "I thought I was better, and then something happened that sent me right back to where I started to grieve"..Here is one thing that I have learned...Sure, in this life, you will encounter things that make you sad..However, that doesn't mean just because you feel that way that it has to bring you back to that original place of grief...It's all how you look at things....Sure....I wish Angela wouldn't have gotten sick..But she did....That's the way it is...Bad things happen to people every day....What are you going to do with it? If we go through our lives in reverse, and we go through our lives in anger or regret, we're not going to get anywhere...I have come to a place now where yes, are moments every day where I think of Angela..But in my grief, I've come to a new place. What place is that? I don't know...I guess it changes every day. The only roadmap that we have to get us through the tough times is the Bible...I guess I have put that saying into motion about the quicksand..It's not easy, but the lord never gives us too much than we can handle.. So today after I went to the cemetary, I came home and walked our dog Daisy...She likes the snow...She likes to go "exploring"  where there aren't any tracks, so she led the way...Yeah...That is always a good idea... ha!  Anyway, we're walking through all of this snow that was pretty deep. She was loving it...You know, jumping around, acting like she actually knows how to track another animal's scent, stuff like that...So, as we were trekking through, I realized something...yes, I miss Angela, but 2 years ago right now, my heart was so weak that I could barely walk down the street let alone plowing through all of this snow on the golf course. What a blessing that is...Yes..Life can be difficult...However, it's like that saying....Miracles are all around us...All we have to do is look... Thanks for reading this

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, what do you do with the tough questions???

I have about 50,000 different thoughts I want to write about tonight, so I'm going to try to not go off on too many annoying tangents... :)  Well, here we are..One year after that devestating earthquake in Haiti. I remember learning about what happened..I was told that "this one is really bad" but unfortunately the only information I received was what I saw on the news..Sure, people at work would make a comment here or there with details on just how serious this really was..But I guess because of the fact that I am in chicago, and I was just going about my daily work activities that day, I didn't really  "get it" know?  Sure, I caught a couple of the Haiti releif specials on T.V., but for me it really didn't seek in, because that tragedy occurred outside of my own little world....There it is... Another reference to the song "My Own Little World" by Matthew West. The song poses the question "What if there's a bigger picture, and what if I'm missing out? What if there's a greater purpose that I can be living right now? Outside my own little world". Now, don't get me wrong..There is nothing wrong with having your own little world. You need those relationships that you can count on..You need those routines, because doing routines helps you build lives and relationships with your friends and families.Another example I'd like to share is the crucifixion. I was brought up in a single parent christian home, and all my life I have believed that christ died on that cross for my sins. Now, that belief has always been one of the several basses of my christian faith..Sure, I know it hurt when he was nailed to the cross..When he was betrayed by Judas, that hurt, being treated like a criminal had to have been bad, but I just kind of grew up accepting these things on face value. You could say that a part of my little world was in some ways compartmentalizing what he did on the cross..Does that make sense? Well, the day I saw the movie "The Passion Of The Christ", that changed everything for me. I remember as I was walking out of that theater I had tears in my eyes because I realized that up until that point in my life I really didn't "get it"..From that moment on, my own little world changed, because my relationship with christ became deeper. It seems like significant events need to happen in our lives for this kind of activity to happen. Now, what about dealing with a tradgedy like Haiti, or even Arizona..How do events like these effect you in that own little world? It's interesting how the lord uses tragedies like these to draw us closer to him if we let him. Here's what I'm getting at... Last year, I heard about the tragedy, and then over this year I heard topics on the news about it, read little things here and there about it, watched some haiti relief programs..However, for some reason, I always felt disconnected, because my involvement with Haiti consisted of what I would read online, or watch on the news. It was ironic that within 7 days of the one year anniversary of Haiti, the tragedy in Arizona Occured. Personally, it seemed like the one tragedy made me more passionate about the other tragedy, and vice versa. I think for me, when I was given the Death/Homeless totals for Haiti, and I was talking/praying about it on the air today, it sort of put me in this mindset of "wow....I forgot who devestating that really was" I'm not saying that the media did or did not give it enough attention to keep it "top of mind". I mean truthfully, as you go about your days, and your life just rolls on and on it's sometimes easy to have a tragedy even that big escape your mind. I think that is a part of what makes us human. Time goes by and it's the one year anniversary. All of a sudden, you are given statistics of things like deaths, and homelesness of victims, and you find yourself almost in shock....
That was me today.. I walk into the studio to record my afternoon airshift and as I'm prepping (that means getting thoughts, facts,scriptures, subjects and stories together that you can use on your 5 hour shift to make it sound like you just might actually know what you're doing. ha!) I get the stats for the Haiti Earthquake....When I read these numbers, I sat back in the chair and just stared at the window for a few minutes, trying to get my arms around what these numbers mean.. Because of the Haiti Earthquake, over 300,00 lost their homes... That is equivilent to the city of cleveland ohio...Imagine....The entire cleveland population...everyone.....Homeless.......
Because of the Haiti Earthquake, over 200,000 people lost their lives...That is equivilent to the entire city of DeMoines, Iowa...Imagine..The entire city of DeMoines, Iowa....Dead. This puts things in perspective. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like over there in Haiti. But understanding the details like the ones listed above definitely changed my way of thinking. Now, I have no clue what God's plan is, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I personally believe that when bad things...terrible things do happen in this world I believe the lord wants us to utilize what we learn so we can lean on him, trust him more, and by doing this pray for people that you never have before..People who you might not ever meet until we get to heaven. There's that saying "how can any good come of this?"  In my humble opinion, there's on answer for you right there.. If this tragedy hadn't of happened, we wouldn't be praying about it.People wouldn't be leaning on jesus like they are now. People wouldn't be united in prayer all around the world, working together for the common good to help..That's how Jesus ministered.. The poor, the rich, the sick, the lame, the evil, the children, etc. Our desire should be wanting to be more like Jesus, right? well, there you go..Because of these tragedys, good is coming out of it. People who don't know each other are praying for one another. It's not about what political party you stand for. It's about how can we, on this earth come together to pray and be used by the lord to help those in need? You see, the more and more you pray, the deeper your relationship grows with Christ. Let me break this down in another way.. I think I'm even starting to confuse myself...  ha!
I will go more into detail about these subjects as the blogs carry on, but for starters, let's go back to the question "How can any good come from this situation?"I want to talk to you about Angela.....I just typed that word, and then had an "Angela Moment"... I just kind of sat back in my chair, and kind of looked into space..It's happening right now....I call it the "man, this house is quiet at 11:45 at night/I'm thinking about Ang...I'm thinking about a song that comes to my mind when these moments happen...                  I Miss Her......
You know, if you've ever lost someone in your life, it doesn't ever really get "easier", I would say it gets "different" You come to a place where you're at peace with what has happened, even though you miss your only sister, you miss your friend, you miss certain things at certain times and even though you can talk and laugh about her (Ryan and Lauren love the stories I tell them about when Ang and I were their age) inside, there is this sad feeling that you wonder will ever go away. It's not a feeling of hopelessness. It is equivilent to visiting her grave, putting her favorite candy bar on the marker and think to yourself.  "I miss you" Okay, during Angela's fight with cancer, that was almost a 2 year battle...If you have dealt with a cancer patient, you know what I'm talking about. As those 2 years rolled on, as I was taking care of my sister (which I am so grateful to have had a job at that time that allowed me to do so) things started to get systematically worse..I equate it to you're on a battlefield, then all of a sudden, all of these fires start burning all around you, and they seem to come out of no where. Just like that, the fires grow higher and higher to a point where almost panic sets in because you realize that there really aren't any options that can be planned..That feeling of hopelessness can bring one to ask the question "How can God be glorified in this?" I'll tell you how....
 These events brought my family closer than we've ever been before
 Hundreds of people praying for Angela.. Families, singles, couples,etc. Prayer always brings a family closer so perhaps as they were praying, the lord worked in their lives as well. My wife really saw me acting out my faith. At the time, she was a very new christian. When all of this happened, by showing her the faith and trust that I have in God, that really made her see what being a christian is. It's about having that personal relationship with christ. There is a saying that God's children should be seen and not heard. Don't just talk the talk...Walk the walk. I know that Angela's faith, her strength, and her preserverance witnessed to many many people. She told me that if her story could bring one person to Christ, it was all worth it.... That is the kind of sister that I had... 
So, let's take what I just said about Angela, and use that on a grand scale. Angela was one person who left us to go on to be with the lord. The lord moved in so many ways during her battle. Now, times that by 200,000 deaths. Think about how many lives are being touch as we speak because of what happened in Haiti, as well as Arizona. I'm living proof that Jesus takes what is broken, and turns it into something beautiful. How about you? Have you ever felt broken? Have you ever found yourself asking God "why is this happening?"  No matter how bad things seem to be, remember this.... Nothing ever surprises God. He knows exactly what's going on in your life. He knows exactly what you need and he will give it to you. Draw closer to him..Have that relationship with him. Try to act more like him. You see, by doing that, things can start to change. As we as christians spread the love of christ, and be christ like, the lord can use that to spead like fire..  If I may quote a song..  "watch your words spread hope like fire"... You see? It all comes back to our own little world..We look to God for wisdom and direction, he will show us things 
outside of our own little world to encourage people..To minister to people...To have the words of Jesus spread hope like fire.......
Okay....I have taken up way too much of your time. ha!  Thank you for reading this.. I really do appreciate it. God bless!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I should probably have some cool title for this blog, but I got nothin'....

Well, here we are in 2011. Yeah, I know...I should probably make up my mind as to whether I'm going to continue this thing or not. There more I think about it, the more I think that there is something to be said about writing your thoughts down. I guess this is a pretty cool way of doing that. Maybe people will read this, maybe they won't. Either way, in some strange way it does feel good "writing" your thoughts down...Yeah, I know... Writing??? On paper??? What is that all about?? Chris Fabry hosts his own show during the week from 2-4 called "Chris Fabry Live". During the show, he made a really good point a couple of days ago. As he was interviewing his guest on the show, the comment was made that there is something to be said about writing down your thoughts and feelings. That just sort of stuck with me.
So, the first week of 2011 has come to an end. I have this feeling that this year is going to just fly by. Isn't that weird? It's like, one day, it's the middle of June...The next day, it's Thanksgiving... The days just keep flying by faster and faster..Looking back on the past couple of years, it feels like in some ways a lifetime has passed..In other ways it feels like it was only yesterday that Luke started walking.. By the way, Luke is my incredibly big and too smart for his age 3 year old nephew..
That's thie thing, isn't it...In this life, we get caught up in the day to day stuff when sometimes it feels like it's just one day fading into the next... It's almost like we find ourselves on auto pilot... Then, there are those times when we say to ourselves " it Christmas already?"  or  "wow..he is in pre-school now??? How did that happen?"During my airshift this past week, I was talking about the whole idea of "resolutions" I said something to the extent of maybe the word "goal" should be replaced by "resolution". There is a song that we play from Matthew West called "The Motions"  (which is an unbelieveable song, by the way) it talks about how in this life, we find ourselves just going through the motions...of course, he is talking about our christian life, but how many times do we just go through the motions in other parts of our lives as well? You know what I'm talking about... You wake up in the morning, you get ready for work, maybe you kiss your spouse good bye, maybe you don't..It's such a routine, that you really don't thinik about it.. Almost subconsciously, you think "I'll see them tonight..."  Basically, many things in your day are just "ordinary"..Not that that's a bad thing, but we find time to check our facebook, check our email, update our facebook, download music, blah blah blah...How are we living an extraordinary life? That word extraordinary..when you break it down, it is more than ordinary..It means that instead of the normal routine that you've fallen into, you want more...More out of your relationships..More out of your christian walk...more from yourself..Now don't get me wrong...I am toally in that "routine" thing as well. However, one of my "goals", or resolutions for 2011 is kind of along the lines of the words of that Matthew West song... Instead of doing "enough", I want to do more...More praying..More Reading..More time thinking about the lord, and seeking him, and trying to be more like him, and less time thinking about things that in the long run really don't matter. Now, please don't take this like I am pointing the finger saying "oh, you're not doing this, and this is wrong, and that is wrong, etc"  I'm just saying that in my life, this is something I would like to work on. Have you been in the same place I have been? Who knows..Maybe you're there right now.. All I can say is this...The lord is good..He is faithful...He is merciful.. He is so much more than those 3 things, but I think you get what I'm saying.. I am a daily work in progress. I don't deserve God's grace..I don't deserve his mercy..However, he gives it to me anyway...I mean, I mess up so many times every single day, but he is still there. If I may quote the line from a MuteMath song, "You precious words intoxicate a heart that aches..You just say it's okay...And you don't recall my past mistakes..You just say that it's okay..And this human mind can't calculate you're perfect grace, but it's okay" . The whole idea of going through the motions... If there is one thing that I've learned over the past 3 years is your entire life can change in an instant..Maybe for good..Maybe for bad.. You never want to find yourself in a place where you're saying "if I only did this, or if I only told them this, or if I can only go back and do this.." That is why I think it's so important to have a close relationship with God..If we have that, he will show you what to do, so you won't be finding yourself in the position of saying "if only"...  There is a line of a song that says "you can't rewind a moment in this life".. That's true.. It's so easy to lose sight of that, isn't it?
Alright...I've bored you long enough.. Thanks for reading this...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Amazing Grace

Well, here we go again...It's midnight, I'm wide awake, so I thought I would write you. I've noticed over the past week or so that I just haven't been able to fall asleep...I know..It is the child like anticipation of Christmas!!!!!!  No, not quite.. ha ha!  It's ironic....I was just talking to you about being a part of the "solution" and not the "problem" when you look around in life and you wonder why you're not happy.In the bible, it says things like "he who is without sin, cast the first stone", and "judge not, less thou be judged".  What that says to me is it is not our place to cast judgement on others...Yes, we might not agree with their decisions, or their behaviors, but I really don't think that getting in someone's face and telling them what they're doing wrong is the correct way to do something. Have you ever been in a situation in where your emotions got the best of you? You just blurted all of this stuff out that maybe you meant part of what you said, but you were so overwhelmed that you just kind of blew up and let the person have it with both barrels having no regard for the location you were in, and the people that were around you. That's the thing....Confronting them..You see, if there is a thing as righteous judgement, How does that work?? There is a song that we used to sing in Sunday School that goes "and they'll know we are christians by our love by our love, yes they'll know we are christians by our love".. Think about that....That's what god wants from us..To show other people his love. Just because you don't agree with someone, that doesn't give you the right to basically point your finger at them, say terrible things, and basically act the exact OPPOSITE way christians are supposed to act. To me, christianity is all about having a personal relationship with god. with that being said, if I find myself in moments like this, I ask myself "Okay...what do I think Jesus would do, or how do I think he would act in this situation". I think that when we act out in anger, all we're trying to do is make OUR point..Well, what about GOD'S point?? Many times if we judge someone else, that is us being selfish..It's us not taking into consideration anything else but our own agenda, and our own feelings. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if in the past people have acted out and verbally judged someone, telling them this that and the other thing...That person didn't go before the lord right before they did this and asked god "what is the best way to communicate with this person"? You know, it's so easy to pass judgement when we think we're in the right. I've found that sometimes it's not about right or wrong. Yes, the person could be doing wrong, but do you actually think making them feel worse about their situation is going to do any better? In my opinion, it is just going to make things worse, and/or drive a wedge between you and that person. If you ever find yourself in situations like this, maybe try saying to god "okay...I don't agree with what's going on here..However, how can I be used by you in this situation? What am I really trying to say? why am I truly upset about this? Do I have all of my facts straight? How can I act that will be beneficial, and make a difference?
I'm not at all saying we should just roll over and be like "I'm not going to take a stand....It doesn't matter"  well, obviously it does matter because you care about the situation. However, Christians have had this reputation for standing on soapboxes, pointing the finger at people and telling them they are sinners and they're going to hell...  That's the problem...Some christians will sit through a sermon that talks about forgiveness, and acting god like, and praying for others.. Then, they'll march out of the auditorium and pass judgement, as if what they just listened to for the past half hour went in one ear and out the other. I think that judgement sometimes comes from anger. The person doing the judging is angry inside, so they lash out at someone else. Does that make sense?  You see, in light of all of this, there is one word that can change all of this.....GRACE.. "By the grace of god go I", it says... I think that gets lost somewhere when we deal with feelings of abandonment, anger, fear, know, all of those joyous holiday feelings.. :)   Sure, people do things that hurt us. We see things happening in our own lives that can break us down...That is why God gave us this incredible gift of GRACE... So, this christmas week, if you see an opportunity to show god's grace, I want to encourage you to go for it. If you're in a friend/family/workplace quarrel, try to think about grace, and how grace could help you be the solution to this particular problem.This is one of the many reasons why we all are a work in progress..Isn't it nice to know that God isn't finished with us yet??
Now on to happier things... :) haha! You know, being in my mid-thirties I've come to realize that the little things in life are just so cool. Well..yeah, the big things are cool too, but here's what I getting at.....  In the awesome world of Radio, WMBI especially, things really slow down over the next 2 weeks, so this is the time when many of us take vacation. From the middle of January all the way through May, it is really really busy, so I decided to use up this year's vacation time by taking time off now through the first monday of January. This afternoon, I got a call from Lauren (my 9 year old niece) and she wanted to come over and walk Daisy. So, she gets dropped off, we take daisy outside, and it was almost like we were transported into like a Lifetime movie or something like that...We live on a golfcourse, so we were walking right next to the golfcourse, kind of under the trees, the snow was falling, and as we were walking side by side, we were just talking about the past year, about christmas this week, and about how excited Lauren is about having 2 weeks off...We were telling each other jokes, kicking snow at each other, playing tag..That kind of stuff. Little things like this mean so much to me now.  Tonight, after the Bears won (YEAY!!!) I was just sitting on the couch with the dog (cari has to open tomorrow morning so she went to bed) and I was listening to the plow trucks come and go...Maybe it's just me, but there is a certain sound of the silence this time of year...Does that make any sense? For example, it's almost 1 A.M. and as I sit here and not type, there is this silence that is different... I probably lost you there..I confuse myself all the time..  :)
So, I would love your feedback on this...I am thinking to use this blog thing to write somewhat of an autobiography of the past 5 years of my life. What do you think? Do it? Don't Do it?  I'm a moron?  :)    either way, thanks for reading this.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This year, it's a little different

Okay...First things first, I need to just put something out there..I am still going back and fourth regarding this whole blog thing...Here's why..I kind of thnk that if I write a blog, I am going to seem self absorbed...I know...You're probably saying to yourself "then, why are you writing it??" Well, that's the thing. I don't want to sound self absorbed, or that I think my life is just so special that I just have to share it with everyone. I guess the reason why I am continuing on with this thing is it's a great way of practicing if I would ever decide to write any kind of book...So, there it goes again...The thought that you are going to think I just think sooo highly of myself, and my life is so great, that I just have to write about it. no...That's not it at all.. To be completely honest, I am very humbled by the fact that I get to do what I do every day.. The fact that everything that I have is truly a gift from God, and I don't deserve any of it....However, I have had a very interesting life over the past several years, and I feel that maybe by writing about it, it might help someone else...However, people would actually have to read this thing in order for that to work...ha!! Actually, I am wiring a lot of this stuff in honor of my sister...Does that make any sense?? You see, when Ang got sick, and things started to go downhill, I had this ongoing feeling that I wanted to write in honor of her. To maybe talk about our lives, and tell people from my perspective how sometimes you have to go through many trials in order for you to look back and see how God has worked in your life.. There are so many things that I don't know..There are so many things that I just have to go by faith...However, If there is one thing that I've learned over the past few years is no matter what happens to you in this life, nothing ever surprises god, and he knows exactly what's going on..It's all under his control...In this life, you reaslly have to be thankful of what you have, instead of thinking about what you don't have.. It's about perspective... It's really interesting how God orchestrates all of these little things, and these huge things in your life to bring you to where you are now. This Christmas, it's a little different for me..Here's what I'm saying..For the past several years, around October, I would always think about how this coming christmas, it's going to be a great holiday..I can't wait to take some time off, spend time with friends and family, etc...Then, when christmas would finally arrive, it was like...Okay...Now What?? It just didn't feel the way I thought it would feel..It wasn't the way I'd wanted it to be. Over the past few years, there was always a problem..Always an issue that was changing the experience of christmas.Guess what?  I was focusing on the wrong things.. You know...Stuff like there's not enough doesn't feel like christmas..what about this? what about that? blah blah blah.. It's like I want to go back in time and say to myself "Just shut up!!!!" Look around you!!! Pay attention!! Paying attention....In alot of ways in my life, I've paid attention, but I really haven't paid we go with a couple more annoying quotes...ha! There is a line from a movie that goes "I know that you hear what I'm saying, but do you truly hear what I'm saying??"  Well, this year, I made this realization...Maybe the "problem" was me? Maybe I was focusing on what is "wrong", that I didn't focus enough on what is "right"? In some ways, that is it..I was looking at it wrong..Instead of being the problem, maybe I should become a part of the solution? Sure, things aren't perfect...Trust me...Nothing on this earth can be "perfect". However, this year, I see things differently..I have a Career that I absolutely love. I have a relationship with Ryan, Lauren and Luke that could only be the way it is because certain events unfolded in a certain way over the past 2 years..Sure, those events were painful...It seems unfair..However, I would not trade my relationships with them for anything...Steve (my brother in law) and I have gotten much closer over the past couple of years. Even though it's still hard for her, my Mom is in a much better place in her life with where she lives, her relationship with her family, and that includes me.
I've become so much closer to Cari's side of the family as well. Hannah and Alex are just awesome (Hannah is NOT going to date until she's 30) and I have really come to appreciate my relationships with Jenny and Brian.. They add so much to my life. Cari and I have gotten closer as well..Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you find yourself saying to God "God, show me a sign.....Just show me a sign....I need a miracle...."   Well, I have come to learn that sometimes in those situations, God wants us to be a part of the miracle, or he wants us to be a part of the "sign" that we're looking for. I remember back when I was saying that to God about a certain situation (this was several years ago).. I was praying for a miracle..Praying that God does something...Well, it hit me all of a sudden that instead of looking around at what's wrong and what needs to be fixed, I should look up, and find ways in which I can be a part of the solution...That I could be a part of the "Miracle" that I was praying for. When you think about others first, and you think about how God would want you to act in certain situations, it can really change things. Okay....I've bored you long enough...I've gotta go... Cari's going to be home from work in like 45 minutes, and I told her that I would take care of the laundry before she gets home....I say that to you as I'm typing this, drinking Coffee, hanging out with my dog, and watching the christmas episode of Bevery Hills 90210 from like 1994...Yeah...I'm being really productive.... Thanks for reading this...  :)