and I'm feeling good

Welcome, folks, to Light of a New Day. This blog project was started back in 2010 by Jake and Sydnee. Over the years, several others have left their mark, by contributing articles, their time, and love for Christ. The blog has went through some dry spells, because - let's face it - we all have moments where posting happy thoughts isn't quite possible. For Jake and Syd both, someone shot the bird dead out of the sky. Unfortunately for them, that bird was a phoenix - and baby, it's back. What you can expect are posts. Maybe not regular, and maybe not all of them will be happy. This phoenix is an honest phoenix, life isn't perfect - and people need to stop acting and teaching like it is. This is Light of a New Day. a REAL day. If you have any thoughts or comments, would like to drop us a contribution, or would like to join our team - drop me a line at trun4rth@yahoo.com

God Bless,
Attractive Narrator Voice

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gravity is POWERFUL



Hello dear readers - I feel completely obligated to give a shout-out to an amazing group of people, over at Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing. They throw books into your face that you need to read. Stories of surviving trauma, be it mental, physical, self inflicted, or damage done by others. A lot of these are memoirs - but don't let that fool you - they are more thriller than anything. They cut deep, and ring true.


This afternoon I've been hanging out with a bunch of the amazing Authors on the GRAVITY label on Facebook, as well as a bunch of fans. The goal? Raising awareness and charitable donations for the Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart is dedicated to helping victims of sexual and domestic abuse, as well as child abuse. This is a great charity - and an amazing group of people come to support it.

If you've never attended a "party" like this, you're missing out - they call it an author takeover. Several of them get together, and split a schedule up into 30 minute chunks. They advertise their works, spread awareness, host games, and do giveaways in an effort to encourage donation.

A couple of these amazing people even decided to take it a step further, in an effort to help as many people survive these difficult situations as possible. You may remember that I reviewed Lindsay Fischer's book a month or so ago. She's definitely worth reading - but then, they all sort of are.



As I write this, I gladly get to tell you that the folks at Gravity have met their goal, but that doesn't mean you can't help out if you want. You can support them by visiting their website, and grabbing a few books. You can support Joyful Heart by heading over there and making a donation. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Primer on TEC

For 5 years, we've thrown the word TEC around here quite a bit. We've even petitioned for it, and encouraged you to spread the word. That doesn't mean that we've given you a clear idea of what it is.

TEC is a youth retreat, for those of you who didn't find this website through TEC. It stands for Teens Encounter Christ, and it is a 3 day, summer camp style, bring clothes and a toothbrush gig. TEC is a Catholic retreat, but it is absolutely definitely not only for Catholics.

But hey, Jake, if I'm not Catholic, how can I get anything good out of it?

How can you take anything BAD away from it? The message of Christianity is universal. Love, spread the love. It's basically that simple. (and horribly more complicated, as these things go) I attended my first TEC retreat as a Non-Catholic. I've since converted, self destructed, drifted, and ended up in an odd, odd place somewhere. But the point isn't that you'll convert, you can go, have a good time, and go back to your life with the lessons you've learned. Happily.

Now I'll level with you. If you've never been to a Catholic service, there will be some awkward moments. Just kinda chill through it, don't take communion, and enjoy it. It's a beautiful type of reflection in and of itself. Just accept that anything new is awkward.

Once you accept that, and decide to go, do yourself a favor and decide to participate. Don't just sit around quietly. Enjoy yourself, talk, share stories, meet new people. Literally everyone on the retreat is worth meeting. The team are the team for a reason, the old farts leading the retreat are doing that for a reason as well.

And as the example in this blog demonstrates, don't be afraid to be your honest self. It will make it much more enjoyable. Much more beneficial.

So here's the best honest advice I can give you. GO. Serve on a TEC weekend.
There's a weekend coming up in January, and again in February. You can find out all of the details over at the Mid-America TEC Website

If you do go, I can promise you this. 3 days that you will never forget, and lifelong friends.
It's definitely worth a shot. What's growing closer to Christ worth, after all?

So guys, gals. It's been about a month since my last post - and I'm sorry for that. I'm still here in this really terrible nursing home, trying to get myself well enough to get back to the real world. Back to working and my life. It's definitely been a struggle. One of those struggles that makes the previous struggles seem silly in comparison. I've been doing quite a bit of praying though, and have a fair few article ideas so there is that.

I saw this picture today, and it struck a chord with me. I did this very thing. I got to high school and realized I had no freaking idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I was good with computers, and I was passionate about computers, but what I didn't know is that I had no interest in working with computers. It nearly destroyed my life. We have this notion that life should be easy, but what we really need to be doing is pressing our kids. If they are in Middle School and don't have a general idea of what they want in life, it's honestly probably too late. Medical and Business professions require so much pre-planning. You need to shine and stand out, doing the right extra-curriculars, the right summer programs, the right sports, volunteer projects, jobs, it's so important. Instead, we decided to be lazy, and just do the easy thing.

And most importantly, we aren't dedicating enough prayer time to our lives and decisions.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Semicolon

Some, or many of you may not be familiar with the significance of the semicolon. It is the symbol of Project Semicolon - it is a symbol of hope, strength, community, and love for those struggling with Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harm, and Addiction.

This is a Christian movement, and I love everything about that. Generally, Christians have a very hard line on these issues, filled with judgement, and preconceived notions. That hurts, to present yourself to a community of love, share your story, and be judged because you tried to take your own life. "Suicides don't make it to heaven," "how selfish," all of that.

This is different, this is positive. This is shelter from the storm, and this just kicks ass.

So hey, Jake, I'm super lazy and don't feel like clicking on that link. WHAT IS Project Semicolon? It's community. It spans social networking, college and high school campuses, street sidewalks, and more. It's hope.

This is a project that deserves your support, because there are so many people out there who NEED your support.

Do you have to get inked to support the cause? Absolutely not. Just support them in whatever way you can, even if that is only in prayer. I've learned that the power of prayer is pretty impressive.

By the way, the picture on this post is courtesy of moonlightartistry on DeviantART, used with permission. Feel free to check out the rest of their artwork.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Poison Oak

This may be a hard pill to swallow - but we're about to talk about politics.

“… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” ~~ Thomas Jefferson, 1802

SO very often, faith and politics try so desperately to intermingle, and to be honest - this problem was a component in my drifting away from the church. Christians (and I hate to say it, but especially Catholics) tend to ignore the fact that our country is founded not on the teachings of Christ, but the separation of church and state. The United States of America operate with no official Government. The Church does not get (or, shouldn't) get representatives in the Government.

All of this is creating a problem.

The old saying, united we stand, divided, we fall - it's not wrong.

And we are divided.

Now, I've played this game long enough to know the response I'll get. "Well, if we all just got along and instituted Christian beliefs into the Government, everything would be fine," Here's the thing - and to the best of my knowledge, either the majority of people don't realize it, or don't care. If we had an instituted official religion, it would drastically hurt others. Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, and (god forbid) any non-violent Muslim, all of their views sort of conflict with Christianity in one way or another. Not to mention, thanks to Pope Francis, as well as the actions of the US Government, wee are living in the most progressive times ever - as far as human rights go. Gays can now get married (which really ticks people off) and the Church is (trying) to push for more open reception of them.

If you, the generalized "you," who complain about the Gays ruining the institution of marriage, got your way, and abolished this form of equal rights, you wouldn't be doing yourselves any service, you would only be hurting your fellow people. The Bible teaches to LOVE thy neighbor. This behavior isn't that.

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ~~ Thomas Jefferson, 1785

In the United States, people are free to pick their religion. That can be anything. It can even be no religion. What rubs you guys the wrong way - is when people pick the wrong religion. Hell, to me, the only "wrong" religion is one that poses a threat to millions, and there is none that fits that criteria. Of course, there are factions - Radical Islam comes to mind, but that is not representative of the entire group of Islam. We need, no, we HAVE to stop being so narrow minded in our views.

Now - I'm going to try and drift away from that nonsense, and talk about something that SHOULD be the more relevant. We have got to stop hosting popularity contests for the control of our nation. Donald Trump is SADLY the most applicable candidate for the seat right now, and that is an absolute joke. Sure, he has some things going for him. He speaks his mind, he knows his money, and he has the appropriate and different type of experience - and he hasn't spent his life being bought by political interests. The problem, is that too many people see him as a joke. His goofy-factor blinds people from the fact that Hillary Clinton is a criminal. In all truth, when it comes down to casting votes, people are going to go for someone with ACTUAL political experience, because they are sheep.

We need to stop being sheep. We all want to be involved, but we don't want to do the work to be competently involved. So here's what I propose. If you don't have a decent knowledge of what's at stake, don't go vote.

We are on the verge of making irreparable mistakes with our future. We are allowing our elected officials to piss away our relationship with Israel, we are fanning wind into the embers that are ISIS, and we are setting up for a Race War in our streets. We are not the greatest country on earth, we are a Joke.

We need to stand together, and it is clear that, as unfortunate as it may be, Faith will not be that centerpoint. We have to find what that is. Fast

Just some thoughts,

Monday, August 31, 2015

Load up on guns, bring your friends..

If that's not the million dollar question, I don't know what is. So many times in my life, I've been blown away by the scope and complexity of life. It's never really been a pleasant experience. So many times I've complained about prayer. For the longest time I didn't believe in prayer - I never saw any evidence of my prayers being answered. Everyone always said maybe they're being answered in a way I am not looking for. But no, it always seemed like I was being ignored.

Maybe I was. It's not inconceivable. If there really is some huge pattern or plan, it could definitely come to pass that what I want doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Or what you want. And to us, that's not ok. We are a selfish people, and here's the thing they wont tell you.

It's OK

Saturday, August 22, 2015

-F-R-I-E-N-D-S-

bleh. I had a half formed genesis of this post floating in my head, it destroyed itself before I could finish typing and button it all up. Apologies.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Trials and Tribbles

Ok troops, fair warning - I'm reviewing a book here - and I know that is something I don't often do. (Random big of information - this blog started out way back in the beginning - as a book and movie review blog)

The book I'm reviewing is a memoir - a non-fiction piece. This is something I don't normally read (read: ever)

This book might teach you how to curse.

I happen to be pretty decent friends (at least, more than acquaintances) with the author of this work of art. Lindsay was my English teacher, my junior year in High School. Between now and then, a lot of things have changed.

A lot.

This book is about surviving. It is about Lindsay's battle with an abusive boyfriend, and her surviving a potentially deadly domestic relationship. Her book isn't run and operated like a self help novel, its' not about soul searching and meetings. I don't mean to knock conventional support in any way, mind you, because that is just the sort of thing that allowed her survival. It's just, that's a different book. This may be non-fiction, but it's so gripping, so edge-of-your-seat intense that you will forget that. I forgot that, and I KNEW the author.

Having said that, this is the most uncomfortable book I've ever read. Partly because of the fact that some pretty terrible things are happening to a person I know. Partly because this type of behavior is happening all over the world, and it's happening right now. On the whole, most people are blind to it. Then, you read her book about how she handled it. How she internalized it, how handling it changed her. You notice the outward changes and you put the puzzle pieces together, way too late.

For that reason, I think that this book trumps self help, because I think this has massive application for "outsiders" to the world of Domestic Violence. Now, that's not to say that this isn't good for survivors as well, it's just that. People need the pain and discomfort that comes from reading this book, to open their eyes. People need to know the signs, people need to help. In Lindsay's book, one of the main characters is a man who needs the beating of a lifetime. Sadly, to my knowledge, that has not happened - because people didn't see the signs.

What does this book have to do with this blog. With Christianity? Nothing, honestly. Not directly, at least. I still think that you should read it - especially if the idea of domestic violence, rape, and behavioral conditioning bothers you. I want you to read this and be uncomfortable.

I also think that this book IS for everyone. It's not just for survivors of domestic violence - it's for SURVIVORS - and let's face it. We've all got a demon we have survived. A lot of the themes transfer over - on a metaphysical level.

This is a fantastic book, and it is a journey in and of itself - demonstrating massive, powerful courage. Lindsay originally published this book herself - under a pen-name for her own safety. In an effort to raise awareness and demonstrate to the world that she isn't being held down by fear - she re-released under her real name, opening herself up to the whole world. Friends, family, they all learned some serious secrets in this gripping tell-all. You will not be disappointed.

It's cheap, on amazon - for a digital copy. It's still cheap for a paperback. There's no other way to say this. Go read this book.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

When I Make it to Moab


So this is a legit problem in the world today. People who go through hard times have troubles maintaining faith. I've had this problem (but then again, I have never had a bulletproof faith) and I know many many people who have similarly had this problem. Does this problem come from our faith not being strong enough? Is it rooted in the fact that wealth has grown into SUCH a huge problem in our world? Is it maybe some of both?

What I assume is this: we are responsible for creating our own monsters. Some of these monsters can grow to be pretty darned powerful, if we allow it. In our world, it doesn't matter what faith you belong to - God's can take a beating too. Money and Wealth (especially the lacking of them) can be a demi-god for sure. God can't write us a check, and make it all better. But poverty can take your apartment or car from you, and instantly do miraculous damage to your livelihood.

I guess with all things, keep your faith strong, and you will endure.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


This is worth talking about. The disconnect caused by connectivity. 

This may be a strange topic to be discussed on a blog, on the interwebs, written by a guy who can write the most beautiful code you've ever seen, who studied and excelled in Information Technology. But it's the cold hard truth. We are too connected. I saw a commercial the other day for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge telephone. The commercial presents that we are a generation of 'checkers,' who are constantly checking our phones. Connected. Then they propose the solution is their phone which makes it more sneaky to check your phone. 

That's not a solution! This connectivity problem is messing with our social lives, our sleep schedules, our comfort levels, and our relationship with God. Ya know - like I said, I was brought up as a keyboard ninja, and I owe a lot of my personality to technology. I'm definitely not up here on my nifty soap box to tell you that technology is a bad thing. Tech makes our world better, in thousands of different way. The problem comes from our reliance and even addiction to it. If we are spending our days refreshing our facebook feed 3 times a minute, stalking friends and family, and playing candy crush 25 hours a day, we have very little time to meditate on our faith. Not to mention, the detrimental effects this lifestyle has on our relationships, our ability to interact socially, and our ability to enjoy life. 

Unplug - even if it's just a little. Go outside, chop down a tree, drink a beer. 
Enjoy life, not iLife

EDIT: Not to shove it in your face, if you have a moment, and need a reason to disconnect from the grid for a moment, spare a prayer for Gina Loudon, from our TEC family, and her mother. They could use it right about now (:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Journey, a Retrospective

A journey. My journey.
This may be a bit of a doozy - stick with me.

So, to do this right, we're going to start back at the beginning. 2009 - I'm visiting friends, one of which is a thin little blonde that I have a massive crush on. (I'm a fatty, her brother is my best friend, I have no chance and I know it) They are a religious family, and practically all of my experience with church and God and religion comes from the times I've attended Mass with them. Probably could count the times on fingers and toes. At one point it is brought up that I should attend a TEC retreat. (TEC is Teens Encounter Christ, it's a fantastic youth retreat) I really wasn't interested - but at the same time, I was trying to impress someone, so I declared that if she filled out my application, I would go. She did, I went.

This was an extremely awkward weekend. It was, however, the first time I met one of my best best friends, Miss Sydnee. But, back to awkward. I am not familiar at this point with any of the Catholic "words" - the prayers - what and how you do specific things. The ordeal was overwhelming to the point where I was planning on faking sick and heading home. Some reason or another I stuck it out, and oddly enough, I did have a good time. It took a lot of me opening up, and showing my vulnerabilities - and like I said, I was trying to impress someone.

The thing nobody knew, was my battle with depression. Most people didn't know anything about it, but I have battled the demons of Depression and Anxiety since I was 16. At the time, it had started to effect my job, and lets face it, I'm not and have never been good with girls - I guess it has something to do with a lack of stability. That's what girls seem to want in a guy. Plus, I don't consider myself attractive. Loneliness is a problem, is what I'm getting at. For those reasons, plus more, I was honestly suicidal. (ya know, at the start I wanted to protect names, but it's difficult, so if anyone has beef with their name being in here, let me know) Kayla inadvertently saved my life by filling out my application for the TEC retreat. I'm not sure if I encountered God that weekend, or if I just found a place for myself in the loving community that is TEC, but I changed my mind on the suicide thing after that weekend. The night I returned home from the retreat, boot up my computer, and start adding friends to facebook, Syd sends me a message saying <3 - and here's a secret. From that very moment I've loved her - that started a 6 year story that I'm still trying to figure out.

Anyways - fast forward a year, I'm starting the RCIA process (how to become a Catholic) I've also returned to the TEC community to serve on the first of 7 retreats. I have also started this blog you are reading right now. I really enjoyed the RCIA program, the theology and history was fascinating. It really inspired me at the start of this blog, when it was just me. I managed to post daily with scripture readings and my thoughts on them. I will admit though, this is the beginning of the end. I started the RCIA program for the wrong reasons. I felt that I needed to be Catholic to serve on the TEC retreats, and I wanted to be a part of that community. Part of me wanted to be Catholic for Kayla and her family also. From the very beginning I didn't make an effort to attend Mass. It made me extremely uncomfortable. See, mass is so much different outside of a TEC retreat. That whole universal unconditional love and acceptance that you get on the retreat isn't anywhere present in the real world. The people I met through my Church outside of the retreat were a real let-down. Extremely judgmental, nobody gave hugs - it was a hard pill to swallow. I think the problem was that I didn't grow up in the Church. If I had, I would likely have had friends in the community, would be used to how things get done, all that. All things considered - I finished the RCIA program, I kept serving on TEC's, and even still, my faith kept growing - simply in an atypical way.

Fast forward a couple of years - it's 2012. The 2012-2013 year was the most difficult year of my life. This is the year I fell out with TEC, and the Church (for what I thought was good) I began to have a rather large issue with the hypocrisy in the church, and even in TEC. All of these people, pretending to be stellar role models for these teens - when they're out having premarital sex, drinking, doing drugs, and being terrible examples of piety. The anger I was feeling towards the community was amplified by the problems in my personal life. I was putting the final few nails in my credit coffin, by making a failed attempt at returning to school - at the urging of the before mentioned family that I loved so much. I guess college is essential to them, but clearly it isn't something I needed. However - they made it seem like it was important I do it. It failed horribly. I ended up unemployed, dropped out, and kicked out of my apartment. Also, student loan debt. Sydnee showed her awesomeness again, and took me in for a few days while I tried to smooth things out with my family, and basically get permission to come home (long long story, I had a terrible relationship with my dad. Mom is basically one of my best friends, but dad and I had issues) It was an unpleasent time in my life. Before I called Syd to see if I could stay with her, I thought about sitting down on train tracks. I thought about throwing my car across the interstate. I thought about getting a gun. I had lots of bad thoughts. She saved me from that though. I'm not sure she even knows how important she is to me for that.

I did manage to get things smoothed out enough that I could go home. I guess I had changed enough, Dad and I began to slowly get better with each other. It was rough at first. I had trouble finding a job, small town equals small market. I think the problems he had with me - in my teen years I was really into Anime, but this is way before Anime becomes socially acceptable. At the time, it was strange and different. For this reason, half of my family (maybe more) thought I was a gay kid. That caused a lot of damage, and caused me to kind of recluse from them. But back in the story, I think dad finally started realizing I like cars, drinking beer, cooking meat, and tongue kissing girls - and that took a lot of the tension away. Plus - I got a job. or a career. I found my calling, as a 911 Dispatcher and Call Taker. It's an extremely high-stress job that most people can't handle - but I excel at it. Because of my history with depression, I'm fairly emotionally numbed to the tragic situations, and I love helping people. Also, it's constantly changing, never the same. I don't get bored at work. I love the people I work with, I love the law enforcement community, it's just me. It's so strange too, because it's not a job anyone wants to do, when their a kid.

As my life began to stabilize around my new job - things began to fall into place. My depression stopped being so severe for the most part. Sure, loneliness would still cause problems - because there weren't really many friends or love interests around. I work weird hours, and don't really want to associate with criminals, so my options were extremely limited. Still, for the most part, things were going good.

Now, we come to the mostly present time. Life is still stable, and getting better. I'm getting more attractive with this fantastic beard I'm rocking. I'm not 100% sure but I think the loneliness problem is working on getting fixed, but other things have broken.


I was driving the blue Grand Prix, her name was Tiffany. Respect. I was taking a corner at about 20mph, and was struck head on by the Ranger, which was travelling at 45+ and the driver was impaired when they entered my lane. My right tibia and fibula were broken, as well as the calcaneus and another small bone. My left femur went through the acetabulum and shattered my pelvis. I remember, after they got me into the ambulance, Lowell was the EMT in the back taking care of me, The one thing I asked him to do was grab my phone and text Syd to let her know what happened. I thought I was going to die. Oddly enough, afterwards, it took me a while to realize how easily I could have died. I'm not sure what happened, but it's really difficult to not see God in my survival. As I write this post - I'm laying in my bed in a nursing home - working on getting myself up and walking. I'm working through my own set of constant problems, but making progress.

In the last few months I've made some pretty massive revelations. First and foremost is that I don't have to fake Catholic anymore. Don't freak out on me. I'm still Catholic, still a member of the church, haven't been ex-communicated or anything. Not going anywhere, I am just now comfortable with not making myself do the things that make me feel uncomfortable. I can be a rock-star with a strong glowing faith, and practice that faith in my own way - and that's ok for me. I realized that I could try and go back to the TEC community, because I realized that my problem with hypocrisy was not directed at the others, but at myself. I saw the flaws and sins I have been guilty of in other people and it upset me. Now, I've coem to terms with the fact that humans make mistakes. People screw up, and people sin. I think it's important to show that to the world - I sit here, writing this blog, acting as a role model to youth and adults all over the world. We can be honest about ourselves and still appear as faithful. We need to open it up a little. When you air your dirty laundry, you find other people who have similar stains on their clothes - suddenly,, you've created a support group. That, right there, is healthy.

Is everything better now? Nope. It never will be. I will always have some problem bugging me, and I will always have depression and anxiety hiding in my shadow. That's just how it is. What has changed is my attitude, and my outlook. So, dear readers - I'm here to stay. I'm already working on a backlog of content so you constantly have something to check out here. Many apologies for all the time I spent away from you - but rest assured, I'm here now.

Good night, God Bless, Cheers, and so on
Jake

A New Dawn

Welcome friends, welcome. Jake here, coming to you live, straight outta your browser. It's been a LONG time. 3 years, give or take, since the last post was made on this blog. As a matter of fact, you, the reader, have probably given up, forgot. Don't feel bad, we did too. Maybe this is your first time reading. Well, either way. Welcome. Welcome to the rebirth. Welcome to a new day. Welcome to a post where I'm trying my ass off to break the record for using the word "welcome" in a post.

By the way, I did just say ass. See, back in the day, I wasn't particularly honest. The whole daily devotion, holier then thou - it wasn't (and isn't) me. Am I saying that I'm not religious? NOPE, not at all. The point I'm going after is this. There are plenty of websites out there that sit back and try to speak infallible words. Preaching, with no right or authority. Not saying there's anything wrong with that type of publication. Sometimes, people just need a pick-me-up, and sometimes, it comes in that form.

But here's my view. My belief. My goal, for this rebirth. I propose that I'm gonna blog here. I have no mission. I'm going to share my honest, unedited thoughts with you, and hopefully it will help bring us both closer to Christ. No one lives a perfect Christian life, and I will demonstrate that for you. We will work through our struggles, I welcome you to comment, and participate. Email me your thoughts, questions, and concerns. We're going to write this blog together, because what it's really about - is you! Without you, reading this blog - this would not exist.

So let's tackle this new day together.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Out of the Darkness



Hello all! So... we've all been absent for a while. Yikes. Well... here's the good news! I've got a new computer and I LOVE IT! And I'm living in my own apartment. With my own Internet. What does this mean? Well! Hopefully it means that I will be available a lot more and will get to blog often. I'll try my best. Today I want to talk about suicide awareness.

First, here are some facts about suicide.

1) Every 13.7 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide.

2) Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.

3) 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.

4) Most people with mental illness to not die by suicide.

5) Recent data puts yearly medical costs for suicide at nearly $100 million (2005).

6) Men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide 3 times as often as men.

7) Suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59.

8) White individuals are most likely to die by suicide, followed by Native American peoples.

These facts were found at http://www.afsp.org/ Click the link to learn more about suicide.

Now, for my story. Well... the short story anyway. November 24, 2009 I lost my Uncle Andy to suicide. It ripped my world apart. I didn't realize it at the time, but that's when I began my struggle with depression. Over the next 2 1/2 years, I hit my all-time low and almost took my own life and seriously considered it a few other times. Today, I am thankful that I didn't. Today, I remember all those people who reached out to me. Today, I spread the word of suicide to all who will listen. If my efforts save even one life, it is worth it. But hopefully, it will save several lives. 

Sunday there was an Out of the Darkness walk here in Fulton. The point of the walk is to raise money to give to AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) for suicide research and awareness. It was the first walk to be held in Fulton. We had a good turn out. It was quite an emotional day as I not only remembered my uncle, but also relived my battle. I am doing much better now than I was 2 years ago. But I encourage you, whether it is you or a friend struggling. Reach out! Help them!  Get help! Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Recognize the warning signs. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Warning signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
These are the big warning signs. If you see these warning signs, INTERVENE! Even if you're wrong, isn't that better than being right and doing nothing? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If these describe you, GET HELP! Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Please. Please. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). And always remember that you are not alone.

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hey y'all!

Hey there everybody! I know it's been a while and I'm sorry for that. Been quite lost. Trying to find my way. I'm getting there. Love you all! I hope you believe that! Always praying. Will post something better hopefully soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello My Friends

We banged on blue drums and called it blue grass

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's Really Dark In Here


Hey guys. It feels like it has been forever since I have posted! So, I have been feeling pretty low lately. You know that feeling where you need a hand up, but it feels like nobody could ever understand how things are really going for me. Maybe I have just been stressed out because of the school year coming to an end, or the fact that I go to a really difficult college, or just because life is hard in general. But I have been at the bottom of the barrel and life has been dark lately.
I am reminded of a story from the Gospels. Jesus had just finished preaching near the Sea of Galilea, and he told his apostles to go on ahead of Him. So they got in a boat and ROWED FOUR MILES across the Sea. (That is an insanely long way to row a boat, ya’ know.) But then, it gets even harder! A storm rose up, and tossed the boat like crazy. That is the place I find myself right now. It's extremely dark. I feel like I have been working at this life forever and haven't gotten anywhere. Now, a big storm is rising up in my soul, and Jesus isn't there to help me up. At least, that's what it feels like. I wish he would come to me just like He did for the disciples. 'Cause the story goes that Jesus came walking across the sea to the boat, and told them not to be afraid. They were afraid. They didn't even recognize Jesus in their crazed stupor. So, I thought, maybe we don't recognize Jesus when He comes to us either. He may be reaching out His hand to catch me as I fall, and I may just be blowing Him off like a ghost or a dream, or something. If God is holding me, I wish I could feel the warmth of His hand…

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"If Life is a Highway, Why am I Always the Roadkill?"

Life can be seriously blech sometimes. Why does it all have to be so hard? Is there anybody else out there who feels like they are being squashed by life? I mean, common! Why does it have to be so hard? Is there nothing that can be done to calm the storms in life? I ask God to do it for me everyday, but He seems preoccupied, or at least plenty willing to see me suffer for the present.
If it is God's will that I should have to live in total darkness, then so be it. But I still can't do it alone. So where is He. I know in my heart that I don't walk alone; but even though I have believed this all my life, I still can't see His hand in the world around me.
Where is our God?...And why can't we be there too? So many questions...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Imports and Exports

This has been a very interesting time for me.

Have you ever become so fed up with the world, that you just wished it all went away? That's how I've been lately. absolutely completely mood swinging from super happy to supper gloomy. I've found myself doubting everything, and to be honest, I still haven't come up with the correct answer.

I know you all are probably reading this saying "The correct answer is no doubts," well, that's not going to work for me this time. I need proof to correct my doubts, and set me straight again.

Unfortunately, that's harder than it should be for me.

But I'm working on it.

I guess I'm feeling extra-open today, so I thought I'd share something with you. For those of you who know my TEC story, you know that I've battled with depression and suicidal thoughts before, thats a good deal of why I'm so in-the-fight now, against it.

I want to show you all my vulnerability right now. It's a blog, much like this one, with one exception. It's not. I made this blog as a coping mechanism for my depression, and it's not wide-spread. It's had 2 other visitors aside from myself, ever.

Some things to notice. Not all of it is first-hand experience, not all of it is original. I quoted books and songs quite a bit. There is a really interesting original poem in there somewhere that's all me. But it expresses my inner feelings at the time, and sometimes now-a-days.

Keep in mind that it's the past, it's before I found faith, and learned about real friends. Don't pity me, just get a clue on where we come from :) I'd suggest starting at the very bottom, and reading up - as that's how it's written.

For I have Known this Darkness

Peace and Prayers,
Jake

Friday, March 30, 2012

"My Heart is Ready, O God, My Heart is Ready."

"My heart is ready, O God,
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.
Awake, my soul,
awake, lyre and harp,
I will awake the dawn!

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations I will praise you
for your love reaches to the heavens
and your truth to the skies.

O God, arise above the heavens;
May your glory shine on earth!"

-Psalm 57

I heard it said that  life's not about waiting for the storms to pass by; it's about learning to dance in the rain.
We all probably have a lot of storms in life. I know I do. And it can be really hard in these times to see that God is always with us. But the truth is that after we go through these dark and difficult times, we will  be able to truly enjoy the light at the end of the tunnel. Things won't be this dark forever. We may not be able to see Christ next to us, or feel his hand on our shoulder. But this doesn't mean he has left us. Never.
He became human so that he could bear our human suffering with us and for us. We could never do anything alone - even if we tried to.
I pray that today you and I will find the strength we need to bear the storms of life with patience and courage. These struggles are going to make you so much stronger in the end! Peace!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Struggles of Life and How I Get Through Them

So...it's been awhile since I posted, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I wanted to make a post of it.

I looked through my life and checked out the struggles I have with everyday things. This is just a list of what I can think of right now that I have struggles with.

  • Alcoholic dad
  • Asthma
  • Stupid decisions (everyone has them, but they're still in the list)
  • Certain friends and their problems (I always try to help others first)

And there are others, but these are the things that I can think of right now. My 'philosophy' of this is that, God gave me these struggles in order to make me stronger.

I think of quotes a lot to make. I hope one day, it can become famous (just like I hope I can be a well known author). One that I've been taking a liking to lately is; 'Life is hard and rough, but make it worthy, make it something you would WANT to live over and over again.'

This quote I've shared with others and my family alike. I'm going to go through the list and tell you how I struggle with it.

Alcoholic Dad: My dad will drink constantly all day long, so by the time I get home (which is usually later than earlier) he is either really drunk, or he is passed out. I always tend to enjoy the latter. But when he is drunk, we get into large fights or small arguments. He no longer comes to track meets, band concerts, or anything else but academics. I confronted him about it. We argued and he stood up from the couch and came towards me. I took two steps back and I was against a rocking chair, making me 'cornered'. I told him not to come near me. He told me to go to my room. I'm sixteen...I'm not eight. The second time I confronted him about the same thing, was much calmer, but still hurt the same. My 82-year-old grandpa with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and scoliosis and is getting into worse shape every day. He makes it to everything of mine. It's hard to understand why he can make it, but not my dad. I still can't understand...

Asthma: It started as exercise induced, but I believe it progressed. It gets worse when I cry hard, it gets back when I walk out the door and the humidity hits me... I can't run long-distance anymore because my lungs can't handle it. I have to drop out of band drills when I don't want to because I can't take it any longer. It isn't much of a crutch, but it's hard to work out to get better for high jump and it's hard to sprint as much as everyone else on conditioning days for track.

Stupid Decisions: Yeah, like I said earlier, everyone has them, and it's okay. I have caused people pain from mine. My boyfriend, actually. My dumb decisions (that I will NOT share here) have caused me to almost lose him three or four times. Why he is still with me, I don't understand...but he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love him so much. I've changed my life around just by stating that I'm going to and so far it's worked. We're both kind of cranky lately, but that's because we haven't seen much of each other. He has golf (which goes until six) and I have track (which goes until 4:30). Wednesdays, he is getting help for his ACT to raise his score one point (and I'm proud of him for it). Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have meets. Monday, he has a tournament. Weekends are our only shot, and it's hard sometimes when I can't make it because of gas and he can't make it for the same reason. He's stuck by my side and I'm going to stop making those stupid decisions in order to keep him by my side and I, his.

Friends' Problems: Most people turn to their friends and say 'that's not my problem, solve it yourself'. I'm an advice giver, so naturally, they turn to me for help. The difference between most people and me, is that I don't care. I try to help everybody, because I feel they're more important. Sometimes, when they talk about a problem, I talk about a similar experience and I feel like I'm trying to turn the attention on me, but I'm not! I've talked a friend out of suicide...I calmed down a bipolar kid two nights ago (with the help of another friend). I struggle with their problems when I'm in my own but I always try to put mine aside for a just a moment, because they're seeking out MY help, which means MY problem is always there for later.

This post isn't meant for you to sympathize or for me to sit on a pity pot and cry about my life. I love my life the way it is and I don't want anything to change that.

This post is meant to show you that YOU can make it through your struggles as well. I may not have the worst of struggles like some people out there, but to me, this is big. For those of you who have bigger problems, you can make it! Don't dwell on your problems when you have the whole world in front of you. The world won't always be in front of you. Eventually, you'll be up in God's land. Paradise, Utopia, whatever you want to call it, is waiting for you. The world won't always be there. Explore it while you can.

I sign my name with Ephesians 6:11 because I live life by it. It's my favorite quote and I'm pretty sure Ephesians is my favorite book. 'Put on the armor of God, so that you may stand firm against the tactics of the devil.' I signed several of my TEC family's Bibles with this quote. I wish I could share it with everyone who is having problems. The kids that you hear get bullied and kill themselves because of it...the kids with abusive parents...all those people. Most of them don't know that God is there. A lot of them eventually quit believe in God. 'A Child Called It', as bad as it sounds, is one o the best books I've ever read, because in the end, he still believed in God. Believing in God got him through it. I wish everyone would see life this way...I believe everyone needs to read that book, no matter how horrifying it is.

Like I said, this wasn't meant for some people to feel pity for me, I don't want that. I'd hate that. I just want everyone to know, that no matter how rough life can be, you can still make it through.

Colleen
Ephesians 6:11

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Laetare Sunday

"You have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. " John 16:22

Today, Christians around the world celebrate what is called "Laetare Sunday." Laetare literally means "Rejoice!" Lent is half way over, and signs of life are beginning to show. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We travel through darkness in this world, but there is no need to suffer without purpose, because Christ has already risen. We are marching on to the place where He is. We are on the staircase to heaven. Your soul has already been ransomed from its sin. So repent, and believe in the Gospel. We have to prove by our lives that you are in love with Jesus. If you abandon yourselves to the blessings of God, no one will be able to take away your immense joy from you.

Here's wishing you the most beautiful Lent ever, and a n even more beautiful Easter! Our Savior has come! Don't lose courage. The dawn of salvation is breaking in your heart and now you can see "The Light of a New Day!"


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Hey there! I'm not sure what kind of day you may be having, but this photo is for you :-)
Keep it cool kid. You rock! So let this put a smile on your face and then have a great day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Into the Desert

Hello brothers and sisters! Welcome to Lent. We only have 40 days to prepare for Easter - the best day of the year for Christians. On Easter, Jesus broke the chains of death, making it possible for us to live forever. I'm pretty excited.
A lot of people have a pretty dismal view of Lent. If you feel that way, have no fear. I always thought that Lent was like a month-long funeral until last year. I have really started to see the beauty of it now. It just takes a little imagination and the willingness to put a  little work into it.
I like to use this lovely metaphor. Imagine a garden. The harvest comes. The produce is gathered. Then what? Winter bears down its heavy coat of misery upon the ground. Now we are in February. I hate February. So blech. So dark. Its starting to get rainy. Cabin fever makes my bones restless. It seems like winter will never end. But spring is just around the corner. All the rain is thawing out the ground, preparing the earth to receive the warm sunshine. Spring is just around the corner.
Now imagine a seed. The helpless little thing is drowned by all the rain, and nearly frozen to death by the last nights of frost. But it begins to grow. What courage! Every seed starts in darkness and hardship, but will become something so great!
This is like Lent. We are the seeds. The Church is the earth, the weather, the elements. We are going through a period of hardship, but it all serves a purpose! God is tiling our hearts, preparing us to burst into spring-time glory! It wont be long and everything will be full of life, including our hearts. But first, God has a lot of work to do on us before we are ready to produce the harvest.
We're walking through a desert. We're standing in the snow. We're being pounded by the rain. We're learning to put aside our bodily desires and the sins of the flesh so that our souls can come to full life. We should be fully willing to nail our hearts to the cross next to Jesus, because only by dying with Him can we ever hope to rise with Him.
Welcome to Lent. Are you ready to do what it takes to give your soul a makeover? :-)

"In the cool of the day You come and meet me.
All the blue fades away. The stars are winking.
Your love's so strong. I can't recall.
What was this thing They called the fall?

(Refrain)
And You walk with me.You never leave.
You're making my heart a garden.

Oh, why would I hide Away from Your face
When the light of Your love Illuminates

Your hand in mine. A steady line
Drawn on my heart And deep in my mind

All the broken are mending. The mournful rejoicing.
Seeing through tears Of peace overflowing.

(Refrain)"
Garden - Matt Maher

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fourth Day and Another Question

Before I continue on with my post, I would like to thank Jake for offering me to be an author on his blog site. I feel very privileged that I was asked to do this and I'm happy that I can contribute to this amazing blog.

I've pondered all day what I could post on this blog. Jake, in his message to me, asked me to do this as a fourth day thing. I can't say I can do that, but I can say I've tried to be a disciple today. At school, people accused me of skipping school yesterday (jokingly of course) and when we were done joking, they asked me where I went. I of course answered with I had been on a TEC retreat. Obviously they asked what that was, read my shirt and I explained. One I know being a not very religious person. I honestly don't believe I affected him in anyway, seeing as he's always arguing with me for the heck of it and is as stubborn as a mule. But I know that I tried and that's all that matters.

To what I was actually going to post in this blog, Jake already knows about and he agrees. He actually helped me come to this conclusion.

Think for a moment about our Catholic faith and death. What happens when you a major sinner? What happens when you sin a little? What happens when you don't sin (unlikely, but play along)? When you're a major sinner, like a murderer who doesn't care that they did it, you're sent to Hell. When you don't sin, you make it to Heaven. What happens when you only sin a little? But enough to make God have to decide? Our faith says you go to Purgatory.

My question for you is: 'do you really believe in Purgatory?'

I ask this because why would you go to a place with more suffering, when you already suffering from your sins here. The sins you make on this Earth affect you in your life. When you make a sin, not too long after, you're suffering from it. I speak from experience. It might take a day or two or a month or two, but you'll always suffer for it in the end. So, if we're suffering for our sins here; why would we suffer from them elsewhere.

Jake and I agreed on the fact that, if there is a Purgatory, it's here on Earth and not in an 'in-between'.

You don't have to answer to me directly--if you do, wonderful! I'm willing to hear your opinions--but I just want you to ponder my question.

Colleen
Ephesians 6:11

Monday, February 20, 2012

Clarification

So I was sitting here, recounting my amazing weekend, and I was idly scrolling through the posts on here, and found myself watching the TWLOHA American Giving Awards video, and found myself wondering how the church today sits on Suicide Victims. It used to be that they were denied proper burial services and were honestly believed to be damned to Hell. I wasn't OK with this at all, but thankfully, I found an amazing article that lays it all out, crystal clear. The following are not my words, but the words of William J. Byron, S.J.


What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on suicide? Do people who take their own lives go to hell? My son committed suicide. In the note he left, he said he was going to hell for this, but didn’t know what else to do. He made many mistakes, and I made lots of mistakes raising him. I’m truly sorry.
- D.B., Minnesota


No one can appreciate the unimaginable pain that is the ultimate explanation for such a tragic action. No one, therefore, can judge a person whose choice we cannot fathom, whose life we can remember, but cannot restore, and whose pain we cannot understand. This is how the Church tends to look upon suicide today.

The Church teaches that suicide is wrong; it is contrary to the Fifth Commandment. It is an action that runs counter to the proper love of self, as well as love for God, the giver of life. We are stewards of our lives, not owners. The person who takes his or her own life also wrongs others — those who remain experience loss, bewilderment, and grief. You won’t find anything in that teaching about going to hell.

Pity, not condemnation, is the response of the Church. Prayers are offered for the deceased. Mass is celebrated. Burial with dignity, in consecrated ground, is provided for one who dies this way. Not that long ago, Christian burial was denied to those who took their own lives. There may have been another denial at work in those days, too — denial of our inability to understand the pain. We assumed that those who chose to take their own lives were acting freely and under no psychological distress or illness. Or worse, there may have been a denial of responsibility to try to understand the pain. As your son said in the note he left behind, he just didn’t know what else to do.

So for those of us who remain, the Church encourages paying attention to the pain that produced the action. Then, look forward, not back, to pain within ourselves and pain in others, especially when we see no signs and hear no calls for help.

Why do we avoid speaking to one another about inner pain? Why are we not more sensitive to the pain in others’ hearts, or able to read the pain in others’ eyes? Why do we spend millions for “pain relief ” over the counter or by prescription, but not spend the time it takes to encourage those who may be hurting to open up? This kind of thinking is all now part of the Church’s pastoral response to the tragedy of suicide.

It seems to me that there has to be some mysterious insulation enveloping those who commit suicide. Tragically, their minds cannot be read by those around them, nor can they reach out and ask for help. Again, the unimaginable pain.

The Church teaches through liturgy, and the liturgy on occasions like these stresses divine mercy. Take a look at Psalm 103, and recall the dimensions of God’s mercy — as far as the east is from the west, as high as the skies are above the earth.

The Church still teaches that there is a hell, but leaves it to God to decide who should go there. And divine decisions, in this regard, are filtered through divine mercy. Tragedy at the end of this life is no sure sign of an eternal tragedy in the next.

Here I am, Lord

Hello dear followers, readers, and people who accidentally clicked this link. First off, I want to just absolutely YELL out right now, I've had another ABSOLUTELY wonderful Teens Encounter Christ weekend experience just end, literally just got in the door. I'm tired, drained, and high high high on the Holy Spirit. This is me publishing a personal and loving e-prayer for the new members of the Mid-America TEC Community - I hope you have an absolutely amazing 4th day, and realize that 4th day's shouldn't ever end. Enjoy - Serve - Love. That's all that's asked of you!

I was browsing postsecret here a few minutes ago, and I love the way the site is laid out. On occasion, someone will post their secrets, such as this:
Then, follow up's are posted. (Sometimes, this is kind of rare and amazing actually)

That just made me smile. Apparently, someone had found this note under the wiper on their car. That's 4th day :)

What else can i find on post secret....
:D :D that one made me smile. I think some of us can relate to this message. Plus, it's been a while since I posted so I'll call this my retrospective valentines post for you all. Enjoy :D

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Rescue Me, God, My Saving God..."


Man! I wish life felt like this sometimes...walking on a beach in my bare feet, watching the sun set low in the crimson sunset. But no. Life seems to grow always harder. Always more tedious and exhausting. What am I doing wrong? Society tells me that we should "do what feels right," and "enjoy yourself." But the more we seek after life's many pleasures, the more we feel like we are walking on thorns. So what are we doing wrong?

Well, I have realized today that we are going about this all wrong. It's not that we are "doing" something wrong; it's that we are "viewing" things all wrong. We are walking on a beach. We have the Son shining down us, we have all the things we ever really need, and more than that, we aren't really "doing" anything at all.

Look behind in you in the sand. You see a set of footprints...whose are they? You might say "Well they're mine, of course." But they're not. Life is good because those footprints don't belong to you. We have all been carried the entire way, and those footprints in the sand are Jesus'.

We're constantly saying "Rescue me from death, God, my saving God," and Christ is saying "I have loved you with an everlasting Love!"

So today, realize that you are at the top of the world - not because you climbed there, but because God Himself has carried you there on His strong shoulders.

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

Friday, January 27, 2012

Taco Bell Fast: The Ultimate Sacrifice

OK. So it's not REALLY the ultimate sacrifice. But it is a big one for me! You see... I LOVE Taco Bell. Seriously could eat it 3 times a day every day. I single-handedly keep them in business. :-) But today is the first time in 2 months that I have eaten Taco Bell. Why? Because I fasted from Taco Bell for TEC (Teens Encounter Christ). Each and every time I craved that delicious goodness that is Taco Bell, I said a prayer. And who said that prayer is pointless? If it makes a difference for one person, that's a lot of difference. And for one of my dear friends... it was a tear-jerker. This friend just made her very first TEC. I met this person 2 years ago, and though we've been Facebook friends and "known" each other for the past couple years, we didn't really know each other. Well, this person got a new phone and had lost my number, so one day, when they got a text from me about coming to TEC, they were both thrilled and confused at the same time. In the text I explained my Taco Bell fast in prayer for them. They had never had anyone actually pray like that for them before. It was amazing! This person had quite the moving experience at TEC to say the least. I really don't know where this post is going to be perfectly honest as I have just completed about 4 hours of work for an online class. No excuse I know. And I also know that there is no excuse for not blogging in what seems like ages. Except there is an excuse. I HAVE NO LAPTOP! But there is no excuse. I still have no excuse but am making it as best I can on my roommates falling-apart-laptop. Anyway, hello to you all again! I missed you! Since I am forced to be online these days, it will give me the chance to blog some more. Sorry for being AWOL but I do love you all! Glad to be back. And remember the power of prayer is... well... powerful! :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Challenge

Hello all,
I want to explain how this blog works. It's a joint effort by young people in Missouri. We sometimes have things going on in our lives that makes it difficult to post on here, which is why this website goes through periods of downtime. I'm issuing a challenge though, here and now. To the contributors who post here, including myself. Try and take some time every day, to log on, and if anything, throw up a random bible verse. Give us your two cents on it, if you want, or just post the verse. Not every post has to be a thousand words. So I can't promise you, dear reader, that you'll get daily posts, but at least from me, I'll try to be more active. 


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Thursday, December 29, 2011

post-resolution, pre-revolution

Hello all,
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas. Hope you all remembered what it should really be about. Our Lord, not our receipts. I will link a video down below this message, and I'd like you to take the time to watch it. It's got such an amazing message, you just won't believe till you see it.

See, depression is one of those things...people like to pretend that it doesn't exist. That it's not a real problem, that whoever claims they have it is just begging for attention, or trying to shift blame from themselves in a time of bad luck.

Then? Then someone we care about, or love, takes their own life. Then it becomes real all of a sudden. We're hypocrites. We need to separate ourselves from that notion here and now, because at that point - it's too late. I don't know, or want to (because it's not important) know how many peoples lives I've impacted, for the better, just by being there. For them, when they needed time to talk. To vent, let it out, and be heard. That really is all it takes.

It sounds simple. It's not. For the past 4 years I've struggled with depression, at one point - I nearly called it quits. Reaching out to people for help is hard. When I finally worked up the courage to talk to someone, someone who was supposed to be one of my best friends, they couldn't be bothered. Seriously people, you never know when the conversation your having with someone could be the last.

But finally someone listened. For the last 3 years I've been mad at that person - because she won't claim responsibility. I can't be too mad though, she says it was all God. The point is, she saved my life, by doing next to nothing. Next. To. Nothing. It takes hardly any effort to listen to someone. Be a friend. It's the least you can do, and the least you can do can change lives. Prolong lives. Save lives.

But here's my question. One person, out of all of my friends at that time, was willing to listen. My own mother wouldn't acknowledge that I had a problem. How can everyone else justify being a Christian. How can they justify themselves being a Human Being?! (Thankfully, I have better friends now a days)

Syd, who posts on this very blog, lost her uncle to suicide. That event nearly destroyed her life, and that was the most sobering experience of my life, seeing first hand what I could have done to my loved ones. What really gets me, is the people who are looking on from the sidelines saying "how could that affect her so much" and "she needs to get over it." Every time I heard someone say that, I began to question whether or not I could get away with murder.

That, my friends, is why I am so passionate about TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms) - it's the single greatest program I can think of. Why? Because it gives hope to people who desperately need it. I have 433 friends on my facebook, and only 14 of them 'like' the twloha page. Now, I'm not saying your any less amazing for not liking it, and I'm not saying go join it out of guilt, but what I'm saying is - spread the word. There are people out there who care, and who will listen. People who support anyone, regardless of sex, race, religion, height, weight, etc.

If this was more widespread - I, right now, could be proud to say I never even considered taking my own life, and Sydnee's uncle could still be with her. Millions of people across the world would be waking up in the morning and heading off into their future.

We have to, right now, as a whole, unified human race, re-evaluate our position. I titled this post-resolution, pre-revolution, because we need to stop looking back on these devastating events and saying "oh, what a shame," and looking forward to see what we can do to prevent them. All it takes is listening. Ask yourself this, how can you say you love someone, and not listen to them? Cherish every day, life is shorter than anyone can ever know - so don't waste it. Remember that not taking chances means wasting your dreams. Go after what you want, don't just let it pass you by, and always, always, be a good friend. After all, as they say,

Love is a movement.



Peace, and God Bless

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Romans Chapter 8
"The Flesh and the Spirit:
Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death. For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do, this God has done: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us, who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. ...But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Children of God through Adoption: For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God...The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him."
Let us not waste the gift God gave us in His Son. A gift willingly given by the Father to His children. And the Son is also the Father. Let us honor His sacrifice. God thought us worthy, lets make Him proud of His children.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Earth, 2.0



Hi guys, I found this video on TWLOHA's youtube page. you should watch it, share it on facebook, spread it around. It's an amazing message that we should all stand behind.

The idea here, and what I mentioned in the subject line, is Earth, 2.0. It's time we stepped back and realized that our species is on a downhill slope. We're headed towards disaster, and it's not fair. It's not right for our generations to take the fall for this. Lets not let it!

We've got young people in the streets of New York and basically every city nationwide, protesting for change. They're hearts are in the right place, but as long as the demons are in place, nothing will change. We have to change, as a people. Unite in Christ, and all things are possible.

Human Beings shouldn't be put in situations, by other human beings, where they can only see one. possible. escape. Banks, Ex Girlfriends, Boyfriends, "Friends," they're getting away with murder every day.

We need to equip our loved ones with bullet proof vests. Thats a metaphor, don't get too far ahead of me. Tell them you love them every single day. Mean it.

maybe then, we can recreate the human race.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday.

This sums me up to the letter. I don't feel welcome about anywhere I go, my family doesn't want me around, and all I am is a disappointment to them. The sad thing? I'm too selfless to do something about it. The reason I don't want to go home for Christmas isn't because I'm not wanted, it's because I don't want to ruin their christmas. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hope

"But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?" Ezekiel 18:21-23

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I love cookies

I mean seriously, Cookies are awesome, but you should take this for it's intended meaning people! I love you! 
I mean it!
So does Jesus. He told me. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

From the Tree of Life


"Christ is risen from the dead, Trampling over death by death. Come awake! Come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave..."

-Matt Maher, "Christ is Risen", Alive Again

Friday, October 21, 2011

Consideration for the Weak Conscience

"Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean. If you brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love...Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to become a stumbling block by eating."
Romans 14: 13-15, 20-21

Friday, October 14, 2011

Advice from Romans

"Let love be sincere; hate what is eveil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord...Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good."
Romans 12: 9-11, 21

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yay for a new logo image!

Hi All!

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. – John 5:19 (NIV)


This may seem like an interesting and confusing piece of scripture to act as a companion to the picture I just posted, but I think it's very important, and more than adequate. The picture shows us that our upbringing, it doesn't have to define our lives. We don't have to grow up to be just like our parents, especially those of you who come from oppressive, unstable homes. We all have a chance to do great things in our lives, and take our passion and love, and faith, and transfer that into our children, as amazing, wonderful parents. How do we do this? We do what our universal father does, mimic his ways through his son Jesus, and in this way, how can we lose? 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I am blessed!


I have been so completely and totally blessed this weekend! First of all, there were two rallies this weekend: Jr. High and High School. I helped at both of them. I got to see some really great friend that helped out at the rally as well as participants and other youth ministers that are friends. AND I made new ones. And I got to see my good friend, Steve Angrisano, whom I haven't seen in 2 years. We got to hang out and just chat a little bit. And just spending my days serving God and praising Him and praying TO Him, He has brought me such joy! And He has helped me out so much! There are questions needing answered which He answered today. He said, "Hello, Syd! I love you more than you can imagine!" in so many new ways today! It is amazing! HE is amazing! So I just want to take this moment and pray and thank God for all the blessings in my life.

"Dear God, thank You so much for today! Thank You for being ever-present in my life and guiding me to live how You wish me to live. Thank You for always being merciful and loving me despite all the ways I disappoint You. Thank You for all the people You have brought into my life; especially the ones I got to see and work with this weekend. I pray that I may continue to keep open my eyes, ears, and heart - to truly hear what You are saying to me. I ask for Your guidance as I live my life as Your disciple. May I always follow in the footsteps of Your Son and love as He did. May I always see how You love me and have blessed me and may I never take these things for granted. I pray for strength and courage as I go out and spread Your Good News. I pray that I remain open to You that I allow You to work through me. Thank You for all You have done and will do for me. I love You!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Faith in Prayer

"The next day as they were leaving Bethany He was hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went over to see if He could find anything on it. When he reached it He found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. And He said to it in reply, "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!" And His disciples heard it.". . . " Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree thay you cursed has withered." Jesus said to them in reply, "Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your tansgressions."
Mark 11: 12-14, 20-26