Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Moving Day

I actually already moved most of my household goods and office last week when I went back home for Christmas, but what few remaining items I have left will be joining me on Wed. as I head back to West Virginia permanently.

There are always mixed emotions about moving. Ofcourse I've moved so much the past 6 years, I'm nearly a professional, I've given away more furniture than most people have in a lifetime, and I've moved around really too much, but live and learn, can't change the past, and that's what I get for waking up in Vegas.

I'm going to miss many of the students and kids especially who touched my life, i have a tendency to get attached easily, and also the people who befriended me during my time here, but I also am in much need of a change, new scenary, and a fresh start.

I am looking forward to being closer to my family, my long time friends, and especially my girlfriend Cheryl and her kids. She has to be the sweetest girl in the world! I am not sure what my career plans will be just yet? This next job will either turn into something permanent as a career or will be a job until I find something more career oriented. I also hope to always continue to minister and serve the Lord in whatever capacity He can use me.

I def. am ready to feel settled and to put down my roots back in WV where my roots have always been anyway. I've been blessed to be able to move around and minister and meet so many wonderful people and even despite some mistakes, bad situations, etc...God is never done teaching if we are willing to learn.

So, Country Roads, Take me home, to the place I belong....West Virginia, Mountain Mama, Take me home, country roads......

Monday, December 28, 2009



What do you do with trauma? Bad memories? Struggles? Problems? Mistakes? Pain? Hurt? When you’re life for whatever reasons has issues like this, what do you do? Do you bury it? Hide it? Live in denial? Many people try to keep it all in and lock it down and throw away the key, but the problem is that never works? You cannot bury or hide stuff, because it eventually it resurfaces because unresolved stuff is “unresolved” so it comes back in the form of anger, walls, mood swings, resentment, bitterness, poor decisions, broken relationships, turmoil, drama, etc….Junk in our lives does just not magically go away. You can’t sweep it under a rug, pretend it never happened, doesn’t exist, or bury it.

Imagine every time you have a problem or issue that you didn’t deal with, resolve, or handle, and you tried to bury or hide it you were given a 2lb rock to carry around in a backpack. Eventually your backpack would be full of 2lb rocks and it would be too heavy to carry. Emotional baggage is a lot heavier and harder to carry and has more long-term damage to you. It affects your personality, relationships, attitude, faith(if you have any), present, and future.

That is why it’s crucial that you deal with things as they come and do not procrastinate with your spiritual, mental, and emotional health. If you bury enough stuff, it will bury you. You will isolate yourself from healthy relationships, make bad decisions, poor choices, and go from one broken relationship to another and leave a trail of hurt to others in the process.

I think the key is to recognize whatever hurt or pain there is and begin looking for ways to resolve it, deal with it, heal it, or handle it. Whether that is prayer, counsel, medication, or seeking professional help. I think ultimately seeking God and using Him, His church, and His word will help you tremendously. I obviously know if there is serious damage or pain in your life you may need to seek out professional help and avenues. Either way, do not bury, ignore, or try and hide your issues or you will cause even greater damage to yourself and others. The sooner you deal with stuff the sooner you can begin the road to healing, wholeness, and happiness again.

Sometimes we think the best thing to do is keep it to ourselves, hide it, bury it, pretend it’s not there, or act like everything is ok. It’s not ok, and it will never be ok until we deal with it. Some people live entire lives and never deal with their pain or mistakes. Some people, never realize the damage they do to themselves and others by not addressing the hurt or pain in their lives. Sometimes people live an endless cycle of using drugs, alcohol, sex, people, relationships, habits, and hobbies to try and “fix” their pain, only to continue the cycle.

If you need help, get it. Ask people you know or trust to help you. Seek God. Half the battle is admitting you have been burying or hiding or avoiding stuff. It’s time to break the lock and let it out before it destroys you.

“Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7(NIV)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Burning Bridges

Burning Bridges

Wikipedia describes Burning Bridges as an expression synonymous to the "point of no return", typically used when a relationship becomes irreparable. I guess we think when a relationship is at the point burning bridges is ok, but I personally don’t think it has to be that way or should be that way. I don’t think we should hardly ever burn bridges, but I suppose many times we do either intentionally or sometimes unintentionally because we are angry, hurt, resentful, vengeful, or selfish or immature.

Whether it’s in friendships, dating, marriages, divorce, parenting, or working relationships, many times we choose to burn a bridge in a relationship only for it to come back and bite us or we regret it. I don’t believe in Karma, but I definitely believe in God’s word of “you reap what you sow” and I also believe in God’s divine plan and that paying back wrongs is His job not ours.

The thing is when we burn bridges we are really hurting ourselves. It could be in a job and we get mad and quit without a notice or tell our boss off and down the road a year or two somehow some way, that keeps us from getting another job or we end up needing something from that person and we can’t because of how we acted. It could be in a dating relationship or marriage where we treat our partner wrong and horrible and walk away trying to hurt them as much as possible, only for it to turn around on us when we get hurt the same way by someone else, or we have to live with the pain we caused someone else.

Or it could be in a friendship where you used someone, betrayed their trust, or threw them under the bus, and then down the road you have to deal with that person again in another setting or you lose other friends because word gets out on how you treated people. Many times people do it in churches and church hop or even people get divorced and do it to their ex-spouse, but problem is there are kids involved and they are the ones who suffer for their parents children or selfish behavior. The lists of scenario’s are endless.

I can see burning a bridge with an abusive parent or spouse. I can see burning a bridge with someone who is evil and brings nothing but pain into your life. But, I believe most of the time this is a rare exception and not the rule for every break-up, divorce, job change, or church move. we must be careful to not leave a path of burnt bridges in our path or sooner or later we are going to be on a deserted island with no bridges at all, because we’ve burnt every bridge and we have no friends, we can’t find a job, no church wants us, no one wants to date or marry us, or no one wants to be friends with us. We end up alone because we refused to recognize the cycle of destructive behavior in our lives and do something about it.

The one who ends up getting burned in the long run is yourself. You can’t go through life constantly hurting people, pushing people away, and hopping from one relationship, friendship marriage, job, church, etc..to the other and at some point not end up alone and with a life full of damaged people most of all including yourself.

I would encourage you today, to not burn bridges. To not destroy relationships. You don’t have to date, marry, or be friends with someone that you don’t want, but you don’t have to purposely try to hurt or destroy them. You don’t have to work at a place you don’t want or with people you don’t want, but you don’t want to do anything that ruins or destroys your reputation or keeps you from future employment opportunities. You don’t have to stay at a church you don’t like, but you don’t have to leave a path of destruction when you leave at every church you attend.

On rare occasions you may have to burn a bridge to protect yourself or your family, but I would hope most of us would try to be bridge builders and sometimes just walk away and move on and let go and leave whatever injustice or vengeance up to God. Do not burn bridges, walk over them and keep walking. Also guard your path so you don’t get in relationships, situations, or places you shouldn’t be in, in the first place.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay says the Lord.’” Romans 12:18-19(NIV)

Friday, December 18, 2009

West Virginia Bound

Almost Heaven
Ofcourse those of us from West Virginia know that is state "slogan". I am returning back home to West Virginia at the end of this month after almost 2 years in southern Indiana (20 months to be exact).
After much prayer and debate(with myself and God) I have decided to step out of full-time ministry and relocate back to "Almost Heaven" where "Mountaineers are always free". The state motto, This is free quote day.
I'm going to be working through manpower and starting a new job at the first of the year at Alcon just outside of Huntington. They are an optical manufacturer of the lenses for cataract replacement surgey. I will begin after the new year and not sure what I'll be doing there at this time just yet?
I will be staying with my folks for awhile to save up some money and pay off some debt and see where the future may take me.
As far as ministry goes, I plan on doing some fill-in preaching and looking for a church to get involved in. We are all minsiter's and I do not need a title or a paycheck to minister, but am looking forward to what God might have instore for me next?
I plan on just taking the time to get re-settled in West Virginia and enjoy dating Cheryl and having a normal dating relationship with her and spending time with her, her kids, and her family. If you've did the long distance thing, you know how enjoyable that isn't. haha. I also will enjoy being close to some friends agian I've missed.
I will miss my students and youth ministry at Central in Huntingburg, but feel this is the right move for me and what is best for me and my future. My last day and when I'll be moving back is Dec. 31st.
2009 was the worst and hardest year I can remember having. I am looking forward to a new start and a new beginning back in West Virginia. God is a God of the good and the bad and I am thankful for his faithfulness.
Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New year!

Monday, December 14, 2009



Toxic is what is used to describe highly poisonous materials, but it also is used to describe people and places sometimes in our lives. We all know people who are in relationships that are toxic or go places that are toxic or who have circumstances/problems in their life that toxic.

Toxic means extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful. Does this sound like anyone in your life past or present? They bring you down? They are abusive? Negative? Suck the life out of you? Tear you down? You had no issues until you met them? You know the kind of people I’m talking about. Could be a friendship, someone you date, someone you married, a relative, a co-worker, or even someone you go to church with.

Maybe there are toxic places that bring you down. A bar, a person’s house, even a church. Maybe it’s a place that you have bad memories? Maybe there is a group of people who are toxic and you need to find new friends or people to hang with or be around?

I am not sure of your situation, but do know Toxic is not a good thing and as long as you are in or around someone or something that is toxic, you will be affected in a very negative way. It will cause great harm to your health if you continue in a toxic relationship, around toxic people, or keep going to toxic places. You will not get healthy or find healing until you can get away from the people or things that is causing you to be sick.

If we were talking about Toxic chemicals, you have the chance of being seriously ill or even dying if you have too much exposure to them and you have to get away from contact and even sometimes be hospitalized and treated to get healed. Sometimes I wonder if toxic people aren’t worse. They seem to do more harm and the hurt is harder to recover from. People and places are toxic for different reasons. Sometimes people are toxic, because that is all they know, they’ve had such a bad life or so many bad things happen to them, they have become a product of their environment and so they are hurting and so they hurt back. Sometimes people are just selfish, cruel, mean, and evil and who knows why? They are users and abusers, and they destroy everyone they come into contact with. Some places are toxic because they are just unhealthy places to be or go or stay for various reasons.

My encouragement for you and myself this morning is to surround yourself with healthy and positive relationships and avoid, remove, or end negative/harmful relationships. Stop going to places or being around people who cause you harm, bring you down, tear you down, or keep hurting you in various ways. Maybe you are the toxic one and are causing all the issues in your life. If you are stop where you are and start dealing with your problems or issues and stop blaming them on others. Accept responsibility for your own messes. Do what it takes to get healthy so that you are stop hurting those you love or care about.

God created us for relationships. God wants a healthy relationship with us. He wants us to want a relationship with Him and He also wants us to have healthy relationships with other people. If there are toxic people or things in your life, run from them. If you are toxic to others, get help.

“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9(NIV)

Monday, December 07, 2009

More good reads

This is a great read. If you like Donald Miller type writing you'll like Vince. This book is a way to look at a relationship with God different that just going to church or doing religious things.

If you like the TV show, you'll like the book. It's an easy read on the different principles that this family values and what makes their family work.

This is one of the better books I've ever read. This book has the ability to really change people's lives if they take the time to read it and apply it to their lives. Full of great quotes, thoughts, knowledge, and I would highly recommend this book.

This is a little book, I'm reading as more of a devotional, but really is a message for churches and how churches miss the point and so do christians about what is really important in life. Quick read and has a great descriptions of wgat churches resembe. (police station, mortuary, museum, , etc).

Hurting people, Hurt people

Our Minister Wade used this quote in His sermon yesterday on “Forgiveness”. I heard this quote several years ago, probably 10 years ago and it has always stuck with me. When people are hurting, they end up hurting others if they do not deal with their hurt or heal in the right way in their lives.

When people become bitter, resentful, vengeful, angry with hate, or they have been hurt by abuse, divorce, neglect, betrayal, etc…it can bring about behavior that is not only not healthy, but ends up hurting those trying to help or hurting those close to us. We not only push people away who care, but we treat them very harsh, even to the point where we ruin relationships because of our behavior and attitude.

People can’t help us when we won’t help ourselves. People won’t stick around forever if they are constantly being yelled at, taken for granted, treated unfairly, or pushed away when all they are trying to do is help and be there. It’s a vicious cycle, that won’t break until we do something about it. We will continue to have broken relationships, whether that is dating, marriages, or friendships because of our unhealthy hurting behavior. We will continue to hurt people, especially those we love and who love us until we deal with and get help for our hurts.

It can mean stop avoiding your pain and start dealing with it. It can mean finally confronting or forgiving someone who hurt you. It may mean going and talking to a counselor or getting therapy. It may mean that you need to seek God and get serious about your faith and allow God to heal you and help you overcome your hurt. It means stop taking out your pain on those who did not cause the pain. It means stop making yourself and others miserable. Get help. Seek help. Find help. Want help.

I have been hurt and I have hurt others, never intentionally, but even if we don’t do it intentionally it doesn’t change the fact we hurt people. Most people who are hurting don’t want to hurt others, push them away, or be mean, but when your feelings and emotions are out of whack, damaged, or remain un dealt with, they really cause chaos, unstability, and a rollercoaster of reactions, emotions, feelings, and behaviors.

I encourage everyone today to stop hurting others by dealing with your hurts today. I would say, healing people, heal people would be a better quote. If we find healing, then we’ll have healed relationships and we’ll help people instead of hurting them. We’ll get help instead of hurting.

“For I AM the Lord, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26b (NIV)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye

In The Blink of an Eye
It doesn’t take very long to blink, but that’s how quick our lives, circumstances, or things can change. My family has lived on their property in Glenwood, WV for nearly 60 years. Our property joins in with another property and our family has hunted on that property for 50plus years. My dad has hunted on that land for 50 years and I have hunted, hiked, road motorcycles, four-wheelers, and even my pony on that land for almost 30 years. Recently, the property was sold to a different owner and at least this year anyway, we are not allowed to Hunt on the neighboring farm anymore. That quick, all those years of hunting and memories may be just that a memory now.

It’s amazing how your life can be moving along just fine and then all the sudden you get the phone call that a loved one has died suddenly with no warning. Or you’re driving along and BAM, you’re in a auto accident that kills or severely injures you or a loved one. You go to the Doctor for tests and find out you have cancer even though you feel fine. You're looking through some belongings in your house and you find proof that your spouse is having an affair. You discover a friend is lying to you. You come in to work like normal and your boss comes in and tells you it’s your last day.

In the blink of an eye our circumstances and life can change instantly with news, events, and things that are out of your control and sometimes forever. The course of our lives can be altered severely. I am not sure totally why these things can happen. Sometimes because of our own sins or the sins of others. Sometimes because of the carelessness or lifestyle choices of others. Sometimes maybe there is not explanations? It’s just life. People die. People are selfish. Accidents happen. Disease happens. Change Happens.

I’ve been thinking about all the memories and things I had hunting, hiking, exploring, and riding on that property all these years and how much I appreciated all the time I got to spend on there. I am not sure whether the new owner will give us permission next year or ever? But, one thing I do know is I am thankful for what time I did have there. I think we don’t spend enough time focusing on things while we have them, we have a tendency to take our blessings, health, and lives for granted. It’s easy to do, we all do it. We get caught up in our daily, busy lives and schedules and we don’t anticipate or plan for tragedy, life change, or unexpected surprises.

But, in the end that is how life works. It doesn’t always have to be that way. We can prevent some accidents, health problems, life style choices, or relationship issues by making better choices in what we eat, do, or how we live. How we choose our friends, partners, and relationships. But, in the end we are still going to face things that are out of our control. That is why it’s wise to be prepared spiritually. We must draw on our faith in God. We must rely on His strength, power, and wisdom to get us through difficult times and circumstances. We must also count our blessings and take each day one day at a time and rejoice with the good things God has given us and allowed us to be a part of. We also must remember that everything on this earth is temporary and nothing will last, even our very lives. Each day of breath is a gift from God and we do not know when it will be our last, so make the most of everyday by enjoying your blessings, thanking God for what He has given you, and cherishing those special memories, moments, and people.

“When times are good be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made one as well as the other.”

Ecclesiastes 7:14(NIV)