Tag Archives: faith

The battle within


These stones were used for grinding grain into flour a hundred or more years ago in Scandinavia. I think of these wheels that keep on turning, ’round n’round…..

It’s those wheels, symbolic of what’s inside of me that keeps turning and churning and I wonder when it’s going to stop. The seeds of disappointment, the grains of “I’m not good enough”, how do I measure my worth?  Am I important to you? The self doubt that I don’t share with anyone because doing so, exposes my flaws and weaknesses. 

The battle within continues, it’s more difficult when there is someone within reach, worth reaching out to, only to have the battle in the way…. Maybe I am alone in this war of worth and self worth but my logic says I am not alone. 

My faith keeps me grounded, but I share this with you only to say that I am human, and I deal with these emotions often, that with faith I wonder how I would survive if I didn’t have it. 

How about you my long lost friend? Do you have a battle within that you struggle with? Is it love? Self worth? Addiction? 

I think I am on the cusp of something big, though the fog is keeping it all unclear….I’ll keep fighting because I don’t like or want the alternative, it is the only way I know. I’m just keeping it real with you. 

Epic vacation Chapt 2- Poland

I was concerned that the time of my arrival, in the evening would some how cause issues with my trip. Nothing could be further from the truth as not only did I make preparations but I knew God was on my side. I have been praying thoughout my trip that God would workout all the details and that he would keep me, and he has, even out of the trouble that could be in my way…

As I debarked from my plane, which was the second time in two days that I needed to walk down outside stairs and the first time that I  needed to board a bus, like I suppose many do in a foriegn country.  I was wondering if my driver made it or not, I did not confirm in advance and we were early. After customs there stood a man with my name on my piece of paper and all of a sudden I felt important, though he didn’t lift a finger to help me with my luggage down the stairs.  It was the first time that I had someone wait for me with a sign. It was a quick trip to downtown, about 15 minutes in a Mercedes taxi just for me.

The Classic Hotel, near the market square has been a nice hotel, though no AC, probably not usually needed but its been unusually hot these last few days! The first night I got settled and went to look around, to get acquainted, I found a pizza place and had a beer and pizza.

Glad I did, it helped me in my bearings and what was around and near my hotel Bars, bars, and more bars. A few strip clubs, and misc shops, a market, and plenty of women’s shops, shoes, clothing, etc. Banks too, people need to exchange their money, though their fairness has come into question. 

My first full day included a trip to Auschwitz- Birkenau.  The bus ride to it, included a most moving video from a Russian Army officer who was in the first group to liberate Auschwitz. I mostly listened as the actual video footage was very graphic. Not that I couldn’t take it, but I didn’t want to watch, I heard what was being observed. This Army officer documented the war for the Rusians and to be given this task was incredulous as it was. I thought about buying the tape but I am sure I can find something similar to it, if needed.

The tour lasted many hours in hot buildings in rooms with much protection from the sun and outdoors in the heat. It was exhausting really, both physically walking the same grounds that a million + Jews and prisioners walked  and also  from the historical  facts being displayed and explained by our live guided tour. She was very good, her English was ok, but we all knew wat she was saying even when she wasn’t saying  the words right. I was irritated at times with her lack of word knowledge but I knew what she meant, it was just my  issue. 1,000 prisoners on average in the barracks, the handicapped immediately gassed, childen and women had indescribable experiments done to them, gold extrapolated from the teeth of the gassed and murdered.  I faded in and out of the guided tour, anxious to leave and yet anxious to stay. I had seen components of the tour from other museum locations, but it was more real here. More devastating. I hurt deeply for the Jews that were killed for the faith, heroes almost, for individuals standing for what they believe even more than modern day America. 

I’m angry that the human race would stoop to such horrible acts of crime in the face of dignity. All that Hitler wanted was greed and power. He had the Jews killed for their teeth, their property, the wealth, and genocide.  Mothers and children were told that they needed to bathe before being assigned to a barracks and a majority of them were killed almost instantly.  I was thirsty but we had a few breaks and I was able to quench my thirst. The pictures I took with my camera are for my memory.  We visited Birkenau the same day after 4 pm and it was all outdoors with a few indoor apperances.   This was the camp where the Germans tried to hide and demolish everything, they were not successful and because much was documented by this Russian video team, many soldiers were held accountable. Forensic Scientists were brought in to try to determine what happened as well as normal doctors to try to save those that were already emancipated. Hundreds still died from malnutrition even though  Russian doctors tried to help.  It was just overwhelming tour, to be in the same place where this happened 73 years earlier. Most of the van riders were silent on the way back to town either sleeping or contemplating. I did a little of both, very tired from the long day.

The Salt mines took place on Sunday, July 5th and this was a most interesting trip that went 135 meters below the surface. The mine, owned by the state, doesn’t excavate anymore, as there are other methods for creating salt though with hundreds of people visiting each day, I would think they don’t need the mine for the salt.  This was a big walking tour as well and our instructor spoke English well. Everything inside was created with Salt; bricks, sculptures, steps, tiles. Of course wood is a good protector of salt. If you are ever in Krakow, don’t miss either visits.

 It’s my last night in Poland. I enjoyed a nice dinner of herring and a Cesare salad and some beer and then I was on a search for the 24 hour post office which I found. I realized that my postcards did not have enough postage on them, a good lesson learned.  Tonight I mailed off 41 post cards, to old and new friends and family. Relationships take work, even the little steps. To me its worth it. I do what i think is right. Now to finish packing, and get ready for the AM, it wil be a busy day!

My Goliath

I didn’t know what to expect, it was my first deposition, and I spent the day before prepping for questions I may or may not get. To think of the best way to answer them and that Goliath would be in the room, “to cut my throat” “he wasn’t my friend” and he’s on a mission!

I was in foreign territory for all that I had experienced and I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t know that it would for sure. 4-5 before that dates were set and then canceled and with trepidation I asked “was this date still on, still taking place?”. I was assured that it was and my atty would be flying to Colorado and be here in person. 

I left the meeting overwhelmed having gone through 100’s of pages of material trying to understand the concepts and the new terminology I should be using rather than what I had been saying for most of my life. 

As I left, I was deflated, upset, tears welling up in my eyes, as I left my meeting with the atty. I was in a fog about what was before me. I had plans to see out of town relatives but the crazy traffic on I-25 only exacerbated how I was feeling. I called a few friends, asked for prayer, shared what I could, which wasn’t much. I looked for something to eat. 

I essentially went strait home, posted asking friends for prayers about a situation that I could not describe. I’m grateful to the many friend who responded to the request. What I love about my friends is that most are from varying faith backgrounds, but they believe in the power of prayer. 

I prayed that God would direct my steps, my thoughts, my actual words, that he would comfort me, I needed Him. One of my favorite verses is Prov. 3:5-7. I pray the concepts of this verse over and over again. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-7‬ NLT)

I went to be around 8:30, overwhelmed in my spirit but confident God would help me. 

The next morning, the day that I would meet Goliath, I asked for more prayers from friends, posted a request, and actually felt quite calm, a 180 from the night before. I experienced peace from God’s presence, assurance that He was with me. I remembered the important principals for my responses. I entered the room and this is what I saw. 

  
Modern technology would become even more real today. To see other attorneys witnessing this event. Seeing them, hearing them, and they see me. I was in a suit and tie, I expected to be video tapped, I was responding as if the jury were in the room, and yet Goliath was there, in person. 

I have never been deposed before, and for a tall guy like me, 6’5″, I was completely out of my comfort zone and yet completely at peace. 

At the end of the day, which ended early, which had no blow up, which was relatively calm, which went a whole lot better than I expected, was finally done!! Praise God!

I thanked my friends for their prayers, posted my relief, even helped my atty return to the airport. All this to say, God has never left my side, has not forsaken me, and when you upon Him he will answer. He’ll answer through his word, through friends. Through prayer. I’m glad that day is over! I may face this Goliath again, and I know who’ll be with me. 

New book instead of chapter(s)

I’ve decided to stop writing chapters in the old book and decided that it was time to write a new chapter, new book, with new determination that life ahead of me is better than what I am leaving behind.   We all have those chapters, and I read recently that I needed to stop turning the same old pages before I could really move forward.   That was   tough position to be in, holding onto what was, because there were some great times, and there were really shitty ones too. All too frequently I kept turning back to the old pages to see if there was something I was missing, maybe I overlooked something, maybe there was hope, a possibility??  But to be fair to the future, I can’t be looking forward if I am constantly looking behind me.  I need to press on, press forward, anticipate new beginnings.

I had been doing some exploration in some relationships to see if there was potential, did we have the same goals, vision for life, what about children, faith, love.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years, where are you willing to move to?  Do you vote, love music, travel? What are your dreams, ambitions.  Subtle questions in conversation and all at once it seemed, all the doors closed. I’m not angry or bitter, but thankful that I can move forward because I’m an investor. I invest in time. I make time for those that are important to me.  It was a good learning experience, because I realized that the one I need , needs to have the same ambition in many areas that I do.  Opposites attract, but similarities make for good partners. I’m not suggesting that it’s just how I fee, but what we can compromise on, especially on what is important; love, faith, future.  The little things, favorite foods, politics, sports, are all negligible. I still have areas that I want to improve in my own world, but I am willing, now more than ever to open that up to what lies ahead.

One life to live!

My life changed on March 23, when I received the very early morning phone call from my mother who expressed that my father had passed away in his sleep. It wasn’t the call that I was hoping to get, I wanted him to hang in there for a few more days for me to tell him again how much I loved him, how important he was in my life, what a role model he was to me, and I am sure to my other siblings.  I wanted him to hang on so that I could kiss him, touch his hand, gaze into his eyes and say ” I love you dad!”. I’m not angry that he left this earth without me having those chances, because every time that I saw him recently, I did all those things, and the last words I heard him say in person, was “I love you”.

My father was deeply spiritual in a very private sense. I knew that God was important to him and he knew where he was going during his final days, he had a plan.  My father the WW2 veteran, who had such an amazing life journey, had completed his own “bucket list” of what he wanted to accomplish.  I really haven’t taken the time to fully grieve losing him from the earthly world. I just have pushed myself into work.  It’s not a good thing, its just the way it is.    In speaking to my mother, she is doing remarkably well, as she too is in her 90’s, and adjusting to a life without her partner of 63 years in marriage.  I can’t imagine, and won’t be able to, as my own scenario doesn’t allow the chance to be married to someone for 63 years.

A friend said that this will be a year of “firsts” for me, for us, for mom.  I didn’t really think about it, but as Easter approaches, that will be a first, a first of not having my father here.  There is but one life to live, and we should live life abundantly, with purpose, with hope, with a future in mind. ( Jer. 29:11)

I am grateful for the many lessons my father taught me. I wanted to write a book about his life, for our family, and I never got around to doing just that.  My dad would say, while doing carpentry, “Measure twice, cut once”, or while doing yard work, house work, “do it right the first time, so you don’t have to spend more time doing it right the second time”.  Simple life lessons like that.

He always had a song in his heart, was always singing to my mom, music was so important in our family. I am blessed to have such loving parents who gave so much of their time to us, and giving us invaluable insight into the truth’s of life.  Maybe now I can take the time, to focus on my loss, and heaven’s gain, and at the same time celebrate the life of my father.

We all have but one life to live, love and laugh.  I see now, more clearly, that we do not know the time nor the hour in which we will depart this earth and pass into eternity. God please grant me the opportunity to live life to the fullest, just like my dad!

I’m on a mission…..

I’m on a mission. It’s not top-secret, I’m not in the military, I’m not in law enforcement, and I’m not paid to investigate. I am though, still on a mission to find a spiritual place to call home.

I thought that I had found a home but as I was experiencing my deepest pain and darkest time it seemed the people were too busy for me. They knew of my plight and they were busy with their own priorities. I don’t blame them completely, but I am hurt. Hurt that more didn’t reach out, call back, send an email or a card. I slumped into a dark place not because of this experience but because of my own.

I have been here before but I recognize that this isn’t God’s doing, or lack there of. This isn’t God’s fault, and I become sad when others try to blame God for things He doesn’t do. The reminder should be is that we are human and we do human things including failing each other.  I could have reached  out better in the midst of my personal storm. I slid into a funk and stayed there for several months.

So in the last several months I have started to search again. Visiting different and diverse places of worship. I have re-visited my former place and while I knew several folks, and they have moved into a new building, I haven’t really reconnected. I am trying to determine if I should just move on and search for something new.  I was sad on Sunday because it’s was a birthday of a step-daughter, and I have no recourse to reach out. Cut off, because of all that happened. She doesn’t know the whole truth and it’s probably not a good time for her to know that, perhaps never a good time for that, but that didn’t help my sadness.

So here, in the midst of my mission, I reflect on what didn’t work right while trying to find the place that is right for me. My mission continues!