Don’t Hesitate, Encourage – Thoughts On Robin Williams

robin williams

At first I wasn’t sure how to write about the passing of Robin Williams…. one more devastating loss (aren’t they all?) to suicide. I simply didn’t have the words till now. As a kid I remember thoroughly enjoying him on he Mork & Mindy show. I have loved him in almost all of his movies, especially Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come.

Yet, he is gone. By his own hand. As many have said, “He brought the world to laughter but today he brought the world to tears.”

Suicide is a nightmare. On my old blog I wrote about my friend of 23 years (someone I dated for a little while at the beginning of our friendship) Michael committed suicide in January of 2013. I was devastated for a while after finding out. I will never forget that morning and talking with my dear friend Amira. Today I still weep for Michael, time heals and brings perspective yet there is something about suicide that always wants to haunt and question.

The suicide of a friend/loved one is one of the worst “What if?” mind-scrambles there ever was/is/could be…

Visiting George At The Local Gayopolis

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Sunday, August 3rd 2014 was the first time I had been in a gay bar in over 23 years. I went right after church to go visit my friend George (a.k.a. Carmella Marcella Garcia) who I hadn’t seen in 27 years.

It was a trip.

Yes, it is a gay bar, it is the famous (infamous?) Parliament House (PH). It is known around the world from what I have been told. I have never been to it or even driven by it… until that Sunday.

Getting Back to Regular Blogging …

blogBlogging is in my blood. I love blogging. This year’s Dog Days of Summer Bloggabatical is necessary because I have some extra editing/writing work that will continue through the next couple of weeks (for clients.) I am of course also writing my book which is a collection of stories (real life, real people :)). But … I need to get back to consistent blogging.

Yo, got a lot to say … so, I’mma say it!

When I get to feeling like this, the itch to blog and lots of ideas, I tend to go overboard. I say things like, “and I am going to do this on this day and this on that day and that over there on another day… oh and I should work with a choreographer … create spectacular graphics … bedazzle a new leotard … where can I find an R2D2?” :)

The Blank Sheet

Untitled design

Catharsis: purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension: elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression (source; emphasis mine)

Kathy’s post brought back an amazing string of memories.  She wrote about helping families in need provide back to school supplies for their children. Instantly I was reminded of grade school and my writing tablets; the excitement I felt when I looked at a blank sheet of paper.

As a little kid, I loved loved loved getting new paper. I do remember crying when I first learned to write. I was incredibly afraid of the teacher, Mrs. Warren, would punish me severely if I didn’t get it just right. Of course she didn’t, and I can remember her telling me I would be alright, that I was doing a good job… and that I needed to stop crying because I had work to do. I am smiling over that last part as I type this. Mrs. Warren made time to encourage, but she was also about getting it done too. In short order, I grew to love the process of writing. Whenever I would receive a brand new stack of paper, and pens/pencils, I felt like the luckiest kid in the world.

Exciting New Book Projects (Updates and Personal Announcement)

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Lately I have helped other friends with their books and that has sparked a new personal book project! I have been so excited it has been hard to sleep the past couple of nights. :)

If you are someone I am connected with on social media, you might have seen various posts lately about how I have the honor of working with Dr. Kathy Koch as she writes her new book “Screens And Teens: Connecting With Our Kids In A Wireless World.” So far I have done background research and given feedback on what she is writing as she writes it.

So fun.

This comes on the heels of doing the same type of content/writing feedback for another friend’s memoir, Jennifer Allison (aka The Rambunctious Kid.)

Seriously, I am loving these kind of projects.  While I haven’t been a part of his writing process, I am of course very excited for Alan Chambers who has worked very hard on his new book that is due out next year.

Of Blogging, Art & Armadillos

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Lately it has been really hard to get my own blogging done during the week because of my client workload being heavy (a good thing), starting to do videos again, and making sure I take time at night to paint/draw (life-giving to me.) However, I do post to social media quite regularly so I will post some of the recent art updates and the armadillo video from this morning below :)

Repost: “A Profound Moment – Reflecting On The Exodus Closing Announcement”

exodus logoThis post from my old blog has been brought to my attention several times within the past couple of weeks so I thought I would repost it for the record. I have only slightly edited it for information (ongoing) that is no longer relevant. For those that don’t know, or didn’t read this on my old blog, the particular night referenced below is one of the most powerful experiences I have had. This post was originally written July 8th, 2013.


On June 19th 2013, during the opening night of the Exodus Freedom Conference, I sat on the front row. Leslie was to my right and  Kathy and the Exodus board to my left. All of us were providing each other, and Alan, support as we knew that Alan was making one of the most important keynote speeches of his life. He announced that Exodus is closing.

It was excruciating. The tension, the excitement, the knowledge of what was about to be said … my heart was racing and the tears came and went … to come back again. I had known that night was coming for a while, but there is a difference between knowing and experiencing.

It was quite the profound experience.

Imagine

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Isn’t it cool that we can imagine? I think that is super-cool. Jesus, Creator of the universe, created us with the ability to imagine. That is truly some kind of awesome right there that is.

So why is it tempting to undervalue imagination or not intentionally engage it as we grow older?

What if your daydreams meant more than just passing time? … What if they truly informed us of our current state of being?

What if we used our imaginations to emphasize the prayerful words pouring forth? … or even to pray the words we cannot say? … to envision an environment of worship?

The word imagine is rolling around in my head, and I like it!

This is the video of the presentation I did yesterday at the “Grace Life” class. A couple of people asked so below are my notes as well. I hope you find it encouraging.

Our Father is Good :)

Three Ways Grace Triumph’s Over Religion In Relationships

  • Introduction – Greeting and overview of what is coming.
  • Triumph #1 – Grace Transcends Where Religion Restricts
    • Religion binds us to man-made traditions and cultural expectations – Grace Transcends both to restore relationship.
    • Oh no … Leviticus
  • Triumph #2 – Grace Embraces/Celebrates Relationships Where Religion Produces Masks and Hinders with Rules
    • Religion prioritizes rules over authentic relationship.
    • Grace empowers a dynamic, not static, way to approach life, to know and be known by our Heavenly Father and others.
    • Instead of finding a myriad of reasons to disconnect, find a myriad of reasons to embrace
      • Testimony of Dream & Friend
  • Triumph #3 – Grace Provides a Feast Where Religion Produces Spiritual Fast Food
    • Don’t be satisfied with a trite nutrition less religious formulas. Wake up each day ready to partake of ALLL that is beautiful and right with God’s ability to orchestrate our lives.
    • Jesus showed up in my living room. Following his lead in a dream I showed up in my friend’s life. It was His Spirit, His Grace that led me to these two huge blessings … not a religious formula.
    • I want to be in love with and be loved by Him… He provides relational intimacy on every level.
  • Summary:
    • Triumph #1 – Grace Transcends Where Religion Restricts
    • Triumph #2 – Grace Celebrates Relationships Where Religion Produces Masks and Hinders with Rules
    • Triumph #3 – Grace Provides a Feast Where Religion Produces Spiritual Fast Food