Archive for November 2013

Talk To Someone

Talk To Someone

Bigs

Bigs

I really don’t know what to write about how I am feeling about all of this.  My best answer to someone when they ask me, “How are you doing?”, is “I’m working through the process.”  I’m about to head to a funeral of a great friend.  Christopher J. Bigelow (‘Bigs’) was a friend and fellow football coach with me this fall for our Homeschool Football Team. Bigs was the Offensive Coordinator and I was the the Defensive Coordinator.  Every game we would stand on the sidelines and I’d look at him and tell him if we would just score more points, we would win.  Of course, he would look back at me and tell me if I would keep the other team from scoring, we would win.  We had a great relationship.

We rode to football games together, ate together, watched films from previous games together and talked on the phone nearly every day we weren’t at practice.  I always saw the giddy, funloving side of Bigs.  I had no idea he was hiding a secret and the secret he was hiding ended up exposing itself in a horrific way.

Talk To Someone – Now

I knew Bigs had been deployed.  I knew he had been in some places in Iraq that he didn’t like talking about.  I knew he had been  on medicine for depression and PTSD.  I knew people in the past had accused him of having anger issues.  Heck, I’ve had people in my past accuse me of having anger issues.  It seems that is the default nowadays.  If we get mad, people say we have anger issues and suggest anger management.  They even made a movie about it.  It was a comedy but it is now a part of our culture.

Again, I didn’t see that side of Bigs.  His Mother told me he hid it well, even from his own family.  When he went into the states of depression, he would withdraw from people because that is not the person he wanted to be.  I knew his relationships with people, including his girlfriend, were sometimes rocky but like everyone else, it would go through a rough patch and then would get better.  I didn’t see his problems as any different than those that any of us have gone through in the past.

Bigs

Bigs

I had breakfast with a friend who is also an Army Chaplain last Friday morning.  He said something that made a lot of sense to me.  I’m still putting it together and formulating it but splicing together my thoughts and his has made me start thinking about things in a different way.  Basically he said, some people are like tennis balls and some are like eggs.  If you drop a tennis ball, it bounces back and is no worse for the wear.  If you drop an egg, you have a mess and it doesn’t bounce back.  I was telling Bigs’ Mother about that conversation last night and she basically told me I had no idea how many times he had bounced back.  He had worked through issues his entire life, went into the military, got deployed, saw and was involved in some things that didn’t help that situation and then had a hard time with life after he got home.

Talk to Someone – For THEIR Sake

Like I said, I’m working through the process.  I’m not sure what all of the steps are, but I’m going through it.  Everything from shock, sadness, anger, acceptance, etc and everything inbetween.  Some days are better than others.  As his girlfriend’s son told me last night, “This is not the best day”.  And there will be good days and bad days I’m sure.

The thing that made me mad was when my son broke down and started crying Saturday night.  My thoughts went from sadness to madness because I was thinking “How DARE you be that selfish and do that to my son and the other boys on the football team that loved you and adored you and saw you as a brother??!!”  I don’t understand or know how someone can get to that state.  I’ve been sad and depressed before but I obviously have not lost all hope.  I imagine if you are reading this, you haven’t either.  I don’t understand PTSD and I don’t understand depression to the point where I want to end my life.  But, I do know this.  I didn’t know Bigs.  I knew him, but I didn’t know him.  We always talked about fun stuff and football and there was always a smile on his face.  We didn’t get into the deep stuff in his life.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to.  It’s because I didn’t know it was there.  BUT, I didn’t ask either.

We are so used to asking someone how they are doing and when they respond “Fine” we let it go.  I was told a little while back that FINE meant Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.  We need to have deeper relationships with people and not let it go at FINE.

Talk To Someone – There Is Hope

PTSD

PTSD

You cannot do this alone.  You need to talk to someone who can help you.  Find someone who knows Jesus Christ.  Get to know Him.  There is hope there.  If all we do is lean on our own understanding, we will be disappointed every time.  We can’t reason it out.  Life makes no sense sometimes.  Life is hard.  Life is scary.  Find someone you can trust to talk to and most of all, lean on Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If you need help and you are reading this, if nothing else, reach out to me.  BUT…find someone you can talk to.  Ending your life is not an acceptable solution.  It may relieve pain for you, but the collateral damage it does to everyone around you is not worth it.  TALK TO SOMEONE!!

 

Freedom

Freedom

FREEDOM!!

FREEDOM!!

Everyone has a different definition of what Freedom means in their individual lives.  When I think of the word Freedom, I think immediately of William Wallace depicted in Braveheart.  England was ruling Scotland with an iron fist and Scotland desired to be free.  To them, being free meant they were no longer under the control of the English Empire and were able to determine their own future in their individual lives and which direction they were to go.  I also think of what our founding fathers went through in the birth of our Country.  They literally pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in order to secure the blessings of liberty for each one of us.  They knew they would likely never be able to enjoy those blessings but felt it necessary so that the people that followed them would be able to.  They wanted to leave something better for us.

It seems to me that in recent years, our freedoms have been more and more eroded.  I totally understand that freedom isn’t free.  Many, many men and women have given their lives, and still do, in defending our Country and way of life so that we can continue to be free.  But what is freedom?  Are we as free now in this Country as we were 150 years ago?  I guess that is up to the individual to decide but I don’t think so.  Maybe it’s time we reread the Declaration of Independence.

The thing that got me thinking about Freedom was the day I had Monday.  This isn’t bragging but just something I’ve been pondering.  I decided to build a Beachbody business back during the summer of 2007.  During that time, we had many setbacks.  Many people said they wanted to come along with us and build a business also but for whatever reason, they decided to quit when things got tough, or, they decided to go forward with a different pursuit.  I guess I just decided to do something other people weren’t willing to do.  I learned a long time ago, do something other people aren’t willing to do and you will have what other people will not.  In other words, find out what the majority of people are doing and do the opposite.  But it is easy to follow the crowd.  Most people won’t do something different simply because of fear and they want to stay in their comfort zone.

Freedom – What are you enslaved to?

My wife and I decided to get into beekeeping.  When you collect rent from the bees, in the form of honey, it’s nice if you take care of them and feed them to help them get through the winter since you took their food.  We took off and went to North Carolina in search of bee food from the Bee Supply place up there near North Wilkesboro.  After getting the things we needed, we went to a vineyard and did a quick wine tasting and then sat out on the veranda of the place and had a glass of wine with a dear friend of ours, who is retired at 65, and just talked about life.  In his words at one point, he said…”This is nice.  I wonder what all the working people are doing today?”  I didn’t have to take vacation.  I didn’t have to take a sick day.  I didn’t have to wait for a weekend.  I didn’t have to worry what my employees were doing while I was gone.  We just went and enjoyed the day.

Jay and Mel - Freedom

Jay and Mel – Freedom

I didn’t dream I would be retired before 65.  I figured I’d be like everyone else and just work until I died.  That is what most people do these days.  We have been trained to go to College, get a degree, go work for some company in a job that we don’t like but tolerate to make money to live a lifestyle and have things to impress people we don’t even like.  How did we even get here?  It’s amazing to me to think about that.  People in other Countries dream and some have even died trying to get here to be free.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a Millionaire, yet.  But, it isn’t all about money either, really.  Maybe it’s in God’s plans that I never will be.  I’m going to work like it depends on me and pray God blesses my efforts.  But I can tell you, I’m much more free now than when I was the office manager of an Engineering Firm.  It took me about 2 to 3 years to equal my pay I was getting from my Engineering firm that took me 6 years of education, several certifications and 20+ years of work in order to reach.  I thought I was doing GREAT because I was comparing myself to other broke and enslaved people.  Then, over the next year or so, I more than doubled that.  It just amazes me.

What if we were to redefine the word Freedom and what it means to most Americans.? What if we redefine it as being debt free?  What if we redefine it as literally, doing what you want, when you want, because you’ve put in work to own your own business?  What if we redefine it as “sleeping til you’re done” instead of waking up to the electronic rooster?

I’m not suggesting that you do what I did.  All I’m doing is to try to get you to think about where you are.  The VAST majority of people are where they are today because of the long list of choices they made.  Small choices today and every day going forward can definitely change where you end up 5 years from now.  I highly suggest reading the book Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  As a friend of mine who turned 70 this past week told me, “Hitch your wagon to a strong horse and hold on”.  That is what I did with Beachbody.  Be careful which wagon you hitch to.  Also, in the old days, there were very few road signs and roads weren’t well paved.  There are reports of signs that said…”Be careful which rut you get into, you will be there for the next 5 miles.”   Be careful who you associate with.  You will be the average of the 5 people you hang around most.

What does Freedom mean to you?  Where do you want to be in the next year, 5 years, 10 years?  What are you doing TODAY to make those dreams come true?  What is worth you fighting and sacrificing your life, fortune and sacred honor to secure?

 

 

 

 

 

West Africa Mission Trip

West Africa Mission Trip

Carson in Village

Carson in Village

I wrote a page the other day that was quite lengthy.  It goes into a good bit of detail about our mission trip.  You can see it HERE.  But for those who don’t like to read a lot of  lengthy information, I decided to summarize in as few words as possible.

We started going to Mali, West Africa as a Church in 2007.  We’ve made between 25 and 30 trips.  Since then, we have seen many come to faith in Christ but there is still much work to be done.  The goal is to get enough “critical mass” in the area of our village that the believers can operate with very little outside support.  That means we need to find villagers who can read and can also act as a “Pastor” for the local church.  When I tell people we are building a  church, that is true, but I’ve never lifted a hammer, saw…or in this case, a mud brick.  The church is the people who have accepted Christ and are gathering to encourage each other, learn and then to make converts and eventually disciples.  There are other functions of the church as described in Acts 2 but we have to get them moving.

Carson in Village 2

Carson in Village 2

Our last trip over there was January 2012.  My son, Carson, went with me then.  It will have been 2 years since we’ve been to our village due to the military coups and the terrorism threat, mainly in the north.  But, we need to get back into the village to help them continue moving forward.  Carson went with me in October of 2008 on his first overseas mission trip at the age of 11.  His next trip was when he was 14 a little over 3 years later.  Now 2 years later, we need to go back.  His mission will be not only the kids, but continuing the relationships with the now teenagers who have accepted Christ along with reaching a group that has so far been hard to reach, the teenagers in the village, especially the teenage boys.  You can read about Carson’s first mission trip HERE.

West Africa Mission Trip – Your Part

We are planning for the plane tickets for this trip being about $3000 each.  It may be a bit less but that is the amount we are looking to raise for the tickets.  The moment I have enough money to get the tickets, we will purchase them.  We will also have to have transportation, food, translators, spending money, etc. called “in country expenses”.  I have already committed to getting Carson’s passport and visa out of pocket along with a few other miscellaneous things to get things moving in the right direction.

Carson Asleep

Carson Asleep

We have raised a few hundred dollars already but frankly, we need more in order to get the tickets purchased.  This is an investment for the Kingdom and we are looking for you to help us.  Every little bit helps.  I had someone give us $20 last night that is going into our West Africa Fund and she apologized a bit for not giving more but I told her, if I had 299 more people to just give $20…we’re there.  So, please pray and consider giving.  I was talking to a friend yesterday morning at breakfast and I told him, prayer is important but at some point, I have to book plane tickets and the people at the airline don’t want to hear that people have been praying for us.  They want a debit/credit card in order to book the tickets.

CONTACT ME if you want to help or need more information or if you would like to consider going on a future trip with us.  The best way to give is by sending a check to our church with a note stating it is for Jay and Carson’s West Africa trip.  Our church website is www.beaulahbaptist.com and you can get the address from there.  Also, if you don’t care about the write-off, you can go to our paypal account at coachmamameme@yahoo.com and give there.  The sooner we get the tickets, the less it will cost and the better options we will have as far as what Countries we fly through to get there, so please pray and give soon if you plan to.

Again, to read my page from the other day, click HERE.

Thank you for your consideration.