Finding My Way

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I am only a stream

So small, so it seems

But God has big plans for me

Even when the rains slow

And my water has no flow

God knows where I will go

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One day I will find my way to the river

God promises me and I know he will deliver

For my plans are small, but his are much bigger

Out of my banks sometimes I stray

As I grow and learn to make my way

But I will leave that river one day

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Finding my way among all the debris

And flow into the great big sea

God’s voice still calling me

Could be future far or future near

At times I am full of fear

My water not so clear

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The rain is only a drizzle and I slow to a dribble

Between the past and future, stuck in the middle

As long as I follow His ways I can still make a ripple

Because I know God has big plans for me

I am learning but still so small, or so it seems

The sea awaits, but for now I am only a stream

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Rescue Story by Zach Williams –

Choices by JJ Weeks –

Unstoppable God by Sanctus Real –

God’s Not Done With You by Tauren Wells –

You’ll Find Your Way by Andrew Peterson –

 

 

Eighteen Years Ago Today 9/11

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This morning, I took the subway to Coney Island. It was always your favorite place. The noises, the laughter and the screams. You always said the smells brought you back to your childhood. I looked out over the water as the sun was rising. My whole world shattered on this day eighteen years ago and all I could do now was take a deep breath, hold it for as long as I could and slowly exhale.

Eighteen years ago today. Sometimes it seems just like yesterday, other times it seems like a lifetime ago. What I wouldn’t give to have you back, to go back in time and keep you from going to work that day. How much different would my life, our life had been? Would it have changed that much? Life went on without you, even though I still don’t know if mine has completely.

Our kids are grown now. Eighteen years of memories, smiles and tears. I am a grandpa now, which means you would’ve been the best grandma. Sometimes when I hold her I can see you sitting in your old chair smiling. I can see you holding her like you held our daughter. You were the best mom. The best wife.

Eighteen years and we have survived, even if we are not whole since a piece of us is missing. Eighteen years of wishes and prayers that will never come true.

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I think you would be really disappointed with our world now. Eighteen years later and the terrorists still hate America, maybe even more now. Eighteen years and we are still fighting the same war and I don’t even know what we are fighting for anymore. It seems hopeless. This world is a mess. Hate is rampant. Mass shootings every day it seems like. All those lives lost for nothing. It seems like most people have grown numb to it all and have given up hope.

Sometimes I wonder if God has abandoned us. Sometimes I wonder why he doesn’t do something. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t do something. I know you would’ve done something. You always saw the best in everyone and everything.

Most of those times I will find comfort and hope in your old Bible that still sits on the table on your side of the bed. The answers are there in your favorite highlighted passages.

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In a way I am happy for you that you aren’t here to see all this. But maybe if you were here you would be the one that would change it all. I know there is good out there. I know there are still good people in this world. We just need more of them to step up and do something. Change this world you so loved.

Anyway, most days I am good. Some days the wind will blow and caress my cheek and I feel like you are still here with me and I can’t help but smile. Other days, like today and even after all these years, I can’t stop crying and I have to stop and pick up the broken pieces of my heart and push on.

I can see you giving me that look now. I know, I know. You wouldn’t want me to be sad, but even a warrior has his moments when he isn’t so tough. But like a warrior, I will fight on another day.

So today, eighteen years after you left us, I still will not say goodbye. I will never say goodbye. How can I when, like on that day and all days when you left for work, I can still see you smiling at me, giving me a wink and saying love you hon, see ya later.

So babe, I love you just as much today as I did the first day we met and I will see ya later.

If you want to cry, listen to this first song, I tear up every single time I hear it. And it is a good story of how a child grows up without her dad she lost in 9/11

I Miss You Daddy-

The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home by Justin Moore –

If I Had Only Known by Reba McEntire-

Jersey On The Wall ( I’m Just Asking)  by  Tenille Townes-

Why God by Austin French –

Miss You All The Time by O.A.R. –

 

 

Gave You My Heart

 

I have posted this a couple times before.

I came home from work Friday night and Kim told me Deanna, one of her best friends and mentor, told her about a vision her daughter had. Her daughter just finished her freshman year of college and truly lives for Jesus.  Deanna said maybe Rob can turn her vision into a poem or a song. I took Kylie up to get her shower ready and sat down and this is what came out.

It is truly an inspiring vision and I hope my words do it justice.

Gave You My Heart

I gave you my heart and you walked away

You’re my dad, you were supposed to stay

I couldn’t keep it all together today

I grabbed what was left of my heart and walked to the beach

Walked far enough until your memory was out of reach

I screamed at you dad until I was too hoarse to speak

Then I saw a piece of sea glass so bright

It had such a mysterious light

It was like a piece of day in the darkest night

I bent down and dug with my free hand

There had to be more pieces under the sand

That’s when I felt the presence of another man

It was like a dream as my other hand held my heart

The one that you, dad, had ripped apart

Then I had a thought, this isn’t the end but a brand new start

I felt this man telling me to turn in his direction

But I couldn’t so I grabbed my sea glass collection

And I tried to hold a piece just right to see his reflection

I couldn’t turn around, I knew what he wanted me to do

I couldn’t give him my heart dad, I had given it to you

And I was scared he would walk away with it too

Then his hand touched my shoulder

My courage grew just a little bit bolder

My tears started to flow as I began to molder

I turned and as he reached for me I saw the scars on his hand

He looked at me and I knew he wasn’t just a man

That’s when I dropped my sea glass in the sand

I let him hold me for what seemed like an hour

I could feel his gentleness, as well as his power

I felt his love pour down on me like a summer shower

I whispered, “If I give you me heart will you walk away?”

He said “I’m your father. I’ve never left, I will always stay.”

I knew he was telling the truth so I gave my heart to him that day

(image credit: Kevin Carden Photography)

Busted Heart ( Hold On To Me) by For King and Country – 

Let Down Your Guard by JJ Heller – 

Every Beat Of My Broken Heart by Hawk Nelson – 

Take  A Broken Heart by V Rose – 

I Let My Heart Open by Charles Billinsgley –  

 

Here’s My Heart by Lauren Daigle – 

Friend Of A Wounded Heart by Point of Grace-  

Spend One Night In Heaven

Dear God…

Hey God, I was wondering, kind of thinking

There’s a lot of people I’ve been missing

So I was wondering, kind of thinking, kind of praying

If I could have a sleepover, not that I’d be staying

I know I haven’t done anything for you to honor such a request

With all the wrong I’ve done, you have to be wondering what’s next

But, it’s just that I haven’t been myself

So know that this request is truly heartfelt

Maybe the thought will entertain you

Maybe you will see it the way I do

I know it is unrealistic, even highly unlikely

But I feel like I’m missing several parts of me

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So maybe if you will honor this one request

Maybe I’ll find the good side of me  I haven’t met

If I could spend one night in heaven

I would cherish every second given

I’d visit my grandparents and my dad

Thankful for every minute I would have

And then I would go visit all the ones

Who helped me be the man I’ve become

Maybe one more time I could love on my pets

And say some long overdue thanks to our vets

If I could have a sleepover, maybe I could say one last goodbye

If I could have a sleepover, maybe all the tears will dry

If I could say just one last farewell

If I love you, one more time I could tell

Then maybe my smile wouldn’t be pretend

Then maybe I could start living again

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So, what do you say God, can I have just one more night?

One more night to try to make all my regrets right

So, what do you say God, can I come to the promised land?

One more night to hold their hand

One more night to hear their voices

One more night to right some bad choices

One more night to listen to their stories

I promise I’ll listen and not be in a hurry

I won’t cause you any problems or disrupt what you do

God, I really, just one more time, want to tell them I love you

So, God, I will leave it all in your hands

And if you say no I will try to understand

But, God, wouldn’t it be such a blessin’

If I could spend one night in Heaven

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What I Wouldn’t Give by We The Kings –

Drowning by Chris Young-

Five More Minutes by Scotty McCreery –

Even Though I’m Leaving by Luke Combs –

Other Side by Colton Dixon-

Covered In Chaos by Billy Lockington –

Good News Stories

I have not done one of these in awhile, long overdue.  Tired of all the bad news, check out some of these websites, and there are many more, to see uplifting stories.

Naive by Andy Grammar –

Thank You For Being You by Brady Rhymer –

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from goodnewsnetwork.org

When Kenyan Team is at Disadvantage Because of Their Shoes, Israeli Squad Buys Them All New Cleats

When the Israeli women’s lacrosse team noticed that their opponents on the Kenyan team were playing at a disadvantage, they resolved to fix it.

The Israeli team beat Kenya 13-4 during their match in the Women’s Lacrosse World Championships in Ontario, Canada last week.

Though the victors were happy to have won, they noticed that the Kenyan team was playing without cleats.

Since the two teams also happened to form solid friendships with each other during their time on and off the field, a few of the Israeli players asked their parents for help buying proper footwear for their new international friends.

With the help of tournament officials, the Israeli girls met up with the Kenyan team the day after their match and gifted them all brand new cleats.

Needless to say, the resulting joy between the two teams was particularly contagious.

“A brilliant win today on the slippery surface thanks to [Israel Lacrosse] and our cleats!” wrote the Kenyan team’s Twitter page.

“The support from all around the world for our African Queens is priceless and hugely humbling,” they added. “The attention on and off the pitch for these players is more than all the nations competing combined… and rightly so.”

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from goodnewsnetwork.org

School Superintendent is Using His First Ever $10,000 Bonus to Pay For Students’ College Applications

Rather than pocketing his first ever $10,000 bonus, this public school system superintendent is using the money to cover the college application fees of his high school students.

44-year-old Grant Rivera, who has been the superintendent of the Marietta School District in Georgia since 2016, says that he is eligible for the bonus every three years if he receives a satisfactory performance review.

Rivera is donating the bonus to the Marietta Schools Foundation so that it can help students who apply to colleges ahead of regular application deadlines.

“I don’t believe that a bonus provided by the board should be earned on the backs of the teachers,” Rivera told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My hope is that it’s an incentive for kids to do the right thing.”

Of the 500 high schoolers in the graduating class, Rivera estimates that 150 to 200 students will apply to college.

If the application fees of his students exceed the amount of his $10,000 donation, he plans on paying out of pocket in order to cover the additional expenses—if there is any money leftover after his students have finished with their applications, then the funds will be used to finance college bus tours in Georgia.

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from sunnyskyz.com

Neighbors Raise $50,000 In A Week To Help Special Needs Friend Keep His Home

August 6, 2019

Lamar Harris is a special needs adult with the mental abilities of a preteen. He has lived in his house in Gloucester Township, NJ, his entire life.

But Harris risked losing his home in weeks if he didn’t pay $50,000.

neighbors raise 50k for man to keep home

When neighbors discovered that he was days away from losing the home he’d grown up in, they rallied and raised more than $67,000.

As a result of the death of his family members, his reading deficits, and his inability to understand finances, Harris had fallen behind in his property taxes. They have not been paid since his father died in 2015.

So when he received a legal complaint that threatened him with foreclosure as a result of unpaid taxes and interest payments, his friends scrambled to help.

Terri Fretz, who has known Harris for 38 years, set up a GoFundMe page to try and settle his debts.

“We, his neighbors, have all banded together and have been watching out for Lamar since his dad died. This problem just recently came to light and is too big for just his neighbors to handle,” Fretz wrote on GoFundMe.

And in just one week, they raised enough money to satisfy the lien and pay almost all of his 2019 taxes.

Harris was so thrilled when he heard he’d be able to stay in Cherry Circle, he called everyone on his street and met them in their yards to celebrate, Fretz told CNN.

She posted an update on GoFundMe to thank everyone who donated.

“We want to thank the hundreds of wonderful people who found room for Lamar in their hearts. You are all proof that kindness can make a difference in a person’s life in a big way. We have raised the money needed to pay off the lien that was placed on Lamar’s home. He is very grateful and understands the kindness that has been bestowed upon him. All donations that he continues to receive will be applied to Lamar’s future and current needs (attorney fees, current year taxes, home maintenance). All money will be deposited into a bank account set up solely for the Lamar’s benefit. There is still good in the world. There is still hope for us all.”

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from sunnyskyz.com

60 Farmers Harvest Crop For Neighbor Battling Cancer

August 13, 2019

Sixty farmers in Washington came out and harvested the wheat crop of a neighbor who is battling cancer.

60 farmers help man with cancer harvest wheat

Larry Yockey owns a 12 hundred acre farm in Ritzville. But he has stage 4 skin cancer and can no longer work his fields.

So, his neighbors came out with their equipment. They were able to complete three weeks worth of harvesting in just six hours.

“It’s not describable the gratitude I have for what’s going on,” Yockey said.

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from MSN.com

In Sanford, police say the homeless population has increased significantly in recent years. In response, they’ve formed a new task force to help get the homeless the resources they need to get back on their feet.a bowl of food cooking on a stove: Chicken and vegetablesMeanwhile, there’s another group that’s helping at the same time, a family that immigrated to Maine from Jamaica years ago.Inside One Love Cuisine on a Monday morning, you’ll find jerk chicken sizzling on the grill and vegetables being slice up and plopped in the stockpot.

It looks like any restaurant kitchen. But these meals aren’t meant for customers.

“I’m going to bring some food for Darian and Tammy first,” said Lisa Tomlinson. “They’re over by that camp over there.”

Lisa Tomlinson whips up some favorite family recipes for people who can’t afford them at the restaurant, and can barely afford anything, at all.”Hey, George!”

With help from her brother and sister in law, Tomlinson feeds Sanford’s homeless as often as they can. Sometimes daily.

“I’m back!”

She doesn’t just provide them with a hot meal.

“Nice to meet you, Rob. Hey Devin.”

She knows many of them by name and makes an effort to find out who they really are.

“You talked to your mom? That’s awesome.”

For some, those meaningful conversations and big hugs mean more than the food she delivers.

“At first it was kind of like, ‘woah, who is this person? What do they want?’ said one man. “You know it felt like they wanted something from us they can’t just be going out of their way for us. Then it started it became every day she brings us a meal. She tells us she loves us, she takes care of us.”

“Just to see the human compassion that the woman has is quite amazing,” said Detective Eric Small.

Detective Small says he also is working to provide hope and give the homeless the resources they need, by way of a new task force which consists of four members of the Sanford Police Department.

“Last week officers spent time giving out shoes or giving people socks, or t-shirts or toiletries. Driving people to doctor’s appointments or to take a shower or to get their medicine,” he said.

Help can come in many forms. For Lisa Tomlinson, lending a hand is one place to start. And for that savory Jamaican dish, the only compensation she needs is a smile.

Tomlinson and her brother came to the states from Jamaica years ago. Tomlinson served in the U.S. Navy and her brother, Rohan, is the owner and head chef of One Love Cuisine.

Good News by Mandisa –

She Calls Me Pops

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I wrote this one awhile ago,  thought I would repost it in case the last one was too dark for you.

She calls me Pops

And I call her Dots

I say I love you lots

She just smiles and walks away

One of those games she likes to play

But I know she loves me, even if she doesn’t say

We were close through the early years

Over football we bonded through the cheers

When we lost, we even shared a few tears

Two peas in a pod, we were thick as thieves

At night I would be on my knees

Praying to God don’t let her change, please

But now she says this is what teenagers do, we rebel

I say, ” But you are not a teenager, you are only twelve.”

Then she does an uugggh or some kind of tribal yell

But I know this time is only temporary

Because I’ve been through it before, her sisters and me

So I let it go and wait for the time when she will see

That good old pops was smarter than she thinks

And not everything I do really stinks

Because it will be over before she blinks

Then one day on her wedding day

I will be the one who gives my dots away

We’ll be on the dance floor when the music starts to play

She’ll look at me and say “hello pops”

And I’ll smile at her and say “hello dots”

Maybe, just maybe,  she will say I love you lots

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Short Are The Years by Jason Crabb-  

Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman-  

Fast by Luke Bryan –  

My Last Breath by Black Stone Cherry-  

Female by Keith Urban –  

Woman, Amen by Dierks Bentley –  

Gracie by Ben Folds-  

My Apprentice

 

Today is Kylie’s 14th birthday. I believe all parents want to pass along their wisdom and knowledge to their children, pass along the best parts of them.

Sometimes, they get the worst part of you. Well, THIS IS A STORY like that.

Sometimes the mind goes where the mind goes.

Happy Birthday Kylie.

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I discovered I was an artist at the age of fourteen. At first, I was really nervous and scared and would only practice my artistry every six months or so. I was shy and did not want anyone else to see my work. I made many mistakes when I first started out but luckily the gods were in my favor and I was able to continue my artistry as I grew older, and wiser. And braver.

As I became more confident, my art work became more frequent. Every four months to two months to weekly, until I met a woman I would fall in love with.

Since my art did not pay the bills, I joined the working world. I was miserable. I had no time to practice my art or to continue working towards perfecting my skills.

But I was in love. And then I found out I was going to be a father.

I prayed for a son. A boy I could train to follow in my footsteps. It had taken years for me to be almost perfect in my craft and I wanted to pass down everything I had learned to a son. Every mistake, every lesson learned, every victory. The satisfaction of a job well done.

It was not to be. My daughter came into the world full of life, screaming and crying to the world, I am here.

The pressure of being a father and paying the bills became too much. I needed a release. I needed time to myself. I needed a “night out with the boys” every couple of weeks, at least that’s what I told my wife.

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But what I really needed was my art. I needed to get back to what I was best at doing. I needed to perfect my craft. I needed to keep practicing my art, to create the perfect masterpiece. I could not make any mistakes.

As my daughter grew, I would come home “after a night with the boys” and would watch her sleeping. I would feel guilty for going out, for doing what I was doing, but I kept telling myself it was for my own sanity. I could not stop. It was in my blood and I was very good at what I did.

But I wanted to be the best.

To be the best, I had to keep practicing my skills.  As my daughter grew, she became more curious, but there was no way I could show her my work. As my daughter grew, so did the world. Technology was changing and I had to keep in touch with it in order to keep making my art. It was becoming a chore to stay one step ahead but I was still very good at my art, and I could not stop.

However, doubts started to creep in. One mistake, however small, could lead to my art being ruined. What if my wife found out? I still was not ready for anyone to see my work. How much longer could I continue? Could I stop if I really wanted to?

I must stop. Even if I was miserable, it beat being discovered. I must stop, I told myself over and over. I must stop.

I tried to stop, I really did.

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I kept telling myself one more time. One more night. One more masterpiece. But that only lead to one more time, one more night.

It was the eve of my daughter’s fourteenth birthday. I remembered how I started my art skills when I was fourteen. I wondered if it was in her blood also.

I didn’t have to wait long.

One week later I went out for my one more last time.

Little did I know she followed me.

I slowly walked the streets, looking for the right inspiration to be part of my next masterpiece. After all, I had become a master artist. It didn’t take me long. The objects of my art were always easy to find. Some people enjoy being the center of attention. It’s not hard to convince them to come with me so I can “paint” them. The centerpiece of my gallery.

I took her back to my gallery and as soon as I started to carve her up so slowly, I was a master craftsmen after all, my daughter came running into the room.

I was terrified and relieved at the same time. My secret was finally out of the bag. After all these years and all these murders, it was my daughter who caught me.

But she wasn’t horrified like I thought she would be. A smile of relief crossed her face.

It was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.

All this time, she had the same urges as me. All this time I had prayed for a son to pass my artistry onto but instead I was given a daughter who was every bit an artist like me. Now I could pass my expertise down to her.

Every mistake, every lesson learned, every victory.

For my daughter was a serial killer, just like me, and I could not let her get caught.

Disclaimer: Neither Kylie or I are serial killers, just so no one takes this seriously. Even though at times feel like I could…

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Pyschopath Killer by Slaughterhouse, feat Eminem-

RIP by 8 Graves –

Monsters by Shinedown –

Monster by Skillet-

Monster Is Loose by Meatloaf –

Releasing The Demons by Godsmack –

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