Friday, January 13, 2012
With all my plans for how this precious angel would turn out, the one plan that never infiltrated my mind was how to plan her funeral. When a man becomes a daddy to their baby girl, funeral and grief are the last things to show their ugly faces, except maybe when he thinks about the boys showing up on your porch trying to take her on a date. Nonetheless, this horrific plan had now presented itself before me. What was I going to do? The tomb for the “Unknown Soldier” did not seem to even come close to what this cherished child deserved. How was I to try and put the feelings of the adoration of a father for his daughter into a tangible funeral service and gravesite? Honestly, I cannot even say that I planned any of it, because the slide show of memories seemed to be on replay in my mind for weeks. All I can say is that my body made an appearance at the funeral home the day we planned her final farewell.
The Services for my adored baby were contrary to anything I could have ever imagined they were going to be. Leading up to this day I could not escape from the feeling that God was asking me to stand up over the casket of my daughter and translate into words what positive could come from this tragedy.
God blessed me with the strength to get up in front of hundreds of people, to give the testimony of what I had gained in Him. I thought I would not be able to even stand let alone speak, because I was shaking, trembling inside, and a lump formed in my throat. I walked passed the sea of faces, following my four closest friends who were carrying my little baby girl. My incredible friend Swift sang a song for us that he wrote himself, a song that plenty of times before this day, brought tears to my eyes. Not this day though, God wouldn't allow it, not because of the quality, but because he kept me strong. He knew if I started crying, I would not be able to stop. Once the song was over, it was my turn, I told God and myself, here we go. You want this to happen God?? You are going have to make it happen, because without you, I am not strong enough to do this. My "Brother" Jason, my security blanket, stood right by my side. If I was unable to deliver this message, he was instructed to step in and finish reading what God wrote down on a paper for me to read. God told me that these people needed to hear these things from my lips. So I opened, introducing Jason to the "Crowd" then my mind went blank, my eyes went dry, my throat went clear, and my voice went deep. The river of words flowed from my mouth effortlessly. The dark sunglasses I wore hid my eyes, a curtain of protection between the masses of people and me. Intently, I looked down at the paper in front of me. The only sound present was the outpour of despair and sorrow felt by crowd of loved ones. God wouldn't allow this to impend my testimony though. What seemed like an eternity, took only about ten minutes. When I was done, I made it far enough down the lonesome isle to sit down next to my wife, and I collapsed. I broke down, and wept, God had let all of my tears build up, the dam on my eyes burst. Admiring the most beautiful pictures, my eyes have ever seen, caught in the trance of those hypnotizing eyes, that had kept me mesmerized so many times before, my pastor stepped up and delivered one of the best sermons I had ever heard. The purpose, to let people know how much Reagan meant to us, how much we mean to God, and how much a relationship with Jesus will mean to them.
God has a purpose for the death of my daughter, and we wanted everyone to what God was telling us. At this time, the reason was to bring others closer to God by using us to deliver our testimony. When my pastor asked if there was anyone who wanted to give there life to Christ, ten people raised their hands, and some didn’t want to put it down. I prayed for one person to come to know Christ from my daughter’s death and God gave me the pleasure of seeing ten.
Following the same four amazing guys carrying my angel through a tunnel of uniformed brothers and sisters to the hearse. Following the hearse, the procession started, with a bucket ladder fire truck, two fire engines, three fire chief vehicles and multiple police vehicles leading the way. With lights flashing the convey started, even people walking down the street, stopped and removed their hats and held them on their hearts. Reagan, being only fourteen months old was receiving the treatment only fit for the president. Turning onto the interstate, I notice another fire engine, from another fire department, blocking the entire high way. It’s crew, dressed in full gear, with helmets on their hearts, didn’t know my daughter, heck they didn’t even know me. But, they knew the brotherhood they were part of. Every exit we passed was blocked. The interstate was an island, and we were the only ones on it. Every cop we passed had his hat on his heart, every engine had full gear, it was something out of the movies. As we pulled up to the cemetery, we parked, and watched, as car after car pulled into this cemetery, finally the procession was in, and we got out of the car. I grabbed my wife’s hand and prayed for strength, cause we knew, we were about to lay our baby to rest. It was time, my first daughter, the owner of my heart, would leave this earth forever. Emotion at red alert, and the tunnel of "My Brothers" lined up sitting next to my daughter’s grave they bring the precious one, and set her in front of my wife and me. With flowers all over and my family next to me. The cold frigid wind blowing over me, hands frozen, and tears burning my face, everyone huddled around us. Preston Porter, one of the most important people in my family lives, began to speak. I don’t remember what he said, why cause I was cold and I was sitting in a place I would soon be visiting, A LOT. After he was done, the line of hugs began. I was tired of hugs already but the warmth of feelings and strong embraces of my friends and family washed over me and melted me, from the inside out. Thank You God, it was finally done, now I would be able to start the grieving process.
I am at a loss on a lot of things right now. How do I go back to trying to save lives physically? I feel like saving them spiritually. Why God took my baby girl from my wife and I? I don’t know!!! But I know he has a plan for me, and in that is where I get my comfort. I trust in God with everything I am, I ask only that he let me know what he has going on with my life, so I can get on board.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
For example my own story, I could simply look at my situation in the death of my daughter as bad. Through my own free will, I can choose to look at it from the standpoint of, why did my daughter die at the age of 14 months? Why didn’t I get to see her grow up and graduate and get married? Why did this happen to me? In taking this approach, am I not merely thinking about what past “lives” have looked like, what life “Expectancies” are instilled in us from birth by worldly standards? We are told and taught that when life is “good” your life will look like this, and when that doesn’t happen, then life is “bad.” So when our lives take an unexpected turn for the worse, “unexpectedly worse” by worldly standards because they are not they way life should be or the way we want life to be. However in doing this am I not merely comparing my life and my situation of my loss, or what I don’t get to experience in the life of my daughter growing up, am I not just comparing that to what other father’s do get to experience, which is then idolizing another person’s life, for in my own life I am not experiencing things that others are? Rather, I can take an approach of gratitude and thankfulness and appreciation for what I did have or did experience. I experienced fourteen wonderful months with the most beautiful girl I have ever laid my eyes on. Can I not take that approach, and be rejoicing to God for granting me those fourteen months, instead of saying why do I not get to have more, for would that not just be greed, and in saying that wouldn’t I just be saying that, if I can’t have all that I want, then I want nothing at all? Meaning, in questioning the circumstances of my daughter’s life, not being able to experience certain things with her, am I not just saying that, if I cannot have all that I expect to have with her and through her, then I want nothing with her at all? In that, am I not saying that what I had was not enough, and then making less of my daughter’s life, saying it wasn’t what was expected to be, so therefore it was “less.” In taking this approach however, it does not take away the pain and the grief that is still felt. No, it does not take that away, for that pain is merely felt with its intensity, due to the love that was felt. However, in taking this approach, it does in great measure give that pain and suffering substance, purpose, and drive, to see good in it, and from it, for without that good the pain would be felt for no reason. Either way the pain is going to be felt, only because of the love that was felt.
In closing, for me it cannot be about “why things happen” or “why there is ‘evil’” but that it is there and it will happen, and the only thing I can control is how I will respond when it does. Will I allow it to be about me and let it be the downfall of me, or will I be thankful for what I do have and let it be what drives me to appreciate the smallest of things, and see everything as a gift from God, and not as life going as expected by worldly standards and taking this life for granted.
I must say I don't always live my life this way, and I have allowed it to be about me, and maybe that is why I felt led to write this. This is how I feel God has called me to "suffer" well. I know for me, I have not "suffered" well in this life, but as I learn more about the character of God, I am able to learn more about who He created me to be, and how He created me to live. I am finding out more and more, and I am learning that there is no destination, but just one continuous journey, of revelation, repentance and rejoicing.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Taking that dreaded, unwanted, walk to the mailbox, for what seemed to be the hundredth time that day. Knowing I had to bear that frigid cold again, but not caring, I had to see if it arrived yet. The sun blanketed by the dark granite clouds, the gloom seemed to be washed over everything, not just my heart. Trying to rush before the frigid air could numb my hands, I reached that black box, letting out that all to familiar, wretched, screech as I opened it. My heart filled with pain and sadness. Yet still clutching to a glimmer of hope, could it be, could this be the day it arrives? Looking inside, there it was, covered with tape, words “Fire Fighter Kevin Newman” perfectly placed in bold black letters, as if written by the hands of an angel. Quickly, snatching it from it’s cave of darkness, I almost danced back to the front door. Shutting the door quickly behind me, not even letting it close fully before I disrobed my jacket. I began the loathsome, dreaded, task of opening that box. My body filled with the chaos of a hundred emotions battling for control, none seemed strong enough to win, except the apprehension, of what this meant. Finally it would no longer be just a mental design, it would now be a badge of honer, worn, with chest inflated, shoulders back, and head held high. Pulling the last piece of tape, the unfolded flaps gave way to the plastic it had been so meticulously wrapped in. Separating it from the protective sheath, there it was, staring back at me, countless hours of designing, and reflecting, now organized and positioned in my calloused hands. Finding it’s path from birth, nothing more than a thought, to now presenting itself before me. Starting to become blurry, I could barely make out the details, not realizing that when I blinked, the floodgates of my eyes, holding back the raging river that had been suppressed for weeks, gave way. The stress, and the mountain of emotions, seemed to all make their way to the surface, debilitating me, for what seemed like a lifetime. Finding a small, split second gap in the flood of emotions, flowing profusely from my face. I caught a flash of clarity of what was before me. Crisp edges, marking out the blueprint for what was to be laid within. This helmet front, this badge of courage, was unlike any other I had bolted to my fire helmet in the past. This one, was for me, for my family, for my sanity, for my healing. This one, I pray no other man has to earn, this one was for my daughter.
“Reagan Marguerite Newman” embossed deeply into the center of the shield, also into my heart. Never forgetting, the impression placed upon my life, by her. Remembering how both of her teeth sparkled, as I lovingly called out “Reagie,” the name I had given her, now flew in a banner of golden yellow, mixed with the white of snow, on the upper left corner. The gentle tone of coral, matching the ribbon I hand painted across her entire nursery, washed over the shield setting the mood for what was to come. I found myself unable to fight off the curiosity of what must had been roaring through the mind of the leather worker as he etched the numbers “11/07/07-01/13/09” under her name. Did he clutch tightly to those that had meant so much in his life? Did he flip through the file cabinet of memories in his head, of those that have met face to face with our loving Creator? Or, did he try to drown those thoughts in a bottle as I had done so many times before she was born. Maybe the divine blessing of a child rendered him sober also, forcing him to now feel every emotion that was designated in this unique shield. Considering the task before him, did he reflect on his own relationship with Jesus, as he hammered the heart encrusted cross into the right corner, placing it perfectly above the billowy white clouds, realizing this was gonna be the only definitive way he could ever endure a pain so tragic? As he dyed the wings edge of the butterfly, soaring from the clouds, could he grasp onto the intensity of the love that was encased into my heart for this little girl, could he hear my heart crying out for her? For just one more touch of her lips upon mine, or just one more scent of lotion cascading from the top of her head, dusted slightly with golden bronze hair. A love that was not isolated to myself, but that was enjoyed by everyone that fell into the hypnotizing trance of her eyes. Did he know just how missed she was, how her mother and brother and I, are not the same with out her? Did he understand that we didn’t have a long time to spend with her on this earth, but that the time she was here, the memories we have embedded themselves into our hearts, and will carry on her name for ever. As he glued the final piece into place, the ebony plaque with the 14 karat gold trim, boasting the words “A Life So Short, But Touched So Many”, I think he was able to soak up every tear of detail in this reflection.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I first met @shaunking(his twitter handle), or as I know him, and was introduced to him as Shaun. Anyways, I first met Shaun at Morehouse College, where he was a graduate and saw a need there. He saw a need for some Godly guidance in the young men of Morehouse College, and he acted. He didn't have all the particulars worked out for the function that he was putting on, but he had the call on his heart, to do something. So he did, and that is where we met. I met him as I was working alongside my church www.therevolution.com to give Shaun all the A/V resources we had for his "function." We set up all the audio and visual resources we had, and I couldnt help but sit back and feel the Holy Spirit convicting me through Shaun. Not to take away anything from Shaun, but he was just a regular dude, he was a 28 at the time(I think). He was there with his wife, his kids, his brother, and his church volunteers. He wasn't anything big, but that's just it, it wasn't about him. It wasnt about his church, it wasn't about fame, or notoriety to his church. It was about praising, and glorifying the God that saved him through Jesus Christ, and all he wanted to do was to tell anyone, everyone....about "The One." That convicted me. Cause I thought to myself, who was I, how can I make a difference. I'm nobody. But, God has shown me through Shaun, that it only takes one person to tell anybody, about that one somebody that changed their life, Jesus. Not caring what it looks like, or sounds like, not caring how perfect it is, see God has shown me through Shaun that, He doesn't want to be impressed by me or my "doings". But that He simply wants to be trusted by me. God wants me to have undying trust in Him....wow, that was huge for me. So, for me, Shaun not caring about specifics, and just caring about the call on his life to serve God, and spread his love, and word. Shaun ability to listen for God to speak to him, act on His call, then trust in God to show up, that was huge for me.
We finished up that night on a high for Jesus, and Shaun and I became pretty good friends. In my short walk with Christ, I have met, and have been influenced by quite a few Godly men. So what made Shaun different for me?? I am glad you asked that question.
I kept in contact with Shaun as months rolled on. He had just started his church www.courageous.tv a couple of months before we met. His church meets in Downtown Atlanta, and is doing amazing things for God. But this isn't what has made a huge impact on my walk with God. No. It isn't the way he guides his church. After a few months went by, Atlanta got hit, and HIT HARD by trecherous rain downfall. Just pouring rain, and some spots in Atlanta had MAJOR flooding, I'm talking up to the roof line flooding. Churches flooded all the way to the steeple, schools completly drowning in water. People lost EVERYTHING, and there was a cry out for help. A cry for help that was so loud, so deafening, but yet so silent. It was the cry of God's children. A cry you can only hear in your heart. A cry I heard in my heart, a cry Shaun heard in his heart. We had to do something. So Shaun starting doing what he does. Shaun's last name is King, but he is the "King", the king of rallying the "Hands and Feet" of the body of Christ, through High-Tech means. Shaun's blog is called "Shauninthecity.com" and on it has a picture of "Superman", I think it represents him, "Superman" of the internet. Through twitter, facebook, his blog, and his website, I have watched Shaun rally the "Body of Christ" time and time again. Weather with www.HopeATL.com or ahomeinhaiti.org or www.twitchange.com. See Shaun or @shaunking feels the call, or the cry of God's people, and he doesn't think. He acts. He doesn't speak, he acts. For the flood victims he didn't think, someone should help them, or where could he donate money to help, and he didn't look for someone who was helping God's children and link up with them or support them. No the way Shaun works, the way he answers the silent deafening cry of God's children is he acts. He acts in such an explosive, eruption of Love.....I'm not talking about lower case, bottom of the eye chart kind of love. NO, I'm talking about huge, top of the eye chart, mountain side billboard size capital letters L-O-V-E. His actions are so contagious, that everyone around him jump to his side to help the cause. This guy, goes right to the front lines, doesn't have any clue what to expect, or what to bring with him, except his "yearn." This guy has a huge closet full of yearn, this is what has caught my attention about this Godly man. Not his preaching, not his speaking, not his church, not his congregation size, nope. Though all of this is huge, that had nothing to do with what made this man make me see a reflection of Christ in him. What is it? It is his Yearn. His yearn to help, his yearn to love, his yearn to trust, yearn to guide-not with words, but with actions. This man yearns to allow others to experience the love of God through his actions. Shaun yearns to be used by God to spread this love to His children. No matter their race, age, religion, or social stature. He spreads this undying "L-O-V-E" to anyone and everyone that he comes in contact with. The saying goes "actions speak louder than words" and he gets that whole-heartedly. He doesn't tell people Jesus loves them, he doesn't tell people about God, he doesn't speak to the people lost, and hurting, dying on the inside. He shows them, shows them how much God loves them, by giving them, maybe their first experience of God's love, and grace. Weather through, fighting to the front lines of damage, flooded, destroyed, heart-broken homes, and simply hugging the crying homeowners. Through, founding, and running foundations, simply geared towards getting funds and resources to the front lines of the fight to help those in need. This man shows Godly love, by running to the silent cries, without a care, without an idea of what to do or how to help, running with simply a call, a cry, a Yearn in his heart.....then once he gets there, once he stands face to face with God's children, as they stand there comletely broken, destroyed, hopeless, and scared. He holds them up, and waits, trusting, knowing that God will show up. That's faith.
I watched Shaun, and worked side by side with him, on the front lines. But he doesn't stop there. He continues behind the scenes, on the internet rallying people, resources, funds, and love. A love so big that noone can explain it away as anything other than miraculous. This man has heard the deafening silent cry of God's children, when everyone else continues on with their lives. After the dust falls, the media leaves, and the emergency funds run out, this man is still standing there. Arms wide open, spreading unconditional Godly love to those in need. If it's flood victims, tornado victims, earthquake victims, or just those far from God, victims of this world. He is there, on the front lines, with a Yearn to spread every ounce of love he has. Not being concerned with how will we help these people, where will the help come from, where will the resources come from, where will the funds come from. No this man, has faith that he is answering a call, a cry of God's will on his life. He trusts, that where God has guided him, God will provide him. Provide, not fame, or fancy things, not even recognition, Shaun doesn't care about any of that. He cares about glorifying his maker, his redeamer, his father, by telling....no, by showing people the love of God, and then telling them about the way, the truth, and the light, Jesus Christ.
This is nothing other than, a nobody, thanking somebody, for being used by God to speak wisdom into my life, by nothing other than his actions, not his words.
Shaun thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for everything. Please continue to reach out to God's children and continue to be used.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Talking to myself I ask, where are you at? In my life? In my relationships? In my job? In my travels towards my vision for my life? I ask these things of myself because I notice that I have found myself "LOST."
I found myself "lost" in the "hussle and bussle" of everyday life. I remembered when I lost Reagan that I was not going to allow my life to be ordinary any longer. I wanted my life to mean something to make a difference. I wanted that difference to be for God. So I found myself engrossing in the works of God. Doing whatever I saw a need for, whatever I found that could help someone, or would minister to someone. I wanted everyone around me to feel the freedom I felt from my relationship with God. So I did everything I could to make that happen. I wanted to live a different life than what I was living. I wanted people to look at me and see that you can go through a horrible time in your life, and not let it stop you. I felt I was doing GREAT at that, funny thing is.....that's all I was doing, putting on a great performance. So I thought!
I thought that in order for people to see me working through the death of my daughter. For people to see me "Full of Christ" meant that people had to see me with it all together. It consumed me. I wanted to do it all, I wanted to do everything I could to do the works of Christ. To live a biblical life. To work in ministry, I wanted to do it all. I wanted to do, so I didn't have to feel. I wanted to do, because it had become my new addiction. I fooled myself into thinking that serving God, was the same thing as strengthening my relationship with God.....this could be true, if the service does not take away from the relationship, but in fact, adds to it. Service for God is not the same as my relationship with God. I got that mixed up in my head. My priorities are supposed to be: Relationship with God, Relationship with Spouse, Relationship with kids, Job(service for God), then everything else.
What was I doing wrong??? How did my life start to spiral out of control???
I let my priorities get completely out of whack. I let myself get in the way. I convinced myself that my service for God was part of my relationship for God. That was excuse I used, for myself and for my family. For the time that I took away from my family, heck even the time I took away from God. I let my "DOING" things for God get in the way of my relationship with God. I stopped seeking God in everything I did or thought. I started making decisions under my own power, not seeking God for wisdom first...I was trying to control things. This is when we start to struggle, when we try to control things.
So I was trying to convince myself that sacrificing for service to God was ok, because it was for God. The bible tells me different now....now that I am even reading it again. It says that God does not need my sacrifices, that He seeks my obedience. Hmmmm there is a word for ya'. Obedience, to God. The bible tells me to love my wife like Christ loves the church. So that brought me to another question.
Was I loving my wife like Christ loved the church, when I was sacrificing my time with her to go and help others. Yeah, it may have been for a good reason BUT was it loving her like Christ loved the church? Probly not. I know I put a lot on my wife, and ask a lot of her. I know for a fact that I am more understanding and patient with complete strangers than I am with my wife. Why do I do that, maybe because I am a freaking pig. Maybe cause I am NOT loving my wife like Christ loves the church. I am not saying that I don't love my wife dearly, I DO, absolutely.....BUT, I am most likely loving my wife like A LOT of other guys that say they love their wives out there. I love her, I am in love with her.....BUT am I doing eveything in my power to make her happy. Am I seeking God's wisdom and guideance unto how to be the best husband I can be? No. Am I seeking God to help me be the exact husband my wife needed me to be each and everyday, because my wife needs a different husband at different times. Sometimes she needs a "fixer" husband, sometimes she needs a "listener" husband, and sometimes she needs "protector" husband....was I seeking God to help me do everything in my power to allow my marraige to be the VERY BEST it could be.....the answer to these questions is NO. Why? I used to do these things. I used to seek God every morning, asking for guideance, for wisdom, for strength, for courage and for honor, that He help me be the MAN He needs me to be. Why did I stop these things....Priorities!!!
My priorities had gotten all out of whack, my priorities were not in line with that of the bible. My priorities were starting to be that of the flesh, and of my ego. Let people see me doing good through such a horrible time in my life. Let people see how hard I worked for God. It was no longer about me seeking my all loving, forgiving, and graceful God each and every day. It was no longer about me seeking out God's will for my life, but seeking out God to help me with "My will, for, My Life."
Getting my priorities out of whack has affected every part of my life, and I didn't even realize it. As bad as it sounds, I am happy to say that this is no longer gonna be an issue for me. For now. I see now how important my relationship with God is for me. I can not live without Him in my thoughts, actions, and life, each and everyday. I am no good to service Him without my relationship with Him. I promise this is ending today. For me it is no longer about how people view me, but how God views me.
I am also making a stand right here and now to absolutely love my wife like Christ loves the church. I promise to love her unconditionally. I realize I can not change my wife, I can only change the way I view her and her actions and who she is. I am deeply in love with my wife, I just have not showed that lately.
My wife is now back in the place she belongs, Number 1, right behind my wonderful loving God. I promise to seek His face in everything I do. I will ask Him for strength, courage, wisdom, and honor each and everyday. I will ask Him for the tools neccesary to be the husband my wife needs for today, and ask for His help to make my marriage the very best I can, Just For Today!!
As for my vision for my life....I had realize also that I was consumed with not being the person I had used to be that I was not seeking God for how the new me was to be. I had not even thought about vision. For me or my family or for my job. I never stopped to think about vision for future. I was just trying to live one day at a time. That was cool for then, but now God has given me peace to start to move forward and forge ahead, not forgetting!!! Just moving ahead. I realized that a movement without vision, is just a quick trip to failure. So what is my vision, for my life? For my marriage? For my family? For my ministry? I don't know exactly but I am happy now and rejoicing in the fact that it is even a concern of mine. I will be adding this to my prayers and seeking God on all the visions of my life. I forging ahead, from good to great, and I am excited about it.
I will update you later on how this goes for me, till then may God bless you as much as He has blessed me.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
We will meet at the Kroger off Exit 14 of I575 at 9am on Saturday morning and travel down to Austell.
Email me at Kevin@therevolution.tv
Here is the actual rally point church for ALL volunteers and all donations and free meals....
Ewing Road Baptist Church
4699 Ewing Rd
Austell, GA 30106-1631
For even more info check out this site...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Atlanta Flood Relief EffortsPartner with Revolution to help flood victims
Hello Revolution Church!
As we all know, the Atlanta area was hit with severe storms over this past weekend. Hundreds - maybe even thousands - of families have lost everything from flooding.
These people need your help. Revolution Church will be taking up much needed supplies for these families this Sunday. We will be collecting mens/womens underwear/socks, all bedding materials like blankets/sheets/pillows and other basic necessities.
Some people in Atlanta are also in more immediate need. Courageous Church in Atlanta already has a great disaster relief program in effect, and they could use your support. If you have the time and/or resources to help them, you can find more information at ShaunintheCity.com.
Let's show Atlanta the true love of Christ by lifting our neighbors up in their time of need. If you'd like any more info on how to help, contact Kevin at email@example.com.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
There is not a single scripture in the Bible that incites, invites, or implies the act or need of self-forgiveness. There is not a single story in the Bible that even remotely points to such a thing. The Bible has a great deal to say about God forgiving us and us forgiving one another, but it says nothing about forgiving ourselves, because forgiving oneself is not the answer to sin. If an unbeliever forgives himself, for instance, he is still in his sin. If a believer forgives himself, he is taking the place of God. If he says, "I know God has forgiven me, but I just can’t forgive myself," he is placing his own judgment above God’s merciful provision.
The Bible clearly commands us to love the Lord our God, our neighbor as ourselves, our brothers and sisters in the faith, and even our enemies. It also tells us to forgive one another, as God has forgiven us.
Forgiveness is meant to be an act of love between persons rather than within one’s own self. Self-forgiveness is just one more symptom of worldly self-love, and self-condemnation is just one more symptom of self as god.
When we sin against God, it is God who forgives us.
When we sin against others, it is others who forgive us.
When others sin against us, it is us who forgive them.
So I ask can a person sin against himself, and then forgive himself?
Forgiving or not forgiving self is based on pride. Confessing our sin to God and to one another and then receiving forgiveness from God and one another should result in humility and gratitude. By not receiving and faithfully believing God’s forgiveness in us, either by not confessing sin or by holding onto a self-righteousness that says, "I can’t forgive myself," is prideful and ungrateful. It places one’s own evaluation over God’s, and when we’ve been forgiven by others, it says that their forgiveness is not adequate.
Christians have been saved and forgiven on the basis of the sacrificial death of Jesus, who died in our place. Thus, when God forgives His children, it is finished, signed, sealed, and forgotten.
(1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".
(Psalm 103:12)"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
I know for me I struggled for so long with not being able to "Forgive" myself for my past. NOT ANYMORE. I am not God, I repented my sins. The bible tells me these sins are forgiven, and forgotten. So who am I to tell God that He is smaller than me. The God I serve way bigger than I could ever imagine.
So I ask you, what is it today that you think you are BIGGER than God, and think you can judge yourself better than Him? If He says you are forgiven, because you have repented with all your heart, than is this not enough for you? Even the big stuff, the awful stuff, the skeletons that are deep in your closet. Repent with your heart, and you are forgiven.....we are not God, so stop judging ourselves!!!
“I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
1 From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help.
2 Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
3 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
4 But you offer forgiveness that we might learn to fear you.
5 I am counting on the Lord, yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.
6 I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
8 He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A lot has happened in the last couple of months. I have continued my walk with God, serving Him to the highest. I felt like He was calling me to quit my career of being a firefighter where I served for three years. So I did, with nothing to fall back on, with no applications, no interviews, nothing....I just felt Him calling me to clear my schedule so I quit. That was probably the most scariest thing I ever did. What would I do for money, ins for my family, what kind of man was I to ask my wife to go back to work full time, so I could quit, with nothing to back up on. No security blanket, heck that is how I lived my whole entire life. Didn't make a move without a security blanket, without a pretty good idea of what was next. Not this time. NOPE, this time I was trusting in God, and it felt great. I was happy with my decision and so was Karen...she supported me the whole way. For that I am forever in debt to her. So I quit my job, went out on faith and faith alone. I started going through the hiring process with an old job I had at a hospital in Forsyth....When I got a call from the pastors of my church. They wanted to meet with me.
So two weeks after I left the fire Dept, with no idea what was next. I met with the pastors of my church and they offered me a position on the church staff. Now I must tell you this was such a shock, cause I always asked to work at the church and they said they didnt have a position. So I was shocked to say the least. OF COURSE, I took the position. I would now, run the Celebrate Recovery Ministry and also responsible for the Set-up/Tear-down of the church every Sunday. Needless to say I was psyched about the CR position and nervous about the Setup/teardown position. All and all almost 2 months later and I am still plugging along. CR is making some huge strides. It is all God, I seek His face on every move I make, and He makes it happen.
So now I am working at the best church in the world www.TheRevoltution.tv Karen went back to work fulltime, which when she went back she got two promotions. So now she is the ER Manager or something big like that. Right now she is the top dog in the ER, and I could not be mroe proud of her. She is doing what she always said she wanted to do. To be challange and use her skills and knowledge to make a difference, and she is doing just that. I am very proud of you Karen.
Aiden is turning into a little man already, he is now 3 1/2 y/o.....and he is just talking like someone is paying him to do it. He says the funniest stuff and he is my best friend right now. He now prays at night, and talks about going to church. He loves going to church, and talking about God and Jesus, and seeing all his friends. It makes a dad proud to watch this go down. Yea, he might not be the fastest kid or he might not be able to dribble a basketball, BUT, he can tell you his ABC's and all their sounds, and what word starts with what. He says he loves Jesus, and thanks God, and for this.....he makes me the proudest Daddy ever.
My memorial sleeve tattoo is almost complete, been working on it for some time now. I miss my little girl so much. Think about her everyday, miss here little smile and the smell of her bald head. I wonder if she will still smell like that in heaven??? Do people grow up in heaven, will she always be a baby in heaven? Will she recognize me in heaven?? These are questions I ask myself sometimes....dont know the answer, but still ask them none the less. I try everyday to make my daughter and God proud. I do what I can to serve God to the highest, and spread His kingdom. The biggest fear I have in life is that I will not do enough for His glory, and in turn allow my daughter to die for no reason. "Reagan I promise I will do everything in my power not to let that happen." I dont know how I will feel in the future, but right now I love God, my family and my life, I miss my daughter and Soemtimes I wish I could have her back. I know she is in a better place, but sometimes I just wanna be selfish....sometimes, I am jealous of Reagan, and sometimes I am jealous of God. but I knwo I will see both of them one together. Then I will grab my little girls hand and let her mead me to go hug OUR father together. I heard a new song that absolutely choked me up. It is "Heaven is the Face" by Steven Curtis Chapman....check it out on youtube. Its about Steven's 5y/o daughter who died last year, from an accident at home, where she got run over by an SUV driven by her older brother....sad to hear about this, and my prayers go out to the family. I now feel connected in someway to everyone who has buried a child. Buring my child is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it will not keep me from living out the plan God has for my life. I can't let it, Reagan would not want me to, and God is bigger than this event, and has given me strength to pick up the peices.
So why then do I talk about newness.....maybe it is because my wife and I found out we are going to be giving birth to a new baby in 8 months. So this is a true blessing. This is newness....What also is newness is the mixed feelings I am having now. I am so happy I get to be a dad to another child. I can't help but feel guilty though for being excited about a new child. I had/have another child and her name is Reagan. She will always be my little girl, and I will never forget her. I pray she understands that daddy is not moving on without her, but she is always in and on my heart. I carry you with me everywhere baby girl, I look down at my arm and see you pretty face on there smiling up at me. I say this, but it stills hurts to know she is not here. I am pleased and thankful for this new baby. I will love this baby, with my whole heart, this baby will not replace my Reagie Girl just simply add to our family. Reagan noone could EVER replace you, and noone ever will. Daddy will not let it happen. You and me, we will always be....forever and ever.
So I am totally shocked that I am gonna be a new dad, but very excited. That was until I started having "The Feeling". You see before Reagan died, I could feel that God was preparing me for something "HUGE" and not in a good way. I literally though my mom was going to die, and I was preparing for that. I told this to Karen and Andrea before Reagan died, then 5 months later I buried my daughter. So about a week ago I started having the same feelings, and to be honest it is scaring the CRAP out of me. There is nothing I can do except Hold tight to the cross, no matter what happens in my life. See there is nothing that is gonna change the past, and there is nothing that is gonna change my faith. I trust in God completely, this doesnt mean I cant be scared. As long as I dont live out of that fear. I pray to God everyday, that He uses me to the fullest, that I am radically changed for Him and in Him and that He always me to make a difference in this world through Him. As long as I live this out, I think He will be proud.
In closing, there is gonna be even more crap that I go through in my life, but God is still God. he is still the God I worshiped when He freed me from the chains of addiction, so He'll be the same God I serve and glorify for the rest of my life. My love and Faith in God is not circumstantial!!!! It is undivided and everlasting, and true. So if I gotta go through hard times to glorify God, then I say Bring it....cause you can't stop me, and you can't break me with the grace, love, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
I come before you Father, thanking you. Thank you for allowing me to be able to have true faith in you, to be able to trust in you for everything. Father, thank you for the strength to live on another day just to glorify your name. Father, I dont care how it looks, you define the design for my life. I pray only for your guidance and wisdom onto your plan for my life. Father, allow me to be courageous, strong and dangerous against the evils that will attack me, my friends, and my loved ones. Father help me to be the man you need me to be to further you kingdom, one life at a time. I love you God, I thank you, I praise you, and I know I am nothing without you....in Jesus name.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I wanna just purge about some stuff that God put on my heart while I was mowing my lawn just now.
Why it is....
Why is it, that if we were in a life and death situation, and someone came and saved our life. We would be so grateful to them, even after we found out they were just released from prison for murder, we would still be grateful to them. They saved our lives, that's all that matters to us. So why is it, that Jesus saved our lives for eternity, and we are grateful, but in bad times.....that's not enough. See the murderer we don't care about the bad stuff....we are just elated to be alive, we are not even concentrating on the bad stuff. But, with God, He gave His only son to die for our sins, and in the hard times of our lives....that's not enough. Why is it, that we hold onto and grasp tightly, never letting go of the bad things that happen in our lives to the point that we are blind to the good things in our lives. See for me I am realizing this now. No matter how many things in my life are going "Bad" (I put that in quotations, because we only THINK they are bad to us, because they are not what we would like for them to be) So, no matter how many things in our lives are not going they way we would like to think they should be going.....things in our lives could always be worse. I lost my little 14 month old daughter to a horrible accident at home, BUT I know a family that is morning the loss of their 14 month old son, that died from the father backing over him...I also know a family that lost their child, then exactly one year later lost their other child. NOW, I tell you, my life could be MUCH worse. Why do I say this, because no matter how bad our lives seemed to be going, things could be much much worse....lost your job, rejoice you still have your house; lost your house, rejoice you still have your health; got diagnosed with cancer, rejoice you still have your family....though all these things SUCK BAD!!! There are still things we have in our lives that we have to be thankful for...just when you think you have nothing to be thankful for....Take A Look At The Cross, See the empty grave, and rejoice you still have a God that loves you.
Why is it....
We all fall short of the Glory of God, we are all "Free" in ways that we never should have been, we are all sinners, but yet we think that we are better than others. Why is that? Does it make you better than another, because you make more money?? Does it make you better than another, because you drive a nicer car?? Does it make you better than another, because your house is in a richer neighborhood?? Does it make you better than another, because you don't have to buy groceries with food stamps?? Does it make you better than another, because you have a lighter skin tone than another?? Does it make you better than another, because you have a higher education?? Here is the biggest news flash that God has put on my heart. I am better than no man, because we are all sinners. We ALL fall short of His Glory....and because we all are just trying to do the best we can with what we have been blessed with, no matter how much or how little. So just love each other for who we are, and give each other grace for our faults, and fall downs
Why is it...
People with authority let it go straight to there head?? If you are the leader or a boss of something anything, realize it doesn't make you better, it makes you the leader, that's it!!! What is the best way to lead?? By example!!! How can we be good leaders?? Humbling ourselves, to realize that we are not better than the men and woman that we lead, we are simply in charge of the movement, what ever your movement is. Your in charge of it, if you are the boss, your not better than the others. Your just in charge of them, responsible for them, required to teach them, lead them, nourish them with your knowledge of the movement. But your definitely not better than anyone, and the second you think you are, is the exact same second you have lost your troops. Then who will you be better than then??? Yourself??
In closing I say these things, cause they were on my heart, and to remind myself....I am better than no man, and not matter how crazy my life gets, I always have SOMETHING to look at and be thankful for.
I thank you for speaking to my heart, crazy when you talk to me, while mowing the grass, but thank you for the pep talk, i needed it Father. God I wanna take this time to thank you...thank you for my life, my life, and my family. Father, though it is so hard I thank you for the passing of my little girl, with out that Father I would not be where I am right now. Which is right where you want me, seeking your guidance hourly, Father, for this I thank you. God I pray for my church that you allow me to serve you at, I pray for the staff, and I pray for all of our volunteers. Father, I pray for each and every person out there hurting, and held back from everything you have for them, because of hurts, habits, and hangups. Father, I pray for all the members of Celebrate Recovery, may they seek you for their strength, courage, wisdom, and honor. God I pray you continue to bless me with the tools necessary to bring your children into a loving relationship with you. Father, I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing with out you.
Monday, June 22, 2009
He was calling me to quit my job, my career as a firefighter/paramedic. He directed me to quit my job, when so many others were losing their jobs, I was gonna quit my job. Ok, decision made, I'm quitting my job, I am trusting God, and taking the Biggest leap of faith, I think I ever will take. Now, how do I tell Karen.....Karen is not the easiest person to tell somethign like this. I knew how the conversation would go. "Bub, I feel like God is calling me to clear my schedule and quit my job at the fire dept. What do you think?" I thought her response would be like this "WHAT?? What will we do for income?? What if we have another baby, and I am out of work for maternity leave?? Go back and talk some more with God!!! Now!!" SOOooooo I thought....but it was just the opposite. She said "I trust you in everything you do for this family, if you say God is guiding you away from the fire dept.? I support you and your decision, I will work full time so that the income is there. I will need you to at least pick up some part time work somewhere." WHAT???????? I wanted to ask her who she was and where my wife was. But that is just it, she was my wife, she was the woman I married, she was the woman that stood behind me when I told her that I was using drugs the entire time we were together. Now she is the same woman who trusts in God enough, that she would stand behind me once again.
So I quit my job, with nothing even lined up to fall back on. Nothing in the works, no interviews, no applications, no jobs, nothing. And it felt great, I was excited, I was nervous, but I was filled with faith in God's plan for my life. All I had was my faith in Him. So I started looking for that part time work, and I found it very easily. I was gonna start working in the hospital ER that I used to work at. I was going through all the motions, but it just did not feel right. My heart was just not there. My heart was in ministry, my heart was with God. But I ignored the ill feeling and kept plugging along. All the while I knew I belonged working for God somewhere. Now I was to the point that I excepted the fact that being on staff at Revolution Church probly would never happen for me. Just was not in the future. So I excepted that, but said to myself, maybe it is at another church. So I prayed, God, give me clarity, I am here before you, schedule cleared, nothing going, and scared. I can't do this on my own, I can only do this through you, who strengthens me. So please guide me. He told me to just be patient.
So then all the stuff with Revolution went down, I was blown away. All I wanted to do, was anythign I could to keep the Church moving in the right direction. I cared about the people involved. But I wasnt called to serve them, I was called to serve God, and bring His lost children to knwo Him. I was called to serve Revolution, and I wasnt going to let Revolution lose sight of why it was blessed with the Vision that it was blessed with. I was gonna do what ever needed to be done, to help the staff. ANYTHING!!! I didnt care about staff positions, this was bigger than that. It was not about me, it was about lost souls that are counting on us to keep this movement going. To keep being Revolutionary for God.
So still jobless, but going through the motions with this hospital. Then into a conversation with Tim and Chad Staff from Revolution, and the meeting was set. I was to meet with them Monday, about what?? I had no clue. But I knew I was estatic to say the least. Got to the meeting, and was a little more official than I thought. I was used to being in the office and helping out, cutting up. This was different, this was serious. Then the offer came. Kevin, we wanna offer you a position on staff with Revolution. I was floored. Just when it was not a priority in my life, just when I excepted it wouldnt happen, just when it stop being the God I was serving....it was consuming me. Just when God saw I let it go, He offered it up to me. now I am so glad to be working with the staff of Revolution Church. Leading the Celebrate Recovery group, and leading Set up/Tear Down on Sundays. To be a part of this HUGE Godly movement going on in Canton, overwhelms me with joy. Do you want fulfillment, set up a church that lives are being changed in.....and feel the enjoyment you get.
There has never been a worse time, in my life.....and there has never been a better time in my life. It is all about how I am going to look at it. God has blessed me with one huge heart for the Lost. Also He has blessed me with one hell of a Tesimony....neither will be wasted on my selfishness, not on my watch!!!
So I ask you this...When God comes calling, will you trust Him enough to answer the call. No Matter what He asks of you? Sometimes the call is huge and sometimes it is small....no matter the size of the calling, it is a call from God. Will you have the Faith to answer. I pray that I will continue to......
God, I pray to you now, for continued clarity on how I can serve you best, and to the highest. Father, bless me with the tools necessary to lead your children to you. God, keep me humble before you, allow me to bring fame to your name, not my own. Father, I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing without you.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Most of us think about these obvious types of Freedom. They are the most prominent "Freedoms" we know of. The freedom of choice, speech, and right to bare arms. When asked about "Freedom" and what it means to you. This is what comes to mind for most of us. It did for me also, until I was reading. That is when I started this little poll. I thought, "Freedom" Hmmmm, what does it mean to me? For me, I thought about all these different avenues that we experience freedom. But for me in MY life, there is a Far greater "Freedom." A freedom that far exceeds the worldly freedoms that I spoke of earlier. I am talking about the freedom from sin, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Sacrificed on the cross by God, so that we may be free from the shortcomings of our lives, in the form of sin. My sin made me a prisoner, a POW, without freedom. The war between Good and Evil, and I was a prisoner of this war because of my guilt of sin. That was before Jesus, died on the cross for my sins, our sins, and paid that debt. Showed me a love I could not afford.
So then three years ago, I found God, He had been there all along, loving me, waiting for me, to yearn for Him, and except Him into my life. When I did, on May 1, 2006, I experienced a "Freedom" like none other. A freedom that can not be paid for, a freedom that can not be fought for, or gone ot war for. No, but a freedom that is experienced the second I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. A freedom, from discern for the furture, a freedom from low self esteem, or doubt. Know, I had hope, I had excitment, I had freedom from worries, cause now I had Christ. I always remembered Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through, Christ who strengthens me." This scripture in itself gives us the freedom we yearn for from doubt, from concern, from worry. It doesn't give me freedom from Heartache, nothing does. It gives me a freedom from wonder, wondering if things will work out in the end. It gives me the knowledge that Good WINS in the end, everytime. A friend told me once...."Things will be okay in the End, if it is not okay, then it is not the End." With a relationship with Jesus, I have this confidence, this "Freedom" of worry in my life. Not to say that there are not hard times, or trying times. But there is a "Freedom" that I am able to have.....
A "Freedom" from doubt, doubt that I can do it. That I can do anything, that I can get through this life. No matter what life throws at me, I have a "freedom" from Jesus Christ, that tells me, "It's All Good, I got you, I am here with you, I will never foresake you, and I will prepare you for what lies ahead."
Do you know what the "Freedom" that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ feels like? No? I ask you this, what can it hurt to look into it? It can not make you chains any bigger, it can not make the things that are holding you down, keeping you back, or stopping you from persueing that life that you "Feel" you were put onto this earth to live.
So I ask you.....What does Freedom mean to you?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
*With God all things are possible*-Matthew 19:26
There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat.
He had an old rifle and three bullets.
So, he decided that he would go out hunting
and kill some wild game for dinner.
As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit.
He shot at the rabbit and missed it.
The rabbit ran away.
Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel but missed it.
The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree.
As he went further, he saw a large wild "Tom" turkey in the tree,
but he had only one bullet remaining.
A voice spoke to him and said,
"Pray first, aim high, and stay focused.
However, at the same time, he saw a deer
which was a better kill.
He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.
But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him,
so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake.
Still, the voice said again to him,
"I said, 'Pray, Aim high, and Stay focused."
So, the man decided to listen to God's voice.
He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree,
and shot the wild turkey.
The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer.
The handle fell off the gun, hit the snake in the head, and killed it.
And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond.
When he stood up to look around,
he had fish in all his pockets,
a dead deer, and a turkey for his family to eat.
The snake (Satan) was dead simply because
the man listened to God.
Moral of the story:
Pray first before you do anything,
aim and shoot high in your goals,
and stay focused on God.
Never let others discourage you concerning your past.
The past is exactly that, "the past."
Live every day one day at a time,
and remember that only God knows our future.
Do not look to man for your blessings,
but look to the doors that only He has prepared in advance
for you in your favor.
Wait, be still, and patient: keep God first,
and everything else will follow.
Don't worry about tomorrow, God is already there!!!
This spoke to me so much when I read it, that I had to post it to my blog. I don't know who the author is, but, Thank You. Sometimes, I lose sight of God in my life, and I think that I am doing all this on my own. It is at that point that everything go down hill. I pray that this posting speaks to you the way it did to me.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Today, is the day before Mother's day. The day all the husbands, and children, go run to the store at the last minute. Go to the store to get that special card for MOM. Today was not any different for me either. I went to the gym, then went to Target with the rest of the guys from the fire department. Seems everyone had the same idea, "Run to the store on shift." Than come home Sunday morning, and Ta-DA, your the hero, your the night in shining armor, your the man of the house bring home your lovely bride, the mother of your children something special. Something to let her know, just what you wanted to say all year, but was to pig headed to say it.
So, I went to the store, got out of the truck, walked in.....no problem. Walk into the card isle and froze.....thoughts!!! That's it, Thoughts.....thoughts overwhelmed me.
How do I buy my wife a Mother's Day Card....there are none that say: "To My Wife, I hate that you have to feel this heart wrenching pain, I'm sorry your little girl is here, no more. Though you still mourn her loss, and miss her daily, though you will always have "Those" moments. Baby, you know the moments, when your minding your business, having a "Good" Day, and then POW. Something triggers the emotions, then the tears, then the pain, and it feels like you have made ZERO progress. Though will always have those times, for the rest of your life....I hate that you have to feel that pain, I hate that you cant hold your child, when she says "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy." Though you won't get any of that, though it hurts so much. Remember the good times, remember her smile, remember the first time you saw her. Remember her "Belly Laugh" and her running around, remember the times you had TOGETHER, and REMEMBER she has died only to live, for eternity....remember she is with Our Father God, and Remember, you will see her again someday, and remember she would want you to have a Happy Mother's Day." Yes, there are no cards that say that, but I just said it. I know my wife reads my blog, and I pray that, that is the Mother's Day card she was looking for.....cause it is the best one they had, it was in the "From the Heart" section.
Thoughts.....oh yes I was talking about thoughts.....I thought, will my daughter know what I look like in heaven? I know she has here Father God there, does she get the love of a mother in heaven? Does God know how to give the love of a mother? We all know that the love of a mother is totally different than the love of a father. Right? I know I do. I mean, I am not questioning the love of God....I am just thinking, and rambling, and its my blog, I can do that.
I thought also, people tell me all the time. I don't know how you do it, or how are you doing it. Then I have people that were close to Reagan, who miss her very much. They say, I know how much I miss her, I know how hard it is for me....I can only imagine how much you miss her, or how hard it is on you. Well, to that I say this.......I know how much I miss my daughter, it kills me everyday, I miss her like crazy, and think about her all the time. I walk by her pictures or look at my tattoo on my forearm and think, WOW I can not believe this is my life. I say all this, to make this point. I know how much I miss my daughter, AND I can only imagine how much it hurts my wife. I can't imagine what it is like to give birth, breast feed, nurture, and raise a child only to have to say good bye. I can't imagine the pain that my wife feels, I know my pain, I know my worries, and I know my sorrow. I also know that my pain is nothing to the pain of "A Mother's Love." A father is there, YES....A father means, fun, and wrestling, and games....but a mother, Ohhhh but A mother, a mother means safety, she means wholesome, and caring. A mother means learning, and kisses, and hugs. A mother means tenderness, and unconditional love. A Mother Means, Mom....she means Everything gonna be alright cause mommy is here. So YES, I miss my daughter, But I can only imagine how much it hurts my wife.
Then I thought, ok......wow...I thought. I lost my daughter in January, its been almost four months. I've got four months of healing under my belt....then I thought about the family's that will lose their child tomorrow. I thought what about the mothers that will say good bye to their child ON Mother's Day. I guess it didn't matter what I thought about, it wasn't about the mother's. It was about thinking about someone else other than myself. I was thinking, as bad as I think life is on me.....life could be worse. For some people out there, life is worse. That's what I thought about. I thought, this life is not about me, stop being selfish, it isn't about me, and that my life is NOT that bad. And I thought, things could be worse....then I was able to thank God, for the life that He has blessed me with. because my life is not that bad. Though, I miss my daughter very much. Thanks be to God, He brings me through it. Life that is.
I thank you for every mother out there, Especially my mother, and my wife...Father, your an awesome God, and you never seem to stop amazing me. As I get deeper into my own stuff. You bring me through it with a much bigger picture of what REAL life is about and is supposed to be. Father please, protect all your children, allow then to be safe tomorrow, and Father, I pray if you are to call one of your children back home tomorrow, that you bless that person parents with the ease at their hearts, that you have blessed me with. Father, I Love You, I Thank You, an I know I am Nothing with out you.....
Thanks for letting me ramble, and Happy Mother's Day...
Saturday, May 2, 2009
So it has been a crazy time in my life lately. It can all be summed up as "God's Will". I am filled with such a mix of emotions in my life right now. Goods and Bads. I am so excited at what God has done, is doing, and yet to do in my life. On April 20, 2009 I turned in my resignation into the City of Woodstock Fire Department, where I have been a firefighter/paramedic for 3 yrs now. My last shift ever at this department will be May 21st, 2009. I feel God is calling me to "Clear" up my schedule, for something huge that he has. By leaving the Fire Department, I am leaving behind some of my best friends, my brothers and sisters, my comrades, and at some times my enemies, but for the most part my second family. The guys at the fire dept. will be with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget them. The bond I have built with them is unbreakable. That is part of the mixed emotions. I battled for months with God, because I DID NOT want to leave what I worked so hard to accomplish....but that's just it. If I stayed at the Fire Dept. it would be for selfish reasons. Not for follow God's will, not for the youth, DEF. not for my family. The big sale for fire fighters is we only work 10 times a month, but that is 10 24 hr shifts. Turns into 240 hrs a month, which means a lot of time away from my family. If my daughter dying has taught me anything, it is to make the most out of everything. (Most to me, now means, most for God) Cherish the time we have with our families. Most importantly, do what you feel God is calling us to do....for me right now, that is my family, Uprising(youth), and Celebrate Recovery. I feel God brought me to Woodstock Fire Department to reach people. He has given me ease at my heart that, that is done. I love the guys from the dept, and will miss the crap out of them. Fact is though, if I work part time, go to school full time for nursing. I will get done in about 1 1/2 yrs...making double what I make now, and working 100 hrs. less a month....that equals more time home, more time with youth and more time with CR and God.
So the plan is, I don't have a plan....I am on total faith here. What I am thinking is, work part time doing something, go to school full time for nursing degree, and then work as a nurse after school. But that is all up in the air. If I had my choice I would do something with my church to service the vision of the church and service and worship God with my love, time an energy. I love the church God has blessed me with, and want to be part of the works of it, so badly. I just wanna give back, I have been a taker my whole life. Now it is time for Kevin Newman to give back, and give God everything back that he has given me, which is everything. I don't know what God has in my future, but I am pretty dang excited about it.
Aiden has done so awesome in school, he had a little problem with being rough with the other kids, but that is all resolved. I am so blessed to have such a handsome and well behaved little boy. I say little, but he is more and more like a little man everyday. He says some of the craziest stuff, and just makes me laugh all the time.
Karen, goes back to work tomorrow for 8 hrs. I am so proud of my wife for going back to work, I am sure she will do great. But, honestly I am nervous for her. I know it will be tough on her. Maybe since she waited a little longer to go back than me, she will be better. With God all things are possible. So, we can only hold onto that, and know that crap WILL happen. God has our backs though. My wife and I are going through couples counseling still. I feel it helps out so much with dealing with everything, and making our marriage the best we possibly can. A bad marriage only keeps you from being everything God intends for you to be. Our counselor is Jerry, from First Baptist of Woodstock, he is awesome. He has us reading a book I think it is called "Building a strong Christian Marriage" something to that sort. I will let you know the real title later. It's awesome, cause we now read the chapters out loud to each other. When the first chapter we used it like a competition between each other. Karen and I are slowly learning, it is us against the world, with God as our Captain....that is our team. It hasn't always been like that though. On the other hand, we are leaving on May 24 after the baptism service, to go to South Florida. Karen and I will be going on a cruise, just the two of us, and Aiden will stay with his Mam-Mam...we are so excited. We need this vacation. I have heard through the "Grapevine" that some critics are wondering why we are going on a vacation so soon after our daughter dying. I say to that "Lose a child and see if God doesn't get you away for a reset also." We both agree, we do nothing without God's permission. I Love My Wife and she is truly my sole mate and my best friend.
I dealt with some health issues....AGAIN!!! I feel like a lemon sometimes. I fear Karen will try to RETURN me, but I think she lost her receipt. Which is great news for me. My right jaw got infected from getting all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. I had to go to another oral surgeon for treatment, because the first one I went to was a "Chop Shop". It is all clearing up now, thanks to my new doctor.
We finally got the life insurance in, and we paid for all of Reagan's funeral costs. Now she has a beautiful plot marker ordered. Sorry baby girl it took so long. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Reagie. There are still sometimes that I look at a picture or think about her, and think God, I can not believe this is my life. How could God trust us so much, to put this on us. Answer, he does, and it is because he has prepared us with tools needed to get through this.
That is really all that is going on, right now. I am sure I will think of something else after I send this.
I started my "Reagan Memorial Tattoo" this is four hours still have about 8 hours left on it.
I ask only that you pray for me and my family, for wisdom and guidance from God. I do not wish to take another step without God's hand in the equation.
Oh, Yea, I thought of something else. I celebrated 3 yrs of sobriety from drugs and alcohol on May 1st, 2009. I can not believe it has been 3 yrs. I pray to God and praise Him for the ability to love him and myself, enough to yearn His guidance in my life, and Love the life He has blessed me with. I have an AMAZING accountability circle around me. From my wife, to family, to friends, to Celebrate Recovery, to Church, even to the youth of Uprising...they are all being used by God to keep me in check and accountable and on His right track.
I love you all, and thank you for even bothering to read my rambling thoughts. As you know if I don't purge my thoughts, I submerge them....if I submerge, I relapse; if I relapse, I let myself and God down....I mean I let A LOT of other people down, but if I think that far, I put to much pressure on myself.
Thanks, OH and leave some comments, see if any of this makes sense to anyone out there.
God, I thank you for everything you have done with my life. I thank you for being a God that gives and takes away. You are an awesome God, I thank you for working through me to reach others. I ask only God that you continue to guide me, and help me to stay out of the way with what you are doing in my life. I Love You God, I Thank You, and I Know I am NOTHING with out you. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I really don't know where to start. I guess I will start with the family update:
My mom and sister:
I can't really tell you how my mom and sister are doing. Trying to be strong for me and Karen they don't really talk to us about their feelings. I pray they will feel comfortable to talk to us about it soon. I need to know that I am not the only one missing Reagan, and it help s to know how much she meant to others. :) I love my family dearly, and have become extremely close with them through the last three months. Closer than we have ever been before. I just don't want them to think that they can't express their feelings with me and Karen.
He has been making a tremendous turn around. One would not think that just three months ago he found his baby sister dead. He is now DONE with therapy appt's. Therapist said he was doing great(for now) she said it will come up again prob. later on in life. We signed him up for Goddard School last week and he will start on Tuesday. He has started eating ALOT broader menu, with items like chili, rice, veggies, and meat (other than chicken). Also as of last night, he gave his na-na's(pacifiers) to the Easter Bunny, and the Easter Bunny gave him Tons of toys and candy. I'll keep you updated on the progress of that. Aiden talks about his sister a ton. He nows knows she is in heaven with Jesus, and she is flying around with the angels. If he talks about her, no matter where he is, he goes to the window to look up into the clouds to see her. He misses her alot, you never realize how much he misses her till he talk about her. He kisses her photos, and prays for her at night. Just the other day, he was holding our friend's baby(Maggie) and looked up at Karen and asked her if this was his Baby Reagie. That killed Karen inside. But it lets us know that he will be a great big brother once again someday.
Karen has her ups and downs. We are making absolute tromendous strides in our couples couseling. We have shifted our couples couseling from "Grief" coulseling to now "Marriage" couseling. It is going awesome with that. We are learning so much about each other, and how to communicate with each other. We have learned that our marraige is a God blessed thing, cause there are so many worldly factors that say we should not last and should be divorced, SOON. But, we just keep loving each other, and supporting each other. Getting each other through one day at a time. Karen also sees a private therapist, and is looking good there to. She had a bad patch there when she got the call from the funeral home saying "When ever your ready, we have Little Reagan's Death Certificate ready to be picked up." Are you kidding me lady, your not calling about a birthday cake we ordered. Anyways. That sent Karen into a 4 day depression. I saw her falling deeper and deeper, and we came to the realization between therapy and Celebrate Recovery that she was holding onto it and wasnt talking about it. Trying to do it on her own. We both realized, we have to purge our feelings if we are going to be able to get on in life. Feelings held onto, are just lead balloons weighing us down. Keeping us stuck where we are. Recently Karen accepted a full time position at the hospital. This will be a promotion for her, and should mean less bedside care. Praying it will help. She hasnt started back to work yet, she goes back the first week in May. THAT will be another adjustment. My wife is a great woman, she took this position with me in mind...she took it to keep the option open for me to leave the fire dept. if that is where I felt God calling me (I will get into that later). But amazing woman none the less. She has held me up when I wanted to fall. She has been my support, when I felt there was none. She is my everything, my God sent, hero. I Love Her like never before. We just work well together ( except on special projects, Like the yard work) I love my wife just the way she is. With her not wanting to touch the muddy weeds with out gloves, She does anyways. When she is at her weakest, she is still the strongest woman I know. She is a great mother, and the perfect, inperfect wife. For that, I love her. There is no perfect wife, just as there is no perfect person, but my wife is the PERFECT fit for me. We just fit, WELL together. Karen, I love you, and may God continue to bless our lives together.
Now onto me:
I have had extreme ups and downs, peaks and valleys, trials and tribulations. My life will never be the same. See today is the first holiday without my big girl "Reagie" three months ago tomorrow she died and my life has changed since. Today is Easter, and all I can't think about as I sit here in my little room at the Fire station, away from my family. Is why? Why do I not get to see my little girl in her easter dress. See, I am the creative one in my family. I am the stylish one in my family, my wife might not think so, but I know so. I pick out the special outfits for the kids. I shop alot online and find great deals on awesome clothes. I say all this because yesterday as I shopped in Target for an outfit for Aiden. He is still wearing 4T or 5T clothes. So the toddler boys and the toddler girls clothes are right next to each other. As I stood there shopping, for Aiden. I couldnt help but look over and see the toddler girls clothes. All the Easter dresses, all the new spring lineup of girls bathing suits. When you lose a child you never think about those little things like that. But after you lose a child it is all that is in your mind. So, I am standing inside Target and I am crying looking at the moms shop for their daughters perfect easter dress, knowing that this year there will be no Easter Dress for me to smile over. No white or pink or purples, no cute hat, or pretty socks with the perfect shoes. Nope, none of that. There will be no beautiful girls bathing suits for me this year. And that all hit me at once. I remember I was sitting in the foyer area at church last night. We were babysitting the Bogg's little baby Maggie, the one Aiden was holding when he asked if she was his' little Reagie. Karen had her in a sling, just as she used to carry Reagan. I remember sitting there looking at Karen, and thinking(selfishly) I don't want Karen to be holding another baby, I want Karen to be holding our baby Reagie. She should be dressing her up in her glowing and flowing Easter Dress, so everyone could say how beautiful she looked. She should be hugging her and kissing her on the forehead just as she used to. She should be chasing her around and listening to her chuckle that deep laugh that she had. My wife, should be doing all these things. But she wasn't. No, there will be none of that this year, and it all hit a wall at that point. I was pissed, I was mad, and I questioned God for the first time. Why? Why did a good mother and father, not get to see these things on such a beautiful holiday. I was doubting and I was angry, and now I was late for church. I was sitting right outside, and I was late. I remember going into to church, having to sit on the back row, cause Karen had Baby Maggie. The worship started and I was crying, and praying, and ready to SCREAM. I didn't want to be there at that time, but I needed to be right where God needed me, AGAIN! I prayed that God release me from this funk I was in, and let me worship him to the highest, and let me hear his word speak to me. I finished my prayer, and I began to worship like never before. The tears were flowing so heavy that I couldnt see the words on the screen, so it helped that I knew the songs. I worshipped so hard, I felt like I was screaming to God. Probably, cause I was!!! I was screaming at the top of my lungs. THANK YOU!! God, Thank you for all that you have done in my life, thank you for your almighty sacrifice. That you for the ability and knowledge of this celebration of this EASTER holiday. THis holiday is not about pretty white, yellow, pink, and purple dresses. It's not about beautiful, bonnets, and hats, or fluffy socks, and shiny shoes. It's not about eggs, or candy. Its not about slacks, dress shirts and vests, or pastel shirts on boys. AND IT SURE ALL HELL AINT ABOUT ME!!!!!!!!! It took hearing and seeing at the same exact time, what Jesus Christ, My Savior, My God went through for me and my sins. It's about a REBEL, of his times, and how he died the almighty death, ONLY to say "SCREW YOU DEATH"!!! My savior defeated death and rose three days later, he is seated at the right hand of our Great God. He died for us and our sins. AND THAT IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT!!!! I am sorry God, please forgive me, for trying to make this joyous day about me, and my petty life. I praise you God, and I thank you for all that you have done, AND all that you will do. I love you God, I thank you God, and I know I am nothing without you.
To be continued......