Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fair Trade


For the last few weeks, I have been… heavy. REALLY heavy. It hasn’t been a normal kind of heaviness either. This is an unfamiliar variety of encumbrance that I’ve never before experienced. I have been feeling the weight, not of the world, but of a life consisting of my multitudinous responsibilities, ongoing obligations, personal goals, interpersonal connections and work expectations, coupled with my undisguised exhaustion and noticeable (to me at least) vulnerabilities…  all on my recently more developed shoulders. :-/

As I was openly lamenting my burdens, my amazing wife (no seriously, she’s amazing) reminded me of the following scripture from Matthew 11…

“28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

And as we were praying together last night, I was overcome with gratitude for the invitation to shed this weight. To let it fall away. Not looking back at it. Not caring about its size, color or shape. But just knowing that once I’ve put it down, I can begin to walk away from it, in exchange for the Lord’s lightness and ease. It was in the immediacy of this moment I realized that as unbalanced and disproportionate as this may seem to me, as far as the Lord is concerned, it’s a fair trade. I really had to take it in… Jesus Holds

  • Giving him all the things that feel as if they will crush me under their collective weight = Fair Trade
  • Unloading all of my feelings of guilt, regret, unworthiness and insignificance = Fair Trade
  • Yielding those areas of my life over which (if I’m being honest) I have absolutely no control anyway = Fair Trade
  • Accepting the inequity of my load in exchange for His = Fair Trade
  • Salvation simply because He loves me = Fair Trade

I have been liberated.

 

“Lord I’m undone. I come to You. Show me Your face, Your spirit and truth. That I might worship free from my sin. I just want you.”Something New, Transparent

Categories: personal, religion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Be My BFF?


Hey everyone!

My agency, Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII), has been nominated once again for LA Photo Party’s Annual Non-Profit Party Package Giveaway! This means that we’re in the running to win more than $15,000 in free party services for our Holiday Festival in December!

CII’s Holiday Festival is a two-day event held on December 14-15, 2013. It is not a fundraiser; it’s a fun event for their clients, who are predominantly children from low-income families who have experienced abuse, neglect, or some type of community violence. For many of these clients, the Holiday Festival is the only celebration of the season, and the only opportunity for the children to get toys. TCII_logotypehese are children who have experienced some of the worst horrors imaginable in terms of violence and neglect. Almost all of them suffer from some degree of post-traumatic stress. The festival helps to make a real difference by just letting them have fun and be “regular” kids for a day.

Voting starts today and ends at 11:59pm on Monday, November 11th. Each voter can vote once per day and must confirm their selection via a verification email that will be automatically sent. The three organizations with the most votes win, so please, please, PLEASE visit the website and vote for Children’s Institute! Every vote counts! If you vote, I’ll be your best friend forever! 😉

Here’s the link to start voting: http://laphotoparty.com/nonprofit/index.php?p=46.

Categories: personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ignoring The Injury


I used to wonder why people run to the scene of a car accident, or why many Google trends have to do with the latest celebrity photo scandal. But then I realized that it has more to do with the fact that we are drawn to situations that are outside of those to which we are accustomed. Car accidents happen, but they don’t happen to most people everyday. There’s a good portion of the population that are foolish, but 99% of us are not Celebutards who like taking naked pictures for our boyfriend-of-the-week only to feign disgust when he sells them to TMZ.

What’s my point? My point is that what should be a simple 1 + 1 = 2 thought process is not computing for the masses. If our collective attention really is drawn to what is uncommon, atypical or rare (1), and people have long since mourned the demise of healthy marriages (+ 1), then why are some people uninterested (or so quick to dismiss) the discussion or promotion of successful relationship? (= 2).  We still focus on the relational train wrecks, the adulterous politicians, the bed-hopping socialites and staged “reality” drama in the form of The Bachelor(ette)’s bevy of eligible (and some mentally disturbed) men and women. Maybe it’s just a form of entertainment for people? A necessary distraction?

I believe that exposure to positive relationships is being completely overshadowed by recurring themes of hurt, fear, hopelessness, betrayal and despair. I do realize that we’ve all had bad experiences. But those bad experiences don’t define us and they don’t determine our future success or failure. Maybe it has to do with the old adage that misery loves company? Or perhaps people have such low expectations that they buy in to the belief that relationships are destined to fail? I don’t know. What I DO know is that these distractions are completely ineffective cures for society’s ailments. Ignoring an injury doesn’t make the pain go away. And you will never heal an old wound by creating a new one. Signs and symptoms

I’ve gotten private messages on occasion accusing me of making up the stories about my wife and kids. I’m like, really?? Even with all the pictures, videos and other people who corroborate my story?? It blows me away. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the attention span to dedicate the necessary time to such an elaborate hoax. I barely manage to balance time to write here, work and invest in my family. A full time gig for sure. 😛

Anyway, it’s no secret that I’m a huge proponent of the promotion of healthy relationships and will always encourage posts on this topic. I don’t think we can have enough of them. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m all about being real. REAL stories about REAL people experiencing REAL success. This is how you join the rebellion. 🙂

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join The Rebellion


Sometimes when I’m uploading pictures or typing out a conversation I’ve had with someone in my family, I wonder if people think I’m being pushy or overdoing it by constantly posting about my wife and kids and how much I love them. I wonder if maybe I should reduce the frequency of my shared observations so as not to put people off.

And then…Join The Rebellion (smaller)

I watch the news where it seems a majority (if not all) of the content is focused on domestic and community violence, betrayal and corruption, political posturing to the detriment of citizens, sexual exploitation of celebrities and children, public humiliation of people in relationships gone bad, and Sports.

And then…

I notice TV shows that are supposedly geared toward children but include gratuitous hyper-realized violence, subtle sexual undertones, or is simply a platform for blatant product promotion.

And then…

I look around at the adjunct education we may or may not be aware that our children are receiving at school: how to obtain drugs and alcohol while still underage, how to be (or at least appear) sexually active without your parents finding out, the pros and cons of bullying, and what it means to aspire to popularity at any cost.

And then…

I go to work and witness firsthand the long-term, sometimes irreparable effects of neglect and trauma on men, women and children… emotional repression, developmental delays, self-medication and isolation.

But…

That’s when I realize that in spite of my endless stream of Instagram photos, flirtatious banter with my wife, or anything else I may share with my friends, family and the world… I could never match the sheer volume of negative elements that come together to form a fortified barrier against unified families and healthy relationships.

But…

That’s when I realize that, while I may not be able make any significant dents alone, there CAN be success and strength if others join in and celebrate their passionate marriages, delightfully entertaining children and rewarding occupations. So join the rebellion and help me flood the world with stories of LOVE, VICTORY, and the pursuit of HEALTH.

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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