Mobile Minutes: Where There’s Smoke…

I felt guilt throughout the day because I wasn’t at church tonight. I had made the choice to stay home and finish my final for class instead of heading out.

Thankfully, as the demonstration below shows, God still works even when you’re not in church.

This all took place about ten minutes ago:

I had just finished a lesson for my unit when the cat (AKA The Dark One) got up from his nap, ears perched back. I too shut off the music and was trying to figure out what this buzzing noise was coming from. At first I thought it was our refrigerator, but the noise was actually coming outside the door. I opened the door to see smoke filling the atrium of our apartment. Out comes a man, holding his right arm, with a look of disbelief on his face.

What happened?

I had a grease fire…

So, first I kicked him out of his apartment. Made sure the stove was turned off (fire was out at this point, ceiling is black with smoke). He grabs his puppies (literally) and gets out. 911 gets called due to the fact that he had burns down his right arm and nearly his entire face.

I got him into my apartment, trying to get him to sit down (he was obviously in shock), and talked with the emergency dispatch until the ambulance and fire department showed up. They wound up carting him away to the emergency room, his grandpa picked up the puppies (because I know you were concerned about their well being), and the fire department deemed the apartment safe.

Incredibly, not a single neighbor in our building stepped out to see what was going on through the entire duration of the event. Makes me a little happier that I decided to stay home this evening.


XXXI: Good Things End

All good things must come to an end…

Somebody once upon a time in history said that quote, and it seemed wise to use in today’s reality. It’s Friday, and for the first time in three weeks we have zero plans for the weekend. We’ve traveled the Midwest, gone to a night club, celebrated our anniversary, and just about everything else you can imagine in the past fourteen days. Continue reading

XO: Grand Adventures

I’m assuming that everyone has the notion at one time or another in life that they’re going to do something great, they’re going to be on some amazing adventure, you know…they’re going to change the world.

I know at least that teachers think it when they enter their first year in the classroom.

…that was a partial joke… Continue reading

XO: Running Weekend

I’m trying to keep my eyelids open as I type this…there may be typing with the eyes shut. Excuse the typos.

I have dirt on my hands and legs, something weird is throbbing in my right foot, and I have a rather epic sunburn.

Running season is here.

Today Darco and I finished our second 5K race of the 2014 year with a trail run through the timber along the Kansas River. We were not prepared for the trail [no pavement, literal trail], so needless to say we were rather ‘punk’d’ by today’s events. However, we survived for another day. Overall the weekend was a blur, fast, and tiring. Though I don’t believe that either of us regrets it. When life throws you a curve ball; family tends to be about the only thing that you have to rely on. This is the case as of late; we’re both trying to figure out ‘what is next’ after the collapse of the soccer team, some changes in her plan of action for work, and just life as a whole.

I tell you the truth; predicting your life events is just as worthless as predicting the weather. We’re definitely ‘minimizing’ life a bit. With the running going on; diet [what we eat, not starving ourselves…there’s a difference] is vital, so that kicks out eating at restaurants. In turn that saves money, and allows us to work on repairing our expenses. It just requires a little extra self discipline.

My days Monday through Friday tend to be rather routine now; I’ll head to work. Stay there until 4:00 or 5:00. Stop at Jim and MC’s house to go run [country running is a must for me], and then I’ll head home around 7:30 or 8:00 at night. Between all of that is a cup of coffee, a lot of water, a few meals, and coconut water to hydrate. I’m 100% with this life. Basic focus points allow us to take care of requirements, while still focusing on dedication to a better self.

We work, we train, we get paid, we pay bills, and we repeat. Frankly, it’s just going to be that way for a while. There’s no point in adding debt to life when we have a unique opportunity to extinguish so much of it over the upcoming summer months.

It’s nice to have someone to fight the spending habits with. The truth is Darco is terrified of spending money if it doesn’t have to deal with bills, fuel, or food. I know there’s probably a huge majority reading this thinking, “Hey, that’s what I spend my money on too.”

I’m learning, painfully, that as much as we’d wish; we can’t run through life spraying, praying, and hoping God cleans up all of our problems and we never face consequences. Divorces, failures, out of breath 5K races can all be pulled back to mistakes made. More importantly is how we recover from the mistakes. Do we continue to be reckless, thinking, “Oh, God’s got it…”, or do we make adjustments to realize, “God expects me to be responsible with what I’ve been given”? At the moment, I’m learning the second one. Let’s face facts; since this website started God has blessed me with some pretty awesome people, travels, and adventures. It’s been a riot to be a part of His glorious plan, but He also expects me to be responsible. Something that I’m not a big fan of, but am learning [through running] that is a necessity for life.

Example: Looking at my training schedule this week I’m looking to hit between 20-25 miles worth of running. There’s no coach, there’s no gym, there’s no command. It’s just myself, my shoes, and the open road. No one is holding my feet to the fire; I do it because I know it’s required to become better at what I enjoy; running races. Life in general is no different; we have to practice self-discipline in order to have a better enjoyment of the life God’s given us.

I thought that I would hate this realization; knowing that I have to slow down, take inventory, get my house in order, and restructure life. A lot has changed and I haven’t taken the time to adjust to those changes. Part of it was denial, and part of it was just refusing to face hard questions. Nobody enjoys failure or rejection, but it will make one stronger later in life.

As for now, I’m off to bed. Cool analytic nerd stuff for work this week, training picks back up on Tuesday, and another beautiful week that God has given.

Oh…and here’s a fun shot from our ‘haul’ over the races this weekend:

All sorts of fun goodies from this weekend; including pretzels!


XO: Two Paths And Whatnot

Be gracious.
Be grateful.
Be humble.

Words that I’ve found myself repeating more often this past week then any other time that the phrase has come to mind. Sometimes, life is just hard. The ones you trust are the ones that drag you down, and ones that you foolishly gave up on are the ones that lift your spirits high. I suppose God works in mysterious ways. Continue reading

XO: Heavy Heart

This morning I started writing an extensive post about life spiraling out of control, and forgetting to give thanks to the one who makes it all possible…

Instead, at midnight I find myself in a dark living room, wife asleep, wind howling, and just lost in my own thoughts:

It’s been nearly three years since my ex-wife divorced me. In three years I’ve witnessed a transformation that books and video can’t even begin to describe adequately. I’m remarried, now to a woman that I hold close to me every, single night. I have a ‘real job’, I own a soccer team, and my life is just…completely new.

There are so many new readers on this site, that many don’t even know the struggles from 2011 and 2012. The rejection, heartache, emptiness, and desperate need of redemption. Many have missed the late nights, sickness from exhaustion, and my attempt to find my footing in the world.

So many have missed my life as  Christian, leading a strange woman to know who Christ is, only to wind up marrying her down the road.

I’ve lived a lifetime in just three years.

I can’t remember most of college, and my previous marriage is a blur, high school felt as if it was someone else’s life, and my childhood is merely a rumor lost in history. I’ve completely removed myself from who I once was, and I’ve lost so many pieces of who I was. This isn’t a case of mistaken identity, it’s the case of redemption and life with new eyes.

I can’t express to you, through the drowsiness of my awakening each day, what it’s like to be alive. To loose a life, just to gain it again. Not to mention losing humanity nearly every night in my sleep. I awake Monday through Sunday, almost as if I was reborn once again. How’s that for random and somewhat creepy sounding?

My writing doesn’t revolve around soccer, that’s just the moment of the life that I’m in. I would have never dreamed in all my life, quite literally, that I would ever be in charge of something like the Kansas City Shock. More so, through the troubling ‘education’ within the church I grew up in and Southwest Baptist University; I would have never envisioned a program that I run having people that aren’t “like me” around me. Reality is, while I don’t agree, I would rather be around someone living a lifestyle deemed “sinful” then be around a Christian that’s too prideful to admit their own shortfalls.

I am a worthless waste of space. I am a sinful creature, that even though I openly know I am redeemed by grace, that of which I’ll never deserve, I continue to screw up. I get lost in my pride, worship my obsessions, and dream of the falsehood of rising above. Every night I find myself mentally sobbing, begging my Father to forgive me of my mistake of living throughout the day.

I tell Him my fears of reliving the hell on earth at I witnessed in 2011, and I beg Him not to give up on me. I open my tear stained eyes knowing that my Father loves my pathetic soul, and my desperate attempt to please Him.

If you ever wanted a reflection of my life since 2011, since the time FilingThePapers started, it would simply read:

I deserve none of this. I only deserve death.

Until you’ve lived a lifetime of living, breathing in new air on a continual basis, you’ll never know what I’m saying. Only those who have lost their life will understand what grace and redemption feels like. There isn’t even a word in this world that describes the sheer joy of standing in the doorway, watching my wife sleep, knowing that I’m responsible for her safety. There isn’t a single visual aid that can depict the heartfelt expression of what unconditional love is. In no way is there enough “#getyourpraiseon” statements that can envelop that life that I’ve lived.

I state this case just because tonight my heart hurts. It isn’t some mushy, fluffy Christian-speak. It’s coming from the soul of a troubling time in life. Personally, I’ve messed up as I’ve missed the mark with the Kansas City Shock. I’ve made it about revenge, bitterness, and the hope of crushing those who oppose. I daydreamed of ensuing chaos and demonstrations to let the world know who we are.

The world doesn’t need to know who we are. The world needs to know who I operate under. The lack of evidence to support that claim falls directly on my shoulders, and it is my sin to hold.

I proclaim this gospel, this faith, this stance because I’ve come to understand that being a Christian will never make you cool. If it does, you’re doing something wrong. Imagine this; I’m a Christian, based on the Bible I do not embrace same-sex marriage. I don’t accept abortion as an option, and I’m not an advocate for female preachers [talk about creating some targets tonight]. Imagine the same person telling a person on their roster, who is openly gay, that their safe from the world. Imagine the confusion, complexion, and complication that, that makes in the perspective of the world.

To put it bluntly, if you really want to know what Jesus would do…that’s exactly where I get my belief. There’s no way Jesus would look at a sinner, condemn to hell, and give up on them. He wouldn’t demoralize them, tear them down, or make them feel worthless. If you don’t believe me I’d encourage you check out the Gospel’s in the New Testament of the Bible. That isn’t Christ, and to act that way isn’t Christ-like, meaning it isn’t being a Christian.

If I’m a person who is to stand by my faith, no matter the outcome, then I can’t condemn the world around me. I don’t embrace it, but I’m not in a position to shun anyone. There is no right, no moral obligation, and no power from God that embraces that concept. Why? Because God would never do it.

I’m a liar, cheater, thief, adulterer, and idol worshiper; and that’s on a good day. Does God suddenly decree, “D is a lost cause, there is no hope for him.” No! God is hope, and God loves His creation. God loves me, God loves the people on my roster, God loves the people of the city I live in. That is His description, God is love. He is a wicked harsh judge in the end, but He’s a loving Father. If you want evidence, read the past months worth of posts on this site and read the first month in July of 2011. The whole idea behind FilingThePapers was to one day demonstrate that I’m one screwed up, random piece of trash…and yet somehow God still blesses me with things that I’ll never deserve. I’m not monetarily rich, but I have a family that I wouldn’t give up for anything. I don’t have a 45 foot yacht, but I have people that would surpass that type of value any day of the week.

Perhaps this rambling is a question, thought, and statement all in the same:
Question: Why are Christians so quite? They really have nothing to hide.
Thought: Jesus was never quiet, but He wasn’t rude to those that didn’t believe all in the same.
Statement: How could I live for Christ, but give up on the world?

I’m not a hero, just a story teller, one from experiences of my own vice. One day I’ll probably get skewered by someone for stating my faith, but I’m alright with that. To you dearest reader, know this right now; I’ve lived a life of no regrets because I know where I stand with God. He loves me and all my warts, He’s blessed me with a wonderful wife, a beautiful life, and a reason to breathe new air each morning.

I fear the future, because of the turbulent world that I currently reside in. However, know this as a fact [Jack], God isn’t going to let us disappear. It isn’t His plan, and He’s got some amazing, earth shattering [literally] stuff up His sleeve someday. I’m only here in this existence for a split-second, but in that time I can do so much through all the things that He’s given me.

Being humble with success.
Embracing the unknown, unwanted, and undesired.
Speaking truth, abstaining from lies.
Loving my family with every inch of the soul that exists within me.
Never giving up, on anyone…because my God never gave up on me.