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Hold me forever …

Courtesy: PixelEight

Gotta love the photo…

It rained today. Cats, dogs and little fishes…

The rain began last night, and carried into today with ferocity. Like I have said before that if you don’t like the weather here, wait 30 minutes… So we had rain, then some sun, then more rain, and more sun, and then the skies opened up and the little fishes fell from the sky.

On the way to the meeting, it was sunny. I got my errands taken care of on the way over. I had my music playing, can I just say that I love my hero phone. And tonight there was our business meeting for next months jobs. It was all good.

While I was setting up, the sky outside got incredibly dark. And I looked out the kitchen window and it was ominous. I stepped out the door to see and at the stroke of 6 the skies opened up and the little fishes started to fall.

Which did not bode well for the meeting. We only had 12 people for the first meeting. Junior pulled a topic from the Daily Reflections and it did not go over well, suffice to say that for most of the hour, we sat there in silence. Sometimes you get a topic that mystifies the masses, and today’s topic did that. Something along the lines of the mystery of God, or your higher power if that is what you believe.

I picked up on the “mystery thread” of the passage. The longer I stay sober, one day at a time, those mysteries happen here and there. There have been so many over the last nine years. I’ve been re-reading some of my earlier entries that have been hit here over the last two weeks, it is just amazing how things have changed over the last nine years.

Everybody scattered after the meeting to miss the next wave of rain that came eventually. We only had a handful of people at the second meeting, which I chaired. The speaker was really great, he was an old timer with more that 25 years of sobriety. He shared a really strong message … “If you don’t go to meetings, and work your steps and get involved in service, survival in the program is slim to none.”

Only a minor percentage of people who come in the door stay, and a fair amount will go back out, and after than even smaller numbers make it back. We have seen, over the last six months tens and twenties of people have gone back out, with considerable time under their belts. How many of those people have not accepted that they are alcoholics?

Oh, last night I spent a good chunk of time playing with the blog. I am listed on Blog Catalog and last night I spent about an hour updating the stats and profile and syncing the blog up with all my communities like Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Technorati, and Bloggers Unite.

Everything is set up to cross post across the different social mediums. I got an email to upgrade my account to get recognized and the price for that upgrade is $995.99… A thousand dollars, I was like WTF ??? You got to be kidding me right. Like I have that much money in the bank to toss over to a linker system. Ugh !!!

So, that was the day, in a nutshell. We gotta eat dinner soon.
More to come, stay tuned.


I've Learned … Stumbling…

pic_006513001189349823

I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
And it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself
to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people,
It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual
ahead of their actions.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that writing,
as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice
and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love
and be loved.
I’ve learned…

Omer B. Washington


I’ve Learned … Stumbling…

pic_006513001189349823

I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
And it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself
to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people,
It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual
ahead of their actions.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that writing,
as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice
and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love
and be loved.
I’ve learned…

Omer B. Washington


Facts of life

At least two people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

At least fifteen people in this world love you in some way.

The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

You mean the world to someone.

If not for you, someone may not be living.

You are special and unique.

There is someone that you don’t even know exists, who loves you.

When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely

turned your back on the world.

When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.

Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.

If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.


The Atheist Theology Student Who Was Found by God

John Powell a professor at Loyola University in Chicago writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy:Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith. That was the first day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders.

It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn’t what’s on your head but what’s in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped.

I immediately filed Tommy under “S” for strange … very strange. Tommy turned out to be the “atheist in residence” in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father-God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.

When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a slightly cynical tone: “Do you think I’ll ever find God?”

I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. “No!” I said very emphatically.

“Oh,” he responded, “I thought that was the product you were pushing.”

I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then called out: “Tommy! I don’t think you’ll ever find him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you!” He shrugged a little and left my class and my life.

I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line: “He will find you!” At least I thought it was clever. Later I heard that Tommy had graduated and I was duly grateful.

Then a sad report, I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to see me. When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted, and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe. “Tommy, I’ve thought about you so often. I hear you are sick!” I blurted out.

“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It’s a matter of weeks.”

“Can you talk about it, Tom?”

“Sure, what would you like to know?”

“What’s it like to be only twenty-four and dying?”

“Well, it could be worse.”

“Like what?”

“Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real ‘biggies’ in life.”

I began to look through my mental file cabinet under “S” where I had filed Tommy as strange. (It seems as though everybody I try to reject by classification God sends back into my life to educate me.)

But what I really came to see you about,” Tom said, ” is something you said to me on the last day of class.” (He remembered!) He continued, “I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, ‘No!’ which surprised me. Then you said, ‘But he will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. (My “clever” line. He thought about that a lot!) But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, then I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven.

But God did not come out. In fact, nothing happened. Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success? You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying. And then you quit.

Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn’t really care … about God, about an afterlife, or anything like that. “I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable. I thought about you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: ‘The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.’ “So I began with the hardest one: my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him.”

“Dad”. . .

“Yes, what?” he asked without lowering the newspaper.

“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”

“Well, talk.”

“I mean. .. It’s really important.”

The newspaper came down three slow inches. “What is it?”

“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.” Tom smiled at me and said with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him: “The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried and he hugged me.

And we talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me. “It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years. I was only sorry about one thing: that I had waited so long. Here I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.

“Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn’t come to me when I pleaded with him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, ‘C’mon, jump through.’ ‘C’mon, I’ll give you three days .. .three weeks.’ Apparently God does things in his own way and at his own hour. “But the important thing is that he was there. He found me.

You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for him.”

“Tommy,” I practically gasped, “I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love. You know, the Apostle John said that. He said God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.’ Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it wouldn’t be half as effective as if you were to tell them.”

“Oooh . . . I was ready for you, but I don’t know if I’m ready for your class.”

“Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call.” In a few days Tommy called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date. However, he never made it.

He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed.

He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever imagined.

Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said.

“I know, Tom.”

“Will you tell them for me? Will you . . . tell the whole world for me?”

“I will, Tom. I’ll tell them. I’ll do my best.”

So, to all of you who have been kind enough to hear this simple statement about love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven: “

I told them, Tommy . … …as best I could.”


How an Underwear Malfunction Helped me Understand Christian Fundamentalists

Originally found on: Lay Scientist via Stumble…

Walking along Cambridge’s famous Mill Road after work yesterday, something happened that caused me to have a revelation over religious righteousness, and begin to truly understand the mind of the fundamentalist. Let me share my parable with you.

I don’t know how it happened. Maybe I had been careless after my last trip to the loo; maybe it was, as Jeremy Paxman recently observed, the lack of support in modern underwear; or maybe I had been a little too enthusiastic bounding off the bus at the Drummer Street bus station. Whatever it was, I rapidly realized that something was not in its proper place. One of my secondary sexual organs had slipped from its safety harness and was now uncomfortably trapped in the middle of a sawing motion between denim and cotton, the skin rubbing raw in its lethal fabric embrace.

This was unbelievably painful, something like I’d imagine giving birth to be, except that unlike a woman in labour I couldn’t scream, or ask for an epidural. I desperately wanted to slip a hand down there, rummage around and free my tortured testicle, but I was in the middle of a crowded street, and had nearly a mile to walk until I would be in the privacy required to achieve release without ending up on Cambridgeshire’s Register of Sex Offenders. And so I was forced to walk on, in agony, looking like John Wayne with a broken ankle.

My first thought was one of anger at society. Why shouldn’t I be able to just reach down, do what I need to do, and walk on? No, instead, I had to suffer for another fifteen minutes, fearing every step that I would feel a small, bloody mass slide down my right trouser leg. I had to conform to society’s expectations of good behaviour – “don’t touch your genitals in public” as my Nan always used to say – but this was completely irrational, why should I have to suffer just to do what someone else has arbitrarily decided is the “Right Thing”? Why would it be so bad to ease the pain? Who would it offend?

I began to think about my plight. What if I saw another man coming towards me, releasing his own trapped testicle? How would I feel? I’d be furious. My venom towards him would know no bounds. I would howl in protest, demand that society exact appropriate retribution on him. In short, I would be a total hypocrite.

And then it hit me. This might be exactly how religious zealots think.

I wouldn’t be pissed off because he was breaking the rules, I would be pissed off because he was breaking the rules and I wasn’t, and there are only a few ways to rationalize that, if you think about it: either (a) I’m stupid or cowardly for following rules that are wrong; or (b) the rules are right, and he is an ignorant pervert deviant who should be punished by society.

Following on from that, I have three choices:
1) Accept that we’re different, life isn’t fair and I’ve chosen to live in pain for some intangible sense of righteousness.
2) Accept I’ve been stupid, thank him, and switch sides.
3) Decide that he is a Bad Man and be angry.

We’d all like to pretend we’d go with 1 or 2, but that’s just not true. In reality, loads of us would go with 3, but there’s a hidden trap – this behaviour is self-reinforcing. The longer I continue to get angry, the more I’m investing in these rules, and the harder it will be to ever accept that I was wrong. Worse, if I’m going to make sacrifices by following these rules, then I want to see a pay-off – I want to see that I’m winning out in life over people who don’t follow them. I want these people to be punished so that I know that my suffering will be for a reason.

Fast forward 30 years, and I’ll be putting up posters, running RummageWatch.com, and holding angry meetings in City Hall. I may even be reading the Daily Mail. It’s a slippery slope of irrationality.

And so I think that’s why some of these fundamentalists are so angry. That’s why they’re so upset with anyone else breaking their irrational rules on homosexuality and internet porn, even though logically it has precisely zero effect on them. Every atheist out there is flying in the face of their system, and it kills them that they make sacrifices to follow their rules, while there are no apparent consequences in the lives of those who break them.

Or maybe I’m just projecting.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope my parable in some small way helps bring atheists and Christians together…


Stumble…

For more info on Stumble Click the link.

One of the things I enjoy in my day is the time I put aside to Stumble through the web. I have downloaded the Stumble tool bar and buttons which I do use every day. Each day I run through these pages and I click the ones I like, what’s not to like? Different pages from all over the world pop up randomly. I collect images for my blog from the thousands of images that I come across daily. This is one of them.

So if you are wondering where I get these little nuggets of wisdom, they come from the web. If you want to spend some quality time rating web pages and seeing things from all over the world, then join ‘Stumble’ and escape the room you are in and travel around the world with me.

I almost want to go to the airport and get on a plane and travel somewhere.


Is Your Jar Full???

oceancityfools.com

When things in your life seem almost to much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar……and the beer.

A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front
of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then
asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was
full.  They agreed it was.

The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of
course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar
was full.  The students responded with an unanimous “Yes.”

The Professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty
space between the sand.  The students laughed.

“Now,” said the Professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your
health, your friends, your favorite passions – things that if everything
else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
your car.  The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first”, he continued, “there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the
things that are important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are
critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get
medical checkups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There
will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal.  Take care of
the golf balls first, the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.”

When he had finished, there was a profound silence.  Then one of the
students raised her hand and with a puzzled expression, inquired what the
beer represented.

The Professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no
matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of
beers.”