The Battle is Mine! A History Lesson

Battles have been fought for as long as men have been alive.  They have fought for land, power, ego, religion and political gain.  Men will go to war at the drop of a hat these days and days gone by.  From the Revolutionary War to the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, men have fought.  We fought in the War of 1812, to the Civil War and many battles in between.  Battles have been fought in Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, known as the Banana Wars to WWI.  During WWI, we fought at Chateau-Thierry, Soissons and Saint-Mihiel to deep inside Belleau-Wood. We shed blood in Normandy, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  From there, we saw Battle in Korea then to Vietnam, Tehran, Lebanon and Grenada.  The 90’s came and we fought the Gulf War, and small battles in Bosnia and Somalia. Only to welcome the 21st Century with war fighters fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. God Bless our  Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Seamen and Coast Guard!  Battles are inevitable.  We will continue to fight until this life on Earth is over.

I joined the Marine Corps on 9 March 1992, I shipped off to Parris Island and my life changed forever.  No longer was I the young kid that came from Mississippi.  I was a Marine.  I was a part of a Band of Brothers unlike any thing else the world has known.  While training at Parris Island, the young Boot is put though a rigorous training for 13 weeks, (actually 12 as the first week was administrative, medical and miscellaneous antics the drill instructors saw fit to put us through).  Haircuts, were a first necessity upon entering Parris Island, my glorious locks (mullett) were shaved off.  We looked alike.  Our clothing, down to our skivvies, was identical, every thing we owned inside that gate was identical.  The only difference was our dialects.  Things we had taken for granted were now being done as a Marine Recruit.  No longer did I have the luxury of going to the HEAD in privacy, I now had to share that with other dudes and that wasn’t Cool. Simply going to the toilet now involved 55 other men, that had been holding out from going to the rest room for the first 10 days we were there.  No Way, was I going to go set on a toilet that didn’t have walls separating each toilet! I would just die from holding IT in.  Let me clear this up for you, The Head consisted of approximately 12/14 thrones, with one set of thrones(toilet) on one wall and the other set of thrones on the other wall and THEY WERE CLOSE TO EACH OTHER, REAL STINKING CLOSE!  If you have never looked into the eyes of a stranger that was taking a #2, you haven’t lived.  HaHa, just kidding, one of the great rules as a man is, when going to the restroom, never look at anybody or talk to them.  Showering became a community event, strip down, towel around your waste, line up and walk into the shower, all the shower heads were turned on and we walked through each shower head IN A LINE, A NAKED MAN BEHIND ME, JUST WASN’T COOL.  Believe it or not, those things quickly became unimportant, homesickness and a steady schedule kept your mind off the trivial.  Weeks blasted by with miles and miles and miles of running, did I mention miles.  Side straddle hops were the closest friend we had, oh, except for the mountain climbers!  Pull up bars became our vehicle of choice.  The creeks at Peps Point and the Rapids on Peps Point road were exchanged for a swimming pool at Parris Island, the only real difference was you swam with your clothes on, a pack that weighed in at 600lbs, not really but it felt that way, and our Rifle which became our Lover.  Our motto became Semper Fidelis and our creed became the Rifleman’s Creed.  We traded Mom’s cooking for the freshness of a chow hall.  Our weekend rides through the mall parking lot became a hump through the mosquito infested, 100% humidity that was Parris Island.  Oh, the sand fleas, little vampire blood suckers that latched on like a pair of vice grips holding metal in a vice.  Sucked, they really did!  Furthermore, if you had the courage to brush them off of you and the Drill Instructor saw that Brave Action, you and the whole platoon was going to pay for it.  By pay, I don’t mean with cash, I mean your physical abilities.  You were about to do push ups until the DI got tired and that rascal wasn’t even doing them.

Among these adventures, the Boot is put through rifle training that was a two week part of that 12 weeks. The Boot learns everything he needs to know about the M16 A2 Service Rifle, because every basic Marine is a Rifleman upon departing Parris Island.  Parris Island consisted of  boxing, pugil sticks and close combat training. Inspections of everything, uniform inspection, hygiene inspection (everything from finger nails to toe nails and everything in between) rifle inspection, and squad bay inspections.  Everyone was the same and had the same goals, to graduate that Hell known as Parris Island.

Close order drill was an integral part of recruit training.  If we weren’t doing the things I have mentioned already, we were outside, inside, it didn’t matter where we were, we were filling all spare time on drill.  Everything had to be done in an order.  Close order drill is used to maximize combat effectiveness.  When a man or a unit maintains order they already have an advantage over their enemy.  Close order drill builds confidence, discipline and ‘esprit de corps’ and these are key to a warriors character.  The sounds of cadence that are sung by the Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor is a sound that rings in the recruits ears forever.  Those cadences that were sang to us became a spiritual hymn of sort, it made us march with perfection and perform our responsibilities with accuracy.

I was naturally born again hard on 06 June 1992, the day I graduated Recruit Training, and went to a couple of schools and ultimately joined the Fleet Marine Force to serve these United States as a Marine.  I served until March of 1996 and was honorably discharged.  The Marines and the life of a Marine taught me a lot of great things, along with the occasional bad things that men and women learn in the military.  I cherish those young years, it was a great experience and I encourage all young people to pursue it if they wish or if they aren’t sure what their life holds, the military offers a lot of great opportunities.

My story doesn’t end after I left the Marine Corps, matter of fact, it was only the beginning.  I believe, right or wrong, that we are put here for a purpose.  Not that our lives are predestined, but our lives are meant for something. Whether or not, we make the most of it is up to me.  I believe the things we do in our lives shape us for either something good, bad or great.  My military path was a plan greater than my own.  The life of a war fighter is tedious, it requires a mental toughness that can only be gained through much work, training and exercise.  His life is a disciplined life.  His life is one of obedience and authority, as he is under authority and has authority over younger war fighters.  He rises early and eats a hearty breakfast.  You see, he has to replenish himself as he is worn down from the affairs of the day before.

The battle I fight today is much like the battles that men and women have fought in the past.  There is a strange comparison, except the weapons I need are different.  I traded my Rifle for a bible and the Drill instructor that once stood over me has now become the most High God.  I must put on God’s armor early in the morning or I will surely lose the days battle (Eph. 6:10-18).  My steps are ordered by God now and I must prepare or I will be held accountable (Psalms 37:23).  We all have a decision to to make.  We can choose to fight on the side of God that stands for life, happiness and truth or we can just throw our hands up and lose the battle before we even start.

I threw my hands up and life became ugly.  I lost all the fight that was in me.  I gave up and was over run by the enemy.  The enemy is cunning, and subtle.  He is well prepared to defeat you and feed lies to you.  The lies can seem so real.  They will lead you to a place you do not want to go and you will lose.  Oh, its tempting, and its seductive, but it will only be temporary.  The reality will leave you gasping for air.  I was gasping once I realized the serpent was latched on to my neck. He seduced me with drugs, that took all my pain, hurt, shame and guilt away.  However, once the fog lifted I had more of those negative things on my shoulders than when I started.  I decided it was time to fight.  The battle rages but the serpent is no longer squeezing the life from me.  I am FULLY ALIVE now.

We are in a war, its not one that you can see but its a spiritual war.  One that is going on right now for yours and my soul.  The bible tells me in Ephesians that we do not battle flesh and blood but we are in a battle against principalities and powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).  We must prepare ourselves or we could be seduced by his lies.  I never dreamed that I would have gone down that dark road, Ever.  I encourage you today, my friends.  Take a look inside, if everything is good, that’s great, no need to change.  But if everything inside that heart is not good, ask God to help you remove it. Then, sit back and watch him work, you will be amazed.  I was.  This battle is real, it is no joke!   Here is the deal, regardless of our beliefs, we are either gonna win this battle and help our fellow Soldiers (Fellow Marines in my case) or we are going to lose.  I am tired of losing!  We are going to advance or we are going to retreat!  I am no longer going to retreat.  This place is to good to give up without a fight.  What’s it going to be?  ENGAGE!

Going Forward in Reverse!

Crying Out, Nobody Heard Me! I Thought?!

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goingforwardinreverse

Some days I didn’t want to move,didn’t want to get up out of bed. Other days I wanted to die. Sleep was my only friend as the depression consumed my soul. Thanksgiving was here, I wasn’t thankful for anything, I was angry because I was alive. Alone, I walked out to a field, very secluded area and fell down on my knees, begging for relief, something, somebody, please take this hurt. Please take the shame and guilt from me. I wasn’t worthy to even cry out to God, I wasn’t even sure there was a God. If there was a God he didn’t show up that day, but believe me, the Darkness was close by. I wept for what seemed like an eternity. I was ringing my hands that day, picking my scabs, that day I was lost. Thanksgiving 2013 was a dark day. There were many a dark day…

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Crying Out, Nobody Heard Me! I Thought?!

Some days I didn’t want to move,didn’t want to get up out of bed. Other days I wanted to die. Sleep was my only friend as the depression consumed my soul. Thanksgiving was here, I wasn’t thankful for anything, I was angry because I was alive. Alone, I walked out to a field, very secluded area and fell down on my knees, begging for relief, something, somebody, please take this hurt. Please take the shame and guilt from me. I wasn’t worthy to even cry out to God, I wasn’t even sure there was a God. If there was a God he didn’t show up that day, but believe me, the Darkness was close by. I wept for what seemed like an eternity. I was ringing my hands that day, picking my scabs, that day I was lost. Thanksgiving 2013 was a dark day. There were many a dark day ahead, I just didn’t know.

The battle for my soul led me down a dirty road. A road that I am not proud of. I have heard that God isn’t this or he isn’t that, or there is no God and that is ok that one believes that. Reality is, there is a battle going on, a battle for my very life. You see, I knew God, I have to look in the mirror everyday and see a Fallen Down Man of God, that’s not easy. Not too mention, a disgrace of a husband, a father that walked out of his families life,  I am a brother that didn’t cling to his siblings, I am a son that was estranged from  his mother and father.  I was an employee that took advantage of one of the greatest opportunities and the greatest man that God had ever put into my life.  I blew it!  I was a friend that didn’t stick closer than a brother.  You see I was a drug addict and then I started drinking because I couldn’t get drugs when I needed them.  There is a battle going on for my soul!  I was suicidal because I let darkness in. I had begun to cut ties with my family, eventually I was gonna kill myself.  I listened to the lies of the evil one that told me I was all those things. Let me say this, not one time as a follower of Christ did I ever feel those ways or do any of those things.  Even if he isn’t real, the goodness of life is worth the change.  Scientifically, he is the great physicist, there is no explaining with our simple minds.  Sure, I could rationalize this, but there is no need for rationalization when I can smile today!  It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t smile.

In April of 2007, I decided in my mind that I was no longer gonna listen to, believe in a God that allowed me to feel hurt like I felt.  I did not want anything to do with him or his people.  They had hurt me and my family.  Why would I wanna associate with something like that?  My kids are almost grown now, well, one is right on the precipice of being grown and one is still a little short of it, though she thinks she is grown.  They both are very hesitant of God and his workings, but they will get there.  It was that month, in 2007, that my life would never be the same. At 33 years old I took my first hydrocodone, in a way that was not proper, or Dr prescribed.  My life and use rocketed from there. I couldn’t control it, but it took my hurt away.  That’s all I wanted it to do.  I had failed at something I felt was my destiny, my calling, my ministry and those little pills became my mistress.  They became my life, as I would go to whatever length or pit I had to do to get em.  They were my God.  Now, at this point in my life I was not an atheist, because I believed there was some kind of spiritual being out there, but that he was no longer interested in me because I SUCKED!  He was for other people, why would he want me back?  Maybe I had become agnostic, but again, I do not think so because I believed in a Higher Power (God), he just wasn’t for me.  I guess I was indifferent,  or I thought claiming to be agnostic was a cop out and I certainly am not a “coward”, I gotta believe in something.   I was to afraid to call Satan, my God, because I was terrified of that whole scenario.  I have seen the Exorcist. I was a speck of dust just searching for something.  Everywhere I turned led me to more darkness.  I just think that we as human beings should believe in something.  Heck, I even thought about Buddhism at one point, great idea there, some of it!

Christianity, today, seemed so unstable, it involves so many different aspects of belief (religion). We have Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Evangelicals, Holiness, etc etc.  You understand what I am saying.  Let me clear this up, I am not bashing any of those.  I grew up Pentecostal (Church of God), I say do your thing.  I just wasn’t sure the whole religious identity was for me.  I didn’t get it anymore.  There should be a Christian organization called Hypocriticals, I believe they would be the largest group involved with religion, if they would admit it and form it, just kidding, don’t get your briefs in a wad, that was a joke.  Seriously, I felt like Gandhi when he said, “…..I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  That is were I was, DONE!

Back to 2013, my life had spiralled out of control.  My marriage was failing, at this point I had left the house, I was addicted to pain killers, I was burning a couple trees, I was pretty good at drinking beer, I was depressed beyond anything I have ever felt before, I had lost my job (which is a story in itself; how the greatness of God had even given me that job), I was picked up by police and put in a hospital because I literally felt like I was losing my mind, suicidal. I felt alone, I felt my kids hated me, I felt my wife hated me, I felt everybody hated me.  I didn’t have any hope, but there were days I remembered what Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redemption, “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” I clung to that occasionally.  I certainly had blocked out all the love that ever existed, full of anger and hate, regret, shame, guilt and Alone.  While in the hospital, I even blocked calls from my wife, I didn’t want to hear her voice, after all, “She put me in there”.  I laugh now, at the time it was far from funny.  I put me in there!

My wife was dealing with issues of her own.  I will let her fill you in on that if she so desires.  However, I will tell you, I went to rehab on November of 2007 and again in May of 2008, her father passed away in 2009 and her mother passed in 2010 (May they both RIP in Heaven).  She had a hysterectomy in 2010.  She had a lot on her.  After I left, in November of 2013, she did a whole lot of soul searching and a bunch of work to get herself mentally where she felt she could function.  Let me tell you, she went to work, her and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Throughout November and December and into January, I wanted nothing to do with her.  I didn’t want to talk to her, see her or even think about her.  However, she and God had other plans.  Don’t get me wrong, we have loved one another since we were kids at church, teenagers really.  She was the one I saw and I knew that God had plans for us and I would always love her but the marriage was over, as far as I was concerned. There were days she would text me the kindest words, loving words, words that started to penetrate my heart.  I was a stone though.  I was not gonna let her back in, after all she was the reason I was hospitalized.  HaHa!  Joke was on me!  After a while, and occasionally those few months we would talk and I could tell she was no longer the same person that she was when I left.  She was so kind and loving toward me, so caring and even supportive of me, not the choices or the life I was making and living, but my heart and soul.  She was supporting the man that I was and I never wanted to be again.  She was loving towards me, even after all I have done and said to her.  She loved me and believed in me when I felt no one should. She saved my life.  She will tell you that it wasn’t her and I know it wasn’t her, but she was a willing vessel that was being used by God.  I could never thank her enough.  Today, she is better than the girl that I married 22 years ago. She is the most beautiful person I know.

Today, I write this with a new heart.  Today, I am home, our marriage is reconciled. But, early this morning (30 April 2014) at 0130  I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I believe it was a divine awakening. I felt a baseball sized lump in my throat and I knew what I had to do.  I talked to God. Sobbing, I told him what I thought and he listened.  I asked for forgiveness for all I have done and I asked Jesus Christ into my heart and to be the lover of my soul.  He graciously welcomed me back.  I know how the prodigal son must have felt, because, I was him.  Today, my slate is clean.  I am a new man with a new heart.  Why is this such a big deal for me?  Because, I said I would never do it again after he failed me.  He didn’t fail me, I failed him.  But, Thank God for second chances, third chances or even fourth chances.

Blue Monday! Screw Monday! What About Embrace Monday!

 Here we are, another week, another Monday.  Wow, it started like any typical Monday.  I felt very discouraged this morning.  Well…… I will tell you why, I have lost more things due to my STOOPIDITY than I care to count.  My wife got her a second job and I can’t find ONE job.  One vehicle family, sucks, I am forty years old, I should have a job and a car/truck……I guess it goes back to being a Man, I didn’t feel very manly this morning, titty baby maybe but whatever, it is what it is!  I don’t have a lawn mower as I was gonna buy me one but messed around and lost my job because once again, my STOOPIDITY.  I need to cut my stinking grass!  My daughter is sick, spent Saturday nite and early Sunday in the ER.  Sunday, I was so tired I couldn’t think strait, I was really in a crappy mood.  Should I go on, I believe I will.  First, let me say, I am not crying out for help from anybody, please do not think that.  I am just crying, moaning and complaining so you can Feel where I was this morning and the last 24 hours.  

 

  So, the last couple of days I have been doing this and that, reading, writing, and getting very encouraged. Even, got to the point I said to myself, “Tim, I think its time for you to get down on your knees and fight like a man (pray…in case I confused you)”, even was at the point of having a talk with God about cleansing my soul and washing me white again, and coming in to be the master of my life.  Cause believe me, being a slave to drugs, anger, hate, sadness, guilt and shame drove me to suicidal thinking.  Which I am glad I didn’t go that far.  I will save that far a later date to talk about.  I would rather be a slave to God than that other Madness.  Anyhow, as I searched out my heart, I thought,” lets try again God, lets see if all those things I was taught as a kid about you are true.  Lets just see if you are real.  Besides, if I do allow you in my heart, its gotta be better than that life.”  I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, thanks Bono.  Then, it happened, I woke up, pissed off and mad about that. So discouraged, ringing my hands, and shaking my head. I should have known, the evil one was gonna be lurking about.  He comes in like a thief, and I wasn’t armed.

 

  Trying to get my head outta my butt this morning, I just started thinking about different things. I tell you the truth, it was stuck, I couldn’t pull my head outta my butt.  Then something hit me, I started thinking about the valley.  I remember several years ago, Lamar Harrison, I am sure he wouldn’t mind me telling this.  He was preparing to sing a song or he was just ministering about the valley.  I remember he said there is life in the valley. Things grow in the valley.  It is green in the valley.  What do I do, I google valley and search the images and there it is.  Every picture I see, every valley is green and full of life and there are cities there in the valley.  Flowers grow in the valley.  Animals live and thrive in the valley, waters flow through the valleys.  You think that’s coincidence, I think not.  But, I did continue on with those thoughts and I thought about Mt Everest.  My son came home from Orlando last night…Imma break in and brag  about him for a sec.  My son is President of the Honors Program and is an officer in Phi Theta Kappa at Pearl River Community College. The PTK had their annual, national convention this past week in Orlando, therefore he went.  Proud of that young man.  He came in telling me about this lady that climbed Mt Everest (3 times), she is a scholar and she was speaking at the convention, but I can’t recall her name.  Nevertheless, she spoke about her adventures and how one time she attempted to climb but there was a storm therefore she and her team couldn’t do it that day.  Storms will destroy any great plan.  She spoke of her journey and how she had to prepare for her ascent to the summit.  I can’t remember exact detail but this is the meat and potatoes of what she spoke about.  Upon getting to the first of three base camps, you have to stay there several days to get acclimated to the elevation and lack of oxygen.  Once the allotted time is met, you have to hike to the second base camp, stay there the night and return to the original base camp. then repeat.  Once you are back at the second base camp, you prepare for the third base camp, hike up to the third base camp and repeat.  Back to the second, you get what I am saying…..Then to the summit, this takes much work, stamina, determination and tenacity.  In other words, it ain’t no easy adventure.  Not too mention, as you ascend to the top, for every step you take you have to stop ten minutes to catch your breath.  Yep, I said for every step.  SO, again I ask you, do you think my son came home to tell me about Mt Everest was by chance.  I think not.  I think a lesson was needed for Tim because I was getting weary.  Feel free to believe what you will.  It takes work to get to the top, all the while life is blooming down in the valley.  Sure, there is jubilation at the top.  There is celebration, joy, happiness, warm fuzzy feelings, etc.  Notice there is no life on top of the mountain, no flowers, no animals, nobody or no thing lives on the top of the mountain.  Those feelings are temporary.  Now, you have to walk down that mountain, and be careful, if you fall, its a steep drop, may be fatal.   

 

  Dear brother or sister, if you are feeling discouraged like I was, know you are not alone.  I too was there and am there, but things feel so much better this afternoon.  I think I can make the rest of my day that I am blessed with. I hope this encouraged you like it did me.  If it didn’t, thats ok, my life and your life may be on a different path.  So be it, life is good.  I am drug free today.  I can smile today.  I am loved today and I can love em back.  The tears I shed now are happy tears or they are tears of cleansing, cleansing of my soul.  I love you all!

 

Going Forward in Reverse,

Tim 

 

http://youtu.be/O_ISAntOom0  U2_ I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

So, I Thought I was a Man!

 I have been thinking on some things about my life.  I want to share em with you, thanks for taking the time to read my feeble attempt at writing, but it helps me be a better man.  Throughout my life I have done some pretty “manly” things.  I am a former US Marine, I got my first tattoo at 18 and haven’t stopped getting them since.  I am pretty good at drinking beer, I have eaten enough pills to save the world (Not manly I know, but Stupid and I am clean now). I’ve stoked a couple of fires too.  My favorite genre of music is Hard Rock and Heavy Metal,(Loud, Fast and Aggressive), no, you still don’t understand, I want it loud enough to make my ears bleed.  You know what I mean, “if ‘ loud, you’re too old! \m/  However, the old outlaw country that I listened to as a kid still rings good in my ears, Hank, Waylon, Willie, George, Johnny  just to name a few. (Thanks Dad)  I have swam in the creek, fished in the dark, wrecked four wheelers, shot guns, and been chased by the cops.  I dip snuff, cuss and can even grow a pretty good beard, but it’s definitely not a Chris Kael beard.  I like Motorcycles, four-wheel drives and Jeeps but I have never owned a tractor.  I have been in a couple fights, won a couple and lost a bunch.  I like good food and i can operate a BBQ grill like a BOSS.  I’ve seen the inside of a chicken house, I have walked through cotton fields in the Delta and I have climbed Mt Fuji. I have been down Bourbon Street, downtown Philly, Chicago and Rodeo Dr.  I thought about these things and smiled a little bit because I thought, “yeah, I’m a pretty strong man, done some manly crap.”  Throughout life these things pretty much made me feel like a man, a physical man.

Now, at 40, I am not so sure those are the things that measure how much of a man I am.  Strength is typically how we measure a man.  How much physical and mental strength he may or may not have. How much material possessions does he possess?  Now, I am asking myself, if strength is the opposite of weak, why is it so hard to do the things that affect our hearts, to love, to believe, to hug, to kiss, to cry, etc.  It takes a whole lot more strength to do those things than it ever took me to do the “manly” things.

 

Let me tell you what  I have learned over the last week, It’s manly to hold your wife when she needs to be held,  its manly to kiss her lips for 10 seconds, just 10 seconds.  Try it guys, that ten seconds will turn into, well,  into much more.  Its manly to tell your 19-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter that you love em when they leave the house or they lay down for the night. Manly, is when you break yourself into pieces and become vulnerable so the ones you love can see the real man you have become.  Manly, is crying out to someone who can help you, when you know you need help, or making amends to the ones you loved that you may have hurt.  Furthermore, one of the toughest things that I have had to do was take a long hard look at myself.  Not long ago, I wanted to punch the mirror (I know manly, right) because I absolutely loathed whom I was looking at.  I hated me.  If I can’t love me, how can I possibly give love to someone else.  It is not possible.  Today, is a better day.  I am learning to love me again.  To accept all the crap I have done to me and to those around me.  I can look in the mirror now.  I can smile and laugh and I can cry and its all good.  My greatest strength has come from my weakest moments.

Going Forward in Reverse!

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

― Ann Landers 

In the Beginning…….

 

  Church was always a big part of my life, I knew that God had great things for me but never really questioned it until I discharged from the Marines.  While serving, we stopped going to church.  It seemed odd for me not going to church but I was a Marine now and I didn’t think of it as important.  However, back home in Mississippi it was time for us to get involved with church again and so life went on.  From 1996 until 2000, our life was  just as any other couple, learning, laughing and loving. Spiritually, we were well.  I was a happy man, with a good life and a great family.

  I began to struggle with my my spirituality in those few years between 96 and 2000.  I wrestled with God and even  one point wept, pleading with God to just leave me alone and let me live my life as a good Christian man.  He had other plans.  Finally, in 2001 I accepted the call of God in my life. My family and I left the church we had known as kids, the church I first saw my future wife in when I was 15 and knew that she was gonna be mine.  The church I first kissed my future wife at, in the parking lot, after church of course.  The church she and I were married in.  The church we dedicated our kids to God in.  The church my mother still goes to today.  The only church I knew.  This was a very difficult decision but we made the decision and rocked on.  We started attending another smaller church, with a great pastor whom I love dearly.  Later, I would become youth pastor and ultimately pastor.

  There is so much more about my formative years, teenage years and my young married years I could tell, but we will talk about that later, as this is just to let you know who I am. This is just the beginning of a journey I have never taken.  I don’t know what is compelling me to tell my story, other than the fact that this is a healing for me.  Believe me, as you will see later I am a sick man.  If I can tell my story and it helps one person then I can say it was worth it, but until then, I still ask myself “why me”.

  Throughout this journey of blogging, I hope you can feel some of my hurts, feel my inspiration, feel the love that is being restored to me.  I hope to share some of those  feelings of love, hope, peace and joy.  Grant you, this is starting out as a spiritual journey.  I didn’t intend for that to be, it just is.  To understand fully what I am saying, it must be understood that I was a church kid, a spiritual kid and a loving kid but somewhere along the way I lost those things.  My blog is not to preach to or convince you that my way will work for you, you have your own beliefs, I just wanna tell you my story.  I am gonna try my best to tell you what being a Man is.  I will tell you what drugs will do to your life.  I am gonna share with you how darkness invaded my life and made me do things I thought I would never do.  I am gonna share with you my thoughts about music and share with you the “Metal” tunes that I love.  I love music, you are gonna hear some great tunes.  Bob Marley said, ” One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”  How true is that? Someday’s I may share with you other things that interest me, things I may find beauty in.  Other days, I may share some compelling news.  I assure you, you will find something you will enjoy.  

  Several years ago, I had a dream that I was gonna one day write a book.  Now, I am not a writer by profession, heck, I am not even an amateur writer, but I woke up with a title of a book and that is why I chose my title, Going Forward in Reverse.  The thought is, throughout my life I have moved along but it always seemed backwards to me, thus the title.  Maybe, the blog was what I was gonna do.  I do not know.  This is a brand new trip for me.  I invite you to come along.  If there is a day that you do not agree with me or I offend you, please email me, we can talk.  Don’t judge me, this is my life.  This is life through my eyes.

  Thank you for reading.  I am pretty excited about this blog.  I look forward to reading yours.  Sit back and watch what this  is gonna turn into.  Going Forward in Reverse!