I will remember, Dad, promise. 

I have been thinking about my Father the last few days. I was thinking about him when I was growing up, throughout my life and remembering him at the end of his life.

He was a character without-a-doubt, complete with a sassy sense of humor. He was born in Bridgeport CT, on February 26, 1929. This explained his love of New England especially freshly caught Maine lobster.  He was the youngest of three, his sister Kay and his older brother Luie. He spoke of his sister often calling her his best friend when he was growing up. He missed her so much always.

A kid when he married Mom at age 19, he would be the most hardworking, loving man a wife and family could imagine. When I think about it, he really loved Mom. The kind of love you don’t often get to experience in our world today. He loved her so unconditionally hoping to provide everything in his power for her and for us children. His love for Mom always felt like would last for eternity. He was a selfless man who gave whatever he had, not expecting anything himself. As a factory worker, then eventually a supervisor he would take pride in our house, yard with an above ground pool and rose bushes that popping color around our entire home. His factory job provided for all the essentials for our family, but wouldn’t be enough for any extra’s. He created a bicycle repair business in our garage. He would clean, repair and sell bicycles to save for special gifts for Mom, or weekend trip for our family.

Starring into my yard this morning, remembering his image sitting on the ground trimming rosebushes. I could see him standing behind a smokey barbecue in his swimming suit with a grill packed with pork ribs. I imagined him laying under a car in the driveway fixing my car so I could finish college. I can smell him popping a brown grocery bag full of popcorn preparing for a marathon of black and white movies on our console television. These images flipped through my head like I was holding a toy slide view master.

“John, when I am gone you remember I told you these things…” Promise me he would say,  I responded: “Ok Dad, I promise to remember.”

Here are the things he told me I should remember…

  • I am so proud of you John.
  • You are going to do amazing things in your life.
  • I see you can accomplish anything you put your mind to John.
  • You are a very generous man, but giving starts at home.
  • Please slow down and take care of yourself.
  • I love you, John.
  • John, I miss you, you need to come home.
  • Hey now, you can’t give up faith, keep believing.
  • God provides in his timing, we need to have patience.
  • We got this, there is always a way we just have to keep trying.
  • Stop working so hard, take time and enjoy your life.
  • I think the world of what you are doing.
  • One day I want to be at one of your lectures.

The one thing I won’t ever forget was my Father’s deep faith throughout his life, but especially at the end. Dad had many health issues. I remember calling him and asking, “Dad do you need anything?” and he would reply, “Yes, a new body.” He wore out his knees, his heart got weak, he struggled with cancer all while challenged with a muscle disease that weakened him.

There is one thing in him that never weakened. It was his spirit, his faith in God’s plan right up until he took his last breath.

I said, “Hey Dad, the treatment for your lymphoma isn’t working anymore.”

He turned and said, ok Professor, what’s next?  I said, “Dad the doctors said there isn’t any other treatment left to try.”

He smiles, shrugged his shoulders and nodded yes as if to say that is ok. I felt his strong faith in God and a sense of peace.

 He died that night, April 14, 2014.

I miss you every day Dad, but for some reason especially today.

Love,

Professor

John 3:16 “For so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

Tears

There are times in  life when healing happens somewhere within tears. Cry enough and you can find truth.

Nothing like a good song and a box of Kleenex to find healing.

 

Revelation 7:17

for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 21:4

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Psalm 80:5

You have fed them with the bread of tears, And You have made them to drink tears in large measure.

1 Samuel 20:

40Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.” 41When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more.42Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.'” Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city.…

Healing Childhood Trauma-Eastbrook Church

Today I lectured on Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) to a group of Foster Parents at Eastbrook Church. There was one common bond among these loving brothers and sisters. Their mission is to be awesome parents to children whose life started in a struggle.

God Bless these parents for their love, empathy and calling to care for these special children.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorpost of your house and on your gates.”

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to the change.”

Psalm 107: 19-21 “Then they cried to the Lord in their, and he saves them their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”

Below is the presentation for your reference brother and sisters.

God Bless you and your Children

John

out-of-the-darkness-of-trauma-eastbrook-pptx

TED Talk Dr Nadine Burke on Childhood Trauma

Broken dreams

 

I was traveling with friends on a business trip where we speaking at a conference in downtown LA. One of my friends, Rachel suggested that find the cheesiest open bus tour of Hollywood to soak up the experience. The cheesy tour in all of its glory was perfect including a want-to-been actor as a tour guide. It was an open-air tour bus, that had a flat tire and a dead battery.

It was perfect for an early evening of laughter as we decided it must have been happy hour somewhere in the world at 3 pm. During a stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, another friend Dawn said she was thinking about miles of cheap high-rise apartments full of wanna-be actors. Hundreds of plastic young people living in rooms awaiting the first big break in life to be famous. She turned to me and said, “I can’t imagine all the broken dreams that exist in this city.”

Do you ever imagine waiting your whole life for something you dreamed of without it becoming a reality? Do you ever imagine the longing feeling for the perfect job, intimate relationship or unconditional love when you are full of dreams. Do you ever imagine being in love your soulmate? Your first true love?

I remembered being an 18 year-old, when life seemed so possible and anything felt attainable. It felt like there was a life ahead full of promise. I am sure you remember that invincible feeling of power in your heart as you spun a fantasy of the future. What did that image look like for you? I remember wanting to have a career, being successful, living in house and raising a family. I thought it would be amazing to serve the poor or those who were less fortunate. I loved to be on a campus, be around the excitement of learning new possibilities of science, invention and the future.

This past week I was talking with someone I met for the first time and he asked, “At this stage of your life, what did you dream your life would look like?” The question took my breath away. The silence in the room was so heavy I thought he could hear my heart beat. I stared at him, puzzled by the question. I was perplexed with wonder of how to answer that question. I could not answer him.

My thoughts raced as I thought to myself, “Have I forgotten to dream?” Could it be possible to be so caught up in the day-to-day cycle of life that we forget to dream about a possible future. The truth filled my heart, I didn’t imagine the second half of my life. In that moment it was impossible to have that same sense of wonder and amazement as I did when I was a young man.

Ridiculously, I was reminded of a scene from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Frances became saddened as she felt she had built a dream, around a life she didn’t have.  Martini reminded Frances it was true, she may not received all of her dreams of in way she wished. However he said she needed to look deeper at her life.

As she reflected, she could see that God provided her with everything she dreamed. She realized that her dreams didn’t come the way she wanted them packaged, ordered or in her timeframe.

I guess sometimes we have dig deeper into our souls to find our truth whether we are full of dreams, have broken dreams or have forgotten to dream at all.

 

 

 

Outside the inside door

Emotional jumbles can lead to pure understanding when we allow it to happen.  It does not take analysis, mind power or pain to find the clarity necessary to feel the depth of your heart.

When we dig deep enough a straight path emerges from our soul. Our best understanding comes from simply listening to our own heart. When we find stillness, peace, and love we hear the words inside our spirit that gives direction.

My plan for 2017 is uncomplicated and involve these 7 concepts:

SIMPLE

LESS

EDIT

STILL

JOYFUL

SHED

STICK

I have been pensive the past few days, listening to the spirit. It was difficult to shake the world off me to find this peaceful space. A trip to the gym, meals with friends, a glass of wine or two, lots of bible reading, prayer, and music and I found my way to a set of words that became a  plan to live by in 2017.

Less will definitely be more next year. Cleaning out the old making room for new is essential. Out with the hurtful and that which is keeping life in neutral is essential. There will be a need to add new, richer, deeper, truthful, stable and happier parts of life.  This upcoming year needs perseverance, patience and a clear path.

Sometimes we have to go outside in order see whats going on inside.

 

Come in we’re Open

Dear Blog,

I am back, sorry I have been so neglectful. Life has a habit of getting in the way or setting up walls that keep me from you.  But this habit is about to change. I am back, brighter, with more insight, stronger than before. I missed you, it feels good to be here.

John

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