Catch!

Here’s the pitch ….

Bad news – you can get it anywhere. Open up your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and you’ll find it in abundance. Surf to any local or national news website and it is there. Turn on the TV or radio and they are focusing on the negative things going on, or offering opinions on “hot button” topics which just continue to fuel the negative vibes that are so abundantly available.

I don’t recall what radio station I was working at, but I recall that the News Director always started his newscast with a “feel good” story. I think we used to say something like “WXXX – where the good news comes first” or something like that. People were grateful to hear happy stories instead of stories about war, murder, and whatever else was going on in the world.

With that in mind, I sat down today not knowing what to write about. I wanted to blog, but didn’t have anything in mind. As I scrolled Facebook (through the various heated opinions about the presidential debates), I came across a story that a friend of mine posted. It immediately reminded me of a “feel good” story, so I had to share it (and a few thoughts of my own) here.

Grandpa’s Bucket of Baseballs

In Alabama, a 72 year old grandfather cleaned out his garage and found a bucket of old baseballs. He took the bucket up to the batting cages that he and his son used to go to and left them there with a note.

The bucket of baseballs left at a batting cage

The note says the following:

FREE

Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages. I found them cleaning my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds. My son is now 46 y/o and my grandson is 23 y/o. I am 72 and what I won’t give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. They have both moved away. If you are a father cherish these times. You won’t believe how quickly they will be gone.

God bless

P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get.

His son tweeted the picture of the bucket and note and the story spread. The grandpa is amazed at how many people are reacting. ESPN even wanted to talk to him.

Here is a link to the full story. It is worth the read.

https://www.today.com/parents/grandpa-s-note-bucket-baseballs-will-touch-your-heart-t193019

My thoughts

I can tell you that one of my favorite childhood memories is playing catch with my dad. I know that there had to be days where he wasn’t in the mood to play, but he did it anyway. We’d stand out in front of the house and play catch on the sidewalk. Eventually, he got sick and tired of me over throwing and we began playing on the side of the house. That way, if I threw a bad ball, the backyard fence caught it!

Growing up, we played a lot of baseball. Like any 13-14 year old kid, I dreamed of becoming a major league pitcher. When my dad and I played catch, we’d spend hours calling balls and strikes. I smile as I think back to my dad winding up real fast and then lobbing a change up to me. I smile when I think about him saying, “Watch this pitch!” and then tossing an amazing curveball or sinker to me. I love to remember the day he showed me how to throw a knuckleball. What tremendous memories these are!!

My boys tossing the ball around in the backyard

When I had my first son, I couldn’t wait for him to be old enough to play catch with. I felt the same way when I had my second son. I coached both boys at Tee ball and baseball. Neither one were as excited about playing as I was. I’m glad that my youngest son still wants to play catch with me. He has a bit more accuracy than my oldest son, and could still easily play ball if he wanted to. I always love being able to play catch with both of them. We have a big backyard and it’s great for catch!

I’m not gonna lie, I still chuckle as I throw the same pitches to my sons as my dad did to me. I remember the first time my oldest watched a knuckleball coming at him. He couldn’t believe that the ball didn’t really spin. I love those moments with my boys as much as I loved playing catch with my pop. I hope that they look back one day and remember those moments as fondly as I do.

The way my daughter throws her pacifier out of the crib and toys around the room, who knows, maybe she’ll be playing softball on a team. I’d be ok with that! She’s got a good arm!!

So what is the point of this blog? To share a wonderful story and to give you a little push. Maybe it’s been a while since you played catch with your child. Maybe you’re missing your parents or grandparents who don’t live nearby. The tweet, and this story are a great reminder to cherish those things or, better yet, go do them. Time is precious. We don’t get much of it. Don’t waste it – take advantage of it. Grab your mitt and a ball and play some catch with those you love – who cares how old you are?

Elementary, My Dear Reader

I believe I have blogged in the past about Sherlock Holmes. I guess it is interesting that while I have never read a Sherlock Holmes book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I have read books loosely based on the character. There was a series out not too long ago called The Baker Street Mysteries, that focused on a lawyer who resided at the famous address of Mr. Holmes. It seems they would get letters addressed to the famous detective all the time. I read a few of them, but the last one was quite boring to me, so I stopped.

I always enjoy when the Radio Classics channel on Sirius XM plays old Sherlock Holmes shows. Some of them even featured the Sherlock Holmes I was most familiar with as a kid – Basil Rathbone. He and Nigel Bruce did many Sherlock Holmes films, too.

Over the years, many actors have played the great detective. In the theater recently, Robert Downey Jr. teamed up with Jude Law to play Holmes and Dr. Watson. The first movie was in 2009 and followed by the sequel (Game of Shadows) in 2011. In May of this year, it was announced that Downey and Law will reprise their roles in another sequel.

In 2015, Sir Ian McKellen played a retired Sherlock Holmes in the very touching film, Mr. Holmes. This was very well done and I recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

Without a doubt, my favorite incarnation of the character was in the British series Sherlock. Set in modern times, Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman is Dr. Watson. I loved everything about this show! I really wish they’d make more episodes.

This brings me to the main reason for this blog. Over the weekend, my wife said she had seen something while surfing Netflix that she thought I’d be interested in watching. We watched Sherlock together and so when she saw the post about Elona Holmes, she saved it on her “to watch” list.

When she mentioned it, she thought it was a series, but it was actually a movie. It is based on a novel by Nancy Springer. It seems that there are actually 6 books in the Enola Holmes series. I’d never heard of these books, and it seems the reason is that they are written for young adults.

The movie is based on the first book in the series, The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was first published in 2006.

The movie focuses on the teenage sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, Enola. Her mother turns up missing and she’s on a mission to find her. I found the movie to be quite enjoyable. Enola is played by Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown. Her mother Eudoria is played by Harry Potter’s Helena Bonham Carter. Mycroft and Sherlock are played by Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill. The basic plot: when Eudoria mysteriously disappears, Enola undertakes her first missing persons case and reconnects with her estranged detective brother along the way.

It is currently on Netflix and has been well received. There is talk of further sequels based on the other books.

As far as Sherlock’s go, Cavill is ok……but he’s no Benedict Cumberbatch.

Check it out on Netflix.

One Hit Wonder Day

Yesterday (9/25) was National One Hit Wonder Day. A One Hit Wonder is a song that would be considered the only hit song for an artist. In surfing through Sirius XM while driving, almost all of the “Decade” channels were playing one hit wonders yesterday.

The book pictured above is filled with great stories about some of music’s One Hit Wonders. There are also many One Hit Wonder collections available on CD. The list below is a poor representation of some of my favorite One Hit Wonders. What are your favorites?

1950’s

Get a Job – The Silhouettes

Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford

Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home) – The Impalas

Hushabye – The Mystics

1960’s

Hey Baby! – Bruce Channel

Suspicion – Terry Stafford

Keep On Dancing – The Gentry’s

Cool Jerk – The Capitols

Judy in Disguise – John Fred and The Playboy Band

More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Staircase

1970’s

All Right Now – Free

Layla – Derek and the Dominoes

Vehicle – Ides of March

Brandy – Looking Glass

My Maria – BW Stevenson

Get it On – T Rex

1980’s

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Key Largo – Bertie Higgins

I Melt With You – Modern English

Fantasy – Aldo Nova

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant

Axle F – Harold Faltermeyer

Da Butt – EU

1990’s

Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite

Jump Around – House of Pain

What is Love – Haddaway

How Bizarre – OMC

Sunny Came Home – Shawn Colvin

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

Closing Time – Semisonic

Mambo Number 5 – Lou Bega

2000’s

Bad Day – Daniel Powter

1000 Miles – Vanessa Carlton

I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness

2010’s

Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Am I Wrong – Nico and Vinz

Rude – Magic

Budepest – George Ezra

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Feel It Still – Portugal the Man

Remember Fast 111’s?

It’s amazing how two people can remember different things about the same event. My brother and I chatted on the phone tonight. Today marks the 39th anniversary of the passing of our grandfather. In talking about this, my brother and I both (1) remembered that we had been at my grandma’s house the night before (he was away on a business trip) (2) remembered going to a local mall and (3) talking to him on the phone before we went home. My brother remembered a small detail that I had totally forgotten about.

He reminded me that while we were at the mall, we stopped at a toy store and bought Fast 111’s cars. They were made by Kenner and were like Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars. The difference was that they each had a specific license plate that was unique to the car. There were some crazy car designs and I remember having quite a few of them. In preparing to write this blog, I did a quick Google search on Fast 111’s and was thrilled to see pictures of a few of the ones we had.

The one that I remember having was called the Saturn Seeker.

It came in the maroon color above, but also in white. This was the only picture I could find of the license plate:

The above car is obviously beat up a bit… LOL!

On the back of the packaging, you got an owner certificate where you could put your car’s license plat and everything.

As I recall, the Fast 111’s were bigger than your standard Matchbox or Hot Wheels, so they would’t fit in those carrying cases. No problem, though, as Fast 111’s had one made specifically for their cars.

I don’t recall if we ever had the models, but apparently they had them, too!

I’m glad that my brother brought this up tonight, as I had totally forgotten about these! We certainly spent many hours playing with our cars inside and outside. I wish I still had them.

Tune Tuesday – Autumn Leaves

It’s been sometime since I’ve posted something for Tune Tuesday. With today being the first official day of Autumn, I wanted to post one of my favorite “seasonal” songs – Autumn Leaves. There have been many versions of the song, but I just love the way Nat King Cole does it. Nat released his vocal version of it in 1955 – the same year that pianist Roger Williams had an instrumental hit with the song.

I have written about Nat in the past. His voice is one of the most unique in all of pop music. The song is so beautiful, and yet so sad. The orchestral arrangement is hauntingly beautiful and Nat’s vocal compliments it perfectly.

Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

I Now Pronounce You …

Another first for me this past weekend – I performed a wedding ceremony. Many years ago, I worked briefly for a DJ company that had all of their DJ’s get ordained on the internet. The idea was that if you were DJing a wedding where the minister didn’t show up, you could step in (and make the company more money). In the 30 years I have DJ’d, I’ve never had to step in to cover for a no show minister. I have also never performed a wedding ceremony, well, until Friday.

Backstory

I have known Theresa, the bride, for over 30 years, as we went to high school together. We’ve remained friends over the years. This was her second marriage and I actually DJ’d her first wedding. It’s been a long time, but I am almost positive that her first wedding was the first wedding I DJ’d (at least one of the first.)

I was laid up in the hospital with diverticulitis last year (almost exactly one year ago) and she came to visit me. Sam was in the room with me when Theresa came in. After a few minutes of chatting, she told me she had gotten engaged and was getting married. I congratulated her and she asked if I could to DJ for her. I told her I would. Then she asked, “Didn’t you tell me that you could perform wedding ceremonies one time?” I told her I could, but had never actually done it. She looked me dead in the eye and said, “Keith, I want you to marry me!” Without skipping a beat, I looked at my wife, then back at Theresa and said, “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m already married!”

Covid Postponement

Because of Covid-19, the wedding date was changed three times. Luckily, each time I had the date they moved it to available. I know the stress it put on the bride, and I can’t imagine all the stress Covid put on others who had plans throughout this pandemic. I know I was never able to find a day to do a small graduation party for my graduate because of it, and there had to be be many others I know who had to cancel things, too!

A week before the wedding, Theresa texted me about the wedding and said, “I don’t think we need a rehearsal. I think we all know how to walk down the aisle and such.” I made sure to call her and at least go over all of the music and details of the ceremony. The wedding party was small, so I thought, “How can we mess this up?”

I decided that if something didn’t go as planned, I would just ad-lib “This is what happens when you don’t have a rehearsal.” It didn’t take long for me to have to use that ad-lib. The bride’s brother was helping with playing the music for the entrances. He couldn’t figure out which button to push for when the bride entered. So, the bride just started walking in – with no music. All in all, in the end, it went well. They have a few funny moments to remember forever! LOL

Old Friends

Since Theresa and I went to high school together, we have numerous mutual friends. I knew of two that were going to be there, Stacey and Kris, but I was surprised to see my friend Pam there, too. Seeing these three friends was a joy. Stacey and I talk often, and have been close friends for years. We played trumpet together in band and often talk about Bible stuff. Kris and Pam both went to elementary school with me, so we’ve known each other for a long time, too. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends, but it is always great to see each other in person! They danced a lot and suggested some great old school tunes. They really made the night fun for me.

When I was a senior in high school, I asked Theresa’s sister Karen to the prom. Karen and I actually dated for quite awhile, so I knew all of their family very well. It was nice to see Theresa’s mom and dad, her brother’s Paul and Joe, and her sister Katy. Karen had an emergency come up and was unable to be at the wedding, but I was able to see her briefly before I set up. I felt bad because she was supposed to stand up in the wedding. Her brother’s kept me laughing a lot. They reminded me of some very funny stories that I had totally forgotten about. I sat with Katy and got to meet her kids and her husband. A couple of Theresa’s aunt’s were there and came up to me saying they remembered me, too. It really was a nice time.

If you are a wedding photographer, please do not take offence to this, but there is nothing that DJ’s hate more than a photographer who pulls the wedding couple away for more than 20 minutes to get pictures done. The DJ is left to deal with the people who are done eating and wondering when the dancing is going to start! The bride and groom always have the first dance, so if you have them and every other member of the bridal party off somewhere for over an hour, people get bored and leave. Despite it taking awhile to get the dancing started, once it did, people danced all night.

I was happy to be a part of such a special night and was even happier to see so many good friends.

Football and Family

Ashamed to be a Fan

Like most guys, I’m a football fan. I’m also a very lucky football fan, as my wife loves to watch football, too! For my readers who don’t know, I live in Michigan. The good news is that we have a professional NFL team here. The bad news is that the team is the Detroit Lions. In the 50 years I have been on this earth the Lions have played in 14 playoff games (mostly Wildcard games) and have only won 1 game. Since 1944, only 5 NFL teams have had the embarrassing privilege of going 0-16 in a season – the Lions did it in 2008.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, football fans in Michigan cry “Same old Lions!” after every game. No matter what, they always seem to find a way to lose!

I was surprised to turn on the game in the 3rd quarter Sunday and find that they were actually beating the Chicago Bears 23-6. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the commentators on TV had to flash up some stats that recounted just how many times the Lions have blown leads and lost in the 4th quarter. It happened again on Sunday.

In the fourth quarter, Chicago scored 21 points to come from behind and beat the Lions. With 6 seconds left in the game, D’Andre Swift dropped the potential game winning TD! It was just sickening!

When this happened, all I could think of was that scene in one of the Naked Gun movies with everyone facepalming:

I am left to wonder if I will ever see the Lions in the Super Bowl, let alone WIN it! Until then, I will continue to watch “the same old Lions”……

Not sure who Robustoman is, but he nails it with this drawing/logo!

The Kids

Since last blogging, our little princess hit another milestone: She is 7 months old!

She’s almost 17 pounds, is sitting up by herself, has two teeth , and is eating real food. She will be crawling before we know it. She truly could be a model, as she has so many wonderful facial expressions. Today, while eating peaches, she was puckering up like she took a bite out of a lemon or something!

I was especially happy this weekend as both boys were over to visit. I made breakfast for all of us, we walked the neighborhood, and had some good conversation. My oldest boy is working a lot of hours, so it was nice to have all of my kids together for the day. Wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was able to snap this one –

Big brothers and their sister

Someone once said, ” In a society that has you counting money, pounds, calories, and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings instead.” Another said, “When you count your blessings, you realize you are doing just fine.”

While I may not be blessed with a winning football team, I certainly have been blessed with three amazing children and one amazing wife!

This is a First

I am honored

I want to thank my friends at the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society ( https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/ ) for nominating my blog for the Blogger Recognition Award. I guess I never thought that this personal blog would be thought of as “award worthy.”

This award has simple rules.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Post the award banner on your blog.
  • Share the reason you started your blog.
  • Share two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Nominate a maximum of 15 other bloggers.
  • Tell your nominees about your award post, so they can participate.

So I have done the first two things the rules require. I will move through the rest of the list now.

The Reason I Started My Blog

As I have said in the past, I used to blog on MySpace and wrote “notes” on Facebook. I never had a dedicated site to blog on. As I went through my divorce, my therapist suggested writing a journal. I told her I used to blog all the time and she asked why I stopped. I told her that my ex hated that I wrote blogs. I stopped because she told me “nobody cares about that stuff” and “nobody reads that stupid crap you write” and “I wish you’d stop writing personal stuff on social media.”

The blog was meant to be a personal journal to write about my life, write my memories, share my love for movies and music, and to write about observations. I had no idea that anyone, let alone someone I have never met, would decide that my blog would be something they would enjoy reading. Yet, at last count I have almost 150 regular followers. You, dear reader, are one of them, and I thank you for that!

Two Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers

I don’t consider myself to be a professional blogger. I’m probably not the guy who you’d want to listen to if you plan on blogging professionally or to make money! That being said, I guess I can offer my thoughts on blogging. I have used the way I used to approach picking topics to talk about on my radio show for my blogs.

First, write about something you love. Chances are, someone else loves it, too. I would say that the majority of blogs I follow are about movies and music. I have even become personal friends with those bloggers. What do you love? What are your hobbies? What is your favorite film or movie genre? Who is your favorite singer? What do you do for a living? Write about what you know and love. Writing prompts have sometimes led to a really good blog. Subscribe to them and you’ll find some that will directly be related to things you love.

Second, don’t be afraid to get personal. If you’d rather not, I understand. I can tell you that when I spoke of personal things on the radio, it always led to listener reactions. In the same way, some of my most personal blogs are the ones that get the most comments, reactions, and responses. Don’t be afraid to share a bit of the real you – you will find that there are plenty of readers who can relate to you!

My Nominations

Many of the ones I could nominate, were nominated by the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society already. This is my first time doing this, so I will offer up just a few here:

First – My buddy, Max from the PowerPop Blog at: https://powerpop.blog/

He and I are so much alike. He’s been a great friend and has helped me with the set up of my blog’s content page. We’re around the same age, and we share many of the same memories about pop culture.

Second – Slice the Life at: https://slicethelife.com/

They are currently doing a month long salute on Dr. Demento and novelty tunes!

Next, the music posts from America on Coffee at: https://americaoncoffee.blog/

I have found they share my taste in music and often introduce me to songs I don’t know or remember.

Finally, Scott and the gang at the blog Waldina at: https://waldina.com/

He has some great write ups about celebrity birthdays, pop culture, movies, and more.

There are many others that I could nominate, too, but as I mentioned, they were nominated by PEPS.

Thank you, PEPS! I am truly honored and humbled to have been nominated by you!

Keith!

“Bad Days Build Better Days”

I don’t feel like blogging. I don’t feel like being here. I have so many thoughts running through my mind. I feel like my insides are being torn apart. I am sad and want to cry. I am mad and want to scream. I am tired and need to sleep. I am frustrated and don’t know what to do. I am a huge mess. I don’t feel like blogging, but maybe it will be good to just vent.

I keep telling myself all the things that have helped me over the past 4 years:

  • “Control what you can control.”
  • “Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Be strong and choose to be positive.”
  • “Stay Positive – better days are on the way.”
  • “Let it go.”
  • “Pay no attention to toxic words. What people say is often a reflection of themselves, not you.”
  • “Life becomes easier when you delete the negative people from it.”
  • “You never fully see how toxic someone is until you breathe fresher air.”
  • “Let people do what they need to do to be happy, mind your own business and do what you need to do to make you happy.”
  • “Forget the negative and focus on the positives.”

Man, that’s just a handful of quotes that have helped in the past. To a degree, they helped a little today. Basically, though, as I thought on them, all I could say was, “I know.” It was just extremely hard to follow the instructions in those bits of wisdom.

Once Upon a Time – A Fairy Tale

In life we all have monsters or ogres that cause us trouble. The ogre in my life was working overtime over the past 48 hours. My days consisted of text messages, e-mails, phone calls, and communication from the ogre and its believers. To say that those things have exhausted me is an understatement.

As I thought about ways to describe my ogre, I was immediately reminded of the biblical person of the Antichrist. If you are unfamiliar with him, all you need to know is that this person is set to come in very peaceably, speaking kind words, promising to get things right, and leading people astray in belief of his lies. Then, this peaceful man will seek to destroy the world. He will do terrible things. My ogre is like that.

“If it is easier on you …” “Oh, that’s no trouble at all….” “I’m glad to help you with that …” and then, when the time is right, it turns on you. Suddenly, everything you thought was being done in kindness, is used against you. Things that you thought you’d agreed on, are now twisted and turned to make you look bad. The ogre begins to spread lies, and telling half truths to make situations look like something they are not. The narcissistic ogre is like a category 5 hurricane or an EF-5 tornado, looking to destroy anything in it’s path, while looking angelic to it’s followers.

What is truly sad is the effect that this has on the innocent. The pawns in the beast’s game of chess. These poor clueless pawns are brainwashed by the control of its words. They say if you tell someone something enough, whether it is true or not, they will start to believe it, despite no proof. The manipulation and the subtle way that the ogre controls these pawns is invisible to those under the spell of its black magic. Woe unto those poor souls!

If the ogre only affected me, I think I would be able to cope with things more. However, the ogre is a powerful beast. It knows how to work its way into my circle. It not only affects me, but my friends and family. It is not happy unless it is making others unhappy. I’ve seen this first hand. It’s not just with me as the ogre loves to cause trouble in the lives of others. Planting seeds which causes others to argue, gossip, or throw someone’s life into chaos. Once the seed takes root, the ogre sits back and watches the madness, the struggles, the anger, and chaos with great delight. How sick is this beast that it gets such pleasure by hurting and destroying others?!

Sadly, the ogre is not something I can just cut out of my life, though I wish I could. The ogre will be around for some time. Perhaps there is some mythical creature that can be used as a mediator, but alas, I have not found it. I’ve never felt like my life was that entertaining, but it seems like it must be, as the ogre spends a lot of time worried about me and what I am doing. All I can do is to continue to pray that with time, the ogre will leave me alone and find someone else to focus its attention on.

The End – I hope.

As they used to say on old radio shows – Any similarity to persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Scarlett O’Hara

Though I have never seen Gone With The Wind all the way through, I am familiar with quotes from the movie. I’d like to close with one. While today was a bad day, I have to remember what Scarlett O’Hara said, “…tomorrow is another day.”

Three C’s – Confidence, Character, and Change

Three C’s

Do a Google search of “Three C’s” and you will find many:

  • Three C’s of Sucess
  • Three C’s of Leadership
  • Three C’s of Business Communication
  • Three C’s of Marketing
  • Three C’s to Help Children Suceed
  • Three C’s of Strong Writing

The list goes on and on. The Three C’s of this blog don’t necessarily all fit together under one heading. I just had a few things that I wanted to write about and the all started with C. I guess they might all connect in one way or another, but that’s probably coincidence.

I’m not sure that this blog is going to teach anybody anything. There may or may not be a lesson here. I’m going to admit that this blog is more for me. I wanted to actually write this down so I could come back and reflect on it. If you gain some nugget of information or find it something for you to apply to your life, I’ll count that as a blessing.

Confidence

This week, my wife asked if I had heard a Christian song called “Confidence” by Sanctus Real. I had not. I told her I would give it a listen. I found that it struck a chord with me. Here are just some of the lyrics:

I’m not a warrior
I’m too afraid to lose
I feel unqualified for what you’re calling me to
But Lord with your strength
I’ve got no excuse
‘Cause broken people are exactly who you use

So give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense
So I can face my giants with confidence

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have woke up afraid to face the day or the times I have been afraid to face a challenge. Even recently, I felt “unqualified” for a task I had to undertake. I love how this song reminds me that God uses “broken” people to do things. I once had a pastor tell me something along the same lines when he said “God often does His best work when things seem to be at their worst.”

The song goes on to talk about some of the traits of great men in the Bible and how we can use those traits to be confident in all we are to do. David faced his giant with confidence, and we can too with His help.

Character

This brings me to the second “C” – Character. The character traits of those mentioned in the song are things I hope to have daily in my life.

It mentions the faith of Daniel in the lion’s den. A study of Daniel in the Bible will show that he was also a man of great devotion. His faith and devotion were unwavering. He knew no fear, and had a lot of faith. What a great example.

The song mentions the hope of Moses in the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for 40 years with a group of people who were praising God one day, and complaining about God the next. One can only imagine the great amount of patience that Moses had to have during his time with them. Some of us can’t handle 40 minutes with relatives, let alone 40 years! Moses, through all of that, led them. Another great example.

Then the song mentions the heart of David. He is often called a “man after God’s own heart” because of his bravery and his passion for justice. David was a great man of prayer, many of them recorded in the book of Psalms. He is a great example of a man who always sought guidance from God during times of chaos.

This got me thinking about other biblical examples of strong character traits. There are many of them, and I am only going to mention a few here. I’ll start with Abram/Abraham. Here’s a guy who is 100 years old (his wife was also old), never had children, and God tells him he is going to have many children. He is told he will be the father of a “great nation.” When he finally has a child, God tells him to sacrifice him. Can you imagine? Here’s the child I promised you, now sacrifice him to Me. He was totally prepared to do it and God saw his faith. Isaac went on to bear his own children and Abraham was indeed the father of a great nation. His faith was tested and he was faithful. What an amazing example of faith.

In Genesis 6, God tells Noah that he is going to flood the earth. He tells him to build an ark to save his family and the animals of the earth. He was about 500 years old when he was told this. Some figure that it took him about 55 or so years to complete the ark. (Keep in mind he also had to make sure there was food, water, provisions and such to survive on the ark while it floated. That’s a big job!) Talk about a guy who had endurance! Noah sure did.

Many people talk of the patience of Job. I think patience is a good word, but you could also say that he had perseverance. He is a man who suffered some very terrible things in his life time. Those things happen to him one after another. His children, cattle, and servants all die at the same time! He suffered through so many things, and yet through it all he worships God. He persevered through terrible times, and in the end he comes out of it blessed with more than before. When I think of Job, I think of the old saying, “You have to go through the storm to get to the rainbow.”

Lastly, I want to talk about Paul. He is called Saul before his conversion. He was a huge persecutor of Christians after Jesus was crucified. He led the charge to throw people in jail who were preaching about Jesus. He also had many Christians killed because of their faith. In the book of Acts, Saul is confronted by the risen Lord and converted. He went on to write 13 very important books in the New Testament! He is a great example of change. He was this terrible man who persecuted Christians, and went on to be one of the greatest examples of change in all of Scripture!

Which brings me to my third, and final “C” – Change.

Change

The third C, came up in conversation with my friend, Jeff. I mentioned how sad it was that people get branded or judged to always be one way. There are way too many people in the world who do not believe that a person can change. People change every day! I am NOT the same man I was 5 years ago. Sadly, there are many people who believe that people can’t change. That is just not true. People can change – but they have to want to change.

Sam watches this show called “Intervention” on TV. It follows people who suffer with addiction. They are confronted by family and given the option to get treatment for their addiction. Some chose to get treatment, while others do not. They make a choice.

Change begins with a choice. A person has to chose to change their way of thinking. A person has to chose to do things a different way. A person has to chose to stop doing things that lead to certain behaviors. Change can happen, but not every one chooses to change.

It is wrong for us to believe that people can’t change. It is wrong for us to “brand” people as being a certain way. There are people who feel that they are qualified to make a judgement and say, “He says he doesn’t drink anymore, but you know he does!” Exactly what is it that qualifies you to do that? Isn’t there a saying that says, “When you point a finger at someone, there are three more pointing back at you?”

There are some of the people from my past, who go around talking about “giving grace” to others. Some of them even stand in front of church congregations preaching this. Yet they are the very ones who judge and brand people. They are the ones who gossip about others. They are hypocrites. They enjoy making other’s look bad by spreading lies, rumors and falsehoods. They are far from perfect, and they are master manipulators who will do and say whatever needs to be said to (1) make them look good and (2) to accomplish whatever works to their advantage.

I saw a T-shirt recently that read on the front “I’m not the man I ought to be, but…” On the back it read, “Thank God, I am not the man I used to be!” What an amazing quote! This is exactly how I feel! This blog serves as a reminder to me that I am a new man. I have made positive changes in my life, and while there are many who brand me as being “like I was,” I am changed!

Adam Lindsay Gordon’s words above are words to live by!

I pray each day that as I live my life, people will see me as a man of faith. I hope they see me as having the character traits of some of those biblical men who I mentioned earlier in this blog. I pray that God helps me to be a faithful man, husband, father, and friend. I pray that that He uses this “broken” man’s story to help others understand that change is possible!

Thanks for reading!