Touching a Life

Success. It has many definitions but what is it to you? I heard a sermon yesterday someone gave me to listen to. She said it impacted her so amazingly that she wanted to share it with me. During this sermon the preacher talked about many things but part that stuck out to me the most is this. He was talking about the true meaning of success.

Status or size usually equals success in most people’s eyes but what does it mean to be significant? According to the preacher, in order to be significant, you must touch at least one person’s life for the better. And this is something I believe is correct. This shows to everyone that we do care and we are willing to walk with that person through the good and the bad. In order to touch a life, we must be willing to take the burdens of others and place them on our shoulders to help relieve the pain they are having. We must be ready to get into the foxhole with them at their darkest hour and cry, listen, pray and love them. We can’t cast them aside because we don’t agree with them. We must know they will be there for us in our good and bad times. We should rejoice with them when times are good. We must be able to be happy for them when we are sad. And we must be able to share with them the victories in our lives. We must also be ready to give and receive advice. It will come so be ready. And lastly, we must love this person no matter what. We can’t show them anything but love if we want to truly touch each others life. And if we can do all of these things for one person, we must be willing to do them for anyone God puts in our life.

It’s not your status that will be remembered when you leave this place, it’s about the lives you touch. I write this with many people on my mind and in my heart.  I hope I have not torn down a life with my words or actions but I know I most likely have. I only hope that I have touched at least one life in the world so I too can have a life worth remembering like so many who have touched my life.

I love you all!!

One Year Later

It was December 13, 2007 and I had no idea what I was doing. Baseball’s Mitchell report had just been released and I was so focused on the report that I forgot I was leaving town that afternoon with some people from our college group (the Group) to go to Glorietta, NM for a conference. As the time passed, first Travis and Lindsey showed up, then Shaina and Nick  and lastly, Colt. We all piled into Christy’s van and started the drive to Glorietta.

It had been going through my mind all week. Get out of this trip and stay home. But for some reason, God wanted me to go. I had no real desire to go except maybe to get away and I was puzzled as to why God was telling me to go.

We made the drive and during the next 48 hours or so, we found out about each other. What we liked and what we didn’t like about each other. We found out that Travis makes amazing cookies, Colt likes to kill things, Nick and Shaina love each other no matter what, that Lindsey can sleep anywhere and at any time and that I like to talk until all hours of the night, morning or whenever. And this poor group found out way too much about me. 

But what none of us ever expected was the year we have had since then. Yes, we have had our issues within the group, as all groups do but it’s still a very strong group. We have gained so many people in the past year like Creed, Jessica, Sam, Matt, Wyatt, Alyssa, Dan, Tyler, Tony, Tamara, Nathan (both of you), Staci, Adam, Aaron, Sara Tara, Jasmine, Regina and Johnny. These people have brought joy, love and wisdom to the group.

Christy and I have been so blessed by each of the people in the group this past year. What started out as me tyring to figure out what God wanted me to do and Christy wanting no part of it, has grown our family. We love each of the people within the group and are ready to see what God has for the group over the next year. Friendships have grown and lives have been shaped over the last year. Christy and I have a new daughter from this group and along with Lindsey came Kristin. What a precious gift from God this group has been for us. Yes, our family is growing and we are very excited.

So, as God speaks to you and you don’t want to do what He asks, I urge you to act on what He says. If I would have gone against God’s wishes, I would not have the people in the group in my life. I would not have bible study partners on Wednesday nights, anyone at my house on Tuesday night or new family members to love and cherish forever.

So in short, thanks to each one of you in the group. You each have a special place in my heart and with your help, this has been an amazing year. I only pray that year 2 is as amazing and growing as year 1.

Love you all!!

After the Comma

I heard a guy on sports talk radio the other day talking about what’s after the comma that is put at the end of your name describing you. He was talking about Sam Bradford, Heisman Trophy winner. According to him, he will never be anything because he will never have anything important after the comma or a comma at all he thought.

As I sat thinking about this, I thought how sad for him. To have nothing to be proud of and to think that nobody will remember him after he’s gone because it doesn’t say Heisman Trophy winner or Hall of Famer. But to me, that’s all fluff. If that’s all you are to be remembered for, will you really be remembered?

I don’t think so. I like mine. Mine reads as this: R Dennis Amason, husband, dad, son, brother, friend, uncle, cousin and Saved Child of God. That’s what’s after my comma. I think I can live and die with those words behind my name. Can you live or die with what’s behind your name?

Love you all!

She Sat Alone (the Ending?)

Alice sat and remembered back to her childhood. Her dad talked to her about life, love and God. She vaguely remembered what her dad talked to her about but it was coming back faster than she could have imagined.

All she could say was “if you wanted my son, why did you ever give him to me. Why did you allow me to give my heart to John and then you take him away. He was a good boy God. Why all the pain, why the accident, why no father to teach him. He gave his life to you and now this? God, why are you leaving me alone?” Again, she sat alone. Silence came back and there was a feeling she had finally made her point to God.

She had been alone before John arrived.  Just after her dad died in a plant explosion 18 years earlier. She remembered back to when she was 19. It was in the middle of the night when the first phone call she’ll never forget came. Her dad was working the nightshift at an oil refinery and something went very wrong that night. There was an explosion and Alice was the only family her dad had and he was the only family she had. She had never met her mother because she died while giving birth to Alice.

After her dad’s death, she turned to the streets, drugs and men for comfort. She got pregnant, dropped out of school and had many jobs. Her only true peace and love was her son John. He had brought her so much fun, peace and love to her but now, as she did 18 years ago, she sat alone, searching.

But one more time she heard “John was mine, not yours. I only gave him to you for a short time and now I have called him home.” And for the first time in her life, she listened to the voice inside her. She fought and fought to not listen but she knew it couldn’t be ignored this time. She knew God’s plan for her life was perfect no matter what. She remembered back to her father’s words. “Give it to God Alice and He will walk you through it.”

So this time, as her dad’s voice echoed within her, she did. As she sat crying over John’s body, she knew where he was. He was with the granddad he had never met and who had never met him and he was with his Father. The Father who allowed her to have 17 wonderful years with him and had called him home. It was hard to let him go but it was comforting this time.

She had lost her son but she knew she was not alone. Not this time or ever again.

She Sat Alone

It was a cold and dark. The room was poorly lit and she was all alone. She could see no one else in the room but there was a feeling she needed someone. Alice remembered the call came in at 2:13 am. Her son John had been injured in a car accident and she couldn’t believe he was still in surgery. As she looked up at the clock just passing 5, she saw someone walking down the hall toward her tiny room that really began closing in on her.

 

It was a doctor who she had never seen and with him was a nurse. The nurse opened the door and introduced herself as Katie and then introduced Dr. Smith. As Alice stood there, she had that feeling; that feeling that things didn’t go as planned by the doctor. Why would this nurse be here if things were good? Why would the doctor come in at 5 am when surgery was supposed to be no longer than an hour. “What’s going on?” Alice screamed as Dr. Smith began talking. “Alice, I need you to take a deep breath,” Dr. Smith said. “Things didn’t go as planned during surgery. John was a strong young man who fought and we fought for him, but his injuries, they were more than we could have ever imagined. Alice, I’m sorry but John didn’t make it.”

 

It was silent in the room. The faded blue green walls reminded her of a wave crashing down around her. As Katie and Dr. Smith looked at Alice, they saw what they had feared all along. She was alone without John. No husband to comfort her, no family to come to her aid and no sense of anything without her 17 year old son. Alice was in shock and couldn’t talk or breathe. Katie took Alice by the hand and walked her to the room where John was. Where John took his final breath on this earth and where her life seemed to end. Alice sat alone in the room with John and just cried. Damning God for taking her son. And then it happened.

 

From out of nowhere, someone said, “John was mine, not yours. I only gave him to you for a short time and now I have called him home.” Alice didn’t want to hear those words. She was alone and angry. Still damning God, she started making arrangements for her life alone and then she heard it again “John was mine, not yours. I only gave him to you for a short time and now I have called him home.” But this time, it was louder and the walls seemed to shake. She couldn’t believe it. Alice fought and fought and didn’t want to hear this voice.

 

To be continued……

Poverty Day

Well today I officially went into poverty. Not for real but I changed identities and became Albert Aber. I was married and had 2 kids. This was a simulation in Leadership Amarillo Canyon but it hit me hard. Things were so hard. I had no job, unemployment benefits had run out, my wife didn’t work and we had $125 in the bank that we couldn’t use because the bank would only use it to get us partly caught back up on a loan due to them. Let me tell you, this was hard. We couldn’t find a jobs to pay the bills, had 1 kid who got kicked out of school and spent time in jail. We didn’t even have enough money to eat. So at the end, our utilities were turned off, we were evicted from our house, we sold everything and we were hungry.

It showed me the roadblocks that people face when they have nothing and how desperate they’ll get to get anything. We saw it all. People stealing from each other and selling themselves to get money to pay for food for their kids. It happens folks and there are times we just need God to slap us with a day like this to remind us. Our comfort at times is taken for granted and this made each of us stretch out and see how it feels to stand in food lines, fill out government forms and be treated well, like hell by people because you have nothing.

It also showed me is that I’m blessed beyond belief. I couldn’t help but just get totally heart broken for people. There are tons of people in Amarillo tonight without a warm house, with no food, basically having nothing. During this simulation, I couldn’t help but stop and pray. I prayed for my simulation and real family and just thank God for what I have and how blessed we as a family really are.

So, during this Christmas season, pray for each other. We don’t know exactly what other families are going through but even in a town as small as Amarillo, there are thousands of families struggling with where their next everything will come from. Just don’t pray for them but search your heart and see how you can help them. Show God’s love to people and let him work with you and them to help everyone.

Love you all!

Life has no Easy Button

I read a question someone posed this week and it made me think and pray.  It was “Why can’t everthing just be easy?” I know life is rough. School, relationships, home, bills, church, groups, siblings, parents and just searching for God’s provision.

It’s at this moment that you realize, life has no easy button. And to me, that’s okay. It’s okay as long as you are growing in the direction God wants you to grow. Grow in Him, not without Him. Listen to what He’s saying and don’t worry about what others think or say. Get rid of any influence that his holding you back.

This is something I’ve had to deal with recently and ya, I wish there was an easy button at times. Because then there would be no pain, no hurts, but there would also be no growth. So I can deal with the pain and hurt. It’s in the pain and hurt that we grow the most. Just remember that.

God loves you and wants you to grow in Him. So take the hard times happily. Learn from them and move where God wants you to go.

Love you all!

Tiny Moments

In a conversation the other night with someone, something came to my mind and that’s what I want to talk about today. It’s in conversations like I was having that night that makes true Godly relationships priceless. Just both people being real and discussing what God says to discuss.

Anyway, we were talking about this and that. It was a father daughter conversation and one that will stick in my mind forever. We talked for a while about the week and then it happened. God allowed our hearts to come together for the betterment of our family. Yes, our family because she’s a HUGE part of it.

What came from that conversation was this. We were talking about being real people and helping each other no matter how big or tiny; that’s the word she used, tiny. I told her that no matter the situation no matter how big or tiny, we have to be there for each other. We have to be willing to listen, pray and give counsel.

We have to know there will be big moments like broken hearts, financial issues, family issues and dreams that are shattered in front of our very eyes. These are the things that everyone sees. The things that stick out and where the hurt or happiness show. It’s easy to come together in these moments and support each other because they are noticeable and need immediate attention. They bring us together but don’t always mold us together for good.

But was we continued, our conversation went from talking about these big things to a talk about the things that don’t really show. The tiny things. The passion that’s inside that hurts when you fail but also hurts so badly reaching the goal. The tiny things that only one or two people know. The desires you have have shared with just a few. The stubbed toe, the stupid mistakes, the lost love you never had, the, well, the things that mold us. The tiny things are the things that if you are brave enough to share them with anyone they could make you vulnerable. But they make you grow at the same time. They don’t stick out until you look at your heart. And they only stick out to you. They are comforting but hard at the same time. Tiny things help us help others and keep us from helping others, thus hurting others without knowing. But all in all, they are us.

As I write this, I only have love and admiration for people who can share the tiny things. The ones who don’t let them stop them from going in the direction God is calling them. The people who help the hurting becasue they hurt and help the ones who don’t really need help but feel it’s necessary. It’s the people who share everything they have even when it hurts. The ones who can open their hearts long enough to let others hurts in to help ease their pain. The ones who can just sit and listen and not judge the other person. The ones who well, who can help us work through our tiny things. To work together for the betterment of them, their family and most importantly, God.

That’s who I want to be. Yes, I’ve had my moments. I’ve helped but I’ve hindered. I’ve not listened to the calling of God in my life because of the tiny things I try to hold onto so dearly but should give to Him. I listened a few times and in those moments, it’s amazing. I’ve grown and moved just a step closer to being who I’m called to me. He will allow me to be me, if I allow Him to move in me.

As the conversation came to an end, I told her to remember this and I will ask the same of anyone who reads this. Remember in big moments, it’s easy to cling to each other and grow; but it takes the tiny moments to melt our hearts into one for Christ.

I do love you all and I ask that you pray for me, Christy, Elisabeth and Garrett. We are learning about our tiny things and we are growing closer to each other and to Christ but it is painful at times.

Love you all!

And to the daughter who helped write this, thanks and know that I love you!

Don’t be stopped by vision, be great beacuse of it!

Vision. It’s such a small word but has so many meanings. Vision is what we see and it helps us get to where we are going. In the true sense, vision is needed, good and desired. As people, our vision tells us about the things around us and if it works properly, it opens our mind and challenges everything we know. But when vision isn’t working properly, we see it as a handicap, disability or something to complain about. Vision isn’t all we need; it’s just something we get used to having. There are thousands of people who have never had eyesight but they had a greater vision than us.

Vision can’t be brought down to such a small thing as eyesight but for some reason that’s all we do. We put vision in this box and we don’t let it out. Whether it’s at work, home, school or church. If given by God, the “vision” of our future should guide us and lead us to where we are called to be. Every leader should have a vision and should share it often with those they are leading.

Vision should be talked about but not set in stone. I once heard Emmitt Smith talk about being a running back. They asked him about his running style and how he can see the holes that don’t appear to be there. His response was amazing. He said that as a running back, you can’t lock in on one vision, the goal, and nothing else. You have to be able to see all around you and continue to see who’s helping you by expanding your vision. His linemen were in the trenches and if he continued looking behind them long enough, he could see a new way to his goal. His vision was expanded and he didn’t get tunnel vision. 

 

In our lives, I think it’s easy to get tunnel vision. We have our minds and hearts set on one goal, which is awesome, but we have to realize that the vision could be enhanced or helped by those in the trenches. We have to be willing to look around and expand our vision. You see, having vision is not only about what’s in front of you; it’s having the ability to have peripheral vision. We have to be able to see what coming from all areas of our life. We have to see what’s coming from in front, from the right, let and what’s behind us. Those things that sometimes “broadside” us are the ones that hurt the most. If we are not looking out for all sides, our vision may be broke. It’s not what you see in front, it’s what you see all around. 

 

In order to help clear up our vision and expand our vision, we must trust those around us and allow them to help. We must be willing to drop our pride and give things over to the people in the trenches. We must know we can’t do everything by ourselves and just because someone is seeing a different vision, don’t discount theirs. You might just get a hole opened enough from someone else to spring you for a long run toward your goal.

Just like when you are sick, you go to the doctor and sometimes a hospital visit may be required. Vision sickness is the same. There are times we must leave a situation in order to get healed. We must give ourselves the medicine needed to get our vision corrected.

We can’t allow our vision to be clouded too long. If it stays clouded too long, it could destroy the vision that we have. And when this happens, we might miss our true calling.  

Allow your vision to grow beyond what’s in front of you. Look around and see who’s there. See if they are willing and able to help you pursue your goal. And if they are willing but not able, begin pouring into them so together you can grow and work toward each other’s goal.

 

Don’t let vision stop you. Remember, our eyesight changes over the years and so will your vision. Allow it to change and don’t be so stubborn that you miss seeing the hole that will spring you for a long run! Don’t be stopped by vision, be great because of it! 

 

Love you all!

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up

Last night while reading the info section of one of my friend’s facebook page, I found a quote that has truly inspired me since I first heard it in 1993. It’s not anything cheesy but just an amazing quote to live by. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” Jimmy Valvano. This has become one of the most famous quotes of all times but it wasn’t the quote that caught my attention as I watched Jimmy V give this speech in 1993. The meat of the speech was better than the quote and the speech has become quite an inspiration for many to search for what they believe.

During the speech, Jimmy V challenged us to do three things every day. Laugh, think and have our emotions moved to tears. This is pretty much how I want to live every day. Laughing gives us what we need and helps us keep a good attitude about every situation we come across. I like to think if I don’t laugh at me, then others might not either. And if we can’t laugh at ourselves, then we can’t honestly laugh at others. Think. Thinking frees us to find what we truly believe. Thinking stretches us and challenges everything we think we know. Thinking has to be done daily and I encourage everyone to find a quiet place to think for at least 30 minutes a day. This will allow you to grow and get a clear vision of where you are headed. Have our emotions moved to tears, better known as crying. I guess I’m one of those who like to cry. I cry when I laugh too hard, when I’m mad or when I’m passionate about something. And when you cry about things you are passionate about, you know you are growing. I have probably cried more tears than most over my life and yes, I love those movies that make you cry. When we do these 3 things, we grow and people notice.

But in order to do these things, we must have the desire to do so. Ralph Emerson Waldo said “nothing great can be accomplished without enthusiasm.” Enthusiasm for what you are doing and where you are going will help you stay on the correct path and allow us to share with others. Having this enthusiasm is not easy to find or easy to keep. We must find what keeps us interested and what keeps our enthusiasm high enough to keep us growing. Yes, it’s hard to do this but remember anything worth keeping is very hard work.

Lastly, Jimmy V talked about his cancer. That it could not touch his heart, mind or soul. And he was very correct. We all have some type of cancer that’s eating at us. Cancer is something that has mutated our cells and turns against our body. The great thing is that Jimmy V didn’t allow the cancer to affect his heart, mind or soul. And that’s advice we should all take. Don’t let the “cancers” in your life affect your heart, mind or soul. Keep your heart, mind and soul clean and you will find it’s easier to live, to laugh, to think and to cry.

This speech was huge in my life. It gave me such inspiration to not let anything get me down. Yes, it’s been hard at times to follow what I just typed. But in trying to do these things, I have grown more than I thought I ever could have. Look around your heart, mind and soul and see if there are things you need to get rid of. If there are, cut them out so you can grow. This will allow you live and love and that’s all we really need to do. Live and know you can’t fully live without love!

Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Love you all!!