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Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Would you love me?
If I told you I was gay?
Or would you look at me
In shocked disbelief,
With nothing more to say?
Would it turn your opinion of me
Like night turns to day?
Or would you say
You always kinda knew.
Then why the dirty jokes
And devilish remarks
That hurts my heart
And makes me blue,
And makes me wonder
If I can ever trust you.
Would you appreciate my honesty?
Would you consider it integrity?
Would you grasp my deep respect?
For both God and man,
In my need to be real and true
And honest about who I am?
Or would you judge me infidel
And turn you back on me
And see me only as another
Little Boy Blue
Lost in the shuffle
And the hustle and bustle.
Now just one of the meaningless
Things in your life. Rejected!
Or, would you try?
Would you try and understand?
Would you stand with me?
Or would you just let fear
And insecurity mold you…..
Into the “Status Quo?”

asa

a tribute to my father, my family and my legacy……….and to honesty and the courage to be real and to be like God our Father…….to just be who we are so we can become who we will be…….
And thanks to Eugene Field who wrote the poem “Little Boy Blue” which has long touched my heart, made me cry and remember my lost little boy and to appreciate every moment with the people I love and respect and to accept them all just for who they are and nothing more……let God handle the rest…….

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Are you broken hearted?

Feeling lonely, down and blue?

Has life become too hard?

Now you don’t know what to do.

Are you disillusioned

By disappointment?

Battered by despair.

Have you lost the joy

Of contentment?

Has life turned out

To seem most unfair?

Do you matter?

Do I matter?

As the wheels of providence

Keep turning and turning

And the sands of time

Trickle down and those

Who are sad?

Just keep getting sadder

And this life keeps churning and burning,

Running our hearts down

Deep into the ground……don’t give up!

Look up!  Look around!

Plainly it can be seen

Many a wounded soul has seen

This world can be mean.

Unbending.

Especially for the brokenhearted

Lonely, drifting souls, like ours.

But know one thing is true.

We are not alone,

Many are there like us,

Many are they who are in need.

So many lonely ones, like us

Whose hearts bleed, and agonize,

Longing to belong, to commune, to fraternize

With those who understand.

Life is hard.

Many hearts are shattered, scattered

Like earthen jars, clay pots

Smashed on the sidewalk of life

And treaded under foot,

Discarded and alone, until……

The Master comes along

And gathers all the pieces of our

Shattered hearts, stained glass

Molded into a rainbow of illumination

And blended into a new creation of love

Fired in the furnace of suffering, rejection

And affliction…..out of the ashes

Arises beauty…..a seed dead in the ground

Becomes a huge, wise old tree.

Never give up, let the travail

Give birth to the new……

Let you heartbroken suffering and rejection

Become the foundation

On which a better future is built.

 

asa

 

 

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He Never Lets Go

DSC08191

Muddy Waters

Roll On By

Washed Away

By The Tears I Cry

Heartaches Come

But Are Swept Away

When My Eyes

Are On The Lord

Each Day

Cloudy Sky’s

Can Blow On By

The Sun Is Shining

I’m Not Going To Cry

Because God Loves Me

He Holds Me Tight

I’m In His Loving Arms

Each Morning And

Every Night

Troubles Come

Most Every Day

Sadness Tries

To Take Me Away

Still I Stand Firm

I’m Not Going To Let Go

Because He Holds Me

And He Never Lets Go

And I Know He Never Will

asa

 

DSC08194

images by: asa

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Draw Me To My Closet Lord

….but you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you openly…….matt 6:6

*******

Draw me

To my closet

Lord

Teach me

How to pray

Draw me

Into Your Presence

Lord

Tell me what to say

I long to pray

And intercede

On behalf of

Those dear to you

To serve

Humble and wounded

Lord, just for You

Fill me, mold me

Pour your precious

Rare, costly perfume

Into this cracked vessels

Patchwork heart

So that Love

May flow

Through the cracks

Into the spirits

Of those

You send me

Teach me

How to Love them

In the furnace

Of affliction

Lord and to

Suffer with You

On behalf of

Those You love.

asa

******* 

Our Father who is in heaven

Hallowed be Your name

Your Kingdom come

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven

give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us ours debts, as we also

have forgiven our debtors

and do not lead us into temptation

but deliver us from evil

For Yours is the Kingdom

and the power

and the glory

forever and ever. matt 6:9-13

The Lord is my shepherd

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His names sake.

Even though I walk through the valley

of the shadow death,

I fear no evil for you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will

follow me all of the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the

House of the Lord forever. psalm 23

The Lord Is My Sheppard

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I am posting this here for AS (anklosing spondolitis ) awareness.  AS is  a type of arthritis that affects the spine and other joints and is a chronic degenerative disease that over 2 million people in American suffer from.  In many cases it is debilitating and it is always hard to live with.   Usually only people who have it or those close to them know about it.  I’ve even heard that the Arthritis Foundation sometimes overlooks them in favor of other more well-known conditions but  there is awareness growing and there are groups helping that to happen.  They inspired me to write a little about my life long struggle with the disease.  It is hard and embarrassing to talk about and I don’t like to ask for sympathy so it was very hard to creat and post this.  However I feel it necessary in a way because others who suffer have helped me get through and I owe it to them to do my part in raising awareness.  So thanks for reading.  This is a serious matter to a lot of people and you may know one of them. 

Feb, 2011; update, Since I wrote last about this I have been back through the doctors, PT, x-rays, mri stuff with no real answers still or a total agreement of what I am really struggling with.  Some form of autoimmune, arthritis condition I suppose.  Perhaps one day I can figure all of this out for real.  Since last I spoke of this my hands and feet have become involved.  It seems that I will have to wait until I get worse before I go back to the doctors again.  This last 6 month adventure did not quite get me back to the rehumy before my resorces ran out so I did not get the results I was hoping for when I went to the hospital in September 2010 cause my neck and shoulders were getting in the game in a big way.  Instead of refering me to a rehumy they sent me to a neuroligist which confused me.  He suggested that I shrugh it off.  Ha-ha, thanks a lot doc.  So he was no help.  The physical therapy felt good and the new exercises I added the the routine are good for me but after 2 months with limited results they cut me loose from that.  So no referal, no new angle on this whole crummy, painful situation.  Still I wait on God for the help and relief that I have so long sought.  I still am not working and am concerned if I will even be able to keep up if I get called back cause this is not getting any better and I am not getting any younger.

                                                        Alan’s AS Adventure

 I am writing my story for you here because reading the stories of other AS sufferers  inspires me and validates my own experiences. I must say that my hats off to all of you poor folks who can relate to what I have to say.

My life with AS is like having a mystery disease that no one has ever heard of if they don’t have it or know someone who does. If they don’t know then they just don’t understand and they often express it in subtle ways that hurt. So I like to try to keep it secret as best as I can but that gets harder as my body slowly gives in to the pressures of the disease.

I started having symptoms in my late teens and early twenty’s. Before that I had a severe bout with rheumatic fever when I was around 8 years old and all of my joints were swollen and feverish and I was very sick. It lasted for several weeks and I was crippled the whole time. It was horrible. However I don’t know that it contributed to anything current. (Except that when I get a bacterial infection (salmonella for over 6 weeks last year, I thought I was dying) or a viral infection (if it is viral and not severe IBS which triggers it too) my AS makes my body feel like it did when I had the fever..)

The first symptoms I noticed were my knees and lower back aching for no apparent reason when I was 14 or so. I noticed it after sitting in class all day or when I went to the movies. I was not concerned until once around Christmas my knee got swollen and I had a very hard time walking for a couple of weeks. Things cleared up some after that but never went away.

It was not until later on when I was married and in my early 20s that my back and other problems started to give me a fit and make it difficult to do my job as an electricians helper and live my life in general. Having so many aches and pains at such a young age perplexed and frustrated me. It made life hard.

Enough was enough and off to the doctor I went. That led to a “specialist” and a bunch of blood work and x-rays and exams and questions. Tests and the gene marker HLA-B27 among other things led to the diagnosis of AS. I had no idea what that was and I quickly learned that I would have been better off if I had never needed to know. However, once Pandora’s box is open……there is no closing it.

Through the years I have been on again, off again, with docs and meds and stuff like that. Once my original doctor retired (which was about 3 years after he diagnosed me) I had trouble finding another one like him. I think he had AS even though he never told me. I could see it. Whatever the reason, he knew it better than any other doctor I have ever had.

After him it was several different doctors over the years and they all said yes, no, or maybe, with an attitude that often seemed indifferent to my particular plight. They appeared only “text book” savvy of my condition and seemed to want to mess with it for only so long. A few prescriptions, a stomach doctor and colonoscopy, a MRI and bunch of X-rays, physical therapy once and more blood work and that was about all they could do. Always more confirmation of what the original diagnosis was but no real commitment to solving my problem, just busy work, and each time that I started to feel the least bit better I thought “I must not have a problem after all” and I would stop scheduling appointments and taking meds.

I guess I was difficult because nothing seemed to help me get over it when it was really going and it never really ever went away. Plus I would go into denial, leave for a while, then come back again. No matter whether seds were high or low, or if they could see as much inflammation as they needed to see or not, the disease was slowly eroding me. There was no denying it then and there is no denying it now.

The meds sucked and made me sick and the physical therapy ran out and I gave up but the pain and stiffness along with other weird problems never give up. I always ended up paying my part before going back to work sick and in pain to try to make it up but I never got any results for my hard-earned money.

Now I am 47 and it is worse than ever. I have not had a doctor in over 7 years and now I don’t even know if I can get one. I have chronic IBS and my back is so stiff that I can can only touch things below my knees if I bend my knees because my back can’t bend. My middle back and neck are involved too, just not as bad yet, but at times the pain is excruciating and the stiffness is evident. I have a real problem doing jobs with my arms extended out in front of me because the pain and weakness get so bad. There is also leg pain and weakness and my heels give me a fit. I could write a paper describing what walking up 3 flights of stairs feels like and that is sad. The list of things that hurt just roves all around my body reeking unexplainable havoc. Also I have to breathe into my stomach because my ribs don’t seem to move like they used to and the rib and chest pain are hateful. I do not like shortness of breath, it is scary; especially at night or if I eat too much. I have to be careful not to think about it or I start to panic. It is like being crushed and that claustrophobic suffocation feeling can be overwhelming at times. 

Overwhelming is an under statement now. I have fallen behind on everything and it’s all on top of me. It’s funny how I lived for so long before coming to the conclusion that “I am in trouble.” Now I have worse problems than before. My condition has taken me to the point of unemployment and I have no income, no insurance, no doctor and no idea. I say my condition caused me to lose my job because I have gotten slow and have a hard time keeping up. I miss work sick and because of my back and my former employer knew about my AS. I even suspected a couple of guys at work were making fun of me because I have a hard time going up and down stairs and getting in and out of the van.

So when I heard layoffs were coming I kind of knew I would get cut, again, and I was right. I don’t know that they will not call me back but I saw a guy who left when I did and he is back. I don’t know what that means  but it concerns me. Not to mention that if I do go back, how long will I last? I am in between everything and the future is uncertain. I continue my search for answers and solutions.  It’s like falling off of a cliff and trying to grab a hold on the way down.

In closing I think it is only fitting that I stop in mid-stride because my story is not over. There is still a long journey ahead and the way is darker now than before. As always my faith and hope sustain me and being kind and caring for others helps chase the self-pity away. Still it is hard and I am scared. I don’t know how bad AS is ultimately going to hurt me. I don’t know what I am going to do about work and income. I don’t know how I am going to find a good rheumy or any of that jazz. I’m just going to keep smiling, trusting God, loving life and living one day at a time. So don’t any of you give up. You have to be an inspiration and light the way for others.

 Alan

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