Category Archives: friends

There are no ends… only beginnings…

As we moved to San Antonio from the North East, crossing paths with a talented musician and dedicated Christian was both a blessing and honor for my family.

Today, #OakHillsChurch said a goodbye to Stephen Fryrear as he and his wife begin a new stage of their lives in Alabama.  A goodbye mixed with tears of sadness and joy.  Sadness for our loss as a Church Family here in San Antonio – even as temporary as it may be, and joy to see that like a seed on the wind, Stephen and his wife will take their joy and talents to some other part of the country to continue to build the #Kingdom.

If you are not familiar with Stephen – I might suggest you check out two of my favorites on iTunes – his song “At the Cross” and “Because of Bethlehem”.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/stephen-fryrear/id302257670

Someone once said that “all good things must come to an end”; what they failed to understand is that there are no ends, only beginnings.  Good luck Stephen, and may God bless!

Guess who’s back…

What? My Name is..

Who? My Name is..

Huh? My Name is..

Slicky, slicky Jed Shady!

 

It has been more than a year, and I had gone silent.  Why?  Because my server traveled the world.  What?  Well, actually – I traveled the world – more specifically we have traveled the world.

Ok, so not really across the whole world, just to the other side of the country – which coming from a boy who grew up in a tiny little town in back-water Maine without running water, or sewer – it has seemed like I am a whole new world away.

We are now in Texas.

In July of 2012 I decided it was time to move on from my company of almost 13 years; I put my resume up on the internet.  Within a matter of days, I had been contacted by a couple different companies that were offering great salaries and benefits, but they were either in the North East (I wanted to get out of the cold) or were on the west coast (I didn’t want to go that far).

Then one day on vacation up in the mountains with my family I received a call from this company that I had not heard of (interestingly, I had heard a lot about them, but just didn’t realize it).  The recruiter left a message.  As a curtsy call, I left him a return message letting him know that I did not ever intend to move as far as Texas.  The recruiter called me back and asked if I was at least interested in hearing what he had to offer.

Rewind 13 years and that is exactly what happened at my previous place of employment, they had 3 managers that reached out to me from the one company for three different positions.  I called the first back to tell him I wasn’t interested in moving to the mid-west, he asked me if I was at least interested in hearing what he had to offer.

I met with the first manager, he offered me the job a few weeks later, the rest is history.

Fast forward back to 2012, the recruiter told me about the company and the position, and I thought he must be joking.  I jumped online in my spotty internet connection the next night, in between homework assignments and I sent him a resume.

A few weeks later I was on a plane to Texas (shudder), a few weeks after that I gave my notice at my current place of employment, and just a few more weeks I was pulling away from our ‘dream house’ that we had built – hauling a camper, a wife and five children half-way across the country to the unknown.

And to think, I once read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” and thought – “Hey, this could be about me”.

We took almost a month to travel from Maine to Texas, and stopped to visit family along the way.  Stopped to say hello to our favorite place on the east coast: Tybee Island.  Even took a short detour to bring our kids to Disney – something my wife had always wanted to do – but I was always too busy working to ever find the time.

So here we are, only about a month after hearing about this new company, we left our home, our family and traveled to the other side of the country.  Living out of our camper (7 people), wondering if we would be able to sell our house, wondering when we could buy a new house.

Fast forward 8 months later.  We miss our friends and family back home; but we’ve made new friends too.  My family couldn’t be happier (except if our friends and family came to live in Texas).  The job is wonderful, the weather is amazing, Texas is super…  where has it been all my life?  I belong in this state – while I will miss the seasons and the trees and the land, Maine was really not my true home.

And now I come to the end, and I must sign off by saying that YHWH has really taken care of me and my family.  I’ve never done anything to deserve it, that’s for sure.  But He has watched over us, and listened to us, and directed us, and He has told us and showed us what and when.

The pages have turned, the next chapter has begun.  May it always be, Soli Deo Gloria.

family-2013

The sun was bright, it was a self-timed photo-snap; but I have learned that I can go searching for happiness further than my back yard – because no matter where we are, as long as we are together – we are always at home!

Happy Birthday Jesus

Sitting in church tonight, I was thinking that the advent means so much more than I’ve ever thought of before. Our King and Creator came in such a strange way, to be born as a servant, to die, not a hero’s death as most Kings of renown, but to die a death most often of slaves, only then to triumph and be triumphant in His death… But, His advent was for my children, and my children’s children… He opened the door of salvation for them – and as a parent, I could never have asked or expected for anything more amazing than that. To know that the light of the world came in to overcome the darkness, to infiltrate and win back the hearts of his rebellious creation and in so doing, He gave me hope in that whatever life brings, there is hope for my children that goes beyond the hardships of this life alone. Regardless of the time of year Christ was really born: Happy Birthday Jesus, and thank you for such a wonderful gift – the gift of life for my children.

Deleting your Facebook account (again?)

 

A good friend just posted this as an important reminder to people on their privacy on Facebook; however, I think we must dig further into the problem to understand it.  Point being:  Facebook is not the problem.  Pop over and read this article, then come back and see what I have to say.

I deleted my Facebook account

Postman is still on my to read list along with a is for ox, once I finish the Gutenberg elegies, but I think our culture is far worse off than postman indicates, it is both Orwellian and Huxleyan to the extreme.

What people cannot forget is that it is not FBs fault, they are providing a service that is filling a void in the culture.

Deleting your Facebook account will accomplish nothing. Being conscious of how our consumerism is used against us and acting accordingly is more appropriate.

How many of us tag our restaurants, link the movie we just finished watching, follow our favorite author or sports team all on Facebook?

Now the real question is, how many of you do so remembering that every button you click, link you follow and picture you view is stored and sold to the highest bidder?

Understand that Facebook is facilitating what the mass is asking for, it is not stealing your data, you are willingly providing it because of the benefits you receive.

Boycotting, deleting or complaining is not going to do you a lick of good; being informed however and acting intelligently on that information is where you will find the most value.

In fact, if you do delete it, I’ll give you less than 6 months before you come back, as we are all slaves to our culture in one way or another.

An Epic Adventure from the dark side back

over the last two weeks, I have been on vacation.  Over the last two weeks, I have been too sick to do much outside of the house.  One thing, however, we have done, is we have watched the Star Wars movies from beginning to end (most of my children and myself).  I have always wanted to do that – but have never really had the time.

It was a great opportunity to spend a little quiet time with my children, for the oldest, it also provided some prompts for him to ask some of those more basic questions of life.

I haven’t watched Star Wars in a long, long time; and for one, I am so glad that the first three were made, as they provide so much important insight.  It always felt like the last three were not complete.  Who was Darth Vader, what happened to him, why had he turned to the dark side.

As we sat and watched the movie together, the feelings it stirred up had quite an impact on me.  I could totally see what happened to Anakin, I could even, in my own mind experience it.  I have had things in this life that were so precious to me that I would do anything to keep them, anything.  As Yoda said however, greed leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side of the force.

Anakin was so wrapped up in what he wanted, that he didn’t take the time to experience what he had.  He was so consumed that it blinded him, and eventually, he himself caused what he was trying so hard to prevent – and then, he lost hope. 

“But”, Donovan said to me, “It’s never too late to change”.  Unfortunately, it’s much easier to see that from the outside looking in.  However, Anakin took his path from innocence, to evil, and in the end, through acts of selflessness by someone else who cared enough for him to give up their own life; he was redeemed. 

How much that touches on my heart, as I have experienced that; in fact, I experience that almost every day – it’s like a mini-journey.  My children will too.

To often my heart can grow hard, and calloused, and there are things I want, and I’ll work for them at any cost, all the while neglecting those things that are most precious to me.  And then, to gain those things most precious to me back, often takes more than I can muster in my own strength.

I am so thankful for the reminder that in the end, there is someone that is willing to help us, and with that help, we are then enabled to choose the good side of the force, to throw off the bondage of the dark side, and to seek redemption.

It was like watching a movie about my own life, just as my namesake – Darth Jedi – a precarious balance between the good side and the dark side.  How Epic!

A reminder about Credit Card Companies

Not that I should expect anything different, but it’s funny, when you have plenty of money to spare, the credit card companies are like leeches, everyone is sending you offers and trying to woo you into a relationship.

When they start seeing that money drying up (the 2010 expenses have been unbelievable after depleting storage of excess for the adoptions) – they are like rats abandoning a sinking ship.

Over the last two months we’ve had credit card companies close accounts and reduce balances all without prior-notification – to the point of causing me to have to make unexpected $500-600 payments on a single card as it’s available balance was reduced by a couple hundred dollars.

With other cards, now that we have balances for the first time, they are sending us balance transfer offers with very fine print stating that you will start paying off your lower interest balances first before your higher interest balances.  So they are throwing out offers of lower interest so-as to get us to pile on lower interest loans onto higher interest loans; so they can compound interest.  The most obvious is when you have credit cards from the same company, same credit line, etc. and they give you low interest balance transfers for the accounts that carry a balance but not for accounts that do not carry a balance.  Worst part is, most people don’t realize this is what they’re doing.  Sleeze balls!

Little do they know that this is one of the ways I weed out the good card companies from the bad… that in a few months I will pay off and close the accounts that tried to screw me over, and no longer feed them the excessive amounts of money with each swipe at the gas station or the grocery store. 

However, it’s always nice to remember that credit card companies are the equivalent of bottom feeding, blood sucking leeches & rats. They should come with a warning label (Note: we will be here for your convenience, but don’t turn your back as we’ll take every opportunity to try and screw you if it looks like we can).

C’est la vie!

My Complaints about Thanksgiving!

 

Thanks for all the Hardships

 

Today, I was awoken by my children,

Screaming, yelling and hitting each other.

But far too many children have been silenced,

Far too many parents wake up to the nightmare of longing for

What was lost.

Today, I winced as I climbed out of bed.

My back was sore and my head stuffed with a cold of pure agony.

But reading the prayer requests from church,

there are far too many people who likely wake up and long for

my aches and pains.

Today, we had to go grab groceries (again).

I realized that the dwindling money and rising bills cannot be escaped.

But I remembered bringing turkeys to the food banks yesterday.

There are far too many families who can’t

Go and get groceries.

Today, the calendar glared at me relentlessly.

I know that my vacation was over before it even started, and work comes in three days.

But millions of people have no jobs,

While some might be lazy, or unskilled, or uncaring, too many

Are just like me.

Today, I am thankful for all I have, and all I have been given,

The aches, and pains, and worries, and problems, and suffering and sadness

Because I can’t truly see what I have to be thankful for

Until I have experienced life face-to-face: Nor can you.

Not until we have faces.

 

© 2010 Jediah Logiodice

To Express Anger for Ignorance

In regards to HR5283, just so we understand the expectations here:  These children WILL become citizens whether or not the law passes.  The law on the floor will just make it so they don’t have to wait the 2 years to become a citizen, due to the way they came into the country to complete their adoption. 

It means that if their parents were to die, they would be treated like their siblings in guardianship transferring to those named in a will, rather than immediately becoming wards of the state.  It just means that they can travel freely in and out of the country without fear of harassment, and that they will be treated with the same respect and value and dignity that we, as American citizens, often give to no others, unless they are "Americans".  I’m all for becoming a citizen legally, and if we have to wait, we have to wait.

However, as a family that adopted children from another country, I can’t tell you how surprising it is when we hear people express anger or consternation at us or towards us for helping people in another country instead of helping people here at home.

Little do they know that our family is very active in doing both, as are most every family that has opened up to a foreign adoption.  And, more than that, I guarantee, GUARANTEE, that probably 90% of the people that make statements in anger over people helping people in other countries, first, live such sheltered lives, that they truly speak only out of ignorance, and second, are likely to be doing nothing to help anybody, but themselves. 

When people start to become in tune with the destitution of their own community and country, it’s a natural progression of maturity to begin to see past borders, past gender, past race and color.

Haiti: Making Sense of suffering?

A powerful aftershock today resulted in the final determination that the buildings of the HIS Home Orphanage are no longer safe even to be around. The buildings had to be abandoned. The children have been moved to a local Church down the road.

This afternoon I found this article about a young 22 year old woman who was working with Orphans in Haiti; she was killed when the 7 story building she was staying in collapsed in a “blink of an eye”. Our hearts go out to her friends and family; this story hits very close to home.

I’m sure in the days and weeks to come there will be numerous tragedies like this discovered and reported on. There really is no answer to the question of “why” even when our entire lifespan is just a breath on a cold winters morning. I have to lean heavily on the trust that there is a reason; and all the senselessness of the destruction and death and chaos will someday make sense.

As you probably are; I have been really struggling over the last couple days in trying to make sense in my heart out of all the pain and suffering and destruction that is going on in Haiti right now. I can’t make any sense of it, no matter how I try.

I’m not really sure if there is any way to make sense of it, as we are looking through a small telescope at the vastness of the universe of time, we can only see one small moment in one small area of space.

I was reminded today, in the midst of this agony of heart something I read by C.S. (Jack) Lewis, regarding the problem of pain and suffering in his book, The Great Divorce. I thought I would share.

It really brings no consolation for a broken heart: but it at least can remind us, that there is a God-view that we cannot see – and we must remember to trust and have faith.

“‘That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say ‘We have never lived anywhere except Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.’ – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34864920/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34879803/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/

http://mollyinhaiti.blogspot.com/