Heartbroken and Confused

I’d really planned to have a tribute to mothers everywhere today, in honor of Mother’s Day, but when I got to my grandparents’ house after church, my heart broke and it’ll take years to put the pieces back together. My mom, dad and sisters came out to get me, and they told me that my grandfather had passed away. I’ve been numb and in a daze all day, and want this damn nightmare to end and my grandfather to call me and tell me he loves me.

Of course, I know he’s in a better place and isn’t suffering from Alzheimer’s disease anymore. But that can never take the pain away. I’ll be away from the blog for a few days, I need to take care of family first… But I wanted to re-post something I wrote a couple years ago. It sums up everything I’m feeling and so much more. I can just see my grandfather now, on his green John Deere tractor, plowing God’s back forty.

I love you grandpa and miss you so much. Have a bowl of peach ice cream for me in Heaven with Andy and Barney, would you?

The last week, and the past few years, have been really tough on our family, and if you’ve been following the blog, you probably know what I’m talking about. My grandfather has Alzheimers, and it’s really hit me hard personally especially since I saw him on Thanksgiving, and I just wanted to share with all of you what’s been on my heart lately…

We had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ (mom’s parents) house this year, like we normally do, and I had a great time seeing my aunts, uncles, granny and grandpa, but I noticed that my grandpa wasn’t acting right when we got ready to eat because he said he wasn’t hungry. It turns out that he wasn’t feeling good, and after everything he has been through the past few years I really can’t blame him. When we got ready to leave later Thursday evening, I went over to where grandpa was relaxing in his recliner and just held him for a few minutes. I sat there talking to him and told him how much I loved him, and if he needed anything to call us. While I was sitting there holding him and talking to him, the emotions just took over, and I started crying my eyes out and told my grandfather I loved him and didn’t want him to die. He said he didn’t want to say goodbye or have to make “a call.”

When he told me that, I started crying even more because I knew exactly what he meant. He doesn’t want to leave his family behind and have to say a final “goodbye” or have my grandmother make the most horrible phone call I think she ever will have to make. I thought about my grandfather all the way home and all that night. The next morning, I was talking to mom and I started crying AGAIN because I was telling her what my grandfather said. Then later Friday, or it might’ve been Saturday, my sisters were talking about Christmas and asked me when I was going to go shopping with them. Then I just broke down and lost all control…

I forget exactly what I said, but I remember I said something like, “Can’t we just skip shopping this year? Can’t we just go over and spend some time with grandpa and enjoy this Christmas? Doesn’t ANYBODY care about what I want???” Keep in mind I was frustrated and fighting back tears while saying this because I was and still AM heartbroken that my grandfather is slowly dying, and I’m having to just sit on the sidelines and watch.

Before I go any further, I want to back track and mention that I have always believed in God, and He has always, and I do mean ALWAYS, been there for me through a lot of sad times and a lot of great times. God has really lifted my family up the past few years, especially my mom’s family, having to deal with my granny’s diabetes and my grandpa’s Alzheimer’s, but lately I think my faith has been lacking in God’s ability to shelter us from Satan’s blows and attacks.

You see, sometimes I really have no idea what to pray for, or for that matter HOW to pray, and I just do not want to seem foolish or stupid to God. But yesterday morning, thanks to my very best friend and a dear co-worker, I now know I am never foolish in God’s eyes because He created me and He knew me before I was even born. I know my grandpa is going to heaven one sweet day to live side-by-side with our Heavenly Father, but lately I’ve been so caught up in my grandpa slowly dying that that’s all I can think about… Maybe I’m being selfish because I don’t want my grandpa to die and leave ME and his family, but I need to shift my focus to what waits for my grandpa on the other side. I know God already has a place for him in the middle of a beautiful meadow overlooking a valley or lake, with a new house where he will never be in any pain, won’t have to face the horrors and torment of a cruel world and can live forever rejoicing that he can remember who he is and who his family is. As I close, I am reminded of what Charles and Caroline Ingalls said when they found out their newborn son had just passed away….

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And Vince Gill’s moving tribute to his brother, which is a great reminder to all of us who’ve lost a loved one that they have gone to heaven “a-shouting, love for the Father and the Son.”

Or Brooks and Dunn’s amazing reminder that “There’s more to life than just what I can see.”

Or Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill’s powerful, heart-warming proclamation: “My God, How GREAT Thou Art.”

Do You Believe in Easter?

I’ve posted this story on the blog before, but it has such a wonderful message I pray each of you receives as much joy and hope as I did when I read it. Happy Easter and God bless you all!!!

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people.

His favorite patient was Edith Burns. One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?”

Beverly said, “Why yes I do.” Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”

Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.”

With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut.” She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work. I’m not interested.” Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.” One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, ‘Do you believe in Easter?’ but you have never asked me.” Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked…”

Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?” Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.” Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?” Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.” Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter. When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face.

When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead.

Her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down here cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

— Author Unknown

2012’s Most-Viewed Stories

As we come to the close of another year, I’m reminded of the many blessings I’ve received this year: a wonderful job with amazing co-workers, a great family that’s always standing beside me no matter what we’re going through, wonderful friends who always ask how I’m doing and look out for my well-being and make sure I’m taking care of my health, and the greatest blessing of all: a loving, forgiving Savior, Who always takes care of my every need and never fails to embrace me with His grace and mercy and ensures that evil will never penetrate my life or my soul. For these things I’ll be forever grateful, for they are the reasons I get up every day and keep fighting and struggling to survive even when my spirit is dwindling under the every day pressures of life with a disability.

I’m also thankful for the response my blog has received this year and the number of people who have taken the time to read and respond to my posts and subscribe to my feed. I can never thank my readers enough for taking a few minutes out of your busy day and reading my blog. I can only hope that my posts have given you a new perspective on life and helped you realize that we can all do anything we set our minds to, if we just put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and leave it to Him to take care of our problems. There’s no doubt that I’m here today because I’ve put my life in His hands and don’t worry so much about the little things over which I have no control.

IMG_1362As we close 2012, I’m proud to reveal my top 10 posts of the year, based on reader response and comments. Thank you for believing in me!!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year. I’ll see you in January, and I promise I’ll try to do better and try to post regularly, instead of once a month….

If you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter, and tell your friends about my blog and encourage them to sign up to get my posts. You’ll be glad you did, trust me 😉

Angels Among Us

About a year ago, I featured the inspiring video and story about Becky Kelley’s “Where’s the Line to See Jesus.” A couple weeks ago I found out that she recorded a new song, “Send An Angel,” and Becky was gracious enough to share with me how the song came about and what the holidays mean to her. I hope everyone who reads this and listens to the video are inspired as much as I am. Welcome Becky, and thank you for sharing your amazing story and voice with us. 

I actually started this song almost seven or eight years ago. It was inspired by my friend who lost her mom at the age of 12 because of cancer. I don’t know what made me think of that to write about, but I had the chorus for years. Finally a few years ago, I came up with some verses and a tune for them that I liked, which for some reason is hard to do sometimes. 

beckyThe first verse is a true story about her mom dying, and the second verse I wanted to reach out to another group of girls (teen moms) and try to connect with them on where they are. Overall, I really just want to inspire anyone and everyone on where they are at in life to hold on for HOPE. We all hear stories about horrible things that people go through, and if this song helps someone get through their day, week, month, or year holding out for hope, then awesome.  I’ve already received messages from women saying how much “Send an Angel” has helped them deal with what they are currently experiencing in life. I want people to KNOW there is a God who is listening. The chorus and bridge are actually a prayer… “Could you send her an angel or two? She’s been dealt a rough hand and doesn’t know what to do.” Bridge: “Wrap your arms around her, fill her soul with love. Let her feel the hope that comes from above.” When we had to decide on which song to choose for a video off of my new album, I knew already. This one reaches people at the heart, and that’s what I want to be about. 

The holidays, for me, mean time with family and celebrating the birth of Jesus! We talk about Christmas being a birthday party for Jesus around our house 🙂 Merry Christmas!!

Check out Becky’s website, become her fan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Merry Christmas!

Yeah, yeah… I know it’s four days early but I wanted to start spreading the Christmas cheer early. And I brought a couple of my elves to help 🙂

I’ll probably be back to put some presents under the tree this weekend, so you better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout….. Well if you don’t know why, I’m not telling!!!!


Rockin’ Out with Glitter Rose

How did your interest in music get started?

I’ve always loved music, and at 12 decided I wanted to start writing songs, although I didn’t play an instrument yet and had only sang in my school choir for a couple years. It was something already inside me and just manifested at that age; ever since I’ve been addicted to it. I learned to play keyboard first, then guitar to accompany my songwriting.

Did you sing in church when you were younger? Did your family sing or play instruments? 

My grandmother was a singer, piano player and performer. So were some of my aunts and uncles. I never did get to see any of them perform, nor was I really influenced by them to play music. It’s in the family tree and is in my blood, so it manifested itself. 
Can you talk a little bit more about who have been your biggest inspirations, either other artists or your family? What lessons did they instill in you that you will carry with you on your singing career? 

Musically, I’ve been inspired by so many bands and songwriters. The first band really to spark my interest in songwriting was Counting Crows. Adam Duritz is an incredible lyricist, and the band brought so much feeling to his words. Also, I’m a big fan of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Bonnie Raitt. In my teenage years, I played 80s influenced rock and was inspired to write in the style of Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses and Blondie. I’ve tried to learn from all different styles of music and songwriters. In life and music, I’m greatly inspired by my sister and manager, Mary Louis. She has taught me about respect, gratitude, ethics and doing good business. She is the reason I am the woman I am today, and she also inspires my songwriting, always encouraging and helping me with ideas.

Can you talk a little about your family and how they inspired you?

The most influential people in my family have been my father, Peter, and my sisters, Mary and Niki. My dad was a very cool guy, and always believed in and supported my dream.  Unfortunately, he passed away on Christmas Day 2011. I wish he could have experienced with me the success that keeps coming my way, but I know he is looking out for me and making sure all my dreams keep coming true, as long as I work hard and stay focused, like he taught me. Of course, I talked about my oldest sister, Mary, earlier, and she is definitely my rock. She is always there for me and makes sure I’m taken care of, I am so blessed to have her in my life. My sister, Niki, is closer to my age, and over the years has done everything she can to support my music career and help how she can: sell merchandise, promote my music, was a dancer for my rock band, Hollywood High, babysits my dogs when I’m on the road. We have a very large Italian family, but these three people mean the most to me, and I feel very fortunate to have them.

Have you recorded any albums? How many have you released?

Yes. I recorded and released my first album at 13. It was the first group of songs I ever wrote and was an 11-track album, which was very country pop. I then started writing hard rock music and over the years released several EPs with my rock band, Hollywood High.  In 2007, I started a solo project and released my full album called “Southern Comfort.” For every album that was sold, one was sent to a soldier overseas. My most current full album release is brand new, just released in March 2012. It’s called “Dead or Alive” and is available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon and my website.

Can you talk a little bit about how your journey began and how it’s led you to where you are today?

My journey has been long, hard, beautiful and remarkable. It started when I was 13. I was born in the Mojave Desert in California. I moved with my oldest sister, Mary, to my dad’s house in Ft. Worth, TX. From there we dove into the music business, recording my first album, putting together a live band and starting to perform live. We were very green and didn’t know a thing about the music industry. Over the years, we learned many lessons, and met lots of people along the way who mentored us and taught us various aspects of the business. At 15 years old, when I was getting ready to turn 16, I decided I wanted to play hard rock music and formed my band, Hollywood High. My idea was a modern-day Motley Crue, with a female front. It was a crazy time! We recorded a music video for my song called “Rock n’ Roll Peep Show” and, from there, started receiving rotation on 97.1 The Eagle in Dallas/Ft. Worth. We started touring Texas, then the southwest, then on to Hollywood. After doing several Los Angeles shows, we relocated to Hollywood, were nominated for Outstanding New Artist at the 14th annual Los Angeles Music Awards and won. We also performed at the event and got some offers from labels. Unfortunately, those labels weren’t interested in me being a rock artist. They wanted to write my songs for me and make me pop, and I had to decline. I am a songwriter, first and foremost, so that means the most to me when considering opportunities. I moved back to Texas after the Hollywood High reign and started my solo project. I started writing a blend of country and rock, which has now developed into my current Southern Rock sound. 

As an artist, what are some of the things you’ve been able to do? 

I’ve been very blessed with some really cool opportunities. When I first started in music, I worked with a lot of teen organizations, and received awards from Girls, Inc. for my positive work for their organization and received a key for the city of Killeen, TX. I got to open for KISS and Aerosmith in my rock band, Hollywood High, in Dallas, TX. We also received Outstanding New Artist at the 14th annual Los Angeles Music Awards. In my current solo project, I received Honorable Mention in the Billboard World Song Contest 2010 for my song “Doublewide on the Backside.” I also have been asked two years in a row to perform at the NAMM Show. Another really cool thing was my recent five-month residency at the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard for an event they created for my music called Southern Rock Brunch. I performed every Sunday morning. Now, I am nominated at two different award shows. The 22nd annual Los Angeles Music Awards has nominated me for Best Country Artist and Country Single of the Year for “Vodka Girls.” The 2013 Artists in Music Awards has nominated me for Best Rock Artist. I feel very blessed and honored to have had so many incredible experiences over the years.
Have you met any other artists? Who’d you meet, and what was the experience like?

I’ve gotten to meet a few great artists over the years, but the coolest experience for me was meeting Steven Tyler at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas. I was recording my single, “Doublewide on the Backside,” and Steven came into the studio to check it out. I looked up from the sound board, and Steven was in the other room checking out my guitars. He then came into the control room and introduced himself, and said “I’m sorry to interrupt your session.” What a humble and gracious guy. He was very nice, and to get to meet one of my idols not as a fan, but as a peer, is an amazing feeling.
What advice did they give you? If you could give an aspiring artist advice about the music industry, what would it be?

I would advise artists getting into the music industry to first learn all aspects of the “modern music business.” Digital distribution, music licensing, how to make money with your music through these outlets. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to make money on touring/live shows anymore, it’s actually a huge expense. If you’re going to get into the industry, you need to start with a good amount of money, and every bit that you might make needs to go back into your career. It’s not an easy way of life, there’s a lot of challenges you face and heartache because music is an emotional experience, and when you add business to that, it’s a rough balance. Make sure you have good support from your family and friends, and that they want your success as much as you do, or it will break your focus.
Did you have to overcome rejection while making the climb to the studio? Did they make you a stronger person? In what ways?

Since I have played music and done it professionally for 14 years, I have experienced several different types of rejection. It’s impossible to please everyone, and starting as a kid, I grew up on stage and through my songs, so my teenage years were under a microscope. Every time I was rejected, I grew stronger and got better at my craft. If you can’t overcome, then you’ll fall backwards, and eventually your music will fade away. You have no choice but to grow stronger from rejection if you want longevity in the music business.

If you could pick one instance when you were rejected, how did that make you feel? Any lessons you could take from that rejection and tell to someone so they don’t get rejected?

If you are trying to make music professionally for any amount of time, you WILL get rejected.  No doubt about it. You have to take everything as constructive criticism (whether it is meant that way or not) and find the positive. You have to have no fear. Feel and express your emotions, but don’t dwell on it and keep moving forward.

I can imagine that as an artist, you’re away from home a lot. How does being on the road affect your relationship with your family?

I, myself, am very fortunate because my sister and I work together as a team, and I always have my family support by my side. But both of us miss our friends dearly. We are very blessed to have amazing people in our lives in both Texas and California, as well as other parts of the country. When in California, I miss my Texas peeps, and visa versa. We talk to all of them a lot, and sometimes they travel to where I am for special shows, etc. So again, I am very blessed. 🙂
How does being an artist affect the holiday season for you? Are you able to take time off to visit family and friends? What do the holidays mean to you?

The holidays are always crazy for us, being a big Italian family!! Even when performing through the holiday season, we always get the chance to spend quality time with our family and friends. We like to jam and play music together, share memories and eat lots of food!! It’s always a positive time of year.

How important do you think down time is for an artist?

I think when you work hard and throw yourself into the business, there’s a point when you have to take a few days off. Stop worrying about your Twitter and Facebook page, and take a second to breathe, enjoy your surroundings, and live “normal” for a bit. It’s the little things that you sometimes forget to recognize when you’re always looking for the next gig, job, big break, etc. The music business is a revolving door, and you have to continuously stay on top of it to stay in the spotlight. So, those few days of recovery are necessary to refresh and get re-inspired.
If you could perform anywhere in the world with anyone in the world, who and where would it be?

Gosh, there’s SOOO many artists I’d like to perform with!! But, the ultimate would be the Rolling Stones in London, I think that would be off the chain amazing! My ultimate fantasy would be to play with John Lennon in a little bar or coffee shop somewhere off the map, just me and him and two acoustic guitars. Jammin’ tunes and maybe write a song together. Maybe in another life. 

About Glitter Rose

She’s got a Southern heart, and a Rock n’ Roll soul. Outlaw Southern Rocker, Glitter Rose is from Ft. Worth, TX. This left-handed guitarist owns the stage with her amazing charisma and defining Southern Rock sound. GR is endorsed by TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, Fishman Acoustic Amplification, WARRIOR Guitar, BAE Audio, Rotosound Music Strings, Moody Leather and Guitar Hands Hand Care. She’s also a preferred artist with C.F. Martin & Co. Acoutic Guitars and Strings. 

GR is a veteran in the music industry, starting professionally at 13 years old in 1998. She is an accomplished guitarist, a simply genius songwriter, and has vocals packed with power, grit and originality. Her live show is that of legends, captivating the audience with her high-energy performance and her passionate presence. GR has great love and admiration for her fans, saying “They are the reason I make music. If I can evoke emotion and excitement in one person in the crowd, I’ve done my job. It brings me great satisfaction to touch people with my songs and my performance.”

GR is currently in Hollywood, CA, where she held a five-month residency with the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard for an event they created for her music called Southern Rock Brunch. She is a highly respected performer at The NAMM Show and the Dallas International Guitar Festival. She received Honorable Mention for her quirky, tongue-in-cheek “Doublewide on the Backside” in the Billboard World Song Contest 2010. Her new album “Dead or Alive” was released in Spring 2012 and is making waves in the music industry. She is nominated for two Los Angeles Music Awards in 2012 including Best Country Artist and Country Single of the Year with her song “Vodka Girls.” She is also nominated for Best Rock Artist at the 2013 Artists in Music Awards. With the perfect blend of country and rock GR brings to the table, she will be a pioneer in modern Southern Rock, defining a new generation.

Check out GR on the Web

Caution: Jason’s Been Thinking

And I changed my mind about the book I’m thinking about writing. Oh, don’t worry I’m still going to write it, but I was lying in bed last night, staring at the ceiling, wishing I was on the lake and had an idea. I know, God forbid I actually get the idea when I’ve got pen and paper in hand. I’m the idiot who thinks of things in the strangest places…. it’s amazing the things I come up with sitting at the urinal taking care of business.

Get your minds out of the gutter and FOCUS!!! With all the crap I’ve been dealing with lately with my health (kidney infection, low iron and blood in my urine) and my amazing recovery, I’ve come up with a completely different title of the book and direction for the first chapter. I’ve also been inspired by a holiday Christians all over the world just celebrated, when Jesus Christ rose from the grave and came to live in the hearts of all believers.

I better stop now because if I say too much, like my last name will be part of the title, I’ll give everything away. You’re just going to have to wait and buy it at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million or Amazon in a couple years. All I can say is wait and see!!!

He is RISEN!!!

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Jelly Bean Prayer

Have you heard the story of the jelly beans?
The black ones are a symbol of our sinful heart, cold and hard, not a good start.
The red ones would be the blood shed for you and me.
The white ones would mean washed white as snow, by the blood of Jesus do you know?
The green ones mean growth for our clean heart, so we can tell others of Jesus, now that’s a good start.
The yellow ones would mean streets of gold, like the ones in Heaven, as in the book of Revelation are told.
The purple ones are to mean like the robe He wore, when our sins on the cross He bore.
So the next time you see a bag of jelly beans, you will know what the colors mean.
– Another Version –
Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer,
is a promise,
is a very special treat.
— Authors Unknown

The Empty Egg

Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.
One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students.”
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.” Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness.  But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?
As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy. From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.
“I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-why that’s very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat.”
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Miss Miller,” the children responded enthusiastically-all except for Jeremy. He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.
That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arm. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out. The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that’s new life, too.” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.” Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, “My daddy helped me,” he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty.  Surely it must be Jeremy’s she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty, too.”
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?” “Oh, yes,” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up.”
The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.
Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.
Happy Easter!
— Author Unknown