Many of my neighbors, friends, and loved ones are reeling from a local church leader, Isaac Hunter, committing suicide. I did not know Isaac Hunter but I do know his father, Pastor Joel Hunter. Pastor Joel is one of the kindest men I have ever met. He was so helpful to me when I was going to his church and in counseling for PTSD. I do mourn for him, his family, their church family (especially Northland and Summit churches), and our community.
This is the second megachurch family to lose a beloved son to suicide this year; the Warren’s of Saddleback Church lost their son Matthew earlier this year.
I also lost my beautiful friend of 23 years, Michael, to suicide this past January … The pain and overwhelming loss was and still is excruciating. Time does go by but even now I find myself losing my breath and needing to sit down and just weep; it can feel as fresh as the day I found out.
Church… we have to pay attention to the hurting among us. Something is terribly wrong when the suicide rate is the highest it has ever been. We have to own that deep pain exists and we don’t realize the pressure we put on people in leadership AND in the pews.
It’s time for some corporate prayer, reflection, and even study of the social dynamics/expectations.
I’ve been watching with interest the news story about the young lady, a lesbian, waitress who reported that a couple had not only stiffed her with regard to a tip, they wrote a hateful message about her on the receipt as well. The problem is, she posted a pic of the alleged hateful response online and it went viral. The couple she was referring to saw their bill on the news. When they got the credit card’s monthly statement, and saw that the tip they actually did leave behind (without any hateful note) was charged, they felt ripped off and lied about. The photo below is what has been widely circulated on the net. …
Yesterday, Jim Burroway highlighted an article about Dan Choi. Choi is a gay activist who was the go-to-guy for repealing DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.) The article featuring Choi is called, “The Passion of Dan Choi.“ I appreciated the article’s eloquence and ability to humanize Dan (making him a relatable man instead of an idealized activist.) Even so, I was saddened for Dan. Now that DADT has been repealed, Dan seems hurt and lost.
The article is long but worth the read. Here are a few quotes that really stood out (in all excerpts, emphasis mine):
Now, Dan wakes up most days with nothing to do. After the sun rouses him from his spot on the couch, where he sleeps under his “affirmation quilt”—fan letters are printed on each square—he takes two capsules of Hydroxycut, a diet pill loaded with caffeine, and Wellbutrin, an antidepressant used to treat bipolar disorder. Sometimes he goes for a long bike ride or works out at the gym in his building. He attends fundraisers and art openings, occasionally in uniform. Now and then, he drives to Fire Island, a gay vacation destination off Long Island. He earns a living by giving speeches at $10,000 a pop, which the Gotham Artists agency arranges for him. He smokes pot—a lot of it, he admits. “I can’t tell the difference,” he says, “between being high and not.”
Dan and his siblings attended church every Sunday and were expected to get A’s at school. A popular student with a gift for public speaking, Dan graduated at the top of his high-school class. He led the marching band as a drum major and played the trumpet in the church ensemble. But he also had a rebellious streak, a flair for the outrageous gesture. During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he took to the school’s PA system and declared that the country was in a moral crisis, quoting the Gospel of Matthew and encouraging his classmates to turn to Christ. The stunt got him suspended for a day.
Hanging From My Monitor
This is hanging from my monitor today. Yep, this is my overarching “to do” list for the day. I might keep this up for a while :). (iPhone)
Trip To The Dollar Store
I needed some envelopes and they didn’t have any at the local convenience store. They recommended I go to the Dollar Store.
That place is fantastic!
It’s been a long time since I have been in one, and well, I left with a peppermint candle, new house slippers, the dude pictured above “Knobby Knee’d Steve Claus”, and my envelopes for just over $10. All the while listening to Cocaine by Eric Clapton and then Paradise City by Guns N Roses being piped through the music system.
It was a special kind of shopping experience! (iPhone)
I have increasingly become more concerned about Black Friday. I don’t judge anyone for shopping but am not a fan of watching the public be manipulated … and bargain-hunting turned into a blood-sport.
Happy Post-Thanksgiving Friday!
Happy Post-Thanksgiving Friday! I have almost all the decorations in my house up, and I decided to dress up the blog in Christmas-y colors too! I hope you enjoy :). (iPhone)
Oh my … wow!
Today, the parents and I decided to go to Cracker Barrel for our Thanksgiving meal this year. So I met them at the one in Altamonte Springs at 11am. It was packed but not nearly as packed as when we left.
My Mom has a difficult time walking and is … not tall. :). On the way out I had to take her hand and literally push through (while saying excuse me but still pushing through) the crowd. I am very thankful to have spent some time with them, catching up. My step-father was very kind to brave the checkout line by picking up the tab.
That was very nice of them :).
While I had a big meal and generous dessert, my food coma took me out for about three hours! Also, my stomach is not very pleased with me now! I am thankful actually because while I haven’t eaten anywhere near what I normally eat on Thanksgiving (A LOT yo’!), being on Weight Watchers since August must have shrunk my stomach and reoriented my body to non-”rich” food.
Thanksgiving morning is one of my favorite mornings in the whole year. It’s like a magic *STOP* button happened and everyone is at home focussed on family or doing what they want to do. This morning I woke up to FROST on the roof and on the welcome mat by the back door. In central Florida that is extra magical.
Hopefully, people are spending quality time today thinking about and being thankful for the blessings we have experienced. I will be.
Today, I am going to go have Thanksgiving lunch with the parents and then come home afterward to watch Christmas movies all day :). Since jumping the gun and putting up the tree already, I get to enjoy it while I am writing my Thankful Thanksgiving Post later.
But to sign off for this post, I am incredibly thankful for you my family, friends, and supporters. This year has been quite an adventure; your friendship and love have been life-giving and I couldn’t be more grateful for you.
Love you! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Dear 500 Word Blog Posts,
All of the experts I have read agree, you are perfection. Your word limit is enough to give some depth yet not bore the average antsy Internet citizen. Of course we all know that the author’s use of those 500 words are important. However, if an author is even remotely concerned about “word limits” they will probably know how to use your highly acclaimed 500 word limit to the best of their abilities.
Here’s my issue with you, my dear 500 Word Blog Post, I LIKE writing too much. I know, I know … that’s my issue, not yours. Even so, the idyllic standard you have set causes cognitive dissonance deep within my soul … almost daily.
I could take Stephen King’s advice; write to my heart’s content and then just “kill” my “little darlings.” In other words, take a hatchet to my content. Stephen King would like that analogy. He has a thing for hatchets.