This is me…

Well, I think I am one of the coolest people I know. Other people might think differently.

I grew up in Downey, CA…went off to Ozark Christian College in good ol Joplin, MO ended up in New Orleans where I met my beautiful wife Leanne. Leanne and I have a baby girl named Isabella Grace and she brings much joy to all of those she is around.

I am a work in progress and the title of my blog is the best description of my life.

I also am a wealth of useless Disney information…and I’m kind of a pop culture junkie…ok I’m done now.

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4 thoughts on “This is me…

  1. I have taken a liking to one of your photos. This is the photo of houses in the distance looking through a rainy window. My I use this photo?

    Regards,
    Brian

  2. I just read your post about the pastor who said that if you’re fat you can’t be a Christian. Let me first play devil’s advocate.

    When I was first baptized, I was 13 and it was in a Catholic church. Everything was very rote, memorized, and lacked a lot of the touch of the Holy Spirit. I was taught to listen carefully to what the priests said. One day, a priest explained that the body is a temple given to us by God, and that we must treat it as such. No being a glutton, or smoking, drinking, etc. We must live a pure as possible to show God that we were grateful for the blessing of this temple. At the time I was maybe 15 to 20 pounds overweight, and I completely freaked out. I went straight to a very young priest, at least the youngest I’d ever seen (he was in his early thirties), and I was hysterical – I was sure I was going to hell because I was a glutton. He explained it to me as follows:

    Yes, the body is a temple, but the ONLY person to have ever walked this earth who was completely free from sin was Jesus. God loves us, and understands that we may struggle and fail and struggle and fail again, but he still loves us. God doesn’t exclude anyone from his Kingdom in Heaven, or refuse anyone his love and saving grace because of their weight. The priest said that as long as your heart is with God, and you have a true, open, communicative relationship with Christ, and you strive to be the best Christian (Catholic, he said), you will be fine.

    Years later, I was lying in a hospital bed, literally dying. I had gotten very very ill, my husband went to work, and I had a raging fever. He left the Tylenol bottle next to me so I could fight my fever. I remember very little of the day….my eyes would flutter open, I’d reach for the tylenol, and I’d pass out…repeat….repeat…..repeat…repeat. By the time I was conscious again, I was doubled over in pain on my right side. I called my Mom, 30 minutes away, instead of 911. She rushed over, and a very crass doctor drew blood and announced to me that I had Hepatitis and that there was a chance I might not make it (I was 24). He told me to go home and take Vicodin for pain.

    It got worse, and long story short, I ended up in another er, and they were surprised to see that my liver enzymes were still rising dramatically. They immediately called in a G.I., and he said if they couldn’t find out what was wrong, I wouldn’t be walking out of the hospital alive. They did every test known to mankind, and couldn’t diagnose WHY my liver was basically self destructing. The last hope was a liver biopsy…….which didn’t sound like a big deal, until I was told they’d be doing it while I was AWAKE. Certain anesthetic meds could’ve worsened the conditioned, so all they could do was try to numb the spot with shots.

    I immediately asked for my Pastor. I had just started going to a church called Morningstar Christian Chapel, a part of the Calvary Chapel Outreach. I had become close to an older pastor there, Pastor Lyle. I didn’t have time before the procedure, so he spoke to me over the phone. He told me that God loved me, and that no matter what, God would always be there for me. He read me a verse from the Bible, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to the Lord our God, and the peace of Jesus Christ, which surpasses all understand, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipans 4:6-7).

    I was shocked. God would take care of my worries, and the peace of Jesus would protect me, and I didn’t have to DO ANYthing. I didn’t have to BE anything. Other than just me. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will love everyone except those who are fat, have premarital sex, live together before they get married, there are NO exceptions to God’s love. There are only exceptions to admittance to God’s Heavenly Kingdom, and THAT is what matters. I imagine the gates of Heaven are plenty wide for those of us on the heavy side, those on tall side, those of us who struggled with following the Word. God WANTS all those that believe in Him and love Him to be with him in heaven, and he would never not love someone or not be there for a believer on Earth just because of their size – and I have proof.

    I was wheeled to radiology for the liver biopsy. It was explained to me that they would numb the area with a couple shots, then force a small, straw like metal tube through my side, between my ribs, and into my liver. Then they would insert a small knife, and cut a portion off. Thankfully, the liver does not have nerves, so I would not feel pain when they removed the sample, and I suddenly felt relieved. Then the man came over that was going to be doing the procedure. He felt my sides, where my ribs where, and went over to the techs, and they all went silent. I had too much fat on my sides for the numbing shot to be effective past the first maybe 1/2 inch of my body. I would have to do it with no anesthesia and no numbing. BUT – and this was the kicker – if I moved AT ALL once they were in and went to take the sample, they could puncture my lung, or worse, cut it open with the blade. They positioned themselves around me, prepared to hold me down if need be.

    I started to panic, but remembered the verse the pastor had talked to me about. I also remembered one of my personal favorite verses, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. I stared at the ceiling, and asked the doctor one favor – “Can you please just do it as silently as possible? I need to pray”. He looked at me as if I’d lost my ever loving mind, but agreed. I stared at the ceiling above me, which thankfully was painted beautifully like a sky full of blue but also with white puffy clouds and a shining sun. I concentrated on every verse I knew, and kept repeating them in my head. I held my cross in my hand, and closed me eyes, and just kept constantly repeating scripture and praying.

    I heard the doctor say “I’m starting”, but I paid no heed. I kept praying and concentrating on the fact that I KNEW that God loved me and would help me get through this alive. At one point I felt a small pinch, but I focused again on breathing evenly and praying, and nothing else. I don’t know how much time passed, but the next thing I heard was the doc saying “We’re done, you did amazing!”.

    I was over 200lbs at the time, and I was a newbie in having a true relationship with God, but still, He protected me. I literally felt one small pinch, and that was it. Nothing else. God didn’t discriminate and refuse to be at my side because I was overweight, He was there with me REGARDLESS of that fact.

    More proof?

    The awesome G.I. personally drove the tissue to USC Medical Center, and had his wife, who worked there, analyze the tissue. He was shocked. I had Tylenol Induced Hepatitis….somewhere among the 9 hours my husband was gone, we discovered by looking at the pill bottle later, I had taken around 15-20 extra strength Tylenol.

    Had I not been able to withstand the liver biopsy, I probably would have died a very slow, painful death.

    So, that’s my story, and that’s how I know that size doesn’t matter when it comes to the Lord – He loves all of us, big and small, and I am living proof of that.

    Shellie Bittner

  3. Thriving in Leadership: 4 Essentials

    By Steve Cornell

    After more than 27 years of leadership, I’ve learned a few important lessons. Most of my leadership experience has been in the context of one local Church (25 years).

    Read on…… http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/survivng-and-thriving-in-leadership/

    ———————————————————————————————–
    Help, I am being misrepresented! 7 time-tested principles

    By Steve Cornell

    If you can’t take the heat; get out of leadership! Leadership is not a place for weak people who need the affirmation of others to feel good about themsleves. Leaders are often misunderstood, misrepresented and even maligned. It simply goes with the territory. A true leader doesn’t………

    Read on…… http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2007/12/26/help-i-am-being-misrepresented-how-should-i-respond/

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