It Can’t Be!! 


I heard the news just an hour ago, The Great Paul O’Neill has passed away. I guess he was battling some illness. He was 61, far too young to pass away, right? But, his legend lives on.

I remember my first TSO show. At The Historic State Theater. Of course, Trans Siberian Orchestra always does meet and greets with any fan that wishes to meet them afterward. They will stay until every single fan has been greeted. And yes, even Paul O’Neill.

I will never forget the first time I met him. The entire group was lined along a great table. My best friend and I had just seen Beethoven’s Last Night. Paul O’Neill and I struck up a conversation with the narrator of the show. I mentioned how I wanted his job, and Mr. O’Neill jokingly said, ‘Well, Maybe someday, but he is doing really well for us right now.’ 

I still cannot believe the founder of TSO is gone at 61. Thank God we still have Dick Dale, even though I don’t believe he is touring anymore.

Rest In Peace, Mr. O’Neill.

Can You See What I see?

Can You See What I see?

Young At HeartWhat are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

When I think on this Daily Prompt the following video is the first thing to pop into my mind. We are two days out now from Christmas Day 2015 and this film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, along with A Christmas Story and It’s A Wonderful Life. These films conjur up images for me of my youngster days during Christmas.

http://youtu.be/-HkO5gtliYc 

I find it awesome timing that The Daily Post would ask this question around Christmas time. I never find it hard to be ‘young at heart’ around this time of year. I still believe in the magic and grace of Santa Claus. I believe he still lives in the hearts and minds of all of us and that spirit of giving and living for one another can and should be found every single day of the year. 

How do I stay ‘Young At Heart’? 

             
Thoughts and memories of being young. Why are we forced to completely grow up and forget all the wonder of our younger days? Does innocence truly need to be lost? I don’t believe so. I am almost forty years old and I believe in miracles. I believe in peace and love. I believe in the wonder of learning new things every day like a child seeing the world anew! That is how I will stay young. 

Yes, as it already is, my body will grow old and one day die. But I hope that I will keep some of the things of this body healthy so I can help as many others as possible after I am gone from this body. That is how I wish to live on. That is how I hope to stay young for as long as possible. 

Maybe one day my brain will be placed into the body of an able-bodied Athlete and I will have a new perspective with an old brain?! You never know the miracles that can be found on any street. This is my Grown Up Christmas Story Wish. Happy New Year to one and all from Rolling Blogger!!! 

Lullabies.

Lullabies.

I am a night owl, an insomniac. I admit, my wife caught me earlier tonight catching a nap in the living room of our home. And now, I am awake and she has gone to sleep in our room. 

We are fans of Essential Oils and we have found that Lavendar helped me fall asleep for a while, but then my old habits kicked in again. I stay awake for at least a couple hours after my bride has drifted off to dreamland where I hope she finds peace and happiness. Me? I am awake blogging my thoughts with the air purifier whirring gently in the living room. 

Tonight on my mind is gentle lullabies. I have a few ways of staying awake, but to fall asleep, nothing beats soothing music. These are some of my favorites–

1. Common Threads by Bobby McFerrin. http://youtu.be/FnINCwYL-Jc

2. Return To Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins. http://youtu.be/wQhCNOV5Gnk

3. Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel kamakawiwo’ole. http://youtu.be/V1bFr2SWP1I

4. The Rainbow Connection by Kenny Loggins. http://youtu.be/Qzm251m5-_E

5. Lullabye (Goodnight my angel) by Billy Joel. http://youtu.be/dcnd55tLCv8

6. Come What May from Moulin Rouge. http://youtu.be/-YsMvzgeSuI

7. Your Song from Moulin Rouge.http://youtu.be/tnoG0ONh4b8

8. When We’re Together by Mark Harris. http://youtu.be/TbesERUiRkU

9. The Marriage Prayer by John Waller. http://youtu.be/t4_sfgjRcfI

10. Homesick by MercyMe. http://youtu.be/zvhrPMJe8LE

11. Word Of God Speak by MercyMe. http://youtu.be/4JK_6osCH74

12. Heart Of Worship by Matt Redman.http://youtu.be/OD4tB1o6YLw

13. Listen To Our Hearts by Steven Curtis Chapman and Geoff Moore. http://youtu.be/DQtho_0rAc0

14. Air On The G Sting by Johann S. Bach. http://youtu.be/E2j-frfK-yg

15. Four Seasons (Winter) by Vivaldi. http://youtu.be/nGdFHJXciAQ

16. Mozart And Memories by Trans Siberian Orchestra. http://youtu.be/i6MiuPxhqNA

17. Beethoven’s Last Night Full Narration by TSO. http://youtu.be/0kmZHrTJsN4

Well, this is by no means a full list, but you have well over three hours of music on this list if you listen to it fully. Sweet dreams and may your dreams one day become reality that will chase your nightmares away. 

Lesson Of Loss.

Lesson Of Loss.

Last night in my state of Minnesota, literally only a few hundred feet from where I once lived, we lost a legend of Rock N’ Roll. Front man for Velvet Revolver, Stone Temple Pilots, and his latest project, The Wildabouts, Scott Weiland died in his sleep on a tour bus at The Country Inn And Suites on Killebrew Drive. He was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead. I read this news on Facebook last night and did some more searching for a credible source and found it to be true. I cried like a baby for over an hour!!! I am crying now as I write this. 

Here’s what is most funny. I never knew him!!! I knew his music from Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. I had no idea he had started another band and was touring with them and was literally a one minute walk away from where I used to live! And now, it is assumed by most, he is gone because of his history with drugs. Again, we are fans, we did not know him personally. Until it is proven drugs did him in I will believe he was sober as he has stated for years. But again, I wasn’t a personal friend, so I truly don’t know. 

This thought got me thinking about how important relationships are. Most importantly is a relationship with Our Creator, God and His Only Son, Jesus Christ. One day we all will die. Our bodies will quit and we will stop breathing and our eternal soul will be swept away to God. Will He be weeping uncontrollably on the moment of our death? Only if He has to say, ‘Depart from me! I never knew you!’ Why do some of us live our lives following a rock star and never really knowing them we mourn for them as though we lost a family member, but when it comes to knowing God we simply say, ‘meh! I know Him. He will let me in.’ We didn’t get into a Stone Temple Pilot or Velvet Revolver concert without a ticket, why do we think we can get into Heaven without a personal relationship with the bouncer, Jesus Christ? It is no different! Are you on the list? Was Scott Weiland? We don’t know if he was right now or not, but he now knows. Are you ready to know your creator today so you will be admitted to The Big Show? Don’t make God mourn your death because He has to send you away because you never knew The Savior, Jesus Christ, who He sent to pay for our sins. Get to know Him today. 

Father, God, 

I am a mess of a sinner! You know me more than anyone in the world knows me. I know you sent your son, Jesus Christ, to pay for my eternal soul. Lord, I know that I cannot come to see you for eternity without Him. I know that He bled, He Died and spent three days in Hell so I never would have to! I ask that He come into my heart right now and cleanse me like He did Hell over 2,000 years ago. I want a personal relationship with Jesus. I know it won’t be easy. I know there will be painful things to clean in my life, but I know an eternity with Jesus and you, God makes it worth it. Jesus come into my heart and help me to know you now. In your Holy name and by Your Precious Saving Blood I pray. Amen. 

If you prayed that, or a smaller variation of it (make it your own) welcome to the family! God need not mourn over you because you have acknowledged you are His! The next step is to get into a Bible. They can be found online, or respond to me in a comment on this post and I will get you A Bible no matter where you are! Welcome home, good and faithful servant! Know God today. 

Big Fish.

Big Fish.

This afternoon I watched an episode of Cupcake Wars on Netflix and the episode inspired this post. The cupcake makers were asked to make cupcakes inspired by Tim Burton films. 

Beetlejuice, James And The Giant Peach, Alice In Wonderland and Edward Scissorhands were all represented during the competition. Where was Big Fish? This is a film by Tim Burton in 2003 that I was dragged to, but mesmerized by within seconds of it beginning on film! It is one of my favorite films of all time and I believe it to be highly underrated by everyone in the world. 

The film tells the story of a man who is at the end of his life. He and his son have never seen eye to eye on anything because the father always seems to tell these big, extravagant tales. The entire film is the telling of the father’s adventures from his larger than life point of view. 

There have been many times in my life that I have felt like a big fish in a small pond. There have been many times in my life I have felt over my head and drowning in my life, so I really feel as though I identified with this film. I also have a propensity to make things seem larger than life, or blown out of proportion, so that is another thing that I and Edward Bloom have in common. 

This film only won one Academy Award and I find that that really identifies with the film as well. It is a larger than life film, as most Tim Burton films are. But, it has that one character (the son) who doesn’t think his father is really larger than life– until the end. I found this film to be awesomely created and, just as the son received a new appreciation for his father, I found a new appreciation for Tim Burton that hasn’t waned. The moral of this is no matter how big something seems give it a chance. Are you going up against insurmountable odds? Become the big fish and swim against the current. 

Roads And Tides

Roads And Tides

When I was 16 it was 1992. I was a student at Montevideo Senior High. I wore Zuba’s and jeans every day of my life. I was a band geek and a choir singer. I played the violin. 

Some would say I never took anything seriously. Those same people would probably still say 23 years later that I still do not take anything seriously. Because I really don’t. 

At the time, I didn’t know it but life goes quicker the more the years go by. At 16? I thought I had it all! I thought I was gonna be a superstar of some kind. 

Even with the delusional thoughts of grandure I was still the shy one. I had never been on a date. I had my select group of friends in that time of my life too. Some of whom I still speak with on an occasional basis. Most have moved on. 

Me? I am standing at the door of 40 years old and I am right back where I was then. Back in the small town I spent my last four years of high school. A lot has changed, but one thing that really hasn’t is the minds and dreams of SOME 16 year olds. This post is for them. 

You are now 16. A whole new world has been opened up to you, I am sure. You are beginning to think, “what will I do next? College? Maybe military? Maybe I have it all planned out.” 

Guess what. You DO NOT have it all planned out at 16!!! Ever! When I was 16 I was going to be a doctor in psychology. Or an artist. Maybe by some miracle I would end up on the family farm and working the land (my brother got that one). I had a bunch of dreams and goals. I admit, 99% of them involved getting out of here. 

A small town is not really full of opportunities for a disabled male with passion to make his mark on the entire planet. A small town is not really any place for anyone to make a big mark on the planet. Although, it has been done, by men and women alike! 

So, you are 16. You have a driver’s license. You may even have the keys to mom and dad’s car, or maybe even your own car. One thing I can assure you is, nothing will remain as it is. People will come and go. Friends will move on, and sadly, even die. Dreams will come and go and die. New ones will emerge. 

The key, my sixteen year old readers is, don’t go through life thinking you’ve got it all figured out. I am now more than twice your age and I sure don’t! 

Grasp opportunities! Even the small ones. Enough grains of sand can make a big splash in the ocean. Enough grains of sand will create a beach! 

You are never alone, even when you create your own beach. People will always be around. Take note of who is around today. One day, they may be gone. 

This life is full of roads and tides. They come and go, they change directions. Some roads lead to a dead end and you need to back track. That’s okay. Sometimes when we come back to the beginning, we find where we should have been all along. 

Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me

I have been putting off this part of the Daily Post Prompt for a couple days now. I hope you all have read my letter to my 14 year old self. Tonight, we are to write a letter that is to ourself in twenty years. This is a tough one. 

I mean, twenty years. I will be 59-years old in twenty years. Where will I be? Will I still be here? Will I be making a difference? What if I am not? Why look twenty years into the future and try to guess how it will look? I learned that lesson when I was 14 and wondered where I would be today. It certainly wasn’t in the life I have. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life! It’s just nothing at all like I planned.  

 Life has adaptations. Life has changes and road-blocks. Life even has beginnings and endings. I don’t know why the pessimistic side of me is making a guest appearance tonight after more than a year of blogging, but here he is!! 

Tonight, as I write this a million thoughts keep popping into my head. Why look so far in the future? What if my future ends tonight or in the next year? Why worry about any of it when all we have is now? 

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, says The Lord. Plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future.” When you work a dead end job, no plans for any meaningful promotion and live in a body that is broken down and feels pain more than not these days, it is difficult to look twenty years in the future and think, “wow! I’m still gonna be here?” 

  Then the optimist in me comes crashing through that door and says, “hey man! Buck it up and suck it up! You have an awesome purpose that you live every single day! Sure, you are not in a job right now that is what you are worth, but hey! Your job is not where your worth is found anyway! You bring joy to so many people every day, find your worth in that!!” I like the optimist in me! He keeps it real. 

  
See, this morning in church one of the teenage girls spoke about her battle with anxiety and depression. Guess what? Keepin’ it real, I gotta tell ya, I battle it too! I know I live in a body that is so terribly broken that some days I wonder, ‘can I really go on like this another twenty years or God willing 50 years?’, but that’s where plans for hope and a future come in. 

We were all built for greatness! You were, I was, the babies in the womb are too! We need to let everyone find that path to greatness. 

Twenty years from now, dear self, you may be doing some great things, or you may be called home. I really don’t know what the future holds for you. But, I know that right now, at this moment, you can let the world know it is not all bad and not one of them is alone as long as you have existed and they read your words. 

  
Please, share this message of hope and a future with anyone you think may need it. My friends, your future may be prosperous. Your future may be full of pain and disease, or even death. But right now, right at this moment, YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!! The question is, will you? Edification or demolition? Your words, when put together with action, make a difference! 

Twenty years from now, I may be gone. I may still be here. No matter where I am, I will be making a difference and it will all be because of this one post. I love you all! ALL LIVES MATTER IN THIS MOMENT!!!!