I Only Want To See You Bathing, In The Puple Rain. 

I Only Want To See You Bathing, In The Puple Rain. 

If you look enough throughout history, I am sure you can find a sad event somewhere, anywhere in the world, every single day. Today, we lost a music legend!! 

He rose from the bad neighborhoods of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the early 80’s to become a music legend. Today it has been officially reported that Prince, 57, has died. 

When I lived in The Twin Cities I used to sing his song, Purple Rain, at karaoke bars around Bloomington, Burnsville and Apple Valley. I met a woman in Bloomington at David Fong’s Chinese Restaraunt and every Thursday I would be there singing karaoke and she without fail would request Purple Rain. I only wish someone had recorded me singing it so I could share it with you all. 

It’s another sad day in the music world, but Prince did leave his legendary mark before leaving us so soon. May his music live on long after today, rest in peace, Prince. 

All Of You!!

All Of You!!

If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

Like most of us, I work to live and provide as much as I can for my bride and I. She is the major bread winner in our house, but I have always felt there is more to a career than money. There should be a passion and reason behind everything we do. 

Okay, I admit, when I first went off to college I had universal dreams of being a Psychologist making people feel better, solving their problems and making enough money where any worry the world could throw at me would not be a worry. I would just say, ‘Not a problem!! I’ve got this covered!’ And I would have more than enough to help the world and myself. 

Then I woke up, realized I am already equipped with what the world needs. We all are. You, you, you, you and yes, even you way in the back, I see you paying attention from a distance, we ALL were created for a purpose! Our purpose may not involve making huge sums of cash, but ten times out of ten, our true purpose will involve making someone else richer in spirit because we were a part of their lives.

I’ve been living my purpose ever since I figured out what it is and everything I do is to that purpose. My purpose is people. That is my ‘career’. And I don’t always get paid monetarily for my efforts, but I do always receive back blessings in ways I don’t see coming. 

My dream career would be as a voiceover specialist. I have had a number of customer service and phone operator jobs. I worked for two years in my dream radio station, but I let that slip away (again because of money!). I want to be the next Mel Blanc or Walt Disney or Voice Over Movie Guy, ‘In a world…’

But dreams can come in many ways. I have learned in the past five years that I may not live where I want and I may not ever have the job that I want, but this life is not about me. It is about you, and you, and you, and you, everybody else! 

Sure, I gotta make me a priority. An empty vessel will never fill another up. But I will always be there for anyone going through something, anything. That is my dream career. A world full of people that know that Jesus and Josh love them! 

Make Opportunities. 

Make Opportunities. 

Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?

Let me take you back in time. Back to a simpler time. The year was 1995. I had just declared my major at Southwest State University as Radio/Television Broadcasting. If you know anything about these professions they require a well practiced speaking voice and the comfort of speaking in front of either large groups of people, or at least knowing that thousands of people may be listening or watching. 

My friends at the time always told me that my facial expressions showed that I should have gone deeper into the television side, but I chose radio broadcasting. Along with that major was a minimum of four classes of speech. This did not sit well with my stomach at first. Even a class of twelve people made my stomach tie in knots and my anxiety go through the roof!! It should come as no surprise that I dropped out of the major, and the school in 1996. I just wasn’t ready and I had just married, so it was time to become a family man and take care of my bride. 

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans and sometimes it circles back around on you. After my marriage split in 1997 I worked for a year in the town we lived in and where I had gone to college. Enough was enough! I needed new scenery! 

So, in June of 1998 I moved to the Twin Cities to pursue a degree in Radio Broadcasting. Still wasn’t ready! Public speaking still made me so nervous and it was decided I needed to leave the school for health reasons. 

Fast forward to 2002. Another opportunity for Radio Broadcasting from Brown College came about. The best opportunities keep on knocking, don’t they? Finally ready to go to school and complete it, but there was TWO PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASSES PER QUARTER!!! Yes, the butterflies in the stomach, red face, and absolute stuttering nervousness was there when I began my classes in 2002– for about a week! 

I had a professor who had serious faith in my abilities, I had a few professors who actually believed in me. And they all helped me get over my fear of public speaking. They knew that my abilities to speak and influence others through the medium of radio could be life-changing, for me and the world! 

They told me the key was to speak as often as possible, no matter how many people were listening. I began singing and talking in the car, I began singing karaoke, I began having conversations with strangers. Low and behold, the next week I got up to present my speech and no nerves! Practice makes perfect. My advice is anything you wish to do well, make opportunities to practice it. 

Never Alone.

Never Alone.

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

Last week I told you about the circumstances that prompted my move to The Twin Cities in 2002 to pursue a degree in Radio Broadcasting and ultimately a degree in Communication Studies. My game plan after the Bachelors program in Communication Studies was to work in radio for a few years getting experience and then come back to Brown College and teach in the broadcasting program. My life, at least for the last 21 years has been woven together as absolute proof to me that there are no accidents and there is no such thing as a wrong decision that cannot be turned into something good. And we are never alone on our journey in this life. Ever! 

I graduated my bachelor program and I needed a full-time, well paying gig to pay my bills and college loans. Radio broadcasting was not it, so I left. I became the first disabled DJ in the history of a company in St Paul, which boasted being the best company in the country for weddings. And they truly are! This company has its formula down for weddings. And they only do weddings. I worked a few shows for them over the next few months, but ultimately since I couldn’t move my own equipment being in a wheelchair and nobody wanted to be a set-up man, we decided together that it was not a fit for me. 

Luckily, I was working for a company that monitored alarm systems all around the country. That gig began in 2005, just after I graduated college and two weeks befor Hurrican Katrina hit the gulf coast! Talk about a time to begin learning a new skill!! Definitely a sink or swim. Pages on pages of alarm systems going haywire because of the power outages and devastation. Eight hours a day of calling home owners and business owners, ‘Your alarm at <their address> is going off, is everything okay, do I need to dispatch authorities?’ Nine times out of ten it was fine. I rose to the occasion at that job and stayed there for two and a half years. 

Then, I got the call in late 2007 from a previous professor and trusted friend at Brown College, ‘hey, there are holding a group interview for an admissions rep and I think you’d be a shoe in! You got this, but you have to be here by 5:30 tonight!!’ Okay, done! I went into that interview and nailed it!! Four other people in the interview and I commanded the room! My future boss even told me, ‘you came into the room and basically said, ‘okay, everyone shut up! I am here and I got this, so you all can just leave!’  And yet it took them three weeks to offer me the job. That was God trying to orchestrate patience. 

Move ahead to April 21, 2009. It was a Tuesday. 11:30am rolls around. I had been in my office for four and a half hours. I was about to go on my lunch. I had spent the morning sending emails and making phone calls. I had four meet and greet appointments scheduled, but it was too little too late. 

My Director Of Admissions stopped at my office door and said, ‘When you finish that call come down to my office.’ Her office was three doors down the hall from mine. Longest trek ever because we were a for-profit school. Admissions Reps only keep their jobs if they can keep the enrollments. My enrollments had slipped for a couple months at that point. 

I rolled into her office. She was at her desk, tears in her eyes and the compliance/HR Director was seated on the other side of her desk. I knew what that meant. Only one thing left to ask, ‘how much time do I have to clean out my office?’ I took the rest of the day to say good-bye to the people I had considered had become family. Literally the rest of the day! 

My greatest accomplishments in life had taken place at Brown College and April 21, 2009 was my worst at the time and for the next year and a half. I went from a rising star who seemed like he could walk on water, truly, there were times in that job I worked miracles to get people enrolled in school. But, in the end it wasn’t enough. God directs all my paths! 

For the next year and a half my life in The Twin Cities crumbled beneath my wheels and there was no recovery. I was sunk! I completed and was released from one job in the next 18 months and I walked out on three others. Again, I had no clue at the time, but God was orchestrating a bigger plan I could not see at the time. 

The final break happened November 6th of 2010. I had been working for a company as a lead generation specialist. I would call IT Directors and find out if they would be interested in our software and technologies to help all organizations go paperless with any and all records. If interest was found I would pass them off to our sales team. I was so good at what I did for the first couple months, and then my body and mind decided to take a vacation. I will never forget 10:30am November 6th, my mind decided to crack and convince me I was not doing well. I told my boss I was checking myself into the hospital. She said she had noticed for a few weeks in my performance that my mind was convincing me I was slipping in my health and she agreed I needed to get checked out and talk to somebody about what was going on mentally and physically with me, but that my job would be there when I returned. It wasn’t. 

After a few days of R and R and speaking with doctors I was informed my job was no longer available. Okay, where do I go from here? No job prospects, my roommates saw my decline and decided to leave our living arrangements. Only one way to go- Home. 

We had the rent paid up through the next month, so we took through December of 2010 to move me home. I was thirty-four years old and back living with my parents. 

It didn’t take me long and I found an apartment and a part-time job in Montevideo, Minnesota at Walmart. Rock bottom. I made my mind up as a college graduate this was not going to be where I stay. I didn’t graduate Brown College Magna Kum Laude to become a cashier at Walmart. 

But, in late 2011 a woman began working at Walmart along side me. She was interested in me a few months before I caught up. February 2nd, 2012 she changed my course forever on our first date. She makes everything so much better. I am still a cashier at Walmart, but I am married to her. And I run a successful blog and I make a positive impact on the lives of countless people every single day! I am back on top again and swimming freely. I am living a life of I.M.P.A.C.T. even though I have endured many sinking moments I am still swimming strong. I hope this blog post serves as a reminder for countless people around the world that even when it seems like you are drowning you just need to swim your way back up and it will be the best breath of fresh air you have ever inhaled. I also want you to know that whether you are on top of the world or you feel like you are alone and drowning you are never alone! God has promised He will be with us in all times and all places. This story of my last seven years of life should come as a true testament to that. Even at my lowest, I was never alone. 

10,000 Spoons

10,000 Spoons

10,000 Spoons…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.

I admit it I can get annoyed with things from time to time. Mostly though, it is my own fault for the predicament, so I have learned to breathe easy. 

I have been a Christian for a few years now. In my roll with Christ I have come to realize that if it won’t matter in 100 years I shouldn’t lose an ounce of sleep or have a moment of worry over it now. God takes care of all of the animals of the world. They have food to eat and homes that they build. Wildlife is far more resourceful than we humans. It amazes me that it seems as though they do not have the capability of worry. Why do we? 

God gave us free will and we often use it poorly. There is enough space, food, air and all other resources for every man, woman and child on the Earth and all to come, yet we worry. We get annoyed, we become bothered by rainy days and Mondays and by red lights and waiting. 

What if instead of getting annoyed at things we worshipped the creator of this all? What joy would fill our hearts. Thank you, Jesus for the red light. Thank you Jesus for the demotion or being fired from my job so my journey can continue elsewhere. Where would you like to utilize my talents, Father God? I am not annoyed, I am overjoyed at the fact you love me and everything happens within your time. If it doesn’t, even when I tried, it means it wasn’t meant for me. Thank you, Lord! 

Spoons and forks are interchangeable, why aren’t we? So you need to eat your cake with a spoon, so what?! Is it really worth worrying about? YOU HAVE CAKE!!! Eat it with your fingers if you need! 

We need to train our minds to think on things that truly matter. Will this matter in 100 years if I fail at it now? No. Moving on! Our soul is the only thing of us that will remain in 100 years. The memories of those who will be here will matter. People. Relationships. What we do with humanity. These things matter. What are you doing with your day? Does it matter? Will it matter later? 

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.