Archive for February, 2015

Have a great day friends. Treat your people and even strangers right. One has no way of knowing when a day might be one that was “the last time” there was to be for someone, or the chance to treat another well enough to inspire them to succeed. Or simply continue on among us…Don’t be the last harsh memory of the souls you live amongst and lives you touch daily. There are no do overs for the that “if I’d have had any idea that was the last time I’d see him/her, or “he/she is someone I don’t care to ever see again”.

You DO know well enough to treat every moment as potentially the one to last an eternity. And you DO know that YOU don’t want others to give you reason to shun them. So don’t be that to others. Kindness is remembered for the duration, just as is spiritual assault. We’re all fragile and mortal. Be somebody worth not just remembering fondly, but as a difference maker. The exception. Be a source of well being. Matty


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A Prayer for Jordyn…

At this time last Sunday, I was in a church in Arizona, gladly sitting between two lovely ladies. Kaye C. Upham to my left, and her girl Jordyn Kube on my right. We three were far from alone there. I guess well over a thousand souls shared that common space. There was music, heartfelt song. And earnest prayers for survival in a troubled world.
I felt the presence of my Momma there. She was given credit for decades ago having urged Kaye and her eldest daughter Nikki Neely to find their way through life’s maze by finding their way to these pews we occupied today.
When I do attend, I seek my Momma’s company there still, no matter what city I’m in on that day…She and Jesus find me there.
But today, I was in awe of the three ladies there with me…and honored to be able to join them so far from my home.
But there came that moment when Jordyn embraced me from her quiet space there next to me…taking my hand and nudging me to open my heart, along with hers in the midst of her good fight she’s urgently waging. And too, Kaye seized my left hand, and completed the opening of the doors to my heart there.
Then I was gladly defenseless, and the chorus of the masses there collectively began, whilst all there held the hands of two others, and in turn; of all the others attending there in sight of that cross…
And then began the glad sound of over a thousand voices celebrating, pleading, sharing their faith, “…Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name…”
And in that moment, I felt not the gravity of Kaye and Jordyn and Nikki’s struggle, but the enormity of the community there giving them a knowing dose of the medicine that no clinic, no chemotherapy, no intravenous elixir can. It is called by several names, love, encouragement, praise, prayer, knowing…but the two most vital ingredients that were being administered there in that uplifting moment by the power of the thousand and more; Faith, and Hope…in huge doses. Enough to drown a cancer, and float a struggling young soul. Enough to give her momma Kaye a sea of positive waters she can soak in, along with her girls. Enough to keep Jordyn more readily afloat instead of treading the troubled waters.
I felt the gift of this moment. I was filled with it all to overflowing. And it sweetly Lorded over the doubt. Over the anger. Over the questions. It is a gift to feel the supportive air of faith, over the ominous presence of dread that cancer carries with it…
I hope that Jordyn is able to realize and feel what I felt there in that beautiful moment shared by her momma and I. I hope that she can sigh a happier sigh when the moments are shaded and near to dark. I pray that she can know, that all those decades ago when my Momma sent Kaye to that place with the cross and the gathered souls, that she was already knowing Jordyn, and her struggle…and gifting her these doses of faith, and hope.
Even in the midst of the most unkind things, life and love is kind…and hope and faith will carry us over the rockiest of roads, and light the darkest of them.
Thanks Momma, and Kaye, and Nikki, and THE Jordyn Kube, for letting me join you there, I gladly shan’t be the same…Matty.

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Saturday morning. Happy Valentine’s Day friends. I’m not sure what this day is supposed to mean anymore, but I think that the love of a friend, a sibling, a family member, a parent…even those gone on ahead, will fill my heart and validate the day. This makes every other day well worth the effort of joining it, and keeping my heart well and my soul fulfilled. So there is no need to feel any less special on February 14. And besides that, I have already survived the darkest days of winter and am steadily feeling the promises of spring.
I think a focus on Easter is at hand…THE greatest love of all…Matty.

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On this day some 28 years ago, I woke up in a drunk tank, hungover and shouldering a DUI from the night before. It was humiliating, telling, and a wakeup call.
Having to explain to my 5 year old son why daddy hadn’t come home the night before was not a great moment. However, it was also the last week I ever drank, the last (and only) time I woke up in jail, with a hangover, and likely the best thing that might have ever happened for me.
At some point before I was to appear in court, I’d made up my mind to pursue a deferred prosecution, and did so. I got clean and sober and pulled my young head out of my drunken butt and started living more right than ever.
That was over half my life ago. I look back quite often and am glad to sigh a happy sigh, knowing I saved my life then, and made myself a better soul than I had been destined.
I’m not preaching to anyone, but if anyone gets a message out of my sharing this, then more power to you. I would have been dead within a year had I not stopped when I did. Period. At the very least, I owed my son and my family a better effort than I had been putting out. Life hasn’t been easier, better, or a bed of roses. BUT, it has been a life; alive, trying, and earning my way to this moment.
I’m grateful for all my gifts, and not some, but ALL of them are made possible daily because I made a great and wise decision about 28 years ago this coming week.
If you’re on the boat I was so long ago, get the hell off of it on the shore nearest you, NOW, and not in the middle of drowning sea a while from now.

Love and prayers for my friends out there. Matthew.

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