Thursday, December 18, 2014
Hey everyone. I've been super slammed--which is awesome, but crazy. I'm more swamped than ever and my blogging suffers. (Actually I have been blogging, but for paying clients.)
I wanted to give a quick update:
1. My Spiritual growth has been subtle but good. It's great how God comes through for you when you're busy. I'm making every effort to continue to make time to hang out with God, but it's been really busy. I'm not satisfied.
2. I've been really blessed to have my mom help with childcare, and to have a happy 8 month old baby who sleeps through the night (most of the time). I also have a happy marriage to the most beautiful woman in the world. My next improvement will be to find a way to have family dinners together starting with a couple times a week.
3. I'm happy to report that I'm accomplishing my exercise goals. I wish I could say the same for my diet goals. The net effect is that I'm not losing weight, but I'm not gaining weight either. So if I can make it through the holidays without losing ground I'm prepared to call that a victory, and January is going to be a whole new campaign.
4. I'm still valiantly trying to crank out my scifi 1st draft by the end of the month/year. It's going well, but I'm behind.
5. One of the best things about my new regular writing contract is that I"m using a lot of the things that I went out of my way to learn, purely hoping that I'd get the chance to cash in on it. So take it from me, no matter what a pain in the rear it is, never stop growing your skills. Another nice thing is that I'm gaining some new skills on the job. I normally prefer to bid work for the flexibility it offers. And for the fact that I can increase my pay by working faster/better than the next guy. BUT being in a team environment again reminds me how much I learn from coworker interaction.
6. No update would be complete without mentioning my new gig at Tire Kickers. I love the guys I'm working with and I love working as a writer for start up companies. Tire Kickers stands apart from most of the companies I've worked for. They really count on using great, innovative ideas to achieve goals instead of old boy networks, bullying, marketing brainwashing, etc. It's nice to work for people who aren't jaded.
7. The holidays are pretty much taking up any effort I could expend toward relaxation. I'm going to take as much time off next week as I can, but even if I can't, I'm enjoying work. The only person working harder than me is my wife. We're up at 5 every morning and the other day she didn't sit down until about 45 mins before we had to go to bed. I have put in plenty of 16 hour days before, but I just can't run that hard anymore. We went three weeks without a day off earlier this fall and I'm just sapped.
Well I hope everyone else's life is going awesome. I should find my new groove in the new year. If not I'll have to make it happen somehow.
Bonus for making it to the bottom of the page: Writing contests for the next two months.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Jillian and I and Holding onto Hope Ministries wish you and your family a joyous Holiday Season and best wishes for a blessed New Year. The assurance of living eternally thanks to our Creator coming to this earth to suffer and die then miraculously conquer death is the comfort this season is about. We pray that you experience the joy of knowing Christ.
Holding onto Hope had the opportunity to share with New Life Community Church last October about the lifetime devastation caused by sexual abuse. Jillian and I have been doing this for nearly seven years now and each time we share it encourages those that have never spoken or have not worked on the difficult work of healing to speak out. (You can view the sermon at New Life by following the link below)
This month we are beginning a healing program in partnership with New Life. Over a dozen people have connected with Jillian and I since we spoke about the pain they live with everyday. Healing from sexual abuse is a lifelong process. It is so encouraging for us after a long time to see survivors coming forward to begin healing. We look forward to the new year and the opportunity to walk with many who are hoping for healing and joy.
As the year ends Jillian and I encourage you to consider sharing with your community the great need to shed light on this issue. History has showed us that when the issue is brought to the light, those that are suffering in the silence of shame become empowered to reach out for help and stop the years of silence and begin speaking. Individuals, communities and families begin to recover joy and even physical comfort from the confusion and pain. This issue quietly disables every community. We must have the courage to speak out to keep evil in its place. Speak out this year. We would love to share with your community.
As the year closes Jillian and I humbly ask you to consider a donation to Holding onto Hope. We have had five residents in our home this past year. Our home serves as the Hope House for the ministry. It requires financial means to house the residents and help them recover and begin healing. We would love to do more, but the financial resources aren't there. Any gift goes directly to the ministry needs and allows us to continue to provide safety for the broken among us. Thanks for considering walking with us.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous and joyful 2015.
Watch Bill and Jillian speaking at New Life Community Church:http://www.newlifeonline.com/sermon/real-life-heal-the-wound-leave-the-scar/
Heal the Wound...But Leave the Scar...
HOPE HOUSE NEWS
I would like to introduce you to the Hope House newest resident, meet Andrew. Andrew came to the Hope House the beginning of October and we are delighted to have him. Andrew is studying at The Phoenix Art Institute in the Culinary Artsprogram. His goal is to graduate in March of 2015 and begin working as a certified chef. It has been a long time dream and the end is in sight.
Rather remarkable actually, after you hear a little of Andrew's story. In first grade CPS workers and Military Police came to Andrew's home to remove him and his sister. His parents went through a tumultuous divorce two years earlier. This time Andrew's mother's boyfriend was threatening the children's safety. Child Protective Services split the children up and placed Andrew temporarily in a behavioral center while they arranged for a Foster Home for Andrew. That began a 12 year journey through over thirty foster homes and a dozen different schools for Andrew. In many of the foster homes there was physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. There was neglect and abandonment. At age 17 after his fourth year in the ninth grade, Andrew hit the streets.
Free from the Foster Care system he lived in a tent in the woods cooking on a small grill and roaming the neighborhoods for the next year. When Andrew turned nineteen he was introduced to North Carolina Families United; a non-profit organization that provides recovery and services for the many that are neglected. Andrew then worked as a mentor with NCFU for children that had similar experiences of neglect and abuse. He became a spokesman exposing the dysfunction of the system and a strong advocate for change.
In 2011, Andrew testified before the United States Congress along with Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
He shared his story on behalf of the many surviving in silence. The work with NCFU inspired Andrew to return to school where instead of just securing a GED, he earned his high schooldiploma in 2009.
In 2012 Andrew came to Arizona with a dream to earn a degree in the Culinary Arts. As you can imagine, one does not recover from a lifetime of abuse and neglect without a lot of time, a lot of thinking, and a lot of pain. Andrew is doing great. Living in a community of grace and kindness as one rebuilds a damaged foundation of life is critical to legitimate heart change. Jillian and I are so proud of Andrew and his courage to stay the course. It's pretty nice to have a chef in the house too.
Pray for Andrew won't you. He has some challenging days ahead. He has some incredible days of joy ahead too. Pray for the vision of the Hope House. For now, the Hope House is a place for the one lost sheep that our Lord asks us to go find and care for. We pray the Lord will lead us to many more.