Posts Tagged ‘love’

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Everyone has a “love-hurts” story; join us to explore yours!
https://youtu.be/8hvONU7V0X8

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Everyone has a “love-hurts” story; join us to explore yours!

https://youtu.be/8hvONU7V0X8

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, December 30th, 2016

 

 

 

Welcome back to another Faith Filled Friday. 🙂

 

So I wanted to share what happened a couple mornings ago. It was unexpected, but has affected me since it happened. I had a customer that stopped by completely out of the blue, very random. I first saw him pull up through my security camera but thought he was going to the daycare across the street. Instead, I watched as he walked to my front door and rang the door bell. Since I had just gotten up, I was considering letting him walk away, but something…a driving force told me to throw on my clothes and go out and catch him. This all happened in mere seconds but it seemed much longer.

 

I opened my door and he was gone. Then I heard the car start so I made my way out as fast I could. He saw me, turned the car off and got back out of his car. At the time I did not know he was a customer. I have been doing my line of work for so many years and never had any one of my customers actually stop by. He told me he had come by for three reasons, the first of which he explained, was him leaving for Oregon to spend Christmas with his children, so he wanted me to stop service to his home for the dates he’d be gone. Well, I had no idea where he lived, so I asked for his address. He gave it to me and also mentioned he left the note in my mail slot.

When I saw his address, I remembered him, but only by way of a few waves of the hand over the years as sometimes his front door was open and he’d be behind his screen door. Because he’s elderly, I always pull into his driveway to ensure the newspaper lands on his front porch. Over the years I had also seen his wife up early and so I asked him how she was and he told me she had passed away. There was a pain in this man’s eye’s that was so present.

 

Suddenly I knew that God had a role for me that morning and had led this man to my home. He went on to talk about how much he missed her, the sleepless nights without her, how he could feel an emptiness and void he’d never felt in his life. He explained that they were married for 42 years and lived in the same home for 37. I am not always the most confident person, but for some reason I felt this understanding without him even going into all kinds of detail. At the same time I could feel his pain, I could also feel the energy of happiness in the way he moved his arms, the way he spoke, tone of voice as he talked about the love of his life.

I didn’t say much at the moment, just asked a little question here and there when he slowed his talking… as to keep him going. I was desperate to hear him, his story, his pain, his…

 

He explained to me that when his wife died, that there were only two things he could depend on; that everything else didn’t make any sense, didn’t feel like it mattered.  He told me the first thing he counted on at the end of his day was his children. They always called him and his daughter who lived near would always come over and check on him. He told me the second thing he could counted on was me delivering the newspaper and that sound of it hitting his door when I porched it was the noise he waited for. It was like a sign he needed to start his day when he felt nothing for him to rise to, but still he would.

Wow I was beside myself in hearing that…so much so, I almost cried. It touched me in a way I had not felt in years. To know that something I do and work hard at had helped this man survive the abyss of his sadness, it just felt so good to be a part of that; that I was making a difference in someone’s life. He told me it wasn’t just a newspaper I delivered; it was the tool to remind him the world keeps spinning without our loved ones and we need to live on, that we need to breathe.

 

I have really been trying to connect the dots in my life, always have but even more so in the last year of life. The possibilities of God’s love and intervention are absolutely infinite… I can’t help but think that some things might not have worked out the way in which I wanted them to because perhaps God needed me to be there for that man all these years later. All the times I thought “It sure would be easier to not pull in and porch his paper” when I was running later due to the stresses of life, But every night I did. I am so glad I did!

It’s true what they say about the small things do matter. Sure, doing them might make things a little challenging, and yet the power of it can be so empowering for another soul.

 

Know that what you do does matter even the little things can turn out to be big things for someone else. Join me next Friday for part two of this incredible true story that sparked my soul with life and love

John

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Faith Filled Friday

Friday, November 25th, 2016

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Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday! 

This last year I have felt an incredible sadness. I supposed I have always had issues with sadness and depression, which is why I came back to Trench Class again. I wanted to do it for myself and no one else. Some answers are found along the way but much like the exploration of our deep oceans or vastness of space, more questions are found than answers discovered. Putting it together is a daunting task and I certainly feel like blocking it out. Don’t we all? 

My heartbreak comes from relationships in which I have given all of me, something I’m learning is never healthy! It’s not enough to put one foot in front of the other physically, but to move forward each and every day emotionally as well.

How do we do that? 

Sometimes I will just sit down on my fire tablet and just look for beautiful pictures. Sometimes I stay out longer after work ends not only to catch the sun rise into a new day, but to listen to the birds wake from their slumber and start to sing. I often ask myself, what might I hear that I have not heard before? It’s nice to close my eyes and just tune my ears to the radio waves of God’s creation. I even picked up a weed that had seen much better days. I have seen a weed like this so many times but never picked it up and looked at it closely…until the other day, and what I saw really amazed me. It looked like there were small finish nails that had been lightly hammered into it. As I looked at it I noticed a bug I had not noticed when I had picked it up. Hmmm, a chance encounter perhaps? I got lost watching this bug take its steps through the maze of “finish nails.” Just observing a life other than mine took my focus to a different place.

I began to wonder what God’s purpose was for this lil’ bug. I can get lost in wondering what sensory items in its little body it might have. I wondered how hard it was for it to find a mate, to find a meal. I was so lost in the moment.

But the sadness and depression seem to be looming around the corner. No matter how much I pray or try and be positive it comes my way so frequently. It’s just like the pain I live with; it’s always there, a bit better at times, yet still there. But that bug has been in my head for several days now. I wonder if something is leading the bug, like some magnetic northern wave of energy or the wind at its back. Something drives it forward. And then it hit me: Sometimes that is the only step we need to take, to insure the next one after it. I am not sure where I am going in life, not sure if I will ever love again, but I have taken that step of forgiving which free me to step in between the nails myself. Step by step, nail by nail, perhaps I am following the Holy Spirit as it leads me to a better place. I really am not quite sure. I just have to keep doing my part. 

Pretty incredible to think how a bug helped out a human being, thousands of times its size. I just can’t help but wonder if God gets a kick out of the things I find and appreciate. I know it is all part of the healing, all part of appreciating and loving life. 

I’d love to hear sometime about the things all of you might come across, things so small that they are missed more than found. What joy or emotion you might find in appreciating God’s creations.

Well time for work. Have a good day everyone and as usual… MUCH LOVE!

John

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, November 18th, 2016

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Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday my friends! 

I have given a lot of thought recently to the grief I tend to carry for so much of the things that have happened in my life. I always hear people say things like: “You just have to will yourself through this; you’re depressed; this is not healthy for you.” 

These quips lend themselves to helping me feel that people don’t understand that sometimes the pain of grief itself is not always something that one day is gone for people like me. I can’t just un-see, un-feel, de-skin it. The scars run too deep and I carry these scars day in, day out. I run the gamut as I learn to live with them. They will never go away. 

And yet, I have come to learn that I can surely navigate and transform our ways in which we handle this grief, depression and sadness. We all can. We can grow from them. It’s not that we are ever victorious over these things; it’s that we learn how to grow the seeds that survive the storm, the flooding, the winds of trials and troubles… to harvest, feed and share with others through their storms. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people trade their pain for some kind of temporary relief. Call it the bottom of a bottle, the needle to a vein, the cutting, and even sexual escapades. Why can’t we live in harmony by feeling our way through this pain, to learn from it, be at utter peace with it? It is not for others to paint it on our canvas like it’s something to be ashamed of. It’s not that I can control it that makes me a better person… but that I can ultimately live with it and because I do, I can learn from it. 

I refuse to just ignore it. Doing so only means I will repeat my own patterns and live by the destructive traits started in early childhood. God’s love means that we can do more than survive, that we can learn to thrive and step up to help others. Getting accustomed to a different mindset is most difficult, but we can start by telling ourselves it is ok to feel pain, but to not be shackled by it. We must not only love ourselves simply, but diversify our way of healing. 

Horrific pain doesn’t have to be an anchor, but more a set of wings we can share with others in their time of grief by leaping from our own nest.

Much love everyone… God bless

John Tam

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, November 11th, 2016

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Hello and welcome back to our Faith-Filled Friday. Hope everyone was able to put a great week behind them.

This week I was lucky enough to volunteer to help a young boy do his homework. He calls me Uncle John. I watched him struggle to keep his mind on the task of his homework. Every little thing around him would distract him. Like most children, he’d rather laugh and have fun than dedicate his time to homework. I could see so much of myself in Jacob Anything could distract me, too. In fact, to this day, I can struggle concentrating on the task at hand before my mind jumps elsewhere. Anyway, I kept hearing his parents get on him and as the time ticked by, I noticed we all were getting more and more tired, so I decided to try something different, to jump in there and start tackling it with him. There I was reaching out to help this young man. He had a lot more homework than I assumed he did, and the harder it got the more he resisted…at first. But we jumped on it and page by page the finish line came closer and closer until we were there. 

I could not help but feel a sense of accomplishing it with him. For a moment I relished the thought that it would be so neat to be a father, helping my child enrich his mind and to try and center one’s self to accomplish the goal. 

I told Jacob about how good it feels to accomplish things and that getting in a great habit of taking the initiative to complete his homework will bring a sense of accomplishment in other areas of his life. So I challenged him to try next time and told him if he needs help, we can do it over the phone or I would be willing to come by.

The thing I find funny is that when I told him this, I had a flashback to my childhood. It was like I could see more clearly the mistakes I had made as a young boy, a teenager, and even as a man. It is so true that sometimes we must connect with our deep past to just get a better inkling of who we are. It really made stop and think about how the traits we get from childhood can stick with us and forge a road before us without us even realizing that those things are already out there for us, waiting for us to make the same mistakes over and over again. 

Guiding little Jacob for just that night really opened my own eyes to a couple of things that perhaps I have been overlooking. Could God inspire us in such a way? Could He be helping us to not only enrich the mind of a child but to also fulfill a sense of the fatherhood I have felt I would never have? Could He be guiding me toward looking at things in different ways to and help me concentrate more? 

The thing I love about God is that the possibilities are endless and most magical in their own ways. I came home completely exhausted, and yes, a 3rd grader’s homework he was behind on wore out this 40-something- year-old guy. But I still managed to get home and take the time to write this blog and now from here go to work. It will be a hard night ahead for sure, but I am anxious to get to it. Although Jacob won’t see me write this blog or even getting through work tonight, I can’t help but have a sense of wanting to lead by example. Talk about a multi-tasking God! 

This week, I challenge you and myself to let youthful individuals bring a sense of who we are and where we came from all while packing a lesson, not only for them, but also for us. 

Much love and God bless everyone.

John Tam

Faith Filled Friday’s

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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Hello and welcome back, Troopers, to another Faith Filled Friday! 


This last week was found much like the one before, and the one before that, a constant echo. Do we not appreciate a cold glass of ice water a lot more on a hot summer’s day? Might I appreciate a conversation more perhaps because I feel so alone? Maybe because I didn’t have all the toys other kids had, I have more imagination. Because I have not had a relationship that’s stood the test of time, despite working so hard for it, I appreciate it more when it was present and accounted for. The things we long for in life are often the things that could keep us humble. Being humble is a gift all to itself, yet, too easily lost.

Humility is about reminding ourselves daily to be grateful for what we have, but also maybe what we don’t have. I recently thought about moments of my childhood where I wanted a popular toy and I was never able to get it; we were just too poor. I never had a lot of toys, but I was humbled by that, and I likely will be for my entire lifetime too. Where and what I was lacking as a kid, I made up for with a growing imagination. My mind could turn anything into spaceship. I wasn’t only the regular super hero… I invented new ones. Any stick I picked up could be a firearm and would make me a trooper.

Although I have had moments of day dreaming and spacing out, I can’t recall too many times in my lifetime where I was bored. Yet I hear people say that all the time, even children. God instilled this gift in me and I am entirely content with feeling such precious life through the same wind that not only fills our lungs… but graces my face…. Can’t help but feel that sometimes I might just have more than others in that sense.

You see I find myself appreciating the fact that despite all the things I have wanted and not attained, that it has all formed this part and piece of me that loves, appreciates and feels things deeply. Sometimes that can feel like a curse. But for the most part being able to see God’s grace and love in things almost everywhere I look is such a huge gift. So I am thankful to the power of the universe, my mother and God himself, for not always providing and giving in to my wants. It’s amazing to me that how bad we can want and never have the joy of getting it, could bring happiness and joy on different levels. Sometimes our Father knows best!

Still it hurts to be so alone… often with the silence as a friend, but also an adversary. But this void perhaps isn’t an empty space as more it might be a cavern to feel from. I just know I love and appreciate music, laughter, joy, and yes even the tears that much more. I will never take for granted the time, the love, the joy and laughter of a friend or especially a mate that wants to stick around and believe in me.

Love is and always will be a best roommate. I know for me it is.

Much love and till next time, try and appreciate something you had to go without because of its end effect. God surely works in mysterious ways.

John

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, October 28th, 2016

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Welcome back to Faith Filled Friday’s!

Do you ever feel like there needs to be five of you to get it all done because things are just too crazy? Well that is how I have felt for quite some time; however, this week has been an extremely challenging one for me: between emergency dental visits, an extension deadline fast approaching for my taxes and missing that deadline due to a bug in the IRS’s system, there were also VA issues. Oh, and let’s not forget car breakdowns, printer breakdowns, business issues… Well let’s say I am grasping for any extra seconds or bits of calm and peace that I can get.

Well, all of this really became too much and I grabbed my head and let out a scream. I felt trapped, my anxiety coming on so strong sending me into a full-on panic attack. I prayed for God to help me through it as I don’t like having to reach for medication to help settle me down. But in this moment, I absolutely had to reach for them, fighting feelings of guilt, feeling like half a man because I can’t deal with it all without assistance from a pill. All these thoughts were swirling with all the other stuff as I reached into the cabinet for what I knew would quiet it all.

Just as I was reaching into the cupboard, the doorbell rang. It was a friend showing up and I realized right away that she was totally God sent. She was able to help me calm down enough to get the priority stuff done and then talk me through an emotional breakdown. I fell to tears and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop. I was so overwhelmed with the reality that though I felt so all alone, God heard my silent screams of panic. I don’t always have people show up like that and in fact I am alone most of the time. But in my dark moment, God showed up in the form of a friend. I felt…loved, cared for.

So I just wanted to portray my thanks to God and to my friend by sharing this with you. See, sometimes we just need to hold on a few seconds later… help is on the way. Once again I find myself in tears but this time it’s because I feel blessed. I needed exactly what came my way tonight. I surely hope this blesses you wherever you are in heart, mind and spirit.

Until next week.. Much love & God Bless,

~John Tam

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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Oh, friends, if you’re a pet lover, you’re really going to relate with this blog today. I too believe that God uses four-legged friends for many, many things in our faith journey…one of them being learning to be vulnerable! Grab your favorite beverage and join us for a sweet time!

Welcome back everyone to another Faith Filled Friday!

So I thought I’d share some pretty exciting news here: After going two years since I lost my best friend Bella (my dog), I have decided to take on a kitten. This is a big step for me. I am not the kind of person to fill the painful loss and void with just another. I loved my dog Bella with every part of me. She was the most loyal friend and she was always there for me, even eager to warm my cold feet. I think for many of us in the world when we have troubles connecting with people we confide in our four-legged family members quite a bit. Animals have a unique way of filling in the voids that come our way in the world. I was incredibly blessed that God brought that dog into my life. I miss her dearly but I feel that the time has come to bring a family member into this home. I have actually been quite excited and found myself even surfing through the pages of Amazon and heading to a pet store to get a few things. The anticipation is building and I still have a month and a half of waiting before I bring the lil’ guy home. I just couldn’t help myself.

I have always wanted to be good to any pet I have had because I want to bond with them. This leads me to read up extensively, so that I may fully understand what I am getting into, but mostly to gather the knowledge and figure out how I am going to put it together to create the best and overall experience for the both of us.

This really got me to thinking about God and how in creating our world, all of the thought and love that He put into understanding that mankind would fair very well with companions like four-legged pets. Someone once asked me: “Where do you see God the most when you look at the world?” I remember thinking how blessed I was to have that dog named Bella. She brought me so much love and joy. I feel she really got me and I got her. I can’t explain what it was like to know that I had a living thing that never wanted to leave me, especially considering all of my abandonment issues rooted in my childhood. The concept of something, someone by my side from the starting line to the finish line in life is something so energizing and fulfilling for me.

So now once again I am opening up and laying out the welcome mat to a new family member. A little nervous but mostly excited for a new bonding experience with a new friend. Pray for me folks, if you don’t mind because in opening up this time round, I realize the risk because it’s hard to love when you still feel the loss of one you’ve loved.

Can’t wait to share some pictures with all of you and write about some funny new experiences that come with my new four-legged family member.

Much love everyone… till next week…and remember, love and laugh as much you can.

John

P.S. And since I think the Big Man upstairs might read my blog post, I’d like to thank Him for helping me heal enough to open up my heart once again. 😉 Let me leave you with this question: In what way do you need to become vulnerable again?

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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Hello and welcome back to another Faith Filled Friday.

How many of us fear the automobile breakdown, especially one that happens in the middle of the night, far from any help and out of range from any cell phone towers or even other drivers? I drive for a living through areas like this in the middle of the night and on occasion it happens. This is one of my bigger prayers; that God watch over me and help me to get through the night of work and back home regardless of what happens…and it happened!

There I was, miles from nowhere and my car’s lights went super dim. I pulled over right away, popped the hood and the serpentine belt was still good. I instantly suspected the alternator and or battery. Knowing I needed to make it back to cell phone range, or even better, home, I started driving back towards help. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. As I started to drive I asked God to please give me enough juice in the battery to get me there. Shortly after my prayer the lights went completely out and my car died. It was so strange to pray one second and then the very next break down. So there I was, a man with a flashlight… a new bright one I might add, thinking how can I get help? For a mere moment I felt completely stranded and helpless.

That thought only resided in me for a moment and I remembered an old battery jumper I keep for emergencies. But this was different. If the alternator isn’t charging the battery once it starts it would do me no good. But then it came to me: Why not hook up the clamps to the battery and let the battery jumper be my primary power for the car, and instead of using the headlights (which drain a car battery very quickly while the car is running) use the new bright flashlight I had just purchased the week before when my other one broke? It was worth a try!

Imagine this: There I was in the darkness pulling a Macgyver. Got it hooked up and braced so it wouldn’t move around while driving back.

As I got back in and pulled the seatbelt over me and clicked in. I knew I had to pray again…and so I did. I sat there for a moment and went through the checks in my head: Power for battery, check; flashlight, check; prayer for safety, check. Without hesitation I turned the key and it started! I flipped the flashlight on holding it out the window and I was off. There I was driving down the road getting closer and closer to help and as I did, I felt a confidence in me. I really got to thinking about all the things that had unfolded to get me going again.

You see I think when I first prayed when I was breaking down I thought God had answered back instantly by letting me break down that moment right after my prayer. But now while scooting back down the road, I had a different thought: What if God was looking out for me long before I prayed that night? What if a week earlier when my other flashlight broke that was not very bright had worked for another week? Without the new bright flashlight I could not have driven like that. Where did I think to use a jumper far beyond what it was meant for? It occurred to me that through life I have been in these really bad spots, while as a child, in the military, and now many times as a civilian. Somehow I have made it through all of them. I realized that this confidence in me that night was not solely mine; it was the feeling of strength that once again God was helping me get through something.

One of my struggles in life is abandonment. It has built traits in me that I deal with frequently. I can’t put in words how good it felt to break down and strategically think my way out of a hard predicament. But that isn’t my goal here. My goal here is to inspire you friends while reminding me that at any moment, that even something breaking down such as a flashlight might just be God cleverly intervening.

What I ended up with by breaking down that night is something I have really been lacking in my life… confidence. God gave me the basic necessities, and let me use my own mind, my own knowledge to get back. As I wrote this I started crying…tears of joy. Amazing the man who struggles and breaks down, only to come away from it feeling empowered and backed by God. How lucky we are to be loved by such a higher power.

So did I make it back? Yes I did… and more. Soon as I got back into town I turned on the headlights and thought I’d see just how far I’d get to home. As I turned the corner for home, the lights went super dim and although I didn’t break down again, it was really close. I spent the rest of that day ripping apart my vehicle to fix the alternator. All I can say is … GOD IS GOOD!

Much love everyone… Till next time, feel God in your sails…

John