I have lost much, but not my faith

I got a call from someone looking to speak to my father last week. I had the unfortunate responsibility of telling them that my father died three years ago of prostate cancer. They were very sorry to hear of my loss. They asked if my Mom was available. But again, I had to tell them about how my mother suffered a massive stroke last year and now is incapable of acting on her behalf. This also brought up the story of my sister, who was hit by a drunk driver and lay in a persistent vegetative state until last year when she succumbed to an aggressive kidney infection.

The woman said “My God, you have been through a lot. I am so sorry!”

It’s true, I have lost nearly my entire family. My sister was my only sibling. And yet I keep going, I keep striving to do my best everyday. What is it that has kept me from falling apart, from losing my sanity? My faith in God.

Now don’t take that the wrong way. By no means is my faith strong, by no means is it huge. It wavers a great deal from day to day. But even the smallest, tiniest, shred of faith is like a solid foundation to keep you sane. I give thanks to God for helping me through those tough times. When my sister was involved in the accident that destroyed her life, my faith kept me going each day. I kept hope in my heart that perhaps she may recover in some way. But she didn’t and that is God’s will. When the doctors told me that there was nothing more that medical science could do to help my father overcome prostate cancer, I kept faith alive and prayed that perhaps something would come along to help prolong his life a bit more. But nothing came and I lost him. Again, this was God’s will.

Now as my mother resides in a senior living home, my hope continues that she will be able to come home and at least live some semblance of a normal life. But I know that regardless of the outcome, the inevitable result is that I will lose her. And as much as it will crush my spirit and as much as torrents of tears will flow from my eyes, I will know in my heart that it is God’s will.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about these people who used to be in my life. Every so often the sting of sorrow will hit me and I might cry for a short time. But such is the consequence of loss. While I may mourn the losses and feel sorrow for losing them, in my heart lives Jesus Christ. And I know that all of it is God’s will. What does God want me to do? Does He want me to sit around and feel sorry for myself? Does He want me to be angry because they have been taken from me?

No.

God wants me to persevere. To achieve supremacy of mind, body and spirit. To maintain the flame of faith within my soul. Because as I have been taught and have learned through reading the word of God, all life is brought forth by Him, thrives by Him and ultimately dies through Him. But the spirit remains with Him forever. So there is no death for one who has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.

The only real sadness I have is for the world of today. A world where people, mostly young people, have no belief in God. They shun the thought of there being a God. And as a result, we now witness the result. A world in chaos, bathed in the blood of violence. This is a world that is Godless and now begins to reek of the smell of death as a result. There are some who believe and they are the last standing bastion of hope. They will be the sheep who are reunited with their shepherd, while those who revel in sinful acts, who sew in flames, it will be ashes that they reap.

Faith is the staff of Christ that I lean upon through these times of trial. I am not perfect. I am a sinner like every other man has been since Adam. But I keep faith alive, faith that my redeemer lives and when the words of remorse and sorrow leave my lips, He will wash me clean and forgive my sins.

The question I have to ask anyone who cares to listen, what if God does exist? Do you really want to take the chance of being ignorant and spend eternity in damnation? Think about it. Because you’ll be dead for a lot longer than you’ll be alive.

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.

Job 1:21

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RECIPE : Kevin’s Awesomesauce Chipotle BBQ-Ranch Vegetarian Bacon Cheeseburger with Fresh Avocado

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== INGREDIENTS ==

1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Prime Vegetarian Hamburger
3 strips MorningStar Farms Vegetarian Bacon
1 ripe Avocado, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ slices (3)
1 slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 whole wheat hamburger bun
1/4 cup water

2 tbsp chopped Chives
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp ground Chipotle Pepper
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 cup Stubbs Original Barbecue Sauce

1 dill pickle, quartered or 1 dill pickle spear

== INSTRUCTIONS ==

Take a microwavable plate and place the three bacon slices on it, they shouldn’t be touching. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the bacon begins to darken in color. Remove the bacon from the plate and set aside to allow the bacon to crisp. Take the same plate and place the burger patty in the center, top with onion powder and pour the 1/4 cup of water over it. Cover the patty on the plate with a microwavable bowl and place in microwave. Cook on high for 2 minutes 30 seconds. The bowl will start to “dance” in the microwave as steam builds up inside, this is normal.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine chives, black pepper, chipotle pepper, ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Carefully remove the plate/bowl combination from the microwave, it will be hot. Nudge the bowl off the plate and remove. Take the hamburger bun and place the hamburger patty onto the bun. Top with cheese, bacon slices (you may have to snap a bit off the ends to make them fit) and three avocado slices. Top with 2 tsp of the BBQ-Ranch sauce. Serve with pickle spear(s).

Optional side: Cherry Tomatoes

Our Guild is Recruiting

Just in case there are some of you who play World of Warcraft and just in case you just might be looking for an awesome, incredible, drama-free (yes, you read that right…DRAMA….FREE) guild…our guild is recruiting. I have been elected raid leader of our second raid team and I am in the process of putting players together for that. We’re needing all forms of DPS and two tanks. Me and another guildie will be healing.

Allow me to give you the full description…

TheElement is a progression raiding guild on Suramar (PvE-Alliance), specializing in leveling, running content together and raiding. We have two raid teams, the first is just completing Heart of Fear, the second is just starting out. Friendships are made in TheElement, a guild with zero drama tolerance, incredible leadership and talented players. If this sounds great to you, drop by our web site at theelement.guildlaunch.com.

And of course, my specialty, a recruiting video…

 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please send me a message! In game you can reach me on Frostwillow or Elunìa (there’s an accent over the ‘i’). We’d love to add you to our guild. To be perfectly honest, this is the best guild I have been in a very very long time. The leadership is excellent, well grounded and has absolutely no tolerance for drama in the smallest form.

You can watch our prime raid team in action at the following YouTube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH3H0rdwuCBP3j_zT82HCjnKPo1xq-CPq

My other selves…

For eight years now I have been playing World of Warcraft. I thought I would share all of my alter egos…my characters in the game. Also over the past eight years I have written stories and created lore surrounding my characters, to make them come alive.

FROSTWILLOW : Night Elf Hunter

Created: June 2006
Frostwillow is currently my main character. In the lore surrounding my characters, she is the youngest sister of Frostshadow and Frostgrave.

fw

FROSTSHADOW : Night Elf Rogue

Created: March 2006
Frostwillow was my third main character from 2006 to 2009. I raided on her during vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. She is the middle sister of Frostwillow and Frostgrave.

fs

FROSTGRAVE : Night Elf Death Knight

Created: May 2009
Frostgrave was created after the release of Wrath of the Lich King. She has never been a main character and I used her primarily for PvP up until a year ago. In my character lore, she was born Frostbrook and was abducted by forces of the Scourge, her mind was conditioned and she became a Death Knight. She was rescued by her sisters several years later.

fg

CALEVAN : Night Elf Druid

Created: March 2005
Calevan was my first character in World of Warcraft. He was my main character for a very short time. He has a brother named Thoninas (a retired character) and he is Frostwillow’s cousin.

cal

ELUNIA : Night Elf Priest

Created: August 2006
Elunia (also spelled Elunea) was a raid priest from 2006 to 2007. She is Almithara’s sister and cousin of Frostwillow and Calevan.

elun

ALMITHARA : Night Elf Mage

Created: January 2007
Almithara (formerly known as Incendius), was my fourth main character from 2007 to 2010. She raided Lich King content. She is the elder sister of Elunia and cousin to Frostwillow and Calevan.

alma

PALAMEDES : Dwarf Paladin

Created: June 2009
Palamedes (formerly Fierabras) is a dwarf Paladin, he is currently a low level character and I don’t see leveling him anytime soon. He has been on the back burner for a long time.

pal

DARKTIDES : Worgen Warlock

Created: May 2009
Darktides (formerly Merciless) is now being leveled after sitting on the back burner for a while. He was originally a human warlock, but was transformed into a Worgen.

dt

SHANDIAN : Pandaren Shaman

Created: November 2005
Shandian (formerly Redsunspirit / Sunspirit / Nikkoli) was my second main character in WoW. I raided vanilla content with him for a short time. When Mists of Pandaria came out, I changed him into a Pandaren. His name is Chinese for Lightning.

shan

MEIFENG : Pandaren Warrior

Created: February 2010
Meifeng (formerly Titania / Frostbrook / Telasia) is a warrior I created just for fun. My original intention was to do PvP on her, but I never got around to it. I transformed her into a Pandaren after the release of Mists of Pandaria. Her name means “Beautiful Wind” in Chinese.

mf

CHENTUAN : Pandaren Monk

Created: January 2013
This is my newest character, he is currently on the back burner for leveling. He is named after a legendary Chinese Taoist sage ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Tuan )

chen

Frostwillow Tribute Video

I decided to make a tribute video for my Night Elf Hunter in World of Warcraft. For the past five years she has been my main character (the one I play the most and raid on), before that she was pretty idle. She was first created in March 2006, a year after I began playing World of Warcraft. But I never bothered to level her until about 2008. Now I couldn’t see myself playing any other class.

Enjoy…