Sunday, December 31, 2006

I did it again...The Pointless Post Returns

Sorry yesterday I said to a few of you that I would be writing a post this evening, and well this is sort of it.
Things got tied up at work and then I came home and ended up having a million phone calls and not getting anything up before having to go make dinner. So I just got here at 3 in the morning, and wow I need to go to bed about ...well about an hour ago probably.
So this is going to be a fairly scattered and useless blog entry for you, to prove that blogs don't have to be meaningful and can really be a waste of time.
Random Thoughts that are too short to make a blog entry for but I feel like saying.
1. AFV I was surprised yesterday to see that they still have Americas Funniest Videos on the air. I thought that the show died already about 5 years ago or so. They still have people getting hit in the groin, babies spitting food all over, and other worthwhile ways to kill an hour of your life. Do people still love this show, or do they just not have something to put in the time slot?
This is one of the job risks of working with people in a retirement home, you end up watching this once in a while.
2. Sleeping pills. Why does it say Side effects include Drowsiness...isn't that the point?
I told you that it really isn't that exciting...


Friday, December 29, 2006

welcome to Neo

Doing much better today for the most part. Though the phone is ringing every morning with wedding updates and I am tracking down people as best as I can. The new play is ready, and we are going to run with it.
One more night off before the rehearsal. (New years day.)
So sorry to bombard all of you with the wedding updates, that and work is all I have been really able to concentrate on as of late. Though James was kind enough not to ask me for more writing for the work-related site until I am home from my honeymoon and relaxed. My lack of concentration makes it not even worth the time. Besides he can use the time to do his taxes and play World of Warcraft.
Vacation for him too really.
Today I have done a few little changes to the site, Changing the name of my links..again, and changing my heading...again.
Today I have added Neo and his blog "Just Bring It" to my honor roll. Hailing from Philadelphia, Neo came back to blogging recently due to popular demand among his readers. He has some pretty good reading and insights and one of the most graphical blogs I have seen. So if you get a chance wander over his way to see what he has up there.
Thanks for droppin by.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Coach Janus works on the roster.

(Bridezilla and Groomra Dance at the Reception)

10 days til the wedding, and now I am feeling the pressure of just getting it all in order.
Bella is still holding together other than eating the ends of her fingers off. So no Bridezilla...but I have become the creature known as Groom-Ra.
Today Manuel called me up to tell me he couldn't be in the wedding, and I realized how much I have changed. A year ago I might of yelled at him or considered having him beaten, after all that's Karl's job. (I think the best man is in charge of flogging groomsmen that cancel in less than two weeks.) Instead I took it all with very good measure, and told him it would be great if he could still attend.
Then I hung up and freaked out a little. Just a little though.
He's never been in a wedding before, and I think he honestly didn't want to call til after Christmas so he didn't ruin my holiday, but I need to change my starting lineup a bit. So I am in a bit of a panic as I try to promote Ushers or find another Groomsman.
One of my cousins might be promoted to Groomsman, or I might convince my brother Ed to be a Groomsman or Usher.
He normally doesn't even like going to weddings, and to have him come is more than I expected. So to ask my brother to be in the wedding might take a bit of divine intervention. We aren't the closest as brothers go, we don't dislike each other, but we are a few planets apart in differences.
Maybe this is a way to open a new relationship with my brother? That would be nice. I wasn't in my brothers wedding, I had to manage the family business while Mom and Dad went. I will give him first pick either as a Groomsman or an Usher if he will agree. If he doesn't, I can still see about my cousin. Either way it's going to take some prayer, some begging, and some tylenol to pull it off.

Frantically yours....Janus Torrell

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to the grind

Today I (like most of you) went back to work after a few days off for the holidays.
I call it "the grind" because that's what my dad used to call it when I was a kid, but I am really happy to be back.
Don't get me wrong seeing my family was nice, and I enjoyed Christmas more than I care to admit really. I just really love my job (well usually, it's not all fun...otherwise they wouldn't pay me to do it.)
Telly seems to relax a great deal more when his family leaves and I take over for the rest of the evening, he loves his family but he doesn't like being a child to his children. They take care of his every need and they fuss over making sure that he is taken care of in every way. While he knows they love him, he wishes they wouldn't treat him like he was going to explode at any minute.
The previous guy didn't like working with him for some reason I cannot grasp. Telly has never made me even have to raise my voice, other than when his hearing aid is not picking me up enough. Just a little patience and a gentle reminder is usually all I need to do.
I also do things with him.
When he eats dinner, I have a glass of tea with him and help him pace himself.
I also do the excersises with him that he does everyday. The other caregivers and his family normally watches TV and waits for the time to pass in the morning, I prefer to keep active. (It also keeps me awake...I am not a morning person.) My checklist says "Remind Telly to do his excercises" the first day that I went through the checklist I asked him what he did. So he showed me and read through the list with me.
I started doing them too, which made him smile. I noticed that now he asks me when we can do the excercises when I go to work, and now doesn't dread them. I also noticed that my arm doesn't get tired as much anymore.
For Christmas I got a card and a picture of Telly, also enclosed was a check for Christmas and a note.
"We are very happy you are helping us. We appreciate your for your dependability, efficientcy, and positive attitude. My father has told me how kind you are to him, we are glad you will be with us even more hours now and thank you."
I can't imagine any other kind of job right now, and to think I really wanted to get a job in a book store. I never thought I would look forward to work as much as I have since I started being a caregiver.
Everytime I leave he asks me "When are you coming back?"
I also want to xerox the "Dependable, Efficent, and Positive attitude" part and send it to my brother. You can't put a price tag on a job perk like that.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The first dinner, and the last of shopping..Janus Holiday Tour 2006 Begins

Yesterday was the last official gift stop, we had to get a gift certificate for Bella's cousin and her husband to be. (Yes, we really stuck with the gift certificates still.)
I like food gift certificates the best, because that means I will usually eat at where we get them at. (Have to make sure the food is up to quality...yeah...something like that.) So lunch at the Firkin Fox in Glen Ellyn. Chicken fingers very good...tea was above average. I would buy gift certicates there again...oh and eat there too.
Last night we went to Bella's dad's house. (Double possessive noun, doesn't that get me more points in scrabble?) We had a Polish style Christmas, since his new wife is Polish, which means we had enough food on the table to feed all the animals and support staff in the song of the 12 days of Christmas.
I got full after the Potatoes, Brocoli, and Ham course, and managed to eat a meat wrap that was offered to me because she made it special for me without mushrooms. (How can I not appreciate someone making something just for me.) It took me about two hours before I could eat dessert.
We exchanged gifts, talked and caught up, looked at some pictures, and went home around 10:00. This kicks off the Janus Torrell Holiday Eating Tour. Tonight begins day two, which is dinner at my brother Ed's house and more talking and gift exchange followed by a candle service at church , and tomorrow night it ends with dinner with Bella's aunt's house for dinner, gifts, and social activity.
Then Tuesday evening its back to the grind, and getting ready for New Years.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Janus goes Shopping

One advantage to not having kids around is that you can buy everyone gift certificates. I don't do one stop shopping, I do four or five stop shopping, that way I can stop shopping for the rest of the year.
But Janus, those are so impersonal! It's better than getting something that personally stinks that I selected for you. My family has long understood that I am a much better man when I am impersonal. Even my nieces and nephew love it when I get them a gift certificate that way I don't buy them something from the clothing department that makes them look like a color blind circus clown.
With small children and most men I prefer to get them something fun, so I get them an EB Games card, Bestbuy card, or Toys R Us card. The girls seem to like clothes in my family, so Old Navy. People that don't like either get something from a Resteraunt, this year it was Famous Daves. Here you go Dad, here is a card for 30 dollars of BBQey Goodness. Merry Christmas, and glad we made it through another shopping season.
They give me Gift Certificates too, so it's not like I am being unfair. It beats my old tradition of shopping on December 24th with all the other single and divorced men that go to the mall the night before and grab anything on the clearance rack that looks wrappable.
"Look Mom, I got you some bright orange oven mitts for Christmas."
"These say Happy Halloween?"
"Look they were the only thing left on the rack and they were 98% off...JUST USE EM. If you don't want them we can give them to Karl, since that way he could cook in his oven while deer hunting and not have to worry about getting shot."
"Thanks Janus, what a nice present, by the way we are taking you out of the will. Have a Happy Halloween you little jerk."
Gift Certificates require no wrapping, which I couldn't do to save my life. I could use 4 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper on a Hot Wheels car and it would still have gaps where you can see the car in the package. Now I just slap em in an envelope. May I point out also that I can bring all my gifts in to my brothers house with one trip and never have to do a few trips in the snow.
Finally it lets you spend the same amount on people, so no one feels shorted. If you give one kid a UNO card deck and give another kid a DVD Player, it tends not to be fair. Even if you give them exactly what they ask for. Since nothing anyone wants is the exact dollar amount you want to spend, make them worry about it.
I might be drifiting in and out once or more over the weekend, but in truth it's a holiday so if I don't see you, don't worry. It just means I got busy. Merry Christmas just in case.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cold knees

I have been asked by a few of my friends if I am having cold feet at all yet. I tell them no and they usually say...oh I understand Bella is right behind you or something, I will ask you again later.
No guys seriously I don't have cold feet. Then I yell something like "My arm is on fire, call 9-1-1." This is to prove I really am not kidding or giving them my game face.
I don't have cold feet, I have cold knees. I am nervous about my wedding for different reasons.
I am not afraid of commitment as long as it's not to an asylum. She and I have the same faith and she knows all my friends and family, so I don't think we have any really shockers. I have been dating long enough that I am no longer worried about compatibility or losing my freedom to go out and buy myself lots of junk without running it by her first or having the freedom to go party whenever I want. (I am getting past that age anyway...check that..past it really.)

So what am I afraid of. Horrible lifelong scars here.
1. People not RSVPing and then showing up with 10 carnival workers apiece and demanding of more liquor and seconds.
2. Paying for Christmas gifts and making sure they make it to people... and all the odds and ends of the wedding that I still have left with 3 weekends to go.
3. Having to dance. Some people think that it is funny that I am afraid of doing a slow dance. Well I am people shy for one, and second I admit I can't dance. It is easy for some people, but not for me. I suppose helping Telly get in and out of his bathtub will give me some practical dancing skills. Still I would rather have a stunt double for that part.
4. The whole standing up and saying things in front of a crowd moments. I work with a computer for a reason, I am not Mr. Stage Presence. I am very glad we are not filming it. I hate hearing myself and seeing myself in recording, and I would hate to have to leave the room every time someone wants to watch the wedding video. (Which reminds me I still need to edit part of my vacation movie where I said something stupid...)

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Music Muesday

Today I went to work feeling pretty bad, not about the wedding, I just had a Janus moment. I have those alot this time of year.
Tonight instead of my riveting evening of taking Telly downstairs to watch Wheel of Fortune, we had a sing along with the Naperville Kiwanis. Where every once in a while they fill the place up with volunteers who sing with the Senior Citizens and it gets a real big turn out. (Even more popular than Bingo Tuesday evening.)
Last week I was asked by Telly's daughter if I would mind taking her dad to the sing along. I asked if it was a far drive, and she it's downstairs.
I didn't know why she thought it would bother me, so I said "Not a problem, anything I need to know about?" Which is my way of asking. Why would this be a bad thing, do the Kiwanis occasionally beat people up that attend?
Well apparently the other caregivers didn't like it. My attitude is that I could watch C-Span if I am on the clock. Most things I wouldn't mind doing volunteer under normal circumstances, so getting paid to listen to people sing and make sure Telly didn't need any assistance was not a problem for me.
So tonight Telly sat in front of me in between two of his friends in his wheelchair and I sat in the row of chairs behind him so I was close by. Then I got surrounded by people as the room filled and sat next to a sweet lady named Gladys who was trying to figure out how anyone under the age of 50 snuck into this party.
The music was good, though occasionally the senior citizens got a little talkative. So I started having to raise my hand and give stern looks like I was a preschool teacher. I don't sing though, so I lip synch.
Tonight though something strange happened, I just listened to the words and when I let myself enjoy them and forgot myself I started singing. Well whispering in tune. I have heard these songs at least a few dozen times each by now, but for some reason tonight it moved me.
Normally I don't have the lyrics in front of me either, so tonight I read them and I finally saw the meaning of Christmas in Christmas music. None of this, Santa Claus stuff. I was reading the older Christmas hymns and I understood and enjoyed them
I also didn't have to worry about the people next to me hearing my singing, even with the hearing aids they normally can't hear me when I am trying to be heard.
So hopefully I was able to indulge without scarring people emotionally.
Since the singing though I have felt so much better today. Just don't expect me to do it again.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Confessions of the crazy notebook guy.

Well I am still back, but today was a catch up day. My eyes were a little sore so I ended up spending most of my day going through some of my old notebooks and stuff in my drawer, since they don't give off light as much.

If you walked in off a search engine think you might know me in person but still aren't sure if I am the blogger that you grew up with or used to work with... this might help you to guess.

I am the crazy notebook guy.

I don't have all of them where I live, but at one time I kept the MEAD notebook making company in business in between two very long Back to School sales. Whenever I start a new project, usually one that I never finish, I get a new notebook.

Just for examples...
1. I got a notebook for a budget and that keeps track of bills.
2. I got a notebook that has some very bad sketches for ideas of things I would invent (I can't draw very well which keeps me from design.)
3. At least 4-6 ideas for a short story that I haven't done yet, scattered all over the notebook landscape. (Maybe more like 10 ideas... but this is all I can remember off the cuff.)
4. At least 5 novels in the making for a long time (perhaps forever if I don't do something about it)
5. I have 2 completed hand written childrens books that need to be typed up and sent to a publisher
6. I have over 102 article concepts for the other website that I haven't figured out what to do yet. (Either too hard to work with, needs visual, or just plain missing something)
7. I have partial game designs for a Horror Computer game, a few strategy games, and an Role Playing Game.
8. Plenty of to-do lists that never get done.
9. My notes on Exodus that I still did not give to Trish, though she asked for it and forgot about it by now.
10. A list of blog topics I should write if I have writers block (I should use that somedays) This I actually left on my nightstand and Bella got to see.
11. and Book keeping and Business plan for 3 small companys, which is still updated and awaits time for me to sit down and present it to the interested people...

Wow, and that's not everything either. That's just all I felt like confessing for unfinished work.

When I was in my early 20's I had well over over 200 notebooks. I lost track of how many I have any more, but I am sure I have at least 300. None of them focused or entirely filled in though.

Now you all know how truly great and wonderful Bella is for me.

Anyone else probably would of tied me to a stake, and burned me with my notebooks.

Especially since they basically become a dumping ground for my random thoughts. I randomly think a lot. of my many goals that I should do, is to go through these notebooks and combine my ideas that are here...or there. If I was organized I might really be able to do something of myself.

Well check that...Organized and less lazy.

The Inbox is getting full...the outbox is hardly touched. I got a lot of things to sift through, and I need to get some things to use.

So much to do, so little time, so little self discipline.

Tomorrow I shall work on it more, I better make dinner and get some sleep.

Thanks for visitin'.

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Janus back in the land of the living, brings tidings of joy and updates.

Some people may have noticed a strange lack of Janus posting and commenting in the last few days. Some people probably didn't notice. Though for those that did, thank you and sorry to be away for a little. Tis been a crazy few days.
Four early morning days in a row is partly to blame for my absense. Morning people don't get me, so I will translate it into Morningpeopleese. If you went to bed at 10:00 pm every night and you couldn't sleep a wink until then, you would be getting up at 2:00 in the morning and going to work or appointments for four days in a row. Except my time is I go to bed at about 2:00 in the morning, sometimes later if I can't sleep and got up at 6:00 to go to work.
I tried the naps, they just don't cooperate. So I couldn't blog very well since when I got home I lost my brain functions and couldn't post or comment because I was busy trying not to drool on myself or whatever people do when they are really tired.
With that being said, "I am back." I missed you all, a little piece of me is always missing when I am not reading exciting things going on with all of you. I will try to be a bit more regular again with my posting.
Today we got some new and long overdue website updates. You will notice that we have two new links.
The first is Patrick's blog which is called Atropica. He writes about a great deal of topics and is recommended for some good reading about...well just about anything. I also like the name Atropica, which sounds like a warm place with a beach and cold beverages. I had the pleasure of finding his blog thanks to Janet posting about him and have been reading since. (Well except when that pesky work gets in the way.) Recently the busy writer of this blog has began a Bible study program to read the Bible in 90 days! He also is working on other projects that are amazing to read up on.
Also new to my links is Community 4:12. What is Community 4:12? Well the blog and CCC's Website explains it much better than I can, but I will try to wing it. Community 4:12 is program that my church is active in that works at helping under-resourced communities. They work with the schools, the government, businesses, and of course the people in these communities to help take care of needs that are not being met. They are active in quite a few things so I will just mention a few here, such as the Christmas Gift Mart which helped give some kids (and parents) a merrier Christmas in Aurora and an afterschool reading club for elementry school children. This blog is written by Kirsten, the director of Community 4:12, and it is amazing to see all the things going on with the program.
So besides these two very good links, I also did a cosmetic change for my link pages. I just shuffled things in Alphabetic order and did a tweak here and there. After posting those two links though, I am afraid I have nothing exciting to add about my own Blog tonight. So with that I am off...I have a lot of catching up to do and need to go to sleep.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trust...its harder than it looks

Today was a rough one. I had a little meltdown, not a "Hollywood Access ruin my career when it finds Youtube" meltdown. So mine is more of a "Christmas and Wedding in less than a month and I don't know how I am going to take care of it all"meltdown, I am sure it is not nearly as interesting for Youtube. I generally lounge around and feel crummy.
I am frustrated at myself for getting sick a while back and going to the ER. The hospital bill and the week off of work really set things back. I am getting over it though I realize that the thing I have to learn is trust.
I trusted God with my father's life and he healed his cancer, I trusted God with Bella's mother's soul, and I know he took her home. So why can't I trust God to get me through these busy times?
So I guess what I need is prayer, and I need to focus on trusting. I have seen and felt the power that God has had in my life the last year or so, I need to remember that and not let all these crazy things going on once take me out of control.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

You only see how far you have come, when you look back sometimes.

Big week this week as I wait for the agency to contact me with my new contracts to sign, so I am heading over there in about five minutes or so to get some paper work to read and heading into work tonight.
I slipped on some ice earlier this week in the dark, as my dog dragged me across a frozen parking lot to smell a tree that was worth killing me for. my arm and chest muscles are a little sore, but nothing broken or permanant. The dog is still a bit nervous since I yelled some very unkind words to her while I was on my side in a patch of ice at 2:00 am.
I finally got the liquid wood in the door frame today, so later on I can look forward to repairing my door so I can actually have company over again without having people able to look in my room or hearing everything go on in the house when I want some quiet.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty down in the dumps with myself. Not getting much done last night and got in one of my bad moods. I got so frustrated I asked myself if I really had changed from the old me, or am I just fooling myself.
Last night I couldn't sleep and I felt all tightened up and when I took a benedril so I could breath and sleep, I had horrible dreams. I am grateful.
In my dream I saw where I was before and the things I did and how they had used to affect my life and behavior. Without hope, without forgiveness, and without God. I woke up feeling frightened and was glad to realize that I have changed and that I am ok. It will give me strength to do what is right and to remember how far I have come. It will help me not want to go back to the old and gone me.
A nightmare can sometimes be a great reality check when you wake up, now I understand that joy in the morning stuff a little better.
Well off to work.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Janus does his balancing acts

I am braving something I normally would do anything to avoid.

working out the personal finance budget.

am able to help Manuel with his business budget and able to tell my brother-in-law Tony how to get his idea started. I am great with other peoples money!

my personal finance on the other hand, I hate with a passion. I never bothered to do budgets, and I have let other people balance the books. Now I am paying dearly for not bothering to do budgets back then. So it was inevitable that I would get to this point I guess.
January this next year I will be an official unremovable part of someone elses life, bound in love, life, sickness and health, and responsibility. I was asked if I would be willing to help with the budget, which made me cringe, but I should do it and really need to do it. So while I am cooking tonight I will be looking at the numbers I jotted down, and then planning ahead with what I know.
I dread personal finance though so means I will have to see where we can go out for dinners and movies and when I have to make lots of casseroles to save money. It means we have to plan on trips a little better, it means getting credit cards under tight rein. It means, we have to have rules.
Rules are good though. God has rules we follow, Society needs rules to keep order, and Businesses need rules to stay in business. So this is me trying to be a good steward. I hate to admit it though, but I hate having rules and to worry about it. Though if I get this done, maybe I can find a way for us to enjoy ourselves more with less stress.

Now that is a good thing!

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Lost in my what a night

Well let me tell you, whoever prayed for me to work today and stick with my job it really paid off. I was working on one little article but I kept getting snagged but I kept at it.

I wrote 5 articles from scratch , two short tests, and a three big detailed story sketches and I only stopped to eat twice, and get something from the fridge.

For me that is an amazing feat. I just looked up after finishing a long new paper that I started at 8:00 and realized it was 11:30 and that I need to get ready for bed. I am tired, hungry, and I need to pick up the soda cans and plates next to my desk, but I feel like I worked hard today and I got a lot done.
Tomorrow when I get back from work with Telly I am going to do even more, though I will probably blog something that is a bit more interesting and less difficult than the last project I worked on. My goal is to get 30 little stories done for this site, so I will have leg room. Then I will make it so I get caught up for a week at a time in a day, and eventually get the other guys to write stuff so I tweak a little editting and don't have to write it all on my own from scratch.

I just hope I can keep it up and get to a point where I am far enough ahead that I can do this with more ease. I am just so proud that I worked hard and strong today for a whole shift. I can end today feeling proud of myself.

See you tomorrow.


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

saying alot about nothing.

How was my day? My day was pretty good.
That's part of my problem.
Nothing terrible happened today at all, I did my Thursday thing and it had the usual setbacks and delays that can't be avoided, but nothing that ruined my day.
Work was fine, my patient Telly and I had some good conversations about taking care of family, not chasing stingrays and tackling crocodiles if you have small children...but nothing really deep.
I went home, I wrote for the other website, I listen to music on youtube on the other screen, and then I waited for Bella to come home and we had Taco Bell.
I should count my blessings, I have alot of good things going on in my life right now. I have no complaints except one.
I really have nothing to blog about, other telling you that I have nothing to say.
Don't give up on me though, come back tomorrow.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

He took my place.

Tonight was Alpha, which meant that someone else cooked something really filling and delicious and I just got to help enjoy it. In fact it was Shepherds pie...mmmm. Though I should point out my friend Rob was in charge of the mashed potatoes and did a great job.
We did the usual video and questions and things were interesting but not nothing too overly powerful hard for the group. I feel that most of us are on the same level with understanding the material.
Suddenly one of the big scary theological questions came up. The one about suffering. Why do the innocent have to pay for the actions of evil? Why did millions of people have to suffer for the sins of tyrants like Hitler or Stalin? Why do bad things happen to good people?
The table got very quiet for what felt like hours, though it might of been a minute.
I had read this before! I had read it in "The Case for Faith", I had read this in "Searching for Issues." I have read this theological question at least a dozen times, but I am not a trained pastor and I realized that even more sharply that evening. I did not have Nicky Gumbel or Lee Strobel there to answer the question for them. I saw the question and the need for an answer and I was stuck...lost for what to say.
Then I remembered Brad. That is his real name, no aliases or inside information. I have a reason for that. I will tell you the same story that I told my group, because I don't know all the answers, when I think I know something really well...moments like this remind me of how much I still have to learn.
Brad and I grew up in the same town, he was a year older than me and we went to the same after school care together. We were good friends for over about fifteen years. While I was a vindictive and angry young man, my friend Brad was a gentle soul and had a heart of Christ that made no one doubt his convictions and faith. We were good friends despite our very different attitudes to life back then.
I was getting ready to go to a party and meet up with Brad, and was late as usual when my phone rang. My sister Caroline had an appointment and needed an babysitter for my three year old niece Elly. I wanted to go to the party and do some drinking, but I couldn't leave my sister and her baby stranded so I grumbled and stayed home that night.
Caroline was very late, and I didn't end up getting to the party til well after 9:00. I drove to the city as fast as I could without getting a ticket, and I arrived in the parking lot to be greeted by lights and sirens.
I found out that night that my friend was shot by a drunken party crasher who was stalking his ex-girlfriend. The stalker hit his ex-girlfriend and my mild mannered friend pushed him away from her and onto the floor. While Brad turned to make sure the young lady was ok, the stalker fired a gun into his back and then ran out the door.
They called 911, and Brad held on until the paramedics arrived. His brother turned pit to be the paramedic, and he got to say goodbye. They couldn't save him. On the cold floor of the apartment tiles I lost my good friend.
That night was full of tears and rage, as his friends were torn between grief and desire for revenge. The shooter was killed in the police chase, and while we thought he got what he deserved, none of us felt the hole in us fill up.
It could of been me. It probably would of been me. I felt guilty for years for being the one that lived, and thought that it should of been me. Even back then I realized what a rat I was in those days, and someone like Brad didn't deserve it. I asked for a long time, why did God let Brad die?
We all stopped our drinking and partying for the most part after that night. We had a few nights here and there, but with the death of Brad, the reckless carefree days I had nine years ago ended. His death made many of us consider our own lives for the first time, and while we didn't understand why he was taken from us, it forced us to not just ignore God, but to seek him out. We learned to value our lives a lot more.
Brad's family had long ago fallen apart and his parents were on the verge of a divorce. His brothers and sister were not talking to each other and things were held together by a thread. With Brad's death, his family stopped fighting and started grieving together and it brought them all back together.
Good can come from what we see as senseless. Even suffering can bring good things through God. I realized that more so now, though at the time I didn't want to love God for it. I resented him for taking my friend for a long time.
What does God know about suffering?
Has he ever been rejected by his family? Has he ever been punished or killed for doing nothing wrong? Did he know what it is like to lose a child?
The answer is yes, Jesus made all that possible. He died for us and brought us all together by his death. He was innocent, but did it for us so he could bring us together.
God is not above it all, he has suffered and suffers with us. He cries with us, he wants to comfort us. He doesn't promise us a life without pain on earth, but he does promise us a perfect eternal life with no tears...and no more death.
My niece Elly is now a beautiful young lady of twelve years of age, and going to be a Jr. Bridesmaid in my wedding. She loves her Aunt Bella, and is delighted to wear a dress and walk down in the aisle. My little niece who I watched that night nine years ago. It could of been me, and thanks to God I get to be married and see my little baby niece turn into a young lady.
I miss my friend Brad and still get sad when I talk of him, but I know he is with God. Everything is better for him now and he is not suffering or crying anymore. I know that because of my friend Brad, God was able to reach through to me too.
I know I will see him again.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Happy Muesday.

Last night I went to work, and the boss (Telly's daughter) had to talk to me, so while Telly was devouring (ok slowly chewing on) his tv dinner I went over to the side of the apartment for our talk.
"You can sit down," she said pointing to the chair, and I saw the paper brochure that she held in her hand that said "Homehealth Care Solutions." My throat felt hard, I was wondering if I was going to be laid off.
"Dad and I and really my whole family like you and appreciate what you are doing for us," she said, and I kept waiting for the hammer to fall. "Dad is doing better than we ever thought he would, and we have been looking into programs to help pay for his health care since his savings are not that great since he retired 21 years ago."
"The agency that hired you for us, is not on the approved list..."
I bit my lip.
"So...we were wondering if you would sign on one of these companies that are approved, so we can keep you," she asked.
That's when I realized that Telly and his family were just as worried about losing me, as I was worried about losing my job.
"I can give you some more hours if you would like, and we would all really like you to stay," she added, "Dad loves it when you come here and you have been so great for him, he was hoping we could work out a way that he could be able to retain you." That's when I found out that Telly almost tossed out the social worker when she said that keeping me might be difficult the week before.
"Thank you for the compassion you give to my Dad and to my family, and we really hope this can be worked out."
I took the paperwork from her, and accepted.
My friend Karl hears about my job once in a while and he tells me "I could never do what you do" or "why do you do what you do." This is why.
I am not in this field for the money, though getting paid is important so I can help take care of my own little family. No amount of money could make my job really glamourous, it's just not one of those type of jobs. I have met a few people in this line of work that are in it for the money, they normally lose the patience and don't last very long. This isn't a job for the mercenary type like alot of personal injury lawyers.
I like being able to help someone. I like making a difference in someones life. I like that people look forward to me coming to work and that I make people's entire day better.
That's why.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thanks, its not just for November.

Yesterday I went to the Alpha retreat, and let me tell you, even though I woke up at 6:00 in the morning, it was worth every minute of it. Though I must regret and say we didn't get to go outside and see God in nature, since nature was not being very Godly and it was really lousy between the snow and ice and all. We did fine indoors though, still had some time to reflect, and had good meals and great times together.
The message at church service was nice this evening, we discussed about the meaning of Christmas. Not in the "Ebeneezer Janus wakes up and feels like giving Jose a raise and buying a goose for his family" sense either.
Christmas is, of course, when you strip away all the displays and commerical stuff really about about Jesus Christ. Otherwise they would call it Santamas or Presentukuh. Of course it is hard to remember the meaning of Christmas with all the insanity this time of year.
Pastor Dave's message talked about people either trying to control the holiday and going nuts from trying so hard or people ignoring the holiday either and waiting for it to go away.
I would be the guy that is hiding under his bed until January. I will admit that I don't really think about Christmas any more than I have to. That is because all of it quite overwhelming, and that is usually why on Christmas Eve I am actually starting my gift shopping. You can see me at the mall or Walmart or so, trying to find out if my dad would like Yosemite Sam Mudflaps for Christmas, so I can can buy it and go home. If you are in Walmart and see a frustrated looking man in a black coat shopping, just say "HI JANUS." If it is me I will probably answer you back.
I am getting a bit off track though...
Since I am talking about overwhelming things let me spit out in Janus-layman terms what Christmas really is about. We all fall short of the glory of God, every one of us. God loves us so much that he makes himself a person, to be with us, show us how to live, and die (and rise again...very important you know that) so that we could be friends and forgiven with God.
Now I know that's probably not the best explanation, but even if my explanation is not very amazing, who Jesus is and what he did IS amazing. I have gotten some pretty neat gifts on Christmas over the years, but Jesus is the one that offers you friendship with God and adoption into God's family. Beats a G I Joe. any day.
So this Christmas season, which is only just beginning. Don't panic or hide, do somethings to help make the season a better experience for you, God, and probably even the people around you.
One of the things that Pastor Dave suggested that is a good idea is to read the Nativity story (poke around the book of Luke for starters.) Don't just gloss over it and skim through it, take the time to read it and pray on it while you read if you can. You may have new appreciation for the love of God. Don't read it like a short story you picked up in a store, remember that you are reading about God in flesh (human) existence.
The second thing that was mentioned that I think anyone could benefit from is to have a sense of thankfulness this season.
I know what some of you are saying...Janus, Thanksgiving was last should go to sleep, you are getting holidays confused again. Actually I am not. A reflection on the blessings you have can help you get through this crazy busy time of year.
When most people talk to God, they seem to only talk to him when they need something. While it is good (and important) to tell God the things you need, it's also good to tell him you love him (he likes hearing that, as much as anyone), and it is good to thank him for the blessings you receive. I may not know you that well or everything about you, but most of us if we think about it have some great things to be thankful for. (For example you either have a computer to read this blog which may be a blessing, or you may notice that today's blogging is almost done...which may also be a blessing.)
Share the things you are thankful to God and to others, it will bring meaning to this holiday. It will bring meaning to the one that this holiday is named for. It might make the time til January comes go a little faster at the very least.
Thanks for coming by.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Just a few things...

I have a shorty rant today, since I have to clean off my car and go to work tonight. I will not swear about it this year, which would normally be my traditional holiday custom. I love nature, I love driving sometimes, but I hate snow if I have to drive in it.
Since we have no place to go...let it snow let it snow let it snow. Well I do have a place to go usually, so you can let it snow but put it kindly on the lawns if you don't mind. And no one sings about ice for a good reason.
So instead of complaining too much I am going to add a few things to my Christmas list today...besides money...which if anyone was planning on still ok.
1. I would like the snow this year to only be in peoples yards when I have to go to work, with the exception of the area around Lorinda's area and the school she works at, that way she can have a day off at times and get her knitting done. Her kids want a day off too, so hey let it long as it's there.
2. I would like a trip to some place warm...but I don't think anyone has the cash to send me to Florida. Fortunatly when I work for Telly and I take him downstairs to watch Wheel of Fortune, it is warm enough to be a tropical island....just not quite as scenic. They really need to fix climate control in that retirement home.
3. I would like the computer game Civilization 3 Complete. Not really productive, and I would probably spend way too much time playing it, but hey I would like it anyway. I can't ever feel justified in the 20 dollar purchase of a game right now, got to think of weddin's and all that. Besides I am a game addict anyway. It's probably a bad idea or something.
4. I would like to get a dvd or video tape (an official one, NOT A BOOTLEG...don't even think about it Nick) of the "You Can't Take It With You," the theater production that was done at my favorite Yellowbox. Eric and Janet's husband Troy were two of the members of the cast, and they did a great job. I was very happy to have loitered around a bit and was able to get a ticket and see it on Thursday evening. If you are in the area and can see it please do, it is a good show. Bella doesn't have any weekends off though so I can't take her to the show, so I am hoping I can get the official recording if they have one instead. Besides I want to see it again too.

With that I am off to clean up, get the car ready and head in for work. Thanks for droppin by, and for tolerating my whinging about things I want.

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