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29 Nov 2013

Leave Me Alone!

A poem by a guest blogger that speaks to bullying in our society.  You’re Not alone!

Leave Me Alone

You’ve seen it on T.V.
Its nothing new, how they lie about the truth
Bashin, smashin and crashin
People high, bringing them low
Making them the main show
All of this trickles through the layers of morals
And no one sees
Because of its acceptability it falls further into society
It begins to affect you and me, we just don’t see
Just by seeing the headlines on T.V.
About people who couldn’t take it anymore
Sadly leaving this world in horror
We say, so sad but keep moving on
Living this way no one has won
Why don’t we stop and help out
Whoever said words will never hurt me lives in a shell
Because we live in denial and ignore our trials
Till they fester too large for us
Some will cry, some will go insane and some will go in vain
We just don’t see the results, till its too late
Our words and actions can affect people’s fate
We just don’t see it build or demolish people
We want to wish things better
But wishes will never heal wounds or scars
So we will not go too far
Just out of respect, don’t treat people any less
Because then we wouldn’t be in this mess
What you say doesn’t affect me, why should I care
Bullying isn’t rare, I can’t stop it
Neither can you and that’s true
Little do they know, that we can help people grow
By caring and saying just one nice thing
You can make someone fell like a queen or king
Just one last word and I hope it’s heard
Because bullying is just people like you and me
Abusing our freedom of choice, using our voice

CMK 17

29 Nov 2013

I can’t believe this is my life!

Do you ever look at what has happened in your life and think “I can’t believe this is my life!”  This isn’t what I had planned.  It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.  As the Holiday season comes upon us these thoughts enter my mind more often.  The holidays can be so difficult.  There is an emphasis on family.  It is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration.  But sometimes I don’t feel like celebrating.  My family has been changed forever and so much has been lost.

There is rarely a day that goes by where one or more of these thoughts don’t enter my mind.  There are many things I could talk about in all areas of my life.  But let’s just consider what has happened the last several years.  My daughter barely acknowledges my existence.  The relationship with my mother has been off and on since I was very young and  today I don’t even know where she is.  I don’t know what to do to mend either of these relationships.

Then there is Alec and what he did.  This is the thing that is the most difficult to understand.  This not only affected my family in such an immense way, but took so much from another family.  It changed the lives of innocent people in unimaginable ways.  When I begin to feel sorry for myself I think about what this other family has lost and realize my pain is nothing compared to what they must endure.  However, this doesn’t stop the feelings I have and the thoughts running through my head.

As Alec’s father, sometimes I simply cannot believe this happened.  I raised him to know from right and wrong, to be respectful, to take responsibility for his actions.  “I can’t believe this is my life!”  It just doesn’t seem like it is real.  How could it be?

Well, it is my life.  No matter how much I may wish it were different – it isn’t.  So, what do I do?

I have an important decision to make.  What is my attitude going to be ?  There are two ways to look at it.  THIS is my life or This is MY life!

Simply saying, “THIS is my life.” for me is giving up on making my life more.  It’s just going through the motions.  Taking the cards I’ve been dealt and simply folding my hand.

But if I say to myself, “This is MY life.” it is taking ownership of my life.  I’m going to make the most of it.  I don’t care what cards I’ve been dealt.  I’m going to play the hand and I’m going for the win!

I am not powerless!  I actually have the power to control the most important things in my life.  They are what I say, think, do and believe.   No one else is able to tell me what to say, think, do and believe.  They are only able to do this if I let them.  My attitude towards life will be determined by what I say, think, do and believe.  Not by what has happened to me or what others have done in my life.

We all have the same decision to make!  Just don’t be too hard on yourself.  It isn’t always easy and we won’t always be able to pick ourselves up right away or by ourselves.  But I know we can all do it!

You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

You’re Not Alone – Reason #3

In the previous posts on this subject we talk about how “you’re not alone” because everyone struggles and no matter what you are going through someone else has gone through it and been able to conquer it.  This is what Also-Me stands for: You can look at anyone around you and say “Also-Me”: I hurt, I have doubts, I want to be loved, I feel alone and I don’t know what to do.

The other reason we discussed is there is someone in your life that will listen to you, help you, who cares about you and loves you.  It might be a parent, teacher, co worker, pastor, friend or counselor.  However, it’s up to you to turn to them for help.

The final reason I believe to be true and I know that it can help anyone as long as you are willing to open your heart and mind.  You may not agree, but hear me out on this.

There is a Lord and Savior available to all of us.  It doesn’t matter how alone your think you are or where you find yourself;  He is always there and will never leave you.  Jesus will give you strength beyond what you think is possible.  He will give you a peace and love greater than anything we are able to do on our own.

While I know in certain circles He isn’t popular to talk about, I encourage you to open your mind to Him and make a personal, well informed decision.  Don’t judge Him by what you see in the world.  Seek Him and make a decision based on what you find.  In order to address a lot of the criticism I hear from people I’d like to share a quote from Ghandi “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians, they’re not much like your Christ”

I don’t share this to condemn all christians, but to emphasize a point. Judging Jesus based on what you see from flawed and imperfect people (which is every single one of us!) is to close your life to a Savior that came for ALL of us.  It doesn’t matter what you have done, what you are going through or where you come from.  He loves you!  He is there for you!

If you are interested in building a relationship with Him or just finding out more; please go to the “Find Help” section at and click on the “Faith – Questions / Seeking a Relationship with God”. There you will find resources for you to begin your journey.  Under the books section there is a link to the Bible where you can find the entire Bible on one page.  Throughout the web site you will find videos, books, music and more to help you on this journey.

Personally,  Jesus has helped me through things I never thought I could endure.  He has given me a strength and peace when I had none of my own left.  The same thing is available for you.  He will not force himself into your life, it is up to you to turn to Him.  No matter what, He is always there and He will always Love you!

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG

You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

It’s okay not to be happy all the time

The last week or so I’ve been feeling down and there isn’t any obvious reason for why I am feeling this way.  Since the events surrounding Alec began I’ve noticed this happens sometimes and I have no explanation.  I can list all kinds of reasons why I should be grateful or why I should be happy, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m always posting positive sayings, quotes and uplifting messages: I must never have a bad day? :-)

I struggle just like everyone else.  When it happens, self help pep talks have no real affect.  For some reason I seem to “want” to feel like I do.  It’s been over 3 years and part of me tells myself I should just get over it and move on.  What’s my problem?  I know better!  This doesn’t do me or anyone else any good, but I still feel the way i do.

A friend whose family experienced their own tragedy, her younger sister died in car accident around the same time things happened with Alec, shared with me a very insightful thought.  She and her family go through the same things.  Sometimes this subconscious sadness just comes over you.  There is no reason or logic behind it.  You need to hurt.  You need to be sad!  You just need to feel!

We talked and it was comforting to know I’m not alone in how I feel.  My heart hurts for her family and loss  just as her’s does for what happened to my family.  There is a silent, unspoken understanding of the need to feel what we do.

It’s okay for her to feel what she does.  It’s okay for me to feel what I do and it’s okay for you to feel what you do.  Each one of us has a history that includes guilt, regrets, mistakes and pain.  The important thing is what do we do with these feelings.  They happen, they’re natural and necessary.  If we don’t go through this process we’ll never heal!  Recognize it when it happens, acknowledge it’s okay to have these feelings, but don’t let them dominate your life.

Find something that lifts you up: a favorite story or poem, music, exercise, talk to someone, pray.  Whatever you need to do to take some of your focus off of what you are feeling and place it on something positive.  For me: talking to someone, music, reading the bible and helping others helps to ease my pain.

Remember what you are feeling is okay and natural.  Most of all, remember, it is temporary.  It will pass.  The sun will rise tomorrow.  If you don’t think you can handle it on your own talk to someone and get help.  It’s alright, You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

Choose the “Right” Way – not the “Easy” Way

When faced with a decision about what to do it is amazing how the easy choice and the “right” choice are rarely ever the same thing.

As you go throughout your day consider the decisions you have to make.  How often do you choose the easy way instead of what you know is the right way?  Pay careful attention because we are masters at convincing ourselves that the easy way is actually the right way.  It may be because we do not want to deal with the consequences of the right choice or perhaps we really want the easy way and we convince ourselves it is okay because of our own selfish desires.

You see, the interesting thing about us is that if we are honest with ourselves and look deep inside when we have a choice to make we always “know” the right thing to do.  The problem is that we may not want to do it, we may be afraid, our emotions may take over or we may simply give in to a desire for the wrong choice.

The right choice often involves stretching ourselves, doing something that we aren’t comfortable doing, facing our fears, flying in the face of the “popular” choice and risking being attacked by those that want the easy way to prevail.

It is a daunting task to choose the right way over the easy way, but in the long run you will prosper when you choose the right way, even if it may seem more difficult in the short run.

What are some examples of the easy way vs. the right way?

What if someone is picking on your classmate or friend?  Do you stand up for them and let the other person know what they are doing is wrong?  Do you ignore it or do you join in?  I’m confident you all know what the right thing to do is but do you do it?

What about not studying for a test or doing your homework?  Do you take your lumps and admit you didn’t do your work or do you cheat?

You’re at a party.  Friends are drinking, smoking and having sex.  What do you do, the easy thing or the right thing?

You are struggling with depression, feeling alone and angry.  What do you do?  Keep it to yourself, pretend everything is fine, try to handle it on your own OR do you admit you need help and seek it out?  You may think the right way is to try and deal with it on your own and keep it to yourself.  Unfortunately, that’s the easy way.  The hard path and the right path are to admit you need help, you cannot do it alone and seek help.  When you do this you become vulnerable and your trials become public. You are now accountable for changing things.  You have taken ownership of your problems.  Now you risk failing if you cannot deal with things.  This is the hard way but the right way.  This is the path that will lead you to healing.

Every day we all have to make coices that involve the right way or the easy way.  Some may seem small and others we know could change our lives forever. Either way, big or small, doing the “right” thing is always the right choice.  What do you do?

When faced with a decision, look deep inside, realize the right choice and have the courage to make it.

You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

Forgiveness – It’s for you!

A recent facebook post, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smedes, received some of the highest response we’ve seen to date.  It is obvious this speaks to a lot of people.

So, why is forgiveness for us?  Why are we the prisoners that need to be set free when we are the ones that have been wronged?

So often we harbor anger, resentment and pain towards another because of something they have done to us.  Often this person may not be aware of our feelings or may not care about how we feel.  In other instances they may know how we have been hurt and they want our forgiveness.  No matter what the scenario, forgiving them will set you free from the burden you carry.  Don’t fool yourself. Not forgiving creates all kinds of baggage we will have to carry around with us.

The biggest struggle in forgiving someone is that we believe we have a “right” to feel the way we do (and most times we probably do) and they don’t deserve to be forgiven.  If we forgive them that means we’re saying what they did was okay. We’ll be letting them get away with it!  That isn’t right!

This is the biggest obstacle for us when it comes to forgiving someone.  “I’ll be darned if I’m going to let them get away with this. I’ll show them.  I’ll be angry and miserable forever and it will be their fault!”  Now wait a minute, who does that really hurt?

Forgiving someone is a personal decision.  We don’t even have to tell them we did it, but in the cases where the person wants our forgiveness and seeks it, we shouldn’t withhold it.  It will be a great source of healing for both of us.

However, many times we need to forgive someone that has hurt us and we are the only ones that need to know.  The important thing we need to get past is that no matter what the person did, forgiving them isn’t condoning it or saying it was right.

“I forgive you” means: I’m no longer going to be angry with you.  I’m no longer going to carry around the pain you caused me.  I’m not going to give you power over my happiness.  I forgive you because my happiness is more important than what you did to me.  This isn’t to sound self centered or arrogant.  It means you are moving on, forgiving them, letting go of the past and living for today.  What they did very well may have been wrong and horrible, but forgive them for you!  Don’t let any one steal your joy.  Don’t give them power over you and your life.  Simply forgive them.  It is that simple and that hard.

Always remember, You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

Bullying – Stop It!

My heart aches at the recent headline in People Magazine, “Deadly Bullying”.

In the past month there have been 3 teens that have taken their own lives, with the common thread being that each one was tormented by their classmate(s).

This is a tragedy on so many levels.  Why is it still such a common behavior to bully and torment a classmate?  Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated problem only found at “those” schools in the magazines and papers.  In spite of the anti bullying education and zero tolerance policy at my 17 year old son’s school he tells me verbal bullying is common place.  Youth groups I’ve sat in on say the same thing.  Cyber bullying, gossip and verbal abuse are prevalent in our middle schools, high schools and universities.  Why?

Are so many young people and teens that lost, unhappy or striving for social status and power that they need to hurt someone else?   Do we need to tear someone else down so that we feel superior to them?  What in our society has created an atmosphere where the feelings of another simply don’t matter?  Why do others that see the behavior not take a stance to stop it?  Everyone, at some point in their life, has been bullied, made fun of or treated like they don’t belong.  We all know how much this hurts. Yet it continues.

As for the one being bullied, we need to reach them and help them understand this is only temporary.  Whatever you are going through today, will not last, some day it will not matter.  No matter how much it hurts today, it will pass!  It is difficult but you must push through whatever you are experiencing.  Trust me, the pain, embarrassment or whatever else you are feeling will one day all be a distant memory. The bullies in your life will fade away and no longer matter.

This is a call to action for everyone: Young or old, the bully and the bullied.   It’s time to change.  I challenge all of you to take a stand and do what is right.  You all know what is right and when you are not acting in that way.  You simply need to be honest with your self, each other and have the courage to do the right thing.  As I’ve said before.  The easy way and the right way are almost never the same thing.  Do what is right!  Remember, You’re Not Alone!

Please take a few minutes to watch this video.

29 Nov 2013

You’re Not Alone – Reason #2

Many of you may feel alone in the world.  As we discussed earlier you are not alone because you can turn to anyone around you and say Also-me.  I hurt, struggle, don’t like myself, want more from life and just want to be loved.  Everyone in life feels like this at some point.  You’re Not Alone.

However, there is another reason You’re Not Alone.  No matter how alone you may feel there is always some one in your life that will listen to you, help you and loves you.  Perhaps you don’t believe there is but I promise you there is someone.

You may have to look hard and give several people a chance but there is no doubt there is someone you can turn to.  It may be: your parents, a sibling, a grandparent or other relative, a family friend, a teacher, coach, counselor, youth group leader, pastor or perhaps you may need to speak to someone outside your immediate circle.  There are many organizations that you can turn to for support and help (check them out in the “Find Help” section of

If you say you are alone, no one understands you or is there to help you.  It is because you are not looking hard enough.  Don’t use that as an excuse for not getting help.  It is a cop out and a way of letting yourself off the hook.  It is your responsibility to let others help you help yourself!

Don’t believe the lie!  Others care about you, love you and will help you but it’s up to you to let them.

You’re Not Alone!

Tim Kreider

29 Nov 2013

Fear – What to do with it?


Fear of the dark.  Fear of heights.  Fear of spiders. Fear of small places.  Fear of letting your parents, friends or family down.  Fear of the future.  Fear of crowds.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of turning out like your parents.  Fear of success.  Fear of being judged. Fear of being alone.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of failure.  Fear!

We all have fears.  If we don’t face them the consequences can be significant.  How do we deal with fear?

Step one: analyze the fear.  Why are you afraid?  Where does the fear come from?  Before you are able to face your fear and conquer it you must understand where it comes from and why you are afraid.  This may require a lot of soul searching and admitting to things you want to deny or pretend don’t exist.  You must be willing to be brutally honest with yourself.  I fear this and this is why!  It may take help to learn this.  Don’t be afraid to seek help in order to discover what’s in your past and who you are today.  It will be worth it!

Next:  determine what is real and what is not real.  On a certain level, of course it is real!  You’re afraid of something and the fear is very real.  However, the big question is it reasonable or not?  Is what you fear based in a likelihood of it happening or is it an unrealistic fear.  It may very well be that you are afraid of something that will never come to be or poses no danger to you.  This basic process has the potential of greatly reducing the impact of what you fear.

If the fear is reasonable and has some likelihood of occurrence then you will need to confront and completely acknowledge the fear.  Don’t deny it or try to hide from it.  Don’t make excuse or blame others. Admit it is a fear.  Before you are able to honestly acknowledge the fear you won’t be able to overcome it.

Now it’s time to look at your fear.  What are all the possibilities, even the ridiculous?   What will happen if you fail or your worst fear comes true?  How bad will it be?  Once you’ve processed it and determined the worst possible outcome, decide if you are able to live with the result.  If you can live with that there is nothing to fear!

Prepare!  Being ready to face your fear gives you power over it.  Decide what you need to do to make you more confident when the time comes.  Study, practice, and learn all you can.  Preparation helps remove doubt and replaces the doubt with confidence.   The more prepared you feel the more control you will have over your fear.

Don’t ever give in or give up.  Push through the fear to the other side.  Make a commitment to not give in to the fear. Do what it is you fear and to proceed in spite of your fear.  Don’t give in or give up because of your fear.

You have the power to overcome your fears.  Each time you confront your fear it will lose some of its power over you.  Eventually you will over come it.  But you must never, ever give up and don’t ever let fear win!

You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

Suicide – How can we recognize someone at risk?

There was another local teen suicide this past week. A 17 year old high school student. It is such a tragedy that any one is so lost in despair and lack of hope that they believe this is their best option. Why don’t we see the signs? What can we do to help stop this?

First we must know what some of the things are that may initiate thoughts of suicide / put some one at risk: changes in the family, broken relationships, significant problems at home or with boy/girl friend; the media and the music some one listens to; abuse of alcohol and drugs; sexual issues (gender identity struggles, dangerous erotica); social issues with piers – being bullied, feels like an outcast and unwanted; family history of depression and physical problems / terminal illness.  These are just some of the factors in some one’s life that may lead to suicidal thoughts.  Things that can cause loss of hope, despair and anguish.

Now just because some one is experiencing these things doesn’t mean they are thinking about suicide but they can be events that trigger suicidal thoughts.

What are some signs that someone may be seriously considering suicide.  First, if someone talks about it or you see a reason you think they might be thinking about it , don’t dismiss it and think it is nothing!  Talk to them, find out what is going on and listen to them.   It is important to find out what they are truly thinking.

Pay attention to details that answer the following:  How specific are they about the details?  How often have they thought about it?  Have they considered how they would do it?  Where? By what means? When?  The more lethal/certain the method is the more serious.  If the method is readily available the more serious.   Where they would do it is very important (the less likely to be found the more serious the risk).

These may not be comfortable to discuss but are very important.  If someone tells you I think about it every day.  My dad has a gun hidden up stairs.  He doesn’t think I know where it is but I do.  I figure I’d take it after school some day, before any one is home.  Then I’d go to the abandoned warehouse a few streets from my house and do it there. No one would hear and they wouldn’t find me for days.  If they even missed me.

This scenario has all the factors of a serious risk.  Frequency of thought, ease or opportunity, very lethal means and a location where no one will likely find him during the attempt.  It has been thought out with detail and would have a great likelihood of success.

This is not a complete list to consider nor does it contain all the answers but hopefully it will help you think about some things you haven’t before and some day they may help save some one’s life?

*** Most important of all ***

If you think anyone you know is at risk or you are thinking about suicide yourself.  Seek professional help and consultation immediately.  If you or some one else is danger of harm right now.  Call 911 immediately.

You’re Not Alone!