Thank You, Whitney Houston

All my friends who know me, who spend any time with me, know my appreciation of Whitney Houston’s music. Many of you can’t separate her music from your memories of me. I like that. I know I’ll never be able to think of my teen years and college years without her soundtrack playing in my mind.

Her music and movies will live on, her impact far reaching. Technology will always have her one click, one google search, one YouTube video away. Her legacy, her best moments will always be there. Unfortunately, she will not. She was called else where.

Beyond the awards, the triumphs, the demons, the headlines, she was a person: a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. To those who knew her personally, those that held her hand, I can pray comfort. She was more than most of us will ever know. She protected, she confronted, she searched, and she prayed. She was a woman, she was a person.

I will never know the personal impact she had on young girls and their self esteem. I can read stories of how she made beauty more than blonde and blue, but not deeply feel it. I am humbled by the lives she influenced, asking for nothing in return.

No, to some of her deepest impacts I cannot relate.

But to one I can…

To me, Whitney, you were an inspiration. Your tenacity, your melodic determination were constant examples. Your ability to master a lyric, to deliver an emotion were unparalleled. You moved me, Whitney Houston. To this, I can relate.

Thank you, Whitney.

God Bless.

Rest In Peace, Ms. Houston.

February 2012


Sleepout 2011 Springfield MO

It was a great night, an amazing cause, and had a deeper meaning than I realized. The Kitchen Inc. and Rare Breed Youth Services presented Sleepout 2011 to raise awareness of homeless youth. Serving hot chocolate and coffee to participants and volunteers was only the beginning. The evening culminated with the Sleepout on the Missouri State University football field. With temperatures at a 40 degrees and winds blowing all night, the comfort of the football field wasn’t a concern. (Who knew a pound of ground Starbucks Coffee could double as a pillow? “Pillow” is generous, let’s say “head prop”.)

I truly appreciate the chance to give my time and raise funds. The Youth presented art and stories telling their tales of struggle and championing the efforts of the Rare Breed program. I met children with strong spirits beyond their years. I learned a thing or two about myself by listening to their laughter and seeing their eyes, again full of more life and wisdom than their years would suggest.

I was fortunate to share my fund raising with friends and peers. Together, through direct and company matched donations, we raised $815 for Rare Breed. As the top fundraiser, I’ll challenge others to match my total next year.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your night, Rare Breed. And thank you to everyone who donated.

Learn more about The Kichen. Visit their website by clicking here.

Lost for over 30 years, childhood photos found


First Grade

Jason, First Grade, Age 6


Jason, Second Grade, Age 7

Jason, Second Grade, Age 7


Hello 1979 and 1980.

I was overjoyed to have a relative send me these long lost photos of myself.  Unbelieveable.  I’m quite positive in the Second Grade photo I was midsentence.  Possibly telling the photographer to capture a better side or asking “Is the collar big enough?”

Sounds strange, but I almost cried when I got them.  What wonderful memories.

Windows 7 and all kinds of Beta stuff….

I have no real concept of how Windows 7 differs from Windows 6, or Windows 1 for that matter.  I’d imagine the lame in me believes it has to do with functionality, features; as the numbers get higher, the “wow” factor should increase exponentially.  The computer geek in me (not that I have a computer geek in me…) believes it’s also much deeper, rooted in mystery code and magical spells.

The result is me using this Windows Live Writer Beta to publish this post.  As I’m typing, it seems relatively simple.  I do notice items on the tool bars that I don’t know I had on the normal wordpress site (e.g. the ability to change font and highlighting!)

I wonder if there all kinds of blog editing software out there.  If I was just unaware how big this candy store really is…

George Bush Clings to Magic to Solve Country’s Economic Issues

(This a repost from a couple of years ago.  From time to time it pops back up in searches and makes me laugh.  Looking back, I miss having a President who at least made me laugh.)


George Bush Clings to Magic!!!

Recently you probably heard our President tell us he didn’t have the magic wand with which he could simply make high gas prices disappear. 

“I think it was in the Rose Garden where I issued this brilliant statement: If I had a magic wand — but the president doesn’t have a magic wand. You just can’t say, ‘low gas.’” –George W. Bush, Washington D.C., July 15, 2008

Ok does this scare anyone??? Once again, he’s messed up.  He has misplaced the wand that controls gas prices.  No wonder we’re in this mess.  Obviously, the wand has been found and is being used by another.  Someone out there has it and they’re saying “Increasingly higher gas”.

They’re saying “Increase so Americans think $3.00 for a gallon of gas is low.”

They’re controlling our energy crisis. 

All because George Bush lost the wand.  He said it himself, “The President doesn’t have a wand…”

Geeze Louise. 

Who does then??????

No wonder when questioned about $4 gas prices he was unconcerned and hadn’t heard of such.

“Four dollar gas prices??? Where’d you hear that?  I hadn’t heard that one.”

Of course he hadn’t heard that one.  He was wearing his magical ear plugs which filter our reality.  (That and the fact he took comfort in his magic wand.  He knew he controlled what would happen.  At least he did till he lost that wand.)

My plea is to the person who currently has the wand.  Please give it back.

You can take the wand to your local town hall and leave it on the steps.  No questions asked. 

Please.  Just give it back.

Also, please attach a note to the wand written with a sorcerer’s pen which can only be read by the President’s magic eye wear… And the note should read….

“Dear Mr. President,  Here is your wand back.  Please do three things for us…

#1  Say “Low Gas”

#2  Say You’re Sorry for this mess

#3 Please put the wand up so the next President will be able to find it in case of emergency.

Thanks again and Abracadabra!

God’s Grace

There are moments in life we actually stop and listen.  There are times we really hear the message.  In those moments, it’s rare, but in those moments, it’s possible to feel something in a way we never have before.  I don’t have those moments as much I’d like to. 

But tonight I did.

I’ve spent the last few months amazed at some of the things I’ve read from friends on Facebook.  People I never really got the chance to truly know.  For one reason or another, while we might have spent years in the same school or in the same fraternity, we never really got to be authentic.  We never truly had the opportunity to get beyond the superficial. 

Yeah, I think a lot of it had to do with my sexuality.  And most of those walls, I built myself.  I was always afraid of being myself, of living authentically.  I was always avoiding who I was, in one way or another.

That was years ago, and I’m not the same person I used to be.  Today I’m rather comfortable with myself and my life. 

And along the way, I’ve reconnected with some amazing friends.  Some I never really knew and some I was too scared to know.

While many of the barriers I built have come down, I still have many questions.

Or at least I did.

While I never really struggled with my relationship with God, I had trouble explaining it to many of my friends.  They couldn’t understand how I could even begin to think my life was acceptable.  We talked and we debated and we researched.  Never reaching a definitive conclusion.

I reached my peace through prayer.  So many people base everything they know on the Bible.  And I appreciate that foundation.  But the Bible, alone, is not enough for me.  I’ve always needed more, I’ve always needed a personal relationship with God.  And through that relationship, I found my peace.

God so mighty and strong to create us, give His Son, and offer us eternal life is as alive today as the days of the Bible.  God spoke clearly in Biblical days and He speaks clearly now.  When I asked people how they knew God didn’t approve, they constantly came back with, “The Bible says…” 

Not one person came back with “God told me….”

I don’t base my beliefs on the Bible alone.  I base them on God alone. 

And while the Bible is God’s Word, I hear God tell me how we cannot base everything we know and believe on the book alone.  We must live with God and let God live through us.

God can speak to us today just as He did in the Bible.

And tonight, God spoke to me.

Getting back in touch with an old friend who recently asked “How do you reconcile your life with your love for the Lord?”

I struggled to find the right answer.

How could people I thought would never accept my life, suddenly become friends again?  Looking passed so much?

God gave me the answer tonight.

I overheard this conversation tonight between a young father and his little girl…

They were just down from me looking at the same choice of coffee table books.  The dad was steadily searching for something to do with maps of the middle east and the little girl was simply sitting, turning page after life-size page of a book with pictures of the ocean. 

I was contemplating purchasing a book about Bora Bora for an upcoming vacation.  Oddly enough, the little girl was looking at a picture of the Pacific Ocean, not too far from where I’m planning to vacation.  I smiled and told her I was “going there in a few months.”

Her eyes got really big and she smiled.

The dad interjected that the vacation would be nice.  Endless sun, beaches, and the great big ocean. 

The little girl said “the ocean’s really big…” and nodded convincingly.

Yeah, I thought about it, the ocean is really big.

I told her “I don’t think I’ll even be able to see the end of the ocean, it just keeps on going!”

She smiled and laughed.

Her dad said the ocean was the largest thing on Earth, it had no end. 

I kept making small talk and said I couldn’t think of anything else that had no limits like the ocean.  It just goes on and on.

The little girl smiled and without missing a beat, that little girl let God speak to me. 

Out of a young lady who couldn’t have been more than four years old, I heard the answer to my questions.  How could friends see passed so much?  How could I reconcile my life with God’s love?

In a wonderful moment tonight I talked about how the oceans go on forever and they at times look as if they’ll never end.   And in a few short words, this little girl and God explained me to how so many things are possible.

I said “I can’t think of anything else that has no limits like the ocean.  It just goes on and on.”

And without hesitation and the warmest smile she responded.

“God’s Grace.”

Two words.  A smile.  And a moment that was so much more than what it was.

“God’s Grace.”

Her dad explained they’d just heard the message tonight at church.  And she was still talking about it.  She wasn’t questioning it, but rather, it’s like she was explaining it.  To her it made such perfect sense.  There’s nothing bigger than God’s Grace; it never ends.

We aren’t meant to understand everything.  And in times where comprehension is too much, where we can’t reconcile it all, we have God’s Grace. 

The limits of God’s Grace, I pray we’ll never know.

How do I reconcile my life?  How do we as people see passed so much?  How do we tear down barriers?  Begin to be authentic?  How do we do all of this?

God’s Grace.