carmacks1955.jpgToday I learned that my uncle, son of my grandma that just died, has also died. He died on Thanksgiving day. His neighbor found him with a gunshot wound. They think that he committed suicide. I am deeply saddened by this news. What makes it even harder is that he apparently had been doing very well lately. I have never known him not to be having problems with drugs and alcohol. Apparently, though, the past two years he has been free of that bondage. I am sad that I didn’t even know that. I’m also sad that I haven’t seen him in so long when he only lives an hour and a half or two hours away. Granted we’ve never been close and my dad has been dead for nearly 7 years (so we don’t do family get-togethers), but still…

He has two daughters. One is older than I am and one is 4 days younger than I am. I didn’t really know either of them very well. I met the older one maybe twice in my life and the younger one once. They have both gotten closer to my uncle in the past ten years. He was out of their lives for some time. And now he has grandkids. I just have to wonder what happened. If he was doing so well, what happened? What kind of pain was he going through, especially to have done this on Thanksgiving day just before he was going to be picked up to go celebrate with his family? These situations are so sad because they don’t make sense. It seems like the people around someone who has committed suicide should see the symptoms, but it is so rare that it is so obvious. I want to make clear that I’m not trying to blame anyone. It’s impossible to tell sometimes. Of course, maybe there was another person involved. That would make it less sad in this situation I think.

Oh, it makes me sad… 😦

school3.jpg Thanks to Aunt Christine for the pictures. On top picture, my uncle Tom is the second youngest. The youngest is my dad. On the bottom picture, my uncle is the one in the bottom right-hand corner. My uncle Dick is in the bottom left-hand corner , my uncle John is two over from Dick and my aunt Christine is the one above my uncle Tom. This was before my dad went to school.

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Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has had as wonderful a holiday as I have. I went to my mom’s house for the traditional turkey and had a very good dinner. I even came back with leftovers. Cold turkey sandwiches tomorrow!

Today, I would like to tell you all what I am thankful for.

    1. My loving God – He’s so wonderful. He loves me more than anyone else and I know that I can never deserve His love, yet He loves me.
    2. My hubby – He loves me and does things for me even when I don’t really deserve for him to be so nice to me. Thank you, honey, and I love you!
    3. My kids (Princess and Little Man) – They daily show me new things and daily give me their unconditional love. Sometimes I don’t deserve that either.
    4. The rest of my family (moms, dads and brothers and sisters) – Thanks for being such great family!
    5. My church family – Our congregation loves us so much and I am thankful for that. I love them, too. I am so glad we fit together so well and I look forward to continuing to effect change in our community.
    6. My many, many friends (both in life and in the online realm) – I’m so glad I friends that I can go to when I need to talk. I am also so glad for all the friends that I have made through blogging. Blogging has opened up a whole new world of giving and receiving blessings. I am also thankful for all the readers of my blog. Don’t be afraid to de-lurk. I’d love to be your friend, too.
    7. My fellow ministers – All of you readers that are fellow pastors and all the fellow pastors in my community and in the Assemblies of God that I have become close to, I appreciate what you have taught me. I look forward to continually growing at the prodding of others.

      I’m sure that there are many more things I am thankful for that I have left out. These are the ones with the biggest impact on my life. Thank you all for all you do for me! Happy Thanksgiving!

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      After the last few days, I think it is time for something a little lighter. So here are some pictures from Halloween.

      halloween-2010.jpgAnother bit of information: I never went trick-or-treating until my daughter was born. My parents were very adamant that Halloween was not a holiday that should be celebrated as a Christian. We would rent a movie, go to the farthest corner of the house, turn off all the lights and watch our movie. My brother and I always left school early when we had Halloween parties at school, too. Chris grew up this same way, too. My feelings are this: I don’t like the holiday, I don’t like most of the costumes and I feel weird taking my kids trick-or-treating. But, Chris wants to be involved with the community aspect of it and the people in our church (which is really surprising to the hubby and I, being Assembly of God as we are) want us to be involved and no one has any problems with it. So, we take the opportunity to hand out candy and something beneficial to the kids. (more…)