Second Book Coming Christmas 2020!!!

2020 has definitely had its fair share of ups and downs, but I am so excited and humbled for this special announcement.
My SECOND book is done and going through the publication process!
The title is “Stand Guard at the Door of Your Mind”

I wrote it to give hope, confidence, and strength to those going through rough times and trying to figure out ways to add more fulfillment/peace into their lives.

It’s definitely vulnerable and real.
Some topics include: pornography, mental illness, bullying, success, failure, disease attitudes, and not giving up.
Coming to you Christmas, 2020

No Arms? No Legs? No problem.

This is my friend, Nick Vujicic.
His story is one of perseverance, determination, pain, suffering, and overcoming obstacles! He was born without arms or legs which made him a target for awful bullying at school. When he was 8 he experienced severe depression. When he was 10 he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bathtub, but his parents stopped him just in time.
He prayed hard for God to give him arms and legs, but he soon realized that his mission in life was to do the best he could with what he had.
He harnessed his power and abilities to become a worldwide #1 bestselling author, selling over 3 Million books. He’s spoken to over 9 Million people around the world, and is happily married with a wife and 4 children.
He is the essence of courage, faith, and gratitude.
If you’re going through hell, keep on going!
If you’re struggling to make it through, don’t give up!
You can overcome your obstacles!
Thank you, Nick! You’ve inspired me.

Time to Snap Out of Our Biases

It’s time to “snap out of” our biases, our false expectations, and our pre-conceived judgments regarding mental health.
It’s time to give just as much attention, resources, and energy to the “unseen” illnesses, as the “seen” ones.
It’s time to educate, reform, and come together for each other.
It’s time to understand WHY suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-24 in the world — and then work to lessen that statistic.
We can do it. We just need everyone’s help.

Love One Another

Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”

He didn’t say, Love one another… unless they’re gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian.”

He didn’t say, “Love one another… unless their religion is different from yours.”

He didn’t say, “Love one another, unless their skin color is different from yours.”

He didn’t say, “Love one another, unless they support a different political party than you.”

Christ loved the sinners.
Christ loved the homeless.
Christ loved the outcasts.
Christ loved the lepers.
Christ loved those who were deemed “unlovable.”

He set the example for us. He is The Way.

I hope we (myself included) can do little better today than we did yesterday in loving.

Side note — Jesus DID NOT say we needed to stay in abusive relationships, or situations where our health or safety was being jeopardized. That’s not love. If you’re stuck in that situation, please reach out to a trusted individual.

Artist = Howard Lyon

The Reality of Suicide

*Warning for a vulnerable and raw post about suicide.*
When I was 18, a friend of mine took their life by hanging themselves.
We weren’t particularly close, but had lived on the same street for about 4 years and did a few things together.
As I went into the local church where the viewing was held, I saw two girls running out of the room sobbing, and absolutely stunned that someone they loved was gone.
A few weeks later another friend of mine tried to take their own life, but stopped moments before the act would’ve been completed.
Afterwards, I spoke with them and asked what changed their minds.
They told me that right before they were about to slit their wrists, a thought came to their mind…
“The person who completes suicide, dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand… why?”
They immediately stopped, and vowed to get the help they needed to continue living.
To anyone out there who is considering ending their lives, knows someone who is, or has been through it themselves — please stay.
Please. I know you’re in a dark place. I know you’re hurting. I know you’re lonely. I’ve been there.
Please stay. Please get help. We LOVE you. We don’t want you to leave us.
Your life is SO much more than this pain you’re experiencing.
Your friend,

“After Much Labor” Comes Success

The scriptures use the phrase “after much labor among them, they began to have success.”
(Alma 32:2)
I gotta admit, I’ve had some struggling moments in the last few weeks. I’ve been trying to overcome some weaknesses and flaws, and it seems the harder I try, the more I fall.
Ever been there?
Then I read this scripture, and my eyes were opened.
Sometimes it takes falling down TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME for us to start seeing success in our lives.
Whether we’re fighting to overcome an addiction, struggling to improve a relationship, striving to maintain our integrity, or working on turning a weakness into a strength, it’s gonna take time.
It’s gonna take effort. It’s gonna take a lot of “failing moments” to get us to the summit of success.
Please, don’t give up.
If you relapse, don’t give up.
If you fall, don’t give up.
If you fail, don’t give up.
If you cry, don’t give up.
We reach our success “after much labor,” and I believe it’ll be worth all the tears, pains, and battles.
We can do this together.

Where Were You On 9/11/01?

Today is 9/11.

Especially for Americans, but for many around the world, it’s a day of solemn remembrance when over 3,000 innocent lives were taken by the hands of terrorists.

I was 5 years old.

I had just gotten off the school bus and walked into my house in New Canaan, Connecticut, as I saw my dad’s eyes glued to the TV. As he looked on a second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

Tears welled up in his eyes as he thought of the friends and colleagues he knew in those towers — trapped, burning, and hopeless.

He looked at me and said, “I was supposed to be in that tower on the 107th floor. My breakfast appointment got moved to next week.”

I’m forever grateful my dad’s appointment got changed that day, but forever saddened by the loss of so many other moms, dads, friends, and family.

Regardless of what nationality you are, what religion you practice, who you pray to, or what you believe — we are all brothers and sisters.

We are all united as members of the Human Family.

Hug those closest to you. Express gratitude and appreciation. Say, “I Love You.”

My hope is that we can love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who despitefully use us… with the wishes that one day all will be made right.

The Truth about Mental Illness

Mental illness is no respecter of persons.

Simply put, anyone can find themselves struggling with it at any point in their lives — regardless of how they’ve behaved in the past.

An event, experience, circumstance, or relationship can cause such trauma to the brain that it changes the individual’s future forever.

My wife never experienced serious mental health challenges until she gave birth to our daughter.

I never experienced serious mental health challenges until I served a mission for the LDS Church.

My friend never experienced serious mental health challenges until they got in a severe car accident.

My work colleague never experienced serious mental health challenges until they got laid off.

It can happen to any of us at any time.

So please: let’s be kind. Let’s lend a listening ear. Let’s treat everyone with respect, and love.

Let’s get rid of the biases and stigmas surrounding mental illness, medication, therapy and emotional trauma.

Mental illness is NOT mental weakness.
Medication DOES NOT make you someone you’re not. It helps you become more of who you ARE.
Therapy isn’t reserved for “crazy” people. People who go to therapy are STRONG.

We all have struggles, so let’s accept them, be humble, and help others along the way.

We’re All Like a Sailboat

It’s not what happens to us that determines the quality of our future, it’s what we do about what happens.

All of us are in a little sailboat, and it’s not the blowing of the wind that determines our destination, it’s the set of the sail.

The same wind blows on us all: disaster, opportunity, change, adventure, etc.

The difference in arrival is not the wind, it’s the sail.

In becoming a better version of ourselves we just need to set a better sail.

I Stand By Jesus

I love Jesus, and I’m not afraid to stand by Him as He stands by me… ESPECIALLY when I feel like I don’t deserve it. #perfectlyimperfect

Regardless of what religion you practice or what you believe, this is my testimony.

I know there are so many of us right now going through an addiction, experiencing same sex attraction and being judged for it, fighting an illness or watching someone fight an illness (mental or physical), struggling spiritually, trying to forgive the unforgivable, or overcome a personal trial.

I don’t know the answer that will bring you peace.

But He does.

Jesus is our Brother.
Jesus is our Friend.
Jesus is our Redeemer.
Jesus is our Advocate.

No matter what we have done or what has been done to us, we can reach up and reach out.

We can be forgiven. We can be cleansed. We can be strengthened to move forward with confidence, peace, and love.

Remember: If you were the only human to ever live on this earth, Jesus would’ve still suffered, bled, and died for you.

You matter to Him.