Archives For Culture

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I’m going to do a few things a little different going into 2018. And right now, I’m already beginning the process.

For starters, I’m blogging daily more! HOORAY!!!! It’s about dog-gone time.

And then there’s the Bible study time for the mornings, which I might add, have been a challenge but a good, healthy challenge.

Then, there’s the desire to write all of these wild and crazy stories AND continue working on my webcomic, “By and By.”

Instead of just dropping all of these goals and hopes and wishes on myself in 2018, I’ve decided to take baby steps into the new year.

It is important to me to get my personal Bible study habits and my writing habits in sync and on the daily habitually in an effort to focus and survive and thrive.

After evaluating the way I do things now and considering the long list of things I hope to accomplish in in my personal and professional life, I realized now is the time to “do different.”

Traditional schedule books are just not working for me. They never have!

You know, those pre-approved, pre-lined, pre-drawn, pre-spaced, pre-and-post-dated calendar books that you buy with good intentions only to leave them collecting dust somewhere!?

Yeah, I’m done with those!

Instead, I’m heading for a new and exciting and creative direction that will move me to OWN my schedule book…”A Bullet Journal.”

I’ve been learning quite a bit about them through the YouTube star Jessica of “How To ADHD” and I think that they will be a good move for me considering the way I think and organize my time and overall life.

Not to mention that I’ll have the opportunity to draw and sketch details in my journal that I need to know for the daily grind, weekly plans and so much more.

Personalization of a schedule book or journal helps! And it might help you!

Also with the bullet journal plan comes the 2018 Life Goals for my wife and I. We’ve been thinking, planning and most importantly, praying, over everything that we are hoping to accomplish in the new year.

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Let’s Make Sacrifices

December 25, 2017

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Usually when I talk to my friend and mentor, Gerald, I share certain things I’ve learned from him here. So, here we go!

“The word of the day is ‘Sacrifice,'” he said.

Why? Because all too often we expect a major change with little results. We expect things to happen for us and to change for us without putting forth the effort or making the challenges that are necessary.

I listened intently to the examples Gerald made about sacrificing. He touched on the importance of sacrifice in Old Testament scripture as well as the daily sacrifices we make.

Thing is, we have to choose to make those sacrifices.

We take on the second job so we can make ends meet or save up for the vacation or for the next big project we have up our sleeve.

We stay up that extra hour after our normal bedtime to write or blog or draw that comic strip.

Sacrifice is doing something different TODAY so you can have a different TOMORROW.

Otherwise, everything stays the same.

Now, supposing that you’re unbelievably frustrated and tired and simply bitter and the idea of sacrificing and…dare I say it…sacrificing more, is a bit overwhelming.

I get it.

The conversation between Gerald and I finished with the encouragement to continue sacrificing.

Because the truth is this…you can’t quit before it is time.

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If you have never been in the place where it seemed like more was against you than it was for you, then, as older folks have told me, “keep living!”

When it seems like debts, disasters and decisions tend to be the thing that’s holding your dream hostage, it is an easy feeling to just blow off whatever that’s in your heart that’s good to do and just go on with your life.

Because of issues in our lives, many of us have simply stopped writing, blogging, drawing, speaking, teaching, preaching and much more.

And people suffer as a result of that.

I have 3 reasons that I can pull from the top of my head on why giving up is just not an option:

My Family Can’t Afford It!

No…seriously…as a husband, as a man…I can’t afford to just “give up!” It’s okay to take a break and really reflect, but, after you’ve prayed and cried, you have to have faith and go forward.

You have to make the choice to stand up even when you feel like sitting down.

Someone Is Watching!

Somewhere out there, I can imagine a young me, sitting somewhere on a computer or playing with their smartphone and running into a drawing on Instagram I did or an article I wrote.

Perhaps that kid is lonely, lost and filled with anxiety. This is the kid that needs to know that they are not alone and that they too can be encouraged to not “give up.”

And it’s not just kids…it’s adults too.

This is one of many reasons why I keep writing, drawing and creating stuff!

“Somebody is always watching” I’ve been told. That’s not to be taken as creepy. Fact is, you’re an example and an influence to somebody.

The Calling on My Life

When I don’t write or draw or create, it really, really bugs me. Even at my worst, there’s still something that just burns in me that says “yeah, I still want to do this! I must be a special kind of crazy!”

But, that’s awesome!

I believe that the Lord called me to the work that I do and I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m learning more and more about what I’m here on this planet for and it is amazing. It’s humbling.


What Do I Do To Get My Groove Back

On days that I just feel a sense of failure and wanting to throw in the towel, it is usually because I have not properly taken care of myself.

If I haven’t taken time to pray, read my Bible, rest and relax or even journal a little, I get a little cranky…spiritually, mentally and physically. These are my must have things to do FIRST to survive and accomplish anything and everything that needs to be done.

I also look at my schedule book, reviewing what needs to be done and what can wait.

And there’s something about just “DOING” something! Even if it is to go outside and get fresh air and take walks, the momentum of exercise really helps get things going.

Tuesday, I was reading a devotional on my Bible app and it got things for me going. I then passed on the lesson to my wife. Turns out, she needed a Word as much as I did.

Because of not giving up, I was able to be a blessing to somebody else!

And even if being a blessing to somebody else was all that was accomplished that day…then that was a pretty big accomplishment!

 

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Lately, I’ve been watching, repetitively, a 20-year-old cartoon series that used to run on ABC Saturday Morning’s, “Nightmare Ned.”

Based off a video game, “Nightmare Ned” follows a bespectacled 10-year-old boy named Ned Needlemeyer whose nightmares are used to face his fears. Most times he comes out on top, but, other times his endings are not so good and he wakes up only to realize it was only a dream.

Finding this show was difficult, and I barely remember it being on the air. I was in middle school, 7th grade to be exact, when this show was on. I recall catching the intro and watching a clip or two. And no wonder, the show aired at 11am Central Time on our ABC affiliate here in Dallas. And usually around that time I was already out and about.

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The show is quite creative and brilliant in its own crazy way. After 20 years, the show still holds up.

I’ve also studied the art style and it has helped me grow my drawing skills. Hence, Ned in cow pajamas from the episode, “Abduction.” 

Ned is relatable, especially if you were the boy who grew up facing bullies, your own personal anxieties and parents who didn’t quite get where you were coming from in perspective.

Because of “Nightmare Ned,” I’m reminded why I write what I write and how my personal experiences from boyhood are able to properly translate. I’m also reminded of my time growing up, slipping in and out of constant daydreams and having an overactive imagination and even wild dreams and nightmares.

I am reminded how some things growing up were tough, but, how things were not always that way.

I’m reminded to be OKAY with the past and write for the future, the future of other Ned Needlemeyer’s and Kendall Lyons’ out there whose experiences growing up were a bit unorthodox.

I’ve found myself writing my characters in my comic strips and in my books in such a way that they are truly “kids!” They’ve become more real because I’ve been reminded of how important it is to get real but still be funny and creative at the same time.