Here I AM!

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

I am a blessed man in many aspects. I know that. I try my best every day to count my blessings.

I am a victim of violent crime, but I refuse to let being a victim become my identity or somehow over-shadow my many blessings.

What happened to my family on October 10, 2011 has reshaped my life, but it has not ended my life nor is it keeping me from current or future happiness.

It will not.

It will not.

It will not.

I am stronger than the despair that wants to engulf me!

I will fight every day to give my family an existence that lets each of us thrive in spite of the evil that accosted us.

Evil will not win. It may have owned that particular day, but it did not win!

If you are struggling with the results of an evil broken world in your life, you might want to make that your mantra.

Evil will not win!

Years ago, John Waite of The Baby’s sang and here I am, I’m back on my feet again.

I am so learning to sing that song.

I get up every day. I brush my teeth. I put on my clothes. I hit the office ready to do what it takes to sell/ list a house, etc. (Thanks to Ric Caldwell for that particular plan for success—he is a new friend and I am thankful for him.) I do enjoy this new real estate endeavor!

I am back on my feet again—it looks different, it feels different, it is different.

At age 50 (almost 51 but who’s counting?) I feel good. I worry at times about economic realities (who doesn’t these days?), but I refuse to even let that keep me down. In fact, somebody out there is going to pray hard and long enough and an opportunity to do the writing and speaking I want is going to arise. I believe that!

In the meantime, I am thankful for some good friends. Neither bandwidth nor my time or yours will allow me at this point to give detailed explanations of all the special friends in my life.

I could write a book about John, Danny, Cecil, Allen, Dan, John Mark, Brad, Rich, the other Brad, Bill, Patrick, John Alan, Mark, my Dad, my brother Billy, Doug, brother-in-law Mike, Steve, Terry, Mike… Even some new ones like Brandon Scott Thomas.

I know I am leaving some guys out—not on purpose for sure. But these guys have walked with me through the fire. They have been there for me. They are there for me. They are looking even now for ways and avenues to help me have a voice, to life my life, to raise my family, and to somehow be of service to others.

Regardless of their relationship to me, they are friends who have stuck closer than a brother.

In the meantime, I would like to tell about one in particular.

A number of years ago there was an elder who made my life as miserable as it could be. Miserable doesn’t do the situation justice. He was destroying me, stressing my family, and systematically making this preacher’s life a complete and utter wreck.

And I wanted out. I tried to go anywhere. Resume after resume was mailed out. Rejection after rejection came back.

One of those efforts had me talking frequently with a preacher in Arlington, VA. We had a lot in common—he was a great encourager. Like another old friend already listed above he encouraged me to develop my writing—and provided me a blogging platform.

Our friendship grew over long distance with the many repeated tech mistakes I constantly made that he constantly had to fix.

Time passed by. The elder who so stressed me left (I need to share with you sometime the Baptist preacher’s prayer about God taking him out—it was a doozy).

I continued writing and then tragedy struck.

I never thought I would do anything with it again. But my friend quietly went behind the scenes and archived all of my old writings. I can still read—and so can you—all those old sermons I posted, articles I wrote about Cole and the family. And that’s a blessing. (See

To my friend Brad Palmore, thank you. Thank you for being there and encouraging me to find my voice. Thank you for not allowing what I had done before to be tossed out and thrown away. Thank you for helping reignite an old as of yet unfulfilled dream to write a powerful book on faith. It’s coming. I know it will and I’ll owe you another measure of gratitude.

Brad is the behind the scenes guy here at Desperately Wanting To Believe Again. He has full admin privileges and will toss a out bad comment in a heartbeat. He fixes things and makes them work. He adds all the bells and whistles. He’s that kind of guy.

If you are looking to find your blogging voice or need some help with a church, business, or non-profit website, he’s the one to see.

In the meantime, here I am, I’m back on my feet again and determined to stand stronger every day.

Thanks to all my old friends and new friends alike for sharing the journey with me.

And to my sweet Becki… I will forever be grateful…

14 thoughts on “Here I AM!

  1. When the shooting in Newtown happened, one of our ministers said that he was reminded of two stanzas from I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day:

    “And in despair I bowed my head;
    ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
    For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song,
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

    There are days it seems like God is dead, or at least he sleeps. I do believe, though (and sometimes I have to grit my teeth as I do so!) that He isn’t dead and He doesn’t sleep. (I hope this doesn’t fall into the “saying something stupid” category!)

  2. Les, I see your strength coming through more and more each time I read your blog. I continue to pray for you and your family, and I look forward to reading that book on faith one day soon.

  3. So glad that I have found your blog Les. I have viewed your posts, have put your blog in my eReader and will be back to read more. Congrats on posting such honest thoughts about life and faith.

    There does seem to be two ditches that grieving people stumble into. Job and his buddies embraced the ditch that was personified when Job said “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble”. They saw God as the author, or at least the permitter of their pain. Other people lean more towards the Deist ditch and do not see Him involved at all.

    My life got better when I saw my first wife’s death, my son’s addiction, my daughter’s unwed pregnancy, my blood disease, my severe arthritic pain, my current wife’s disabling paralysis and subsequent life in a wheelchair in the light of the healing presence of God. I could not find any life when I put God in my suffering (in a permitting or causal sense) but found so much life when I put His presence and love back in my life.

    Guess that is my story. Have a blessed day and weekend!

    • Thank you, Kind Sir. Thank you for reading. I hope I am of help to many as I struggle through this journey of faith. Please feel free to share with others!

  4. Again – beautiful words. And I two am thankful for your sweet Becki. You are again finding your voice and it is always a message I need to hear. God bless!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.