Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Summary of Everlasting Life

We all want to be remembered but really may not comprehend immortality. It's as simple as your story. It starts from the day you were born. Your father will see you as faultless. Childhood will pass. Teachers cherish the chance to fill your head. You make friends and followers. You lead and you serve. You will make an enemy or two. Someone close will severe your ties, spread rumors and make you cry. Your mother always the Saint will believe when others deny you. Life will vanish like you were a ghost and then reappear for those close to note. Your story so good it has to be told will inspire, incite the young and the old. Centuries pass your chronicle lives on, a legend but words that give rise to write songs. Everlasting life may be given with death but first the story told others must vet. Were you God-like or profit or lesser of role. Were you evil or demon damning your soul.
A child is born in Bethlehem -and so eternal life begins. It's a simple story but one that will live throughout eternity. -A.Quintin Smith

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mental Illness: saying, “get over it” Doesn't Work Remove The Stigma and Treat It Like a True Illness

By Nancy Lacy Kixmiller
Guest Blogger
Nancy Lacy Kixmiller is the proud mom of a 17 year old son and retired music teacher. She loves her family (close, extended, in-laws, "outlaws" included) her faith and her little town (Prairie Home, MO pop 281).

It is high time we start talking about mental illness in our society. According to the American Psychological Association (, more than 45 million adults have some sort of mental illness. Over 8.9 million have both a mental and substance abuse disorder (i.e. alcoholism). Those are some staggering statistics, yet we don't seem to talk openly about it.
Consider this: Bipolar disorder is a chronic medical condition in much the same way that diabetes is a chronic medical condition. One of the conditions that can affect someone with diabetes is blindness. Not all people with diabetes are blind and not all of those who are blind have diabetes.
Now, replace the word "diabetes" with "bipolar disorder", "blindness" with "alcoholism", and "blind" with "alcoholics" and you get: One of the conditions that can affect someone with bipolar disorder is alcoholism. Not all people with bipolar disorder are alcoholics and not all of those who are alcoholics have bipolar disorder.
My son recently lost his father, Kyle, who also happened to be my ex-husband. I have maintained a close relationship with my former in-laws because I felt like it was important for my son and they are really great people. I wanted to do something to help during this horrible, trying time so I volunteered to write Kyle's obituary.
I knew that I wanted to capture the essence of the sweet, funny man I had married and the father my son adored. I wrote about Kyle's family and school life, his love of community theater, and his work experience. I also included the words “bipolar disorder and alcoholism”. I finished my draft and sent it to his family to use or not as they saw fit. Kyle's brother-in-law wrote the second draft and kept most of what I had written. He wrote “Kyle fought a long battle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism.” The brother-in-law also added “He regularly attended AA.” The second draft of the obituary was edited via the Internet by Kyle's sister, nephew, stepmother, brother-in-law and I. No one ever considered not mentioning Kyle's illness. He suffered from bipolar disorder and alcoholism. That is a fact. By including that he regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous, we felt we showed that he was trying to get better. The final draft was shared via Facebook and email.
The Celebration of Life for Kyle included reference to bipolar disorder and alcoholism, because it was a part of him. But it also included “Amazing Grace”, three nephews eulogizing the uncle they adored, wonderful memories, and words of comfort and hope. The service ended with Monty Python's “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, which had the congregation singing and whistling along through tears. It was just the kind of service Kyle would have wanted
One of the things I do in life is submit local news articles for two area newspapers. Most newspapers only take obituaries submitted by funeral homes, but perhaps as a courtesy to me or as a matter of policy, they accepted and printed an edited version of the obituary I sent them. Neither newspaper included the references to bipolar disorder, alcoholism or AA. I know that was a conscious choice by one newspaper and suspect it was a choice of the other newspaper as well – the second newspaper included almost every word of the obituary I submitted, only omitting the references to bipolar disorder, alcoholism and AA.

Bipolar disorder cost Kyle his marriage, his job, his physical health and, ultimately, his life at the age of 52. While he did not end his own life, there is no doubt that bipolar disorder was the root cause of his untimely demise.
I am grieving all over again for the marriage that ended ten years ago and for the loss of my son's father. I am angry that we only talk about mental illness in hushed tones. I am sad that I didn't understand Kyle's behavior better and had no idea where to look for resources to help. I am angry for all the heartache caused to Kyle's father and other family members because Kyle “just couldn't get his act together”. I am so angry that Kyle won't be at our son's high school graduation next year, or any of the other milestones in our son's life.
But my anger is no longer directed at Kyle, as it was for so many years. My anger is at a society that tells someone who is suffering from depression to “get over it”. Would you tell a diabetic to ignore the need for insulin? Would you tell someone with asthma that he could get by without an inhaler if he really wanted to? Mental illness is no different. It is not the sufferer's fault and that is so difficult to understand....believe me, I know just how difficult. Unfortunately, the nature of mental illness is such that someone suffering from mental illness may go off his/her medication because he/she feels that he/she no longer needs it. Then the cycle perpetuates itself, on and on and on.
We have to stop discussing bipolar disorder (and other mental illnesses) as if it's a failure of character, something for the whole family to be ashamed of. It is a medical condition from which millions of Americans, including journalist Jane Pauley and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones suffer. Mental illness cost comedian Robin Williams his life. When we bring mental illness out of the darkness and into the light, healing can begin. Families dealing with mentally ill relatives can get the support they need and medical breakthroughs will lead to a cure for an illness that harms so many lives. We need to talk about it. Maybe one place to start is by printing it in obituaries when families ask for it to be printed.‪#‎removethestigma‬

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bacon Day is a Thing It Does Have Rules

Rules of Bacon Day

  1. You don't need an invitation
  2.  Please call/text and let the host know you are coming so enough food may be          prepared for everyone or if it is a traveling bacon day you know where to go. 
  3.  Bring someone, bacon day is an event to be shared and enjoyed. 
  4.  If you are a President of the United States or foreign leader please give advanced     notice so proper security may be put in place and we can make sure there is               enough parking. 
  5. Bring something to share if you have something to share. 
  6. Don't feel obligated to bring more than yourself.
  7. Be kind to all that come to bacon day. 
  8. There will be a prayer. This is God's table. 
  9.  Be prepared to be waited on by the host, it's what we do.
  10.  If you are a regular attender of bacon day take time to help if needed. 
  11. Have your own bacon day if you so choose but remember it is about community,         collaboration, cooperation and corporation. NO one should be excluded. 

I started bacon day a long time ago.  It has grown since the beginning so we needed a few rules along the way.  

Bacon is one of my favorite foods but bacon day is about so much more. When Saturday comes it is bacon day, a day to celebrate food, friendship, God's love for us, and creating a community that cares for each other. It starts with family, adds a few friends, and sometimes a stranger or two, but not for long. Everyone is welcome.

 Bacon is a key ingredient, it brings us together. The chance to break bread and share our stories is what keeps it going. There are special bacon days. Bacon day for when your adult children come home from being away for a long time. Bacon day to celebrate birth or death. Bacon Day to celebrate friendships when life may be hard.  

It does not matter how long you have been away, what your hardships have been, how much you have or don't, on bacon day everyone is equal. 

 © 2015 A. Quintin Smith

Learn more about A. Quintin Smith

Other blogs by A. Quintin Smith
Understanding Andy
Adventures of a Handyman 
Northland Kansas City

God had a plan for bacon day long ago: 

Acts 2:

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The New Christian War

Christian's are under attack around the globe. They are being lined up and slaughtered, realistically and figuratively on a daily basis. The church is now putting the word out it is time to fight back.

I heard a prayer today in my church that vowed God's vengeance against these unholy acts and the unholy people who commit them.

A holy war of sorts has begun. The war will be won in a unique way though. It does not require killing an enemy.

Understanding the enemy and fighting them is part of the battle. Muslims, Jews and Christians all share a belief in the same God but have different beliefs about how they should worship him and if the savior has come or who he actually is. Differences aside their God is the God of the Torah, the God of the Bible and the God of the Quran.

So who is the real enemy? The false religions that say they are doing things in the name of God but create war instead of peace.

So how should we fight people who martyr us, who condemn us and create false images of the God we all worship?

The first thing we should do is not react with violence back. Yes, they have martyred good people. So we must not let those people die in vain. We should tell their stories much like the story of Jesus. They died for their faith and they should be remembered and held up as such. Make sure they did not die in vain by becoming the cruel enemy we detest.

How do we do this? We should fight them with big ideas.

Instead in the word's of Pastor Steven Breon use big ideas straight from the bible.

Big idea 1:  Live like there is a God.

Live your faith and let others around you know there is a God. He is here and present and provides grace for all who choose him.  Stand fast in your belief when other's may shout you down or provide doubt. Share God with kindness and joy and gladness each day. Pray

Big idea 2: Nurture the love attitude

Jesus was a warrior that won the world by using love and not a sword. Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

This is the way we will conquer our enemies, by showing them love, by teaching to love us as well as themselves. If we want peace we have to teach that peace is the only way. 

Big idea 3: Teach the Children

It is time to educate the world about God. Bring the church to the children. Make them believers of a God of peace and understanding. Teach them that war is only a path to a life time of destruction and pain. God will heal the sick and poor and will provide for the means of everyone that seeks him but only if there is peace will his people be able to come to them.

What are you doing to make a difference? Have you taken to a bully pulpit calling for the extinction of  another religion or people? Have you cried for war with weapons instead of words? Have you asked God to intervene?

All to often we look out instead of up. We look to governments, armies and vigilantes to solve the problems of the world. It is time to look to God and our Christian community for answers.  Live like there is a God and ask for peace and it shall be given. Nurture love and you will receive love back.  Teach the world about a loving God and not a God of war and like children we may all get along.

 © 2015 A. Quintin Smith

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NIV

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Understanding Paradise

Death Walk

Floating around a corpse lost in a coffin.
 Grasp paradise this is the cross.

The spirit ascends to a heavenly place.
 Transcend time, dimension and space.

It's not the Garden of Eden of the antecedent past.
Heaven with gates reached home at last.

Who will await the being as it does enter ?
Recognized without body the newest member.

 © 2015 A. Quintin Smith

Everyone has a version of paradise. often described as a "higher place", in paradise there is only peace,prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment. 

Everyone seems to be waiting for it to come to them. 

God made a paradise for man before he created him. 

 God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

You all know what happened. Adam and Eve ate from the tree and paradise was lost. They were kicked out of the garden because God did not want them to eat from the tree of life and live forever. Why? Because they had become like those in heaven and knew the difference between good and evil. Not because he hated them but because he loved them so much he didn't want them to suffer. .

God knew with this knowledge they would never have peace, prosperity and happiness again. They could never be content with life inside or outside the garden. 

The bible like any good story starts in the beginning but as in any good book it fills in gaps along the way. What Adam and Eve didn't know was before they were conceived there was a great war in Heaven. One-third of the Angels were led  by Satan himself against the faithful Angels of God. Satan and his warriors where defeated, banished to a newly formed hell. 

This same Satan, in serpent form, came to Eden and condemned Adam and Eve. He provided the truth. Peace and happiness are fluid. Even the heavens have trials and tribulations. Paradise is not always content. 

Paradise to some people is the Tree of Life, an everlasting life without end. Somehow along the way some want it so much they forget to live the life they have now. They have no concept of creating a Paradise here, for that they must wait. 

But paradise is not a place, not a home, not a garden, not even heaven. 

Paradise is a change of spirit. Peace, happiness, contentment may only come from within. Our spirit is the key. 

God knows you will only find paradise when you find him. Because his love is so great that nothing you can do will change his spirit. He will bring you peace and contentment if you let him. 

So why are you waiting on paradise when it's right in front of you? You have everything you need. Ask for God's spirit to enter your heart, your mind, your soul and it will happen.  It will bring you peace. It will give you life everlasting. Paradise is God within. 

Why do most people do without?