Just love them, no matter what.


Just love them, no matter what.

What is the point of all of this if you aren’t going to at least try to do something remarkable?

…because love wins.

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Album Review: Christina Grimmie – With Love


I may have a new music obsession. This quirky girl (who would probably say she was a ‘gurl’), who loves video games, inspiring the world, laughing, being herself, singing, and Jesus.

ImageHer name is Christina Grimmie. There’s a real possibility that you’ve heard one of her gazillion awesome cover videos, but this week she released her second album. She’s younger than me, raw, honest, and just so human. And that means I’m going to promote her. Because if there’s one thing this world needs, it’s to see that the next generation of leaders is interested in being real, not being a show.

She reminds me a lot of me. More than the dark hair and smiling, but less than the video games. Though, Mario Kart is my game. Anyway, you should buy her whole album, and listen to every single word. And then dance.

And then you should really listen to the song I Bet You Don’t Curse God. This is most certainly my favorite song on the album. It’s set gently a midst some songs about heartbreak and hope. And it says what America needs to hear.

I cannot even explain how sick to my stomach I get when I hear someone use the name of Jesus Christ as their opportunity to look awesome, to act in power, or just to sound like they’ve got confidence in something.

I get that way because I have held the hands of 5 year-olds who take their last breaths on earth before they make it to kindergarten. Because I’ve watched moms and dads lay on caskets begging for hope, and I’ve watched people who spend their entire lives ignoring Jesus Christ and then begging Him for help as soon as life doesn’t go according to their plan.

I get that way because I used to curse God. Maybe I wasn’t profane all day every day, but I wasn’t respectful of who He was every day. I didn’t treat Him as though He was my best friend every day. But I sure did when I found out that I had cancer. I sure did when He needed to save my best friend. I sure did when I was in the depths of depression and wanted to die.

Real Love

And you know what? I was wrong. Ignoring Him is foolish. It’s completely stupid. He’s not a set of stitches, He’s the nutrition to our skin so that we don’t get cut. And we would save ourselves so much if we walked with Him before we felt like we needed Him.

I am, and Christina is. And we’re just humans like you. Quit waiting and wasting your life. And just join us. There’s a lot more hope in your pain than you could ever imagine. Just treat Him like a friend. Just don’t curse God. Just don’t. Be who you were meant to be.

I Bet You Don’t Curse God – Listen Here!

…because love wins

Thank you, Talia.


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I didn’t know you, not in person.
It’s true.
But I knew you, in the heart,
I got you.

You were beautiful.
Not because of the makeup.
But because of the goal.
Because you spoke up.

We fight this beast every day.
It killed you.
It killed them.
When will it be through?

I’m a cancer survivor, sure.
But what is surviving?
Pretty lame if all your friends still die.
We were meant to be striving.

I know you won’t share any more words.
That your family will never get their little girl.
That you would have lived so big.
And that you would have changed the world.

And I know you still will.
Because you’re you.
Because you had kid’s cancer.
Because you walked it through.

But I wish you were here.
I wish your scans were clear.
And I wish we could really meet.
Your momma wishes you were near.

But you’re not.
So we’ll keep on.
We’ll dance.
Watch the stars.

We’ll watch Ellen.
We’ll talk about you.
We’ll stop this beast.
We’ll make lives new.

From MSN News:

“Talia Castellano, a charismatic 13-year-old Florida girl with cancer who inspired people around the world with her online videos about makeup and who became an honorary face of CoverGirl cosmetics, has died.

Talia, who had been fighting neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, for six years, died Tuesday morning with her family by her side.

The passing note was pasted on her official facebook page:

“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22 a.m. Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time. Godspeed, little one, may you be free from pain and suffering, may your soul feel the light and love that you brought to so many of us on this Earth during the short time you were here with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know, baby girl.”

Talia’s YouTube channel, filled with videos of tutorials about makeup, drew hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Talia didn’t like wigs to cover her bald head, but she loved wearing makeup.

“It’s really cool to know that people watch me, and that they like me, and they think I’m inspiring,” she told Fox 35 in an interview last year. “Every single comment that I get that says they think I’m inspiring or whatever, it feels so good. It’s really cool.”

Talia had many TV appearances, including one on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in September.

DeGeneres, a representative of CoverGirl, made Talia an honorary CoverGirl, complete with her own portrait. Talia was also given a check for $20,000 from the makeup brand and appeared in an ad in People magazine for CoverGirl.

ImageTalia was featured in the documentary movie “The Truth 365,” about kids fighting cancer.

DeGeneres took to Twitter to express her condolences.

“This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad,” the talk show host tweeted.”

And you can help us end childhood cancer. No one should be just a good story. We should be moms, dads, sisters, grandparents, softball players, professional make-up artists. We shouldn’t be dead.

If you’d like to end childhood cancer with us, please watch this documentary, and “like” TheTruth365 on facebook. You’ll see my story featured there as well.

To all those who help, thank you.

To Talia, thank you.

Let’s stop childhood cancer.

…because love (has to) win.

Dreams do come true.


ImageShe steps out into the light. The backstage had been a flurry of hundreds of people milling around. 

“Decker, check. Check. Check.” 

In 2 hours, thousands of people will enter this auditorium. They’ll come from all around the country. They’ll be in the middle of a fight with their wife. They’ll wish their children could do better in school. They’ll have an autistic sister. They’ll be sad. They’ll be hopeless. They’ll be happy. They’ll understand life, or they won’t. 

She stops out there. Says a prayer.

“Abba, it’s not me. It’s You. You have them. You be with them. You dream loud, speak loud, do what you do. I’m just so human.” 

She looks down at her leg. Who would have thought that this piece of molded plastic would lead to a headset, singing on stage, jumping up and down, crying in front of people? Well, surely not she. She was just this little girl with doggies on her footy pajamas sitting on the porch talking to her Father. 

And a tear falls. One tear, as she looks down at her mom, dad, and sister. Front row, always catching a tear, a hug, a smile, a reminder of who she is. 

Who is she that she could speak through an amputation and chemo drip? 

She’s just a human. Who has lost much. And who has everything, because of Jesus. 

She’s a girl who watches His dreams for her come true every day. 

…because love wins.

That’s actually pretend.


Real Love

I was going to say that I don’t mean to break this to you, but I really do mean to break it to you. If you haven’t heard this before, or don’t seem to understand what I’m about to tell you, be sure to read it over and over and over again until you do.

Most of the things around you are actually pretend.

“What? You’re crazy.”

No, really.

“Um.”

Really. Let’s observe. What decides what you do? How you do it? WHY you do whatever it is that you do? I’m willing to bet it’s for three main reasons:

1) Because someone told you to.
2) Because you’re afraid someone will think less of you because you don’t.
3) Because it’s what everyone else does.

Even if this isn’t it for you (which I am certain for most of the world, it is.), there is a serious joke being played on us.

How can we have a culture that is anything, if all we exist to do is please one another? Half of what you think in your head, either you made up, or the person next to you made up. The lies, the garbage, the “fulfilling” alcohol that you continue to drink. It’s all a sick illusion – a pretend form of real life.

Real is defined as such: Actually existing as a thing or occuring in fact; not imagined or supposed.

I am willing to say that most of your decisions in life about the kind of person that you are, are based totally on pretend premises. That you do them and if you ask yourself why you do them, it’s not because you, at the core of you, know that it’s the right thing to do.

Instead, it’s because of some other fluffy pretend stuff.

Here’s your job for the day.

1) If you haven’t sat in silence for ONE FULL HOUR of your life with no interruptions, do so. Get to know yourself. And Jesus. Those things are in the quiet places.
2) Pick two things you do because someone else told you to that you know aren’t what you should be doing. And then stop doing them.
3) Write down how you see yourself. Then, reverse all the things that say you’re worth nothing. Write down that you’re worth everything as many times as it takes to believe it.
4) If you hate your job, just quit. Stop wasting your life.
5) Go hug your mom, dad, siblings, friends, and maybe even the homeless man on 55th street.
6) Eat fruit.

7) Stop pretending. Stop letting others pretend. Let life be real and quit being afraid of the beauty that could come to you if you just let life be real.

…because love wins.

 

Don’t ever let go.



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There are things in this life that were never meant to be gone. Sunsets. Ice cream cones. Funny pictures. Green grass. Lemonade. Sprinklers. Softball games. People. And apparently the show Survivor, but we won’t go there right now.

As I sit in my room in what still feels like a new city to me, I remember things to which I am not willing to say goodbye. They replay like I think they should on nights like this. Not sad, just…not here. Giggles in the solarium. Bike gangs. Sunsets on Garvin. Prayer. Deep, real, feeling. Sore hearts and many amateur photographers becoming famous. Laughing about how we have no idea what’s going on. (Like we do now…but we’re just not laughing in the same room.) The sunrise. Breathe. Maid of Honor wedding time. Walking into a house and knowing everyone…all over the city. Tears and laughter. And moments of divorce with parents and the way we were all together all the time.

It’s not that I can’t let go or move on or love what I have here, but it’s that I do not believe we were meant to say goodbye to things which once gave us such joy. Stay together. Make phone calls. Cry if you have to. Go to your new jobs and be “adults”. Laugh with new people and cry with new people and talk about the old ones forever.

But just don’t ever let go.

…because love wins.