Eric Failing Deletions!
No question about it. My own personal, Chicago Fire blazed its strongest on October 13, 2011. My life seemed ruined! Just as it marked my 38th birthday, it also marked a death in my life, the ending of a chapter! Certainty, trust, and hope perished seemingly after that "blaze!" It was evident before this point that things were going on in my life, involving many decisions. August 5, 2011, I decided to leave Broadvox LLC, a company I enjoyed being a part of for 5 years. This job was very pivotal in my career and job experience. I believe it has cemeted the foundation of my Career change. After Broadvox, I temporarily took a job (not even worth my time naming the company here) that didn't last very long and with no clear reason whatsoever, I was fired on October 12. The fire started! From that day, I had no certainty of things getting better. I remained this way pretty much for several months.
THE SOUL KNOWS WHAT IT NEEDS TO THRIVE!
Even when the brain doesn't. On November 13, 2011, I had a vivid dream about Chicago! I made note of the dream and just as the headline states: "The soul knows what it needs to thrive," I saved the dream. It also coincided with another date which was synonymous to a change in my life. November 15, 1996.
November 15, 1996, I made the decision to move back to Ohio. I was living in Wisconsin at the time and this was the day I moved back to Ohio. I believe (still do to this day) that I interrupted some plan in my life, and I believe time froze from that point (even moved backwards). I believe, even at the time, I acted rashly by "chickening" out and running away by moving back to Ohio. Sure, moving back to Cleveland OH was not a mistake. The time was used wisely and in that time I was able to grow and prepare myself for whatever lay ahead.
The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.
In your dreams
On the night of November 13, 2011, I had the dream about Chicago and I didn't realize what that meant or how that affected me until November 15, exactly 15 years after I made the decision to move back to Ohio. As powerful and vivid as the dream impacted me, the soul knew what it needed even though my brain didn't. I sank to my knees and laid prostrate in heart and soul to God on November 15, 2011 without first knowing about the dates. I had hit bottom with despair and my soul cried out in agony that night, and early into November 16. Very early that morning on the 16th, after praying ALL NIGHT, I believe I was led to look closely at my Wall Photo of the "Dawn over Prairiewood" and at the times-tamp on the back (November 15, 1996). Astutely astounded and astonished, I believe God was saying in a way, "Remember that day 15 years ago? This is your do-over. Don't 'botch' it up this time." Don't quote that but maybe that was my spirit telling me that instead.
The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.
In January 2012, I visited Chicago for some job interviewing and to get a feel of the City. It was the first time I was back in Chicago since first moving there in 1994. It was then and there where I truly could say: "I FEEL LIKE I'M HOME!" I even expressed this joy with a few friends. On February 27, 2012, I took a job with Diebold and they allowed my dream to come true by moving to Chicago. It should be interesting to note, but the Chicago Fire of 1871 is what made Diebold famous today. Their safes and vaults survived the great blase. "They were the most sought after safe after the fire." I started packing in March after a job training trip in San Francisco CA. This trip really "greased" the wheels for me, making it more clear to me that I needed to start fresh and rebuild my life from "ruins." "The fire was a major milestone in American history. It turned out to be a major milestone in Diebold's history, too."  Once again I believe my subconscious was speaking to me through dreams (even if from God). I had one dream that pointed out that my time with friends in Ohio was coming to an end. The dream involved the death of a friend's horse. This occurred shortly before I visited Chicago in January 2012. After discussing the dream with a friend, we agreed that the death was a symbolic one not a physical one.
November 15 is celebrated as my Chicago-versary. It was a lifechanging moment that occured on the same days seperated by 15 years.
Embracing Jesus not a Religion.
September 13, 1992. Many times in life, I've felt that I've never truly belonged, nor have been truly loved (with the exception of some friends and some family). Sure, I wish it were easy to earn someone's love or respect or be loved back; I've never found that "peace" with people, but over 20 years ago on Sunday, September 13, 1992 (11am) at 14707 Alexander Road, Walton Hills, OH, I knelt at an altar and experienced GOD'S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and forgiveness! I learned how Someone who unconditionally gave Their Own life for me, so that I could be set free. I will always remember Bill Buhrow praying with me that morning. John 3:16
I grew up in a church, but you know what? That doesn't save you. Having a baptism, doing good works, and being nice does not earn you a ticket into paradise. Trusting and leaning on Jesus alone does. That is not saying doing good works or deeds is a bad thing. Good deeds are FRUIT of the spirit, not the key to salvation. I had to learn that. My church that I grew up in never made a relationship with a Living God a personal one. I was never taught that in catechism or in sermons. How does one embrace the love of a Living God? Having a relationship with Him. That relationship came with a price. God sent his only Son to die for my sin. Hamartiology 101. God is Holy. He cannot allow sin in his presence. Jesus bore all my sin on the cross. I never learned that from the church I grew up in.
I am Second!
It wasn't until my friend Richard Trigg invited me out to the Gospel House in Walton Hills OH one day where I learned all of this. I won't forget that Sunday morning there. The Pastor was preaching out of the book of Hebrews (which still remains my most favorite book in the Bible today). At the end of the service, the pastor (Bob Sepkovich) asked anyone that didn't know Jesus as their Savior to raise their hand. He prayed, but made the prayer to God a very personal one. God sees our hearts, not the outward appearance. He looks deep inside. Do you know your own heart? Search it. I am not a Christian because I'm strong. I need a Savior because I'm weak. If there is one thing I've been taught over and over while be Christian is HUMILITY and MEEKNESS. Meek does not mean weak either!
An Invitation to Heaven's Ultimate Party!
Luke 14:15-24: "Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread[a] in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper." I am second!
Óurias: The Heavenly Host of the Nail-Scarred Judge
...Standing up, Óurias retaliated and loaded a deathly blow to his brother’s face. “They’re an antenna towards Heaven, and I can prove it.” Óurias scowled down at his brother and wiped his forehead. Blood stippled down his peeked nose. “You’ll see. I’ll have another vision!” Óurias was completely intoxicated by the Báin-Gabba now.
Láil stood up and chided. “Have a vision, but I hope whatever God you are trying to see tests you for what you have done. Let Him be your Judge, a nail-scarred judge.”
Suddenly, there was thunderclap and Óurias heard a choir of elves chanting in his mind. It was like the previous visions he had of a heavenly host singing to the earth. “Aómh cóa go ceártain ní Fhoínn Mheátha í Bheshíra. Aleáragh Ardónain coa saíbhain an síehan nhu!" It was the Swordsong of Mharabháunt.
Soon, a trumpeting voice spoke out to him. “What have you done? You are hurting me.” Óurias blanked out cold and fell into a deadly sleep. “All you need to do is call to me by My name, and I will hear. Do you not know me as savior and protector?” Óurias fell prostrate and all his iniquities came before him. “I am Holy,” the trumpetting voice bellowed loudly.
Humbled by the presence, Óurias plead for a reawakening of the spirit. “I don’t even know your name. I need to expand my mind, for you won’t tell me it. I am weak of the elf-kind who cannot understand you.” Now, Óurias was at peace, but frustrated by the mysterious visions. Glancing up, he beheld a great light like Shekìnya. He heard six hammer strokes echo throughout the realm. The pounding reverberated in his elfin ears with a resonating pain. He grimaced at each pounding of the hammer stroke. “That sound of the hammer stroke is painful to my ears.” The sound only reverberated heavily in his spirit, but his spirit was awakened and it became alive by it. Tears of repentance streamed down his face.
Looking up in his vision, a heavenly choir was singing on high. The realm was brightened on the Gleam of an Elevated Sunbeam, the place of Shekìnya. The heavenly host sang out. Áu-bhría: “Aoin, Dóu, Trá! Diábló an gCoírbhaóith mhoírgcoeáinneód naóim dhá. Cúid, Deáib, Dísh! Áal dáimhóith rhuínneód pláin óim bhísh. Síeha, Aóch, Níssí! Áal dómabhriaóith bhá n-rhíssí. Dín, Óilafhain, Dhóuafhain! hAómh cóa gceáiraith n-fhoínn. Í dháin, Tráifhain, Go nlaimh hIósamhain an Bhlanc sín ámma Gáiel hÍshcoúir í-Phlían. Gmeórch a dóm áuphúaidh Dhiábhól ní hAódeálhuígh ruírmhair a mó bhí mír nínoáth. Shíeann gcóa! Íath!”
“...Í dháin, Tráifhain, Go nlaimh hIósamhain an Bhlanc sín ámma Gáiel hÍshcoúir í-Phlían. Gmeórch a dóm áuphúaidh Dhiábhól ní hAódeálhuígh ruírmhair a mó bhí mír nínoáth. Shíeann gcóa! Íath!”
"...And then, Thirteen, Jesus appears brightly (as his being) like the Morning Watch of the Horizon. Fear passes down on the Devil in the Lake of Fire forever and ever, where he passes down into."
2017! The Destination is There!
• "Happy Now? Happy Later?" Happy Now! Todd, if you're reading this, you remember when you said this to me 10 years ago, and I said Happy Later? I'm making it a goal in 2017. I still don't know to this day why you asked me this, but it has made me think about my own happiness lately. Thank you, Todd E. Florian
• Landmark Chicago. I was introduced to this by a friend. I'm making this a goal. I'm still finding my purpose here in Chicago.Thank you, Therie Yi-Shin Lai. That November 15th date has a special meaning for me, being my Chicago-versary, but I'm yet to find my place and purpose here.
• I want love and it's out there. Love and acceptance have been areas of my life I've battled with. Dating.
• More portrait photography in my portfolio next year. There is still a lot to learn. First item on my list to purchase is a lens with faster glass. Thank you, James Baranski.
• Build my faith stronger and filled with the Spirit. Accountability. Destination Church in Wrigleyville. Thank you, Michael K. Lawrence II.
• Continue on with the diet and exercise and maybe join a gym next year. So far, I've been doing stuff at home and getting off at Damen instead of Kimball for cardio (2 extra miles of walking). I'm at a weight I was at in my early 20s now. That's the first time I've been at this weight since.
• If there is one thing Chicago has taught me is resilience and a certain kind of stubbornness. So, continuing on to not be a door mat and have a little dignity is not a bad thing either. Thank you, Karen Sobolewski for always being supportive of my decisions and pointing me in a self-respectful lifestyle!
• Find a new home! Yep, as much as I like my neighborhood (Albany Park), the apartment I live in has several faults, including kids that don't care about other neighbors in the building. 401k. Pre-Approval on mortgage.
• Grace, mercy, kindness, generosity and charity. Continue to put friends first when the situation arises.
• Stop being snubbed or ignored! You may think this is a selfish goal, but really it isn't. I never stand out and I'm often brushed aside, ignored and forgotten. Far too often in my life, this has been a serious problem, and I never do anything about it. Some people in my life get FAR too much praise, attention and adoration than they actually deserve, including cohorts, friends and family. So, meekly stand out.